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News 8/28/17

August 28, 2017 News No Comments

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Category 4 Hurricane Harvey is downgraded to a tropical storm, causing record-breaking flooding in Houston and surrounding areas. Torrential rainfall, which has also begun to impact Louisiana, is expected to last for several more days. Weather experts predict Harvey will be one of the worst flood disasters in US history. HHS Secretary Tom Price, MD has declared a public health emergency, freeing up resources to deploy over 400 doctors, nurses, and medical staff to set up six medical assistance teams in Dallas and two 250-bed medical stations in Baton Rouge.

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Five deaths and at least two dozen injuries have been reported so far. As news reports attest, recovering from the storm will likely take months, particularly for those living in poorer and/or rural areas. Nonprofit Direct Relief has put together a collection of maps that show the impact Harvey will have on areas with high concentrations of immigrants, the elderly or disabled, and those living in poverty.

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While citizen volunteers have helped to provide enough rescue boats in Harris County, relief-related needs remain great. Check out CharityNavigator’s list of vetted organizations providing assistance to contribute.


Webinars

September 13 (Wednesday) 1:30 ET. “How Data Democratization Drives Enterprise-wide Clinical Process Improvement.” Sponsored by: LogicStream Health. Presenter: Katy Jones, program director of clinical support, Providence Health & Services. Providence is demonstrating positive measurable results in quality, outcomes, and efficiency by implementing clinical process improvement solutions in arming operational and clinical stakeholders with unlocked EHR data. Providence’s army of process engineers use their self-service access to answer questions immediately instead of waiting for reports to be written and double checked for possibly inaccurate information. The presenter will describe practical applications that include antibiotic stewardship, hospital-acquired infections, and comprehensive knowledge management.

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


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Amazon sets its EHR dreams aside for a moment to celebrate its $13.7 billion acquisition of Whole Foods, instituting lower prices across brick-and-mortar stores with a promise to eventually offer Prime members discounts at check out. Fun fact: Researchers at Zillow have found that homes near specialty food stores like Whole Foods and Trader Joes cost more and appreciate faster than those (like mine) that suffer from a lack of proximity.

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College dropouts Tanay Tandon and Deepika Bodapati raise $3.7 million to fund development of a portable blood analyzer named for a healing plant in one of my all-time favorite books, The Lord of the Rings. The co-founders attest that the Athelas device can perform a blood-cell count test from the comfort of a patient’s home. They also stress that they’re taking advantage of all the lessons learned from Theranos, submitting data to the FDA in hopes of receiving clearance this year to begin marketing the device to oncologists.


People

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Robert Harrington, MD (Reliant Post-Acute Care Solutions) joins SurveyVitals as president and CMO.

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Galen Danielson (RehabAuthority) and Craig Rettke (not pictured) join Physical Rehabilitation Network, a Carlsbad, CA-based operator of over 100 physical therapy facilities, as regional VPs of operations.


Telemedicine

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Pasadena, CA-based Indica MD launches medical marijuana telemedicine services in California and New York via website and eVisit app. Indica, for those like me who didn’t know, is one of three types of marijuana.

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Edwards Air Force Base in California begins offering virtual consults via Doctor on Call Telehealth on designated family days.

The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Service Benefit Plan will offer its federal employee beneficiaries access to Teladoc’s services in 2018.


Government and Politics

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In its push to combat the opioid epidemic, HHS announces plans to create a Pain Management Best Practices Inter-Agency Task Force to assess, establish, and seek feedback on pain management best practices. Committee nominations are due September 27.

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Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb announces that the state will make controlled substance prescription information available through EHRs and pharmacy management systems via Appriss Health’s PMP Gateway tool. Jerome Adams, MD confirmed earlier this month as US Surgeon General, was honored at the same meeting for his three years as state health commissioner. Adams made it clear in confirmation proceedings that combatting the opioid epidemic will be one of his top priorities.

The Collier County Sheriff’s Office in Florida becomes the first such organization in Florida to use heroin overdose-tracking software. Developed by the Office of National Drug Control Policy High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area program, the software also creates a real-time map of overdoses, giving the sheriff’s office insight into trends and planning needs.


Other

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McLaren Medical Group (MI), part of the McLaren Healthcare system, notifies patients of a March data breach at its Mid-Michigan Physicians practice. The information of seven patients was accessed without proper authorization.


Sponsor Updates

  • Medicity publishes a new white paper, “Interoperability 2.0: Solving Health Care’s Data Aggregation Problem.”

Blog Posts


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk, HIStalk Connect.

