Recent Articles:

News 3/23/20

March 23, 2020 News No Comments

Top News

image

Officials in Seat Pleasant, MD announce a $200 million remote patient monitoring effort aimed at caring for those most at risk for COVID-19, especially senior citizens and those in underserved areas.

The city will give 300,000 citizens Internet-equipped tablets with access to geriatric-focused telemedicine services from EagleForce and patient portal capabilities, including prescription data. The tablets will also interface with the city’s Smart City Hub, automatically alerting health officials to chronic illness or virus symptoms and the need for additional resources.


HIStalk Practice Musings

image

I’ve come across several folks sharing virus-related and/or public-health-inspired reading recommendations. Health & Human Rights Strategies founder and CEO Nicole Fisher shares her stack above. Click here for her larger twit pic.

image

Need to reach for something that will take your mind off of things? Adventure Journal recommends these five books.

image

And finally, if you’re looking for something totally out of left field, check out the Taco Bell Quarterly. (Warning: The language can be a bit spicy.)


Webinars

March 25 (Wednesday) 1 ET: “Streamlining Your Surgical Workflows for Better Financial Outcomes.” Sponsor: Intelligent Medical Objects. Presenters: David Bocanegra, RN, nurse informaticist, IMO; Alex Dawson, product manager, IMO. Health systems that struggle with coordinating operating rooms and scheduling surgeries can increase their profitability with tools that allow for optimal reimbursement. This webinar will identify practices to optimize OR workflows and provider reimbursement, discuss how changes to perioperative management of procedures can support increased profitability, and explore factors that can impede perioperative workflow practices.

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

image

Aledade CEO and former ONC lead Farzad Mostashari, MD posts a tweet thread about the dire financial impact COVID-19 will have on independent practices. His main points:

  • Physicians are telling patients to stay away from practices, resulting in fewer visits and decreased payments, which then lead to layoffs.
  • Productivity is taking a nosedive in areas of outbreak as infected employees move to self-quarantine and practice owners worry about paying out sick leave and making payroll.
  • An emphasis on telemedicine visits has practices scrambling to implement new technology to conduct visits at lower reimbursement rates.

Announcements and Implementations

image

InteliChart adds EVisit’s telemedicine capabilities to its Healthy Outcomes patient engagement software, including a pre-configured COVID-19 workflow that features virtual screening, triage, and treatment available for free through July.


Government and Politics

image

CMS will grant exceptions for reporting requirements and data-submission extensions for healthcare providers participating in Medicare quality reporting programs.

image

The CDC incorporates Microsoft’s Healthcare Chat Bot into its COVID-19 online self-assessment tool.

Following its decision to expand access to telemedicine services for Medicare beneficiaries, CMS publishes a Telehealth Toolkit for General Practitioners.

As companies like Carbon Health, EverlyWell, and Nurx announce the release of testing kits for COVID-19, the FDA warns consumers that it has not approved any for at-home use.


Telemedicine

image

Health Recovery Solutions announces GA of a COVID-19 remote patient monitoring kit that includes software, tablet, several Bluetooth devices, and relevant clinical pathways.

image

Online care companies Hims and Hers launch online COVID-19 screening assessments.

image

Health officials in Alberta, Canada, institute new billing codes to ensure physicians are paid equally for virtual and face-to-face visits. The move comes after physicians voiced their frustration with Alberta’s launch of a free telemedicine app from Telus Health that they said undermined the virtual care services already in place at their practices, which were reimbursed at lower rates than in-clinic visits.


Other

image

HHS partners with Walmart to open drive-thru virus-testing locations at two of its stores in Chicago. The pilot phase will initially cater to healthcare workers and first responders, and process up to 150 tests per day.

