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News 1/20/21

January 20, 2021 News 1 Comment

Top News

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Chat-based telemedicine company K Health raises $132 million in a Series E funding round. The New York City-based business, which offers its services on a per-visit basis or through annual membership, has also launched a pediatrics service.

Since launching in 2016, K Health has raised nearly $275 million and is now valued at $1.5 billion.


Webinars

January 28 (Thursday) 12:30 ET: “In Conversation: Advancing Women Leaders in Health IT.” Sponsor: Intelligent Medical Objects. Presenters: Tabitha Lieberman, SVP of clinical and revenue cycle applications, Providence St. Joseph Health; Ann Barnes, CEO, IMO; Deanna Towne, MBA, CIO, CORHIO; Amanda Heidemann, MD, CMIO, CMIO Services, LLC. IMO CEO Ann Barnes brings together a panel of female health executives for a results-oriented discussion on how managers and C-suite executives can address diversity and inclusion in their organizations. From STEM education to mentoring and networking, the “COVID effect” on women in the workplace, to matters of equity, there’s no better time to talk openly about these issues to help generate meaningful change in healthcare.

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


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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UnitedHealth Group reports $2.2 billion in Q4 2020 profit, and $15.4 billion for the year. Optum, the payer’s provider services, data analytics, and pharmacy benefit manager arm, earned $136.3 billion in annual revenue. Highlighted areas of future growth include ambulatory services and value-based care.


Announcements and Implementations

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WRS Health announces GA of cloud-based EHRs for dermatologists and orthopedists.

Naugatuck Valley Radiology (CT) implements referral management software from Royal Solutions Group.


Government and Politics

Using claims data from six payers, the FTC will analyze the market impact of physician practice mergers and acquisitions by hospitals between 2015 and 2020.


Research and Innovation

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A retrospective analysis of MGMA 2020 member surveys reveals the biggest changes to practices were seen in staffing, cost and revenue, practice transformation, technology and operations. Top priorities for 2021 include managing staff shortages and mental health; implementing, maintaining, and or expanding telemedicine and remote patient monitoring; improved measurement of key metrics; reassessing space needs; and improving staff morale. Other takeaways:

  • Forty percent experienced staff shortages.
  • Nearly 100% expanded telemedicine offerings.
  • Top coding and billing challenges related to virtual visits included inconsistent payer rules, pay parity and accuracy, and documentation.
  • Sixty-one percent say provider compensation took a COVID-19-induced hit.
  • Nearly 100% report the cost of PPE increasing, while 15% say it’s increased by over 100%.

A PatientPop survey of 533 patients conducted in December shows an increasing optimism in patient propensity to resume in-person appointments:

  • Nearly a third say they feel safe returning to in-person appointments with safety protocols in place – a 46% increase since August.
  • Nearly 75% have had scheduled appointments between December and February.
  • Eighty-three percent of those with in-person appointments scheduled over the next several months are planning to go.

Other

Fourteen FQHCs in Hawaii will use $1.3 million in grants from The Freeman Foundation and Hawaiʻi Community Foundation to improve telemedicine services. Funding will go towards software and equipment, Internet connectivity upgrades, training for staff, and educational materials for patients.


Sponsor Updates

Blog Posts


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

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News 1/18/21

January 18, 2021 News No Comments

Top News

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Canadian health IT vendor CloudMD acquires Medical Confidence, a developer of healthcare navigation software aimed at helping employees more easily find and access specialists, for $4.7 million.


Webinars

January 28 (Thursday) 12:30 ET: “In Conversation: Advancing Women Leaders in Health IT.” Sponsor: Intelligent Medical Objects. Presenters: Tabitha Lieberman, SVP of clinical and revenue cycle applications, Providence St. Joseph Health; Ann Barnes, CEO, IMO; Deanna Towne, MBA, CIO, CORHIO; Amanda Heidemann, MD, CMIO, CMIO Services, LLC. IMO CEO Ann Barnes brings together a panel of female health executives for a results-oriented discussion on how managers and C-suite executives can address diversity and inclusion in their organizations. From STEM education to mentoring and networking, the “COVID effect” on women in the workplace, to matters of equity, there’s no better time to talk openly about these issues to help generate meaningful change in healthcare.

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


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Management services organization Femwell Group Health secures a minority investment from LightBay Capital. Miami-based Femwell supports over 300 women’s health and primary care practices and also manages TopLine MD, which offers practices online and patient relationship management software, billing services, and training.


People

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Cory Wiegert (CancerLinQ) joins Integra Connect as COO.

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Catalyst Health Network names Soon Rabb (S&P Global) chief people officer, Srinivas Achukola (KEPRO) CTO, and Danny DeAtley (McKesson) SVP of marketing.


Announcements and Implementations

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Behavioral health IT vendor CentralReach adds business intelligence capabilities to its EHR and practice management software, and announces the forthcoming launch of AI-based scheduling.

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The City of Los Angeles selects California-based primary care and technology company Carbon Health’s new vaccination program management software, which assists with infrastructure set-up; and helps patients determine eligibility, schedule appointments, and obtain proof of shots. 

