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News 7/20/20

July 20, 2020 News No Comments

Top News

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CityBlock Health raises $54 million in a Series B+ round that brings its total funding to over $120 million. The company focuses on using technology to better integrate physical and mental healthcare with social services for those living in lower-income communities. It operates several primary care clinics in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, and North Carolina.


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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In Canada, virtual medical care company CloudMD acquires digital mental health startup Snapclarity for $2.5 million.

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Online prescription delivery company NowRx raises $20 million in a Series B round of financing. The company says it will use the investment to further develop its proprietary QuickFill technology so that more prescriptions in more areas can be filled and delivered within the same day.


Announcements and Implementations

Commonwealth Primary Care ACO deploys HGE Health’s app-based remote patient monitoring system for respiratory patients in Arizona.


Other

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Practice management company Aledade and Blue Cross North Carolina report their primary care ACOs have received over $10 million in quality-improvement incentive payments, reduced care costs by 4.7% for commercially-insured patients, and reduced costs for Medicare Advantage patients by 6.1%.

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The local paper highlights the first of Amazon’s newly announced health centers for employees and their families. Located in Las Colinas, Texas, it will be the first of 20 in the online retailer’s partnership with Crossover Health, which provides tech-enabled care for employers. Amazon anticipates eventually serving 115,000 patients across five cities.


Sponsor Updates

  • Healthwise names Cydni Waldner (Hawley Troxell Ennis & Hawley) general counsel.

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News 7/15/20

July 15, 2020 News No Comments

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Care coordination, management, and remote monitoring vendor Noteworth raises $5 million in seed funding.


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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First announced in March, AristaMD closes its $24 million Series B funding round, adding $6 million from Ascension Ventures and .406 Ventures. The San Diego-based company offers e-consult and referral software for primary care physicians.


People

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VSP Global names Chris Enslin (Visionworks) president of its practice management and EHR subsidiary Eyefinity.


Announcements and Implementations

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Ohio Gastroenterology Group implements AlertMD’s QSimple digital queueing and Margie automated patient messaging software to assist patients in resuming in-office visits.

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App-based house call company Heal launches a yearly membership program, giving patients up to eight house calls or virtual visits plus an annual physical.

Athenahealth rebrands its Centricity products, acquired from GE Healthcare through a series of acquisitions and mergers, to AthenaIDX in homage to original developer IDX Systems.

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MHMR Services for the Concho Valley (TX) will implement the SmartCare EHR from Streamline Healthcare Solutions.

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HealtheConnect Alaska selects electronic consent software from Leap Orbit to better coordinate care between medical and behavioral health providers.

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The Idaho Health Data Exchange rolls out real-time analytics capabilities using KPI Ninja’s Ninja Universe technology.

Desert Oasis Healthcare (CA) implements Rimidi’s patient-reported outcomes tool to assist with COVID-19 screening and symptom management.


Other

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GeekWire profiles Reperio Health, an Oregon–based startup that aims to disrupt the at-home testing market with a subscription-based, app-enabled service that offers consumers testing once, twice, or four times a year using their proprietary kit. The company hopes to eventually add telemedicine capabilities.

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In Cincinnati, medical assistant Heather Kouns forges a life-long bond with Dry Ridge Family Medicine co-worker Dirk Hines, MD when she donates a kidney to him. Hines’ wife, Amy, says the surgery earlier this week went well: “Heather is a reminder of people that still care.”


Sponsor Updates

  • Modern Healthcare includes Nordic in its list of “Best Places to Work 2020.”

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News 7/13/20

July 13, 2020 News No Comments

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Renaissance Capital reveals that primary care company Oak Street Health confidentially filed for a $100 million IPO at the end of last year. The Chicago-based company serves Medicare patients in eight states.

While it may be a bit like comparing apples to oranges given their slightly different business models, it’s worth noting that primary care company One Medical raised $245 million during its IPO at the beginning of this year, and has seen its stock surge from $14 to over $40 a share in the ensuing months.


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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In Canada, clinic operator and EHR vendor Well Health Technologies will acquire the cybersecurity services of Cycura for $1.9 million.

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Mental healthcare startup Ahead raises $9 million in a funding round led by online B2B pharmacy company Truepill. The company operates its own clinics and offers virtual visits with its employed psychiatrists. It also offers prescriptions filled and delivered by Truepill through its patient portal.

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Technology-enabled women’s care company Kindbody raises $32 million in a Series B round led by Perceptive Advisors. The business, which has raised $63 million so far, will use its latest investment to continue its national expansion and establish an international presence.


Announcements and Implementations

Puerto Rico-based consulting firm Bienestar Health Group will offer its ambulatory customers MTBC’s TalkEHR as a white-labeled solution.


Government and Politics

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HHS awards $21 million to health centers across the country, with the majority going to expanding COVID-19 testing efforts.


Research and Innovation

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A survey of nearly 2,000 consumers finds that half have avoided seeking care in recent months, a circumstance no doubt related to the fact that most report not knowing the cost of treatment until months later and that every step of the care process is a chore. Not one survey-taker gave any of the survey’s 29 tasks a score of “effortless.” Findings like these, while not surprising, make me glad Walmart Health is right down the road. Up-front pricing and easy scheduling of same-day appointments, coupled with the fact that the medical director was poached from a well-known health system, make it an almost effortless choice for my basic healthcare needs.

