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News 6/16/21

June 16, 2021 News No Comments

Top News

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Walmart offers patrons who receive the COVID-19 vaccine at its pharmacies the ability to digitally store their vaccine records via their Walmart.com accounts. The secure digital wallet technology is based on the Vaccination Credential Initiative’s Smart Health Cards standard, meaning it can be securely shared with other apps like Clear’s Health Pass.

Walmart will soon roll out the feature to Sam’s Club members, and is working on functionality that will allow families to bundle their records.


HIStalk Practice Musings

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Watching: Doctor Finlay, a mid-90s Scottish television series that chronicles the lives (and cases) of GPs working in a rural Scottish practice, just after WWII and right before the launch of the National Health Service. I’m one season in and it’s been a quaint look back at what primary care must have been like when house calls were common and record-keeping was strictly a pen-and-paper affair. The influence of the series was still being felt as recently as five years ago, with a local medical recruiting firm complaining that the show’s now outdated portrayal of the rural Scottish GP had hindered recruitment efforts.


HIStalk Practice Announcements and Requests

Mr. HIStalk was recently required to purge inactive email subscribers from the HIStalk Practice Updates list. I’d appreciate it if you’d enter your email address again just to make sure you didn’t fall off the list by mistake (you won’t get duplicate emails regardless). You’ll continue to receive the latest ambulatory health IT news while inflating my fragile ego at the same time.


Webinars

June 24 (Thursday) 2 ET: “Peer-to-Peer Panel: Creating a Better Healthcare Experience in the Post-Pandemic Era.” Sponsor: Avtex. Presenters: Mike Pietig, VP of healthcare, Avtex; Matt Durski, director of healthcare patient and member experience, Avtex; Patrick Tuttle, COO, Delta Dental of Kansas; Chad Thorpe, care ambassador, DispatchHealth. The live panel will review the findings of a May 2021 survey about which factors are most important to patients and members who are interacting with healthcare organizations. The panel will provide actionable strategies to improve patient and member engagement and retention, recover revenue, and implement solutions that reduce friction across multiple channels to prioritize care and outreach.

June 30 (Wednesday) 1 ET. “From quantity to quality: The new frontier for clinical data.” Sponsor: Intelligent Medical Objects. Presenters: Dale Sanders, chief strategy officer, IMO; John Lee, MD, CMIO, Allegheny Health Network. EHRs generate more healthcare data than ever, but that data is of low quality for secondary uses such as population health, precision medicine, and pandemic management, and its collection burdens clinicians as data entry clerks. The presenters will review ways to reduce clinician EHR burden; describe the importance of standardized, harmonious data; suggest why quality measures strategy needs to be changed; and make the case that clinical data collection as a whole should be re-evaluated.

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


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Greenway Health opens an office in Bangalore, India, with plans to hire 300 employees for that office by the end of the year. The EHR vendor also has offices in Tampa, Florida, and Carrolton, Georgia.


People

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Varun Choudhary, MD (Magellan Health) joins Talkspace as chief medical officer.

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Healthmap Solutions names Howard Shaps, MD (Centene) chief clinical officer.

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Apollo Medical promotes Jeremy Jackson, MD to chief quality officer.

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CloudMD promotes Karen Adams to president. She takes over from Amit Mathur, OD who will assume the new role of president of US operations.


Announcements and Implementations

Senior-focused primary care company Agilon Health implements care coordination and workflow management software from LeadingReach across its Pioneer Physicians Network in Ohio.


Government and Politics

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Former practice office and payroll manager Shirley Taylor is sentenced to 33 months in prison and ordered to pay $1.2 million in restitution for stealing the same amount over a four-year period. Taylor inflated her paycheck and wrote unauthorized company checks, none of which were noticed until a new office manager joined the August, Georgia practice in 2020.


Other

The local news covers the role pediatricians have been playing in vaccinating adults, typically – but not always – the family members of their younger patients: “The first week or so, I saw patients and their parents. Then I started seeing grandparents and neighbors,” says North Carolina-based Kidz Pediatrics physician Lourdes Pereda, MD. “Then there were people I’ve never seen in my life, and I was happy because that means we’re vaccinating more of the community.”

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A local news site profiles dermatologist Christina Chung, MD and her journey to becoming a co-owner (along with husband Jeff George, MD) of the Philadelphia Phoenix ultimate frisbee team. George introduced her to the sport when they began dating, both eventually joining the Philadelphia Area Disc Alliance and co-captaining a team to top-place rankings. They bought the Phoenix in 2019.


Sponsor Updates

  • EClinicalWorks releases a new podcast, “Making the Most of EClinicalWorks Billing and RCM.”

Blog Posts


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk.

