Recent Articles:

News 1/30/16

January 30, 2017 News No Comments

Top News

image

Former HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell encourages folks to sign up for healthcare coverage by tomorrow’s deadline. While her tone isn’t quite as funny as those taken by the #PullThisAd contingent, her tweet does dovetail with the surge in grassroots advertising for Healthcare.gov seen in the wake of President Trump’s decision to pull $5 million in weekend ads for the exchange.

image

Several former Obama staffers have even started a GoFundMe campaign to bring back digital advertising that was cancelled – a move seen by former Healthcare.gov CEO Kevin Counihan as “outrageous” given the last-minute nature of much of humanity. “We know that more young people enroll during the final days of open enrollment,” he explains, “but they need to be reminded of the Jan. 31 deadline.”


HIStalk Practice Announcements and Requests

image

Invites for HIStalkapalooza went out today. Please do us both a favor and click the “Attend Event” button in your invitation, and then follow the steps to register for your ticket. As Mr. H mentioned in today’s Monday Morning Update, if you don’t click the link and register, our check-in system won’t recognize you and you’ll be denied entry. We’d both be disappointed. You wouldn’t have the chance to dance the night away, and I would miss out on an opportunity to thank you for reading.


Webinars

February 1 (Wednesday) 1:00 ET. “Get your data ready for MACRA: Leveraging technology to achieve PHM goals.” Sponsored by Medicity. Presenters: Brian Ahier, director of standards and government affairs, Medicity; Eric Crawford, project manager, Medicity; Adam Bell, RN, senior clinical consultant, Medicity. Earning performance incentives under MACRA/MIPS requires a rich, complete data asset. Use the 2017 transition year to identify technology tools that can address gaps in care, transform data into actionable information, and support population health goals and prepare your organization for 2018 reporting requirements.

Here’s the recording of last Wednesday’s webinar, “Jump Start Your Care Coordination Program: 6 Strategies for Delivering Efficient, Effective Care.”


Announcements and Implementations

image

Cleveland-based Chronic Care Management adds support for clinical quality measures programs to its CCM offering, which includes care planning and coordination, medication management, and patient assessments.

Surgoinsville Pharmacy (TN) goes live with UpDox’s Pharmacy Connect care coordination technology, giving it the ability to securely share patient records with local physicians via their EHRs.

image

Family Choice Urgent Care (OR) selects Practice Velocity’s VelociDoc EHR software and services, including billing and online scheduling. The Machesney Park, IL-based company’s EHR received top category-leader rankings from KLAS in its most recent software and services report.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

image

San Francisco-based Fitbit lays off 110 employees – 6 percent of its global workforce – in an attempt to stay on track after a disappointing fourth quarter that included poor holiday sales. The company, which acquired competitor Pebble in December, estimates earnings of between $572 million to $580 million – a far cry from its projected $750 million.


People

image

Chip Porter (Virtual Radiologic) joins Medical Billing Experts as CEO.

image

OptimizeRx names Jim Lang (Water Street Healthcare Partners) to its Board of Directors.

image

Cureatr board member William Winkenwerder Jr., MD (Highmark), becomes interim CEO following founder Joseph Mayer, MD’s decision to transition out of the role to become vice chairman of the board. Winkenwerder, who has been on the board since 2015, plans to expand the real-time patient alert company’s current provider partnerships, and expand into long-term and post-acute care.

Angela Mattioda (Abeo) joins Surgical Notes as VP of the company’s new RCM services.


Telemedicine

image

The American Telemedicine Association releases practice guidelines for mental health, pediatrics, and stroke. Public comments are due February 17.


Research and Innovation

image

An observational study published in JAMA Ophthalmology finds that patients are more likely to report their symptoms on an Eye Symptom Questionnaire than they are via EHR, prompting researchers to question whether patient data in the EHR is comprehensive enough for use in clinical research. They point out that the difference in symptom reporting may be due to errors of omission on the part of the physician, including forgetting or choosing not to report a symptom. As a patient, I also wonder if the encounter itself was part of the problem. Did the patient feel rushed, and thus forgot to bring up what they considered to be minor concerns? Was the physician in a hurry? Did they wind up documenting after hours, and thus forgot a few details? I can imagine any of the above ringing true given the frantic pace some practices are trying to keep in order to keep the doors open.


