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News 12/9/20

December 9, 2020 News No Comments

Top News

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Ro signals its intent to offer in-home healthcare with its acquisition of WorkPath, which has developed app-based, appointment-scheduling software for house-call companies.


Webinars

December 15 (Tuesday) 1 ET. “Highlights from the 2021 CPT Code Set Update.” Sponsor: Intelligent Medical Objects. Presenters: June Bronnert, MSHI, RHIA, senior director of global clinical services, IMO; Shelly Jude, RHIA, RHIT, mapping manager, IMO. Top coding professionals will highlight the most important changes to the Current Procedural Terminology code set that take effect on January 1, including crucial additions, deletions, and revisions; how to communicate Official Coding Guidelines changes to the healthcare team; and a description of the impact that the code set update could have on practice.

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


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Primary care company Carbon Health will open a dozen more clinics in California over the coming months. The San Francisco-based company, which announced a $100 million Series C funding round last month, has developed proprietary health IT including an app and virtual visit capabilities.

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Rapper and music executive Rick Ross invests in telemedicine startup Jetdoc, also signing on as an adviser and spokesperson. Launched in February by former Trusted Health Plans CEO Tommy Duncan, the service is available in Florida, with expansion to additional states expected next year.

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Healthcare transaction advisory firm VMG Health acquires RR Health Strategies, a medical coding, compliance, and operational management consulting firm.


Announcements and Implementations

Umatilla County Human Services in Oregon will replace its legacy EHR with EnSoftek’s DrCloudEHR.


Other

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A Press Ganey telemedicine survey and analysis of 1.3 million patients from 154 practices offers insight into what they do and don’t like about virtual encounters, and how providers can improve upon them:

  • Patients are more likely to give positive reviews after virtual visits than after in-person visits because they feel they more of their physician’s attention.
  • The process is lacking: Nearly 90% would recommend their provider after a video visit, but only 76% would recommend doing so virtually.
  • Researchers suggest providers develop a central resource team to help staff adopt more telemedicine-friendly workflows, and patients become more comfortable with virtual encounters.
  • Specialties should develop protocols to triage patients into virtual care or in-person care.
  • Telemedicine protocols should be consistent across an organization’s care setting so that patients encounter the same look and feel when video chatting with their PCP or dermatologist.

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The Schenectady Fire Department in New York pilots a telemedicine program that so far has enabled its paramedics to treat 27 of its 41 telemedicine patients at the scene rather than transporting them to the ER. Department officials anticipate the program will see a similar success rate in the coming months, as 12,000 of its 18,000 annual calls are for medical reasons.

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COVID vaccinations commenced in the UK earlier this week, with 81 year-old William Shakespeare becoming the second recipient. The Twitterverse was quick to respond with references to Vacbeth and #TamingoftheFlu.


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News 12/7/20

December 7, 2020 News No Comments

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California Governor Gavin Newsom announces that CA Notify, an app-based, COVID-19 exposure-tracking tool, will launch statewide later this week.

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The app was developed using technology from Google and Apple, and piloted at seven of the University of California’s campuses. The university estimates that 250,000 users have so far opted in, and 82 positive test verification alerts have been issued.

Just 18 states have made similar tools available, with some leveraging the Google/Apple technology developed six months ago. User adoption has been underwhelming, with, for example, just under 500,000 out of 10.5 million residents opting in to North Carolina’s SlowCOVIDNC app. Connecticut and Virginia have been more successful, with 20% of their residents opting in to either Iphone-embedded exposure notifications or a stand-alone app.


HIStalk Practice Musings

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Looking for the perfect Christmas gift for that hard-to-shop-for doctor in your life? Consider “The Physician’s Guide to Mother Goose” by pediatrician TK Denmark, MD. He gives a humorous, ICD-10 spin to the traditional stories, pushing readers to ponder the diagnosis of that unlucky soul who may have been “struck by cow, initial encounter” after it had finished its lunar calisthenics.