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Contact us online.
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News 6/14/21

June 14, 2021 News No Comments

Top News

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Behavioral health EHR vendor Kipu names Paul Joiner (Availity) CEO and Rick Pharr (WebPT) COO. The personnel news comes alongside an unspecified investment from TCV.


Webinars

June 24 (Thursday) 2 ET: “Peer-to-Peer Panel: Creating a Better Healthcare Experience in the Post-Pandemic Era.” Sponsor: Avtex. Presenters: Mike Pietig, VP of healthcare, Avtex; Matt Durski, director of healthcare patient and member experience, Avtex; Patrick Tuttle, COO, Delta Dental of Kansas; Chad Thorpe, care ambassador, DispatchHealth. The live panel will review the findings of a May 2021 survey about which factors are most important to patients and members who are interacting with healthcare organizations. The panel will provide actionable strategies to improve patient and member engagement and retention, recover revenue, and implement solutions that reduce friction across multiple channels to prioritize care and outreach.

June 30 (Wednesday) 1 ET. “From quantity to quality: The new frontier for clinical data.” Sponsor: Intelligent Medical Objects. Presenters: Dale Sanders, chief strategy officer, IMO; John Lee, MD, CMIO, Allegheny Health Network. EHRs generate more healthcare data than ever, but that data is of low quality for secondary uses such as population health, precision medicine, and pandemic management, and its collection burdens clinicians as data entry clerks. The presenters will review ways to reduce clinician EHR burden; describe the importance of standardized, harmonious data; suggest why quality measures strategy needs to be changed; and make the case that clinical data collection as a whole should be re-evaluated.

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


People

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Jonathan Fowler (Avance Care)  joins Cary Medical Management as VP of operations.

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Mitesco names Bradley Case (SymphonyCare) president of The Good Clinic, which plans to expand beyond its flagship clinic in Minneapolis to a network of hybrid clinics leveraging nurse practitioners and telehealth capabilities.


Announcements and Implementations

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Athenahealth, Cerner, DrChrono, and Meditech announce upcoming integrations with IOS 15’s enhancements to Apple Health, in which providers can launch a web-based dashboard within their respective EHRs to view the information that a patient has shared with them. (Fast Company published a well-written overview last week of Apple’s increasing presence in the health data-sharing space and what that means for patients and larger EHR vendors like Cerner and Epic.)

Radiology Inc., a radiology physician group based in West Virginia, implements Rad AI’s technology to generate custom radiology report impressions and consensus guideline recommendations.

Palm Beach ACO leverages ClosedLoop.ai’s Explainable AI patient risk stratification and forecasting software to help prevent readmissions, identify palliative care needs, and improve outcomes for patients with chronic kidney disease.

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Pinellas County Primary Care (FL) adopts Carium’s remote patient monitoring technology.

Women’s Health Connecticut connects to the the Connecticut Medical Society’s CTHealthLink HIE.

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Amazon opens three clinics for its employees and their families in Detroit. The clinics are operated by Crossover Health Solutions and offer extended hours to suit employee schedules. The Amazon/Crossover partnership also includes clinics in Arizona, California, Kentucky, and Texas.


Other

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Westmed Medical Group develops an Amazon Alexa skill to help patients find and schedule appointments its facilities in New York and Connecticut, and access health and wellness tips.

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The local paper highlights Hampton Roads Community Health Center (VA) and its COVID-19 nursing team, which, in addition to their typical full-time responsibilities, coordinated the FQHC’s COVID response. PerfectServe honored the team as part of its Nurses of Note 2021 awards program.


Sponsor Updates

  • Healthwise has received seven Digital Health Awards for its patient education videos and content in the Health Information Resource Center’s 2021 spring competition.

Blog Posts


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk.

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

News 6/9/21

June 9, 2021 News No Comments

Top News

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Texas-based FQHC Legacy Community Health partners with business development firm Canton & Co. to launch Monarch Health Solutions, a practice management company dedicated to community health centers.


Webinars

June 24 (Thursday) 2 ET: “Peer-to-Peer Panel: Creating a Better Healthcare Experience in the Post-Pandemic Era.” Sponsor: Avtex. Presenters: Mike Pietig, VP of healthcare, Avtex; Matt Durski, director of healthcare patient and member experience, Avtex; Patrick Tuttle, COO, Delta Dental of Kansas; Chad Thorpe, care ambassador, DispatchHealth. The live panel will review the findings of a May 2021 survey about which factors are most important to patients and members who are interacting with healthcare organizations. The panel will provide actionable strategies to improve patient and member engagement and retention, recover revenue, and implement solutions that reduce friction across multiple channels to prioritize care and outreach.

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


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Syra Health announces expansion plans that include doubling its office space and adding up to 150 new jobs by 2025. Based in Carmel, Indiana, company offers value-based care consulting, medical education content development, and staffing services.

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Consulting firm Patient Access Solutions acquires TelaMentalHealth.com.

