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News 3/18/19

March 18, 2019 News No Comments

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A paywalled survey of 766 telehealth users and non-users finds that the majority of users relied on virtual video visits for access to care, and were less connected to PCPs than their non-user counterparts. Survey analysts caution that telehealth may further fragment care if telemedicine providers and traditional practices can’t figure out how to share information and coordinate care.


Webinars

March 27 (Wednesday) 2:00 ET. “Waiting on interoperability: What can payers and providers do to collaborate?” Sponsored by Casenet. Presenter: Amy Simpson, RN, director of clinical solutions, Casenet. A wealth of data exists to identify at-risk patients and to analyze populations, allowing every payer and provider to operate readmissions intervention and care management programs. Still, payer and provider care managers are challenged to coordinate and collaborate to improve outcomes because of the long road ahead to interoperability. Attend this webinar to learn what payers and providers can do now to share information and to coordinate their efforts to create the best healthcare journey for members and patients.

Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre for information.


People

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Coding and billing company LogixHealth names Jim Blakeman (Institute for Emergency Medicine) EVP.

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Global Partnership for Telehealth hires Matt Strickland (Memorial Satilla Health) as CTO.


Announcements and Implementations

Allscripts integrates Opargo’s physician scheduling optimization software with its practice management technology.


Research and Innovation

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A survey of 6,000 Heal app users finds that the app-based house call service helped first-time patients access timely care, and avoid trips to the ER and urgent care – a figure the company equates to $65 million in healthcare cost savings.


Other

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Former firefighter Dave Graybill creates Hlthe, a Go Fund Me-like app designed to help people raise money for healthcare needs. The app’s differentiating factor is that it ensures donations are only spent on healthcare, and allows donors to track their funds. Graybill also markets the app to employers who want to give Hlthe credits as rewards within their wellness programs. He hopes to eventually offer Hlthe gift cards.

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The married owner and manager of the Los Gatos Urgent Care Clinic in California face eight felony counts relating to filing false insurance claims after an audits finds a 100-percent error rate for billing, and billing for services never rendered. In one case, a patient was billed $700 for a typically $10 pair of foam slippers.

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The local news profiles the passion pediatrician Neil Vitale, MD has for restoring and displaying GI Joe dolls at his GI Joe “hospital” and museum in Lone Wolf, OK. Vitale, who still has his first two Joes, says his restored soldiers have seen a lot of action: “For some reason, kids like to use ice picks on Joes. Unfortunately, a lot of them were burned up, too.”


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News 3/13/19

March 13, 2019 News 1 Comment

Top News

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Billing and RCM vendor ImagineSoftware acquires healthcare payment automation and analytics vendor ProviderAlly.


HIStalk Practice Announcements and Requests

My search for orthodontia services has reached a turning point. I’ve visited two practices, both of which seem to offer similar-quality services. One is very high-touch. I’ve received several follow-up emails from their practice manager asking if I had additional questions. It hasn’t quite reached the level of a car salesman, but it might get there if I don’t let them know of my decision one way or another within the next few days. Where I spend my hard-earned money will come down to how I feel about the following:

  • One practice is large, with a very corporate feel. It offers lots of amenities, but I wonder if I’ll get lost in the shuffle when it comes to personalized care.
  • The other practice is small. It’s a family-owned and operated business with fewer amenities, though its quality of care seems equal to its larger competitor.
  • Continuity of care might be an issue at both. While both practices have just one orthodontist, the smaller one’s provider will likely retire within the next year or two, leaving me wondering who will step into his role.
  • Given that quality of care seems equal, price will likely be the ultimate deciding factor. The smaller practice has offered me a significant Facebook discount. Given that the larger practice is much closer to my home, I might just try seeing if they’ll match the discounted price. That’s something I’d never think to do with traditional medical care.

This experience has made me reflect on the difference in patient engagement techniques between traditional healthcare providers (at least those I’ve encountered) and orthodontics. I can’t recall ever having received as many follow-ups from the various primary care docs, dermatologists, and OB/GYNs I’ve seen over the years. I have never received a reminder that it’s time for any type of annual exam. That lack of communication makes me wonder just how focused my area practices (the majority of which are owned by large health systems) are on value-based, preventative care. It’s no wonder so many of us are eschewing traditional practices for more convenient though less personal options like retail clinics, urgent care, and telemedicine.


