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News 8/28/19

August 28, 2019 News No Comments

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San Francisco-based patient engagement startup Luma Health raises $16 million in a Series B round that brings the four year-old company’s total funding to nearly $26 million.


HIStalk Practice Musings

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Kate writes to recommend “Love You Hard: A Memoir of Marriage, Brain Injury, and Reinventing Love” by Abby Maslin. The book was a literary gift to herself; one she’ll make required reading for her three young daughters when they are old enough to handle the realness of life that Abby portrays. (Kate, you may also find “Eight Twenty Eight” by Ian and Larissa Murphy compelling in a similar way.) She made my day by adding, “Thank you for sharing your reading list and the recommendations of others – I come for the health IS and return for the book reviews!”

Let’s not let Kate down. Please email me with your suggestions. What titles will you dig into over the upcoming Labor Day weekend?

Speaking of the long weekend, ambulatory HIT news is a bit hard to come by this week as company PR machines and industry rumor mills creak to a near-halt ahead of Friday’s mid-afternoon mass exodus. (Or, perhaps everyone’s just having too much fun at #EpicUGM.) And so I’ll share a few more literary-related items to hopefully make reading this post worth your time.

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Does the latest and greatest algorithm leave you with little time to spare for paper-based books? Check out “Books that Will Help You Kick Your Tech Dependence” at Outside.com, natch. I’m in full accord with the author, who believes that, sometimes, books show up in our lives at exactly the right time.

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Hyland continues its “What our executives are reading series” with recommendations from Product Management VP Scott Dwyer. I’ll definitely look for “Unbroken” by Lauren Hillenbrand the next time I’m at the library. I read “Seabiscuit” by Hillenbrand years ago and thoroughly enjoyed it (and the movie it spawned).

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Finally, Dan Brown fans may want to check out “The Potter’s Tale,” the debut novel of retired family physician Dave Davis. The book features two reporters (one with a medical degree) as they race to save the world from extinction, all the while dealing with ancient Mayan mysteries, global warming, secret societies, and the Kennedy assassination.


Webinars

September 5 (Thursday) 2:00 ET. “Driving 90% Patient Adoption Across Your Network: How US Dermatology Partners is Showing Us The Way.” Sponsor: Relatient. Presenters: Michele Perry, CEO, Relatient; Sara Nguyen, VP of applications and integrations, US Dermatology Partners. US Dermatology Partners is helping its physicians reclaim time they can spend with patients and is turning patient engagement strategies into business results across its 90 locations in eight states. Attendees will learn how US Dermatology Partners defined its patient engagement objectives and physician-optimized strategies. They presenters will provide advice on starting or accelerating  patient engagement goals.

September 19 (Thursday) 2:00 ET. “ICD-10-CM 2020 Code Updates.” Sponsor: Intelligent Medical Objects. Presenters: June Bronnert, MSHI, RHIA, director of terminology mapping, IMO; Theresa Rihanek, MHA, RHIA, classification and intervention mapping lead, IMO; and Julie Glasgow, MD, senior clinical terminologist, IMO. The 2020 regulatory release is right around the corner. Join IMO’s top coding professionals and thought leaders as they discuss new, revised, and deleted codes; highlight revisions to ICD-10-CM index and tabular; discuss changes within Official Coding Guidelines; share potential impacts of the code set update; and review ICD-10-CM modifier changes.

September 26 (Thursday) 2 ET. “Patient Education Data: A Key Ingredient for Improving Quality and Patient Experience.” Sponsor: Healthwise. Presenters: Victoria L. Maisonneuve, MSN, RN, director of the Nursing Center for Excellence and Magnet program, Parkview Health; Marta Sylvia, MPH, senior manager of quality improvement and outcomes research, Healthwise. Healthcare data is everywhere! It’s scattered across various systems and in countless formats, making it difficult to collect and glean actionable information. Knowing where to start depends on what your organization wants to accomplish. Vicki Maisonneuve will share how her team analyzes data around the use of patient education. By combining different data sets, she can easily identify trends, gaps, and opportunities to improve quality and patient experience across Parkview Health.

