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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


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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.
Contact us online.
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.
Contact us online.
Become a sponsor.

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!


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk, HIStalk Connect.

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HIStalk Practice Interviews Daphne Bascom, MD SVP, Community Integrated Health, YMCA of Greater Kansas City

May 10, 2017 Interviews 1 Comment

Daphne Bascom, MD is SVP of community integrated health at YMCA of Greater Kansas City in Missouri.

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Tell me about yourself and the organization.

I am a physician by training, board certified in otolaryngology, and head and neck surgery. I trained out of the University of Pittsburgh and Oregon Health Sciences University, and have been in Kansas City now for about five years. I completed my fellowship in microvascular reconstruction at Case Western University, then left there and joined Cerner for the first time. I then worked for Ascension Health for a short time and then Cleveland Clinic. I spent six years rolling out Epic at Cleveland Clinic. During that time I was able to work as part of their wellness institute. I went back to Cerner about five years ago and was most recently CMO.

I joined the Y in January of 2017. It’s probably easier to call me the medical director for health and wellness; that is my role today. I am the first physician employed at the association level – the first local doc. The YMCA of Greater Kansas City is actually an association of 14 different YMCA centers that are both in Kansas and Missouri. We have about a million visits to our Y annually, and are the largest provider of childcare in Missouri and Kansas.

I’ve read that you’re also a competitive body builder. How did you become involved with that?

Around the time I turned 40 I treated myself to some personal training, and my trainer was a professional figure competitor. She was preparing some competitors for competition and I thought it looked fun, so I decided to start competing. I earned my professional card six or seven years after I started competing. While I’ve always been a gym junkie, it wasn’t until I turned 40 that I really started to understand how important nutrition was, and how to really wed health and wellness together.

What prompted you to make the switch fro the vendor world to the Y?

I was already a member, and had been on their board for two years. I’d watched this Y as they started to make the transition from what we call “swim and gym” to really starting to engage with the community. I introduced the Y to Cerner because I saw a huge opportunity, given what they were doing, to integrate population health strategies into what the Y was doing. This was while I was still at Cerner. I also started facilitating conversations between the Y and Truman Medical Center, which is our safety net hospital, and then I pulled in the university. It was one of the most fascinating set of conversations I’d heard in years because they were throwing to the wind what we had done conventionally, asking, "How do we do this differently? How do we better leverage our community partnerships?" I got excited about doing the work when I was on the Cerner side. When the Y posted for a clinical leader, I threw my hat into the ring and was fortunate to get the position.

How has your health IT experience already started to help inform your role at the Y?

On top of my Cerner and Epic experience, the YMCA started an Athenahealth deployment in January. Any YMCA that delivers our diabetes prevention program is using Athenahealth, which is going to be our standardized EHR across all of the Ys nationwide. I’m getting a little bit of exposure to Athena now and it’s really exciting.

The technology connection is probably at multiple levels. I think there’s a community connection where we can improve how we are using e-referral processes, and improve decision support so that providers can perhaps be prompted to refer patients to community services in the context of their workflow. I’d also like to get rid of the paper trail by having more electronic processes to refer patients into the Y, or for me to refer patients to a provider. And – this is my dream, especially living in Kansas City and seeing what Cerner is doing with Healthy Intent – having the potential for a true community health record.

If all of this data were above our individual organizations in the cloud, you could tie in clinical needs with community needs and then add in social determinants of health, which isn’t done that well today in the EHR. That could help create a better picture and help people understand what it is they really need from the health side, the care side, and the community side.

We’re also in the process of rolling out a mobile platform for delivering evidence-based programs. We partner with a company called Noom. We just started our first diabetes prevention program on smartphones.

Given that the Y isn’t a conventional healthcare provider, how does it plan on using the EHR?

The diabetes prevention program is delivered by trained lifestyle coaches, who we are training to use the EHR to almost as if they were an ancillary care provider. Every one of their classes becomes a schedule for them, the provider. All of the participants in their classes will be on their schedule as if they were seeing people in clinics. They are required to enter the participant’s weight, their activity, if they are completing their food log. We also have them doing "billing" just to document their participation – if it’s their first session, their 10th session – so that we can also report on their progress. It’s the same Athena that everyone uses. It’s a little nuanced.

The funny thing is I hear the exact same complaints from the coaches that I hear from the physicians with regard to the technology: “It’s too many clicks. It takes me too long.” The great thing is that it’s standard, so regardless of whether you’re in Atlanta or Kansas City, you will have the same experience and the same data will be collected. At the national level, the Y is beginning to aggregate the data across all of our facilities so that we can begin to look at our outcomes. One of the primary motivators is that we want to be able to participate in Medicare reimbursement starting in 2018. We needed a certified EHR in order to be able to submit those claims.

