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TELUS Health Announces Agreement to Acquire Nightingale’s Canadian EMR Operations

TORONTO, ONTARIO–(Marketwired – July 14, 2016) – TELUS Health announced today that it has entered into an agreement to acquire the Canadian business of Nightingale Informatix Corp. (Nightingale) (TSX VENTURE:NGH), including its proprietary Electronic Medical Record (EMR) software solutions and related assets.

Nightingale currently provides its EMR solution to 4,000 physicians in Canada, mainly in Ontario and the Atlantic provinces.

“At TELUS Health, we are on a mission to leverage the power of technology and our world-class telecommunications infrastructure to improve health outcomes for Canadians,” said Paul Lepage, President, TELUS Health. “We are working to realize our goal not only by continuing to invest in health technology that supports the primary care ecosystem, but also through strategic acquisitions.”

The acquisition of Nightingale’s Canadian operations is subject to customary closing conditions, including Nightingale shareholder approval and regulatory approval.

About TELUS Health

TELUS Health is a leader in telehomecare, electronic medical and health records, consumer health, benefits management and pharmacy management. TELUS Health solutions give health authorities, providers, physicians, patients and consumers the power to turn information into better health outcomes. For more information about TELUS Health, please visit telushealth.com.

July 18, 2016 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Azalea Health Receives $10.5 Million in Series B Funding From Kayne Partners Fund

ATLANTA, GA–(Marketwired – Jul 15, 2016) – Azalea Health announced today that it has closed its $10.5 million Series B round of funding. The round was led by Kayne Partners, the growth private equity group of Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors, L.P., an alternative investment firm managing over $22.5 billion in assets. Existing Azalea investor Intersouth Partners, a venture capital firm in Durham, NC, also participated in the round.

Azalea Health is a leading provider of fully integrated, technology-enabled healthcare solutions and Revenue Cycle Enhancement™ services for practices of all sizes and most specialties. “The additional capital allows us to rapidly advance organic growth and consolidate the market through acquisition,” said Justin Pierce, Vice President of Sales.

“We are very pleased with this opportunity to partner with Kayne Anderson, a like-minded, technically focused equity provider that has a strong track record within the health IT space,” said Baha Zeidan, CEO and Co-Founder.

“Now more than ever, hospitals and physicians need tools that deliver a strong ROI, streamline workflow, and are easy to adopt and use,” Zeidan continued. “With payment reforms focused on achieving outcomes and lower costs, healthcare organizations require a comprehensive end-to-end platform that supports every aspect of their practice.”

“Kayne strives to identify companies with unrivaled competitive advantages in fast-growing industries which are led by exceptionally strong management teams. Azalea is solving unique healthcare access and delivery needs in the U.S. rural healthcare market. We recognize this is a significant growth opportunity for Azalea and believe they are uniquely positioned to take advantage of these opportunities,” said Nishita Cummings, Partner, Kayne Partners. Cummings will join the board of Azalea Health.

Azalea Health focuses on rural markets that are traditionally underserved by healthcare technology. The company is able to cost-effectively meet the needs of community and critical access hospitals, including Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) and Rural Health Clinics (RHCs), as well as their associated physician practices.

Approximately 20 percent of the U.S. population lives in rural areas, but only 10 percent of U.S. physicians practice there. This disparity creates unique healthcare access and delivery challenges for patients, caregivers and physicians, ultimately resulting in significant costs to the healthcare system.

Azalea Health is the first company to fully integrate telehealth capabilities within its technology-enabled solutions platform, which includes integrated electronic health records (EHR), practice management, electronic prescribing, interoperability services, personal health records, patient portal, Azalea M™ mobile platform integrated with Apple® HealthKit and Revenue Cycle Performance™ services.

Azalea Health, established in 2008, is headquartered in Atlanta, GA, and serves customers nationwide. By using true cloud-based technology, Azalea eliminates the need to manage hardware and software, while reducing the complexity and cost of EHR technology.

Victor Culiuc and Healthios Capital Markets LLC served as exclusive financial advisor to Azalea.

About Azalea Health
Azalea Health is a leading provider of fully integrated, technology-enabled healthcare solutions and managed services for practices of all sizes and most specialties. Azalea’s comprehensive portfolio includes integrated electronic health records, practice management, electronic prescribing, interoperability services, personal health records, patient portal, telehealth, Azalea M™ mobile platform integrated with Apple® HealthKit, as well as Revenue Cycle Performance™ services. The Azalea platform also provides tools and resources to help customers meet their Meaningful Use and ICD-10 requirements, as well as strategies to navigate accountable care and alternative payment models. To learn more, please visitwww.AzaleaHealth.com, call (877) 777-7686 or connect via social media on Facebook, Twitterand LinkedIn.

