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News 5/27/20

May 27, 2020 News 3 Comments

Top News

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NextGen Healthcare launches an advisory service that will be led by CMO Betty Rabinowitz, MD.

The five-member team will initially focus on helping ambulatory organizations navigate value-based care or risk-bearing contracts while improving quality and outcomes.


HIStalk Practice Musings

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It’s finally happened. I’ve gone through all the books in my personal library that I care to re-read, and am now having to borrow from friends until my local public library re-opens. I tried e-reading, but gave up after I couldn’t find titles I was interested in. Reading old favorites over the last few months has made me realize I don’t enjoy E.M. Forster as much as I once did. I was a bit of a Merchant Ivory film fan once upon a time.

What books/authors have you relied on during quarantine? What fun summer reads do you have lined up? Email me or leave a comment below.


Webinars

None scheduled soon. Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre to present your own.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

Practice management and RCM company Jorie Healthcare Partners, which has offices in Chicago and India, launches a technology division after acquiring an unnamed software vendor.


People

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Home health and remote patient monitoring company Electronic Caregiver names Mark Francis (AWS) Chief Digital Health Integration Officer.


Announcements and Implementations

In Columbus, Ohio, the Alcohol, Drug and Mental Health Board of Franklin County selects managed care software from Streamline Healthcare Solutions.

Premier Family Physicians in Austin begins offering app-based house calls and virtual visits from Remedy.

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Utah Cancer Specialists implements precision medicine informatics software from Xifin.


Government and Politics

Officials in Franklin County, MO vote to back out of the regional PDMP, citing lack of need and updates on the program’s impact, and concern that it’s being used as a law-enforcement tool. Prescribers have, since 2018, been required to report prescriptions for certain controlled substances through the Web-based program. The county had ranked as one of the highest in the nation for opioid prescriptions, according to CDC data. Missouri is the only state in the country without a statewide PDMP.


Research and Innovation

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Telemedicine’s exponential uptick has helped with care continuity during the pandemic, but has left many physicians with billing-induced headaches – hardly ideal at a time when practices are struggling to stay afloat. A survey of 983 physicians conducted by the Pennsylvania Medical Society found that a third of respondents believe reimbursement to be “difficult” or “very difficult.” For all the news around telemedicine’s explosion and headlines shouting “no going back,” I have to wonder if billing difficulties will curtail enthusiasm for virtual visits once the pandemic truly wanes.

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MGMA’s latest look at physician compensation finds primary care salaries increased 2.6% between 2018 and 2019 to nearly $275,000. Top-earning specialties were urgent care and pulmonology. These figures will prove to be interesting benchmarks when contrasted with data for 2019-2020, which has so far seen practices reported a 55% decrease in revenue and a 60% decrease in patient volume since the beginning of the pandemic.


Other

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After being swamped with patients at his practice seeking testing for COVID-19, Alex Salerno, MD takes matters into his own hands and launches a mobile testing for vulnerable populations in New Jersey’s Orange county. He’s so far spent $100,000 on retrofitting a used van and purchasing PPE, some from the black market. The investment has enabled him to mobilize 100 staffers who offer testing from the van and in the homes of patients. The mayor has been a major proponent: “We have seven senior buildings in a 2.2-square-mile area, so it includes a lot of vulnerable people. We know that the more we get tested, the more we know, the better we can fight this thing. And so having his van is really something that’s tremendous for our community.”

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The local news profiles Hixny’s efforts to help the New York State Department of Health better identify and track cases of COVID-19. The HIE began in early March to tailor its flu surveillance capabilities to better identify patients with COVID-19 symptoms. The organization is now preparing to help with contact-tracing efforts.


Sponsor Updates

  • Healthwise celebrates its 45th anniversary.
  • The Healthcare Technology Report includes AdvancedMD CEO Raul Villar on its list of “The Top 50 Healthcare Technology CEOs Of 2020.”

Blog Posts


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

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Comments 3
  • So…the EMR companies are going to put out press releases when they assemble their existing staff to do their jobs? I don’t get it. Is the EMR business so bad they need to find a new way to charge people to do the job they were supposed to be doing with their software tools already?

