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June 29, 2020 News No Comments

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Senior-focused primary care company ChenMed announces plans to open 15 new medical centers over the next several months. It attributes its ability to stay viable during the pandemic to its flexibility: It transitioned its proprietary EHR to the cloud in January, and nearly all of its in-person appointments to virtual visits in just one week.


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Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Online health and wellness company Ro sees record revenue in the first half of 2020 as homebound patients take advantage of its telemedicine and prescription delivery services, which have seen a 130% jump since launching in March. The three year-old company offers digital health clinics for men’s health, women’s health, and smoking cessation.


People

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Provation promotes Linda Buan to CTO.


Announcements and Implementations

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United Skin Specialists (MN) selects Encoda’s ECM workflow and analytics software.

Safety Net Connect adds e-referral, e-consult, and virtual visit capabilities to its clinical and administrative Converge software.

Virtual care practice HubMD leverages telemedicine training and support from Wise Healthcare to assist over 500 PCPs in 88 affiliated clinics.

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The State of Idaho will link its PDMP with provider EHRs and pharmacy systems using Appriss Health’s PMP Gateway technology.

Telemedicine and testing company MyCOVIDMD selects compliance startup Posture to help it implement a HIPAA security and privacy program.


Research and Innovation

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New data from Phreesia customers shows that in-person visits to physician practices are still well below where they were a year ago, though they are rebounding a bit from earlier in the pandemic. The biggest declines are seen in pediatrics, pulmonology, and surgical specialties. Conversely, virtual visits are beginning to decline, though they are still well above annual averages. Smaller practices have been hit hardest, with declines being steeper and rebounds fewer in groups with one to five physicians.


Other

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Health Affairs authors posit several financial scenarios for primary care practices in light of COVID-19, estimating that they will lose over $65,000 per FTE from fee-for-service payments without any efforts to change their business models. They then point out that, “under relatively optimistic assumptions,” primary care practitioners will suffer a net loss of $15 billion.

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As a journalism major who emphasized in magazines, I am saddened but not surprised by the fact that magazines are seeing yet another blow to circulation, this time thanks to COVID-19. Bloomberg reports that medical offices and airlines are ditching print publications over fears they’ll transmit the virus to readers, despite the fact that health experts say the chance of infection in this way is highly unlikely. Still, as one South Carolina physician told the local news, “We’ve thrown out all the magazines. I mean, I wouldn’t touch one. It just seems like that’s a bad idea.”


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