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News 6/3/19

June 3, 2019 News No Comments

Top News

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MGMA’s latest look at provider compensation finds that modest increases have occurred across primary and specialty care, with PCPs seeing a 3.4% rise and specialty physicians seeing a 4.4% increase between 2017 and 2018. Total compensation across provider titles has increased between 7% and 11% over the last five years, a trend that will no doubt continue as practices seek to attract shrinking pools of talent with attractive compensation packages. The Midwest and South offered the most lucrative compensation rates, while Eastern regions offered the lowest.


Webinars

None scheduled in the coming weeks. Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre for information.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Cardiologist Joseph Galichia, MD and his medical group will pay $5.8 million to settle claims that he violated the False Claims Act by improperly billing the federal government for unnecessary surgical procedures. This is Galichia’s third offense. He settled similar allegations in 2000 and 2009 to the tune of $2.8 million.


People

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ClearData names Suhas Kelkar (BMC) chief product officer and Thomas McKeever (Accela) general counsel, chief legal officer.


Announcements and Implementations

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Naugatuck Valley Radiology Associates (CT) implements Royal Solutions Group’s appointment scheduling and check-in, patient communication, and payment software.

Aledade enlists the California Medical Association to help it enroll physician practices in its first ACOs in the state. Sacramento-based CalHIPSO has agreed to provide interested practices with technology integration support.


Telemedicine

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App-based house call company Heal adds virtual consult services.


Other

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Health Quest Systems notifies patients of a 2018 data breach that may have compromised PHI. The breach occurred through phishing attacks at affiliates Health Quest Medical Practice, Health Quest Urgent Care, and Hudson Valley Newborn Physician Services. HQS has since implemented multifactor authentication and provided additional cybersecurity training to its employees.

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University of North Carolina innovation scholar Aneesh Agarwal creates the Clinic Locator app to help consumers find free or affordable health clinics in their area. The app currently has 1,000 clinics listed across the country.


Sponsor Updates

  • EClinicalWorks will exhibit at the SCPHA Association Annual Clinical Network Retreat June 7-9 in Myrtle Beach, SC.
  • Nordic releases a new podcast, “How to build an effective hub-and-spoke relationship.”

Blog Posts


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk.

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News 5/29/19

May 29, 2019 News No Comments

Top News

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Paradise Medical Group reopens in Paradise, CA with financial support from Blue Shield of California after its main clinic was destroyed during last year’s disastrous Camp Fire. The fire destroyed 18,000 buildings – including most of the homes of PMG staff – and left 85 people dead.

PMG President Richard Thorp, MD says, “In the wake of the Camp Fire, we were engulfed in how to reconnect phones and medical records, answer phones and renew destroyed medical supplies and medications when we quickly realized that we had the possibility of going bankrupt as we continued to provide care for our community. In an answer to prayer, Blue Shield of California with the encouragement of the California Medical Association extended gifts of financial and operational support that pulled PMG back from the brink of collapse.”

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The practice, which had been operating out of temporary facilities in nearby Chico, has also leveraged Teladoc’s telemedicine software to begin offering virtual consults.


Reader Comments

From Joe MD: “Re: Georgia Dept. of Public Health will use Appriss Health’s PMP Gateway software to help prescribers connect to the state’s PDMP via their EHRs … grant from the CDC. Linking individual EMRs to the maybe 50 State databases is a crazy approach where there are viable HIEs, such as in parts of Texas and in Indianapolis (among others). A far better approach would be to use the HIE as a gateway to Appriss so that when the clinician connects to the HIE, they get as much of the patient’s information as possible and they don’t have to integrate multiple sources.

Being financially driven, Appriss Health priced its offering to one of our HIEs in Texas in a manner to ensure that the HIE cannot afford it. From one of our local HIEs: ‘Appriss wanted $50 per prescriber per year. The problem is they wanted that from us for all the prescribers in the HIE, whether we got paid or not.’

