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News 6/29/17

June 29, 2017 News No Comments

Top News

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President Trump nominates Indiana Health Commissioner Jerome Adams, MD as US Surgeon General. Vice President Pence appointed Adams to his post in 2014 during Pence’s time as governor. No word on whether Adams crossed paths with CMS Administrator Seema Verma during her time in Indiana’s Medicaid trenches. Adams, who according to his LinkedIn profile is a practicing anesthesiologist and associate professor of anesthesiology at Indiana University Health, will take over from Acting Surgeon General Sylvia Trent-Adams. She took over the position in April from Vivek Murthy, MD when Trump gave him the boot. Like Murthy, Adams – who came under fire for a county-wide HIV outbreak in Indiana attributed to dirty needles – will likely focus his public health campaign efforts on the opioid epidemic.


Webinars

July 11 (Tuesday) 1:00 ET.  “Your Data Migration Questions Answered: Ask the Expert Q&A Panel.” Sponsored by Galen Healthcare Solutions. Presenters: Julia Snapp, manager of professional services, Galen Healthcare Solutions; Tyler Suacci, principal technical consultant, Galen Healthcare Solutions. This webcast will give attendees who are considering or in the process of replacing and/or transitioning EHRs the ability to ask questions of our experts. Our moderators have extensive experience in data migration efforts, having supported over 250+ projects, and migration of 40MM+ patient records and 7K+ providers. They will be available to answer questions surrounding changes in workflows, items to consider when migrating data, knowing what to migrate vs. archive, etc.

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


Announcements and Implementations

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Rennova Health subsidiary Medical Mime releases the latest version of its M2Select EHR for addiction treatment providers.

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ICS Software, an Oceanside, NY-based EHR vendor that caters to small- and medium-sized practices, enlists the services of Wicked Easy IT to help it maintain and monitor its network.

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Advanced Radiology (MO) selects patient portal, kiosk, payment, and messaging technology from Royal Solutions Group.

In an effort to improve medication adherence, Updox adds prescription delivery services from ScriptDrop to its Pharmacy Connect care coordination software. The integration also includes automated medication reminders via phone, text, email, or virtual assistants like Amazon Echo or Google Home.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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The US Patent and Trademark Office grants CSI a patent for technology related to the automated dispensing of prescription drugs as part of a telemedicine visit via CSI’s Managed Health Kiosk System. The company partnered with Doctor on Demand for telemedicine services in 2015, and marked 1 billion uses of its kiosks early last year.


Telemedicine

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CareCloud adds telemedicine capabilities, including eligibility verification and scheduling tools, to its EHR and PM systems. It’s a smart move given that physicians seem well aware of the need to add virtual access to their practice, but have thus far been hesitant to spend money on additional technology with a yet-to-be determined ROI.

WellVia will integrate LowestMed’s prescription price transparency search engine with its telemedicine service, giving patients the ability to look up prescription drug prices during virtual consults.


Other

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Bitcoin inches its way towards mainstream currency thanks to several preschools in New York that now accept it as tuition payment. Payments are accepted with help from Coinbase, a startup that converts the digital currency to US dollars. Could providers – especially those in tech-savvy locales like Silicon Valley – soon consider offering such payment options?


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Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

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News 6/28/17

June 28, 2017 News No Comments

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Cincinnati-based point-of-care patient education company PatientPoint raises $140 million from Searchlight Capital Partners and Silver Point Capital. Founded in 1987 as Healthy Advice Networks, the company seems intent on a growth strategy that includes new executive leadership (it brought back founder Mike Collette as CEO late last year and instituted the role of chief growth officer several months ago) and near-term acquisitions and partnerships. Collette says that within the next two years the company will aim to provide programs that can “impact 60-70 percent of brand prescribing volume in the most strategically important specialties.”


Webinars

June 29 (Thursday) 2:00 ET. “Be the First to See New Data on Why Patients Switch Healthcare Providers.” Sponsored by Solutionreach. As patients pay more for their care and have access to more data about cost and quality, their expectations for healthcare are changing. And as their expectations change, they are more likely to switch providers to get them met. In this free webinar, we’ll look at this new data on why patients switch and what makes them stay. Be one of the first to see the latest data on why patients leave and what you can do about it.