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Population Health Management Weekly Wrap Up 8/27/17

August 27, 2017 News No Comments

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Adirondack Health Institute (NY) names John Morley, MD (Jacobi Medical Center) chief physician executive of population health.

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The local news covers UnitedHealthcare’s MyConnections program in Phoenix, AZ, which – in true population health management fashion – looks to connect people in need with resources like housing, food, and transportation. Amanda Desmet, for example, was homeless for over 10 years until a MyConnections case manager enrolled her in the program through a local homeless shelter. She is now living in an apartment and pursuing a college degree. The payer, which has launched the pilot in several other cities, hopes to expand the program in Arizona in the near future.

In order to bolster its analytics capabilities and data security, Map Health Management incorporates Wolters Kluwer Health’s terminology and data mapping solution into its behavioral health population management software.

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Cambridge, MA-based MIT’s student and faculty ambulatory care center chooses Cerner’s Millennium EHR and HealtheIntent population health management software.

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VitreosHealth develops a predictive analytics-fueled digital communications tool for case managers, giving them the ability to reach large swaths of their patient populations with targeted messaging.

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The DoD prepares for the next phase of its Building Military Communities pilot program, which aims to connect service members – particularly those living on remote installations – with local resources to ensure their health and wellness. Launched last year in seven states, the pilot is moving from a staffing and resource research and discovery phase to actively communicating about resources to service members and their families. US Public Health Service Capt. Kimberly Elenberg, who is involved with the pilot, will next look at using mobile health technology to aid in that communication.

ZeOmega’s Jiva population health management platform earns NCQA certification.


Sponsor Updates

  • EClinicalWorks will exhibit at the NACHC Community Health Institute & Expo August 27-29 in San Diego.

Blog Posts


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk, HIStalk Connect.

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News 8/24/17

August 24, 2017 News No Comments

Top News

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Findings from a NueMD survey of just under 1,000 physicians support similar studies on physician awareness of and preparedness for MACRA: A surprising 50 percent aren’t at all familiar with the legislation. Of those who are aware of it, 56 percent aren’t sure if they’ll need to participate in 2017. (They had yet to receive notification from CMS as to their participation status.) Just under 50 percent haven’t “encountered” MACRA resources, which makes me wonder if they simply haven’t had the time to hunt for them. A paltry nine percent feel MACRA will have a positive impact on their small practice, while 63 percent consider the jury to still be out. Granted, those percentages came from respondents who admitted to not knowing much about MACRA and its Quality Payment Programs. A higher percentage of those more in the know expect it to impact their practice in a positive way.


Webinars

September 13 (Wednesday) 1:30 ET. “How Data Democratization Drives Enterprise-wide Clinical Process Improvement.” Sponsored by: LogicStream Health. Presenter: Katy Jones, program director of clinical support, Providence Health & Services. Providence is demonstrating positive measurable results in quality, outcomes, and efficiency by implementing clinical process improvement solutions in arming operational and clinical stakeholders with unlocked EHR data. Providence’s army of process engineers use their self-service access to answer questions immediately instead of waiting for reports to be written and double checked for possibly inaccurate information. The presenter will describe practical applications that include antibiotic stewardship, hospital-acquired infections, and comprehensive knowledge management.

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


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Dispatch Health brings its mobile urgent care services to Arizona. Launched in Denver in 2013 in partnership with local emergency services, the company bills itself as a solution for illnesses and injuries that may not warrant a costly and time-consuming trip to the ER. Patients can request a visit via the company’s app, and can expect to pay a flat fee of $275 if not insured. Dispatch Health providers check in with patients three days after a visit, and then monitor patient information via available HIEs 14 and 30 days afterwards. “We’re not another fragmented access point to health care,” says Chief Strategy Officer Kevin Riddleberger. “This is not redundant care; (it) fills in the gaps.”


People

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Jennifer Stoll joins OCHIN as VP of government and public affairs.


Announcements and Implementations

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Comprehensive Healthcare (WA) selects SmartCare EHR software and data warehousing services from Streamline Healthcare Solutions to better integrate primary care, behavioral health, and substance abuse services among its 20 facilities and with third-party service providers.


Government and Politics

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The DoD’s Department of Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve honors ChartLogic with its Service Member Patriot Award in recognition of the company’s efforts to support employees who are members of the Guard and Reserve. The department also recognized ChartLogic EVP and US Army veteran Chris Langehaug with its Citizen Patriot award. ChartLogic is a division of Medsphere, which leverages VistA technology as part of its OpenVistA technology for acute care.

