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ONC Announces Lucia Savage, Esq. As New Chief Privacy Officer

Karen DeSalvo sent the following announcement about the change:

Good morning ONC Team,

I am thrilled to announce that Lucia Savage, Esq. will join HHS and ONC as the Chief Privacy Officer.  She brings to our team a set of rich experiences at the intersection of health information, privacy, and modernizing the health care delivery system.  She has stellar qualifications and a passion for health IT in this nation and our work. I am confident that she will bring her wealth of experience to advance critical privacy and security policies in health IT development and implementation.

Lucia is currently Senior Associate General Counsel at UnitedHealthcare, where she supervises a team that represents UnitedHealthcare in its work in large data transactions related to health information exchanges, health care transparency projects, and other data-driven health care innovation projects.  She has served on the Governance Board of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ Multi-Payer Claims data base project (2011-2013), and collaborated with health information exchanges and state agencies in their planning with payers.

Prior to joining UnitedHealthcare, Lucia was General Counsel at the non-profit Pacific Business Group on Health, where she oversaw the legal affairs and state policy initiatives for one of the nation’s oldest employer health care purchasing coalitions and its small group health insurance exchange, PacAdvantage.  At PBGH, Lucia applied her 15 years of experience as an employee benefit attorney, in both compliance and litigation, and expanded her practice to include health care regulation, data transactions, health care reform, and HIPAA implementation.  Before joining PBGH, she served as Stanford University’s benefits compliance officer.

Lucia has a BA from Mills College in Oakland, CA, and received her Juris Doctor summa cum laude from New York University School of Law in May 1989, where she was awarded the Order of the Coif.  She is a member of the State Bar of California, the American Corporate Counsel Association, and the American Health Lawyers Association. Lucia has authored many articles and given many lectures.  Most recently, she has been emphasizing the importance of cost and quality transparency in health care, and has been working on the complex issues of maintaining patient privacy while working to fully realize the potential of health information exchange for better patient care in a learning health care system.

Lucia will join ONC on October 20th.  I know that you will all welcome her and help to make her transition as seamless and smooth as possible.  She is ready to hit the ground running and is looking forward to getting to know everyone.

I want to take this opportunity to thank Kathryn Marchesini who has served as Acting Chief Privacy Officer over the past few months. Kathryn is an exceptional public servant, brilliant attorney and excellent manager.  She has been and will continue to be a valued and invaluable member of our team.

Best,

kd

Karen B. DeSalvo, MD, MPH, MSc

October 14, 2014 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 6000 articles with John having written over 3000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 13 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.

96 Percent Of Healthcare Providers Say Their Infrastructure Is Not Fully Prepared To Leverage Cloud, Big Data, Mobile, Social To Optimize Their EMR

Survey indicates healthcare providers plan to enhance security, improve application performance, and invest in cloud 

Alexandria, Va., October 13, 2014 – MeriTalk, a public-private partnership focused on improving the outcomes of health and government IT, today announced the results of its new study, “FutureCare:  Cloud, Big Data, Mobile, and Social Optimize the EMR.”  The report, sponsored by EMC Corporation, explores how FutureCare-enabling technologies (cloud, Big Data, mobile, and social) are driving profound change and how deployment of these tools can help optimize Electronic Medical Records (EMR) for improved patient care coordination.  The report reveals that while many providers have implemented or plan to implement these technologies in the next two years, 96 percent of healthcare organizations say their infrastructure is not fully prepared for the evolution of their EMR today.

Health IT leaders have started to adopt FutureCare-enabling technologies.  Two-thirds of healthcare providers run EMR applications in the cloud, with the majority currently using private cloud models (49 percent), followed by hybrid and public clouds (35 percent).  Healthcare providers are also using Big Data and analytics in conjunction with their EMR with 50 percent saying Big Data is helping them to reduce readmissions and track and evaluate patient outcomes more effectively.  Providers are also using Big Data to conduct cost/benefit analysis to reduce project risk (46 percent), manage clinical and IT staffing levels (38 percent), and prescribe preventative care (24 percent).

Mobile and social technologies are also starting to make an impact on healthcare providers.  Fifty-seven percent of health IT leaders say mobile has become an important tool in viewing real-time patient information as caregivers work toward making more informed patient care decisions.  Additional mobile use cases include clinical notifications (46 percent), ePrescribing (41 percent), and patient communication and reminders (38 percent).  Fifty-four percent of organizations are also using social in conjunction with their EMR to facilitate secure collaboration; 52 percent are communicating with patients and sending medication/follow up reminders; and 31 percent are collecting data from wearable technology.

Cloud, Big Data, mobile, and social technologies impact business and clinical workflows by improving data access, enhancing patient care, and reducing costs.  To reap these benefits, health IT leaders expect 2015 IT spending to increase for all four areas – cloud, Big Data, mobile, and social.  As a result of FutureCare technology investments, U.S. hospitals expect to save billions in annual IT spending.  By 2016, healthcare providers anticipate:

  • Big Data can help them save 21 percent of their annual IT budget, or $7.2B
  • Cloud can help them save 20 percent of their annual IT budget, or $6.9B
  • Mobile can help them save 16 percent of their annual IT budget, or $5.5B
  • Social can help them save 11 percent of their annual IT budget, or $3.8B

Working within their IT budget constraints, healthcare providers will prioritize areas of focus based on hospital and Integrated Delivery Network (IDN) deployment status and goals.

When asked how prepared their infrastructure is for the evolution of the EMR, just four percent of respondents stated that they are already prepared – 96 percent have more work to do.  To optimize the EMR and ensure the infrastructure can support further growth, health IT leaders say they will enhance security systems (47 percent), improve application performance (38 percent), invest in cloud solutions (31 percent), and modernize backup and recovery solutions (31 percent).

