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News 5/18/17

May 18, 2017 News No Comments

Top News

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Athenahealth launches MDP Labs, an incubator-like effort the company hopes will amp up its MDP Marketplace. The company will offer up to 200 seats to companies of all stages and sizes at its San Francisco office, affording them mentorship and community, partnerships and funding opportunities, and access to the company’s end users. Applications are due July 7. The program will kick off in August.

In other Athenahealth news, the local business paper points out that Elliott Management’s recently disclosed 9.2-percent stake in the company could signal a future sale or cost-cutting measures. Described as an “aggressive activist investment firm that manages more than $32 billion in capital,” Elliott Management’s interest in Athenahealth caused a 17-percent increase in the price of its stock earlier today. Company spokesperson Holly Spring says Athenahealth is looking forward to hearing the investment firm’s views on driving future growth, adding, “We have great confidence in the company and where we are headed.”


Webinars

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


Announcements and Implementations

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TSI Healthcare, a Chapel Hill, NC-based consulting firm specializing in NextGen PM and EHR products, will give the Surescripts National Record Locator Service a trial run. Launched last year, the service uses prescription data as part of its retrieval service, which thus far includes over 230 million records and over 4 billion physician-patient interactions. Aprima Medical Software, Greenway Health, and EClinicalWorks are among a handful of EHR vendors that have already signed on to the NRLS network.


People

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Scott Mumford (IBM) joins RCM technology and services company Gaffey Healthcare as CIO.


Telemedicine

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San Diego-based TealNet Mobile Medical Office receives an undisclosed amount of funding from TealTech Capital. The startup has developed a Web-based house call and telemedicine service for urgent care.


Other

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The State of Maine develops a text-based service for substance abuse counseling and resources. The effort piggybacks off the success of a similar service for pregnant women and new mothers that launched last year. “Unfortunately, there is still stigma around substance use disorder in today’s society, even though most people are affected by it either directly or indirectly, explains Christopher Pezzullo, state health officer for the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. “That stigma prohibits people from reaching out for help and pushes them further away from a path to successful recovery. The texting capability through 2-1-1 offers individuals the feeling of a safer and more anonymous experience when seeking guidance on recovery options.”

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Chicago podiatrist Yev Gray will spend seven-and-a-half years in jail and will pay a $7 million fine after pleading guilty to defrauding Medicare out of $6 million. Health IT played a part in the Aggeus Healthcare owner’s scheme: He created an EHR that automatically created “canned language” in patient medical records that would ensure Medicare payment for procedures that wouldn’t normally have been covered. Gray and his wife, who was also charged, no doubt used some of those Medicare dollars to fund the home profiled by Chicago magazine several years ago.


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Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

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News 5/17/17

May 17, 2017 News No Comments

Top News

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CMS will dole out up to $30 million to medical societies, professional associations, and research organizations that want to help develop MACRA quality measures. In announcing the funding opportunity, CMS emphasized that, “[C]ollaboration and support for these entities in measure development will assist CMS in addressing such essential topics as clinician engagement, burden reduction, consumer informed decisions, critical measure gaps, shared care and payment accountability quality measure alignment, and efficient data collection.” Applications are due September 30. Funding for the 2018 fiscal year will be awarded in November.


Webinars

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

Check out the recording of Sensato CEO John Gomez’s WannaCry Threat Intelligence Briefing. It’s a great resource if you’re a little fuzzy on what WannaCry is/was, how it impacted companies across the globe, and what healthcare entities in the US can expect in terms of continued cybersecurity threats.

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I tweeted along so as to compile a quick-reference recap.


Announcements and Implementations

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Compass Health Network (MO) signs a 10-year agreement with Netsmart for its behavioral health EHR. The nonprofit provides primary and mental health care, and dental and substance abuse services via its Pathways Community Health network of facilities.

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Premise Health will implement Epic at its 500-plus worksite health centers over the next two years.

Health IT company AssureCare and FQHC-focused population health management business Centerprise will work together to provide care coordination and management software and services to FQHCs.


People

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OptimizeRx names director and former CEO Gus Halas chairman of the board.

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CareCloud hires Shari VanLoo (Simpplr) as CFO.


Telemedicine

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The California Telehealth Network will join the Portland-based OCHIN family of companies. CTN, which operates the California Telehealth Resource Center, helps to bring telemedicine capabilities to providers in rural and underserved part of the state. OCHIN seems to have evolved from a REC into a national health IT consulting company with a growing network of partners.


Government and Politics

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CMS announces that practices in Louisiana, Nebraska, North Dakota, and the Greater Buffalo region of New York are now eligible to participate in the Comprehensive Primary Care Plus program, which aims to help PCPs with value-based payment reform and care delivery. Interested physicians must apply to round two of the program by July 13. Nearly 3,000 practices in 14 regions signed up to participate in the first round.


