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News 4/18/17

April 18, 2017 News No Comments

Top News

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CMS rolls a number of Meaningful Use-related reporting changes for EPs into its proposed rule for the 2018 Medicare hospital inpatient and long-term acute care hospital prospective payment systems. Comments on the proposed rule, which includes the EP-related items below, are due June 13:

  • A modified clinical quality measure reporting period of at least 90 continuous days.
  • Better aligning MU and MIPS quality measures.
  • Certain exemptions for ambulatory surgical centers.
  • Exemptions for meaningful EP users whose EHRs have been decertified.

Webinars

April 26 (Wednesday) 1:00 ET. “SSM Integrated Health Technologies Clinical Data Migration: Functional and Technical Considerations.” Sponsored by Galen Healthcare Solutions. Presenters: Sandy Winklemann, MHA, RHIA, project manager, SSM Integration Health Technologies; Tyler Mawyer, MHA, managing consultant, Galen Healthcare Solutions; Kavon Kaboli, MPH, senior consultant, Galen Healthcare Solutions. GE Centricity and Meditech to Epic EHR transition. Join us for a complimentary webinar as present the decisions that are important to consider when performing a clinical data migration from the point of view of  the healthcare organization program manager, the clinical analyst, and the technical implementation team. Our expert panel will survey data migration considerations, best practices, and lessons learned. The webinar will present a unique client perspective, offering insight into considerations surrounding staffing, clinical mapping, legacy application support, and validation and testing.

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April 28 (Friday) 1:00 ET. “3 Secrets to Leadership Success for Women in Health IT.” Sponsored by HIStalk. Presenters: Nancy Ham, CEO, WebPT; Liz Johnson, MS, FAAN, FCHIME, FHIMSS, CHCIO, RN-BC CIO, Acute Care Hospitals & Applied Clinical Informatics – Tenet Healthcare. Join long-time C-level executives Liz Johnson and Nancy Ham as they share insights from nearly three decades of navigating successful healthcare careers, share strategies for empowering colleagues to pursue leadership opportunities, and discuss building diverse executive teams. This webinar is geared toward female managers and leaders in healthcare IT seeking to further develop their professional careers. It’s also intended for colleagues, executives, and HR personnel who are looking to employ supportive techniques that ensure diversity in the workplace.

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


Announcements and Implementations

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Sales support company Rep Network offers physicians access to EPatientFinder’s Clinical Trial Exchange, which helps providers use EHR data to identify and enroll patients in relevant clinical trials.

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Alvin Abaqueta, MD and William Long, MD enlist the aid of concierge practice management company MDVIP to open a new primary care practice in Charlotte, NC. Patients will have access to MDVIP’s health and wellness portal, and PHR. Over 800 physicians in 43 states have signed up for the company’s services since it launched in 2001.

OptimizeRx adds prior authorization services from PARx Solutions to its digital prescription savings software for EHRs.


People

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Brad Logan (Sheridan Healthcare) joins Northwell Health practice management spinoff business Formativ Health as chief revenue cycle officer.


Telemedicine

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EWellness will debut new physical therapy technology within the next three months. Solutions on deck include app-based therapeutic exercise regimens, white-label telemedicine services, and a telehealth educational certification program. It will also open its first sales and marketing office within the next several weeks.

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Signature Home Health Bellingham (WA) implements remote monitoring, virtual consult, and patient engagement technology from Health Recovery Solutions.

MobilDrTech becomes a value-added reseller of the Concierge Telemedicine System from Telemedicine Web Services.


Other

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Evans develops a set of emergency preparedness protocols to help large physician practices, mental health centers, long-term care facilities, and residential psychiatric treatment centers comply with CMS requirements that will take effect November 15.

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Paging, er, texting Dr. Jayne: Vera Bradley will launch a line of apparel and accessories for healthcare professionals next Spring. Initial items will include uniforms, tote bags, and ID badge holders. It’s a new and presumably lucrative market for the company given that close to 20 percent of Vera Bradley’s customers work in healthcare.


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk, HIStalk Connect.

