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News 3/9/20

March 9, 2020 News No Comments

Top News

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HHS releases the ONC’s Cures Act Final Rule and publishes an accompanying website to offer overview information and additional resources for those that need a quick way to digest the 1,244-page document.

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In skimming the overview, these points stand out:

  • The final rule calls on healthcare stakeholders to develop certified APIs that will enable people to access and share data via their smartphones, without placing additional burdens on clinicians.
  • It requires that healthcare stakeholders make electronic health data available to patients at no cost.
  • Transparency is encouraged when it comes to patient safety issues within health IT, though emphasis is given to protecting IP.
  • Enforcement of the final rule is set to start in May, with certification conditions taking effect in six months.

Several industry associations have been quick to send out press releases acknowledging publication of the rules and their overall support of secure, easy access to patient data. MGMA has yet to publicize their reaction, while Epic and the AMA have issued statements saying they are in the process of reviewing the document..


HIStalk Practice Announcements and Requests

We’re back to regularly scheduled programming this week thanks to the cancellation of HIMSS. (I can finally get “Should I Stay or Should I Go?” out of my head.) While I’ll miss getting the chance to catch up with friends, walk the show floor, and soak up the Orlando sunshine, I won’t miss the low-level virus anxiety I’m sure I would have felt around 45,000 of my closest acquaintances.

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Thanks so much to PCC, Lenovo Health, Healthfinch, and KLAS for extending invites to me for their HIMSS networking events.

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Special thanks go to Mr. H for his hour-by-hour coverage of conference planning news. His hard work resulted in one of HIStalk’s busiest days ever – a fact that, as @KTGossHealthIT tweeted, health IT marketers may want to take note of as they consider whatever’s left of their 2020 marketing budgets. I’m sure Lorre would love to hear from anyone interested in a sponsorship or webinar.


Webinars

March 26 (Thursday) 12:30 ET. “How to Use Automation to Reduce ‘My EHR is Slow’ Complaints.” Sponsor: Goliath Technologies. A common challenge is that a clinician is ready to work, but their technology is not. EHRs can be slow, logins not working, or printers and scanners are offline. Troubleshooting these end user tickets quickly is nearly impossible, especially in complex environments that might include Citrix or VMware Horizon. This webinar will present real-world examples of how leading health systems are using purpose-built technology with embedded automation and intelligence to proactively anticipate, troubleshoot, and prevent end user performance issue across their IT infrastructure and EHRs.

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


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Employer-focused digital health engagement startup Well expects to hire an additional 400 people at its office in Chapel Hill, NC.

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Concierge care coordination app developer Pager raises $33 million in a Series B round that brings its total raised to $63 million.


People

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Patient engagement company CipherHealth promotes Jake Pyles to president and Alex Hejnosz chief strategy officer, and hires Thomas Arena (Waystar) chief revenue officer.


Telemedicine

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Austin, TX-based Software Advice reports physician practice interest in telemedicine solutions nearly triple that of its typical, pre-coronavirus business – a figure it expects to increase as providers implement virtual-first screening protocols.


Research and Innovation

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Findings from this six-month Internet access study, which looked at the ways in which five rural counties in Michigan leverage digital health in some way, shape, or form, seem all the more relevant now that providers are giving more serious thought to implementing telemedicine:

  • Access to and use of broadband in rural homes is too low, creating a barrier to reliable telemedicine services.
  • Consumers are concerned about the cost of virtual visits and the safety of the health data.
  • Providers also cite cost as a big reason they do not leverage or expand their telemedicine offerings.
  • Interoperability of telemedicine services between providers is lacking.

Other

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#HIMSS21 keynote recommendation: Duke University announces that comedian, actor, and physician Ken Jeong will give its 2020 commencement address. After skipping a grade in high school, Jeong graduated from Duke in 1986 with a bachelor’s degree in zoology. He graduated from UNC School of Medicine in 1995 and went on to do his residency in New Orleans, fitting stand-up comedy into his 90-hour work weeks. He has kept his medical license up ever since.


