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News 3/8/17

March 8, 2017 News No Comments

Top News

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Scottsdale, AZ-based telemedicine hardware, software, and medical device company GlobalMed acquires Miami-based TreatMD, a telemedicine company with global providers that also offers billing, EHR, remote monitoring, and wearable integration, plus white-labeling capabilities. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. TreatMD was launched by Lennick Holdings Managing Partner Bryan Lenett last August.


Webinars

March 9 (Thursday) 1:00 ET. “PAMA: The 2017 MPFS Final Rule.” Sponsored by National Decision Support Company. Presenter: Erin Lane, senior analyst, The Advisory Board Company. The Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014 instructed CMS to require physicians to consult with a qualified clinical decision support (CDS) mechanism that relies on established appropriate use criteria (AUC) when ordering certain imaging exams. Providers must report AUC interactions beginning January 1, 2018 to receive payment for Medicare Advanced Imaging studies, with the CDS recording a unique number. Outliers will be measured against a set of Priority Clinical Areas and interaction with the AUC. This webinar will review the requirements for Medicare Advanced Imaging compliance and will review how to ensure that CDS tools submit the information needed for reimbursement.

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


Announcements and Implementations

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Parasail Health offers an open API to help developers integrate its patient financing app, which includes tools to help patients comparison shop for loans, into their respective website or payment portal.

Modernizing Medicine will add e-commerce capabilities to its EHR through a partnership with skincare company Galderma Laboratories, giving dermatologists and their patients the ability to more easily order OTC products in tandem with prescription drugs.

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Alternative Family Services will replace six IT systems in use at its eight facilities in California with the Cx360 EHR from Core Solutions.

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Medical Oncology Hematology Consultants (DE) joins The US Oncology Network, a McKesson Specialty Health-supported company that provides PM tech and services to independent oncologists across the country.

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Mental health and substance abuse outpatient provider A Helping Hand of Wilmington (NC) adopts Mediware’s AlphaFlex EHR.


People

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Navicure hires Kermit Randa (PeopleAdmin) as its first chief growth officer.

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Todd Unger (Daily Racing Form) joins AMA as chief experience officer and SVP of physician engagement.


Government and Politics

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The Delmarva Foundation joins 11 other CMS-funded organizations in helping small practices participate in MACRA’s Quality Payment Program. The foundation will specifically provide technical assistance to 5,500 MIPS-eligible practices with 15 physicians or less in Maryland and Washington, DC.


Sponsor Updates

  • EClinicalWorks releases a new podcast, “Tips from a Superuser – How to Improve Functionality.”

Blog Posts


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk, HIStalk Connect.

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JennHIStalk

News 3/7/17

March 7, 2017 News No Comments

Top News

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A study conducted by RAND Corp. and Harvard Medical School researchers uses commercial claims data from 300,000 patients with acute respiratory illnesses to determine that, while telemedicine may increase access to care, it also has the potential to increase utilization and resultant healthcare spending. Their analysis found that 12 percent of direct-to-consumer virtual visits replaced in-person visits to other providers, 88 percent were new users, and annual spending increased by $45 per user. “If you make something easier to access, people will use it,” says co-author Lori Uscher-Pines. “That lower threshold means that people are using this as an add-on service.”


HIStalk Practice Announcements and Requests

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Don’t miss the second installment of the HIStalk Practice Winners Circle, an interview series featuring physician practice professionals that have been recognized for their health IT-related expertise. This month features Kids Plus Pediatrics owners Albert Wolf, MD and Todd Wolynn, MD. They entered the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year competition not once, but three times, finally winning in the healthcare category. I’d ideally like to run at least one of these interviews a month. (February got away from me thanks to HIMSS.) I’m already looking to line up April’s interview. Feel free to email me with suggestions of award-winning physician to reach out to.


Webinar

March 9 (Thursday) 1:00 ET. “PAMA: The 2017 MPFS Final Rule.” Sponsored by National Decision Support Company. Presenter: Erin Lane, senior analyst, The Advisory Board Company. The Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014 instructed CMS to require physicians to consult with a qualified clinical decision support (CDS) mechanism that relies on established appropriate use criteria (AUC) when ordering certain imaging exams. Providers must report AUC interactions beginning January 1, 2018 to receive payment for Medicare Advanced Imaging studies, with the CDS recording a unique number. Outliers will be measured against a set of Priority Clinical Areas and interaction with the AUC. This webinar will review the requirements for Medicare Advanced Imaging compliance and will review how to ensure that CDS tools submit the information needed for reimbursement.