Webinars

March 27 (Wednesday) 2:00 ET. “Waiting on interoperability: What can payers and providers do to collaborate?” Sponsored by Casenet. Presenter: Amy Simpson, RN, director of clinical solutions, Casenet. A wealth of data exists to identify at-risk patients and to analyze populations, allowing every payer and provider to operate readmissions intervention and care management programs. Still, payer and provider care managers are challenged to coordinate and collaborate to improve outcomes because of the long road ahead to interoperability. Attend this webinar to learn what payers and providers can do now to share information and to coordinate their efforts to create the best healthcare journey for members and patients.

Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre for information.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Central Ohio Urology Group spins off a practice management company under the leadership of its CEO, Mark Cherney, who explains that the goal of US Urology Group is to help urology practices succeed “without having to acquiesce to a hospital acquisition.”

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SimplifyASC raises nearly $3 million as part of a Series A round led by Jumpstart Capital. The ambulatory surgery center-focused EHR and practice management company was spun out of the assets of CSS Health Technologies and Ormed Information Systems, which merged in 2014.

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After a year-long pilot, Convene will add primary care clinics developed and managed by Eden Health across its network of co-working spaces, initially starting with Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, and Washington, DC. New York City-based Eden Health, which also offers insurance navigation services, announced a $10 million Series A round several weeks ago.

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Iora Health will expand its primary care services for Medicare members to Texas this fall. The company, which operates similar practices in six other states, will hire up to 60 employees to staff its Houston practices.


Announcements and Implementations

University Physicians’ Association adds patient billing messaging and billing interface software from Relatient to its medical billing services for physician practices.

The University of Illinois at Chicago’s Division of Specialized Care for Children selects care and community services coordination software from Eccovia Solutions.


People

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Canadian health IT company Reliq Health Technologies names Rob Prouse (Bentley Systems) CTO and Bassma Ghali chief innovation officer.


Government and Politics

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AHRQ develops the Question Builder app to help patients better prepare for medical visits. Users have the ability to select questions to ask their provider from a list compiled by AHRQ based on type of medical encounter, take notes and pictures during their visit, and share their documentation with others.

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Behavioral health providers in North Carolina are pushing for more time to connect to the statewide HIE ahead of the mandated June 1 deadline. Lawmakers have introduced a bill that would give them two more years to get their EHRs up, running, and connected; but it has faced opposition from those who feel interoperability should happen sooner rather than later. Affected providers have cited prohibitively expensive EHR costs and lack of suitable systems as the reason for their delay.


Research and Innovation

Primary PartnerCare ACO Independent Practice Association (NY) finds that patients who consented to have real-time care alerts sent to their PCPs via the Healthix HIE experienced significantly lower rates of hospital admissions and 30-day readmissions.


Other

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First Pi Day, then Match Day: UC San Diego Health profiles Olympic soccer gold medalist and UC San Diego School of Medicine student Rachel Van Hollebeke and her anticipation of Match Day on Friday, March 15. Van Hollebeke, who wants to go into family medicine, will follow in the footsteps of her great grandfather and grandfather – both GPs; and father, who recently retired after a 40-year career as a cardiothoracic surgeon.


Sponsor Updates

  • AdvancedMD and Aprima will exhibit at the AAOS conference March 12-16 in Las Vegas.

Blog Posts


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk.

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

News 3/11/19

March 11, 2019 News No Comments

Top News

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Addiction recovery tech company MAP Health Management raises $25 million in a Series A round led by Aetna. Map, which offers virtual visit software and outcomes reporting to aid recovery after treatment, will use the money to expand its customer base beyond addiction recovery providers to primary and emergency care, and pharmacies.


Webinars

March 27 (Wednesday) 2:00 ET. “Waiting on interoperability: What can payers and providers do to collaborate?” Sponsored by Casenet. Presenter: Amy Simpson, RN, director of clinical solutions, Casenet. A wealth of data exists to identify at-risk patients and to analyze populations, allowing every payer and provider to operate readmissions intervention and care management programs. Still, payer and provider care managers are challenged to coordinate and collaborate to improve outcomes because of the long road ahead to interoperability. Attend this webinar to learn what payers and providers can do now to share information and to coordinate their efforts to create the best healthcare journey for members and patients.

Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre for information.


Announcements and Implementations

Nextech Systems adds Relatient’s patient engagement technology to its EHR and practice management software for specialty practices.

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Behavioral healthcare and community services provider Community Alliance (NE) selects the SmartCare integrated health IT platform from Streamline Healthcare Solutions.

