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5 Questions with Dermatologist Stacia Poole, MD

Dermatologist Stacia Poole, MD employs four at her independent practice in Melbourne, FL. She attested for Stage 2 of Meaningful Use last year as a DrChrono end user.

How is your practice using health IT to improve care? How has its use evolved over the last several years?
Health IT applications are useful in our medical practice to track metrics and historical patient information, as well as for maintaining medication lists, sending electronic prescriptions, and enabling secure electronic communications with patients. Our EHR vendor is continuously refining and improving the features of its program to facilitate practice efficiency.

How have your patients embraced the use of technology as part of their care? Do they ask about apps, portals, etc.?
Unfortunately, in my geographic location and with my older patient demographics, there is a steep learning curve with regard to use of the portal and other patient-accessible features of the EHR. A limited number of patients take advantage of the patient portal, and those who do seem to find it convenient and easy to use. However, we do spend time with our patients walking them through the check-in process and helping them input their information or transferring their information for them into the EHR. I find that I do not use it as fully as I could, because of the limited number of patients who show an interest in utilizing that method of communication. I’m sure our experiences in a small town in Florida may differ greatly from those in a technologically more savvy part of the country or in a practice with younger demographics.

What are your thoughts on the role of telemedicine in dermatology practices?
Telemedicine is an emerging utility in my field. I believe its use in my area is still rather limited. I do believe that this will become a popular option for care in some capacity in the near future, but I foresee some difficulties in carrying out fully electronic consultations. Some features that are clinically useful to aid in diagnosis of skin conditions cannot be fully appreciated via electronic media – for instance, texture and subtle variations in color and thickness of lesions. This could result in less accurate diagnoses or potential delays in appropriate treatment. I have not yet taken the initiative to incorporate this technology into my practice but would consider doing so in the next one to two years.

How do you anticipate this administration’s policies will impact your practice’s ability to provide care?
It’s very difficult to predict the changes that we are likely to see in healthcare delivery and healthcare policy, but certainly the primary role of government and private insurers to determine what constitutes good quality care is troubling. The concept of “pay for performance” is an extremely difficult standard to define, let alone to implement. The numerous performance metrics outlined, many rather arbitrary, demand tremendous time on the part of the physician and the staff, and detracts from resources that should be directed toward face-to-face patient care and interaction. This is a very frustrating, as assuredly the time and effort required to complete these functions does not translate to an equivalent value to the patient in terms of increased quality of care.

Somewhere along the line there has been a decision that more information is better, but certainly it is not helpful to see page after page of non-critical data reflected in a medical record. A concise, to-the-point account of a patient’s symptoms, findings, diagnosis, and treatment plan needs to be displayed in the medical record, and it should be the physician, not the insurance company or an administrator, who decides what information needs to be collected in order to formulate this plan. Medicare requirements, protocols, and audits are actually more difficult to navigate than the ACA at present time, and unfortunately, this is not a focus for legislative change.

What health IT innovation has you excited? What’s on your health IT with list?
I would be excited to see more practical ways of digitizing, cataloguing, and tracking photos of patient lesions. I would also be very enthusiastic about the ability to have more control over customization of EHR format and features to suit the needs of individual providers and specialties.


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Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

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News 6/14/17

June 14, 2017 News No Comments

Top News

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Spry Health raises $5.5 million in a Series A round led by Grove Ventures. The Silicon Valley-based startup will use the financing to commercialize its Loop disease-management technology, which includes a wrist-worn vital signs monitor and analytics software to help providers better manage the care of patients with chronic conditions. Spry Health has grown from its two co-founders to 15 employees since launching in 2014. It is in the process of seeking FDA clearance for Loop.


Webinars

June 22 (Thursday) 1:00 ET. “Social Determinants of Health.” Sponsored by Philips Wellcentive. Presenter: David Nash, MD, MBA, dean, Jefferson College of Population Health. One of the nation’s foremost experts on social determinants of health will explain the importance of these factors and how to make the best use of them.

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

The Greenlawn, NY-based Compliancy Group adds a risk assessment feature to its HIPAA compliance software.

