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News 7/20/17

July 20, 2017 News No Comments

Top News

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One Medical Group CEO Tom Lee, MD will step down in August. Lee founded the tech-savvy membership-based primary care company in 2007, raising over $180 million and expanding it to include 60 clinics across markets in eight major metro areas.

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Amir Rubin, an EVP with UnitedHealth’s Optum division, will take over from Lee, who will become executive chairman. Rubin has already let it be known he intends to continue opening new clinics and growing the company’s employer business. While Rubin has ruled out near-term plans to chase additional financing, he’s not ruling out acquisitions. One Medical’s most recent was nutrition coaching app Rise in February 2016.


Webinars

None scheduled in the coming weeks. Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre for information on webinar services.


Announcements and Implementations

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Care3, Mirah, PatientMD, TechSoft, and VitaTrackr join DirectTrust, bringing its total membership to 129 organizations. The five year-old nonprofit reports steady growth of Direct exchange users, addresses, and transactions. The second quarter of 2017 saw over 40 million Direct exchange transactions – a 74-percent year-over-year increase.

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Medical Associates of Clinton (IA) will roll out 10e EHR software from EClinicalworks to its 49 physicians across four locations.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Online appointment scheduling vendor DocASAP raises growth capital from Cohen Private Ventures, likely bringing its total amount raised to over $1 million since launching in 2012.


People

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Greg Armer (Anthem) joins Mobile Health, an employer-focused population health management company, as VP of strategy and growth.

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Better Health Partnership, a primary care transformation nonprofit based in Ohio, promotes Rita Horwitz to president and CEO.


Telemedicine

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GenieMD launches a new telemedicine service that incorporates a diagnostic questionnaire for more efficient video visits.

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Salus Telehealth offers its VideoMedicine customers prescription savings discount cards through a partnership with MedImpact Healthcare Systems and its pharmacy network.


Research and Innovation

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PCPs saw a 3.2-percent increase in compensation in 2016, while other specialties experienced an average 2.8-percent increase, according to the latest AMGA stats. Both figures are similar to those from 2015. Just over 60 percent of respondents reported their compensation was based on meeting or exceeding value-based measures. “[The] move to value-based incentives is happening,” points out AMGA Consulting President Tom Dobosenski, “albeit at a slower pace than anticipated. However, value-based incentives do not lessen the economic pressures on medical groups, as they do not necessarily mean reductions in compensation.”


Government and Politics

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North Carolina’s Cumberland County Health Department finds itself in hot water after an audit uncovers a trail of oversights that resulted in 160 women not being notified of abnormal cervical cancer screenings over a four-year period. Multiple fingers (plus firings and departures) have pointed to a lack of timely data entry in the department’s computer systems as one of the root causes of the lack of follow-up.


Other

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AAFP launches the Primary Care Innovation Fellowship to encourage family medicine providers in their use and optimization of health IT. The year-long commitment includes expenses-paid travel to industry events, access to AAFP experts, a $5,000 stipend and up to $30,000 for the completion of a health IT-related project. Applications are due August 31.

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Pride, prejudice, and the pound: Being a big Jane Austen fan, I hope to some day get my hands on the £10 plastic note featuring the author coming soon from the Bank of England. The bill, which will mark the 200th anniversary of Austen’s death when it debuts in September, will ultimately replace the paper tenner.


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Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

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News 7/19/17

July 19, 2017 News No Comments

Top News

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New CDC Director Brenda Fitzgerald, MD comes to Washington, DC from Atlanta, where she served as the commissioner of the Georgia Dept. of Public Health and state health officer from 2011 to 2017. I have heard her speak many times at metro area health IT events, and have always been impressed by her dedication to helping students become interested in various healthcare career paths. She was also part of a very compelling presentation at Health Connect South several years ago that focused on Atlanta’s role as ground zero for Ebola patients.

Fitzgerald takes over from Interim Director Anne Schuchat, MD who began filling in after President Obama appointee Tom Frieden, MD left the position in January.