“It’s clear that cloud, Big Data, mobile, and social technologies can positively impact patient care delivery, population health, and achieve improved levels of fiscal efficiency,” says David DeAngelis, healthcare general manager, EMC Corporation.  “EMC is committed to enabling healthcare providers to build a trusted hybrid cloud infrastructure as the foundation for FutureCare technologies and improve patient care diagnosis and treatment.”

“Accurate diagnosis is the first step on the journey to a cure,” said Steve O’Keeffe, founder, MeriTalk.  “The healthcare industry needs to change its IT diet to ensure better healthcare outcomes for America.”

The MeriTalk study is based on an online survey of 151 hospital IT decision makers, conducted in August 2014.   The report has a margin of error of 7.95 percent at a 95 percent confidence level.

Download the “FutureCare:  Cloud, Big Data, Mobile, and Social Optimize the EMR” infographic today at:  www.meritalk.com/futurecare.

About MeriTalk

MeriTalk is an online community and go-to resource for government and healthcare IT issues – www.meritalk.com.  MeriTalk hosts a series of Exchange communities in Big Data, cloud computing, data center consolidation, mobility, and cyber security.  In addition, MeriTalk develops research studies, manages events, builds applications, and routinely testifies on the Hill on IT and workforce issues.

October 13, 2014 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 6000 articles with John having written over 3000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 13 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.

Exostar Obtains $5 Million Investment for their Growing Healthcare Business

HERNDON, VA, October 7, 2014Exostar, an innovative information technology company offering cloud-based solutions that enable secure, cost-effective business-to-business collaboration, today announced a $5.0 million investment to enable them to accelerate the growth and expansion of their healthcare and life science business.

Exostar’s cloud-based authentication identity hub for the healthcare industry, Secure Access Manager (SAM), connects customers with other organizations securely across large communities of users. The investment, made by the Merck Global Health Innovation Fund, will help Exostar maintain its rapid growth in these markets and expand into related verticals.

The healthcare industry continues to become more reliant on secure connections, not only to ensure organizations meet all compliance issues, but to support critical digital health applications such as ePrescribing, Health Information Exchange (HIE), and clinical collaboration.  Exostar leverages over a decade of experience helping companies access, utilize and share business-critical information and applications through an easy-to-use, secure Software as a Service (SaaS) model.

“Exostar has successfully expanded from its Aerospace & Defense heritage into other vertical markets that have similar requirements for secure collaboration, complex supply chain needs or identity management to support their core business processes,” said Richard Addi, Exostar’s CEO.  “Our solution is an ideal fit for the healthcare and life science community that needs to set up connections with partners and their applications quickly and securely.  Exostar helps its customers connect with thousands of partners in their ecosystem without compromising network security or intellectual property.”

Originally established by some of the largest companies in the pharmaceutical and life sciences industry, the Exostar life sciences identity hub today includes more than 600 life science focused companies, government agencies and universities supporting the collaboration initiatives of thousands of individuals.

“Exostar’s secure cloud-based access and existing user base delivers a strong complement to the current and future needs of the data-driven healthcare industry,” said Joe Volpe of Merck’s Global Health Innovation Fund.

About Exostar

Exostar powers secure business-to-business information sharing, collaboration and business process integration throughout the value chain.  Exostar supports the complex trading needs of many of the world’s largest companies in aerospace and defense, life sciences, and other industries.  Exostar’s cloud-based identity assurance products and business applications reduce risk, improve agility and strengthen trading partner relationships and profitability for over 100,000 companies in 150 countries worldwide.  The Exostar community includes market leaders such as AstraZeneca, BAE Systems, Bell Helicopter, The Boeing Company, Computer Sciences Corporation, Lockheed Martin Corp., Merck, Newport News Shipbuilding, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon Co. and Rolls-Royce.  For more information, please visit www.exostar.com.

About Merck Global Health Innovation Fund, LLC

Merck Global Health Innovation Fund, LLC (GHIF) invests in emerging companies that deliver breakthrough health care solutions, which advance Merck’s mission to discover, develop and provide innovative products and services that save and improve lives. For more information, visit http://www.merck.com/ghi.

October 7, 2014 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 6000 articles with John having written over 3000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 13 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.

American Sentinel University Offers New Healthcare-focused Online Master of Business Intelligence and Computer Science Programs

AURORA, Colo.Oct. 7, 2014 – American Sentinel University, an accredited career-focused online university, announced its redesigned online Master of Science Business Intelligence and Analytics (MSBIA) and Master of Computer Science and Healthcare Computing (MCSHC) degree programs will begin Oct. 6, 2014.

“As a leading provider of high-demand healthcare degrees, American Sentinel understands the constant need for a better educated healthcare industry. By enhancing our programs and courses, students are offered a new level of education,” says Blair Smith, Ph.D., dean, informatics-management-technology programs at American Sentinel University. “The learning outcomes mapped to these enhancements provide the healthcare industry with highly-prepared professionals who will play a significant role in patient safety, quality of care and managing modern medical technological shifts.”

New Focus on Healthcare Business Intelligence and Analytics
The MSBIA is a nationally accredited 36-credit hour online program designed to prepare students to understand and apply technologies that identify, extract and analyze business data. The program teaches students to quantify business operations and how to use data to understand and improve them.

The redesigned MSBIA program keeps up with current industry trends such as big data, cloud and mobile computing. The MSBIA program provides greater emphasis on clinical and healthcare business intelligence and the need for analytics in modern business practice.