Well Health Technologies will acquire MyHealth Partners, a provider of primary, specialty, and virtual care with 48 locations in Ontario. Once the acquisition closes, Well Health will become the largest non-governmental operator of outpatient clinics in Canada.


People

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PerfectServe hires Rodrigo Martínez, MD (TransformativeMed) as its first CMO.


Announcements and Implementations

US Radiology Specialists selects patient intake and messaging solutions from Royal Health including Royal Pay, Royal Kiosks, and Royal Alerts.

Behavioral health provider Coyote Task Force (AZ) implements EnSoftek’s DrCloudEHR.


Government and Politics

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Missouri Governor Mike Parson signs into law a bill creating a statewide prescription drug monitoring program. The state has suffered from the distinction of being the last in the country to be without a PDMP. A task force will oversee the development of the program’s centralized database and select a vendor to collect patient data.


Research and Innovation

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Just over a third of 505 surveyed healthcare workers say that technology frustrates them, while 19% say it does not help with productivity. The same percentage admit that technology makes their jobs harder. The survey also found a strong correlation between job satisfaction and negative views of technology. Also worth noting: Twenty-eight percent of respondents feel that their company doesn’t give them the technology training they need to succeed, while 25% don’t believe they have the skills to succeed in an increasingly technologically advanced workplace.

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Telehealth utilization continues to decrease, though at a slower pace than seen at the beginning of the year, according to Fair Health’s latest analysis. The drop coincides with a national decrease in COVID-19 cases and increasing vaccination rates.


Other

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The local news investigates the discovery of boxes of medical records dumped outside of a storage unit in Atlanta. Hope Medical had moved the files to a storage unit after a fire at their facility in 2018. The rental facility sold off the contents of Hope Medical’s unit after the practice defaulted on its payments. The highest bidder for the unit’s contents likely found them to be of no immediate value.

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Former US Surgeon General Jerome Adams, MD appears on the local news to discuss the impact of COVID-19 vaccination rates on the county’s public health ordinances. He stepped down from his government job at the request of the Biden administration earlier this year and, according to the news, is practicing medicine in Central Indiana.


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk.

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

News 6/7/21

June 7, 2021 News No Comments

Top News

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Membership-based primary care company One Medical acquires Iora Health for $2.1 billion. Iora Health specializes in primary care for Medicare members, aided by proprietary health IT.

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Iora Health co-founder and CEO Rushika Fernandopulle, MD will become One Medical’s chief innovation officer.


Webinars

June 24 (Thursday) 2 ET: “6 Recommendations to Create a Better Patient & Member Experience.” Sponsor: Avtex. Presenters: Mike Pietig, VP of healthcare, Avtex; Matt Durski, director of healthcare patient and member experience, Avtex; Patrick Tuttle, COO, Delta Dental of Kansas; Chad Thorpe, care ambassador, DispatchHealth. The live panel will review the findings of a May 2021 survey about which factors are most important to patients and members who are interacting with healthcare organizations. The panel will provide actionable strategies to improve patient and member engagement and retention, recover revenue, and implement solutions that reduce friction across multiple channels to prioritize care and outreach.

Here’s the recording of last week’s webinar with Secure Exchange Solutions: “Diagnosing the Cures Act – Practical Prescriptions For Your Success.”


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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San Francisco-based primary and urgent care company Carbon Health acquires membership-based digital diabetes clinic Steady Health. Carbon Health operates 70 clinics in 13 states, and also offers virtual care in selection locations. It hopes to have 1,500 clinics across the country within the next four years. It acquired the chain of Direct Urgent Care clinics in 2018.

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After securing a $4 million line of credit in April, Florida-based patient engagement and virtual care company Qure4u opens its second office in the metro Atlanta area.

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Bettermeant rebrands to Valorant Health. The company specializes in helping service members find providers; and store, manage, and share health records.

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Virtual medical scribe company Skywriter MD relocates and expands its operations in College Station, Texas. It plans to add 100 employees over the next seven months.


Announcements and Implementations

Online health, wellness, and prescription delivery company Bounce Health launches automated virtual clinic capabilities for providers.


Other

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Wallpaper highlights the design elements behind Tia’s new women’s health clinic in LA. Spa-like amenities include personal nooks where patients can stow belongings and charge devices, redesigned patient gowns, inhale-exhale socks, hospitality stations, and lactation rooms. More practical elements include storage solutions that hide provider instruments and biohazard bins. Tia operates virtual and in-person clinics in New York, California, and Arizona.

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Glacier Medical Associates (MT) begins notifying patients of an April cyberattack that may have compromised PHI.


