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Ground-breaking whistleblower case against EHR vendor eClinicalWorks settles for $155M

Whistleblower lawsuit against eClinicalWorks settles for $155 million in ground-breaking case against an electronic health records vendor

BURLINGTON, VERMONT, May 31, 2017 – A whistleblower represented by Phillips & Cohen LLP provided key information to the government that led to eClinicalWorks (eCW) settlement of civil fraud and kickback charges today for $155 million.

“This is a ground-breaking case,” said Colette G. Matzzie, a whistleblower attorney and partner at Phillips & Cohen. “It is the first time that the government has held an electronic health records vendor accountable for failing to meet federal standards designed to ensure patient safety and quality patient care.”

The settlement is a “first” in two other ways: (1) An electronic health records (EHR) vendor is being held accountable for the truthfulness and accuracy of representations made when seeking government certification of its electronic health records system; and (2) The government applied the federal Anti-Kickback Statute (AKS) law to the promotion and sale of EHR systems.

The government’s settlement agreement holds eCW and eCW’s founders and executives Girish Navani, Dr. Rajesh Dharampuriya, and Mahesh Navani liable for payment.  The government today also announced it has reached separate settlements with three eClinicalWorks employees who will pay a total of $80,000 to the government to settle civil allegations.

The whistleblower, Brendan Delaney, was a New York City government employee implementing eClinicalWorks EHR system at Rikers Island for prisoner healthcare when he first became aware of numerous software problems that he alleged put patients at risk.

The government’s complaint joining the “qui tam” (whistleblower) lawsuit alleged that eClinicalWorks:

·         Falsely certified that its EHR met all government criteria

·         Failed to adequately test software before it was released

·         Failed to correct critical and urgent problems and bugs in the software “for months and even years.”

·         Failed to ensure data portability and audit log requirements

·         Failed to reliably record laboratory and diagnostic imaging orders

·         Paid kickbacks totaling at least $392,000 to influential customers to recommend eClinicalWorks products to prospective customers as well as other kickbacks in the form of “consulting” and “speaker” fees

“Accurate and reliable electronic health records are essential to good patient care and safety,” said Matzzie. “The most important outcome of the case is that multiple steps have been taken to alert eClinicalWorks customers, so patients now are better protected.”

eClinicalWorks is the provider of one of the most popular electronic health records software. The privately held company, based in Westborough, MA, says on its website that over 70,000 medical facilities, 115,000 providers and 800,000 medical professionals use its EHR technology.

Both the government and the whistleblower alleged that eClinicalWorks falsely represented to customers that its EHR system complied with federal requirements known as “Meaningful Use” rules.

“Compliance with federal requirements is essential for EHR sales,” said Larry Zoglin, a whistleblower attorney who is Of Counsel to Phillips & Cohen. “Doctors and other healthcare providers can receive federal incentive payments for purchasing EHR technology only if the government certifies that the EHR product they buy meets government standards.”

The incentive program, created by Congress in 2009 to promote the use of EHR, provided payments of up to $43,720 over five years from Medicare to individual healthcare practitioners up until last year. Medicaid incentive payments to individual practitioners can total up to $63,750 over six years until 2021.

Problems that were caused by eClinicalWorks EHR, as alleged in the whistleblower complaint, include:

·         Failure to keep an accurate record of current medications administered to patients

·         Mistakenly Including in a patient’s medical record information from another patient’s record

·         Multiple errors with medication module, including failure to ensure proper dosages, errors with start/stop dates, failure to record changes to medications, duplicate orders for certain prescription drugs, and failure to display current medication at all in some instances

·         Inaccurate tracking of laboratory results

·         Software security problems that undermined the integrity of the medical record

During the government’s investigation of Delaney’s allegations, eClinicalWorks sent out in 2016 a series of advisories to customers, educating them on potential patient safety risks related to use of its EHR.  For instance, a December 2016 notice from eClinicalWorks highlighted a number of risks related to medication management, drug-allergy interactions and updating progress notes with use of its software.  (A list of eCW’s advisories is posted on the Phillips & Cohen website.)

