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HealthTap Acquires Docphin to Bring Comprehensive Medical Education to Doctors for Free

Doctors can now easily stay up to date with the latest medical literature and serve even better Virtual Care to HealthTap users

July 12, 2016 08:59 AM Eastern Daylight Time

PALO ALTO, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–HealthTap, the world’s first Global Health Practice providing 24/7 immediate access to doctors via video, text, or voice, announced today that it acquired Docphin, a leading service that makes it easier for doctors to keep up to date with the latest medical news and research results.

The acquisition enables HealthTap to extend educational activities for doctors with personalized updates of the medical literature through Docphin. A prime educational service for doctors and an emerging go-to resource for new publications in the medical literature, HealthTap now guides doctors to the latest developments and provides them with alerts and updates on topics relevant to their specialties and expertise. As a result, millions of people everywhere can now turn to HealthTap for better, more informed care, from doctors who have the most trusted medical knowledge at their fingertips when they need it most.

“As a World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer, and a Webby Award Winner for best design, HealthTap is committed to transforming healthcare through discovering and providing the very best ways to deliver and receive care, whether through building, acquiring, or partnering with the very best technologies, solutions and companies,” said Ron Gutman, Founder and CEO of HealthTap. “Our recent acquisition of Docphin has helped strengthen our value proposition for doctors worldwide, and our leadership position in the medical community by making valuable information more readily accessible to physicians when they need it most. We are actively seeking out services and companies that can enhance HealthTap’s offering for both doctors and consumers, and we’re eager to continue to expand our team and scale Virtual Care services across the world.”

HealthTap is integrating Docphin’s most valuable features and functionality into its platform and invites U.S. doctors using Docphin to join the world’s largest Medical Expert Network on HealthTap’s industry-leading platform. Once validated and approved into the network, leading doctors can take advantage of Curbside Consults with colleagues, case discussions in special doctor groups via Global Rounds, and the world’s first official Course and Certification Program in Virtual care. In all of these activities and others, they can earn Category 1 Continuing Medical Education (CME) credits while learning from more than 102,000 top doctors in 141 specialties.

“We’re constantly listening to our doctors in a genuine attempt to make their lives easier, and to help them become better doctors. When we identify a compelling need amongst our doctors, we either build the solution ourselves or find a way to partner with or acquire the right solution. When many doctors from around the world asked us for an easier way to stay up to date with the latest and greatest information in their fields, we immediately thought of the award-winning Docphin product, which we are thrilled to incorporate into our platform. We are equally thrilled to welcome the best Docphin doctors to HealthTap,” said Dr. Geoffrey Rutledge, HealthTap’s Chief Medical Officer.

With the acquisition of Docphin, and HealthTap’s integration of the service into its platform, it is now easier than ever for doctors and other healthcare professionals to follow their favorite medical journals, set up alerts, conveniently search PubMed, and access a comprehensive library of landmark articles by specialty, topic, or drug class.

U.S.-licensed doctors in good standing are invited to join HealthTap’s Medical Expert Network by signing up for free here.

About HealthTap

HealthTap, a World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer, is the world’s first Global Health Practice. HealthTap delivers immediate, world-class healthcare 24/7 from Query-to-Cure. Through video, voice, and text chat on any mobile device or personal computer, HealthTap connects hundreds of millions of people everywhere with the most trusted health advice from a network of more than 100,000 top U.S. doctors. HealthTap’s proprietary, robust, and secure Health Operating System (HOPES™) and proprietary triaging technology enable healthcare systems, payers and employers worldwide to provide the right care at the right time at the right price. Sign up today and download HealthTap’s free apps for iPhone, iPad, or Android at healthtap.com.

July 12, 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.