Sponsor Updates

  • PerfectServe achieves a “Cybersecurity Transparent” designation from KLAS and Censinet.
  • KLAS rates Nordic a top performer in the expansive firms category in its latest “Application Management & Help Desk Services” report.
  • PerfectServe’s Nurses of Note program honors Hampton Roads Community Health Center COO Erica Johnson and the COVID-19 vaccination nursing team.

Blog Posts


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk.

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

News 6/2/21

June 2, 2021 News No Comments

Top News

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Privia Health reports a slight increase in Q1 revenue to $213.6 million. The practice management company went public in late April, experiencing a surge in share prices that gave parent company Brighton Health Group an ownership stake valued at $2.75 billion.


HIStalk Practice Musings

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Children’s book illustrator, artist, and writer Eric Carle passed away last month at the age of 91. I’m sure many HIStalk Practice readers have stocked their practice waiting rooms with the “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” or “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?” And I’m absolutely certain many have read these classics to their kids. Fun facts: After serving in  the Korean War, he spent time as an art director at a medical advertising agency. His career as a children’s book illustrator began when author Bill Martin, Jr. saw, while sitting in doctor’s office, an ad for antihistamines with an illustration Carle had done of a big red lobster. Martin then reached out to ask if he’d illustrate “Brown Bear” and the rest is history.


Webinars

June 3 (Thursday) 2 ET: “Diagnosing the Cures Act – Practical Prescriptions for Your Success.” Sponsor: Secure Exchange Solutions. Presenters: William E. Golden, MD, MACP, medical director, Arkansas Medicaid; Anne Santifer, executive director, Arkansas Department of Health – Office of Health Information Technology; Kyle Meadors, principal, Chart Lux Consulting. A panel of leading experts will provide practical guidance on how to prepare for the Cures Act. Will it upend your business model? What is information blocking? How can standardized technologies be applied to meet Cures Act requirements? What must I do now as well as in the next five years?

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


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Canadian health IT and clinic operator CloudMD attributes its record $5.7 million increase in Q1 revenue to its aggressive acquisition strategy, including five in Q1 and 11 over the last year. It plans to launch an automated, connected solution later this year aimed at all points of patient care.

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Skylight Health Group sees a 76% increase in Q1 revenue to $5.2 million, a jump made possible by clinic acquisitions in the previous fiscal year. The clinic operations company also offers subscription telemedicine services.


People

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Stellar Health names JoRel Nye (Aledade) chief product officer.

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Joseph Aquilina, MD (Sharp HealthCare) joins Brown & Toland Physicians as president of BTHealth.

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Rabble Health names Chandra Kanive (Limelight Health) COO and Koji Sonoda (Seattle Genetics) VP of business development and partnerships.


Government and Politics

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Nora Meaney-Elman, MD pays $60,000 to settle federal allegations that she violated the Controlled Substances Act by failing to secure the token and password she used for e-prescribing controlled substances. A since-convicted employee used the security credentials to write 156 illegal prescriptions, ultimately paying over $1 million in fines and receiving a sentence of two years’ probation.


Research and Innovation

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MGMA research shows that total compensation for primary care physicians between 2019 and 2020 increased by 2.6%. Compensation changes for specialists were similarly modest or flat. Practices were resilient in the face of pandemic-related challenges, according to MGMA President and CEO Halee Fischer-Wright, MD leveraging federal programs to cover expenses and staff costs, adapting to virtual care, and pivoting to accommodate in-person visits as COVID-19 cases decreased.

Researchers are optimistic that there may soon be a market for vaccine administration via microneedle patch technology. Georgia Tech engineers have developed patches for the flu and measles, and believe the delivery method could be used for COVID-19. University of Connecticut Assistant Professor of Engineering Thanh Nguyen has developed similar technology that can deliver different vaccines in the same patch on different dosing schedules.


Other

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Ten year-old Will LeFaivre takes his Virtual Reality Vitals Reader to the final round of the Invention Convention Nationals. The headset is equipped with VR goggles, heart rate and blood oxygen monitors, a temperature reader, and an attached blood pressure cuff. LeFaivre says he was inspired to create the device after seeing how much his autistic younger brother didn’t like having his vital signs taken at the doctor’s office.

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A letter written by physician Edward Jenner, developer of the smallpox vaccine, is expected to fetch over $7,500 when it comes up for auction later this month. The letter thanks a fellow physician for vindicating Jenner’s vaccination work: “I know of no production on the vaccine subject which has afforded me more satisfaction, since it was first brought before the public, than yours. It contains the experimentum crucis and has effectually put a stop to the sneers of those little minded persons who think everything impossible which does not come within the narrow sphere of their own comprehension.I regret that your confirmation of the fact I had adduced, is not more generally known.”


Sponsor Updates

  • EClinicalWorks posts a video case study titled “Neuro2Go + healow: Expertise Is Just a Click Away.”

Blog Posts


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk.

Get HIStalk Practice updates.
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