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Population Health Management Weekly Wrap Up 12/3/17

December 3, 2017 News No Comments

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Consulting firm Erdman names CEO Brian Happ chairman of its new Healthcare Advisory Council. Additional members include Rustin Becker (Erdman), Mike Bukosky (USMD Holdings), Frank Byrne, MD (SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital), Allen Kemp, MD (Centura Health), Rob Moss (Erdman), and William Petasnick (Froedtert Health).

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Burke Pediatrics (VA) partners with Food for Others as part of a new food prescription program aimed at ensuring patients can put healthy food on their tables. Eligible patients receive paper prescriptions based on family size for “Good Nutrition Health” that they then take to the Food for Others food pantry to exchange for pre-selected items or that they shop for themselves. The partnership came to fruition after the local news uncovered that many middle school students weren’t sure where their next meals were going to come from. Practice staff began bringing up access to food during appointments and quickly realized that food insecurity “was a reality for far too many of their patients.”

CNBC reports that Amazon Web Services and Cerner will soon announce an agreement involving Cerner’s HealtheIntent population health management system, which is already hosted on AWS. The new deal may involve allowing researchers to analyze HealtheIntent data using AI technology.

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VillageMD New Hampshire will roll out Geneia’s Theon analytics and care management software to physicians at Derry Medical Center and Southern New Hampshire Internal Medicine Associates – both of which manage ACOs and insurance plans.

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Altruista Health integrates Aunt Bertha’s social services search and referral software with its care management technology.

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Renown Health (NV) CEO Tony Slonim, MD shares the initial success of the Healthy Nevada Project, a multi-year population healthy study conducted with help from the Desert Research Institute. The organizations are collecting data from 10,000 participants across 135 zip codes in the northern part of the state that, when combined with DRI’s environmental data, will allow them to identify and prepare for public health risks.

“As a healthcare system with the largest market share in our community, this is the ultimate in strategic planning,” writes Slonim. “If our community is more at risk for cardiovascular disease 10 years from now, we can be thoughtful about recruiting cardiologists. If we know that the population is growing in pediatrics, we can start a program for pediatric residents at the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine and grow our pool of pediatricians. The horizon for planning can be kept in view because we’re learning about our population’s health and disease. And that’s just good medicine.”

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The local news reports on a new trend in population health management and public health initiatives – that of educational opportunities as a health insurance benefit. After surveying its Medicaid members, Select Health in South Carolina found that earning a high school diploma was the most sought after add-on, and so the managed care company started its Mission GED program to cover the cost of the exam and one retake. Eighteen people have graduated from the program so far, which means they will likely pursue further education and move into careers that offer better salaries and benefits, all of which statistically lead to better health.

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In Health Affairs, Episcopal Health Foundation VP for Impact Lexi Nolen outlines the ways in which the foundation’s four-year, $10 million Texas Community Centered Health Homes Initiative is working to address the root causes of community health problems. The initiative began in September to implement a number of programs focused on social determinants of health that include establishing a food council, working to create suburbs designed for active living and healthy eating, and designing community-involved approaches to mental health.


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News 11/30/17

November 30, 2017 News No Comments

Top News

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Attorney General Jeff Sessions announces that Presidential Adviser Kellyanne Conway will oversee the Trump administration’s efforts to combat the opioid epidemic. Sessions made the announcement during remarks that focused on the DEA’s renewed efforts to step in and handle the crisis – efforts that will be fueled by $12 million in grants and a new division over the Appalachian region that will focus on illegal drug trafficking. Conway seems an unlikely choice, given her lack of healthcare experience and former life as campaign manager, pollster, and political pundit. She may surprise some, however, given her tagalongs with former HHS Secretary Tom Price, MD as he traversed (ostentatiously, by all accounts) the country several months ago talking with healthcare stakeholders about the epidemic.

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In other opioid-related news, President Trump will donate his third-quarter salary (pegged at $100,000) to help combat the epidemic. He will funnel it to an HHS-sponsored public awareness campaign about the dangers of opioid addiction.


