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News 8/10/17

August 10, 2017 News No Comments

Top News

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Group practices are just all around dissatisfied with MACRA, according to an MGMA survey of 750 independent practices that focused on regulatory burdens. A few highlights:

  • 64 percent believe a reduction in Medicare’s regulatory complexity would enable them to allocate more resources toward patient care.
  • 38 percent spent between $10,000 and $40,000 per FTE to comply with federal regulations.
  • The QPP tops the respondent list of most burdensome regulatory issues. Lack of interoperability comes in fourth.
  • 73 percent believe MIPS does not support their practice’s clinical quality goals.

Webinars

None scheduled soon. Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre for information on webinar services.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Sverica Capital Management buys a majority stake in Women’s Health USA, a 20 year-old, Connecticut-based practice management company specializing in gynecology, obstetrics, and in-vitro fertilization. Women’s Health customers include 550 providers in six states. Nancy Bernstein will stay on as president and COO.

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Symptom checker startup Buoy Health raises $6.7 million in a Series A round of funding led by F-Prime Capital Partners, bringing its total raised to $9 million. The Boston-based company was founded in 2014, and has done stints with the Harvard Innovation Laboratory and Healthbox.


People

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Tabula Rasa HealthCare appoints Samira Beckwith (Hope HealthCare Services) to its Board of Directors.


Announcements and Implementations

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Vermont Information Technology Leaders, Imprivata, Kno2, the Pharmacy HIT Collaborative, BridgeHead Software, and Hart join the CommonWell Health Alliance. The nonprofit and its 66 members have deployed interoperability services at 5,000 healthcare sites across the country since launching in early 2013.

T-System joins Athenahealth’s More Disruption Please program.

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Population health management firm Qualis Health develops an online resource center and help desk to help physicians in Idaho and Washington participate in MACRA’s value-based programs.


Government and Politics

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HHS Secretary and self-professed Atlanta Braves fan Tom Price, MD throws out the first pitch at the Washington Nationals home game against the Marlins during HHS night. Rumor – and Twitter – has it he received a somewhat chilly reception.


Other

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Several medical associations – including the AMA, Association of Clinicians for the Underserved, and National Association of Community Health Centers – form the Human Diagnosis Alliance in an effort to promote the Human Diagnosis Project. Partner associations will, over the next five years, work to continue development of a Web-based e-consult system for physicians whose safety-net patients are in need of specialist care.


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Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

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News 8/9/17

August 9, 2017 News No Comments

Top News

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President Trump declines to issue a state of emergency related to the opioid crisis, despite the recommendations of an interim report authored by a special commission on the crisis chaired by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. Instead, the administration will tackle the problem through a developing strategy that will involve a number of federal departments and local resources including healthcare providers, law enforcement, community organizations, patients and their families. HHS Secretary Tom Price, MD shared the news during a Q&A after his briefing on the epidemic with President Trump and the First Lady. He reiterated that the president will give it all the attention it deserves: “The President certainly believes that we will treat it as an emergency – and it is an emergency. When you have the capacity of Yankee Stadium or Dodger Stadium dying every single year in this nation, that’s a crisis that has to be given incredible attention, and the President is giving it that attention.”


Webinars

None scheduled soon. Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre for information on webinar services.


Announcements and Implementations

Gettysburg Diagnostic Imaging (PA) selects RCM and PM software and credentialing services from Healthcare Administrative Partners.

Integra Connects will offer Community Oncology Medical Home program triage pathways for first responders and nurses from Innovative Oncology Business Solutions as part of its Oncology Care Model and population health solutions for oncology practices.

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The Rhode Island Primary Care Physicians Corp. – an IPA comprised of over 350 PCPs and specialists – will pilot Seniorlink’s Vela care coordination and communication technology for providers, caregivers, patients, and family members over a six-month period. The success of the pilot, which will enroll 500 patients, will be based on patient satisfaction, the ability of providers to communicate with patients, medication reconciliation, ED utilization, and ease of access to advance directives.

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Evolution Physical Therapy (CA) adds EWellness Healthcare’s tele-physical therapy services (including live and on-demand PT regimens) at its four clinics in Los Angeles.


Government and Politics

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Physicians in Colorado cry foul thanks to a new Medicaid reimbursement system that, since undergoing an upgrade in March, has routinely rejected claims it previously accepted. State officials have pointed to user enrollment error as the cause of delayed payments. Providers like Charles Hanson, MD – who is still waiting on $100,000 in reimbursement – aren’t taking the situation lying down. The large LED sign on his office building now reads, “Newsflash! Medicaid is NOT paying its claims.”

The Illinois Blockchain Initiative will work with Hashed Health on a pilot that will test the ways in which blockchain can streamline and securely automate the process of approving and obtaining multistate and interstate licensures.


