– Augmedix, a provider of
remote medical documentation and live clinical support launches the national
rollout of a transformative tech-enabled medical documentation service powered
by virtual scribes and created specifically for busy Emergency Department (ED)
– Augmedix trains remotely-located scribes in emergency
medicine documentation to alleviate the administrative burden for clinicians,
which is especially important today as these clinicians are on the front lines
of the COVID crisis.
– The virtual scribes use the proprietary Augmedix
Notebuilder automation technology to ensure consistent, accurate documentation,
which adds value and potential return on investment relating to ancillary
billing opportunities unique to the ED.
– The Augmedix ED scribes support key facets of
documentation, real-time alerts, and Electronic Health Records tasks. This
includes tracking and providing reminders for labs, radiology, and EKGs, as
well as attaching patient education materials at the end of each encounter.
– Additionally, Augmedix scribes positively impact clinician
workflow and the patient experience by removing barriers between the ED and
hospitalists. The ED virtual scribes assist clinicians to optimize workflow by
prioritizing documentation requirements for patients being admitted, while
still ensuring all ED patient documentation is complete for clinician review
and sign-off by the end of their shift.
After months of uncertainty, hope is finally on the horizon as three viable COVID-19 vaccine candidates are moving closer towards approvals for public distribution. Getting to this stage was extremely labor-intensive, but unfortunately, it’s not the end of the hardships. The coronavirus vaccine will represent the largest vaccine distribution in U.S. history, and manufacturing and distributing the vaccines will have its own fair share of difficulties for healthcare systems. In order to optimize the distribution of vaccines, healthcare providers will need to employ technology and data collection to stay organized. Unfortunately, vaccine approvals are quickly looming, meaning that the necessary technology infrastructure needs to be implemented soon. Healthcare facilities need to understand what solutions can be deployed to facilitate a safe and efficient distribution plan — and how to implement them before it’s too late.
Vaccine Organization and Distribution
With three potential vaccines, each with different vaccination schedules and side effects, managing distribution will be a complicated effort. Patients will need to be matched to the appropriate vaccine, with consideration paid to medical history. Once a patient is matched to their vaccine, healthcare providers need to track side effects, and in the cases of Pfizer and Moderna, when the patient will receive their second dose. This requires significant data collection, which may leave healthcare providers vulnerable to cybersecurity threats. Data breaches have increased by 171 percent this year due to the pandemic, meaning that cybersecurity and secure data storage need to be at the forefront of any healthcare IT strategy.
The CDC is working to implement a data use agreement to determine which information needs to be reported to various levels of government. This will include information on patient matching, which can help determine how much of each vaccine is being used, the remaining supply and what will need to be ordered. Once these guidelines are in place, healthcare facilities will need to start planning and implementing their cybersecurity strategy. Information sharing will be important over the next few months as the vaccines roll out, but this needs to be balanced with access management to reduce the risk of breaches. Ensure that all members of the team, as well as anyone else who has access to important personal data, understand the risks, as well as the protocols that are in place.
Once vaccines are administered, governments will need to monitor both patients and those who chose not to receive a vaccine closely. Shots are voluntary, which means that there may be parts of the population that refuse to get vaccinated. Many governments and businesses are already discussing the implications of that, including restricting access to things like travel and communal spaces. This means that further data will need to be collected and shared that can inform the public of who is not vaccinated. In the U.K., there has been discussion of an app, similar to the contact tracing app, that discloses the status of a person’s vaccination. In Canada, they have discussed an immunity and vaccination passport. It remains to be seen what route the U.S. government will choose, but there are clear implications for data collection with these new technologies.
Vaccine distribution will also cause problems for healthcare providers due to the sheer volume of patients needing access to services. Currently, hospitals are overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients. It is also flu season, meaning that flu vaccine appointments are rising. In order to provide safe distribution of the flu vaccine, many governments have implemented an appointment-only system where all patients have to pre-register to receive their dose. Similar systems will be crucial for the distribution of COVID-19 vaccinations in order to support the observance of physical distancing requirements. With clinics and healthcare facilities already strained, adding more patients that require vaccinations could cause many issues. Appointments need to be closely managed to ensure that healthcare facilities will still be able to operate safely. Healthcare providers will also need to monitor the number of patients during each distribution phase to ensure that they can handle everyone who needs a vaccine.
Vaccine distribution could begin any day, which means that the technology infrastructure to support the initiative needs to be implemented immediately. This doesn’t leave much time to create new solutions, so healthcare facilities will need to work with existing technology providers to create a secure infrastructure that supports distribution. When selecting a technology provider, careful consideration needs to be paid to both the services it provides and the security protocol that it has in place. Choose trusted vendors that have experience in the healthcare industry. With all healthcare providers going through the same experience, information sharing will also be important. Discuss with other healthcare IT departments what solutions and providers they are considering for vaccine distribution.
Preparing for Distribution
There is no doubt that this vaccine distribution plan will be unlike anything the U.S. has ever experienced. With distribution broken down into phases to determine the priority of who receives the vaccines, healthcare providers will be forced to contend with sick patients at the same time that they are distributing vaccines. This will require extra effort to keep everyone safe and healthy. With the vaccines set to begin distribution at any moment, healthcare providers need to act quickly to ensure that the necessary technology and data collection infrastructure is in place to facilitate a safe and efficient distribution.
About Kevin Grauman Kevin Grauman is the President and CEO of QLess, a line management system used by retail, education and government industries. He is no stranger to the world of startups, with a proven track record as a successful U.S.-based executive leader and entrepreneur. Kevin has been recognized as one of the “100 Superstars of HR Outsourcing in the USA” by HRO Today Magazine.
Cybersecurity will continue to be a major issue for providers in the year ahead. According to CareJourney President Aneesh Chopra, the most common factors putting providers at risk are their employees and being unable to track data flow.
Dr. Micky Tripathi will lead the ONC as the new national coordinator for health information technology, while agency veterans Liz Richter and Norris Cochranwill serve as interim leaders for CMS and HHS, respectively.
– Cerner appoints Mark Erceg as the company’s
new Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer (CFO), effective
February 22, 2021.
– Erceg will succeed Marc
Naughton, who is departing from Cerner at the end of the first quarter.
Naughton will serve as an Executive Advisor to ensure a smooth transition.
– As Cerner’s CFO, Erceg
will lead the company’s global finance organization, including accounting,
treasury, financial planning and analysis, tax and investor relations.
– Erceg comes to Cerner with
more than 25 years of multi-dimensional financial experience, including serving
as CFO at three different publicly-held companies. He began his career at
Procter & Gamble and spent more than 18 years in a variety of finance,
strategy and operational leadership roles. After leaving P&G, Erceg had
three successive CFO roles at Masonite International Corporation, Canadian
Pacific Railway and Tiffany & Company, where he has developed deep
functional expertise and technical knowledge in all aspects of corporate
– HealthStream, a provider of workforce
and provider solutions for the healthcare industry acquires ComplyALIGN (incorporated as ProcessDATA,
Ltd.), a Chicago-based healthcare technology company for $2M in cash.
The number of policies and procedures that a typical hospital needs to manage
and continue to process rarely falls below one thousand. Staff members must
know what’s expected of them and have rules and procedures to guide their
day-to-day tasks—and this covers a vast array of practices, including those
involving administrative practices, federal and state compliance, patient care,
medicine, use of IT, and human resources.
With policies in so many areas, policies and procedures for hospitals need to
be well organized, accessible, searchable, and easily updated—all within a
coordinated, collaborative workflow. ComplyALIGN’s policy management system is
a highly sought-after and utilized solution for these needs.
ComplyALIGN’s products are used by over 200 healthcare facilities, including
over 150 hospitals. ComplyALIGN also does business as HospitalPORTAL, which
focuses on hospital intranet solutions that integrate with ComplyALIGN’s policy
– The ONC today unveiled a series of investments to improve
the sharing of health information related to vaccination.
– The new investments will provide opportunities to track
vaccination progress, help clinicians contact high-risk patients, and help
identify patients due to receive the second dose of the vaccine.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
acting through the Office of the National
Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) today announced a
series of investments to help increase data sharing between health information
exchanges (HIEs) and immunization information systems. These
projects will build on and expand ONC’s Strengthening the Technical Advancement
and Readiness of Public Health Agencies via Health Information Exchange (STAR
HIE) Program by helping communities improve the sharing of health information
related to vaccinations. Through these collaborations, public health agencies
can get additional help tracking and identifying patients who have yet to
receive their second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and better identify those who
may be high-risk who have not yet received a vaccination.
In addition, ONC will also award funds to the Association of
State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) and CORHIO, the Colorado
Regional Health Information Organization, to support immunization related
health information exchange collaborations.
“These CARES Act funds will allow clinicians to better access information about their patients from their community immunization registries by using the resources of their local health information exchanges,” said Don Rucker, MD, national coordinator for health information technology. “Through these collaborative efforts public health agencies and clinicians will be better equipped to more effectively administer immunizations to at-risk patients, understand adverse events, and better track long-term health outcomes as more Americans are vaccinated.”
Tracking Vaccination Progress
The new investments will provide opportunities to track vaccination progress, help clinicians contact high-risk patients, and help identify patients due to receive the second dose of the vaccine. It will also help provide a statistically and clinically robust way to measure vaccination outcomes. In collaboration with HIEs, the ability to individually correlate every patient who has received the vaccine with all of their clinical data both pre-and post-vaccination could offer more detailed insight into any adverse events and long-term health outcomes than is currently possible.
Increasing Data Collaboration Between HIEs & Immunization
There are currently 63 immunization information systems
across the United States, one in each state, eight in territories, and in five
cities. They are funded in part by through the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD).
Currently, there are approximately 100 health information exchange
organizations in the United States reaching an estimated 92 percent of the U.S.
population, according to the Strategic Health Information Exchange Collaborative,
the national trade association for HIEs.
– Aledade raises $100 Million in Series D funding to help
more primary care practices thrive in value-based care.
– The new funding will power the growth of a nationwide network of more than one million patients by further expanding into Medicare Advantage Contracts.
a Bethesda, MD-based provider of value-based primary care, today announced it
has closed a $100 million Series D funding round following a year of
significant growth for its national network of risk-taking primary care
practices. Returning investor Meritech Capital led the round, which included new growth
Global Management andIVP,
and returning investor OMERS Growth Equity. The latest round of funding brings the
company’s valuation to over $2.1 billion dollars.
Delivering Value-Based Primary Care
Founded in 2014 by former National Coordinator for Health IT, Farzad Mostashari, Aledade began building ACO networks for independent physicians through the Medicare Shared Savings Program, but now also partners with commercial payers across the country. Aledade now partners with nearly 800 independent primary care practices, including more than 100 federally-qualified health centers, comprising more than 7,800 providers in 31 states. Through this nationwide network of independent practices, Aledade practices manage roughly $12 billion in health care spending through 35 Medicare and 51 other value-based contracts and care for nearly 1.2 million patients.
Why It Matters
As the healthcare system continues to be strained by the
COVID-19 pandemic, these value-based
practices are keeping patients healthy, at home, and out of the hospital with
proactive, coordinated primary care. Aledade technology helps practices
identify and better manage their most at-risk patients. Patients of practices
engaged with Aledade have fewer emergency department visits, inpatient stays
and readmissions; in the most recent year with public results from the Medicare
Shared Savings Program, Aledade practices reduced hospital stays by an average
of 9 percent, avoiding more than 10,000 unnecessary hospitalizations.
Aledade’s growth has been driven by the success of its
physician-led model, in which the company shares in the risk and reward of both
government and commercial value-based contracts with participating independent
practices. Aledade practices have improved the quality of care and health
outcomes while controlling costs in all types of public and private payer
contracts. To date, Aledade’s participating practices have received more than
$115 million in shared savings revenue.
Funding Will Support Strategic Partnerships with Medicare
Aledade will use this infusion of capital to expand its value-based care model with health plans across the country, with a particular focus on growing its strategic partnerships with Medicare Advantage (MA) plans to improve outcomes and quality for more seniors. Already, Aledade works with all of the largest MA payers and multiple Blue Cross plans to give Aledade practices access to Medicare Advantage value-based contracts. In 2020, Aledade more than doubled the number of patients served in these MA contracts, bringing the total to about 100,000.
As the company expands into more MA plan partnerships and
welcomes more practices to its national network of ACOs, Aledade will continue
to invest heavily in its cutting-edge technology platform to ensure primary
care physicians have a world-class operating system for population health.
Aledade also plans to launch several initiatives in 2021 to extend this
These include initiatives to extend the use of integrated
telehealth, predict and prevent the occurrence of unplanned dialysis, reduce
racial disparities in hypertension control, and enable even the smallest
primary care practices in the country to join value-based contracts with
– Private equity firm Advent International announced that
it has completed a recapitalization of RxBenefits, the employee benefits
industry’s first and only technology-enabled pharmacy benefits optimizer (PBO).
– The transaction values RxBenefits at approximately $1.1
Advent International (“Advent”), one of the largest and most experienced global private equity investors, today announced that it has completed a recapitalization of RxBenefits, the employee benefits industry’s first and only technology-enabled pharmacy benefits optimizer (PBO), which values the company at approximately $1.1 billion. With this investment, Advent joins Great Hill Partners (“Great Hill”), a leading growth-oriented private equity firm, which first invested in the company in 2016. Advent and Great Hill now each own equal stakes in RxBenefits, alongside a significant investment from the current management team.
Founded in 1995, RxBenefits offers comprehensive “white-glove” service throughout the prescription benefits process for employee benefits consultants, self-funded employers, hospital and health systems, and third-party administrators. RxBenefits serves as a trusted pharmacy adviser to employee benefits consultants and as the pharmacy benefits solution provider of choice for self-insured employers.
The company leverages longstanding partnerships with the leading pharmacy benefits managers (PBMs), a proprietary data management and business intelligence platform, and tailored clinical strategies to deliver unmatched pharmaceutical cost savings to self-insured employers and small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs). The RxBenefits team consists of over 500 pricing, technology, data, and clinical experts providing coverage to more than 2 million members.
The recapitalization will provide RxBenefits with capital to accelerate the build-out of its salesforce, broker channels, and technology and continue executing on its strong growth strategy, both organically and through M&A.
Why It Matters
As of October, pharmaceutical spending was up 6.3% YoY and
climbing. In fact, recent forecasts predict a 3.29% increase for pharmaceutical
purchases by health systems and a 4.47% spending increase for Specialty drugs
in 2021 due to ongoing disruption caused by COVID-19 and other market trends.
Rising prescription drug costs have put employers between a rock and a hard
place as they struggle to reign in dramatically increasing pharmacy benefit
spend while protecting the health of their members, especially in the midst of
a pandemic. In fact, over 60% of employers say their prescription drug and
medical spend is costly and unsustainable.
RxBenefits is the
only company that combines market purchasing power equivalent to that of a
Fortune 10 employer, a proprietary technology infrastructure, a data-driven
clinical approach and high touch personalized service to optimize the value
self-insured employers receive from their pharmacy benefits investment. Its PBO
model is in a Category of One.
– Philips announces the acquisition of Capsule, a leading vendor-neutral Medical Device Integration Platform with a software-as-a-service business model
– The Capsule acquisition is a strong fit with Philips’
strategy to transform the delivery of healthcare along the health continuum
with integrated solutions.
Philips, today announced that it has signed an agreement to acquireCapsule Technologies, Inc., an Andover, MA-based provider of medical device integration and data technologies for hospitals and healthcare organizations. Capsule’s Medical Device Information Platform – comprised of device integration, vital signs monitoring, and clinical surveillance services – connects almost all existing medical devices and EMRs in hospitals through a vendor-neutral system. Capsule’s platform captures streaming clinical data and transforms it into actionable information for patient care management to enhance patient outcomes, improve collaboration between care teams, streamline clinical workflows and increase productivity.
Founded in 1997, Capsule is the leading global provider of medical device integration (MDI) and information solutions for healthcare providers. Capsule maximizes the value of live streaming medical device data by analyzing and synthesizing it across multiple sensors and devices attached to the patient to advance insight-driven, proactive care.
the company serves over 2,800 hospitals and healthcare organizations in 40
countries across the world. Capsule’s innovations are developed by strong
R&D teams in the U.S. and France. In 2020, the company achieved sales of
over USD 100 million with strong double-digit sales growth. The majority of
sales is related to recurring software-as-a-service and licensing revenues. The
acquisition will be accretive to Philips sales growth and Adjusted EBITA margin
Acquisition Underscores Philips Strategy to Scale Its
Patient Care Management Solutions
The acquisition of Capsule is a strong fit with Philips’
strategy to transform the delivery of care along the health continuum with integrated
solutions. Philips’ current portfolio already includes real-time patient
monitoring, therapeutic devices, telehealth, informatics and interoperability
solutions. The combination of Philips’ industry-leading portfolio with
Capsule’s leading Medical Device Information Platform, connected through
Philips’ secure vendor-neutral cloud-based HealthSuite digital platform, will
greatly enrich and scale Philips’ patient care management solutions for all
care settings in the hospital, as well as remote patient care. As part of the acquisition, Capsule and
its approximately 300 employees will become part of Philips’ Connected Care
“Integrated patient care management solutions supported by essential real-time patient data and AI are core to our strategy to improve patient outcomes and care provider productivity by seamlessly connecting care,” said Roy Jakobs, Chief Business Leader Connected Care at Royal Philips. “The acquisition of Capsule will further expand our patient care management offering. We look forward to integrating our strengths, adding a vendor-neutral medical device integration platform that further unlocks the power of medical device data to enhance patient monitoring and management, improve collaboration and streamline workflows in the ICU, as well as other care settings in the hospital and beyond its walls.”
will acquire Capsule for $635M (approximately EUR 530 million) in cash. The
transaction is subject to certain closing conditions, including regulatory
clearances in relevant jurisdictions outside of the U.S. The transaction is expected to be completed in the first quarter
Cerner announced some leadership changes promoting long-time associates Travis Dalton to Chief Client & Services Officer and Dan Devers to Chief Legal Counsel. After long, respected, meaningful careers at Cerner, John Peterzalek and Randy Sims will be departing.
Cognoa, the leading pediatric behavioral health company developing diagnostic and therapeutic solutions for children living with autism and other behavioral health conditions appoints Eric B. Mosbrooker as Chief Operations Officer. Mosbrooker will be responsible for overseeing and leading the global commercialization of the company’s product offerings, expanding Cognoa’s operational capabilities and implementing scalable business processes.
Discovery Health Partners announced that Sameer K. Mishra has joined the company as Chief Information Officer. Leveraging his significant health payer technology experience, Mishra will lead Discovery’s dedicated IT staff and evolve the company’s technology platform.
Medical Microinstruments (MMI) SpA, hires Mark Toland as Chief Executive Officer. He brings more than 25 years of experience in the medical device industry and most recently served as President and CEO of Corindus, a vascular robotics company that Siemens Healthineers acquired for $1.1 billion in 2019. Following the CE mark of MMI’s Symani Surgical System® in 2019 and successfully completing the first human use cases in 2020, Toland will drive the company’s strategic direction from the developmental stage to broad commercialization.
Dr. Marilyn Ritholz and Dr. David Horwitz will join Chairman Eric Milledge on Dario Health’s scientific advisory board. Dr. Ritholz is a psychologist at Joslin Diabetes Center, a Harvard Medical School affiliate, and Dr. Horwitz is the former Global Chief Medical Officer of Johnson and Johnson Diabetes Institute. They will work on advancing Dario’s technical leadership and help to guide the development of its technology roadmap.
DrChrono expands its senior leadership team with two new hires joining the company. Shahram Famorzadeh will be joining as Senior Vice President of Engineering, responsible for scaling DrChrono’s platform to the next level to support its growing network of physicians and practices, and Jason Rasmussen has joined as Senior Vice President of Revenue, contributing his expertise to DrChrono’s financial operations team.
Vave Health announced two additions to its executive team and advisory board to support the company’s accelerated growth in the medical imaging market. David Garner, a long-time veteran of point-of-care ultrasound and previous vice president at Butterfly Network, brings more than 22 years of experience to Vave Health, and Terri Bresenham, founder of TruNorth Health Advisors and recognized global healthcare expert, joins as a member of the company’s advisory board.
Anang Chokshi, PT, DPT, OCS, SCS joins Include Health as Chief Clinical Officer (CCO). Chokshi joins IncludeHealth’s executive team to provide clinical and technical expertise as IncludeHealth expands its portfolio of products.
Conversion Labs, Inc. appoints licensed personal care and wellness physician and psychiatrist, Dr. Anthony Puopolo, to the new position of chief medical officer. Dr. Puopolo will be responsible for overseeing the company’s rapidly expanding network of state-licensed physicians and ensuring that the company is delivering the highest quality of care.
BioCardia®, Inc. appoints Krisztina Zsebo, Ph.D., a 31-year veteran of the biotech industry, to its Board of Directors following her election at BioCardia’s 2020 Annual Meeting of Stockholders in December 2020.
Achiko AG appoints biotechnology research scientist and entrepreneur Dr. Morris S. Berrie to the position of President, and business leader in the life science industry Richard Lingard to the position of SVP Commercialization.
ApprioHealth announces the addition of Carl Swart as chief operating officer (COO). Prior to joining ApprioHealth, Swart served as the vice president for revenue cycle for Ensemble Health Partners. Additionally, he spent nearly a decade with Mercy Health as a market vice president.
A group of organizations have come together to work on a solution that will provide digital access to Covid-19 vaccination records. As the country eyes a challenging transition to the new normal, a verifiable vaccine record will be necessary to ensure individual and community safety.
– QGenda has acquired Shift Admin, an industry-recognized
leader for shift-based specialties including emergency medicine, urgent care,
and hospital medicine.
With the industry-leading scheduling technology for all
specialties across the healthcare delivery system, QGenda’s technology will
ensure care is available for patients when and where it is needed.
QGenda, the leading
innovator in enterprise healthcare workforce management solutions, announced
of Shift Admin, an industry-recognized
leader for shift-based specialties including emergency medicine, urgent care,
and hospital medicine. With the industry-leading scheduling technology for all
specialties across the healthcare delivery system, QGenda’s technology will
serve as the single source of truth for all provider schedules, ensuring care
is available for patients when and where it is needed.
Automated Provider Scheduling for All Specialties
Founded in 2007, Shift Admin offers Automated Schedule
Generation that can generate optimized schedules based on fully customizable
rules and user’s requests. The Shift Admin schedule generator contains a
world-class scheduling algorithm and features a simple but powerful user
interface. Our system is flexible enough to handle even the most complicated
Acquisition Enables Greater Access to Data Insights for
The announcement furthers QGenda’s commitment to advancing
how healthcare organizations manage and schedule their workforce so they can
effectively use providers’ time, reduce burnout and optimize capacity. By
scheduling for all providers and specialties through QGenda, organizations have
greater access to data, details, and insights for thousands of providers
working across the system.
“With care needs fluctuating across states and even within the same area, transparency and flexibility continue to be a large need for healthcare organizations nationwide. QGenda, with the addition of Shift Admin’s shift-based provider scheduling capabilities, is helping healthcare organizations address these priorities. We are partnering with customers to deliver greater visibility into where and when providers are working and optimizing capacity to deliver quality, cohesive care across the entire organization,” stated Greg Benoit, CEO of QGenda.
By adding the leading provider in shift-based scheduling,
QGenda is enhancing capabilities for emergency medicine, hospital medicine, and
urgent care, while building upon its industry-leading scheduling solution for
providers in specialties such as anesthesia, radiology, cardiology, obstetrics
& gynecology, and pathology. The QGenda platform also includes solutions
for on-call scheduling, room management, time tracking, compensation
management, and workforce analytics.
– DTx and Patient Support leaders, Amalgam Rx, Inc., announce the acquisition of Avhana Health, a privately-held clinical decision support (CDS) company.
Amalgam Rx, Inc., a Wilmington,
DE-based Digital Therapeutics and Patient Support company, announces the acquisition
of Avhana Health, a privately held
clinical decision support (CDS) company, which has deep integrations with the
leading electronic health records (EHR). As part of the acquisition, Amalgam Rx
will expand Avhana’s CDS tools to multiple therapeutic areas and combine them
with other digital solutions to simplify doctors’ workflows.
Founded in 2014, Avhana Health is a clinical decision
support startup used by doctors to support real-time adoption of and adherence
to clinical quality guidelines. Avhana’s SaaS-based CDS tool has been
implemented in more than 150 provider groups and identifies over $120 million a
year in cost savings. Enabling real-time two-way interactions within the EHR, Avhana optimizes
provider workflow beyond simple data integration.
“EHR integration is the Holy Grail for digital health solutions, but it’s not only about data integration; workflow optimization is even more important. Providers, working at the nexus of digital health adoption and scaling, will only adopt tools that are safe, effective, and embedded in their workflow. The combination of Avhana and Amalgam will bring us closer to realizing digital health’s tremendous potential,” said Ryan Sysko, chief executive officer of Amalgam Rx.
– MEDITECH launches a web-based Quick Vaccination solution enabling healthcare organizations to efficiently administer the vaccine to their patients from multiple care venues, including through tablet devices.
– With Quick Vaccination, healthcare organizations have
the speed and mobility to distribute the vaccine at high-volume locations,
including pop-up inoculation sites.
healthcare organizations’ administration of the COVID-19
vaccine, MEDITECH is extending its
capabilities to include a complimentary, short-form Quick Vaccination solution.
This web-based solution streamlines vaccine administration, enabling healthcare
organizations to efficiently administer the vaccine to their patients from
multiple care venues, including through tablet devices.
Quick Vaccination Overview
Vaccination, healthcare organizations have the speed and mobility to distribute
the vaccine at high-volume locations, including pop-up inoculation sites. And,
since the solution leverages integration within the MEDITECH Immunization
Interface, it automatically transmits vital vaccine data to state immunization
Quick Vaccination is a stand-alone solution that can also be
added to any menu within the EHR. The solution allows for automatic defaults of
key vaccine and administration data using flexible parameters. This
significantly shortens the amount of time it takes to document vaccine
administration, so sites can vaccinate more patients in less time.
How It Works
Per CDC guidelines, Quick Vaccination automatically generates a
certificate of COVID-19 vaccination, which is also accessible from the
patient’s portal. The certificate includes administration details such as the
vaccine’s manufacturer, the date the patient received the vaccine, and the care
setting in which it was administered.
Patients will bring the certificate with them to their
appointment for the second dose to ensure the proper next dose is given. The
next certificate will show validation of receipt of both doses within the
appropriate time frame.
MEDITECH provides guidance and scenarios for vaccine administration
across all integrated care areas, and the EHR has the flexibility for sites to
easily add new vaccine codes. Additionally, MEDITECH’s Scheduling solution
enables customers to schedule vaccine administrations as part of an appointment
set, which means the first and second doses can be scheduled at the same time
with the appropriate eligibility interval between doses. Appointments are
integrated with the patient portal, so the patient is reminded of the second
Furthermore, patient registries can identify eligible patients
and vaccine distribution by phase ― such as residents of long-term-care
facilities or those with specific preexisting conditions. Eligible employees
can also be identified and registered as patients. In addition, registries keep
track of patients who have not received a full course of the vaccine, and may
also be used to alert staff of high-risk patients who may require follow-up
“Time is essential in fighting COVID-19, and we recognize that immunizing as many people as possible is imperative,” said MEDITECH Vice President of Client Services Leah Farina. “We developed the Quick Vaccination solution to streamline the process and enable care providers to efficiently administer the COVID-19 vaccine to their patients while meeting CDC guidelines.”
Meditech continues to hold the largest EMR market share in Canada, but it is losing customers — mostly to Epic, which has seen a rapid rise in popularity, a new KLAS report shows. The report delves into market share data and customer satisfaction insights to assess EMR vendors’ positions in the Canadian market.
Across the globe, countries are making significant investments and advancements to promote the movement of electronic health information. Global health information technology (health IT) leaders are working collaboratively to develop, implement, and share best practices with other nations about projects that advance key elements of digital health. These efforts can yield better patient outcomes, reduce administrative burden on providers, and enable patients’ access to their health data. One of ONC’s primary global health IT engagements for this work is the Global Digital Health Partnership (GDHP).
– Healthcare private equity firm Heritage Group launches a $300M fund to invest in high-growth healthcare services and technology companies.
– Heritage is backed by some of the leading healthcare organizations in the nation, including large provider systems, payers, and healthcare service providers.
Heritage Group, a Nashville, TN-based healthcare-focused private equity firm, today announced the closing of over $300 million in its oversubscribed third fund, an increase of nearly $100 million over its prior fund in 2016. Heritage will continue its successful strategy of investing in solution-oriented, high-growth healthcare services, and technology businesses that are addressing the industry’s most pressing challenges.
