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News 4/29/19

April 29, 2019 News No Comments

Top News

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Medical billing vendor Doctors’ Management Service notifies nearly 40 practices of a GandCrab ransomware attack discovered last Christmas Eve that likely started nearly a year before, and that may have exposed patient PHI. The breach was made through a Remote Desktop Protocol attack on an individual endpoint, according to the company, which rebuilt its files from backups rather than pay the ransom.

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Cybersecurity experts have deemed GandCrab the most popular form of ransomware for 2018 thanks to its proliferation and the time hackers have put into updating it, much to the chagrin of its victims.


HIStalk Practice Musings

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I had the opportunity to see the hilarious comedienne Kerri Pomarolli last week. My ears perked up when she started talking about books. HIStalk Practice readers may be interested in her mom’s account of working as a Red Cross worker on the USS Repose during the Vietnam War. An excerpt from “The Seas of War” by Barbara Pomarolli:

I felt so depressed about saying goodbye to so many patients who had become my friends. During the weeks they were on the ship, many had poured out their hearts and told me stories of combat, suffering, fear, and courage. I had so much respect for the Marine Corp after getting to know these men. I hated to think of them going back to the DMZ where they would be mortared every night and many would be wounded again or killed.

There was always such a void when they left because I had seen them on ship every day, talked with, and played games with many. I got frequent letters from former patients thanking me and telling me that I reminded them of a sister, daughter, wife, or sweetheart. It was hard not to be depressed, but we had to move on because new patients were arriving daily.  I always felt like I was needed and appreciated and felt guilty about complaining about little inconveniences.

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Reader comments: Jared saw my request for military fiction recommendations and wrote with high praise for “The Killer Angels” by Michael Shaara, adding that “it’s a superb retelling of the Battle of Gettysburg.” Marshall recommends the Pulitzer Prize-winning “Andersonville” by MacKinley Kantor, and “April Morning” by Howard Fast.

Consistently warmer weather will soon be here to stay for most parts of the country. Email me with your favorite beach reads.


Webinars

None scheduled soon. Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre for information.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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DataLink Software rebrands and renames its CareBook solution Evoke360.

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Bloom Medical will open Femme, a female-focused urgent care clinic, later this year in Thousand Oaks, CA. If Google serves me right, Bloom Medical is best known for being a medical spa in Whittier, CA, which should give it a leg up on female-focused clinics like Tia, which has had scaling issues due to a lack of direct clinical management experience.


People

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OptimizeRx hires Stephen Silvestro (Wolters Kluwer) to the new position of chief commercial officer.

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Healthcare Access San Antonio promotes Phil Beckett to CEO.


Announcements and Implementations

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Progress House (IN) selects WeConnect Health Management’s addiction recovery app to help its patients transition out of residency and into outpatient treatment.

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Simplify ASC merges its business, clinical, and reporting software for ambulatory surgery centers into one system.

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Alabama Orthopedic Clinic in Mobile selects Encoda’s BackOffice and Maestro Analytics to improve its revenue cycle management.

ZenCharts develops a CRM for substance use and mental health providers.


Government and Politics

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City of Worcester officials launch the Stigma Free Worcester App to give residents access to resources related to substance abuse recovery, mental health support, and housing. The city’s Department of Health and Human Services and Technical Services worked with students at the local polytechnic institute to develop the app.


Sponsor Updates

  • Nordic will host receptions during Epic XGM on April 30 and May 7 in Madison, WI.
  • EClinicalWorks will exhibit at the 2019 IPHCA Annual Conference April 29-30 in Indianapolis.
  • Nordic unveils a new logo.
  • PerfectServe achieves certified integration with the Spectralink Versity smartphone.
  • AdvancedMD publishes a new e-guide, “Pediatrics: Specialized Practice Tools to Boost Your Business Results.”

Blog Posts


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

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News 4/24/19

April 24, 2019 News No Comments

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Community healthcare EHR vendor CPSI will acquire Get Real Health, which specializes in patient engagement solutions for a variety of healthcare settings including physician practices. CPSI will move its acute and ambulatory customers to Get Real Health’s InstantPHR patient portal and CHBase health data repository – a transition it expects will save the company $1 million.


