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News 2/7/18

February 7, 2018 News No Comments

Top News

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Athenahealth continues its leadership restructuring with the appointment of Jeff Immelt as chairman – a position previously held by CEO Jonathan Bush. Immelt, who helmed GE as chairman and CEO for 16 years, plans to purchase $1 million in Athenahealth stock, and invest in the company. Not one to rest on his laurels, Immelt has also joined venture capital firm New Enterprise Associates as a venture partner.


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.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Former 21st Century Oncology patients vote to continue with their lawsuit over a 2015 data breach of over 2 million health records. The status of the lawsuit was in question pending the outcome of 21st Century Oncology’s bankruptcy proceedings. Those proceedings have concluded, leaving the company with a new management team and its $1.1 billion debt reduced by half. Patients involved in the lawsuit, which may become a class-action, may be entitled to nearly $22 million in damages.


People

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CDI company Enjoin promotes James Fee, MD to CEO.

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Caresyntax hires Paul Summerside, MD (Summerleigh Associates) as CMO.


Announcements and Implementations

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UniNet Healthcare Network selects Innovaccer’s InData data aggregation tool to improve care coordination efforts for patients in Nebraska and Iowa.

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VitalHub works with blockchain experts at the Hyperledger Foundation to develop the new WellLinc EHR for mental health providers.

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Community Care of North Carolina will implement VirtualHealth’s population health management technology to better manage care for Medicaid and Medicare patients across 1,800 practices.


Government and Politics

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ONC and CMS will hold a listening and feedback session on reducing provider burdens related to EHRs February 22.


Telemedicine

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EWellness will put its Phzio PT technology on the blockchain in August. The announcement mentions that patients will be able to digitally confirm the completion of sessions, thus hopefully reducing patient fraud.


Research and Innovation

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A late January study of family physician reaction to Meaningful Use offers a retrospective look at benefits versus burdens in an effort to help policy makers craft (or adjust) regulatory programs. Four of MU’s 31 criteria were designated as both high benefit and high burden:

  • Recording electronic notes in patient records.
  • Maintaining a current problem list with active diagnosis.
  • Performing medication reconciliation when receiving a patient from another setting or care provider.
  • Using CPOE for new or renewal medication orders.

The authors conclude that, “Roughly one-third of MU criteria were perceived as useful in less than 50 percent of patient encounters, which means that time is taken away from typical patients for these non-value-added tasks (i.e. system waste) that must be performed for compliance. Hence the policy becomes a burden on the quality of care that physician can provide to their patients. In total, these findings provide insight into CMS’ comment that MU has ‘lost the hearts and minds of the physicians.’"


Other

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In Ohio, state medical board officials extend the medical licensing renewal deadline for 1,100 providers to February 14 after the bumpy mid-January addition of government administrative software to the state’s ELicense system. The new OH/ID system will be turned off to address several kinks that have left 400 providers unable to renew.


Sponsor Updates

  • PerfectServe publishes a new customer success story, “Chicago-based ACO and managed care organization Advocate Medical Group (AMG) strengthens continuity of care for patients.”
  • AdvancedMD will exhibit at the Association of Dermatology Administrators & Managers February 12-14 in San Diego.

Blog Posts


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News 2/5/18

February 5, 2018 News No Comments

Top News

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Alliance Physical Therapy Management will acquire Agility Health’s US operations for $45 million. Agility manages 84 outpatient physical rehabilitation clinics in 16 states, and develops related PM software. The Canadian arm of its similarly named parent company operates 12 podiatry clinics and manufactures orthotics and prosthetics.


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.


Announcements and Implementations

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Golden Shore Medical Group (CA) enlists Apollo Medical Holdings subsidiary Network Medical Management to manage 100,000 health plan members across 17 clinics using AMH’s population health management technology.

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Health Endeavors develops the One Touch Health Smart Record app, giving patients the ability to send and receive data – including care prompts – from their provider’s EHR via Direct messaging.

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Sunwave adds a real-time communication tool to its software for substance abuse treatment providers.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Pediatrics-focused health IT company Office Practicum secures an undisclosed amount of funding from Pamlico Capital.

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Digital health coaching company Pack Health will invest $2.9 million in a company expansion that will include renovating new office space in downtown Birmingham, AL and hiring another 175 employees over the next four years.

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Oncology EHR vendor Elekta becomes a reseller of Equicare Health’s Active Patient Portal and cancer care coordination technology. The reseller agreement comes on the heels of Elekta’s agreement with IBM to offer Watson for Oncology as a complementary clinical decision support tool.


Government and Politics

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CMS creates a table of its Alternative Payments Models based on their MIPS or Advanced designations. Ten of the 39 qualify as both.


