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News 1/27/20

January 27, 2020 News No Comments

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Practice Fusion will pay $145 million to resolve criminal and civil investigations related to illegally using its EHR software to influence prescribing practices for the benefit of opioid manufacturers.

Practice Fusion was acquired by Allscripts in 2018. A year later, Allscripts agreed to pay $145 million to the DoJ to settle an investigation into Practice Fusion’s health IT certification, anti-kickbacks, and issues related to HIPAA. Today’s announcement seems to be a finalization of that settlement, though it does shed further light on the company’s actions, which prosecuting attorney Christina Nolen referred to as “abhorrent.” A few details:

  • The company received $1 million from an unnamed opioid company, financed by its marketing department, after letting its representatives influence the development and implementation of clinical decision support alerts that helped to increase prescriptions for their products.
  • Practice Fusion allowed some pharma companies to design alerts, selecting incorrect medical guidelines, setting criteria for display, and even crafting the alert’s language.

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Practice Fusion founder and former CEO Ryan Howard, who left the company in 2015, is now founder, CEO, and chairman of remote patient monitoring company 100Plus. His successor, Tom Langan, transitioned to Allscripts and is now CEO of its Veradigm business.


HIStalk Practice Musings

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I came across this fantastic reading list, “21 Science Books Everyone Should Read At Least Once In Their Lives,” while prepping for my next journey to the local library. The topics are varied and all seem to promise stories that go beyond the hints given on their covers. John Carreyrou’s “Bad Blood” is of course on the list.

And lest you think going to the library to check out a physical book rather than downloading one on an e-reader is an archaic practice, may I point out that a recent Gallup poll found that such trips are still “the most common cultural activity Americans engage in, by far. The average 10.5 trips to the library US adults report taking in 2019 exceeds their participation in eight other common leisure activities,” including going to the movies.

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I’m getting a bit desperate for a literary-themed birthday gift for my sister, who is one of the most well-read people I know. I thought about a reading journal with challenges, but decided against it as it would create more work for her than enjoyment. Please send me your suggestions!


Webinars

January 29 (Wednesday) 2:00 ET. “State of the Health IT Industry 2020.” Sponsor: Medicomp Systems. Presenters from Medicomp Systems: Dave Lareau, CEO; Jay Anders, MD, MS, chief medical officer; Dan Gainer, CTO; Toni Laracuente, CNO. Despite widespread adoption of EHRs, healthcare professionals struggle with several unresolved systemic challenges, including the lack of EHR usability, limited interoperability between disparate systems, new quality reporting initiatives that create administrative burdens, and escalating levels of physician burnout. Join the webinar to learn how enterprises can address current industry roadblocks with existing market solutions and fix health IT’s biggest challenges.

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


People

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Practice management company USRetina announces a new executive team that includes CEO Ike Nicoll (Capsico Health) and CTO Ravi Nemana (Ampersand Health).


Announcements and Implementations

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Hospitalist-focused practice management company Claimocity selects EHR and practice management software from PracticeSuite.

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Health IPass announces GA of Patient Pre-Check with Quickforms, a set of digital intake forms patients can access from their own devices before check-in.

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District Medical Group in Arizona selects RCM software and services from R1 RCM.


Telemedicine

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Kentucky-based federally qualified health center PrimaryPlus will use technology from PursueCare to launch telemedicine services for addiction and behavioral health treatment across its seven facilities.

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Through its telehealth division, staffing agency LocumTenens.com will use PercuVision’s DirectVision Telehealth Hub to offer tele-urology services to understaffed providers across the country.


Research and Innovation

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A new study from the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice finds that pharma reps have greater access to smaller primary care practices than larger ones or those affiliated with health systems, leading researchers to conclude that further measures are needed to restrict that access, which can influence a physician’s prescribing habits and escalate patient costs.

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A health records access survey of 200 patients conducted by DrFirst finds that 33% have never used a portal to access information, with top reasons being lack of know-how, technology, and time. (Fear of a lack of security or imminent breach wasn’t mentioned.) Nearly 60% report successfully requesting medical records, but no further insight is given as to how long it took. Nearly 20% have successfully requested and obtained their records in a digital format.

