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News 9/10/18

September 10, 2018 News No Comments

Top News

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In keeping with its expansion plans, Chicago-based primary care company Oak Street Health acquires the Medicare business of Philadelphia-based CityLife Neighborhood Clinics. Oak Street, which caters to Medicare patients, plans to hire new staff and roll out its technology platform, which includes Greenway’s EHR and Lightbeam Health’s population health management software, at the newly acquired clinics.


Webinars

September 26 (Wednesday) 12:30 ET. “How to Ensure Patient Records are Always Available.” Sponsor: Goliath Technologies. Presenter: Goliath Technologies engineering staff. This webinar will discuss how an early warning system can help your organization ensure your EHR systems and patient records are always available. You’ll also learn how to proactively anticipate, troubleshoot, prevent, and resolve end user experience issues before users or patients are impacted.

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


Announcements and Implementations

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The Fostering Hope Initiative in Western Oregon selects healthcare collaboration software from Act.MD. Led by Catholic Community Services, the initiative will enable government, public, and private organizations to work together to improve access to healthcare and social services in underserved neighborhoods.

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HealthLynked adds group chat capabilities to its membership-based patient-provider digital network.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Philadelphia-based mental health technology startup NeuroFlow raises $1.2 million as part of a seed funding rounding led by NJ JumpStart. The company has developed cloud-based software for office-based physicians that combines data from wearables and digital questionnaires with guided meditation, patient messaging, and incentives to improve a patient’s mental health.

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Health policy professor and author Timothy Hoff insists direct primary care is not as patient-friendly a business model as marketing materials might suggest, pointing out that:

  • Its lack of scalability doesn’t truly give patients unlimited 24×7 access to their providers. (There’s only so much physician to go around, after all.)
  • The very nature of the business model leans towards keeping provider-patient interaction to a minimum so as to maximize profit margins.
  • The cost of a DPC membership contributes to health inequities, catering to more affluent patients and pricing out those who could truly benefit from more direct care.
  • Patients sign up for the bells and whistles, but wind up burdened with having to navigate their DPC and health insurance policies.

He concludes: “There’s a bit of smoke and mirrors here, as direct primary care tries to convince patients that the rest of the health care system, like hospitals and specialty physicians, doesn’t really exist. But it does. And as long as many patients have to deal with the rest of that system on a consistent basis as they acquire more serious conditions and have constant needs throughout their lives for complex diagnostic and treatment care, direct primary care will be of limited help.”


Government and Politics

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MGMA includes a number of technology-related recommendations in its letter to CMS addressing the proposed rule for Medicare programs:

  • Promote access to care by providing reimbursement for communications-based technology and telehealth services, including remote patient monitoring.
  • Provide free clinical decision support mechanism software as part of the Appropriate Use Criteria program, which MGMA recommends making voluntary in 2020.
  • Reduce data-reporting obligations by decreasing MIPS reporting requirements and shortening the reporting period.
  • Allow MIPS and APM participants to use 2014 or 2015 Edition Certified EHR Technology in 2019 and 2020.

Research and Innovation

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A five-year study of 450 primary care patients with high blood pressure finds that adding telemedicine consults with pharmacists helped to lower their blood pressure more effectively than typical in-office care from their PCP. The effectiveness waned, however, after telemedicine consults ceased a year into the study.


Telemedicine

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Virtual eye exam company Opternative develops a voice-activated vision test, giving patients the ability to obtain new prescriptions using their mobile devices.


Other

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University of Washington researchers develop an algorithm that can determine the state of a city’s health based on its landscape and infrastructure. By using satellite and Google Street View images, the software can make correlations between city planning and obesity levels, and influence future public health campaigns.

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine issues an RFP for the development and maintenance of a Qualified Clinical Data Registry for sleep medicine physicians and facilities.


Sponsor Updates

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Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

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News 9/5/18

September 5, 2018 News No Comments

Top News

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Fast Company profiles Parsley Health, a membership-based primary care provider that focuses on the practices of functional medicine to give patients a holistic view of their health. Founded by Robin Berzin in 2015, the company now has three tech-fueled clinics, offering online access to appointment scheduling, medical records, doctor’s notes, and health coach messaging. “Everyone is busy,” says Berzin. “You shouldn’t beg us to fax you something. All your data should be online so that you can view it 24/7 and download it yourself. We believe you own your data.”

The company, which also offers on-demand blood-testing services, charges members $150 a month and just hired its first pediatrician in response to customer demand. It raised $10 million earlier this year, funding that Berzin will put towards expanding into new markets.


Webinars

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


Announcements and Implementations

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JWM Neurology (IN) implements Encoda’s BackOffice billing technology across its 11 locations.