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WRS Health announces GA of a cloud-based EHR for neurologists.


Government and Politics

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HHS has launched an online tool to help providers and patients find outpatient facilities that can treat COVID-19 patients with monoclonal antibody therapeutics.


Research and Innovation

A survey of 2,057 consumers finds that 34% say their providers are their most trusted source for COVID-19 vaccine information, followed by health agencies, government agencies, and vaccine manufacturers. Preferred methods for vaccine communications include email, phone, and text.


Other

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The American Medical Association warns of fake emails purportedly from current AMA President Susan Bailey, MD and past President Patrice Harris, MD soliciting foreign doctors and nurses to work in the US.

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Independent physician Rebecca Parish, MD works with local health officials to set up a drive-thru vaccination clinic after several of her senior patients expressed frustration with trying to navigate online scheduling systems. “I had a patient call me absolutely in tears, my 83-year-old patient, after trying to navigate online and she wasn’t able to do it,” Parish explains. She was able to vaccinate 500 people on a first-come, first-serve basis.


Sponsor Updates

  • Everest Group names Nordic a “Leader” in its “Healthcare IT Services Specialists PEAK Matrix Assessment 2021.”

Blog Posts


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk.

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News 1/13/21

January 13, 2021 News No Comments

Top News

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Modernizing Medicine acquires orthopedics-focused EHR vendor Exscribe.


Webinars

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


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Mental health technology startup Rose Health raises $1.73 million in seed funding. The Baltimore-based company has developed an AI-powered patient monitoring app, and provider dashboard, and hopes to soon develop a version of its software for children and adolescents.

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Remote patient monitoring app and lifestyle analytics startup HealthSnap (whose three co-founders seem to have all spent time at the University of Miami) raises $4 million in a financing round led by Florida Funders.

Tech-enabled value-based care company Episode Solutions acquires competitor Fusion5 Healthcare Solutions.


People

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DrChrono names Shahram Famorzadeh (Sensorcall) SVP of engineering.

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Employer- and payer-focused primary care company Crossover Health hires Katie Higgins (Optum) as chief revenue officer, Dan Oftedahl (Aetna) as SVP of payer sales, John Hallock (Livongo) as SVP of corporate communications, and Amy Chen (CareMore Health) as VP of marketing.


Announcements and Implementations

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Esse Health, an independent physician group based in St. Louis, implements virtual care technology from Noteworth.

ChartRequest announces GA of automated referral management software.

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The Tennyson Center for Children in Denver selects SmartCare EHR software from Streamline Healthcare Solutions.

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Visiting Nurse Association of Central Jersey Community Health Center, an FQHC with four locations in Monmouth County, NJ, has implemented Curogram’s COVID-19 Crisis Response Platform to streamline its vaccination program with two-way and mass patient texting.


Government and Politics

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Period and ovulation tracking app developer Flo Health settles allegations by the FTC that it shared user data with third parties like Facebook and Google, which then provided marketing and analytics back to the company, despite its promises to keep user data private. The practice first came to light in a February 2019 exposé by the Wall Street Journal.


Other

Business Insider reports that Walmart’s incubation arm is working on a venture that will help customers make healthier shopping decisions based on their purchase histories. I could see this being worked into some kind of app, perhaps with a rewards feature, offered to patients at Walmart Health clinics.


Sponsor Updates

Blog Posts


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk.

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

News 1/11/21

January 11, 2021 News No Comments

Top News

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Canadian Well Health Technologies acquires Open Health Software Solutions, which helps practices primarily in Ontario with the selection and implementation of open-source software.

Well Health made a dozen acquisitions last year, including virtual and in-person primary care provider Circle Medical Technologies, its first in the US.


HIStalk Practice Musings

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My dentist office’s reminder to confirm an upcoming appointment prompted me to do something I had been contemplating for several weeks – try out the dental clinic at my local Walmart Health. I decided to give it a shot for two reasons: As a cash-paying patient, its fees are half that of the office I’ve been going to for years; and, should I choose to make it my regular dental practice, would negate the need to pay for an annual discount policy through DentRite. The fact that Walmart Health is less than 15 minutes from my house, making the commute far more convenient, is a fact that – to me – is almost equal in value to the financial savings.

As a new patient, I expected to fill out several forms. But, given the COVID times we live in, I was disappointed that the forms weren’t accessible online from the comfort of my home. Upon arrival, I was screened for COVID and checked in via tablet, but then was handed a clipboard with several intake forms. I know from previous visits with family members that the medical side of the clinic uses Athenahealth, and so I’m wondering if perhaps the dental side of things hasn’t yet implemented digital intake capabilities.

The appointment went as expected (thankfully, no sign of gingival hirsutism, as Mr. H so graphically mentioned in a post last week), with the highlight being that I overheard the person being treated next to me talking about her work in informatics with Epic. Health IT can be such a small world at times!

