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News 5/13/19

May 13, 2019 News No Comments

Top News

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Private investment firm Littlejohn acquires a majority stake in point-of-care digital advertising company Outcome Health. The financial news marks a turning point for the Chicago-based vendor, which has kept a low profile since experiencing a wave of bad press related to shady sales tactics, investor lawsuits, voluntary employee buyouts, and layoffs.

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Company co-founders CEO Rishi Shah and President Shradha Agarwal stepped down from their management roles in January 2018 as part of a settlement with investors. Advertising executive Matt McNally joined the company as CEO six months later.


HIStalk Practice Musings

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I’m not the only one thinking about what to read over the long, hazy days of summer. Forbes contributing author Robert Pearl, MD has gotten a head start on his summer reading with the seemingly contrasting works of nonfiction pictured above. “Reading them back to back,” he explains, “ … reveals a shocking truth: Today’s medical practice bears a striking resemblance to the world of medicine two centuries ago.” Despite AI’s shiny promises of a doctor-less healthcare system with improved outcomes, Pearl believes today’s providers share at least three traits with their Victorian predecessors – clinicians still make needless mistakes; they still don’t wash their hands; and they still ignore how social factors impact health.

Given my love of history, I may add Lindsey Fitzharris’ account of Victorian medicine to my reading list. I doubt I’ll get around to Eric Topol’s third book, which Mr. H found to be a chore to read. (You can read his full review here.) When it comes to summer reading, I’m more likely to lean towards light, fluffy, and fun a la Mary Kay Andrews.

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Reader comments: Hope offers up “Jonathan Livingston Seagull” by Richard Bach as a great read if you’re looking to connect with nature. Published in 1970, she considers it to be “one of the most precious books I have ever read. It uses nature as an approach to encourage us to strive to soar higher and go farther. I highly recommend it!”

Do you have medically-focused works to recommend? Beach bag-worthy books? Please email me.


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.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

Business process outsourcing company MiraMed merges its Anesthesia Business Consultants subsidiary with anesthesia practice management and billing vendor Medac.


People

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Bill Conway (American Well) returns to Athenahealth as chief sales officer.

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Greenway Health names Geeta Nayyar, MD (Femwell Group Health) CMO.


Announcements and Implementations

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American Autism and Rehabilitation Center (AL) selects RCM software and services from Allscripts.

In Pennsylvania’s Delaware Valley, HealthShare Exchange becomes the data aggregator and portal provider for physicians participating in the Greater Philadelphia Comprehensive Primary Care Plus program.

DrChrono adds educational content from HealthFeed to the patient engagement capabilities of its EHR.


Government and Politics

ONC will host a Trusted Exchange Framework and Common Agreement (TEFCA) Q&A webinar on May 15. Comments on ONC’s second TEFCA draft are due June 17.


Research and Innovation

Heads up IT staffers: New data shows that sleeping just 16 minutes less disrupts cognitive skills the next work day, resulting in impaired decision making, intrusive thoughts, and higher-than-usual work-to-family conflict.


Other

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Arizona State University students work with the US Office of Naval Research to turn a shipping container into a solar-powered mobile medical practices. The mobile clinic is expected to serve 12,000 refugees in Uganda this summer.


Sponsor Updates

  • Nordic launches a video series titled “Consultants in Conference Rooms Getting Coffee.”
  • EClinicalWorks will exhibit at ASCA 2019 May 15-17 in Nashville.
  • Intelligent Medical Objects will exhibit at the Netsmart Connections 2019 User Group Meeting May 12-15 in Washington, DC.

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News 5/8/19

May 8, 2019 News No Comments

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Emocha Mobile Health relocates from its Johns Hopkins innovation hub offices in Baltimore to its own 5,000 square-foot space nearby. The company, which offers app-based technology to help patients adhere to treatment regimens, got its start in 2014 using software developed by Johns Hopkins University clinicians.