We are using CDC and other grants to create a monopoly for a private company and, possibly worse, we are creating an unsustainable infrastructure that undermines HIEs. While the intent (opioid control) is noble, it’s still a monopoly and we all are poorer if more HIEs fail because they are not bypassed. My cynical side says that Appriss is thinking that once the pipes are built to each EMR they can be the HIE of the future.”


HIStalk Practice Musings

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I wrapped up Elizabeth Kostova’s “The Swan Thieves” over the long weekend. It was a compelling read – easy to pick up and hard to put down. The story of a psychiatrist treating a famous painter obsessed with an early French Impressionist certainly appealed to my love for art history. It’s the third title I’ve read by Kostova, whose most famous work is “The Historian,” which is another engrossing book that combines story lines with history and a touch of the unbelievable.

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Bill Gates has more summer reading suggestions, including “Nine Pints” by Rose George. He describes it as “filled with super-interesting facts that will leave you with a new appreciation for blood.”

I’m always looking for reading recommendations to pass along. Email me with your suggestions.


Webinars

None scheduled in the coming weeks. Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre for information.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Spokane, WA-based startup Medcurity raises $700,000 to brings its TurboTax-like software for HIPAA compliance to market. The company, which launched last December, is initially targeting smaller clinics and practices, and business associates – entities that typically don’t have their own compliance departments.

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NextGen Healthcare CEO Rusty Frantz says the company’s Q4 results exceeded revenue expectations thanks to growth in bookings and deal size, and the launch of integrated ambulatory care software. Frantz remains confident in the company’s ability to deliver 20% operating margin in the next three years.

From the earnings call:

  • Revenue came in at $134 million, slightly under last year’s Q4.
  • Frantz highlighted several KLAS recognitions including accolades for practice management, product functionality, and improved interoperability.
  • The company’s new integrated ambulatory care software has given it a strong foothold in the replacement market.
  • It expects to save $3 million by migrating client hosting services to AWS.
  • Value-based care transitions and increased regulatory “intensity” have prompted the company to put R&D expansion plans for its Bangalore office in India in place.
  • The company will also invest in expanding its sales and marketing team.

Announcements and Implementations

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In a savvy marketing move, Headspace announces it will offer AMA members free access to its meditation and mindfulness app. The offer comes on the heels of research showing that physician burnout costs the US healthcare system nearly $5 billion a year, and that WHO now recognizes burnout as a legitimate diagnosis.

Care Compass Network in New York adopts integrated analytics and population health management software from SpectraMedix and GSI Health.


Government

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Independent practices in North Carolina face a June 1 deadline to connect to the state’s HIE or risk losing the ability to submit bills to state-funded payment programs like Medicaid. Technology costs are seen as the number-one barrier to connecting to NC Health Connex, particularly for small practices and those run by physicians nearing retirement. Legislation has been introduced to extend the deadline by another three years.


Telemedicine

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App-based therapy company Talkspace raises $50 million in a Series D round led by Revolution Growth.


Other

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CNet reviews Forward Health’s tech-heavy, membership-based primary care clinic, highlighting the minimalist décor, 3D body scanner, and Apple Health-like app that pings employees when patient readings soar to unacceptable levels. Most interesting to me, however, was the reviewer’s love of the clinic’s speech-to-text capabilities, which then showed up on a giant touchscreen, giving both physician and patient the luxury of eye-to-eye contact during their hour-long appointment. “I’ve had patients come in for appointments and cry because it’s such a powerful experience for them,” says Medical Lead Nate Favini, MD. “Until this point, they’ve probably hardly made eye contact with their doctor, and now they’re seeing all of this information intuitively show up in front of them.”

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Magnolia Pediatrics (RI) hosts an art show at the local library, giving patients and their siblings the opportunity to show off their creative skills. Owner Linda DelVecchio-Gilbert, NP ended up collecting and submitting 83 pieces, which have all won rave reviews from local critics.


Sponsor Updates

  • Aprima will exhibit at the NJMGMA Practice Management Conference June 5-7 in Atlantic City.