HIStalk Practice Musings

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Yesterday was World Book Day in the US, an annual event that’s been going on for 22 years to encourage literacy and publishing in 100 countries. Amazon is still celebrating by offering nine Kindle books from around the world for free. Check out the titles here.

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Reader comments: Anna confesses that her “somewhat guilty pleasure read is Shelby Foote’s three volume history of the Civil War. Being from the south, and having had multiple ancestors fight on the Confederate side, it’s been kind of a personal reckoning with history. I started last summer and am almost finished. Foote’s novelistic approach to history writing is gripping. Lots to learn about leadership. If we want to find about the roots of our politically divisive culture today, look no further than the lead-up to the Civil War.” Funnily enough, Anna’s note arrived the very same day I toured a local Civil War battlefield with a school group. Given that I’m a fan of Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier and Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell, I’m definitely adding these to my summer reading list. Books like these remind me of the nights spent with my family watching Ken Burns’ weighty PBS documentary about the war, in which Foote made an appearance. The theme song, “Ashokan Farewell” (which I eventually learned to play on the violin), still haunts me.

Have a military title to recommend, or World Book Day anecdote to share? Email me.


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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Denver-based SonderMind raises $3 million in a Series A round led by Diōko Ventures with participation from other new investors that include Jonathan Bush. The startup has developed EHR and practice management software for behavioral healthcare providers, plus an online marketplace that helps connect patients with behavioral healthcare services.


Announcements and Implementations

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BetterPT integrates Clinicient’s online scheduling capabilities with its online marketplace for physical therapy patients and providers.

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Modernizing Medicine adds enhanced allergy documentation capabilities to its EMA for otolaryngology.


Government and Politics

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The State of New Jersey will allocate $6 million to fund the roll out of new EHRs for community-based behavioral health providers, the majority of which have reported needing new or upgraded equipment. The New Jersey Innovation Institute will oversee the project, which will also include connecting providers to the New Jersey Health Information Network.


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

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News 4/22/19

April 22, 2019 News No Comments

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Women’s healthcare company Kindbody raises $15 million in a Series A round that brings its total funding to $22 million. Launched last August, the company has focused on offering fertility and wellness services through mobile and brick-and-mortar clinics in California and New York, as well as virtual therapy and wellness sessions. It recently started marketing directly to employers, and plans to soon offer mental health, nutrition, and gynecological services.


HIStalk Practice Musings

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CNBC’s report last week on the not-so-new disease that may eventually wipe out bananas reminded me of “The Fish That Ate the Whale: The Life and Times of America’s Banana King.” Published in 2013, it’s an engrossing recount of how bananas became a household item in the early 1900s thanks to the entrepreneurial hustling of an emigrant named Samuel Zemurray. While not quite as intense as Upton Sinclair’s “The Jungle,” it weaves a similar story that may give you pause the next time you’re slicing bananas for your morning cereal or passing by a Banana Republic.

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Spring has sprung in my neck of the woods, which means festival season is in full swing. I was happy to come across a booth solely devoted to buttons, with a solid and surprisingly varied collection of fiction-related flair. It really doesn’t take much to make me happy.

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Reader comments: Nancy recommends “Discovery of Witches,” a trilogy by Deborah Harkness that recounts the trials and tribulations of a witch and vampire who fall in love, and decide to time travel. As I told her, I enjoyed the first two in the series, but found that by the third, the time travel twist had gotten hard to follow. Plus, the heroine had started to get on my nerves. I in turn recommended the “Outlander” series by Diana Gabaldon, which will satisfy anyone who likes time travel intertwined with historical fiction heavy with military action, pirates, courtly intrigue, and romance. Both have been made into television series.

Have a book recommendation involving food, well-done time travel plots, or non-exasperating heroines? Email me.


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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Community Health Center opens a 31,000 square-foot Knowledge and Technology Center in its hometown of Middletown, CT. The facility houses the nonprofit’s administrative staff, including 70 IT employees. The new three-story building is adjacent to CHC’s primary care building, which also offers workforce development, telehealth, and educational programs.

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Inc. profiles San Francisco-based startup Karuna Health, which has developed patient engagement software that also acts as an EHR-friendly “shared inbox” for a patient’s providers. The company, which has raised $1.3 million so far, is focused initially on serving Medicaid populations. It has contracted with Coordinated Behavioral Care, which serves 50 health and human services agencies in New York City.


