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News 10/1/18

October 1, 2018 News No Comments

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HIE efforts in Connecticut achieve a depressingly laughable state when members of the Health IT Advisory Council in charge of overseeing the state’s latest effort realize that a separate state-run agency has been developing its own HIE all along. The Dept. of Social Services led two of the state’s earlier HIE attempts, and has now gone public with its third, which it contends is simply the culmination of earlier efforts to develop a provider registry, enterprise master person index, an electronic clinical measure system, and care alert system similar to PatientPing.

After 11 years and over $40 million in funding, council members are frustrated: “I think everybody agreed that this should be an inclusive process, with all the stakeholders sitting around the table describing what it is that we want to build,” said council member and Griffin Hospital CEO Patrick Charmel. “And this was done in isolation against the spirit of what we say we all wanted … how could we allow this to happen?”


Webinars

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


Announcements and Implementations

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Updox introduces a version of its healthcare CRM for physician practices.

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Rev360 adds automated ordering capabilities for vision correction products to its EHR for eye care practices.

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PatientPop expands its online appointment scheduling capabilities for physician practices to include 50 additional search engines and service-oriented websites, including Yahoo and MapQuest. The company launched its Universal Scheduling service with Google search results last year.


People

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Practice management software vendor MedEvolve names Craig Haskin (Access Healthcare Services) COO.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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OSG Billing Services acquires healthcare revenue cycle company AppRev, and the billing and payments division of Diversified Data. OSG will fold the new assets into its Diamond Healthcare Solutions division.

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Women’s healthcare company Kindbody takes its pop-up fertility services to Silicon Valley and San Francisco. Its mobile clinic debuted on the East Coast in August, traveling to several locations in and around New York City. The company, which also offers virtual consults, will open brick-and-mortar locations on both coasts next year; and will soon expand into mental health, nutritional, and gynecological care.


Telemedicine

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CarePortMD integrates ZH Healthcare’s BlueEHR with its retail-based telemedicine kiosks.

MediSprout enables appointment scheduling and physician selection for its telemedicine services via Amazon’s Alexa virtual assistant. The startup, which has developed a white-label virtual consult system for providers, now also offers integration with the Withings blood pressure monitor.


Other

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Chicago-based pain management specialist Jay Joshi, MD sues an Indiana-based physician of the same name for deceptive trade practices that he claims have “decimated” his practice. The alleged imitator was arrested last year for over-prescribing pain medication, ranking ninth in the state for the number of prescriptions written for controlled substances. Joshi insists that his doppelganger purposefully led patients and the general public to believe he was the more reputable physician, and did nothing to correct online listings that confused the two providers. Chicago-based Joshi claims his referrals and speaking engagement invitations have dried up as a result of the confusion.

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MGMA gets into full swing in Boston. Readers tell me the show gets a bit smaller each year. If Twitter activity is any indication, then their observation rings true. For those reading from Beantown, please let me know if you see anything of interest in the exhibit hall and I’ll pass it along in an upcoming post.


Sponsor Updates

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News 9/26/18

September 26, 2018 News No Comments

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Bankers Healthcare Group acquires a 20-percent stake in Simple Admit, which will incorporate the bank’s lending services into its patient engagement technology.


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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Aprima will offer HIPAA compliance programs from Abyde.

Azalea Health adds chronic care management capabilities from ChartSpan Technologies to its EHR.


People

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CipherHealth names Jake Pyles (Paradigm) CFO.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

Behavioral health and human services EHR vendors Foothold Technology and Exym merge under the Alpine SG corporate umbrella, leading me to surmise from the vaguely worded press release that parent company Alpine Investors has purchased some sort of stake in both companies and swept them into its group of SaaS companies.


Telemedicine

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19labs introduces the Gale Digital Health Center for on-site care that includes virtual consult software and diagnostic devices. The California-based startup launched in 2015 with the intent of targeting rural clinics, and has now expanded its sales funnel to include employers, community centers, and nursing homes. Founder and CEO Ram Fish spent several years beforehand as VP of mobile health at Samsung. 


Research and Innovation

A survey of independent practices finds that nearly 70 percent have been approached with acquisition deals by private equity firms, and 60 percent by health systems. PE firms ended up acquiring practices in 75 percent of the aforementioned situations, though the resulting business arrangement seems to have left some physicians wondering if they wouldn’t have been better off with hospital ownership. Respondents noted that investment firms seemed to be “just in for what they could get out the practice,” while hospitals “would allow the practice to carry on … with local control.”


