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News 12/14/20

December 14, 2020 News No Comments

Top News

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Physician practice-focused health IT vendor Elation Health raises $40 million in a Series C funding round led by Generation Investment Management, bringing its total raised to $55 million.

Founded in 2014 by siblings Kyna and Conan Fong, the company caters to a network of 14,000 independent clinicians. In addition to virtual visit capabilities added earlier this year, Elation will soon offer billing and payment collection, population management, interoperability, and quality reporting solutions.


Webinars

December 15 (Tuesday) 1 ET. “Highlights from the 2021 CPT Code Set Update.” Sponsor: Intelligent Medical Objects. Presenters: June Bronnert, MSHI, RHIA, senior director of global clinical services, IMO; Shelly Jude, RHIA, RHIT, mapping manager, IMO. Top coding professionals will highlight the most important changes to the Current Procedural Terminology code set that take effect on January 1, including crucial additions, deletions, and revisions; how to communicate Official Coding Guidelines changes to the healthcare team; and a description of the impact that the code set update could have on practice.

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


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Automated patient engagement software startup Pair Team raises $2.7 million in seed funding. Founders Neil Batlivala and Cassie Choi, RN came up with the technology, which helps providers, payers, and patients avoid gaps in care, while building out operational software at direct primary care company Forward.

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Community care provider Cityblock Health wraps up a $160 million financing round that brings its valuation to over $1 billion. The company, which serves Medicaid and low-income patients in Connecticut, New York, Massachusetts, and Washington, DC, offers primary and behavioral healthcare, and access to social services through its proprietary Commons software.

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Blueprint will use $3.4 million in seed funding to further develop its assessment, analytics, and reimbursement software for mental healthcare providers.

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Menopause care-focused telemedicine company The Cusp shuts down, telling the local business paper that it had failed to find investors to keep operations going. It launched in 2018, employed 21, and had raised $4.2 million. Founder and now former CEO Taylor Sittler, MD also co-founded Color Genomics, a partner in NIH’s All of Us research program.

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Primary care clinic operator and health IT developer MCI OneHealth prepares for a $23.5 million Canadian IPO.


People

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Jordana Bernard (InTouch Health) joins InnovaTel Telepsychiatry as chief compliance officer.


Other

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In Texas, the San Antonio Fire Department routes some healthcare-related calls directly to a telemedicine service using GoodSam software, freeing up rescue units for more dire emergencies. The department says the new service has already reduced daily fire/EMS dispatches by nine in its first seven weeks.


Sponsor Updates

  • Nordic releases a new video featuring Scripps Health, “How to implement a successful Community Connect program.”

Blog Posts


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

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News 12/9/20

December 9, 2020 News No Comments

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Ro signals its intent to offer in-home healthcare with its acquisition of WorkPath, which has developed app-based, appointment-scheduling software for house-call companies.


Webinars

December 15 (Tuesday) 1 ET. “Highlights from the 2021 CPT Code Set Update.” Sponsor: Intelligent Medical Objects. Presenters: June Bronnert, MSHI, RHIA, senior director of global clinical services, IMO; Shelly Jude, RHIA, RHIT, mapping manager, IMO. Top coding professionals will highlight the most important changes to the Current Procedural Terminology code set that take effect on January 1, including crucial additions, deletions, and revisions; how to communicate Official Coding Guidelines changes to the healthcare team; and a description of the impact that the code set update could have on practice.

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


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Primary care company Carbon Health will open a dozen more clinics in California over the coming months. The San Francisco-based company, which announced a $100 million Series C funding round last month, has developed proprietary health IT including an app and virtual visit capabilities.

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Rapper and music executive Rick Ross invests in telemedicine startup Jetdoc, also signing on as an adviser and spokesperson. Launched in February by former Trusted Health Plans CEO Tommy Duncan, the service is available in Florida, with expansion to additional states expected next year.

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Healthcare transaction advisory firm VMG Health acquires RR Health Strategies, a medical coding, compliance, and operational management consulting firm.


Announcements and Implementations

Umatilla County Human Services in Oregon will replace its legacy EHR with EnSoftek’s DrCloudEHR.


Other

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A Press Ganey telemedicine survey and analysis of 1.3 million patients from 154 practices offers insight into what they do and don’t like about virtual encounters, and how providers can improve upon them:

  • Patients are more likely to give positive reviews after virtual visits than after in-person visits because they feel they more of their physician’s attention.
  • The process is lacking: Nearly 90% would recommend their provider after a video visit, but only 76% would recommend doing so virtually.
  • Researchers suggest providers develop a central resource team to help staff adopt more telemedicine-friendly workflows, and patients become more comfortable with virtual encounters.
  • Specialties should develop protocols to triage patients into virtual care or in-person care.
  • Telemedicine protocols should be consistent across an organization’s care setting so that patients encounter the same look and feel when video chatting with their PCP or dermatologist.