All of the Ys have their NPI and we’re in the process of working on NPIs for our coaches. From an organizational change perspective it’s huge, because YMCAs historically have not really had to be HIPAA-compliant. Now, one of my responsibilities is as our privacy officer, and getting everyone HIPAA-trained and HIPAA-certified, and putting in place the policies and procedures to make sure that we are compliant. It’s been a massive organizational change effort, and I have to applaud the national office for taking this on.

We’re also working on e-referrals. The three primary EHRs that we’re working with in Kansas City are Cerner, Epic, and Athena. I can’t directly receive a referral from any of them or send a note back to them. We’re hoping to turn on Athena Communicator, which will give us some capability to do Athena to Athena communication. We’re exploring Direct messaging, although we know some of the challenge with Direct nationally in terms of adoption and usage. And then we’re also part of an initiative out of the Million Hearts program that is interested in exploring the same things. There are a few different organizations trying to figure this out.

Are you thinking about adding telemedicine?

That’s a great question. The answer is yes. I just don’t have the answer for who the provider will be. We just built a new Y in one of our underserved communities called Linwood. In partnership with Truman Medical Center, we’re going to build a clinic that’s physically attached to the Y. It’s not a new model; there are multiple Ys that already have integrated rehab and physical therapy or other clinical services. But as part of that, we are going to have an e-visit room, and so we’re looking at what that may be and who may provide that. I’m advocating that it should not be seen as just a clinical visit, but that it could be a care team visit. If I needed to have a provider on a line along with a coach, along with the patient … we want to make sure that the technology can scale and have a care team concept – not just a patient-to-provider concept.

Are you already thinking about connecting to a local or regional HIE?

Yes. We met with the Kansas Department of Health several weeks ago to see if we can help them with some of their rural communities. They wanted to know, “Can we send this health data to the Kansas HIE?” I’ve also talked with the Missouri Primary Care Association. We have three HIEs in Missouri. I think the challenge from the YMCA’s perspective will be point-to-point in every state. It’s going to be very expensive. And will it be sustainable?

I would love to have all of this go up into some big, massive cloud, but again I’m probably just dreaming. In Missouri I have to decide, “Do I send the data to all three HIEs or do I bet on one being sustainable? Will I make people mad if I choose one and not the other?” There are some politics involved. Nationally, I don’t know if funding and maintaining all of those connections is going to be the Y’s long-term strategy.

You mentioned working with a public health agency. What social determinants of health are you incorporating into your community-integrated health program?

As many as possible. And I know that’s not an answer. One of the things I’ve been doing for the past four months is making introductions around the community, both to share what the Y is doing and then also to better understand what other resources are available. I’ve also been visiting all of our Ys to understand what are the important non-swim-and-gym elements of healthcare that we can address with appropriate services from the Y or our partners. We’re already working with Truman, KU, and food trucks. There are significant areas of Kansas City that are food deserts.

With our Million Hearts Program, the Dept. of Health in Missouri has agreed to help us organize transportation for patients that may want to participate in our blood pressure self-monitoring program. If they are recommended by their provider to be part of a BPSM program and transportation is an obstacle, can we work with the health department to schedule a van or Uber to get them to meet with our Healthy Heart ambassadors. From a language and literacy perspective, our Y is piloting an English as a second language program. We’re helping address literacy within members of our community. These programs are actually taught by community volunteers, not even employees at the Y.

What are your goals for these programs? What are your aspirations when it comes to continuing to build them out?

I think the first goal is for both the community and the healthcare community to know that these programs are available. Communication and program availability is key, and more importantly, as well as making our programs part of the clinical care workflow. I’d love to enable providers to either refer patients and/or to see data from participation in these programs. Another goal is to scale the programs across more of Kansas City and Missouri and Kansas. Kansas and Missouri are not the healthiest states. I need to be able to scale the programs and deliver them to more members of the community. Those aren’t just YMCA members. We deliver programs in churches, schools, and to employers. To do that, part of it has to be having the resources to fund our coaches.

I think a lot of what I’m going to be leveraging technology for is to meet people where they are. You may not be able to come into a Y physically, but if you can meet with a YMCA coach on your smartphone or iPad, then we can help you maximize your health potential with whatever resources are available. The last part would be for the Y to become a trusted and respected member of the community care team. It takes a village to be healthy. In a 15- or 20-minute clinic visit, there’s no provider that’s going to be able to address all of the key factors that make people well or help keep them healthy. It may be that they don’t have electricity, or that they don’t have great access to food. They may not have an ID that allows them to get their health insurance on the exchange.

We want to continue to extend what we consider to be health and care to be inclusive of our community resources, and to make those resources available to people as they need them. We want to make sure that the provider community has immediate access to us when it’s appropriate so that we can help extend what they’re doing to keep people healthy.


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Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk, HIStalk Connect.

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