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News 4/17/17

April 17, 2017 News No Comments

Top News

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GAO releases a 72-page, MACRA-mandated report on utilization of telemedicine in Medicare programs, highlighting provider-reported factors that influence its use, and nascent payment and delivery models that could affect its future. There’s definitely room for increased adoption: The report notes that a small percentage of beneficiaries received care via telemedicine – “from less than 1 percent of beneficiaries in Medicare and DOD to 12 percent in VA.” Top barriers include inadequate payment, coverage restrictions, and lack of infrastructure. Top benefits include convenience, coverage, and its ability to alleviate physician shortages. The report is likely not the last of its kind, given the fact that government officials are still trying to determine if telemedicine services will reduce Medicare spending if used in place of in-person visits, or increase spending if used in addition to such visits.


Webinars

April 26 (Wednesday) 1:00 ET. “SSM Integrated Health Technologies Clinical Data Migration: Functional and Technical Considerations.” Sponsored by Galen Healthcare Solutions. Presenters: Sandy Winklemann, MHA, RHIA, project manager, SSM Integration Health Technologies; Tyler Mawyer, MHA, managing consultant, Galen Healthcare Solutions; Kavon Kaboli, MPH, senior consultant, Galen Healthcare Solutions. GE Centricity and Meditech to Epic EHR transition. Join us for a complimentary webinar as present the decisions that are important to consider when performing a clinical data migration from the point of view of  the healthcare organization program manager, the clinical analyst, and the technical implementation team. Our expert panel will survey data migration considerations, best practices, and lessons learned. The webinar will present a unique client perspective, offering insight into considerations surrounding staffing, clinical mapping, legacy application support, and validation and testing.

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


Telemedicine

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Providence Medical Group (OH) pilots telemedicine services from Chiron Health at its Beavercreek Commons Family Practice. The group intends to roll out the service across its 14 other practices in the near future.

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Huron Valley Physicians Association (MI) will implement telemedicine services from My EPhysicians at three of its clinics. “Our plan is to begin this all around behavioral health integration with two psychiatric offices doing collaborative care with primary care physicians,” says Alicia Majcher, quality and operations director at HVPA. Should all go well, HVPA will add virtual consult capabilities at its 15 other clinics.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Physician practice marketing firm MedLaunch Solutions opens for business in Lincoln, NE. Founder and cardiothoracic surgeon Rick Thompson, MD is no stranger to startups. He launched the app-based CCM and remote patient monitoring company Together Clinic several years ago with fellow Bryan Health physician Ryan Whitney, MD.


People

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Scott Schrader joins Access Healthcare as chief commercial officer.


Government and Politics

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Now’s your chance: Whitehouse.gov offers citizens a chance to weigh in on what agency they’d like to reform and eliminate as part of a broader effort to make the federal government more efficient and effective. Input and reform ideas are due June 12. It will be interesting to see (if it’s publicized) how many health-related departments receive votes, and what ideas for reform entail. ONC, in particular, seems to be in the crosshairs of the initiative, with a continued hiring freeze and rumors of downsizing.

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HHS reminds consumers that it never makes unsolicited phone calls after a woman in Jacksonville, FL receives one from a purported OIG fraud hotline rep asking for her name, address, and other personal information that could be used in future identity theft activities – all under the guise that she had won a $9,000 grant from the government. The caller has targeted thousands of unsuspecting people by “spoofing” the hotline number (making it appear on their caller IDs).


Sponsor Updates

  • STAT profiles GE Healthcare CEO John Flannery.
  • NVoq will exhibit at the TORCH Annual Conference & Tradeshow April 18-20 in Dallas.

Blog Posts


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk, HIStalk Connect.

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JennHIStalk

News 4/13/17

April 13, 2017 News No Comments

Top News

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Josh Chapman joins Chicago-based healthcare technology incubator Matter as COO. Chapman, who comes to the Chicago-based organization from healthcare crowdfunding website GiveForward, seems positioned to take some of the pressure off CEO Steven Collens, who has made it clear he wants to expand the incubator’s partnerships. Matter has 20 employees and 200-plus member companies.


Webinars

April 26 (Wednesday) 1:00 ET. “SSM Integrated Health Technologies Clinical Data Migration: Functional and Technical Considerations.” Sponsored by Galen Healthcare Solutions. Presenters: Sandy Winklemann, MHA, RHIA, project manager, SSM Integration Health Technologies; Tyler Mawyer, MHA, managing consultant, Galen Healthcare Solutions; Kavon Kaboli, MPH, senior consultant, Galen Healthcare Solutions. GE Centricity and Meditech to Epic EHR transition. Join us for a complimentary webinar as present the decisions that are important to consider when performing a clinical data migration from the point of view of  the healthcare organization program manager, the clinical analyst, and the technical implementation team. Our expert panel will survey data migration considerations, best practices, and lessons learned. The webinar will present a unique client perspective, offering insight into considerations surrounding staffing, clinical mapping, legacy application support, and validation and testing.

