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News 10/7/20

October 7, 2020 News No Comments

Top News

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Abridge formally launches with a $15 million Series A funding round led by Union Square Ventures and UPMC. The Pittsburgh-based company has developed a patient-facing app that records and transcribes healthcare encounters, offers resources to help patients understand what was discussed during their appointments, and follows-up with prompts to ensure patients adhere to treatment plans.

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Co-founders Shiv Rao, MD and Sandeep Konam both have ties to UPMC; Rao is a practicing cardiologist while Konam was a senior product manager with the medical center’s investment arm.


Webinars

October 28 (Wednesday) noon ET: “How to Build a Data-Driven Organization.” Sponsor: Newfire Global Partners. Presenters: Chris Donovan, CEO and founder, Adaptive Product Consulting; Harvard Pan, CTO, Diameter Health; Jason Sroka, chief analytics officer, SmartSense by Digi; Jaya Plmanabhan, data scientist and senior advisor, Newfire Global Partners; Nicole Hale, head of marketing services, Newfire Global Partners. The panel of data experts will discuss the opportunities that data can unlock and the challenges involved with becoming a data-driven organization. Attendees will learn why having a data strategy is important; how to collect, manage, and share data with internal and external audiences; and how to combat internal resistance to create a data-driven culture.

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


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Membership-based mental healthcare telemedicine and prescription delivery startup Cerebral raises $35 million in a Series A funding round, which it will use to expand its services to all 50 states by the end of the year.

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Prior authorization software startup PriorAuthNow raises $10 million, bringing its total raised to $32 million since launching in 2014.


People

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Clinical decision support startup Curation Health hires Josh Kerns (TrustHCS) as CFO following a Series A financing round led by Deerfield Management.


Announcements and Implementations

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Nephrology Associates in Delaware implements Saykara’s AI-powered voice assistant and automated charting software.

Dialysis services provider Fresenius Kidney Care connects to the CommonWell interoperability network, giving it access to the Carequality interoperability framework.


Other

Walmart launches an insurance brokerage division that will help Medicare patients find and enroll in plans from eight payers across all 50 states and Washington, DC.

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And speaking of Walmart, I hope you find this tweet exchange as humorous as I do.


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Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

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News 10/5/20

October 5, 2020 News No Comments

Top News

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As anticipated, health and wellness telemedicine company Hims will go public by merging with a special purpose acquisition company overseen by Oaktree Capital Management. Expected to wrap up by the end of the year, the merger will bring in up to $280 million and give Hims a $1.6 billion valuation. 

Earlier this year, Hims founder and CEO Andrew Dudum said he hopes to see the company, which earned $100 million in revenue with 100-plus employees last year, eventually hit the $20 billion valuation mark.


Webinars

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


People

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Shandy Guharoy (Evolent Health) joins healthcare and social services referral software vendor Unite Us as CTO.

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Population health management company Healthmap Solutions names co-chairman Eric Reimer CEO, co-founder Joe Vattamattam president and CFO, and co-founder Andrew Wall chief innovation officer.


Announcements and Implementations

DrChrono adds patient intake, engagement, virtual visit, and analytics capabilities from Weave to its tablet-based EHR.

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Greenwich House (NY) implements TenEleven Group’s EHR with medication assisted treatment capabilities. 

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Health IT vendor Opus Behavioral Health announces GA of telemedicine software and services for addiction treatment centers.

Nextech Systems adds ambulatory surgery center charting features to its IntelleChartPro EHR for ophthalmologists.

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Carolina Pediatric Therapy (NC) selects EHR and practice management software from MTBC’s CareCloud subsidiary.

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New Jersey Urology becomes the first large, independent urology group to implement Epic.


Government and Politics

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Montana Governor Steve Bullock announces that the state HIE – Big Sky Care Connect – will launch later this fall. Montana is one of two states without a statewide HIE. St. Vincent Healthcare, Billings Clinic, RiverStone Health, and BCBS Montana began a pilot HIE in 2015, and then used a CMS grant of $19 million to build out Big Sky Care, which already has 20 participants.


Other

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University of Virginia researchers are working with several public libraries to launch a pilot program that will help patrons use a library’s WiFi to access telemedicine appointments. Associate Professor of Nursing Pam DeGuzman, RN says that UVA’s research has found that virtually all of the state’s libraries offer at least a minimum speed that would be sufficient to stream a video visit. Our research has shown that, right now, we can’t find anyone who’s doing this.”