Other

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Federal prosecutors charge a former Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates (NC) employee after the practice discovered last fall she had been selling patient information to an identity thief for $10 apiece. The thief was sentenced last week to over seven years in jail for his attempts to open and use credit cards to the tune of $250,000.

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Pennsylvania Dept. of Health officials deem the state’s PDMP a success after its first six months. Eighty-five thousand physicians and pharmacists have registered with and are using the program to monitor doctor-shopping for opioid prescriptions. Such shopping and prescriptions have dramatically decreased: The number of patients who have shopped for 10 or more doctors or pharmacists in a three-month period for opioids has been reduced by 94 percent.


Sponsor Updates

Blog Posts


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk, HIStalk Connect.

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JennHIStalk

News 5/16/17

May 16, 2017 News No Comments

Top News

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Occupational healthcare provider US HealthWorks launches telemedicine services for self-pay urgent care patients and workers’ compensation patients in select states. The Dignity Health subsidiary, which has developed a companion telemedicine app, will expand virtual consult capabilities to additional states later this year. The Valencia, CA-based company treats over 14,000 patients on a daily basis across the country.


Webinars

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


Announcements and Implementations

Dallas-based Bridge Patient Portal will work with League City, TX-based MD EMR Systems to develop an interface between its portal and GE Centricity software. The decision to work together comes after a trial run with Westmed Medical Group (NY) last fall.

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Bayview Physicians Group (VA) will add Appriss Health’s NarxCare prescription drug data aggregation and analytics tool to its homegrown EHR thanks to a $3.1 million statewide grant announced earlier this year by Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe. State PDMP Director Ralph Orr anticipates seeing an uptick in PDMP data access, usability, and performance for Virginia’s 18,000 prescribers and 400 pharmacies by the end of the year.

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Emergency medicine practice Emergi-Trust (TN) renews its RCM and PM agreement with Zotec Partners.

Henry Schein Medical Systems will add ReportingMD’s population health management app and reporting tool to its MicroMD EHR and PM software.


People

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Clinical studies company Elligo Health Research hires Rebecca Kush (Clinical Data Interchange Standards Consortium) as scientific innovation officer. The company uses EHR data to pinpoint patients that may benefit from clinical research studies, and then provides physicians with the necessary resources to conduct those studies in their own practices.


Government and Politics

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CMS will host a webinar on May 22 covering the participation criteria used to determine inclusion in MIPS and APMs. Physicians who have questions about status letters sent earlier this month and the new MIPS status lookup tool are encouraged to tune in.


Other

The New Mexico Health Information Collaborative and PHIX (fka the Paso del Norte HIE) consider a data-sharing partnership that the regional HIEs hope will increase interoperability between participants in southern New Mexico and west Texas.

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AAFP members lay out their fairly high-level vision for health IT over the next 10 years, emphasizing its role in a concept they call “Precision Population Health Management.” PPHM would utilize health IT to enable patients and their caregivers to better understand their health, predictors of deterioration, and the impact social and environmental factors have on clinical outcomes.

“Primary care would be equipped to manage and interact with data from the community and individuals to perform the health monitoring and to establish interventions at the community and individual levels,” the members write. “The practice would join with community resources and individuals to effect improvements in the health of the population; we call these activities joining tactics. Use of technology will be frictionless to the physician and other health care professionals, and will support them in their work and be enjoyable to use.”


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk, HIStalk Connect.

Get HIStalk Practice updates.
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Become a sponsor.

JennHIStalk

News 5/15/17

May 15, 2017 News No Comments

Top News

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Membership-based primary care company One Medical will open its first office in Seattle this week. The technology-heavy chain of practices, launched by founder and Seattle native Tom Lee, MD will open another location in Bellevue, WA this summer. One Medical already has locations in seven metropolitan areas, and has raised nearly $182 million in the 10 years since it launched. It acquired personal nutrition coaching company Rise early last year.


Webinars

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May 16 (Tuesday) 1:00 ET. “WannaCry Threat Intelligence Briefing.” Sponsored by HIStalk. Sensato CEO and cybersecurity researcher John Gomez will provide an in-depth analysis of the current state of WannaCry as well as a technical review of how it operates and possible go-forward cybersecurity impacts. John will also present technical and regulatory counter-measures you should consider, specific to healthcare organizations.

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


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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New York City-based HealthReveal finalizes its Series A funding round of $11.3 million with an additional investment by Northwell Ventures – the investment arm of New York-based Northwell Health system. The company will use the financing, led by GE Ventures, to further develop its chronic disease detection and management technology.

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Vivid Vision raises $2.2 million in a seed round led by SoftTech VC. The San Francisco-based startup has developed a VR-based prescription therapy for treating vision disorders like lazy eye that can be used in a physician’s office or at home.