“We are very pleased with the market’s response to our offering, especially during such a challenging economic environment,” said Paul Wallace, partner at Heritage. “We are grateful for the ongoing support of our longtime investors, and we’re excited to welcome several new LPs. We’re fortunate to have a great team and a unique model, which combine to create value for all of our stakeholders.”
Investment Model & Approach
The firm was founded by Rock Morphis and David McClellan in 1986, Heritage seeks to make majority and minority investments, ranging from $20 to $40 million per portfolio company, in high-growth healthcare services and healthcare technology businesses that address the challenges of the U.S. healthcare system. Heritage engages deeply with its strategic investors, who provide unique value and insights through all stages of the deal process, including the identification, evaluation, and subsequent growth of its portfolio companies. The firm’s strategic investors operate over 550 hospitals, with 90,000 beds, and handle approximately 3M discharges annually.
Heritage’s strategic investors and partners represent
national leaders in the payer, provider, IT, and service sectors of healthcare.
This diversity is particularly valuable as these sectors begin to converge in
the shift towards value-based care. Limited Partners include Adventist Health
System (Florida); Amedisys (Louisiana); Cardinal Health (Ohio); Cerner Corp.
(Missouri); Community Health Systems (Tennessee); Health Care Service
Corporation (Illinois); Horizon Healthcare Services (New Jersey); Intermountain
Healthcare (Utah); LifePoint Health (Tennessee); Memorial Hermann Health System
(Texas); Sutter Health (California); Tenet Health (Texas); Trinity Health
(Michigan); and UnityPoint Health (Iowa).
“Heritage’s strategic engagement is outstanding and allows us to work together as true partners. We are able to lend our expertise and share the key pain points that we encounter as we strive to provide care in a value-based model, which requires new ways of reaching and treating consumers and patients,” said Scott Nordlund, chief strategy and growth officer at Banner Health. “Heritage has been instrumental in identifying innovative businesses that solve these concerns for our organization.”
Heritage has invested in some of the leading healthcare
services and technology companies, including Aviacode, AllyAlign Health, Medical Solutions,
Sharecare, Abode Healthcare, MDLIVE, Lumere, Reload, Spero Health, etc.
During a panel discussion at the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference, three physicians from Stanford Medicine discussed the investment opportunities that can help accelerate innovation in healthcare in the coming year.
– The ONC released the first ONC Standards Bulletin, a new communication tool ONC will use to periodically update the healthcare industry about ONC health IT standards and policy initiatives.
– Based on a HITAC recommendation, the Bulletin is part of the
ONC’s ongoing efforts to communicate, coordinate, and promote the adoption and
use of health IT standards to facilitate the access, exchange, and use of
electronic health information.
– The inaugural ONC Standards Bulletin 2021-1 (SB21-1)
discusses the United States Core Data for
Interoperability (USCDI) and the Standards-Version Advancement Process (SVAP).
– The USCDI
Draft v2 is the result of wide-ranging public input into the elements that
should be included to enhance the interoperability of health data for patients,
providers, and other users. ONC encourages the public to review this draft
standard, including the list of data elements that didn’t make it into the
standard, and provide comments through the USCDI home page by April 15, 2021.
– ONC also released the Standards
Version Advancement Process (SVAP) Approved Standards for 2020. Under the
SVAP, health IT developers can incorporate newer versions of health IT
standards and implementation specifications used in certified health IT and
update systems for their customers without undergoing certification testing
– Modernizing Medicine announced it has acquired
orthopedics EHR vendor Exscribe bringing together two of the healthcare
industry’s leading, all-in-one orthopedic EHR vendors.
– As part of the acquisition, Exscribe Founder and CEO,
Dr. Sachdev and other members of the Exscribe team will be joining Modernizing
Specialty-specific EHR provider Modernizing Medicine announced it has acquired
health records (EHR) vendor Exscribe.
The acquisition brings together two of the healthcare industry’s leading,
all-in-one orthopedic EHR vendors with a shared mission of increasing practice
efficiency by transforming how healthcare information is created, consumed and
utilized. Modernizing Medicine and Exscribe will work together to accelerate
innovation and bring to market advanced EHR, practice management, and
technology solutions intended to improve physician efficiency, reduce burnout,
and support value-based care.
“Exscribe and Modernizing Medicine have a shared commitment to customer success and improving patient outcomes and we are excited to work together to leverage our combined orthopedics expertise to move the industry forward,” said Dan Cane, CEO of Modernizing Medicine. “Both companies were founded on the belief that the best EHRs are built specialty specific ‘by physicians, for physicians,’ and that product excellence is a direct reflection of the strength of our team. With that, we are excited to welcome the talented individuals at Exscribe to the Modernizing Medicine family and are confident that we can leverage our combined expertise to enhance and grow our solutions to meet the needs of customers of virtually any size and orthopedic specialization.”
Orthopedic Healthcare Solutions
Exscribe was founded in 2000 by nationally-renowned
orthopedic surgeon Ranjan Sachdev, MD, MBA, CHC, who was looking for a better
way to manage his orthopedic practice. Working with a team of orthopedists and
IT professionals, Dr. Sachdev developed the Exscribe Orthopaedic EHR, which today
is among the leading specialty-specific healthcare technology solutions
available. Leveraging machine learning and artificial intelligence, Exscribe’s
EHR is intuitive, enabling orthopedists to use one-click treatment plans for
specific conditions, including orders for surgery and therapy, prescriptions,
patient education, referral letters, and more.
Exscribe Founder and CEO, Dr. Sachdev and other members of
the Exscribe team will be joining Modernizing Medicine, and through the
increased scale and combined expertise, both companies intend to continue
providing world-class technology solutions and support to orthopedic customers.
Modernizing Medicine’s top-rated specialty-specific orthopedic electronic
health records (EHR) system, EMA® Orthopedics, has been named the number one
EHR in orthopedics for three consecutive years by Black Book™.
“Modernizing Medicine is known for its state of the art web based offerings, growing presence in the orthopedics space and commitment to working with customers to build solutions that meet the needs of orthopedists and their office staff,” said Dr. Sachdev. “Existing Exscribe customers will experience very few immediate changes. In the long term, we look forward to leveraging the decades of expertise from both companies to build fully interoperable EHR technologies that solve administrative inefficiencies and promote orthopedic excellence.”
Financial detail of the acquisition were not disclosed.
A century ago, X-rays transformed medicine forever. For the first time, doctors could see inside the human body, without invasive surgeries. The technology was so revolutionary that in the last 100 years, radiology departments have become a staple of modern hospitals, routinely used across medical disciplines.
Today, new technology is once again radically reshaping medicine: artificial intelligence (AI). Like the X-ray before it, AI gives clinicians the ability to see the unseen and has transformative applications across medical disciplines. As its impact grows clear, it’s time for health systems to establish departments dedicated to clinical AI, much as they did for radiology 100 years ago.
Radiology, in fact, was one of the earliest use cases for AI in medicine today. Machine learning algorithms trained on medical images can learn to detect tumors and other malignancies that are, in many cases, too subtle for even a trained radiologist to perceive. That’s not to suggest that AI will replace radiologists, but rather that it can be a powerful tool for aiding them in the detection of potential illness — much like an X-ray or a CT scan.
AI’s potential is not limited to radiology, however. Depending on the data it is trained on, AI can predict a wide range of medical outcomes, from sepsis and heart failure to depression and opioid abuse. As more of patients’ medical data is stored in the EHR, and as these EHR systems become more interconnected across health systems, AI will only become more sensitive and accurate at predicting a patient’s risk of deteriorating.
However, AI is even more powerful as a predictive tool when it looks beyond the clinical data in the EHR. In fact, research suggests that clinical care factors contribute to only 16% of health outcomes. The other 84% are determined by socioeconomic factors, health behaviors, and the physical environment. To account for these external factors, clinical AI needs external data.
Fortunately, data on social determinants of health (SDOH) is widely available. Government agencies including the Census Bureau, EPA, HUD, DOT and USDA keep detailed data on relevant risk factors at the level of individual US Census tracts. For example, this data can show which patients may have difficulty accessing transportation to their appointments, which patients live in a food desert, or which patients are exposed to high levels of air pollution.
These external risk factors can be connected to individual patients using only their address. With a more comprehensive picture of patient risk, Clinical AI can make more accurate predictions of patient outcomes. In fact, a recent study found that a machine learning model could accurately predict inpatient and emergency department utilization using only SDOH data.
Doctors rarely have insight on these external forces. More often than not, physicians are with patients for under 15 minutes at a time, and patients may not realize their external circumstances are relevant to their health. But, like medical imaging, AI has the power to make the invisible visible for doctors, surfacing external risk factors they would otherwise miss.
But AI can do more than predict risk. With a complete view of patient risk factors, prescriptive AI tools can recommend interventions that address these risk factors, tapping the latest clinical research. This sets AI apart from traditional predictive analytics, which leaves clinicians with the burden of determining how to reduce a patient’s risk. Ultimately, the doctor is still responsible for setting the care plan, but AI can suggest actions they may not otherwise have considered.
By reducing the cognitive load on clinicians, AI can address another major problem in healthcare: burnout. Among professions, physicians have one of the highest suicide rates, and by 2025, the U.S. The Department of Health and Human Services predicts that there will be a shortage of nearly 90,000 physicians across the nation, driven by burnout. The problem is real, and the pandemic has only worsened its impact.
Implementing clinical AI can play an essential role in reducing burnout within hospitals. Studies show burnout is largely attributed to bureaucratic tasks and EHRs combined, and that physicians spend twice as much time on EHRs and desk work than with patients. Clinical AI can ease the burden of these administrative tasks so physicians can spend more time face-to-face with their patients.
For all its promise, it’s important to recognize that AI is as complex a tool as any radiological instrument. Healthcare organizations can’t just install the software and expect results. There are several implementation considerations that, if poorly executed, can doom AI’s success. This is where clinical AI departments can and should play a role.
The first area where clinical AI departments should focus on is the data. AI is only as good as the data that goes into it. Ultimately, the data used to train machine learning models should be relevant and representative of the patient population it serves. Failing to do so can limit AI’s accuracy and usefulness, or worse, introduce bias. Any bias in the training data, including pre-existing disparities in health outcomes, will be reflected in the output of the AI.
Every hospital’s use of clinical AI will be different, and hospitals will need to deeply consider their patient population and make sure that they have the resources to tailor vendor solutions accordingly. Without the right resources and organizational strategies, clinical AI adoption will come with the same frustration and disillusionment that has come to be associated with EHRs.
Misconceptions about AI are a common hurdle that can foster resistance and misuse. No matter what science fiction tells us, AI will never replace a clinician’s judgment. Rather, AI should be seen as a clinical decision support tool, much like radiology or laboratory tests. For a successful AI implementation, it’s important to have internal champions who can build trust and train staff on proper use. Clinical AI departments can play an outsized role in leading this cultural shift.
Finally, coordination is the bedrock of quality care, and AI is no exception. Clinical AI departments can foster collaboration across departments to action AI insights and treat the whole patient. Doing so can promote a shift from reactive to preventive care, mobilizing ambulatory, and community health resources to prevent avoidable hospitalizations.
With the promise of new vaccines, the end of the pandemic is in sight. Hospitals will soon face a historic opportunity to reshape their practices to recover from the pandemic’s financial devastation and deliver better care in the future. Clinical AI will be a powerful tool through this transition, helping hospitals to get ahead of avoidable utilization, streamline workflows, and improve the quality of care.
A century ago, few would have guessed that X-rays would be the basis for an essential department within hospitals. Today, AI is leading a new revolution in medicine, and hospitals would be remiss to be left behind.
About John Frownfelter, MD, FACP
John is an internist and physician executive in Health Information Technology and is currently leading Jvion’s clinical strategy as their Chief Medical Information Officer. With 20 years’ leadership experience he has a broad range of expertise in systems management, care transformation and health information systems. Dr. Frownfelter has held a number of medical and medical informatics leadership positions over nearly two decades, highlighted by his role as Chief Medical Information Officer for Inpatient services at Henry Ford Health System and Chief Medical Information Officer for UnityPoint Health where he led clinical IT strategy and launched the analytics programs.
Since 2015, Dr. Frownfelter has been bringing his expertise to healthcare through health IT advising to both industry and health systems. His work with Jvion has enhanced their clinical offering and their implementation effectiveness. Dr. Frownfelter has also held professorships at St. George’s University and Wayne State schools of medicine, and the University of Detroit Mercy Physician Assistant School. Dr. Frownfelter received his MD from Wayne State University School of Medicine.
– Shields Health Solutions and Excelera announce a major
specialty pharmacy merger that will form a combined company that consults with
700+ hospitals in 43 states, including Mass General Brigham, Yale New Haven,
Intermountain Healthcare and Henry Ford.
– The network of hospitals is designed to improve patient
care through an infrastructure that helps with things like acquiring prior
authorization for specialty drugs and staying adherent to them. It can also
lower costs for patients by negotiating lower rates from manufacturers with the
leverage of insights from 1 million+ patients in those hospitals.
Shields Health Solutions (Shields), the leading health
system specialty pharmacy integrator, has joined
forces with ExceleraRx
Corp. (Excelera), a healthcare company that empowers integrated delivery
networks, health systems, and academic medical centers to provide personalized,
integrated care for patients with complex and chronic conditions focused on
improving patient care.
Merger Reflects Growing Need for On-Site, Integrated
Serving 60+ health systems and academic medical centers, the
combined organization addresses 700+ hospitals that account for the opportunity
of $30B in specialty pharmacy revenue. The use of specialty medications to
treat complex patients – those with multiple, chronic illnesses or rare, hard
to treat diseases that require close monitoring and support – is increasing an
average of 17 percent per year, and health systems across the U.S. have been
building on-site, integrated specialty pharmacies to provide comprehensive,
streamlined care for this growing population to improve outcomes. Since 2015,
the prevalence of health system-owned specialty pharmacies in large hospitals has doubled, with nearly 90 percent of large
hospitals operating a specialty pharmacy in 2019.
“On-site, integrated specialty pharmacy is the future
of complex patient care and we look forward to combining forces with Excelera
to make our impact even greater. As we have shown, this model materially
improves clinical outcomes for patients and reduces total medical expenses for
covered patients,” said Lee Cooper, CEO, Shields. “Together, our
network of more than 60 of the country’s top health systems, representing
nearly 30% of non-profit healthcare systems based on net patient service revenues,
creates an unparalleled industry-first that will enable unprecedented best
practice sharing and ultimately lead to improved outcomes for complex
Benefits of On-Site, Integrated Specialty Pharmacies for
Shields and Excelera offer programs for health systems to
build, operationalize and optimize integrated specialty pharmacies, as well as
help manufacturers and payors access critical patient and drug performance
insights. With a more personalized, high-touch approach to patient care,
Shields and Excelera have found that hospital-owned specialty pharmacies
dramatically simplify medication and care management for patients and can:
– Reduce medication co-payments from hundreds, sometimes
thousands of dollars, to an average co-pay of $10
– Streamline time-to-therapy, typically from several weeks
to an average of two days
– Decrease physician administrative paperwork by thousands
– Improve medication adherence rates to over 90 percent, on
Financial details of the acquisition were not disclosed.
– Central Logic acquires Acuity Link to power the company’s
Intelligent Transport capabilities, speeding time to care in the best setting.
– In addition, the company rolls out a new interoperable Bed Visibility capability that offers a real-time snapshot into available beds across the enterprise for improved access and enhanced revenue capture.
Logic, a St. Paul, MN-based healthcare access and orchestration company,
has acquired Acuity Link, a leading
provider of transportation communications and logistics management software.
Acuity Link’s technology powers Central Logic’s new Intelligent Transport capability, which was announced
today along with the company’s real-time Bed Visibility platform.
The addition of Intelligent Transport and Bed Visibility to
Central Logic’s industry-leading platform solidifies the company’s leadership
in healthcare access and orchestration, by providing best-in-class technology
tools focused on elevating health system operations that support greater
clinician effectiveness, better outcomes and increased revenue capture.
“This strategic acquisition—which follows our recent acquisition of Ensocare—further demonstrates that Central Logic delivers the most comprehensive access and orchestration solution and services in the industry, with a focus on enabling health systems to ‘operate as one’ by providing innovative technologies that bring disparate processes, information and locations together,” said Angie Franks, CEO of Central Logic.
Acquisition Automates the Transport Request and Tracking Process
Transportation coordination related to patient transfers and
other transitions of care is still a highly manual, inefficient process at many
health systems. Health system access center agents, who manage patient
transfers, discharges and other transitions of care, often need to call multiple
transportation companies and must record key milestones manually.
Central Logic recognized this challenge facing its health
system clients and sought to address it by forming a strategic relationship
with Acuity Link in 2019 to co-develop the Intelligent Transport coordination
and communication tool.
“The acquisition of Acuity Link advances our focus on holistically addressing our clients’ strategic business goals around revenue capture, care delivery, and the infrastructure required to excel in both value-based care and fee-for-service environments,” Franks said. “This is one more validation of our commitment to meeting the full access and orchestration vision of the health systems with whom we partner.”
Intelligent Transport is a vendor-agnostic solution that
automatically considers all types of patient transportation modes, acuity
levels, healthcare settings and even the health system’s contracting
obligations. Intelligent Transport’s proprietary algorithms suggest the most
efficient, clinically appropriate and cost-effective means of transport—from
aircraft to ride-share—and arranges transportation in just seconds. In many
cases, patients are delivered to the care setting 75% faster than through
This faster end-to-end transport process decreases bed cycle
times and expedites bed availability with timely transport to, from and between
sites of care. Intelligent Transport’s algorithms ensure contract compliance,
with access center agents easily able to adhere to the health system’s policies
around vendor rights and obligations.
Intelligent Transport also offers real-time geo-tracking of
transport status so access centers always know where the patient is in their
journey and can work proactively with all pertinent information at their
Bed Visibility Offers Real-Time, Enterprise-Wide
Central Logic’s new Bed Visibility capability addresses
another critical component of successful patient transfers and transitions of
care: The ability to know quickly and easily where the right type of bed,
specialist care and other important resources are available within the health
system, so patients can receive the level of care they need more quickly.
Central Logic’s Bed Visibility solution retrieves
information seamlessly within the platform and displays all necessary data
points—including average wait times, emergency department pre-admits, and
availability by service line and facility—in a single, easy-to-understand view.
Without Bed Visibility, the health system’s EHR or bed
management tools require agents in access centers to open various applications
and click through multiple screens to view the information—wasting precious
time that can affect clinical outcomes. Further, the inefficiency and waiting
that often occur can be frustrating, and the failure to quickly identify an
appropriate bed is a leading cause of patient leakage to competitors.
With automated, real-time visibility into that information
via Bed Visibility, a hospital’s access center can increase satisfaction—and
future referrals—from referring providers, while also decreasing leakage and
“Bed Visibility, when supported by our full platform, can help health systems realize an improved patient census, especially within their specialty centers such as those focused on heart and vascular, neurology or orthopedics,” Franks said. “Every patient that is successfully referred, transferred and admitted brings an average of nearly $11,000 in revenue to the health system, which could result in millions of dollars annually to the bottom line with just 100 additional transfers per month, for a total of 1200 per year.”
– Net Health acquires post-acute market analytics platform PointRight to deepen the company’s analytics capabilities, post-acute presence, and support for SNF networks.
Health, a provider of cloud-based software for specialty medical providers
across the continuum of care, today announced that it has acquired PointRight Inc., a leading provider of
analytics and data-driven tools for the post-acute market. The acquisition adds
to Net Health’s expanding investments in analytics capabilities, which include
the recent acquisition of Tissue Analytics in April 2020 and the earlier
acquisition of Focus on Therapeutic Outcomes (FOTO).
Unlock the Power of Advanced Analytics for Post-Acute
Founded in 1995, PointRight provides analytics that shows a 360⁰ view of long-term and post-acute (LTPAC) facility performance and clinical outcomes. Equipped with these insights, LTPAC Provider and Payers can lower rehospitalization rates, improve clinical outcomes, and build and manage high-performing networks. Today, close to 2,400 SNFs use PointRight’s advanced analytics and data-driven decision support tools to further their clinical, financial, and operational objectives.
SNFs use PointRight to improve the accuracy of their reimbursement and regulatory submissions and to enhance overall performance in readmissions, quality, and outcomes, including more accurate and compliant patient assessments, reduced rehospitalization rates, and optimized care transitions.
More recently, health systems, ACOs, payers, and real estate investment trusts (REIT) have relied on PointRight to provide insight into the health of their SNF networks and to identify areas for improvement.
Acquisition Expands Net Health’s
Market Share in Growing Post-Acute Market
acquisition of PointRight expands Net Health’s position and scale in the
growing post-acute market. Additionally, the acquisition will enable Net
Health’s broad roster of hospital clients to better manage their skilled
nursing facility (SNF) networks and support outcomes measurement and performance
improvement in Medicare Advantage and managed Medicaid programs. As part of the
acquisition, Net Health
plans to fully integrate PointRight staff to accelerate the delivery of new
analytics solutions and expand the availability of PointRight to Net Health’s
customers and markets.
“Through PointRight, Net Health will significantly expand how we support SNFs and their health system, accountable care organization (ACO), payer and REIT partners,” said Josh Pickus, Net Health’s Chief Executive Officer. “It also strengthens our growing analytics capabilities by providing insights into post-acute performance, which enables providers and payers to align around value-based care initiatives.”
Financial details of the acquisition
were not disclosed.
Interoperability is a big discussion in health care, with
new regulations requiring interoperability for patient data. Most approaches
follow the typical RESTful API approach that has become the standard method for
data exchange. Yet Health Level Seven (HL7), with its new Fast Healthcare Interoperability
Resources (FHIR) standard for the electronic transfer of health data, is
leading to a rash of implementations that, to date, are not solving core interoperability
Data is still insecure, users can’t govern their own health
records, and the need for multiple APIs for different participants with
different rights (human and machine) in the network is adding unneeded
expenditures to an already burdened healthcare system. The way out is not to
add more middleware, but to upgrade the basic tools of interoperability in a
way that finally brings healthcare
technology into the 21st century.
A Timely Policy
Doctors, hospitals, pharmacists, insurance providers,
outpatient treatment centers, labs and billing companies are just a few of the
parties that comprise the overcomplicated U.S. healthcare system.
In digitizing medical files, as required by the 2009 Health
Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, providers
have adopted whatever solution was most convenient. This has led to the mess of interoperability
issues that HL7 seeks to remedy with FHIR.
Existing Electronic Medical Records
(EMR) systems do not easily share data. Best case, patients have to sign
off to share data with two incompatible systems. Worst case, information must
be turned into a physical CD or document to follow the patient between
providers. Data security is also notoriously poor. Hackers prioritized the healthcare sector as their main target in 2019; breach
costs exceeded $17.7 billion.
The New Infrastructure Rush
When common formats, by way of FHIR and HL7, provided
standards and solutions to empower global health data interoperability, the
industry erupted into a flurry of activity. Thousands of healthcare databases
are now being draped in virtual construction tarps and surrounded by digital
Building a new, interoperable data ontology for the entire
healthcare system is a massive undertaking. For one, 80% of hospital data is
managed using the cryptic, machine-language HL7 Version 2. Most of the rest
uses the inefficient, dated XML data format. HL7 FHIR promotes the use of more
modern data syntaxes, like JSON and RDF (Turtle).
Secondly, databases have no notion of the new FHIR schema.
Armies of developers must build frameworks and middleware to facilitate interoperability.
This is why Big Tech incumbents including Google Cloud Healthcare, Amazon AWS
and Microsoft for Healthcare are jumping into the fray with their own
The outcome, once HL7’s 22 resources are fully normative, will
be seamless information sharing, electronic notifications, and collaboration
between every player in the giant web of patients, providers, labs, and
middlemen. But it will come at a steep cost in the current traditionally RESTful
API-based manner that is being broadly pursued.
The Problem with APIs
The new scaffolding is expensive, takes data control away
from patients, and is not inherently secure. The number of unique APIs required
to support the access, rights and disparate user base in the healthcare network
are the reason.
Interoperability requires a common syntax and “language” to
enable databases to talk to each other. The average traditional API costs up to
$30,000 to build, plus half that cost to manage annually. That is not to
mention the cost to integrate and secure each API. A small healthcare
organization with only 10 APIs faces costs of $450,000 annually for basic API
When you consider that most big healthcare organizations will
need to connect thousands of APIs, HL7’s interoperability schema really is the
best way forward. The traditional API tooling to manage the interoperability of
the well-framed data structures, however, is the problem.
Moreover, the patient, the rightful owner of their own
health record, still doesn’t have the ability to govern their own data. Because
change only happens in the database itself, the manager of the database, not
the patient, controls the data within.
In the best case, this puts an additional burden on patients
to give explicit permission every time health records move between providers.
In the worst case, a provider sees an entire medical history without a
patient’s consent–your podiatrist seeing your psychiatric records, for
Finally, each API enables one data store to talk to the
next, opening opportunities for bad actors to make changes to databases from
the outside. The firewalls that protect databases and networks are penetrable,
and user profiles are sometimes created outside of the database itself, making
it possible to expose, steal and change data from outside the database.
In that light, HL7 is paving the wrong road with good
intentions. But there is another way.
Semantic Standards and Blockchain to the Rescue
If you eliminate data APIs, secure interoperability, with
data governance fully in the hands of the patient, becomes possible. Healthcare
data silos will be replaced with a dynamic, trusted and shared data network
with privacy and security directly baked in. The solution involves adding
semantic standards for full interoperability, blockchain for data governance
and data-centric security.
Semantic standards, such as RDF formatting and SPARQL
queries, let users quickly and easily gain answers from multiple databases and
other data stores at once. Relational databases, the ones currently in use in healthcare,
are all formatted differently, and need API middleware to talk to one another.
Accurate answers are not guaranteed. Semantic standards, on the other hand,
create a common language between all databases. Instead of untangling the
mismatched definitions and formatting inevitable with relational databases,
doctors’ offices, for example, could easily pull in pertinent patient records,
insurance coverage, and the latest research on diseases.
Patients, for their part, would use blockchain to regain control
of their data. Patients would be able to turn on aspects of their data to
specific caregivers, instead of relinquishing control to database business
managers, as is currently the case. Your podiatrist, in other words, will not
be able to see your psychiatric records unless you choose to share them.
The data ledger, which lives on the blockchain, will contain
instructions as to who can update (writer new records on) the ledger, who can
read it, and who can make changes. All changes are controlled by private-key
encryption that is in the hands of the patient; only those with authorization
can see select histories of health data (or, as in the case of an ER doctor,
entire histories, with permission).
Data security is controlled in the data layer itself,
instead of through middleware such as a firewall. Data can be shared without
API, thanks to those semantic standards, and data are natively embedded with
security in the blockchain. Compliance, governance, security and data
management all become easier. Data cannot be stolen or manipulated by an
outside party, the way it commonly is by healthcare hackers today.
The interoperability conundrum, in other words, is solved.
Fewer APIs means fewer security vulnerabilities; a common, semantic standard
eliminates confusion and minimizes mistakes. Blockchain puts patients in
control of who sees what parts of their health records. Eliminating the need
for API middleware also saves tens of thousands of dollars, at a minimum.
About Brian Platz
Brian is the Co-CEO and Co-Chairman of Fluree, PBC, a decentralized app platform that aims to remodel how business applications are built. Before establishing Fluree, Brian was the co-founder of SilkRoad technology which expanded to over 2,000 customers and 500 employees in 12 international offices.
Jonathan Siddharth, co-founder and CEO of Turing, talks about how the company provides access to a global pool of 170,000 talented software engineers in more than 50 countries to support the healthcare industry and other sectors.
In an increasingly crowded landscape, digital health startups must figure out what sets them apart. Three startup leaders shared what differentiates their companies from the competition at this year’s J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference.
– Nuance Communications, Inc. launched an AI-powered
patient engagement virtual assistant platform to transform omnichannel digital
experiences for patients.
–Healthcare provider organizations can now deploy
a single, common cloud-based platform to support their entire patient journey
across engagement channels using Nuance’s market-leading Intelligent Engagement
– The launch comes as patients increasingly expect the
same level of engaging experiences from healthcare organizations that they have
with consumer brands.
