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News 10/30/17

October 30, 2017 News No Comments

Top News

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Speaking at the Health Care Payment Learning and Action Network Fall Summit, CMS Administrator Seema Verma announces the agency will take a less burdensome and more streamlined approach to assessing quality measures through its new Meaningful Measures effort. The new method will focus only on “those core issues that are most vital to providing high-quality care and improving patient outcomes.” Verma, who didn’t offer any concrete details as to when Meaningful Measures will commence, added that CMS will focus only on outcome-based measures moving forward.


Webinars

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November 8 (Wednesday) 1:00 ET. “How Clinically Integrated Networks Can Overcome the Technical Challenges to Data-Sharing.” Sponsored by: Liaison Technologies. Presenters: Dominick Mack, MD, executive medical director, Georgia Health Information Technology Extension Center and Georgia Health Connect, director, National Center for Primary Care, and associate professor, Morehouse School of Medicine;  Gary Palgon, VP of  healthcare and life sciences solutions, Liaison Technologies. This webinar will describe how Georgia Heath Connect connects clinically integrated networks to hospitals and small and rural practices, helping providers in medically underserved communities meet MACRA requirements by providing technology, technology support, and education that accelerates regulatory compliance and improves outcomes.

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


Announcements and Implementations

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Bridge Patient Portal adds new GE Centricity interface capabilities, secure messaging, bill pay, and patient self-service functions to its flagship technology.

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Stryker’s Performance Solutions business develops a Practice Excellence Program to help orthopedic practices transform workflows and RCM, and better utilize data analytics.


People

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John Ayanoglou (Build Capital) joins biometrics-focused remote patient monitoring company Biotricity as CFO.


Telemedicine

Telemedicine stakeholders cheer President Trump’s decision to expand telemedicine resources for opioid abuse treatment as part of his national public health emergency declaration last week. American Telemedicine Association President Peter Yellowlees points out that, “Three groups of patients will be primary beneficiaries of this important regulatory change – individuals with addictions, children with ADHD, and veterans with PTSD. They are all commonly treated with a range of controlled substances which, until now, have not been able to be prescribed by telemedicine.”


Government and Politics

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The Maine Health Data Organization and Maine Health Quality Forum update CompareMaine.org, a database of healthcare prices and patient satisfaction ratings for 200 procedures performed at 175 facilities across the state. Users now have the ability to break down costs between facility and individual that performs the procedure. Future updates, including the addition of pricing data for electrocardiograms and chiropractic services, will be released twice a year.

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In light of President Trump’s declaration of a national public health emergency to combat the opioid epidemic, the Office of Civil Rights reiterates the ways in which HIPAA can help physicians respond to the crisis.

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Surgeon General Jerome Adams, MD tells US News & World Report in his first official interview that, unlike some of his predecessors, he won’t focus his efforts on one particular problem “du jour.” His first official report will address the opioid epidemic’s economic impact, including its ties to unemployment and the vicious cycle the two factors perpetuate. “The communities that are suffering from the opioid epidemic in many cases are communities that have suffered from a poor economy in which you’ve seen a vicious downward spiral, and they’re also communities where you’ve seen crime increase,” Adams explains. 


Research and Innovation

Researchers continue to test the ways in which social networks can act as public health tools, this time focusing their efforts on opioid-related chatter on Twitter. Using custom software, researchers combed through tweets looking for words and phrases like “dope,” “percs,” “white,” “TNT,” and “Captain Cody,” as well as details related to location that, when taken together, might act as an early warning system for public health officials. “Are people talking about getting high, controlling pain or some other motivation that is underlying a common behavior?” asked one researcher. “People are more likely to share certain types of information with their peers than they will with their health care providers.” Their findings were consistent with state-based estimates of opioid misuse culled from the National Survey on Drug Usage and Health.


Other

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I’m beginning to think hackers might have too much time on their hands: A cybersecurity firm discovers a vulnerability in LG’s smart home devices and corresponding apps that could give hackers control to a homeowner’s appliances, including the video camera-equipped Hom-Bot robot vacuum cleaner. The flaw has since been fixed.

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This is what family medicine is all about: Jeff Kellogg, MD steps in to officiate patient Rachel Meisner’s wedding after she discovers her scheduled minister had passed away. Kellogg, who delivered Meisner in 1994, has cared for many of her family members over the years. The arrangement came about after he asked her how the wedding planning was coming along during a routine checkup. (No word on whether he asked the question while facing her or his computer.)