Sponsor Updates

  • EClinicalWorks will exhibit at Arab Health 2017 January 30-February 2 in Dubai.
  • Nordic will host a meetup in Chicago February 3.

Blog Posts


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk, HIStalk Connect.

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

JennHIStalk

News 1/26/17

January 26, 2017 News No Comments

Top News

image

Former HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell will take over as CEO of American University in Washington, DC on June 1. She will become the first woman in the school’s history to hold the position. It seems to be her first foray into the professional world of academia. Aside from her government gigs (including stints during the Clinton administration), Burwell has also lent her expertise to the Walmart Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. For context, her predecessor at HHS, Kathleen Sebelius, went on to form her own consulting and leadership development firm.


Webinars

February 1 (Wednesday) 1:00 ET. “Get your data ready for MACRA: Leveraging technology to achieve PHM goals.” Sponsored by Medicity. Presenters: Brian Ahier, director of standards and government affairs, Medicity; Eric Crawford, project manager, Medicity; Adam Bell, RN, senior clinical consultant, Medicity. Earning performance incentives under MACRA/MIPS requires a rich, complete data asset. Use the 2017 transition year to identify technology tools that can address gaps in care, transform data into actionable information, and support population health goals and prepare your organization for 2018 reporting requirements.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

image

Less than two weeks after dissolving its Coordinated Care Oklahoma HIE, Yeaman and Associates taps its relationship with Nuance to create the Coordinated Care Health Network – a subscription-based, radiology image-sharing service for HIEs that relies on the Nuance PowerShare Network. Yeaman and Associates CEO Brian Yeaman, MD has hinted that an accompanying patient-matching service is also in the works.

image

Atlanta-based healthcare software and app development company Pointclear Solutions will relocate and expand its Nashville office this spring. The company, which currently employs 20 Music City staffers, plans to hire an additional 30 over the next two years. The new office space will become Pointclear’s primary development hub.


Announcements and Implementations

image

Universal Research Solutions develops a MIPS-specific qualified clinical data registry and real-time performance scores dashboard to help reduce the administrative reporting burdens already associated with the new program.

image

HealtHIE Georgia, an HIE serving rural providers in southern part of the state, connects to the statewide Georgia Health Information Network. Phase one of the project has already connected two hospitals and 20 clinics to GaHIN. A second phase will add six hospitals and a yet-to-be-determined number of clinics.

image

The McKesson Specialty Health-supported US Oncology Network adds 50 Vantage Oncology practices and their 350 affiliated physicians as part of an acquisition announced nearly a year ago. McKesson acquired the oncology-focused practice management company plus Biologics, an oncology pharmacy services company for a combined $1.2 billion.


People

image

Christie Lawrence (KPN Health) joins consulting firm ARDX as VP of commercial services.


Research and Innovation

image

McKesson’s IKnowMed EHR for oncologists comes out on top in a six-month Black Book survey of 733 physician practices. The software came McKesson’s way through its acquisition of US Oncology (now US Oncology Network) for $2.16 billion in 2010.

image

A New England Journal of Medicine survey of 426 PCPs finds just 15 percent are in favor of totally repealing the ACA. Of those that voted for President Trump, only 38 percent would like to see the ACA repealed in its entirety. An overwhelming majority are in favor of keeping the provisions related to pre-existing conditions, allowing young adults to remain on parental policies, and tax subsidies to consumers. Nearly half are in favor of penalizing those that don’t sign up for insurance. Nearly 74 percent are in favor of making changes to the law, though there doesn’t seem to be a general consensus on what those changes should be. Many of those surveyed responded most favorably to proposals that would increase consumer choice of health plans and greater use of health savings accounts.


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk, HIStalk Connect.

