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News 3/16/20

March 16, 2020 News No Comments

Top News

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

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

HIStalk Announcements and Requests

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

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


Webinars

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

March 26 (Thursday) 12:30 ET. “How to Use Automation to Reduce ‘My EHR is Slow’ Complaints.” Sponsor: Goliath Technologies. A common challenge is that a clinician is ready to work, but their technology is not. EHRs can be slow, logins not working, or printers and scanners are offline. Troubleshooting these end user tickets quickly is nearly impossible, especially in complex environments that might include Citrix or VMware Horizon. This webinar will present real-world examples of how leading health systems are using purpose-built technology with embedded automation and intelligence to proactively anticipate, troubleshoot, and prevent end user performance issue across their IT infrastructure and EHRs.

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


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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

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


People

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


Announcements and Implementations

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

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


Government and Politics

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


Telemedicine

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


Other

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

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

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


Sponsor Updates

Blog Posts


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

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News 3/11/20

March 11, 2020 News No Comments

Top News

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


HIStalk Practice Announcements and Requests

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


Webinars

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

March 26 (Thursday) 12:30 ET. “How to Use Automation to Reduce ‘My EHR is Slow’ Complaints.” Sponsor: Goliath Technologies. A common challenge is that a clinician is ready to work, but their technology is not. EHRs can be slow, logins not working, or printers and scanners are offline. Troubleshooting these end user tickets quickly is nearly impossible, especially in complex environments that might include Citrix or VMware Horizon. This webinar will present real-world examples of how leading health systems are using purpose-built technology with embedded automation and intelligence to proactively anticipate, troubleshoot, and prevent end user performance issue across their IT infrastructure and EHRs.

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


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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

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


People

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


Announcements and Implementations

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

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


Research and Innovation

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

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


Other

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

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


Sponsor Updates

Blog Posts


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk.

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

News 3/9/20

March 9, 2020 News No Comments

Top News

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HHS releases the ONC’s Cures Act Final Rule and publishes an accompanying website to offer overview information and additional resources for those that need a quick way to digest the 1,244-page document.

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In skimming the overview, these points stand out:

  • The final rule calls on healthcare stakeholders to develop certified APIs that will enable people to access and share data via their smartphones, without placing additional burdens on clinicians.
  • It requires that healthcare stakeholders make electronic health data available to patients at no cost.
  • Transparency is encouraged when it comes to patient safety issues within health IT, though emphasis is given to protecting IP.
  • Enforcement of the final rule is set to start in May, with certification conditions taking effect in six months.

Several industry associations have been quick to send out press releases acknowledging publication of the rules and their overall support of secure, easy access to patient data. MGMA has yet to publicize their reaction, while Epic and the AMA have issued statements saying they are in the process of reviewing the document..


HIStalk Practice Announcements and Requests

We’re back to regularly scheduled programming this week thanks to the cancellation of HIMSS. (I can finally get “Should I Stay or Should I Go?” out of my head.) While I’ll miss getting the chance to catch up with friends, walk the show floor, and soak up the Orlando sunshine, I won’t miss the low-level virus anxiety I’m sure I would have felt around 45,000 of my closest acquaintances.

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

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Special thanks go to Mr. H for his hour-by-hour coverage of conference planning news. His hard work resulted in one of HIStalk’s busiest days ever – a fact that, as @KTGossHealthIT tweeted, health IT marketers may want to take note of as they consider whatever’s left of their 2020 marketing budgets. I’m sure Lorre would love to hear from anyone interested in a sponsorship or webinar.


Webinars

March 26 (Thursday) 12:30 ET. “How to Use Automation to Reduce ‘My EHR is Slow’ Complaints.” Sponsor: Goliath Technologies. A common challenge is that a clinician is ready to work, but their technology is not. EHRs can be slow, logins not working, or printers and scanners are offline. Troubleshooting these end user tickets quickly is nearly impossible, especially in complex environments that might include Citrix or VMware Horizon. This webinar will present real-world examples of how leading health systems are using purpose-built technology with embedded automation and intelligence to proactively anticipate, troubleshoot, and prevent end user performance issue across their IT infrastructure and EHRs.

