Health IT roundup—Remote monitoring company settles with DOJ for $550K; EHR rebrand ‘misses the point’

Judge banging gavel on stack of money
A Pennsylvania remote monitoring company agreed to pay $550,000 to settle allegations it submitted false claims to Medicare. (Getty/AndreyPopov)

Surgical remote monitoring company settles false claims lawsuit for $550K

A Pennsylvania-based company that provides real-time intraoperative neurophysiological monitoring during brain and spinal procedures has agreed to pay $550,000 to settle claims that it submitted false claims to Medicare. Marshfield Medical Inc., formerly known as Bromedicon, uses a live data stream transmitted by electrodes attached to the patient to reduce the likelihood of unintended damage during surgery.

But according to a whistleblower lawsuit, the company failed to provide a qualifying interpreting physician to monitor surgeries. In certain cases, no physician monitored the data stream, according to the Department of Justice, which intervened in the case. (Announcement)

UCSF directors say EHR vendor rebrand “misses the point”

Three informatics directors at the University of California San Francisco say the push by vendors to rebrand EHRs as “comprehensive medical record” fails to account for new streams of data that are gradually becoming part of a patient’s medical history.

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The response comes months after Epic CEO Judy Faulkner said the company is switching from EHRs to "CHR." Several other vendors have said they are making a similar transition.

But the directors say the rebrand “misses the point,” arguing that a “connected health record” is a more appropriate term for a healthcare ecosystem that is incorporating new data and demanding greater interoperability. A shared care plan, for example, should not be buried within an EHR, they argue. And with the introduction of applications, medical records should be one part of a broader ecosystem of health IT.

“A static, allegedly comprehensive health record misses the dynamics of an interactive, learning health system,” they wrote. (Blog post)

Duke, AHA launch strategic alliance to focus on AI in cardiology

A new strategic alliance between the American Heart Association (AHA) and the Duke Clinical Research Institute (DCRI) will focus on using artificial intelligence to predict cardiovascular disease.

Under the new partnership, the two organizations will test new ways to analyze data on AHA’s Precision Medicine Platform. The initiative plans to use grant funding to uncover new methods for data harmonization and novel machine learning tools. (Release)

Sanford Health officials collaborate to improve data utilization

Faced with data that was increasingly underutilized, Sanford Health executives several years ago decided to seek out new partnerships that could complement their existing analytic capabilities.

Ultimately the integrated health system created the Sanford Data Collaborative, bringing in regional and national academic partners to develop new predictive algorithms, enhance patient engagement and improve physician retention across the health system. While the initiative is only in its second year, officials say they are already seeing results that could improve healthcare delivery and drive value. (Harvard Business Review)

Centene invests in tech-focused PDM, RxAdvance

Amid the multibillion dollar deals involving CVS Health and Aetna and Cigna and Express Scripts, Centene has quietly announced an initial strategic investment in RxAdvance, a tech-focused pharmacy benefits manager whose leadership includes former Apple CEO John Sculley.

Centene CEO Michael Neidorff highlighted RxAdvance’s “transparent, disruptive technology” as a means of managing costs. (FierceHealthPayer)

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