Telemedicine

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Piedmont Health Services expands its use of RelyMD’s telemedicine services to all 10 of its locations in North Carolina. The community health organization implemented it in a trial-run capacity at its Scott Community Health Center last December.


People

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Catherine McKnight joins RCM and IT services company Access Healthcare as general counsel.

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Former AMA president Robert Wah, MD (DXC Technology) joins Higi’s Board of Directors. I interviewed Wah as his presidential tenure at AMA was winding down in mid-2015.


Announcements and Implementations

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Community Care Cooperative will use Evolent Health’s population health management technology and IT services as part of its FQHC ACO efforts in Massachusetts. The organizations will place special emphasis on implementing technology to integrate social determinants of health and behavioral health services with primary care for Medicaid patients.


Sponsor Updates

  • EClinicalWorks will exhibit at the Ohio Association of Health Plans Annual Convention May 16-17 in Columbus.
  • GE Healthcare will supply over 200 Egyptian hospitals with 700 units of its advanced healthcare technologies.
  • Healthwise will exhibit at the Cerner Collaboration Forum May 16-18 in Kansas City, MO.

Blog Posts


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk, HIStalk Connect.

Get HIStalk Practice updates.
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JennHIStalk

5 Questions With Jon Challen, Director of IT, Atlanta Gastroenterology Associates

Jon Challen is director of IT at Atlanta Gastroenterology Associates. Seven hundred staff members care for 1,300 patients on a daily basis across the practice’s 40 locations in the metro Atlanta area and North Georgia. The practice, which uses Greenway’s EHR and MyHealthRecord.com’s patient portal, has attested for Meaningful Use for each of its physicians for the last four years and plans on participating in MIPS. “We feel we are well-positioned to submit 90 days of data,” Challen says, adding that automating data flow for such initiatives has been an ongoing initiative. AGA signed on to GaHIN – Georgia’s statewide HIE – earlier this year in an effort to connect the organization to a wider network of providers.

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What was the impetus for connecting to GaHIN? What value/benefits do you hope to realize from plugging into the HIE?
Our physicians have long desired better integration of data with hospital systems. However, given the large number of hospitals we work with, setting up individual interfaces with each hospital was unwieldy. GaHIN provided an opportunity to share data with multiple hospitals and other healthcare providers with a single connection. We hope that our participation in GaHIN will simplify data sharing between providers, reduce unnecessary duplication of testing, and allow us to provide better and more cost-effective patient care.

Did you encounter any IT hiccups along the way? How did you overcome them?
Any kind of interfacing or data sharing comes with its share of challenges, but our integration with GaHIN was one of the smoothest I have experienced in my career. The team at GaHIN and Truven are complete professionals and have a great deal of expertise. Additionally, vendor support from Greenway was top-notch. The team at Greenway had recently completed a similar integration with Truven in another region of the country. This integration provided a template for both parties to follow, which greatly simplified the process of AGA integrating with GaHIN.

You added pediatric care several years ago. Did you have to alter your IT systems in any way to accommodate the needs of your younger patients? If so, did your EHR vendor assist, or did you go out to the market to look for new tools? What did you end up implementing?
Fortunately, Greenway has a great deal of experience in pediatrics, so beginning to care for infants, children, and adolescents went very smoothly, and no additional software was needed. Internally, we have deployed a number of pediatric-specific documentation templates for our pediatric physicians to use. Greenway was an ideal partner for this new venture.

As a large practice, what would you say your biggest challenges are right now – health IT or otherwise?
The consolidation in healthcare over the past few years has created a lot of IT challenges. The growth we’ve experienced here at AGA, both organically and through acquisition, has been astounding. Keeping up with that growth is always a challenge, and we have strived to bring new providers and practices into the AGA fold as quickly and seamlessly as possible. I feel we’ve been very successful at this, but each new provider and acquisition brings with it different challenges relating to IT systems, especially regarding data integration.

Aside from connecting to GaHIN, what health IT projects are underway?
We are constantly looking for ways to improve process efficiency and provide better patient care through the use of technology. We just launched a Direct Access Colonoscopy program, which includes a patient-facing informational website and questionnaire to determine if a screening colonoscopy is appropriate for the patient. It allows the patient to schedule a very important screening test for colon cancer, all from the convenience of any Internet-enabled device. It’s available at www.screen4coloncancer.com. We’re also currently testing a comprehensive, patient-focused self-scheduling portal that will allow patients to schedule an office visit with any of our physicians without requiring a phone call.

What advances in healthcare technology are you excited about right now? What’s on your HIT shopping/wish list?
The current trend of wearables in technology has amazing promise for healthcare. Patients are now wearing devices that monitor vital signs and other data constantly. Tying this data into existing healthcare systems and having the capability to analyze the data for physicians in a meaningful way is very exciting. It is an opportunity to improve patient care in very big ways!


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Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk, HIStalk Connect.

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