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News 11/11/19

November 11, 2019 News No Comments

Top News

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WeShareMD, a co-working medical office space company with several properties in California, prepares to open additional co-working spaces in Tampa, Orlando, and Jacksonville, FL. The company will soon rebrand to ShareMD as it looks for opportunities to expand into Atlanta; Washington, DC; Phoenix; Las Vegas; Houston; and several cities in North Carolina.

I’d love to hear from physicians who have tried out a medical office co-working arrangement. Email me with your experience and your thoughts on whether or not this will become a popular business model for practices just getting off the ground.


Webinars

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


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Los Angeles-based patient messaging and engagement company Curogram raises $1.8 million.

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Outpatient diagnostic imaging services provider RadNet invests in WhiteRabbit.ai and licenses its breast imaging technology after a pilot in two test markets helped to improve the annual screening compliance of mammography patients.


Announcements and Implementations

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Innovaccer integrates its InCare care coordination software with Microsoft Teams.

Veterans service organization AmVets will pilot Sync.MD’s PHR software to help select members better manage their health data.

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White Horse Recovery will implement The Echo Group’s behavioral health EchoVantage EHR.

To simplify MIPS reporting for its members, the American Podiatric Medical Association integrates NextGen’s Office EHR with its registry and MIPS app.


People

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Beth Anderson, chief administration officer of the City of Burlington, VT, will take on the role of president and CEO of Vermont Information Technology Leaders next month.


Government and Politics

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I missed this when it was first announced: Walmart joins the VA’s ATLAS (Accessing Telehealth through Local Area Stations) project by donating private rooms in five rural store locations for use as telemedicine access points. The project launched last month with 10 telemedicine pods installed at select VFW and American Legion posts. Walmart’s involvement was announced late last year. The VA will assess clinical quality, value, and patient experiences before expanding the project.


Telemedicine

A two-year study of 299 pediatric allergy patients finds their parents to be very receptive to virtual visits. Compared to their most recent in-person visit, 37% were more satisfied, 63% were just as satisfied, and none were less satisfied with the telemedicine appointment. Convenience was the biggest driver of patient satisfaction.

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Nonprofit behavioral health center United Services (CT) will use a $319,000 grant from the USDA in a telemedicine initiative that will connect its clinical centers, shelters, program locations, housing facilities, and community partners.

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Medical marijuana evaluation telemedicine company NuggMD offers veterans free evaluations on Veterans Day. The company expanded into the state, which apparently has the least restrictive MME policies in the country, last month.


Other

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Minnesota Public Radio profiles the efforts providers at the Alexandria Clinic went through to reduce their opioid prescriptions, including clinic-mandated checking of the state’s PDMP, creating a task force to help patients transition to lower dosages, and developing and disseminating “report cards” that show the number of prescriptions by doctor. Staff member Paul Kietzmann, MD says the clinic is also working to incorporate PDMP access directly into its EHR. “When you’re called out and you see what your numbers are and you do that comparison,” he says, “you start to wonder, ‘Are my prescribing habits different than everyone else?’ If I’m prescribing a lot more than others, gosh, if I’m harming somebody, I certainly want to know about that.”


Sponsor Updates

  • Healthwise and Intelligent Medical Objects will exhibit at NextGen UGM 2019 November 10-13 in Orlando.
  • EClinicalWorks will exhibit at the TAHP Texas Covered Health Care Conference + Expo November 11-12 in Austin.
  • Nordic will exhibit at the HIMSS Gulf Coast Chapters GC3 Conference November 13-15 in Biloxi, MS.

Blog Posts


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk.

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News 11/6/19

November 6, 2019 News 1 Comment

Top News

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CVS profits jump 13% in Q3, generating revenue of $1.5 billion – quite a different tune than competitor Walgreens is playing as it contemplates going private. CVS CEO Larry Merlo says the company is focused on expanding its Health Hub concept stores beyond the original three that opened in Houston in February. The stores devote more square footage to health and wellness services including expanded Minute Clinics, exercise space and programs, dieticians, respiratory specialists, and more health-focused products. CVS plans to open 1,500 hubs by the end of 2021.


Webinars

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


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Social services coordination software vendor Healthify raises $16 million in a Series B round led by SV Health Investors. The New York City-based company, a graduate of the Blueprint Health accelerator program, has raised $28 million since launching in 2013.


People

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Kura MD promotes Doug Sumaraga to CEO, and names Keith Woodard (World Wide Learn) VP of sales.