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


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Crystal Practice Management will invest $2 million in relocating its headquarters from Austin to Cedar Park, TX. The company specializes in practice management software for optometrists and vision therapists.


Announcements and Implementations

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HSX extends its HIE capabilities beyond the Greater Pittsburgh area to New Jersey through a new connection with the New Jersey Health Information Network.


Research and Innovation

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AMGA’s latest pay and productivity survey of 272 medical groups finds that compensation increased by an average of just under 3% in 2018, an increase of over 2% from the year before. Productivity saw a negligible gain, meaning groups haven’t experienced an increase since 2016.

New research from PatientPoint shows that 21,000 physicians who offered in-office education on opioids each prescribed 142 fewer pills between October 2017 and May 2018.


Telemedicine

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An American Well survey of 2,000 consumers finds that the disconnect between interest in virtual care and actual utilization is still alive and well: 66% of respondents are willing to use telemedicine, while 8% have actually done so. Seventeen percent of those interested in trying it don’t know if their insurance plans cover the service. I wonder how many of those surveyed see physicians who offer telemedicine, whether by video or chat. I typically don’t report on American Well because of its focus on health systems and payers, but I believe these findings are relevant to healthcare organizations of all sizes. There’s obviously interest, which mom-and-pop telemedicine vendors are doing their hardest to try to take advantage of, but there’s also an awareness problem. On the physician practice side, I imagine there’s a resource and/or bandwidth problem. Dr. Jayne has written about it a time or two, mentioning that “Telehealth is definitely at the forefront of many organizations’ strategic plans. Whether you’re a dedicated telehealth vendor or a practice looking at it as a solution to reduce revenue leakage, if it’s not part of your plan, you need to be thinking about it.” I’d love to hear from readers who have considered implementing telemedicine at their practices. Email me with your anecdotes, anonymously or otherwise.


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News 8/26/19

August 26, 2019 News No Comments

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Facing pressure from the American Optometric Association, the FDA recalls Visibly’s online vision screening test over concerns with safety and efficacy, and a lack of FDA marketing approval. Launched as Opternative in 2015, Visibly’s telemedicine service quickly came under scrutiny from eye care professionals who wanted to ensure face-to-face visits weren’t edged out by unproven technology.

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Opternative rebranded last year because its previous moniker “carried a negative connotation in the eye care industry and positioned the brand as an existential threat to optometrists.” That negative connotation likely stemmed from the various lawsuits the company brought against entities like state agencies in Indiana and competitor Warby Parker.


HIStalk Practice Musings

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Many thanks to the readers who reminded me of books from high school and college well worth re-reading. Jeanne says that “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance” by Robert Pirsig and “Stranger in a Strange Land” by Robert Heinlein are worth taking a second (or in my case, first) look at. Jim says that “Catcher in the Rye” by JD Salinger, “A Separate Peace” by John Knowles, and the memoir “Death Be Not Proud” (named after the 17th century sonnet) by John Gunther are three that merit reading instead of skimming the CliffsNotes. Keep your suggestions via email coming! I hope to compile a list of reader-suggested books to publish just in time for the new year. What better resolution can one make than to read more?

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AI cheerleaders and skeptics alike may enjoy “Rebooting AI” by professors Gary Marcus and Ernest Davis.


Webinars

September 5 (Thursday) 2:00 ET. “Driving 90% Patient Adoption Across Your Network: How US Dermatology Partners is Showing Us The Way.” Sponsor: Relatient. Presenters: Michele Perry, CEO, Relatient; Sara Nguyen, VP of applications and integrations, US Dermatology Partners. US Dermatology Partners is helping its physicians reclaim time they can spend with patients and is turning patient engagement strategies into business results across its 90 locations in eight states. Attendees will learn how US Dermatology Partners defined its patient engagement objectives and physician-optimized strategies. They presenters will provide advice on starting or accelerating  patient engagement goals.

