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September 12, 2016 News 3 Comments

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Medical associations quickly weigh in on last week’s “pick your pace” MACRA options from CMS. CAPG President and CEO Donald Crane is “pleased that the agency has taken into account the feedback of physician groups who are ready to go with MACRA implementation in January. CAPG has been calling on CMS to allow physician practices to begin MACRA performance in January 2017 as originally scheduled.” AMA President Andy Gurman, MD applauds the flexibility, adding that it will “help give physicians a fair shot in the first year of MACRA implementation.”


September 27 (Tuesday) 1:00 ET. “Stanson Clinical Decision Support: Survival Kit for Evolving Payment Models and Other Regulatory Requirements.” Sponsored by Stanson Health. Presenters: Anne Wellington, chief product officer, Stanson Health; Scott Weingarten, MD, MPH, SVP and chief clinical transformation officer, Cedars-Sinai. Reimbursement models are rapidly changing, and as a result, health systems need to influence physicians to align with health system strategy. In this webinar, we will discuss how Stanson’s Clinical Decision Support can run in the background of every patient visit to help physicians execute with MACRA, CJR, et al.

View previous webinars on our HIStalk webinars YouTube channel.

HIStalk Practice Musings


Hilton has a smart marketing gimmick going with free WiFi for members of its Honors programs. I was quick to serve up my contact details to save $14.95 for daily Internet connection. The membership program is my first foray into such things, and I wonder if I’ll end up really seeing any benefit aside from free WiFi access. I’ll be traveling quite a bit in the months leading up to HIMSS, so may give some thought to joining other hotel-chain programs based on the conferences I go to. I’d appreciate any insight HIStalk Practice readers can give me as to which programs give you the most bang for your traveling buck.

Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock


The NC Academy of Family Physicians, NC Community Health Center, and NC Pediatric Society team with Medicaid managed care network Community Care of North Carolina to form the Community Care Physician Network. CCPA will offer members resources to help practices with data collection and reporting, care and disease management, medication management, behavioral health integration, and palliative care. Group purchasing and coding and billing support may also be added in the near future.

Announcements and Implementations


The Regional Extension Center of New Hampshire reaches its goal of assisting 1,000 PCPs achieve Meaningful Use. The REC was launched in 2010 by the Massachusetts eHealth Collaborative with a $6.9 million federal award. Of the 62 RECs originally created with HITECH funds, six have gone completely out of business, and 10 have run out of grant money but are still offering services.


The Maine Medical Association endorses e-prescribing software from DrFirst as its preferred solution for members. The state’s e-prescribing mandate, which also requires that prescribers participate in Maine’s PDMP, will take effect July 1, 2017.


Advocare, an independent multispecialty physician group with 190 locations in New Jersey and greater Philadelphia, selects Ethernet services from Comcast Business as part of a infrastructure overhaul to better support its GE Centricity EHR.

EHR services company ITelagen partners with Modern Compliance Solutions to offer a Web-based HIPAA security risk analysis powered by the HIPAA One portal from MCS.


MDlive incorporates patient insight and analytics technology from Inovalon into its virtual consult platform, enabling its physicians to better understand gaps in care, quality measures, and risk scores.

3PointCare, a wholly owned subsidiary of Medical Innovation Holdings, signs a 10-year agreement to provide management services to telemedicine company TeleLife MD, including technology, network services, implementation, support, and training.

Government and Politics


OCR Deputy Director for Health Information Privacy Deven McGraw helps spread the word about job opportunities for health information privacy specialists. Employees will develop projects and programs, and review policies and initiatives, among other duties, for between $64,000 and $100,000.



Mario’s move to the Iphone has quite a few media outlets waxing poetic about the Nintendo character’s storied past, which I didn’t know included an early ‘90s stint as a doctor.


This article tells the surprisingly interesting history of the white lab coat (see Dr. Mario above), adopted by physicians in the 19th century as part of an industry-wide facelift that moved from somber black frock coats in an effort to convey an “attitude of cleanliness, purity, and a fresh start for the medical profession.”


JennMr. H, Lorre, Dr. Jayne, Dr. Gregg

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Comments 3
  • New Hampshire REC is celebrating that they received 6.9 million in money and were able to get 1,000 through MU over 6 years. Seems like the bar is fairly low for success.

  • Hotel clubs. I have been a Hilton Honors member for about 7 years and am happy because the chain has ‘products’ from inexpensive to quite expensive rooms, depending on your taste and budget (who’s paying). I joined because my employer at the time used an Embassy Suites near the HQ as the official company hotel, and I was spending 8-10 days per month there, so my points piled up very quickly. To the point my wife and I stayed 2x per year (4 night stays each time) in high-end Hilton beach resorts almost for free, plus a few free nights here and there as we traveled personally.

    And I don’t know about the other chains, but many of the Hilton properties have free breakfast, which I find to be a great perk. Not only saves money but is much faster than getting table service, thus saving time in the morning.

    The other majors are also probably just as good – Marriott and Hyatt for examples, both of which I am also a member. What is key is the same as airline miles. The more you earn in one program, the higher your level and the higher the perks with that chain. I reached Diamond with Hilton and you basically walk on water as far as how you get treated.

    So your decision is – I’d join the top 3 or 4 clubs so you can always get points no matter where you have to stay. I’d then look at the properties near where you’ll be traveling the most, or that have the price/amenities balance (like free breakfast) that is important to you and pick that chain and focus on putting your nights there whenever possible.

  • Jenn,
    It is so easy to sign up for all the frequent ‘flyer’ programs, whether they be hotels, airlines, rental cars or whatever. You don’t really even need to carry the cards around since most can look you up by name/phone number. But at some point you’ll want to select just a couple so the point accumulate. Some offer credits cards (like Delta) and if you use it for booking flights, you can save baggage fees. SO bottom line is, sign up, start amassing points! Enjoy!

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