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Kinda kicking myself: CMS Administrator Seema Verma speaks at the newly combined Health:Further/HIMSS Summit of the Southeast conference. I attended last year as it was an easy drive from my home and I’m always looking for an excuse to visit Nashville. From what the tweets tell me, Verma focused her remarks on the role CMS plays in healthcare delivery innovation by way of giving states more flexibility with those delivery methods.


Telemedicine

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Indianapolis-based TelaCare Health Solutions adds behavioral healthcare to its virtual consult services.


Other

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Tanzanian officials announce that the East African country will begin using Zipline drones early next year for real-time delivery of medical supplies including blood, vaccines, medicines, sutures, and IV tubes. The initiative calls for 120 drones at four bases across the country that will serve over 10 million people at 1,000 clinics. The drones will speed up deliveries that typically take up to eight hours by road to under 30 minutes. Zipline has partnered with neighboring Rwanda on a similar, thus far successful effort. It’s looking at bringing the drone delivery service to rural and tribal communities in the US.


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk, HIStalk Connect.

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

Jenn_125

News 8/23/17

August 23, 2017 News No Comments

Top News

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Behavioral health company AbleTo raises $36.6 million in a Series D fundraising round led by Bain Capital Ventures. The company has developed a phone- and video-based behavioral healthcare platform that caters to employees and payer members looking to manage depression, stress, and anxiety. Based on CEO Rob Rebak’s LinkedIn post announcing the funding, it looks like the company will use the investment to expand and offer its services around the clock.


Webinars

September 13 (Wednesday) 1:30 ET. “How Data Democratization Drives Enterprise-wide Clinical Process Improvement.” Sponsored by: LogicStream Health. Presenter: Katy Jones, program director of clinical support, Providence Health & Services. Providence is demonstrating positive measurable results in quality, outcomes, and efficiency by implementing clinical process improvement solutions in arming operational and clinical stakeholders with unlocked EHR data. Providence’s army of process engineers use their self-service access to answer questions immediately instead of waiting for reports to be written and double checked for possibly inaccurate information. The presenter will describe practical applications that include antibiotic stewardship, hospital-acquired infections, and comprehensive knowledge management.

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


Announcements and Implementations

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CollaborateMD releases the latest version of its billing and PM software, enhancing security and giving users the ability to create patient payment plans and manage payments.

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Innovaccer develops a clinical documentation improvement tool to help providers better identify missed or incorrect diagnosis codes.          

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The Illinois Bone & Joint Institute selects the Outcomes Based Electronic Research Database system from Universal Research Solutions to digitally collect and report MIPS-related quality data to CMS. The orthopedic provider, which has 20 practices across metro Chicago, will also leverage OBERD data sets for benchmarking and analysis.

MedicalMine adds instant messaging to its Charm EHR, PM, and RCM platform.


People

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The Mental Health Association of Westchester (NY) promotes Stacey Robertson to COO.


Telemedicine

Local behavioral healthcare stakeholders voice their concerns over access and the sluggish acceptance of telemedicine at a roundtable convened by Massachusetts senators. Several bills are circulating in the legislature that would require payers to cover telemedicine services – a move that would likely alleviate the problem faced by behavioral health agencies like Clinical & Support Options, which has six clinics equipped with telepsychiatry services but faces lack of reimbursement for those services from over half of the payers it works with.

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The Mental Health Association of Westchester rolls out telemedicine services at three of its seven clinics in New York.


Government and Politics

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The local paper highlights the progress the Petaluma Health Center has made in becoming a data-driven organization –  efforts recognized by HHS during National Health Center Week with a $254,000 grant. The center has invested $3.2 million to transform into a value-based care deliverer that relies heavily on real-time data mining to drive population health initiatives. That money has gone towards investing in new IT, building a new call center, and hiring nurse case managers and patient navigators. 


Other

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Salina Family Healthcare Center (KS) notifies patients of a June ransomware attack that encrypted several workstations and servers. The FQHC was able to get things up and running thanks to back ups.

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The local news spotlights the Volunteers in Medicine clinic on Hilton Head Island, SC. Founded by Jack McConnell, MD after he retired there 20-plus years ago, the clinic is run solely by volunteers like McConnell and his golfing/retired physician buddies. Patients and local community members even provide free landscaping, cleaning services, and building repairs – all in an effort to provide eligible patients with free healthcare. “We’re caring for some of the most medically underserved people in the country,” says Patrick Burns, MD, “and when you go home at night, you really feel good about that.” There are 88 such clinics across the country.