September 26 (Thursday) 2 ET. “Patient Education Data: A Key Ingredient for Improving Quality and Patient Experience.” Sponsor: Healthwise. Presenters: Victoria L. Maisonneuve, MSN, RN, director of the Nursing Center for Excellence and Magnet program, Parkview Health; Marta Sylvia, MPH, senior manager of quality improvement and outcomes research, Healthwise. Healthcare data is everywhere! It’s scattered across various systems and in countless formats, making it difficult to collect and glean actionable information. Knowing where to start depends on what your organization wants to accomplish. Vicki Maisonneuve will share how her team analyzes data around the use of patient education. By combining different data sets, she can easily identify trends, gaps, and opportunities to improve quality and patient experience across Parkview Health.

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


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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The Dayton Daily News looks at the consumer-friendly tech PriMed Physicians will implement at the new location it is preparing to move into next June. The 53-physician group will offer patients appointment scheduling online and via text, and access to online intake forms. Physicians will see data entry decrease with new medical devices that send health data directly to a patient’s EHR. The higher-tech changes are the result of a town hall-type “Office of the Future” meeting held with PriMed staff last year. CEO Ted Inman says the group is really “focused on consumerism, and also making sure that the right person is doing the right job at the right place and time.”

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Timothy Wong, MD opens the IHealth Clinic in Pittsburgh. As the sole employee, Wong describes the clinic as a “micro-practice” akin to direct primary care but without the annual membership fee. Wong charges a flat $35 fee for nearly any procedure, and works 12-hour weekdays plus eight-hour Saturdays and Sundays. He also offers care via text and video. Becoming an employed physician at nearby health systems was not an option for Wong: “That just perpetuates the system. That’s not standing up for the patient. That’s not fighting the system to be better.”


Announcements and Implementations

Healthcare analytics vendor ESimplify will offer its family practice customers access to ChartSpan’s MIPS compliance, chronic care management program, and annual wellness visit services.

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Unlimited Systems will integrate Relatient’s patient engagement capabilities with its G4 Studio RCM software for oncologists.

Florida Association of ACOs will offer MediQuire’s analytics to member organizations looking to optimize their value-based contracts.


Government and Politics

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HHS publishes a proposed rule that will give providers greater access to the medical records of patients seeking treatment for addiction. HHS Secretary Alex Azar says the rule, an update to one originally passed in 1975 to protect the privacy of patients seeking such treatment, will better support care coordination while still protecting patient privacy – a sticking point with many privacy watchdogs.


Telemedicine

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GeekWire profiles 98point6, a Seattle-based telemedicine company launched last year with $86 million in funding so far. The company employs 54 physicians across all time zones, and has developed technology that automates charting. Physicians are encouraged to spend 20% of their time helping to improve the company’s software, which focuses heavily on automation.


Other

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Family physician Rebekah Bernard, MD recounts her time in the FQHC trenches as one of extra, uncompensated duties; burdensome paperwork; higher-ups that weren’t afraid to keep her in line through intimidation tactics; and a total lack of interest in ideas for workflow improvements. She got out alive, she says, by keeping her head down, mouth shut, and bosses happy – advice she gave to other colleagues feeling the same squeeze. Bernard, who calls her last day at the FQHC one of the happiest of her life, has since moved into direct primary care.


Sponsor Updates

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Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk.

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

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News 8/21/19

August 21, 2019 News No Comments

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HHS awards $107 million in Quality Improvement Awards to 1,273 health centers across the country. In addition to their quality-improvement efforts, the winning centers also demonstrated improvements in advancing the use of health IT and delivering patient-centered care.


HIStalk Practice Musings

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A younger member of the family tells me she’ll soon start reading “To Kill a Mockingbird,” which got me thinking about the classic literature I read in school. Some titles were torture to get through (“The Metamorphosis,” anyone?), while others – like the “Anne of Green Gables” series – I still read over and over. If you’re looking to get back into the groove of high school lit, check out Fast Company’s list of “13 books from high school worth rereading as an adult.” I highly recommend “One Hundred Years of Solitude” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (or any of his other novels, for that matter.)

What novels from your high school, or even college years, are still on your bookshelf? Email me with your favorite classic literary reads.


