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News 4/15/20

April 15, 2020 News No Comments

Top News

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An MGMA survey of 724 practices conducted earlier this month finds that patient volumes have declined an average of 66%, leading to a 55% decline in reimbursements. Nearly a quarter have had to permanently lay staff off, while 44% percent have had to furlough workers. Of those that haven’t had to make any employment cuts, most have said they’ll consider doing so within the next 30 days.


Webinars

April 28 (Tuesday) 1 ET: “COVID-19: Managing an evolving patient population with health information systems.”Sponsor: Intelligent Medical Objects. Presenters: Julie Glasgow, MD, clinical terminologist, IMO; Reeti Chauhan, senior product manager, IMO. IMO recently released new novel coronavirus descriptors to help clinicians accurately record diagnoses and also created free IMO Precision COVID-19 Sets to help identify and analyze patients with potential or documented infection. The presenters will discuss these new tools and describe how to use them optimally. 

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


Announcements and Implementations

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MerlinWave adds AxiaMed’s patient payment technology to its MWTherapy software for physical therapy practices.

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Titan Health Management Solutions will outsource some of its RCM services to MTBC’s new accounts receivables and back-office management service.

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Wildflower Health announces GA of free virtual visit and remote patient monitoring tools for obstetrics practices during the pandemic.

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Mental Health Center of Denver implements CareSignal’s COVID-19 Companion text messaging app.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

Several clinics and medical groups in Oregon are banding together to ask for state and federal financial assistance as they struggle to keep their doors open. True to MGMA’s aforementioned stats, their patient volumes have dropped 68% and have forced them to contemplate closing within the next 60 to 90 days if operations don’t return to some semblance of normal. All have taken steps to reduce expenses, including reducing pay, cutting hours and furloughing staff. Funding received from the CARES Act won’t stretch beyond a day or two, with most receiving the equivalent of less than a day’s revenue. 


Other

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Steve Short, DO documents his time volunteering at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. The pulmonary critical dare specialist had originally intended to spend one week away from his job at Inspire ENT & Pulmonology in Manhattan, KS, but was convinced by hospital administrators to extend his stay for another four to six weeks. “Every floor is basically an intensive care unit,” he says. “It is just unbelievable how many sick people there are, and 100 ventilators that are going, and there’s nobody getting off them, everyone is dying, and it’s so sad.”

The Maryland State Medical Society will offer independent member practices with five or fewer physicians free access for a year to DrFirst’s telemedicine software.


Sponsor Updates

  • Use of the EClinicalWorks Healow telemedicine app exceeds 1.5 million daily minutes amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Blog Posts


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk.

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News 4/13/20

April 13, 2020 News No Comments

Top News

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The FCC begins accepting applications for its $200 million COVID-19 Telehealth Program, which will help eligible providers purchase infrastructure, services, and devices needed to offer telemedicine during the pandemic.


HIStalk Practice Musings

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I came across this tweet and thought I would share, should anyone be looking for a new physician author to read. The book, Weiner’s second, came out last week.

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Dr. Jayne’s mention last week of the British TV series “Poldark” finally get me to jump (rather belatedly) on the bandwagon. I had the opportunity to watch several episodes of the first season over the holiday weekend and I’m officially hooked. I’m looking forward to reading the series of books on which the 2015-2019 Masterpiece production was based. 


HIStalk Practice Announcements and Requests

I’m going on record as saying 2020 will be known as the year that telemedicine went mainstream. Thus, I’m getting rid of the “Telemedicine” section and organizing virtual care-related news items according to HIStalk Practice’s more traditional categories.


Webinars

April 15 (Wednesday) 1 ET: “Scaling front-line COVID-19 response: virtual education, screening, triage, and patient navigation.” Sponsor: Orbita. Presenters: Lawrence “Rusty” Hofman, MD, medical director of digital health, Stanford Health Care; Kristi Ebong, MPH, MBA, SVP of corporate strategy, Orbita. The presenters will describe how chatbots can be quickly deployed to streamline individual navigation to the appropriate resources, administer automated virtual health checks for monitoring and managing specific populations, increase access to screening and triage for high-risk populations across multiple channels (web, voice, SMS, and analog phone), and reach individuals in multiple languages.