HIStalk Practice Musings

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The healing effects of nature have been well documented, and now, according to this article, some organizations are working with physicians to encourage them to prescribe outdoor activities to their patients as a preventative measure. Park Rx America, for example, is a nonprofit that connects physicians with 8,500 outdoor spaces in 34 states via their prescribing software. The idea, according to founder and pediatrician Robert Zarr, MD (a former National Park Service advisor) is to “think about nature not just as a place to recreate, but also as a social determinant of health.” Zarr was inspired to create the nonprofit after reading Richard Louv’s 2008 book, “Last Child in the Woods.”

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Immersing ourselves in nature for the benefit of mind, body, and soul seems a timely idea as spring gives way to summer in the coming months. Several readers have shared their beach read recommendations – easy-to-read (and sometimes light and frothy) books that fit nicely into a beach bag or picnic basket. Caroline recommends Maeve Haran’s “An Italian Holiday” (which puts me in mind of Peter Mayle’s “Provence” series), while a little birdie tweeted praises for “Dark of Night” by Alice Arenz, calling it a great must-read mystery for those looking for a quick read this summer.

How has a good book helped you connect with nature? Email me with your recommendations and/or forest bathing anecdotes.


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.


People

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Blockchain-based health record app vendor Patientory hires Vince McGee (Ingenious Med) as CTO.


Announcements and Implementations

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MedEvolve develops an RCM Scorecard to help practices uncover and implement revenue cycle process improvements.

The Connecticut Dept. of Social Services selects analytics software from HBI Solutions to help it better care for Medicaid patients.

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Patient engagement company PatientPoint develops digital educational content for neurologists.

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Ambulatory surgery center OrthoIllinois selects ASC management software from HSTpathways.

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The Murfreesboro Medical Clinic and SurgiCenter in Tennessee selects precision medicine and pharmacogenomics software from 2bPrecise.


Telemedicine

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Care Compass Network in New York selects telepsychiatry and teletherapy services from Mynd Analytics subsidiary Arcadian Telepsychiatry Services.


Research and Innovation

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New AMA data finds that there are now fewer physician practice owners than employees, and that physicians are shifting away from solo practices to larger medical group settings of 50-plus providers.


Other

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Comedians Stephen Colbert and Rachel Dratch reminisce on The Late Show about their “meet cute” moment at a pediatrician’s office in the mid-90s. Dratch, who was employed as a seasonal receptionist, didn’t remember Colbert, despite the fact that both were working at Second City during that time. Dratch joked that, “I guess I was too involved in my job to even notice that you came in. [L]ives [were] on the line, with me answering phones there.”


Sponsor Updates

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Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

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News 5/6/19

May 6, 2019 News No Comments

Top News

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EHR and practice management vendor CareCloud raises $33 million, bringing its total raised to over $150 million. Its last fundraising round, a Series C, came at the end of 2016.


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.


People

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DuPage Medical Group (IL) CEO Michael Page has died at age 46. He is survived by his wife and two children. Page joined the organization in 2010, overseeing its expansion to 100 locations while keeping it true to its independent roots.


Announcements and Implementations

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DirectTrust reports several Q1 accomplishments:

  • Participating organizations increased 49% to 167,000 year over year.
  • Direct addresses capable of sharing PHI increased 13% to 1.9 million.
  • Consumers using Direct messaging increased 19% to 265,000.
  • Messages sent increased by 49% to 54 million, bringing the total messages sent and received to 164 million.

EMDs adds Alpha II’s clinical claim and encounter scrubbing software to its EHR, practice management, and RCM technology.

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North Mississippi Health Services goes live on Epic across 85 facilities. The new system replaces Logician/Centricity software that had been in use for nearly 20 years.


Government and Politics

OCR fines Touchstone Medical Imaging in Franklin, TN $3 million for potential HIPAA violations related to a May 2014 incident in which one of its FTP servers was left unsecured, enabling uncontrolled access to PHI even after the server was taken offline. OCR later found that TMI did not investigate the incident in a timely manner, nor did it do so thoroughly. OCR also determined that TMI didn’t have business associate agreements in place with its vendors, including a third-party data center and IT support vendor.


Telemedicine

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MedBridge adds patient adherence tracking capabilities to its app for home-based physical therapy. The Seattle-based company also offers app-based education and training for physicians.