Communications, Inc., today launched an AI-powered patient
engagement virtual assistant platform to transform voice and digital
experiences across the patient journey. The platform combines Nuance’s decades
of healthcare expertise and its award-winning AI technology trusted by consumer
brands like H&M, Rakuten and Best Buy. It works by integrating and
extending Nuance’s EHR, CRM and Patient Access Center systems to enable
healthcare provider organizations to modernize their “digital front door” and
improve clinical care experiences.
Holistic Approach to Healthcare’s New Digital Front Door
Patients are demanding the same conveniences from healthcare
organizations that they enjoy from major consumer brands. A recent survey reveals that consumers are ready for
digital changes such as telemedicine options (44%), digital forms and
communication (41%), and touchless check-in (37%). What’s more, 68% value a
customized patient experience. In fact, a poor digital health experience caused
more than a quarter of patients to change medical providers in 2020 — up 40
percent from 2019.
“Our new omnichannel Patient Engagement Virtual
Assistant Platform takes a holistic approach to powering healthcare’s new
digital front door, overcoming the shortcomings and inconsistencies of partial
point solutions,” said Peter Durlach, Senior Vice President, Strategy
and New Business Development, Nuance. “By marrying the capabilities of our
healthcare experience and the proven omnichannel customer engagement technology
trusted by Fortune 100 companies worldwide, we can help address the
urgent need of providers and patients alike to transform access to, and
delivery of, care in the modern age of digital medicine.”
The Health Information Technology Advisory Committee (HITAC) recently approved a report and set of recommendations developed by the Intersection of Clinical and Administrative Data (ICAD) Task Force.
The ICAD Task Force was established to produce information and considerations related to the merging of clinical and administrative data. The Task Force included a range of stakeholders as well as members of the HITAC and the National Committee on Vital and Health Statistics (NCVHS). To meet the HITAC’s charge,
– COVID-19 care deferrals lead to three major boomerang
conditions that payers and providers must proactively address in 2021,
according to a newly released report by Prealize.
– COVID-19’s hidden victims—those who avoided or deferred
care during the pandemic—will increasingly return to the healthcare system, and
many will be diagnosed with new conditions at more advanced stages. Healthcare
leaders must act now to keep this boomerang from driving worse outcomes and
Many procedures and diagnoses fell significantly in 2020,
with several dropping nearly 50% below 2019 levels between March and June. Total
healthcare utilization fell 23% between March and August 2020, compared to the
same time period in 2019.
To explore the full scope of healthcare utilization and
procedural declines in 2020, and assess how those declines will impact
patients’ health and payers’ pocketbooks in 2021, Prealize Health conducted an
analysis of claims data from nearly 600,000 patients between March 2020 and
Prealize identified the three predicted conditions likely to
see the largest increase in healthcare utilization in 2021:
1. Cardiac diagnoses will increase by 18% for ischemic
heart disease and 14% for congestive heart failure
These increases will be driven by 2020 healthcare
utilization declines, for example, patients deferring family medicine and
internal medicine visits. These visits, which help flag cardiac problems and
prevent them from escalating, declined 24% between March and August of 2020.
“Cardiac illnesses are some of the most serious and
potentially fatal, so delays in diagnosis can lead to significant adverse
outcomes,” said Gordon Norman, MD, Prealize’s Chief Medical Officer.
“Without early recognition and appropriate intervention, rates of patient
hospitalization and death are likely to increase, as will associated costs of
2. Cancer diagnoses will increase by 23%
Similar to cardiac screening trends, significant declines in
2020 cancer screenings will be a key driver of this increase, with 46% fewer
colonoscopies and 32% fewer mammograms performed between March and August 2020
than during that same time period in 2019.
“Cancer doesn’t stop developing or progressing because
there’s a pandemic,” said Ronald A. Paulus, MD, President and CEO at RAPMD
Strategic Advisors, Immediate Past President and CEO of Mission Health, and one
of the medical experts interviewed for the report. “In 2021, when patients
who deferred care ultimately receive their diagnoses, their cancer sadly may be
more advanced. In addition, an increase in newly diagnosed patients may make it
harder for some patients to access care and specialists—particularly for those
patients who are insured by Medicaid or lack insurance altogether.”
3. Fractures will increase by 112%
This finding, based on combined analysis of osteoporosis
risk and fall risk, is particularly troubling for the elderly patient
A key driver of increased fractures in 2021 is the number of
postponed elective orthopedic procedures in 2020, such as hip and knee
replacements. These procedural delays are likely to decrease mobility, and
therefore, increase risk of fractures from falls.
“In elderly patients, fractures are very serious events
that too often lead to decreased overall mobility and quality of life,”
said Norman. “As a result, patients may suffer from physical follow-on
events like pulmonary embolisms, and behavioral health concerns like increased
Why It Matters
“These predictions are daunting, but the key is that providers and payers take action now to mitigate their effects,” said Prealize CEO Linda T. Hand. “It’s going to be critical to gain insight into populations to understand their risk at an individual level, build trust, and treat their conditions as early as possible to improve outcomes. The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged every aspect of our healthcare system, but the way to get ahead of these challenges in 2021 will be to proactively identify and address patients most at risk. We’re going to see proactive care become an important driver for success next year, as providers and payers seek to mitigate unnecessary and expensive procedures that result from 2020’s decreased medical utilization. The right predictive analytics partner will be critical to providers and payers being able to take the right course of action.”
A new report, from cybersecurity firm Fortified Health Security, shows that nearly 200 more data breaches occurred in the first 10 months of 2020 compared with the year prior — around 80% of which targeted providers.
Optum, a subsidiary of insurance giant UnitedHealth Group, agreed to buy healthcare technology company Change Healthcare for $13.5 billion in cash. The acquisition will add data analytics, research and revenue cycle management offerings to Optum’s service roster.
– TigerConnect has announced an expansion in their suite
through the acquisition of Critical Alert, a leading provider of
enterprise-grade middleware for hospitals and health systems.
– For the hundreds of thousands of nurses that currently
use TigerConnect, these new capabilities will deliver real-time, contextual
information to their mobile device or desktop to allow them to work smarter,
prioritize responses, and efficiently coordinate care, all within the same
reliable TigerConnect platform they use every day for enterprise messaging.
a care team collaboration solution, today announced the acquisition
of Critical Alert, a Jacksonville,
FL-based leading provider of enterprise-grade middleware for hospitals and
health systems. Critical Alert’s product suite consists of a middleware suite
of products as well as traditional nurse call hardware servicing over 200
hospitals in North America. Financial details of the acquisition were not
Real-Time Care Team Collaboration for Hospitals
Founded in 1983, Cloud-native and mobile-first, Critical
Alert’s middleware solution enables any health system to combine nurse call,
alarm and event management, medical device interoperability, and clinical
workflow analytics. TigerConnect will integrate Critical
Alert’s middleware stack into its platform to power a wide range of alert types
and alarm management enhancements for TigerConnect’s customers. Critical
Alert’s Nurse Call hardware business will continue to operate under its
namesake as a standalone business unit.
When combined with Critical Alert’s middleware, TigerConnect dramatically
enhances the value proposition to nursing, IT leadership, and end-users. This ‘dream
suite’ of capabilities comes at a time when nurse burnout is at a record high
and chronic nurse shortages are severely challenging organizations’ ability to
deliver the best quality care.
“We see the Critical Alert acquisition as highly strategic and
a natural evolution of our already-robust collaboration
platform,” said Brad Brooks, CEO and co-founder of TigerConnect. “For the
hundreds of thousands of nurses that currently use TigerConnect, these new
capabilities will deliver real-time, contextual information to their mobile
device or desktop to allow them to work smarter, prioritize responses, and
efficiently coordinate care, all within the same reliable TigerConnect platform
they use every day for enterprise messaging.”
Joining TigerConnect is Critical Alert CEO John
Elms, who will assume the role as TigerConnect Chief Product Officer,
guiding the integration of the two companies’ technologies and leading the
development of all future product offerings. Wil Lukens, currently VP of Sales
for Critical Alert, will assume the role of General Manager of Critical Alert’s
traditional Nurse Call hardware unit.
“The timing of the deal and the fit of these two companies aligned perfectly,” said John Elms, CEO of Critical Alert. “Two best-in-class, highly complementary solutions coming together to solve some of the chronic challenges—alarm fatigue, response prioritization, resource optimization—that have driven nurse teams to the brink. Together, these unified technologies will make care professionals’ lives easier, not harder, and I couldn’t be more excited to lead the TigerConnect product organization into this next chapter.”
Critical Alert Integration with TigerConnect Plans
TigerConnect’s robust product suite, which includes care
team collaboration (TigerFlow®), on-call scheduling (TigerSchedule®), virtual
care/telemedicine (TigerTouch®), and now virtualized nurse call and
alerts/alarm management (Critical Alert middleware), will help transform
hospitals and healthcare organizations into the real-time health systems of the
Hardware-free Middleware Forms the Foundation
With a shared cloud-native approach, Critical Alert’s
advanced middleware seamlessly fuses TigerConnect’s care team
collaboration with alarm management and event notifications. Deep
enterprise-level integrations with hospital systems enable the centralization
of clinical workflow management and real-time analytics. Integrating these
systems will have a sizable impact on customer organizations’ productivity and
Next Generation Nurse Call
Critical Alert’s nurse call solution brings a modern, badly
needed upgrade to legacy systems, extending both their life and feature-set. A
single mobile- or desktop-enabled user-interface brings vital contextual
information about requests while allowing for centralized answering of nurse
call alerts and management of workflows and assignments. These streamlined
workflows reduce noise and clinical interruptions while improving
Physiological Monitoring – Less Noise, More Signal
The FDA-cleared offering intelligently routes context-rich
alarm notifications from clinical systems to TigerFlow+. An easy-to-use
workflow builder ensures alerts are prioritized accordingly and are routed to
the appropriate caregiver, suppressing unnecessary noise. The filtering,
mobilization, and escalation of alerts pairs with TigerConnect Teams,
allowing for prompt responses in critical situations.
Smart Bed Alarms for Enhanced Patient Safety
Integrations with popular smart bed systems provide remote
monitoring of bed status details, informing nurses whether they should walk or
run to a patient’s room. Staff can review and adjust bed compliance settings
from their mobile device and receive fall prevention notifications if safe-bed
configuration is compromised.
Real-time Location System (RTLS) Measures What Matters
The integration of RTLS with a deployed nurse call
application greatly enhances the data available to clinical leadership. The
combined TigerConnect/Critical Alert offering enables real-time tracking
of staff location (presence) and time spent on tasks, providing deeper insights
into resource planning, workflow effectiveness and ongoing process improvement
Advanced Analytics for Deeper Workflow Insights
A better understanding of patient behavior and workflows
helps reveal areas for optimization that can lead to improved patient care and
staff efficacy. The new combined platform capabilities centralize the
collection and tracking of patient event data and nurse task efficiency,
turning insights into action. Advanced analytics also allow for identifying,
documenting, and benchmarking responsiveness, compliance, resource allocation,
and patient throughput across the health system.
This new integrated functionality is expected to be
available to TigerConnect customers in Q1 of 2021.
– UnitedHealth Group has reached an agreement to acquire
Change Healthcare in a deal valued at more than $13 billion, marking the first
major acquisition of 2021.
– Change Healthcare will be combined with OptumInsight to
advance a more modern, information, and technology-enabled healthcare platform.
has reached an agreement to acquire
healthcare technology leader Change
Healthcare for more than $13B. As part of the acquisition, Change
Healthcare will be combined with OptumInsight
to provide software and data analytics, technology-enabled services and
research, advisory and revenue cycle management offerings to help make health
care work better for everyone. The acquisition marks one of the largest deals
for UnitedHealth Group as it continues to expand it’s health services under the
Financial Details of Acquisition
UnitedHealth will pay $25.75 a share in cash, the companies said in a joint statement, a 41% premium over Change Healthcare’s closing price Tuesday of $18.24. The $13 billion valuation includes more than $5 billion in debt owed by Change Healthcare. Shares of Change Healthcare were up 31.72% at $24.02 in trading on Wednesday. UnitedHealth shares were up 0.6% at $346.67.
“Together we will help streamline and inform the vital
clinical, administrative and payment processes on which health care providers
and payers depend to serve patients,” said Andrew Witty, President of
UnitedHealth Group and CEO of Optum. “We’re thrilled to welcome Change
Healthcare’s highly skilled team to create a better future for health care.”
Acquisition Impact for Providers and Patients
The combination of OptumInsight and Change Healthcare is expected to simplify services around medical care to improve health outcomes and lower costs
– help clinicians make the most informed and clinically
advanced patient care decisions, more quickly and easily. Change Healthcare
brings widely adopted technology for integrating evidence-based clinical
criteria directly into the clinician’s workflow, while Optum’s clinical
analytics expertise and Individual Health Record can strengthen the evidence
base needed to deliver effective clinical decision support at the point of
care. This can ensure appropriate sites of care and consistently achieve the
best possible health, quality and cost outcomes.
– well-positioned to make health care simpler, more efficient and more effective. A key opportunity is to enhance with insights drawn from billions of claims transactions using Change Healthcare’s intelligent health care network, combined with Optum’s advanced data analytics. This will support significantly faster, more informed and accurate services and processing.
– Change Healthcare’s payment capacities combined with
Optum’s highly automated payment network will simplify financial interactions
among care providers, payers and consumers and accelerate the movement to a
more modern, real-time and transparent payment system. This will ensure
physicians get paid more quickly, accurately and reliably, and provide
consumers the same simplicity and convenience managing their health care
finances they experience with other transactions.
“This opportunity is about advancing connectivity and accelerating innovations and efficiencies essential to a simpler, more intelligent and adaptive health system. We share with Optum a common mission and values and importantly, a sense of urgency to provide our customers and those they serve with the more robust capacities this union makes possible,” said Neil de Crescenzo, President and CEO of Change Healthcare. Upon closing, Mr. de Crescenzo will serve as OptumInsight’s chief executive officer, leading the combined organization.
– Cone Health transforms its maternity campus into North
Carolina’s first designated COVID-19 hospital in 28 days.
Cone Health transformed
its former women’s health campus into a designated COVID-19
hospital in 28 days. Using teamwork and technology, the Cone Health Green Valley campus
in Greensboro, North Carolina became the area’s first specialized COVID-19
hospital, boasting the latest development in coronavirus care, negative
pressure ventilation, and hands-free communication throughout the facility.
More than 80 leaders from multi-disciplinary teams across the health system were involved in redesigning the former Women’s Hospital and opening it as a COVID-19 only facility in April of 2020. By year-end, more than 1,500 patients had received care at the 116-bed COVID-19 hospital. A place once dedicated to bringing new life into the world is now dedicated to keeping life from ending too soon.
Innovative Solutions to Address COVID-19
The health system’s
Lean team and infectious disease team joined forces to ensure that clinical
workflows, operational processes, and technology solutions were safe and
efficient. Among the approved innovations used to protect and connect care
teams in the COVID-19 hospital is the wearable Vocera Smartbadge.
The voice-controlled Smartbadge enables team members to communicate hands-frees and can be worn under personal protective equipment (PPE). A nurse, doctor, or other team members can initiate communication by simply saying, “OK, Vocera” followed by voice commands like “call respiratory therapist” or “call Code Blue team.” The Smartbadge, along with the Vocera Vina smartphone app, is also being used in the new Women’s & Children’s Center at Moses Cone Hospital to help care teams provide exceptional and personal care.
“Many patients need hands-on care, whether they are a sick baby or an elderly man with COVID-19, which is why hands-free communication is ideal for many clinicians; but there also are times when clinicians need to exchange more context about the patient situation, and a secure mobile app is preferred,” said Kenneth Rempher PhD, RN, executive vice president of acute care services and chief nurse executive at Cone Health.
Through the new partnership, Redox — which connects EHRs to healthcare products and services — will make Withings’ remote patient monitoring solution compatible with nearly all EHRs used by physicians and hospitals.
Health systems and EHR vendors have been working for months to comply with the ONC’s final rule on interoperability and information blocking that goes into effect in April and is expected to grant patients unprecedented access to their health information. Here is a look at some of the issues they contended with.
Healthcare data security has been a growing concern for CIOs for the last year or so, as hackers are increasingly targeting health information. Now, with a global pandemic forcing a shift to telemedicine and remote work, and new rules from the ONC and CMS introducing more regulatory burden, healthcare CIOs have more to manage than ever. Fortunately, it is possible to roll out new capabilities while simultaneously improving cybersecurity by following these three rules:
Rule 1: Think Like an Attacker
The coronavirus pandemic has forced healthcare providers everywhere to roll out new capabilities, processes, and workflows, such as telemedicine systems and new patient check-in procedures. These measures are being taken in addition to the necessary work being done to comply with the new mandates from ONC and CMS regarding patient data accessibility. Though these changes need to be implemented quickly, it’s important to follow cybersecurity best practices to avoid providing new openings for attackers.
When a hacker sees new systems and processes being implemented, they are thinking about:
– What software is being introduced? Are there known vulnerabilities or frequently unpatched exploits associated with it?
– How are new endpoints being added and are they secure?
– Since the new ONC and CMS rules require publicly exposed FHIR APIs, how can those be attacked? Are there social engineering exploits that can provide a way around security?
– Are there ways to perpetrate identity fraud if a patient does not need to be physically present to receive healthcare?
This approach should lead to a cybersecurity plan that puts measures in place for each identified risk. By thinking like the adversary, it is possible to identify and lock down the possible attack vectors.
Rule 2: Minimize the Attack Surface
Every way into an organization’s network needs to be secured, monitored, and maintained. The best way to make this process as efficient and fool-proof as possible is to minimize the number of ways into the network.
This is especially difficult in light of the ONC and CMS rules, which require that clinical systems must share data through publicly available FHIR APIs. At first, this seems like a mandate to radically expand the organization’s attack surface. Indeed, this is precisely what happens if the straightforward approach of exposing every clinical system through public APIs is followed.
A different approach, which provides the same capabilities and compliance with the rules, would be to route all API traffic through a central hub. Attaching all the clinical systems to a single point of API access provides a number of benefits:
– Most importantly, compliance is achieved while minimizing the new attack vectors.
– All traffic between clinical systems and the outside world can be monitored from a single place.
– The API hub can act as a façade that makes legacy systems compliant with the new rules, even if those systems lack native FHIR API capabilities.
The API hub need not be an expensive new component of the network architecture. Most healthcare organizations are already using a clinical integration engine to move HL7, XML, and DICOM traffic among their internal systems. The same technology can serve as an API hub. This is especially effective if a new instance of the integration engine is placed in an isolated part of the network without full access to other systems.
Rule 3: Have an Expert Review the Defenses
Even for healthcare organizations with cybersecurity experts on staff, it can be worthwhile to bring in a cybersecurity consultant to cross-check new implementations. Novel threats are constantly shifting and emerging, making it nearly impossible for internal IT staff to keep up with the looming threats of ransomware hacks, while also adequately carrying out the day-to-day responsibilities of their jobs. For that reason, it makes sense to bring in a professional who focuses exclusively on security. It is also often useful to have an independent review from someone who is looking at the implementation from an outsider’s perspective. Independent consultants can provide the necessary guidance, risk assessments, and other security support, to set healthcare organizations up for success and operate more securely.
Expanding an organization’s IT capabilities often means more exposure to risk, especially when implementations are subject to time constraints. However, given the value and importance of the data that’s being generated, transmitted, and stored, it is imperative not to let cybersecurity fall out of focus. By following best practices around design, implementation, and testing healthcare organizations can rise to meet the current challenges of the pandemic, address the mandates of the interoperability rules, and simultaneously improve data security measures.
About Scott Galbari, Chief Technology Officer
As Chief Technology Officer for Lyniate, Scott leads the development and delivery of all products and services. Scott has been in the healthcare IT domain for the past twenty years and has experience in developing and delivering imaging, workflow, nursing, interoperability, and patient flow solutions to customers in all geographies. He was most recently the General Manager for multiple businesses within McKesson and Change Healthcare and started his career as a software developer.
About Drew Ivan, Chief Product & Strategy Officer
Drew’s focus is on how to operationalize and productize integration technologies, patterns, and best practices. His experience includes over 20 years in health IT, working with a wide spectrum of customers, including public HIEs, IDNs, payers, life sciences companies, and software vendors, with the goal of improving outcomes and reducing costs by aggregating and analyzing clinical, claims, and cost data.
As we close out the year, we asked several healthcare executives to share their predictions and trends for 2021.
Kimberly Powell, Vice President & General Manager, NVIDIA Healthcare
Federated Learning: The clinical community will increase their use of federated learning approaches to build robust AI models across various institutions, geographies, patient demographics, and medical scanners. The sensitivity and selectivity of these models are outperforming AI models built at a single institution, even when there is copious data to train with. As an added bonus, researchers can collaborate on AI model creation without sharing confidential patient information. Federated learning is also beneficial for building AI models for areas where data is scarce, such as for pediatrics and rare diseases.
AI-Driven Drug Discovery: The COVID-19 pandemic has put a spotlight on drug discovery, which encompasses microscopic viewing of molecules and proteins, sorting through millions of chemical structures, in-silico methods for screening, protein-ligand interactions, genomic analysis, and assimilating data from structured and unstructured sources. Drug development typically takes over 10 years, however, in the wake of COVID, pharmaceutical companies, biotechs, and researchers realize that acceleration of traditional methods is paramount. Newly created AI-powered discovery labs with GPU-accelerated instruments and AI models will expedite time to insight — creating a computing time machine.
Smart Hospitals: The need for smart hospitals has never been more urgent. Similar to the experience at home, smart speakers and smart cameras help automate and inform activities. The technology, when used in hospitals, will help scale the work of nurses on the front lines, increase operational efficiency, and provide virtual patient monitoring to predict and prevent adverse patient events.
Omri Shor, CEO of Medisafe
Healthcare policy: Expect to see more moves on prescription drug prices, either through a collaborative effort among pharma groups or through importation efforts. Pre-existing conditions will still be covered for the 135 million Americans with pre-existing conditions.
The Biden administration has made this a central element of this platform, so coverage will remain for those covered under ACA. Look for expansion or revisions of the current ACA to be proposed, but stalled in Congress, so existing law will remain largely unchanged. Early feedback indicates the Supreme Court is unlikely to strike down the law entirely, providing relief to many during a pandemic.
Brent D. Lang, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Vocera Communications
The safety and well-being of healthcare workers will be a top priority in 2021. While there are promising headlines about coronavirus vaccines, we can be sure that nurses, doctors, and other care team members will still be on the frontlines fighting COVID-19 for many more months. We must focus on protecting and connecting these essential workers now and beyond the pandemic.
Modernized PPE Standards Clinicians should not risk contamination to communicate with colleagues. Yet, this simple act can be risky without the right tools. To minimize exposure to infectious diseases, more hospitals will rethink personal protective equipment (PPE) and modernize standards to include hands-free communication technology. In addition to protecting people, hands-free communication can save valuable time and resources. Every time a nurse must leave an isolation room to answer a call, ask a question, or get supplies, he or she must remove PPE and don a fresh set to re-enter. With voice-controlled devices worn under PPE, the nurse can communicate without disrupting care or leaving the patient’s bedside.
Voice-controlled solutions can also help new or reassigned care team members who are unfamiliar with personnel, processes, or the location of supplies. Instead of worrying about knowing names or numbers, they can use simple voice commands to connect to the right person, group, or information quickly and safely. In addition to simplifying clinical workflows, an intelligent communication system can streamline operational efficiencies, improve triage and throughput, and increase capacity, which is all essential to hospitals seeking ways to recover from 2020 losses and accelerate growth.
Michael Byczkowski, Global Vice President, Head of Healthcare Industry at SAP,
New, targeted healthcare networks will collaborate and innovate to improve patient outcomes.
We will see many more touchpoints between different entities ranging from healthcare providers and life sciences companies to technology providers and other suppliers, fostering a sense of community within the healthcare industry. More organizations will collaborate based on existing data assets, perform analysis jointly, and begin adding innovative, data-driven software enhancements. With these networks positively influencing the efficacy of treatments while automatically managing adherence to local laws and regulations regarding data use and privacy, they are paving the way for software-defined healthcare.
Smart hospitals will create actionable insights for the entire organization out of existing data and information.
Medical records as well as operational data within a hospital will continue to be digitized and will be combined with experience data, third-party information, and data from non-traditional sources such as wearables and other Internet of Things devices. Hospitals that have embraced digital are leveraging their data to automate tasks and processes as well as enable decision support for their medical and administrative staff. In the near future, hospitals could add intelligence into their enterprise environments so they can use data to improve internal operations and reduce overhead.
Curt Medeiros, President and Chief Operating Officer of Ontrak
As health care costs continue to rise dramatically given the pandemic and its projected aftermath, I see a growing and critical sophistication in healthcare analytics taking root more broadly than ever before. Effective value-based care and network management depend on the ability of health plans and providers to understand what works, why, and where best to allocate resources to improve outcomes and lower costs. Tied to the need for better analytics, I see a tipping point approaching for finally achieving better data security and interoperability. Without the ability to securely share data, our industry is trying to solve the world’s health challenges with one hand tied behind our backs.
G. Cameron Deemer, President, DrFirst
Like many business issues, the question of whether to use single-vendor solutions or a best-of-breed approach swings back and forth in the healthcare space over time. Looking forward, the pace of technology change is likely to swing the pendulum to a new model: systems that are supplemental to the existing core platform. As healthcare IT matures, it’s often not a question of ‘can my vendor provide this?’ but ‘can my vendor provide this in the way I need it to maximize my business processes and revenues?
This will be more clear with an example: An EHR may provide a medication history function, for instance, but does it include every source of medication history available? Does it provide a medication history that is easily understood and acted upon by the provider? Does it provide a medication history that works properly with all downstream functions in the EHR? When a provider first experiences medication history during a patient encounter, it seems like magic.
After a short time, the magic fades to irritation as the incompleteness of the solution becomes more obvious. Much of the newer healthcare technologies suffer this same incompleteness. Supplementing the underlying system’s capabilities with a strongly integrated third-party system is increasingly going to be the strategy of choice for providers.
Angie Franks, CEO of Central Logic
In 2021, we will see more health systems moving towards the goal of truly operating as one system of care. The pandemic has demonstrated in the starkest terms how crucial it is for health systems to have real-time visibility into available beds, providers, transport, and scarce resources such as ventilators and drugs, so patients with COVID-19 can receive the critical care they need without delay. The importance of fully aligning as a single integrated system that seamlessly shares data and resources with a centralized, real-time view of operations is a lesson that will resonate with many health systems.
Expect in 2021 for health systems to enhance their ability to orchestrate and navigate patient transitions across their facilities and through the continuum of care, including post-acute care. Ultimately, this efficient care access across all phases of care will help healthcare organizations regain revenue lost during the historic drop in elective care in 2020 due to COVID-19.
In addition to elevating revenue capture, improving system-wide orchestration and navigation will increase health systems’ bed availability and access for incoming patients, create more time for clinicians to operate at the top of their license, and reduce system leakage. This focus on creating an ‘operating as one’ mindset will not only help health systems recover from 2020 losses, it will foster sustainable and long-term growth in 2021 and well into the future.
John Danaher, MD, President, Global Clinical Solutions, Elsevier
COVID-19 has brought renewed attention to healthcare inequities in the U.S., with the disproportionate impact on people of color and minority populations. It’s no secret that there are indicative factors, such as socioeconomic level, education and literacy levels, and physical environments, that influence a patient’s health status. Understanding these social determinants of health (SDOH) better and unlocking this data on a wider scale is critical to the future of medicine as it allows us to connect vulnerable populations with interventions and services that can help improve treatment decisions and health outcomes. In 2021, I expect the health informatics industry to take a larger interest in developing technologies that provide these kinds of in-depth population health insights.
Jay Desai, CEO and co-founder of PatientPing
2021 will see an acceleration of care coordination across the continuum fueled by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Interoperability and Patient Access rule’s e-notifications Condition of Participation (CoP), which goes into effect on May 1, 2021. The CoP requires all hospitals, psych hospitals, and critical access hospitals that have a certified electronic medical record system to provide notification of admit, discharge, and transfer, at both the emergency room and the inpatient setting, to the patient’s care team. Due to silos, both inside and outside of a provider’s organization, providers miss opportunities to best treat their patients simply due to lack of information on patients and their care events.
This especially impacts the most vulnerable patients, those that suffer from chronic conditions, comorbidities or mental illness, or patients with health disparities due to economic disadvantage or racial inequity. COVID-19 exacerbated the impact on these vulnerable populations. To solve for this, healthcare providers and organizations will continue to assess their care coordination strategies and expand their patient data interoperability initiatives in 2021, including becoming compliant with the e-notifications Condition of Participation.