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How about gift ideas for the well-read book-lover? Check out these “28 Bookish Gift Ideas.” Some are cheeky, some are practical, and some seem downright delicious. I’m adding the LED neck light to my wish list right now.


Webinars

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


People

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Aledade promotes Matt Kendall to president, Dan Bowles to chief growth officer, Ahmed Haque to chief performance officer, and Sean Cavanaugh to chief policy officer and chief commercial officer.


Announcements and Implementations

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Abercrombie Radiology (TN) implements ERad’s RIS, patient portal and communications software, and mammography tracking module.


Other

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Several hotels in Tucson will begin offering telemedicine services from MedCare 2U. The company will also offer hotel guests prescription delivery within 60 minutes, and rapid COVID-19 testing.


Sponsor Updates

  • Healthwise wins six Digital Health Awards in the Health Information Resource Center Fall 2020 competition.

Blog Posts


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Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk.

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News 12/2/20

December 2, 2020 News No Comments

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Ambulatory health IT company Das Health Ventures acquires Randall Technology Services and its portfolio of Allscripts EHR and practice management solutions.

The acquisition is Das Health’s second this year: It acquired managed IT and cybersecurity services company Technology Seed in August.


Webinars

December 3 (Thursday) noon ET. “Why Patient-Centered Billing: How University Physicians’ Association Increased Revenue and Reduced Days to Pay.” Sponsor: Relatient. Presenter: Christy Bailey, VP, University Physicians’ Association. Financial recovery calls for a better patient financial experience as providers drive revenue, engage patients, and reduce costs and bad debt. The presenter will talk about patients as payers and how delivering a financial experience that meets their expectations can improve the financial outcomes of providers, hospitals, and health systems.

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


People

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Direct primary care company Crossover Health hires John Hallock (Livongo) as SVP of corporate communications.

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Brian Wilson (Ascentis) joins urgent care software vendor Experity as its first chief customer officer.


Announcements and Implementations

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Hutchinson Clinic (KS) goes live on ERad’s radiology image and data management software.

Mosaic in Omaha implements telemedicine capabilities from StationMD. The company offers healthcare to patients with behavioral and mental health needs, autism, and intellectual disabilities.

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Best in Class Medical Doctors launches an orthopedic telemedicine service. In additional to their hospital work, co-founders and orthopedic surgeons Benedict Nwachukwu, MD and Riley Williams, MD are both affiliated with minor and major league sports teams.


Other

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TechCrunch inadvertently discovers that NTreatment, a psychiatry and therapy-focused EHR and practice management company, left a cloud-based server unsecured for an unspecified amount of time. The server, which has since been encrypted, contains 109,000 files with lab results, doctor’s notes, claims data, and other PHI.

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The local paper profiles Texas native and AMA President Susan Bailey, MD highlighting the impact COVID-19 has had on her priorities for the organization. Bailey originally planned to focus on helping members overcome administrative and regulatory burdens and physician burnout, but has since pivoted to advocating for telemedicine policies. Her practice, Allergy & Asthma Associates in Forth Worth, flipped to virtual visits earlier this year due to a lack of PPE.


Sponsor Updates

  • Digital.com includes AdvancedMD and EClinicalWorks among the best medical billing companies of 2020.

Blog Posts


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk.

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News 11/30/20

November 30, 2020 News No Comments

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CBS Insights rebrands to Skylight Health Group. The company, with offices in Massachusetts and Ontario, operates over 30 clinics in the US and has developed EHR and telemedicine technologies, which it uses to power a virtual visit subscription service.


HIStalk Practice Musings

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Well, I finally did it. It took me two library renewals and a day’s late fee, but I finally finished Ron Chernow’s biography of Alexander Hamilton. It was a challenging read, and I have to admit that my eyes glazed over during some of the pages-long descriptions of Hamilton’s treasury and national banking strategies. I learned many things about our Founding Fathers; perhaps the most revelatory being that that there’s nothing new under the sun when it comes to political machinations, intrigue, conspiracies, and the like. It was certainly a timely read for me, as I read the final chapters just as election day loomed.