“Brendan Delaney provided the government with information about eClinicalWorks software that became central aspects of the government’s case,” attorney Zoglin said. “He worked tirelessly to document and track the EHR problems, often working until late at night, after a full day at his job. He felt a responsibility to the community at large to get the problems fixed.”

Delaney has worked as a consultant on EHR systems for various hospitals and healthcare providers since he left employment with the City of New York in 2011.

“I was profoundly saddened and disappointed by the indifference of senior health department officials and investigators for New York City when I provided detailed information about serious flaws in the EHR software that could endanger patients,” Delaney said. “I am grateful that Phillips & Cohen and federal government attorneys recognized the seriousness of my charges and dug into the matter quickly and thoroughly.”

The case has been “under seal” – meaning it wasn’t publicly known – since Phillips & Cohen filed the qui tam lawsuit on behalf of Delaney in 2015 in federal district court in Burlington, Vermont.

“The government attorneys and investigators who worked on this case were single-minded in their efforts to protect patients and recover funds for taxpayers,” Matzzie said. “I want to commend the US Department of Justice, the US Attorney’s Office for the District of Vermont and the US Department of Health and Human Services.  Assistant US Attorney Owen Foster’s perseverance and efforts, in particular, were a big reason this case was successful.”

“Brendan Delaney, Phillips & Cohen and the government team collaborated very closely and effectively to build this case and bring it to a successful conclusion,” Matzzie noted.

Former US Attorney Tristram J. Coffin and Eric Poehlmann of Downs Rachlin Martin PLLC served as local counsel in the case.

For more information about the allegations and the settlement, see:

·         The whistleblower’s complaint against eClinicalWorks [US ex rel. Delaney v. eClinicalWorks, LLC, Case No. 15-CV-00095 (D. Vt.)]

·         The government’s complaint in intervention, filed May 12, 2017

·         The settlement agreement with eClinicalWorks

·         The Department of Justice Press release

·         US Attorney’s Office for the District of Vermont press release

About Phillips & Cohen LLP

Phillips & Cohen is the nation’s most successful law firm representing whistleblowers, with recoveries for governments totaling more than $12.1 billion in civil settlements and criminal fines. The firm represents whistleblowers in qui tam lawsuits as well as cases brought under the whistleblower reward programs of the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the Internal Revenue Service. www.phillipsandcohen.com

May 31, 2017 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.

Modernizing Medicine Announces $231 Million Equity Investment from Warburg Pincus

Financing to Support Growth and Advance Innovation for Surgical and Medical Specialties

BOCA RATON, Fla. and NEW YORK – May 10, 2017 – Specialty-specific health information technology leader Modernizing Medicine, Inc. today announced that funds affiliated with Warburg Pincus, a global private equity firm focused on growth investing, have made a substantial investment of $231 million into the company to provide liquidity to existing shareholders, fund further expansion and support future strategic endeavors.

Founded in 2010 by Daniel Cane and Dr. Michael Sherling, Modernizing Medicine is at the forefront of providing intelligent, medical technology. The company’s award-winning flagship product EMA™, is a mobile, cloud-based, specialty-specific electronic health record (EHR) system that is used by thousands of specialty practices nationwide.

Modernizing Medicine’s success can be attributed to its development of technology to support the unique needs of physicians in surgical and medical specialties. With the premise that it was easier to teach physicians how to code software rather than for engineers to learn medicine, Modernizing Medicine hired practicing physicians to build EHR software. The results of this model and time-saving features such as adaptive learning and automated outputs supported by structured data collection have been embraced by physicians. The company now offers a full suite of products and services to empower physicians including Practice Management, Revenue Cycle Management, Telehealth for dermatology, Analytics and more.

With the latest round of funding, the company anticipates pursuing certain strategic initiatives, that may include automation of prior authorization workflows, deployment of an eCommerce platform, investment in data exchange and reconciliation to help practices move clinically relevant data effectively throughout the evolving ecosystem of a patient’s healthcare experience and improvement of access to healthcare via telemedicine.

Modernizing Medicine is also pleased to welcome Fred Hassan, Managing Director, Warburg Pincus and the former CEO and Chairman of Schering Plough and Executive Chairman of Bausch & Lomb, and Amr Kronfol, Principal, Warburg Pincus, to its Board of Directors.