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News 3/4/20

March 4, 2020 News No Comments

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GoodRx apologizes and says it will do better after Consumer Reports finds that the prescription savings app has been sharing easily re-identifiable user data with 20 companies, including Facebook and Google.

The company claims it has never and will never sell the personal health data of its users. Moving forward, it will ramp up scrutiny of the information it does share with third parties; implement State of California-mandated privacy protections for all users, including the ability for users to delete their data from the app; and appoint a new VP of data privacy.


HIStalk Practice Announcements and Requests

I’ll be posting daily updates from HIMSS next week, so head over to the main site for coverage of health IT’s biggest (yet decidedly smaller) event of the year. HIStalk Practice posts will resume the following week.


Webinars

March 26 (Thursday) 12:30 ET. “How to Use Automation to Reduce ‘My EHR is Slow’ Complaints.” Sponsor: Goliath Technologies. A common challenge is that a clinician is ready to work, but their technology is not. EHRs can be slow, logins not working, or printers and scanners are offline. Troubleshooting these end user tickets quickly is nearly impossible, especially in complex environments that might include Citrix or VMware Horizon. This webinar will present real-world examples of how leading health systems are using purpose-built technology with embedded automation and intelligence to proactively anticipate, troubleshoot, and prevent end user performance issue across their IT infrastructure and EHRs.

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


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Mental health app developer Ginger acquires competitor LiveBetter’s technology. In an interesting twist, LiveBetter is converting to a nonprofit and, through an arrangement with Ginger, will offer its app for free to those in need.

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Anagram raises $9 million in a Series A funding round led by ManchesterStory. The company, formerly known as Patch, has developed billing software that better enables specialty practices to accept out-of-network payments from patients.


Announcements and Implementations

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MyMedLeads adds online appointment scheduling to its leads management software for aesthetic practices.

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Behavioral healthcare provider Archways (FL) selects EHR software from Streamline Healthcare Solutions.

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Medication management app vendor Illuminate Health announces GA of MedGuide, an app designed to help patients and their caregivers better understand how and when to take their prescriptions.

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Proliance Surgeons implements Andor Health’s mobile care coordination software.

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Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center (NY) will use CancerLinQ’s software, which pulls patient data from EHRs for real-time clinical decision support.


Telemedicine

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In Canada, CloudMD announces GA of telemedicine kiosks for pharmacies.

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Time and CNBC publish articles on the role telemedicine will play as COVID-19 continues to spread in the US. Both point out that virtual visits are an ideal way to keep the “worried well” and those with mild symptoms out of doctors’ offices and ERs. Barriers to more widespread use include licensing and reimbursement issues, though legislation is already being proposed that could loosen those impediments in the event of an infectious disease outbreak. COVID-19 might, as the Time article puts it, be the tipping point for telemedicine, in that utilization after the virus has waned will increase as more people become comfortable with it.


Other

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The local paper profiles the Medical Urgency Alliance, a group of physicians in Sacramento who have banded together on Chinese messaging app WeChat to offer Chinese residents information on the COVID-19 outbreak. The group’s newsletter, published through the app, helped Sacramento County’s first official COVID-19 patient find diagnosis and care. The physicians have also made themselves available by phone to anyone with coronavirus-related questions, free of charge. 

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Another local paper profiles HandsFree Health, a company founded by former Aetna executives that has developed a voice assistant dedicated solely to healthcare questions. WellBe offers users health and wellness information, medication reminders, appointment scheduling and reminding, and prescription refill ordering. It’s set to go on sale towards the end of April.


Sponsor Updates


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk.

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

News 3/2/20

March 2, 2020 News No Comments

Top News

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AxialHealthcare raises $15 million in a Series C funding round. The company offers analytics and new personalized medicine services focused on patients with substance use disorders.