Other

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Say it ain’t so: The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine launches a #BreakUpWithBacon campaign in Washington, DC to encourage people to stop eating processed meats, and hospitals to stop serving them. The campaign highlights the fact that such food, though delicious, is a contributor to colon cancer.


Sponsor Updates

  • The Wisconsin State-Journal profiles Nordic Data & Analytics Services Delivery Manager Eric Pennington.
  • Healthwise launches its FHIR app in Epic’s App Orchard.
  • AdvancedMD will exhibit at WebPT’s annual Ascend conference September 28-29 in Phoenix, AZ.
  • Nordic’s managed services division has signed 20 clients and expanded to 100 consultants.
  • Aprima and Culbert Healthcare Solutions will exhibit at MGMA September 30-October 2 in Boston.

Blog Posts


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

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News 9/24/18

September 24, 2018 News No Comments

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The local paper looks at Connecticut’s attempts to set up a sustainable HIE, pointing out the mistakes made in past efforts dating back 11 years and costing $23 million. State officials are hoping the fourth time’s the charm, as they continue another go-round of development with fresh funding of $12.2 million from CMS. State-sponsored delays have prompted other organizations like the Connecticut State Medical Society and Connecticut Hospital Association to set up their own HIEs, which state officials contend have cannibalized on their efforts. “We should not move forward with a solution until we know it’s viable,” says State of Connecticut CIO Mark Raymond. “The only value comes from stakeholder involvement and if people are using it. We need broad engagement. There is always this specter of we’ve tried this before and why is this different? That sort of lingers out there, and it’s absolutely true, but we continue to try because the value still exists.”

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A separate article points to the value a statewide HIE would bring to efforts to combat the opioid epidemic. Allan Hackey, head of the state’s latest HIE effort, says top priorities of exchange development include enabling providers to see in real time where a patient has sought treatment, including pharmacies and labs; plus medication reconciliation, which is already aggregated within the state’s PDMP. The HIE design team would like to embed PDMP access into the HIE for easier provider access.


Webinars

September 26 (Wednesday) 12:30 ET. “How to Ensure Patient Records are Always Available.” Sponsor: Goliath Technologies. Presenter: Goliath Technologies engineering staff. This webinar will discuss how an early warning system can help your organization ensure your EHR systems and patient records are always available. You’ll also learn how to proactively anticipate, troubleshoot, prevent, and resolve end user experience issues before users or patients are impacted.

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


Announcements and Implementations

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EHR and practice management vendor DrChrono upgrades its API for developers to include endpoints Clinical Quality Measures, clinical notes, tasks, billing, and labs, plus the FHIR interoperability standard.

Consumer advocates band together under the X4Health brand to develop the Health Record Request Wizard. The smart form, according to advisor and CareJourney President Aneesh Chopra, acts as a records request “easy button,” giving patients a simple way to request digital records in the form and format of their choice.

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AppointmentNotify launches in New York City to offer providers a way to fill last-minute cancellations and unfilled appointments. Patients can use the startup’s portal to find open appointments, including those harder to come by new patient appointments, across the city. Founder and CEO Ali Nayyar told AlleyWatch that the technology is one step ahead of competitor ZocDoc, offering a more user-friendly interface.

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HIPAA Association of America opens for business to offer providers membership-based HIPAA compliance and cybersecurity services, including risk assessments, employee training, monitoring, and ongoing updates on policies and procedures.

Relatient adds patient self-scheduling capabilities to its automated patient outreach software.


Government and Politics

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Surgeon General Jerome Adams, MD releases a 40-page report on America’s opioid addiction crisis as part of the federal government’s continued efforts to raise awareness about proper prescribing practices and allocate funds for addiction programs and resources. The report emphasizes primary care’s role in laying the groundwork for screening and treatment, as well as the effectiveness of PDMPs in helping prescribers identify patients with a history of doctor-shopping.


Telemedicine

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NxGen MDx adds virtual consults from Answer Health on Demand to its reproductive health-focused genetic screening and counseling services for women.