“We expect this infusion of capital from Warburg Pincus to be instrumental in advancing our mission to transform how healthcare information is created, consumed and utilized to increase efficiency and improv outcomes,” said Daniel Cane, CEO and co-founder of Modernizing Medicine. “Warburg Pincus brings deep experience in the healthcare technology sector and this investment can help further our growth, bolster innovation and support our clients.”

“Modernizing Medicine’s innovative, market-leading technology is used by thousands of specialty practices and ambulatory surgery centers and is focused on improving both business and treatment outcomes,” said Amr Kronfol, Principal, Warburg Pincus.

Andrew Park, Principal, Warburg Pincus, commented, “We see meaningful opportunities for the company’s continued growth and acceleration of existing products and initiatives, and we look forward to partnering with Dan, Michael and the entire management team.”

Evidence of the company’s success is the announcement that the dermatology, gastroenterology, ophthalmology, otolaryngology, plastic surgery and urology EHR systems were each ranked #1 by Black Book™ on the Physician Practice & Ambulatory Solutions lists. This is the seventh consecutive year that the gGastro™ gastroenterology EHR system ranked first, and the fourth consecutive year that the EMA™ dermatology EHR system earned the top spot. Read the press release here.

May 11, 2017 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.

OpenEMR Achieves Complete Meaningful Use Certification with Release 5.0

RUTLAND, Vt., March 1, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — OpenEMR, the most popular open source electronic health records (EHR) and medical practice management solution, has announced today that OpenEMR version 5.0 has achieved Complete ONC certification, through Infogard.  This certification is vital for medical practices in the U.S. to comply with MACRA and participate in Medicare’s Quality Payment Program.

The Complete Meaningful Use Certification was the result of a community effort that spanned several years, involving over $200,000 in effort and code contributions.  The number of enhancements brought into OpenEMR was expansive and includes standardization of patient medical information, coordination of care, patient privacy, patient engagement, security, public health and automated calculations of metrics and clinical quality measures.  The list of direct contributors to this effort included ZH Healthcare, Ensoftek, Visolve, MI-Squared, Brady Miller MD, EMR Direct, Jan Jajalla, Sunset Systems, Columbia University Certification of Professional Achievement in Health IT, Jeff Guillory NP, Ray Magauran MD, and John Tenny MD, among others.

The OpenEMR 5.0 release boasts many features unrelated to meaningful use.  Modernization was the theme, which includes a new logo and website, www.open-emr.org.  A major enhancement in this release is the sleek user interface, geared towards efficient workflow.  “I have used OpenEMR for seven years.  The new user interface makes the life of providers simpler and easier, with fast retrieval and entering of patient information in a single screen, while supporting a robust feature set,” said OpenEMR user Dr. Arnab Naha MBBS.

Another enhancement is a feature-packed Ophthalmology/Optometry module, designed and built by Ray Magauran MD, a practicing Ophthalmologist.  “As ophthalmologists, we need a product that matches our workflows, doesn’t slow us down or cost an arm and a leg.  My clinic is now paperless.  We have moved into the cloud,” said OpenEMR volunteer developer, Ray Magauran MD.

This release brings enhancements in the patient tracker, reporting, scheduling, billing, security, and form validation modules.  Internationalization of OpenEMR was enhanced by adding support for right to left languages to the already included 33 languages.  Enterprise use of OpenEMR was strengthened by upgrading the MySQL database engine to InnoDB.  Accessibility for OpenEMR developers was improved by migrating the codebase repository from Sourceforge to Github, which allows for efficient, coordinated development.

The OpenEMR community remains committed to continued support and improvement of the OpenEMR product.  “The last year has been a golden age for OpenEMR with increasing active development and a broadening community of developers, users, volunteers, professionals, and OpenEMR champions.  As OpenEMR continues to improve and needs for OpenEMR increases, I expect OpenEMR’s successes to continue into the future,” said OpenEMR project co-administrator Brady Miller MD.

About OpenEMR
OpenEMR was originally released as an open source project in 2002 and is maintained and supported by a vibrant community of volunteers and professionals.  OpenEMR is the most popular open source electronic health records and medical practice management solution.  OpenEMR is downloaded more than 7,000 times per month and it has been estimated that OpenEMR serves more than 100,000 medical providers and up to 200 million patients across the globe.  For more information, visit: http://www.open-emr.org.