I will not be attempting “First Principles” by Thomas Ricks, though I’d recommend it to anyone interested in the philosophical underpinnings of the Founding Fathers’ educations and penchant for relying on the logic of Greek and Roman philosophers as they shaped the federal government.

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In comparison, I practically flew through “The Secret and the Vile” by Erik Larson last week. If you’ve read his “The Devil in the White City,” you know he has a brilliant knack for making a non-fiction book read like a novel. Churchill buffs (or those, like me, who don’t know much about him aside from what they’ve seen in “The Crown”) will especially enjoy the recounting of England’s valiant two-year effort to wage war against Germany while waiting with bated breath for the US to join the fight.

I’d love to hear about the books HIStalk Practice readers hunkered down with over the Thanksgiving break. Please email me with your favorite post-feast reads.


Webinars

December 3 (Thursday) noon ET. “Why Patient-Centered Billing: How University Physicians’ Association Increased Revenue and Reduced Days to Pay.” Sponsor: Relatient. Presenter: Christy Bailey, VP, University Physicians’ Association. Financial recovery calls for a better patient financial experience as providers drive revenue, engage patients, and reduce costs and bad debt. The presenter will talk about patients as payers and how delivering a financial experience that meets their expectations can improve the financial outcomes of providers, hospitals, and health systems.

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


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Greenway Health CEO Richard Atkin tells the local (paywalled) business paper that employees will be able to work remotely long after the pandemic ends. As of last year, the Tampa, FL-based company had around 1,400 employees.


Announcements and Implementations

Med Smart Wellness Centers will implement EHR and billing software from AdvancedMD at its first facility in Aventura, FL.


Other

US Fertility notifies customers of a ransomware attack that resulted in hackers gaining access to PHI between August and September. The company, which operates 55 clinics, was created in May through the partnership of Amulet Capital Partners and Shady Grove Fertility.

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Local artist Ted McElhiney presents a painting to the staff at the Davenport VA clinic in Iowa. McElhiney, who has been a patient at the clinic for 40 years, says the artwork is his way of “saying thank you for all the hard work all the team does. … Anytime I ask them for a hand to help a veteran, they come with a smile and that is what impresses me.”

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Kaiser Permanente pediatrician Rahul Parikh, MD writes about the changes COVID-19 has wrought on his practice, focusing on everything from the fall and slowly escalating rise of in-person appointments, the impact of putting off care, worries about overprescribing antibiotics during virtual visits, and missing out on truly socializing with patients and colleagues. He does point out, however, that COVID safety precautions have forced the practice to think more innovatively about the ways in which they provide care, such as offering drive-thru testing, blood draws, and vaccinations; and developing best practices for video visits. 

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ThereCare announces GA of its No Contact Urgent Care kit, which includes Bluetooth diagnostic devices, wireless otoscope, blood pressure wrist cuff, finger pulse oximeter, thermometer strips, and an Iphone(!). Customers order the $300 kit online (which includes a refundable $100 deposit); virtually visit with a ThereCare provider using the smartphone, presumably pre-loaded with some sort of accompanying app; and then return the kit via mail. The concept strikes me as a strange one, given the ubiquity of telemedicine at this point, and the price point for cash-paying customers, though ThereCare does have an option for the insured.  I wonder how long you’re allowed to keep the kit before losing your deposit.

A friendly warning to those readers who are seriously considering applying for clinical jobs on Prince Edward Island in Canada (per my recent post about its dearth of providers): Health officials there have postponed the implementation of an enterprise EHR due to COVID-19-related vendor delays, pushing the project to 2021-2022.


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk.

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News 11/25/20

November 25, 2020 News No Comments

Top News

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After five years in bankruptcy, telemedicine kiosk vendor HealthSpot has just $47,000 left to distribute to creditors. It had raised $47 million and entered into a seemingly promising partnership with Xerox before falling into insolvency in 2015. Xerox went on to launch a Virtual Health Solutions service line in 2016. I haven’t heard much about it since.