Given the industry-wide conversation on patient access to health data that’s been heating up over the last several days, I wonder how many of these survey-takers have accessed their data via an app – EHR or otherwise. Portals, while initially novel, seem a tad antiquated when compared with the availability, usability, and proliferation of apps.


Other

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Manchester University Press in the UK publishes “John Hall, Master of Physicke: A casebook from Shakespeare’s Stratford,” detailing 200 cases of early 17th century physician John Hall, who also happened to be Shakespeare’s son-in-law. Though there is no record of Hall’s treatment of the famous playwright, his notes indicate he treated patients from all levels of society – Queen Elizabeth’s godson, the Earl of Northampton, a glove maker, malt dealer, and children.

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Given Mr. H’s recent encounter with an emotional support animal of the slobbering and panting variety, I thought it would be fun to revisit the TSA-approved version from Popeyes. Should the proposed ban on these animals take effect, anxious travelers through Philadelphia’s International Airport, Terminal C, will hopefully be able to take advantage of their chicken.


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

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News 1/22/20

January 22, 2020 News No Comments

Top News

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Gentem raises $3.7 million in a seed funding round that will help the company scale its RCM technology for physician practices. The startup hopes to stand out from competitors by offering customers up-front payments. The company’s six employees come from Stanford, Facebook, and JPMorgan.


HIStalk Practice Musings

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Readers celebrate Library Shelfie Day, created by the New York Public Library in 2014 to encourage book lovers to share selfies of themselves in front of library shelves – public or personal. Email me your #shelfies and I’ll share with our readers. Perhaps we can inspire each other to check out new authors and ways of organizing our favorite books.

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I came across this sweet story of a curbside library while digging through the #LibraryShelfieDay tweet stream.


Webinars

January 29 (Wednesday) 2:00 ET. “State of the Health IT Industry 2020.” Sponsor: Medicomp Systems. Presenters from Medicomp Systems: Dave Lareau, CEO; Jay Anders, MD, MS, chief medical officer; Dan Gainer, CTO; Toni Laracuente, CNO. Despite widespread adoption of EHRs, healthcare professionals struggle with several unresolved systemic challenges, including the lack of EHR usability, limited interoperability between disparate systems, new quality reporting initiatives that create administrative burdens, and escalating levels of physician burnout. Join the webinar to learn how enterprises can address current industry roadblocks with existing market solutions and fix health IT’s biggest challenges.

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


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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ENT and Allergy Associates opens the new headquarters of Quality Medical Management Services USA, an affiliated company launched last year to offer consulting and business support services to physician practices. The 40,000 square-foot space in Tarrytown, NY will be home to QMMS leadership and 300 ENT employees.

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Medical marketing software and services vendor DoctorLogic raises $7 million in a Series A round led by Unbundled Capital.


Announcements and Implementations

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R1 RCM announces GA of RCM software and services for large independent practices and hospital-owned medical groups.

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Check-in kiosk company Clearwave develops tablet-based capabilities.


Government and Politics

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ONC updates its Health IT Playbook for small practices to include sections on reducing health IT burden and better understanding how APIs can improve health information exchange and interoperability. The playbook also includes an updated security risk assessment tool.


Telemedicine

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The Louisiana Primary Care Association selects Certintell Telehealth as the telemedicine vendor for the state’s 38 FQHCs.

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CurieMD launches in California to offer menopausal women access to virtual care and prescription drug delivery services.


Other

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A Contemporary Pediatrics survey of over 14,000 physicians finds EHRs and reimbursement to be top practice drawbacks. Between 60% and 69% said they have seen workloads and stress levels increase, placing blame on increased administrative work, burdensome technology, and higher patient volumes.


Sponsor Updates

Blog Posts


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk.

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News 1/20/20

January 20, 2020 News No Comments

Top News

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Former Outcome Health analysts Kathryn Choi and Oliver Han change their pleas to guilty of charges related to felony conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Both have agreed to work with government prosecutors, presumably in return for reduced sentences. Choi and Han reported to VP Ashik Desai, who has also pled guilty, during their time at the company. Outcome Health co-founders Rishi Shah and Shradha Agarwal pled not guilty to similar charges last month.


