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February 23, 2016 News No Comments

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CMS Acting Administrator Andy Slavitt calls for a simplification of MACRA during his remarks at AMA’s National Advocacy Conference, highlighting four principles that will guide the work of CMS in coming months:

  • Rewarding providers for outcomes rather than utilization alone.
  • Giving physicians the ability to customize goals, which will in turn cause vendors to become more user-centered.
  • Leveling the technology playing field to promote innovation by unlocking electronic health information through open APIs.
  • Prioritizing interoperability by implementing interoperability standards and focusing on real-world uses of technology.

HIStalk Practice Announcements and Requests


Don’t forget to check out HIStalk’s guide to HIMSS16. With 100-plus vendors, you’re bound to find an interesting product demo, networking event, or cool giveaway to pursue in Las Vegas.


February 24 (Wednesday) 1:00 ET. “Is Big Data a Big Deal … or Not?” Sponsored by Health Catalyst. Presenter: Dale Sanders, EVP of product development, Health Catalyst. Hadoop is the most powerful and popular technology platform for data analysis in the world, but healthcare adoption has been slow. This webinar will cover why healthcare leaders should care about Hadoop, why big data is a bigger deal outside of healthcare, whether we’re missing the IT boat yet again, and how the cloud reduces adoption barriers by commoditizing the skilled labor impact.

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February 25 (Thursday) 1:00 ET. “Clinical Analytics for Population Health: Straddling Two Worlds.” Sponsored by HIStalk. Presenters: Brian Murphy, lead analyst, Chilmark Research; Jody Ranck, senior analyst, Chilmark Research. The Chilmark Research clinical analytics team will be sharing some of their key findings from the recently released “2016 Clinical Analytics for Population Health Market Trends” report. This will be followed by a Q&A session to make sure everyone goes to HIMSS16 well informed.


“CDs are hard to kill.” Today’s LifeImage webinar on medical image sharing strategies featured some great insight for physician practices, who just can’t seem to let go of portable media. You can check out the Twitter recap here.

Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

ITelagen adds NextGen Electronic Data Interchange to its IT and EHR support and hosting services.


Physician practice technology firm MBS/Net merges with Medsphere Systems, which will add MBS/Net’s offerings to its product line for acute and inpatient behavioral health settings. MBS/Net will keep its name and operate as a division of Medsphere.

Announcements and Implementations


Aprima Medical Software adds a Spanish-language option to its patient portal and mobile app for physicians.


Chesapeake Regional Information System for Our Patients (CRISP) implements eHealth Connect Image Exchange from EHealth Technologies across the state of Maryland. The CRISP HIE also serves organizations in Washington, DC.


The EHR Association publishes the second version of its EHR Developer Code of Conduct. First created in 2013, the new code includes sections on the role of user-centered design, and usability best practices; as well as updated sections on patient engagement, privacy and security, and interoperability and data sharing.

ReelDx makes its Medvid.io video management platform commercially available.  The technology, which debuted in beta last year at HIMSS, enables developers to offer HIPAA-compliant video creation, storage, and sharing.

OptimizeRx integrates TrialCard’s prescription coupon and co-pay offerings into its EHR technology.



Grace’s Way Recovery (FL) joins The MAP Recovery Network, an alliance of addiction treatment providers that collects outcomes data on their discharged patients and reports the rates of treatment success. Membership will enable Grace’s Way to take advantage of several post-treatment resources, including telemedicine.

Government and Politics


OIG releases an 84-page case study of CMS management of Healthcare.gov, the result of a two-year inquiry into the much-maligned federal insurance exchange. The report, which includes interviews with 86 employees of HHS, plus thousands of emails, memos, and internal documents, concludes that mismanagement by federal health officials rather than the poor work of IT contractors was the cause of its disastrous roll out and subsequent rocky road.


ONC Director Steve Posnack introduces the ONC Tech Lab, which will work with ONC’s Health IT Certification Program to provide stakeholders with “common connection points to ONC’s standards and technology efforts.” The lab will focus on standards coordination, testing and utilities, pilots of standards, and innovation. It will also serve as the conduit for any remaining ONC-supported Standards & Interoperability Framework initiatives.



This is ridiculous: Oral-B debuts what could be the most complicated toothbrush on the planet. The “Genius” uses motion sensor technology, your smartphone, and an accompanying app to determine if you’re brushing all of your teeth properly. It even comes with a lighting system to help you get into the tooth-brushing mood.


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

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