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News 5/10/17

May 10, 2017 News No Comments

Top News

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Boca Raton, FL-based Modernizing Medicine announces a $231 million investment from private equity firm Warburg Pincus. The specialty-specific EHR vendor has raised $322 million and acquired two companies – GMed and Aesyntix- since opening its doors in 2010. It anticipates using the latest round of funding to ramp up efforts around prior authorization automation, eCommerce platform development, data exchange and reconciliation, and telemedicine. Fred Hassan and Amr Kronfol, both of Warburg Pincus, will join the company’s board.


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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DocsInk adds CCM-friendly features to its charge capture services.

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Integra Connect offers cloud-based RCM services for large urology and oncology practices looking to transition from fee-for-service to APMs.

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TCI develops the SuperCoder Smart Assistant browser extension, giving coders the ability to look up codes without exiting whatever program they’re working in.

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California Highlands and Recovery Centers of America (PA) select medication management and communications technology from Compliance Meds Technologies.


People

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Michael Lovett (NextGen Healthcare) joins Formativ Health as chief commercial officer. It is the practice management services company’s third executive hire in the last two months.


Government and Politics

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The Senate confirms Scott Gottlieb, MD as FDA commissioner. The cancer survivor was quick to respond to congratulations from NIH Director Francis Collins, tweeting that he’s looking forward to working with the NIH to “advance science in pursuit of medical progress and public health promotion.”


Research and Innovation

Findings from MGMA’s annual physician compensation and productivity survey highlight that pesky wage gap we’ve all heard so much about: Male PCPs earn 17-percent more than their female counterparts, while male specialists earn 37 percent more than women working in the same areas.


Other

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The local paper covers OptumHealth’s impending acquisition of Reliant Medical Group, a Massachusetts-based group that has been independent since it opened for business in 1929. RMG CEO Tarek Elsawy attributes the decision – supported by the group’s 230 physicians – as a step in the right direction when it comes to remaining competitive. He explained that, “Reliant expects to bolster its ability to grow and expand, modernize many of its clinical facilities, have access to advanced data analytics capabilities, and attract top medical talent to its practices.”

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Authorities arrest Public New Service reporter Dan Heyman for “willful disruption of governmental processes” after repeatedly asking HHS Secretary Tom Price, MD about pre-existing conditions under the AHCA, and purportedly doing so in breach of Secret Service proximity protocols. The incident occurred during Price’s visit to the West Virginia State Capitol to learn more about the state’s opioid crisis.


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  • NVoq will exhibit at the MGMA NE conference May 10-12 in North Falmouth, MA.

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News 5/9/17

May 9, 2017 News No Comments

Top News

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Healthcare CRM/care coordination company Updox raises $12.7 million in a Series B round led by TT Capital Partners. The company has raised $15.2 million since launching in 2008. CEO Michael Morgan joined Updox in 2012 after stints with Netsmart and ProductManage.


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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Compulink develops an EHR for OB/GYNs that includes PM, RCM, and telemedicine capabilities.

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CORHIO will add FHIR-based API access o its HIE services next month. The move is part of a broader interoperability and data aggregation effort that will soon see the Colorado-based organization gather the housing, transportation, and financial data of patients.

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Drchrono adds new OB/GYN-specific flow sheets and medical forms to its EHR.

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Great Falls Clinic (MT) selects RCM software and services from MTBC. The clinic already uses MTBC subsidiary MediGain Practice Management’s RCM support services.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Boston-based Polaris Partners launches a $435 million fund that it will use to invest in healthcare, technology, and biotech companies. Current health IT investments include managed primary care services company Iora Health, patient intake vendor Phreesia, and telemedicine startup First Opinion.


People

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The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists elects Jonathan Leffert, MD (North Texas Endocrine Center) president.

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Brent Asplin, MD (Mercy Health) joins VillageMD as COO.


Telemedicine

The ClearHealth Quality Institute takes over management of the American Telemedicine Association’s accreditation program. ATA will help CHQI draft and update standards associated with the program, which will be rebranded as the Telemedicine Accreditation Program. American Well, Avera, Care Simple, Doctor on Demand, HealthLinkNow, MDLive, United Concierge Medicine are the only vendors thus far to take advantage of the program.