New York-based Healthix – the country’s largest public HIE – works with EHR vendor Accumedic Computer Systems to develop an integration model that will allow Accumedic’s behavioral healthcare end users to exchange data with the HIE.

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The Medical Society of the State of New York will offer its members complimentary access to DrFirst’s e-prescribing and medication management app.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Genuine Health Group will acquire the Florida-based PremierMD Accountable Care Organization for an undisclosed sum. The ACO’s 70 physicians will serve as GHG’s launching pad into the business of helping physicians transition to value-based payment models. It plans to convert PremierMD to an Advanced Payment Model, and to recruit up to 1,000 MDs in the near future. Founder and CEO Joe Caruncho comes from HMO Preferred Care Partners.

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Pediatrician Rahul Parikh, MD offers his take on the promise an Uber-like business model might hold for healthcare, especially when it comes to providing care via on-demand, app-based methods like telemedicine:

“When Uber raises its prices (surge pricing, for example),” he contends, “customers may not like it, but they still use the service. In healthcare, on-demand services risk running into people’s lack of willingness to pay more in an area where many are already paying bigger chunks of their income for insurance premiums and copays for doctor visits.” He adds that, “By making it easy to see a doctor, you take away what in the long run still matters – seeing your own doctor. To that end, it would be better if those of us in the brick-and-mortar health care industry took a look at the tools being built in Silicon Valley and lowered the barrier for doctors to adopt with their own patients.”


People

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Pediatrician Sharief Taraman, MD (Children’s Hospital of Orange County) joins childhood development screening software company Cognoa as VP of medical and clinical.

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The New York Academy of Medicine names Judith Salerno, MD (Susan G. Komen) president. The academy’s connection to health IT stems from its role as an evaluator of the CMS State Innovation Model, a four-year program that hopes to help New York PCPs deliver care in a more coordinated manner.


Sponsor Updates

  • EClinicalWorks will exhibit at The Private Healthcare Summit 2017 June 20 in London.

Blog Posts


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk, HIStalk Connect.

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News 6/13/17

June 13, 2017 News No Comments

Top News

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The American Medical Association names Barbara McAneny, MD president-elect at its annual meeting in Chicago. She is the co-founder and CEO of New Mexico Oncology Hematology Consultants, and founder and manager of the New Mexico Cancer Center. She also helped to create the Come Home program, which uses health IT like NantHealth’s clinical operating system to improve outcomes and reduce costs as part of a community oncology medical home model. ‎

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Missouri native David Barbe, MD will be sworn in as president tonight. Barbe spent 15 years in independent family medicine practice before merging with local Mercy Clinic, where he now serves as VP of regional operations. He plans to focus on “advancing the AMA’s strategy to improve health outcomes for Americans living with pre-diabetes and hypertension, accelerate change in medical education and prepare students for today’s health care system, and enhance physician satisfaction and practice sustainability.”


Webinars

June 22 (Thursday) 1:00 ET. “Social Determinants of Health.” Sponsored by Philips Wellcentive. Presenter: David Nash, MD, MBA, dean, Jefferson College of Population Health. One of the nation’s foremost experts on social determinants of health will explain the importance of these factors and how to make the best use of them.

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

Physician’s Computer Company adds FDB’s MedsTracker e-prescribing tool to its EHR for pediatricians.

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Florida Cancer Specialists and Tennessee Oncology select Flatiron Health’s OncoEMR and related technologies and support to assist them with their Oncology Care Model program efforts.

The Arizona Board of Pharmacy selects Appriss Health’s PMP Gateway software to help providers and pharmacists integrate controlled substance prescription data into EHRs and pharmacy management systems.


Telemedicine

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Brooklyn, NY-based Digital Noema Telehealth adds e-prescribing software from EazyScripts to its virtual consult platform for providers and pharmacists.

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University Health Alliance Health Insurance will offer DocNow’s virtual consult service to its 56,000 members in Hawaii.

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The National Quality Forum seeks feedback on a report outlining proposed measurement development for telehealth. The 53-page document focuses on existing and potential metrics, ways to prioritize those metrics, and guidance for future measurement. Comments are due June 30.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Medical billing company Encoda acquires the specialty-specific RCM services division of Tampa, FL-based MedCo Data for an undisclosed sum. As a result, Encoda will move its headquarters to Tampa and take on MedCo Data CEO Dan Rodgers as president. Its software development office in Blue Bell, PA and RCM services office in Carrollton, GA will remain in operation.