About Kayne Partners
Kayne Partners is a leading provider of capital and connections to rapidly growing companies in North America. Since its inception more than a decade ago, it has invested over $600 million in platform investments and add-on acquisitions. Kayne Partners seeks to partner with driven entrepreneurs as a non-control minority investor and provide transformative capital to these high growth companies. Kayne Partners is the growth private equity group of Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors, L.P. www.kaynepartners.com

About Kayne Anderson
Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors, L.P., founded in 1984, is a leading independent alternative investment management firm focused on niche investing in upstream oil and gas companies, energy infrastructure, specialized real estate, middle market credit, and growth private equity. Kayne’s investment philosophy is to pursue niches, with an emphasis on cash flow, where its knowledge and sourcing advantages enable it to deliver above average, risk-adjusted investment returns. Kayne manages over $22.5 billion in assets (as of 6/30/16) for institutional investors, family offices, high net worth and retail clients and employs nearly 300 professionals in eight offices across the United States. The firm is headquartered in Los Angeles with offices in Houston, New York City, Chicago, Denver, Dallas, Atlanta and Boca Raton. For more information, please visit our website: www.kaynecapital.com.

July 15, 2016 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Medsphere Systems and ChartLogic Merge

Enterprise EHR provider broadens focus to incorporate robust ambulatory electronic medical record, practice management and medical billing solutions

SALT LAKE CITY & CARLSBAD, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Medsphere Systems Corporation and ChartLogic, Inc., today announced that they have executed a definitive agreement to merge the two companies. The transaction will expand Medsphere’s existing enterprise healthcare IT products and services to include ChartLogic’s proven ambulatory electronic health record (EHR), practice management and medical billing solutions. ChartLogic will retain its name and operate as a division of Medsphere; the expanded company will offer integrated delivery networks and physician practices an affordable and interoperable choice that meets the clinical needs of providers across the spectrum of care. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, and the parties expect to close by June 30, 2016.

Among ChartLogic’s proven suite of products and services is a proven EHR enhanced by modern dictation technology. ChartLogic EHR incorporates superior command and control voice navigation and speech recognition, enabling efficient charting. ChartLogic EHR also includes an extensive library of specialty-oriented vocabularies, templates, macros, and other customization tools. With ChartLogic EHR, providers can complete a unique patient record in 90 seconds or less.

“With this merger of Medsphere and ChartLogic, we’re creating a comprehensive healthcare IT platform that extends from physician practices to acute care hospitals and inpatient behavioral health facilities, ensuring continuity of care and patient information,” said Medsphere President and CEO Irv Lichtenwald. “And we’re doing it affordably so clinics and hospitals can manage their IT and improve care without going deeply into debt, as is often the case with similarly comprehensive systems. We couldn’t be more excited about the merger with ChartLogic and look forward to the success it will create.”

In 2010, ChartLogic was the first EHR in the nation to meet Meaningful Use Stage 1 requirements. The EHR is currently certified for Stage 2, and the ChartLogic team is actively working toward meeting Stage 3 standards. ChartLogic EHR also incorporates e-prescribing, patient portal, labs and document management applications; the complete ChartLogic solution includes medical billing services and a practice management solution: appointment scheduling, claims entry, advanced reporting and eligibility checking.

“ChartLogic has always been about improving the efficiency and quality of care in physician practices, so we’re very excited to join Medsphere and expand that objective to all of healthcare,” said ChartLogic CEO Zubin Emsley. “The simple fact is that the comprehensive solution platforms available to hospitals and integrated delivery networks today are contributing to the high cost of healthcare, not alleviating it. Working with Medsphere, our goal is to enable hospitals and providers to improve care and efficiency without incurring massive ongoing costs.”

Based in Salt Lake City, Utah, ChartLogic recently announced a new contract with Children’s Orthopedic Specialists of Tucson, Arizona. The company also worked with Change Healthcare to incorporate a streamlined lab ordering system into ChartLogic EHR.

Derived from the proven VistA system developed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the Indian Health Service, OpenVista® is a comprehensive EHR platform combining both clinical and financial applications. Medsphere’s Government Services Division also applies extensive knowledge of VistA to development and testing work for the VA and Indian Health Service.

About ChartLogic

ChartLogic, Inc., is driven by the desire to improve patient care, office efficiencies and profitability for the physician practice. Since 1994, ChartLogic has been developing and delivering healthcare technology solutions. The company offers a full ambulatory EHR suite, including electronic medical record, practice management, e-prescribing, patient portal and more, as well as offering complete medical billing services which take care of the claims continuum while maximizing revenue and minimizing costs. ChartLogic is known for its proprietary command-and-control methodology that allows users to create notes fast and efficiently. The company is based in Salt Lake City, Utah, and is privately held.

For additional information, visit www.chartlogic.com or call 888-337-4441.