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


Announcements and Implementations

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Over 120 primary care providers in Maryland partner with management services company Collaborative Health Systems to form the Chesapeake Independent Physician Association. “This new IPA fills a need and offers independent physicians the means to provide better care while transforming their practices as healthcare changes from ‘volume to value,’ notes Gene Ransom, president of The Maryland State Medical Society. “The association prepares physicians to take advantage of value-based contracts with commercial and public payers.”


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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India-based Omega Healthcare Management Services acquires healthcare analytics company WhiteSpace Health for an undisclosed sum. The deal adds Research Triangle Park, NC-based WhiteSpace’s development facility in Hyderabad, India to the Omega fold, bringing its India-based facilities to five.


People

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Family HealthCare Network (CA) promotes Paramvir Sidhu, MD to CMO.

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Peter Spitzer (Spitzer & Associates) joins Innovaccer’s Board of Directors.


Research and Innovation

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Researchers develop technology that enables a human to correct a robot with their mind using an electroencephalography monitor cap, which measures brain waves, algorithms to monitor those brain waves, and output capabilities that can send the brain wave analysis to the robot before it makes a mistake. The scientists have even programmed the robot to blush after being corrected.

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Fitbit introduces a new, slimmer wristband with continuous heart-rate monitoring, plus new sleep-tracking capabilities to help users monitor the duration and intensity of their sleep cycles. The product developments come alongside the company’s announcement that two founding employees – Chief Business Officer Woody Scal and Interactive EVP Tim Roberts – are on their way out, and that it will “formally align” around consumer health and fitness, and enterprise health. “2017 is a transition year,” says co-founder and CEO James Park, “and while we continue to lead the connected health and fitness market, we must take important steps to chart our return to profitability and growth. It is essential that we are organized properly so that we can successfully execute our strategy.”


Other

Web application security blogger Anand Prakash shares a payment method entry bug that could have allowed cash-strapped hackers to take Uber rides for free. Prakash alerted Uber about the bug, after which they apparently gave him several free rides in the US and India.


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk, HIStalk Connect.

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JennHIStalk

HIStalk Practice Winners Circle: Albert Wolf, MD & Todd Wolynn, MD Kids Plus Pediatrics

March 7, 2017 Winners Circle 1 Comment

Editor’s Note: The HIStalk Practice Winners Circle is an interview series featuring physician practice professionals that have been recognized for their health IT-related expertise.


Albert Wolf, MD is CFO and Todd Wolynn, MD is president and CEO of Kids Plus Pediatrics in Pittsburgh. The pair won the 2016 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award in the healthcare category.

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Tell me about yourselves and the practice.

TW: The practice was actually started in the 70s by two of our teachers from residency. We basically took it into a new evolution in 2010, and made it Kids Plus. The five current owners are physicians. Al is an MD/MBA and I am an MD/MMM, which is a Masters of Medical Management. I was just telling the guys today about an NPR story on physician dual degrees and how that is the next wave of the future – looking at predictive analysis and leveraging business analytics. It’s now about the business of medicine, rather than the art of medicine, which we’ve always emphasized. It takes great business to deliver great medicine.

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When you took over in 2010, was the innovative use of technology a part of your vision for the practice?

AW: Yes, it was. That’s actually written into our mission statement, which is "Meet, Learn, Grow." "Meet" is really just meeting our patients where they are. The use of technology is vital for that. It allows us to meet patients and their families in their home, at work, in their backpacks, on their phones, on their laptops, and on their tablets. Wherever they are, whatever means of communication works best for them, we want to be there for them. Again, our goal is always, how can we best serve them? It’s not let’s make them adapt to the way we do things. We adapt to the way they want to do things. That was integral when we formed Kids Plus.

What technology did you start with and how has that evolved as the practice has grown?

TW: When we formed Kids Plus, we were using an EHR, but it was, in our opinion, not great. It was an adult-based EHR that did pediatrics on the side. When we formed Kids Plus, we changed EHR companies to a pediatric-specific EHR that we felt better enabled us to do outpatient pediatrics. Since then, we’ve changed EHR companies again. We’re currently with Physician’s Computer Company. We’re always looking for how we can best leverage technology to serve our patients.