Research and Innovation

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Researchers look at the impact newly installed EHRs have on labor costs and physician productivity at two outpatient joint replacement clinics. The study found that labor costs spiked two months after implementation due to new documentation workflows, but stabilized to pre-install levels around the six-month mark. Time spent on documentation, however, did not stabilize; increasing to the point that physician interaction with patients decreased by nearly four minutes per encounter.  


Other

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In Colorado, 14 year-old Olivia Goodreau joins a tech development program sponsored by the Dept. of Health and Human Services to optimize the TickTracker app she created and launched in February. Goodreau contracted Lyme disease in first grade and went on to found the LivLyme Foundation in an effort to raise awareness about diagnosis and treatment. The app, which has spawned a company of the same name, gives users the ability to share pictures and locations of tick sightings that are then aggregated into a database that Goodreau and Chief Insect Information Officer Jeff Stafford hope will help researchers better understand tick populations and, ultimately, aid in finding a cure for tick-borne diseases.    


Sponsor Updates

  • Intelligent Medical Objects will exhibit at AHIMA September 22-26 in Miami.
  • Madison Magazine includes Nordic on its list of best places to work for the third straight year.

Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk.

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Become a sponsor.

News 9/19/18

September 19, 2018 News No Comments

Top News

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Roman raises $88 million and rebrands to Ro in an effort to move beyond its erectile dysfunction roots and launch a virtual smoking cessation program for men and women. The company, which launched last year with $3 million in funding to offer virtual consults and prescriptions for erectile dysfunction, has jumped from five to 70 employees. Its new quit-smoking kit offers a progress-tracking and motivational app plus prescription cessation medication and nicotine gum. The company ultimately hopes to become an online pharmacy for a variety of healthcare ailments; women’s health products are next up on its roadmap.

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Fun fact: Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian has joined Ro’s Board of Directors. His brand ambassador activities include sporting Ro accessories at his wife Serena William’s tennis matches.


Webinars

September 26 (Wednesday) 12:30 ET. “How to Ensure Patient Records are Always Available.” Sponsor: Goliath Technologies. Presenter: Goliath Technologies engineering staff. This webinar will discuss how an early warning system can help your organization ensure your EHR systems and patient records are always available. You’ll also learn how to proactively anticipate, troubleshoot, prevent, and resolve end user experience issues before users or patients are impacted.

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


Announcements and Implementations

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Rio Grande Valley Health Alliance, a Texas ACO made up of 19 independent primary care practices, begins  patient onboarding of care coordination, virtual visit, and real-time patient monitoring software from Reliq Health Technologies.

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CareCloud will leverage Google Cloud’s Healthcare API in an effort to enhance interoperability of its cloud-based EHR, practice management, and billing technologies for medical groups. Google, along with several other tech giants, made a high-level pledge to remove interoperability barriers at the Blue Button 2.0 Developer Conference last month. I find it ironic that Google will gobble up publicity for moving towards open data-sharing standards but eschews Congressional transparency around its search results.

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La Clinica de Familia, an FQHC with 155 providers across 19 locations in New Mexico, will implement EClinicalWorks software.


People

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Text-based telemedicine company Pager adds Steven Shulman (Magellan Health) to its Board of Directors.


Government and Politics

HHS awards $1 billion in grants through SAMHSA, HRSA, and the CDC to fund nationwide public health programs related to reducing the opioid epidemic.

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HHS seeks healthcare investment and innovation experts to join a year-long collaborative with HHS personnel that aims to highlight emerging opportunities, and the federal government’s potential role in them. The Deputy Secretary’s Innovation and Investment Summit will convene quarterly meetings and culminate in an “Industry Day” gathering. Prospective participants are invited to apply through October 3.


Telemedicine

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Carie Health launches with a white-label telemedicine solution that includes patient onboarding and digital marketing tools, plus as-needed appointment scheduling at brick-and-mortar practices.


Research and Innovation

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The Physicians Foundation’s annual report on the state of practice patterns and physician morale is chock full of timely observations, culled from 9,000 providers:

  • Independence continues to decrease, with that designation going from 48.5 percent in 2012 to 33 percent today.
  • Employed physicians work more, yet see fewer patients than their independent counterparts.
  • Eighty percent of physicians describe themselves as working at full or over capacity; Nearly half admit to wanting to make a career change.
  • Sixty-two percent are pessimistic about the future of healthcare, while over half admit to low morale – a percentage that hasn’t budged over the last several years.
  • Nearly 80 percent have experienced some level of burnout, which may tie into the fact that 23 percent of respondent time is spent on non-clinical paperwork.
  • Just 18.5 percent offer some type of telemedicine.
  • Physicians point to EHRs as their greatest source of job dissatisfaction; patient relationships keep them going.