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Maine Seacoast Mission’s ship, the Sunbeam V, will return to active duty after undergoing a $1.5 million overhaul that began in May 2019. The ship serves the islands, offering telemedicine, flu clinics, meals, and fellowship.


Sponsor Updates

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Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

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News 9/30/20

September 30, 2020 News No Comments

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Colorado-based CORHIO and Arizona-based Health Current announce plans to merge, potentially creating the largest HIE in the Western United States. Combined, the two organizations serve 1,320 healthcare organizations.


HIStalk Practice Musings

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Getting away last week to a somewhat quiet campsite was refreshing. It was nice to sit at the bend of a creek and stare into a crackling campfire, with hardly a thought for worldly goings-on. As the above camper pic shows, I don’t travel lightly. Primitive camping is not in my wheelhouse. The only camping hack I can offer is to make sure you have a traveling coffee maker in your sleeping quarters. Waking up to the sound of babbling water outside and brewing coffee inside my bed-in-a-box definitely made the mornings enjoyable.

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I endured a rainy day by doing some antiquing in a quaint, nearby mountain town. I of course kept my eyes peeled for good deals on used books, and wound up adding the titles above to my home library. It’s always nice to have books on hand when you find yourself in between trips to the library.


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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Irish cosmetic clinic chain SISU raises $5.5 million in a Series A round of financing that will enable it to launch its “face as a service” offerings in the US, aided by digital booking capabilities, online evaluations, and an e-commerce platform. Its founders consider it to be the “One Medical for aesthetic treatments.”


People

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Rourke Yeakley, MD joins Saltzer Health (ID) – soon to be owned by Intermountain Healthcare (UT) – as chief innovation officer and medical director of its urgent care clinics.

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EverCommerce hires Brent Michael (Eye Care Leaders) to lead its ISalus and AllMeds business, which offers EHR, practice management, and RCM software and services to physician practices.


Announcements and Implementations

Telemedicine vendor CloudMD will integrate Canada Health Infoway’s PrescribeIT e-prescribing software with its Juno EHR. CloudMD provides its services to 376 clinics across Canada.

CPSI adds clinical document improvement capabilities from ChartWise Medical Systems to its TruBridge RCM software.


Other

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Physician practices in Washington, DC and surrounding areas face flu vaccine shortages caused by what many believe to be distribution issues. Sandy Chung, MD of Fairfax Pediatric Associates (VA) explains: “Unfortunately, how our vaccine shipment process is set up in our nation, there are priorities given to larger companies, so your big box stores, retail stores, health systems sometimes, are getting vaccines before your doctor’s office. Your doctor’s office is often last on the list and also the ones that are impacted most significantly when there are shipment delays because we don’t have a lot of vaccines stored in our offices like a retail store might.”

This article looks at the impact remote scribes have on physician productivity. Technologies such as Augmedix’s smart glasses are enabling scribes to sit in on appointments despite being continents away. The market, which has expanded from 15,000 to 100,000 scribes in the last five years, has gone increasingly digital in the same timeframe, as speech-recognition software has matured. Access to a remote scribe has been a game-changer for Susan Fesmire, MD who has used time previously devoted to finishing up charts at the end of the day to becoming COO of her Dallas-based practice: “It was like constantly having homework that you don’t finish.”


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk.

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News 9/28/20

September 28, 2020 News No Comments

Top News

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Online health and wellness company Hims considers going public through a merger with Oaktree Acquisition Corp. The blank-check company is looking to raise $75 million to fund the merger, which could give Hims a valuation of $1.6 billion.

Valued at $1.1 billion last year, Hims has raised nearly $200 million since launching in 2017. Its telemedicine and prescription delivery services have expanded beyond hair loss and erectile dysfunction to include urgent and mental healthcare.


Webinars

September 30 (Wednesday) 11 ET. “The Hidden Threat: New Research on Security Vulnerabilities and Privacy Gaps in Healthcare Apps.” Sponsors: Verimatrix, NowSecure. Presenters: Neal Michie, MEng, director of product management, Verimatrix; Brian Lawrence, direction of solution engineering, NowSecure. The presenters will present research on the security risk profile of 1,000 healthcare apps in managing patient privacy, how they compare to those in other industries, and where the biggest vulnerabilities lie. Attendees will learn how to make their healthcare apps more secure in managing protected health information.