About Medsphere

Founded in 2002 and based in Carlsbad, Calif., Medsphere Systems Corporation is an organization of committed clinical and technology professionals working to make quality healthcare IT solutions accessible to organizations of virtually any size, shape or budget. Medsphere’s OpenVista is an acute and inpatient behavioral health-oriented portfolio of clinical products and services that leverages the VistA EHR system developed by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Indian Health Service (IHS). Medsphere’s Government Services Division also applies that VistA expertise to development and testing projects for the VA, IHS and international customers.

Medsphere also enables better ambulatory care via physician practice EHR, revenue cycle management (RCM) and practice management systems and services. Using a vendor-independent approach to helping hospitals solve critical challenges, thePhoenix Health Systems division provides a host of healthcare IT services, including systems implementation, compliance project management, service desk, end-user device management, infrastructure support, application management and IT leadership.

Whatever your healthcare IT challenge, Medsphere has a solution.

June 28, 2016 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

McKesson and Change Healthcare to Form New Healthcare Information Technology Company

  • New entity to combine majority of McKesson Technology Solutions and Change Healthcare into separate company positioned to address the healthcare industry’s emerging and most pressing challenges.
  • Transaction to create new company with $3.4 billion in pro forma combined total annual revenues for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2016.
  • Brings together broad portfolio of complementary capabilities to deliver wide-ranging financial, operational and clinical benefits to payers, providers, and consumers.
  • McKesson and Change Healthcare will own approximately 70% and 30%, respectively, of the new company and will receive cash proceeds of approximately $1.25 billion and $1.75 billion, respectively, following the close of the transaction.
  • The new company will be jointly governed by McKesson and Change Healthcare and is expected to generate in excess of $150 million in annual synergies by the second year following the close of the transaction.

SAN FRANCISCO & NASHVILLE, Tenn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–McKesson Corporation (NYSE:MCK), a leading global healthcare services and information technology company, and Change Healthcare Holdings, Inc., a leading provider of software and analytics, network solutions and technology-enabled services, today announced the creation of a new healthcare information technology company. The entity will combine substantially all of Change Healthcare’s business and the majority of McKesson Technology Solutions (MTS) into a new company with fiscal year end March 31, 2016 pro forma combined total annual revenues of $3.4 billion.

The new organization brings together the complementary strengths of MTS and Change Healthcare to deliver a broad portfolio of solutions that will help lower healthcare costs, improve patient access and outcomes, and make it simpler for payers, providers, and consumers to manage the transition to value-based care. As a separate entity singularly focused on healthcare technology and technology-enabled services, the new organization will be positioned to better respond to customer needs and deliver next-generation innovations.

McKesson has scheduled a conference call for today June 28, 2016, at 8:45 AM ET, to discuss the transaction. Details for the conference call are included later in this press release. For more information on the transaction, visit http://www.healthtechtransformation.com.

“This is a bold, innovative transaction that creates a company with an enhanced ability to help customers address their increasingly complex financial and clinical challenges,” said John H. Hammergren, chairman and chief executive officer, McKesson Corporation. “The new company will establish a more efficient suite of end-to-end payment and claims solutions, as well as clinical capabilities, while unlocking the value of our MTS businesses in a tax-efficient manner. We look forward to partnering with Change Healthcare’s management team and employees to create this new enterprise and to help customers reduce complexity, lower costs and ultimately provide better care.”

“The combination of these two entities comes at a transformational time in U.S. healthcare,” commented Neil de Crescenzo, president and chief executive officer, Change Healthcare. “Together we will create significant value by bringing together complementary capabilities from both organizations to deliver innovative new solutions for customers, create opportunities for team members at a leading healthcare technology company, and drive advancements that address the three critical areas of cost, quality and outcomes across the healthcare sector.”

The new company will be able to offer health plans and providers a comprehensive suite of end-to-end financial and payment solutions and technologies. In addition, customers will benefit from solutions that help them manage administrative and clinical complexity as they navigate the transition to value-based care. Patients will have better tools that allow them to make more informed decisions, helping them maximize their healthcare dollars and receive high quality care.

“We are extremely pleased to be part of this important new company,” said Neil P. Simpkins, senior managing director of Blackstone. “The innovative track records and forward-thinking experiences of both organizations create a truly unique opportunity for positive impact across the healthcare ecosystem.”

Transaction Terms and Structure

Under the terms of our agreement, McKesson will contribute the majority of its McKesson Technology Solutions businesses to the new company, with the exception of RelayHealth Pharmacy and its Enterprise Information Solutions (EIS) division, which will be retained by McKesson. McKesson separately announced today that it will explore strategic alternatives for its EIS division.

Change Healthcare will contribute all of its businesses to the new company, with the exception of its pharmacy switch and prescription routing business, which will be owned separately by the current Change Healthcare stockholders. Change Healthcare is currently majority-owned by Blackstone.

McKesson will own approximately 70% of the new company, with the remaining equity stake held by Change Healthcare stockholders, which includes Blackstone and Hellman & Friedman. McKesson and Change Healthcare stockholders will jointly govern the new company and John H. Hammergren will serve as chairman. Neil de Crescenzo will serve as chief executive officer, joined by an experienced management team comprised of leaders from both McKesson and Change Healthcare.