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Innovaccer announces GA of InNote, an app that brings relevant clinical data, including referral resources, into a physician’s workflow from within the EHR.

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NextGen Healthcare adds electronic prior authorization capabilities from CoverMyMeds to its cloud-based Office EHR (fka MediTouch).

Health IPass offers end users the ability to integrate automated patient messaging from DoctorConnect with its patient payments software.

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EZReferral develops the EZAnywhere app to help practices better capture referrals from within their website.


People

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Vanessa Bentley (North Med Billing Services) joins Medical Practice Consulting Services as billing manager. The company has also expanded its office space in Statesville, NC.

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Software developer WebRTC Ventures hires Ginger Germani (AgilityFeat) as director of telehealth accounts.

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Brown & Toland Physicians names Lynn Grennan (Executive Healthcare Consulting) CFO, Therese Crossett (OptumHealth) VP of business development, and Elise Johnson (UnitedHealth) VP of human capital.


Other

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In New Jersey, Riverside Medical Group credits its year-over-year growth to its six-year relationship with the the NJ Innovation Institute’s ILab, which focuses on helping practices with administrative tasks, including technology implementations, as they move to value-based care. In Riverside’s case, ILab’s assistance has not only helped it attract physicians unhappy with their hospital employment, but has also helped to improve the workflows of its older, less tech-savvy staff: “If a provider is 60 years of age or more and not comfortable with a new electronic health record system,” Omar Baker, MD explains,” Riverside and NJII together have the resources to support those physicians. If that means I have to invest in a dictation program or in a scribe … we have 20 to 30 scribes. Is that expensive? Sure. But what is my ROI? Are my physicians happier? Does it lead to a better patient experience? If the answer is yes, then it’s worth it.”


Sponsor Updates

  • AdvancedMD publishes a new e-guide, “In or Out-Source: Your Value-Based Care (VBC) Revenue Cycle Management.”
  • Aprima will exhibit at the Patient-Centered Medical Home Congress September 14-15 in San Diego.
  • EClinicalWorks will exhibit at CASA 2018 September 5-6 in Huntington Beach, CA.

Blog Posts


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk.

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News 8/29/18

August 29, 2018 News No Comments

Top News

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White House efforts to curtail opioid prescriptions as opioid-related deaths continue to increase have left some physicians opting out of prescribing them all together – a development that has left many chronic pain patients in dire straits, according to a Politico survey. Physicians responding to the survey report feeling pressured to reduce such prescriptions in light of consequences that could include losing their licenses or going to jail for poor prescription decisions. Their fears aren’t groundless, given that the DoJ has charged 200 physicians for opioid-related crimes since January 2017. Urgent care clinic physician Sue Lewis, MD now adamantly refuses to prescribe opioids for fear of losing her license: “I will no longer treat chronic pain. Period,” she says. “There is too much risk involved.”

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FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, MD released a statement earlier today outlining the agency’s numerous efforts to tamp down opioid prescriptions, including developing evidence-based prescribing guidelines and hosting an innovation challenge to encourage the development of apps and medical devices that could potentially be used as alternatives to opioids. The impact of that remains to be seen.

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Gottlieb admitted that, “I’ve learned some hard lessons. And one sticks with me above others. It’s this. The reason that we find ourselves with a crisis of such proportion is that as a medical profession, we’ve been one step behind its sinister advance. Collectively, we didn’t take all the steps we could, when we could, to stop the advance of this crisis. We shunned hard decisions. As a profession, providers were too liberal in our use of these drugs well past the point where there were signs of trouble, and the beginning of a crisis of addiction. [T]oday, I outlined just some of the overall steps we’re taking to address the crisis of addiction to opioids. We have many other actions underway. This is an all-of-the-above approach. Everything is on the table.”


Webinars

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


Announcements and Implementations

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Compulink adds several AI-powered features to its specialty-focused EHR and practice management software, including automated billing, greater transparency into patient flow, and automated patient messaging.

The American Society of Clinical Oncology’s CancerLinq subsidiary will work with EHR vendor Integra Connect to help oncology practices access the CancerLinq data-sharing platform. They’ll also co-develop analytics and dashboards. Integra Connect’s EHR is the first to be certified under CancerLinq’s new certification program.

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Radiology Associates of Macon (GA) signs a multi-year RCM services renewal agreement with Zotec Partners.

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To help physicians better monitor patient satisfaction scores, Focus on Therapeutic Outcomes adds a Net Promoter Score Dashboard to its Outcomes Management System. The new patient retention tool can alert physicians in real time when patients leave negative reviews.


Government and Politics

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US Surgeon General Jerome Adams, MD recounts his love for bow ties on National Bow Tie Day. I wonder if @FarzadsBowtie is celebrating?