Research and Innovation

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Scientists at the University of Illinois and the Carle Foundation Hospital’s Research Institute design a digital doctor capable of explaining lab tests to patients via a provider’s portal. Developed for adults with low levels of health literacy in mind, the “computer agent” has been tested on seniors in two pilot studies; both of which found no preference for the agent’s “natural-sounding” or computer-generated voice. Next steps will include applying for grant money and developing a more robust pilot study.


Other

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I’m labeling this a hipster data breach: Thieves use fishing lure, poles, and lines to steal mail from a box outside of a post office in Palm Beach County, FL. Postal officials are now encouraging patrons to drop off mail inside the building. One post office employee has already been arrested for stealing checks and gift cards from a similar mailbox.


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Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

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News 5/8/17

May 8, 2017 News No Comments

Top News

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A Black Book survey of nearly 9,000 practices identifies the top challenges physicians are dealing with when it comes to MACRA participation. Seventy-seven percent are on the hunt for software that will support their MIPS endeavors, making me wonder if vendors will conveniently contract buzzword-itis and rebrand some of their offerings to suit physician Google searchers (as we saw, and still see, with “population health management”). Other health tech-related nuggets include:

  • Over 80 percent of users are optimizing their EHRs for MIPS.
  • A similar percentage believe an audit of their current technology will help position them for MIPS success, yet 75 percent of practices with three or fewer physicians can’t afford to hire outside help.
  • Over 20 percent of those surveyed had planned on delayed implementation of the program; as such, 80 percent have no MACRA plan in place and hope to play catch up with a turnkey solution bought at the last possible minute.
  • Seventy-five percent of independents are considering selling their practices to reduce increasingly oppressive administrative burdens.

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Webinars

None scheduled soon. Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre for information on webinar services.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Intelligent Medical Objects receives a patent for its system of terminology management that responds quickly to regulatory changes and simplifies coding.


People

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Reed Liggin joins EazyScripts as CEO. Liggins comes to the e-prescribing tech company from Athenahealth by way of its 2015 RazorInsights acquisition.

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The Texas Medical Association elects gastroenterologist Carlos Cardenas, MD (Doctors Hospital) president. In his spare time, Cardenas and several physician colleagues play charity gigs in their band, The Renaissance Rockers.


Announcements and Implementations

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MedPhoto Manager creates a secure medical image capture and sharing app.

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Integrity Urgent Care (TX) selects billing, EHR, contracting, and credentialing services from Practice Velocity.


Telemedicine

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Teladoc announces Q1 results: revenue up 60 percent, membership up 34 percent to 20.1 million, and a visit increase of 60 percent to nearly 385,000. Revenue from subscription access fees trumped visit fees at $34.3 million versus $8.6 million.


Government and Politics

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CMS develops an interactive lookup tool providers can use to determine their MIPS participation status.


Research and Innovation

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Reaction Data publishes its “Big Mega HIT Purchasing Report,” which finds that independent practices place telehealth at the top of their 2017 shopping list, with equal interest in four vendors. EClinicalWorks takes the top spot for greatest outpatient EHR mindshare; VMware and Cisco evenly split the information security category.


Other

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The local paper previews efforts in Central Oregon to finally get an HIE underway. The Reliance eHealth Collaborative will formally launch this summer with support from St. Charles Health System, Mosaic Medical, High Lakes Health Care, Central Oregon Pediatric Associates, Advantage Dental, and Deschutes County Health Services. The Central Oregon Health Council, which oversees care for the region’s Medicaid population, is contributing $2 million to the project.

Here’s the final installment of Vince and Elise’s series on physician practice vendors, this time looking at the “other” 622 vendors with under 5,000 implementations.


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Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

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Population Health Management Weekly Wrap Up 5/7/17

May 7, 2017 News No Comments

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Gary Smithson, MD (Smithson Healthcare Consulting) joins RedBrick Health as CMO.