Government and Politics

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The Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation develops five new primary care payment models that focus on value-based care. Technology isn’t mentioned in the brief summary of each, but I’m betting practices that have already fine-tuned reporting capabilities within their EHRs will find participation easier than those that haven’t. Those that haven’t may not have the time or resources to look into participation requirements. Hopefully Dr. Jayne will weigh in later this week with her take on the feasibility of these models for independent and small practices.


Telemedicine

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An Englishman credits an NHS telemedicine app with saving his life while traveling abroad. After experiencing electric shock-like sensations down his arm and face for the second time in two days, Adrian Lancaster decided to video chat with a GP from NHS partner Livi while sitting in the Vienna airport. The physician told Lancaster to immediately have airport personnel call for an ambulance, as he was likely experiencing a brain bleed. Lancaster ended up spending a week in the hospital and traveling back to the UK by ambulance. “It doesn’t bear thinking about what would’ve happened if I’d have got on that flight,” he says. “The fact I was able to speak with an NHS doctor face-to-face within minutes, when I wasn’t even in the ­country, helped me realise how serious my condition was. I’ve no doubt the app saved my life.”


Other

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After two auditions in Savannah, GA, medical practice credentialing staffer Mary Dean wins over $50,000 on Wheel of Fortune in Los Angeles. Aside from her winnings, which she says she’ll use to replace her ailing Dodge Avenger, Dean enjoyed the behind-the-scenes fun: “You get to know the other contestants and you root for them, it was nice to get your hair and makeup done. Every commercial break they come out and redo your makeup. You feel like a star.”

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Steps to Recovery (PA) secures millions of billing-related documents connected to 145,000 patients after cybersecurity expert Justin Paine discovers them publicly exposed on the Internet. Paine believes the recovery center has yet to notify patients.

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ActivYouth Orthopaedics (NJ) notifies patients of a January ransomware attach that may have resulted in hackers accessing and using PHI for criminal gain. Practice owner Ronald Snyder, MD was able to restore files from backups.


Sponsor Updates

  • EClinicalWorks will exhibit at the NAACOS Spring 2019 Conference April 24-26 in Baltimore.

Blog Posts


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk.

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Contact us online.
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News 4/17/19

April 17, 2019 News No Comments

Top News

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Ro raises $85 million in a Series B round that comes just seven months after a similarly-sized investment from FirstMark Capital. It has raised over $200 million since opening for business two years ago. Investors now give it an on-paper value of $500 million. It added menopause-related health and wellness goods to its line of telemedicine-prescribed products that include erectile dysfunction and smoking cessation.


HIStalk Practice Musings

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Like others around the world, I was shocked to hear of the Notre Dame fire. The French landmark epitomized the Parisian experience for me when I visited nearly 20 years ago. Hearing of its near demise made me think of my favorite Ken Follett novel, “The Pillars of the Earth,” which follows a family of church builders over several generations and across several countries during the 12th and 13th centuries. If you’re a Romanesque or Gothic architectural buff, do yourself a favor and read his entire Kingsbridge series. I’d love to hear about other architecture-inspired books. Email me with your suggestions.

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In keeping an eye on the #ATA19 tweet stream, I came across the debut of “HealthConsuming: From Health Consumer to Health Citizen” by Jane Sarasohn-Kahn. She strives to show “how bearing the growing burden of healthcare costs, coupled with opportunities to engage in health in their local communities and leveraging digital health technology, can and should give consumers the power to demand more from providers and products while protecting privacy rights.” In slightly related commentary, thanks to Mike, who alerted me to physician office telemedicine offerings (and a handy infographic on the history of telemedicine) at the show from EVisit.

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Reader comments: Gary agrees with my observation that books are typically better than their big-screen versions, with one notable exception: “’To Kill A Mockingbird.’ The book was good. The movie was fantastic. Gregory Peck’s performance was outstanding. The movie still regularly makes the top 10 of the best movies ever made lists.” Beth recommends “Where the Crawdads Sing,” which describes the predatory adventures of a young girl who lives alone in the swamps of North Carolina.


Webinars

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


Announcements and Implementations

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HSTpathways releases an updated version of its EChart EHR for ambulatory surgery centers.

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Tennessee Orthopaedic Alliance selects care coordination software from MyHealthDirect, and will integrate it with its NextGen practice management system across 21 locations.