Other

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A receptionist at the Ravines Medical Family Practice and Walk In Clinic in Nova Scotia posts statistics to highlight the number of missed appointments and no-shows during the months of March and April. Patients and staff alike were quick to call out the data as representative of the region’s “healthcare crisis.” I can only assume that already overstretched staff are frustrated by no-shows, while patients who’ve been waiting months to see a physician are equally as outraged.

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Fast Company profiles CVS Health’s Health Hubs at select stores in Houston. First announced in February, the three hubs feature a store footprint with more space devoted to healthcare services like urgent care, nutritional counseling, exercise classes, a learning table with iPads, and a pharmacists panel for one-on-one support. Ultimately, says CVS Health Chief Transformation Officer Alan Lotvin, “We’re trying to build the first consumer-centric healthcare company. We want to use technologies to bring more services into people’s communities. And we define community as in your hands, in the store, and in your home.”


Sponsor Updates

  • EClinicalWorks will exhibit at the 2019 AAOE Annual Conference through May 7 in Nashville.

Blog Posts


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Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

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From the PRM Pro 5/6/19

Want to Get Patients in the Office? Talk to Them Outside of It
By Jim Higgins

Jim Higgins is the CEO and founder of Solutionreach in Lehi, UT.

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Do you ever wish you could just “swipe right” and magically find happy patients? If so, you’re not alone. Developing strong patient relationships is almost as hard as developing personal relationships. That’s because these are real relationships that need to be carefully nurtured and grown. Strong patient relationships have a huge impact on the success of your healthcare organization. And just like personal relationships, putting time and effort into your patient relationships is crucial to success.

Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for weeks, months, or even years (ouch!) to go by between patient visits. It is during these gaps that patients often decide to take their business elsewhere. In fact, the Patient-Provider Relationship Study found that one in three patients will change practices in the next couple of years. One way to help patients stay loyal to you is to reach out during that lull between visits. Email, phone, text message, social media, newsletters, patient portal, instant message …even old-school postcards. There are a ton of ways you can reach out to between visits. Of course, you want to use the most effective and time-efficient methods of communication.

What are those methods?

1. Personalized text messages — Texting has become pretty much ubiquitous. This means that it’s the perfect way to reach out to patients and feel confident that your message will be seen. Studies show that 98 percent of text messages are read. When using text for sending appointment reminders, set up messaging that feels more personal. Using dynamic appointment reminders can allow you to include information that is applicable to individual visits — reminders to fast before a patient arrives, for example. But think about using text messaging beyond just appointment reminders as well. Whether you send a birthday greeting, acknowledge a wedding anniversary, or congratulate a patient on their graduation, your kindness will go a long way toward cementing a real relationship with your existing patients.

2. Educational newsletters — In the Information Age, patients are out there searching for information on all sorts of health concerns every day. It’s no wonder that they appreciate it when they receive this information from their healthcare provider. Nearly all — 92 percent of patients — say that they feel more connected to a healthcare organization when they receive digital education. But, the hardest part about sending educational newsletters is consistency. To make it easy, put together a content library and deliver that information automatically over time. A tool that helps you create, schedule, and send your newsletters will make it even easier.

3. Social media — Americans spend enormous amounts of their time online connecting with other people. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, Tumblr, Reddit, LinkedIn, YouTube … the list of ways we connect goes on and on. Patients don’t just want to connect with friends and family. They also want to connect with their healthcare practices online. This means that social media is no longer optional. It’s where your patients are hanging out, just waiting to hear from you. Not only does social media have the potential to boost patient trust levels, but it can also do the opposite. When a patient seeks you out on social media and you are not available, the message they receive is that “We do not want to connect with you.” Set up a schedule to post regularly — at least two times per week — and stay abreast of what your patients are saying online.

4. Mobile payments—You may not have ever considered billing to be a way to build stronger relationship with your patients, but it is actually one of the things that impacts patients the most! By connecting with patients the way they prefer to address billing issues, you can make a potentially hot-button issue much smoother. What do they want? Well, they really want it to be a whole lot more like they find in the retail and service world. Unfortunately, 77 percent of providers still use paper-based patient billing methods … even though the majority of patients say they would prefer to receive their bill online. This is troubling, especially when you look at a recent study which found that a whopping two out of three patients say they would switch healthcare providers for a better payment experience. Make your billing experience one that is the most convenient and desirable for patients and you’ll see some of those frustrations disappear.