Telemedicine

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Population health management company ApolloMed takes a minority equity stake in Boynton Beach, FL-based telemedicine hardware and software startup LifeMD. ApolloMed CEO Warren Hosseinion, MD will join LifeMD’s Board of Directors. ApolloMed will likely extend LifeMD’s virtual consult capabilities to its customers, which include ACOs, IPOs, and home health providers.

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Nearly 100 percent of employers will make telemedicine services available to their employees in 2018, according to a National Business Group on Health survey of 148 large employers that offer health benefits to a combined 15 million employees and their families. Just over half will offer telemedicine for behavioral health. The ubiquitous interest in the technology comes at a time when these same employers expect to see a 5-percent increase in benefit costs for the fifth year in a row, according to NBGH.


Other

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Because this is important: This article highlights the science behind the discovery of optimal dunking time for an Oreo cookie. (Spoiler alert: It’s about three seconds.) Utah State University’s Splash Lab conducted the determining tests. The team has also assessed the insulating properties of bears, the physics of the perfect skipping stone, and the fluid dynamics of urinal splashback (because that, too, is important).


Sponsor Updates

  • Aprima will host its annual user conference August 18-20 in Dallas, TX.
  • Nordic publishes a podcast titled “Why change management is critical to a successful EHR transition.”
  • EClinicalWorks announces that users of its EHR have exchanged two million documents in the past 12 months through the Carequality Interoperability Framework.

Blog Posts


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk, HIStalk Connect.

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News 8/8/17

August 8, 2017 News No Comments

Top News

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CMS Deputy Administrator and CMO Patrick Conway, MD will leave the agency after six years to head up Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina. Conway, who is also head of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation, will take over from retiring Brad Wilson on October 1. Conway’s decision follows the similar path of former National Coordinator Vindell Washington, MD who joined Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana in June as CMO.


Webinars

None scheduled soon. Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre for information on webinar services.


Announcements and Implementations

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EClinicalWorks announces that over 2 million documents have been exchanged by its EHR via the Carequality Interoperability Framework over the last year. The company was one of the 13 founding adopters of the framework, which became available in late 2015.

Elsevier and the AMA will develop e-learning course content for the CPT code set.

OneTouch EMR adds Kno2’s Direct messaging capabilities to help its ambulatory end users more easily share data with other providers.

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Center for Life Management, a New Hampshire-based behavioral health services provider, replaces its 10 year-old document management system with OpenText’s document capture and retention management solution.


People

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DoctorsManagement promotes Gene Good to CEO. Former CEO Paul King will remain president and chairman of the board.

InstaMed adds Karen Atwood, Bill Frist, MD (Cressey & Co.), Cynthia Nustad (HMS), Larry Stone, and Lew Trowbridge to its Board of Directors and Advisory Board.


Telemedicine

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Mobile dermatology clinic and telemedicine company WellAve expands in Maryland with the opening of a new practice in Annapolis. The company brings its mobile clinics to local employers, senior living facilities, and other providers.


Research and Innovation

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A study in Health Affairs highlights the increasing levels of job dissatisfaction experienced by FQHC employees. Researchers surveyed 564 physicians, nurses, and staff at 296 centers – all of which were pursuing medical home designations – over a two-year period. Respondents noted declining satisfaction with job satisfaction, work environment, and practice culture, which analysts attribute to rapid adoption of technology and the intense workloads that come with participating in federal programs. “Things appear to have gotten worse over a short period of time at clinics that serve many of the nation’s poorest and sickest patients, and we’re not sure why,” says the Mark Friedberg, MD the study’s lead author. “This merits more attention.”


Other

The Medical Society of Delaware will work with Clearwater, FL-based healthcare blockchain startup Medscient to develop distributed ledger technology for prior authorizations. The organizations will work with technology developed by Symbiont, Delaware’s Blockchain Initiative partner, which will incorporate rules agreed on by caregivers and payers that hopefully speed up the prior authorization process.


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk, HIStalk Connect.

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Contact us online.
Become a sponsor.

JennHIStalk

News 8/7/17

August 7, 2017 News No Comments

Top News

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American Telemedicine Association CEO Jon Linkous will step down after 24 years with the organization. COO Sabrina Smith, MD will take on the role until a replacement is found. Linkous helped found the Washington, DC-based nonprofit in 1993. His departure comes at an interesting time for the association, which outsourced its certification capabilities earlier this year; and telemedicine in general, which seems to be increasing in popularity thanks to relaxed state regulations, better/existing reimbursement policies, technology that is more ubiquitous and easier to use; not to mention its attractiveness as a customer service differentiator.


Webinars

None scheduled soon. Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre for information on webinar services.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Exeter, NH-based CBS Medical Billing & Consulting opens a second office in nearby Portsmouth. Founded in 2010 by Erin Cammarata, the company has grown to 30 employees, nine of which will work at the new location.