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The Schenectady Fire Department in New York pilots a telemedicine program that so far has enabled its paramedics to treat 27 of its 41 telemedicine patients at the scene rather than transporting them to the ER. Department officials anticipate the program will see a similar success rate in the coming months, as 12,000 of its 18,000 annual calls are for medical reasons.

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COVID vaccinations commenced in the UK earlier this week, with 81 year-old William Shakespeare becoming the second recipient. The Twitterverse was quick to respond with references to Vacbeth and #TamingoftheFlu.


Sponsor Updates

Blog Posts


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk.

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News 12/7/20

December 7, 2020 News No Comments

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California Governor Gavin Newsom announces that CA Notify, an app-based, COVID-19 exposure-tracking tool, will launch statewide later this week.

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The app was developed using technology from Google and Apple, and piloted at seven of the University of California’s campuses. The university estimates that 250,000 users have so far opted in, and 82 positive test verification alerts have been issued.

Just 18 states have made similar tools available, with some leveraging the Google/Apple technology developed six months ago. User adoption has been underwhelming, with, for example, just under 500,000 out of 10.5 million residents opting in to North Carolina’s SlowCOVIDNC app. Connecticut and Virginia have been more successful, with 20% of their residents opting in to either Iphone-embedded exposure notifications or a stand-alone app.


HIStalk Practice Musings

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Looking for the perfect Christmas gift for that hard-to-shop-for doctor in your life? Consider “The Physician’s Guide to Mother Goose” by pediatrician TK Denmark, MD. He gives a humorous, ICD-10 spin to the traditional stories, pushing readers to ponder the diagnosis of that unlucky soul who may have been “struck by cow, initial encounter” after it had finished its lunar calisthenics.

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How about gift ideas for the well-read book-lover? Check out these “28 Bookish Gift Ideas.” Some are cheeky, some are practical, and some seem downright delicious. I’m adding the LED neck light to my wish list right now.


Webinars

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


People

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Aledade promotes Matt Kendall to president, Dan Bowles to chief growth officer, Ahmed Haque to chief performance officer, and Sean Cavanaugh to chief policy officer and chief commercial officer.


Announcements and Implementations

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Abercrombie Radiology (TN) implements ERad’s RIS, patient portal and communications software, and mammography tracking module.


Other

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Several hotels in Tucson will begin offering telemedicine services from MedCare 2U. The company will also offer hotel guests prescription delivery within 60 minutes, and rapid COVID-19 testing.


Sponsor Updates

  • Healthwise wins six Digital Health Awards in the Health Information Resource Center Fall 2020 competition.

Blog Posts


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk.

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Contact us online.
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News 12/2/20

December 2, 2020 News No Comments

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Ambulatory health IT company Das Health Ventures acquires Randall Technology Services and its portfolio of Allscripts EHR and practice management solutions.

The acquisition is Das Health’s second this year: It acquired managed IT and cybersecurity services company Technology Seed in August.


Webinars

December 3 (Thursday) noon ET. “Why Patient-Centered Billing: How University Physicians’ Association Increased Revenue and Reduced Days to Pay.” Sponsor: Relatient. Presenter: Christy Bailey, VP, University Physicians’ Association. Financial recovery calls for a better patient financial experience as providers drive revenue, engage patients, and reduce costs and bad debt. The presenter will talk about patients as payers and how delivering a financial experience that meets their expectations can improve the financial outcomes of providers, hospitals, and health systems.

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


People

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Direct primary care company Crossover Health hires John Hallock (Livongo) as SVP of corporate communications.

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Brian Wilson (Ascentis) joins urgent care software vendor Experity as its first chief customer officer.


Announcements and Implementations

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Hutchinson Clinic (KS) goes live on ERad’s radiology image and data management software.

Mosaic in Omaha implements telemedicine capabilities from StationMD. The company offers healthcare to patients with behavioral and mental health needs, autism, and intellectual disabilities.

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Best in Class Medical Doctors launches an orthopedic telemedicine service. In additional to their hospital work, co-founders and orthopedic surgeons Benedict Nwachukwu, MD and Riley Williams, MD are both affiliated with minor and major league sports teams.


Other

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TechCrunch inadvertently discovers that NTreatment, a psychiatry and therapy-focused EHR and practice management company, left a cloud-based server unsecured for an unspecified amount of time. The server, which has since been encrypted, contains 109,000 files with lab results, doctor’s notes, claims data, and other PHI.

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The local paper profiles Texas native and AMA President Susan Bailey, MD highlighting the impact COVID-19 has had on her priorities for the organization. Bailey originally planned to focus on helping members overcome administrative and regulatory burdens and physician burnout, but has since pivoted to advocating for telemedicine policies. Her practice, Allergy & Asthma Associates in Forth Worth, flipped to virtual visits earlier this year due to a lack of PPE.