DrChrono adds educational 3-D interactive modeling and animation videos from 3D4Medical to its EHR.


People

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Eye care health IT company Rev360 promotes Scott Filion to CEO, and Jamie Hughes to SVP of subsidiary Professional Eye Care Associates of America.


Other

“Picture a place where GPs are adored.” Providers at Temora Shire Council release the adorable, La La Land-inspired “Great Quack Quest” video in an effort to recruit new physicians to the small town in Australia. (The outtakes are just as fun.) Three of Temora’s eight physicians will retire within the next five years.


Sponsor Updates

    • Aprima will exhibit at the LHC Group Revenue Cycle Leadership Conference March 11-12 in New Orleans.
    • EClinicalWorks will exhibit at the AAPM Annual Meeting March 7-9 in Denver.

    Blog Posts


    Contacts

    Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

    More news: HIStalk.

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

    From the PRM Pro 3/6/19

    Digital Technology: The Key to Patient Satisfaction
    By Jim Higgins

    Jim Higgins is the CEO and founder of Solutionreach in Lehi, UT.

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    It’s time to face the truth—we’re not living in the same world we once did. According to the Pew Research Center, 95 percent of American adults own a cell phone and 89 percent use the Internet. This is a huge increase since the year 2000, when nearly half of the population reported not using the Internet at all.

    With such incredible growth in access to (and comfort with) technology, it’s easy to see why patients say the use of digital tools is a priority to them in a healthcare organization. In fact, one study found that the use of technology increases patient satisfaction scores by 10 percent or more. And while a majority of healthcare facilities understand the need, many have not yet adopted streamlined digital communications or payment options that meet current patient needs. In fact, only about 9 percent of providers offer all of the digital tools patients want.

    What are the best ways to take advantage of modern technology? (Hint: They are all related to improving the patient experience.)

    Digital Payment Options

    Are you still sending the good old paper bill? If so, you are not alone — 86 percent of patients report receiving paper medical bills. This is true regardless of the fact that 85 percent say they would prefer to pay online! But is it really such a big deal? The answer to that is a resounding YES! Experts report that 65 percent of patients say they would switch healthcare providers for a better payment experience.

    Fortunately, using digital methods to send and process payments has never been easier. Not only can you process payments through typical methods like a patient portal, but with today’s technology, balance notifications can be sent directly to a patient’s phone via text message or email. These messages can include a direct link to a secure payment screen where patients can process their payments within minutes. It’s easy and fast—but more importantly, it’s what patients want.

    Online Scheduling

    For years and years, the only way to make an appointment with a healthcare provider was to call the office. That is all changing. We now live in a time where we’re accustomed to doing everything from buying movie tickets to scheduling a haircut via a simple click on our smartphone. The use of online scheduling — where patients book their own appointments whenever or wherever they may be — is becoming a must-have for healthcare organizations. It takes less than one minute, on average, to schedule an appointment online. In contrast, appointments scheduled by phone take an average of eight minutes. That’s just not practical for patients OR their healthcare organizations.

    Seventy-seven percent of patients prefer to schedule appointments online. And practices can make that experience even easier with the right technology. When online scheduling is integrated with your practice management system, it can identify existing versus new patients and adapt the forms so existing patients don’t have to provide information that you already have.

    Two-Way Texting

    Texting is the most popular way to reach out to friends and family these days — even 85 percent of senior citizens own a cell phone! But people want to text more people than their friends. They like the ability to text businesses — including their healthcare provider. As one study found, 73 percent of patients would like to have back-and-forth conversations via text message with their healthcare provider. With two-way texting, you can:

    • Answer care questions.
    • Schedule new appointments.
    • Discuss follow-up instructions.
    • Reschedule appointments.
    • Anything else you might need!

    Of course, you want to make sure you stay HIPAA-compliant whenever you may be sending PHI via text message. Make sure to use technology that offers the tools to stay compliant.

    Automated Surveys

    It’s something every healthcare organization has experienced: A patient posts a negative review about your services. Most of the time, these negative experiences can come as a complete surprise. Fortunately, there is a simple way to drastically improve your chances of handling issues before patients lash out online. The simple solution is the use of patient surveys. Patient satisfaction (and provider success!) is closely tied to how patients feel about what happened during an appointment. Sending a survey to patients after a visit is a great way to better understand problems and be able to address issues.