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Somewhat last-minute pumpkin-carving ideas from @jkwillettmd


Sponsor Updates

  • Nordic will lead focus groups at the CHIME Fall CIO Forum October 31-November 3 in San Antonio.
  • Aprima will exhibit at the American College of Phlebology’s 2017 Annual Congress November 2-5 in Austin, TX.

Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk, HIStalk Connect.

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News 10/26/17

October 26, 2017 News No Comments

Top News

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President Trump declares a public health emergency to address the country’s opioid crisis. The directive – signed by acting HHS Secretary Eric Hargan – does not provide any new funding. The highlights:

  • Expanded access to telemedicine services, which will no doubt be well received in rural areas with few physicians and fewer behavioral health resources.
  • Loosening up red tape involved with appointing HHS officials who will help refocus programs and resources.
  • Freeing up of resources within HIV/AIDs programs to help give those patients access to substance abuse treatment.
  • Issuing grants to help workers displaced from the workforce by the opioid crisis – a somewhat nebulous benefit that is subject to available funding.

Webinars

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November 8 (Wednesday) 1:00 ET. “How Clinically Integrated Networks Can Overcome the Technical Challenges to Data-Sharing.” Sponsored by: Liaison Technologies. Presenters: Dominick Mack, MD, executive medical director, Georgia Health Information Technology Extension Center and Georgia Health Connect, director, National Center for Primary Care, and associate professor, Morehouse School of Medicine;  Gary Palgon, VP of  healthcare and life sciences solutions, Liaison Technologies. This webinar will describe how Georgia Heath Connect connects clinically integrated networks to hospitals and small and rural practices, helping providers in medically underserved communities meet MACRA requirements by providing technology, technology support, and education that accelerates regulatory compliance and improves outcomes.

Here is the recording from this week’s webinar with ZappRx on improving care and saving time with streamlined specialty drug prescribing.

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


Announcements and Implementations

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Westmed Medical Group (NY and CT) upgrades its Bridge Patient Portal with enhanced appointment management, online bill pay, and prescription refill request tools. The practice has also launched an app that offers appointment scheduling and secure messaging.

TSYS will add Rectangle Health’s Practice Management Bridge payment processing software to its line of healthcare payment products.

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Drchrono develops EHR and PM technology for urgent care practices.


Government and Politics

The Delaware Healthcare Commission awards Health Management Associates a $1.3 million contract to help the state’s department of health and social services integrate behavioral healthcare services into primary care facilities, and support the Health Neighborhoods population health management program.


People

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John Vassall, MD (Swedish Health Services) joins Qualis Health as physician executive for quality and safety.

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Harry Kim (Samsung Health) joins American Well as SVP of strategic partnerships.

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United Rheumatology appoints Jon Glaudemans (Manatt Health) CEO.


Telemedicine

CareClix adds Isabel Healthcare’s Symptom Checker to its white-label telemedicine software.

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MyTelemedicine develops patient enrollment and administration software for its Access a Doctor telemedicine products.

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Kareo adds telemedicine capabilities to its EHR, PM, and billing platform.


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk, HIStalk Connect.

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

Jenn_125

News 10/25/17

October 25, 2017 News No Comments

Top News

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Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf will use $3.8 million in federal grant money to help prescribers integrate their EHRs with the state’s PDMP as part of a new program that runs through 2019. Pennsylvania was relatively late to the PDMP party, launching a system in 2014 after many other states had already done so. It now connects to similar systems in 11 other states and is searched 1.1 million times per month.


Webinars

October 26 (Thursday) 2:00 ET. “Is your EHR limiting your success in value-based care?” Sponsored by: Philips Wellcentive. Presenters: Lindsey Bates, market director of compliance, Philips Wellcentive; Greg Fulton, industry and public policy lead, Philips Wellcentive. No single technology solution will solve every problem, so ensuring you select the ones most aligned to meet your strategic goals can be the difference between thriving or merely surviving. From quality reporting to analytics to measures building, developing a comprehensive healthcare strategy that will support your journey in population health and value-base care programs is the foundation of success. Join Philips Wellcentive for our upcoming interactive webinar, where we’ll help you evolve ahead of the industry, setting the right strategic goals and getting the most out of your technology solutions.