Sponsor Updates

  • Digital.com includes AdvancedMD and EClinicalWorks among the best medical billing companies of 2020.

Blog Posts


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk.

Get HIStalk Practice updates.
Contact us online.
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News 11/30/20

November 30, 2020 News No Comments

Top News

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CBS Insights rebrands to Skylight Health Group. The company, with offices in Massachusetts and Ontario, operates over 30 clinics in the US and has developed EHR and telemedicine technologies, which it uses to power a virtual visit subscription service.


HIStalk Practice Musings

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Well, I finally did it. It took me two library renewals and a day’s late fee, but I finally finished Ron Chernow’s biography of Alexander Hamilton. It was a challenging read, and I have to admit that my eyes glazed over during some of the pages-long descriptions of Hamilton’s treasury and national banking strategies. I learned many things about our Founding Fathers; perhaps the most revelatory being that that there’s nothing new under the sun when it comes to political machinations, intrigue, conspiracies, and the like. It was certainly a timely read for me, as I read the final chapters just as election day loomed.

I will not be attempting “First Principles” by Thomas Ricks, though I’d recommend it to anyone interested in the philosophical underpinnings of the Founding Fathers’ educations and penchant for relying on the logic of Greek and Roman philosophers as they shaped the federal government.

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In comparison, I practically flew through “The Secret and the Vile” by Erik Larson last week. If you’ve read his “The Devil in the White City,” you know he has a brilliant knack for making a non-fiction book read like a novel. Churchill buffs (or those, like me, who don’t know much about him aside from what they’ve seen in “The Crown”) will especially enjoy the recounting of England’s valiant two-year effort to wage war against Germany while waiting with bated breath for the US to join the fight.

I’d love to hear about the books HIStalk Practice readers hunkered down with over the Thanksgiving break. Please email me with your favorite post-feast reads.


Webinars

December 3 (Thursday) noon ET. “Why Patient-Centered Billing: How University Physicians’ Association Increased Revenue and Reduced Days to Pay.” Sponsor: Relatient. Presenter: Christy Bailey, VP, University Physicians’ Association. Financial recovery calls for a better patient financial experience as providers drive revenue, engage patients, and reduce costs and bad debt. The presenter will talk about patients as payers and how delivering a financial experience that meets their expectations can improve the financial outcomes of providers, hospitals, and health systems.

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


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Greenway Health CEO Richard Atkin tells the local (paywalled) business paper that employees will be able to work remotely long after the pandemic ends. As of last year, the Tampa, FL-based company had around 1,400 employees.


Announcements and Implementations

Med Smart Wellness Centers will implement EHR and billing software from AdvancedMD at its first facility in Aventura, FL.


Other

US Fertility notifies customers of a ransomware attack that resulted in hackers gaining access to PHI between August and September. The company, which operates 55 clinics, was created in May through the partnership of Amulet Capital Partners and Shady Grove Fertility.

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Local artist Ted McElhiney presents a painting to the staff at the Davenport VA clinic in Iowa. McElhiney, who has been a patient at the clinic for 40 years, says the artwork is his way of “saying thank you for all the hard work all the team does. … Anytime I ask them for a hand to help a veteran, they come with a smile and that is what impresses me.”

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Kaiser Permanente pediatrician Rahul Parikh, MD writes about the changes COVID-19 has wrought on his practice, focusing on everything from the fall and slowly escalating rise of in-person appointments, the impact of putting off care, worries about overprescribing antibiotics during virtual visits, and missing out on truly socializing with patients and colleagues. He does point out, however, that COVID safety precautions have forced the practice to think more innovatively about the ways in which they provide care, such as offering drive-thru testing, blood draws, and vaccinations; and developing best practices for video visits. 

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ThereCare announces GA of its No Contact Urgent Care kit, which includes Bluetooth diagnostic devices, wireless otoscope, blood pressure wrist cuff, finger pulse oximeter, thermometer strips, and an Iphone(!). Customers order the $300 kit online (which includes a refundable $100 deposit); virtually visit with a ThereCare provider using the smartphone, presumably pre-loaded with some sort of accompanying app; and then return the kit via mail. The concept strikes me as a strange one, given the ubiquity of telemedicine at this point, and the price point for cash-paying customers, though ThereCare does have an option for the insured.  I wonder how long you’re allowed to keep the kit before losing your deposit.

A friendly warning to those readers who are seriously considering applying for clinical jobs on Prince Edward Island in Canada (per my recent post about its dearth of providers): Health officials there have postponed the implementation of an enterprise EHR due to COVID-19-related vendor delays, pushing the project to 2021-2022.


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk.

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