Webinars

March 4 (Wednesday) 1 ET: “Tools for Success: How to Increase Clinician Satisfaction with HIT Solutions.” Sponsor: Intelligent Medical Objects. Presenter: Andrew Kanter, MD, MPH, FACMI, FAMIA, chief medical officer, IMO. Dr. Kanter will explore how striving to achieve the Quadruple Aim (by focusing on the provider experience) can improve clinician satisfaction and population health needs while also reducing per capita healthcare costs. Attendees will learn how to set providers up for success with new technology, the potential unforeseen consequences of purchasing without the clinician in mind, and the factors that are critically important to clinicians who are using new health information systems.

March 4 (Wednesday) 1 ET: “Healthcare Digital Marketing: Jump-Start Patient Discovery and Conversion.” Sponsor: Orbita. Presenters: Victoria Petrock, MBA, MLIS, principal analyst, EMarketer; Kristi Ebong, MBA, MPH, SVP of corporate strategy, Orbita. Does your digital front door capture consumers who search for health-related information one billion times each day? Do you have actionable steps to convert them into patients? Do you understand voice and chat virtual assistants? The presenters will explore the consumer challenges involved with finding, navigating, and receiving care, discuss why healthcare marketers need to embrace conversational voice and chatbot technologies, and describe how new technologies such as conversational micro-robots can improve engagement.

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


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Rectangle Health secures a patent for its Practice Management Bridge technology, which interfaces with practice management, EHR, and RCM systems to manage patient payments.

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App-based house call and virtual visit company Remedy expands into the Dallas-Forth Worth area. The Austin, TX-based company raised $10 million last summer.

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RxAdvantage President and former Apple CEO John Sculley believes Walmart Health will be the straw that finally breaks the camel’s back when it comes to disrupting healthcare’s byzantine pricing structure and shrinking access pipeline:

“We’re going to have a consumer revolution in retail for point of care. Why? Because if the Walmart tests are successful, and I suspect they will be, people will be able to go in and get these kinds of health services at a lower cost than if they had health insurance. Think about that. They’re still nearly 30 million people who don’t have health insurance. A lot of these people are going to go to a Walmart where you get these kinds of routine services. That’s going to be a dramatic change.”


People

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Primary care management company Tandigm Health promotes Frank Ingari to CEO, replacing Tony Coletta, MD who becomes executive chairman.


Announcements and Implementations

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VisitPay and Sphere announce GA of text-based payment capabilities for providers.

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Catholic Medical Partners will implement Innovaccer’s population health analytics, physician engagement, and clinical integration software across its physician network in Buffalo, NY.


Telemedicine

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Canadian primary care and software company Well Health Technologies launches VirtualClinic+, a nationwide telemedicine service that includes video and messaging-based visits. Well Health will integrate the capabilities with its OSCAR EHR.


Other

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The Vermont HIE announces that it will switch to a patient opt-out model in order to ensure that providers have easy access to patient records. Public health officials believe only 50% of Vermont patients have been asked to join the HIE since its launch in 2014.

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OpenBeds extends its reach to Indiana, offering access through its www.treatmentconnection.com portal to patients and caregivers looking for substance use disorder and mental health treatment facilities within the state. The company’s technology is powered by Appriss Health, which partners with states to integrate their prescription drug monitoring programs with provider EHRs.


Sponsor Updates

  • Healthwise will exhibit at the HealthTrio User Group Summit March 2-4 in Tucson.

Blog Posts


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk.

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

News 2/26/20

February 26, 2020 News No Comments

Top News

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EHR and practice management vendor CentralReach acquires Thread Learning, a developer of mobile data collection technology for clinics and schools. CentralReach, which targets providers who care for autistic children, will integrate Thread Learning’s software with its soon-to-be-released Electronic Visit Verification-compliant mobile data collection app.

Thread Learning CEO and co-founder Greg Brill will join the CentralReach product development team.