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

JennHIStalk

Readers Write: The Need for Pediatric-Specific Functionality in EHRs

January 26, 2017 News No Comments

The Need for Pediatric-Specific Functionality in EHRs
By Sue Kressly, MD

image

Pediatricians repeat this message often: Children are not just little adults. This sentiment rings true in both how we practice medicine and in what we need from our EHR technology. Despite our unique challenges in treating children and adolescents, according to a recent AHRQ Technical Brief, only 8 percent of pediatricians are using a fully functional EHR with pediatric functionality.

As healthcare providers have transitioned from paper to electronic records, we will soon see the first generation of patients who have never had a paper record. For these patients, their entire lifespan will be captured in electronic format. However, if pediatricians are using an adult-based model to capture, support, and record the information of young patients, how can they possibly trust its accuracy? Quite frankly, it’s akin to building a skyscraper knowing the first 21 floors were built with faulty materials.

While much work went into developing the Model Children’s EHR format, the majority of physicians who care for children are still waiting for basic functionality that keeps children safe and supports pediatric evidence-based guidelines. Accurate and useable pediatric growth charts, alerts for abnormal pediatric vital signs according to normative values (120/80 is not a normal blood pressure for a three year-old), and accurate and useable weight-based medication prescribing and liquid dose calculations should be ubiquitous by now – but they aren’t. Unfortunately, pediatricians are still pulling out their smartphones to calculate medication doses.

Incorporating recall systems for annual preventive care is easy and available. However, children are seen, at varying intervals, 12 times in the first three years of life, according to the Bright Futures periodicity schedule. This is the foundation of pediatric medical care, yet very few EHRs provide the ability to recall patients for caring, according to this well-established guideline. Further, recording details of an examination is fraught with its own difficulties. Many adult-based EHRs are delivered with templates including a neurologic exam that reports “alert and oriented x 3.” This is completely inappropriate for an infant, and there is often no easy way to document the subtleties of the physical exam for children, because of their dynamic nature change over time. For example, documentation about an anterior fontanelle and infant hip exam are of crucial importance in the first year of life, as is scoliosis screening and Tanner staging during adolescence. However, these templates for documentation are not available in one-size-fits-all EHRs.

Support for vaccine inventory and clinical decision support surrounding immunization forecasting are integral to pediatric care. Yet, most EHRs do not support and update immunization information in a meaningful way. In addition, adolescent privacy presents its own challenges. What demographic is more poised to want to interact with their physician via electronic technology than teens and young adults? However, most portal technology lacks the ability to tackle the unique challenges of communication with both parents/guardians and teens on sensitive matters, such as such as communicating directly with a teen about her chlamydia screening test or a parent about the results of a parental ADHD survey.

Pediatricians want robust health IT for both their patients and their practices. It’s time for the industry to step up and deliver what the future of our community deserves as pointed out by the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Blueprint for Children – Pediatric functionality to support and promote the health of children and the pediatricians who care for them.

Sue Kressly, MD is owner and a practicing pediatrician at Kressly Pediatrics in Warrington, PA. She is also medical director of Office Practicum.


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk, HIStalk Connect.

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

JennHIStalk

News 1/25/17

January 25, 2017 News No Comments

Top News

image

image

Nearly 120 healthcare stakeholders including health systems, trade associations, healthcare IT vendors, life sciences companies, and even trade unions submit a letter to President Trump and Vice President Pence emphasizing the need to move to value-based payment models that put patients at the center of their care. They offer up 10 principles – none of which overtly reference technology – to keep the momentum going in the industry’s glacial shift away from fee-for-service. Several of the letter’s authoring groups further addressed their concerns during a policy briefing in Washington, DC.


Webinars

January 26 (Thursday) 1:00 ET. “Jump Start Your Care Coordination Program: 6 Strategies for Delivering Efficient, Effective Care.” Sponsored by Healthwise. Presenters: Jim Rogers, RN, RPSGT, director of healthcare solutions, Persistent Systems; Jason Burum, chief client officer, Healthwise. This webinar will explain how to implement a patient-centered care coordination program that will increase quality as well as margins. It will provide real-world examples of how organizations used care coordination to decrease readmission rates, ED visits, and costs.