Webinars

September 5 (Thursday) 2:00 ET. “Driving 90% Patient Adoption Across Your Network: How US Dermatology Partners is Showing Us The Way.” Sponsor: Relatient. Presenters: Michele Perry, CEO, Relatient; Sara Nguyen, VP of applications and integrations, US Dermatology Partners. US Dermatology Partners is helping its physicians reclaim time they can spend with patients and is turning patient engagement strategies into business results across its 90 locations in eight states. Attendees will learn how US Dermatology Partners defined its patient engagement objectives and physician-optimized strategies. They presenters will provide advice on starting or accelerating  patient engagement goals.

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


Announcements and Implementations

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Great Lakes Health Connect selects HIE software from Secure Exchange Solutions. Michigan-based GLHC will connect SES Direct to its InterSystems HealthShare interoperability technology.

Veradigm (the former payer and life sciences division of Allscripts) will help Komodo Health integrate de-identified patient data from Allscripts ambulatory EHRs with its Healthcare Map, which already includes data from 150 public and private payers. Komodo Health will market the expanded dataset to life sciences companies for research purposes.


Telemedicine

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MyTelemedicine develops new API enhancements – including multi-party e-visits, real-time eligibility checks, and EHR integration – to help developers integrate its telemedicine capabilities with their apps and mobile health devices.

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Nurx expands its reach to Nebraska, making its birth control and STI testing delivery services available in 27 states and Washington, DC.


Research and Innovation

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CareAllies, ECG Management, Lumeris, PWC, and Deloitte Consulting achieve top marks in Black Book’s latest look at physician practice satisfaction with value-based care transformation and strategy advisory firms. The research also found that 88% of surveyed practices with more than five physicians in VBC arrangements  have not yet mapped out a strategy to implement advanced analytics and/or reimbursement solutions. Of those not already in VBC programs, nearly all say they will look to a consulting firm for guidance.

MGMA survey-takers report that patient portals, automated appointment reminder systems, check-in technologies, telemedicine, digital payment options, and analytics have had the biggest impact on their workflows and engagement with patients.

Kareo’s latest report on the state of the independent physician practice sheds light on growth, burnout, and the impact of health IT, among other facets. A few highlights:

  • 69% say integrated technology is essential to efficient care delivery and practice profitability.
  • 70% believe EHR data entry detracts from their ability to deliver care.
  • 72% are experiencing burnout.
  • 8% plan to break away from their hospital.
  • 60% predict their practice will grow in the coming year.

Other

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This Harvard Medicine article digs into the impact thank you notes have on physicians: “Most of us have a folder. Or a shoebox. Perhaps a desk drawer. Or a special, yet aging, briefcase. We may not look in it very often — or ever. And we may not admit to having one. But we do. I’m referring to the collections of letters of appreciation that we physicians receive from our patients and their families. I still go back and read [notes] from time to time. It’s with my other letters, in a manila folder, in my home office. Whenever I rediscover the folder, its contents invariably make me feel better.”

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VSP Global, parent company of practice management and EHR software vendor Eyefinity, partners with Glam4Good to donate eye care, eyewear, and shopping sprees to victims of last year’s Camp Fire in Paradise, CA.


Sponsor Updates

  • Culbert Healthcare Solutions will exhibit at Epic’s UGM August 26-29 in Verona, WI.

Blog Posts


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk.

Get HIStalk Practice updates.
Contact us online.
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News 8/19/19

August 19, 2019 News No Comments

Top News

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Mental healthcare company Two Chairs raises a $21 million Series B funding round just six months after its $7 million Series A. The startup has developed software that helps patients find best-fit providers within its network of California clinics, plus analytics, precision medicine, and outcomes tracking technology. It will open its largest clinic yet in San Jose soon.


Webinars

September 5 (Thursday) 2:00 ET. “Driving 90% Patient Adoption Across Your Network: How US Dermatology Partners is Showing Us The Way.” Sponsor: Relatient. Presenters: Michele Perry, CEO, Relatient; Sara Nguyen, VP of applications and integrations, US Dermatology Partners. US Dermatology Partners is helping its physicians reclaim time they can spend with patients and is turning patient engagement strategies into business results across its 90 locations in eight states. Attendees will learn how US Dermatology Partners defined its patient engagement objectives and physician-optimized strategies. They presenters will provide advice on starting or accelerating  patient engagement goals.