Financial Highlights

The transaction unlocks value for McKesson and Change Healthcare stockholders by creating a new company with a singular focus on healthcare technology and technology-enabled services, and is expected to generate in excess of $150 million in annual synergies by the second year following the close of the transaction.

The new company has received commitments for $6.1 billion of funded debt related to this transaction, with proceeds to be used to repay approximately $2.7 billion of existing Change Healthcare debt, make $1.25 billion in cash payments to McKesson and make $1.75 billion in cash payments to Change Healthcare’s stockholders, with the remainder to be used for transaction-related expenses.

The transaction is subject to closing conditions, including antitrust clearance and the completion of audited financial statements of the MTS businesses being contributed to the new company, and is expected to close in the first half of calendar year 2017. The agreement provides that McKesson and Change Healthcare will take steps to launch an initial public offering in the months following the close of the transaction, subject to market conditions. Thereafter, McKesson expects to exit its investment in the new company in a tax-efficient manner.

Conference Call Details

McKesson has scheduled a conference call for today June 28, 2016, at 8:45 AM ET to discuss the transaction. The dial-in number for individuals wishing to participate on the call is 719-234-7317. Craig Mercer, senior vice president, Investor Relations, McKesson Corporation, is the leader of the call and the password to join the call is ‘McKesson’. The live webcast and supplementary slide presentation for the conference call can be accessed on the company’s Investor Relations website athttp://investor.mckesson.com.

A telephonic replay of this conference call will be available for five calendar days. The dial-in number for individuals wishing to listen to the replay is 719-457-0820 and the pass code is 2040084.

About McKesson Corporation

McKesson Corporation, currently ranked 5th on the FORTUNE 500, is a healthcare services and information technology company dedicated to making the business of healthcare run better. McKesson partners with payers, hospitals, physician offices, pharmacies, pharmaceutical companies, and others across the spectrum of care to build healthier organizations that deliver better care to patients in every setting. McKesson helps its customers improve their financial, operational, and clinical performance with solutions that include pharmaceutical and medical-surgical supply management, healthcare information technology, and business and clinical services. For more information, visit www.mckesson.com.

About Change Healthcare

Change Healthcare is a leading provider of software and analytics, network solutions and technology-enabled services that optimize communications, payments and actionable insights designed to enable smarter healthcare. By leveraging its Intelligent Healthcare Network™, which includes the single largest financial and administrative network in the United States healthcare system, payers, providers and pharmacies are able to increase revenue, improve efficiency, reduce costs, increase cash flow and more effectively manage complex workflows. Learn more at www.changehealthcare.com.

About Blackstone

Blackstone has been a global leader in private equity since 1985, with $95 billion of assets under management. Blackstone uncovers value by identifying great companies and enhancing their performance by providing strategic capital and outstanding management talent. Blackstone aims to grow stronger enterprises, create jobs, and enable its portfolio companies to build lasting value for its investors, their employees and all stakeholders.

Blackstone is one of the world’s leading investment firms. It seeks to create positive economic impact and long-term value for its investors, the companies it invests in, and the communities in which it works. This is done by using extraordinary people and flexible capital to help companies solve problems. Its asset management businesses, with over $340 billion in assets under management, include investment vehicles focused on private equity, real estate, public debt and equity, non-investment grade credit, real assets and secondary funds, all on a global basis. Further information is available at www.blackstone.com. Follow Blackstone on Twitter @Blackstone.

I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

HHS Announces Major Initiative to Help Small Practices Prepare for the Quality Payment Program

Over the last few weeks, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has made several important announcements related to the Quality Payment Program, which has been proposed to implement the new, bipartisan law changing how Medicare pays clinicians, known as the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015, or MACRA. Today, we are announcing $20 million to fund on-the-ground training and education for Medicare clinicians in individual or small group practices of 15 clinicians or fewer.

These funds will help provide hands-on training tailored to small practices, especially those that practice in historically under-resourced areas including rural areas, health professional shortage areas, and medically underserved areas.

“Doctors and health care providers in small and rural practices are critical to our goal of building a health care system that works for everyone,” said Secretary Burwell. “Supporting local health care providers with the resources and information necessary for them to provide quality care is a top priority for this administration.”

As required by MACRA, HHS will continue to award $20 million each year over the next five years, providing $100 million in total to help small practices successfully participate in the Quality Payment Program. In order to receive funding, organizations must demonstrate their ability to strategically provide customized training to clinicians. And, most importantly, these organizations will provide education and consultation about the Quality Payment Program at no cost to the clinician or their practice.

“The bipartisan MACRA legislation gave us the tools to improve Medicare and make it modern and sustainable by improving the incentives for and lowering the burden on clinicians,” said Dr. Patrick Conway, acting principal deputy administrator and chief medical officer for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. “Real change must start from the ground up, and today’s announcement recognizes this reality by  getting doctors the resources they need to provide better, smarter care.”