Webinars

December 5 (Tuesday) 2:00 ET. “Cornerstones of Order Set Optimization: Trusted Evidence.” Sponsored by: Wolters Kluwer. Updating order sets with new medical evidence is crucial to improving outcomes, but coordinating maintenance for hundreds of order sets with dozens of stakeholders is a huge logistical challenge. For most hospitals, managing order set content is labor intensive and the internal processes supporting it are far too inefficient. Evidence-based order sets are only as good as their content, which is why regular review and updates are essential. This webinar explores the relationship between clinical content and patient care with an eye toward building trust among the clinical staff. Plus, we will demonstrate a new evidence alignment tool that can easily incorporate the most current medical content into your order sets, regardless of format, including Cerner Power Plans and Epic SmartSets.

Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre for information.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

Minnesota lawyers file lawsuits on behalf of dozens of counties against three opioid-based pain medication distributors and six manufacturers in an attempt to recoup some of the money lost in the state’s battle against the opioid crisis. The lawyers have said they’ll base their suits on the deceptive marketing practices of such companies, which highlighted their legitimate uses to physicians but neglected to mention their addictive side effects.


Announcements and Implementations

The Colorado Community Health Alliance will work with Anthem to offer Medicaid patients better coordinated primary and behavioral healthcare. It seems the two organizations will create an as yet unnamed company to solidify the partnership.

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Physicians in Pennsylvania come together to form a chapter of the Association of Independent Doctors. Formed in 2013, the association has seven chapters nationwide and is intent on helping local physicians fight hospital mergers. It focused its energy on Pennsylvania last year when it protested the ultimately abandoned merger between Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and PinnacleHealth System.


People

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Will Ostdiek, MD (Think Whole Person Healthcare) joins Charles Drew Health Center as CMO.

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EHNAC names Capt. Alicia Morton, DNP, RN-BC a commissioner ex officio through 2020. Morton, an active-duty nurse in the USPHS Commissioned Corps, is also director of ONC’s Health IT Certification Program.

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Great Lakes Management Service Organization hires Surya Desiraju (Adeptus Health) as COO.


Government and Politics

The State of Connecticut approves $51 million in requests to fund IT projects that include a new Medicaid information management system and HIE. The state has a somewhat troubled history of dabbling in health information exchange, having spent $4.3 million to launch one several years ago only to eventually dismantle it. The state medical society went live with its own HIE in June.

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Two of the more interesting tweets to come out of ONC’s Annual Meeting, which concludes tomorrow. Frankly, much of the subject matter covered thus far seems eerily similar to years past (with the exception of blockchain, perhaps), which is either a testament to how hard solving interoperability is or how slow government is to make it happen.


Telemedicine

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MDLive adds chatbot functionality to help new users register on its virtual visit platform.


Other

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Oh the irony: The Texas Health and Human Services Commission faces a rat infestation that has prompted the agency to issue a $60,000 contract for emergency pest control services. The agency, which attributes the problem to ongoing construction, has encouraged employees to keep their workspaces free of food and has even instituted an anonymous tip line where staff can “rat” each other out for slovenliness.


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

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News 11/29/17

November 29, 2017 News No Comments

Top News

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HHS Secretary nominee Alex Azar appears before the Senate HELP Committee in the first of two confirmation hearings. Azar made it clear he would push to lower drug prices if confirmed, despite criticism he’d be disinclined to do so given price hikes for insulin and other diabetes drugs during his time as an executive at Eli Lilly. He evaded the question of whether or not pharma executives should be held personally accountable for matters like price fixing. Azar also stressed that, if confirmed, his top priorities will be addressing the opioid epidemic, Medicare innovation, and expanding access to affordable healthcare.


Webinars

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November 30 (Thursday) 1:00 ET. “Making Clinical Communications Work in Your Complex Environment.” Sponsored by: PatientSafe Solutions. Presenters: Steve Shirley, VP/CIO, Parkview Medical Center; Richard Cruthirds, CIO, Peterson Health. Selecting, implementing, and managing a mobile clinical communications platform is a complex and sometimes painful undertaking. With multiple technologies, stakeholders, and disciplines involved, a comprehensive approach is required to ensure success. Hear two hospital CIOs share their first-hand experience, lessons learned, and demonstrated results from deploying an enterprise-wide mobile clinical communications solution.