Announcements and Implementations

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Maryland Physicians Care selects Evolent Health’s Identifi software and operations services that include claims processing, care management, provider data management, utilization management, portals and analytics. MPC will use the tools to serve over 200,000 Medicaid beneficiaries enrolled in the state’s HealthChoice program.


Telemedicine

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Mental health and substance abuse EHR vendor ClinicTracker uses an integration API from TrueConf to add telemedicine capabilities to its patient portal.

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Kura MD makes its telemedicine technology for worker’s compensation cases commercially available. It was previously available only to employers. In an interesting turn of phrase, VP of Sales Keith Woodard says the company’s ultimate goal is to equip employers and providers with “click-and-mortar” clinics capable of treating injured workers on-site.


Research and Innovation

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Kidney care company Cricket Health develops a predictive model using administrative data that can help payers and providers identify patients at risk for chronic kidney disease without the need for data from an EHR. Once a CKD patient is identified, Cricket Health will work with primary care physicians to assist with personalized care.


Other

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Small effort, big impact: Beginning this month, Memorial Medial Center in Springfield, IL will send new parents and babies home with books by Eric Carle to encourage reading at an early age. Benefits include soothing babies, developing memory skills, boosting creative thinking, building vocabulary, and increasing attention span.

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This video is adorable: Man’s best friend might be just what you need to cure what ails you. Side effects may include talking in ridiculous dog voices, picking up poop, making funny faces, being jealous of your dog when it kisses other people, and excessive social media posts, among other amusing behaviors. Cat lovers can find details about a similar cure here.


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk.

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News 11/4/19

November 4, 2019 News No Comments

Top News

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CNBC’s Chrissy Farr pens a review of the actions that led up to Jonathan Bush’s ouster at Athenahealth, and what the former founder and CEO is up to now.

A few clips:

  • Towards the end of his time at the company, he says that board meetings became tense and unpleasant: “Suddenly they are meeting three times a week. It’s acrimonious and there’s fear about what’s being written down.”
  • Bush says he knows why he was targeted: “We had a flat stock for over three years. And Athena was a steal. It’s a great business to own.”
  • A 45-page critique of Bush’s leadership juxtaposed with falling stock prices provided Elliott Management with a “compelling argument about why Bush shouldn’t be running the company.”

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Bush now spends half his time as executive chairman of primary care startup Firefly Health, while the rest is spent with family and serving on the boards of AI-focused healthcare company Innovaccer and mental health therapy startup SonderMind. He has admitted that he’s pretty much unemployable as a public company CEO.


Webinars

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


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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On-demand medical office space company R2 Medical Group rebrands to Cowork Medical. The Maryland-based business opened in October 2018 to offer physicians the ability to rent practice space as needed via a membership model that includes staffing services. Cowork plans to soon offer practice management services that include EHR, billing, and marketing software.

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Tinder dating app founders Sean Rad and Justin Mateen make good on their promise to invest in Mosh, a men’s digital health and wellness startup akin to Roman, with a $1 million financing commitment.

Health IT reseller Das Health acquires competitor Automated Medical Systems. The acquisition will enable Das to add Henry Schein’s MicroMD to its line of EHRs.


Announcements and Implementations

Primary care-focused managed services organization Collaborative Health Systems selects population health management software from The Garage to help its customers transition to value-based care.

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Nextech Systems adds secure messaging and patient engagement capabilities from Klara to its EHR and practice management software for specialists.


Government and Politics

The Connecticut Department of Correction will move from paper records to GE Centricity.


Telemedicine

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Health IT reseller TSI Healthcare adds telemedicine technology from Otto Health to its line of products and services.


Research and Innovation

An analysis of data from 1,022 oncologists finds that 50% often discuss the costs of genetic testing with patients, 26% do so some of the time, and 23% never or rarely do. Oncologists with access to EHRs were twice as likely to bring up costs when discussing genetic testing options.


Sponsor Updates

  • Nordic will exhibit at the CHIME19 Fall CIO Forum through November 6 in Phoenix.
  • PerfectServe will exhibit at the Society of Hospital Medicine Leadership Academy November 4-7 in Nashville.
  • EClinicalWorks will exhibit at APHA 2019 through November 5 in Philadelphia.
  • Healthwise will exhibit at the Healthcare Internet Conference November 4-6 in Orlando.

Blog Posts


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk.

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

News 10/30/19

October 30, 2019 News 1 Comment

Top News

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Dialysis clinic operator Fresenius Medical Care North America announces GA of TheHub, a connected care platform offering patients, providers, and home therapy nurses access to real-time care coordination and remote monitoring tools.