Webinars

January 29 (Wednesday) 2:00 ET. “State of the Health IT Industry 2020.” Sponsor: Medicomp Systems. Presenters from Medicomp Systems: Dave Lareau, CEO; Jay Anders, MD, MS, chief medical officer; Dan Gainer, CTO; Toni Laracuente, CNO. Despite widespread adoption of EHRs, healthcare professionals struggle with several unresolved systemic challenges, including the lack of EHR usability, limited interoperability between disparate systems, new quality reporting initiatives that create administrative burdens, and escalating levels of physician burnout. Join the webinar to learn how enterprises can address current industry roadblocks with existing market solutions and fix health IT’s biggest challenges.

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


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Timothy Wong, MD assures the local paper that business at his relatively new, flat-fee “micro-practice” in Philadelphia has been steady enough. Since opening the two-room IHealth Clinic, Wong has seen 1,000 patients; on a peak day, he can see as many as 24 – traffic he attributes to local news coverage, Facebook mentions, and favorable reviews. He doesn’t always meet his daily goal of 20 patients – a fluctuation that he admits is a little stressful. He remains optimistic that word of mouth among un- and underinsured will spread, adding that it typically takes at least two years for a practice to gain solid footing within a community: “I’m 95% sure we’re going to attain financial sustainability.”


People

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Mental and behavioral health software vendor Therapy Brands promotes Darcy Barrett to VP of customer support experience.


Announcements and Implementations

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Carolina Arthritis Center (NC) implements TSI Healthcare’s practice management and EHR software for rheumatology.


Other

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I somehow missed this last month: Demetrio Aguila III, MD has launched a program within his practice, Healing Hands of Nebraska, that allows patients to pay for their care by volunteering at one of the practice’s partner organizations. “For years,” Aguilar says, “I had been doing surgery for patients and taking care of their health problems, taking care of their medical problems, and then I would find out months later, sometimes years later, in fixing their medical problem I had caused or contributed to their financial ruin. I need to be able to look myself in the mirror at night and know that I’m taking good care of my patients.”


Sponsor Updates

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  • Nordic staff volunteer at The River Food Pantry.

Blog Posts


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk.

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Become a sponsor.

News 1/15/20

January 15, 2020 News No Comments

Top News

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ONC publishes a draft of its “2020-2025 Federal Health IT Strategic Plan” for public comment. The 28-page plan is organized around four goals:

  • Promoting health and wellness.
  • Enhancing care delivery and experience.
  • Building a secure, data-driven ecosystem to accelerate research and innovation.
  • Connecting stakeholders and their data through interoperability.

Public comments, which are due March 18, will help shape government efforts to improve patient access to data via smartphones, develop new API-based business models, and better enable data-sharing practices across federal agencies, while hopefully inspiring similar progress in the private sector.


Webinars

January 29 (Wednesday) 2:00 ET. “State of the Health IT Industry 2020.” Sponsor: Medicomp Systems. Presenters from Medicomp Systems: Dave Lareau, CEO; Jay Anders, MD, MS, chief medical officer; Dan Gainer, CTO; James Aita, MBA, director of strategy and business development. Despite widespread adoption of EHRs, healthcare professionals struggle with several unresolved systemic challenges, including the lack of EHR usability, limited interoperability between disparate systems, new quality reporting initiatives that create administrative burdens, and escalating levels of physician burnout. Join the webinar to learn how enterprises can address current industry roadblocks with existing market solutions and fix health IT’s biggest challenges.

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


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Fellow Health Partners acquires New York-based competitor Billing Services for an undisclosed amount.

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Carbon Health opens a new primary and urgent care clinic in Pasadena, bringing its total to 14 since launching three years ago. The San Francisco-based company is one of a handful attempting to break the primary care mold by touting easy access and high-tech offerings like messaging, virtual care, and handy apps. Kindbody, VillageMD, Parsley Health, and higher-profile One Medical have all made similar expansion announcements in the last several months.


Announcements and Implementations

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Carolina Neurosurgery and Spine Associates implements InteliChart’s Healthy Outcomes patient-engagement software.

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The American Medical Association adds access to RedCrow’s healthcare investment community to its Web-based Physician Innovation Network. The RedCrow Hub will connect physicians with entrepreneurs looking for feedback on their products and services.


Government and Politics

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The Johnson County health department announces it will connect to the relatively new Wyoming Frontier Information System, an HIE powered by Health Catalyst and managed by the Wyoming Department of Health.