Research and Innovation

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InstaMed’s annual report on healthcare payment trends finds that physicians are concerned about the increasing responsibility/burden patients bear when it comes time for payment. Nearly 75 percent of those surveyed report that it takes over a month to collect balances. Exacerbating this statistic is the fact that only a third of patients claim to understand their responsibility when a co-pay or deductible is part of the payment mix, and that 74 percent of patients are confused by EOBs from payers and bills from providers.

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A year-long study of 450 diabetic patients at 15 primary care clinics in North Carolina finds that at-home monitoring of blood glucose levels, even with tailored messaging sent via a Telcare meter, did not result in better outcomes. Such monitoring, the authors suggest, should be at the discretion of physicians and patients, who “should engage in dialogue regarding self-monitoring of blood glucose with the current evidence suggesting that SMBG should not be routine for most patients with non–insulin-treated type 2 diabetes mellitus.”


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Former AMA President Steven Stack, MD sends out the first tweet I’ve been able to find mentioning health IT during the association’s annual meeting. I suppose other, more pressing regulatory matters are on the minds of our nation’s physicians.

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I take that back. Health IT (and its role in personal health and wellness) is on the minds of some.


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk, HIStalk Connect.

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JennHIStalk

News 6/12/17

June 12, 2017 News No Comments

Top News

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OIG auditors estimate that CMS doled out nearly $729 million in improper Meaningful Use incentive payments between 2011 and 2014. Auditors looked at 100 payments and found that 14 were made for incorrect reporting periods, or were based on verification documentation that was incomplete. They also take EPs to task for insufficient attestation documentation. Auditors also found that CMS inappropriately paid out $2.3 million to providers who switched between Medicare and Medicaid incentive programs during that timeframe. MU payments totaling $6 billion have been made thus far. OIG recommends that CMS recoup the incorrect payments and undertake a more thorough review of all payments made.


Webinars

June 22 (Thursday) 1:00 ET. “Social Determinants of Health.” Sponsored by Philips Wellcentive. Presenter: David Nash, MD, MBA, dean, Jefferson College of Population Health. One of the nation’s foremost experts on social determinants of health will explain the importance of these factors and how to make the best use of them.

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.


Telemedicine

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Danvers, MA-based HealthPoint Plus acquires the subscription-based telemedicine assets of Commons Health for an undisclosed sum.


People

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GE promotes GE Healthcare Life Sciences CEO Kieran Murphy to president and CEO of GE Healthcare. Murphy takes over from John Flannery, who has been named CEO and chairman elect of GE. Murphy will take over ongoing efforts to strengthen GE Healthcare’s technology with the relocation of hundreds of tech workers to its office in Boston, as well as a planned $500 million software spend over the next several years.

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AMGA promotes Ryan O’Connor to interim president and CEO. He succeeds Donald Fisher, who passed away in March.


Announcements and Implementations

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Community Health and Wellness Center of Greater Torrington (CT) enlists the help of chronic care management consulting company Stone Health Innovations to launch its Medicare CCM program.

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Fledgling insurance company Oscar Health uses claims data to develop a clinical dashboard that pulls together the health histories, medical encounters, lab results, prescription summaries, hospital visitations, and allergies of its members into an easy-to-understand profile for providers.


Research and Innovation

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A small study in the Annals of Family Medicine highlights the progress telemedicine is making in the realm of primary care. Of the 19 patients interviewed, all were satisfied with their video visits, and the majority were amenable to using the virtual visits in lieu of in-person consultations. Some reported that they’d prefer receiving any future serious diagnoses via telemedicine because it would allow them to receive the news in the comfort of their own home – an apt observation given that patients find it hard to retain follow-up details after receiving such news in the unfamiliar and sterile environs of a doctor’s office. Patients listed decreased cost and convenience as the main benefits of their telemedicine visits. They also raised concerns about privacy, especially if visits are conducted while at work, and adequacy of physical exams.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Axios.com reports that the FBI is investigating Portland-based ZoomCare in the midst of employee layoffs and voluntary exits. It seems the company, which offers primary care and, until recently, insurance plans, falsified medical claims to avoid paying into the ACA’s risk adjustment pool. CMS also appears to be looking into the matter. The federal investigation comes nearly two months after Oregon insurance regulators found the company’s insurance arm to be financially unstable, causing it to close up shop.