HIStalk Practice Musings

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Reading: The Barefoot Queen by Spanish author Ildefonso Falcones. I’m a sucker for historical fiction, especially the kind that takes 1,000-plus pages to tell the story of one family over several generations. The stories of Falcones, which include the Ken Follett-esque Cathedral of the Sea, do just that.

When it comes to reading, I typically curl up with a good book in the same place at the same time each day – a ritual this Quartz article claims is one that forms a “strange, new relationship … between [the reader], the voice of the book, and the room. Your ritual creates a singular association between the book and a quiet, private place, which in turn gives your relationship a new dimension.” I’ve never looked at my bedtime reading ritual quite in that way, but I will say it’s usually the calmest, most comfortable part of my day.


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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The Carolina Center for Occupational Health implements PrognoCIS EHR software from Bizmatics as part of its transition away from paper documents. The center, which works with hundreds of employers in South Carolina, hopes to equip staff with telemedicine capabilities and tablet-based billing software as part of its ongoing modernization effort.

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Q2i develops Opioid Addiction Recovery Support software for substance abuse clinics that includes real-time reporting, analytics, and trend analysis via care team portal and patient-facing mobile app.


People

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Stanley Crane (Allscripts) joins InteliSys Health as CTO.

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Kno2 hires Alan Swenson (Epic) as director of interoperability.

EHRA elects David Heller (Greenway Health) to its executive committee.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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TechCrunch looks at the reasons why singer Lionel Richie (an early investor in Microsoft) chose app-based house call startup Heal as his first foray into startup investing. “I’m going to let the secret out of the bag,” says Richie. “This is my new pastime. I had a choice: Do I play tennis on the weekends or do I call up my tech friends and say what’s new?” Richie is far from the only celebrity investing in technology. Ashton Kutcher, Kobe Bryant, and Ryan Seacrest have all dipped their toes in the tech funding waters.


Telemedicine

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ClearHealth Quality Institute creates an online portal for organizations looking to apply for its Telemedicine Accreditation Program. CHQI took the program over from the American Telemedicine Association several months ago.

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Rok Mobile will give 1,200 veterans in the greater Los Angeles area free mobile service and telemedicine access next month as part of its new Veterans Helping Veterans program. The company, founded by billionaire John Paul DeJoria (of Paul Mitchell Systems and Patron Tequila fame), hopes to develop the program into a long-term initiative that provides free services to homeless veterans for every two that switch to Rok.


Research and Innovation

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An MGMA survey finds there is still room for improvement when it comes to securing IT infrastructure as part of an organization’s broader cybersecurity strategy. Nearly one-third of the survey’s 1,236 respondents said their organization has faced some type of cyberattack, while 54 percent said they had not and 12 percent were unsure. Backup tapes were the saving grace of those that have been through an attack. “We survived a ransomware attack and didn’t have to pay – used our backup tapes and were fine,” said one provider. “I feel safe, but I also know we are all vulnerable.”


Other

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Greenway Health donates EHR software to The Pregnancy Resource Center, a new free clinic run by the nonprofit Community Christian Council. “It’s kind of a mission of Greenway,” says Greenway Health VP of Interoperability Rob Newman. “We started out with the Rapha clinics, which are very similar to this, working with the underprivileged. This just seemed like a good fit.” The center is not far from Greenway’s headquarters in Carrollton, GA.


Sponsor Updates

  • EClinicalWorks will exhibit at the 2017 Michigan Primary Care Annual Conference July 24 in Acme, MI.
  • Medical Billing Service Review includes AdvancedMD in its list of top five medical billing service companies.

Blog Posts


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk, HIStalk Connect.

