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Philips is first to bring adaptive intelligence to radiology, delivering a new approach to how radiologists see, seek and share patient information

  • Introduced at RSNA 2016, new health informatics technology uses data and contextual awareness to optimize the radiologist’s user experience, hanging protocols and workflow
  • Illumeo with adaptive intelligence makes sharing the most relevant patient data with colleagues or referring physicians easy, to support confident diagnoses to improve patient care

Amsterdam, the NetherlandsRoyal Philips (NYSE: PHG; AEX: PHIA) today announced the introduction of Illumeo, a new imaging and informatics technology with adaptive intelligence* that redefines and enhances how radiologists work with medical images. The intelligent software is the first to combine contextual awareness capabilities with advanced data analytics to augment the work of the radiologist. Its built-in intelligence records the radiologists’ preferences and adapts the user interface to assists the clinician by offering tool sets and measurements driven by the understanding of the clinical context. Illumeo aims to enable faster diagnoses, to drive well-informed care decisions and improved patient care. The new technology integrates with existing systems such as Philips IntelliSpace PACS and will eventually extend its workspace efficiency beyond radiology to other domains.

One single view for most relevant case-related information

The new Illumeo technology offers a radically new approach to how radiologists will see, seek and share clinical information, enabling them to provide an even more critical contribution to patient care. Through its Data Analytics Engine, the software provides the radiologist with the most relevant case-related information from various sources in one single view. This holistic ‘Patient Briefing’ includes the patient problem list**, laboratory results, prior radiology reports, imaging orders or scanned documents (such as handwritten referral letters from GPs and referring specialists) obtained from health information systems like the Electronic Medical Record (EMR) or Radiology Information Systems (RIS). It integrates and organizes this data and helps radiologists to bridge the stages of diagnosis to treatment to follow-up, while being able to rely on a current, comprehensive patient picture. 

“As the number of patients and complexity of care continues to increase, the amount of data and information we deal with on a daily basis is overwhelming,” said Dr. Eliot Siegel, Professor of Diagnostic Radiology for the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore, USA. “In order to help solve this problem, having solutions that streamline information and provide context to what is most relevant to a specific case is critical. This will provide a more efficient workflow, which is key to enabling quicker, more confident diagnoses.”

Anatomy-aware enables smart images and data presentation

Illumeo is also anatomy-aware. Built-in intelligence understands the anatomical context and thus what the radiologist is looking at on the screen. It then automatically suggests the right tool sets (such as tools for easy measurement and analysis of vessels) to help the radiologist focus on the diagnosis***. Its intelligent clinical Semantic Labelling Engine reads and analyses image tags and image series descriptions from a variety of vendors and provides automated semantic labelling with meaningful descriptions. It will make it easier and faster to retrieve specific relevant medical images, and manage their display and quantification. Illumeo is adapting to and remembering radiologists’ preferred hanging protocols: the complex process of organizing and displaying medical images for optimal examination, based on many variables such, modality, body part, available comparison images.

With Illumeo, the radiologist can also generate dynamic reports that can include 3D images or image quantifications based on minimal user input. This information integrates with PACS and can be accessed via EMR systems and can be shared as a multidisciplinary patient information dashboard across the hospital enterprises to facilitate collaboration. The report is designed to be shared with colleagues or the referring physicians and supports the transition of radiology into a ‘value-based’ care delivery model.

“Radiologists are central in the diagnosis process, with a critical role in definitive diagnostics and improvement of patient care,” said Jeroen Tas, CEO, Connected Care and Health Informatics, Philips. “By supporting clinicians with adaptive intelligence and providing health IT solutions to foster collaboration between multidisciplinary care teams, we aim to extend the power of their clinical expertise.”

Illumeo with adaptive intelligence’s main highlights include:

  • Contextual relevance – provides the radiologist with meaningful patient data via the ‘Patient briefing’ and is anatomy-aware, to suggest the right tools based on what the user is looking at.
  • Adaptive intelligence – allows for an intelligent, tailored user experience and workflow. It achieves this by recording and reproducing the user’s hanging protocols in a consistent manner.
  • Reduced variability – incorporates guidelines built into the system to remind radiologists of best practices and ultimately assist in standardizing care throughout the institution.
  • Extensibility – integrates easily within existing systems by leveraging the latest interoperability standards (such as HL7 FHIR, DICOM RESTful web service, etc.), in order to present relevant patient data. It is scalable—meaning the platform will grow with an institution as it evolves.  