Given the savings in time and money, I’m fairly certain I’ll make Walmart Health my regular dental provider from now on. I’d love to hear from any other readers who’ve had experiences at Walmart Health – either as patients or staff. Now that Amazon seems to be out of the picture (for the moment), do you think Walmart is poised to give traditional medical groups and practices a run for their money? Email me with your thoughts.


Webinars

January 13 (Wednesday) 2 ET. “The One Communication Strategy Clinicians Need Now.” Sponsor: PerfectServe. Presenters: Clay Callison, MD, CMIO, University of Tennessee Medical Center; Nicholas E. Perkins, DO, MS, hospitalist and physician informaticist, Prisma Health. Healthcare organizations are leveraging their current investments and reducing their vendor footprint, so there’s no room for clutter in healthcare communication. The presenters will describe the one communication strategy that clinicians and organizations need today, how to improve patient experience and protect revenue, and how to drive the communication efficiency of clinical teams.

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


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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HealthLynked, a care management network and developer of healthcare technology, will launch a telemedicine service in March, initially focusing on women’s health. The service will be available from within the company’s Oohvie women’s health app, which HealthLynked launched in October.

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Nebraska Health Information Initiative rebrands to CyncHealth to better reflect its role in helping healthcare organizations exchange health data and synchronize care coordination efforts. CyncHealth organizations include the Nebraska Healthcare Collaborative, NEHII Foundation, NEHII Shared Services, and the Iowa Health Information Network.


Announcements and Implementations

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Rocking Horse Community Health Center implements telemedicine capabilities and electronic fax software from Updox at its four locations in Ohio.


Government and Politics

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The FCC seeks comments on the metrics it should use to evaluate applications for the second round of funding for its COVID-19 Telehealth Program. The first round of $200 million went to assist 539 organizations across the country with acquiring and implementing the necessary hardware and software to offer virtual visits. Comments are due January 19.


Other

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The Charleston County Medical Society in South Caroline has shipped over 3.4 million pieces of PPE to 2,606 independent practices through its ActionPPE buying collective. The society launched the grass-roots effort in March and now works with organizations in Arizona, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania.

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Aledade CEO and former national coordinator Farzad Mostashari, MD offers several interesting tweet threads on the COVID-19 vaccine pipeline and the role primary care physicians could play in administering shots if management of the supply chain allowed.


Sponsor Updates

  • Nordic releases a new podcast, “Creating and leveraging a successful Super User program.”

Blog Posts


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk.

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

News 1/6/21

January 6, 2021 News No Comments

Top News

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Hinge Health, a telemedicine company specializing in chronic back and joint pain, raises $300 million in a Series D funding round that brings its total raised to $436 million and valuation to $3 billion.

Founded in 2015, the company moved from London to San Francisco to target US-based employers and payers. Its service includes wearables, an app, and health coaching, which its founders believe can help decrease the need for surgery and/or opioids.


Webinars

January 13 (Wednesday) 2 ET. “The One Communication Strategy Clinicians Need Now.” Sponsor: PerfectServe. Presenters: Clay Callison, MD, CMIO, University of Tennessee Medical Center; Nicholas E. Perkins, DO, MS, hospitalist and physician informaticist, Prisma Health. Healthcare organizations are leveraging their current investments and reducing their vendor footprint, so there’s no room for clutter in healthcare communication. The presenters will describe the one communication strategy that clinicians and organizations need today, how to improve patient experience and protect revenue, and how to drive the communication efficiency of clinical teams.

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


People

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Steve Smerz (Icario) joins Halo Health as CTO.


Announcements and Implementations

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The Oklahoma Health Care Authority awards Orion Health a $50 million contract to support its new HIE, set to go live in the fall.

FPA Women’s Health selects NextGen’s Patient Experience Platform, which includes virtual visit capabilities, and self-scheduling software.


Government and Politics

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Baltimore County in Maryland launches a portal for providers looking to determine when they’ll receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Like many states, Maryland is first vaccinating frontline health care workers, residents and staff at nursing homes, and first responders.


Other

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As health and fitness New Year’s resolutions kick in, I (a former gym-goer turned tennis addict) thought it apropos to mention this bit of digital health news: The Mecca Gym in Idaho has launched a pilot project with Carium to help its members track nutrition and body metrics, access exercise resources, and write in digital journals. Mecca trainers use the data to personalize fitness regimens, stay in touch with members, and stay on top of their metrics. Gym owner Eric Cafferty is even considering one day adding an on-site clinic.

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In Oregon, a judge sentences former bookkeeper Andrea Johnson to four years in prison for stealing more than $1 million from former medical and dental practice employers. She also pled guilty to filing a false tax return; impersonating an IRS agent through a fake identity; setting up a phone and voicemail account for a phony IRS taxpayer advocate; and attempting to assist her boss, a medical practice owner, with his IRS tax collection issues as that fake advocate, which it seems she likely caused. She continued her illegal activities even after charges were brought against her in 2018, eventually turning herself in. She also faces a $1.2 million fine.


Sponsor Updates

Blog Posts


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk.

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