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Patient communication and care coordination software vendor Conversa hires Chris Edwards (Validic) as chief marketing and experience officer, and Becky James (WebMD) as VP of operations.

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Maury Regional Health (TN) implements population health management tools, including data warehouse and analytics, from Lightbeam Health Solutions to support its new ACO efforts.

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St. Louis-based care management company Lumeris acquires analytics business Forecast Health for an undisclosed sum. Forecast Health co-founder and chief analytics officer Michael Cousens will join Lumeris in a similar role.

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The Michigan Dept. of Health and Human Services develops the Michigan Environmental Public Health Tracking Program, a Web-based dashboard that offers up data by county; highlights environmental public health issues; and enables users to create graphs, maps, and tables.

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Relias Learning acquires population health analytics vendor Care Management Technologies for an undisclosed sum. The acquisition is the sixth for Relias in the last 14 months, and part of its five-year plan to add 450 employees at its Cary, NC headquarters by 2021.

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Innovaccer offers a complimentary social determinants of health portal, aggregating six years’ worth of SDOH data for over 3,000 counties.

Analytics vendor Koan Health buys ZirMed’s value-based care analytics business.

Hearst Health and Thomas Jefferson University’s Jefferson College of Population Health open up submissions for their annual $100,000 Hearst Health Prize.


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Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

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News 5/4/17

May 4, 2017 News No Comments

Top News

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The House passes the American Health Care Act largely along party lines. You can find a summary of the AHCA’s major provisions here. The Senate is expected to craft its own version of the bill before voting on it.


Webinars

None scheduled soon. Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre for information on webinar services.


People

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Hawai‘i HIE Director of Services Francis Chan takes on the role of interim ED at the state’s only health information exchange. Founding ED Christine Sakuda plans to join Transform Hawai‘i Government.

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Online mental health provider Ieso Digital Health hires Craig Gravina (Cogstate) as CTO and Gidget Madix (Bensinger, DuPont & Associates) as chief growth officer.


Announcements and Implementations

Practice Suite adds credit card processing software integration capabilities from Singular Payments to its PM system.

Greenway Health adds mobile image capture and data management software from RxPhoto to its EHR.


Telemedicine

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MDLive encourages a federal judge in Florida to throw out a class-action lawsuit claiming the company sends screenshots of PHI to a third-party without patient permission. The Sunrise, FL-based company contends the practice is clearly spelled out in its user terms and conditions.

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American Well adds breastfeeding support from certified lactation consultants to its virtual consult services for employers, payers, and health systems. The service sounds good in theory, especially for anxious new mothers, but I have to wonder if the initial $130 visit fee will deter utilization. With so few companies offering paid parental leave, most families find themselves on much tighter budgets, putting such a service in the “luxury” category for many. Perhaps AmWell and its future competitors should consider offering gift cards to be given at baby showers.


Research and Innovation

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A practice performance survey of 2,000 physicians and practice administrators finds that practices deemed “high-performing” (those that, year over year, saw an increase in collections, locations, providers, patient volume, and provider satisfaction) were twice as likely as those deemed “falling behind” to adopt new technology to attract and retain patients. While keen on portals, analytics, telemedicine, and self-service intake software, this group of providers has no interest in incorporating wearables. Perhaps most interesting to me is the result that shows physicians in these more tech-savvy practices report higher job satisfaction, which seems counter to the widely-held belief that health IT (particularly EHRs) cause office-based physicians no end of frustration for a variety of reasons.


Other

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Walking the talk: Endocrinology Consultants (MS) hosts a pop-up farmers market outside of their clinic to help give patients, staff, and passers-by a taste of what healthy eating should like. The clinic partnered with the local farmer’s market and civic organizations, which were also on hand to offer information about fitness classes. Seems like there’s some incentivizing that could happen with this concept, either through coupons sent in the mail to new or prospective patients, or coupons for produce given out at appointments.

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You have to wonder what sort of security protocols Han Solo rigged up for the Millenium Falcon’s systems – other than a Wookie, of course. Hopefully his password didn’t start with a 1 and end with a 6, as so many still do.


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Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk, HIStalk Connect.

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