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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.


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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.

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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.

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News 8/17/17

August 17, 2017 News No Comments

Top News

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Phil, a San Francisco-based prescription delivery service, raises $10 million in a Series A round of funding led by Crosslink Capital. Phil has developed technology that automates communication between patients, physicians, pharmacists, and payers to ensure timely deliver of medications and improve adherence. The company, which partnered with telemedicine vendor Lemonaid Health earlier this year, will use the investment to expand its pharmacy network and double its staff by 2018.


HIStalk Practice Musings

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Eclipse fever seems to be skyrocketing as everyone prepares for Monday’s event. Case in point: Supply of protective eyeglasses has dwindled, and prices have commensurately skyrocketed. Thankfully, I know a guy who knows a guy. Now, I just need to check and see if the manufacturer of the lenses I bought on the black market are indeed approved by the American Astronomical Society. (You can find their list of approved vendors here.) I’ll be venturing about an hour and a half from home in an attempt to immerse myself in the path of totality. I’ll be interested to see if I do indeed encounter the traffic nightmare many seem to think will occur. Hopefully the atmosphere of wherever I end up will be festive rather than frustrated. How will you view the eclipse in your area? Feel free to share your eclipse party plans in the comments below.


Webinars

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


Announcements and Implementations

Rio Grande Valley Health Alliance (TX) goes live on care coordination, remote patient monitoring, and telemedicine software from Reliq Health Technologies across its ACO, which includes 15 independent primary care practices and 17 physicians.


Telemedicine

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A study of 195 Parkinson’s patients finds virtual consults to be just as effective as in-office visits with regard to quality of care, quality of life, caregiver burden, and patient and neurologist satisfaction. Fifty-five percent of patients preferred the virtual consults over office visits, likely due to the fact that, on average, they saved an average of 169 minutes and 100 miles of driving. The study’s authors note that the biggest barrier to offering telemedicine visits to Parkinson’s patients is a lack of Medicare reimbursement – a situation they hope will change as the telemedicine component of the 21st Century Cures Act evolves.

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Des Moines, IA-based Certintell receives the final installment of an $850,000 seed round of funding from Prairie Crest Capital. Founded and led by former Genentech sales and marketing rep Ben Lefever, the telemedicine company is focused on providing its services to FQHCs and other providers that care for Medicaid patients. It plans to next focus on developing a mobile app.


People

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The Strategic Health Information Exchange Collaborative hires Kelly Hoover Thompson (Pennsylvania Dept. of Health) as CEO.


Research and Innovation

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Aurora, IL, Madison, WI, and Grand Rapids, MI take the top spots in the latest Vitals Access to Pediatric Care report, which looked at pediatrician availability and patient-reported metrics like provider ratings, ease of getting an appointment, and wait times. Practices in the highest-ranking cities reported wait times of under 13 minutes, well below the national average of nearly 19 minutes. Bottom-performing cities (predominantly found in Texas and California) make their patients wait upwards of 30 minutes.


Other

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New Jersey Academy of Family Physicians President Peter Carrazzone, MD takes umbrage at the amount of blame being heaped on physicians’ shoulders for the opioid epidemic. In the local paper, he points to physician willingness to check the state’s PDMP, but a lack of follow-up when physicians report suspected “doctor shopping.” “You can download a form,” he says, “you fill it in, you send it to a faceless computer and time passes. You don’t know what’s happening. I really think there should be a more proactive support, maybe some sort of hotline where you could … have a direct person to talk to. Doctors in today’s world have layers and layers of protocols being added to our normal work, and it becomes a little overwhelming. The doctor is not the enemy here. It’s the patients that have addiction problems that are abusing the system.”

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The New York Times paints an interesting picture of the progress Aledade is helping independent physicians make in the areas of preventive care and hospital readmissions. Though the Bethesda, MD-based company, formed by former National Coordinator Farzad Mostashari, MD in 2014, prides itself on helping practices transform with technology, its software is “the least interesting thing it does.” It’s the way in which it helps practices implement and use that technology in unobtrusive and workflow-friendly ways that seems to really win the company customers (which as of late has also included payers interested in its ACO services). “We’re very comfortable in our model,” Mostashari says.


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk, HIStalk Connect.

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News 8/16/17

August 16, 2017 News No Comments

Top News

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Ares Management invests $1.45 billion in Chicago-based DuPage Medical Group, which includes 80 locations, a practice management company, and managed care subsidiary. The group, one of the largest independent, multispecialty organizations of its kind in the country, seems to be bucking the trend of hospital acquisition, instead consistently gobbling up local providers with the help of last year’s $250 million investment from growth equity firm Summit Partners. DMG will use this latest, largest investment to expand beyond its Illinois borders and ramp up population health initiatives.


Webinar

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August 17 (Thursday) 2:00 ET. “Repeal and Replace McKesson’s EIS.” Sponsored by HIStalk. Presenters: Frank Poggio, CEO, The Kelzon Group; Vince Ciotti, principal, HIS Professionals. The brutally honest and cynically funny Frank and Vince will analyze the Allscripts acquisition of McKesson’s EIS business. They will predict what it means for EIS’s 500+ customers, review what other vendors those customers might consider, describe lessons learned from previous industry acquisitions, and predict how the acquisition will affect the overall health IT market. Their 2014 webinar on Cerner’s acquisition of Siemens Health Services has generated over 8,000 YouTube views.

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


Announcements and Implementations

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New York City-based patient relationship management vendor Doctor.com develops ScheduleSync, a customizable, EHR-friendly online scheduling tool that gives patients the ability to book appointments from a practice’s website, Facebook page, or search listing.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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RCM vendor ESolutions acquires healthcare analytics company RemitData in a move that it hopes will attract ambulatory surgery center customers. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. This is the second acquisition for ESolutions in as many years; it bought ClaimRemedi for an undisclosed amount in March of last year.


People

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The Kentucky Medical Association appoints ophthalmologist Maurice Oakley, MD president.


Government and Politics

Vermont Public Radio focuses on a looming physician shortage that will see 30 percent of the state’s 60-and-over PCPs retire within the next several years. Members of the state’s Green Mountain Regulatory Board are considering several ways in which to attract younger primary care docs to the state, including reimbursing the tuition of medical students who stay to practice in Vermont. Vermont Medical Society President Paul Harrington stresses that, “The whole model that we’re going towards of promoting better coordination of care requires a strong relationship with a primary care physician and it is going to fail unless we have an adequate supply ….”


Telemedicine

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Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas receives $48,000 from UnitedHealthcare during a special ceremony during National Health Center Week. The FQHC will use the funds, given out as part of a grant program launched by the payer early this year, to build out telemedicine services. CHCSEK also received over $160,000 yesterday from HHS for its quality improvements.

Specialty medical services company Castle International will offer virtual consults from Akos to its global network of employers and private clients.

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Officials in Brazoria County, Texas decide to add RediMD telemedicine services to employee health benefits – a move they anticipate will cut the county’s healthcare expenses by up to 66 percent.

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The Southeastern Telehealth Resource Center – housed within the Georgia Partnership for Telehealth – receives a HRSA grant of $975,000, reaffirming the federal agency’s commitment to SETRC for the fourth year in a row. The center serves those looking for telemedicine expertise and resources in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina.


Sponsor Updates

  • EClinicalWorks supports National Health Center Week and the 700 Community Health Centers that use its systems. The company was also named as a Frost & Sullivan customer value leadership award winner for its RCM services.

Blog Posts


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk, HIStalk Connect.

Get HIStalk Practice updates.
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Become a sponsor.

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