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News 3/11/19

March 11, 2019 News No Comments

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Addiction recovery tech company MAP Health Management raises $25 million in a Series A round led by Aetna. Map, which offers virtual visit software and outcomes reporting to aid recovery after treatment, will use the money to expand its customer base beyond addiction recovery providers to primary and emergency care, and pharmacies.


Webinars

March 27 (Wednesday) 2:00 ET. “Waiting on interoperability: What can payers and providers do to collaborate?” Sponsored by Casenet. Presenter: Amy Simpson, RN, director of clinical solutions, Casenet. A wealth of data exists to identify at-risk patients and to analyze populations, allowing every payer and provider to operate readmissions intervention and care management programs. Still, payer and provider care managers are challenged to coordinate and collaborate to improve outcomes because of the long road ahead to interoperability. Attend this webinar to learn what payers and providers can do now to share information and to coordinate their efforts to create the best healthcare journey for members and patients.

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


Announcements and Implementations

Nextech Systems adds Relatient’s patient engagement technology to its EHR and practice management software for specialty practices.

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Behavioral healthcare and community services provider Community Alliance (NE) selects the SmartCare integrated health IT platform from Streamline Healthcare Solutions.

DrChrono adds educational 3-D interactive modeling and animation videos from 3D4Medical to its EHR.


People

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Eye care health IT company Rev360 promotes Scott Filion to CEO, and Jamie Hughes to SVP of subsidiary Professional Eye Care Associates of America.


Other

“Picture a place where GPs are adored.” Providers at Temora Shire Council release the adorable, La La Land-inspired “Great Quack Quest” video in an effort to recruit new physicians to the small town in Australia. (The outtakes are just as fun.) Three of Temora’s eight physicians will retire within the next five years.


Sponsor Updates

    • Aprima will exhibit at the LHC Group Revenue Cycle Leadership Conference March 11-12 in New Orleans.
    • EClinicalWorks will exhibit at the AAPM Annual Meeting March 7-9 in Denver.

    Blog Posts


    Contacts

    Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

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    From the PRM Pro 3/6/19

    Digital Technology: The Key to Patient Satisfaction
    By Jim Higgins

    Jim Higgins is the CEO and founder of Solutionreach in Lehi, UT.

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    It’s time to face the truth—we’re not living in the same world we once did. According to the Pew Research Center, 95 percent of American adults own a cell phone and 89 percent use the Internet. This is a huge increase since the year 2000, when nearly half of the population reported not using the Internet at all.

    With such incredible growth in access to (and comfort with) technology, it’s easy to see why patients say the use of digital tools is a priority to them in a healthcare organization. In fact, one study found that the use of technology increases patient satisfaction scores by 10 percent or more. And while a majority of healthcare facilities understand the need, many have not yet adopted streamlined digital communications or payment options that meet current patient needs. In fact, only about 9 percent of providers offer all of the digital tools patients want.

    What are the best ways to take advantage of modern technology? (Hint: They are all related to improving the patient experience.)

    Digital Payment Options

    Are you still sending the good old paper bill? If so, you are not alone — 86 percent of patients report receiving paper medical bills. This is true regardless of the fact that 85 percent say they would prefer to pay online! But is it really such a big deal? The answer to that is a resounding YES! Experts report that 65 percent of patients say they would switch healthcare providers for a better payment experience.

    Fortunately, using digital methods to send and process payments has never been easier. Not only can you process payments through typical methods like a patient portal, but with today’s technology, balance notifications can be sent directly to a patient’s phone via text message or email. These messages can include a direct link to a secure payment screen where patients can process their payments within minutes. It’s easy and fast—but more importantly, it’s what patients want.

    Online Scheduling

    For years and years, the only way to make an appointment with a healthcare provider was to call the office. That is all changing. We now live in a time where we’re accustomed to doing everything from buying movie tickets to scheduling a haircut via a simple click on our smartphone. The use of online scheduling — where patients book their own appointments whenever or wherever they may be — is becoming a must-have for healthcare organizations. It takes less than one minute, on average, to schedule an appointment online. In contrast, appointments scheduled by phone take an average of eight minutes. That’s just not practical for patients OR their healthcare organizations.

    Seventy-seven percent of patients prefer to schedule appointments online. And practices can make that experience even easier with the right technology. When online scheduling is integrated with your practice management system, it can identify existing versus new patients and adapt the forms so existing patients don’t have to provide information that you already have.

    Two-Way Texting

    Texting is the most popular way to reach out to friends and family these days — even 85 percent of senior citizens own a cell phone! But people want to text more people than their friends. They like the ability to text businesses — including their healthcare provider. As one study found, 73 percent of patients would like to have back-and-forth conversations via text message with their healthcare provider. With two-way texting, you can:

    • Answer care questions.
    • Schedule new appointments.
    • Discuss follow-up instructions.
    • Reschedule appointments.
    • Anything else you might need!