Webinars

March 4 (Wednesday) 1 ET: “Tools for Success: How to Increase Clinician Satisfaction with HIT Solutions.” Sponsor: Intelligent Medical Objects. Presenter: Andrew Kanter, MD, MPH, FACMI, FAMIA, chief medical officer, IMO. Dr. Kanter will explore how striving to achieve the Quadruple Aim (by focusing on the provider experience) can improve clinician satisfaction and population health needs while also reducing per capita healthcare costs. Attendees will learn how to set providers up for success with new technology, the potential unforeseen consequences of purchasing without the clinician in mind, and the factors that are critically important to clinicians who are using new health information systems.

March 4 (Wednesday) 1 ET: “Healthcare Digital Marketing: Jump-Start Patient Discovery and Conversion.” Sponsor: Orbita. Presenters: Victoria Petrock, MBA, MLIS, principal analyst, EMarketer; Kristi Ebong, MBA, MPH, SVP of corporate strategy, Orbita. Does your digital front door capture consumers who search for health-related information one billion times each day? Do you have actionable steps to convert them into patients? Do you understand voice and chat virtual assistants? The presenters will explore the consumer challenges involved with finding, navigating, and receiving care, discuss why healthcare marketers need to embrace conversational voice and chatbot technologies, and describe how new technologies such as conversational micro-robots can improve engagement.

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


Announcements and Implementations

Community Health of South Florida selects Orb Health’s Collaborative Virtual Care software to better enable its chronic care management program.


People

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Bill Keyes (Connecture) joins I2I Population Health as chief growth officer.


Telemedicine

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The local paper profiles Plessen Healthcare’s efforts to bring telemedicine to the US Virgin Island of St. Croix. Plessen, which comprises a clinic and the USVI’s only CMS-accredited ambulatory surgical center, used a USDA distance learning and telemedicine grant to purchase new equipment and bolster IT infrastructure and security. At the same time, Plessen developed its own HIE, giving it the ability to share patient data with the local hospital, CDC, and physician EHRs.

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Fresenius Medical Care North America will launch virtual visit capabilities for its home dialysis patients through TheHub  its remote patient monitoring platform.

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DaVita makes a similar announcement with the launch of telemedicine and patient engagement services for its home dialysis patients.


Other

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Jezebel digs into the data-sharing details of mental health apps like Talk Space and Better Help, both of which send user data to dozens of third parties including Facebook, Pinterest, Google, and Snapchat. User details could alerts when a user opens the app; metadata that includes the time of day, a user’s location, and how long the app was used; the type of device being used; a user’s age; and some mental health details. The authors point out: “Unless the people who trust Better Help deftly analyze the fine print, they might not have much of an idea of how far their intimate information is traveling, in a way that’s designed to make companies bigger and richer while patients become more easily gamed.”

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Consumer Reports points a similar type of finger at GoodRx, the prescription-savings app that is often recommended to patients by physicians and pharmacists. Many prescribers often aren’t aware that patient data is shared with 20 companies eager to get a hold of medication and pharmacy names, as well as de-identified patient data that could easily be re-identified.


Sponsor Updates

Blog Posts


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk.

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

News 2/24/20

February 24, 2020 News No Comments

Top News

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Health IT vendor MTBC launches a telemedicine division. Leadership will include President Shruti Patel, COO Iram Fatima, MD and Chief Revenue Officer Seth Loonan. MTBC, which acquired EHR and practice management vendor CareCloud earlier this year, began offering telemedicine capabilities through its TalkEHR last December.


HIStalk Practice Announcements and Requests

As Mr. H mentioned in his latest post, Lorre wants to add to our webinar calendar with new entries, so contact her and you’ll get a pre-HIMSS deal.

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Getting your exhibit hall game plan together for HIMSS? Check out HIStalk’s Guide to HIMSS20. It’s a handy resource for those who’ll be strolling the show floors looking for particular products, networking opportunities, in-booth and off-site events, and fun giveaways.


