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News 2/26/18

February 26, 2018 News No Comments

Top News

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Revenue cycle technology company R1 RCM will acquire Intermedix’s healthcare division, which includes physician and EMS RCM, practice management, and analytics service lines, for $460 million. R1 President Joseph Flanagan believes the acquisition will give the company better leverage in serving the physician practice networks of its hospital customers.

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And speaking of hospital customers, Ascension (MO) has decided to expand its contract with R1 RCM to include its medical group, which has facilities in 22 states.


Webinars

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


Announcements and Implementations

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US Vision and its Nationwide Vision affiliate implement First Insight’s MaximEyes EHR at 100 locations, with plans to go live at their remaining 500 US locations within the next two to three years.

In an effort to help community providers more easily exchange health data, DSS will embark on a Direct Messaging pilot program with The Sequoia Project’s EHealth Exchange data-sharing network. The pilot will give federal agencies on the exchange access to Direct addresses of physicians and hospitals in rural areas.


People

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Healthcare Administrative Partners hires Rick Grodin (Premier Urgent Care) as EVP.

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Scott Howell, MD (Heritage Provider Network) joins Advantmed as CMO.


Telemedicine

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Orthopedic care management company SwiftPath develops a telemedicine service line for patients undergoing and/or recovering from outpatient joint replacement.


Government and Politics

CMS invites physicians to participate in a year-long study of burdens associated with the reporting of quality measures in exchange for full credit for the 2018 MIPS Improvement Activities performance category. The study will study clinical workflows and data collection methods using different submission systems, seek to better understand physician challenges associated with collecting and reporting quality data, and recommend changes to reduce burdens and improve reporting and care. Applications are due March 23.


Research and Innovation

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The New England Journal of Medicine observes that ACOs made up of independent primary care practices are more nimble, interested in experimentation, and focused on resource conservation than their larger, hospital-affiliated peers – qualities that have, in fact, led to greater savings. Money, being the great equalizer that it is, was cited as the biggest pain point for ACOs looking to purchase analytics tools and more robust EHRs. A consequential lack of interoperability also reared its ugly head. The study’s authors point out that IT investments don’t have to happen right off the bat for success; an emphasis on leadership, staff roles, and building relationships with participating practices should be first priority.

This survey finds that provider interest in implementing patient payment portals has jumped from 40 percent to 63 percent in the last year. I blame my health IT bubble (and penchant for Amazon-like retail experiences) for being surprised that there are healthcare organizations out there that haven’t yet invested in consumer-friendly payment tech.


Other

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No technology needed: Lincoln Medical Partners (ME) gives away its 20,000th free book to a two year-old patient through the statewide Raising Readers program, which promotes early childhood literacy through book donations to children at birth and annual well visits. PCPs also spend time with parents discussing the benefits of reading aloud to their children. I get the feeling that it’s becoming a lost art as devices seem to take over many of the more traditional social interactions.


Sponsor Updates

Blog Posts


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

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News 2/21/18

February 21, 2018 News No Comments

Top News

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Practice Fusion will soon start charging providers for its EHR software, which has thus far been free thanks to revenue gleaned from embedded pharmaceutical ads. Providers could see monthly subscription charges of $100 as early as next month, according to a company spokesperson who did not indicate if the ads would remain. The decision comes six weeks after Allscripts announced it would acquire the company for $100 million – a fraction of its former valuation. Competitors have been quick to chime in, pointing out that Practice Fusion’s changing business model makes for an opportune time to look for new solutions. Others wonder if the company will flip to a data-selling model akin to Flatiron Health.


Webinars

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


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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In an effort to tap into the healthcare market, EnterBridge Technologies acquires healthcare analytics and benchmarking business SMA Informatics Partners. It has named the newly combined company New Health Analytics. EnterBridge co-founder Todd Nuckols will become CEO of the 10-employee company.


Announcements and Implementations

Hands On Technology will integrate Ability Network’s RCM application into its TheraOffice rehab EHR/PM.

Apex Revenue Technologies adds expanded physician branding capabilities and more custom patient payment options to its MySecureBill software.

NextGen will add OptimizeRx’s prescription messaging service to its EHR next month, alerting physicians in real-time to prescription savings and educational content.

Amion adds PerfectServe’s clinical communication and collaboration platform to its physician scheduling software.

Fertility Pro adds Azalea Health’s RCM capabilities to its EHR for fertility specialists.


Telemedicine

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This year’s record flu season prompts Teladoc to provide over 300,000 virtual consults in the last five weeks. Flu cases accounted for 1 in 5 Teladoc visits in the peak month of January – quite a bit higher than the CDC’s reported 1 in 15 in-person visits for the same time period and perhaps a solid indicator that providers and patients are turning to telemedicine before darkening the doors of germ-ridden clinics. Recent reports indicate the flu may have plateaued, with the season expected to possibly last into May.