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


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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

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


People

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


Telemedicine

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Austin, TX-based Software Advice reports physician practice interest in telemedicine solutions nearly triple that of its typical, pre-coronavirus business – a figure it expects to increase as providers implement virtual-first screening protocols.


Research and Innovation

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Findings from this six-month Internet access study, which looked at the ways in which five rural counties in Michigan leverage digital health in some way, shape, or form, seem all the more relevant now that providers are giving more serious thought to implementing telemedicine:

  • Access to and use of broadband in rural homes is too low, creating a barrier to reliable telemedicine services.
  • Consumers are concerned about the cost of virtual visits and the safety of the health data.
  • Providers also cite cost as a big reason they do not leverage or expand their telemedicine offerings.
  • Interoperability of telemedicine services between providers is lacking.

Other

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#HIMSS21 keynote recommendation: Duke University announces that comedian, actor, and physician Ken Jeong will give its 2020 commencement address. After skipping a grade in high school, Jeong graduated from Duke in 1986 with a bachelor’s degree in zoology. He graduated from UNC School of Medicine in 1995 and went on to do his residency in New Orleans, fitting stand-up comedy into his 90-hour work weeks. He has kept his medical license up ever since.


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk.

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

News 3/4/20

March 4, 2020 News No Comments

Top News

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GoodRx apologizes and says it will do better after Consumer Reports finds that the prescription savings app has been sharing easily re-identifiable user data with 20 companies, including Facebook and Google.

The company claims it has never and will never sell the personal health data of its users. Moving forward, it will ramp up scrutiny of the information it does share with third parties; implement State of California-mandated privacy protections for all users, including the ability for users to delete their data from the app; and appoint a new VP of data privacy.


HIStalk Practice Announcements and Requests

I’ll be posting daily updates from HIMSS next week, so head over to the main site for coverage of health IT’s biggest (yet decidedly smaller) event of the year. HIStalk Practice posts will resume the following week.


Webinars

March 26 (Thursday) 12:30 ET. “How to Use Automation to Reduce ‘My EHR is Slow’ Complaints.” Sponsor: Goliath Technologies. A common challenge is that a clinician is ready to work, but their technology is not. EHRs can be slow, logins not working, or printers and scanners are offline. Troubleshooting these end user tickets quickly is nearly impossible, especially in complex environments that might include Citrix or VMware Horizon. This webinar will present real-world examples of how leading health systems are using purpose-built technology with embedded automation and intelligence to proactively anticipate, troubleshoot, and prevent end user performance issue across their IT infrastructure and EHRs.

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


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Mental health app developer Ginger acquires competitor LiveBetter’s technology. In an interesting twist, LiveBetter is converting to a nonprofit and, through an arrangement with Ginger, will offer its app for free to those in need.

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Anagram raises $9 million in a Series A funding round led by ManchesterStory. The company, formerly known as Patch, has developed billing software that better enables specialty practices to accept out-of-network payments from patients.


Announcements and Implementations

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MyMedLeads adds online appointment scheduling to its leads management software for aesthetic practices.

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Behavioral healthcare provider Archways (FL) selects EHR software from Streamline Healthcare Solutions.

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Medication management app vendor Illuminate Health announces GA of MedGuide, an app designed to help patients and their caregivers better understand how and when to take their prescriptions.

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Proliance Surgeons implements Andor Health’s mobile care coordination software.

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Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center (NY) will use CancerLinQ’s software, which pulls patient data from EHRs for real-time clinical decision support.


Telemedicine

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In Canada, CloudMD announces GA of telemedicine kiosks for pharmacies.

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Time and CNBC publish articles on the role telemedicine will play as COVID-19 continues to spread in the US. Both point out that virtual visits are an ideal way to keep the “worried well” and those with mild symptoms out of doctors’ offices and ERs. Barriers to more widespread use include licensing and reimbursement issues, though legislation is already being proposed that could loosen those impediments in the event of an infectious disease outbreak. COVID-19 might, as the Time article puts it, be the tipping point for telemedicine, in that utilization after the virus has waned will increase as more people become comfortable with it.


