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News 3/13/19

March 13, 2019 News 1 Comment

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Billing and RCM vendor ImagineSoftware acquires healthcare payment automation and analytics vendor ProviderAlly.


HIStalk Practice Announcements and Requests

My search for orthodontia services has reached a turning point. I’ve visited two practices, both of which seem to offer similar-quality services. One is very high-touch. I’ve received several follow-up emails from their practice manager asking if I had additional questions. It hasn’t quite reached the level of a car salesman, but it might get there if I don’t let them know of my decision one way or another within the next few days. Where I spend my hard-earned money will come down to how I feel about the following:

  • One practice is large, with a very corporate feel. It offers lots of amenities, but I wonder if I’ll get lost in the shuffle when it comes to personalized care.
  • The other practice is small. It’s a family-owned and operated business with fewer amenities, though its quality of care seems equal to its larger competitor.
  • Continuity of care might be an issue at both. While both practices have just one orthodontist, the smaller one’s provider will likely retire within the next year or two, leaving me wondering who will step into his role.
  • Given that quality of care seems equal, price will likely be the ultimate deciding factor. The smaller practice has offered me a significant Facebook discount. Given that the larger practice is much closer to my home, I might just try seeing if they’ll match the discounted price. That’s something I’d never think to do with traditional medical care.

This experience has made me reflect on the difference in patient engagement techniques between traditional healthcare providers (at least those I’ve encountered) and orthodontics. I can’t recall ever having received as many follow-ups from the various primary care docs, dermatologists, and OB/GYNs I’ve seen over the years. I have never received a reminder that it’s time for any type of annual exam. That lack of communication makes me wonder just how focused my area practices (the majority of which are owned by large health systems) are on value-based, preventative care. It’s no wonder so many of us are eschewing traditional practices for more convenient though less personal options like retail clinics, urgent care, and telemedicine.


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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Central Ohio Urology Group spins off a practice management company under the leadership of its CEO, Mark Cherney, who explains that the goal of US Urology Group is to help urology practices succeed “without having to acquiesce to a hospital acquisition.”

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SimplifyASC raises nearly $3 million as part of a Series A round led by Jumpstart Capital. The ambulatory surgery center-focused EHR and practice management company was spun out of the assets of CSS Health Technologies and Ormed Information Systems, which merged in 2014.

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After a year-long pilot, Convene will add primary care clinics developed and managed by Eden Health across its network of co-working spaces, initially starting with Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, and Washington, DC. New York City-based Eden Health, which also offers insurance navigation services, announced a $10 million Series A round several weeks ago.

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Iora Health will expand its primary care services for Medicare members to Texas this fall. The company, which operates similar practices in six other states, will hire up to 60 employees to staff its Houston practices.


Announcements and Implementations

University Physicians’ Association adds patient billing messaging and billing interface software from Relatient to its medical billing services for physician practices.

The University of Illinois at Chicago’s Division of Specialized Care for Children selects care and community services coordination software from Eccovia Solutions.


People

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Canadian health IT company Reliq Health Technologies names Rob Prouse (Bentley Systems) CTO and Bassma Ghali chief innovation officer.


Government and Politics

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AHRQ develops the Question Builder app to help patients better prepare for medical visits. Users have the ability to select questions to ask their provider from a list compiled by AHRQ based on type of medical encounter, take notes and pictures during their visit, and share their documentation with others.

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Behavioral health providers in North Carolina are pushing for more time to connect to the statewide HIE ahead of the mandated June 1 deadline. Lawmakers have introduced a bill that would give them two more years to get their EHRs up, running, and connected; but it has faced opposition from those who feel interoperability should happen sooner rather than later. Affected providers have cited prohibitively expensive EHR costs and lack of suitable systems as the reason for their delay.


Research and Innovation

Primary PartnerCare ACO Independent Practice Association (NY) finds that patients who consented to have real-time care alerts sent to their PCPs via the Healthix HIE experienced significantly lower rates of hospital admissions and 30-day readmissions.


Other

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First Pi Day, then Match Day: UC San Diego Health profiles Olympic soccer gold medalist and UC San Diego School of Medicine student Rachel Van Hollebeke and her anticipation of Match Day on Friday, March 15. Van Hollebeke, who wants to go into family medicine, will follow in the footsteps of her great grandfather and grandfather – both GPs; and father, who recently retired after a 40-year career as a cardiothoracic surgeon.


Sponsor Updates

  • AdvancedMD and Aprima will exhibit at the AAOS conference March 12-16 in Las Vegas.

Blog Posts


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk.

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News 3/11/19

March 11, 2019 News No Comments

Top News

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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

    More news: HIStalk.

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

    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

    More news: HIStalk.

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

    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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