RelayHealth Financial Automates Creation, Management and Tracking of Denied Claim Appeals

RelayAssurance Appeals Assist helps improve revenue health by increasing collection rates on denied claims

ALPHARETTA, Ga., June 27, 2016RelayHealth Financial today introduced RelayAssurance™ Appeals Assist, a new tool that lets providers quickly and easily identify, create, file, and track appeals for denied claims. Now hospital and health system CFOs and revenue cycle leaders can enhance their denial prevention strategy with a way to expedite the appeals process– helping to reduce the associated time and costs, and improving the collection rate on initially denied claims.

While an estimated 6.4% of all provider-submitted claims are initially denied by payers1, two thirds of those claims are recoverable2. Yet many healthcare providers do not appeal denied claims at all, while others dedicate in-house staff or enlist outsourcing firms, which can result in lost revenue, wasted productivity due to manual processes, and significant expense. With RelayAssurance Appeals Assist, denied claims are flagged, the appropriate appeal forms are assembled and completed, and their progress is tracked–all within the same RelayAssurance Plus workflow used to monitor and manage claims.

“Despite providers’ best efforts to submit clean claims, a substantial number still get denied,” said Marcy Tatsch, vice president and general manager, Reimbursement Solutions, for RelayHealth Financial. “An effective denial prevention strategy doesn’t just focus on pre-submission, but also on the other points along the claims continuum. RelayAssurance Plus already offers the robust editing, claim status, and lifecycle visibility capabilities that are essential to denial prevention, and now builds on that functionality with the ability to track a claim’s progress and quickly respond when help is required.”

RelayAssurance Appeals Assist complements the RelayAssurance Plus claims management suite by offering:

  • Integrated Denial Management–Users can quickly and efficiently identify that an appeal is needed, then create, print, and file that appeal and track its progress directly within the same RelayAssurance Plus workflow where claim status/tracking takes place.
  • Forms Library–Built-in standard Medicare appeal forms, templates and letters, along with state-by-state appeals submission requirements help reduce the time and effort required to file appeals.
  • Appeals Dashboard–Visual icons indicate the status of appeals (Created, Submitted, Denied, Succeeded), whether an appeal follow-up has been established based on payer-specific time thresholds, and alert users to filing deadlines–all to ensure active management of appeals.

RelayAssurance Appeals Assist is the latest module available to users of RelayAssurance Plus, RelayHealth Financial’s cloud-based, analytics-driven claims and remittance management solution. Other modules available to complement RelayAssurance Plus include: the new Status Amplifier™, which automatically tracks down, inspects, and reports accurate reasons for non-payment on claims; RelayAssurance™  Medicare Direct Entry, for integrated Medicare claim processing, and automatically-generated secondary claims; Host Integration Services, which helps reduce the need to manually post transmitted claim status information; and Eligibility Claim Edits to monitor for insurance changes.

For more information on RelayHealth Financial’s revenue cycle management solutions, visit our website, learn from our experts at the RelayHealth blog, or follow us on Twitter at @RelayHealth.

For more information on McKesson Health Solutions, please visit our website, hear from our experts at MHSdialogue, follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, or network with us on LinkedIn.

1 2015 RelayHealth data

2 “An ounce of prevention pays off: 90% of denials are preventable” Advisory Board, 2014

June 27, 2016 I Written By

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

Health Catalyst Eliminates Client Restrictions on Solicitation and Hiring in its Contracts

Salt Lake City – June 21, 2016 Health Catalyst, a leader in healthcare data warehousing, analytics and outcomes improvement, today announced it is eliminating the provision in its standard client service contracts that prohibits its clients from soliciting for hire or hiring Health Catalyst team members.  Health Catalyst will continue to honor restrictions preventing solicitation of client employees by Health Catalyst.

“We are committed to working with our clients as long-term partners, and focusing on long-term customer success is our first operating principle,” said Dan Burton, CEO of Health Catalyst. “Our contractual restriction to prevent clients from soliciting or hiring our team members puts up a wall between us and our clients that could inhibit our work together. We want to eliminate any barriers that might prevent our clients from achieving and sustaining clinical and financial outcomes improvements.”