Apple updates its Siri virtual assistant with information from the CDC and HHS to help users with questions about COVID-19.

image

Laura Jordhen, MD shares COVID-19 advice after working in Shanghai’s United Family Xincheng Hospital as chief of its family medicine department:

In Shanghai, we have enough PPE to meet our needs. My message to U.S. family physicians has been that you can’t combat this alone. It needs regional coordination. It needs planning for what if — for example — your rural care team is ill? If you’re in a physician shortage area and your physician has been exposed and is out for 14 days, what is your contingency plan? This crisis requires groups and health systems to come together. They can say, “We’re not seeing cough and cold patients at clinics A, B and C; they all go to clinic D because it has all the masks.” That’s how you can be good stewards of your resources. It’s a really different way of organizing care.

image

A thief poses as a delivery man to steal 29 COVID-19 testing kits from El Rio Health Center in Tucson, AZ.


Sponsor Updates

  • PerfectServe offers clients free COVID-19 automated patient and family outreach software and free services to implement best practices.

Blog Posts


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk.

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

News 3/18/20

March 18, 2020 News No Comments

Top News

image

RubiconMD raises $18 million in a Series C funding round led by Deerfield Management, bringing the company’s total raised to $40 million. RubiconMD specializes in e-consult software that enables primary care physicians to connect with specialists.


HIStalk Practice Musings

image

It had to be done: I picked up “Love in the Time of Cholera” from my home library after finishing Amy Tan’s “The Valley of Amazement” a few days ago. If you like multi-generational, historical fiction with sweeping romanticism and a dash of despair, this book is for you. (The movie is great, too.) I’ll also suggest Marquez’s Nobel Prize-winning “100 Years of Solitude,” a title that may soon reflect our isolation-induced states of mind.

While I have plenty of already-read titles to choose from at home, I will likely find myself soon wanting to read newer books. Please email me with your suggestions, plus advice on easy-to-use e-reader apps and digital libraries.

image

Today marks the second time in three days I’ve noticed my mail carrier not wearing gloves. My mail doesn’t seem to have a consistent delivery person, so I’m wondering if USPS leaves it up to the employee, or if they choose to disregard federally mandated safety directives. This ProPublica piece provides some insight, none reassuring.


Webinars

March 25 (Wednesday) 1 ET: “Streamlining Your Surgical Workflows for Better Financial Outcomes.” Sponsor: Intelligent Medical Objects. Presenters: David Bocanegra, RN, nurse informaticist, IMO; Alex Dawson, product manager, IMO. Health systems that struggle with coordinating operating rooms and scheduling surgeries can increase their profitability with tools that allow for optimal reimbursement. This webinar will identify practices to optimize OR workflows and provider reimbursement, discuss how changes to perioperative management of procedures can support increased profitability, and explore factors that can impede perioperative workflow practices.

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

image

Addiction treatment app and pharmacy delivery startup PursueCare announces an undisclosed amount of Series A financing.


Announcements and Implementations

PracticeSuite adds Ability Network’s payer claims management software to its health IT and RCM technologies for independent practices.

image

NextGen announces GA of its Patient Experience Platform, which includes patient access, engagement, and virtual visit capabilities.


People

image

Susan Thompson (Alight Solutions) joins Embold Health, an analytics vendor focused on physician performance, as SVP of Sales.


Government and Politics

image

ONC extends the comment period for its draft Federal Health IT Strategic Plan to April 3.

image

Given the susceptibility of Medicare-aged patients to COVID-19, the National Association of ACOs asks CMS to exclude spending on COVID-19 care from expenditures that count towards Medicare program thresholds. NAACO has also asked that deadlines be extended for submitting quality reporting data and applying to certain payment models.


Telemedicine

image

I find this hard to believe, given the test supply shortage I keep reading about in the news: CareClix partners with several community labs to make at-home COVID-19 testing kits available to its virtual care customers. Test results should be available within several days.

image

Nationwide urgent care chain American Family Care launches telemedicine services in its hometown of Birmingham, AL.

image

Ob/Gyn practice MomDoc (AZ) launches virtual care services with technology from EVisit.