Webinars

December 3 (Thursday) noon ET. “Why Patient-Centered Billing: How University Physicians’ Association Increased Revenue and Reduced Days to Pay.” Sponsor: Relatient. Presenter: Christy Bailey, VP, University Physicians’ Association. Financial recovery calls for a better patient financial experience as providers drive revenue, engage patients, and reduce costs and bad debt. The presenter will talk about patients as payers and how delivering a financial experience that meets their expectations can improve the financial outcomes of providers, hospitals, and health systems.

December 3 (Thursday) noon ET. “Unlocking the Power of Data: How HIEs Can Better Support Their Participants.” Sponsor: Intelligent Medical Objects. Presenters: Jaime Bland, DNP, RN, CEO, NEHII; Naresh Sundar Rajan, PhD, CTO, NEHII; Matt Cardwell, PhD, VP of client services, IMO; John Laursen, VP of business development, IMO. HIEs need accurate, actionable, and normalized EHR data to unlock its analytic power to support alerting, regulatory reporting, interoperability, and clinical surveillance. The presenters will describe how to interpret the descriptions and standard code sets that health system partners send, how leading HIEs use normalized data to improve their client and community offerings, and how a new normalization approach may provide operational savings.

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


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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In Arizona, the local paper looks at the impact COVID-19 has had on community health centers. Over 560 have closed nationwide, while those in Arizona have seen visits drop between 35% and 80%. A switch to telemedicine, plus federal funding, have helped many across the state to stay in business, with visits now back up to 70% to 80% of pre-COVID levels.


Announcements and Implementations

Rejuvenating Fertility Center implements Meditab Software’s FertilityEHR at its clinics in New York and Connecticut.

The Rhode Island Quality Institute leverages technology from Get Real Health to integrate a COVID-19 symptom-checker with its HIE, and provide underlying population health analytics.

Hackensack Radiology Group (NJ) adopts patient intake, engagement, and payment software from Royal Solutions Group.

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Upper East Side Cardiology in New York City launches a remote patient monitoring program using RPM devices and software from Claris Healthcare.


Thanksgiving Eve Musings

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The local paper recounts the journey Julianne Thomas, MD has taken to definitively determine the truth behind family rumors of ancestors aboard the Mayflower. After combing through family documents and doing some sleuthing in the archives of various historical societies and centers, Thomas was able to prove to the General Society of Mayflower Descendants that she can trace her ancestry back to 20 passengers – one of whom was one of just four women to survive their first year in the settlement. As the first female pediatrician in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and the first female president of the Iowa chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Thomas believes her ancestors’ pioneering spirit has helped her break through a number of barriers: “I’m a Puritan through and through and through. I think the crazy work schedule as a pediatrician, sometimes 60 hours a week, that hard work ethic — I think I’ve always had that work ethic and pioneering spirit.”

And speaking (indirectly) of Thanksgiving, Ancestry is offering free access to its StoryScout tool this holiday weekend. After entering in a grandparent’s name, the tool sifts through millions of records to serve up “stories” with no research required.

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Finally, for any bibliophiles looking for that perfect Thanksgiving centerpiece, check out “15 Gorgeous Fall Table Decorations Inspired by Books.”


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Recent Comments

  • : United is regularly referred to as "The Evil Empire" in the independent pediatric space (where I live). They are the mo...
  • Dave Shaver: Regarding forgiven medical debt: If amounts are large enough, forgiven debt must be reported to the IRS on your tax retu...
  • Jayne HIStalk MD: I don't know if I would want to relocate right now, but I'd definitely be open to a locum tenens job on Prince Edward Is...
  • Hugh Curmudgeon: Troll beater - I agree, the challenge of migrating to VBC is very hard, and in some cases, potentially not even wort...
  • Troll beater: That was a pretty tough comment Hugh. While I agree with some points made I think one thing is missing: the advisory ...