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

JennHIStalk

News 7/18/17

July 18, 2017 News No Comments

Top News

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Minneapolis-based RCM vendor Ability Network acquires Eagen, MN-based Secure Bill Pay, which offers online, point of service, and back office payment applications. Ability Network will retain all of SBP’s employees. Ability Network has raised nearly $600 million since launching as VisionShare in 2009. SBP is its sixth acquisition. It acquired ShiftHound in April, and EHealth Data Solutions and G4 Health Systems last year.


HIStalk Practice Announcements and Requests

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Don’t miss last week’s interviews with:

  • Ashley Moss, MD founder of a new house call-based pediatric practice in Maryland. I enjoyed talking with her about the ways she’s using technology to care for her patients.
  • Geeta Nayyar, MD chief healthcare and innovation officer at Femwell Group Health. She offered a compelling take on the ways in which new patient engagement technologies are helping Femwell physicians improve care plan adherence.

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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Community Health Partnership – a group of 25 provider organizations that provide care to Medicaid patients via the Community Care of Central Colorado program – selects ClientTrack care coordination technology from Eccovia Solutions.

Betances Health Center (NY) will pilot smart messaging technology from Klara Technologies thanks to grant funding provided by Health 2.0 and New York City Economic Development Corp. Goals for the pilot include reducing time needed to handle patient requests, as well as unnecessary callbacks and voicemails.

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Cow Creek Health & Wellness Center, a 10-physician clinic within the Oregon Indian Health Service, will replace its government-provided Resource and Patient Management System with Intergy software from Greenway Health.

MTBC guarantees that new PracticePro customers will not face the upcoming 4-percent Medicare reimbursement penalty predicted for small practices that don’t comply with MACRA in 2017.


People

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Former National Coordinator Vindell Washington, MD joins Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana as CMO. Before his time in government, Washington was president of the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System’s medical group in Baton Rouge.

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Sylvan Waller, MD (MDLive) joins Miami-based telemedicine startup EpicMD as CMO.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Physician turned entrepreneur Mark McKenna, MD outlines his plans to launch a retail medical aesthetics business that will provide, among other services, Botox injections via app-powered house calls. Virtual consults are also in the works. The company has raised $38 million so far, and plans to open its first clinics in Atlanta and Nashville.

Med Tech Solutions acquires the health IT business of holding company Constellation for an undisclosed sum. MTS, which supports EHR software from NextGen, EClinicalWorks, and Practice Fusion, among others, will retain most of Constellation’s employees. 


Government and Politics

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HHS Secretary Tom Price, MD and CMS Administrator Seema Verma address the federal government’s efforts to combat opioid abuse during their time at the National Governors Association Meeting in Rhode Island. Price specifically mentioned the need to bolster timely public health data and reporting, presumably via PDMPs.

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Also at the meeting, CVS Health and Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo announced plans to open an Opioid Center of Excellence focused on expanding medication-assisted treatment for opioid-addicted patients. CVS, which is headquartered in Rhode Island, will invest $250,000 in the facility.


Research and Innovation

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Solo family physicians Lynn Ho, MD and Jean Antonucci, MD advocate for the use of patient-generated data culled from free online tools like How’s Your Health? as a means to increase the health confidence of patients and, in turn, improve quality and outcomes. “Unfortunately,” they add, “despite the advantages and ease of use of this combined approach to measurement and improvement, we have encountered resistance from regional payers and quality organizations when suggesting the use of patient-entered data for quality measurement. Primary care physicians are forced to spend too much time gathering and reporting quality data when tools like How’s Your Health? are available.”


Telemedicine

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Telepsychiatry and behavioral health pharmacy company Genoa acquires Minneapolis-based Medication Management Systems for an undisclosed amount, and rebrands it to Genoa Medication Management Solutions. Tukwila, WA-based Genoa operates 370 pharmacies within community mental health centers across the country.

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Telemedicine backpack developer SwyMed will make its virtual consult capabilities available via Google Glass, which is being re-introduced as a tool for enterprise environments.


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk, HIStalk Connect.