Sponsor Updates

Blog Posts


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk.

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News 8/27/18

August 27, 2018 News No Comments

Top News

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Results from Rock Health’s third annual survey on consumer adoption of digital health reveal that:

  • Adoption of digital health tools has increased from 80 to 87 percent over the last two years.
  • The biggest increase has been in live video telemedicine.
  • Telemedicine patients reported higher satisfaction with their virtual visits if they had previously seen the provider in person.
  • Despite a plethora of devices (and hype) on the market, interest in mobile tracking devices was minimal. The majority of 4,000 respondents use wearables to track exercise levels.
  • The number of respondents who have sought online reviews for providers jumped 50 percent, with 39 percent of those respondents seeking physician reviews.
  • Seniors with chronic illnesses represent the biggest digital health opportunity and challenge: They have a higher demand for healthcare services but are least likely to give digital health tools a try.

Webinars

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


Announcements and Implementations

NextGen reseller TSI Healthcare begins offering Record Locator & Exchange functionality from Surescripts, enabling practices to tap into a health data-sharing network of EHR vendors and record-locator services via the Carequality Interoperability Framework.


People

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Nashville-based patient financial engagement company CarePayment hires Marines Corp veteran Wes Pass (Bank of America Merrill Lynch) as chief strategy officer.

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Scott Kolesar (EY) joins EHR and practice management vendor SimplifyASC’s Board of Directors.

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Text-based telemedicine company Rhinogram names Kathy Ford (TeleTracking) president and Shannon Hastings (TeleTracking) CTO.


Government and Politics

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I’m not sure if the HHS Office of the Inspector General’s “Most Wanted Fugitives” page is new, but it’s certainly attention-getting. Over 170 fugitives are wanted for healthcare fraud. You can report a fugitive here.


Telemedicine

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Fatima Khan, MD will offer telemedicine services from TeleClinicUSA when she opens her new solo practice, Unity Medical Clinic (KS), in October.


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk.

Get HIStalk Practice updates.
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Become a sponsor.

News 8/22/18

August 22, 2018 News No Comments

Top News

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The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute allocates $13.3 million to a West Virginia study that will compare the treatments of primary care physicians at 56 FQHCs in rural areas who care for patients with mental health disorders. Treatment strategies will include medication, medication plus cognitive behavioral therapy delivered via virtual consult, and medication plus virtual CBT and help from online coaches. The investment is part of $85 million PCORI has set aside for 16 new treatment studies that will focus on “high-burden” conditions. The project summary notes that health IT resources include a data warehouse that integrates EHRs across the FQHCs.


Webinars

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


Announcements and Implementations

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AdvancedMD announces GA of its EPayments patient-managed electronic payments solution.

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Hackensack Radiology Group (NJ) implements alerts, patient portal and check-in kiosk technology from Royal Solutions Group.

Central Georgia Health Network joins the Georgia Regional Academic Community Health Information Exchange to enhance the data-sharing capabilities of independent physicians within its network.


People

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Amos Slaymaker (Bivarus) joins EHR vendor Patagonia Health as VP of sales.


Government and Politics

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HHS CIO Beth Killoran steps down to join the Office of the Surgeon General to lead development of an IS program for the US Public Health Service Commissioned Corps. CTO Ed Simcox has been named acting CIO.


Telemedicine

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TeleHealth Solutions will implement VisuWell’s telemedicine platform at provider groups of all sizes. VisuWell rebranded from WeCounsel earlier this year – a move that coincided with an initial funding round led by Longmeadow Capital and Point Judith Capital.

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Gateway Medical Associates (PA) sees the compliance rate of diabetic retinal patient exams jump 50 percent after implementing the IRIS diabetic retinopathy telemedicine solution from Intelligent Retinal Imaging Systems. IRIS CEO Chris Belmont was formerly SVP and CIO of MD Anderson Cancer Center (TX) and Ochsner Health System (LA).


Other

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In Nevada, Trimcare Clinic owner Ivan Goldsmith, MD comes under fire from the state pharmacy board for inappropriately accessing the medical records of Las Vegas mass shooter Stephen Paddock. The weight-loss doctor, who was not treating Paddock, told his staff to use his PDMP account to look at Paddock’s prescription history several times over several days – information that he then shared with a local news outlet, which published a detailed report of Paddock’s drug use just days later.


Sponsor Updates

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  • Over the past four years, attendees at Aprima’s annual user conference have made more than 1,700 blankets and gift bags for the Children’s Medical Center of Dallas.
  • Culbert Healthcare Solutions will exhibit at Epic UGM August 27-30 in Verona, WI.
  • Medicomp Systems will exhibit at HIMSS AsiaPac18 in Brisbane, Australia November 5-8.

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Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk.

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