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News 2/12/20

February 12, 2020 News No Comments

Top News

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HealthLynked acquires Cura Health Management and its ACO Health Partners subsidiary for $1.75 million. HealthLynked, which offers data-sharing technology that links member providers and patients, will launch an ACO division with its newly-acquired, 75-physician ACO in Jacksonville, FL.


HIStalk Practice Musings

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Readers continue to chime in with their opinions on loved and loathed classic novels. Teacher nominates “Love Story” by Erich Segal as “being one of the most loathsome books that I have encountered. I was in elementary school when the book/movie was distributed and even the nuns were gaga over it. Boring .…”

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Natalie suggests that folks check out the movie “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” based on the book of the same name. She says that, according to author Seth Grahame-Smith, the original text of the novel was well-suited for use as a zombie horror story: ”You have this fiercely independent heroine, you have this dashing heroic gentleman, you have a militia camped out for seemingly no reason whatsoever nearby, and people are always walking here and there and taking carriage rides here and there .… It was just ripe for gore and senseless violence. From my perspective anyway.”

I loved the book and the movie (which is like the movie “Shaun of the Dead,” but with more corsets), and went on to read and love “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.” Other authors have given similar treatments to classic novels. I can’t give myself the ok to read “Android Karenina” by Ben Winters because I haven’t yet read the original. I know there are other parody books out there. Email me with your favorites.

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And speaking of favorites … “The Lord of the Rings” is one of mine, and so I couldn’t help but chuckle when I read about the North Yorkshire police force’s efforts to return a very precious ring to its owner.


Webinars

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


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

In Canada, Well Health Technologies acquires MedBase Software’s Open Source Clinical Application Resource (Oscar) EMR assets for nearly half a million dollars. Well Health will integrate MedBase into its Well EMR Group, which serves nearly 1,500 clinics across the country including 20 proprietary facilities.


Announcements and Implementations

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The American Oncology Network will implement Cedar’s patient engagement and payment software at its partner facilities across 11 states.

InSync Healthcare Solutions adds electronic medication administration capabilities to its EHR.


People

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Mental, behavioral, and rehab health software vendor Therapy Brands names Kimberly O’Loughlin (Greenway Health) CEO.

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Adil Karam (Cor Partners) joins Payspan as VP of information security and compliance.

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Talkspace hires former Teladoc executive Mark Hirschhorn (ArisGlobal) as president, CFO, and COO; and Andrew Moers (Blue Apron) as CMO.


Telemedicine

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XRHealth will launch telehealth clinics that use virtual reality and remote patient monitoring to treat patients for a variety of conditions that include stroke and brain injury rehabilitation, neurological disorders, menopause, and memory decline.

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George Washington University researchers determine that remote monitoring; virtual visits; and text messaging, especially in the areas of smoking cessation during pregnancy, consistency in breastfeeding, and adherence to contraception have vital roles to play in the care of women who live in areas that lack easily accessible Ob/Gyn facilities. They believe more studies are needed to determine just how effective telehealth interventions can be in evidence-based care.

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Addiction-focused telemedicine startup Boulder raises $10 million.


Research and Innovation

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An analysis of 1.5 million Yelp reviews finds consumers are more likely to give lawyers five stars than they are doctors. Attorneys are 72% less likely to receive one-star reviews than physicians, and they attain higher star ratings on average. Perhaps we should all consider sending a Valentine to our favorite MDs. They obviously need some love.


Other

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Penn Medicine PCP Jeffrey Millstein, MD writes about the value of the patient story in the education of medical students rotating through his office: “We can teach and demonstrate clinical diagnosis, interviewing and examination techniques, and even share powerful stories of meaningful doctor-patient relationships. But there is nothing like listening to a patient explain what it is like to feel truly heard by a physician. This was an invaluable lesson for my student, and a humble reminder for me. It’s the sort of wisdom you can never get too much of.”

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Online prescription and virtual care company Ro launches Health Guide, a Web-based resource for consumers looking for information on a variety of health conditions. A third of the content is written by physicians, and all of it is reviewed by them.


Sponsor Updates

  • AdvancedMD becomes a corporate sponsor of the Association of Independent Doctors, offering half-off membership discounts to select applicants.

Blog Posts


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

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News 2/10/20

February 10, 2020 News No Comments

Top News

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Medicare-focused primary care company Iora Health raises $126 million in a Series F funding round led by Indian investment firm Premji Invest, bringing its total raised to nearly $350 million. In addition to expanding beyond its 48 practices, the Boston-based company will use the financing to add enhanced interoperability features to its proprietary care collaboration technology.