Organizations receiving the funding would support small practices by helping them think through what they need to be successful under the Quality Payment Program, such as what quality measures and/or electronic health record (EHR) may be appropriate for their practices’ needs. Organizations would also train clinicians about the new clinical practice improvement activities and how these new activities could fit into their practices’ workflow, or help practices evaluate their options for joining an Alternative Payment Model.

“Providing these tools to help physicians and other clinicians in small practices navigate new programs is key to making sure they are able to focus on what is most important: the needs of their patients,” said B. Vindell Washington MD, MHCM, FACEP, principal deputy national coordinator. “As with the Office of the National Coordinator for health ITs funding for regional extension centers, this assistance will help health care providers leverage health information technology to enhance their practices and the care they deliver.”

Awardees will be announced by November 2016.  HHS encourages all qualified organizations to apply for this funding.

To learn more about today’s announcement and how to apply, please contactMQIDTA@cms.hhs.gov.

For more information on the Quality Payment Program, please visit:https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Quality-Initiatives-Patient-Assessment-Instruments/Value-Based-Programs/MACRA-MIPS-and-APMs/Quality-Payment-Program.html

June 20, 2016 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

New Survey Shows Nearly All U.S. Hospitals Using Certified Health IT to Manage Patient Care

According to data from a new survey to be released today at the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology’s (ONC) 2016 Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C., nearly all of the nation’s hospitals have adopted certified electronic health records (EHRs).

This represents a nine-fold increase since 2008, according to survey data from the American Hospital Association (AHA) Information Technology Supplement. The data also show there have been increases in sharing health data among hospitals, with over 85 percent of hospitals sending key clinical information electronically.

For the next three days, ONC will convene key stakeholders across the public and private sector to discuss the collective work to advance the seamless and secure flow of health information for a number of national priorities, including advancing delivery system reform and improving health and facilitates science and research, such as through the Precision Medicine Initiative.

This year’s sessions align with the three core commitments that market leaders have made around improving consumer access to their health information, combating information blocking, and implementing federally recognized, national standards so that different health IT systems can speak the same language. Today’s agenda will include panel discussions with health IT influencers from both the public and private sectors, featuring conversations on high profile topics critical to achieving “Better Health through IT,” this year’s theme.

The day will conclude with a fireside chat between National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, Karen DeSalvo, M.D., M.P.H., M.Sc., and former U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary, Kathleen Sebelius.  Secretary Sebelius oversaw the implementation of the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act in 2009, which led to a rapid increase in the adoption and use of health IT.

“As we kick off the 2016 ONC Annual Meeting today, these data showing nearly universal adoption of certified electronic health records by U.S. hospitals are an indication of how far we have come for clinicians and individuals since the HITECH Act was passed,” said DeSalvo. “I look forward to these next three days with leaders from across the country to discuss our collective work to ensure health information can flow where and when it is needed for national priorities like delivery system reform, the Precision Medicine Initiative, the Cancer Moonshot, and the opioid crisis.”

Over 1,200 people are expected to attend the 2016 ONC Annual Meeting, with several hundred joining online via streaming webcast.

The ONC data briefs released today show the adoption rate of certified EHRs has increased from almost 72 percent in 2011 (when this information began to be collected) to 96 percent in 2015. While the overall rate for the use of certified health IT has remained stable, the new data show that adoption rates for small, rural, and critical access hospitals increased.

The AHA data also show that:

  • The percentage of hospitals sending, receiving and finding key clinical information grew between 2014 and 2015.
  • In 2015, about half of hospitals had health information electronically available from providers outside their systems; this grew by five percent from 2014.
  • About half of hospitals report they often or sometimes use patient information they receive electronically from providers outside their systems.

The two data briefs, Adoption of Electronic Health Record Systems among U.S. Non-Federal Acute Care Hospitals: 2008 – 2015 and Interoperability among U.S. Non-Federal Acute Care Hospitals in 2015 can be viewed at HealthIT.gov.

May 31, 2016 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Quality Systems, Inc. Discontinues NextGen Now in Favor of MediTouch Platform

IRVINE, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Quality Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:QSII) announced today its Board of Directors approved management’s recommendations for several strategic initiatives, the Company’s updated cloud strategy, a corporate restructuring and the initiation of financial guidance.

MediTouch® Based Cloud Strategy

Following several months of assessment of both the recently acquired MediTouch platform and the Company’s NextGen Now platform in development, management concluded that the MediTouch platform offers the most efficient path to providing a high-quality, robust, cloud-based solution for ambulatory care. As a result, the Company will cease further investment in NextGen Now and immediately discontinue all efforts to use or repurpose the NextGen Now platform. This assessment was conducted under the technology leadership of David Metcalfe, who joined the Company on February 1, 2016 as chief technology officer.