“As one of the first universities in the nation to offer a graduate business intelligence degree, American Sentinel recognizes that BI is a key component in emerging and growing business trends,” says Smith. “We’ve updated this program to reflect the latest industry trends as business intelligence and analytics look to play an even bigger role in healthcare organizations.”

Developing Computer Science and Healthcare Computing
The MCSHC is a nationally accredited 36-credit hour online program designed for professionals interested in building on the skills necessary to design and develop real-world administrative information systems and methodologies.

The redesigned MCSHC program provides students with the knowledge to develop information systems, as well as recommend data management, analytic and information presentation requirements for healthcare decision-making and solution inquiry systems.

Students will be exposed to and proficient in the understanding of technology platforms used in e-health and telehealth applications, including an aptitude in health data evaluation.

The program is also suitable for students interested in general computer science as the content, assignments and projects are applicable to many industries and disciplines in addition to healthcare.

“Working professionals can benefit from our redesigned programs and gain advanced knowledge and experience that are essential to keeping their company or organization competitive and helping them increase their job security and upward mobility,” says Smith.

Enrollment Begins on Oct. 6, 2014
American Sentinel University will begin accepting enrollment applications for its Master of Science Business Intelligence and Analytics and Master of Computer Science and Healthcare Computing degree programs on Oct. 6, 2014. For more information, please visithttp://www.americansentinel.edu/degree-programs, call 1.866.922.5694 or email the American Sentinel admissions team at admissions@americansentinel.edu

About American Sentinel University
American Sentinel University delivers the competitive advantages of accredited associate, bachelor’s master’s, and doctorate-level online degree and certificate programs focused on the needs of high-growth sectors, including healthcare, informatics, management, technology, and geospatial information systems. The university is accredited by the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC), which is listed by the U.S. Department of Education as a nationally recognized accrediting agency and is a recognized member of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. For required student consumer information, please visit: www.americansentinel.edu/doe

I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 6000 articles with John having written over 3000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 13 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.

Why Accountable Care Organizations Are Failing

By Richard Amerling, M.D.

Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), a key piece of the Affordable Care Act (“ObamaCare”) “reform” plan, are failing because they must fail. ACOs are based on faulty assumptions, poor economics, and junk science. They would not exist in a truly free market, and are best viewed as a product of government central planners and crony capitalism.

I first characterized ACOs about a year ago as little more than HMOs with lipstick in response to a report on the poor performance of the 32 pioneer ACOs. Now comes news that three more of the original groups will jump ship, leaving only 19 of the original 32 still on board. A nearly 50 percent attrition rate should be seen as a death knell for the concept, as these were likely the best of the best, and the inducements most generous. Reasonable people would head back to the drawing board. But we are dealing with government bureaucrats, health policy wonks, and administrators. They will damn the torpedoes and push on at flank speed.

What is wrong with the ACO model? Pretty much everything. The idea that an organization with control over health care dollars will be able to improve actual hard outcomes (as opposed to secondary endpoint numbers) is a collective fantasy. Keeping patients healthy and out of hospitals is already the goal of all physicians I know. The only problems we encounter in collaborating are those imposed by federal regulations (HIPAA). The real problem is that outpatient primary care physicians are not paid enough to devote adequate time to patients with complex problems. The ACO does not solve this problem. Rather, it creates financial disincentives to hospitalize patients or to refer for advanced care (similar to HMOs). This will lead to poor outcomes for the sickest patients, and ultimately, higher costs.

Money saved by rationing care (or by improving care; let’s be optimists), will be consumed largely by the considerable administrative infrastructure required of the ACO. This includes hiring even more administrators to track outcomes and costs, installing and maintaining expense electronic health record systems, and training of staff. EHRs have many problems, do not improve productivity, and impinge on the patient-physician relationship, impairing quality of care.

“Quality” benchmarks are numerical targets for blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol, etc., determined by various guideline panels, most of which are dominated by industry-supported physicians. This will lead to inappropriate over-treatment in many individuals, with greater expense and worse outcomes over time. For example, aggressive targeting of low blood sugar has been shown to cause weight gain and higher mortality in patients with type 2 diabetes. It’s not a coincidence that Big Pharma heavily supported ObamaCare.

ACOs are based on the assumption that fee-for-service medical practice is responsible for the high cost of medical care. This is demonstrably false. Direct third party payment, spearheaded by Medicare, is the culprit.

And of course, when Uncle Sam is your partner, there is always risk that rules and payment will be changed, sometimes arbitrarily and without warning. As reported in Modern Healthcare, “as ACOs grow more efficient and Medicare adjusts savings targets accordingly, it may also grow increasingly difficult for ACOs everywhere to earn savings.” Furthermore, “Medicare’s ACO programs so far have produced inconsistent results, some of which policy experts and ACO executives have blamed on how Medicare calculates how much ACOs potentially saved the program. Last week, the CMS announced that the initiatives saved Medicare $817 million through 2013. Dozens of participants shared $445 million of that amount, but three-quarters of ACOs saw nothing after failing to do sufficiently well against the financial benchmarks” [emphasis mine]. So, only a handful saw any real profit, and you can be sure Medicare will alter their formula to not allow whatever they consider to be excessive profit.

It is clear that for ACOs to be profitable, they will need to engage in the old HMO practice of cherry-picking healthy patients. Last week I saw a 65-year-old woman with kidney disease on top of severe lung, liver and heart disease. It took more than an hour just to sort through her records and medications. ACOs will go out of their way to avoid recruiting patients such as this. The only hope for such patients is within the traditional fee-for-service system.