Other

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The local paper profiles the Medical Urgency Alliance, a group of physicians in Sacramento who have banded together on Chinese messaging app WeChat to offer Chinese residents information on the COVID-19 outbreak. The group’s newsletter, published through the app, helped Sacramento County’s first official COVID-19 patient find diagnosis and care. The physicians have also made themselves available by phone to anyone with coronavirus-related questions, free of charge. 

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Another local paper profiles HandsFree Health, a company founded by former Aetna executives that has developed a voice assistant dedicated solely to healthcare questions. WellBe offers users health and wellness information, medication reminders, appointment scheduling and reminding, and prescription refill ordering. It’s set to go on sale towards the end of April.


Sponsor Updates


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk.

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

News 3/2/20

March 2, 2020 News No Comments

Top News

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AxialHealthcare raises $15 million in a Series C funding round. The company offers analytics and new personalized medicine services focused on patients with substance use disorders.


Webinars

March 4 (Wednesday) 1 ET: “Tools for Success: How to Increase Clinician Satisfaction with HIT Solutions.” Sponsor: Intelligent Medical Objects. Presenter: Andrew Kanter, MD, MPH, FACMI, FAMIA, chief medical officer, IMO. Dr. Kanter will explore how striving to achieve the Quadruple Aim (by focusing on the provider experience) can improve clinician satisfaction and population health needs while also reducing per capita healthcare costs. Attendees will learn how to set providers up for success with new technology, the potential unforeseen consequences of purchasing without the clinician in mind, and the factors that are critically important to clinicians who are using new health information systems.

March 4 (Wednesday) 1 ET: “Healthcare Digital Marketing: Jump-Start Patient Discovery and Conversion.” Sponsor: Orbita. Presenters: Victoria Petrock, MBA, MLIS, principal analyst, EMarketer; Kristi Ebong, MBA, MPH, SVP of corporate strategy, Orbita. Does your digital front door capture consumers who search for health-related information one billion times each day? Do you have actionable steps to convert them into patients? Do you understand voice and chat virtual assistants? The presenters will explore the consumer challenges involved with finding, navigating, and receiving care, discuss why healthcare marketers need to embrace conversational voice and chatbot technologies, and describe how new technologies such as conversational micro-robots can improve engagement.

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


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Rectangle Health secures a patent for its Practice Management Bridge technology, which interfaces with practice management, EHR, and RCM systems to manage patient payments.

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App-based house call and virtual visit company Remedy expands into the Dallas-Forth Worth area. The Austin, TX-based company raised $10 million last summer.

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RxAdvantage President and former Apple CEO John Sculley believes Walmart Health will be the straw that finally breaks the camel’s back when it comes to disrupting healthcare’s byzantine pricing structure and shrinking access pipeline:

“We’re going to have a consumer revolution in retail for point of care. Why? Because if the Walmart tests are successful, and I suspect they will be, people will be able to go in and get these kinds of health services at a lower cost than if they had health insurance. Think about that. They’re still nearly 30 million people who don’t have health insurance. A lot of these people are going to go to a Walmart where you get these kinds of routine services. That’s going to be a dramatic change.”


People

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Primary care management company Tandigm Health promotes Frank Ingari to CEO, replacing Tony Coletta, MD who becomes executive chairman.


Announcements and Implementations

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VisitPay and Sphere announce GA of text-based payment capabilities for providers.

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Catholic Medical Partners will implement Innovaccer’s population health analytics, physician engagement, and clinical integration software across its physician network in Buffalo, NY.


Telemedicine

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Canadian primary care and software company Well Health Technologies launches VirtualClinic+, a nationwide telemedicine service that includes video and messaging-based visits. Well Health will integrate the capabilities with its OSCAR EHR.


Other

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The Vermont HIE announces that it will switch to a patient opt-out model in order to ensure that providers have easy access to patient records. Public health officials believe only 50% of Vermont patients have been asked to join the HIE since its launch in 2014.

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OpenBeds extends its reach to Indiana, offering access through its www.treatmentconnection.com portal to patients and caregivers looking for substance use disorder and mental health treatment facilities within the state. The company’s technology is powered by Appriss Health, which partners with states to integrate their prescription drug monitoring programs with provider EHRs.


Sponsor Updates

  • Healthwise will exhibit at the HealthTrio User Group Summit March 2-4 in Tucson.

Blog Posts


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Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk.

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