April 28 (Tuesday) 1 ET: “COVID-19: Managing an evolving patient population with health information systems.”Sponsor: Intelligent Medical Objects. Presenters: Julie Glasgow, MD, clinical terminologist, IMO; Reeti Chauhan, senior product manager, IMO. IMO recently released new novel coronavirus descriptors to help clinicians accurately record diagnoses and also created free IMO Precision COVID-19 Sets to help identify and analyze patients with potential or documented infection. The presenters will discuss these new tools and describe how to use them optimally. 

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


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Just a little over a year after breaking away from Atrium Health-owned Mecklenburg Medical Group in North Carolina to form their own independent practice, leaders at Tryon Medical Partners lay off 75 employees in response to a pandemic-induced decline in patient visits.

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Healthcare technology and management company Altais acquires Brown & Toland Physicians, a network of 2,700 independent physicians in the San Francisco Bay area. B&TP will join the clinical services subsidiary of Altais, and implement its practice management software.


People

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Behavioral healthcare technology company AptiHealth names Dan Pickett (Hudson River Capital Holdings) president and CEO, and Kori-Ann Taylor (32 Mile Media) CMO; and promotes co-founder Alex Marsal to chief clinical and science officer.


Announcements and Implementations

MTI Physical Therapy in Seattle implements virtual visit capabilities from MedBridge.


Government and Politics

This Health Affairs article offers a list of financial resources for struggling community health centers.

Oklahoma’s Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse will equip 81 sites across the state with telemedicine-enabled tablets that patients can use to access mental health services on site or from home.


Other

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In Kentucky, several of Kroger’s Little Clinic locations will begin offering free drive-thru testing for COVID-19. The grocery chain will cover the costs of testing, and has promised a 48-hour turnaround time through lab partner Gravity Diagnostics. Customers can make an appointment for testing through a new online portal, which also offers chatbot-based virus screening. Results will be added to the clinic’s EHR, which I believe is Epic.

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Google adds telemedicine services and pricing to search and map results associated with brick-and-mortar physician listings.

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Sports Illustrated profiles several NFL team physicians who’ve transitioned from examining draft picks to caring for patients with COVID-19 symptoms. The NFL Physicians Society suspended all football-related medical visits last month.

The AMA puts together a list of resources, including telemedicine opportunities, for physicians interested in volunteering their services for COVID-19 care.


Sponsor Updates

Blog Posts


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk.

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

News 4/8/20

April 8, 2020 News No Comments

Top News

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SAMHSA reports its national Disaster Distress Helpline saw a nearly 900% year-over-year increase in calls last month, prompting mental health experts at the federal level to issue warnings of a coming mental health crisis.

Investors have already taken note, funding online therapy and counseling startups like SonderMind and SilverCloud Health with a combined $43 million in just the last several days.

Health officials fear that the hundreds of millions of dollars in federal stimulus money earmarked in the CARES Act for the expansion of mental health services at the federal, state, and local levels may not be enough to provide services for those who’ll need them.

Across the pond, the British government is offering grants to tech companies that can quickly develop digital mental health tools to help citizens who are struggling with the government’s mandated 12 weeks of isolation. 


Webinars

April 15 (Wednesday) 1 ET: “Scaling front-line COVID-19 response: virtual education, screening, triage, and patient navigation.” Sponsor: Orbita. Presenters: Lawrence “Rusty” Hofman, MD, medical director of digital health, Stanford Health Care; Kristi Ebong, MPH, MBA, SVP of corporate strategy, Orbita. The presenters will describe how chatbots can be quickly deployed to streamline individual navigation to the appropriate resources, administer automated virtual health checks for monitoring and managing specific populations, increase access to screening and triage for high-risk populations across multiple channels (web, voice, SMS, and analog phone), and reach individuals in multiple languages.