February 1 (Wednesday) 1:00 ET. “Get your data ready for MACRA: Leveraging technology to achieve PHM goals.” Sponsored by Medicity. Presenters: Brian Ahier, director of standards and government affairs, Medicity; Eric Crawford, project manager, Medicity; Adam Bell, RN, senior clinical consultant, Medicity. Earning performance incentives under MACRA/MIPS requires a rich, complete data asset. Use the 2017 transition year to identify technology tools that can address gaps in care, transform data into actionable information, and support population health goals and prepare your organization for 2018 reporting requirements.


Announcements and Implementations

Compulink adds Weave’s patient scheduling and appointment reminder software to its PM technology for specialists.


People

image

Community Health Center of Cape Cod (MA) promotes CIO Katy O’Connell to COO.

image

Jim Kopczynski (Continental Energy Services) joins remote patient monitoring technology company Critical Signal Technologies as COO.

image image image

Genome Medical hires Steven Bleyl, MD (Intermountain) as CMO, Erynn Gordon (23andMe) as chief clinical officer, and Audrey Fan (Geisinger) as senior genetic counselor, service delivery innovation. The San Francisco-based startup provides genetic counseling on predisposition testing and reproductive health via telemedicine in 40 states. It plans on rolling out services for adult and pediatric genetics later this year to all 50 states.

Hixny announces its 2017 Board of Directors. The Albany, NY-based RHIO connects data between over 720 healthcare organizations (including 2,364 physicians) and manages 2.6 million records in its Master Patient Index.


Telemedicine

Esis adds telemedicine to its NurseLine triage services for occupational health.

image

The Scott Center for Autism Treatment at the Florida Institute of Technology launches a telemedicine initiative, including an interactive portal and resource-rich website, to bring therapy to patients in rural areas.


Government and Politics

image

In other healthcare coalition news, 17 stakeholder groups band together to urge payers to reform prior authorization requirements. As a new AMA survey highlights, it now takes the average practice 16 hours to complete an average of 37 PAs for every physician on staff. The coalition is pushing for standardized reform around 21 principles that focus on clinical validity, continuity of care, transparency and fairness, and timely access and administrative efficiency, and alternatives and exemptions.


Other

image

Local public radio looks at the nascent trend of “DIY Healthcare,” focusing on several Quest Diagnostics programs that allow patients to order lab tests without a physician’s orders. Bypassing the physician “middleman” may have negative repercussions, stresses AAFP President-elect and family physician Michael Munger, MD. “I always try to educate my patients that any time they go to receive any test, I want a chance to sit down and talk to them, look at the trends, put that into the overall scope of where that fits in for their health care and what those results really mean.” I hate to say it, but I think Munger’s emphasis on results in the context of a patient’s health history may soon be lost on consumers who are increasingly having to become savvy healthcare service shoppers. What’s to stop a patient (one who likely has a high deductible and co-pay) from self-ordering a test, then setting up a results review consult with a telemedicine provider – a consult that might even be “free” as part of whatever health benefits they have? On second thought, it seems like a business model lab testing companies might soon look into.


Sponsor Updates

Blog Posts


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk, HIStalk Connect.

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

JennHIStalk

News 1/24/17

January 24, 2017 News No Comments

Top News

image

HHS Secretary nominee Rep. Tom Price, MD (R-GA) faces his second confirmation hearing. Today’s four-hour grilling saw Price take questions from the Senate Finance Committee, with much of it focusing on his stock purchases, stance on Medicaid expansion, and any insight he may have regarding Trump’s repeal and replacement plan for the ACA. He remained mum on the President’s plans, only going so far as to say that he was committed to affordable and accessible healthcare. The  Finance Committee has the jurisdiction to vote on his nomination, after which the full Senate will vote on his confirmation. If confirmed (and media outlets report that is likely based on party-line votes), Price will become the first physician in 24 years to head the department.


HIStalk Practice Announcements and Requests

image

Be sure to check out the first installment of the HIStalk Practice Winners Circle, an interview series featuring physician practice professionals that have been recognized for their health IT-related expertise. If you know of someone who has received accolades for their way with health IT, let me know. I’d be happy to interview them.