Other

image

Laxmikant Bhoiwala, MD cites a dwindling supply of masks, gloves, and sanitizing products as the main reason he decided to move his East Greenbush, NY-based primary and urgent care practice online: “I was talking to my supplier, they ran out of supply completely. Without proper gear, there’s no sense in coming into close contact with patients. It’s in our best interests and for the patients too.”

image

Google has started inserting this COVID-19 alert at the top of search results for just about anything related to healthcare.

image

Still SMH.


Sponsor Updates

Blog Posts


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk.

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

News 3/16/20

March 16, 2020 News No Comments

Top News

image

Patient intake software vendor Phreesia publishes COVID-19 stats culled from customers that have used its patient screening tool on 1.5 million patients between February 10 and March 12:

  • Patients reporting exposure risk increased from 0.13% of patients screened in February to 0.36% in March.
  • Nearly 11% of all patients reported at least one COVID-19 symptom risk factor between March 2-12.
  • A third of those who self-reported exposure risk reported one or more symptoms.

HIStalk Announcements and Requests

Find yourself working from home today? Mr. H has collected advice from readers on working from home, specifically in the areas of your environment, software, setting up and maintaining a daily routine, and how to avoid feeling disconnected.

image

As you can tell from the picture above, I enjoy being surrounded by color; and having a subtly scented candle, comfy chair, and natural and soft lighting. The dry erase calendars are a fairly recent addition. I wish I had ordered them years ago, as I’m a highly visual person who enjoys writing down to-do lists. I do wish I had a door, but the house is quiet enough during the work day that I don’t find myself inundated by too many interruptions (that aren’t of my own choosing).


Webinars

March 25 (Wednesday) 1 ET: “Streamlining Your Surgical Workflows for Better Financial Outcomes.” Sponsor: Intelligent Medical Objects. Presenters: David Bocanegra, RN, nurse informaticist, IMO; Alex Dawson, product manager, IMO. Health systems that struggle with coordinating operating rooms and scheduling surgeries can increase their profitability with tools that allow for optimal reimbursement. This webinar will identify practices to optimize OR workflows and provider reimbursement, discuss how changes to perioperative management of procedures can support increased profitability, and explore factors that can impede perioperative workflow practices.

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

image

Online men’s health company Vault raises $30 million, joining the likes of Ro in giving men a more discrete way of getting treatment for conditions they categorize around the body, brain, and sex. Founded by a former Amazon exec, the company includes an initial in-person screening, and virtual and app-based treatments in its membership plans.

image

Alpharetta, GA-based managed services company Medicus IT acquires competitor Nexus Practice IT Services, which serves customers in the Midwest.


People

image

New York-based HIEs Healthix and NYCIG will merge, retaining the Healthix name. NYCIG Nick VanDuyne will become Healthix’s SVP and CIO.


Announcements and Implementations

image

ScriptDrop announces GA of direct-to-consumer online prescription deliveries. The company has formerly offered its services to patients through their local pharmacies.

To better identify Medicaid patients most at risk from COVID-19, Medical Home Network will implement predictive health risk screening software from ClosedLoop.ai across primary care practices within its ACO in Chicago.


Government and Politics

Allscripts announces its support for the recently released final interop rules from HHS, with CEO Paul Black pointing to the company’s focus on its “EHR-agnostic, open architecture and culture.”


Telemedicine

image

The Consumer Technology Association publishes “Guiding Principles on Virtual Care,” a set of voluntary recommendations for developers and providers using telemedicine and remote patient monitoring written with input from Doctor on Demand, 98point6, Livongo, and Validic, among several others.


Other

image

The American Association of Family Physicians offers a checklist to help prepare physician offices for COVID-19.

image

Hackers develop a fake website that replicates the COVID-19 outbreak tracking map developed by Johns Hopkins University in an effort to lure unsuspecting people to click links that release malware.

image

In Illinois, the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District recovers from a ransomware attack that knocked its computer systems offline several days ago, just as its COVID-19 messaging was ramping up.


Sponsor Updates

Blog Posts


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk.