This is Health Catalyst’s second move in recent months to cement a culture of open collaboration and partnership among its clients and its team members. In May, the company officially removed the non-compete provision from its standard employment agreements that prohibited its team members from being employed by organizations that compete with Health Catalyst following employment with Health Catalyst, and announced that it would not seek to enforce such non-compete provisions in existing employment agreements.

“Our company’s purpose is to enable outcomes improvement at scale,” Burton continued. “If in some instances that purpose can be furthered by our clients hiring one of our team members, and this is of interest to our team members then we don’t want to prevent that. In fact, we view it as a sincere compliment when our clients value our team members’ contributions so highly that they express interest in hiring our team members.  Ultimately, we hope each of our team members remains committed to enabling outcomes improvements at scale, whether as a team member or as an alumni of Health Catalyst.  We seek to enable our team members’ long-term career success whether inside or outside the company.”

The decision to eliminate client obligations in non-solicitation clauses supports a client-focused culture that has been acknowledged by Health Catalyst clients and by third-party industry analysts. In its latest report on healthcare business intelligence, Enterprise Healthcare BI: The Search for Outcomes,”  KLAS Research revealed that Health Catalyst’s “strategy of prioritizing client relationships and outcomes result[ed] in the highest client reviews of any vendor for insights and outcomes.”

The decision also supports a work culture that has received recognition as one of the nation’s best from organizations including Gallup, Glassdoor, Modern Healthcare, Becker’s Healthcare and Rock Health.

About Health Catalyst

Health Catalyst is a mission-driven data warehousing, analytics and outcomes-improvement company that helps healthcare organizations of all sizes perform the clinical, financial, and operational reporting and analysis needed for population health and accountable care. Our proven enterprise data warehouse (EDW) and analytics platform helps improve quality, add efficiency and lower costs in support of more than 70 million patients for organizations ranging from the largest US health system to forward-thinking physician practices. For more information, visit https://www.healthcatalyst.com, and follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.

June 21, 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.

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.

Navicure Partners with Bain Capital Private Equity to Continue Growth and Expand Healthcare Technology Platform

Investment to fuel growth from new products and expansion to new market segments

DULUTH, GA and BOSTON, June 15, 2016 – Navicure, a leading provider of cloud-based claims management and patient payment solutions for physician practices and hospitals, today announced the signing of a definitive agreement to receive a strategic investment from Bain Capital Private Equity, a leading global private investment firm.  Financial terms of the private transaction were not disclosed.

Navicure, which is headquartered in Duluth, Georgia, will continue to be led by current CEO and founder, James M. Denny, Jr. and his executive team.  They will retain a meaningful interest in the business.  Selling shareholders include JMI Equity and other minority investors.

Navicure’s subscription-based software solutions help healthcare organizations of all sizes increase revenue, accelerate cash flow, and reduce the costs associated with managing insurance claims and patient payments.  Serving more than 90,000 healthcare providers nationwide, Navicure’s integrated revenue cycle management platform automates accounts receivable processes, and assures timely and accurate billing and collection from payers and patients.  The Company’s solutions help healthcare providers effectively handle claims management, patient eligibility verification, remittance and denial management, appeals, posting, reporting and analysis, and patient payment collections at and near the time of service.

Denny, who founded the business in 2001, said about the partnership, “We are proud that Navicure, for over 15 years, has helped thousands of healthcare organizations from large health systems to solo practices improve their financial results with less effort through the use of our SaaS-based solutions. Their success is our success.  We remain committed to our mission of developing innovative solutions that enable our clients to stay one step ahead. We believe the resources and experience of Bain Capital Private Equity give us an important advantage as we continue to grow our business and deliver an even wider array of differentiated solutions to our clients.”

Bain Capital Private Equity has a history of successful investments in a variety of healthcare and information technology businesses including Applied Systems, Viewpoint Construction Software, Blue Coat Systems, BMC Software, HCA Healthcare, Beacon Health Options, Physio-Control, Quintiles Transnational and CRC Health Group.