Webinars

March 4 (Wednesday) 1 ET: “Tools for Success: How to Increase Clinician Satisfaction with HIT Solutions.” Sponsor: Intelligent Medical Objects. Presenter: Andrew Kanter, MD, MPH, FACMI, FAMIA, chief medical officer, IMO. Dr. Kanter will explore how striving to achieve the Quadruple Aim (by focusing on the provider experience) can improve clinician satisfaction and population health needs while also reducing per capita healthcare costs. Attendees will learn how to set providers up for success with new technology, the potential unforeseen consequences of purchasing without the clinician in mind, and the factors that are critically important to clinicians who are using new health information systems.

March 4 (Wednesday) 1 ET: “Healthcare Digital Marketing: Jump-Start Patient Discovery and Conversion.” Sponsor: Orbita. Presenters: Victoria Petrock, MBA, MLIS, principal analyst, EMarketer; Kristi Ebong, MBA, MPH, SVP of corporate strategy, Orbita. Does your digital front door capture consumers who search for health-related information one billion times each day? Do you have actionable steps to convert them into patients? Do you understand voice and chat virtual assistants? The presenters will explore the consumer challenges involved with finding, navigating, and receiving care, discuss why healthcare marketers need to embrace conversational voice and chatbot technologies, and describe how new technologies such as conversational micro-robots can improve engagement.

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


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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In Canada, Premier Health Group rebrands to CloudMD Software & Services to better reflect its focus on digital health and telemedicine. It’s been a busy year so far for the Vancouver-based company: It acquired telemedicine vendor LiveCare in January, and announced a new CEO and rolled out the CloudMD direct-to-consumer telemedicine app in early February.


People

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Employer-focused primary care clinic operator CareATC names Scott Strickland (Optimis) president and COO, Lisa Ness chief revenue officer, and promotes Ann Stoeppelwerth to chief engagement solutions officer.


Announcements and Implementations

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The MO HealthNet HIE will use $9.3 million in federal funding to develop a Provider Health Information Exchange Onboarding Program, which will subsidize connection and subscription fees for member providers. The Medicaid-focused HIE hopes to get its members, which include 1,000 physicians and 40 hospitals, fully connected to its data-sharing service before HITECH Act funding runs out in 2021.

Comprehensive Partners in Florida selects remote patient monitoring and chronic care management technology and services from Reliq Health Technologies.


Government and Politics

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McKesson Canada’s decision to not renew its contract with health officials in Nova Scotia has left some physicians frustrated at the void that will be left once the Relay Health-powered MyHealthNS app is shut down at the end of March. First introduced in 2012, the app has given patients a number of self-service capabilities and enhanced their ability to communicate with their physicians outside of the clinic. Family physician and clinic director Ajantha Jayabarathan believes the government’s decision to abandon the program has more to do with physician complaints that they haven’t been reimbursed for care provided through the app than the fact that adoption hasn’t been as widespread as health officials would have liked. Patients have until March 31 to retrieve their data from the app.

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An op-ed in Health Affairs outlines the need for CMS to integrate behavioral health into its Primary Care First program, which will initially reward physicians for reductions in acute hospital utilization rates when it finally launches in January 2021. They point out that:

  • Smaller practices with fewer resources will need more support, which can be offered using evidence-based guidance on behavioral health integration from the Continuum-Based Framework.
  • Direct incentives for behavioral health support and improved outcomes should be added.
  • The program should offer bigger incentives for PCF practices that bill using new payment codes designed for behavioral health.

Other

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CNBC profiles Recycle Health, a nonprofit working out of Tufts Medical School that collects abandoned wearables and donates them to organizations serving the homeless, veterans, and intellectually disabled; senior living facilities; and others living in underserved populations. Donations have come in from Fitbit, Fossil, Withings, and individuals. Recycle Health has even received donations from tourist sites like the Statue of Liberty and amusement parks.


Sponsor Updates


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk.

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

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