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News 11/30/20

November 30, 2020 News No Comments

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CBS Insights rebrands to Skylight Health Group. The company, with offices in Massachusetts and Ontario, operates over 30 clinics in the US and has developed EHR and telemedicine technologies, which it uses to power a virtual visit subscription service.


HIStalk Practice Musings

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Well, I finally did it. It took me two library renewals and a day’s late fee, but I finally finished Ron Chernow’s biography of Alexander Hamilton. It was a challenging read, and I have to admit that my eyes glazed over during some of the pages-long descriptions of Hamilton’s treasury and national banking strategies. I learned many things about our Founding Fathers; perhaps the most revelatory being that that there’s nothing new under the sun when it comes to political machinations, intrigue, conspiracies, and the like. It was certainly a timely read for me, as I read the final chapters just as election day loomed.

I will not be attempting “First Principles” by Thomas Ricks, though I’d recommend it to anyone interested in the philosophical underpinnings of the Founding Fathers’ educations and penchant for relying on the logic of Greek and Roman philosophers as they shaped the federal government.

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In comparison, I practically flew through “The Secret and the Vile” by Erik Larson last week. If you’ve read his “The Devil in the White City,” you know he has a brilliant knack for making a non-fiction book read like a novel. Churchill buffs (or those, like me, who don’t know much about him aside from what they’ve seen in “The Crown”) will especially enjoy the recounting of England’s valiant two-year effort to wage war against Germany while waiting with bated breath for the US to join the fight.

I’d love to hear about the books HIStalk Practice readers hunkered down with over the Thanksgiving break. Please email me with your favorite post-feast reads.


Webinars

December 3 (Thursday) noon ET. “Why Patient-Centered Billing: How University Physicians’ Association Increased Revenue and Reduced Days to Pay.” Sponsor: Relatient. Presenter: Christy Bailey, VP, University Physicians’ Association. Financial recovery calls for a better patient financial experience as providers drive revenue, engage patients, and reduce costs and bad debt. The presenter will talk about patients as payers and how delivering a financial experience that meets their expectations can improve the financial outcomes of providers, hospitals, and health systems.

Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre to present your own.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Greenway Health CEO Richard Atkin tells the local (paywalled) business paper that employees will be able to work remotely long after the pandemic ends. As of last year, the Tampa, FL-based company had around 1,400 employees.


Announcements and Implementations

Med Smart Wellness Centers will implement EHR and billing software from AdvancedMD at its first facility in Aventura, FL.


Other

US Fertility notifies customers of a ransomware attack that resulted in hackers gaining access to PHI between August and September. The company, which operates 55 clinics, was created in May through the partnership of Amulet Capital Partners and Shady Grove Fertility.

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Local artist Ted McElhiney presents a painting to the staff at the Davenport VA clinic in Iowa. McElhiney, who has been a patient at the clinic for 40 years, says the artwork is his way of “saying thank you for all the hard work all the team does. … Anytime I ask them for a hand to help a veteran, they come with a smile and that is what impresses me.”

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Kaiser Permanente pediatrician Rahul Parikh, MD writes about the changes COVID-19 has wrought on his practice, focusing on everything from the fall and slowly escalating rise of in-person appointments, the impact of putting off care, worries about overprescribing antibiotics during virtual visits, and missing out on truly socializing with patients and colleagues. He does point out, however, that COVID safety precautions have forced the practice to think more innovatively about the ways in which they provide care, such as offering drive-thru testing, blood draws, and vaccinations; and developing best practices for video visits. 

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ThereCare announces GA of its No Contact Urgent Care kit, which includes Bluetooth diagnostic devices, wireless otoscope, blood pressure wrist cuff, finger pulse oximeter, thermometer strips, and an Iphone(!). Customers order the $300 kit online (which includes a refundable $100 deposit); virtually visit with a ThereCare provider using the smartphone, presumably pre-loaded with some sort of accompanying app; and then return the kit via mail. The concept strikes me as a strange one, given the ubiquity of telemedicine at this point, and the price point for cash-paying customers, though ThereCare does have an option for the insured.  I wonder how long you’re allowed to keep the kit before losing your deposit.

A friendly warning to those readers who are seriously considering applying for clinical jobs on Prince Edward Island in Canada (per my recent post about its dearth of providers): Health officials there have postponed the implementation of an enterprise EHR due to COVID-19-related vendor delays, pushing the project to 2021-2022.


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

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