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News 8/7/17

August 7, 2017 News No Comments

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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.


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News 8/3/17

August 3, 2017 News No Comments

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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

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News 8/2/17

August 2, 2017 News No Comments

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Telemedicine e-prescribing vendor EazyScripts closes a $2 million Series A investment round led by private equity firm Bluff Point Associates. BPA Managing Director Kevin Fahey will join the EazyScripts Board of Directors.

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BPA worked with EazyScripts CEO Reed Liggin during the funding and acquisition of his previous company, RazorInsights, which was sold to Athenahealth in 2015 for an undisclosed amount. Liggin did a relatively short stint at Athenahealth after the acquisition as VP of hospital sales.


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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EWellness will add AI-powered tools and predictive analytics to its physical therapy remote monitoring technology by the end of 2017.

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Cedar Valley Medical Specialists, an 90-provider independent medical group in Waterloo, IA, replaces Allscripts and GE Healthcare technologies with EHR and population health management software from EClinicalWorks.

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The New York-based Greater Buffalo United Accountable Care Organization will offer its Medicaid patients free rides to and from appointments through a new partnership with Lyft, which was recently approved to operate in the western part of the state.

As part of its efforts to achieve Meaningful Use Stage 3 certification, Drchrono enables its EHR for FHIR, meaning patients can access health data via the company’s FHIR API-enabled Onpatient PHR.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Document management company Spectrum Information Services launches a service line for retiring physicians looking to archive health records.


Research and Innovation

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Minnesota Community Measurement releases the results of its third annual Patient Experience of Care Survey, which highlights the experiences of over 180,000 patients at 767 clinics across the state. Patients were asked about care coordination for the first time, with rural clinics beating out urban facilities on satisfaction. “In the metro area you have lots and lots of providers, so I think we have the potential for more miscommunication,” says Julie Sonier, executive director of the nonprofit. “That’s one theory — as opposed to a rural area where you are seeing the same provider for all or most of your care.”


People

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Healthcare compliance and credentialing software company Symplr hires Amie Teske (Topline Advisory) as VP of Sales.

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Arun Mohan, MD (WellStar/Radix Health) joins healthcare review site CareDash as medical advisor.


Telemedicine

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Employer-focused telemedicine company WellVia gets into the genetics game, offering DNA testing to employees through a new partnership with Predictive Medical Solutions lab. WellVia Genetics will initially help employees determine how they might respond to certain medications in order to prevent adverse reactions. Cancer risk analysis and newborn genetic testing are in the works.

Arkansas loosens up its telemedicine regulations, prompting Doctor on Demand to roll out its virtual consult services in that state, where patients in some areas wait an average of 18 days to see a PCP.


Other

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Coming soon to a crosswalk near you?: Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell announces the city will start fining pedestrians who cross a street while looking at a mobile device. Fines will range from $15 to $99 depending on the frequency of offense.


Sponsor Updates

  • Healthwise will exhibit at Allscripts ACE 2017 August 8-10 in Chicago.

Blog Posts


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Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

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News 8/1/17

August 1, 2017 News No Comments

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Athenahealth CEO Jonathan Bush announces that he will give up his roles of chairman and president as part of $100 million in cost-cutting moves that will be undertaken to improve profitability. The plan, which will include finding replacements for Bush’s vacated roles and a new independent board director (not to mention the still vacant CFO position), comes just three months shy of activist investor Paul Singer taking a 9.2 percent stake in the company.


Webinars

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


Announcements and Implementations

Provider enrollment and credentialing services company Stat MedCare Solutions selects Delivery Trust secure email services from Identillect Technologies. (Interesting fact: Stat is not an acronym as I initially believed, but rather is from the Latin word statim, which means “instantly” or “immediately.”)


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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New York City-based Fruit Street Health raises $3 million in a round led by board member Jeremy Tucker, MD. The company, which has raised $8.4 million over the last three years, will use the capital to continue development of its Diabetes Prevention Program-focused digital health offerings, hire additional dieticians, and grow its commercial health plan business.

Patient relationship management vendor Solutionreach joins Athenahealth’s More Disruption Please program.

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VillageMD launches in Northern Indiana, counting Family Medical and Wellness Center among the initial members of its new primary care practice management network. The company expanded its services in Georgia earlier this month.

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NextGen will acquire population health management-focused analytics company EagleDream Health for $26 million. Expected to close this quarter, the agreement marks the second acquisition for NextGen this year; it acquired mobile physician documentation vendor Entrada in April for $34 million. Prior to founding EagleDream in 2014, CEO Betty Rabinowitz, MD served as medical director of the University of Rochester’s Center for Primary Care. EagleDream will maintain its headquarters in Rochester, NY and Rabinowitz will play a key leadership role in the blended organization.


People

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Remote vision monitoring company Notal Vision hires Susan Orr, OD (Janssen Pharmaceuticals) as CMO and VP of medical affairs.