Our hope is that this system is allowed to survive.

###

Richard Amerling, MD is an Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine and a renowned academic nephrologist at the Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City. Dr. Amerling studied medicine at the Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium, graduating cum laude in 1981. He completed a medical residency at the New York Hospital Queens and a nephrology fellowship at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. He has written and lectured extensively on health care issues and is President of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons. Dr. Amerling is the author of the Physicians’ Declaration of Independence and is a seasoned speaker and on-air contributor
October 6, 2014 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 6000 articles with John having written over 3000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 13 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.

Nextech to Acquire MDIntelleSys, the Leading Cloud-Based EHR for Eye Care

Tampa, Florida – October 2, 2014 – Nextech Systems, a leading provider of specialty-focused healthcare technology solutions for physician practices, and MDIntelleSys (MDI), a leading cloud-based electronic health record (EHR) for ophthalmologists, today announced that they have entered a strategic agreement in which Nextech will acquire MDI. The acquisition of MDI effectively doubles Nextech’s ophthalmology market share while adding clinical depth and ophthalmic expertise to Nextech’s suite of solutions. It will also allow Nextech to immediately provide its cloud-based practice management solutions to MDI customers.

“This strategic acquisition strengthens Nextech’s position as the industry leader in specialty-specific healthcare IT solutions, and by combining our product portfolio with MDI, we will be able to offer a collective SaaS presence in our markets,” says David Henriksen, CEO of Nextech. “Together, MDI and Nextech will drive product innovation and deeper engagement with our customers and partners to support the unique needs of specialty physicians.”

Nextech is the largest specialty-specific EHR provider and is the only specialty EHR to be ranked in Medscape’s “Top Favorite EHR List.” Nextech’s industry leading position is supported by the strategic experience and financial strength of healthcare technology focused private equity firm Francisco Partners. In October of last year, Francisco Partners made a strategic investment in Nextech due to its strength and stability as the largest all-in-one specialty specific solution. Through this acquisition, MDI clients are now able to take advantage of Nextech’s full product suite of integrated solutions, including practice management, marketing, inventory and optical shop management modules. These customers will also gain access to Nextech’s consultative services with regard to meeting requirements for meaningful use and ICD-10.

“It is the goal of both Nextech and MDI to capitalize on our joint success in the ophthalmology market to further advance our solution offerings,” says Dan Montzka, MD, founder, chairman and CEO of MDIntelleSys. “This transaction will enhance both companies’ offerings immensely, better serving the needs of more than 25,000 ophthalmologists in the United States alone.”

By joining forces with MDI, which ranked number one in nine categories on the American Society of Ophthalmic Administrators (ASOA) 2013 EHR Customer Satisfaction Survey, Nextech is able to further extend its position as the premier specialty-specific solution for ophthalmology practices. Nextech will leverage MDI’s Software as a Service (SaaS) capabilities to expand the company’s cloud offering, extending the usability and reach of Nextech’s integrated solution. Nextech will now offer both a client-server model and cloud-based solution to meet each practice’s unique needs.

“Over the years, I have admired MDI’s excellence in customer service, clinical product focus and its unique SaaS offering.   A testament to the leadership and passion of Dr. Montzka and his team,” says Dr. Kamal Majeed, Founder and Board Member of Nextech. “Combined with Nextech’s all-encompassing products and mobile platforms, this partnership creates a powerful and most unique offering in the market.”

Dr. Dan Montzka will assume the role of Chief Medical Officer at Nextech. While still subject to customary closing conditions, MDIntelleSys, LLC will now be known as MDIntelleSys, a Nextech company. The product portfolios from both companies will continue to move forward as Nextech and MDI work to advance and combine their respective solution offerings.

About Nextech

Nextech deploys specialty-focused healthcare technology for physician practices. As a trusted advisor to thousands of specialty providers since 1997, Nextech delivers consultative guidance, professional services and innovative tools that enable clients to increase efficiencies while meeting their long-term business goals. The company’s robust solutions integrate seamlessly with value-added modules to create a single, intuitive platform that streamlines clinical, administrative, financial and marketing workflows. To learn how Nextech’s advanced offerings help specialty providers succeed in a fast-changing healthcare environment, visitwww.nextech.com.

About MDIntelleSys

MDIntelleSys, A Nextech Company, located in Clearwater, Florida designs, develops and markets intelligent healthcare solutions for ophthalmologists. MDI’s electronic health records (“EHR”) software, called IntelleChart, is the leading cloud based EHR specifically designed for eye care specialists. For additional information visit: www.mdiehr.com.

About Francisco Partners 

Francisco Partners is a global private equity firm that specializes in investments in technology companies. Since its launch over a decade ago, FP has raised approximately $7 billion and invested in more than 100 technology companies, making it one of the most active investors in the industry.  The firm invests in transaction values ranging from $50 million to over $2 billion, where the firm’s deep sub-sector knowledge and operational expertise can help a company realize its full potential. For further information, please visit: www.franciscopartners.com.

I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 6000 articles with John having written over 3000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 13 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.

Massachusetts eHealth Collaborative (MAeHC) Quality Data Center (QDC) Gaining Momentum with New Customers and Enhanced Capabilities

Growing Clientele and Innovative Developments Further QDC’s Technology Leadership

Waltham, Mass., October 6, 2014– The Massachusetts eHealth Collaborative (MAeHC), a non-profit pioneer and leader in healthcare delivery through health information technology, today announced a number of milestones highlighting the rapid growth of its Quality Data Center (QDC), a fully HIPAA-compliant modular electronic health record (EHR) solution for meeting internal and external clinical reporting requirements. Increased industry demand for the QDC’s premiere online reporting tool has given rise to several new customers, growing partnerships and continued innovative technology developments.