People

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Stephen Saville (CareerStaff Unlimited) joins Cross Country Healthcare as EVP of operations.

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Nurx names Varsha Rao (Clover Health) CEO.


Telemedicine

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Toronto-based OnCall Health raises $1.5 million in seed funding, which it will use to expand in Canada and the US.


Government and Politics

A federal opioid strike force uses claims data to find and identify 60 doctors, pharmacists, and other medical professionals who have allegedly been involved with pushing opioids and healthcare fraud. All told, the perpetrators wrote 350,000 prescriptions for controlled substances and were involved in more than 32 million pills.


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk.

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

News 4/15/19

April 15, 2019 News No Comments

Top News

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Online vision test company Visibly takes the State of Indiana to court in an effort to get a law overturned that prohibits the use of such services. The telemedicine vendor contends the state is trying to protect the interests of brick-and-mortar eye care providers.

The company, formerly known as Opternative, has faced its share of problems including pushback from providers and FDA scrutiny likely brought about at the urging of a letter from the American Optometric Association, which asked that the company be investigated. The FDA followed through, telling Visibly it was marketing its screening app without approval as a new medical device. Founder and optometrist Steven Lee, OD has since worked closely with the agency to make sure its services are in line with regulatory requirements.


HIStalk Practice Musings

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I feel as if I’m the only person who didn’t watch the final season premiere of Game of Thrones last night. I got one or two episodes in to the first season and had to bail, as my eyeballs were burning from the sheer scandal of it all. I did, however, make it through the entire series of books, which are just as scandalous, though not so graphic. (When, oh when will the last one be released!?) I’ve always been of the opinion that books are better than their TV or movie versions, and that the book should always be read before it’s seen on the screen. My opinion is thus far valid, as I can’t recall a movie that was better than its literary counterpart.

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Last week’s book update elicited several reader recommendations, which I’ll sprinkle throughout upcoming posts. Dan shares my angst when it comes to loving a book (or screen version of a book) that you’re sure others would judge you for: “The North Water” is the most savage book I have ever read. It is haunting. While not a pleasurable read, I tore through that book fast needing to know what would happen next. Very dark subject matter, and a very intense writing style. I never knew literature could be written like this. Perhaps comparable to the movie ‘The Revenant,’ but uses words to establish the vileness. I threw the book away when I finished to prevent me from passing it on to friends or family, worried they may judge me for recommending something so dark. You’ve been warned.”

Dan’s review seems on par with others who’ve read the New York Times bestseller; one of which describes the book as “subtle as a harpoon in the head, but totally gripping.”

I’d love to hear about your favorite (or least favorite) book-to-screen experience, or guilty reading pleasure. Email me with all the juicy details.


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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Medusind Solutions secures a strategic investment from H.I.G. Capital. The Miami-based company offers the PracticeGenie EHR and MedClarity practice management solution, plus RCM software and services.


People

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HIPAA One names Greg Fenton (KLAS) as VP of strategic partnerships.


Announcements and Implementations

The AMA and student-run biotech incubator Sling Health develop the Clinical Problem Database to give AMA members the opportunity to share their experiences with health IT and clinical services. The incubator will use the Insights gleaned from the database to develop new software and products.


Telemedicine

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Concierge house-call company 2UMedical (GA) opts for telemedicine services from ExamMed.

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Eyenuk develops the EyeScreen virtual referral service to give primary and diabetes care providers easy access to AI-powered diabetic retinopathy screening from eye care specialists.

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The American Telemedicine Association’s annual conference gets going today in New Orleans. Based on the tweet stream and exhibitor list, the event seems to cater mainly to enterprise environments. Email me if you’re at the show and come across anything that ambulatory folks might like.


Other

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Nearly 30 Harbin Clinic physicians and employees, including IT staff, will showcase their arts and crafts next month as part of the Healthy Expressions exhibit in the River Arts District in Rome, GA. The clinic opened its own gallery in the Makervillage space at the beginning of this year. “Creativity is important for an integrative approach to improving health,” says exhibitor, poet, and Radiation Oncologist Matthew Mumber, MD. “The same can be said for healthcare providers; being able to tap into our creativity has positive impacts on the care we provide our patients.”


Sponsor Updates

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