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

News 3/11/20

March 11, 2020 News No Comments

Top News

image

A number of telemedicine companies, including online pharmacy Ro, begin offering free COVID-19 online screening assessments, followed if necessary by free video consults to assist at-risk patients with their next care steps. Ro will coordinate follow-up care for high-risk patients with local public health departments.


HIStalk Practice Announcements and Requests

I’d love to hear from readers working in the trenches as to how you are preparing for or caring for COVID-19 patients. Is technology playing a role? Has the virus heightened your practice’s interest in or utilization of telemedicine? How are supplies and staffing levels being handled? Please email me or comment below. I’m eager to share frontline stories that other provider readers can learn from. As I wait for comments to come in, be sure to keep up with Dr. Jayne’s posts, as I’m sure she’ll likely give us a bird’s eye view of her clinical care experience.


Webinars

March 25 (Wednesday) 1 ET: “Streamlining Your Surgical Workflows for Better Financial Outcomes.” Sponsor: Intelligent Medical Objects. Presenters: David Bocanegra, RN, nurse informaticist, IMO; Alex Dawson, product manager, IMO. Health systems that struggle with coordinating operating rooms and scheduling surgeries can increase their profitability with tools that allow for optimal reimbursement. This webinar will identify practices to optimize OR workflows and provider reimbursement, discuss how changes to perioperative management of procedures can support increased profitability, and explore factors that can impede perioperative workflow practices.

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

image

Employer-focused mental health services startup Lyra Health raises $75 million, bringing its total raised to $175 million since launching in 2015.

image

Digital diabetes prevention company Fruit Street Health raises $17 million.


People

image

CoherentRx’s Patient Education Genius names David Brooks (Wayne County Health) chief strategy officer.


Announcements and Implementations

image

Ashley Addiction Treatment Center (MD) implements Medsphere’s RCM Cloud software.

image

Health Gorilla announces GA of electronic ordering for COVID-19 tests from LabCorp and Quest Diagnostics through its lab network API. The service will be expanded to additional labs in the coming weeks.


Research and Innovation

image

An Athenahealth analysis of 160 million claims made across specialties finds online payments to be on the upswing, especially in pediatrics, which accounted for a third of Web-based payments. Though still the preferred method, use of desktop interfaces declined while use of mobile devices increased 63% between 2018 and 2019. Practices that increased portal adoption amongst their patients by at least 15% over a year-long period saw a median increase in payments of 5%.

image

A Software Advice survey of 1,000 patients finds that 64% prefer providers who offer AI-powered tools like chatbots. Awareness of what telemedicine is and whether or not it is offered has increased from 28% in 2017 to 87% today, leading to 84% of survey respondents saying that they prefer practices that offer virtual care.


Other

image

Inspired by practices in South Korea, Murphy Medical Associates announces that it will offer drive-thru testing for COVID-19 at all of its locations in Connecticut and New York. Patients can sign up online to schedule their test. Results will be delivered via telemedicine consult.

SMH: Providers are putting hand sanitizer and masks under lock and key after a rash of theft by patients. Family physician Brett Oliver, MD noticed bottles of sanitizer disappearing from his practice’s exam rooms: “I’ve been in medicine for two decades and I interact with a lot of sick people, but gosh I haven’t encountered the level of fear you’re seeing now.”


Sponsor Updates

Blog Posts


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk.

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

News 3/9/20

March 9, 2020 News No Comments

Top News

image

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.

image

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.

image

image

image

image

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

image

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

image

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

image

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


People

image image image

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


Telemedicine

image

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

image

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

image

#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.


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk.

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

Founding Sponsor


  

Platinum Sponsors


  

  

Gold Sponsors


 

Subscribe to Updates




Search All HIStalk Sites


Loading

Recent Comments

  • 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 ...
  • Hugh Curmudgeon: So...the EMR companies are going to put out press releases when they assemble their existing staff to do their jobs? I d...
  • Brian Foster: RE: "Doctor on Demand makes its service available to Medicare Part B beneficiaries, and will waive their copays during t...
  • It's All Good: RE: Telemedicine company Medici raises $24 million in a Series B round. It will be very interesting to see how qui...