CVS Health acquires Target’s healthcare biz
CVS Health will pay $1.9 billion to acquire Target’s healthcare businesses, including 1,600 pharmacies and 80 MinuteClinic health clinics.
CVS Health also just opened its Boston-based Digital Innovation Lab, which will focus on developing cutting-edge digital services and personalized capabilities that offer an accessible and integrated personal pharmacy and health experience.
CVS is making big strides to position itself as both a digital innovator and major provider of primary care services. Look for them to continue to build on existing partnerships with regional health systems. What’s next – maybe more integration of its health apps into EMRs, patient portals, and HIEs?
Former hospital CFO sentenced to prison for attestation fraud
Joe White, the former CFO of Shelby Regional Medical Center in Texas, is sentenced to 23 months in federal prison for falsely attesting that the hospital was a meaningful user of EHR. White was also ordered to pay almost $4.5 million in restitution to Medicare’s EHR Incentive program.
Given the billions of dollars at stake, we’ll no doubt see additional evidence of fraud as the government steps up audits of the Meaningful Use program.
Proposed budget cuts funding for quality/innovation programs
The House Appropriations Committee proposes a draft budget for fiscal 2016 that terminates the AHRQ; keeps ONC funding stagnant at $60.4 million; and reduces funding for the National Health Service Corps, Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation, and the Patient Center Research Outcomes Institute.
The proposed budget cuts key programs that target innovation, quality of care, and reducing the cost of care – and thus runs counter to ongoing initiatives to make healthcare more efficient and affordable. Critics have already begun to weigh in.
Staying the course with Meaningful Use
In the most recent Senate HELP committee hearing, stakeholders discussed EHR usability and how to improve physician adoption. Physicians and representatives of provider organizations recommend more standardization, better alignment with new care models, and more emphasis on usability and interoperability.
Other health IT experts told senators that despite problems with the Meaningful Use program, “we absolutely have to stay the course.”
Show Me the Money
HealthShare Exchange of Southeastern Pennsylvania selects Mirth Solutions to enable the secure exchange of patient health records and claims data.
North Shore-LIJ Health System partners with Optum360 to develop new RCM services for 14 of the health system’s 19 hospitals. The partnership will jointly develop an operational model to leverage the Optum 360 platform.
New York’s Westchester Medical Center Health Network enters a multi-year, $500 million partnership with Royal Philips for clinical and business consulting services, as well as advanced medical technologies, including imaging systems, patient monitoring, telehealth, and clinical informatics solutions.
Wheeling and Dealing
Sense.ly, a virtual nurse platform for patient engagement and chronic disease monitoring, raises $2.2 million in a Series A round led by Launchpad Digital Health, Fenox Venture Capital, and TA Ventures.
Kronos acquires physician scheduling vendor Productive Scheduling Solutions.
Telemedicine provider Doctor On Demand closes a $50 million round of Series B financing, led by Tenaya Capital.
Leavitt Partners’ Accountable Care Cooperative and the Brookings Institution’s ACO Learning Network merge to form the world’s largest accountable care collaborative.
MiraMed Global Services, a healthcare process outsourcing provider, acquires consulting service and practice management vender Plexus Management Group, and, Plexus Information Systems, developers of an anesthesia information system.
The HHS Office for Civil Rights names Deven McGraw deputy director for health information privacy. McGraw served on the HIT Policy Committee, chaired the Privacy and Security workgroup, and sat on the Meaningful Use workgroup.
The EHR Association names Allscripts VP of policy and government affairs Leigh Burchell as its new chairperson, replacing GE Healthcare IT’s Mark Segal.
CTG hires Alfred Hamilton as VP/GM of CTG Healthcare and Life Sciences. Most recently Hamilton was senior advisor to the Associate Provost for Military and Veterans Affairs at the Milken Institute of Public Health at George Washington University.
CHIME founder and former President/CEO Richard A. Correll will retire at the end of June after 23 years.
The American College of Physicians partners with EBSCO Health to provide its 141,000 ACP members complimentary access to DynaMed Plus, a cross-platform evidence-based clinical decision support tool.
Patient billing provider Conifer Health Solutions will add almost 126,000 square feet in additional office space in its Frisco, TX-based headquarters in advance of plans to hire 660 additional employees.
Frost and Sullivan names Validic winner of the 2014 Best Practices Global Healthcare Information Interoperability Customer Value Leadership award.