    Of course, you want to make sure you stay HIPAA-compliant whenever you may be sending PHI via text message. Make sure to use technology that offers the tools to stay compliant.

    Automated Surveys

    It’s something every healthcare organization has experienced: A patient posts a negative review about your services. Most of the time, these negative experiences can come as a complete surprise. Fortunately, there is a simple way to drastically improve your chances of handling issues before patients lash out online. The simple solution is the use of patient surveys. Patient satisfaction (and provider success!) is closely tied to how patients feel about what happened during an appointment. Sending a survey to patients after a visit is a great way to better understand problems and be able to address issues.

    In the past, most organizations asked patients to fill out paper surveys in the office. This method is now very outdated. Paper survey results are very ineffective at making any real change. Using technology to email or text your patients a survey after their appointment increases the likelihood that they will give more honest responses. It also makes it a whole lot more likely that they will be filled out. When it comes to making patient satisfaction a priority, it’s critical to gauge if your current technology is up to the challenge. Technology can greatly improve how your patients view you and your entire practice. It can also improve the productivity and efficiency of you and your staff.

    Digital technology has changed the world as we know it. From business to education to health, no corner of the world has been left untouched. It allows for better communication between a healthcare organization and their patients, smoother methods for scheduling and payment, as well as an improved patient experience. Now is the time for you to take advantage of the benefits offered by the digital revolution.


    Contacts

    Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

    More news: HIStalk.

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    News 3/6/19

    March 6, 2019 News No Comments

    Top News

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    CVS promotes Roshan Navagamuwa to CIO. He has served as interim CIO since the Aetna deal was announced in late 2017. He’ll be responsible for IT and data integration between Aetna and CVS Health systems. CVS MinuteClinics have used Epic for some time, and began offering virtual care through Teladoc last year. The pharmacy side of the business developed its own ScriptPath prescription management software last spring.


    Webinars

    March 27 (Wednesday) 2:00 ET. “Waiting on interoperability: What can payers and providers do to collaborate?” Sponsored by Casenet. Presenter: Amy Simpson, RN, director of clinical solutions, Casenet. A wealth of data exists to identify at-risk patients and to analyze populations, allowing every payer and provider to operate readmissions intervention and care management programs. Still, payer and provider care managers are challenged to coordinate and collaborate to improve outcomes because of the long road ahead to interoperability. Attend this webinar to learn what payers and providers can do now to share information and to coordinate their efforts to create the best healthcare journey for members and patients.

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


    Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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    Women’s health app Tia opens its first membership-based brick-and-mortar practice in New York City. Crowdsourced suggestions have led the company to offer primary and gynecological care, acupuncture, and naturopathic medicine, with plans for fertility and mental health services at a later date.

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    Shared medical office company WeShareMD closes a seed round of funding it will use to expand beyond its five Southern California locations. The startup caters its shared office spaces to solo and independent physicians looking to set up shop with flexible leasing arrangements that avoid expensive overhead.


    People

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    EHR, practice management, and e-prescribing vendor RxNT names Heather McLarney (Change Healthcare) its first CMO and promotes Brad Estes to EVP of operations.


    Announcements and Implementations

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    Partners Behavioral Health Management (NC) selects Casenet’s population health management software and services.

    McKesson adds Navigating Cancer’s patient relationship management software to its IKnowMed EHR for oncology clinics.


    Telemedicine

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    Texas-based urgent care chain Urgent Care for Kids launches a statewide telemedicine service.


    Research and Innovation

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    A Solutionreach analysis of 20 million automated appointment reminders finds that:

    • Weekly messaging sent within a month of a patient’s appointment increased confirmations by 126 percent.
    • Daily messaging sent within a week increased confirmations by another 24 percent.
    • Hourly messaging sent the same day increased confirmations by an additional 4 percent.
    • Scheduling reminders sent just after an appointment had no impact on confirmations for appointments more than a month out.

    Other

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    PCP and Society for Participatory Medicine co-founder @DrDannySands tweets his frustrations with IT systems that don’t talk to each other: “As I’ve often said, the paperless medical office is as likely as the paperless bathroom. This photo from my practice yesterday shows the volume of new documents (most clinical notes/records) we send for scanning—every week! We need better #interoperability.”

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    Not to worry Dr. Sands: CMS Administrator Seema Verma, along with Trump Administration colleagues Jared Kushner and Chris Liddell take to Fortune to assure the American public that its latest proposed rule will, if enacted, ensure that health data will start flowing freely between providers, patients, and government-funded or approved health plans come 2020.