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November 8 (Wednesday) 1:00 ET. “How Clinically Integrated Networks Can Overcome the Technical Challenges to Data-Sharing.” Sponsored by: Liaison Technologies. Presenters: Dominick Mack, MD, executive medical director, Georgia Health Information Technology Extension Center and Georgia Health Connect, director, National Center for Primary Care, and associate professor, Morehouse School of Medicine;  Gary Palgon, VP of  healthcare and life sciences solutions, Liaison Technologies. This webinar will describe how Georgia Heath Connect connects clinically integrated networks to hospitals and small and rural practices, helping providers in medically underserved communities meet MACRA requirements by providing technology, technology support, and education that accelerates regulatory compliance and improves outcomes.

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


Announcements and Implementations

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Family Health Services of Darke County will implement EClinicalWorks early next year. The switch will bring each of its departments – now running on separate EHRs – onto a unified platform. Medical Director Carlos Menendez, MD alluded to the upcoming roll out in my interview with him last month: “We anticipate catching up with Meaningful Use after our new EHR is up and running,” he said. “The new system will help solve [ our data extraction] problem.”


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Athenahealth will lay off 61 employees at its Ponce City Market offices in Atlanta as part of company-wide cost-cutting measures announced last week. The company will also close offices in Princeton, NJ and San Francisco – home to its MDP accelerator.

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Compliancy Group launches the HIPAA Alliance Marketplace to help providers find vetted vendors of HIPAA-compliant solutions.

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Atlanta-based CoinMD hopes to attract consumers fed up with increasingly burdensome healthcare costs to a new cryptocurrency-based healthcare rewards network. I’ll be honest in that I don’t totally understand all the details. It looks like the company will offer members discounted healthcare services and cryptocurrency-based incentives for using providers within its preferred provider network, though it gives no details about how it will develop said network. It also plans to offer participating providers access to member healthcare records via blockchain.


Research and Innovation

New research from Black Book finds that delayed payment from patients with high-deductible health plans and trouble communicating patient payment responsibilities are top collection challenges for over 80 percent of small practices. Those same practices have also fallen behind in their abilities to accurately estimate healthcare costs, despite payer efforts to provide accurate data. Physicians cite the need for better management of consumer expectations ahead of appointments, improved cost transparency, and more convenient payment methods.


Other

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I wish this formula got more attention: A note penned by Albert Einstein in 1922 sells for $1.56 million at auction. Einstein wrote and gave the note to a hotel waiter in lieu of a tip, noting that perhaps it would one day become valuable. Included in the note: “A calm and humble life will bring more happiness than the pursuit of success and the constant restlessness that comes with it.”

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Health IT-related humor from Sutter Medical Group’s Peter Valenzuela, MD winner of MGMA’s 2017 Harwick Innovation Award. Valenzuela developed a program to help prevent physician burnout that increased the group’s physician satisfaction and engagement, and patient experience scores.


Sponsor Updates

  • EClinicalWorks will exhibit at the Connected Health Conference October 26-27 in Boston.
  • Intelligent Medical Objects will exhibit at the CHIME CIO Fall Forum October 31-November 3 in San Antonio.
  • Healthwise will exhibit at the HealthTrio 2017 Users Group Conference October 25-27 in Tucson.
  • Nordic releases a new podcast, “How to communicate effectively during your EHR transition.”
  • AdvancedMD joins CommonWell.

Blog Posts


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk, HIStalk Connect.

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

Jenn_125

News 10/24/17

October 24, 2017 News 2 Comments

Top News

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In yet another sign of industry consolidation and corporate overhaul à la Athenahealth, Greenway Health announces that it will relocate several operations to its Tampa headquarters and embark upon a two-year software development overhaul dubbed Project Polaris. The company has assured customers it will continue to support and upgrade current solutions while it works to develop a new EHR/PM platform that will “combine the best attributes from all its market-driven solutions.” Greenway will seek feedback from a newly created advisory board and enlist the services of a user experience design firm to help whittle down the copious amount of hoped-for features listed in its project announcement from earlier this month. (Thanks to the HIStalk Practice reader who tipped me off to the news. It seems Greenway has included marketing and PR in its “unification” efforts.)