HIStalk Practice Musings

It’s interesting that statistics show that primary care visits are on the decline, according to the study I mentioned last week, and yet primary care companies like Iora and One Medical are attracting financing. (And private equity firms have made headlines for their interest in medical groups.) Those businesses, of course, attract a specific kind of clientele – Medicare beneficiaries, and those who can pay for a membership or whose employer offers one. Perhaps investors and shareholders are looking to support new primary care models that are more tech-savvy and more willing to think outside the box when it comes to who they offer services to and who they partner with (health systems, payers, employers.) Readers, feel free to educate me by leaving a comment below.

After mentioning this list of most loved and hated classic novels, several readers emailed me with their two cents. Chip, who admits to attending “one of those obnoxious East Coast liberal arts schools,” argues that the “definition of ‘classics’ from that list implies that it’s just a book written before 1950. Puzo and Christie are hardly literature, imo, even though I have enjoyed reading them a lot. Where are Shakespeare, Milton/Chaucer, Dickens, Twain, Faulkner, Hemingway, Morrison, etc.?

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“Gatsby is a work of pure genius and anyone who rated it a 4 or below shouldn’t be allowed to vote. Some whose opinion mean a lot to me swear that ‘Moby Dick’ is the one great novel, but I never started it and keep meaning to. ‘Catcher In The Rye’ never resonated with me.  It wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t revelatory. ‘Pride and Prejudice’ (and their kin) are timeless and wickedly clever, and the source of every good romcom scene ever filmed.”

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He loathes “To The Lighthouse” by Virginia Woolf, and has barely anything better to say about the works of Ayn Rand.

I’ll share more comments in upcoming posts. Please share your favorite and hated classics via email.


HIStalk Practice Announcements and Requests

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Webinars

None scheduled in the coming weeks. Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre to present your own.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Consumer health data aggregation startup HealthChampion opens a second office in Chicago. The company’s app, which also offers users a health rating akin to a credit score, went live last May. It employs 20 people across its three offices, including one in Milwaukee, and hopes to double that by the end of next year. Prior to Health Champions, founder Terrence Ryan founded and led LaunchPoint, a cloud-based healthcare analytics firm.

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Canadian online counseling company Wellin5 acquires San Francisco-based Therachat for an undisclosed sum. Wellin5 opened its first US office in Sacramento, CA last year.


Announcements and Implementations

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Healthstat will implement SentryHealth’s population health management software across its 300 onsite health clinics.


Research and Innovation

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Scientists in Spain are refining technology that has helped a blind woman see a low-resolution version of her environment manifested by glowing dots and shapes. They have developed camera-equipped glasses that sends live video feed of her surroundings to a computer, which then turns it into electronic signals. These are sent via cable to the woman’s brain through a port at the base of her skull, which is wired to an implant in her brain’s visual cortex. Having completed the six-month project, she says she will definitely sign up for any future iterations of the technology.


Other

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Job alert: The island of Colonsay in the Inner Hebrides, off the coast of Scotland, is in need of a physician to care for its 134 patients. (Summer tourists swell that number to 600.) The current husband-and-wife physician team will retire in May. “This practice won’t work for the wrong person,” says GP Jan Brooks. “They can’t be easily daunted, and it has to feel exciting for them. But this is a special island and the rewards are special, too.”


Sponsor Updates

  • Medicomp Systems will work with clinical text structuring company Emtelligent to develop new solutions that will support efficient clinical workflows and improve usability.

Blog Posts


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk.

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News 2/5/20

February 5, 2020 News No Comments

Top News

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A study in the Annals of Internal Medicine finds that primary care visits are declining amongst commercially-insured adults, with visits between 2008 and 2016 declining by 24% and the amount of adults not seeking PCP appointments increasing to 46%. Visit declines were most prevalent in young adults, those without chronic conditions, and those living in low-income areas. Out-of-pocket costs rose by about $10 per visit.

The study’s authors attribute the decline to a decrease in a patient’s perceived need for appointments, increased costs, and the increasing availability of alternative sources of care.

These findings shouldn’t surprise anyone working in the world of digital health, and I’m willing to bet they won’t surprise PCPs themselves. As more and more virtual care options become available through traditional providers, payers, employers, and directly to consumers, it’s no wonder people are foregoing treks to the clinic when they can receive care – albeit, potentially disconnected – from the comfort of wherever they already are.


Webinars

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


Announcements and Implementations

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PatientPop adds neighborhood-based social media site NextDoor to the list of practice profile sites it monitors and manages as part of its patient relationship management services for providers.

HIM vendor HealthMark Group, patient intake management company OTech Group, and Ridgemont Equity Partners will co-develop software to help practices manage patient check-in and medical records release processes. HealthMark CEO Bart Howe will lead development efforts.