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PlushCare offers allergy sufferers advanced diagnostic tests from Thermo Fisher Scientific and participating labs as part of its virtual consult services.


Research and Innovation

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Researchers determine that retrospective claims data is more beneficial than EHR data when predicting a patient’s medication adherence. Prescription fill gaps of at least six days were found to be the biggest indicator of a lack of future adherence.


Other

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A JAMA editorial highlights the ways in which small physician practices can leverage service-sharing arrangements in an effort to keep their doors open and patients well-cared for. While these types of arrangements have been around for several years (if not longer), they are experiencing heightened interest as today’s practices struggle with burdensome regulatory programs, IT costs, decreased reimbursements, and burnout. The authors suggest that, though many questions remain related to ROI, such arrangements may be the best bet for practices who want to stay afloat.


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News 2/19/18

February 19, 2018 News No Comments

Top News

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21st Century Oncology Interim CEO Kim Commins-Tzoumakas (the company’s fourth chief executive in 16 months) tells the local paper that the company is looking to expand operations after emerging from bankruptcy and tackling legal issues related to a privacy breach of 2.2 million patient records and an investigation into improper Meaningful Use reporting – both of which led to separate settlements of nearly $30 million. She stresses that the company, which employs 4,000 across Florida, is intent on rebuilding trust and rehabilitating its image. “There’s certainly no guarantees we won’t have issues along the way,” Commins-Tzoumakas says, “but we’re doing everything we can to be one step ahead of those issues. And we’re being very transparent and open about it with all of our payers and certainly with our physicians and the rest of the community.”


Webinars

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


Announcements and Implementations

TeleHealth Services will deliver Healthwise’s patient education videos through its patient engagement platform.

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Innovaccer updates its ACO Compare benchmarking tool to give providers the ability to compare up to five ACOs at a time, assess performance trends, and generate more detailed reports.

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The NBA’s Sacramento Kings will use Connexion Health’s touchless health kiosks to monitor the posture, balance, and health of its players. Head Athletic Trainer Manny Romero believes the full-body scanner will help prevent injuries and lengthen the careers of his players.

Signature Medical Group (MO) develops CareMosaic Advanced, a care coordination and analytics platform for physicians participating in the CMS Bundled Payments for Care Improvement initiative.

SSI launches analytics software for ASCs that focuses on case management, clinical operations, financial performance, cost analysis, and scheduling.


People

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Flint Hills Community Health Center (KS) promotes Renee Hively, RN to CEO.

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Urgent care software vendor Practice Velocity hires Joshua Porter (EPowerDoc) as VP of business development, and Jaimie Kowalski (UniCarriers Americas) as VP of marketing.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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CentralReach secures funding from Insight Venture Partners. The Pompano Beach, FL-based company got its start in 2012 as an EHR/PM vendor focused on serving applied behavioral analysis clinics. It has since expanded to software for occupational health and speech therapy specialists.


Sponsor Updates

  • EClinicalWorks customer Petaluma Health Center (CA) wins the 2017 HIMSS Davies Award for improving hypertension control among its patients.
  • Healthwise will exhibit at the West ACE User Group Conference February 21-23 in San Diego.

Blog Posts


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk.

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Contact us online.
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News 2/14/18

February 14, 2018 News No Comments

Top News

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New York City-based urgent care chain CityMD will acquire competitors STAT Health and FirstMed Immediate Medical Care, bringing its total locations to nearly 100. Over half of those are on EClinicalWorks, which CityMD rolled out in 2016. Google tells me STAT Health uses Medent.


Webinars

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


Announcements and Implementations

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PerfectServe will integrate its team collaboration platform with QGenda’s physician scheduling software to accurately deliver calls and messages.

Patient education and branded content company PatientPoint works with MeUCare to develop a multimedia messaging tool for physicians and their patients.

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Compulink adds text-based patient messaging capabilities to its Dermatology Advantage EHR and PM software.

CampDoc.com adds single sign-on and account management technology from Christensen Computer Company to its EHR for camps.

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Advanced Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery (FL) will roll out Modernizing Medicine’s EHR and analytics software across its 180-plus clinics.

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After a successful pilot, Pottstown Medical Specialists (PA) will utilize Saturn Care’s app-based Chronic Disease Management Program as part of its Chronic Care Management program.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Scranton, PA-based care management company Signallamp Health raises an undisclosed amount of Series A financing from Sopris Capital.

HIPAA compliance software vendor Compliancy Group announces it now accepts cryptocurrency payments.


People

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Fresh off its $3.5 million settlement with OCR, Fresenius Medical Care North America promotes Ahmad Sharif, MD to CMIO.