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


Telemedicine

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NuggMD begins offering its medical marijuana telemedicine services in New York, one of a handful of states that doesn’t require an in-person physical exam to establish a patient-physician relationship.

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Body & Mind Medical Weight Loss Center (CA) launches Wecounsel telepsychiatry services.

Progressive Care subsidiary PharmCo partners with MDFlow Systems to develop a virtual pharmacy consultation service for large clinics, hospitals, and long-term care facilities.


Announcements and Implementations

Crystal PM will add Solutionreach’s patient relationship management tools to its practice management offering for optometrists.

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Bizmatics will offer PrognoCIS EHR end users patient payment resolution services from Transworld Systems.

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ResCare will implement MediSked’s EHR and portal across its Residential Services operations, which care for people with developmental and intellectual disabilities. The health and human services provider will also leverage MediSked’s BI tools.


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk, HIStalk Connect.

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

JennHIStalk

HIStalk Practice Interviews ChenMed Chief Quality Officer Jessica Chen, MD and CTO Denise Hatzidakis

April 12, 2017 News 1 Comment

Jessica Chen, MD is chief quality officer and Denise Hatzidakis is CTO at ChenMed.

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Tell me about yourself and the company.

Jessica Chen: I’m chief quality officer for the ChenMed family of companies. I’m an internal medicine physician with a strong background in quality. I cover all of our quality metrics, as well as our onsite medication protocols and systems. I work very closely with our IT team to ensure that our technology always has a physician focus, and we try to make it as efficient and effective as possible for enhancing the clinical encounter.

We call ChenMed a family of companies because we have a few different seats under it. Altogether, we have 39 medical centers across six states. We call it nine different markets because within those states we have different locations or different cities that we cover. Our centers are focused on seniors primarily in under-served areas, and we focus on Medicare Advantage, where we feel we can have the best impact on the full spectrum of care. We’re a totally capitated, at-risk practice, which means you really cover end-to-end care – from inpatient to outpatient, we’re responsible for it all. It allows us, as a clinical organization of physicians, to really take ownership of a patient’s total care. Our goal is to align our patient’s outcome with our outcomes.

Denise Hatzidakis: I’m the CTO for ChenMed. My role is building. I’m responsible for all the technology systems that support our physicians and our care model in other parts of the organization to make the practices work. I have a software development team of 50. I grew up as a "Will Code for Food" computer geek and have grown into really loving, and enjoying maturing and building IT systems. ChenMed gives me the opportunity to do that in a space that really makes a difference.

Jessica, you’ve been with ChenMed since 2009. How have you seen ChenMed’s use of technology evolve alongside the evolution of federal programs like Meaningful Use?

JC: We actually moved to an EHR in the early 2000s. It was non-certified at the time; there wasn’t really such a thing as certification. We had been an early adopter of technology all along. It was a hybrid system that was still somewhat paper-based, somewhat digital. When Meaningful Use came out, we did look at other technology systems. We looked at all the incentives and, obviously, the penalties, but we also had to balance that with our clinical model and what we felt was needed from a patient care standpoint. When we looked at the standards and we looked at the measures … because we’re very focused on seniors, not all of them necessarily applied to our population. There were not any IT systems at the time that were built for value-based care. We had to make a decision: Do we care more about checking the box of Meaningful Use or do we care more about our technology working in a value-based care system?

We made the decision to build something because there was nothing out there that was built for value-based care. We actually did initially look at going for certification, but realized it actually didn’t make sense for us. The majority of the Meaningful Use incentives really targeted fee-for-service medicine. We have very little fee for service. We’re really focused on Medicare Advantage, and so the incentives just didn’t work the same in that population. When we make decisions around what’s prioritized in our development and what we should put in for our own technology, we  do it based on what’s going to improve outcome. What’s going to improve our physician’s efficiency? What’s really needed in our practice?

How did implementation and adoption go with that home-grown technology?

JC: It’s been a little bit piece by piece. What we developed five years ago is very different than what we have today. It’s pretty much been designed by physicians. Denise’s team built it. We take in a lot of feedback from our physicians on the ground, from all the markets. We get a lot of requests and then we kind of conglomerate all of that and ask ourselves, what’s really going to be the highest priority for them and what’s going to impact the business the most? What will improve clinical care, decrease hospitalizations? What’s going to help us do all of this best – that’s what we put in there.