MAeHC has recently started working with new customers looking to utilize the QDC, including the Central Massachusetts Independent Physician Association (CMIPA) and Boston Children’s Hospital (BCH). These organizations benefit from MAeHC’s holistic end-to-end management of quality measurement and reporting. At Boston Children’s Hospital, MAeHC is providing both Eligible Provider (EP) and Eligible Hospital (EH) certified modular EHR services with the QDC to help meet Meaningful Use (MU) Stage 2 reporting requirements. Through a central point of connection, the QDC is able to take in clinical data via a standard CCDA Document or Continuity of Care Document (CCD), which provides the discrete data required to generate both the inpatient (EH) and outpatient (EP) certified measure results for BCH.

With CMIPA, MAeHC is developing care management capabilities across payer-specific care management programs, claims-based utilization management reporting and tracking, and clinical quality measurement (CQM) for EHR data. “MAeHC has been helping us with the unique situation of working with multiple EHRs, all with distinct interface requirements, to ensure that the data we need populates into the QDC so we can execute care management programs,” said Paul Bergeron, MD, Chief Medical Officer, Central Massachusetts Independent Physician Association. “The MAeHC team has acted as a trusted partner throughout the process, working through challenges and identifying the best solutions to fit our needs. We could not accomplish our goal of facilitating connected care without them.”

Along with new clients, MAeHC has also expanded the depth and breadth of services within existing QDC partnerships, including support for care management activities, disease registry requirements and other specific care management needs. Partner organization Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) utilizes the QDC in normalizing, analyzing and reporting its data. In a joint venture with HealthFidelity, MAeHC is now helping the organization to employ a natural language processing methodology to deliver a robust and comprehensive coded clinical problem list for the medical center. This innovative approach, which involves the use of advanced contextual language processing, generates clinically relevant problem lists for providers so they are better able to manage and coordinate care.

“MAeHC has become a trusted partner to our organization, and the QDC has proven invaluable for the time it saves our physicians and staff,” said John Halamka, CIO, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. “Since our first transaction, reporting has been fast and accurate, helping us to meet the performance measurement and reporting requirements of a wide range of government, payer and internal quality initiatives.”

MAeHC has also integrated the QDC with ChartLogic, an EHR solution provider. This partnership will allow ChartLogic to provide a certified CQM solution to help clients using its software with MU reporting. “When determining how our solution was going to handle CQM reporting, we realized the value of outsourcing this task to MAeHC. Not only does the QDC help deliver accurate, reliable reports, but the team at MAeHC is always on hand with support and strategic guidance when we need it,” said Mark Wilson, Director of Software Development at ChartLogic. “With the QDC, we are able to handle larger, more robust sets of data, and the ease of integration with our existing system cannot be beat.”

In an effort to provide further value with the QDC, MAeHC has developed claims data integration, which allows for the aggregation of utilization and cost data with clinical quality data to provide combined cost and quality metrics to providers, enhancing efforts in coordination of care and care management. In addition, QDC customers that are participating in the Pioneer ACO program, or will be participating in Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)-sponsored incentive programs that adhere to the standard electronic CQM reporting methods, can now leverage the QDC to report electronically. For 2012 and 2013 Pioneer ACO submission years, the QDC generated electronic measure results for reporting to CMS, saving many hours of manual CQM data collection and aggregation. The standards for electronic submission are complex, require deep analytic capability and explicit electronic specification adherence. The QDC helps makes this reporting process simple.

“We’re excited that the QDC is really taking off, as the complexity of analyzing and reporting data is too big a burden for provider organizations to bear on their own in today’s healthcare environment,” said Micky Tripathi, CEO, Massachusetts eHealth Collaborative. “We are continuing to expand the functionality of the QDC to offload more of these time-consuming processes so that providers can continue to focus on delivering quality care.”

MAeHC delivers hands-on tactical support and sustainable strategies to help providers improve healthcare delivery within their own organizations and across communities. The QDC uniquely helps MAeHC connect communities by providing a comprehensive, on-demand data warehousing solution that seamlessly extracts and aggregates data from multiple clinical systems and provides timely feedback that helps clinical teams improve overall quality.  For more information regarding the QDC, please visit: http://www.maehc.org/services/quality-data-services/.

About the Central Massachusetts Independent Physician Association

Formed in 1998 and based in Worcester, Mass., Central Massachusetts Independent Physician Association (CMIPA) is the largest physician group of its kind in the area not affiliated with a hospital. Consisting of almost 200 independent, community physicians with approximately 80 primary care physicians (PCPs) and over 110 specialists (SPSs), CMIPA is responsible for 35,000 patients. Dedicated to the delivery of personalized, compassionate, cost-effective health care, CMIPA believes that choice for physicians and patients is the best way to ensure the highest quality of care.

About Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center is a patient care, teaching and research affiliate of Harvard Medical School, and currently ranks third in National Institutes of Health funding among independent hospitals nationwide.

BIDMC is in the community with Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Milton, Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Needham, Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Plymouth, Anna Jaques Hospital, Cambridge Health Alliance, Lawrence General Hospital, Signature Health Care, Beth Israel Deaconess HealthCare, Community Care Alliance, and Atrius Health. BIDMC is also clinically affiliated with the Joslin Diabetes Center and Hebrew Senior Life and is a research partner of Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center. BIDMC is the official hospital of the Boston Red Sox. For more information, visit www.bidmc.org.