Webinars

January 26 (Thursday) 1:00 ET. “Jump Start Your Care Coordination Program: 6 Strategies for Delivering Efficient, Effective Care.” Sponsored by Healthwise. Presenters: Jim Rogers, RN, RPSGT, director of healthcare solutions, Persistent Systems; Jason Burum, chief client officer, Healthwise. This webinar will explain how to implement a patient-centered care coordination program that will increase quality as well as margins. It will provide real-world examples of how organizations used care coordination to decrease readmission rates, ED visits, and costs.

February 1 (Wednesday) 1:00 ET. “Get your data ready for MACRA: Leveraging technology to achieve PHM goals.” Sponsored by Medicity. Presenters: Brian Ahier, director of standards and government affairs, Medicity; Eric Crawford, project manager, Medicity; Adam Bell, RN, senior clinical consultant, Medicity. Earning performance incentives under MACRA/MIPS requires a rich, complete data asset. Use the 2017 transition year to identify technology tools that can address gaps in care, transform data into actionable information, and support population health goals and prepare your organization for 2018 reporting requirements.


Announcements and Implementations

image

Direct messaging and addresses continue to achieve record levels, according to the latest stats from nonprofit overseer DirectTrust. Direct interoperability network participants sent 98 million messages in 2016 – 33.5 million of which were sent in the fourth quarter. Participation increased by 36 percent – from 52,000 in 2015 to 71,000 in 2016 – further proof in my mind that physicians will act on interoperability when given the chance.

image

Ophthalmology and optometry software and services company Eye Care Leaders integrates OptimizeRx’s prescription savings service with its partner EHRs, including EyeDoc, Integrity EMR, IO Practiceware, ManagementPlus, MDoffice, and Medflow.

Physician service business Ion Solutions will offer Healthgrid’s patient engagement technology to its practice-based oncology customers. The tool will enable oncologists to stay connected with patients via mobile notifications/reminders, surveys, and educational resources – all aimed at improving medication adherence.


People

image

Patrick O’Keefe (Anthem|Empire BlueCross Blue Shield) joins Zelis Healthcare as chief commercial officer.


Research and Innovation

image

A MediKeeper study of 3 million employees with access to workplace wellness programs shows that corporate stress is on the decline. The study, conducted by the wellness portal developer between 2014 and 2016, found that the majority (36 percent) of respondents rated their stress level as a “2” on a scale of 1 to 5. Those who ticked “1” increased by nearly 60 percent over the three-year period. Those that reported the highest stress level – “5” – dropped by 39 percent. Though the study is a bit self-selecting, it does tangentially point to the impact access to programs via technologies like portals can have on employee health and wellness levels. It would be interesting to dig further into the data to find out just how much each employer’s bottom line benefitted from less-stressed staff.


Other

image

Providers take aim at the efficacy and safety of wearable baby monitors in a new JAMA editorial, calling out direct-to-consumer devices from companies like Baby Vida, MonBaby, and Owlet as being untested and inappropriate for infant monitoring. “[T]here is a serious question whether these are appropriate in monitoring healthy infants,” says Christopher Bonafide, MD of Children’s Healthcare of Philadelphia. “A single abnormal reading may cause overdiagnosis—an accurate detection that does not benefit a patient.” His colleague, Elizabeth Foglia, MD adds that, “In the future, some physiological monitors may offer real benefits to vulnerable infants at home, but we have no evidence now that these devices are safe, accurate or effective.”


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk, HIStalk Connect.

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

JennHIStalk

Founding Sponsor


  

Platinum Sponsors


  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

Gold Sponsors


  

Subscribe to Updates




Search All HIStalk Sites


Loading

Recent Comments

  • Mike Burke: Re: Wait times: Certainly wait times are decreasing due to options like urgent care and to a lesser extent, telemedicin...
  • Scott Olson: I'm with you in terms of selecting a different career path to avoid math. Only to find out a few years later marketing t...
  • Angela Hickman: Excellent article Randy!...
  • Chip Hart: Bravo! I just got off the phone with a different practice and I used KPP as an example of how to do things right - now ...
  • Robert D Lafsky M.D.: I commend NY MD for the above comment. Despite the stress imposed by obvious flaws of workflow design he took the time ...

Tweets

Follow