Because we’re typically targeting things that the physicians have asked for, our adoption has been pretty good. We’ve had physicians come out of other systems and it takes them a little bit of time to get used to it, but then the say, "Oh, this is so much easier to write a note than clicking 800 times." The template doesn’t have all the bells and whistles that some of the certified EHRs have, but it really targets our model and so I think that’s really helped adoption.

DH: We use a user-centered design approach to design our software, so it really is technology for physicians designed by physicians. We sit side by side with all of our care providers to understand how they do their job. We have tools that surround our EHR and the data in it that are specifically targeted for those different roles, so the design is specifically for the PCP, or the medical assistant, or someone interacting with our system outside the clinical setting. It’s designed by the users, so to Jessica’s point, it makes the adoption occur much more quickly.

Since adoption has gone so well, have you noticed your end-users becoming more sophisticated in their expectations of what the technology can do? Have you set too high a bar for yourselves?

DH: That’s kind of normal in software development, right? Once you get the "must haves" out of the way – once your end users realize you have the capability to do bigger and better things – then yeah, the requirements keep coming. That said, I defer to Jessica as to hitting the mark with respect to the functionality they have now and the balance between that and what they’d still like. From the IT perspective, we work very, very closely with our end users. We meet with them weekly, and there’s always someone who asks, "Oh, if you could do this, could you do this too?" That’s very normal when you have user-engaged software development.

JC: Our physicians really do feel accountable for their panel, and so they’re constantly saying, "Hey, if you could do this that or the other for me, it would make me more efficient or more effective, or I could prevent hospitalizations if I could have this information." We have non-conventional things in our EHR. For example, our physicians have requested to know how many of their patients are in the hospital at any given time. There’s no system out there that does that, and most systems are not interoperable with hospitals. In most care settings, you have no idea what is happening with your patient outside of your center. And so we’ve had to build our own technology to be able to capture that data. We know when they’re in the hospital. We follow them closely while they’re there. We know when they’re getting discharged. We can go see them in the home. We want to get them back into our center. We know if they’re in assist.

We try to really coordinate that care and the doctors want to see all that. They tell me, "If you want me to be responsible for improving our hospitalization rate, then I need more information." We’ve created a lot of technology around that, but then again, there’s constantly new ideas coming in. Expectations, I think, are always increasing, but we definitely see that as an opportunity to build really neat and innovative tools.

How have you seen this technology affect outcomes?

JC: We’ve definitely seen a clear drop in both ER visits and admits, and hospital sick days because we’re getting the patients in to see us, and we’re trying to do more on the preventive side. A lot of that, I think, is driven by just knowing what’s going on with the patient and being able to identify where they are – to help get them into the right level of care and provide more access to them.

As you’ve been developing this technology over the last several years, have you looked to any other providers or vendors for inspiration or advice?

DH: I think we’re always looking at the state of the art in the industry and trying to understand what makes sense for our care model. What is applicable, and is it something that we should build in because it does provide better outcomes? We spent a good bit of time at HIMSS looking at what people are doing in value-based care. What does is it mean? It means a lot of different things to a lot of different people.

What’s next for ChenMed when it comes to building or buying technology? What’s on your wish list?

JC: We’re always going to be innovating and creating things internally, for sure. That’s never going to stop. I think one of the things we’re trying to tackle, just like everybody else, is interoperability and trying to get more data from more sources. Our experience has been, the more information we have, the better. We’ve been trying to get real-time ER notifications. If our patient hits the ER, we want to know about it and we want to make sure we follow up. That’s actually been one of the hardest to get for a number of reasons. We are already getting more real-time hospital notifications, but it varies somewhat based on the hospital.

I think our biggest ask would be better interoperability and having the full spectrum of care – from hospitals to nursing homes, rehab centers, and outpatient – be better coordinated and more transparent. At this point, that’s actually why we’ve built some of the technology that we have. Better connectivity would improve our efficiency. That’s probably top on our wish list.

DH: If we’re really truly as an industry going to do value-based care, we’ve got to have the ability to exchange that information in a secure and standard way. That capability really just does not exist in this industry vertical. There’s work coming out with the FHIR standard. We’re adopting the standards as they come out in the hopes that the industry will continue to move forward. Unfortunately, the industry moves fairly slowly, and so we’re having to develop a lot of workarounds. Getting data from providers and payers in a consistent  and expected way is quite a challenge. As far as the portfolio maturing itself, we will continue to build purpose-based tools around our EHR to facilitate the care protocols and the care model that we have, because they don’t exist in the industry.