Other

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WebMD adds a prescription savings tool for consumers to its website, a move that will no doubt give incumbent GoodRx a run for its money. (A search for “Tamiflu” shows that I would pay about $10 more at my preferred pharmacy with a WebMDRx coupon than with one from GoodRx.) The tool is powered by technology from RxSense-owned SingleCare.


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk.

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

News 1/13/20

January 13, 2020 News No Comments

Top News

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Tech-heavy women’s healthcare company Advantia Health (VA) raises $45 million from BlueMountain Capital Management.

Advantia will use the funding to hire more providers; expand its technology offerings, which already include an app with messaging, scheduling, and telemedicine capabilities; and build a flagship practice that integrates Ob/Gyn, primary, and mental healthcare with other health services in Washington, DC.

The company acquired maternal and pediatric telemedicine company Pacify last year.


HIStalk Practice Musings

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I’ve finished my first book of the new year: Charlotte Brontë’s “Villette” was at times sluggish, and thus always perfect bedtime reading. The story of the Bronte family is a tragedy unto itself. If you’re in the mood for such a read, I suggest “The Brontës: Wild Genius on the Moors: The Story of a Literary Family.”

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If you’re looking to brush up on your leadership skills before the new year gets too far gone, check out the seven books listed in this article, and/or “Leadership & Life Hacks: Insights from a Mom, Wife, Entrepreneur & Executive” by Surgical Solutions CEO Alyssa Rapp.


HIStalk Practice Announcements and Requests

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Mr. H is looking for a founding sponsor to take the place of a vendor that held the high-profile spot for 13 years. Contact Lorre to take their permanent #1 spot on the page next to Medicomp.


Webinars

January 29 (Wednesday) 2:00 ET. “State of the Health IT Industry 2020.” Sponsor: Medicomp Systems. Presenters from Medicomp Systems: Dave Lareau, CEO; Jay Anders, MD, MS, chief medical officer; Dan Gainer, CTO; James Aita, MBA, director of strategy and business development. Despite widespread adoption of EHRs, healthcare professionals struggle with several unresolved systemic challenges, including the lack of EHR usability, limited interoperability between disparate systems, new quality reporting initiatives that create administrative burdens, and escalating levels of physician burnout. Join the webinar to learn how enterprises can address current industry roadblocks with existing market solutions and fix health IT’s biggest challenges.

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


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Well Health Technologies begins trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange. The company operates 20 clinics and provides EHR software to nearly 1,000 clinics in Canada.

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Boca Raton, FL-based practice management company Unified Women’s Healthcare acquires Lucina Health, an analytics company specializing in predicting adverse outcomes during pregnancy.

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BrainCheck relocates to larger office space in Houston following an $8 million Series A funding round last fall. The company has developed cognitive assessment software to help PCPs diagnose conditions like dementia.

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EHR, practice management, and RCM vendor DrChrono raises $20 million from Orix Growth Capital.


Announcements and Implementations

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ChenMed implements patient feedback software and analytics from Medallia.

Cerner will implement HealthTap’s virtual primary care service at its on-site health centers.


People

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As part of its sale to MTBC, CareCloud CEO Ken Comée will step down, and CFO Noel Marsden will become division president.


Government and Politics

HHS awards the US Virgin Islands $15 million to set up a health information exchange for Medicaid beneficiaries, and to continue to promote the use of certified EHRs.

A call center employee in New Orleans admits to stealing the personal data of 8,000 Healthcare.gov customers and then using that information to open credit cards and apply for loans. He faces up to five years in prison.


Other

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Fast Company profiles Binah.ai, an Israeli-based company that made waves at CES with technology that can detect heart rate and stress levels over video. While the company’s software has garnered interest from law enforcement agencies, a spokesperson has stressed that its greatest potential is in telemedicine and hospital intake procedures.

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Digital health entrepreneur Elizabeth Tikoyan develops Riley, an app that connects people with similar health conditions. She named the app after a patient she met while volunteering at Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, DC. Tikoyan remembers that Riley, who had a compromised immune system, often had no other means of connecting with people than through technology.


Sponsor Updates

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  • Healthwise employees donate over 150 coats to City Light Home and Idaho Office for Refugees.

Blog Posts


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk.

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