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News 11/26/18

November 26, 2018 News No Comments

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Managed care company Beacon Health Options creates a new subsidiary, Beacon Care Services, to spearhead the launch of mental health clinics in retail settings. The company opened its first clinic in a Texas-based Walmart Care Clinic earlier this month, and plans to open additional clinics in areas that are underserved and/or in rural locations. Virtual consults will be available to patients if clinic personnel need additional help. Beacon Health President and CEO Russell Petrella says the decision to open a clinic in a place like Walmart is part of the company’s goal to mainstream behavioral health, offering easy access to services in a familiar environment.


Webinars

December 5 (Wednesday) 1 ET. “Tapping Into the Potential of Natural Language Processing in Healthcare.” Sponsor: Health Catalyst. Presenters: Wendy Chapman, PhD, chair of the department of biomedical informatics, University of Utah School of Medicine; Mike Dow, senior director of product development, Health Catalyst. This webinar will provide an NLP primer, sharing principle-driven stories so you can get going with NLP whether you are just beginning or considering processes, tools, or how to build support with key leadership. Dr. Chapman’s teams have demonstrated phenotyping for precision medicine, quality improvement, and decision support, while Mr. Dow’s group helps organizations realize statistical insight by incorporating text notes along with discrete data analysis. Join us to better understand the potential of NLP through existing applications, the challenges of making NLP a real and scalable solution, and the concrete actions you can take to use NLP for the good of your organization.

December 6 (Thursday) 11 ET. “Make the Most of Azure DevOps in Healthcare.” Sponsor: CitiusTech. Presenter: Harshal Sawant, practice lead for DevOps and mobile, CitiusTech. Enterprise IT teams are moving from large-scale, project-based system implementations to a continuously evolving and collaborative process that includes both development and business teams. This webinar will review healthcare DevOps trends and customer stories, describe key factors in implementing a DevOps practice, describe how to assess Azure DevOps, and lay out the steps needed to create an Azure DevOps execution plan.

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


Announcements and Implementations

Project ECHO extends its telementoring services to primary care physicians in Washington, DC and Baltimore who care for diabetic patients. The program will offer participating providers educational sessions on how to manage complex diabetes cases and establish team-based care review meetings. George Washington School of Medicine students will also take part in preparation for opening their own independent practices after graduation.


Government and Politics

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Governor Steve Bullock and the Montana Healthcare Foundation allocate $5 million to a behavioral health program that will improve access and outcomes for pregnant and postpartum women suffering from mental health issues and substance abuse. Funding from the Perinatal Behavioral Health Initiative will help eligible practices develop care coordination teams; foster peer support; and offer screening, intervention, and referral to additional treatment and social services, including the state’s First Year’s Initiative for young families. It seems likely that the program will encourage the use of telemedicine, given that Montana has just over 2,100 physicians providing direct care to just over 1 million residents, many of whom live in rural areas.

HHS OCR fines Allergy Associates of Hartford (CT) $125,000 after an AA physician improperly shared PHI with a television reporter in 2015, despite being warned not to do so by practice management. OCR Director Roger Severino points out what apparently wasn’t obvious to the offending MD: “When a patient complains about a medical practice, doctors cannot respond by disclosing private patient information to the media.”


Telemedicine

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Wyoming’s Labor, Health, and Social Services Committee hears from local providers advocating for expanded telemedicine funding beyond the currently allotted $40,000. Urologist and virtual visit advocate Lisa Finkelstein, DO told the committee (via Skype, no less), that educating physicians on the increasingly favorable reimbursement policies of public and private payers is almost just as pertinent as financing. “What we need is help,” Finkelstein told the committee. “Whether it’s in the form of marketing or advertising. Again, getting the buy-in from the providers is really what we need … This is the last mile. To answer your questions, a lot of these [reimbursement] barriers have been taken down. Not enough providers know this. That’s where we’re falling short.”


Other

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DizzyDoctor announces GA of an app that can in real time document vertigo-related symptoms and upload them to the company’s website for diagnosis. Designer Ian Purcell, MD says the company’s eye-tracking algorithm will be eventually be used to help diagnose other conditions.