December 5 (Tuesday) 2:00 ET. “Cornerstones of Order Set Optimization: Trusted Evidence.” Sponsored by: Wolters Kluwer. Updating order sets with new medical evidence is crucial to improving outcomes, but coordinating maintenance for hundreds of order sets with dozens of stakeholders is a huge logistical challenge. For most hospitals, managing order set content is labor intensive and the internal processes supporting it are far too inefficient. Evidence-based order sets are only as good as their content, which is why regular review and updates are essential. This webinar explores the relationship between clinical content and patient care with an eye toward building trust among the clinical staff. Plus, we will demonstrate a new evidence alignment tool that can easily incorporate the most current medical content into your order sets, regardless of format, including Cerner Power Plans and Epic SmartSets.

Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre for information.


Announcements and Implementations

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SirenMD adds health data management capabilities from Mach7 Technologies to its athletic care coordination technology for easier referrals, patient-caregiver communication, and access to patient records.

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VillageMD New Hampshire will roll out Geneia’s Theon analytics and care management software to physicians at Derry Medical Center and Southern New Hampshire Internal Medicine Associates – both of which manage ACOs and insurance plans.


People

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Mark Froimson, MD (American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons) joins Clarify Health Solutions as a strategic advisor and consulting chief clinical officer.

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Laura Kreofsky (Stanford Health Care) joins Pivot Point Consulting as VP of advisory services.

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Fertility-focused predictive analytics company Univfy hires Kelsey Rush (Change Healthcare) as VP of product, Kristin Shadick (Natera) as VP of sales, and Kamal Gelya (Citrix) as VP of finance.


Government and Politics

Reminder: CMS will host a call tomorrow (Thursday), November 30, from 1:30-3pm ET for providers interested in learning more about the Quality Payment Program Year 2 Final Rule.


Research and Innovation

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An AAFP follow-up study on physician acceptance of value-based payment models shows that acceptance and successful participation have increased since the study was first conducted in 2015. Fifty-four percent participate in some form of VPM, and 50 percent feel such models encourage greater care coordination between primary care physicians and specialists. A similar percentage are investing in health IT to better enable their value-based programs.

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The US is in regrettably good company when it comes to extremely brief visits with the doctor. According to a new Reuters report, 18 countries offer average appointment times of less than five minutes (Bangladesh comes in at 48 seconds), while another 25 nations give patients just under 10 minutes. It’s not all doom and gloom, however. Appointment times on the US have increased 12 seconds each year, moving from 15 to 20 minutes in a comparatively short period of time. Researchers recommend looking into how that extra five minutes impacts patient health in terms of addressing preventative measures after dealing with acute concerns.

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A JAMA Internal Medicine study finds that patient satisfaction plummets when physicians deny patient requests related to prescriptions and tests. The authors point out that physicians may have set themselves up for satisfaction failure by giving in to patient demands too many times prior, and should spend time thoroughly explaining their reason for denying the request.


Sponsor Updates

  • The Washington Stat Health Care Authority certifies consumer decision aids from Healthwise for knee osteoarthritis and hip arthritis.
  • AdvancedMD Cares makes 600 quilts for three Nashville charities during its Evo17 conference.

Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

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News 11/28/17

November 28, 2017 News No Comments

Top News

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CNBC looks to break into the healthcare conference business with an event focused on investing in healthcare innovation. Healthy Returns will take place March 28 in New York City.

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The media company, which seems to have increased its healthcare technology coverage since bringing on reporter Chrissy Farr in April, has appointed such health IT luminaries as Eric Topol, MD and 23andMe founder and CEO Anne Wojcicki to its conference advisory board. The conference website seems sparse on programming right now. No doubt the media outlet is looking to attract new advertisers with related digital and televised content.


Webinars

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November 30 (Thursday) 1:00 ET. “Making Clinical Communications Work in Your Complex Environment.” Sponsored by: PatientSafe Solutions. Presenters: Steve Shirley, VP/CIO, Parkview Medical Center; Richard Cruthirds, CIO, Peterson Health. Selecting, implementing, and managing a mobile clinical communications platform is a complex and sometimes painful undertaking. With multiple technologies, stakeholders, and disciplines involved, a comprehensive approach is required to ensure success. Hear two hospital CIOs share their first-hand experience, lessons learned, and demonstrated results from deploying an enterprise-wide mobile clinical communications solution.