    In the past, most organizations asked patients to fill out paper surveys in the office. This method is now very outdated. Paper survey results are very ineffective at making any real change. Using technology to email or text your patients a survey after their appointment increases the likelihood that they will give more honest responses. It also makes it a whole lot more likely that they will be filled out. When it comes to making patient satisfaction a priority, it’s critical to gauge if your current technology is up to the challenge. Technology can greatly improve how your patients view you and your entire practice. It can also improve the productivity and efficiency of you and your staff.

    Digital technology has changed the world as we know it. From business to education to health, no corner of the world has been left untouched. It allows for better communication between a healthcare organization and their patients, smoother methods for scheduling and payment, as well as an improved patient experience. Now is the time for you to take advantage of the benefits offered by the digital revolution.


    Contacts

    Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

    More news: HIStalk.

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

    News 3/6/19

    March 6, 2019 News No Comments

    Top News

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    CVS promotes Roshan Navagamuwa to CIO. He has served as interim CIO since the Aetna deal was announced in late 2017. He’ll be responsible for IT and data integration between Aetna and CVS Health systems. CVS MinuteClinics have used Epic for some time, and began offering virtual care through Teladoc last year. The pharmacy side of the business developed its own ScriptPath prescription management software last spring.


    Webinars

    March 27 (Wednesday) 2:00 ET. “Waiting on interoperability: What can payers and providers do to collaborate?” Sponsored by Casenet. Presenter: Amy Simpson, RN, director of clinical solutions, Casenet. A wealth of data exists to identify at-risk patients and to analyze populations, allowing every payer and provider to operate readmissions intervention and care management programs. Still, payer and provider care managers are challenged to coordinate and collaborate to improve outcomes because of the long road ahead to interoperability. Attend this webinar to learn what payers and providers can do now to share information and to coordinate their efforts to create the best healthcare journey for members and patients.

    Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre for information.


    Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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    Women’s health app Tia opens its first membership-based brick-and-mortar practice in New York City. Crowdsourced suggestions have led the company to offer primary and gynecological care, acupuncture, and naturopathic medicine, with plans for fertility and mental health services at a later date.

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    Shared medical office company WeShareMD closes a seed round of funding it will use to expand beyond its five Southern California locations. The startup caters its shared office spaces to solo and independent physicians looking to set up shop with flexible leasing arrangements that avoid expensive overhead.


    People

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    EHR, practice management, and e-prescribing vendor RxNT names Heather McLarney (Change Healthcare) its first CMO and promotes Brad Estes to EVP of operations.


    Announcements and Implementations

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    Partners Behavioral Health Management (NC) selects Casenet’s population health management software and services.

    McKesson adds Navigating Cancer’s patient relationship management software to its IKnowMed EHR for oncology clinics.


    Telemedicine

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    Texas-based urgent care chain Urgent Care for Kids launches a statewide telemedicine service.


    Research and Innovation

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    A Solutionreach analysis of 20 million automated appointment reminders finds that:

    • Weekly messaging sent within a month of a patient’s appointment increased confirmations by 126 percent.
    • Daily messaging sent within a week increased confirmations by another 24 percent.
    • Hourly messaging sent the same day increased confirmations by an additional 4 percent.
    • Scheduling reminders sent just after an appointment had no impact on confirmations for appointments more than a month out.

    Other

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    PCP and Society for Participatory Medicine co-founder @DrDannySands tweets his frustrations with IT systems that don’t talk to each other: “As I’ve often said, the paperless medical office is as likely as the paperless bathroom. This photo from my practice yesterday shows the volume of new documents (most clinical notes/records) we send for scanning—every week! We need better #interoperability.”

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    Not to worry Dr. Sands: CMS Administrator Seema Verma, along with Trump Administration colleagues Jared Kushner and Chris Liddell take to Fortune to assure the American public that its latest proposed rule will, if enacted, ensure that health data will start flowing freely between providers, patients, and government-funded or approved health plans come 2020.

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    Physicians who left Novant Health (NC) to work as independent MDs at Holston Medical Group in Charlotte say technology will be a key part of their mission to offer patients more affordable healthcare and reduce burnout amongst their staff. Giving patients easier access to their EHRs will be part of that effort. The Tennessee-based medical group uses Allscripts, while ex-Novant physicians have come from an Epic environment.


    Contacts

    Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

    More news: HIStalk.

    Get HIStalk Practice updates.
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