    Are we to be excited for NextGen to be working with their clients (guess it is only for their customers) on how to stay solvent amidst the healthcare landscape? Is this a self-participation trophy of the highest honor?

    This pivot for NextGen reeks of desperation for new revenue from their clients that are probably completely tapped out of spending money on software that has slowed their revenue for decades now.

    I mean, let’s put a bunch of vendor VPs in a room with clinicians and have them design a new way forward to building successful operations to capture more revenue so NextGen can take more of that revenue from them? You’ve really got to be kidding me on this one. Though it did help prop their stock up 6% for the day, so those same VPs are probably pretty proud of themselves. I just can’t see how this becomes much more than a new line item on someone’s monthly invoice with regurgitated ‘advice’ like their “e-book” they released last week on telehealth which was scant on details, heavy on sales, lacking in much credibility.

    When will we finally see some hubris from EMR vendors? What is the tipping point for realizing that the business of practicing medicine, especially in the ambulatory environment, have been strip mined by these companies for billions of dollars while the common doctor, nurse, staff member of the same clinics have seen their entire business suffer incredibly?

    If a company needs to consult its own clients to make them successful using the very products they sell, doesn’t that demonstrate to a casual observer that the products aren’t working, the business model of the vendor is broken, and the ‘gift’ of their expertise pretty useless?

    But sure, let’s congratulate NextGen on their hard work, ingenuity, and acumen. I am sure the 10% of their staff that was recently laid off are leading the round of applause for running such a wonderful enterprise.

    Good grief.

  • That was a pretty tough comment Hugh.

    While I agree with some points made I think one thing is missing: the advisory service that Nextgen is standing up is focusing on helping orgs be successful in transition to value based care. This is no easy task and many of struggled mightily to make this transition and there are countless consultants/advisory services out there trying to do the same. Thus no surprise that an EHR vendor, which also acquired some pop health capabilities would stand up such a service for their clients.

  • Troll beater –

    I agree, the challenge of migrating to VBC is very hard, and in some cases, potentially not even worth the attempt based on individual practice dynamics, patient mix, geography, etc. I don’t besmirch those that work with organizations to help evaluate this, transition to this, support this and more. I respect those people, consultants, orgs, etc. I know some very well and am in awe of their analyses. But I am just struck by how unsightly it is for an EMR vendor to portend expertise in this from within their own ivory tower. Not one outside advisor was brought in to ‘liven up the room’, it is just the same NextGen execs with a new job title, I am unsure if it is even a change in their existing focus. I agree that recent acquisitions give them a larger tool set to offer clients, but it would be a similar advisory service to what their Account Management team was supposed to be offering clients. Maybe not to the same degree or with the same level of experience (or expertise), but helping clients migrate to VBC was all the rage at the EMR vendor HIMSS booths (and MGMA for this market) for years…so why now except a cash grab (assuming the NextGen service is an additional cost to practices). It just seemed hollow.

    I’m a bit more open to seeing EMR vendors establish themselves as consultants, but still find it hard to comprehend that right now, while clinics are closing, furloughs are continuing, visits are way down, cash is almost completely gone, that NextGen’s executive team are the ‘white knights’ here to save the day. I know their goal is to help their clients survive and thrive, they need them as paying customers, happy customers, etc, but I just don’t think the announcement and timing served them very well.

    But maybe I am wrong, jaded, or just missing the point, but the notion that the exact same people who enabled financial crises in clinics could now (for a fee) help get them out doesn’t sit well. Maybe it is the marketer in me that feels a mention of a group of NextGen clients that have done well in this regard (transition to VBC and how NextGen enabled, supported, helped build this) would have gone a long way to offering gravitas to their new model. Otherwise, it just seems like “pay us more for what you thought you were already getting”. Again, that’s me.

    I’ll head off to work today, as it is a non-furlough day for me. I appreciate the banter and comments, I have always believed the Comments section of HISTalk (and Practice) were an under-utilized space to engage with folks and dig even deeper. So thanks!

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  • Troll beater: That was a pretty tough comment Hugh. While I agree with some points made I think one thing is missing: the advisory ...
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