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Business Insider runs a fairly fluffy piece on Forward, a membership-based primary care company that has added a New York location to its four facilities in California. Founder Adrian Aoun (a former Google executive instrumental in the launch of Alphabet’s Sidewalk City Labs) seems a firm believer in automated care, blaming labor costs for the dismal state of today’s healthcare system and boasting that much of the company’s services take place via its app. “If you build a healthcare system on the foundation of technology,” Aoun says, “you can scale it to billions of people. We want to build the world’s biggest healthcare system. We’re planning on launching more and more services until one day we’re able to perform open heart surgery.”


Sponsor Updates

  • Healthwise will exhibit at the NextGen Patient Experience November 27-29 in San Diego.

Blog Posts


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

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News 11/21/18

November 21, 2018 News No Comments

Top News

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A survey of 300 physicians who have worked in the field for more than four years finds that those who are employed by hospitals experience higher levels of burnout than those who work in independent practices. Seventy-two percent of EPs report lower empathy for patients versus 57 percent of independent MDs. Physicians in all employment categories listed the increased demand for data reporting as the biggest detriment to the joy they previously found in practicing medicine.


Webinars

December 5 (Wednesday) 1 ET. “Tapping Into the Potential of Natural Language Processing in Healthcare.” Sponsor: Health Catalyst. Presenters: Wendy Chapman, PhD, chair of the department of biomedical informatics, University of Utah School of Medicine; Mike Dow, senior director of product development, Health Catalyst. This webinar will provide an NLP primer, sharing principle-driven stories so you can get going with NLP whether you are just beginning or considering processes, tools, or how to build support with key leadership. Dr. Chapman’s teams have demonstrated phenotyping for precision medicine, quality improvement, and decision support, while Mr. Dow’s group helps organizations realize statistical insight by incorporating text notes along with discrete data analysis. Join us to better understand the potential of NLP through existing applications, the challenges of making NLP a real and scalable solution, and the concrete actions you can take to use NLP for the good of your organization.

December 6 (Thursday) 11 ET. “Make the Most of Azure DevOps in Healthcare.” Sponsora few organizations across the country are demonstrating success using advanced technology tied to intuitive processes and procedures.: CitiusTech. Presenter: Harshal Sawant, practice lead for DevOps and mobile, CitiusTech. Enterprise IT teams are moving from large-scale, project-based system implementations to a continuously evolving and collaborative process that includes both development and business teams. This webinar will review healthcare DevOps trends and customer stories, describe key factors in implementing a DevOps practice, describe how to assess Azure DevOps, and lay out the steps needed to create an Azure DevOps execution plan.

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


Announcements and Implementations

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Updox adds secure patient texting and group messaging features to its healthcare CRM software.

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Healthcare website and app development vendor Medical Web Experts announces GA of its new MWE Cloud hosting service.


Other

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A Health Affairs blog bemoans the state of primary care, citing a workforce shortage, low pay, burnout, regulatory-induced IT burdens, lack of resources, and fee-for-service payment models that masquerade behind a value-based care façade as reasons for its precarious state. The authors say that public and private efforts to move to VBC business models actually make things worse:

“All of these solutions rest on, but do not fundamentally alter, fee-for-service compensation, imposing additional administrative burdens on practices and providers that serve mostly to distract from patient care. Moreover, many of the so-called “quality metrics” have not been validated and often promote overtreatment while being antithetical to shared decision making and individualized care. None of these solutions has been shown to bolster primary care, enhance patient satisfaction, improve quality, or meaningfully reduce costs.”

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This article highlights the lurch many patients are left in when their lab work is sent to out-of-network facilities, leaving them with a bill for services not covered by insurance. “I didn’t ask where they were sending tumor samples to,” says Allison Ritchie, who was left with a $600 pathology bill from an out-of-network lab. “It wasn’t a question that was at the forefront of my mind,” she adds. “It isn’t necessarily the doctor’s responsibility to look out for me. But at the same time, whose is it?” 