Chris Gordon, a Managing Director on Bain Capital Private Equity’s healthcare industry team, said about the investment, “Jim Denny and his team are at the forefront of developing innovative solutions that help healthcare providers manage an increasingly complex healthcare reimbursement ecosystem.  Leveraging technology and data to automate revenue cycle management is vital in light of economic pressure from payers, the shift of more payments to consumers, and the important role providers play in managing the cost and quality of healthcare.”  David Humphrey, Managing Director on Bain Capital Private Equity’s TMT industry team, added, “Navicure’s SaaS platform gives the Company the unique ability to provide clients with cutting-edge solutions combined with excellent service and exceptional financial results.”

The transaction is expected to close in July 2016.  Aeris Partners LLC served as the exclusive M&A advisor, and Jenner & Block acted as legal counsel, to Navicure. Ropes & Gray LLP is serving as legal counsel, and PwC LLP is serving as accounting advisor to Bain Capital Private Equity.  Committed financing for the transaction is being provided by Antares Capital serving as administrative agent and lead arranger, and Bain Capital Credit, Capital One Healthcare and NXT Capital serving as joint lead arrangers.

June 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.

Physicians Wary of MACRA’s Potential to Hasten the Demise of Independent Practices, Black Book Survey

Two-thirds of independent practices now deliberate selling out to hospital systems and larger groups or closing down by 2019 as the resource-intensive requirements of MIPS, administrative burdens, and under-optimized technology may make the transition to value-based care too discouraging.

According to a May 2016 survey of 1,300 physician groups of five or less clinicians by Black Book™, 67% of high Medicare-volume doctors foresee the end of their independence due to the so-called “doc fix” bill or “MACRA,” which repeals the Medicare Part B Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) reimbursement formula and replaces it with a new value-based reimbursement system, will not have the technology, capital or staffing to sustain under the conditions of the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS).

Despite small practice education, training and technical assistance programs promised from CMS to help onboard physicians with the MACRA programs, 89% of the remaining solo practices expect to minimize Medicare volumes as to not be required to submit reports for the quality and clinical practice improvement activities or report in the cost performance category.

77% of small practices identified themselves as financially struggling currently due to physician staffing losses to larger group practices and hospital IDNs directly. 72% also blame their under-performing billing technology and compounding payment issues for their troubles.

“Physician payment based on 2017 performance isn’t scheduled to kick in until 2019,” said Doug Brown, Managing Partner of Black Book. “That’s far too long to maintain operations for the most stressed practices to hold on with outmoded technology and scarce billing support.”

The apparent solution for 78% of remaining independent primary care physicians is to join a bigger group or IDN to gain needed reporting, revenue cycle tools and support before 2019.

Black Book anticipates the EHR replacement market to decline in the small practice market as 55% of independent practitioners indicate they will make no technology shifts or purchases until they have made decisions on being acquired. “On the other hand, the growth opportunities for EHR vendors currently serving the larger practice market, IDNs and multi-specialty clinics are expected to appreciably benefit from these small practice acquisitions,” said Brown.

Based on the aggregate client experience and customer satisfaction scores on eighteen key performance indicators tuned to physician practice integration of documentation, operations and revenue cycle management the top-ranked electronic health records for small practices have changed as more cloud-based EHRs have made competitive pricing among several demands, particularly integrated billing, specialist-driven focuses, mobility, interoperability and patient satisfaction support.

63% of smaller (fewer than ten practitioners) and solo practice physicians have still not settled on a technology suite or set of products that delivers to their expectations on meaningful use, clinician usability, interoperability, and coordinated billing and claims, but over a third of those slower adopters expect to make product decisions before the end of this calendar year.

The top ranked solo/single physician practice EHRs in the 2016 survey are Kareo, Modernizing Medicine, drChrono, iPatientCare, athenahealth, CareCloud and Practice Fusion.

The top ranked EHRs for practices of 2-5 physicians are SRS Soft, ADP AdvancedMD, Practice Fusion, Amazing Charts and Allscripts.