Kuldeep Singh Rajput, CEO and founder of Biofourmis
Driven by CMS’ Acute Hospital at Home program announced in November 2020, we will begin to see more health systems delivering hospital-level care in the comfort of the patient’s home–supported by technologies such as clinical-grade wearables, remote patient monitoring, and artificial intelligence-based predictive analytics and machine learning.
A randomized controlled trial by Brigham Health published in Annals of Internal Medicine earlier this year demonstrated that when compared with usual hospital care, Home Hospital programs can reduce rehospitalizations by 70% while decreasing costs by nearly 40%. Other advantages of home hospital programs include a reduction in hospital-based staffing needs, increased capacity for those patients who do need inpatient care, decreased exposure to COVID-19 and other viruses such as influenza for patients and healthcare professionals, and improved patient and family member experience.
Jake Pyles, CEO, CipherHealth
The disappearance of the hospital monopoly will give rise to a new loyalty push
Healthcare consumerism was on the rise ahead of the pandemic, but the explosion of telehealth in 2020 has effectively eliminated the geographical constraints that moored patient populations to their local hospitals and providers. The fallout has come in the form of widespread network leakage and lost revenue. By October, in fact, revenue for hospitals in the U.S. was down 9.2% year-over-year. Able to select providers from the comfort of home and with an ever-increasing amount of personal health data at their convenience through the growing use of consumer-grade wearable devices, patients are more incentivized in 2021 to choose the provider that works for them.
After the pandemic fades, we’ll see some retrenchment from telehealth, but it will remain a mainstream care delivery model for large swaths of the population. In fact, post-pandemic, we believe telehealth will standardize and constitute a full 30% to 40% of interactions.
That means that to compete, as well as to begin to recover lost revenue, hospitals need to go beyond offering the same virtual health convenience as their competitors – Livango and Teladoc should have been a shot across the bow for every health system in 2020. Moreover, hospitals need to become marketing organizations. Like any for-profit brand, hospitals need to devote significant resources to building loyalty but have traditionally eschewed many of the cutting-edge marketing techniques used in other industries. Engagement and personalization at every step of the patient journey will be core to those efforts.
Marc Probst, former Intermountain Health System CIO, Advisor for SR Health by Solutionreach
Healthcare will fix what it’s lacking most–communication.
Because every patient and their health is unique, when it comes to patient care, decisions need to be customized to their specific situation and environment, yet done in a timely fashion. In my two decades at one of the most innovative health systems in the U.S., communication, both across teams and with patients continuously has been less than optimal. I believe we will finally address both the interpersonal and interface communication issues that organizations have faced since the digitization of healthcare.”
Rich Miller, Chief Strategy Officer, Qgenda
2021 – The year of reforming healthcare: We’ve been looking at ways to ease healthcare burdens for patients for so long that we haven’t realized the onus we’ve put on providers in doing so. Adding to that burden, in 2020 we had to throw out all of our playbooks and become masters of being reactive. Now, it’s time to think through the lessons learned and think through how to be proactive. I believe provider-based data will allow us to reformulate our priorities and processes. By analyzing providers’ biggest pain points in real-time, we can evaporate the workflow and financial troubles that have been bothering organizations while also relieving providers of their biggest problems.”
Robert Hanscom, JD, Vice President of Risk Management and Analytics at Coverys
Data Becomes the Fix, Not the Headache for Healthcare
The past 10 years have been challenging for an already overextended healthcare workforce. Rising litigation costs, higher severity claims, and more stringent reimbursement mandates put pressure on the bottom line. Continued crises in combination with less-than-optimal interoperability and design of health information systems, physician burnout, and loss of patient trust, have put front-line clinicians and staff under tremendous pressure.
Looking to the future, it is critical to engage beyond the day to day to rise above the persistent risks that challenge safe, high-quality care on the frontline. The good news is healthcare leaders can take advantage of tools that are available to generate, package, and learn from data – and use them to motivate action.
Steve Betts, Chief of Operations and Products at Gray Matter Analytics
Analytics Divide Intensifies: Just like the digital divide is widening in society, the analytics divide will continue to intensify in healthcare. The role of data in healthcare has shifted rapidly, as the industry has wrestled with an unsustainable rate of increasing healthcare costs. The transition to value-based care means that it is now table stakes to effectively manage clinical quality measures, patient/member experience measures, provider performance measures, and much more. In 2021, as the volume of data increases and the intelligence of the models improves, the gap between the haves and have nots will significantly widen at an ever-increasing rate.
Substantial Investment in Predictive Solutions: The large health systems and payors will continue to invest tens of millions of dollars in 2021. This will go toward building predictive models to infuse intelligent “next best actions” into their workflows that will help them grow and manage the health of their patient/member populations more effectively than the small and mid-market players.
Jennifer Price, Executive Director of Data & Analytics at THREAD
The Rise of Home-based and Decentralized Clinical Trial Participation
In 2020, we saw a significant rise in home-based activities such as online shopping, virtual school classes and working from home. Out of necessity to continue important clinical research, home health services and decentralized technologies also moved into the home. In 2021, we expect to see this trend continue to accelerate, with participants receiving clinical trial treatments at home, home health care providers administering procedures and tests from the participant’s home, and telehealth virtual visits as a key approach for sites and participants to communicate. Hybrid decentralized studies that include a mix of on-site visits, home health appointments and telehealth virtual visits will become a standard option for a range of clinical trials across therapeutic areas. Technological advances and increased regulatory support will continue to enable the industry to move out of the clinic and into the home.
Doug Duskin, President of the Technology Division at Equality Health
Value-based care has been a watchword of the healthcare industry for many years now, but advancement into more sophisticated VBC models has been slower than anticipated. As we enter 2021, providers – particularly those in fee-for-service models who have struggled financially due to COVID-19 – and payers will accelerate this shift away from fee-for-service medicine and turn to technology that can facilitate and ease the transition to more risk-bearing contracts. Value-based care, which has proven to be a more stable and sustainable model throughout the pandemic, will seem much more appealing to providers that were once reluctant to enter into risk-bearing contracts. They will no longer be wondering if they should consider value-based contracting, but how best to engage.
Brian Robertson, CEO of VisiQuate
Continued digitization and integration of information assets: In 2021, this will lead to better performance outcomes and clearer, more measurable examples of “return on data, analytics, and automation.
Digitizing healthcare’s complex clinical, financial, and operational information assets: I believe that providers who are further in the digital transformation journey will make better use of their interconnected assets, and put the healthcare consumer in the center of that highly integrated universe. Healthcare consumer data will be studied, better analyzed, and better predicted to drive improved performance outcomes that benefit the patient both clinically and financially.
Some providers will have leapfrog moments: These transformations will be so significant that consumers will easily recognize that they are receiving higher value. Lower acuity telemedicine and other virtual care settings are great examples that lead to improved patient engagement, experience and satisfaction. Device connectedness and IoT will continue to mature, and better enable chronic disease management, wellness, and other healthy lifestyle habits for consumers.
Kermit S. Randa, CEO of Syntellis Performance Solutions
Healthcare CEOs and CFOs will partner closely with their CIOs on data governance and data distribution planning. With the massive impact of COVID-19 still very much in play in 2021, healthcare executives will need to make frequent data-driven – and often ad-hoc — decisions from more enterprise data streams than ever before. Syntellis research shows that healthcare executives are already laser-focused on cost reduction and optimization, with decreased attention to capital planning and strategic growth. In 2021, there will be a strong trend in healthcare organizations toward new initiatives, including clinical and quality analytics, operational budgeting, and reporting and analysis for decision support.
Dr. Calum Yacoubian, Associate Director of Healthcare Product & Strategy at Linguamatics
As payers and providers look to recover from the damage done by the pandemic, the ability to deliver value from data assets they already own will be key. The pandemic has displayed the siloed nature of healthcare data, and the difficulty in extracting vital information, particularly from unstructured data, that exists. Therefore, technologies and solutions that can normalize these data to deliver deeper and faster insights will be key to driving economic recovery. Adopting technologies such as natural language processing (NLP) will not only offer better population health management, ensuring the patients most in need are identified and triaged but will open new avenues to advance innovations in treatments and improve operational efficiencies.
Prior to the pandemic, there was already an increasing level of focus on the use of real-world data (RWD) to advance the discovery and development of new therapies and understand the efficacy of existing therapies. The disruption caused by COVID-19 has sharpened the focus on RWD as pharma looks to mitigate the effect of the virus on conventional trial recruitment and data collection. One such example of this is the use of secondary data collection from providers to build real-world cohorts which can serve as external comparator arms.
This convergence on seeking value from existing RWD potentially affords healthcare providers a powerful opportunity to engage in more clinical research and accelerate the work to develop life-saving therapies. By mobilizing the vast amount of data, they will offer pharmaceutical companies a mechanism to positively address some of the disruption caused by COVID-19. This movement is one strategy that is key to driving provider recovery in 2021.
Rose Higgins, Chief Executive Officer of HealthMyne
Precision imaging analytics technology, called radiomics, will increasingly be adopted and incorporated into drug development strategies and clinical trials management. These AI-powered analytics will enable drug developers to gain deeper insights from medical images than previously capable, driving accelerated therapy development, greater personalization of treatment, and the discovery of new biomarkers that will enhance clinical decision-making and treatment.
Dharmesh Godha, President and CTO of Advaiya
Greater adoption and creative implementation of remote healthcare will be the biggest trend for the year 2021, along with the continuous adoption of cloud-enabled digital technologies for increased workloads. Remote healthcare is a very open field. The possibilities to innovate in this area are huge. This is the time where we can see the beginning of the convergence of personal health aware IoT devices (smartwatches/ temp sensors/ BP monitors/etc.) with the advanced capabilities of the healthcare technologies available with the monitoring and intervention capabilities for the providers.
Simon Wu, Investment Director, Cathay Innovation
Healthcare Data Proves its Weight in Gold in 2021
Real-world evidence or routinely stored data from hospitals and claims, being leveraged by healthcare providers and biopharma companies along with those that can improve access to data will grow exponentially in the coming year. There are many trying to build in-house, but similar to autonomous technology, there will be a separate set of companies emerge in 2021 to provide regulated infrastructure and have their “AWS” moment.
Kyle Raffaniello, CEO of Sapphire Digital
2021 is a clear year for healthcare price transparency
Over the past year, healthcare price transparency has been a key topic for the Trump administration in an effort to lower healthcare costs for Americans. In recent months, COVID-19 has made the topic more important to patients than ever before. Starting in January, we can expect the incoming Biden administration to not only support the existing federal transparency regulations but also continue to push for more transparency and innovation within Medicare. I anticipate that healthcare price transparency will continue its momentum in 2021 as one of two Price Transparency rules takes effect and the Biden administration supports this movement.
Dennis McLaughlin VP of Omni Operations + Product at ibi
Social Determinants of Health Goes Mainstream: Understanding more about the patient and their personal environment has a hot topic the past two years. Providers and payers’ ability to inject this knowledge and insight into the clinical process has been limited. 2021 is the year it gets real. It’s not just about calling an uber anymore. The organizations that broadly factor SDOH into the servicing model especially with virtualized medicine expanding broadly will be able to more effectively reach vulnerable patients and maximize the effectiveness of care.
Joe Partlow, CTO at ReliaQuest
The biggest threat to personal privacy will be healthcare information: Researchers are rushing to pool resources and data sets to tackle the pandemic, but this new era of openness comes with concerns around privacy, ownership, and ethics. Now, you will be asked to share your medical status and contact information, not just with your doctors, but everywhere you go, from workplaces to gyms to restaurants. Your personal health information is being put in the hands of businesses that may not know how to safeguard it. In 2021, cybercriminals will capitalize on rapid U.S. telehealth adoption. Sharing this information will have major privacy implications that span beyond keeping medical data safe from cybercriminals to wider ethics issues and insurance implications.
Jimmy Nguyen, Founding President at Bitcoin Association
Blockchain solutions in the healthcare space will bring about massive improvements in two primary ways in 2021.
Firstly, blockchain applications will for the first time facilitate patients owning, managing, and even monetizing their personal health data. Today’s healthcare information systems are incredibly fragmented, with patient data from different sources – be they physicians, pharmacies, labs, or otherwise – kept in different silos, eliminating the ability to generate a holistic view of patient information and restricting healthcare providers from producing the best health outcomes.
Healthcare organizations are growing increasingly aware of the ways in which blockchain technology can be used to eliminate data silos, enable real-time access to patient information, and return control to patients for the use of their personal data – all in a highly-secure digital environment. 2021 will be the year that patient data goes blockchain.
Secondly, blockchain solutions can ensure more honesty and transparency in the development of pharmaceutical products. Clinical research data is often subject to questions of integrity or ‘hygiene’ if data is not properly recorded, or worse, is deliberately fabricated. Blockchain technology enables easy, auditable tracking of datasets generated by clinical researchers, benefitting government agencies tasked with approving drugs while producing better health outcomes for healthcare providers and patients. In 2021, I expect to see a rise in the use and uptake of applications that use public blockchain systems to incentivize greater honesty in clinical research.
Alex Lazarow, Investment Director, Cathay Innovation
The Future of US Healthcare is Transparent, Fair, Open and Consumer-Driven
In the last year, the pandemic put a spotlight on the major gaps in healthcare in the US, highlighting a broken system that is one of the most expensive and least distributed in the world. While we’ve already seen many boutique healthcare companies emerge to address issues around personalization, quality and convenience, the next few years will be focused on giving the power back to consumers, specifically with the rise of insurtechs, in fixing the transparency, affordability, and incentive issues that have plagued the private-based US healthcare system until now.
Lisa Romano, RN, Chief Nursing Officer, CipherHealth
Hospitals will need to counter the staff wellness fallout
The pandemic has placed unthinkable stress on frontline healthcare workers. Since it began, they’ve been working under conditions that are fundamentally more dangerous, with fewer resources, and in many cases under the heavy emotional burden of seeing several patients lose their battle with COVID-19. The fallout from that is already beginning – doctors and nurses are leaving the profession, or getting sick, or battling mental health struggles. Nursing programs are struggling to fill classes. As a new wave of the pandemic rolls across the country, that fallout will only increase. If they haven’t already, hospitals in 2021 will place new premiums upon staff wellness and staff health, tapping into the same type of outreach and purposeful rounding solutions they use to round on patients.
Kris Fitzgerald, CTO, NTT DATA Services
Quality metrics for health plans – like data that measures performance – was turned on its head in 2020 due to delayed procedures. In the coming year, we will see a lot of plans interpret these delayed procedures flexibly so they honor their plans without impacting providers. However, for so long, the payer’s use of data and the provider’s use of data has been disconnected. Moving forward the need for providers to have a more specific understanding of what drives the value and if the cost is reasonable for care from the payer perspective is paramount. Data will ensure that this collaboration will be enhanced and the concept of bundle payments and aligning incentives will be improved. As the data captured becomes even richer, it will help people plan and manage their care better. The addition of artificial intelligence (AI) to this data will also play a huge role in both dialog and negotiation when it comes to cost structure. This movement will lead to a spike in value-based care adoption
Industry experts state that orphan drugs will be a major trend to watch in the years ahead, accounting for almost 40% of the Food and Drug Administration approvals this year. This market has become more competitive in the past few years, increasing the potential for reduced costs and broader patient accessibility. Currently, these products are often expensive because they target specific conditions and cost on average $147,000 or more per year, making commercialization optimization particularly critical for success.
This is important because personalized medicine has the capacity to detect the onset of disease at its earliest stages, pre-empt the progression of the disease and increase the efficiency of the health care system by improving quality, accessibility, and affordability.
These factors lay the groundwork for specialty pharmaceutical companies that are developing and commercializing personalized drugs for orphan and ultra-orphan diseases to pursue productive collaboration and meaningful partnership with a specialty pharmacy, distribution, and patient management service provider. This relationship offers manufacturers a patient-first model to align with market trends and optimize the opportunity, maximize therapeutic opportunities for personalized medicines, and help to contain costs of specialty pharmacy for orphan and rare disorders. This approach leads to a more precise way of predicting the prognosis of genetic diseases, helping physicians to better determine which medical treatments and procedures will work best for each patient.
Furthermore, and of concern to specialty pharmaceutical providers, is the opportunity to leverage a patient-first strategy in streamlining patient enrollment in clinical trials. This model also maximizes interaction with patients for adherence and compliance, hastens time to commercialization, and provides continuity of care to avoid lapses in therapy — during and after clinical trials through commercialization and beyond for the whole life cycle of a product. Concurrently, the patient-first approach also provides exceptional support to caregivers, healthcare providers, and biopharma partners.
Integrating Data with Human Interaction
When it comes to personalized medicine for the rare orphan market, tailoring IT, technology, and data solutions based upon client needs—and a high-touch approach—can improve patient engagement from clinical trials to commercialization and compliance.
Rare and orphan disease patients require an intense level of support and benefit from high touch service. A care team, including the program manager, care coordinator, pharmacist, nurse, and specialists, should be 100% dedicated to the disease state, patient community, and therapy. This is a critical feature to look for when seeking a specialty pharmacy, distribution, and patient management provider. The key to effective care is to balance technology solutions with methods for addressing human needs and variability.
With a patient-first approach, wholesale distributors, specialty pharmacies, and hub service providers connect seamlessly, instead of operating independently. The continuity across the entire patient journey strengthens communication, yields rich data for more informed decision making, and improves the overall patient experience. This focus addresses all variables around collecting data while maintaining frequent communication with patients and their families to ensure compliance and positive outcomes.
As genome science becomes part of the standard of routine care, the vast amount of genetic data will allow the medicine to become more precise and more personal. In fact, the growing understanding of how large sets of genes may contribute to disease helps to identify patients at risk from common diseases like diabetes, heart conditions, and cancer. In turn, this enables doctors to personalize their therapy decisions and allows individuals to better calculate their risks and potentially take pre-emptive action.
What’s more, the increase in other forms of data about individuals—such as molecular information from medical tests, electronic health records, or digital data recorded by sensors—makes it possible to more easily capture a wealth of personal health information, as does the rise of artificial intelligence and cloud computing to analyze this data.
Telehealth in the Age of Pandemics
During the COVID-19 pandemic, and beyond, it has become imperative that any specialty pharmacy, distribution, and patient management provider must offer a fully integrated telehealth option to provide care coordination for patients, customized care plans based on conversations with each patient, medication counseling, education on disease states and expectations for each drug.
A customized telehealth option enables essential discussions for understanding patient needs, a drug’s impact on overall health, assessing the number of touchpoints required each month, follow-up, and staying on top of side effects.
Each touchpoint has a care plan. For instance, a product may require the pharmacist to reach out to the patient after one week to assess response to the drug from a physical and psychological perspective, asking the right questions and making necessary changes, if needed, based on the patient’s daily routine, changes in behavior and so on.
This approach captures relevant information in a standardized way so that every pharmacist and patient is receiving the same assessment based on each drug, which can be compared to overall responses. Information is gathered by an operating system and data aggregator and shared with the manufacturer, who may make alterations to the care plan based on the story of the patient journey created for them.
Just as important, patients know that help is a phone call away and trust the information and guidance that pharmacists provide.
About Donovan Quill, President and CEO, Optime Care
Donovan Quill is the President and CEO of Optime Care, a nationally recognized pharmacy, distribution, and patient management organization that creates the trusted path to a fulfilled life for patients with rare and orphan disorders. Donovan entered the world of healthcare after a successful coaching career and teaching at the collegiate level. His personal mission was to help patients who suffer from an orphan disorder that has affected his entire family (Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency). Donovan became a Patient Advocate for Centric Health Resources and traveled the country raising awareness, improving detection, and providing education to patients and healthcare providers.
In a wide-ranging interview with MedCity News, Cerner CommunityWorks President Mitchell Clark discussed the healthcare challenges facing rural communities amid the Covid-19 pandemic and the company’s new free offering that aims to support rural telehealth.
– Healthcare technology company Forcura names the five
most significant trends for the post-acute care industry in 2021.
The post-acute care (PAC) sector saw some of its most
profound challenges this year, from deadly COVID-19
outbreaks in skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) to a suddenly accelerated need
for the services provided by home health and hospice. The biggest question now
is that what does the post-acute care future hold for all of us?
Forcura, a healthcare technology company that enables safer patient care transitions along the care continuum recently released their report, What Happened and What’s Next in Post-Acute Care,” which synthesizes the top takeaways for the post-acute care industry in 2020, and explores the five themes it projects will be the leading business influencers on the sector in 2021 and for years to come.
The report names these as the five most significant drivers
for the post-acute care industry in 2021:
1. Interoperability: The Industry Inches Closer to a
In its guide to “Interoperability in Healthcare,” HIMSS
as “the ability of different information systems, devices and applications
(systems) to access, exchange, integrate and cooperatively use data in a
coordinated manner, within and across organizational, regional and national
boundaries, to provide timely and seamless portability of information and
optimize the health of individuals and populations globally.”
Individuals and organizations have worked tirelessly for
years to create a technological foundation that will make care transitions
safer and more holistic. They’ve made incredible progress…with patients and PAC
providers beginning to reap the benefits of increased data sharing.
2. Healthcare will be Increasingly Built Around the
Service providers talk about the “user experience” and now
users are finally seeking better care experiences. People are becoming savvier
and more demanding about their healthcare in the same ways they have done so in
consuming other services. While technology is certainly a component of the move
towards patient centricity, it is a tool that enables or enhances care
delivery. Post-acute care is poised for the shift to patient centricity.
3. Payment Models and Reimbursement Plans Remain in Play
The post-acute care industry will continue to be shaped by
regulatory and financial forces. By being proactive, fully understanding the
impacts of payment models (like unified payments), learning from the lessons of
acute care payment reform, and choosing the right partners, PAC providers
should be able to more confidently control their bottom lines in the coming
4. New Business Models are Not Your Parents’ PAC
PAC companies themselves also are beginning to explore new
options for their business operations. Post-acute care is being asked to
deliver better patient outcomes and greater value – and it’s time to respond.
Driven in part by the explosion of home-based health care services from legacy
players and new entrants, PAC organizations will be scrambling to retain as
much patient share as possible. By diversifying, providers can reduce the
vulnerability experienced by single service line agencies.
5. Healthcare for All Remains Elusive
COVID-19 has revealed some harsh realities about the ongoing
effects of structural inequity…to no one’s surprise. Some steps towards equity
are occurring. Research led by Oregon Health & Science University shows
that a new national care program for hip and knee joint replacements seems to
reduce health outcome disparities for Black patients. The CMS Comprehensive
Care for Joint Replacement model is a bundled payment model designed to reduce
spending and improve outcomes for all joint replacement patients. “Although
Black patients were discharged to institutional post-acute care more than white
patients, the gap narrowed under the new bundled payment model. Readmission
risk decreased about 3 percentage points for Black patients under the new
model, and stayed roughly the same for Hispanic and white patients.”
“Everyone realizes that 2020 is historic for the unprecedented disruption and lives lost to the COVID-19 public health crisis” says Forcura founder and CEO, Craig Mandeville, “and operating in-the-moment has been a necessity. It has also possibly reduced the time the industry has to plan for what else is around the corner.” Craig continues, “Our original research and conversations from our CONNECT Summit clearly point to five market drivers that everyone should factor into their strategic initiatives. We’re proud to offer this report and believe it will guide health industry companies to focus more on patients and better secure their bottom lines.”
Healthcare leaders can continue to wait for the government to enact and enforce IT changes that may or may not serve the needs of clinicians. Or, they can embrace proven solutions today that make their EHRs a bit more like a good butler – and serve the needs of clinicians.
An email hacking incident exposed the information of close to 500,000 Aetna health plan members, the payer reported to HHS last week. The incident occurred when an unauthorized person gained access to an email account of Aetna’s vision benefit services provider.
Communication problems and inadequate information flow are two of the most common root causes of medical errors. The potential for miscommunication and faulty exchange of information in healthcare is substantial.
Consider: patient information is dispersed among multiple providers and payers along the continuum of care. Electronic Health Records (EHRs) and other clinical systems do not capture patient information or format medical documentation in a standardized manner. In an environment with incompatible systems, the easiest way for healthcare organizations to exchange records is to generate those records in a document format. It is not surprising then that many healthcare organizations are still heavily dependent on traditional, paper-based fax, which adds its own challenges to the process. Fax hardware and communication equipment are often unreliable, resulting in document delivery failures and delays.
As a result, an inadequate information flow can cause problems that impact the availability of essential knowledge needed for prescribing decisions, timely and reliable delivery of test results, and coordination of medical orders. The ensuing administrative and medical errors raise healthcare costs and may lead to poor health outcomes, including patient harm and readmissions.
The reality of mundane, manual processes
Document-based information exchange processes are highly inefficient. Staff often print and copy documents, creating a risk of accidental exposure of protected health information and resulting in needless costs. Moreover, documents – whether printed or stored on a workstation or server – still require manual data entry into EHRs and practice management systems. The tasks are tedious, prone to error, and negatively impact workflow, staff efficiency, physicians, and patients, and may lead to the following:
– Patient record errors, including filing or documenting information in the wrong patient file, and data entry errors;
– Poorly documented or lost test results; and
– Gaps in communication during transitions of care from one healthcare provider or setting to another.
In addition to these areas of concern that threaten patient safety, inbound documents often contain a lot of information on clinical, administrative, and financial matters that aren’t necessarily relevant to an intended recipient. That means a recipient must review all pages of the document and separate needed information from extraneous ones, which can further delay processing and patient transitions of care.
Smarter, faster document processing with AI
Healthcare providers need a document exchange and processing strategy that enables fully digital, secure, and efficient communication among numerous, highly customized EHRs, each with its own workflows and document processing preferences.
Such a strategy needs to include moving away from paper to fully digital documents. Healthcare organizations can accomplish this easily and without the need to overhaul the entire existing health IT infrastructure. The two main ways of transitioning from paper to digital are using digital fax instead of traditional fax and document imaging when documents are simply scanned into the system. In many cases, the resulting document format will be a TIFF image; and while it is not machine-readable, it enables paperless filing of clinical documents to the EHR.
Alternatively, converting the document into a readable format, such as a searchable PDF, will allow the healthcare organization to add value in document processing at every subsequent step. Making the document readable enables automatic identification of the type of document, data extraction, including patient name, medical record, date of birth, and physician name, as well as more effective management of the overall lifecycle of the document.
This step requires the utilization of AI and natural language processing techniques. Automatic extraction of data replaces the human labor required to manually index the information, which streamlines the triaging of documents to correct systems, teams, or recipients.
For example, if a digital document is clearly labeled as a discharge summary for John Harrison, a staff member can process it much easier and faster than when she has to open and read it to understand the type of the document and the identity of the patient. By mostly automating the receiving, reading, classifying, and triaging of medical documentation, providers are able to save time and ensure information is received and processed quickly by the right person, which typically means that the patient can be better served.
The COVID-19 pandemic has only driven home the need for seamless, 100%-digital exchange of patient information. If healthcare administrators depend on the physical fax machine to do their jobs, they won’t be able to work remotely. Most people don’t have fax machines at home, and especially fax machines routed to the hospital’s number, to be able to print information and then manually scan and enter that information into the patient’s health record. A fully digital document processing approach enables agility and flexibility necessary in the modern healthcare environment.
Moreover, recent ransomware attacks in the form of malware embedded into email attachments sent to users in hospitals lead to providers blocking inbound email attachments altogether. That means providers could not access their own patient data, let alone data from other institutions. As a result, emergency patients may have to be taken to other hospitals, and surgeries and other procedures delayed. Cloud-based platforms enable users to securely access patient information outside of the hospital’s network.
Small steps lead to big results
It’s essential from both a patient safety perspective and provider efficiency perspective that the exchange and processing of medical documentation be digitized. The benefits of digital document processing are significant, enabling fluid information exchange among all stakeholders.
By transitioning to fully digital document exchange, providers can significantly streamline administrative and clinical processes. The key to realizing the benefits of this approach is to take the first step by moving away from paper and then build on that by harnessing the power of AI to fully support the daily work of clinicians and administrators. Outbound and inbound documents can be prioritized, addressed, processed, and delivered appropriately, facilitating timely information exchange for processing prescriptions, medical orders, billing, reporting, analytics, research, and much more.
About John Harrison
As Chief Commercial Officer at Concord Technologies, John is responsible for the company’s revenue growth and brand development, ensuring Concord continues to create the right products to meet the needs of its customers. John brings more than 25 years of document communication and automation experience to the team. Prior to joining Concord, John held executive management positions at OpenText, Captaris, and Goaldata, overseeing business operations across multiple continents.