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Time publishes an interesting profile of Sarah Josepha Buell Hale, a magazine editor and writer who waged a 36-year campaign to have Thanksgiving declared a federal holiday. As a result of her efforts, President Lincoln issued a proclamation declaring “a Day of Thanksgiving and Praise” in 1863, though it would be another 60-plus years until President Roosevelt made the fourth Thursday in November a bona fide federal holiday. Fun facts: Historians have called Hale a “crusader urging the admission of women to the practice of medicine, more thorough female education, [and] foreign missions.”


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk.

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Contact us online.
Become a sponsor.

News 11/19/18

November 19, 2018 News No Comments

Top News

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Milwaukee-based RCM vendor Sift Healthcare secures $1 million in funding from Winnebago Seed Fund and Wind River Financial, which will help the startup develop and market predictive analytics related to claims workflows, reimbursement, and patient interactions. Formerly known as SiftMD, the company targets its technology and services to providers and RCM vendors. Ken Cunningham, SVP of analytics, seems to be the only employee with any sort of health IT experience, having served as VP of claims insurance analytics at LexisNexis.


Webinars

December 6 (Thursday) 11 ET. “Make the Most of Azure DevOps in Healthcare.” Sponsor: CitiusTech. Presenter: Harshal Sawant, practice lead for DevOps and mobile, CitiusTech. Enterprise IT teams are moving from large-scale, project-based system implementations to a continuously evolving and collaborative process that includes both development and business teams. This webinar will review healthcare DevOps trends and customer stories, describe key factors in implementing a DevOps practice, describe how to assess Azure DevOps, and lay out the steps needed to create an Azure DevOps execution plan.

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


Announcements and Implementations

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New West Physicians (CO) connects to CORHIO, giving its Denver-based primary care practices access to the HIE’s data-exchange services.

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Amion adds streamlined on-call scheduling and call-routing capabilities from RingRx to its physician scheduling software.

Remote patient monitoring company ImagineMed selects patient data protection services from Black Ridge Technology.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Software development and consulting company OmniSystems will market EnSoftek’s DrCloudEHR to primary care, behavioral health, and social services providers domestically and in the UK and Caribbean.


Government and Politics

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Per the 21st Century Cures Act, a CMS report to Congress on the state of telemedicine adoption bears out the technology’s potential to increase access to care and save money for Medicare beneficiaries. Utilization increased 50 percent between 2014 and 2016, with members in rural areas (with Texas being the biggest adopter) making up the bulk of visits for mostly mental health and chronic conditions. Of Medicare’s 35 million patients, just 90,000 took advantage of telemedicine, leading authors to surmise that utilization would skyrocket if just 1 percent of patients switched their brick-and-mortar visits to virtual consults. Reimbursement issues remain the biggest challenge to provider adoption of the technology.

CMS announces the Artificial Intelligence Health Outcomes Challenge. The contest will launch next year, and will reward submissions that use AI to predict outcomes, and that can be incorporated into future payment and service delivery programs.


Other

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Just in time for my winter tennis season: L’Oreal releases My Skin Track UV, a battery-free wearable that measures UV exposure as well as other environmental factors, and offers skincare recommendations based on the gathered data. The device can store up to three months of data at a time, all of which can be shared with Apple Health via the companion app.


Sponsor Updates

  • Nordic releases a new podcast, “Expert advice on preparing your MSSP submission.”

Blog Posts


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk.

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

News 11/14/18

November 14, 2018 News No Comments

Top News

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Pleasanton, CA-based HintMD develops software physicians can use to offer monthly, subscription-based skincare treatments to their patients. The company has raised $15 million since opening for business in 2014. Co-founders Aubrey Rankin and Vojin Kos both came from pharmaceutical company Zeltiq, best known for its CoolSculpting fat-reduction technology.


Webinars

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


Announcements and Implementations

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DrChrono announces GA of a physical therapy EHR bundle that includes smartphone, tablet, and practice and revenue cycle management software; plus patient engagement and telemedicine support from Physitrack.

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NextGen launches an API Marketplace featuring solutions from EHR Integration Services and Otto Health.

