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September 22, 2016 News 1 Comment

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Yahoo makes headlines, announcing a 2014 breach that resulted in the theft of data from at least 500 million accounts. (For perspective, the LinkedIn breach involved 100 million accounts, and the Anthem breach involved 80 million.) Rumors are swirling regarding the culprit, with some speculating it could be a case of espionage by a “state-sponsored actor.” The FBI remains mum on the rumor.

HIStalk Practice Musings


I got a lot out of the Oliver Wyman Health Innovation Summit in Chicago, though I spent a little less than 24 hours on site. I made a point to pack every hour in with activities and networking. The highlight had to be the immersion tour several other folks and I took to Oak Street Health, a chain of primary care clinics serving Medicare patients in underserved Chicago neighborhoods. It’s extremely rare for me to get a chance to visit physician practices – for self care or otherwise – and so I was excited to tour the clinic and pepper the co-founders Mike Pykosz and Griffin Myers with questions.


Founded just three years ago, the company operates 15 facilities and plans to open at least two more by the end of the year. It’s a challenging work environment, according to Pykosz, who’s also CEO. He half-jokingly told us that it is in fact hard to find PCPs with a passion for serving dual-eligible patients in a team-based environment that cares more about value-based care than fee-for-service traditions. Oak Street staff – and it’s patients, for that matter – all seemed happy enough working in what I was told is a very ED-like command center.

Regarding healthcare technology, the company uses Greenway, and seems resigned to the fact that no EHR is perfect. Physicians, all of whom were carrying around laptops, are accompanied by scribes to give physicians more eye-to-eye contact with patients. My interest was especially piqued when Myers explained that the clinic had recently begun offering telepsychiatry, partnering with local startup Regroup Therapy for the IT.


As the tweet above illustrates, Oak Street has really made an effort to connect with people in the communities where it operates. Its clinics now typically serve as daily hang-out areas for its elderly patrons, which in turn makes them more comfortable coming to see their physician. Bingo games, bridge clubs, book clubs, and other community organizations are typically taking up space in clinic common rooms on any given day. It was heartwarming to me to see that Oak Street Clinics not only provide healthcare, but socialization and a sense of community for all involved.




After last night’s evening reception and a good but short night’s sleep, today dawned bright, early and breathtaking. I did in fact make it to the 5k and was fortunate to find a group of likeminded “runners” to hang back with. Imagine my surprise when I found out that I was running alongside Neil Solomon, MD co-founder of Atlanta-based telemedicine company MedZed. (I had the opportunity to chat with Neil for “The House Call Comeback” in July.)


My conference experience was made complete when Aledade CEO Farzad Mostashari, MD walked by. I’m bummed that I’ll miss his evening keynote tonight. Having seen him present at HIMSS as National Coordinator, I can attest that his enthusiasm for healthcare transformation knows no bounds.

Today’s post will be the last regular news update until October 3rd. I’ll be attempting to take a digital sabbatical next week in the Smoky Mountains, and have coerced several industry movers and shakers to contribute content in my absence. See you in next month!


September 27 (Tuesday) 1:00 ET. “Put MACRA in your Workflow – CDS and Evolving Payment Models.” 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.

October 13 (Thursday) 2:00 ET. “Glycemic Control During Therapeutic Hypothermia.” Sponsored by Monarch Medical Technologies. Presenter: Tracey Melhuish, RN, MSN, clinical practice specialist, Holy Cross Hospital (FL). Using therapeutic hypothermia (TH) as a method of care can present risks of hyperglycemia, hypoglycemia, and blood glucose variability. Maintaining safe glucose levels during the cooling and rewarming phases of TH reduces the risks of adverse events. Tracey Melhuish, author of “Linking Hypothermia and Hyperglycemia,” will share best practices for optimal glucose control during TH and the success Holy Cross Hospital sees while using a computerized glucose management software.

Contact Lorre for webinar services. View previous webinars on our HIStalk webinars YouTube channel.

Announcements and Implementations


Sarasota Interventional Radiology (FL) replaces Allscripts MyWay, which was discontinued several years ago, with AbbaDox EHR from IDS.

Bizmatics updates its EHR and PM software with the launch of PrognocisDenali, which features enhanced order management, EOB processing, data analytics, and dashboards.

Sacramento, CA-based Sutter Health affiliate Sutter Physician Services adds CloudMedX’s clinical AI tool to its care delivery and RCM services for providers as part of a joint marketing agreement.


Ontario Telemedicine Network CEO Ed Brown, MD develops PracticalApps.ca to help family physicians advise patients on healthcare-related apps, which are rated by MDs for clinical validity, usability, privacy and security, accessibility, safety, and reliability. The idea seems like a good one, though I’m wondering how Brown and his team will drive physicians to it. Perhaps it can pick up as a physician resource where app certification services like the failed Happtique left off.



Rita Schaefer (ChartLogic) joins MedSphere as CFO.


David Shedlarz joins Teladoc’s Board of Directors.

Government and Politics

And I thought EHRs were everywhere: The Northampton County Health Department in North Carolina approves a contract to purchase or purchase an EHR for the department. It will now be eligible for $63,750 over six years for participating in the NC Medicaid EHR Incentive Program.



CoolDoctors adds voice, messaging, and enhanced video capabilities from Genband to its telemedicine solution for ophthalmologists and optometrists. CoolDoctors opened up its technology for provider licensing this summer.

Research and Innovation


A new report from ResearchAmerica highlights the money companies are spending on healthcare research and development. Total spend in 2015 was $158.7 billion, with private industry making up 65 percent of that figure. It’s one that boggles my mind when I think about how that money could have been used to better address social determinants of health. I continue to wonder how much impact splashy initiatives like the Cancer Moonshot and Precision Medicine Initiative will have versus pouring money into making sure the elderly and underserved have access to basic services like heat and transportation to work, not to mention healthcare appointments.


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

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Comments 1
  • Cancer Moonshot / Precision Medicine – those initiatives have potential patents and enormous fortunes to be made even if just a handful of therapies come through. But only the relatively wealthy can afford them or have the insurance for them. They aren’t going to do much for that diabetic who can’t afford insulin?

    I think part of the problem is that spending $$ on social determinants of health isn’t going to make much money for industry. Where is the blockbuster, salable product? It is our public services / hospital emergency rooms that save $ when an indigent diabetic gets their meds and doesn’t show up needing a foot to be amputated. Not pharma. All of the people who yammer against single payer / higher taxes etc.. conveniently forget how much we all end up paying in the end for these things as EDs can’t turn people away. Not that I am saying that single payer is the best (I honestly don’t know) but it is something to think about.

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