Prescription delivery company MedMinder develops a telemedicine-enabled pill dispenser that enables users to connect with members of their healthcare team via touchscreen, connect with other devices via Bluetooth, and view information about their medications.

A Black Book survey of 4,400 providers finds that just 26% of primary care physicians have been satisfied with telemedicine visits during the pandemic, compared with their more-pleased colleagues in behavioral health and other specialties. Top concerns with virtual visits include a lack of interoperability and enough data for care continuity, reimbursement parity, and the generation of useless data. Respondents feel that less than 10% of visits will be conducted virtually once the COVID-19 crisis is over.


Other

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STAT offers a thoughtful glimpse into the ways primary care physicians in New York kept caring for patients during the early days of the pandemic, often resorting to technological workarounds like setting up WiFi hotspots in their parking lots so that patients could park and engage in virtual visits.

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Physicians across the country are still dealing with PPE shortages, as local news reports in Virginia and Maine attest. “Practices are still reusing the same N95 mask that they’ve had for the last month, two months,” says pediatrician Sandy Chung, MD. “The places that do sell us PPE, it’s at three to five times the normal cost. So at the same time that practices have reduced revenue because of all the reduced visits, we’re being asked to pay extra.”


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Mr. H, Lorre, Jenn, Dr. Jayne.
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News 7/8/20

July 8, 2020 News No Comments

Top News

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Walgreens will invest $1 billion to open primary care clinics run by VillageMD in 500 to 700 of its stores over the next five years. The bulk of the investment will be used by VillageMD to open the clinics and integrate its technology, which includes a proprietary operating system, analytics, and telemedicine.

The new clinics will be between 3,300 and 9,000 square feet, and will have a minimum of nine exam rooms, one waiting area, and a physician-led staff of four. They will also offer home and virtual visits.

The decision comes after the two companies opened five clinics at Walgreens stores in Houston last fall. The retail pharmacy chain will own nearly a third of VillageMD once the investment is concluded.


HIStalk Practice Musings

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I’ve seen this book mentioned a time or two over the last six months, and so I think it’s about time I add it to my must-read list. I’d love to share reviews from HIStalk Practice readers who’ve already read it.

I enjoy learning what industry executives are reading in their spare time. SailPoint’s latest book club blog post lists the favorite titles of SVP of Strategic Innovation Dave Hendrix: “Ishmael: An Adventure of the Mind and Spirit” by Daniel Quinn, “The Art of Happiness” by The Dalai Lama, “Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking,” by Malcom Gladwell, and “Subscribed” by Tien Tzuo.

Speaking of book clubs, this article makes the case for why now is the perfect time to start a corporate one: “Starting the book club has been immensely impactful on our team during this time,” says one Zappos book club lead. “I think as we transitioned to working from home, it helped with keeping a sense of normalcy, and also helps us keep our core values and connections alive, even if we can’t physically be together.”


Webinars

None scheduled in the coming weeks. Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre to present your own.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Doctor on Demand raises $75 million in a Series D investment round that brings its total funding to just under $236 million.

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In Canada, EHR vendor Medfar Clinical Solutions acquires competitor Plexia for an undisclosed amount.


People

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Virtual chronic care management company Orb Health hires Tyler Downs (MedeAnalytics) as VP of engineering.


Announcements and Implementations

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California-based primary care practice Lifestyle Medical implements Carium’s care coordination and patient engagement and relationship management software.

Innovaccer adds RubiconMD’s e-consult capabilities to its Data Activation Platform, which aggregates data from multiple health IT systems.

OpenDoctor integrates ImagineSoftware’s patient payment technologies with its patient portal.


Sponsor Updates

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Contacts

Mr. H, Lorre, Jenn, Dr. Jayne.
Get HIStalk updates.
Send news or rumors.
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News 7/6/20

July 6, 2020 News No Comments

Top News

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Chronic care management company ChartSpan decides to relocate its headquarters in Greenville, SC to a smaller space after an overwhelming majority of its employees vote to continue working from home. Its call center will be staffed by nearly 200 employees now working remotely. CEO Jon-Michial Carter says the decision “is a blessing in disguise because frankly If I can remove the cost burden of occupancy, which includes rent, parking, and office furniture, then that improves our margins.”


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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The local paper profiles Litiscape, a Phoenix-based risk-screening software startup founded by med student Michael Kamalu that helps providers identify patients who may be likely to sue them.


Announcements and Implementations

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ClearChoiceMD Urgent Care (NH) will offer patients access to telemedicine from PursueCare as part of a behavioral health pilot program that will include medication-assisted treatment and app-based counseling and care sessions.

MTBC makes available robotic process automation tools through its Force outsourcing RCM service. The health IT company acquired the workflow capabilities through its purchase of Meridian Medical Management last month.


Government and Politics

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Missouri Governor Mike Parson announces a $50 million program for broadband expansion across the state, including $5.25 million for telemedicine services for 29 FQHCs and 26 community mental health centers.

A federal team in Seattle take Eric Shibley, MD into custody for allegedly submitting fraudulent Paycheck Protection Program loan applications for a dozen different businesses, including a construction company. Shibley supposedly submitted fake tax documents and listed fake employees in an effort to quality for $3 million.


Other

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Google Maps users in select areas can receive alerts as they approach COVID-19 border checkpoints and areas that mandate virus protections such as masks and social distancing, as well as public transit alerts related to virus precautions, and guidelines from facilities that offer testing.


Sponsor Updates

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Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

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