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


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Contraceptive and at-home STI testing telemedicine company Nurx raises $52 million in a Series C round led by Kleiner Perkins Digital Growth Fund and Union Square Ventures. The company has raised nearly $100 million since launching five years ago in San Francisco.


Announcements and Implementations

Don Recovery Services (PA) selects the MedicsCloud Addiction Medicine Clinical and Financial Suite from Advanced Data Systems.

Practice Pro adds Kno2’s Interoperability-as-a-Service capabilities to its EHR and practice management software for physical and occupational therapists.

Health data reporting organization Virginia Health Information merges with statewide HIE ConnectVirginia.


People

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Simon Mouyal (Medidata Solutions) joins Athenahealth as chief marketing officer. It’s the company’s second executive hire since being acquired by Veritas Capital at the beginning of the year. Bill Conway joined as chief sales officer in May.


Sponsor Updates

  • Nordic posts a podcast titled “How to drive efficiencies between your ERP and EHR in OR and beyond.”

Blog Posts


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk.

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

News 8/14/19

August 14, 2019 News No Comments

Top News

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Canadian health IT company Telus Health acquires Akira Health, which offers app-based and in-person care at the high-tech Union Health clinic in Toronto. Telus reps say the acquisition will help to bring mental health and diagnostics to Akira’s virtual care offerings.

Telus Health has been busy over the last several years in terms of partnerships, acquisitions, and investments. It was an early investor in US-based Get Real Health, which has since been sold to CPSI; acquired Canadian e-prescribing company ZRx Prescriber in 2014 and EHR vendor Nightingale in 2016; and last year partnered with NHS-friendly Babylon Health to launch a Canadian telemedicine app.


Webinars

September 5 (Thursday) 2:00 ET. “Driving 90% Patient Adoption Across Your Network: How US Dermatology Partners is Showing Us The Way.” Sponsor: Relatient. Presenters: Michele Perry, CEO, Relatient; Sara Nguyen, VP of applications and integrations, US Dermatology Partners. US Dermatology Partners is helping its physicians reclaim time they can spend with patients and is turning patient engagement strategies into business results across its 90 locations in eight states. Attendees will learn how US Dermatology Partners defined its patient engagement objectives and physician-optimized strategies. They presenters will provide advice on starting or accelerating  patient engagement goals.

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


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Fertility app startup MedAnswers raises $5 million in a seed funding round led by the Special Situations Life Sciences Innovation Fund. The financing will help the company with hiring and recruiting clinical experts, and adding content and fertility service-matching capabilities to its app. Femtech, and digital fertility services in particular, have definitely attracted investors of late. The most recent figures put femtech investments at over $400 million in 2018, while the global fertility services market is expected to be worth $21 billion by next year.

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Urgent care company CityMD and Summit Medical Group finalize their merger. First announced in June, the merger brings together CityMD’s 120 locations in New York City with the independent 900-provider medical group and its 80 locations in New York and New Jersey. SMG CEO Jeffrey Le Benger, MD will head up the combined organization.


Announcements and Implementations

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The Nebraska Health Information Initiative selects health information exchange software from Secure Exchange Solutions.


People

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Men’s virtual care and health and wellness company Ro names Todd Levy (BuzzFeed) CTO.


Other

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Eye Care Associates is recovering from a ransomware attack that hit the Ohio practice two weeks ago. The practice declined to pay the unspecified ransom, and has been working to restore its system using backups. The cost to the practice in terms of disruption to patient care – no new-patient appointments have been scheduled and many have been delayed – may end up being just as expensive as the ransom.


Sponsor Updates

  • Aprima will host its annual user conference August 23-25 in Grapevine, TX.
  • Culbert Healthcare Solutions will exhibit at East Coast CORE August 14-16 in Boston.

Blog Posts


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk.

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

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