What about portals, branded apps, and telemedicine?

TW: With each EHR – with any kind of technology, really – we’ve tried to enhance the patient engagement with technology. That certainly has included the EHR and patient portals, which we’ve had for over six years. We really try and take technology back to the mission, to meet, learn, and grow with people. As that goes, technology has been heavily leveraged in terms of not just a Web presence, but a very deep and meaningful social media presence through several different venues, whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest. That’s undersold, often times underappreciated, and honestly met with fear by the healthcare community.

We take our patient engagement/technology show on the road. We’ve been invited to the Children’s National pediatric business meeting in DC over the last several years, and were invited to the nationwide Children’s meeting last year so that they can better understand how we leverage technology as part of the patient engagement experience. We’ve really recreated a new footprint for what we envision the pediatric practice of the future looks like. It’s physically different. We have a multi-purpose engagement space, which we call The Well. We have a physical play and fitness space, which we call the Fitness Through Play Space. We then take that layer of really unique physical engagement and then layer on top of that a really unique virtual engagement. Part of what differentiates us, and definitely part of what got us to win the Ernst and Young award, was this different experience that families have at Kids Plus because of this marriage of physical and virtual immersion.

With regard to apps, we haven’t found that killer app that provides the kind of functionality that would make it Kids Plus worthy at this point.

You mentioned that the healthcare community has traditionally shied away from using social media as part of patient engagement initiatives. In what ways has Kids Plus moved beyond that fear you referred to earlier?

TW: Our standing charge is to know our audience, which is millennials. They’re the people that are having kids right now. This is a generation that really does not have the same kind of connectedness to the rule books their parents had, like Dr. Spock. They’re on their phones and their kids are on their phones. Their social peer groups are often times much stronger in some ways than their limited network of physical friends. Recognizing that, and really having some vision as to where people were going and what they needed … we realized they needed somebody to be there with them in a virtual manner. That’s not to say we want to take away from that physical engagement, because we know how important it is, but there’s only so much you can do in a 10- or 15-minute visit. It’s part of the reason we reimagined what the physical space looks like.

We have moms groups here, which is actually a really compelling group called New Moms Coffee that meets in the Well. When they age out, they now go into Not-So-New Moms Coffee, which is for mothers of seven- to twelve-month-olds. There’s Toddler Time, which is from 12 to 36 months. On top of that, we’ve layered a closed Facebook group for each of those groups, which has now been scaled out to all three of our offices, both physically and virtually. The Facebook group is about to exceed 1,000 moms. It’s now spurred off multiple Facebook groups, based on interest. They all have a common interest of raising these new children within our community. On top of that, they’ll break off into running groups, academic groups, knitting groups, whatever their interest is. It’s been pretty neat. On top of that, we never rested on our laurels and said, "Well, this is going great." We then said, "How do we make this even more meaningful?" which is part of why we’ve gone even more heavily into videos.

Our biggest move in the last two years has been the creation of our production studio, right on site. People gave us weird looks when we told them we have a communications director! Matter of fact, the group out of DC Children’s National pretty much told us they don’t invite us every year because we scare the audience too much. They give us a year of recovery time. The last time we presented, they gave explicit directions to me and our director to not scare their docs too much, and give them something they can easily do. The last time we were there, in 2015, we revealed our very first video segment that came out of the production studio.

We use videos now for human interest stories and community engagement, plus health-oriented segments called The Daily Dose. Those particular videos, which are between 45 and 75 seconds, are built off an e-book our providers created on various health topics. We keep building on that platform, which definitely leverages technology, but is really about connectivity and community at its philosophic end. That’s what we really want to do.

AW: I’ll add that it all goes back to knowing our audience. Maybe two generations ago, when we needed to communicate with a parent about something, we could provide them a handout. We could give them a piece of paper with something on it. The last generation of parents, they don’t want paper. They just want to go online and read it. The current generation of parents don’t even want to go online and read it. They just want to watch a video on it. We’ve evolved how we communicate with parents and technology has definitely helped us do that.

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How have these videos and your social media presence impacted patient care and staff productivity?