Webinars

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


My Walmart Health Experience

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Imagine my surprise when I found out several months ago that Walmart would be opening its pilot Walmart Health clinic in my hometown of Dallas, GA. Of all the practices in all the towns in all the world … Professional curiosity prompted me to make the 12-minute drive to check it out before its official opening in late September. Necessity saw me take advantage of its services twice in nearly as many weeks, with both visits being on behalf of family members.

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Thanks to media coverage of the clinic, I was already aware of its flat-rate, up-front pricing – a definite bonus for patients like me who don’t have traditional insurance and thus always anticipate hidden charges and undisclosed fees any time I set foot in a healthcare facility.

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Setting up the appointments was easy. The Zotec-powered scheduling software made things quick and painless, even though I was registering a new patient. Appointment times were plentiful for our first visit. and I was thankful they were able to work us in on the same day for our second (even though no appointments were listed as available on the website).

Upon our first arrival, I noticed that the clinic’s reception area was bright, spacious, and very modular in design – most of the furniture and décor looked as if it had come from Ikea. The waiting area had a children’s nook, a self-serve beverage station, and several benches with built-in charging stations. What looked like a Silver Sneakers chair aerobics class was going on in an adjoining community room. Though there was a reception desk, I was greeted by an attendant, tablet in hand, who walked up to ask for ID, and then bade me have a seat. The only thing that made me aware I was at Walmart was the fact that the clinic’s “back door” opened into the main store, prompting some customers to wheel their shopping carts through the waiting area.

During the short wait to be seen during our second visit, the attendant told me the clinic uses three software systems – Athenahealth and Orchard for labs. She couldn’t remember the third, and so I can only speculate that it’s a separate system for optometry, behavioral health, or dental.

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After being called back, a medical assistant came in to the exam room to attend to vitals and patient history. I noticed on the way in that the clinic’s inner office looked much like any other practice in terms of layout. I did think it odd that the director’s office was made entirely of glass, affording no privacy or place for quiet contemplation.

The family physician who saw us was in fact the director, Anand Mehta, MD who came to the company after a stint with Wellstar – one of the largest health systems in the state. I appreciated his great bedside manner, and the fact that he asked me my thoughts about the clinic, many of which aligned with his reasons for taking the job – the ability to provide more affordable care to patients who would otherwise fall through the pricing/coverage cracks, and less bureaucracy for patients and providers alike.

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Checkout was easy, and the final cost was indeed the $40 listed on the website. The clinic texted me a post-appointment survey within several hours of my visit. I’ll certainly recommend the clinic to family and friends, especially those who aren’t attached to long-time providers.

Much has been made in the media of retail’s attempts to get into healthcare. Walmart certainly has the size and scale to make the attempt, but that doesn’t necessarily equate to success. Walgreens’ decision to close many of its clinics highlights the fact that not every retailer’s business model will work. From my experience, it seems like Walmart definitely has a shot.


Announcements and Implementations

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Charlotte Behavioral Health Care will implement the SmartCare EHR from Streamline Healthcare Solutions at its four locations in Punta Gorda, FL.

BetterPT and PromptEMR join forces to offer physical therapy clinics integrated software that includes EHR, RCM, practice management, and patient engagement capabilities.


People

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Vijay Kotte (DaVita Medical Group) joins R1 RCM as EVP of physician services.


Other

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This seems like a good add-on to social determinants of health software: Lyft launches the Jobs Access Program to give eligible users free rides to job interviews and workplaces during the first three weeks of employment. The company’s healthcare endeavors already include partnerships with health systems and Medicaid programs to offer patients rides to and from medical appointments, and integration with appointment-scheduling software from companies like Everseat.


Sponsor Updates

  • AdvancedMD will exhibit at the APTA PPS event October 30-November 2 in Orlando.

Blog Post


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk.

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

News 10/28/19

October 28, 2019 News No Comments

Top News

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Walgreens will close 150 of its company-managed clinics by the end of the year as part of previously announced cost-cutting efforts that it hopes will help shave off $1.8 billion in costs. Clinics run in partnership with local health systems will remain open. Cost-cutting measures also include layoffs at its corporate headquarters in Chicago, plus reducing and reorganizing its global digital and IT teams under a new CIO.