Blog Posts


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk.

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

News 5/22/19

May 22, 2019 News 1 Comment

Top News

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A state-of-industry survey of 800 independent practices finds that:

  • Top challenges to growth include declining reimbursements, the increasing financial responsibility of patients, and physician burnout – 75% say care delivery is being negatively impacted by the pull of administrative tasks.
  • 70% of respondents believe integrated technology is essential to improving efficiency and profitability.
  • 60% expect their businesses to grow, while nearly 30% predict their operations will remain static.
  • Tracking regulatory compliance is a challenge for practices of any age, though newer, possibly tech-savvier, businesses have reported slightly higher levels of confidence in their ability to do so.
  • 17% will implement an EHR for the first time over the next year, while 25% are looking to switch vendors. The numbers are similar for purchasing or replacing practice management and billing software within the next 12 months.
  • Slightly higher percentages were recorded for implementing or switching patient engagement technologies.

HIStalk Practice Musings

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Congrats to Nancy, winner of a copy of “The Cunning Man” thanks to her quick recommendation of “The House of God,” a favorite healthcare-related read. Nancy says the book features “classic, true tales from the ED.” Fun fact: Samuel Shem is actually the pseudonym of psychiatrist Stephen Berman, MD who based the novel on his internship experience at BIDMC.

I’m still looking for graduation-related book recommendations. Email me with your favorite titles – given or received – that have helped you mark educational milestones.


Webinars

May 30 (Thursday) 2:00 ET. “ONC Data Blocking Proposed Rule: What Health Systems Need to Know.” Sponsor: Philips PHM. Presenter: Greg Fulton, industry and public policy lead, Philips. Proposed data-blocking regulations could specify fines, disincentives, and de-certification of providers who don’t provide an API for patients to extract all of their data. This webinar will describe who is deploying APIs, the scope of data and third-party apps that can be used, the seven costs that do not count as a data-blocking exception, and the health system protections that don’t involve using a vendor. It will also provide examples of data blocking and further exceptions.

Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre for information.


People

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Erin Page (WellCare Health Plans) joins VillageMD as president of its Texas market.


Announcements and Implementations

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Central Ohio Primary Care will implement document management and communications software and services from Updox at 70 sites.

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The Orthopaedic Surgery Center in Baltimore selects practice management and e-charting software from HSTpathways.


Government and Politics

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The Georgia Dept. of Public Health will use Appriss Health’s PMP Gateway software to help prescribers connect to the state’s PDMP via their EHRs. The department is using an opioid abuse-prevention grant from the CDC to fund adoption of the technology.


Other

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While space flight physicals aren’t about about to overtake sports physicals in popularity anytime soon, this article looks at the thus-far brief history of commercial space flight and the evolving medical requisites of passengers who, more often than not, won’t have NASA-approved physiques. Poor vision and lung trouble have ailed some of the seven passengers that have indulged in space tourism thus far. Researchers believe the majority of space tourists will experience suborbital flights, and will thus potentially face health issues related to anxiety, space motion sickness, loud noises, small spaces, and g-forces.

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The local paper profiles the efforts of Community Health and Wellness Partners to bring fresh produce to its diabetic patients. The Ohio-based practice has partnered with nonprofit Wholesome Wave and the Ohio Dept. of Health to offer 130 patients vouchers for fruit and vegetables that can be used at local markets. The pilot program, which runs through November, is part of the FQHC’s efforts to encourage lifestyle changes over medication.


Sponsor Updates

Blog Posts


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk.

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

News 5/20/19

May 20, 2019 News No Comments

Top News

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Cerner launches Anuva Health, a chain of healthcare centers shared between several employers that offers in-person and virtual care to employees. Several Anuva Health facilities have opened in Chester County, PA to serve Cerner and other local employees. Each will use Cerner’s Millenium EHR and HealtheIntent analytics. Anuva, by the way, seems to have several origins, including a Hindu version meaning “knowledge” and a Russian one meaning “new beginnings.”