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


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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As headlines continue to highlight the business struggles smaller practices are facing in light of COVID-19, advocacy organization Practicing Physicians of American launches Health in My Community, an online resource that hopes to connect patients in need of care with physicians in their communities who now offer telemedicine. A related GoFundMe campaign has been established to help patients access care from those physicians.

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Online substance abuse counseling company Lionrock raises $7 million. It has seen attendance in its free support groups, including one dedicated to COVID-19-related anxiety, triple over the last several weeks.

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Just a month after announcing a $9 million Series A funding round, Los Angeles-based medical billing software vendor Anagram lays off 17 employees.


Telemedicine

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Central Ohio Primary Care Physicians begins offering virtual visits using Updox technology.


Announcements and Implementations

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Nonprofit MHMR Authority of Brazos Valley (TX) will implement Smart Care EHR software from Streamline Healthcare Solutions.

EHNAC offers healthcare business associates a Privacy and Security Toolkit that includes a set of HIPAA/HITECH policies, procedures, forms, best practices, compliance tools, and consulting assistance.


Government and Politics

HHS will distribute $1.3 billion to HRSA-funded health centers across the country to help them treat COVID-19 patients, and maintain or increase capacity and staffing levels.


Other

The AMA offers practices recommendations on offering non-essential care during the pandemic.

TruckPark adds access to telemedicine services from GenieMD to its app for long-haul truck drivers.

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Optometrist Mark Veth takes to tickling the ivories via Facebook Live while his practice, Be Spectacled in Wauwatosa, WI, is closed during the pandemic. Veth, who has has been playing since the age of four, hopes to soon get back to playing for the nursing home residents he typically performs for on a weekly basis.


Sponsor Updates

  • Baxter Regional (AR) expands its use of EClinicalWorks technology to include virtual visit capabilities.
  • Healthwise launches a Coronavirus Resource Center.

Blog Posts


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk.

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

News 4/6/20

April 6, 2020 News No Comments

Top News

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AI-powered telemedicine company 98point6 will use a $43 million Series D funding round to launch its new patient wait-time dashboard and triple its physician staff by the end of April.

The company, which uses chatbot software to initiate virtual visits, has seen its visit volume increase 200% since the beginning of the year, with COVID-19 concerns accounting for 40% of those encounters. It has raised $129 million since launching in 2015.


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

April 15 (Wednesday) 1 ET: “Scaling front-line COVID-19 response: virtual education, screening, triage, and patient navigation.” Sponsor: Orbita. Presenters: Lawrence “Rusty” Hofman, MD, medical director of digital health, Stanford Health Care; Kristi Ebong, MPH, MBA, SVP of corporate strategy, Orbita. The presenters will describe how chatbots can be quickly deployed to streamline individual navigation to the appropriate resources, administer automated virtual health checks for monitoring and managing specific populations, increase access to screening and triage for high-risk populations across multiple channels (web, voice, SMS, and analog phone), and reach individuals in multiple languages.

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


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Release-of-information companies ScanSTAT and DataFile merge. ScanSTAT President Matt Rohs will become CEO of the newly combined business.


Government and Politics

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MGMA comments on ONC’s “Federal Health IT Strategic Plan,” stressing that it needs “to do more than offer vague promises” when it comes to reducing administrative burdens on physician practices. It also calls on the ONC to focus on the privacy and security of patient data, leverage health IT to help practices participate in value-based care programs, and avoid mandating the adoption and utilization of health IT.


Telemedicine

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One Medical begins offering virtual visits; COVID-19 screening, assessment, and testing services; and tele-behavioral health services. It has also re-purposed clinics in select cities to care only for patients with respiratory problems.

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Membership-based telemedicine company SteadyMD raises $6 million in a Series A round. It has developed an algorithm that matches patients with best-fit providers they can see on a continual basis.

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The American Telemedicine Association and the Consumer Technology Association develop an online directory of telemedicine and remote monitoring technologies and services.

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In Iowa, Family Health Care of Siouxland rolls out telemedicine services from Doxy.me.


Research and Innovation

A late-March Kareo survey of 600 practices finds that, as headlines attest, most are struggling with the effects of COVID-19:

  • Seventy-five percent have either already launched virtual services or are actively planning to.
  • Nearly 30% have switched all of their visits to telemedicine.
  • Patient volumes have dropped by 35%.
  • Nine percent have closed their doors for good.