About ChartLogic

ChartLogic 8.1 is a complete, cloud-based EHR system. ChartLogic, founded in 1994, offers medical groups revenue cycle management and a powerful EHR suite which includes electronic medical records, superior billing software, and patient portal. ChartLogic 8.1 is guaranteed to meet meaningful use requirements. See www.chartlogic.com for more information.

About Massachusetts eHealth Collaborative (MAeHC)

The Massachusetts eHealth Collaborative is a national leader in the facilitation and management of electronic health record deployment, health information exchange and quality measure reporting. MAeHC is an independent non-profit corporation with a charitable mission to improve the delivery of health care by promoting the use of health IT.  Formed in 2004 as a collaboration of non-profit health care stakeholders to demonstrate the most effective ways to deploy EHRs and HIE to improve the quality, safety, efficiency, and affordability of care in Massachusetts, MAeHC now works across the United States with a wide range of physician practices, hospitals, state governments, contracting networks, management services organizations, HIE organizations, technology vendors, and consulting firms.  To learn more about the Massachusetts eHealth Collaborative, please visit www.maehc.org

I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 6000 articles with John having written over 3000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 13 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.

WebMD and Walgreens Partner to Improve Health and Wellness in America

Companies Developing New Digital Health Improvement Programs that Include Incentives through Walgreens Balance Rewards for Healthy Choices (TM)

NEW YORK and DEERFIELD, IL October 2, 2014 – WebMD Health Corp. (NASDAQ: WBMD) and Walgreen Co. (NYSE: WAG) (NASDAQ: WAG) are partnering to improve health and wellness in America by helping and incenting consumers to make healthier choices at home, work and on-the-go.

In the coming months, the companies will work together to provide WebMD’s virtual wellness-coaching programs directly to Walgreens customers. Walgreens will also incorporate WebMD content on a variety of health topics, co-branded by WebMD and Walgreens, into its digital experience and stores. Additionally, visitors to WebMD will be able to easily use Walgreens’ prescription refill and clinic appointment scheduling options from within the WebMD site on their desktop or mobile device.

“WebMD is pleased to be working with Walgreens to make trusted health information and services available to consumers anywhere, anytime so they can make more informed choices and live a healthier life,” said David Schlanger, Chief Executive Officer, WebMD. “WebMD and Walgreens have a shared mission to improve health and wellness by empowering decision-making and motivating positive action. Working together, we will accelerate both companies’ efforts to realize this critical goal.”

“We’re excited to work with WebMD to provide our customers with new health resources,” said Alex Gourlay, President, Customer Experience and Daily Living, Walgreens. “Customers of both companies will benefit from WebMD’s digital engagement tools combined with assistance from Walgreens’ community pharmacists and nurse practitioners to help them adopt healthy lifestyles. As an added benefit, these consumers also can take advantage of the incentives included in Walgreens’ Balance Rewards for healthy choices program.”

Among the features and services Walgreens and WebMD will offer consumers in the coming months are:

  • Enhanced Products and Services
    Walgreens will incorporate into its digital experience and stores select WebMD content in various topic areas, including: Allergy, Healthy Eating, Skincare, Fitness, Healthy Aging, Emotional Health, Heart Health, Cold & Flu, Sleep, and Oral Health. In addition, WebMD will make Walgreens’ online prescription refill and transfer services and Healthcare Clinic appointment scheduling available across WebMD’s desktop and mobile offerings.
  • Lifestyle & Condition Management Programs
    Walgreens will offer its customers access to WebMD’s virtual wellness-coaching programs that help individuals maintain and improve their health through positive lifestyle choices and healthy behavior change. Participants will be able to enroll in programs that help with smoking cessation, weight management, nutrition, exercise, stress management and emotional health, as well as in programs for managing conditions such as diabetes and heart disease.
  • Balance Rewards Integration
    The companies plan to incorporate Walgreens’ Balance Rewards for healthy choices program into the WebMD virtual-wellness coaching programs offered through Walgreens to incent members to participate in health-related activities. Walgreens’ Balance Rewards for healthy choices helps people adopt healthy behaviors by earning Walgreens Balance Rewards loyalty program points through participation in health-related programs and tracking progress toward a goal. The companies also plan to integrate Walgreens’ Balance Rewards for healthy choices program into WebMD’s Healthy Target mobile health improvement program to provide users the ability to earn Balance Rewards points for engaging in healthy behaviors. Available within WebMD’s flagship mobile app for iPhone, Healthy Target allows individuals looking to develop sustainable health-conscious habits to upload biometric device data from activity trackers, wireless scales and glucometers and to receive tailored, physician- reviewed, contextually relevant content and motivational tips.

Health, Wellness & Wearables @ Advertising Week

Schlanger and Gourlay will discuss the companies’ newly announced collaboration and talk about the changing health and wellness landscape today at Advertising Week. Their discussion, titled “The Health & Wellness Opportunity”, will take place during the Health, Wellness & Wearables session and will be moderated by Dan Childs, Managing Editor of ABC News’ Medical Unit.

About WebMD

WebMD Health Corp. (NASDAQ: WBMD) is the leading provider of health information services, serving consumers, physicians, healthcare professionals, employers, and health plans through our public and private online portals, mobile platforms and health- focused publications. The WebMD Health Network includes WebMD Health, Medscape, MedicineNet, emedicineHealth, RxList, theheart.org, Medscape Education and other owned WebMD sites.