HIStalk Practice Musings

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My request last week for medically-inspired book recommendations prompted Chip of pediatric EHR vendor PCC to share his affinity for “The Cunning Man” by Robertson Davies. He describes it as a “nice, tight mystery that serves as a treatise on primary care.” Chip has offered to gift a paper or digital copy to another HIStalk Practice reader. I’ll arrange to have the book sent to the first reader who shares their favorite healthcare-related book with me  – novel, nonfiction, or even biography.

Given that graduation season is upon us, I’d also love to hear about books received or given as graduation gifts. What title had the biggest impact as you were making your way into the real world? Is there a go-to title that you give to every new graduate? Email me with your anecdotes, and I’ll promise to hum “Pomp and Circumstance” as I read them.


Webinars

May 21 (Tuesday) 2:00 ET. “Cloud-Based Data Management: Solving Healthcare’s Provider Data Challenge.” Sponsor: Information Builders. Presenters: Jeremy Kahle, manager of planning and business development, St. Luke’s University Health Network; Shawn Sutherland, patient and member outcomes, Information Builders; Bill Kotraba, VP of healthcare solutions and strategies, Information Builders. Inaccurate provider data negatively impacts revenue cycle, care coordination, customer experience, and keeping information synchronized across systems and functions. SLUHN will describe how it created a single version of provider data from 17 sources, followed by a demonstration of how that data can be used in reports and geospatial analysis. Learn how Omni-HealthData Provider Master Edition provides rapid ROI in overcoming healthcare organization provider data issues.

May 30 (Thursday) 2:00 ET. “ONC Data Blocking Proposed Rule: What Health Systems Need to Know.” Sponsor: Philips PHM. Presenter: Greg Fulton, industry and public policy lead, Philips. Proposed data-blocking regulations could specify fines, disincentives, and de-certification of providers who don’t provide an API for patients to extract all of their data. This webinar will describe who is deploying APIs, the scope of data and third-party apps that can be used, the seven costs that do not count as a data-blocking exception, and the health system protections that don’t involve using a vendor. It will also provide examples of data blocking and further exceptions.

Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre for information.


Announcements and Implementations

Modernizing Medicine adds Change Healthcare’s exchange orders and results technology to its EHR for gastroenterologists, giving providers the ability to electronically submit lab orders and receive results.

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DrChrono adds speech-to-text charting capabilities to its tablet EHR.

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HealthHIE Nevada will use RosettaHealth’s HealthBus software to help participating providers more easily register patients and share their medical records.


Government and Politics

The State of Nebraska will implement NIC’s RxGov PDMP per a five-year contract that will be overseen by the Nebraska Health Information Initiative and the Dept. of Health and Human Services.


Telemedicine

Tele-physical therapy company EWellness Healthcare will launch a digital occupational physical therapy solution by the end of the year.


Research and Innovation

Researchers at Cooper University Health Care and Cooper Medical School of Rowan University in New Jersey develop a tool to help providers measure patient assessment of caregiver compassion. They believe the tool may be used in conjunction with other patient satisfaction surveys. The “five-item compassion measure” assesses how well physicians take an interest in the patient as a whole person, care about a patient’s emotional and psychological well being, care about their personal needs, are able to gain their trust, and show them care and compassion. Book-lovers will be interested to know that lead researcher Stephen Trzeciak, MD is the author of “Compassionomics: The Revolutionary Scientific Evidence that Caring Makes a Difference.”


Other

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To help prevent provider burnout (and perhaps attract new hires), PriMed Physicians in Ohio enlists concierge company Best Upon Request to offer errand-running services to employees at its 13 locations.


Sponsor Updates

  • EClinicalWorks will exhibit at DDW 2019 through May 21 in San Diego.
  • Healthwise will exhibit at Cerner NARUG May 20-22 in Richmond, VA.

Blog Posts


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk.