Staying in contact with patients when they are away from your practice can be the difference between having them show up in your practice at all! Fortunately, there are lots of ways you can connect with patients year-round. And through the use of technology and automation, creating regular patient touchpoints can be efficient and easy.


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

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News 5/1/19

May 1, 2019 News No Comments

Top News

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BetterPT raises $5 million to further scale its physical therapy marketplace, which enables patients to find and book appointments with providers in their area. It also offers PT clinics inbound patient relationship management capabilities.


HIStalk Practice Musings

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BuiltinChicago.org’s recent article on corporate culture at tech-heavy practice management company VillageMD got me thinking about the literary offerings found in the workplace. VillageMD’s Chicago headquarters features a library filled with books brought in by employees and from the company’s Speaker Series. Company rep Molly Lynch says, “We started the VillageMD Speaker Series and library to both feed employee curiosity and provide a unique model of development that exposes all of us to being thinkers and innovators on topics that are relevant to our business and personal lives. We know that taking breaks to read and learn allow us to expand our minds, and ultimately, to bring greater focus for the tasks at hand, whether they be professional or personal.

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“Some of the most popular titles in the library are from previous speaker events, such as ‘Joyful’ by Ingrid Fetell Lee, ‘The Ambition Decisions’ by Hana Schank and Elizabeth Wallace, and ‘Never Enough’ by Judy Grisel, Ph.D.”

Does your workplace or waiting room offer a lending library? Email me with your favorite personal and professional development book titles.


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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Pediatric eye-screening app startup GoCheckKids raises $6 million in a Series B round led by FCA Venture Partners. CEO Kevon Saber says the Nashville-based company will use the financing to enhance the app’s EHR integration, utilize Apple’s AI capabilities, and expand its sales team.


People

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The Michigan Academy of Family Physicians hires Karlene Ketola (Michigan Oral Health Coalition) as CEO.


Announcements and Implementations

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Catholic Charities of Baltimore selects the SmartCare EHR from Streamline Healthcare Solutions to better coordinate care among its behavioral health, residential treatment, and special education services.

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After announcing they would strategically partner last fall, New York-based HIEs HealtheConnections and HealthlinkNY decide to merge. Rob Hack will remain CEO of the newly combined HIE. HealthlinkNY Executive Director Staci Romeo will become HealtheConnections VP of HIE customer engagement services.


Telemedicine

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EWellness Healthcare will expand beyond its physical therapy telemedicine services with the launch later this year of digital speech therapy software.

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The Newport-Mesa Audiology Balance & Ear Institute  in California develops virtual reality technology that enables providers to offer home-based treatment for patients with dizziness, vertigo, and imbalance. Technology includes a VR goggle system, patient portal, and app.

Community health center staff in Connecticut lament the lack of reimbursement for e-consults – a state of affairs that forces them to dip into discretionary funds, thus limiting their use and bottlenecking the referral process for patients. State lawmakers are crafting legislation that would allocate funding for technology and pave the way for adequate reimbursements.


Other

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This article attempts to separate the hype from the capabilities of several buzzy startups in the healthcare space, including New York City-based women’s clinic Tia. Readers may recall that the clinic, which evolved from a digital health app, has faced scaling issues due to demand for its membership-based services. A few excerpts from the review:

  • The providers cast [my medical] notes onto a screen in the room, which was a fun way to visualize my health. I could also look over their shoulders to see their screens.
  • The [$150 annual fee] goes toward services like the messaging and booking platform, programming, and access to group wellness events.
  • I … had a hard time figuring out how to follow up with the healthcare provider who had done my exam, which will ideally be fixed when Tia’s care team messaging platform launches in a few weeks.

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The National Gallery in London loans a nearly $5 million self-portrait of Italian Renaissance painter Artemisia Gentileschi to a clinic in Yorkshire as part of an effort to show people that its art belongs to the nation. Officials believe that the artwork will help to distract and calm waiting patients, though the vigilant security guards that will accompany the painting may counter those effects.


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