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk, HIStalk Connect.

Get HIStalk Practice updates.
Contact us online.
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News 4/12/17

April 12, 2017 News No Comments

Top News

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Quality Systems subsidiary NextGen Healthcare will acquire mobile physician documentation and communication technology vendor Entrada in a deal worth $34 million. NextGen President and CEO Rusty Frantz says the company will focus on expanding Entrada’s capabilities. The two companies last made headlines together in 2012, when NextGen added Entrada software to its ambulatory EHR and PM systems.


Webinars

April 26 (Wednesday) 1:00 ET. “SSM Integrated Health Technologies Clinical Data Migration: Functional and Technical Considerations.” Sponsored by Galen Healthcare Solutions. Presenters: Sandy Winklemann, MHA, RHIA, project manager, SSM Integration Health Technologies; Tyler Mawyer, MHA, managing consultant, Galen Healthcare Solutions; Kavon Kaboli, MPH, senior consultant, Galen Healthcare Solutions. GE Centricity and Meditech to Epic EHR transition. Join us for a complimentary webinar as present the decisions that are important to consider when performing a clinical data migration from the point of view of  the healthcare organization program manager, the clinical analyst, and the technical implementation team. Our expert panel will survey data migration considerations, best practices, and lessons learned. The webinar will present a unique client perspective, offering insight into considerations surrounding staffing, clinical mapping, legacy application support, and validation and testing.

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


Announcements and Implementations

Care 24/7 will integrate educational video content from The Wellness Network into its care plans for Medicare patients, particularly those with chronic conditions.

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Evoq develops a smartphone app to help physicians collect and share EHR data from multiple sources. The Blynq app can also act as a PHR for patients.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Boston-based Redstar Ventures co-founders Jeet Singh and Joe Chung develop Kinto, an app designed to help caregivers, particularly those that care for seniors, check in with their family members, collaborate with care teams, and manage medications. Singh and Chung are serial entrepreneurs, having founded a number of companies including an e-commerce company that was eventually sold to Oracle. Kinto seems to be their first foray into healthcare.

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Spartanburg, SC-based Care.IT (pronounced “carrot”) takes over a former CareWorks clinic in a Weis Markets store in Schnecksville, PA. Care.IT, which seems to have made a small name for itself as a telemedicine company, will offer in-person and virtual care via a team led by former LeHigh Valley Health NP Fran Fasching. 

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Care coordination and PHR software company CareSync goes after Florida-based Orthopedic Injury Management for back payments of $53,000. The practice isn’t the only one that owes money to the Tampa, FL-based company. It filed similar money-collection proceedings against eight other customers in late March – a fact that makes me wonder how often other health IT companies that cater to struggling physician practices deal with this problem.


Government and Politics

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OCR fines Denver-based Metro Community Provider Network $400,000 for potential noncompliance with HIPAA due to a lack of protocol around the safeguarding of electronic PHI. The FQHC will also have to put a corrective action plan into place. The fine stems from an early 2012 data breach reported by MCPN to OCR, after which it failed to conduct a timely risk analysis as required.


Telemedicine

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Rotary Senior Living (IA) offers residents virtual consults through Avera eCare’s long-term care program.

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New York-based startup Virtual Health Partners raises an undisclosed amount of Series A funding, which it will no doubt use to further develop its white-label virtual nutrition and wellness software.


Other

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Samuel Williams, MD makes the local news when he lets it be known that he hopes to offer “$1 a minute” office visits once his Williams Geriatric Medicine and Medical Services practice opens in Albany, GA. He is also weighing his telemedicine options – a wise move given that he hasn’t yet acquired office space. Williams seems genuine in his intent to offer affordable care to an elderly population of patients living in a rural area with limited incomes and access to physicians. “I know how expensive medical bills can be,” he says. “I’m just trying to get started. The one thing that everyone can agree on is that everyone needs healthcare. My goal is to provide the best primary care possible.”


Sponsor Updates

  • AdvancedMD expands its professional services team.
  • The local paper profiles Hartford Healthcare’s (CT) plans to build a predictive analytics “command center” powered by GE Healthcare.

Blog Posts


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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