July 11 (Tuesday) 1:00 ET.  “Your Data Migration Questions Answered: Ask the Expert Q&A Panel.” Sponsored by Galen Healthcare Solutions. Presenters: Julia Snapp, manager of professional services, Galen Healthcare Solutions; Tyler Suacci, principal technical consultant, Galen Healthcare Solutions. This webcast will give attendees who are considering or in the process of replacing and/or transitioning EHRs the ability to ask questions of our experts. Our moderators have extensive experience in data migration efforts, having supported over 250+ projects, and migration of 40MM+ patient records and 7K+ providers. They will be available to answer questions surrounding changes in workflows, items to consider when migrating data, knowing what to migrate vs. archive, etc.

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


Announcements and Implementations

After severing its ties with Theranos, Walgreens decides to offer LabCorp testing services in select stores in Colorado and North Carolina.

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Digital chronic disease management startup Rimidi joins Athenahealth’s More Disruption Please program. The Atlanta-based company has thus far focused its remote monitoring, population analytics, and predictive modeling capabilities on diabetes.

Salucro adds payment plans from Parasail Health to its patient financing portal. The integration will give patients financing options tailored to their diagnoses, plus new ways to pay through the Salucro portal.


People

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Susan Hyatt (Silver Sherpa) joins rehabilitation services and software company Agility Health’s Board of Directors.


Government and Politics

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PCP William Thornbury, MD shares his thoughts on how the ACA has affected his practice and his hope for healthcare moving forward at a listening session with HHS Secretary Tom Price, MD and CMS Administrator Seema Verma. After sharing the plight of many patients who, after purchasing mandated insurance, put off seeking care due to high copays and deductibles, he emphasized the need for CMS to pave the way for more telemedicine- and direct primary care-friendly policies:

“I need leadership from the government to help with [telemedicine], and that leadership comes from [CMS]. CMS has got to promulgate that and make that OK. They’ve been dragging their feet on this for a decade and it is not OK. We have got to take our largest driver of health care – chronic disease care – [and] put that to our most efficient delivery model, which is online care. It just takes pennies to do this. You’ve got to put those together.”


Research and Innovation

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Over half of 1,000 AMA-surveyed physicians believe MACRA’s requirements are “very” burdensome, leading less than 25 percent of survey respondents to feel well prepared for the related QPP programs that went into effect this year. Top participation challenges include:

  • Time required to report performance.
  • Understanding requirements.
  • How MIPS performance is scored.
  • The cost associated with accurately capture and report performance.

Other

This has interesting implications for physician practices: Sikka Software begins beta testing of an Amazon Alexa skills integration that gives dentists and veterinarians access to their PM systems via Amazon’s virtual assistant technology. For $35 a month, users can access performance metrics including KPIs and AR balances, daily schedules, and patient population data.

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Always on call: Family physician Jerry Poché, MD aids not one but four spectators while watching his son, LSU pitcher Jared Poché, play in the College World Series in Omaha. His last in-the-stands consult resulted in the resuscitation of an 87 year-old fan who suffered a heart attack and had no pulse.


Sponsor Updates

Blog Posts


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk, HIStalk Connect.

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News 6/27/17

June 27, 2017 News No Comments

Top News

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The Rhode Island Medical Society is among a number of medical groups that oppose legislation intended to allow law enforcement to access the state’s PDMP. Currently, law enforcement officials must obtain a search warrant before accessing the the digital database of prescription painkillers. If passed, the bill – which will be voted on today – would require investigators to request access via a Rhode Island Health Department employee.

The medical society and other like-minded associations believe such access – already given to law enforcement in 30 other states – would infringe on patient privacy. They emphasized in written testimony earlier this year that the database is “a tool for healthcare, not law enforcement” and “undermines efforts to address the opioid crisis as a medical issue rather than a criminal one.″


Webinars

June 29 (Thursday) 2:00 ET. “Be the First to See New Data on Why Patients Switch Healthcare Providers.” Sponsored by Solutionreach. As patients pay more for their care and have access to more data about cost and quality, their expectations for healthcare are changing. And as their expectations change, they are more likely to switch providers to get them met. In this free webinar, we’ll look at this new data on why patients switch and what makes them stay. Be one of the first to see the latest data on why patients leave and what you can do about it.

