NCQA develops an Oncology Medical Home Recognition program using its patient-centered medical home model as a springboard. The new program will assess an oncology practice’s quality improvement, evidence-based pathways, and care coordination, among other metrics.
Regarding timing of the new program, NCQA President Margaret O’Kane says the organization has been working on its development to demonstrate “support for patients in all aspects of care — from treatment and managing symptoms to ancillary services, and even financial counseling— as these are keys to providing the best, comprehensive care possible.” When it comes to aligning with quality payment programs and the continued move to value-based care, she adds that, “Earning recognition directly increases clinicians’ payments through MIPS. Practices that earn NCQA Recognition receive automatic full credit in the MIPS Improvement Activities category. And because NCQA programs help a practice improve quality and reduce healthcare costs, they also set practices up to do well in other MIPS categories.”
Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock
EHR hosting and IT services company ITelagen relocates to a new headquarters in Sarasota, FL. The company hopes to lure its employees in Charlotte, NC, and Jersey City, NJ, to the new office with incentives and perks that include onsite daycare, a gym and game room, and café.
Tom Fuelling (Laurel & Wolf) joins SnapMD’s corporate advisory board.
Jim Lachner (HCA) joins Culbert Healthcare Solutions as regional executive – advisory services.
Patient ID verification company MedicFP gives Chairman Ruben Jose King-Shaw, Jr the additional title of CEO. Interim CEO Wendell Elms becomes EVP of business development.
Announcements and Implementations
Spry Health develops a wearable for chronically ill patients that monitors vital signs and delivers analytics and proactive insights to their caregivers. The Silicon Valley-based startup, which launched in 2013 out of Stanford’s StartX accelerator, plans to formally launch the device early next year.
Charlotte Eye Ear Nose & Throat Associates implements Epic at its 19 offices in North and South Carolina.
EWellness Healthcare offers patients preparing for hip, knee, or back surgery an eight week-long series of solo or virtually-assisted digital physical therapy sessions at PrehabPT.com.
Vincari adds mobile image capture to its documentation app for physicians.
Government and Politics
ONC Director Steve Posnack previews the upcoming Patient Matching Algorithm Challenge, which will incentivize teams to develop consistently patient identity and data matching solutions with $75,000 in prize money.
Healthcare isn’t the only industry keeping the fax machine alive: Resistbot launched several weeks ago with a tool that lets users turn their texts into messages faxed to their elected officials. The company has thus far sent 800,000 pages to Capitol Hill. Over 150,000 of those were related to repeal and replace legislation.
Attention public bathroom connoisseurs: The nonprofit Bryant Park Corp. spends $280,000 to update public bathrooms in New York City’s Bryant Park. Inspired by field trips to the Waldorf Astoria and other luxury hotels, the revamped restrooms feature attendants, fresh flowers, imported tile, classical music, artwork, and the latest in energy-saving toilets and sinks. The facilities were, of course, introduced via a toilet-paper cutting.