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

News 5/15/19

May 15, 2019 News No Comments

Top News

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DocuTap founder and former CEO Eric McDonald tells the local news in Sioux Falls, SD that the company’s merger with Practice Velocity and subsequent name change to Experity is bittersweet for him, personally, but a boon for employees and the 4,000 urgent care centers the new company will now serve. “We’ve had our best financial quarters two quarters back to back,” he says. “Our employee retention rates, our client retention rates in sales numbers have all been the best the company has ever seen. So I’m leaving on a high” McDonald will become an Experity board member, while Practice Velocity CEO David Stern will lead Experity.


Webinars

May 21 (Tuesday) 2:00 ET. “Cloud-Based Data Management: Solving Healthcare’s Provider Data Challenge.” Sponsor: Information Builders. Presenters: Jeremy Kahle, manager of planning and business development, St. Luke’s University Health Network; Shawn Sutherland, patient and member outcomes, Information Builders; Bill Kotraba, VP of healthcare solutions and strategies, Information Builders. Inaccurate provider data negatively impacts revenue cycle, care coordination, customer experience, and keeping information synchronized across systems and functions. SLUHN will describe how it created a single version of provider data from 17 sources, followed by a demonstration of how that data can be used in reports and geospatial analysis. Learn how Omni-HealthData Provider Master Edition provides rapid ROI in overcoming healthcare organization provider data issues.

May 30 (Thursday) 2:00 ET. “ONC Data Blocking Proposed Rule: What Health Systems Need to Know.” Sponsor: Philips PHM. Presenter: Greg Fulton, industry and public policy lead, Philips. Proposed data-blocking regulations could specify fines, disincentives, and de-certification of providers who don’t provide an API for patients to extract all of their data. This webinar will describe who is deploying APIs, the scope of data and third-party apps that can be used, the seven costs that do not count as a data-blocking exception, and the health system protections that don’t involve using a vendor. It will also provide examples of data blocking and further exceptions.

Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre for information.


People

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Zack Klint (EviCore) joins I2I Population Health as VP of client success.


Announcements and Implementations

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Great Lakes Medical Imaging will implement NextGate’s enterprise master patient index software across its five locations in Western New York.

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With help from six state-based medical societies, The Physician’s Foundation establishes a $500,000 interoperability fund to help practices connect to their local HIEs.


Government and Politics

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Delaware’s public health division launches a community health portal that includes reports on substance abuse and chronic disease using data on drug overdoses, air quality, asthma rates, and drinking water. Officials plan to add data on maternal and child health, infectious diseases, healthy lifestyles, education, health services utilization, among others, in the coming months.


Telemedicine

AristaMD adds wound and ostomy specialists from virtual wound care management company Corstrata to its panel of experts available for e-consults.


Other

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Researchers find that people who are exposed to coffee “cues” exhibit more alertness and are better able to focus on the task at hand, all without taking a sip. Seems like a coffee-scented candle or even just staring at your favorite mug might be the perfect antidote to those suffering from the 16-minute sleep deprivation I mentioned in my last post, or those who indulge in more than six caffeinated cups, the imbibing of which can lead to heart damage.


Sponsor Updates

  • AdvancedMD will exhibit at the America Psychiatric Association event May 18-22 in San Francisco.

Blog Posts


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk.

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

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Recent Comments

  • Joe Schneider, MD: Re: Georgia Dept. of Public Health will use Appriss Health’s PMP Gateway software to help prescribers connect to the sta...
  • JT: RE: This experience has made me reflect on the difference in patient engagement techniques between traditional healthcar...
  • Charlie Harris: Re: Rucker blog post. I'm not as smart as Washington insiders -- did ONC Rucker's blog actually say anything??? Maybe ON...
  • Dr. Dalal: I have used Soapware for 17 years. Soapware has shut down. I took many interviews and decided to use Elation. I am ex...
  • Chip Hart: There are a lot of fascinating take-aways from the time motion study, but they almost buried the lede: "Our findings ...