Our communications director, Chad Hermann, has fielded over 6,000 questions through Facebook and through those e-book-formatted Doctor’s Notes. People now tell us that’s their go-to. Maybe in the 50s, you went to your Dr. Spock book, but now you go to your Kids Plus Doctor’s Notes to look up what you want to find.

We’re actually on our third website. Our second website was really very well received, and was event placed into a textbook on healthcare Web presence. That was only two years ago, but we already trashed that site because it didn’t meet where we felt we needed to be in 2017, 18, and 19. It’s now incredibly searchable. It really fits the mold of the millennial website, as they are much more comfortable with scrolling. You’ll see the links work, and it’s fairly intuitive, but it’s also a lot of resources right at your fingertips.

Let’s talk a little bit about your Ernst and Young journey. What prompted you to enter – and keep entering – and what feedback did you receive after the win? How has that impacted Kids Plus?

AW: We’ve entered the competition three times – 2013, 2014, and 2016. A friend of Todd’s – someone who had nothing to do with healthcare but knew about the innovative things we were doing – convinced us to throw our hat in the ring. We were the only medical people there that first year. When we didn’t win that first year, we came back a second and a third time because we felt that we were doing better at getting our story across. One of the big problems that we had was that we’re not a flashy 3-D printer company. We’re not a multimillion dollar international corporation. We’re just doing outpatient pediatrics, and you can’t get much less glamorous than that.

Each year, we refined our storytelling, and I think finally, after three rounds of practicing at it, we were a little bit more successful in getting our story across as to what we do, what makes us unique, and what makes us innovative and entrepreneurial. That’s what ended up leading to success, I think.

TW: We’re innovating in the very conservative and slow-to-adapt field of healthcare. That part of our story, as Al said, we were really able to put some punch behind it. The other thing is, we were in front of Ernst and Young. This is a company that focuses on your finances. They’re looking at companies that have venture capital money and are looking at 20- and 30-fold growth in a year or two. We said that’s not how medicine works. I think that was one of our proudest moments – seeing the recognition and getting to that national stage with companies that rely on that kind of growth, and seeing that here’s a primary care pediatric practice being recognized for innovation. That was really pretty cool.

What’s next in terms of technology for Kids Plus?

I would say video or virtual engagement. We’ve done a project on that in a research capacity to see how it would fit into our practice. We still are looking for what the right fit is down the road. I know some groups do that. Some big health systems do that, as well. What we do is different. The reason why it’s different is that it’s really driven from the ground up. This is not top-down technology, as in, "Hey, here’s this new system. Here’s how you’re going to use it."

We’re nimble enough and we are, I believe, business-oriented enough to see where the opportunities are and to adapt, as Al pointed out, to what our patients and their parents need and want. What we have is a very ground-up approach. It rests on the notion that it really takes a village to raise a child. We want to be absolutely part of that village – a place to meet, a place to learn together and to really help the entire community grow as we focus on our children and families in the practice.


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk, HIStalk Connect.

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

JennHIStalk

News 3/6/17

March 6, 2017 News No Comments

Top News

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Chicago-based First Stop Health raises $1.6 million in an investment round led by co-founder and CEO Patrick Spain and co-founder and CMO Mark Friedman, MD. The company, which has raised $7.2 million since launching in 2011, will use the new capital to accelerate its growth in the employer market.


HIStalk Practice Announcements and Requests

Thanks to the following companies for their renewing support of HIStalk Practice. Click a logo for more information.

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Webinar

March 9 (Thursday) 1:00 ET. “PAMA: The 2017 MPFS Final Rule.” Sponsored by National Decision Support Company. Presenter: Erin Lane, senior analyst, The Advisory Board Company. The Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014 instructed CMS to require physicians to consult with a qualified clinical decision support (CDS) mechanism that relies on established appropriate use criteria (AUC) when ordering certain imaging exams. Providers must report AUC interactions beginning January 1, 2018 to receive payment for Medicare Advanced Imaging studies, with the CDS recording a unique number. Outliers will be measured against a set of Priority Clinical Areas and interaction with the AUC. This webinar will review the requirements for Medicare Advanced Imaging compliance and will review how to ensure that CDS tools submit the information needed for reimbursement.

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


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Direct pay tech startup Freedom Healthworks will use a $700,000 in tax credits and training grants from the Indiana Economic Development Corp. to move to bigger office space and grow its workforce from six to 70 over the next five years. Its Indianapolis-based job openings will include administrative, communications, marketing, and account management.

