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October 13, 2015 News No Comments

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Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush pushes for innovation in his healthcare plan, released on the eve of the first Democratic debate. The high-level outline to repeal the ACA does have a health IT angle, calling for private-sector leadership of healthcare IT adoption and better access to de-identified Medicare and Medicaid patient claims data. “Proven data analytics” also shows up in his call to personalize care solutions for high-risk individuals.

#HIStalking Tweet Chat – Patient Engagement Outside the Office


Loran Cook (@loranstefani) will host the next #HIStalking tweet chat on Thursday, October 15 at 1pm ET. Check out discussion topics here.

Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock


Xerox takes a $240 million loss in Q3 as a result of its decision not to finish up installation of Medicaid management IT systems in California and Montana. The company, which won a $565 million contract in April to handle Medicaid processing for the state of New York, attributes the decision to a change in strategy that it hopes will improve financial performance and reduce uncertainty in quarterly earnings.

Announcements and Implementations


Heart and Vascular Center of Lake County (IL) implements the Allscripts CCM program to help improve care for those patients who need temporary nursing home care.

Riverside Medical Associates (MI) receives its first reimbursement from ICD-10-coded claims using iPatientCare’s EHR and PM system.

Government and Politics

AAFP makes no bones about its lack of enthusiasm for ONC’s final interoperability roadmap. “We need more than a roadmap; we need action,” writes Board Chair Robert Wergin, MD in a letter to National Coordinator Karen DeSalvo, MD. “First, it is our belief that without significant changes in the way healthcare delivery is valued (e.g. paid) then it will not matter how many standards are created, how many implementation guides are written, how many controlled vocabularies are fortified, or how many reports are created; we will still struggle to achieve interoperability. Any roadmap for interoperability needs to ensure payment reform toward value based payment, in addition to the technical work.”

Research and Innovation


A cyber security survey of 398 healthcare professionals finds that an average of 78 percent are concerned most about losing patient data, as opposed to IP and financial data, in the event of a breach. Despite the high level of concern, 35 percent of technical respondents say their organization doesn’t have enough staff and security expertise to handle security – a statistic that unfortunately meshes well with the 34 percent of technical respondents who note their businesses perform vulnerability testing just once a year.


A survey of 300 PCPs finds that 70 percent of physicians say they don’t fully understand the relatively new CMS chronic care management billing code, and only 20 percent use it – statistics shored up by my conversations with MGMA attendees and exhibitors. One knowledgeable vendor explained that only the very early adopters are working with the code now, while everyone else is taking a wait-and-see approach before diving into uncharted waters.

A seven month-long Penn Medicine study of 1,000 ED patients finds a strong correlation between their social media posts and health, leading researchers to build a language databank in order to further explore the idea of tying social media content to health outcomes. “Finding ways to effectively harness and mine [this] data could prove to be a valuable source of information about how and why patients communicate about their health,” says Raina M. Merchant, MD the study’s senior author. “There is a rich potential to identify health trends both in the general public and at the individual level, create education campaigns and interventions, and much more. One of the unique aspects of this data is the ability to link social media data with validated information from a health record.”



Pittsburgh’s local NPR station profiles Matthew Keener, MD and the telepsychiatry company he founded specifically to serve young adults with mental health issues. Keener spent about a year at Doctor on Demand before launching Blackbird Health in April. He seems to have an amicable working relationship with his former employer, given that the Blackbird Health website directs visitors to DoctoronDemand.com for 24/7 assistance.


ACP outlines its views on the role of retail health clinics in a new policy position paper, stressing that they should be a backup rather than a relied-upon alternative to primary care visits. Among its six directives is the belief that retail clinics should take responsibility for communicating health data to a patient’s PCP, and that patients should initiate conversations with retail clinic physicians about what that data should be.


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

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