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    Physicians who left Novant Health (NC) to work as independent MDs at Holston Medical Group in Charlotte say technology will be a key part of their mission to offer patients more affordable healthcare and reduce burnout amongst their staff. Giving patients easier access to their EHRs will be part of that effort. The Tennessee-based medical group uses Allscripts, while ex-Novant physicians have come from an Epic environment.


    Contacts

    Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

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    News 3/4/19

    March 4, 2019 News No Comments

    Top News

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    San Francisco-based mental healthcare company Two Chairs raises $7 million in a Series A financing round led by Maveron. The company plans to expand beyond its four brick-and-mortar practices and enhance its app, which helps patients find therapists that best fit their needs. It also offers virtual consults.

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    The company has struggled with funding, as VC firms tend to shy away from businesses with high overhead like real estate and ultra-modern interior decor meant to put millenials at ease. Founder Alex Katz says, “I think Silicon Valley venture has had a preference for models that don’t involve brick-and-mortar and minimize the use of people; they prefer software businesses. The reason we are taking this approach is we know from the research that really well-matched in-person therapy is really effective.”


    HIStalk Practice Announcements and Requests

    Thanks to the following companies that recently supported HIStalk Practice. Click a logo for more information.

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    Webinars

    March 6 (Wednesday) 1:00 ET. “Pairing a High-Tech Clinical Logistics Center with a Communication Platform for Quick Patient Response.” Sponsored by Voalte. Presenters: James Schnatterer, MBA, clinical applications manager, Nemours Children’s Health; Mark Chamberlain, clinical applications analyst, Nemours Children’s Health. Medics at Nemours Children’s Health track vital signs of patients in Florida and Delaware from one central hub, acting as eyes and ears when a nurse is away from the bedside. Close monitoring 24 hours a day integrates data from the electronic health record, such as critical lab results, and routes physiological monitor and nurse call alerts directly to the appropriate caregiver’s smartphone. This session explores how the Clinical Logistics Center and more than 1,600 Zebra TC51-HC Touch Computers running Voalte Platform connect care teams at two geographically dispersed sites for better patient safety and the best possible outcomes.

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


    Announcements and Implementations

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    CentralReach adds analytics and business intelligence features to its EHR and practice management software for behavioral healthcare providers.

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    Direct primary care company Parsley Health adds pediatrics to services at its New York City-based clinic. The service line addition comes nearly a year after its last fundraising round of $10 million.

    Modernizing Medicine adds a GoodRx interface to its EMA EHR, giving dermatologists access to prescription pricing at the point of care.

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    Nextech Systems adds RxPhoto’s mobile medical photography app to its EHR for dermatology and plastic surgery.


    People

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    The American Academy of Dermatology elects George J. Hruza, MD (Laser & Dermatologic Surgery Center) president.


    Telemedicine

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    Nurx expands its telemedicine, and prescription and home-screening kit delivery services to South Carolina.

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    Boca Raton, FL-based HRT Providers Group launches a hormone therapy replacement telemedicine practice serving patients in 45 states.


    Other

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    Pro-Care Medical Center becomes the first chain of clinics in Texas to accept Bitcoin. “Being an independent practice based in Austin, Texas means we have to test and adapt to meet the digital demands of our patient base,” says CEO Brent Boecking. “We know our patients are techies and early adopters and we strive to be on the forefront ourselves.”

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    Reading at bedtime certainly is magical. Health Central (NY) staff donate pjs and books to an Early Start classroom of two year-olds at the local Cayuga/Seneca Community Action Agency. The donation was facilitated by the nonprofit Pajama Program, which seeks to create “caring bedtime rituals” for underprivileged children through the gifts of pajamas and books. “It’s just nice to have a comforting ritual at bed time,” affirms Heather Wasileski, MD who runs the practice with her husband. “Having an adult read to them at night is just kind of a magical time.”


    Sponsor Updates

    • Black Book recognizes Nordic for top EHR implementation consulting, and Epic consulting and advisory services.
    • PerfectServe discusses product and bolsters client relationships at its fifth annual customer advisory board meeting.

    Contacts

    Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

    More news: HIStalk.

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

    News 2/27/19

    February 27, 2019 News No Comments

    Top News

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    An AdvancedMD survey of physician practices already using telemedicine finds convenience for patients to be a top benefit, with one respondent noting that, “All our centers are in rural areas so this is a huge benefit for second opinions and surgical consults for our patients so they don’t have to drive 2+ hours.”

    Top frustrations with the technology include reimbursement issues, credentialing and licensure, and staff adoption, which tied with privacy and security concerns. Respondents believe that improved reimbursement and parity laws, followed by easier-to-use software, and better EHR integration will drive telemedicine’s growth.


