If First You Don’t Succeed
Amidst recent criticism that ACOs are failing to control costs, HHS announces an $840 million initiative designed to improve patient care and lower costs. The Transforming Clinical Practice Initiative will provide 150,000 clinicians with incentives and tools to “encourage doctors to team with their peers and others to move from volume-driven systems to value-based, patient-centered, and coordinated health care services.” Sounds a lot like the goal for ACOs, which HHS hoped would help providers to “work together to provide higher-quality coordinated care to their patients, while helping to slow health care cost growth.”
DeSalvo and Reider exit the ONC
Karen DeSalvo, MD, the national coordinator for health information technology for HHS, steps down from her post just 10 months into her job to assume the role of Acting Assistant Secretary of Health to address “pressing public health issues,” including the Ebola outbreak. The same day Deputy National Coordinator Jacob Reider, MD announced that he would also leave the ONC at the end of November. The ONC’s COO Lisa Lewis will serve as Acting National Coordinator. The changes comes at a time when critics are asking tough questions about the government’s Meaningful Use program and providers’ lackluster progress qualifying for Stage 2.
Epic, Ebola, and (legal) Payola
Epic President Carl Dvorak stands behind his company’s EMR and blames Texas Health Presbyterian clinicians for the mishandling of the country’s first Ebola patient. Meanwhile, the health system’s Chief Clinical Officer Daniel Varga, MD tells a Congressional committee that his organization is “deeply sorry” for “mistakes.” In unrelated Epic news, the company discloses it spent $24,000 over the last two months lobbying Congress. Epic is in the running for the Pentagon’s $11 billion EMR contract and fighting criticisms that its platform lacks interoperability.
Show Me the Money
- Patient care coordination platform developer CareSync closes $4.25 million in Series A financing led by Tullis Health Investors, Clearwell Group, CDH Solutions and CareSync founder and CEO Travis Bond.
- Free EHR provider Practice Fusion establishes a $2.5 million long-term credit facility, according to an SEC filing.
- Cerner reports Q3 revenues of $840.1 million, up 15% from a year ago, and EPS of $0.37 vs. $0.33.
- Teladoc adds former US Senator William Frist, MD and former Medco Health Solutions chair/CEO to its board of directors.
- The Health Data Consortium, which runs the annual Health Datapalooza event, names former Avalere Health VP Christopher Boone as its new executive director.
- M*Modal hires former Experian Health President Scott MacKenzie as CEO and a member of the company’s board of directors.