Sponsor Updates

  • The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association and Nordic help University of Colorado Health and Saint Francis Hospital – both Epic sites –  optimize quality measure reporting for stroke patients using the ASA’s Get with Guidelines-Stroke program.
  • Medicomp Systems will host Medicomp U 2018 May 21-24 in Reston, VA.
  • Nordic will exhibit at the HIMSS Wisconsin Dairyland Event February 8 in Madison, WI.

Blog Posts


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk.

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News 1/31/18

January 31, 2018 News No Comments

Top News

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CDC Director Brenda Fitzgerald, MD resigns after reports surface she purchased stocks in a Japanese tobacco company after joining the organization. Fitzgerald’s pre-CDC investments, which she divested as a condition of job acceptance, included shares in five other tobacco companies (strange choices for a life-long healthcare professional) and in healthcare companies like Merck, Bayer, and Humana – all of which HHS deemed to be conflicts of interest. Fitzgerald’s financial dealings have led to her recusal from overseeing a number of high-profile CDC efforts including the opioid epidemic and IT. Her resignation deepens the black eye the Trump administration incurred when former HHS Secretary Tom Price, MD (no stranger to scrutinized investments himself) resigned last year after his use of taxpayer-funded private jets came to light.

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CDC Principal Deputy Director Anne Schuchat, MD has taken on the role of acting CDC Director, a position she held for several months before Fitzgerald came to the agency.


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.


Announcements and Implementations

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Kareo’s Clinical EHR for independent physicians achieves 2015 Edition health IT certification.

InSync Healthcare Solutions adds Encoda’s BackOffice RCM platform to its line of cloud-based health IT software and services.

Drchrono integrates HDP Health’s clinical trial patient eligibility software with its tablet-based EHR.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Health IT collective Cambia Grove develops a directory of startups based in its home state of Washington, with plans to include companies in Oregon, Idaho, Utah, and British Columbia.


People

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DocuTap names Robert Rueckl (Edementum) CFO and Jared Linsby (PointClear Solutions) SVP of sales.


Research and Innovation

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A study involving Kaiser Permanente Southern California Medicare patients with one or more chronic diseases finds that text-based medication reminders increased refill rates by 14 percent.


Sponsor Updates

  • EClinicalWorks outperforms Allscripts, Athenahealth, Epic, and NextGen in physician satisfaction, according to a Reaction Data report.
  • Intelligent Medical Objects CEO Frank Naeymi-Rad speaks at Harvard Medical School as part of its clinical informatics lecture series in Boston.

Blog Posts


HIStalk Practice Sponsors Listed in Best in KLAS 2018

Best in KLAS: Aprima – Small-Practice Ambulatory EMR/PM

Overall Physician Practice Suite: EClinicalWorks – #7

Overall IT Services: Nordic – #6


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk.

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News 1/29/18

January 29, 2018 News No Comments

Top News

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Surfside Non-Surgical Orthopedics (FL) files a class action complaint against Allscripts, saying the company’s ransomware-related outage caused it to lose revenue and spend money coordinating with patients. The practice says the industry has known about SamSam ransomware since March 2016 and Allscripts failed to take reasonable security measures to protect its systems.


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.

Here’s the video from last week’s Versus webinar titled ““Location, Location, Location: How to Deploy RTLS Asset Management for Capital Savings.”

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


Announcements and Implementations

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ClinicTracker adds performance measurement reports to its EHR for mental health and substance abuse treatment providers.

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PeakMed, a chain of Colorado-based direct primary care facilities, will implement Drchrono’s EHR and text-based telemedicine capabilities from CirrusMD alongside its integration of behavioral health services. The company is in the process of expanding its flagship office in Colorado Springs, and adding additional locations later this year.

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Drchrono adds “Holly” –  a text-based virtual scheduling assistant from Nimblr – to its EHR/PM software. (When will we see a male-named virtual assistant? Iron Man’s JARVIS makes it look – and sound – so cool.)


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Primary care-focused population health management company ConcertoHealth moves its headquarters from Irvine to Aliso Viejo, CA – part of a five-year growth plan that includes adding 120 FTEs over the next several months.


People

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Scott Rongo (Active Network) joins EMDs in the new role of chief experience officer.

Sanjay Vaswani (Center for Corporate Innovation) joins Nuance’s Board of Directors.


Telemedicine

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ClearHealth Quality Institute releases draft standards for its updated Telemedicine Accreditation Program, which it took over from the American Telemedicine Association last May. Comments are due February 9 so that the program can launch in March.