December 5 (Tuesday) 2:00 ET. “Cornerstones of Order Set Optimization: Trusted Evidence.” Sponsored by: Wolters Kluwer. Updating order sets with new medical evidence is crucial to improving outcomes, but coordinating maintenance for hundreds of order sets with dozens of stakeholders is a huge logistical challenge. For most hospitals, managing order set content is labor intensive and the internal processes supporting it are far too inefficient. Evidence-based order sets are only as good as their content, which is why regular review and updates are essential. This webinar explores the relationship between clinical content and patient care with an eye toward building trust among the clinical staff. Plus, we will demonstrate a new evidence alignment tool that can easily incorporate the most current medical content into your order sets, regardless of format, including Cerner Power Plans and Epic SmartSets.

Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre for information.


Announcements and Implementations

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Onduo will integrate digital insulin recommendations from Voluntis with its virtual diabetes platform, which helps diabetics manage their conditions via wireless glucose monitors, software, and personalized coaching. Onduo got its start last year as a joint venture between Verily and Sanofi.


People

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InfoMC promotes Jeff Branagh to COO.

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Healthcare consulting firm Sullivan, Cotter, and Associates hires Mark Rumans, MD (Vidant Health) as CMO.

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Doctor on Demand founder Adam Jackson (Dopamine Labs) joins cryptocurrency-based investment firm Cambrian Asset Management as CTO.

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ZappRx brings on James Cornicelli (UCB Biopharma) as VP of corporate strategy, and Rich Kramer (Upfront Healthcare) as VP of commercial operations.


Telemedicine

Telemedicine is the top use case for embedded video across all industries, according to a small Vidyo survey of executives and engineers.


Government and Politics

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A New Hampshire judge rules that 84-year-old Anna Konopka, MD cannot renew her medical license. She claims that state regulators forced her to give up her license over her unwillingness to use a computer and, as a result, her inability to comply with the state’s mandatory PDMP policies. The license hand-over also seems to be connected to a recent disciplinary hearing with the state licensing board brought on by several patient complaints of inappropriate treatment.


Research and Innovation

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Google researchers develop software for the Google Pixel smartphone that can detect when a second set of eyes is looking at the phone’s screen. The researchers contend their gaze-detection software may be ideal for reading sensitive information or watching video in a public space.


Other

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Facebook will roll out its suicide-detection software to countries beyond the US, where it began piloting the technology in March. The AI-based software alerts specially trained Facebook staff in real time when a user posts suicidal messages, who then contact local authorities. First responders have checked in on people over 100 times in the last month based on Facebook software alerts.

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#GivingTuesday: The AMA continues to accept donations for practices affected by this year’s spate of natural disasters. The AMA Foundation’s Physician Disaster Recovery Fund has already given out $75,000 to practices impacted by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria; and $150,000 to general relief efforts in Florida and Louisiana.

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Specialty EHR and PM vendor WebPT encourages users to donate to Rehab Therapists Give Back, a charity also working to help providers affected by recent hurricanes and wildfires.


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk, HIStalk Connect.

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Jenn_125

News 11/27/17

November 27, 2017 News No Comments

Top News

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Reuters reports that DaVita is considering selling its physician network business, DaVita Medical Group, in light of sluggish Medicare Advantage payments, high healthcare costs, and a recent $5 million operating loss that likely contributed to the elimination of 350 non-clinical positions. DMG is reportedly worth $4 billion.


HIStalk Practice Musings

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The holiday shopping season is upon us once again, with Cyber Monday forecast to be the biggest online shopping day in US history. Adobe Analytics expects today’s Web-based shopping to total close to $6 billion, (versus Black Friday’s $5 billion). Unlike years past, I got out and about on Friday for several in-store purchases, but did the majority of my shopping online. My sole tech purchase (from Amazon) was an Ozobots coding starter pack, which I’m fairly certain family members of all ages will enjoy. I’ve seen them in action at several community STEM events and no one seemed able to resist taking a crack at their colorful coding. If you’re in need of STEM-related toys and activities, check out interim CIO and consultant Sue Schade’s list of “STEM Gift Ideas for 2017.”