Sponsor Updates

  • AdvancedMD will host its EVO18 annual user conference October 3-5 in Salt Lake City.
  • Aprima will exhibit at the Ohio MGMA Fall Conference September 19-21 in Columbus.

Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk.

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

News 9/17/18

September 17, 2018 News No Comments

Top News

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Automated patient outreach vendor Relatient wraps up a growth equity round led by Powered Health.

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For those readers who like to keep count of the industry’s female leaders, the company notes that its bookings have increased by 50 percent since hiring CEO Michele Perry (MPB Strategies) and Director of Customer Success Debbie Crook (Phreesia) within the last year. Neither woman, to the best of my knowledge, has attributed that growth to her gender.


Webinars

September 26 (Wednesday) 12:30 ET. “How to Ensure Patient Records are Always Available.” Sponsor: Goliath Technologies. Presenter: Goliath Technologies engineering staff. This webinar will discuss how an early warning system can help your organization ensure your EHR systems and patient records are always available. You’ll also learn how to proactively anticipate, troubleshoot, prevent, and resolve end user experience issues before users or patients are impacted.

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


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Saykara raises $5 million from a group of investors led by SpringRock Ventures. The Seattle-based startup has developed app-based virtual assistant software to help physicians with documentation. Pilot site and orthopedic practice OrthoIndy (IN) is in the midst of expanding its initial deployment.

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WeShareMD will open three medical-office-on-demand spaces in California next month, with plans to open two more by the end of the year. Providers can rent the spaces by the day, week, or month. Memberships in the pop-up like business model start at $300 a month, with WeShareMD providing staff, medical equipment, and maintenance, plus any associated overhead costs.


Government and Politics

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An HHS GAO report calls out California’s Medicaid program for its inability to file reports electronically. Program officials say it’s impossible due to the fact that they use 92 different computer systems, though modernization efforts are in the works. In 2016, Medi-Cal officials scrapped much-delayed efforts to bring its IT system up to date after spending $45 million with Xerox. Another attempt is projected to cost $50; meanwhile, state taxpayers are shelling out millions to maintain the 40 year-old patch worked system.


Telemedicine

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AAFP officially gets into the telemedicine game with the launch of virtual consult software for family physicians. The association has partnered with Zipnosis and Surescripts to offer AAFP Virtual Care and e-prescribing to its members as a white-label service.

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Vibrent Health develops virtual consultation software for dermatologists and referring physicians. Vibrent Health’s technology powers the participant portal of the NIH’s All of Us precision medicine research program.

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PlushCare founder Sas Ponnapalli launches Beam Health Group, an app-based telemedicine service for small physician practices that includes messaging and billing capabilities.


Research and Innovation

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A study in the American Journal of Managed Care finds that Medicare Advantage members who see their primary care providers more often incur 28-percent less in costs and experience 50-percent fewer hospital admissions. Patients in the “high-touch” care group also used preventative medications 41 percent more often, leading the study’s authors to attribute the better outcomes to a combination of improved medication adherence and optimization, and more timely diagnoses and procedures such as vaccinations and screenings. It seems costs could be driven down even further (and patient convenience increased) if virtual consults could replace in-person visits when appropriate.

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In JAMA, a retrospective study on flu vaccination rates in office settings finds them to be higher earlier in the day, implying physicians suffer from decision fatigue as their days wear on; and in practices that use clinical decision support tools within the EHR to proactively suggest or order vaccines. The authors caution, however, that physicians who rely on such digital tools may wind up trading decision fatigue for alert fatigue.


Other

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HIE Hixny adds nine counties to its Eastern New York territory. New providers include Dialysis Clinic, Hurley Avenue Family Medicine, Premier Dialysis Center, and family physician Yuk-Wah Chan, MD.


Sponsor Updates

  • The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association names Nordic a “Get with the Guidelines”-compatible vendor.
  • PerfectServe will co-host the Hospital for Special Surgery Educational and Networking Open House September 21 in New York City.

Blog Posts


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk.

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