Sponsor Updates

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  • Attendees at Aprima’s annual user conference make and donate 150 blankets to the Children’s Medical Center in Dallas

Blog Posts


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk, HIStalk Connect.

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

JennHIStalk

News 8/22/17

August 22, 2017 News No Comments

Top News

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On his way to China, HHS Secretary Tom Price, MD tours several tribal health facilities in Alaska to better understand the successes and challenges involved in delivering care to Alaska Natives. Price lauded the delivery model of the Southcentral Foundation, which provides integrated primary and mental health care on one campus via a unique model that sees providers moving from patient to patient, rather than the other way around. The region’s remote terrain prompted discussion of the struggles many patients find in accessing care. Telemedicine – and the money necessary to implement it and offer reimbursement for it – must have surely come up. Alaska is no stranger to the promise of virtual visits. It has passed telemedicine-friendly legislation over the last several years, and is home to the National Telehealth Technology Assessment Resource Center. Housed within the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium, the center is one of several set up across the country to help local providers understand and implement telemedicine services.


HIStalk Practice Musings

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The nearly two-and-a-half minutes of eclipse totality I experienced yesterday were indeed amazing. I traveled a bit further north than originally planned, owing to a friend who extended an invite to hunker down the night before at a cabin in North Georgia. Watching a crescent sun transform into what for me will likely be a once-in-a-lifetime total solar eclipse experience was breathtaking. I enjoyed experiencing it with other people in a public viewing area. That the area was on the shores of Lake Chatuge, on a nearly cloudless day, made it even more memorable. Other than the extra 20 minutes of traffic I faced driving home, my only regret is not snagging a commemorative T-shirt.


Webinars

September 13 (Wednesday) 1:30 ET. “How Data Democratization Drives Enterprise-wide Clinical Process Improvement.” Sponsored by: LogicStream Health. Presenter: Katy Jones, program director of clinical support, Providence Health & Services. Providence is demonstrating positive measurable results in quality, outcomes, and efficiency by implementing clinical process improvement solutions in arming operational and clinical stakeholders with unlocked EHR data. Providence’s army of process engineers use their self-service access to answer questions immediately instead of waiting for reports to be written and double checked for possibly inaccurate information. The presenter will describe practical applications that include antibiotic stewardship, hospital-acquired infections, and comprehensive knowledge management.

Check out Vince and Frank’s brutally honest presentation on “Allscripts’ ‘Repeal and Replace’ of McKesson’s EIS.” It’s been viewed nearly 500 times since we posted it late last week.


Announcements and Implementations

Allscripts launches eParticipate, a service that enables eligible providers to conduct clinical research trials within their own four walls through a partnership with Elligo Health Research. Professional, TouchWorks, and Sunrise EHR customers will have access to trials in the areas of gastroenterology, neurology, pain, urology, pulmonology, and women’s health.

Higi will combine health screening data from its retail health kiosks with clinical, claims, and genomic data synchronized by Interpreta to give providers and payers deeper insight as they move forward with patient care plans.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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SilverVue looks to expand beyond the world of post-acute care search technology with the acquisition of Ergo Sum Health. The Sandy, UT-based company has rebranded ESH’s MACRA software, consulting, and compliance services as Check. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.


People

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David Schloss (Caladrius Biosciences) joins Teladoc in the new role of chief human resources officer.

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Pivot Point Consulting hires Zack Tisch (Nordic) to take on the role of consulting services executive.


Government and Politics

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The Washington Health Benefit Exchange selects San Francisco-based BetterDoctor to collect and verify provider data listed on its Healthplanfinder insurance marketplace, which will launch with a new look and easer to use interface when open enrollment kicks off this November.


Telemedicine

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The CDC approves Fruit Street Health to offer its Diabetes Prevention Program to patients via group video calls with registered dieticians. Fruit Street will also issue DPP participants Fitbits, wireless scales, and an accompanying app to help users share and track their progress.

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Daniel McDyer, MD offers EpicMD’s telemedicine services to his patients at Florida Woman Care of Jacksonville (FL).


Other

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The Institute for Women’s Health (TX) notifies patients of a keylogger virus that was installed June 5, discovered July 6 and removed July 11. The virus apparently tracks and records every click made within a computer system, potentially giving hackers access to passwords, financial information, health data, and other personal details. IWH is jumping through all of the necessary hoops – reporting the incident to HHS, offering identity theft protection services, etc. All this despite the fact that the practice had installed network filtering and security monitoring, firewalls, antivirus software, and password protection before the virus hit.     


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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