About OEMR
OEMR is a nonprofit organization, founded in 2010 to support the OpenEMR project with a mission to ensure that all people, regardless of race, socioeconomic status or geographic location, have access to high-quality medical care through the donation of free, open source medical software and service relating to that software.  The OEMR organization is the legal entity that maintains ONC certification for OpenEMR.  For more information, visit: http://www.oemr.org.

March 2, 2017 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.

Aprima Medical Software Acquires EHR Reseller Healthcare Data Solutions

Aprima to provide ongoing support to HDS’s 300 provider clients across U.S.

Dallas, TX (January 18, 2017) – Aprima Medical Software, a leading provider of innovative electronic health records (EHR), practice management (PM) and revenue cycle management (RCM) solutions for medical practices, today announced the acquisition of a former reseller Healthcare Data Solutions (HDS) of Coral Cables, FL. As part of the agreement, Aprima will assume full support for HDS’s customers, which include approximately 300 providers in 125 medical practices across 15 states. Financial terms were not disclosed.

HDS works with physician groups across the country to identify IT solutions that best fit their needs and to implement and support their ongoing system needs.

“We have worked closely with the HDS team since adding them to our reseller program in 2012,” said Aprima CEO and president Michael Nissenbaum. “When we first learned that HDS founder Rodney Barreto was interested in pursuing other business opportunities, we saw it as an excellent opportunity to expand our direct client base, while also continuing HDS’s longtime tradition of delivering excellent customer support and service.”

Aprima previously acquired RCM services provider Health Care Strategies in 2011. Since acquiring Health Care Strategies, Aprima has grown its RCM client base threefold and quadrupled the dollars under management. As a whole over the same period, Aprima has experienced annual double-digit growth in revenue and EBITDA and maintained a 98 percent customer retention rate.

“We regularly explore opportunities that we believe will provide our customers with complementary products or services, or align with our long-term strategy of building revenues and helping physicians achieve their financial and care delivery goals,” said Nissenbaum. “The acquisition of HDS certainly fits into the second category and we look forward to working with HDS as we transition their customers to the Aprima support team.”

“We’ve had a great working relationship with Aprima over the last few years and have observed their strong commitment to addressing customer needs, and have benefited from the solid support they provide their resellers,” said Rodney Barreto, managing partner at HDS. “I am confident that our customers will be extremely pleased with the quality support and service that the Aprima team will provide.”

About Aprima Medical Software, Inc.

Aprima provides innovative electronic health record, practice management and revenue cycle management solutions for medical practices. Throughout the company’s 18-year history, Aprima has delivered quality solutions that have helped thousands of users enhance patient care and satisfaction, as well as improve their practices’ bottom lines. The Aprima EHR/PM sets the benchmark for ease-of-use, speed, and flexibility, thanks to its single database and customizable design that adapts automatically to individual physician workflows. The Aprima solution has earned Certification for Meaningful Use Stage 2 and been awarded pre-validation status for NCQA PCMH recognition. The company is based in Richardson, Texas and performs all development, support and implementation from within the U.S. To learn more about how Aprima can help your practice, please visit www.aprima.com, call us at 844 4APRIMA or email us at info@aprima.com.

About Healthcare Data Solutions

Healthcare Data Solutions is a Miami, FL-based Gold Certified Aprima reseller. HDS empowers physicians to practice medicine in the 21st century. HDS offers a full suite of Health IT services and solutions that enable providers to select solutions that best fit the needs of their practice.

January 18, 2017 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.

Auxilio has Acquired Healthcare IT Security Solutions Leader, CynergisTek for up to $34.3 Million

Deal Will Expand CynergisTek Capabilities with Addition of New Services, Tools and Personnel from Redspin, an Auxilio Company

Mission Viejo, CA, January 17, 2017Auxilio, Inc. (OTCQB: AUXOD), a leading provider of complete document workflow solutions and IT security services for the healthcare industry, announced today that it acquired Austin, TX based CynergisTek, an industry leader in health information privacy, compliance and cybersecurity consulting, for initial consideration of approximately $26.8 million in combined cash, stock, and seller debt.  Additional “earn outs” may be paid of up to $7.5 million over the next five years based on certain financial criteria being met.  The acquisition will enable the Company to meet growing demand from healthcare customers for comprehensive IT security solutions that reduce risk and deliver long-term value.

