Flex-IT Bill, Take 2
Lawmakers re-introduce the Flexibility in Health IT Reporting Act of 2015, which would shorten the 2015 MU reporting period from one year to 90 days. The bi-partisan-supported bill earned quick support from HIMSS, CHIME, the AMA, MGMA, and other professional organizations. The bill was originally introduced in September but it failed to pass.
Given the growing disenchantment with the MU program, look for this bill to pass – and hopefully give a boost to attestation numbers.
Dr. Google Joins DoD EHR Bid
Google teams up with PwC, General Dynamics, and Medsphere in their bid for the Department of Defense’s $11 billion EHR bid.
Google brings name recognition and a reputation for innovation and data security. While the Epic/IBM team has been looking like the front-runner, Google puts the PwC/Medsphere/GD team back in the hunt. For those keeping score at home, other vendors in the mix include Cerner/Leidos/Accenture Federal and HP/CSC/Allscripts. A June decision is expected.
The ONC Spins New Attestation Numbers
The ONC reports that 60 percent of EPs (16,359) and 77 percent of eligible hospitals (1,814) attested to Stage 2 MU in 2014. However, those numbers only include providers who were eligible to attest for Stage 2, following two years of Stage 1 attestation. Most of the 240,000 doctors and other EPs getting one percent Medicare cuts in 2015 will see payment adjustments of less than $5,000.
CMS and the ONC put a little bit of a new spin on the numbers this month by separating out those eligible and not eligible for Stage 2 attestation and clarifying the size of pending MU penalties. Peel back the onion a bit and you’ll still see that many providers are still struggling to achieve MU goals.
Wheeling and Dealing
- The not-for-profit health plan Healthfirst selects InterSystems HealthShare as its HIE and clinical portal platform.
- Montefiore will implement Acupera’s population health management workflow technology and integrate it with Montefiore’s department of pediatrics intensive care management program for vulnerable adult and pediatric patients.
- Healthcare technology provider Etransmedia Technology merges with DoctorsXL, a billing and management company with about 100 employees. Etransmedia recently received $9.7 million after winning a lawsuit against Allscripts.
Show Me the Money
- Smartlink Mobile Systems raises $2.5 million in seed funding for its HIPAA-compliant texting app.
- Medication management platform developer MediSafe raises a $6 million Series A Round led by Pitango Venture Capital. MediSafe also announces it relocated its headquarters from Israel to Boston and hired former Sermo GM and SVP Jon Michaeli as EVP of marketing and business development.
- Google Glass healthcare app developer Augmedix raises $16 million in Series A funding led by the company’s seed investors Emergence Capital and DCM Ventures. Despite the lack of interest from consumers, Google Glass’s sweet spot seems to be in commercial applications.
- Last year’s HIT venture capital funding reached $4.7 billion for over 670 deals. That’s more than double 2013 funding numbers with investors showing increased interest in mHealth apps, telehealth, and rating and comparison shopping.
- SourceMedical Solutions names Kareem Saad VP for strategy and business development. Most recently Saad served as a director of Healthcare and Life Sciences Solutions Sales with Dell.
- Former Deloitte Consulting director Ralph Keiser joins RCM provider Recondo Technology as chief growth officer.
- HIMSS Analytics names eClinicalWorks a Certified Education of its EMR Adoption Model.
- athenahealth expands its accelerator program to San Francisco and announces that HITRUST will provide athenahealth’s More Disruption Please Marketplace partners with verified security assessments. The company also added medical credentialing provider CredSimple and medical referral company RubiconMD as its newest companies in its More Disruption Please accelerator program.
- New York becomes the 22nd state to approve telehealth legislation that requires insurers to cover the costs of telehealth services at rates comparable to in-person visits.