“The acquisition of the MediTouch platform accelerates our time-to-market with a cloud-based platform that already meets the needs of smaller practices. Our focus now will be to scale this solution to address the needs of enterprise-level organizations and larger practices,” stated Metcalfe.

As a result of this decision, Quality Systems’ fiscal fourth quarter and full-year results will reflect a pre-tax charge of approximately $32 million, relating to the impairment of the Company’s previously capitalized investment in NextGen Now. This charge did not result in, nor is it expected to result in, any additional cash expenditures.

Streamlined Corporate Structure

The Company also announced a restructuring plan, which will eliminate its business units in favor of a streamlined, functional-based organizational structure. This new structure will enable a more efficient, integrated and client-centered delivery of the holistic solutions ambulatory care organizations need.

“We are realigning the organization to remove silos and be better positioned to serve our clients, as they pursue population health and value-based reimbursement initiatives. It will also reduce our cost structure and make the organization more nimble,” explained Rusty Frantz, president and chief executive officer.

This organizational realignment is expected to result in approximately $4 million of restructuring-related charges, consisting principally of severance and other one-time termination benefits. The restructuring costs are expected to be primarily incurred and funded in the first and second quarters of fiscal year 2017. In connection with such charges, the Company estimates that it will reduce its headcount by approximately 150 employees, approximately six percent of its U.S.-based workforce. The Company expects $14 million to $16 million of personnel-related savings in fiscal year 2017, excluding the restructuring charge.

Fiscal Year 2017 Guidance and Preliminary & Unaudited Fiscal Year 2016 Results

Effective in fiscal year 2017, the Company will begin providing annual guidance for certain financial metrics. For fiscal year 2017, the Company anticipates revenues of $508 million to $522 million and non-GAAP diluted earnings per share of $0.78 to $0.86. This fiscal year 2017 guidance reflects the anticipated full year contribution from the acquisition of HealthFusion as well as the impact of the corporate restructuring. The Company expects to update this guidance, as appropriate, in its fourth quarter 2016 earnings announcement, scheduled for May 19, 2016.

To provide context for the fiscal year 2017 guidance, the Company also reported that, based upon preliminary financial data, it expects total revenue of $491 million to $493 million for fiscal year 2016 and $126 million to $128 million for its fourth quarter ended March 31, 2016, which are modestly below analysts’ consensus. The Company also expects to report non-GAAP diluted earnings per share of $0.70 to $0.72 for fiscal year 2016 and $0.17 to $0.19 for the fourth quarter, in line or slightly above analysts’ consensus. The Company expects GAAP earnings per share of $0.08 to $0.10 for fiscal year 2016 and a GAAP loss per share of ($0.28) to ($0.26) for the fourth quarter, largely due to the aforementioned impairment charge.

These preliminary, unaudited results are subject to the completion of the Company’s customary accounting and auditing procedures. Final adjustments and other developments may arise between the date of this press release and the dates on which the Company announces its 2016 fourth quarter and audited year-end results and files its Annual Report on Form 10-K with the Securities and Exchange Commission, that may cause actual results to materially differ

About Quality Systems, Inc.

Irvine, Calif.-based Quality Systems, Inc. (QSI) and its subsidiary, NextGen Healthcare Information Systems, develop and provide a range of software and services for medical and dental group practices, including practice management and electronic health record applications, patient portal, interoperability and connectivity products, and population health management and analytics offerings. Services include managed cloud services, revenue cycle management, claims clearinghouse, data interchange and value-add consulting. The Company’s solution portfolio is readily integrated and collectively positioned to drive low total cost of ownership for its client partners, as well as enable the transition to value-based healthcare. Visit www.qsii.com and www.nextgen.com for additional information.

April 27, 2016 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

NATE, DirectTrust and EHNAC Agree That Consumer Access to Data is Critical Next Step in the Future of Interoperable Health IT

WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 14, 2016) – On Sunday, April 10, 2016, theNational Association for Trusted Exchange (NATE), DirectTrust and the Electronic Healthcare Network Accreditation Commission (EHNAC) – all organizations with a focus on the success of Direct secure messaging – joined together to talk about interoperability in healthcare.  In a pre-conference workshop affiliated with the 13thAnnual World Health Care Congress, the three organizations presented from three very different perspectives on “The Demand for Secure Interoperable Health Information Exchange: Options and Opportunities 2016,” creating a dynamic that echoed the recurring theme of the complementary nature of the organizations’ work.

Dr. David Kibbe, President and CEO of DirectTrust, led the day with a discussion of the factors and players involved in interoperability in healthcare, including some predictions on the future expansion and contraction of various networks.  Lee Barrett, Executive Director of EHNAC, focused his comments on the potential security risks involved in interoperability and the importance of maintaining a risk management strategy.  Aaron Seib, CEO of NATE, talked about the critical role of the patient in any interoperable exchange of personal health data.  Renee Smith, Global Director of IT Enterprise Planning and Portfolio Management, Walgreens Boots Alliance, ably facilitated the discussion, and Paul Uhrig, EVP, Chief Administrative, Legal & Privacy Officer, Surescripts, provided insightful wrap-up commentary.