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The company seems to be having a hard time figuring out how to best meet the healthcare needs of its customers. It announced in April it would open primary care clinics managed by VillageMD at five of its Houston stores by the end of the year. It has dabbled in operating senior centers in partnership with Humana, urgent care centers with UnitedHealthcare, and dental clinics with Aspen Dental. A high-profile partnership with Microsoft announced at the beginning of this year promised to equip some of its retail locations with digital health corners.


HIStalk Practice Musings

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Fans of Hallmark Channel’s When Calls the Heart series may not realize it is based on a book of the same name written by Janette Oke in 1983. As an avowed #Heartie and book lover, I had to pick up the copy above when I saw it on sale for a whopping $1 at my church’s used book sale. It’s easy reading and tells quite a different tale than its television counterpart, which has become quite the G-rated soap opera. The book and its sequel, “When Comes the Spring,” helped get me through a weekend spent nursing a sick family member, which culminated in a trip to the local Walmart Health clinic. I’ll have more about that experience in my next post.

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And speaking of Hallmark Channel, its 24/7 Christmas movie blitz kicked off this past weekend, which also helped to keep the spirits of me and my patient up. I steadfastly refuse to put up any Christmas décor before Thanksgiving, but have decided it’s ok to sneak in a holiday-themed movie or two (or 20) before Black Friday. #Hearties will be happy to know that Hallmark Drama will air a Christmas cookie bake-off show on November 13 featuring cast members from When Calls the Heart.


Webinars

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


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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NextGen Healthcare reports Q2 2020 results: revenue up to $134.3 million versus $130 million a year ago; EPS remains static at $0.24. President and CEO Rusty Frantz attributes the growth in revenue to “strong bookings bolstered by cross-selling, RCM traction, multiple ‘all-in’ deals, and competitive displacements.”

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Membership-based One Medical (rumored to be prepping for an IPO) opens its third location in San Francisco, opting for retail space within the Westfield UTC mall, a trend in medical real estate that seems to be catching on, especially with the likes of local health systems looking to shuffle administrative staff off-site. Emory Healthcare, for example, will transition administrative departments to a shuttered Sears in Atlanta’s ailing Northlake Mall (where I, coincidentally, grew up shopping). Saratoga Hospital in New York has announced similar plans that include a $4 million clinic.

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Medicare-focused Iora Primary Care opens its second practice in Charlotte, NC. It now has nearly 50 locations across the country. The company, which has developed its own EHR and population health management software, has raised nearly $225 million since launching in 2011.


People

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Sunwave, a healthcare IT vendor focused on substance abuse treatment centers, names James Brooks (Promise Healthcare) COO.


Announcements and Implementations

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South Bend Clinic (IN) will expand its use of NextGen software to include mobile and population health management technologies, and RCM and managed cloud services.

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Physician’s Computer Company announces GA of e-prescribing for pediatricians.


Government and Politics

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At a meeting of the Royal College of General Practitioners in London, chairwoman and family practitioner Helen Stokes-Lampard tells Health Secretary Matt Hancock that it takes 17 minutes to log into her practice’s IT system, which still runs on Windows 7. Hancock, who elicited a round of boos from college members when he revealed he is registered with a virtual GP practice run by Babylon Health rather than one run by NHS, sympathetically admitted her practice’s state of affairs is outrageous: “The biggest frustration for me is just the low grade of most technology. We’ve got to solve it. We’ve got to make sure we have the investment but also the rules for things like interoperability…”

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CMS publishes the long-awaited application for the Primary Care First program. Dr. Jayne has included everything you might want to know about the program in her latest Curbside Consult. Applications are due January 22.


Telemedicine

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Addiction recovery-focused telemedicine vendor Workit Health will open a brick-and-mortar clinic in New Jersey.

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Catherine Lockwood, MD launches an online clinic for patients with Lyme disease.


Sponsor Updates

  • A UCLA study finds that use of Healthwise’s shared decision-making tools in primary care clinics increased the participation of prediabetic patients in diabetes prevention programs.
  • EClinicalWorks will exhibit at the 2019 AAP National Conference & Exhibition October 25-29 in New Orleans.

Blog Posts


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk.

Get HIStalk Practice updates.
Contact us online.
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Recent Comments

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  • Jess: +1 to Mr. Woodard for "click-and-mortar" - I'm certain we'll see that term catch fire...
  • Cynthia Porter: Jen, I loved the real experience great story of Walmart. I was at HLTH in Vegas ( just leaving) and the Walmart store...
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  • Joe Schneider, MD: Re: Georgia Dept. of Public Health will use Appriss Health’s PMP Gateway software to help prescribers connect to the sta...