Black Book™ surveyed over 33,000 healthcare records professionals, physician practice administrators, and ambulatory group leaders in the information technology arenas to provide EHR and practice billing system users, media, investors, quality minded vendors, and prospective buyers of practice software with a comprehensive comparison of the industry’s top respected and performing vendors. Black Book Research employs detailed key performance indicators targeted at ensuring high product and service performance through comparing vendors from the customer experience.

For comprehensive research and ranking data on medical and surgical specialties, consult http://www.blackbookmarketresearch.com for the latest customer experience results.

June 13, 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.

Survey: Hospitals Progressing Slowly toward Medicare’s Goal of 50 Percent Value-Based Reimbursement by 2018

Respondents cite analytics as most important success factor for value-based reimbursement

SALT LAKE CITY – MAY 9, 2016 – Fewer than a quarter of U.S. hospitals are on track to hit the Obama Administration’s 2018 goal of providing at least half their patient care through so-called “value-based” arrangements – structures that tie reimbursement from Medicare to the quality of care patients receive.

That is one finding of a new online survey of healthcare executives representing 190 U.S. hospitals with a total of more than 20,000 licensed beds. The survey by Health Catalyst revealed that just 3 percent of health systems today meet the target set by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Only 23 percent expect to meet it by 2019, a year after CMS had hoped that half of all Medicare reimbursements would be value-based.

According to the survey, the majority of health systems—a full 62 percent—have either zero or less than 10 percent of their care tied to the type of risk-based contracts identified by CMS as “value-based,” including Medicare accountable care organizations (ACOs) and bundled payments. Not surprisingly, small hospitals with fewer than 200 beds comprised the majority of those reporting no at-risk contracts. A contributing factor may be that smaller hospitals are five times less likely than larger organizations to have access to sufficient capital to make risk-based contracting work, according to the survey.

Despite lagging behind the federal government’s goal, healthcare executives across the board intend to steadily increase value-based care and at-risk contracts. In the next three years, all but 1 percent of respondents expect their organizations to be engaged in at-risk contracts. Sixty-eight percent said they expect risk-based contracts to account for less than half their total care in that time frame. Only 23 percent expect value-based care to account for more than half of their care in the next three years. Eight percent of respondents said they could not predict the answer.

Analytics tops the list of must-haves

The most important organizational element needed for success with risk-based contracting is analytics, said responding executives at both small and large hospitals. In fact, 52 percent of respondents cited the prime importance of analytics, more than double the second most-selected answer: a culture of quality improvement. Twenty-four percent of respondents cited cultural alignment on quality as having the most impact on value-based care success.

“Transitioning from fee-for-service reimbursement to value-based payments is a goal that many healthcare organizations embrace but are having difficulty implementing as they juggle a number of other high priorities,” said Bobbi Brown, Health Catalyst vice president of financial engagement. “This survey reveals that they’re making progress but they could use a little help – some of it financial and some of it technical in the way of better analytics to help identify at-risk populations and better manage their risk. The bottom line seems to be that while progress is slow, healthcare leaders are committed to making value-based care work.”

Survey results reflect the opinions of 78 healthcare professionals who responded to an online survey by Health Catalyst in May 2016. Over half of the respondents (51 percent) were CEOs or CFOs of large hospital-owned physician groups and hospitals ranging in size from 15 acute care beds to over 1,000 beds. The remaining respondents all held executive roles, including several Chief Medical Information Officers, Chief Medical Officers and Chief Nursing Officers.

The organizations represented include many well-known multi-hospital and multi-state health systems with a cumulative 756 inpatient and outpatient facilities and 20,416 acute care beds.

About Health Catalyst

Health Catalyst is a mission-driven data warehousing, analytics and outcomes-improvement company that helps healthcare organizations of all sizes perform the clinical, financial, and operational reporting and analysis needed for population health and accountable care. Our proven enterprise data warehouse (EDW) and analytics platform helps improve quality, add efficiency and lower costs in support of more than 70 million patients for organizations ranging from the largest US health system to forward-thinking physician practices. For more information, visit https://www.healthcatalyst.com, and follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn andFacebook.  