Research and Innovation

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Massachusetts, Washington, Maryland, California, and Delaware take the top spots in a new think tank report highlighting states best positioned to encourage and enable data-driven innovation. The Center for Data Innovation looked at each state’s publicly available datasets, digital infrastructure, and number of open data companies and number employed. The top states have all demonstrated a commitment to promoting the implementation of health IT, among other benchmarks.

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Cochlear updates its hearing-aid implant processor to give users wireless access to their iPhones, meaning that whatever sound is coming from the device is now streamed directly to the ear. Users can also control and customize the sound from their phone without having to download a separate app.


Other

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Women’s Health Care Group of PA notifies patients of a May security breach caused by a computer virus on a server at one of its 45 locations. The ensuing investigation revealed that hackers had access to the server as far back as January. The breach seems to have had a ransomware component, though WHCG’s notification only refers to virus-encrypted files. The group restored records from back ups and has found no evidence of compromised PHI.

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I love this: The local paper covers the growing popularity of Reach Out and Read programs at clinics in North Carolina. The national program partners with pediatricians to encourage them to “prescribe” books to improve literacy, encourage kids to put down devices, and engender a love of reading. The prescription includes reading and talking about a book during appointments, after which the patient gets to take the book home.


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk, HIStalk Connect.

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News 7/31/17

July 31, 2017 News 1 Comment

Top News

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Modernizing Medicine plans to add 838 jobs and double its office space when it moves into new headquarters in its hometown of Boca Raton, FL. The EHR vendor, which employs 550, will use $6 million in government incentives to create the jobs by 2022 in exchange for investing $15 million in the region. Founded in 2010 by Dan Cane and Michael Sherling, MD after they met at a local physician practice, the company’s news comes just two months after news of a $231 million investment from Warburg Pincus. “Now our big focus is around the patient,” says Cane, “on mobile devices [to] access records and telemedicine experience; more information and power down to the patient.”


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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EClinicalWorks says 1,000 providers selected its EHR in June, its strongest month so far this year.

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Amazing Charts users are temporarily unable to e-prescribe due to technical difficulties at NewCrop, its e-prescribing software vendor.


Announcements and Implementations

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California Retina Consultants rolls out email security services from Identillect across its 10 locations in Central California. I’m honestly surprised I haven’t seen more press releases from vendors touting new cybersecurity customers – though perhaps new customers don’t care to broadcast their latest security measures to hackers waiting to pounce.


Telemedicine

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Doctor on Demand looks to grab a hold of the now more telemedicine-friendly state of Texas with $10 video visits for citizens of the Lone Star State through September 3.


People

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Miriam Paramore (Lucro Solutions) joins EHR-integrated prescription savings software company OptimizeRx as president.

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TeamHealth hires Philip McSween (Baker Donelson) as EVP, general counsel, and corporate secretary.


Government and Politics

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CMS releases pediatric core measures – one of eight sets that comprise the Core Quality Measures Collaborative, which aims to streamline quality measures across providers, payers, and other stakeholders.


Research and Innovation

Coordinated Care Organizations in Oregon seem to be making headway when it comes to ensuring mothers-to-be on Medicaid receive timely prenatal care. A look at CCO effectiveness in that particular area found that more women began receiving such care in their first trimesters as opposed to the year before the model began. There’s still more work to be done, however. Researchers also found that improvement in timeliness was more pronounced in white and Asian women, and those living in urban areas. The CCO model for Medicaid was launched in 2012, providing incentives to providers who meet benchmarks related to ED visits, EHRs, cancer screenings, and prenatal care.


Other

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The New York Times looks at the developing world of empathy gadgets like the SymPulse, a blood pressure cuff-like device that enables the wearer to feel tremors akin to those experienced by Parkinson’s patients. Devices are also being developed to mimic the symptoms of emphysema, psychiatric conditions, and diabetic nerve disease – all to help caregivers and even physicians better understand and empathize with patients.

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This takes multitasking to an entirely new level: Amanda Hess, DO delivers Leah Halliday Johnson’s baby despite being prepped for delivery of her second child (and clad in a hospital gown to boot). Hess heard from her own hospital room that Halliday’s baby was in distress, threw a cover over her gown, and went to help out while the on-call physician made his way to the hospital. Hess’ contractions started just after she helped Johnson give birth to her daughter. Hess said that “It was a perfect way to get my own labor started.”


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk, HIStalk Connect.

Get HIStalk Practice updates.
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JennHIStalk

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Recent Comments

  • Tony Moir: To think that this process began with a simple idea many years ago and has evolved into a truly helpful and dynamic plat...
  • : Just loved this story and hats off to Amanda Hess, DO who delivers Leah Halliday Johnson’s baby despite being prepped fo...
  • One Ringy-Dingy: Re: No Call List. HaHaHaHa. You think the No call list means anything? You have lived a sheltered life. I've been on...
  • : RE: "Beginning July 1, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia will no longer cover ER visits it deems unnecessary" Oh wow. ...
  • Cynthia: Jenn, very interesting article. I really enjoyed seeing the Y become a part of healthcare, outside the 4 walls....

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