– Service commerce platform EverCommerce acquires Dublin,
OH-based Updox, a healthcare communication platform for in-person and virtual
– The acquisition
expands EverCommerce’s health services portfolio and enables the companies to
further their shared goal of simplifying the business of healthcare and
facilitating the growth of healthcare practices.
Today, EverCommerce, a leading service commerce platform, completed the acquisition of Updox, a Dublin, OH-based complete healthcare communication platform for in-person and virtual care. The company will join EverCommerce’s portfolio of health services companies, enabling it to provide customers with faster access to more products, a broader suite of solutions, and more resources.
The acquisition comes on the heels of a breakout year for
virtual care. Digital health is on track to hit over $12 billion in investments
by the end of 2020 – the largest funding year for the sector yet – and over 60
acquisitions through the end of Q3, including other telehealth breakouts like
Teladoc, which recently completed its acquisition of Livongo in a deal valued
at over $18B.
Deliver the Best in Virtual & In-Person Care
Updox provides next-generation virtual care, patient engagement, and office productivity solutions that enable practices to reduce costs and drive revenue. Based on increasing demand for solutions that seamlessly work together to improve practice efficiency and provide an engaging patient experience, Updox has continuously brought new functionality to market. Additional solutions are planned for 2021.
Updox serves more than 560,000 users across healthcare practices, health systems and pharmacies, and more than 210 million patients. Updox has experienced rapid growth and adoption this year, as healthcare providers sought to quickly implement telehealth and other patient engagement solutions that enabled them to acquire new patients, operate more efficiently, and engage their patients as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, Updox facilitated over 3.5 million telehealth visits since March and continues to support more than 15,000 visits per day.
The EverCommerce health services portfolio includes a
diverse mix of solutions including cloud-based medical billing, specialty EHR,
practice management, RCM software, lead generation, marketing solutions and
retention services for healthcare practices. With this acquisition,
EverCommerce will advance its mission to provide end-to-end mission-critical
solutions that enable healthcare practices to accelerate growth, streamline
operations and increase patient retention.
“Now more than ever, healthcare providers need a one-stop-shop to acquire new patients, operate more efficiently and engage their patients. They also need one single place to communicate with patients where they are – on their mobile phones,” said Michael Morgan, president of Updox. “We’re thrilled to join the EverCommerce team, which shares our vision for advancing healthcare. We look forward to accelerating innovative solutions that enable healthcare practices to more effectively market to patients, simplify payments, and effectively interact with patients both in and outside the practice.”
– The American Medical Association (AMA) announced the addition of three Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes for AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine.
The American Medical Association (AMA) today announced that
the Current Procedural Terminology (CPT®) code set is
being updated by the CPT Editorial Panel to include immunization and
administration codes that are unique to the COVID-19 vaccine under development
by AstraZeneca and University of Oxford.
The new CPT codes will be effective for use on the condition
that the AstraZeneca vaccine receives approval or emergency use authorizations
from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The AMA is publishing the new CPT
codes now to ensure electronic systems across the U.S. health care
system are updated and prepared for the prospect of FDA approval or
authorization for the AstraZeneca vaccine.
of CPT Codes to Support COVID-19 Vaccines
The AstraZeneca vaccine joins two other COVID-19 vaccines that were previously issued unique CPT codes to report vaccine-specific immunizations once FDA approval or authorization has been granted. On Nov. 10, the AMA announced that COVID-19 vaccines developed by Pfizer and Moderna had been issued unique CPT codes to clinically distinguish each vaccine for better tracking, reporting, and analysis that supports data-driven planning and allocation
AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine CPT Codes Overview
Category I CPT code and long descriptor for the AstraZeneca vaccine are:
91302: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) (coronavirus disease [COVID-19]) vaccine, DNA, spike protein, chimpanzee adenovirus Oxford 1 (ChAdOx1) vector, preservative-free, 5×1010 viral particles/0.5mL dosage, for intramuscular use
In addition to the new vaccine-specific product CPT code, the AstraZeneca vaccine has been issued vaccine administration CPT codes that are distinct to its two-dose immunization schedule. These CPT codes report the actual work of administering the vaccine, in addition to all necessary counseling provided to patients or caregivers and updating the electronic record.
For quick reference, the new vaccine administration CPT codes and long descriptors for the AstraZeneca vaccine are:
0021A: Immunization administration by intramuscular injection of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) (coronavirus disease [COVID-19]) vaccine, DNA, spike protein, chimpanzee adenovirus Oxford 1 (ChAdOx1) vector, preservative-free, 5×1010 viral particles/0.5mL dosage; first dose
0022A: second dose
In addition to the long descriptors, short and medium descriptors for all the new vaccine-specific CPT codes can be accessed on the AMA website, along with several other recent modifications to the CPT code set that have helped streamline the public health response to the SAR-CoV-2 virus and the COVID-19 disease.
“A mass vaccination effort with the first available COVID-19 vaccines presents enormous logistical challenges,” said AMA President Susan R. Bailey, M.D. “The ability to correlate each COVID-19 vaccine with its own unique CPT code provides analytical and tracking advantages that ensures optimal vaccine distribution and administration, especially for patients who will need to complete the two-dose immunization schedule.”
– The governor of Virginia announced that the state
will allocate $10 million from the federal CARES Act to
implement a statewide integrated technology platform, Unite Virginia designed
to connect vulnerable Virginians to crucial health and social services.
– Unite Virginia will utilize the Unite Us platform to create
a statewide coordinated care network to help government
agencies, health care providers, and community-based partners ensure
medical care and social services are appropriately delivered to
Virginians, identify gaps in the system to better target resources, supporting
ongoing COVID-19 response/recovery, reduce barriers to care, and advance
Governor Ralph Northam announced that Virginia will allocate
$10M in federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act
funding to create Unite Virginia, a statewide technology platform designed to
connect vulnerable Virginians to health and social services. Powered by Unite Us, a technology company that builds coordinated care
networks of health and social service providers, the Commonwealth will
implement an integrated e-referral system that unites government agencies,
health care providers, and community-based partners and supports Virginia’s
response and recovery efforts.
Unite Us Network
Unite Us provides unifying infrastructure between health
care providers and community-based organizations as the foundation for social
care transformation at scale. With networks in more than 40 states, Unite Us is
the statewide technology platform in North Carolina and the company is
developing programs similar to what is planned in Virginia in communities in
Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, and South
Dakota. In Virginia, Unite Us already powers networks in the Hampton Roads and
Shenandoah Valley regions. When fully established, this network will be an
integral part of the Commonwealth’s broader public health framework.
This initial funding allocation will cover startup and
implementation costs to operate the e-referral system, which can integrate with
widely used electronic medical record systems in place at hospitals, health
systems, and medical practice groups across Virginia. Establishing those links
will enable health care providers to refer patients to social service
organizations that can provide other supports such as food, transportation assistance,
housing, employment services, and more. In turn, participating organizations
will be able to refer patients and clients to each other.
This interconnected approach also increases the likelihood
that vulnerable Virginians will access support services to manage their health
conditions and the environmental factors that contribute to them. Data insights
gleaned from the integrated technology platform will help state government,
providers, and other partners identify critical needs and better focus efforts
to serve these Virginians.
“The ongoing and widespread impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic underscore the need to unite traditional health care settings and community organizations that address social determinants of health,” said Governor Northam. “This is about connecting people with the supports they need to live healthy lives. Having this critical infrastructure in place will also position our Commonwealth to better respond to and recover from the twin public health and economic crises we face, and advance health equity by ensuring medical care and social services are appropriately delivered to Virginians, reducing barriers to care, and identifying gaps to better our target resources.”
A recent Advisory Board briefing examined the annual Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Readmission penalties. Of the 3,080 hospitals CMS evaluated, 83% received a penalty for payments to be made in 2021, based on expected outcomes for a wide variety of treated conditions. While CMS indicated that some of these penalties might be waived or delayed due to the impacts of the Covid pandemic on hospital procedure volumes and revenue, they are indicative of a much larger issue.
For too long, patients discharged from the hospital have been handed a stack of papers to fill prescriptions, seek follow-up care, or take other steps in their journey from treatment to recovery. More recently, the patient is given access to an Electronic Health Record (EHR) portal to view their records, and a care coordinator may call in a few days to check-in. These are positive steps, but is it enough? Although some readmissions cannot be avoided due to unforeseen complications, many are due to missed follow-up visits, poor medication adherence, or inadequate post-discharge care.
Probably because communication with outside providers has never worked reliably, almost all hospitals have interpreted ‘care coordination’ to mean staffing a local team to help patients with a call center-style approach. Wouldn’t it be much better if the hospital could directly engage and enable the Primary Care Physician (PCP) to know the current issues and follow-up directly with their patient?
We believe there is still a real opportunity to hold the patient’s hand and do far more to guide them through to recovery while reducing the friction for the entire patient care team.
Strengthening Care Coordination for a Better Tomorrow
Coordinating and collaborating with primary care, outpatient clinics, mental health professionals, public health, or social services plays a crucial role in mitigating readmissions and other bumps along the road to recovery. Real care coordination requires three related communication capabilities:
1. Notification of the PCP or other physicians and caregivers when events such as ED visits or Hospitalization occur.
2. Easy, searchable, medical record sharing allows the PCP to learn important issues without wading through hundreds of administrative paperwork.
3. Secure Messaging allows both clinicians and office staff to ask the other providers questions, clarify issues, and simplify working together.
There are some significant hurdles to improve the flow of patient data, and industry efforts have long been underway to plug the gaps. EHR vendors, Health Information Exchanges (HIEs), and a myriad of vendors and collaboratives have attempted to tackle these issues. In the past few decades, government compliance efforts have helped drive medical record sharing through the Direct Messaging protocol and CCDAs through Meaningful Use/Promoting Interoperability requirements for “electronic referral loops.” Kudos to the CMS for recognizing that notifications need to improve from hospitals to primary care—this is the key driver behind the latest CMS Final Rule (CMS-9115-F) mandating Admission, Discharge, and Transfer (ADT) Event Notifications. (By March 2021, CMS Conditions of Participation (CoPs) will require most hospitals to make a “reasonable effort” to send electronic event notifications to “all” Primary Care Providers (PCPs) or their practice.)
However, to date, the real world falls far short of these ideals: for a host of technical and implementation reasons, the majority of PCPs still don’t receive digital medical records sent by hospitals, and the required notifications are either far too simple, provide no context or relevant encounter data, rarely include patient demographic and contact information, and almost never include a method for bi-directional communications or messaging.
Delivering What the Recipient Needs
PCPs want what doctors call the “bullet” about their patient’s recent hospitalization. They don’t want pages of minutia, much of it repetitively cut and pasted. They don’t want to scan through dozens or hundreds of pages looking for the important things. They don’t want “CYA” legalistic nonsense. Not to mention, they learn very little from information focused on patient education.
An outside practitioner typically doesn’t have access to the hospital EHR, and when they do, it can be too cumbersome or time-consuming to chase down the important details of a recent visit. But for many patients—especially those with serious health issues—the doctor needs the bullet: key items such as the current medication list, what changed, and why.
Let’s look at an example of a patient with Congestive Heart Failure (CHF), which is a condition assessed in the above-mentioned CMS Readmission penalties. For CHF, the “bullet” might include timely and relevant details such as:
– What triggered the decompensation? Was it a simple thing, such as a salty meal? Or missed medication?
– What was the cardiac Ejection Fraction?
– What were the last few BUN and Creatinine levels and the most recent weight?
– Was this left- or right-sided heart failure?
– What medications and doses were prescribed for the patient?
– Is she tending toward too dry or too wet?
– Has she been postural, dizzy, hypotensive?
Ideally, the PCP would receive a quick, readable page that includes the name of the treating physician at the hospital, as well as 3-4 sentences about key concerns and findings. Having the whole hospital record is not important for 90 percent of patients, but receiving the “bullet” and being able to quickly search or request the records for more details, would be ideal.
Similar issues hold true for administrative staff and care coordinators. No one should play “telephone tag” to get chart information, clarify which patients should be seen quickly, or find demographic information about a discharged patient so they can proactively contact them to schedule follow-up.
Building a Sustainable, Long-Term Solution
Having struggled mightily to build effective communications in the past is no excuse for the often simplistic and manual processes we consider care coordination today.
Let’s use innovative capabilities to get high-quality notifications and transitions of care to all PCPs, not continue with multi-step processes that yield empty, cryptic data. The clinician needs clinically dense, salient summaries of hospital care, with the ability to quickly get answers—as easy as a Google search—for the two or three most important questions, without waiting for a scheduled phone call with the hospitalist. X-Rays, Lab results, EKGs, and other tests should also be available for easy review, not just the report. After all, if the PCP needs to order a new chest x-ray or EKG how can they compare it with the last one if they don’t have access to it?
Clerical staff needs demographic information at their fingertips to “take the baton” and ensure quick and appropriate appointment scheduling. They need to be able to retrieve more information from the sender, ask questions, and never use a telephone. Additionally, both the doctor and the office staff should be able to fire off a short note and get an answer to anyone in the extended care team.
That is proper care coordination. And that is where we hope the industry is collectively headed in 2021.
About Peter Tippett MD, PhD: Founder and CEO, careMESH
Dr. Peter S. Tippett is a physician, scientist, business leader and technology entrepreneur with extensive risk management and health information technology expertise. One of his early startups created the first commercial antivirus product, Certus (which sold to Symantec and became Norton Antivirus). As a leader in the global information security industry (ICSA Labs, TruSecure, CyberTrust, Information Security Magazine), Tippett developed a range of foundational and widely accepted risk equations and models.
About Catherine Thomas: Co-Founder and VP, Customer Engagement, careMESH
Catherine Thomas is Co-Founder & VP of Customer Engagement for careMESH, and a seasoned marketing executive with extensive experience in healthcare, telecommunications and the Federal Government sectors. As co-founder of careMESH, she brings 20+ years in Strategic Marketing and Planning; Communications & Change Management; Analyst & Media Relations; Channel Strategy & Development; and Staff & Project Leadership.
The academic medical center collaborated with GE Healthcare to set up the first virtual intensive care unit program in the state, which will help the organization extend its critical care expertise across rural areas and manage bed capacity amid climbing Covid-19 cases.
– Highmark Health signs six-year strategic partnership agreement
with Google Cloud to transform the health experience for patients and
caregivers through the development of Highmark Health’s new Living Health
– The Living Health model is designed to eliminate
the fragmentation in health care by re-engineering the healthcare delivery
model with a more coordinated, personalized, technology-enabled experience.
Highmark’s Living Health model is designed to eliminate the fragmentation in health care by re-engineering the healthcare delivery model with a more coordinated, personalized, technology-enabled experience. In addition to offering seamless, simpler, and smarter interactions with patients, the Living Health model is designed to free clinicians from time-consuming administrative tasks while providing them with timely data and actionable information about each patient. Living Health is not just focused on improving the patient-clinician relationship, it is about changing the way health care delivery operates.
“The Living Health model is about improving each person’s health and quality of life, every day,” commented Dr. Tony Farah, executive vice president and chief medical and clinical transformation officer of Highmark Health. “The traditional health care system is too fragmented and for the most part reactive. The Living Health model takes the information and preferences that a person provides us, applies the analytics developed with Google Cloud, and creates a proactive, dynamic, and readily accessible health plan and support team that fits an individual’s unique needs.”
Living Health Model
Powered by Google Cloud
Highmark Health will lead the collaboration to build its
Living Health Dynamic Platform on Google Cloud. Key elements of the agreement
– The construction of a highly secure and scalable platform
built on Google Cloud
– The application of Google Cloud’s advanced analytic and
artificial intelligence capabilities to supercharge Highmark Health’s existing
clinical and technology capabilities
– The engagement of a highly skilled professional services
team that will collaborate to drive rapid innovation
– The use of Google Cloud’s healthcare-specific solutions, including the Google Cloud Healthcare API, to enable rapid innovation, interoperability, and a seamless Living Health experience.
Highmark Health will control access and use of its patient
data using rigorous long-standing organizational privacy controls and
governance, which will be enhanced through the creation of a joint Highmark
Health-Google Cloud Data Ethics and Privacy Review Board to ensure that uses of
data are consistent with prescribed ethical principles, guidance, and customer
expectations of privacy.
Why It Matters
The strategic partnership reflects Highmark Health’s vision for a remarkable health experience by moving care and disease management of clinical conditions beyond traditional care settings through an engaging digital experience. By providing the insights needed to enable timely interventions, people will be empowered to proactively manage their health. For example, specific outcomes could include proactive intervention based on timely and individual patient data; digital disease management; easily accessible, personalized health plans; and centralized scheduling and management of care teams.
Economic Impact of Partnership
Approximately 125 new jobs are being created at Highmark Health to support the development of the Living Health Dynamic Platform, specifically in the areas of application development, cloud-based computing architectures, analytics, and user experience design.
– Kyruus is acquiring HealthSparq from Cambia Health
Solutions, a family of more than 20 companies working to make healthcare more
economically sustainable and efficient for people and their families.
– HealthSparq is a healthcare guidance and transparency
technology company serving the health plan market.
– With the acquisition, the combined entity now serves
more than 60 health systems and 100 health plan brands nationwide.
Kyruus, the leader in
provider search and scheduling solutions for health systems, today announced it
is acquiring HealthSparq from Cambia Health Solutions, a family of
more than 20 companies working to make healthcare more economically sustainable
and efficient for people and their families. HealthSparq is a trailblazing
healthcare guidance and transparency technology company serving health plans.
As part of Cambia, HealthSparq has grown to serve more than
80 million health plan members nationwide through its digital solutions. Cambia
will have an ownership stake and a seat on the Kyruus Board of Directors. HealthSparq
will become part of Kyruus, accelerating a groundbreaking platform to connect
payer and provider organizations and enabling people to find and schedule with
the right providers seamlessly across access channels.
Acquisition Will Transform Care Navigation Through Novel
Healthcare remains incredibly siloed, making it difficult
for people to find and schedule care that meets their unique clinical,
financial, and personal needs. Kyruus’ acquisition of HealthSparq expands the
company’s mission to make healthcare work better for everyone by connecting
people to the care they need, whether they search on a health system website or
health plan website. This will also accelerate payer-provider collaboration to
further streamline patient access and boost provider data accuracy.
Post-Acquisition Plans & Impact
Together, Kyruus and HealthSparq serve more than 60 health
systems and 100 health plan brands nationwide. The companies have already
started working together in select markets to enhance health plan directories
with provider-verified data and enable online scheduling from health plan websites.
Combining operations will accelerate the integration of their platforms,
enabling health plans to link personalized insurance benefit and cost
information with rich provider data, while allowing health systems to tap into
health plan websites as a new patient engagement source. Over time, the unified
platform will facilitate increasingly sophisticated patient routing and
matching across channels – all while giving people the convenience of online
scheduling wherever they look for care.
The HealthSparq team will transition to Kyruus and continue
to execute on HealthSparq’s full breadth of solutions for health plans. Mark
Menton, CEO of HealthSparq, will join the Kyruus executive team and serve as
General Manager of the health plan business unit.
– H1, the largest database of information on every doctor
in the world raises $58M in Series B funding, just six months after raising its
Series A round during the pandemic.
– H1 is the largest database in the world connecting that
provides comprehensive in-depth profiles of more than 9 million healthcare
professionals and 16,000 institutions in 70-plus countries, all of which are
kept up-to-date weekly.
H1, a global
platform for the healthcare ecosystem, announced today that it has closed a $58
million Series B round of funding co-led by IVP and Menlo Ventures, which led
the Series A round in April 2020. Transformation Capital, Lux Capital, Lead
Edge Capital, Novartis dRx and YC also participated.
Over 9 Million Healthcare Professional Profiles
Co-founded by Ariel Katz and Ian Sax in 2017, H1 is a developer of a healthcare data analytics platform intended to help companies make smarter scientific decisions. H1 has created the largest healthcare platform to forge connections in the healthcare ecosystem. The H1 team has taken a unique approach to building the platform that combines AI, human-powered engineering, third-party data sources, and government partnerships, to create the largest platform of healthcare professionals, currently spanning over 9 million healthcare professions around the globe.
The company specializes in providing real-time data to support the end-to-end therapeutic development process from fundraising to product development to product launch, thereby providing the healthcare industry, organizations, and professionals with on-demand, live insights from across the data universe to accelerate the discovery and development of therapies to fight diseases.
H1 has enjoyed tremendous growth in 2020, surpassing
projections and proving the need for its platform of doctors is stronger than
ever. Following its Series A announcement in April 2020 of $12.9 million, the
company has grown from approximately 100 employees globally to nearly 250 and
anticipates expanding its headcount significantly over the next year, including
further expansion into Europe and Asia.
With over 50+ customers to date and growing rapidly, H1 is
slowly becoming the standard that companies think about when they want to find
the right Key Opinion Leading Doctors to collaborate with for Clinical Trial
Activity, Medical Activity, and Educational Activity.
The platform has been a unique and powerful resource for
global pharma companies, including those working on COVID-19 vaccines and
therapeutics. In fact, 13 of the top 20 pharmaceutical companies are currently
using the platform for research and insights.
“We have created a platform for the healthcare ecosystem to connect in the same way Linkedin connected professional workers in the early 2000’s. There hasn’t been a global platform like H1 before that has connected industry to the right doctors the way H1 does,” said H1 co-founder and CEO Ariel Katz. “This next round of funding, with our excellent investment group, including Menlo who has been a great partner for us, will help us continue to become the largest healthcare professional platform and ultimately create a healthier future.”
– CybelAngel tools scanned approximately 4.3 billion IP addresses and detected more than 45 million unique medical images left exposed on over 2,140 unprotected servers across 67 countries including the US, UK, and Germany.
– The report highlights the security risks of publicly accessible images containing highly personal information including ransomware and blackmail.
The analyst team at CybelAngel, a global leader in digital risk protection, has discovered that more than 45 million medical imaging files – including X-rays and CT scans – are freely accessible on unprotected servers, in a new research report.
Medical Device Data Leaks
The report “Full Body
Exposure” is the result of a six-month investigation into Network Attached
Storage (NAS) and Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine (DICOM), the
de facto standard used by healthcare professionals to send and receive medical
data. The analysts discovered millions of sensitive images, including personal
healthcare information (PHI), were available unencrypted and without password
CybelAngel tools scanned approximately 4.3 billion IP addresses and detected more than 45 million unique medical images left exposed on over 2,140 unprotected servers across 67 countries including the US, UK, and Germany.
The analysts found that openly available medical images, including up to 200 lines of metadata per record which included PII (personally identifiable information; name, birth date, address, etc.) and PHI (height, weight, diagnosis, etc.), could be accessed without the need for a username or password. In some instances, login portals accepted blank usernames and passwords.
“The fact that we did not use any hacking tools throughout our research highlights the ease with which we were able to discover and access these files,” says David Sygula, Senior Cybersecurity Analyst at CybelAngel and author of the report. “This is a concerning discovery and proves that more stringent security processes must be put in place to protect how sensitive medical data is shared and stored by healthcare professionals. A balance between security and accessibility is imperative to prevent leaks from becoming a major data breach.”
3 Steps to Safeguard The Way Providers Share & Store
CybelAngel advises there are simple steps that healthcare facilities can take to safeguard the way they share and store data including:
– Determine if pandemic response exceeds your security policies: Ad hoc NAS devices, file-sharing apps, and contractors may take data beyond your ability to enforce access controls
– Ensure proper network segmentation of connected medical
imaging equipment: Minimize any exposure critical diagnostic equipment and
supporting systems have to wider business or public networks
– Conduct real-world audit of third-party partners: Assess
which parties may be unmanaged or not in compliance with required policies and
– CybelAngel provides a complimentary, comprehensive 30-day
data exposure assessment healthcare and other organizations use to measure
their risk and uncover priority issues.
– With ICU beds near capacity across the United States,
GE Healthcare announced a strategic partnership with Oregon Health and Science
University (OHSU) that will allow OHSU to oversee and help provide care to ICU
patients across eight hospital sites via a “Virtual ICU” (VICU), using the GE
Healthcare Mural Virtual Care Solution.
– The VICU provides critical care specialists at OHSU
with digital tools to deploy hospital defined care protocols to remotely
identify changes in patient status, respond in real-time, and support local
clinicians caring for patients in their local communities. The VICU will also
extend OHSU’s critical care expertise to patients in rural communities, where
specialists are not otherwise available.
COVID-19 Underscores Shortage of Critical Care
pandemic is highlighting a pre-existing shortage of critical care specialists,
nurses and other clinicians across the United States and around the
world, according to a recent
report from the RAND Corporation. Furthermore, a 100-bed hospital may
have only one intensivist who can care for patients requiring
In response to the critical care shortage and in
collaboration with OHSU, GE Healthcare developed a customized solution of care workflows
that powers the OHSU VICU. The VICU benefits patients by keeping them in their
local communities near family and friends; supports local economies by
maintaining resources, such as ambulances and revenue, in the immediate area;
and improves efficiency by allocating hospital beds, resources and staff for
the most critical patients.
“Through the Virtual ICU, we can supplement the
local expertise in a variety of ways and durations – from a single shift to
several a week – bringing much-needed relief and support to the clinicians on
the ground,” said Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of OHSU
Healthcare Joe E. Ness, M.H.A., R.Ph. “The VICU allows us to execute our vision
of increasing the level of care in community hospitals, allowing
patients across the state of Oregon to receive the care they need
closer to home while reducing unnecessary transfers and optimizing ICU capacity
in the area.”
“I can fully focus on the patient – who may be
physically hundreds of miles away — in real time, by watching vital signs, lab
values, waveforms and other parameters,” said OHSU Associate Professor of
Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine and TeleICU Medical Director Marshall
Lee, M.D. “And by enabling audio and visual support in the patient room,
I can virtually visit and collaborate with the local, bedside team.”
Mural will also support the OHSU goal of enhancing the
quality of care throughout the system by providing analytics on
clinical information, such as minutiae ventilation data and metrics on clinical
and operational best practices, including pain, delirium and agitation
management. Data tracked and generated by the VICU translates into metrics –
such as length of stay and average ventilation days per patient —
that hospitals can use to refine operations to support improved patient outcomes
and increased efficiency.
Based on Specific Clinical Workflows
GE Healthcare’s Mural can be customized based on specific
clinical workflows, enabling intensivists and advanced nurses in a central
location to support bedside teams as they care for patients in their
communities. Mural can also support compliance documentation on healthcare
associated infections (HAIs), and prevention measures such as
thromboprophylaxis, stress ulcer prophylaxis and glucose management.
Enabled by Edison, GE Healthcare’s intelligence platform,
Mural can be deployed on-premise via GE Healthcare’s Edge infrastructure or on
the cloud, depending on customer preference and need.
Currently available in the United States, Canada, China,
Korea, U.A.E. and Saudi Arabia, Mural is designed to help reduce the time for
clinical teams to deliver responsive, timely, and compliant care by
digitizing hospital defined protocols, care pathways, and Early
Warning Scores (EWS).
The EHR giant is planning to buy Kantar Health, which provides data, analytics and research to the life sciences industry. Through the acquisition, Cerner aims to provide its clients with more access to data analytics and research expertise and engagement with life sciences companies.
The health technology company raised a whopping $130 million in a Series D funding round. Its solutions aim to improve operational efficiency and better manage patient volume through predictive analytics, a growing need for providers as Covid-19 cases rise.
– Cerner announces it will acquire Kantar Health, a leading data, analytics, and real-world evidence and commercial research consultancy serving the life science and health care industry.
– This acquisition is expected to allow Cerner’s Learning
Health Network client consortium and health systems with more opportunities to
directly engage with life sciences for funded research studies. The acquisition
is expected to close during the first half of 2021.
Cerner today announced an agreement to acquire Kantar Health, a division of Kantar Group, a leading data, analytics, and real-world evidence and commercial research consultancy serving the life science industry for $375 million in cash, subject to adjustment.
Acquisition Will Create Leading Data Insights and Clinical
With this acquisition, Cerner plans to harness data to improve the safety, efficiency, and efficacy of clinical research across life sciences, pharmaceuticals, and health care at large. This acquisition is expected to allow Cerner’s Learning Health Network client consortium to more directly engage with life sciences for funded research studies.
The Cerner Learning Health Network offers health systems complimentary access to a network of bi-directional, de-identified data resources. This access helps advance research efforts and provides opportunities to generate revenue with funded research studies from life science companies. Kantar Health’s proprietary syndicated data products including CancerMPact, Claritis, National Health & Wellness Survey, and its broader oncology, rare disease, and multi-therapeutic expertise are used today by all of the top 20 life science companies to further their real-world evidence, commercial and clinical research efforts.