By the end of the day, much had been discussed about how to measure interoperability, the degree to which security should be a deciding factor in sharing health data, and the role of providers and others in educating patients about their rights to their own information and the various methods available to them to get that information electronically.  While all three organizations brought very different outlooks and offerings to the discussion, the day signaled a renewed sense of collaboration and understanding that the organizations each have a complementary role to play in the success of Direct as a method of securely transporting confidential information.  Further, it was clear that all three organizations see patient involvement as critical to the path forward.

Some quotes from the day:

Paul Uhrig, EVP, Chief Administrative, Legal & Privacy Officer, Surescripts: “The Federal investment in HIT has certainly been a driver of demand of the technologies that many providers are using, but in the future it is likely we’ll see increased consumer engagement and demand, and that very much will drive different and increased demand for interoperability.”

Lee Barrett, Executive Director, EHNAC: “Today’s patients are much more informed and are a lot smarter on the existing capabilities available for managing their own health. As these consumer tools continue to advance, resolving interoperability challenges across healthcare stakeholders and their products will need to remain a top priority.”

Aaron Seib, CEO, NATE: “Ultimately, the consumer is the only person who is a part of every encounter that they have.  And if they are going to have 100% information awareness to share with their next provider and to participate and actually partner with all their caregivers, not just the ones that are in the HIEs, not just the ones that are using a particular EMR, but every provider that they’re going to get care from , we have to enable them to get data in the app of their choice…”

David Kibbe, MD, MBA, President and CEO, DirectTrust: “I do think there is great potential, and things might happen very fast. This idea of a shared medical record, that is in the control of the individual, that literally drives patients in a different way through the medical system, could emerge almost overnight.”

Renee Smith, Global Director of IT Enterprise Planning and Portfolio Management, Walgreens Boots Alliance: “I look forward to the day, and the day is coming, when the patient or consumer has that empowerment and that technology and the appropriate security… If that’s not why we’re all here, then we’re in the wrong place at the wrong time, because that is what success will look like.”

Aaron Seib: “I think we as a nation have been working on the right priorities, in the right order: make this work for doctors, make the data available to consumers, let the consumers decide how to use that data. I believe that three years from now, we’ll see the portion of the population that is most burdened by disease using tools to better manage their care and better partner with their doctors.  The key to get from here to there is not to wait for the perfect solution that satisfies everyone that may never come.”

April 14, 2016 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Healthcare CRM: Improving Health Outcomes through Better Communication

Healthcare_CRM_communication-01

Improving patients’ outcomes for the sake of value-based care resembles solving a thousand-color jigsaw puzzle. If you don’t have a perfectionist on your team, get ready for a crooked picture with wrong and missing pieces. In terms of patients’ outcomes, these pieces are communication gaps. But who or what can be the perfectionist to help you solve the puzzle? Think of a healthcare CRM.

CRM’s Place in the Care Delivery Puzzle

Providers might ask “Is it a good idea to perceive patients as clients during the care cycle?” It’s questionable. However, a CRM for healthcare doesn’t serve as a salesman. Rather, it helps caregivers communicate with patients more effectively thanks to understanding patients’ health needs better, assuring regular care cycle activities and preventing complications.

Although important for a wide range of diseases, a CRM-based proactive approach to communicating with patients is especially useful for the following care cases:

  • Post-surgery convalescence period
  • Long-term treatment
  • Chronic disease management

So, let’s find out in detail how a CRM can help tackle these challenges.

Post-surgery Convalescence Period

Healthcare_CRM_communication-02

Patients going through post-surgery recovery at home can’t receive 24/7 nurturing from surgeons, physicians and nurses. Without professional support, a person may feel anxious or depressed. They can also show signs of careless behavior (skipped medications, overlooked or mistreated emerging symptoms) due to an overall weakness after excision, which can lead to complications or even readmission.

To improve the patient’s outcomes in this case, a healthcare CRM should ensure a constant information flow between the patient and the care team members. Thus, the person will receive EHR-tuned personalized information via e-mails with targeted messages, interactive education materials, reminders to take medications, and more.

The caregivers, in turn, will be able to form a clearer picture of the patient’s current health condition as the CRM will be sending the person surveys about their state or requests to send their surgeon a photo of the incision to evaluate the recovery process.

As a result, the patient will pay attention to their condition, track changes and act more responsibly.

Long-term Treatment and Chronic Disease Management

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In the context of healthcare CRM software, there is no significant difference between chronic diseases and conditions requiring long-term healing. Over the months and years, regular consultations, examinations and procedures define the patient’s regimen.