Webinars

October 25 (Wednesday) 1:00 ET. “Delivering the Healthcare Pricing Transparency that Consumers are Demanding.” Sponsored by: Health Catalyst. Presenter: Gene Thompson, director, Health City Cayman Islands. Health systems are unlike every other major consumer category in not providing upfront pricing information. Learn how one health system has developed predictable, transparent bundled pricing for most major specialties. Attendees will gain insight into the importance of their quality measures and their use of actual daily procedure costing rather than allocated costs. They will also learn about the strategic risk of other market participants competing with single bundled pricing. The organization’s director will expand how its years-long process is enabling healthcare delivery reform.

October 26 (Thursday) 2:00 ET. “Is your EHR limiting your success in value-based care?” Sponsored by: Philips Wellcentive. Presenters: Lindsey Bates, market director of compliance, Philips Wellcentive; Greg Fulton, industry and public policy lead, Philips Wellcentive. No single technology solution will solve every problem, so ensuring you select the ones most aligned to meet your strategic goals can be the difference between thriving or merely surviving. From quality reporting to analytics to measures building, developing a comprehensive healthcare strategy that will support your journey in population health and value-base care programs is the foundation of success. Join Philips Wellcentive for our upcoming interactive webinar, where we’ll help you evolve ahead of the industry, setting the right strategic goals and getting the most out of your technology solutions.

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November 8 (Wednesday) 1:00 ET. “How Clinically Integrated Networks Can Overcome the Technical Challenges to Data-Sharing.” Sponsored by: Liaison Technologies. Presenters: Dominick Mack, MD, executive medical director, Georgia Health Information Technology Extension Center and Georgia Health Connect, director, National Center for Primary Care, and associate professor, Morehouse School of Medicine;  Gary Palgon, VP of  healthcare and life sciences solutions, Liaison Technologies. This webinar will describe how Georgia Heath Connect connects clinically integrated networks to hospitals and small and rural practices, helping providers in medically underserved communities meet MACRA requirements by providing technology, technology support, and education that accelerates regulatory compliance and improves outcomes.

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


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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ScriptSender will relocate its headquarters to downtown West Palm Beach in Florida. The company, which offers one-click communication capabilities between providers, plans to bring 25 additional jobs to the area within the next year.


Announcements and Implementations

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In Texas, Amarillo Legacy Medical ACO selects predictive analytics tools from VitreosHealth to help enhance care management efforts across its independent medical practices that care for 17,000 Medicare patients.

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North Texas Orthopedics & Spine Center opts for RCM technology and services, including process automation and analytics, from Meridian Medical Management.

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Five year-old DirectTrust reports increasing adoption and utilization of its secure email capabilities, with 106,000 healthcare organizations served by DirectTrust health information service providers – an increase of 54 percent over Q3 2016. DirectTrust addresses grew 20 percent to 1.6 million, while transactions peaked at 46 million for the quarter.

Greenway Health integrates PatientPop’s online appointment booking capabilities with its Prime Suite EHR.

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The AMA launches the Physician Innovation Network, an online forum members can use to connect with health technology companies looking for end-user guidance and feedback.


People

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Melissa Dabrowski (Behringer & Co.) joins Great Lakes Management Services as VP of human resources.


Telemedicine

PWNHealth adds telemedicine-based genetic counseling services from Ambry Genetics to its line of virtual care services.


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk, HIStalk Connect.

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

Jenn_125

News 10/23/17

October 23, 2017 News No Comments

Top News

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New Mexico Cancer Center President and CEO Barbara McAneny, MD tells the local paper she is the first oncologist, fourth woman, and first New Mexican to be elected president of the AMA, a position she’ll take on next year. The president-elect plans on emphasizing the need to put power back into the hands of physicians so that they can better focus on patients. McAneny has been critical of plans to build more hospitals in New Mexico in lieu of investing money in preventative healthcare services. “I do not believe we need more hospitals,” she explains. “[W]e really should be investing our resources in primary care and having enough doctors out where the people are. Look under a crane in most cities and you’ll find either a health plan or a hospital, and that’s not where we should be spending our resources.”


Webinars

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October 24 (Tuesday) 1:00 ET. “Improve Care and Save Clinician Time by Streamlining Specialty Drug Prescribing.” Sponsored by: ZappRx. Presenter: Jeremy Feldman, MD, director, pulmonary hypertension and advanced lung disease program and medical director of research, Arizona Pulmonary Specialists. Clinicians spend an average of 20 minutes to prescribe a single specialty drug and untold extra hours each month completing prior authorization (PA) paperwork to get patients the medications they need. This webinar will describe how Arizona Pulmonary Specialists automated the inefficient specialty drug ordering process to improve patient care while saving its clinicians time.