The combination of Cerner and Kantar Health is expected to
enable a two-sided collaboration between providers and the pharmaceutical
industry, where researchers can generate insights and use differentiated
real-world data assets and expertise to address the most complex clinical
“Cerner launched the Learning Health Network with our provider clients to advance a shared vision: treat global diseases more effectively through an acceleration of clinical research,” said Donald Trigg, president, Cerner. “Kantar Health has incredible health economics and medical affairs expertise, differentiated real-world data assets and strong relationships with the world’s leading life science companies. It offers us an amazing opportunity to drive cross-industry collaboration that can change health outcomes around the world.”
Acquisition Reflects Cerner’s Strategic Focus on Clinical
This is the second announcement in this month expanding upon
Cerner’s commitment to improving the safety and efficiency of clinical research
in life sciences and health care. Last week we announced a relationship with
Elligo which broadens the clinical trial resources available to rural and
community hospitals and physician practices. This is significant to help
broaden the diversity of individuals involved in clinical research, including
those in minority populations and rural communities.
The acquisition is anticipated to close in the first half of 2021, subject to regulatory approval, employee consultations, and other conditions, and is not expected to have a material impact on Cerner’s earnings in 2021.
– Mayo Clinic researchers are collaborating with TripleBlind on next generation algorithm sharing and training on encrypted data.
– TripleBlind’s solution functions as the innovative data
encryption conduit that keeps the data and intellectual property in the algorithm
today it is collaborating with Mayo Clinic researchers
who will use TripleBlind tools to validate interoperability
of encrypted algorithms
on encrypted data and the training of new algorithms on encrypted data. TripleBlind
has created a rapid, efficient and cost effective data privacy focused solution
based on breakthroughs in advanced mathematics, which will be used and
validated by the Mayo team. No Mayo data will be accessed by TripleBlind.
Why It Matters
Today, healthcare systems have to either transfer data or
algorithms outside their institution for experts to train or conduct research.
The encryption conduit being evaluated will eliminate the need for data
transfer or for sharing the algorithm, thus protecting intellectual property.
TripleBlind’s solution functions as the innovative data encryption conduit that
keeps the data and intellectual property in the algorithm secure.
The aim of this collaboration is also to demonstrate that
TripleBlind’s toolset can be applied to train entirely new algorithms from
independent entities anywhere in the world without the need to share raw data,
thus preserving privacy and security while meeting regulatory standards.
“Training novel algorithms on encrypted data sets and
facilitating trust between independent parties is critical to the future of AI
in medicine. By using advanced mathematical encryption technologies, we will
greatly enhance scientific collaboration between groups and allow for more
rapid development and scalable implementation of AI-driven tools to advance
healthcare,” said Suraj Kapa, M.D., a practicing cardiologist and director of
AI for knowledge management and delivery at Mayo Clinic.
Mayo Clinic and Dr. Kapa have financial interest in the
technology referenced in this release. Mayo Clinic will use any revenue it
receives to support its not-for-profit mission in patient care, education and
– Innovaccer partners with SyTrue to uncover powerful insights
and accelerate its efforts to drive healthcare’s digital transformation.
– The integration of SyTrue’s proprietary NLP OS with
Innovaccer’s FHIR-enabled Data Activation Platform will empower healthcare
organizations to identify diagnosis codes and Hierarchical Condition Categories
(HCC) from patient care progress notes and other unstructured texts.
Innovaccer, Inc., a San
Francisco, CA-based healthcare
technology company, announces its partnership with SyTrue, a leading provider of clinical data
extraction, to generate robust, actionable insights from healthcare data. The
partnership allows Innovaccer to leverage healthcare’s most-advanced Natural
Language Processing Operating System, NLP OSTM, and dive deep into clinical
data, extracting valuable details about patient health journeys.
Empowering Healthcare Organizations to Improve Patient
The integration of SyTrue’s proprietary NLP OS with
Innovaccer’s FHIR-enabled Data Activation Platform will empower healthcare
organizations to identify diagnosis codes and Hierarchical Condition Categories
(HCC) from patient care progress notes and other unstructured texts. With the
ability to gain insights from the unstructured datasets, providers can improve
the accuracy of patient risk scores.
SyTrue’s NLP OS will empower Innovaccer’s data platform to
semantically search, identify, and discover key elements from medical records
across the organization, delivering relevant, actionable insights at the moment
of care. NLP OS will allow Innovaccer to help its clients extract details about
lab records, medications, vital signs, diagnoses, and other elements from
structured and unstructured sources to successfully meet quality requirements.
The partnership will allow Innovaccer’s customer provider organizations to understand their patients’ medical records in a more comprehensive manner and optimize reimbursement through advanced coding, smart cohort identification, and unstructured data normalization.
“Creating a longitudinal record is paramount to enabling an intelligent journey throughout our complex healthcare system. Too often, crucial patient data is not included as part of the complete medical record because it is locked in faxes, portable document formats (PDFs) and other unstructured documentation. To unlock the insights contained within these files is expensive and time-consuming,” says Kyle Silvestro, CEO at SyTrue. “Our partnership with Innovaccer will reduce the time and cost to create intelligent and comprehensive insights which will significantly enhance the patient journey.”
Amazon Web Services rolled out a new tool, called Amazon HealthLake, to help healthcare and life sciences companies manage their data. The goal is to make it easier for companies to search their data and perform analysis on it.
The technology provider for independent primary care practices plans to use the new funds to further invest in its core platform and add new solutions, such as billing and patient collections capabilities.
– HealthStream acquires substantially all of the assets
of myClinicalExchange LLC, for approximately
$4.5 million in cash.
– For the first time, HealthStream’s footprint expands to
include the healthcare workforce before graduation, providing new opportunities
to make the transition-to-practice by medical, nursing, and allied healthcare
students more seamless.
HealthStream, a Nashville,
TN-based provider of workforce and provider solutions for the healthcare
industry, today announced that it has acquired
substantially all of the assets of myClinicalExchange
LLC, a Denver-based information technologies company. The
myClinicalExchange application has been used by approximately 400 hospitals;
1,000 colleges and universities; and 50,000 medical, nursing, and allied
healthcare students, annually.
Through the acquisition, HealthStream gains
myClinicalExchange’s SaaS application that allows healthcare organizations to
track, manage, and report the intern and clinical rotation educational
requirements of medical, nursing, and allied healthcare students, as well as
host required documentation for medical residents.
Every year in the U.S., medical, nursing, and allied
healthcare students are required to fulfill clinical rotations in a healthcare
organization (primarily hospitals) as part of their educational programs.
Hospitals, in turn, are responsible for managing their requests for rotations,
tracking and ensuring compliance of their rotations, and ensuring that proper
credentials are in place for their working in their organizations with
patients. myClinicalExchange’s ability to streamline these processes for both
the student and the healthcare organization has made it a market-leading
solution for this niche, critical area of workforce management.
Following the acquisition, current customer support for the
myClinicalExchange application will remain in place. Executive oversight of the
myClinicalExchange business will be provided by Trisha Coady, Senior Vice
President & General Manager, Clinical Solutions, HealthStream. The
myClinicalExchange application will be included in HealthStream’s Workforce
Solutions business segment.
– Cerner Corporation today announced with Xealth new
centralized digital ordering and monitoring for health systems, starting with
Banner Health, to foster digital innovation.
– Health systems can prescribe digital therapeutics, smartphones, and internet apps directly within the EHR to address areas such as chronic disease management, behavioral health, maternity care, and surgery prep.
Cerner, today announced it’s building on the recent collaboration with Xealth to offer health systems new centralized digital ordering and monitoring for clients. These capabilities are designed to help health systems choose, manage, and deploy digital tools and applications while offering clinicians access to remote monitoring and more direct engagement with patients. Phoenix-based Banner Health, one of the country’s largest nonprofit hospital systems, is one of the first Cerner clients to use the new capabilities to benefit its clinicians and patients.
Prescribe Digital Therapeutics Via EHR
With the new capabilities, health systems can prescribe digital therapeutics, smartphones, and internet applications to address areas such as chronic disease management, behavioral health, maternity care, and surgery prep. This access to a more holistic view of the organization’s digital health solutions supports the clinical decisions doctors make every day and provides real opportunities to improve medical outcomes and enhance efficiency, meet the increasing demand for telehealth and offer remote patient monitoring.
For example, the new capabilities can help simplify how
clinicians prescribe tools such as mobile mental health apps to monitor anxiety
triggers or a glucose device to help trace blood sugar levels for diabetes
Digital solutions will be available in a single location in
the electronic health record where health systems can use apps based on
clinical and financial metrics. A wide array of digital health tools is
integrated with Xealth’s offering today and the list is ever-growing. Early
examples of companies that have previously deployed in health systems using
Xealth include Babyscripts, Glooko, SilverCloud Health, Welldoc, as well as
Healthwise Inc., GetWellNetwork and ResMed that have existing relationships
“As digital tools are increasingly included in care plans, health systems seek a way to organize and oversee their use across the health system. We anticipate the emergence of digital and therapeutic committees to govern digital tool selection similar to how pharmacy and therapeutic committees have historically governed medication formularies,” said David Bradshaw, senior vice president, Consumer and Employer Solutions, Cerner. “Digital health has extraordinary potential to reshape the way we care for patients and, working with Xealth, we are answering the need and helping providers create more engaging and effective patient experiences.”
Why It Matters
Digital health has great potential to make an immediate difference, especially as it relates to automating patient education, delivering virtual care, supporting telehealth, and offering remote patient monitoring. Health systems with a digital health program and strategy in place have the ability to respond faster and more efficiently.
“Now, more than ever, extending care teams to meet patients where they are is critical,” said Mike McSherry, CEO and co-founder, Xealth. “As digital health programs roll out, they should elevate both the patient and provider experience. Cerner building out a digital formulary, with Xealth at its core, is listening to its strong clinician base by delivering tools to enhance patient care, without adding additional steps for the care team.”
The COVID-19 Vaccination Assistant will provide information about the new vaccines to help allay fears among the U.S. public. It will also help people schedule their vaccinations and connect them with rideshare services to make it to their appointment.
– Elation Health, which provides an easy-to-use and
affordable clinical technology platform for more than 7 million independent primary
care clinicians serving 14M+ patients – including an EHR raises $40M in Series
C funding from Al Gore’s sustainable investment firm, Generation Investment
– Elation’s API-enabled platform also allows
organizations to transform the patient and provider experience and implement
their own models of data-driven, value-based care.
– Company will surpass a milestone this year of
delivering more than 20 million in-office and virtual visits through their
Health, a clinical-first technology company powering the future of
independent primary care, today announced a Series C financing round of $40
million led by Al Gore’s Generation Investment
Management, a firm that invests in sustainable businesses accelerating the
transition to a more healthy, fair, safe, and low-carbon society. The round
also included participation from existing investors, including Threshold Ventures and Kapor Capital.
Clinical-First Commitment to Independent Primary Care
Independent primary care is one of the few areas in healthcare where upfront investment leads to significant savings in the long term. For every dollar spent on primary care, studies suggest that as much as $13 in downstream healthcare costs are avoided. Increased spending on primary care is also associated with fewer emergency department visits and reduced total hospitalizations and specialty interventions for chronic conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and congestive heart failure
Elation Health was founded in 2010 after siblings Kyna and
Conan Fong struggled to help their father transition his solo primary care
practice from paper charts to a digital system. Born from that experience,
today Elation Health powers the largest network for independent primary care,
with 14,000 independent clinicians caring for seven million patients. The
company offers an EHR
solution, enterprise APIs, revenue cycle services, patient engagement app, and
access to interoperability partners.
The company surpassed a milestone this year of delivering more than 20 million in-office and virtual visits through its provider network. In addition to serving small practices, Elation has partnered with primary care innovators such as Crossover Health and Cityblock Health to provide the underlying clinical platform for technology-enabled, team-based care.
Helping Intendent Practices Shift to Virtual Care Amid The
In 2020, Elation Health’s customer base of independent
practices has faced significant business challenges as primary care shifts to
virtual settings and the pace of insurance and government policy change has
accelerated. The company has responded by expanding its role as a critical
technology partner — including adding HIPAA-compliant telehealth to its core
offering, deepening support for Medicare and Medicaid quality programs, and
delivering new patient engagement capabilities for patients to schedule
appointments and interact with practices. Elation’s API-enabled platform also
allows organizations to transform the patient and provider experience and
implement their own models of data-driven, value-based care.
In the year ahead, Elation Health will continue to invest in
its core platform, while adding new capabilities to support business operations
for independent primary care. The company has plans to develop solutions in
billing and payment collection, patient population management, interoperability,
and quality reporting — ensuring practices have the tools to drive high-quality
patient outcomes and business success.
raises $130 million in Series D Funding to strengthen its machine learning platform
to continue helping hospitals achieve operational excellence during a time
where they are facing mounting financial pressures due to COVID-19.
– LeanTaaS provides software solutions that combine lean
principles, predictive analytics, and machine learning to transform hospital
and infusion center operations to improve operational efficiencies, increase
access, and reduce costs.
– LeanTaaS’ solutions have now been deployed in more than
300 hospitals across the U.S., including five of the 10 largest health networks
and 12 of the top 20 hospitals in the U.S.
LeanTaaS, Inc., a
Silicon Valley software innovator that increases patient access and transforms
operational performance for healthcare providers, today announced a $130
million Series D funding round led by
Insight Partners with participation from Goldman Sachs. With this
investment, LeanTaaS has raised more than $250 million in aggregate, including
more than $150 million from Insight Partners. As part of the transaction,
Insight Partners’ Jeff Horing and Jon Rosenbaum and Goldman Sachs’ Antoine
Munfa will join LeanTaaS’ Board of Directors.
Healthcare reform, an aging population, and a higher
incidence of chronic disease has caused the demand for healthcare services to
escalate quickly. At the same time, pressure from payers to eliminate waste
requires that healthcare providers do more with less to meet this skyrocketing
demand with the resources in which they have already invested. And this
situation is only going to get worse.
As more healthcare data gets digitized, the opportunity exists to leverage that data to help providers meet these challenges and more efficiently match supply and demand. Founded in 2010, LeanTaaS believes hospitals should use objective data and predictive analytics – not intuition and “tribal rules”– to better match resource supply with demand and to amplify the business impact of investments they have already made in EHR, BI, and Lean/Six Sigma.
Better Healthcare Through Math
LeanTaaS develops software that increases patient access to
medical care by optimizing how health systems use expensive, constrained
resources like infusion chairs, operating rooms, and inpatient beds. More than
100 health systems and 300 hospitals – including 5 of the 10 largest systems,
12 of US News and World Report’s top 20 hospitals. These hospitals use the iQueue
platform to optimize capacity utilization in infusion centers, operating rooms,
and inpatient beds. iQueue for
Infusion Centers is used by 7,500+ chairs across 300+ infusion centers
including 70 percent of the National
Comprehensive Cancer Network and more than 50 percent of National Cancer Institute hospitals. iQueue for
Operating Rooms is used by more than 1,750 ORs across 34 health systems to
perform more surgical cases during business hours, increase competitiveness in
the marketplace, and improve the patient experience.
“LeanTaaS is uniquely positioned to help hospitals and health systems across the country face the mounting operational and financial pressures exacerbated by the coronavirus. This funding will allow us to continue to grow and expand our impact while helping healthcare organizations deliver better care at a lower cost,” said Mohan Giridharadas, founder and CEO of LeanTaaS. “Our company momentum over the past several years – including greater than 50% revenue growth in 2020 and negative churn despite a difficult macro environment – reflects the increasing demand for scalable predictive analytics solutions that optimize how health systems increase operational utilization and efficiency. It also highlights how we’ve been able to develop and maintain deep partnerships with 100+ health systems and 300+ hospitals in order to keep them resilient and agile in the face of uncertain demand and supply conditions.”
Chief Marketing Officer Appointment
Concurrent with the funding, LeanTaaS announced that Niloy Sanyal, the former CMO at Omnicell and GE Digital, would be joining as its new Chief Marketing Officer. Also, Sanjeev Agrawal has been designated as LeanTaaS’ Chief Operating Officer in addition to his current role as the President. “We are excited to welcome Niloy to LeanTaaS. His breadth and depth of experience will help us accelerate our growth as the industry evolves to a more data-driven way of making decisions” said Agrawal.
As healthcare systems strive to recover from losses due to the pandemic, patient acquisition and retention have never been more urgent, and patient experience has never been more critical. A new guide from Bright.MD offers a digital checklist on how to improve the patient experience.
The second day of INVEST Precision Medicine includes presentations by healthcare companies in the Health IT track of the Pitch Perfect startup pitch contest, a panel discussion on interoperability and a panel discussion on building a bioinnovation hub. Register today!
PointClickCare Technologies, a provider of cloud-based technology for long-term and post-acute care facilities, will spend between $500 million and $1 billion to purchase care coordination platform Collective Medical.
A subsidiary of Northwell Health has collaborated with the virtual care company to offer businesses a Covid-19 screening tool for their workers. The tool helps identify employees who may have been exposed to the new coronavirus or those showing symptoms of the disease and suggests next steps.
– Amazon today announced the launch of Amazon HealthLake,
a new HIPAA-eligible service enables healthcare organizations to store, tag,
index, standardize, query, and apply machine learning to analyze data at
petabyte scale in the cloud.
– Cerner, Ciox Health, Konica Minolta Precision Medicine,
and Orion Health among customers using Amazon HealthLake.
Today at AWS re:Invent, Amazon
Web Services, Inc. (AWS), an Amazon.com company today announced Amazon HealthLake, a
HIPAA-eligible service for healthcare and life sciences organizations. Current
Amazon HealthLake customers include Cerner, Ciox Health, Konica Minolta
Precision Medicine, and Orion Health.
Health data is frequently incomplete and inconsistent, and is often unstructured, with the information contained in clinical notes, laboratory reports, insurance claims, medical images, recorded conversations, and time-series data (for example, heart ECG or brain EEG traces) across disparate formats and systems. Every healthcare provider, payer, and life sciences company is trying to solve the problem of structuring the data because if they do, they can make better patient support decisions, design better clinical trials, and operate more efficiently.
Store, transform, query, and analyze health data in
Amazon HealthLake aggregates an organization’s complete data across various silos and disparate formats into a centralized AWS data lake and automatically normalizes this information using machine learning. The service identifies each piece of clinical information, tags, and indexes events in a timeline view with standardized labels so it can be easily searched, and structures all of the data into the Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) industry-standard format for a complete view of the health of individual patients and entire populations.
Benefits for Healthcare Organizations
As a result, Amazon HealthLake makes it easier for customers to query, perform analytics, and run machine learning to derive meaningful value from the newly normalized data. Organizations such as healthcare systems, pharmaceutical companies, clinical researchers, health insurers, and more can use Amazon HealthLake to help spot trends and anomalies in health data so they can make much more precise predictions about the progression of the disease, the efficacy of clinical trials, the accuracy of insurance premiums, and many other applications.
How It Works
Amazon HealthLake offers medical providers, health insurers,
and pharmaceutical companies a service that brings together and makes sense of
all their patient data, so healthcare organizations can make more precise
predictions about the health of patients and populations. The new
HIPAA-eligible service enables organizations to store, tag, index, standardize,
query, and apply machine learning to analyze data at petabyte scale in the
Amazon HealthLake allows organizations to easily copy health
data from on-premises systems to a secure data lake in the cloud and normalize
every patient record across disparate formats automatically. Upon ingestion,
Amazon HealthLake uses machine learning trained to understand medical
terminology to identify and tag each piece of clinical information, index
events into a timeline view, and enrich the data with standardized labels
(e.g., medications, conditions, diagnoses, procedures, etc.) so all this
information can be easily searched.
For example, organizations can quickly and accurately find
answers to their questions like, “How has the use of cholesterol-lowering
medications helped our patients with high blood pressure last year?” To do this,
customers can create a list of patients by selecting “High Cholesterol” from a
standard list of medical conditions, “Oral Drugs” from a menu of treatments,
and blood pressure values from the “Blood Pressure” structured field – and then
they can further refine the list by choosing attributes like time frame,
gender, and age. Because Amazon HealthLake also automatically structures all of
a healthcare organization’s data into the FHIR industry format, the information
can be easily and securely shared between health systems and with third-party
applications, enabling providers to collaborate more effectively and allowing
patients unfettered access to their medical information.
“There has been an explosion of digitized health data in recent years with the advent of electronic medical records, but organizations are telling us that unlocking the value from this information using technology like machine learning is still challenging and riddled with barriers,” said Swami Sivasubramanian, Vice President of Amazon Machine Learning for AWS. “With Amazon HealthLake, healthcare organizations can reduce the time it takes to transform health data in the cloud from weeks to minutes so that it can be analyzed securely, even at petabyte scale. This completely reinvents what’s possible with healthcare and brings us that much closer to everyone’s goal of providing patients with more personalized and predictive treatment for individuals and across entire populations.”
– Cerner announced a strategic investment in Elligo
Health Research, a leading research organization that enables clinical trials
with nationwide community-based health care practices.
– Cerner plans to expand the data and tools available in
the Cerner Learning Health Network to offer additional clinical trial resources
to community and rural hospitals and physician practices.
– Financial terms of strategic investment were not disclosed.
Cerner Corporation today announced an undisclosed strategic investment in Elligo Health Research, a leading integrated research organization that enables clinical trials with nationwide community-based health care practices. As part of the strategic investment, Cerner will enter into a commercial agreement to expand the data and tools available in the Cerner Learning Health Network to offer additional clinical trial resources to community and rural hospitals and physician practices.
Single Platform to Accelerate Clinical Research
Founded by John Potthoff, Ph.D., and Chad Moore in 2016, Elligo
Health Research Since 2016, Elligo Health Research, founded by John Potthoff,
Ph.D., and Chad Moore, has accelerated the development of new pharmaceutical,
biotechnology, medical device, and diagnostic products using its novel clinical
technology and its Goes Direct® approach. As one of the largest health networks
for clinical research, Elligo works to bring research as a care option to as
many participants as possible by offering innovative, patient-centric solutions
within the practices of trusted physicians.
Collaboration Will Accelerate Clinical Research
Health systems face significant obstacles such as patient recruitment, costs, and access to clinical trial resources. Today, for example, the drug development process takes more than 17 years and costs approximately $2.5B. Cerner and Elligo will focus on helping reduce those obstacles health systems face to make clinical trials become more of a reality – no matter the size, location, or academic standing.
Additionally, most clinical trials are executed in large,
urban areas with homogenous trial populations, which offer insights that may
not be broadly applicable to all patients in need of the therapies. Clinical trial
resources can offer funded research opportunities for health care organizations
as well as access to trial therapies for patients who need it most, including
those in minority populations and rural communities. This could result in
outcomes that are more representative of diverse populations and a potential
increase in drug safety through post-market surveillance capabilities.
This collaboration is expected to help accelerate clinical
research timeframes, make clinical trials more broadly and easily accessible
and reduce the costs associated with bringing a therapy to market. In addition,
Cerner representatives will also join Elligo’s board of directors.
“At the beginning of the year, we launched a bold push with our provider clients to change the pace and cost of clinical trials. Today, 51 health systems are part of our Learning Health Network,” said Donald Trigg, president, Cerner. “Elligo shares our passion for making clinical trial opportunities accessible to every provider and patient. Our collaboration will accelerate that shared mission in the quarters ahead.”
PointClickCare announces its intent to acquire Collective Medical to create the
largest combined acute and post-acute care network in North America for $650M.
Collective Medical’s platform connects more than 1,300 hospitals, thousands of
ambulatory practices and long-term post-acute care (LTPAC) providers, as well
as accountable care organizations (ACOs) and every national health plan in the
country, across a 39-state network.
– With the acquisition of Collective Medical, PointClickCare will solidify its position as a high-growth, cloud-based SaaS leader, serving a large, diversified customer base across the acute, ambulatory, post-acute, and payer spectrum.
Technologies, a leader in senior care technology with a network of more
than 21,000 skilled nursing facilities, senior living communities, and home
health agencies, today announced its intent to acquire Collective Medical, a Salt Lake
City, UT-based leading network-enabled platform for real-time cross-continuum
care coordination for $650M. Together, PointClickCare and Collective Medical
will provide diverse care teams across the continuum of acute, ambulatory, and
post-acute care with point-of-care access to deep, real-time patient insights
at any stage of a patient’s healthcare journey, enabling better decision making
and improved clinical outcomes at lower cost.
The acquisition follows a partnership, created between the
companies in August 2019, which streamlined the integration of Collective
Medical’s solution for care transitions with PointClickCare’s leading
cloud-based software platform. Hundreds of PointClickCare customers are already
leveraging this connection to the Collective platform to coordinate seamless
care transitions and influence decisions at the point of care.
COVID-19 Underscores Barriers to Care Coordination
Currently, hospitals, ACOs and health plans
lack the data and tools to effectively coordinate with LTPAC providers and
other disparate points of care – an issue spotlighted further by the COVID-19 pandemic.
And despite the healthcare system’s ongoing move to value-based payment
models, barriers to care coordination
persist, especially for seniors and other complex patient populations. Through
this acquisition, the company will be uniquely positioned to address these
PointClickCare supports a network of more than 21,000
skilled nursing facilities, senior living communities and home health agencies.
In the United States, 97 percent of all hospitals discharge patients to skilled
nursing facilities using PointClickCare. Founded in 2005, Collective Medical’s
platform connects more than 1,300 hospitals, thousands of ambulatory practices
and long-term post-acute care (LTPAC) providers, as well as accountable care
organizations (ACOs) and every national health plan in the country, across a
These providers come together via the Collective platform to
support patients suffering from a variety of complex conditions, including
substance use disorder, mental and behavioral health issues, and other care
needs requiring multiple interventions and transitions across disparate care
settings. The combination of PointClickCare and Collective Medical will enable
care to be more seamlessly delivered for the most complex (high-cost,
high-needs) patients, including the rapidly growing aging population.
The acquisition will connect care teams, post-acute
providers, hospitals and health plans with better data about their patients,
ultimately reducing administrative burdens and bringing down the high costs of
complex care. Providers and health plans will be empowered as they work to
solve the complexities around the senior patient population by leveraging
increased information across diagnoses groups and unprecedented access to drive
behavior change at the point of care.
Acquisition Establishes PointClickCare As Leader in Acute and Post-Acute
With the acquisition of Collective Medical, PointClickCare
will solidify its position as a high growth, cloud-based SaaS leader, serving a
large, diversified customer base across the acute, ambulatory, post-acute, and
payer spectrum. As the shift to value-based care fuels growing market demand
for intelligence and collaboration tools, the company will be best positioned
to provide the most fully integrated set of real-time care coordination tools
across the entire continuum of care, powered by the largest network of its kind
in the U.S.
“The healthcare ecosystem is a mix of disconnected providers, systems, plans, processes and data. Healthcare costs and risk are on the rise, while patient care and provider-to-provider coordination are inconsistent. Our mission is to improve the lives of seniors, and we believe the best way to meaningfully advance this goal is by connecting disparate points of care,” says Mike Wessinger, founder and chief executive officer of PointClickCare Technologies. “Collective Medical offers the right fit of people and technology and together we will initiate a new era of data-enriched collaboration across the continuum that radically transforms how data and people are empowered to liberate health.”
The acquisition is subject to receiving regulatory
approvals, including from The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United
States (CFIUS), and other customary closing conditions, and is expected to be
completed by the end of December 2020.
Among the areas of interest for companies presenting at Pitch Perfect at INVEST Precision Medicine are clinical stroke detection, making medical research more inclusive, using technology to accelerate the pace of clinical trials, developing more patient friendly drug delivery systems for reconstitutable drugs, and more.
As if 2020 couldn’t be
any more challenging for healthcare providers, new federal rules on
interoperability and patient access, granting patients direct access to their healthcare
data, begin taking effect this November and continue into 2022. These rules,
while ultimately beneficial to patients, bring an additional level of
operational complexity to many revenue-stressed healthcare organizations.
If anything, the 2020 pandemic has illustrated the vast potential of interoperability. For example, consider the huge increase in 2020 in virtual care visits, projected to be more than 1 billion by year’s end, and with an estimated 90% related to Covid-19. Many of these new virtual health patients will move through different care networks, using different health plans, and seeking remote access to their health records. These are precisely the type of patients’ interoperability is meant to help.
What should healthcare providers be doing now to ensure they’re not only compliant with new interoperability rules, but also applying them as optimally as possible to benefit their patients and organizations? In this article, we review the upcoming rules and suggest five key steps providers can take to ensure their interoperability implementations proceed as smoothly as possible.