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Pediatric-focused tech and services company Office Practicum moves its headquarters from Horsham to Fort Washington, PA in an effort to consolidate its departments and accommodate future expansion. The company, which experienced record sales growth last year, also has offices in Cleveland and Atascadero, CA. The company was born out of a 2007 merger between Visual Data and Anderson Financial Systems, plus the 2014 acquisition of Workflow.com.


Announcements and Implementations

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ChartLogic adds its new Connect Patient portal and communications software to its EHR.

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ChiroFusion adds digital intake forms to its EHR for chiropractors.

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Diagnostic Imaging Services (LA) will implement AbbaDox RIS from IDS at its seven outpatient centers in the areas of New Orleans and Northshore.


People

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Kenneth Paulus (ReferenceHealth) joins Teladoc’s Board of Directors.


Government and Politics

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CMS opens up applications for the 2018 Next Generation ACO Model. As CMS explains in its 65-page overview of the application process, the Next Generation ACO “offers financial arrangements with higher levels of risk and reward than other current Medicare ACO initiatives, using refined benchmarking methods that: (1) reward quality performance; (2) reward both attainment of and improvement in cost containment; and (3) ultimately transition away from reference to ACO historical expenditures.” Letters of intent are due May 4.


Telemedicine

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Charlotte, NC-based 1800MD.com develops new telemedicine software, including patient and provider apps, member portals, and corresponding PM tools.

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ClickaClinic.com adds IBM API connectivity, giving end users the ability to connect its telemedicine services to their EHRs. The West Palm Beach, FL-based company has also developed medical billing and mail-order pharmacy capabilities.


Other

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Talk about a life hack: Netflix offers subscribers instructions on how to build a digital, Netflix-themed personal trainer that connects to their personal streaming account. The device, which will definitely require some Maker-like talent, connects to a phone via Bluetooth and measures activity via an accelerometer. Should you fall below a pre-determined intensity threshold, a Netflix character will chime in with words of encouragement. Content will cease streaming altogether if activity stops. If exercise isn’t your thing, you can also consider building a device that turns on Netflix, shuts off the light, and orders takeout all at the push of a button.


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk, HIStalk Connect.

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

JennHIStalk

Population Health Management Weekly Wrap Up 3/5/17

March 5, 2017 News No Comments

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Palmetto Health Quality Collaborative goes live on Caradigm’s population health management solutions.

Casenet integrates its TruCare population health and care management solutions with MCG Health’s evidence-based guidelines to improve the prior authorization process.

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Patrick Kennedy (PJ Consulting) and Janet Niles, RN (Timmaron Group) join HealthEC’s Board of Directors.

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CDC publishes the 500 Cities Project, which allows visually comparing and downloading the prevalence of 27 chronic health condition measures between cities and down to the census tract level in a chosen city.

Netsmart extends its behavioral population health solutions to post-acute providers.

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The nonprofit Central New York Care Collaborative will use IBM Watson’s Care Manager technology as part of a broader population health management program that aims to reduce ED visits and hospital readmissions by 25 percent. CNYCC works with over 170 organizations to coordinate and improve access to care for over 200,000 Medicaid beneficiaries and uninsured patients across six counties.

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Cascade Health Alliance – one of 16 organizations in Oregon that manage benefits for Medicaid beneficiaries – selects population risk management analytics from Milliman.

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The Bronx RHIO – part of New York’s statewide HIE – will implement data management and population health reporting tools from Imat Solutions.

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Florida Blue Cross Blue Shield parent company GuideWell Mutual Holdings acquires Tempe, AZ-based PopHealthCare in an effort to formally expand into population health management. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. PHC will operate as an independent subsidiary, focusing on post-acute and in-home care for chronically ill patients and those with complex illnesses. Founded in 2005, PHC uses analytics to help payers identify and care for at-risk patients. PHC CEO Mike Tudeen has done stints at Inspiris, Healthways, and Optum. I assume he’ll stay on to smooth the transition.


Sponsor Updates

  • Medicity launches Community Interchange, which creates a single, de-duplicated, and normalized CCD for hospitals.
  • NVoq will exhibit at the CHA Rural Health and Hospitals Conference March 8-10 in Denver.

Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk, HIStalk Connect.

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

JennHIStalk

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