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Autism care organization Learning Arts (CA) implements CentralReach’s EHR and practice management software.


People

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Premier Health Group in Vancouver names Amit Mathur president. Mathur was formerly COO of telemedicine vendor Livecare Health, which Premier acquired last month.

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Pediatric health IT company Office Practicum names Alan Horton (Medecision) CTO and Bethany Williams (Wayster/ZirMed) SVP of product. Horton will take over from founder Greg Anderson, who will remain chairman of the board.

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Care team communication vendor LeadingReach promotes Earl Reddell to VP of engineering, Amanda Beita to VP of enterprise development, Mason Hering to VP of marketing, and Jason Siegel to VP of enterprise sales.


Government and Politics

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Federal authorities arrest Reinaldo and Jean Wilson, husband-and-wife owners of telemedicine companies Advantage Choice Care and Tele Medcare, for their roles in an illegal kickback scheme that swindled Medicare out of $56 million. The couple allegedly orchestrated a ring of providers that ordered medically unnecessary orthotic braces for Medicare patients.


Telemedicine

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Premier Health Group announces GA of CloudMD, a direct-to-consumer telemedicine app for patients in British Columbia.


Sponsor Updates

  • AdvancedMD will exhibit at the NILA Mid-Winter Meeting February 7-8 in Scottsdale, AZ.

Blog Posts


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk.

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

News 2/3/20

February 3, 2020 News No Comments

Top News

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Membership-based primary care company One Medical raises $245 million after seeing its shares surge 58% during its first day of trading. It offered 17.5 million shares at $14 apiece, ending with a $2.7 billion valuation.


HIStalk Practice Musings

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In case any readers have been wondering, I gave my sister two books by Eric Metaxas, both of which I’ve read. If you’re a history buff of any sort (“Bonhoeffer” will especially appeal to World War II buffs) and enjoy challenging, highly academic reads, then these books are for you. I’d recommend having a dictionary on hand, since Metaxas doesn’t shy away from using esoteric words that you’ll likely never hear spoken aloud.

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I came across this list of most loved and hated classics, and it got me reminiscing about my high school lit classes. “Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austen is an all-time favorite of mine, so much so that, like “Lord of the Rings,” I re-read it every few years. I went through an Agatha Christie phase and remember enjoying “And Then There Were None.” I’m surprised “Madame Bovary” is so reviled, as I’m pretty sure I enjoyed it. I’m also surprised “Moll Flanders” didn’t make the most hated list. A book without chapters is a terrible thing. It certainly made me a grumpy reader.

Email me with your most loved and loathed classics, and any school-related anecdotes you’d care to share.


Webinars

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


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Urgent and primary care chain Zoom+Care opens its latest clinic in downtown Seattle. The company, which has 47 clinics across the Pacific Northwest, boasts same-day access, transparent pricing, chat-based care options, and its own app.


Announcements and Implementations

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The Penn State Psychological Clinic (PA) implements EnSofTek’s DrCloudEHR.

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EHealth Technologies develops Express Connect, image-sharing capabilities for smaller practices that will enable them to share and view images more easily within the HealtheConnections HIE.

NextGen adds patient engagement and messaging from Doctible to its Office EHR and practice management software.


Research and Innovation

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While Mr. H covered the latest “Best in KLAS” software and services winners in this morning’s update pretty thoroughly, I thought I’d dig a little deeper into the ambulatory categories:

  • Epic took top honors with its Care EHR for practices with between 11 and 75 physicians, and in the overall physician practice category.
  • Cerner’s PowerChart was deemed most improved EHR/PM software for small practices.
  • NextGen won in the smaller practice management category, while Epic took top honors in the larger.
  • Athenahealth won in the ambulatory RCM services, and in the small practice EHR/practice management categories.
  • Phreesia won for patient intake management.

Other

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A patient’s tweet about Phreesia’s attempts to use her data highlights the fact that it’s more important than ever to read the fine data-sharing print.

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This article highlights the challenges county health departments like the one in Barton County, KS face when it comes to fully leveraging EHRs:

  • The department will spend $25,585 to renew its annual subscription for 20 licenses of Nightingale Notes from public health EHR vendor Champ Software.
  • After a year of use, staff still have 20,000 paper records to scan in to the new-ish system.
  • The department’s health director is frustrated with the lack of the system’s interoperability, blaming “too many privacy concerns.”
  • Despite those frustrations, she does say the system has improved the department’s level of service.