June 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.

Xerox Helps Healthcare Providers Serve Patients Anytime, Anywhere

New research finds majority of Americans are open to and excited about virtual health

NORWALK, Conn., June 8, 2016 – According to new research from Xerox, 61 percent of U.S. adults are willing to receive non-urgent healthcare advice, exams or counseling in a virtual setting; however, only 16 percent have used virtual health. Xerox hopes to increase that number with the launch of Virtual Health Solutions, allowing healthcare providers to meet patients’ demand for convenient, remote access to care.

The new solution helps providers integrate a comprehensive telehealth strategy within their mainstream care delivery system. For example, Xerox will ensure coordinated access to electronic health records (EHRs) and provide reliable technology infrastructure to support the delivery of virtual care. Patients will benefit by having improved access to healthcare services such as prescription refills, dermatology screenings, health and wellness coaching, post-surgical follow-ups and psychiatric care and counseling, among others.

According to the research, 77 percent are excited about the possibility of receiving healthcare virtually. Convenience was cited as the top benefit (59 percent), followed by potential cost savings (40 percent) and the ability to see or communicate with healthcare professionals for minor ailments and the option to easily refill prescriptions – both 35 percent.

To help healthcare providers take advantage of patients’ interest in virtual care, Xerox will create a customized combination of consulting, services and technology based on a provider’s specific telehealth goals.

  • Virtual Health Consulting Services: Xerox will work with clients to develop virtual health strategies to help them reduce cost and utilization, deliver better outcomes, increase access to care and improve patient experience. The process includes a customized strategy session with each healthcare organization to understand their virtual health goals, an analysis of their current initiatives and offerings and an evaluation of their local market’s needs.
  • Interface Design and Development Services: The solution helps overcome interoperability challenges associated with telehealth by connecting multiple healthcare systems – even those that have never been connected before – and allows healthcare providers to easily verify a patient’s identity and medical history. The solution can also automatically determine a patient’s insurance eligibility and seamlessly move information in and out of EHRs for documentation and billing needs.
  • Virtual Clinic Services: Front and back office services are powered by Xerox and allow providers to connect with patients in a virtual setting. A Xerox customer care agent will coordinate insurance verification, appointment pre-authorization and scheduling, payment processing and claims preparation, submission, tracking and reconciliation, providing the same type of familiar experience patients receive at an in-person doctor visit.

“Healthcare organizations need to prepare for an ‘anytime, anywhere’ paradigm – one in which care is typically delivered outside the four walls of a hospital,” said Connie Harvey, chief operating officer, Xerox Healthcare Business Group. “We understand that healthcare organizations are in very different places when it comes to their telehealth strategy. Our approach to virtual health allows us to provide customized services based on a client’s specific needs.”

“Xerox has the portfolio and expertise needed to help healthcare providers implement a telehealth strategy that not only meets patient expectations for convenience but also works seamlessly with other clinical and financial systems – no easy task,” said Barbra Sheridan McGann, executive vice president, Business Operations Research, HfS Research.

Survey Methodology

This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll on behalf of Xerox from May 5-9, 2016 among 2,033 U.S. adults ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact Jim Mignano at Jim.Mignano@Text100.com or+1-585-697-2602.

About Xerox

Xerox (NYSE: XRX) is helping change the way the world works. By applying our expertise in imaging, business process, analytics, automation and user-centric insights, we engineer the flow of work to provide greater productivity, efficiency and personalization. Our employees create meaningful innovations and provide business process services, printing equipment, software and solutions that make a real difference for our clients and their customers in 180 countries. On January 29, 2016, Xerox announced that it plans to separate into two independent, publicly-traded companies: a business process outsourcing company and a document technology company. Xerox expects to complete the separation by year-end 2016. Learn more at www.xerox.com.

June 8, 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.