A healthcare CRM tracks gaps in scheduled appointments and detects interrupted care cases. It sends direct reminders to health specialists so that they can undertake corresponding actions. For example, send an email or make a call. Patients also receive notifications about the missed appointments, being able to schedule new appointments or ask for an advice if they experience new symptoms.

Moreover, with a tight integration to the EHR, the CRM notifies physicians about disturbing lab results (for example, when the HbA1c level has risen). Then, the care team member uses the CRM functionality to recommend the patient schedule an appointment for discussion.

Solving the Care Delivery Puzzle

Patients don’t need to be taken care of all the time, but they still need additional guidance. During the period of recovery from a surgery or in cases of long-term treatment and chronic conditions, patients may feel overwhelmed with multiple checks, tests and procedures.

Even if the care team consists of perfectionists only, health professionals are unable to help every patient on a 24/7 basis and safeguard timely medication intakes, healthy habits or a positive mood. Therefore, the care cycle picture is missing important communication pieces.

So, a healthcare CRM does a very important job by adding the following proactive communication elements to the puzzle:

  • Tracking interrupted care cases and notifying health professionals
  • Alerting medical staff to disturbing values in lab results
  • Sending EHR-based personal emails with brochures and education materials
  • Reminding about taking medications and notifying about scheduled appointments
  • Requesting health status information: photos as well as forms with answers about mood, objective, subjective, vitals and other values

With these elements, caregivers can finally solve the care delivery puzzle by reducing interrupted care cases, complications and readmissions.

This guest blog post is written by Dzianis Zhynko.

March 25, 2016 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Medsphere Introduces Mobile OpenVista Enterprise to MOVE Clinicians Away From the Desktop

MOVE makes real-time patient data in the OpenVista EHR available anywhere users have web access

CARLSBAD, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Medsphere Systems Corporation, the leading provider of affordable and interoperable healthcare information technology (IT) solutions, today introduced Mobile OpenVista® Enterprise (MOVE). MOVE liberates OpenVista EHR data from the desktop and enables physicians and clinical staff to work more effectively and efficiently.

MOVE provides secure, mobile, real time access to patient information—medications, allergies, problems, orders, documentation—anywhere a clinician has WiFi or cell coverage. Physicians can use MOVE at home to review medication orders. Nurses can use MOVE at the bedside to record information about a patient’s changing condition. With MOVE, clinicians have information in hand and can answer questions immediately while cutting down on trips to the PC.

MOVE includes NoteAssist, Medsphere’s advanced patient documentation system, enabling robust patient data on mobile devices. Clinicians can speak or type text into the fully templated system, giving flexibility to users and control to administrators. With MOVE, clinicians can start a note in the hallway and seamlessly complete it on the desktop, or start a note on the desktop in the office and finish and sign it from home. For physicians and clinical staff, NoteAssist and MOVE are a liberating combination.

“Without doubt, healthcare IT is moving toward mobility and enhanced, streamlined processes,” said Medsphere President and CEO Irv Lichtenwald. “Medsphere is excited about moving OpenVista in that same direction. When you factor in the proven nature of OpenVista and the affordability of our subscription service, Medsphere offers acute and behavioral health hospitals a clearly superior platform without the excessive costs of so many other options.”

Beyond recent enhancements to OpenVista, Medsphere recently expanded the company’s line of products and services via mergers with Phoenix Health Systems and MBS/Net, both now divisions of Medsphere. Phoenix Health Systems is a recognized provider of healthcare IT services, including systems implementation, compliance project management, service desk, end-user device management, infrastructure support, application management and IT leadership. Currently being integrated with OpenVista, MBS/Net’s suite of ambulatory physician enterprise products include a fourth-generation physician practice management system, ambulatory electronic health record (EHR), document management system and an advanced physician practice scheduling application, as well as the company’s established outsourced revenue cycle management (RCM) and practice hardware management services.

Derived from the proven VistA system developed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the Indian Health Service, OpenVista is a comprehensive EHR platform combining both clinical and financial applications. Medsphere’s Government Services Division also applies extensive knowledge of VistA to development and testing work for the VA and Indian Health Service.

About Medsphere

Founded in 2002 and based in Carlsbad, Calif., Medsphere Systems Corporation is an organization of committed clinical and technology professionals working to make quality healthcare IT solutions accessible to organizations of virtually any size, shape or budget. Medsphere’s OpenVista® is an acute and inpatient behavioral health-oriented portfolio of clinical products and services that leverages the VistA electronic health record (EHR) system developed by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Indian Health Service (IHS). Medsphere’s Government Services Division also applies that VistA expertise to development and testing projects for both VA and IHS.

Medsphere’s MBS/Net division enables better ambulatory care via physician practice EHR, revenue cycle management (RCM) and practice management systems and services. Using a vendor-independent approach to helping hospitals solve critical challenges, the Phoenix Health Systems division provides a host of healthcare IT services, including systems implementation, compliance project management, service desk, end-user device management, infrastructure support, application management and IT leadership.

March 17, 2016 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.