About Walgreens

As the nation’s largest drugstore chain with fiscal 2014 sales of $76 billion, Walgreens’ (www.walgreens.com) vision is to be America’s most loved pharmacy-led health, wellbeing and beauty enterprise. Each day, in communities across America, more than 8 million customers interact with Walgreens using the most convenient, multichannel access to consumer goods and services and trusted, cost-effective pharmacy, health and wellness services and advice. Walgreens’ scope of pharmacy services includes retail, specialty, infusion, medical facility and mail service, along with online and mobile services. These services improve health outcomes and lower costs for payers including employers, managed care organizations, health systems, pharmacy benefit managers and the public sector. The company operates 8,207 drugstores with a presence in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Walgreens’ digital business includes Walgreens.com, drugstore.com, Beauty.com, SkinStore.com and VisionDirect.com. Walgreens also manages more than 400 Healthcare Clinic and provider practice locations around the country.

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All statements contained in this press release, other than statements of historical fact, are forward-looking statements, including those regarding: our expectations concerning market opportunities and our ability to capitalize on them; and the benefits expected from new products or services. These statements speak only as of the date of this press release and are based on our current plans and expectations, and they involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual future events or results to be different than those described in or implied by such forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include those relating to: market acceptance of our products and services; relationships with customers and strategic partners; and changes in economic, political or regulatory conditions or other trends affecting the healthcare, Internet and information technology industries. Further information about these matters can be found in our Securities and Exchange Commission filings.

WebMD®, Medscape®, CME Circle®, Medpulse®, eMedicine®, MedicineNet®, theheart.org® and RxList® are among the trademarks of WebMD Health Corp. or its subsidiaries.

Walgreens Forward-Looking Statement

Statements in this communication that are not historical are forward-looking statements for purposes of applicable securities laws. Words such as “expect,” “likely,” “outlook,” “forecast,” “would,” “could,” “should,” “can,” “will,” “project,” “intend,” “plan,” “goal,” “target,” “continue,” “sustain,” “synergy,” “on track,” “believe,” “seek,” “estimate,” “anticipate,” “may,” “possible,” “assume,” variations of such words and similar expressions are intended to identify such forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve risks, assumptions and uncertainties, including: the risks that one or more closing conditions to the transactions may not be satisfied or waived, on a timely basis or otherwise, including that a governmental entity may prohibit, delay or refuse to grant approval for the consummation of the transactions or that the required approvals by the Company’s shareholders may not be obtained; the risk of a material adverse change that the Company or Alliance Boots or either of their respective businesses may suffer as a result of disruption or uncertainty relating to the transactions; risks associated with changes in economic and business conditions generally or in the markets in which we or Alliance Boots participate; risks associated with new business areas and activities; risks associated with acquisitions, joint ventures, strategic investments and divestitures, including those associated with cross-border transactions; risks associated with governance and control matters; risks associated with the Company’s ability to timely arrange for and consummate financing for the contemplated transactions on

WebMD Forward-Looking Statement

acceptable terms; risks relating to the Company and Alliance Boots’ ability to successfully integrate our operations, systems and employees, realize anticipated synergies and achieve anticipated financial results, tax and operating results in the amounts and at the times anticipated; the potential impact of announcement of the transactions or consummation of the transactions on relationships and terms, including with employees, vendors, payers, customers and competitors; the amounts and timing of costs and charges associated with our optimization initiatives; our ability to realize expected savings and benefits in the amounts and at the times anticipated; changes in management’s assumptions; the risks associated with transitions in supply arrangements; risks that legal proceedings may be initiated related to the transactions; the amount of costs, fees, expenses and charges incurred by Walgreens and Alliance Boots related to the transactions; the ability to retain key personnel; changes in financial markets, interest rates and foreign currency exchange rates; the risks associated with international business operations; the risk of unexpected costs, liabilities or delays; changes in network participation and reimbursement and other terms; risks associated with the operation and growth of our customer loyalty program; risks associated with outcomes of legal and regulatory matters, and changes in legislation, regulations or interpretations thereof; and other factors described in Item 1A (Risk Factors) of our most recent Form 10- K and Form 10-Q, each of which is incorporated herein by reference, and in other documents that we file or furnish with the SEC. Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those indicated or anticipated by such forward-looking statements. Accordingly, you are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date they are made. Except to the extent required by law, Walgreens does not undertake, and expressly disclaims, any duty or obligation to update publicly any forward-looking statement after the date of this communication, whether as a result of new information, future events, changes in assumptions or otherwise.

October 2, 2014 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 6000 articles with John having written over 3000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 13 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.

Pristine Raises $5.4 Million in Series A Funding

Led by S3 Ventures, funding will fuel growth of HIPAA-Compliant enterprise communication solutions for Google Glass

AUSTIN, TX

Pristine, developers of the only HIPAA-compliant video streaming and checklist solutions for Google Glass, announced today that it has raised $5.4 million in Series A financing. Austin-based S3 Ventures led the oversubscribed round, which also included Capital Factory, HealthFundr, and a syndicate of strategic clients. This new financing enables the company to expand its R&D, sales, marketing, and operations teams, supporting the company’s rapid growth.

“The team at S3 has pioneered cutting-edge developments in medical devices, enterprise health IT solutions, and more,” said Kyle Samani, cofounder and CEO of Pristine. “With our rapid growth, we are thrilled to have partners with a strong track record of guiding early stage companies to success.

Pristine was born from a common refrain in healthcare: “Hey, can you come over here and look at this?” In response, the company developed EyeSight, the first commercially available, HIPAA-compliant telepresence platform for Google Glass. EyeSight is also finding success outside of healthcare, working with pharmaceutical, medical device, and manufacturing companies on remote support and training applications.

“Wearable technologies like Google Glass are revolutionizing how healthcare is delivered, and the Pristine platform is the market leader,” said Brian R. Smith, Managing Director at S3 Ventures. “Current customers are raving about the product, and we are excited to partner with Pristine to continue innovating in healthcare, as well as remote support applications in other industries.”