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

JennHIStalk

News 7/17/17

July 17, 2017 News No Comments

Top News

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Investment firm K1 sells chiropractic EHR and PM vendor ChiroTouch to Waud Capital Partners for an undisclosed amount. The news comes just a few days after ChiroTouch let it be known that WCP had made an investment worth “millions of dollars” in its future development. (Perhaps it’s a case of overlapping/poorly edited press releases.) WCP executive George Ahn will take over as ChiroTouch CEO from Robert Moberg (though that fact, strangely, isn’t mentioned in K1’s announcement). Moberg will assume the role of president. Both men will serve on the company’s Board of Directors. K1 acquired the company in 2014.


HIStalk Practice Musings

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I’m back in the saddle after a week of being on top of a mountain and away from devices. It was nice to walk away from my laptop for a full seven days of beautiful sunrises (and a few bug bites). Healthcare was never far from my mind, though. I got back to basics providing first aid to dozens of people far younger than me who weren’t shy about thanking me with full-body hugs. All in a day’s work when you’re off the grid, I suppose.

That being said, I’ll spend this week catching up on practice-related health IT news from the air-conditioned comfort of my home office. Feel free to email me with news, rumors, and opinions you feel are must-reads.


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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Harbin Clinic (GA) implements the Psychiatric EEG Evaluation Registry from Mynd Analytics to help physicians provide more personalized mental healthcare – including prescriptions – to patients at its clinics in Rome and Calhoun.

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Valley Regional Imaging (NC) selects PM and RCM services and technology from Zotec Partners.

MyMipsScore adds Able Health’s value-based performance tracking and quality improvement tools to its line of technology and consulting services geared towards QPP-focused physicians.


People

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Merrie Wallace, RN, MSN (Premier) joins PerfectServe as chief revenue officer.

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Karla Angel (Culbert Healthcare Solutions) joins Carex Consulting Group’s candidate relations team.


Telemedicine

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Global specialty insurance company Beazley creates a policy for organizations that provide telemedicine services including physicians, vendors, and hosting companies. The Virtual Care Policy includes medical malpractice, technology errors and omissions, and privacy coverage.

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MMJ Technologies develops virtual consult and data collection capabilities for medical marijuana patients and their physicians.


Research and Innovation

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A study in the Annals of Family Medicine looks at the retention patterns of family physicians working in rural areas. Conducted between 2000 and 2014, researchers found that the turnover rate for physicians 45 and younger was twice that of older physicians. Primary reasons included a small population, lack of a local hospital, and physician shortage. Economic demographics didn’t appear to be a consideration. Physicians between 45 and 65 were more likely to leave rural practices located near urban areas.


Government and Politics

In an effort to improve patient safety and prevent opioid abuse, Nebraska’s Dept. of Health and Human Services and its HIE enlist DrFirst to aggregate prescription data and deliver it to the state’s PDMP, which launched at the beginning of this year. Next year, Nebraska will become the first state to require that all prescriptions be tracked.


Other

Image result for HIStalk, coffee, mug

Validation never tasted so good: Several new studies confirm what I’ve hoped for since I started imbibing during my first office job oh so many years ago – drinking more coffee could lead to a longer life. Two separate studies of over a combined 700,000 people found that those who drank between two and four cups a day had an 18-percent lower risk of death than those who didn’t. Coffee consumption was found to be inversely proportional to rates of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and stroke, among other ailments.


Sponsor Updates

  • EClinicalWorks describes how its Healow Kids mobile app connects parents with their child’s pediatrician.

Blog Posts


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk, HIStalk Connect.

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

JennHIStalk

HIStalk Practice Interviews Geeta Nayyar, MD Chief Healthcare & Innovation Officer, Femwell Group Health

July 10, 2017 Interviews No Comments

Geeta Nayyar, MD is chief healthcare and innovation officer at Femwell Group Health in Miami.

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Tell me about yourself and the organization.