CynergisTek generated approximately $15 million in revenues and $5.0 million of  EBITDA in 2016.  The transaction is expected to be substantially accretive to 2017 EPS.  CynergisTek will continue to operate independently as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Auxilio, offering end-to-end IT security solutions to a diverse and growing customer base, including some of the largest and most prestigious health systems in the country. As part of the deal, Auxilio’s Redspin division will become part of CynergisTek, to complement existing offerings such as penetration testing, security assessment and risk management solutions, and to bolster technical resources and capabilities.  CynergisTek has provided services to hundreds of hospitals and healthcare organizations since its inception in 2004 and was recently recognized by KLAS, a provider of unbiased vendor performance data for the healthcare IT security sector, as the highest-rated firm that healthcare provider organizations rely on for security consulting and services.

The initial consideration paid to CynergisTek of approximately $26.8 million consists of $15 million in cash, approximately 1.17 million shares of Auxilio common stock and a seller’s note in the amount of $9 million.  Auxilio will enter into a 5 year term loan from Avid Bank in the amount of $14 million to fund the cash portion.

“We have long stated our desire to expand our reach in healthcare IT security and this acquisition puts us in an immediate leadership position in the category.  We have come to know the founders and employees of CynergisTek quite well over the last couple of years and from the earliest conversations it was obvious we shared a vision of what the future of healthcare IT security and document workflow looked like and how the two will become increasingly intertwined,” stated Joe Flynn, CEO of Auxilio.  “While CynergisTek will continue to operate independently, there are numerous opportunities for mutually assisted growth over the near term and we foresee the ability to offer services under a combined umbrella over time.  This is a truly unique fit and we could not be more excited to complete this transaction.”

CynergisTek founders, Mac McMillan and Dr. Michael Mathews, will take Board positions in the combined entity and assume a significant ownership stake to ensure the continued leadership and integrity of the CynergisTek brand. The companies plan to align their service offerings to provide comprehensive information management solutions designed to mitigate risk, optimize productivity and drive savings for healthcare organizations.

“With assets from Auxilio, we’ll have what we need to extend our offerings and to keep pace with market demand while simultaneously maintaining the superior level of client support we’ve become known for,” said Mac McMillan, CynergisTek CEO.  “Our clients recognize that document and device security are important components of their overall security risk profile and the ability to deliver an integrated approach to managing those aspects of their infrastructure along with the digital pieces we’ve traditionally focused on is something we are laying the foundation for now.”

About CynergisTek

CynergisTek (www.cynergistek.com) is a top-ranked cybersecurity and privacy consulting firm. The company offers solutions to help organizations measure privacy and security programs against regulatory requirements and assists in developing risk management best practices. Since 2004 the company has served as a partner to hundreds in the healthcare industry. CynergisTek is also dedicated to supporting and educating the industry by contributing to relevant associations such as HIMSS, AHIMA, HFMA, HCCA, AHIA, AHLA, IAPP and CHIME. The company has been named in numerous research reports as one of the top firms that provider organizations turn to for privacy and security, including the 2016 KLAS Security Advisory Services report, which rated CynergisTek for having the highest overall client satisfaction, performance and impact on security preparedness.

About Auxilio

Auxilio (www.auxilioinc.com) provides complete document workflow solutions and IT security services to healthcare organizations across the United States. Auxilio has helped its clients save more than $80 million since 2004 by providing solutions which lower costs, improve operational efficiency and enhance security. Auxilio’s iPLATFORM, an intelligent workflow automation suite delivers a customer driven, vendor neutral approach to secure patient health information, reduce waste and drive additional savings opportunities. Auxilio serves a national portfolio of nearly 220 hospital campuses and manages over 1.5 billion documents annually from over 90,000 devices supporting over 280,000 caregivers.

January 17, 2017 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.