Government and Politics

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President Trump and Vice President Pence swear in Alex Azar as the 24th HHS Secretary.


Research and Innovation

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Researchers from HealthPartners Institute in Minneapolis develop an EHR-linked clinical decision support tool that, after a two-year trial at 20 primary care clinics, helps improve recognition and management of pediatric hypertension.


Other

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Military analysts realize that a data-tracking map put together late last year by fitness tracker company Strava can be used to pinpoint military bases and operations by following the exercise routines of military personnel who use the Strava app.


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Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

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Readers Write: Should Your Patients Trust You With Their Data?

January 29, 2018 Guest articles No Comments

Should Your Patients Trust You With Their Data?
By David Thomas

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It seems innocent enough. Collect email addresses and birthdays so you can reach out to your most loyal patients on their special day. But where is this data stored? Who has access to it? How is it protected?

In the digital economy, customer experience is paramount. Data lets us deliver a personalized experience in real time. But making the patient record richer and more valuable to your organization also makes it more valuable to others.

Data is the new oil. It’s the fuel powering growth and innovation, and bad actors can’t wait to get their hands on it. Even a seemingly innocuous piece of information such as an email address or birthdate can be used in identity theft. Today, all personal data is sensitive and there’s more of it all the time.

If you’re in the healthcare industry, you handle sensitive personal data about customers, employees, and partners; and you’re about to handle much more of it. As digital transformation expands across new areas of our lives, increasingly sensitive types of data will need to be shared and accessed by more entities, more frequently. We may not mind our ride-sharing service knowing our favorite destinations, but we care who sees our medical, legal, and financial records.

The days when organizations could be casual about personal data are officially over. It’s time to assess the situation and put technologies and practices in place to ensure your patients can trust you with their personal data. Building that trust will reinforce a positive view of your brand, and protect you against the damaging effects a high-profile breach can have on your organization’s reputation.

It’s also a matter of regulatory compliance. All over the world, regulations are evolving to address growing concerns about protecting personal data. Complying can be complicated and consequences for missteps serious. Europe’s new General Data Protection Regulation for 2018 includes fines of up to four percent of global annual revenue. A fine of $10 million on $250 million in earnings is a significant incentive (or penalty, depending on your perspective). Technologies and regulations will continue to change, requiring companies to be vigilant and proactive about protecting personal data.

Find your data

The first step to improving security is discovery. You’ll need to ask a series of questions to determine the extent of the personal data you collect and hold. What types of personal data do you ask for? Where is this data held? What systems and processes handle it? Who has access to it? What security measures are in place to protect it? Which partners need access to this data, and how do they ensure it’s handled securely? How might personal data assets expand in the future?

Craft your data security strategy

For many organizations, data is fragmented and spread across multiple divisions and partners, with varying degrees of security in place to protect it. To prepare for the rapid expansion of data and access that digital transformation is bringing about, you need to craft and implement a strategic plan for governing and protecting personal data. Every partner contract, for example, should spell out requirements for data security standards and practices.

Consult with IT

As marketing becomes more involved with data-driven analytics and personalization, it’s important to look to the IT organization for guidance, expertise, and best practices. The right data protection policies, processes, and training need to be prioritized and fully ingrained in organization functions. At a minimum, baseline security technologies and capabilities such as encryption need to be selected, deployed, and routinely tested.

Choose your partners wisely

Given the complex and dynamic nature of protecting personal data, it makes sense to minimize what you hold. For most organizations, the right course will be to partner with a technology provider focused on streamlining the handling of personal data. Some new API-based services can help deliver the information you need without saddling you with the responsibility of keeping and protecting sensitive data. The right solution should ensure that data is dispersed, not held centrally. It should pull information from authoritative sources. It should depend on permission from the individual for access. And it should be continuously refreshed with the latest updates.

We need these solutions in order to support the expansion of digital business. Last year’sEquifax breach exposed 145 million Americans to identity theft. That was followed by Yahoo’s three billion customer accounts being compromised. Still, significant progress is possible. Equifax not withstanding, the financial services industry has long pioneered leading-edge data security strategies and technologies, making online banking and credit card transactions reliable and secure. Now healthcare is in the personal data hot seat as they transition to digital – so get ready.

New and more serious threats, rising patient expectations, the expansion of our digital lives, and new technologies such as AI and the IoT mean that protecting personally identifiable data will be an ongoing challenge in the healthcare industry. Now is the time to find ways to protect your organization and your patients from data breaches, and to build relationships with the technology partners who can help you implement effective security strategies now and in the future. Giving your patients the confidence to share the details of their lives with you may already be a competitive differentiator.

David Thomas is CEO of data security company Evident in Atlanta.


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