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This article showcases the efforts of providers and veterinarians to treat patients and their pets at the One Health Clinic in Seattle. The clinic is offered several times a month to homeless young adults within social services organization New Horizons. Clinic administrator Katie Schneier says that by treating pets and people in the same space, “It gives us another way to interact with patients that allows them to get to know us in a way they feel safe. We’ve seen them transform their relationship to medical care through that.”

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Actor and business owner Mark Wahlberg makes an appearance in Calhoun, GA, at the opening of Walmart Health’s second location. Wahlberg, who was in nearby Atlanta for the opening of of his latest Wahlburgers restaurant, got the chance to chat with members of the Gordon County Chorale, which helped to celebrate the clinic’s opening with their rendition of the national anthem.


Sponsor Updates

  • EClinicalWorks will exhibit at The Pediatric Urgent Care Conference February 5-6 in Universal City, CA.

Blog Posts


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk.

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

News 1/29/20

January 29, 2020 News No Comments

Top News

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Austin, TX-based Enzyme Health rebrands to Wheel alongside a funding round of $13.9 million led by CRV. The company helps telemedicine companies find additional clinical staff. Providers also use it to scale their virtual care services. Founder Michelle Davey says the new financing will enable it to double its workforce of 15, and to continue to improve things on the tech side.

Both Davey and co-founder Griffin Mulcahey spent time at Medici, an Austin-based healthcare messaging app.


Webinars

Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre to present your own.


Announcements and Implementations

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DirectTrust reports that messages sent over its secure network climbed to 811 million in 2019, more than double the total sent the year before. Organizations served by DirectTrust health information service providers jumped 72% to 238,000.

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Central New York Care Collaborative will use software from social determinants of health-focused vendor Unite Us to enable its network of health, community, and social services providers to send, receive, and track patient referrals.

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Crossover Health will open a new health center in Las Colinas, TX capable of serving 10,000 employees and their dependents. The company, which offers employers primary and behavioral healthcare services in person and online, will incorporate a dedicated space for telemedicine doctors – a new feature in its clinic designs. Founder and CEO Scott Shreeve, MD told Mr. HIStalk in an interview last year that, “Our technology isn’t an electronic health record designed for billing. It’s more like Slack, asynchronous communication with a consistent care team, where we can have that constant communication as needed. Then [we] guide them in their local geography. Our patients never see the electronic health record. They see our tools, our patient engagement platform.”


Research and Innovation

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Healthgrades and MGMA analyze 8.4 million patient reviews to determine:

  • Top subjects of positive and negative comments were related to skill and care quality, communication, and bedside manner.
  • Wait time, visit time, and staff are mentioned up to three times more in negative reviews than positive ones.
  • Male providers received higher average star ratings than their female counterparts.
  • Reviews of male providers more often mentioned skill and care quality, while reviews of female providers more often mentioned bedside manner, communication, and length of visit.

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A separate survey from PatientPing looks at the provider side of online reputation management. Of its 346 respondents, nearly 30% admit to not addressing their online reputation, while 24% believe they have a strong presence in their local market. Results also show that those practices that do consider reputation management to be part their success are more likely to achieve key performance metrics.


Other

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This article highlights the ways in which Ob/Gyns are using Instagram to educate their followers on topics they are surprised more patients don’t know about when they come in for appointments: “At the start of my fellowship,” says @theperioddoctor Charis Chambers, MD” I was really shocked by the number of conversations that I would have with these young girls with their guardian or parent, where I would just explain basic physiology and they would be like, ‘I’ve never heard this. I just felt like there was a gap in education. If I stay here in the four walls of a clinical setting, I will never reach enough people. I will have the same conversation day in and day out and not be able to make a meaningful difference.”

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Physicians interested in learning how to navigate the fine line between online educator, influencer, and outright product hawker may want to check out the Association for Healthcare Social Media, which the above article mentions. It looks like it’s been around just under a year, and is led by Austin Chiang, MD Jefferson Health’s chief medical social media officer. AHSM will hold its first conference this May in Philadelphia.

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Charlotte Magazine interviews North Carolina native Kimmery Martin, a former ER physician and now full-time author. She’s busy touting her second book, “The Antidote for Everything,” and prepping for a third, which will be about an infectious disease doctor traveling with her children in the midst of a viral pandemic. Marin says she loves the role she has transitioned into: “I love the idea of reinvention. I find both careers equally compelling. Both allow an examination of the human condition – the difference being, in medicine, doctors are striving to alleviate suffering, while authors are deliberately torturing their people, because you can’t have a good book without friction.”


Sponsor Updates

  • AdvancedMD publishes a new e-guide, “7 Key selection criteria for outsourcing RCM for VBC.”

Blog Posts


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk.

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