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Amazing Charts announces GA of a population health tool for independent practices looking for help with chronic care management, to improve patient engagement, meet clinical quality measures, and identify and close care gaps.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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MRO patents IdentiScan, a feature within the company’s ROI Online software that scans for misplaced files during the health records request process. The technology helps to ensure accuracy and reduce the likelihood of an unintentional HIPAA violation due to mixed-up records, an occurrence that happens in one out of every 200 retrievals.


Research and Innovation

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Scientists are developing a set of wearables that can assist physicians in diagnosing, treating, and monitoring the treatment of mental health disorders like PTSD, depression, and anxiety. The SysteMD prototype includes a headset, wristbands and ankle band that can monitor a patient’s heart rate, perspiration, respiration, and pupil diameter, which proprietary algorithms then analyze to look for patterns that might indicate mental health issues. In early tests, SysteMD accurately classified 82 to 94 percent of PTSD patients.


Sponsor Updates

Blog Posts


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk.

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

News 11/12/18

November 12, 2018 News No Comments

Top News

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As Mr. HIStalk reported earlier today, private equity firms Veritas Capital and Elliott Management subsidiary Evergreen Coast Capital will acquire Athenahealth for $5.7 billion. Athenahealth will be combined with Veritas-owned Virence Health, which sells the former GE Healthcare financial, ambulatory, and workforce management product lines.

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Virence Chairman and CEO Bob Segert, with the company barely two months, will become Athenahealth’s CEO. (Mr. H offers the back story here.)

The sale seems like the end of a health IT era in some respects, though I suppose that happens anytime an unfiltered, over-the-top company honcho like Jonathan Bush is overtly (or covertly) pushed out. The acquisition shares some similarities with Vista Equity Partners’ purchase of Greenway Medical, though the leadership drain from that company during its rebranding to Greenway Health was slower, evoking far less vitriol than Elliott Management’s pressure on Athena.


Webinars

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


Announcements and Implementations

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Physicians Computer Company joins Carequality, giving its customers the ability to exchange health data more easily via the initiative’s interoperability framework. PCC’s Jen Marsala says the membership decision was made to help independent physicians stay that way: “Hospitals will no longer be able to say to our independent pediatricians, ‘You need to join us and give up your independence because we can’t share information.’

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In North Carolina, Alliance Behavioral Healthcare goes live on ZeOmega’s Jiva 6.1 population health management software.

LStar Imaging selects imaging workflow software and services from RadNet subsidiary ERad. LStar will open in New Braunfels, TX early next year.

Community Health Center Inc. (CT) and the Weitzman Institute (CT) integrate Safety Net Connect’s Converge e-consult software with their Community EConsult Network. The network will use Converge to help community health centers and primary care providers with addiction treatment specialists across the country.


Research and Innovation

A survey of 2,000 patients reveals that the majority of encounters with  their primary care physicians deal with physical well-being, and often fail to address social determinants of health and other aspects of a patient’s health and well-being. Survey facilitator and family physician Wayne Jonas, MD believes that while shortened appointment times and digital record-keeping requirements may have some part to play in a provider’s ability to dig deeper into a patient’s personal life, it really boils down to a shift in thinking. “Speaking personally,” he says, “as physicians we should be asking, ‘What matters?’ instead of just, ‘What’s the matter?’ so we can better understand why our patients want to be healthy and what might be getting in the way of their health goals.


Other

Urgent care provider CityMD’s new ad campaign, which kicks off with the commercial above, is pretty apropos as we head into cold, flu, and holiday gathering season. I say this as an “older, wiser sister,” of course.


Sponsor Updates

  • AdvancedMD employees pack over 900 weekend pantry packs for students in the Granite School District.
  • Aprima publishes a new guide, “How to Switch EHRs.”
  • EClinicalWorks will exhibit at the 2018 NNOHA Annual Conference November 12-13 in New Orleans.
  • Healthwise will exhibit at NextGen UGM 2018 November 11-14 in Nashville.
  • Nordic will exhibit at the HIMSS GC3 event November 14-16 in Mobile, AL.
  • PerfectServe will exhibit at the HealthLeaders CNO Exchange November 12-14 in Charleston, SC.

Blog Posts


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk.

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

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