Government and Politics

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Congress confirms anesthesiologist and Indiana state health commissioner Jerome Adams, MD as the 20th Surgeon General of the United States. Adams has said he will focus on bringing more attention to the opioid epidemic and its roots in mental health, as well as employer and community engagement around wellness.

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Lawmakers also confirms Elinore McCance-Katz, MD to be the first Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use within HHS. She comes from Rhode Island, where she served in the state’s Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Development Disabilities and Hospitals as CMO. She also served as SAMHSA’s first CMO, from 2013-2015. I imagine she and the new Surgeon General will interact often given the administration’s focus on opioid abuse.

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New Jersey’s Division of Consumer Affairs adds a Suspicious Activity Report portal to its PDMP, giving pharmacists, physicians, and citizens the ability to report suspected overprescribing, doctor shopping, and forged or stolen prescriptions. The portal’s addition comes a month after the DCA expanded the PDMP’s archived prescribing records from one year to two.


Telemedicine

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A Chance to Change, a behavioral health, alcoholism, and drug addiction treatment center in Oklahoma City, OK, will use grant funding from the Oklahoma City Community Foundation to develop telemedicine services for its patients. The nonprofit seems to be developing software in-house, and is also scouting locations on which to build or install private areas for virtual consults.


Research and Innovation

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A study published by the National Bureau of Economic Research finds that physicians from top-tier medical schools wrote far fewer opioid prescriptions between 2006 and 2014 than did those that attended lower-ranked institutions. Harvard grads, for example, wrote less than 100 prescriptions annually, while their less prestigious peers averaged 300. The discrepancy, according to the study’s authors, highlights a need for more rigorous curricula around the prescribing of controlled substances.


Other

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HITRUST enlists the expertise of cybersecurity firm Trend Micro to set up its Cyber Threat Management and Response Center. Building on its Cyber Threat XChange information-sharing capabilities, the new center aims to come to the defense of organizations with “varying cybersecurity maturity levels” by bringing new research and educational resources to market more quickly. It will launch on October 1.

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In San Francisco and Australia, LinkedIn launches a mentoring service that aims to connect users interested in sharing their expertise with those interested in learning from it. “We have done research and found that among the senior ranks of our user base, nine out of 10 people have said they want to give back,” says Hari Srinivasan, head of identity products. “Paying it forward is a powerful force. All of them received help on the way up and now want to find a way to give that help back to others.” The service will eventually be open to all users.


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk, HIStalk Connect.

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Contact us online.
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JennHIStalk

News 8/3/17

August 3, 2017 News No Comments

Top News

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The Government Accountability Office announces the 15 members of its new Health Information Technology Advisory Committee. Created by the 21st Century Cures Act, the committee will offer ONC recommendations on health IT policies, standards, certification criteria, and implementation specifications. Nine work for health systems, one works for a payer, three work for vendors, and two work for nonprofits. None seem to represent independent providers.


Webinars

None scheduled in the coming weeks. Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre for information on webinar services.


Announcements and Implementations

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Acuitas Health, a physician services organization serving practices in New York, will offer its customers data warehousing, analytics, and care management software from Health Catalyst.

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Cancer Care Specialists of Illinois selects care management technologies and consulting services from New Century Health as part of a multi-year agreement focused on its participation in the CMS Oncology Care Model.

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State of Franklin Healthcare Associates (TN) implements business intelligence and analytics tools from EQHealth Solutions at its 12 practices.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Colorado-based Encompass Medical Partners rebrands to Encompass Healthcare Data Solutions. Initially a billing company for physician specialty practices, the company now also offers data science services.


People

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Medication education company Knowledge to Practice appoints Joseph Lemheney (Lehigh Valley Health Network) chief learning officer.

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Former Healthcare.gov CEO Kevin Counihan joins Centene, where he’ll lead the health insurer’s Midwestern business. Centene has bucked the “imploding” ACA marketplace trend by announcing entry into several new state markets and expansion into six existing ones.

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Meade Atkinson (Genesis Healthcare Solutions) joins RCM and consulting company TDM RCM Services as partner and chief growth officer.


Telemedicine

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Teladoc announces Q2 results: revenue up 68 percent, with membership increasing 33 percent to 20.5 million, and visits increasing 55 percent to 309,000. The company wrapped up its $440 million acquisition of Best Doctors, a global company that provides virtual medical consult services to employers and payers, last month.

Global Office Software will make EWellness Healthcare’s PHZIO virtual physical therapy solution available through its EHR and PM software.


Government and Politics

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CMS opens up applications for providers interested in exempting from the Quality Payment Program in 2017. Hardship exception applications will be accepted on a rolling basis.


Other

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Twitter seems awfully quiet now that Andy Slavitt’s tweet storms have abated.


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk, HIStalk Connect.

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

JennHIStalk

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