Patient Safety and the Use of eCW’s Electronic Health Records Software

WESTBOROUGH, Mass.—December 6, 2016— At eClinicalWorks, we are deeply committed to ensuring the safety of all patients whose health care providers rely on our software.  For this reason, we have made a sustained effort to continuously improve our system and processes and to educate users on the proper use of our software to ensure patient safety.  Even with these efforts, given our large base of users and the complexity inherent to all EHR systems, we periodically identify potential patient safety risks related to the use of our software.  As part of our ongoing effort to respond to and minimize such risks, eCW is making this announcement to ensure that all participants in the healthcare process – clinicians, pharmacies, and patients and their family members or caregivers – are aware of key patient safety risks and are focused on the roles they can play in minimizing those risks.

Ensuring the safety of patients requires collaboration and communication between individuals, their physicians, others involved in healthcare delivery, and EHR companies.  With this in mind, we are issuing the following reminders:

  • The use of eCW’s EHR software carries with it risks related to medication management, electronic prescribing, and the ordering process for tests and procedures, which are among the most complex functions performed by any EHR system.
    • In December 2015, for instance, in response to certain identified concerns, eCW advised users to install all software upgrades and patches and make adequate network resources available to allow the system to operate properly.  Prior to and since that time, eCW has issued other similar patient safety-related notices, all of which are available to eCW users at my.eclinicalworks.com.
  • Consistent with our prior advisories, clinicians should continue to be vigilant about medication management, e-prescribing and the ordering of tests and procedures. Specifically, clinicians should review and adopt the measures outlined in both eCW’s December 2015 advisory and the other patient safety-related notices issued by eCW.  These measures include the following:
    • Upgrade to the most current version of eCW’s software: In July 2016, the company directed all users to upgrade to the latest version of V10-SP1-C20.8 or higher to ensure that all changes designed to improve patient safety are implemented.  If you have not already done so, you should immediately install version V10-SP1-8 or higher, as well as all update patches. Failure to continually install updates may result in the software not receiving all necessary corrective fixes.
    • Upgrade to the most current version of the Multum or Medispan drug databases:eCW releases regular updates to commercial drug database information to ensure that the most current medication information is used. For cloud customers, this information is updated automatically; for non-cloud customers, the content update should be downloaded regularly.
    • Designate a patient safety officer: As our previous advisories have made clear, every physician office should designate a patient safety officer to serve as the primary liaison with eCW on patient safety-related matters.
    • Read every patient safety notice: Patient safety advisories and similar notices are an important way in which eCW communicates about potential risks to patient safety related to the use of our software. These notices explain the potential risk and recommend actions to mitigate the risk.  Providers should carefully read every patient safety notice, alert, or advisory that we issue and implement the recommended actions to ensure patient safety.  Again, eCW users can view a complete collection of these notices at my.elinicalworks.com.
    • Confirm order accuracy: To avoid errors, providers should always confirm that prescriptions and orders created using eCW’s software are accurate.
    • Encourage patients to confirm accuracy: You should ensure that your patients and their family members or caregivers are informed about medications, dosages, and other pertinent information about prescriptions and orders. Among other things, this should include encouraging them to obtain online patient portal accounts.  Additionally, you should instruct them to confirm that the correct medication has been dispensed by their pharmacists and that other types of orders have also been properly fulfilled.
    • Follow correct steps for modifying medications: Rather than modifying an existing medication by changing the dosage or route, clinicians should discontinue the original medication and reorder it with the revised dosage or route.
    • Exercise caution in the use of custom medications: Because the use of custom medications poses a higher risk of prescription errors, providers should limit their use whenever possible.  When custom medications are necessary, care should be taken to ensure that the prescriptions are properly transmitted and fulfilled.
  • Patients and their family members or caregivers should adopt the following safeguards:
    • Be educated about your care: Ask your physician to give you or your caregiver access to eCW’s online patient portal, where you can review your visit summaries, medication orders and tests.
    • Know your medications and orders: Be aware of the prescription medications (including names, dosages, and delivery methods) and the clinical, diagnostic, or other evaluative tests that have been ordered by your physician.
    • Be sure to confirm accuracy: Confirm that the correct medication has been dispensed by your pharmacist and that tests are performed as ordered.
  • Anyone – clinicians, prescribers, pharmacists, patients, caregivers, or others – who becomes aware of patient safety concerns or unexpected software issues should immediately report them to eCW at my.eclinicalworks.com and/or to the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology’s complaint website at www.healthit.gov/healthitcomplaints.