Other

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The Ohio State Medical Association will offer Stratus Video’s remote interpretation service to its members to help them care for patients with limited English proficiency.


Sponsor Updates

  • Gartner names AdvancedMD a leader in its FrontRunners for Mental Health Quadrant.
  • Frost & Sullivan recognizes Medicomp Systems with the 2017 Enabling Technology Leadership Award.
  • YourStory.com profiles GE Healthcare’s efforts to bring healthcare accessibility and skills to rural areas in India.

Blog Posts


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk, HIStalk Connect.

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

JennHIStalk

News 6/8/17

June 8, 2017 News 1 Comment

Top News

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Athenahealth acquires Palo Alto, CA-based EHR optimization vendor Praxify Technologies for $63 million. Athenahealth will use the company’s underlying natural-language processing and machine intelligence technology, thus far supported by a development team based in India, to bolster its cloud-based EHR and PM software.


Webinars

June 22 (Thursday) 1:00 ET. “Social Determinants of Health.” Sponsored by Philips Wellcentive. Presenter: David Nash, MD, MBA, dean, Jefferson College of Population Health. One of the nation’s foremost experts on social determinants of health will explain the importance of these factors and how to make the best use of them.

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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Ezras Choilim Health Center, an FQHC based on Westborough, MA, will roll out EHR, population health, and behavioral health-focused population care planning tools from EClinicalWorks to its 36 providers.

The Compliancy Group will package IMatrix’s website marketing services alongside its HIPAA-compliance service for eye care providers.


Government and Politics

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Vermont Governor Phil Scott passes legislation that requires payers to reimburse providers for telemedicine visits at rates comparable to in-person appointments.

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Connecticut lawmakers sign into law a bill that mandates e-prescribing and calls for expanded data sharing between state agencies on opioid abuse and overdose deaths.


People

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Ann Schnure (Consumer Health Connections) joins occupational health and urgent care provider Concentra as VP of the telemedicine business it launched in March.


Research and Innovation

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STAT takes a look at the financial and clinical impact the “free” annual Medicare wellness visit has had since it launched in 2011. Just 8 percent of eligible beneficiaries took advantage of the visit in 2011; that number crept up to 14 percent in 2014. The authors note that patients were more likely to take advantage if their practice was part of an ACO, and if they had one the year before. Many patients found that “free” wasn’t free when they received bills for services rendered during the well visit that were eligible for billing. JAMA author and PCP Ishani Ganguli, MD believes that,

“… the reality of the visit can fall short of its intentions. The results in our JAMA paper tell us that the individuals getting the visits are more often those who are already well-connected to the healthcare system rather than the historically underserved, including certain minorities and Medicaid-eligible patients, who may be more likely to benefit from them. As we come up with more sophisticated ways to track aspects of patients’ preventive care needs, an in-person visit dedicated to this purpose starts to feel obsolete.”


Other

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Beginning July 1, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia will no longer cover ER visits it deems unnecessary, entering a very gray area that some critics say will lead to patients suffering from questionable symptoms to avoid the ER and resulting bills. “I have four children,” says Medical Association of Georgia President Michael Palmisano, “and if there’s an injury and it’s hard to determine the pain they’re experiencing, it’s hard to determine whether to go to the emergency room or not. It [creates] that added stress because you’re dealing with a loved one and you’re putting parents in a very difficult situation.” BCBSGA is pushing patients with non-life-threatening symptoms to instead head to the nearest urgent care or retail clinic, or to use its LiveHealth telemedicine app.

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I’ll stick to Twitter: Hackers thought to be part of the Turla cyber espionage group use the Instagram account of Britney Spears to hide test malware code.


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Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk, HIStalk Connect.

Get HIStalk Practice updates.
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Become a sponsor.

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