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


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Canadian health IT vendor CloudMD will acquire a majority stake in Lynchburg, VA-based EHR, practice management, and RCM vendor Benchmark Systems from AntWorks for $4.4 million, and will acquire mental health assessment and care coordination vendor Snapclarity for $2.5 million.

CareTrack raises seed funding to launch TeleCare, a telemedicine-based care coordination service designed for practices and their Medicare patients.


People

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Matt Wanderer (Carie Health) joins Chalkboard Health as CEO. The portfolio company will soon launch °Fluent, which will offer cold and flu treatment via telemedicine and online pharmacy.

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Therapy Brands names Dave Wirta (Community Brands) COO.


Announcements and Implementations

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Walmart Health will open 22 clinics across Georgia, Florida, and Arkansas by the end of 2021, bringing its total to 35. Analysts foresee the retail chain poaching talent and patients away from traditional primary care practices, which charge, on average, more than double Walmart Health’s $40 fee.

Office Practicum adds telemedicine capabilities from Anytime Pediatrics to its EHR for pediatricians.

Clinicient integrates BetterPT’s virtual visit and online scheduling technology with its EHR for outpatient rehabilitation providers.


Government and Politics

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The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services rolls out the SlowCOVIDNC exposure notification app, built on technology developed by Apple and Google. Nine states have developed apps that use the same software, with seven more in development.


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk.

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

News 9/21/20

September 21, 2020 News No Comments

Top News

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Athens Orthopedic Clinic (GA) will pay the HHS Office of Civil Rights $1.5 million to settle potential HIPAA violations related to a 2016 data breach by The Dark Overlord, who demanded $335,000 in exchange for destroying stolen copies of 200,000 patient records.

The hacker accessed AOC’s system for over a month using stolen SRS credentials.

The clinic refused to pay, as did other providers who were victims of the same extortion scheme, and later said it couldn’t afford to pay for free credit monitoring services for affected patients. (Mr. H pointed out at the time that the cost of credit monitoring service would have been cheaper than the hacker’s demand – an observation that now seems moot given the hefty HHS penalty.)

AOC’s negligence included failing to:

  • Conduct risk analyses.
  • Implement risk management and audit controls.
  • Maintain HIPAA policies and procedures.
  • Secure BAAs with multiple associates.
  • Provide proper staff training.

HIStalk Practice Announcements and Requests

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I’ll be heading into the North Georgia mountains this week to celebrate the start of fall, so HIStalk Practice won’t publish again until September 28. While I’m not as experienced a camper as Dr. Jayne, I have learned how to enjoy myself “roughing” it in the woods. And by that I mean power hook-ups, a heated bathhouse, and a cute general store with plenty of s’mores fixins’.


Webinars

September 30 (Wednesday) 11 ET. “The Hidden Threat: New Research on Security Vulnerabilities and Privacy Gaps in Healthcare Apps.” Sponsors: Verimatrix, NowSecure. Presenters: Neal Michie, MEng, director of product management, Verimatrix; Brian Lawrence, direction of solution engineering, NowSecure. The presenters will present research on the security risk profile of 1,000 healthcare apps in managing patient privacy, how they compare to those in other industries, and where the biggest vulnerabilities lie. Attendees will learn how to make their healthcare apps more secure in managing protected health information.

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


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Conversion Labs wraps up an equity investment round of $3.5 million and announces plans to list on the Nasdaq. The  telemedicine and prescription delivery company offers direct-to-consumer services for hair loss, erectile dysfunction, and immune system support using its proprietary Veritas MD telemedicine software.

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HealtheMed raises an undisclosed amount of seed capital to scale its remote patient monitoring technology for Medicaid patients in Minnesota. The company is partnering with Best Buy’s Geek Squad to install smart TVs, and medication dispensing devices. Patients and their providers will also have access to HealtheMed’s cloud-based EHR.


Announcements and Implementations

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Health IT vendor MedInformatix announces GA of MI Contact, app-based CRM software designed to help practices manage contacts and marketing budgets, and generate leads.

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In Oregon, Marion County Health & Human Services selects EnSoftek’s DrCloudEHR.

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The Delaware Department of Health and Social Services leverages technology from Appriss Health to develop a behavioral health referral portal for people seeking treatment for mental health or substance use disorders.


Other

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The American Board of Telehealth launches the Clinical, Operational, Regulatory and Ethics (CORE) Concepts in Telehealth Certificate Program. The online course offers CME-accredited content that is geared towards healthcare workers, students, administrators, and those involved in telemedicine.


Sponsor Updates

Blog Posts


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Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk.

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