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Vermont Information Technology Leaders names former Navy SEAL and state legislator Mike Smith interim president and CEO following the retirement of John Evans.

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Ann Johnson (Zest Health) will join the American Telemedicine Association as CEO in March.

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Nextech Systems hires Wyn Partington (NexTraq) as CMO, and promotes Rebecca Sanford to chief people officer.


Government and Politics

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OCR makes it clear that organizations found guilty of HIPAA violations can’t escape their financial penalties by going out of business or declaring bankruptcy.


Other

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A few of my favorite #healthpolicyvalentines


Contacts

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News 2/12/18

February 12, 2018 News No Comments

Top News

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OxyContin manufacturer Purdue Pharma slashes its sales force to 200 and announces it will stop promotional opioid sales visits to physician practices. The move comes in the of wake of a federal investigation and 14 state-based lawsuits that claim the company deceptively marketed opioids to physicians.

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An open letter on the company’s website assures readers it is an advocate of combatting the opioid epidemic through limiting prescriptions and improved utilization of PDMPs.


Webinars

February 13 (Tuesday) 1:00 ET. “Beyond Sliding Scale: Closing the Gap Between Current and Optimal Glycemic Management Practices.” Sponsor: Monarch Medical Technologies. Presenter: Laurel Fuqua, BSN, MSN, EVP/chief clinical officer, Monarch Medical Technologies. The glycemic management practices of many hospitals and physician staff differ from what is overwhelmingly recommended by experts and relevant specialty societies. As a result, they are missing an opportunity to improve the quality, safety, and cost of care for their patients with diabetes and hyperglycemia, which commonly represent more than 25 percent of their inpatient population. Hospitals that transition from sliding-scale insulin regimens to consistent use of basal / bolus / correction protocols are seeing reductions in hyperglycemia, hypoglycemia, and costs. Making this shift more effective and efficient is the use of computerized insulin-dosing algorithms that can support dedicated staff using a systematic approach.

February 14 (Wednesday) 2:00 ET. “Time is Money: Aurora Health’s Journey of Implementing and Advancing Cost Accounting.” Sponsor: Strata Decision Technology. Presenter: Patrick Nolan, VP of finance, Aurora Health Care. Aurora Health Care’s implementation of Strata’s Decision Support module involved not only building an improved cost accounting model, but improving the process to engage a cross-functional team in cost development. It now has accurate, consistent cost data to support decision-making. Aurora’s next phase will be to use actual procedure and visit times to allocate costs. This presentation will provide a detailed view into both the implementation and future direction of the Strata Decision Support program within Aurora.

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


People

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Shenandoah Community Health (WV) names Mike Hassing (Community Link Consulting) CEO.


Announcements and Implementations

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Detroit-based Reliance ACO selects cloud-based population health management technology from The Garage.

Banyan integrates automated reputation management technology from BirdEye into its marketing services for providers.

LW Consulting adds Practice360’s registry for MIPS reporting to its line of services.

Practice management company Continuum Health offers RCM software and services from Gebbs Healthcare Solutions.

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Precision Imaging Centers (FL) selects RadNet’s ERAD technology including an RIS, patient and physician portals, and communications capabilities.

Outcome Health will offer up CardioSmart educational content for patients from the American College of Cardiology through its proprietary digital devices in physician practices.


Government and Politics

President Trump signs into law a funding bill that includes the CHRONIC Care Act, which expands telemedicine access for ACOs and Medicare Advantage plans, and allows for reimbursement of telestroke care and home dialysis treatment.


Telemedicine

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Texas-based Cohen Veterans Network rolls out mental telehealth services to post-9/11 veterans.

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The local paper profiles the launch of two telemedicine companies by PCP Tony Ruffa, DO. Ruffa launched EUrgicare and Psychxpress after working with Gannon University’s Small Business Development Center, which helped him develop the websites and identify and reach target markets. He hopes to soon offer telemedicine services to local employers for $10 a month per employee.


Other

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This article highlights shared medical appointments and the impact they are having on primary care for diabetic patients in rural and underserved areas. What stands out is the group support these programs offer, particularly for patients who lack social support systems so vital to improving and maintaining their health.

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California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones will investigate Aetna’s claims review process after it comes to light that the payer’s employed physicians don’t typically review patient medical records when deciding whether or not to approve care. The records review process came to light during the deposition of Jay Ken Iinuma, MD a former Aetna medical director called to share his experience as part of a lawsuit brought by a former Aetna member suing over denied coverage.


Sponsor Updates

  • EClinicalWorks will exhibit at the 2018 AAD Annual Meeting February 16-20 in San Diego.
  • Healthwise exhibits at the 2018 South ACE User Group Conference in Raleigh, NC.

Blog Posts


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk.

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