July 11 (Tuesday) 1:00 ET.  “Your Data Migration Questions Answered: Ask the Expert Q&A Panel.” Sponsored by Galen Healthcare Solutions. Presenters: Julia Snapp, manager of professional services, Galen Healthcare Solutions; Tyler Suacci, principal technical consultant, Galen Healthcare Solutions. This webcast will give attendees who are considering or in the process of replacing and/or transitioning EHRs the ability to ask questions of our experts. Our moderators have extensive experience in data migration efforts, having supported over 250+ projects, and migration of 40MM+ patient records and 7K+ providers. They will be available to answer questions surrounding changes in workflows, items to consider when migrating data, knowing what to migrate vs. archive, etc.

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


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

Buffalo, NY-based payer Independent Health forms Evolve Practice Partners to help physician group members of its Primary Connection program transition to value-based care models. The new organization will help 200 physicians across 33 practices manage contracts, benchmark quality, cost, and performance metrics, analyze data, and manage administrative costs.

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End-of-life planning software startup After prepares to launch this August. Founded by Maggie Norris earlier this year, the technology aims to help dying patients and their caregivers access and organize healthcare and legal forms, and coordinate care requests in a compassionate way. “No one likes talking about death and dying, even if it’s your job to have conversations with patients about death and dying,” says Norris. “A lot of times physicians wait for families and patients to come to them with questions. The problem with that is the first stage of grief is denial. How do you make this conversation happen more often and [make it] easier and more accessible? There’s this empty space there, and we’re trying to fill it with software.”


Announcements and Implementations

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TheraChat adds new features to its smart journaling tool and accompanying app for mental health providers and patients including an analytics dashboard; secure direct messaging; and emotion, anxiety, and distress tracking.

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Women’s Care Florida roll outs the Healow Mom app from EClinicalWorks across its 62 locations. The app enables expectant mothers to track their pregnancy and communicate with their OB/GYNs, who in turn can access the data from their ECW EHR.

Altruis adds Orb Health’s chronic care management solutions to its RCM software and services.

NetDirector integrates Health Logix’s patient onboarding and follow-up software with its HealthData Exchange, which passes health data to a physician’s EHR and PM system.


Telemedicine

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In Winston-Salem, NC, Wake Forest University will offer an online telemedicine course this fall as part of its law degree and certificate program. Designed for professionals who don’t necessarily need to practice law, the class will help students “recognize the risks inherent in the provision of telehealth services, and analyze how each of the relevant stakeholders can mitigate risk while improving patient-care and access.” It is the first course of its kind in the US.


Other

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Code Technology, an aggregator of orthopedic patient-reported outcomes, develops a resource center dedicated to helping providers set up orthopedic PRO programs. The center includes material related to PRO measures, orthopedic registries, and professional associations; plus guides related to understanding PROs, orthopedic benchmarking, and Alternative Payment Models.


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk, HIStalk Connect.

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

JennHIStalk

News 6/26/17

June 26, 2017 News No Comments

Top News

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HHS will make $195 million available to community health centers this fall for the expansion of access to substance abuse and mental health services, particularly those focused on opioid addiction treatment. Funding will be used to hire additional staff, and purchase and leverage health IT – presumably the kind that helps physicians access state PDMPs. A separate $3 million grant will be made available to 12 organizations that provide such services in rural communities. Applications for funding are due July 26 and July 21, respectively.


HIStalk Practice Musings

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Reading: The Women in the Castle, by Jessica Shattuck. I devoured this historical novel about the widows of German resistors during World War II over a weekend, and am now on the hunt for Shattuck’s other titles at my local library. The book is by no means a beach read, but is surprisingly easy to get through given the heavy subject matter. What’s on your summer reading list? Any health IT-focused fiction I should read? Email me your top titles.