The new technology will be showcased at booth # 6735 at the RSNA Annual Meeting, taking place Nov. 27 – Dec. 2, in Chicago, Ill. For more information on Philips integrated informatics solutions, visit our clinical informatics webpage.  For details on Philips presence at RSNA 2016, please visit www.philips.com/rsna and follow the conversation @PhilipsLiveFrom and the event hashtag, #RSNA16 for live updates throughout the event.

* Adaptive intelligence is seen as an emerging concept of combining domain specific models and knowledge (e.g. in the field of Radiology) and Artificial Intelligence to create an adaptive and contextual experience, anticipating users and augmenting their work. The current release of Philips Illumeo exhibits the first step into Adaptive Intelligence.

** Work in progress. Not available for sale in the U.S.A.

*** Anatomy awareness supports launch in context of ‘inspection modes’ enabling quantification on the fly suggesting quantification on the fly when hovering over veins. 

December 2, 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.

Amazing Charts Makes Five Predictions for Health IT in 2017

BOSTON, MA–(Marketwired – December 01, 2016) – Amazing Charts, LLC, a leading developer of Electronic Health Record (EHR) and Practice Management (PM) systems for physician practices, today issued five health IT predictions for 2017.

#1 Telemedicine will no longer be futuristic. Contrary to popular belief, telemedicine does not necessarily mean live video conferencing with a physician halfway across the country who lacks a full picture of the patient’s health status. Patients would rather receive “low tech” remote care from a local primary care physician they already know.

Telemedicine happens whenever an EHR system adds to a patient’s clinical chart the messages, pictures, or videos sent securely via smartphone. Use of smartphones for telemedicine will further increase with the introduction of add-on hardware for real-time collection of biometric data such as temperature, blood pressure and pulse.

This trend will be fueled by the expansion of reimbursement for non-face-to-face services. Medicare’s new billing code for Chronic Care Management is just one example of how the future of value-based care is not about 15-minute office visits, but instead keeping patients out of the office with follow-up phone calls about medications and answering patient questions via text.

#2 Practices will focus on reengineering patient access. As part of Medicare’s new Quality Payment Program, the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) is designed to encourage providers to expand patient access with “practice improvement activities,” such as same-day appointments for urgent needs, longer office hours, and after-hours clinician advice.

Physicians also want to shift the responsibilities such as appointment scheduling from the office staff to the patient. Delegating that type of chore to the patient saves the staff time; and, patients not only don’t mind doing the work, they perceive value in self-service options that give them total control.

While tablet-based patient intake solutions have not become widespread because the hardware is costly and requires complex systems integration, simple web forms and PDF attachments can get the job done just as well.

#3 Physicians will get financially creative. A host of factors is pushing independent physicians to be more financially creative. These include the frustrations of making claims to insurance carriers, the new Medicare fee-for-value payments creating uncertainty in gauging reimbursement levels, and burnout with the “corporate medicine” model of seeing dozens of patients each day for lower fees.

One example of financial creativity is the direct care model which establishes a financial relationship between patient and provider, cutting out the middleman of insurance payers. This model includes concierge and direct primary care, where patients become members who pay a fixed monthly fee for unlimited care. There are also a growing number of cash-only practices for walk-in and urgent care.

Beleaguered small practices under financial stress are also looking for novel ways to generate cash. The new rules allowing reimbursement of telemedicine and other non-face-to-face services will encourage physicians to bill for activities they were already doing for free, such as phone calls with patients to discuss medications.

#4 Physicians will opt out of Medicare thanks to MACRA. Like all well-intentioned laws, The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) will have unintended consequences. Some providers in small independent practices will either opt-out of Medicare entirely, or decline to accept new Medicare patients if they currently fall below the threshold for exemption (less than $30,000 in Part B billings or 100 Part B patients).

To ease small practices into MACRA, the Final Rule issued by the Centers of Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) relaxed many of the requirements for 2017. By 2018, however, MACRA starts to impose more financial risk and stricter reporting requirements with less clarity around the return on investment. Small practices might just drop Medicare altogether and transition to a direct-care practice based on cash, membership, or a hybrid (see prediction #3 above).

#5 EHRs will become more interoperable. The next certification cycle from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) positions the EHR as a secure repository, allowing certified ancillary tools to be “snapped” into it. This will be driven by a new Application Programming Interface (API) called Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR). FHIR is a more granular way to exchange data without the rigid workflow of traditional Health Level Seven International (HL7).

Providers will benefit from the broader choice of technology solutions that can be used alongside the EHR to improve overall outcomes. Amazing Charts is currently developing a FHIR API to connect our EHR with other best-of-breed vendors for solutions such as population health management. This way small practices can leverage their investments in EHR systems to the maximum extent possible.