Webinars

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November 30 (Thursday) 1:00 ET. “Making Clinical Communications Work in Your Complex Environment.” Sponsored by: PatientSafe Solutions. Presenters: Steve Shirley, VP/CIO, Parkview Medical Center; Richard Cruthirds, CIO, Peterson Health. Selecting, implementing, and managing a mobile clinical communications platform is a complex and sometimes painful undertaking. With multiple technologies, stakeholders, and disciplines involved, a comprehensive approach is required to ensure success. Hear two hospital CIOs share their first-hand experience, lessons learned, and demonstrated results from deploying an enterprise-wide mobile clinical communications solution.

December 5 (Tuesday) 2:00 ET. “Cornerstones of Order Set Optimization: Trusted Evidence.” Sponsored by: Wolters Kluwer. Updating order sets with new medical evidence is crucial to improving outcomes, but coordinating maintenance for hundreds of order sets with dozens of stakeholders is a huge logistical challenge. For most hospitals, managing order set content is labor intensive and the internal processes supporting it are far too inefficient. Evidence-based order sets are only as good as their content, which is why regular review and updates are essential. This webinar explores the relationship between clinical content and patient care with an eye toward building trust among the clinical staff. Plus, we will demonstrate a new evidence alignment tool that can easily incorporate the most current medical content into your order sets, regardless of format, including Cerner Power Plans and Epic SmartSets.

Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre for information.


Announcements and Implementations

MyMipsScore makes HIPAA Secure Now!’s security risk analysis available as part of its app that helps physicians participating in MIPS aggregate, calculate, and analyze quality data across 271 measures.


People

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Marc Levine (JDA Software Group) will join Athenahealth as EVP, CFO, and treasurer.

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Radiology provider ONRAD hires David Engert (Nighthawk Radiology) as president and CEO.


Telemedicine

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StickyJ Medical ID will provide TelaCare customers with medical ID jewelry that includes the telemedicine company’s ViewMyID website address and patient serial number for easy health-data lookup by first responders.

NPR looks at the role telemedicine plays in opioid addiction treatment, highlighting the challenges well-meaning physicians face when attempting to incorporate virtual visits into treatment plans that include many unbillable hours for counseling sessions and briefer check-ins. Jay Joshi, MD of Prestige Clinics (IN) occasionally uses telemedicine to prescribe addiction medication, but prioritizes face-to-face visits. “You’re not going to get a good system of healthcare for primary care in these high-risk areas unless you invest time and energy into these patients,” he explains.


Research and Innovation

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This study reveals that consumers are increasingly turning to voice assistants like Alexa and Google Home for healthcare information and advice. Nearly 50 percent of the 1,000 respondents have used such technology to ask about symptoms (70 percent of users), wellness tips (59 percent), or to connect to a healthcare provider (48 percent).

University of South Carolina researchers find that a 2014 statewide mandate requiring all physicians to check the state’s PDMP before prescribing opioids to Medicaid patients has resulted in a 29-percent drop in such prescriptions. The mandate was expanded to include all patients earlier this year – a smart move given that CDC stats show that physicians in South Carolina write more opioid prescriptions annually than there are residents in the state.


Other

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The local paper looks at the unique things Midwest Regional Health Services (NE) is doing to retain its patient-centered medical home status and quality certifications. Efforts include posting physician quality measures on waiting room walls, organizing 12 week-long healthy living groups, and offering a ladies’ day that includes routine screenings, manicures, and make-and-go foot scrubs. The independent primary care practice has created consulting company Celtic Healthcare Solutions to help other practices transition to the PCMH model.

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More Cyber Monday tidings: McAfee releases its list of most hackable gifts, with laptops, tablets, and smartphones taking top honors. Drones, digital assistants, and connected toys and appliances also make an appearance. The company has created a pretty cute campaign aimed at educating consumers about securing their digital gifts.

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Folks have 18 days left to sign up for coverage at Healthcare.gov. Enrollment for this year is predicted (optimistically, some contend, due to the halved sign-up period) to top out at just under 10 million. If you really want to get into the weeds of ACA sign-up analysis, check out Chris Conover’s mind-bending arithmetic, which has lead him to conclude that, “Obamacare Exchange enrollments continue to perform well below expectations” (despite headlines that say otherwise).


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk, HIStalk Connect.

Get HIStalk Practice updates.
Contact us online.
Become a sponsor.

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