    HIStalk Practice Announcements and Requests

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    I’m shopping around for braces and visited the first of three orthodontics practices yesterday. I was struck by how much this particular practice focused on customer service, and thought I’d share some of the highlights.

    • The new patient intake process was easy thanks to the practice’s portal. I was emailed a link to the forms several days before my appointment. One of the questions asked about my hobbies and interests – a nice touch that I presume will help staff kick off future small talk.
    • The portal seemed to be part of the practice’s billing system, as it also took me through steps to determine potential payment options based on my credit history.
    • The check-in desk had a welcome sign with my first name on it, plus those of other patients.
    • Every staff member smiled when we made eye contact.
    • A Girl Scout troop toured the facility while I was there, which tells me the practice’s owners invest in their local community (and love Girl Scout cookies).
    • I was offered a tour of the facility, something that’s never been offered to me before by any other type of provider.
    • After speaking to the orthodontist for 20 minutes or so about treatment options, I was smoothly handed off to the practice manager, who then walked me through a few further options, including payment details presented to me on a tablet. Up-front costs for healthcare procedures, as far as I know, are unheard of.
    • I left with paper copies of all that we had discussed, and came home to find a digital version had been emailed to me through the portal.
    • I don’t know that there’s a huge need for virtual visits in orthodontia, but I bet this practice is already weighing its options.
    • It will be interesting to see how the other two practices compare price-wise. I often wonder if prices are higher at places that obviously have a lot of overhead/bells and whistles.

    All in all, it was about as painless a process as I could have hoped for. It was also a stark contrast to some of the physician practices I have frequented in the past. I know business models are different, but the attention to customer service detail makes me think the two other practices I’ll be visiting in the next few weeks will have a hard time competing. And it certainly sets a high bar for any other type of provider I may have to seek in the future.


    Webinars

    March 6 (Wednesday) 1:00 ET. “Pairing a High-Tech Clinical Logistics Center with a Communication Platform for Quick Patient Response.” Sponsored by Voalte. Presenters: James Schnatterer, MBA, clinical applications manager, Nemours Children’s Health; Mark Chamberlain, clinical applications analyst, Nemours Children’s Health. Medics at Nemours Children’s Health track vital signs of patients in Florida and Delaware from one central hub, acting as eyes and ears when a nurse is away from the bedside. Close monitoring 24 hours a day integrates data from the electronic health record, such as critical lab results, and routes physiological monitor and nurse call alerts directly to the appropriate caregiver’s smartphone. This session explores how the Clinical Logistics Center and more than 1,600 Zebra TC51-HC Touch Computers running Voalte Platform connect care teams at two geographically dispersed sites for better patient safety and the best possible outcomes.

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


    Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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    Toronto-based healthcare app hosting and compliance startup MedStack raises $2.4 million in a funding round led by Telus Ventures.


    Announcements and Implementations

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    Community HealthNet Health Centers in Indiana selects remote patient monitoring technology from Reliq Health Technologies for a three-month trial with patients most at risk for diabetes and hypertension.

    PatientPop offers a free benchmarking report to help practices understand how they stack up to their peers in the areas of Google rankings, website presence and performance, and online reputation.


    Telemedicine

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    Doctor on Demand develops a primary care software package that will enable employers and payers to integrate the vendor’s telemedicine services with existing networks.

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    The MAVEN Project will use VSee’s telemedicine technology to expand access to its advisory and mentorship services for PCPs working in FQHCs.


    Research and Innovation

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    A survey from Eastern New York-based HIE Hixny finds that 85 percent of the 1,000 residents surveyed expect providers to share patient records with one another. A similar percentage expects health data to be shared via HIE, which speaks to the increasingly consumer-centric nature of health data sharing.


    Other

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    I didn’t realize Bitcoin was still a thing, given cryptocurrency’s nosedive in 2018: Will Powers, DO opens a new practice in Detroit that excites video game fans and crypto enthusiasts alike. Powers mentioned in a Reddit thread that he’s using BitPay to accept Bitcoin, and is having to work out the legal and financial tax ramifications of accepting cryptocurrency. He’s been a fan of Bitcoin since 2012, when he began mining it to heat his house. I’m not sure if that means he used his financial gains to pay his heating bills, or his presumably home-grown mining machine literally generated enough heat to keep the household warm and toasty. Those things can definitely warm up a room.


    Sponsor Updates

    • AdvancedMD will exhibit at the American Academy of Dermatology meeting March 1-5 in Washington, DC.
    • Culbert Healthcare Solutions will exhibit at the AAAP conference March 1-4 in Savannah, GA.

    Contacts

    Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

    More news: HIStalk.

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

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