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And speaking of libraries, they won’t be going the way of the landline anytime soon. A recent Pew Research Center study found that nearly half of adults in the US have used a public library within the last 12 months, with Millenials reporting the most patronage. It’s nice to know that I’m not the only one who appreciates the feel of a hardback book in my hands.


Webinars

June 29 (Thursday) 2:00 ET. “Be the First to See New Data on Why Patients Switch Healthcare Providers.” Sponsored by Solutionreach. As patients pay more for their care and have access to more data about cost and quality, their expectations for healthcare are changing. And as their expectations change, they are more likely to switch providers to get them met. In this free webinar, we’ll look at this new data on why patients switch and what makes them stay. Be one of the first to see the latest data on why patients leave and what you can do about it.

July 11 (Tuesday) 1:00 ET.  “Your Data Migration Questions Answered: Ask the Expert Q&A Panel.” Sponsored by Galen Healthcare Solutions. Presenters: Julia Snapp, manager of professional services, Galen Healthcare Solutions; Tyler Suacci, principal technical consultant, Galen Healthcare Solutions. This webcast will give attendees who are considering or in the process of replacing and/or transitioning EHRs the ability to ask questions of our experts. Our moderators have extensive experience in data migration efforts, having supported over 250+ projects, and migration of 40MM+ patient records and 7K+ providers. They will be available to answer questions surrounding changes in workflows, items to consider when migrating data, knowing what to migrate vs. archive, etc.

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


Announcements and Implementations

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Community Based Care (NC) selects documentation software from Therap Services. CBC will use the technology to more easily transmit intellectual and developmental disability services data from its subsidiaries to the North Carolina Health Connex HIE.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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EHR and PM vendor MTBC expects to generate $6.5 million from a $7.4 million public offering of nearly 300,000 shares that will close on June 28. The Somerset, NJ-based company will no doubt use the extra capital to continue roll out of its new WebSoft platform, which went live several weeks ago and is set to replace the company’s legacy system within the next two months.

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McKesson Specialty Health will acquire IntraFusion – a practice management company focused on office-based infusion centers – for an undisclosed sum.

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Blue Cross Blue Shield of Nebraska increases its stake in Think Whole Person Healthcare to become a majority owner. The payer has invested nearly $37 million in the physician-led clinic since 2013, nearly two years before it officially opened its doors in Omaha. Founding Think CEO Fergus Hoban left the company last month after a round of layoffs, management changes, and underwhelming use of the clinic’s in-house robotic pharmacy to pursue an unaffiliated, though similarly named venture. Think USA will offer physician practices help in setting up a value-based care model that includes embedded pharmacists, care coordinators and, eventually, new clinics. I interviewed Think’s CMO, John Jacobsen, MD last year. He indicated that while the clinic’s operating model was indeed an experiment, it is one that the company would likely try to replicate at other locations in Nebraska.


Government and Politics

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HHS Secretary Tom Price, MD stresses that his team is in listening mode when it comes to restoring trust between physicians and the government after his keynote at the CAPG annual conference. He emphasized the need for MDs to drive healthcare policy, adding that, “You’re the ones that are the true source of ingenuity and innovation that have made our healthcare system the envy of the world in so many, many ways.”


Research and Innovation

A study of 500 FQHCs selected as demonstration sites for the adoption of primary care medical home care models finds that leveraging patient registries, EHRs, and other team-based strategies and services resulted in greater access to care, but did reduce utilization of specialists or acute care. Some quality measures did improve, particularly for diabetic patients. Medicare expenditures – $6 per enrolled beneficiary – were deemed insufficient to cover the cost of additional staff and, presumably, software.


Other

The local paper looks at competing HIE efforts in Connecticut. Both the state and the Connecticut State Medical Society have efforts underway. CSMS, which has already hired an HIT officer, will likely be the first to go live. CSMS has licensed an HIE system developed in Kansas, while the state, still in a discovery phase, is looking at systems developed in Michigan and Maryland. Both will likely compete for subscription revenues.

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Fidget spinners are so two months ago: The latest toy craze in China seems to be mini-crossbows that can fire toothpicks, needles, and nails. Parents have called for a nationwide ban. It reminds me of those toys hawked by crooked toy manufacturer Irwin Mainway.