October 25 (Wednesday) 1:00 ET. “Delivering the Healthcare Pricing Transparency that Consumers are Demanding.” Sponsored by: Health Catalyst. Presenter: Gene Thompson, director, Health City Cayman Islands. Health systems are unlike every other major consumer category in not providing upfront pricing information. Learn how one health system has developed predictable, transparent bundled pricing for most major specialties. Attendees will gain insight into the importance of their quality measures and their use of actual daily procedure costing rather than allocated costs. They will also learn about the strategic risk of other market participants competing with single bundled pricing. The organization’s director will expand how its years-long process is enabling healthcare delivery reform.

October 26 (Thursday) 2:00 ET. “Is your EHR limiting your success in value-based care?” Sponsored by: Philips Wellcentive. Presenters: Lindsey Bates, market director of compliance, Philips Wellcentive; Greg Fulton, industry and public policy lead, Philips Wellcentive. No single technology solution will solve every problem, so ensuring you select the ones most aligned to meet your strategic goals can be the difference between thriving or merely surviving. From quality reporting to analytics to measures building, developing a comprehensive healthcare strategy that will support your journey in population health and value-base care programs is the foundation of success. Join Philips Wellcentive for our upcoming interactive webinar, where we’ll help you evolve ahead of the industry, setting the right strategic goals and getting the most out of your technology solutions.

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November 8 (Wednesday) 1:00 ET. “How Clinically Integrated Networks Can Overcome the Technical Challenges to Data-Sharing.” Sponsored by: Liaison Technologies. Presenters: Dominick Mack, MD, executive medical director, Georgia Health Information Technology Extension Center and Georgia Health Connect, director, National Center for Primary Care, and associate professor, Morehouse School of Medicine;  Gary Palgon, VP of  healthcare and life sciences solutions, Liaison Technologies. This webinar will describe how Georgia Heath Connect connects clinically integrated networks to hospitals and small and rural practices, helping providers in medically underserved communities meet MACRA requirements by providing technology, technology support, and education that accelerates regulatory compliance and improves outcomes.

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


Announcements and Implementations

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Santéch Solutions develops open APIs to help I-Network end users more easily share data with payers for credentialing and reimbursement.


People

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Digital health data aggregation vendor Evoq Medical promotes Dan Collard to CEO.


Government and Politics

Physicians in Oklahoma prepare for the worst in light of looming budget cuts to Medicaid. A 9-percent cut proposed by the Oklahoma State Health Authority would save the state $28 million, but force private practice physicians like Brent Siemens, DC to close clinics and lay off employees. Others, like Matthew Haag, MD will rethink participation altogether. “Patients are going to have a tough time finding a doctor,” he says. “If they keep cutting it like this, I’ll probably bail out.” 

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With help from PDMP vendor Appriss Health, the State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy will upgrade the Ohio Automated Rx Reporting System to include secure messaging between prescribers, overdose and addiction risk scoring for patients, red flags for potential patient safety issues, and search tools for behavioral health and substance abuse treatment facilities.


Telemedicine

Mend VIP partners with the Medical Society of Delaware’s Health Hub IT services subsidiary to offer telemedicine services to its 1,000 members.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

Monroe County Commissioners in the Florida Keys rethink plans to expand an in-school clinic program after local physicians complain that it has resulted in fewer appointments at their brick-and-mortar practices. “I am self-funded and can’t compete with free office space and [public] funding,” says Michael Hernandez, MD at a recent commission meeting. “It’s not just me,” he added. “Other physicians all feel the same way. We’re all being impacted, more or less.”


Other

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Namaste Health Care (MO) notifies patients of an August ransomware attack that held its files hostage for about $2,000 (the price of the requested half bitcoin). The primary care and family medicine practice paid up, and are now investigating who was behind the breach. Patient data does not seem to have been compromised.

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It’s not fall in my neck of the woods until this local business puts its humorous twist on the season’s most popular flavor.


Sponsor Updates

  • Madison Magazine recognizes Nordic President of Managed Services Vivek Swaminathan as an innovative leader.

Blog Posts


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk, HIStalk Connect.

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

Jenn_125

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