Furthermore, MIT researchers have proposed a cryptocurrency-backed system (like Bitcoin), called MedRec, for managing medical records that use the Ethereum blockchain. It is a novel, decentralized record management system for EHRs that uses blockchain technology to manage authentication, confidentiality, accountability, and data sharing.

About Amazing Charts

Amazing Charts provides Electronic Health Records (EHR/EMR), Practice Management, and other Health IT solutions to healthcare practices. Based on number one user ratings for usability, fair pricing, and overall satisfaction, Amazing Charts EHR has been adopted by more than 10,000 clinicians in over 7,100 private practices. Founded in 2001 by a family physician, today Amazing Charts, LLC operates as a subsidiary of Pri‐Med, an operating division of Diversified Communications (DC) and a trusted source for professional medical education to over 275,000 clinicians since 1995. Visit www.amazingcharts.com for more information.

Amazing Charts is a trademark of Amazing Charts, LLC. All products or service names mentioned herein are trademarks of their respective owners.

December 1, 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.

CareCloud Completes $31.5 Million Series C Funding Round to Further Modernize Healthcare

MIAMI, FL – (November 15, 2016) – CareCloud, the platform for high-growth medical groups, today announced an oversubscribed $31.5 million Series C funding round, including new investments by diversified financial services leader The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. (NYSE: PNC) and commerce technology giant First Data Corporation (NYSE: FDC). Blue Cloud Ventures joined as a new investor and led the round. CareCloud will use the capital to rapidly scale its team and its clinical and financial platform as it transforms how physician practices modernize the patient experience and deliver value-based care.

“The healthcare sector is evolving quickly, especially with respect to patient engagement and consumerism,” said James G. Graham, Head of Treasury Management at PNC. “Our team brings to bear deep industry knowledge and sophisticated treasury management capabilities for our customers. Aligning with CareCloud will help both of us continue to lead the way with physicians’ practices and patients.”

“We are excited to partner with Ken Comée and the team at CareCloud as they continue to deliver on their vision of providing the healthcare industry’s best-in-class, cloud-based, comprehensive technology platform,” added Mir Arif, partner at Blue Cloud Ventures.

CareCloud supports medical practices through a flexible and powerful cloud-based platform that streamlines workflow and supports more efficient and effective patient engagement. The platform modernizes revenue cycle management, practice management (PM), electronic health record (EHR) and patient engagement activities within high-performance medical groups.

CareCloud’s technology is tailored to medical groups focused on expanding operations and advancing patient care, especially in cardiology, general surgery, orthopedics, dermatology, ophthalmology, neurology, internal medicine, urology and family medicine specialties. Pairing award-winning design with deep clinical and billing expertise, CareCloud offers integrated clinical and financial technology that adapts to varied payment models. By using an open API architecture powered by the most advanced app platform in healthcare, the company enables rapid deployment of innovative solutions for patients and development of EHR and clinical tools designed to address physician workflows.

“We’re modernizing the healthcare experience for both physicians and patients at the precise point where care happens — the medical practice,” said Ken Comée, CEO at CareCloud. “To simplify and improve the process of delivering and financing healthcare within a rapidly changing ecosystem, you need a technology platform that is flexible with tools as easy to use as we see in banking, shopping and our other everyday activities. We couldn’t imagine better partners than PNC and First Data working with us to reimagine healthcare commerce for physicians and patients alike.”

CareCloud is working to address new opportunities in patient consumerization and value-based care, accelerating market trends that are detailed in a new briefing paper released today: “The New Medical Economy.” Healthcare market dynamics are shifting; patients are becoming more directly responsible for an increasing percentage of costs (as much as 25 percent, according to the AMA) through the rise of high-deductible health plans and changes in the health insurance marketplace. At the same time, medical groups are seeing new opportunities for innovation in a landscape of regulatory uncertainty.

CareCloud’s prior investors all participated in the round, including Norwest Venture Partners, Intel Capital, Tenaya Capital and Adams Street Partners. The company previously entered into a debt financing agreement with Wellington Financial to provide access to additional growth capital.

# # #

About CareCloud

CareCloud is the leading provider of cloud-based revenue cycle management, practice management (PM), electronic health record (EHR) and patient engagement solutions for high-performance medical groups. CareCloud helps clients increase profitability, streamline workflow and improve patient care nationwide. The company currently manages more than $4 billion in annualized accounts receivable on its integrated clinical and financial platform. To learn more about CareCloud, visit www.carecloud.com.