An oldie but goodie. H/T to @KBDeSalvo for the alert.

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And they say the booth babe phenomenon is dead: HFMA’s annual conference gets into full swing today in Orlando. I have attended in years past and always found it to be far more pleasant than HIMSS – easier to traverse, easier to manage meetings, and a general sense of laidback-ness that is obviously in full swing. If you’re walking the show floor tomorrow and hear of anything that might interest physician practices, let me know.


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk, HIStalk Connect.

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

JennHIStalk

News 6/22/17

June 22, 2017 News No Comments

Top News

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Senate Republicans release a 142-page draft of their proposed healthcare legislation, known as the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017. (The New York Times has a high-level overview here.) Analysts say it’s similar in nature to the House version that passed last month. Main points of discussion thus far seem to be the bill’s curtailment of Medicaid expansion, elimination of most of the taxes created to pay for coverage expansion, elimination of subsidies for out-of-pocket costs beginning in 2020, restrictions on tax subsidies, and giving payers the right to charge older consumers more than younger ones. It does away with individual and employer mandates, and keeps the pre-existing conditions policy. Senators plan to vote on the bill before the July 4th recess.


Webinars

June 29 (Thursday) 2:00 ET. “Be the First to See New Data on Why Patients Switch Healthcare Providers.” Sponsored by Solutionreach. As patients pay more for their care and have access to more data about cost and quality, their expectations for healthcare are changing. And as their expectations change, they are more likely to switch providers to get them met. In this free webinar, we’ll look at this new data on why patients switch and what makes them stay. Be one of the first to see the latest data on why patients leave and what you can do about it.

July 11 (Tuesday) 1:00 ET.  “Your Data Migration Questions Answered: Ask the Expert Q&A Panel.” Sponsored by Galen Healthcare Solutions. Presenters: Julia Snapp, manager of professional services, Galen Healthcare Solutions; Tyler Suacci, principal technical consultant, Galen Healthcare Solutions. This webcast will give attendees who are considering or in the process of replacing and/or transitioning EHRs the ability to ask questions of our experts. Our moderators have extensive experience in data migration efforts, having supported over 250+ projects, and migration of 40MM+ patient records and 7K+ providers. They will be available to answer questions surrounding changes in workflows, items to consider when migrating data, knowing what to migrate vs. archive, etc.

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


Announcements and Implementations

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MyMipsScore will offer the MIPS100 guarantee program, which offers eligible physicians MIPS scoring tools, guidance, and resources at no cost unless they score 100 and earn a bonus. The Chesterfield, MO-based company will offer vendors the opportunity to integrate its MIPS tools into their EHRs as part of the MIPS100 Certified Vendor Program, launching with help from partner and certification company EMR Advocate.

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The Carrell Clinic, an orthopedic medical group in Dallas, selects RCM and analytics software and services from Meridian Medical Management.

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Kansas City Urology Care (KS) rolls out patient portal technology from IntrinsiQ.

Orange Care Group’s independent ACOs and IPA in Florida, New York, and New Jersey partner with Memorial Healthcare System (FL) to leverage its Healthy Planet population health management technology via Epic’s Connect program. Orange Care Group also plans to offer Epic’s EHR to its participating physicians.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Opargo, an Irving, TX-based startup focused on optimizing practice management, joins Athenahealth’s More Disruption Please program.

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Primary care practice management company VillageMD partners with independent Primary Care Medical Center (KY) to form VillageMD-Kentucky. PCMC physicians will take advantage of VillageMD’s practice model that includes analytics and care coordination technology and support. VillageMD-Kentucky marks the company’s first foray into the Southeast.


People

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Consultant Tim Chapman joins Updox’s Board of Directors.


Telemedicine

Huntington’s Disease Society of America will use a grant from Teva Pharmaceuticals to fund free virtual consults from American Well to patients suffering from the genetic disease, which causes a breakdown of nerve cells in the brain.


Other

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The American Healthcare Documentation Professionals Group offers a complimentary online medical scribe readiness assessment test to help providers with recruiting and hiring efforts.


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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