I am the chief healthcare and innovation officer for TopLine MD and Femwell Group Health, one of the largest management services organizations in the state of Florida. We manage about 500 practices in the state, primarily focused on women’s health and primary care. As a board-certified practicing physician who specializes in rheumatology, I maintain an active practice, serve on the medical school faculty at Florida International University and George Washington University and host "Topline MD TV," Florida’s premiere medical digital news channel.

I’ve always loved science and people, and I wanted to make a difference in people’s lives. The best part about my current position is that I am able to make an impact beyond just one-one-one patient care. I can help influence changes in the industry that could potentially impact thousands of people in a positive way for better care and better outcomes, and that is supremely gratifying.

Femwell decided to roll out patient engagement technology from HealthGrid several months ago. What prompted that decision?

Given the paradigm shift in healthcare and a more consumer-driven and value-based care model, we were looking for a strategic partner and, after a thorough and competitive vetting process, determined that HealthGrid was the right partner for us to help us achieve a higher level of patient engagement and better outcomes. We need 50 percent of patients to have a mobile connection with their providers to get meaningful outcomes via patient engagement technologies. HealthGrid is the only company we found that had 50-70 percent of their customers’ patients engaging on their mobile devices to review their care summaries and adhere to their care plans. In addition, the company also guaranteed attestation for all patient engagement MU/MIPS measures.

When patients are engaged in their care – which means meeting them where they are on their mobile devices – they have better outcomes. HealthGrid has a health management engine with patient engagement built into it, which ensures quality continuum of care in their healthcare journey. Physicians also see and appreciate the measurable ROI afforded by such a comprehensive system that harnesses the power of the value-based care model.

Femwell rolled out telemedicine services last year. How has adoption been? How has that service impacted access and outcomes?

Our adoption of telemedicine services continues to grow. We have seen a significant growth across specialties and across groups. This in part is due to the ease of access for both physicians and patients. Telemedicine has allowed our physicians and patients to connect after-hours and on weekends, when needed. Patients are comforted knowing their own doctor has adopted new technologies to enhance their care. It’s an extension of the brick-and-mortar physician offices, in the palm of their hands.

With the adoption of telemedicine services, TopLine MD has seen better outcomes for patients simply by enhancing their continuum of care and lessening the need for patients to visit other physicians in emergency rooms or urgent care centers.

What unique challenges do OB/GYN practices face when it comes to selecting and implementing health IT?

OB/GYN practices have specific challenges just by the nature of care they need to deliver. Many appointments need to be done face-to-face because physical exams are required for proper care. As far as the patient engagement component of maternity care is concerned, telemedicine and interactive patient engagement tools allow physicians and patients to stay connected, and can help alleviate stress and anxiety of an expectant mom. Tools tailored specifically for young families on the go, such as accessing a physician’s note for school officials, without having to visit the school or the physician’s office, is just one of the ways real patient engagement tools make a difference in the everyday lives of families.

Aside from technology, what are the top two or three challenges your physicians are facing today? How is Femwell helping them work through these?

Physicians at TopLine MD face the same challenges as most. Physicians want to be physicians and the challenges surrounding the business of healthcare, including processes, marketing, and policies, should not affect the precious eight-10 minute patient visits with a physician. We offer innovative foundational support for physician practices, including robust patient engagement technology that enables physicians to focus on the patient.

Getting back to technology, what’s next for Femwell physicians?

The technology platforms at Femwell have evolved and telehealth capabilities are increasing. Femwell is planning to further expand by increasing utilization up to 10 times through connecting patient engagement technologies to telehealth. We’re also looking forward to strengthening the partnership with HealthGrid through data analytics and leveraging strategies for reporting to various regulatory agencies, enabling it to excel in the value-based care world..

Do you have any final thoughts?

This is just the beginning for Femwell. It has proven to be a leader in helping physician practices succeed by working with strategic partners such as HealthGrid to facilitate meaningful communication with patients in this new paradigm in healthcare. We believe having the right tech partners at the table will ensure the best delivery model of healthcare possible.


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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