About PNC

The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. is one of the largest diversified financial services institutions in the United States, organized around its customers and communities for strong relationships and local delivery of retail and business banking; residential mortgage banking; specialized services for corporations and government entities, including corporate banking, real estate finance and asset-based lending; wealth management and asset management. For information about PNC, visit www.pnc.com.

About Blue Cloud Ventures

Blue Cloud Ventures (BCV) is a New York–based growth equity fund focused on providing flexible capital to innovative cloud-based enterprise software companies. Within three years, BCV has raised two sequential funds, backed 20 market-leading software companies and differentiated itself with its unique investment strategy of providing right-sized financing to target gaps in the growth and late stage funding markets. For more information, visit www.bluecloudventures.com

November 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.

New HIMSS Analytics Research Shows Nearly Universal Adoption Of Practice Management And Electronic Health Record Tools After Eight Years Of Steady Growth

Burlington, VT (August 2, 2016) – HIMSS Analytics® recently released its 2016 Essentials Brief: Outpatient Practice Management (PM) and Electronic Health Record (EHR) Solution Study, the 8th iteration of the study that provides a snapshot of solution adoption and purchase intentions from hospital-owned and free-standing physician practices in the U.S. outpatient market.  Essential Briefs are in-depth market research studies focused on identifying salient topics in the healthcare IT space that highlight mind share, market share and market opportunity of specific healthcare software technologies.

Market adoption of PM & EHR solutions has been trending upward since the initial study and is nearing universal market adoption rates as indicated in the 2016 study.  When compared to adoption levels in HIMSS Analytics LOGIC™, the information obtained from the 2016 study was comparable between hospital-owned (92% LOGIC vs. 87% Study) and free-standing (77% LOGIC vs. 76% Study) practices.  Given this rise, physician practices are positioned to address broader patient needs and continued regulations such as Meaningful Use and Medicare Access and CHIP Reorganization Act (MACRA).

The 2016 Outpatient PM & EHR Solution Essentials Brief offers insight from 436 physicians, practice administrators and managers, practice CEOs/Presidents, PAs, NPs, and practice IT directors/staff on their current PM & EHR usage as well as future plans for PM & EHR solution adoption.  Additional insight is provided through data from HIMSS Analytics LOGIC, the most comprehensive and intuitive global market intelligence tool in healthcare IT.  LOGIC provides on average 48,000 hospital-owned and free-standing practice data points around adoption, vendor market share and vendor mind share.

“I am somewhat surprised a more robust replacement market has not yet developed for practice management and electronic health solutions,” says HIMSS Analytics Director of Research, Brendan FitzGerald.  “But given the cost and implementation effort of these practices over the last eight years, and the need to keep up with industry standards and additional regulations, practices seem content with their current solutions and will look to leverage these solutions to meet industry standards and regulations. It is worth mentioning, however, that 15% of respondents are looking to replace or purchase EHR solutions in the near term so there is still opportunity in that solution set of the outpatient market.”

HIMSS Analytics offers access to this premium study alone or as part of their Outpatient Solutions Market Intelligence Bundle which comes with access to their LOGIC Outpatient Market Intelligence dashboard.

Highlights of the 2016 study include:

  • Current and future adoption of PM & EHR solutions
  • Vendor market share, mind share and market opportunity in the outpatient PM & EHR solution category
  • Study respondents revealed what would cause them to replace their current PM & EHR solution.
  • Study respondent confidence level around meeting Meaningful Use Stage 3 Criteria with their current solution
  • Strategic insight into practice approach toward health information exchange (HIE), accountable care (ACO), and Clinical Practice Improvement Activities (CPIAs)

Click here for more information on the 2016 HIMSS Analytics Outpatient PM & EHR Study.
Click here to get a free snapshot report of the study and a demo of the LOGIC dashboard.

About HIMSS Analytics
HIMSS Analytics is a global healthcare advisor, providing guidance and market intelligence solutions that move the industry forward with insight to enable better health through the use of IT. As a trusted healthcare research and advisory firm, the industry depends on HIMSS Analytics’ resources, benchmarks, predictive models and assessment tools to improve decision making regarding their IT strategic roadmap and market strategy. HIMSS Analytics is uniquely positioned and differentiated through its industry focused offerings which include a Healthcare IT market intelligence tool, Healthcare IT insights and Healthcare IT benchmarks and services.

HIMSS Analytics a wholly owned subsidiary of HIMSS headquartered in Burlington, Vermont, is the healthcare research and advisory firm for healthcare delivery organizations, IT companies, governmental entities, and financial, pharmaceutical, consulting and emerging technology solution partners. Learn more at http://www.himssanalytics.org

August 2, 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.

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.