Other

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Ben Callister, founder and CEO of  Tennessee-based EHR vendor Dr. Know, taps the expertise of his son and his scouting friends to start 3-D printing face shields for area medical workers. They’ve so far donated 150 shields to local hospitals, and have received requests from providers in California, Kentucky, and Washington, DC.


Sponsor Updates

  • PerfectServe offers free software and services for Patient & Family Communication and free services to implement best practices for COVID-19 purposes.

Blog Posts


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk.

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

News 4/1/20

April 1, 2020 News No Comments

Top News

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AristaMD will use $18 million in Series B funding to further develop and scale use of its e-consult and referral software for primary care physicians. The San Diego-based company has raised $30 million since launching in 2013.


HIStalk Practice Musings

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Your local, independent bookstore is facing the same plight as your friendly, neighborhood physician practice – dwindling revenues and a struggle to remain open, in some capacity, for the foreseeable future. Thankfully, readers have stepped up: As “A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius” author Dave Eggers shares in this article, audiobook portal Libro.fm has given 100% of proceeds from purchases to the bookstore of the buyer’s choice, and seems poised to do more.


Reader Comments

From Chip: “Re: Pediatric prep for COVID-19. We fired up a COVID community for pediatricians. We’re already at 1,500 members, 50K views in the last 10 days. People are sharing stories, questions, content. The need is there. Some vendors are stepping up and really helping. Others, not so much.” Chip tells me the online community for pediatricians is vendor-neutral. You can access it here.


Webinars

April 15 (Wednesday) 1 ET: “Scaling front-line COVID-19 response: virtual education, screening, triage, and patient navigation.” Sponsor: Orbita. Presenters: Lawrence “Rusty” Hofman, MD, medical director of digital health, Stanford Health Care; Kristi Ebong, MPH, MBA, SVP of corporate strategy, Orbita. The presenters will describe how chatbots can be quickly deployed to streamline individual navigation to the appropriate resources, administer automated virtual health checks for monitoring and managing specific populations, increase access to screening and triage for high-risk populations across multiple channels (web, voice, SMS, and analog phone), and reach individuals in multiple languages.

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


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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RCM vendor PatientPay raises $6 million in a financing round led by Mosaic Partners.

CNBC adds to the national coverage of physician practices struggling to stay open during the pandemic.


People

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MTBC names Mike Cuesta (CareCloud) chief marketing officer and Wesley Stolp (HealthPrime) (not pictured) EVP of sales.


Announcements and Implementations

The Steadman Clinic (CO) goes live on Modernizing Medicine’s new telemedicine technology.


Telemedicine

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As demand for telemedicine services skyrockets, GoodRx launches a telemedicine marketplace, giving consumers the ability to compare services and prices. The company acquired virtual visit business HeyDoctor last fall.

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This article zeroes in on the quick pivot many practices are making from in-person to virtual visits. After launching telemedicine services on March 20, Chattanooga Family Practice has conducted 21,000 virtual visits. “In a word, we’ve militarized and we re-upped our entire office,” says Siobhan Duff, MD of the practice’s shift to all virtual appointments. “I really have to give kudos to my nurses who are the ones who actually educate the patients — I had an 85-year-old woman today that managed to get herself on telemedicine with me alone in her house. So it’s been a feat, and we’re tired.”

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Luma Health adds virtual visit capability to its patient engagement software.


Other

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Members of Facebook group RVs 4 MDs to Fight the Coronavirus connect RV owners with healthcare workers in need of temporary housing away from their families as they care for COVID-19 patients. Created last week, the group has so far connected 50 first responders in California, Texas, and Michigan with RVs.

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Urgent care clinic chain Affordacare (TX) notifies patients of an early February ransomware attack that may have exposed PHI.


Sponsor Updates

  • Nordic offers free best practices and suggestions as responses to healthcare organization questions in its Ask Nordic service.

Blog Posts


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk.

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Recent Comments

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