December 9, 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.

Vaco Expands Healthcare Business with Acquisition of Pivot Point Consulting and Greythorn

Vaco, Pivot Point Consulting and Greythorn join to form new healthcare IT powerhouse

NASHVILLE, TN, Dec. 7, 2016 – National consulting and talent solutions firm, Vaco, today announced the formation of Pivot Point Consulting, a Vaco Company. Vaco’s healthcare IT division, Vaco Healthcare, acquired Pivot Point Consulting based in Seattle and Greythorn based in Bellevue, WA to offer expertise in EHR implementation, training, optimization, legacy and go-live support, project management and strategic advisory services. The new HIT services firm brings together more than 50 employees and 250 consultants across the nation.

“Expanding our team to include Pivot Point and Greythorn enhances Vaco’s extensive healthcare network and nationwide scale with award-winning expertise and accreditation,” Vaco Healthcare Managing Partner Matt Simpson said. “We are excited to offer our clients even more in the way of consulting, contract and direct-hire solutions.” The newly combined organization will:

  • Service the full scope of EHR implementation from pre-selection to support, project management, training, go-live, optimization and legacy support.
  • Offer a LIVESite division that provides top tier credentialed trainers and go-live support consultants along with advisors on best practices, gap analysis and key expense management savings.
  • Provide strategic advisory services to guide response to value-based care, revenue cycle transformation, quality improvement programs, privacy and security demands, and the value of advanced analytics.

Pivot Point Consulting is a healthcare IT consulting firm that provides implementation, staff augmentation and advisory services for healthcare provider organizations. In 2016, Pivot Point ranked number 1 in KLAS for Epic Consulting in the Select Category and number nine in Modern Healthcare’s Best Places to Work. They are leaders in EHR consulting services, strategic planning, project management, PMO, legacy and go-live support. With employees in 30 states, the company has provided services to over 40 healthcare organizations, including large multi-hospital networks, academic institutions, pediatric hospitals and local community clinics.

“This new venture broadens our global reach and complements our extensive menu of services,” said Rachel Marano, Managing Partner and Co-Founder of Pivot Point Consulting. “Combining the talents of these three businesses strengthens the options for our current and prospective clients.”

Greythorn specializes in placing top industry talent in healthcare IT on a project and permanent basis. Like Pivot Point, Greythorn has a significant focus in providing resources with Epic EHR expertise. Through their LIVESite delivery system, Greythorn provides Epic training experts, hands-on training leadership support, strategy and planning, project management, and staff engagement and retention solutions. The company also offers a dynamic Open Source/Big Data direct-hire staffing team that continues expansion within that community.

“The cultures of our three businesses match extremely well,” said Ben Weber, Managing Partner of Greythorn. “Greythorn has produced results here in the U.S. for over 16 years. We look forward to building on our success as part of this new company.”

Pivot Point Consulting, a Vaco Company begins offering services to healthcare provider organizations as an integrated business on Jan. 2, 2017.

About Vaco

Vaco offers consulting, contract and direct-hire solutions in the areas of accounting, finance, technology, healthcare, operations and general administration. With more than 30 offices across the nation and beyond, Vaco has been on Inc. magazine’s list of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies for the last 10 years. Vaco is dedicated to developing creative client solutions, long-term relationships and lifelong careers. For more information, visit vaco.com.

About Pivot Point

Established in 2011, Pivot Point Consulting is a healthcare IT consulting leader providing implementation, optimization, project management, legacy support and strategic advisory services nationwide. The company has earned many industry and workplace quality awards including: #1 in KLAS for Epic Consulting in the Select Category in 2016, #3 for HIT Implementation Support and Staffing in the 2015/2016 Best in KLAS: Software & Services report, #9 in Modern Healthcare’s Best Places to Work in 2016, #4 Fastest Growing Company by Consulting Magazine in 2015, Consulting Magazine’s Seven Small Jewels Award, Puget Sound Business Journal’s #1 Fastest Growing Eastside Seattle Firm, Puget Sound Business Journal’s #3 Fastest Growing Firm in Washington, Rising Star of the Profession by Consulting Magazine and Crain’s 101 Best and Brightest Companies to Work For in 2014 & 2015. For more information about Pivot Point Consulting, visit www.pivotpointconsulting.com.