What’s Ahead with
After several years of discussion on interoperability standards, the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) for Healthcare IT and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued their final rules on interoperability in the spring of 2020. The new rules, covering both health systems and health plans, are intended to ensure that patients can electronically access their healthcare information regardless of health system or type of electronic health records (EHR) and covering all CMS-regulated plan types, including Medicare Advantage, CHIP, and the Federally Facilitated Exchanges.
Starting Nov. 2, 2020, healthcare systems must begin complying with interoperability rules preventing information blocking, which means not interfering with patients’ access to or use of their electronic health information. Providers must also attest they are acting “in good faith” regarding preventing information blocking, with any non-compliance flagged on the National Plan and Provider Enumeration System. By May 1, 2021, hospitals, psychiatric hospitals, and critical access hospitals with an EHR must send notification of their patients’ admission, discharge, and transfer (ADT) events to providers.
Interoperability will replace the current fragmented and error-prone ways of exchanging vital healthcare information. Near-term benefits of interoperability include improved care coordination and patient experience, greater patient safety, and stronger patient privacy and security. Longer-term benefits include higher provider productivity, reduced healthcare costs, and more accurate public health data.
For providers, the good
news about interoperability is that they’ve had years to think about and
implement many of its fundamental tenets, based on their work meeting
meaningful use requirements. That’s borne out in a 2019 HIMSS survey of
healthcare organizations which found nearly 75% of respondents past the
“foundational” level of interoperability – “foundational” defined as allowing
data exchange from one IT
system to another, but without data interpretation.
Five Steps for
While healthcare systems
will achieve significant interoperability gains through technology investments,
they should not consider technology as the ultimate sole key to
interoperability success. If anything, financial and political considerations
may be far more important to your organization’s interoperability success. Here
are five critical non-technology factors to consider:
1. Determine your “master”
All pertinent stakeholders in your organization should be on the same page about your interoperability strategy, resources, and timing. Know up-front that those implementing interoperability may not have previously worked with patient-centric analytics, partners, or departments in your organization. Plan your resources and timing accordingly. Your strategy should focus on the value-add of interoperability internally, such as access to additional data points on your patients, and externally, such as how you describe the upcoming benefits of interoperability to your patients.
2. Convey your vision, expectations
and expected return
An interoperability implementation is
a massive change management initiative, which requires continuous, top-down
leadership and championship, and proper expectation-setting. Communicate where
your organization currently stands regarding its interoperability capabilities,
and where you wish to have it go. Convey how the organization plans to get to
its future desired state. And perhaps most importantly, share the likely return
on investment in this effort. Be as specific as possible. For example, if you
believe interoperability gains will ultimately enable a 5% decrease in your
hospital readmissions, state that.
3. Examine workflows and identify
specific use cases
Every type of ADT event in your
organization, and its corresponding workflows and system interactions, should
be under review. Consider all types of clinical use cases, the types of data to
be exchanged, and those involved in providing patient care. This will help
determine your optimal approach to data-sharing and how your organization can
strategically use the additional data you receive from other health
4. Rigorously prep your data
Standardized data collection and reporting
which produces quality data is the heart and soul of successful
interoperability. Be sure your organization’s data is clean and meaningful, and
will ultimately be understandable and useful to your patients.
5. Think big-picture differentiation
There’s nothing in the ONC and CMS
interoperability rules that says you need to stop at mere rules compliance.
Consider your pursuit of interoperability as a singular opportunity to be a
patient-centric leader in your market. Let everyone relevant know of the
success you’ve achieved.
offers a chance for healthcare systems to achieve multiple operational gains,
when handled well, it is ultimately a patient-centric endeavor. Always keep the
needs and interests of your patients at the core when facilitating access to
their personal health data. It’s the ultimate smart long-term interoperability
The Ohio-based health system is working with three organizations to provide residents of Cleveland’s Fairfax neighborhood with access to high-speed internet at affordable prices. The collaboration aims to alleviate health disparities that arise from a lack of reliable access to the internet.
– CommonHealth has connected to 230
health systems in the United States, allowing patients to gather, manage and
share their health and test data, including COVID test and vaccination status. By
the end of this month, CommonHealth will connect to more than 340 health
– CommonHealth extends the health data
portability and interoperability model pioneered by Apple Health to the 55
percent of Americans with Android devices (85 percent globally)
The Commons Project, a nonprofit public trust established to build digital platforms and services for the public good, today announced that the CommonHealth app has now connected to 230 health systems in the United States, allowing patients using those health systems to gather, manage and share personal health information – including COVID test and vaccine status – on Android devices for free. CommonHealth enables broader and more equitable participation in remote consultations with doctors, telemedicine, innovative care models, next-generation health services, and research.
CommonHealth App Development Background
Developed in collaboration with UCSF, Cornell Tech, and Sage Bionetworks with a team of clinicians, public health experts, technologists, scientists and privacy advocates, CommonHealth is operated by The Commons Project. CommonHealth was first deployed at UCSF Health and underwent substantial testing and user experience research in multiple diverse populations in San Francisco. CommonHealth is the first and only platform designed to allow users of the Android operating system to collect and manage their health data on their mobile devices in a similar way that Apple Health Record operates on iOS.
Already integrated with LabCorp, which
operates one of the largest clinical laboratory networks in the world,
CommonHealth allows individuals to store their COVID test results and vaccination
status, in addition to any health record. CommonHealth plans to integrate with
an additional 110 health systems in December, connecting to more than 340
health systems before the year ends.
Earlier this year, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) rolled out new patient health record sharing rules that will require hospitals and physician offices to send standardized medical information, such as lab test results, vaccination records, and imaging tests, directly to third-party apps, like CommonHealth, by July 2021.
Why It Matters
“The COVID pandemic has accelerated the need for the safe sharing of health data as medical consultations go online and individuals are required to demonstrate COVID test and vaccination status in order to travel, work, study and undertake other social activities,” said JP Pollak, co-founder and chief architect at The Commons Project. “CommonHealth extends the privacy-centered data portability and interoperability model pioneered by Apple Health to the 55 percent of Americans who have Android devices.”
– Innovaccer launches COVID-19 Command
Center to assist healthcare organizations in optimizing their COVID-19
– The solution offers a unified
information hub to manage COVID-19 resources and operations and empower teams
with unprecedented visibility into their environment.
Innovaccer, Inc., a San
Francisco, CA-based healthcare technology company, today announced the launch
of its COVID-19
Command Center to assist healthcare organizations in optimizing their COVID-19
operations. The solution provides real-time insights and predictions into
patient and resource status and helps organizations adjust to their fluctuating
Connect Your Systems to Create a COVID-19 Command Center
Innovaccer helps healthcare organizations build a network of
intelligence while sitting on top of systems of records to provide
enterprise-wide insights and improve efficiencies in financial, operational,
and clinical outcomes. Innovaccer’s COVID-19 Command Center provides a
unified information hub for users to manage their COVID-19 resources by
integrating data from Electronic Health Records (EHRs), supply chains, human
resources, and financial systems.
Manage Your COVID-19 Resources and Information in Real-Time
Dashboards on the solution provide real-time monitoring of
bed capacity, medication inventory, staffing plans, PPE supplies, and other
critical resources. It also automatically generates CDC-compliant reports on
these resources and gives an up-to-date detailed overview of the consumption
rates at each facility.
360-Degree View into COVID Operations
The plug-and-play integrations of the Command Center provide
360-degree visibility into all COVID-19 operations and a system-wide overview
of daily and total year-to-date COVID-19 cases. Its descriptive pandemic
population maps allow continuous tracking of cases across the region and the
COVID-19 Resource Optimization and Inventory Management
Additionally, the solution enables healthcare organizations
to take full control of their COVID-19 management activities by furnishing them
with smart analytics and forecasting capabilities and action plans based on
detailed analyses of COVID-19 trends and resources. The COVID-19 Command Center
provides visibility of their caseloads, inventory, and resource requirements to
more accurately predict upcoming demands.
Why It Matters
“The need for visibility across the network has never been more crucial than during these pandemic times. Healthcare organizations are struggling to gain an edge with visibility into their patients, resources, and facilities,” says Abhinav Shashank, CEO at Innovaccer. “With our COVID-19 Command Center, we aim to solve this problem by providing them with true transparency and in-depth visibility across their networks, operations, and patients. Our solution is built to support the digital transformation of their COVID-19 operations and to help them care as one.”
– According to a new report from Accenture, 2 out of 3 patients are likely to switch to a new healthcare provider if their expectations for managing COVID-19 are not met, including sanitary and safety protocols, access to up-to-date information, and the availability of virtual care options.
– Accenture identified four ways to improve the patient experience, and therefore your path to recovery, during, and after the pandemic.
The COVID-19 pandemic forced hospitals, providers, and payer networks to drastically overhaul and restructure their systems to accommodate virtual care models. As a result, health systems’ revenue and patient volume plummeted, made worse by the industry’s slow-to-adopt virtual care practices that deprioritized the importance of patient experiences.
Elevating the Patient Experience to Fuel Growth
According to a new report from Accenture, 2 out of 3 patients are likely to switch to a new healthcare provider if their expectations for managing COVID-19 are not met, including sanitary and safety protocols, access to up-to-date information, and the availability of virtual care options. Based on a survey of more than 4,600 U.S. respondents, the report, “Elevating the Patient Experience to Fuel Growth,” notes that patients are looking for a safer, more secure, and convenient healthcare experience — including strict sanitary and safety protocols as well as virtual care options. In addition, those who believe their healthcare providers handled COVID-19 poorly were three times more likely than satisfied patients to say they will either delay seeking services for at least a year or never return to that healthcare provider.
By prioritizing consumer experience and delivering new
virtual expectations, providers can maintain their patient base and
grow market share by capturing switchers ready to leave competitors –
potentially increasing their revenues by 5% to 10% pre-COVID levels within
12 months. For a $5 billion health system, this could be between $250
million and $500 million in additional annual revenues.
“Our research clearly shows that the patient experience matters now more than ever,” said Jean-Pierre Stephan, managing director, Accenture Health. “This should be interpreted as positive news because it means the future is in the hands of healthcare providers to embrace change and provide better healthcare experiences. We’re advising providers take this opportunity to offer a holistic, digital approach that centers on the patient’s access to quality care and post-care services; this will better position healthcare providers for long-term growth.”
In turn, Accenture recommends four actions that healthcare providers can
take to improve the patient experience.
1. Address patient concerns in a personalized manner
Communicate specific actions taken to protect patients —
such as offering separate entrances, allowing contactless payment and online
paperwork, or even describing the advanced level of protective gear used by
staff. When possible, physicians should deliver the message directly.
2. Meet people at the front door
Address unique patient needs and ease COVID-19 concerns before
a patient steps foot into the office or enters a virtual waiting room. Embed
new safety and wellness protocols and practices throughout every interaction,
from finding a doctor to scheduling an appointment or completing registration
in advance of a visit. In fact, the survey found that 74% of patients are now
likely to use online chat or texting to provide check-in information before
their appointment if such a service is available.
3. Enhance virtual care capabilities
Develop new models that use more virtual care, from bookings
to meetings, so that those who remain wary of in-person care have more options.
Patients have indicated a strong desire for this to happen. In a survey of 2,700 patients that Accenture conducted
in May, 60% said that based on their experience using virtual care and
devices during the pandemic, they want to use technology more for communicating
with healthcare providers and managing their conditions in the
4. Listen through social channels
Actively monitor local and national social channels to
gather real-time insight into patient perceptions and community sentiment. This
enables quick operational pivots to address consumer needs and measure progress
along the way.
“While many health systems have improved safety protocols in light of COVID-19, they must also make the patient experience a top priority, not just to convince people to return, but also to lead the way in re-imagining the future of healthcare,” Stephan said. “In this new future of care, health systems need to provide effective, trusted, reliable care—both in person and virtually—while instilling confidence and demonstrating safety and respect. Otherwise, patients are likely to switch to other providers who are reinventing how healthcare services are delivered.”
Providing care for chronic disease patients during a one-in-a-century pandemic is full of challenges, but health systems like Jefferson Health are finding ways — with help from technology — to make sure their patients are getting the care they need.
– Today, MEDITECH announced MEDITECH Cloud Platform—a
suite of solutions available to healthcare organizations of all sizes that
further extend the possibilities of the Expanse EHR.
– This offering includes: Expanse NOW, High Availability
SnapShot, and Virtual Care solutions, all created to work naturally in the
cloud, and available through a subscription model.
introduced MEDITECH Cloud Platform—a suite of solutions available to healthcare
organizations of all sizes that further extend the possibilities of the Expanse Electronic Health Record
(EHR). Multiple MEDITECH Cloud
Platform solutions are built on Google Cloud, enabling healthcare organizations
to further personalize their EHR in a way that is secure, reliable, and easy to
Subscription-Based Cloud Model
Healthcare organizations can select one or a combination of
the solutions from MEDITECH Cloud Platform. The flexibility of the subscription
model enables a quick setup as well as the ability to add solutions as needed.
Additionally, the cloud combined with the subscription model provides
opportunities to add solutions in the future.
Expanse NOW is a mobility app that empowers
physicians to manage everyday tasks and coordinate care on their smartphone
device. Integrated with Expanse, tasks and messages can flow between workload
and the app in real time.
High Availability SnapShot provides healthcare
organizations with immediate access to key patient data in the event of
unexpected or planned downtime. Patient information such as medications,
allergies, orders, and more is backed up securely and accessible via
Virtual Care gives new and existing patients access
to urgent virtual care on demand through the healthcare organization’s website,
as well as the ability to schedule virtual visit appointments. New patients who
request Virtual Care are automatically enrolled in the Patient Portal,
connecting them to the organization and in turn, enabling organizations to grow
Leveraging Google Cloud’s Capabilities
The Expanse NOW and High Availability SnapShot solutions
leverage Google Cloud’s core capabilities including compute and storage (as
well as their healthcare-specific data, analytics, security, and identity
management solutions) alongside existing on-prem solutions to provide high
availability and continuity of care in a secure and scalable service. They can
be easily accessible to critical care staff to improve healthcare continuity
across MEDITECH-powered healthcare organizations.
For more information about the MEDITECH Cloud platform,
The COVID-19 pandemic has shed light on the shortcomings of today’s hospital and healthcare IT infrastructure, with many healthcare organizations quickly adopting the latest and greatest technology to support remote operations. However, in the scramble to adapt, many IT leaders did not ensure that the acquired technology integrated well with legacy systems – resulting in underused components and wasted costs. As we enter into a new era in healthcare, it is paramount that these organizations adopt technologies that support overall digital transformation and are fiscally responsible. The IT acquisition journey has taken us from focusing on the speed of components to the speed of the cloud, but we must work to innovate further. To adopt infrastructure that works at the speed of the business, healthcare IT providers must evaluate legacy IT acquisition efforts, the current models, and how they can evolve in the future.
The historic view of acquiring healthcare IT has been to move at the speed of the components. This lifecycle management approach was born out of the perception that acquiring new IT systems were too expensive for the return on investment. The focus was on the management of equipment, licenses, and contracts, causing IT leaders to spend the majority of their time patching and updating existing systems. The inability to predict a system’s capacity for computing, storage, and data meant less time spent on security, which left health systems vulnerable to outside threats.
Today’s Operating Model
Today, the focus has shifted to ensuring IT infrastructure moves at the speed of the cloud. Many hospitals and healthcare organizations have adopted an on-premise cloud and consolidated their licenses, equipment, and contracts to streamline service and reduce maintenance interruptions. This allows IT departments to proactively manage infrastructure capacity while also gaining security hardened systems. The technology management approach provides application-based cost management for healthcare organizations that require a variety of different needs, adjusting the perception of IT to that of service providers. Healthcare organizations that embrace this model are able to move and house their applications based on need, rather than pre-existing equipment constraints, which was unattainable before.
The Future of IT Acquisition
Looking ahead, there is no doubt that hospitals and healthcare organizations need to continue to evolve to maintain seamless operations. With COVID-19 highlighting infrastructure vulnerabilities, it is paramount that IT adjusts for increased technology, network traffic, and security weaknesses. Healthcare organizations that are working through issues with tools, cloud skills, and other obstacles that impede hybrid cloud adoption believe these problems will soon be resolved. With that in mind, it is likely that within the next decade there will be aggressive hybrid cloud adoption across the healthcare industry.
Additionally, in response to shifting priorities, subscription and consumption-based service models are growing in popularity because of their ability to flex up or down to optimize costs and efficiencies. In the future, healthcare organizations must move at the speed of the business as well as meeting community needs, like COVID-19 data reporting and analytics.
Instead of investing in legacy solutions that have proven difficult to manage, healthcare organizations looking to adjust their IT infrastructure can consider adopting numerous “as-a-service” models. For organizations that have specific software, application management, and full system infrastructure needs, Software-as-a-service (SaaS), Platform-as-a-service (PaaS), and Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) are top considerations. Some organizations may only need access to software for a set number of users, rather than full support for the entire system, pointing them to subscription-based software instead of the as-a-service options. Conversely, consumption-based software models are growing in popularity.
Organizations that prefer to pay for applications or devices based on actual usage of the product may prefer this model because it often implies the user pays a certain amount in advance and then draws down against the pre-payment based on their use (“consumption”) of the application. This option allows systems to better budget from the onset, rather than determining costs as the year progresses.
Historically, projects and supporting product offerings are based on yearly budget and funding allotments. That is until the product offerings changed. Software subscriptions, software-as-a-service (anything-as-a-service), and consumption-based services are dramatically impacting the way that IT is purchased, which helps reduce costs.
When looking at healthcare IT spending more broadly, organizations allocate millions of dollars each year, even though they often have mixed experiences in the success of implementations. Since companies usually pay based on project implementation milestones, there are rarely performance clauses. With this in mind, organizations need to hold vendors accountable for successful implementations and first-year operations. In the future, many healthcare organizations will pursue shared risk cost models as they allow the provider to develop system improvements while mitigating costs for the organization.
The COVID-19 pandemic has forever changed how health systems assess and acquire IT infrastructure. With unprecedented amounts of network traffic, telehealth needs, and sensitive patient data, organizations need to prioritize IT planning and acquisition to avoid procurement delays and exorbitant costs. As 2021 budgets are being determined, hospital decision-makers should consider adopting subscription and consumption-based models to help them the best support and protect their data and meet the demands of tomorrow.
About Cheryl Rodenfels
Cheryl Rodenfels is the Healthcare Strategist for Nutanix. She is a seasoned technology executive, responsible for improving customer success and experience across the entire portfolio of Nutanix products and services. Cheryl’s responsibilities include developing the healthcare practice at Nutanix by identifying market opportunities, creating industry-specific training and documentation, enabling sales, and improving technology adoption and solution delivery. Cheryl can be found on LinkedIn.
Launching in 2021, the ONC’s Project [email protected] aims to enhance efforts to correctly link patients with their health data — a key part of interoperability — by standardizing the way patients’ mailing addresses are formatted.
– Imprivata acquires FairWarning Technologies, a provider
of patient privacy intelligence.
– The combined solutions will offer healthcare a single Digital Identity platform that integrates role-based access controls, identity governance, and data privacy compliance.
Imprivata®, the digital identity company for healthcare, today announced the acquisition
Technologies, LLC, a Clearwater, FL-based provider of patient privacy intelligence. The
combination of Imprivata and FairWarning
solutions provide customers with a single Digital Identity platform that
integrates role-based access controls, robust identity
governance, and critical data privacy compliance.
FairWarning is an analytics and insider threat detection platform. The platform ingests hundreds of data sources, such as EMR, CRM, HR, and others, and applies data logic and machine learning to identify potential breaches of protected information. Primarily serving the healthcare market, FairWarning is the leader of Patient Data Privacy Intelligence and Drug Diversion analytics that serves compliance officers in the protection of Protected Health Information (PHI). FairWarning also provides similar data privacy solutions specifically designed for mission-critical business applications for enterprise and financial services.
“Like Imprivata, FairWarning is focused on delivering a world-class experience that ensures customers benefit from the full value of the investment in their solutions,” said Gus Malezis, CEO of Imprivata. “I’m thrilled about the similarities we share in culture and in our commitment to our customers. We’re excited to make FairWarning a key component of our go-forward analytics and Digital Identity strategy, and to be able to offer our customers a broader set of solutions from a single vendor that is committed to delivering innovative products and a signature customer experience.”
The public health crisis has undermined the economy and made people with chronic conditions more vulnerable and stressed. A validated program that can effectively help people manage their disease is invaluable, especially at a time when in-person physician visits are unavailable.
Northwestern University researchers developed an AI system that analyzes patients’ chest X-rays to identify Covid-19. A study shows it can classify the images faster and with slightly higher accuracy than radiologists.
The Boston-based hospital and digital therapeutics company are rolling out their co-developed remote monitoring solution across the country, which can help hospitals rapidly implement hospital-at-home programs. The announcement comes soon after CMS launched a program enabling health systems to provide hospital-level care at home for more than 60 conditions.
Standards come about for many reasons. They make things more efficient, cost effective, and safer to name a few. Often you’ll hear witty banter in the standards community (I know…right!?) about whether something is “fit for purpose.” This is also accompanied by the question, “what’s your use case?”
Among the outliers and edge cases there are some things on which we really do need to agree across the health care ecosystem and implement consistently. How we represent a patient’s address is one of them.
– CarepathRx will
acquire the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center’s pharmacy operations in a
– The company fully
integrates pharmacy operations, expands healthcare services, improves
ambulatory access, minimizes clinical variation and creates new health system
– CarepathRx serves more than 15 health systems and 600
hospitals, with more than 1,500 employees nationwide, 400 payor contracts.
Already CarepathRx has treated more than 100,000 patients.
CarepathRx, a leader in pharmacy and medication management
solutions for vulnerable and chronically ill patients, announced today a
partnership with UPMC’s Chartwell subsidiary that will expand patient access to
innovative specialty pharmacy and home infusion services. Under the $400M landmark
agreement, CarepathRx will acquire
the management services organization responsible for the operational and
strategic management of Chartwell while UPMC becomes a strategic investor in CarepathRx.
This new partnership expands CarepathRx’s specialty and home infusion capabilities. “Our partnership with UPMC and Chartwell is an important step for CarepathRx. We set out to create a new approach to pharmacy care in the market—one that is centered on the patient and that works collaboratively with both the provider and the payor of health care,” said Figueroa, chief executive officer of CarepathRx. “We welcome the team at Chartwell to the CarepathRx family and are thrilled to partner with UPMC to help us achieve our mission.”
Optimize Your Hospital Pharmacy
Founded in 2019 by seasoned health care executive John Figueroa and middle-market private equity firm Nautic Partners LLC, CarepathRx has rapidly become a leader in delivering comprehensive pharmacy solutions to patients undergoing complicated medication therapies. By focusing on the most vulnerable patients, CarepathRx is seeking to break down the barriers of typical pharmacy care and medication management. Its suite of solutions caters to patients undergoing specialty and infusion therapies, often for a variety of chronic conditions. CarepathRx works closely with partners across the health care spectrum—including health systems, community physicians, home health agencies and payors. Today, CarepathRx delivers its services to more than 600 hospitals across the country.
The transaction is expected to close
within 30 days. Cantor Fitzgerald & Co. served as financial advisor to
Chartwell in the formation of the management services organization and
partnership with CarepathRx.
– DAS Health Ventures acquires healthcare
and managed IT company Randall Technology Services (RandallTech).
– This acquisition adds Allscripts® PM
and EHR solutions to the DAS portfolio of supported products, and DAS Health
has now added additional staff in Texas that will create opportunities for
greater regional support of its entire solutions portfolio.
DAS Health Ventures, Inc., an industry leader in health IT and management, announced today it completed the acquisition of Randall Technology Services, LLC (RandallTech) healthcare and managed IT company based in Amarillo, TX. As part of DAS’ growth strategy, this most recent expansion further strengthens its position in the US healthcare technology space.
Acquisition Enhances DAS Health Market Reach
DAS Health actively serves more than 1,800 clients, and
nearly 3,500 clinicians and 20,000 users nationwide, with offices in Florida,
Nevada, New Hampshire and Texas, and a significant employee presence in 14 key
states. This acquisition adds Allscripts® PM and EHR solutions to the DAS
portfolio of supported products, and DAS Health has now added additional staff
in Texas that will create opportunities for greater regional support of its
entire solutions portfolio.
Increased Support for Existing RandallTech Clients
Randall Technology’s clients will gain an increased depth of support, and a substantially improved value proposition, as DAS Health’s award-winning offerings are robust, including managed IT / MSP services, practice management, and EHR software sales, training, support and hosting, revenue cycle management (RCM), security risk assessments (SRA), cybersecurity, MIPS/MACRA reporting & consulting, mental & behavioral health screenings, chronic care management, telemedicine, and other value-based and patient engagement solutions.
Financial details of the acquisition were not disclosed.
– Google Cloud launches Healthcare Interoperability
Readiness Program to help healthcare organizations achieve healthcare data interoperability.
Google Cloud launched the Google Cloud Healthcare Interoperability Readiness
Program, helping organizations achieve data interoperability in advance of
upcoming HHS deadlines and to enable future innovation. Alongside partners like Bain, BCG, Deloitte, HCL,
KPMG, SADA, and more, the Healthcare Interoperability
Readiness Program will help healthcare organizations understand the current status
of their data and where it resides, map out a path to standardization and
integration, and make use of data in a secure, reliable, compliant manner.
Google Cloud Interoperability Readiness Program
This program provides a comprehensive set of
services for interoperability, including:
– HealthAPIx Accelerator provides
the jumpstart for the interoperability implementation efforts. With best
practices, pre-built templates and lessons learned from our customer and
partner implementations, it offers a blueprint for healthcare stakeholders and
app developers to build FHIR API-based digital experiences.
– Apigee API Management provides the underpinning and enables a security and governance layer to deliver, manage, secure and scale APIs; consume and publish FHIR-ready APIs for partners and developers; build robust API analytics, and accelerate the rollout of digital solutions.
– Google Cloud Healthcare API enables
secure methods (including de-identification) for ingesting, transforming,
harmonizing, and storing your data in the latest FHIR formats, as well as HL7v2
and DICOM, and serves as a secondary longitudinal data store to streamline data
sharing, application development, and analytics with BigQuery.
– Interoperability toolkit that includes solution architectures, implementation guides, sandboxes, and other resources to help accelerate interoperability adoption and streamline compliance with standards such as FHIR R4.
COVID-19 Pandemic Underscores Drive to Accelerate
“With COVID-19 underscoring the importance of even more data sharing and flexibility, the next few years promise to accelerate data interoperability and the adoption of open standards even further—ideally ushering in new and meaningful partnerships across the care continuum, new avenues for business growth, and new pathways for patient-centered innovation,” stated in the announcement blog post.
Rising COVID-19 rates are expected to exacerbate volume
declines as many local and state governments reinstate stricter social
distancing policies, causing many to delay non-urgent procedures and outpatient
care. The result threatens to further destabilize hospitals financially in the
– Eight months into the pandemic, the Kaufman Hall median
hospital Operating Margin Index was –1.6% for January through October, not
including federal funding from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic
Security Act (CARES Act). With the funding, the median margin was 2.4%
– Operating Margin fell 69.4% year-to-date (6.0 percentage
points) compared to the same period last year, and 9.2% year-over-year (1.4
percentage points) without CARES Act funding. With the federal aid, Operating
Margin fell 18.7% year-to-date (1.7 percentage points) and 8.5% (1.2 percentage
points) below October 2019 levels.
– Declining volumes and rising expenses contributed to the
month’s low margins. Adjusted Discharges fell 11.2% year-to-date and 9.3%
year-over-year, while Adjusted Patient Days dropped 7.7% year-to-date and 2.9%
year-over-year. Operating Room Minutes fell 11.7% year-to-date and 5.6%
compared to October 2019, as many patients opted to delay non-urgent
– Emergency Department (ED) Visits remained the hardest hit,
falling 16% both year-to-date and year-over-year in October, but increased 1.9%
from September. The month-over-month increase was due in part to rising
COVID-19 infections, which also contributed to a 7.6% month-over-month increase
in Discharges, reflecting higher numbers of inpatients.
– Gross Operating Revenue (not including CARES Act funding)
fell 4.8% from January to October compared to the same period in 2019, but was
flat compared to October 2019. Fewer outpatient visits were a major
contributor, driving Outpatient Revenue down 6.6% year-to-date and 2.6%
year-over-year. Inpatient Revenue declined 2.4% year-to-date but rose 2.6%
– Expenses rose as hospitals continued to bring back
furloughed workers, and purchased drugs, personal protective equipment, and
other supplies needed to care for COVID-19 patients. Total Expense per Adjusted
Discharge rose 13.5% year-to-date and 12.2% year-over-year in October. Labor
Expense and Non-Labor Expense per Adjusted Discharge rose 15.2% and 13%
year-to-date, respectively. Such increases will put hospitals in a tenuous
situation if volumes continue to decline.
