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July 15, 2015 News 1 Comment

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Former CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner will join AHIP as president and CEO later this summer. She’ll assume the duties of Karen Ignagni, who helped the trade group become a driving force behind passage of the ACA – legislation that, under Tavenner’s watch, prompted the creation and much-maligned roll out of Healthcare.gov.


July 22 (Wednesday) 1:00 ET. “Achieve Your Quality Objectives Before 2018.” Sponsored by CitiusTech. Presenters: Jeffrey Springer, VP of product management, CitiusTech; Dennis Swarup, VP of corporate development, CitiusTech. The presenters will address best practices for building and managing CQMs and reports, especially as their complexity increases over time. They will also cover quality improvement initiatives that can help healthcare systems simplify their journey to value-based care. The webinar will conclude with an overview of how CitiusTech’s hosted BI-Clinical analytics platform, which supports over 600 regulatory and disease-specific CQMs, supports clients in their CQM strategies.

July 29 (Wednesday) 11:30 ET. “Earning Medicare’s New Chronic Care Management Payments: Five Steps to Take Now.” Sponsored by West Healthcare Practice. Presenters: Robert J. Dudzinski, PharmD, EVP, West Healthcare Practice; Colin Roberts, senior director of healthcare product integration, West Healthcare Practice. Medicare’s new monthly payments for Chronic Care Management (CCM) can improve not only patient outcomes and satisfaction, but provider financial viability and competitiveness as well. Attendees will learn how to estimate their potential CCM revenue, how to use technology and clinical resources to scale up CCM to reach more patients, and how to start delivering CCM benefits to patients and providers by taking five specific steps. Don’t be caught on the sidelines as others put their CCM programs in place.

July 30 (Thursday) 3:00 ET. “De-Silo Your Disparate IT Systems Around the Patient with VNA.” Sponsored by Lexmark. Presenters: Steven W. Campbell, manager of diagnostic applications and interfaces, Piedmont Healthcare; Larry Sitka, VNA evangelist, Lexmark. The entire patient record, including both DICOM and non-DICOM data, should be available at the point of need. Disparate, aging systems that hide data inside departmental silos won’t cut it, nor will IT systems that can’t integrate medical images meaningfully. Learn how Piedmont Healthcare used a vendor-neutral archive to quickly and easily migrate its images and refocus its systems around its patients.

Previous webinars are on the YouTube channel. Contact Lorre for webinar services including discounts for signing up by July 31.

Tweet Chat

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Don’t miss the next #HIStalking tweet chat on July 16 at 1pm ET. Dave Chase (@chasedave) and Leonard Kish (@leonardkish), co-authors of “95 Theses for a New Health Ecosystem,” will host. Check out discussion topics here.

Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock


Twenty federal agents raid the Jackson, MI offices of Anesthesia Business Consultants on suspicion of healthcare and Medicare fraud. The self-proclaimed “largest physician billing and practice management company specializing exclusively in the practice of anesthesia and pain management” recently made news for the launch of its Anesthesia Valet quality reporting and analysis tool.



Portland, OR-based Zoom+ announces the addition of video visits to its service line, which also includes health insurance plans. The company, formerly known as ZoomCare, is no doubt looking to cash in on Oregon’s recently passed legislation requiring payers to cover all telemedicine consultations.

Research and Innovation

An AMGA survey of 251 medical groups finds that 75 percent of physician specialties saw an average 2.8-percent compensation increase last year. Primary care specialists – a group that saw an increase of 3.8 percent in 2013 – brought down the 2014 average with a compensation decrease of 0.3 percent. As I alluded to in yesterday’s post, primary care docs are likely to see their salaries increase, albeit slowly, as they become scarce, yet increasingly valuable, commodities.


New York University researchers invite fitness enthusiasts to share data from their RunKeeper apps as part of the Keeping Pace study, which looks to better understand how urban environments contribute to exercise routines over time. The de-identified data transfer is made possible via ResearchKit and the Open Humans Project, a website where people can store various health data collected by assorted trackers.

Announcements and Implementations


PerfectServe announces that its unified clinical communications and collaboration system reaches 50,000 physician users, a 51 percent increase in 18 months.


The Urgent Care Integrated Network selects Forerun as its vendor of choice for urgent care documentation. The Waltham, MA-based company offers the cloud-based UrgiChart HER for urgent care centers and EDs. 


John Rudd, MD an internist at Cedar Grove Medical Associates (TN), launches GetRx, an app that transfers prescription information to pharmacies, eyeglass makers, and other parties. A patient version  offering prescription refill and pick-up location requests is also available.

Theranos partners with Medicaid managed care organization AmeriHealth Caritas to offer members in underserved areas low-cost, less-invasive diagnostic tests. Theranos received FDA approval of its hardware, software, and testing platform earlier this month. (Forbes contributor Dan Munro offers a compelling, inside look at the consumer side of the Theranos process here.)



Jacob Reider, MD (Kyron) joins Uniphy Health’s Board of Advisors.



UPMC Health Plan alerts 722 of its members to a June data breach stemming from a data file that was sent to an incorrect email address rather than the physician’s office it was intended for. PHI included member names and ID numbers, birth dates, phone numbers, primary care office names, and types of insurance plans.

The local paper highlights the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center’s plans to use a $3 million HHS grant to help 50 primary care practices across the state with on-site coaching and EHR support. The initiative and grant are part of AHRQ’s EvidenceNOW project announced in May, which seeks to help primary care practices reduce patient risk for cardiovascular disease.


The Commonwealth Fund offers an interactive snapshot of Medicare quality and spending for physician practices, hospitals, nursing homes, and home health based on geographic area. Vermont seems to set a high bar for physicians when compared to New York and New Jersey.


I do love a good shoe story: Nike bases its latest shoe design on the idea of Florida teen and cerebral palsy patient Matthew Walzer, who posted an open letter to the company online suggesting it design a shoe that wouldn’t require him to have someone else tie his laces. The design’s zippered, wrap-around entry-and-closure system is a first for the company, which wanted to create a shoe for people like Walzer with disabilities that impair their hands.

Sponsor Updates

  • ADP Advanced MD offers “New ICD-10 transition period, a little breathing room.”
  • Versus Tech client EMMC Cancer Care wins an ACCC Innovator Award for its use of RTLS technology.

Sponsors on the 2015 HCI 100

GE Healthcare
Greenway Health
Leidos Health


JenniferMr. H, Lorre, Dr. Jayne, Dr. Gregg, Lt. Dan

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