About Greythorn

Greythorn is a specialist technology and healthcare IT recruitment consultancy, placing highly skilled talent across the United States and Canada in full-time and contract roles.

Through a boutique approach and specialist expertise that focuses on specific industries and technologies, Greythorn partners with like-minded businesses that are looking for true value from a recruitment partner. For more information, visit greythorn.com.

December 7, 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 Professionals Say Trump Administration Will Improve U.S. Healthcare System

Aprima survey also reveals physicians and administrators predict changes to Obamacare but no repeal; and a reduction in regulatory burdens for providers

Dallas, TX (December 6, 2016) – Aprima Medical Software, a leading provider of innovative electronic health records (EHR), practice management (PM) and revenue cycle management solutions (RCM) for medical practices, today announced the results of a post-presidential election survey of healthcare professionals, which explored predictions for healthcare under a Trump administration. The majority of the 312 physicians and practice staff participating in the survey (52%) believe a Trump presidency will improve healthcare in the U.S, while 48% anticipate a positive financial impact on their practice.

*Findings based on a November, 2017 Aprima Medical Software survey of 313 healthcare professionals.

The majority of healthcare professionals (62%) also expect changes to some aspects of the Affordable Care Act, though less than one-third expect a total repeal. Fifty-nine percent are optimistic that physician practices will experience a decrease in regulatory burdens, though respondents were divided in terms of the potential impact on provider compensation models and on patient access to care.

“This presidential election cycle was one of the most unpredictable in recent history and we were curious to understand what customers and prospects believe the impact will be on our industry,” said Michael Nissenbaum, CEO and president of Aprima. “I think it’s particularly notable that the majority of the survey participants expect a Trump administration to be better for healthcare than what we’ve experienced under the Obama administration, though 30% predict it will be worse. Healthcare providers, like the rest of the country, appear cautiously optimistic, though not overwhelmingly convinced that we’ll see positive changes under the new administration.”

The survey, which was emailed to almost 19,000 healthcare professionals following the November 8 election, allowed participants to clarify why they believed healthcare would be better or worse under a Trump administration. Many expressed predictions that certain aspects of Obamacare will be repealed and replaced with programs that include fewer regulatory burdens on providers and lower premiums for consumers. Other healthcare professionals voiced concerns that the number of uninsured patients will increase and create additional burdens on the industry.

“The survey results reflect some uncertainty about how provider compensation will be impacted,” said Nissenbaum. “In recent years, we have seen a shift from fee-for-service compensation models to plans that reward providers for cost-effective care and quality-outcomes. Though 38% of the healthcare professionals predict we’ll continue in this direction, 40% believe we’ll see a shift back to fee-for-service. Participants were also evenly split in terms of how patient access to care will be affected, with 36% anticipating access becoming more difficult and 36% predicting no significant impact to accessibility.”

Of those responding to the survey, 89% were affiliated with independent physician offices and included both Aprima customers and non-customers. Physicians and other clinical professionals represented 52% of the participants, while 48% were administrative staff members.

About Aprima Medical Software, Inc.

Aprima provides innovative electronic health record, practice management and revenue cycle management solutions for medical practices. Throughout the company’s 18-year history, Aprima has delivered quality solutions that have helped thousands of users enhance patient care and satisfaction, as well as improve their practices’ bottom lines. The Aprima EHR/PM sets the benchmark for ease-of-use, speed, and flexibility, thanks to its single database and customizable design that adapts automatically to individual physician workflows. The Aprima solution has earned Certification for Meaningful Use Stage 2 and been awarded pre-validation status for NCQA PCMH recognition. The company is based in Richardson, Texas and performs all development, support and implementation from within the U.S. To learn more about how Aprima can help your practice, please visit www.aprima.com, call us at 844 4APRIMA or email us at info@aprima.com.

December 6, 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.

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.