Why It Matters
“The next few months will be a grave period for our country, and for our nation’s hospitals and health systems,” said Jim Blake, a managing director at Kaufman Hall and publisher of the National Hospital Flash Report, which draws on data from more than 900 U.S. hospitals. “If unchecked, the virus is projected to continue its rapid spread through communities as families gather for the holidays, and as colder weather pushes more activities indoors. The potential public health implications and financial impacts for our hospitals could be dire.”
For more information, click here
to download the report.
– HealthStream acquires Change Healthcare’s staff
scheduling business for $67.5M in cash which includes the ANSOS™ Staff
Scheduling (“ANSOS”) platform and related products.
– The acquisition will help establish HealthStream as a
market leader in healthcare workforce scheduling business.
leading provider of workforce and provider solutions for the healthcare
industry has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Change Healthcare’s staff
scheduling business, which includes their market-leading ANSOS™
Staff Scheduling (“ANSOS”) application and related products. : The purchase
price payable upon the closing of the ANSOS acquisition will be approximately
$67.5 million in cash (subject to working capital and other customary purchase
price adjustments), which will be funded with cash on hand.
ANSOS Platform Background
ANSOS is an enterprise solution for healthcare providers
that want to anticipate workload requirements, manage labor costs, apply
complex work rules, and meet credential requirements for shifts—all for the
purpose of optimizing staff deployment. Today, the platform is used by over 300
hospitals and health systems and continues to be recognized as a market leader
in nurse and staff scheduling by KLAS™.
In addition to the ANSOS Staff Scheduling application, the
contemplated acquisition includes related products: Enterprise Visibility™, a
patient tracking system, and Capacity Planner™, a predictive analytics tool.
Importantly, all three products (i.e. ANSOS, Enterprise Visibility, and
Capacity Planner) work in concert with each other, creating a powerful solution
suite for aligning staff and scheduling based on patient acuity, predicting
patient demand, and adjusting resources for optimal outcomes.
Acquisition Expands HealthStream’s Portfolio of Staff
Scheduling & Workforce Solutions
The addition of Change Healthcare’s staff scheduling
business will expand HealthStream’s growing portfolio of solutions for staff
scheduling and workforce management, which began in early 2020 with the
acquisition of NurseGrid and grew further with the acquisition of ShiftWizard
last month. The complementary positioning of ANSOS, ShiftWizard, and NurseGrid
will enable future data integrations and advanced analytics that yield smarter
schedule development while enhancing engagement with staff.
“We are excited to add ANSOS to HealthStream’s growing nurse
and staff scheduling business for healthcare providers as we believe this is a
major win for everyone: customers, partners, employees, and shareholders,” said
Robert A. Frist, Jr., Chief Executive Officer, HealthStream. “The closing of
this transaction will establish HealthStream as an industry leader in nurse and
staff scheduling for healthcare providers. Considering our strong track record
of strengthening acquired products and solutions to deliver even greater value
to customers, I believe we are well positioned for continued growth and
innovation in workforce management.”
Following the acquisition, customer support for each of
these products will remain in place. Approximately 90 employees from Change
Healthcare will join HealthStream upon closing. Together, ANSOS, ShiftWizard,
and NurseGrid represent HealthStream’s portfolio of nurse and staff scheduling
solutions with executive oversight provided by Scott McQuigg, Senior Vice
President, HealthStream. These solutions will be included in HealthStream’s
Workforce Solutions business segment.
Revenues for the business to be acquired are primarily
associated with sales of perpetual software, maintenance, and professional
services. HealthStream expects incremental revenues in 2021 to range between
$16.5 and $19.5 million, taking into account an estimated reduction of between
$7.0 and $8.0 million related to deferred revenue write-downs. While the
business has historically sold perpetual software licenses, future product
development and sales efforts are anticipated to be directed towards a
HealthStream plan to make investments in the areas of sales,
marketing, product development, and operations to support this initiative. In
addition, we anticipate the amortization of acquired intangible assets to range
between $3.0 and $4.0 million during 2021. Considering the additional investments
intended during 2021, the deferred revenue write-downs, the amortization of
intangible assets, and transition services expenses, we expect the acquired
business to generate an operating loss in 2021.
Each year, Adverse Drug Events (ADE) account for nearly 700,000 emergency department visits and 100,000 hospitalizations in the US alone. Nearly 5 percent of hospitalized patients experience an ADE, making them one of the most common types of inpatient errors. What’s more, many of these instances are hard to discover because they are never reported. In fact, the median under-reporting rate in one meta-analysis of 37 studies was 94 percent. This is especially problematic given the negative consequences, which include significant pain, suffering, and premature death.
While healthcare providers and pharmaceutical companies conduct clinical trials to discover adverse reactions before selling their products, they are typically limited in numbers. This makes post-market drug safety monitoring essential to help discover ADE after the drugs are in use in medical settings. Fortunately, the advent of electronic health records (EHR) and natural language processing (NLP) solutions have made it possible to more effectively and accurately detect these prevalent adverse events, decreasing their likelihood and reducing their impact.
Not only is this important for patient safety, but also from a business standpoint. Pharmaceutical companies are legally required to report adverse events – whether they find out about them from patient phone calls, social media, sales conversations with doctors, reports from hospitals, or any other channel. As you can imagine, this would be a very manual and tedious task without the computing power of NLP – and likely an unintentionally inaccurate one, too.
The numbers reflect the importance of automated NLP technology, too: the global NLP in healthcare and life sciences market size is forecasted to grow from $1.5 billion in 2020 to $3.7 billion by 2025, more than doubling in the next five years. The adoption of prevalent cloud-based NLP solutions is a major growth factor here. In fact, 77 percent of respondents from a recent NLP survey indicated that they use at least one of the four major NLP cloud providers, Google is the most used. But, despite their popularity, respondents cited cost and accuracy as key challenges faced when using cloud-based solutions for NLP.
It goes without saying that accuracy is vital when it comes to matters as significant as predicting adverse reactions to medications, and data scientists agree. The same survey found that more than 40 percent of all respondents cited accuracy as the most important criteria they use to evaluate NLP solutions, and a quarter of respondents cited accuracy as the main criteria they used when evaluating NLP cloud services. Accuracy for domain-specific NLP problems (like healthcare) is a challenge for cloud providers, who only provide pre-trained models with limited training and tuning capabilities. This presents some big challenges for users for several reasons.
Human language very contexts- and domain-specific, making it especially painful when a model is trained for general uses of words but does not understand how to recognize or disambiguate terms-of-art for a specific domain. In this case, speech-to-text services for video transcripts from a DevOps conference might identify the word “doctor” for the name “Docker,” which degrades the accuracy of the technology. Such errors may be acceptable when applying AI to marketing or online gaming, but not for detecting ADEs.
In contrast, models have to be trained on medical terms and understand grammatical concepts, such as negation and conjunction. Take, for example, a patient saying, “I feel a bit drowsy with some blurred vision, but am having no gastric problems.” To be effective, models have to be able to relate the adverse events to the patient and specific medication that caused the aforementioned symptoms. This can be tricky because as the previous example sentence illustrates, the medication is not mentioned, so the model needs to correctly infer it from the paragraphs around it.
This gets even more complex, given the need for collecting ADE-related terms from various resources that are not composed in a structured manner. This could include a tweet, news story, transcripts or CRM notes of calls between a doctor and a pharmaceutical sales representative, or clinical trial reports. Mining large volumes of data from these sources have the power to expose serious or unknown consequences that can help detect these reactions. While there’s no one-size-fits-all solution for this, new enhancements in NLP capabilities are helping to improve this significantly.
Advances in areas such as Named Entity Recognition (NER) and Classification, specifically, are making it easier to achieve more timely and accurate results. ADE NER models enable data scientists to extract ADE and drug entities from a given text, and ADE classifiers are trained to automatically decide if a given sentence is, in fact, a description of an ADE. The combination of NER and classifier and the availability of pre-trained clinical pipeline for ADE tasks in NLP libraries can save users from building such models and pipelines from scratch, and put them into production immediately.
In some cases, the technology is pre-trained with tuned Clinical BioBERT embeddings, the most effective contextual language model in the clinical domain today. This makes these models more accurate than ever – improving on the latest state-of-the-art research results on standard benchmarks. ADE NER models can be trained on different embeddings, enabling users to customize the system based on the desired tradeoff between available compute power and accuracy. Solutions like this are now available in hundreds of pre-trained pipelines for multiple languages, enabling a global impact.
As we patiently await a vaccine for the deadly Coronavirus, there have been few times in history in which understanding drug reactions are more vital to global health than now. Using NLP to help monitor reactions to drug events is an effective way to identify and act on adverse reactions earlier, save healthcare organizations money, and ultimately make our healthcare system safer for patients and practitioners.
About David Talby
David Talby, Ph.D., MBA, is the CTO of John Snow Labs. He has spent his career making AI, big data, and data science solve real-world problems in healthcare, life science, and related fields. John Snow Labs is an award-winning AI and NLP company, accelerating progress in data science by providing state-of-the-art models, data, and platforms. Founded in 2015, it helps healthcare and life science companies build, deploy, and operate AI products and services.
CVS Health Corporation names Neela Montgomery Executive Vice President and President of CVS Pharmacy/Retail, effective November 30, 2020. Montgomery will oversee the company’s 10,000 pharmacies across the United States. Montgomery, currently a Board Partner at venture capital firm Greycroft, most recently served as chief executive officer of furniture retailer Crate & Barrel and has nearly 20 years of global retail experience.
The Cleveland Clinic and Amwell joint venture appoint Egbert van Acht as Executive Vice Chairman to the Board of Directors and Frank McGillin as CEO. Formed one year ago as a first-of-its-kind company to provide broad access to comprehensive, high-acuity care via telehealth, the company has made great progress scaling digital care through its MyConsult® offering. With an initial focus on clinical second opinions, the organization also offers health information and diagnosis on more than 2,000 different types of conditions including cancer, cardiac, and neuroscience issues.
Healthcare industry veteran Dana Gelb Safran, Sc.D. has joined Well Health Inc. as Senior Vice President, Value-Based Care, and Population Health. In her new role, Dr. Safran will expand WELL’s uses to improve healthcare quality, outcomes, and affordability through partnerships with payers and Accountable Care Organization (ACO) providers.
Talkdesk®, Inc., the cloud contact center for innovative enterprises appoints Cory Haynes to lead Talkdesk’s strategy for the financial service industry and Greg Miller to lead the strategy for healthcare and life sciences. Haynes and Miller are key members of the Talkdesk industries team led by Andrew Flynn, senior vice president of industries strategy for Talkdesk.
Imprivata appoints Mark McArdle to Senior Vice President of Products and Design. Mr. McArdle has more than two decades of experience in software development, Software-as-a-Service (Saas), in Cybersecurity, and advanced products for the enterprise, SMB, and consumer markets.
Eden Health names Jack Stoddard as executive chairman of its board of directors. Formerly serving in COO roles for Accolade and Haven, Stoddard brings two decades of healthcare innovation and operating experience to the board position, providing leadership, wisdom, and counsel during a time of monumental growth and adoption for the company.
Augmedix names Saurav Chatterjee Chief Technology Officer. Prior to joining Augmedix, he most recently served as Vice President of Engineering at Lumiata, Inc., where he led the engineering team that built a leading AI platform, focusing specifically on transforming, cleaning, enriching, featurizing, and visualizing healthcare data, and on building, deploying and operationalizing machine learning and deep-learning models at scale.
Tridiuum, the nation’s premier provider of digital behavioral health solutions names Philip Vecchiolli has joined the company as Chief Growth and Strategy Officer. Vecchiolli, who brings over 30 years of experience to the new role, has a successful track record of leading business development for large and mid-size healthcare companies.
Connect America appoints Janet Dillione as its new chief executive officer (CEO). Prior to joining Connect America, Dillione worked in the healthcare information services industry as CEO of Bernoulli Enterprise, Inc., GM of Nuance Healthcare, and CEO of Siemens Healthcare IT.
Health Catalyst, Inc. announces that current Chief Financial Officer Patrick Nelli has been named President, effective January 1, 2021. Following Nelli’s promotion to the President role, Health Catalyst has named Bryan Hunt, current Senior Vice President of Financial Planning & Analysis, Chief Financial Officer, also effective January 1, 2021.
Two additional promotions, also effective January 1, 2021, include Jason Alger, Senior Vice President of Finance, to Chief Accounting Officer, and Adam Brown, Senior Vice President of Investor Relations, to Senior Vice President of Investor Relations and Financial Planning & Analysis.
Apervita hires health IT veteran Rick Howard as Chief Product Officer. In his role, Rick will oversee product vision, innovation, design, and delivery of Apervita’s digital platform, which enables digital quality measurement, clinical intelligence, as well as value-based contract monitoring and performance measurement.
Conversion Labs, Inc. appoints Roberto Simon to its board of directors and as the chair of its audit committee. Following his appointment, the board now has eight members, with six serving as independent directors. Mr. Simon currently serves as CFO of WEX (NYSE: WEX), a $6+ billion fintech services provider.
PRA Health Sciences, Inc. appoints senior FDA official Isaac Rodriguez-Chavez, Ph.D., MHS, MS, as Senior Vice President, Scientific and Clinical Affairs. He will lead the company’s Global Center of Excellence for Decentralized Clinical Trial (DCT) Strategy. Dr. Rodriguez-Chavez’s responsibilities will involve the continued growth and development of PRA’s industry-leading decentralized clinical trial strategy, regulatory framework creation, and clinical trial modernization.
Proprio appoints three global thought leaders to its Medical Advisory Board. Dr. Sigurd Berven, Orthopedic Surgeon and Professor at the University of California, San Francisco, Dr. Charles Fisher, Professor and Head of the Combined Neurosurgical & Orthopedic Spine Program at Vancouver General Hospital and the University of British Columbia, and Dr. Ziya Gokaslan, Professor and Chair of the Department of Neurosurgery at Brown University and Neurosurgeon-in-Chief at Rhode Island Hospital and The Miriam Hospital will apply their globally respected surgical and research expertise to the development of the Proprio navigation platform.
Kaiser Permanente names Andrew Bindman, MD Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer. In this role, Dr. Bindman will collaborate with clinical and operational leaders throughout the enterprise to help lead the organization’s efforts to continue improving the high-quality care provided to members and patients throughout Kaiser Permanente. Dr. Bindman will report directly to Kaiser Permanente chairman and CEO Greg A. Adams.
Greenway names Dr. Michael Blackman Chief Medical Officer at Greenway. Dr. Blackman will further support the company’s ambulatory care customers, ensuring providers are equipped with the solutions and services they need to improve patient outcomes and succeed in value-based care.
Suki expands its leadership team with six key hires to support the company’s rapid commercial growth. Tracy Rentz, formerly Vice President of Implementation at Evolent Health, joins Suki as the Vice President of Customer Success and Operations to lead all customer operations, with a particular focus around deploying new Suki customers. Brian Duffy brings over 20 years of sales experience to Suki, joining the team as Director of Sales-East, after having most recently served as Regional Director at Qventus, Inc. Brent Jarkowski will also join Suki’s sales team this November as the Director of Sales-West, bringing over 15 years of experience in strategic relationship management. Brent joins Suki after serving as Senior Client Development Director at Kyyrus. Together, Brian and Brent will head the company’s efforts in building new partnerships across the country. And Josh Margulies, who previously served as the Director of Integrated Brand Marketing for the Jacksonville Jaguars, will serve as Suki’s new Senior Director of Field Marketing.
– CompuGroup Medical (CGM) acquires eMDs, Inc. (eMDs), a
leading provider of healthcare IT with a focus on doctors’ practices in the US,
reaching an attractive size in the biggest healthcare market worldwide.
– CGM is building an attractive platform for future
growth through complementary product portfolios and the ability to provide
comprehensive solutions for doctors’ practices.
Holding USA, Inc., a 100 % subsidiary of CompuGroup Medical SE &
Co. KGaA announced it has acquired eMDs, an Austin, TX-based provider of electronic health records
(EHRs), practice management software, revenue cycle
management solutions, and credentialing services for physician practices
and enterprises. The acquisition is structured as a reverse triangular merger
under U.S. law. eMDs’ key products are Ambulatory Information Systems and
outsourcing services for medical accounting.
With this acquisition, the US subsidiary of CGM
significantly broadens its position and will become the top 4 providers in the
market for Ambulatory Information Systems in the US. The consideration to be
paid to the current shareholders of eMDs is based on an enterprise value of $240M
(equal to approx. EUR 203 million), which will be adjusted inter alia for
amounts of cash, financial debt and net working capital (compared to a
reference amount) as of the closing date. In the fiscal year 2019/2020 (ended
03/31/2020), eMDs had revenues of approximately EUR 81 million and an adjusted
EBITDA of approximately EUR 12 million with more than 60,000 healthcare
Founded by physicians, the company is an industry leader for
usable, connected software that enables physician productivity and a superior
clinical experience. eMDs’ customer base today consists of more than 60,000
providers in more than 70 disciplines. eMDs is operating in the highly
attractive US healthcare IT market that shows a high equipment rate with IT
solutions for healthcare professionals. eMDs has more than 1,400 employees at
locations in the United States and India.
“The fit with our existing product portfolio is perfect. We have established a solid foundation in the United States in recent years and are already number 2 in the important field of Laboratory Information Systems for Physician Owned Labs (POLs) and Reference Labs,” said Frank Gotthardt, founder and CEO of CompuGroup Medical SE & Co. KGaA. The Germany-based corporation is one of the leading providers for eHealth solutions worldwide. “We are firmly convinced that both CGM and eMDs customers will benefit from this transaction through complementary product strengths.”
– GE Healthcare announced a new artificial intelligence
(AI) algorithm to help clinicians assess Endotracheal Tube (ETT) placements, a
necessary and important step when ventilating critically ill COVID-19 patients.
– The AI solution is one of five included in GE Healthcare’s Critical Care Suite 2.0, an industry-first collection of AI algorithms embedded on a mobile x-ray device for automated measurements, case prioritization, and quality control.
GE Healthcare today announced a new artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm to help clinicians assess Endotracheal Tube (ETT) placements, a necessary and important step when ventilating critically ill COVID-19 patients. The AI solution is one of five included in GE Healthcare’s Critical Care Suite 2.0, an industry-first collection of AI algorithms embedded on a mobile x-ray device for automated measurements, case prioritization, and quality control. GE Healthcare and UC San Francisco co-developed Critical Care Suite 2.0 using GE Healthcare’s Edison platform, which helps deploy AI algorithms quickly and securely. Critical Care Suite 2.0 is available on the company’s AMX 240 mobile x-ray system.
The on-device AI offers several benefits to radiologists and
– ETT positioning and critical findings: GE
Healthcare’s algorithms are a fast and reliable way to ensure AI results are
generated within seconds of image acquisition, without any dependency on
connectivity or transfer speeds to produce the AI results.
– Eliminating processing delays: Results are then
sent to the radiologist while the device sends the original diagnostic image,
ensuring no additional processing delay.
– Ensuring quality: The AI suite also includes several quality-focused AI algorithms to analyze and flag protocol and field of view errors, as well as auto, rotate the images on-device. By automatically running these quality checks on-device, it integrates them into the technologist’s standard workflow and enables technologist actions – such as rejections or reprocessing – to occur at the patient’s bedside and before the images are sent to PACS.
Impact of ETTs
Up to 45% of ICU patients, including severe COVID-19 cases, receive ETT intubation for ventilation. While proper ETT placement can be difficult, Critical Care Suite 2.0 uses AI to automatically detect ETTs in chest x-ray images and provides an accurate and automated measurement of ETT positioning to clinicians within seconds of image acquisition, right on the monitor of the x-ray system. In 94% of cases, the ET Tube tip-to-Carina distance calculation is accurate to within 1.0 cm. With these measurements, clinicians can determine if the ETT is placed correctly or if additional attention is required for proper placement. The AI-generated measurements – along with an image overlay – are then made accessible in a picture archiving and communication system (PACS).
Improper positioning of the ETT during intubation can lead
to various complications, including a pneumothorax, a type of collapsed lung.
While the chest x-ray images of a suspected pneumothorax patient are often
marked “STAT,” they can sit waiting for up to eight hours for a radiologist’s
review. However, when a patient is scanned on a device with Critical Care Suite
2.0, the system automatically analyzes images and sends an alert for cases with
a suspected pneumothorax – along with the original chest x-ray – to the
radiologist for review via PACS. The technologist also receives a subsequent
on-device notification to provide awareness of the prioritized cases.
“Seconds and minutes matter when dealing with a collapsed lung or assessing endotracheal tube positioning in a critically ill patient,” explains Dr. Amit Gupta, Modality Director of Diagnostic Radiography at University Hospital Cleveland Medical Center and Assistant Professor of Radiology at Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland. “In several COVID-19 patient cases, the pneumothorax AI algorithm has proved prophetic – accurately identifying pneumothoraces/barotrauma in intubated COVID-19 patients, flagging them to radiologist and radiology residents, and enabling expedited patient treatment. Altogether, this technology is a game-changer, helping us operate more efficiently as a practice, without compromising diagnostic precision. We soon will evaluate the new ETT placement AI algorithm, which we hope will be equally valuable tool as we continue caring for critically ill COVID-19 patients.”
Research shows that up to 25 percent of patients intubated
outside of the operating room have misplaced ETTs on chest x-rays, which can
lead to severe complications for patients, including hyperinflation,
pneumothorax, cardiac arrest and death. Moreover, as COVID-19 cases climb, with
more than 50 million confirmed worldwide, anywhere from 5-15 percent require
intensive care surveillance and intubation for ventilatory support.
The company, a facilitator of patient-clinician communication, plans to use the funds to bring new features and capabilities to market, as well as build strategic partnerships. It has also added Dr. Dana Gelb Safran as senior vice president of value-based care and population health.
A survey of healthcare cybersecurity professionals by HIMSS details the most common types of cyber attacks, it’s impact on patient care as well as solutions hospitals and health systems have implemented to prevent falling prey to this type of criminal activity.
Signify Health, a leading provider of technology-enabled healthcare solutions designed to keep people healthy and happy at home has acquiredPatientBlox, an Atlanta-based technology company with deep expertise in applying distributed ledger technology in healthcare. The acquisition accelerates Signify’s prospective provider payment capabilities for episodes of care, supporting the company’s commitment to advance value-based care through novel payment and risk arrangements. Financial details of the acquisition were not disclosed.
Acquisition Will Accelerate Prospective Episode of Care
The addition of blockchain technology enables a further shift away from traditional fee-for-service models. By making payments to providers at the start of the episode, providers are incentivized to drive care redesign because there is shared measurement and accountability at every step of the process, which results in improved care coordination, outcomes, and cost savings.
An episode of care is a healthcare event — a condition or a treatment — that is marked by a sequence of interactions between a patient and providers. The blockchain can capture each of those interactions and the patient’s care milestones that trigger payments. The PatientBlox platform is designed to manage these transactions without relying on fee-for-service claims.
PatientBlox Integration Offers Payers/Providers Array of Payment Options
As part of the acquisition, Signify will integrate the
PatientBlox technology into its already robust and scalable value-based care
platform, which supports $6B in healthcare spend annually associated with
the federal government’s bundled payment program, BPCI-A, and episodes of care
payment programs by health plans and employers.
The proprietary PatientBlox technology is built-for-purpose and highly-secure, enabling functionality that facilitates contract and payment administration under a prospective payment model. Under its expanded platform, Signify will offer payers and providers a diverse array of payment options to meet them where they are in their value-based care journey.
“We combined our team’s healthcare, fintech, and supply chain experience with machine-learning and Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) to build the PatientBlox platform for administration and management of prospective bundles,” said PatientBlox Co-Founder and CEO Rahul Sharma. “Our DLT based platform enables collaboration between Healthcare Payers and Providers and provides real time data synchronization across entities thus enabling rapid scaling of prospective bundled payment programs. We are excited to work with Kyle and the Signify team and are proud to have the novel technology developed by the PatientBlox team be part of Signify’s leading platform, which is already driving real change in the healthcare industry.”
– Microsoft launches a dedicated HealthTech Startup Program and partners with startup incubator Social Alpha to accelerate the growth of healthtech startups in India.
– Selected startups into the program will benefit from
focused healthcare industry teams, co-innovation and collaboration, and
Microsoft AI for healthcare.
Today, Microsoft has announced the launch of a
startup program to drive healthcare innovation in India. India faces an
increasing number of healthcare challenges with a lack of infrastructure,
uneven doctor to patient ratio, and an increase in demand for healthcare
services. The program is designed
to help startups
scale with advanced technology and joint go-to-market support.
Startup Program Approach
Spread across three tiers,
the program offers a range of benefits:
– All startups: Qualified Seed to Series C startups can boost
their business with Azure benefits (including free credits), unlimited
technical support and go-to-market resources with support for Azure Marketplace
startups: Startups with
enterprise-ready solutions can scale quickly with joint go-to-market
strategies, technical support and new sales opportunities with Microsoft’s
– Co-build startups: Startups that are looking to create healthcare solutions have access to Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare, the first industry-specific cloud that brings together trusted and integrated capabilities to enrich patient engagement and connects teams for improved collaboration, decision-making, and operational efficiencies
Being forced by the global pandemic to rethink how healthcare services across the world operate, startups in this industry are reimagining solutions for some of the most pressing healthcare challenges. Technology innovation with advanced data and analytics capabilities is a critical enabler as we build trusted and reliable solutions at scale. The Microsoft for Healthtech Startups program deepens our focus on specific industries and is aimed to accelerate the growth journeys of startups with the best tech enablement and business resources,” said Sangeeta Bavi, Director – Startup Ecosystem, Microsoft India.
Partnership with Startup Incubator Social Alpha
In addition to the healthtech program launch, Microsoft is also collaborating with startup incubator Social Alpha to accelerate the growth of participating startups. To date, Social Alpha has supported over 20 healthtech startups working across devices, diagnostics, treatment, access and quality/UX.
The collaboration with Social Alpha will provide healthtech
startups programmatic support through product innovation labs, sandbox pilots
and structured incubation initiatives that offer knowledge services, bootcamps
and masterclass sessions with mentors as well as tech and industry experts.
As the startups accelerate, they receive access to
go-to-market resources, ecosystem networking, angel networks and investor
forums. Social Alpha supports entrepreneurs and innovators that enable social,
economic and environmental change through their ‘lab to market’ journey by
building access to technology and business incubation initiatives.
– Medsphere acquires Micro-Office Systems (MOS),
developer of systems integration and communication tools. MOS will retain its
name and will serve as a division of Medsphere moving forward.
Corporation today announced the acquisition
of Micro-Office Systems (MOS)
in a move that will even further enhance the value and usability of Medsphere’s
affordable healthcare IT solutions and services. With over 30 years of healthcare IT
experience, MOS focuses on creating the in-between technology that streamlines
the functionality of various platforms and applications to the benefit of
administrators, clinicians, and patients. The acquisition enhances Medsphere’s
platform with the integration of custom medical practice and healthcare IT solutions.
MOS Product Portfolio
The MOS product portfolio includes numerous interfaces to
improve communication and integration among solutions; system migration tools
and strategies to smooth and hasten the transition from one system to another;
and the Patient Communications Gateway, a comprehensive, modular system that
empowers healthcare organizations to effectively communicate with patients.
“The entire healthcare IT industry, with as many products as there are, has evolved to the point where the connective tissue is just about as important as the muscle and bone,” said Medsphere President and CEO Irv Lichtenwald. “Even when healthcare IT was in its relative infancy, Micro-Office Systems was improving communication among platforms and making localized systems work better for all users. This is a tremendous addition to Medsphere’s solution suite and we have every confidence that our clients will recognize and appreciate the enhanced performance MOS enables.”
Recent M&A Activity
of MOS is only Medsphere’s most recent move to expand company offerings. In
recent years Medsphere has added ambulatory healthcare IT solutions provider ChartLogic; healthcare IT consulting and
outsourcing provider Phoenix
Health Systems; robust revenue cycle management systems developer Stockell
Healthcare, which now operates under the Medsphere banner; and the top-rated
Wellsoft emergency department information system.
As part of the acquisition, MOS will retain the Micro-Office
Systems name with the added modifier, “A Division of Medsphere.”