“We have deployed EyeSight in ERs, ORs, ICUs, ambulances, and even patients’ homes,” added Samani. “We understand that security is paramount. There is a lot of misinformation about Glass and privacy out in the wild; we have gone the extra mile to guarantee security and control for our clients. Our utmost focus on security will fuel our growth as we scale our wearable communication technology throughout healthcare and across other industries.”

About Pristine

Pristine is pioneering the next generation of telepresence in healthcare and other industries. EyeSight, Pristine’s flagship app, enables HIPAA-compliant audio/video streaming across every platform–Mac, PC, iPhone, iPad, Android, Google Glass, and other smart glass devices. EyeSight is currently in use for patient care across ERs, ORs, ICUs, ambulances, as well as in

medical education and medical device service. More information can be found at www.pristine.io, pristine.io/blog, and by following @PristineIO on Twitter

About S3 Ventures

S3 Ventures is an earlier stage venture firm with $185 million under management. The firm is focused on information technology solutions that solve large business problems and in medical devices that improve the human condition. S3 invests primarily in the formative stages of a company and partners with the team to help focus methodically on what it takes to build a successful company. For more information about S3, visit http://www.s3vc.com.

September 29, 2014 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 6000 articles with John having written over 3000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 13 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.

ZirMed Acquires MethodCare to Broaden its SaaS Platform and Enterprise Reach

Predictive Analytics and Workflow Expand ZirMed’s Next Generation Revenue Cycle and Population Health Solutions

Louisville, KY – September 25, 2014 – ZirMed®, the premier cloud-based enterprise business and clinical performance solution for healthcare, today announced the acquisition of MethodCare, Inc. Chicago-based MethodCare is a leading provider of predictive analytics solutions that increase revenue, maximize operational efficiencies, and provide the advanced analytics to help healthcare organizations achieve financial and clinical excellence.

“MethodCare has achieved exceptional growth among the nation’s top hospitals and health systems by developing robust workflow, automation and real-time analytics that are critical to delivering greater value care,” said Tom Butts, chief executive officer, ZirMed. “By merging MethodCare’s proven predictive analytics offering with ZirMed’s population health and revenue cycle solutions, health care providers can now take advantage of the first true centralized end-to-end performance management platform to streamline operations and support greater strategic, data-driven business decisions.”

MethodCare’s flagship SaaS solutions utilize predictive analytics in the areas of patient access, charge integrity, and reimbursement all centered on a patient’s total episode of care. The solutions pinpoint revenue leakage to identify recoverable missed charges, predict denials and appeal success rates, score patients propensity to pay, flag underpayments, and better manage risk-based contracts—resulting in significant financial performance improvements.

“MethodCare is excited to become a part of ZirMed,” said Jeff Kaplan, co-founder and chief executive officer, MethodCare. “Together, we can accelerate the delivery and breadth of revenue cycle and population health solutions that allow healthcare organizations to achieve improved financial performance and deliver the highest quality patient care. ZirMed is a natural fit for us as we share the same commitment to technology innovation and superior client service.”

ZirMed will expand its presence in Chicago with a new Healthcare Analytics Center of Excellence led by MethodCare’s team of data scientists and business intelligence engineers. MethodCare’s implementation and support teams will continue to operate in Chicago with plans for imminent growth.

The addition of MethodCare and recent acquisition of Intelligent Healthcare, LLC., broaden ZirMed’s suite of solutions and enable healthcare organizations of all sizes and complexity to manage both fee-for-service and value-based care simultaneously, while maximizing revenue, streamlining workflows, and optimizing outcomes.

For over 15 years, ZirMed has been optimizing fee-for-service healthcare business performance for more than 200,000 providers, helping them enhance their revenue cycle and drive bottom-line results. ZirMed offers clients a complete solution that solves key problems ranging from coding issues and claims rejections, to payer and patient reimbursement challenges, revenue leakage, data analysis challenges, and more.

About MethodCare
MethodCare is the leading provider of Big Data analytics to help healthcare organizations achieve financial and clinical excellence. Our cloud solutions provide the platform for data integration of all patient accounting and clinical systems, and the advanced analytics to extract actionable insights that improve the revenue cycle and support population health management. MethodCare’s robust workflow and real-time predictive modeling improves patient access, charge integrity, reimbursement, and accurately estimates the health and financial risk of patient populations. Our data-driven method delivers greater revenue, reduces costs and arms healthcare providers with the intelligence to make strategic, proactive decisions that lead to greater value care. For more information, please visit www.methodcare.com.

About ZirMed®
Founded in 1999, ZirMed is the nation’s only company delivering proven cloud-based business and clinical performance management solutions to meet the challenges of managing population health and optimizing fee-for-service and fee-for-value reimbursements. ZirMed combines innovative software development with the industry’s most advanced transactional network and analytics platform to improve the business and process of healthcare, give organizations a clearer view of their financial and operational performance, and streamline critical connections between providers, patients, and payers. ZirMed’s industry-leading technology and client support have been recognized with awards from KLAS®, Healthcare Informatics, Best of SaaS Showplace (BoSS), and Black Book Rankings. Our nationwide network facilitates, manages, and analyzes billions of healthcare transactions, driving bottom-line performance with population health management, clinical communications, comprehensive analytics, eligibility, claims management, coding compliance, reimbursement management, and patient payment services—including credit card processing, online payments, statements, estimation, and payment plan management. To learn more, visit www.ZirMed.com.

September 25, 2014 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 6000 articles with John having written over 3000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 13 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.