The Wall Street Journal exposes lax patient identification verification at Cerebral, an online prescription drug company that has come under fire in recent months for potentially violating the Controlled Substances Act. An internal memo obtained by the paper says the company eschewed using its patient ID verification software because it slowed down the registration process, enabling some minors to receive treatment without parental consent.
The company, which has raised $462 million, is facing an FTC investigation into its advertising and marketing, a federal inquiry into its prescribing practices, and the refusal of retail pharmacies like CVS and Walmart to fill its prescriptions.
Cerebral fired its founder and CEO in May and began laying off 350 employees in July.
October 18 (Tuesday) 2 ET. “Patient Payment Trends 2022: Learn All The Secrets.” Sponsor: Mend. Presenter: Matt McBride, MBA, co-founder and CEO, Mend. Many industries offer frictionless payments, but healthcare still sends paper bills to patients who are demanding modern conveniences. This webinar will review consumer sentiment on healthcare payments, recent changes to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act that create opportunities for new patient financial engagement, and new tactics to collect more payments faster from patients.
Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre to present your own.
Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock
Kidney care company InterWell Health acquires Acumen Physician Solutions, the nephrology-focused EHR and practice management software division of Fresenius Medical Care. Acumen’s offerings include technology co-developed with Epic. Fresenius’ value-based care division, Fresenius Health Partners, merged with Cricket Health and InterWell last month.
Tech-enabled, senior-focused mental healthcare startup Rippl launches with $32 million in seed funding. The company will initially offer its virtual and home-based care programs through payers in the Seattle area.
Avel ECare promotes Kelly Rhone, MD to chief medical officer.
Dave Cassel (Safe Health Systems) joins Health Gorilla as SVP of customer success and operations.
Keltie Jamieson (Horizon Health Network) joins the Bermuda Hospitals Board as CIO ahead of its Cerner go-live next month.
Announcements and Implementations
Particle Health develops an API enabling EHR vendors to connect their customers to Carequality, CommonWell, and EHealth Exchange.
Christus Southeast Texas Health System launches a stroke-detection program using telestroke services from TeleSpecialists and care coordination software from Viz.ai.
Government and Politics
The FDA issues new guidance for clinical decision support software that should be regulated as medical devices, including AI-powered technologies that predict the likelihood of sepsis, heart-failure hospitalizations, and/or patient deterioration; as well as software that flags patients who may be addicted to opioids.
A GAO analysis of telehealth services used by Medicare beneficiaries between April 2019 and December 2020 finds that use of services increased from 5 million to 53 million visits – an increase in keeping with the temporary waiver of certain Medicare restrictions on telehealth during the pandemic, and that 5% of providers delivered 40% of services. Analysts recommend that CMS offer providers more concrete guidance on billing for audio-only visits, require providers to identify when virtual visits are conducted in patient homes, and assess the quality of virtual care delivered during the pandemic. It also recommends that OCR offer providers guidance on how to explain privacy and security risks to telemedicine patients.
VA Secretary Denis McDonough says it’s too soon to tell if an August EHR update by Oracle Cerner has finally fixed an “unknown queue” problem that caused thousands of clinical orders to disappear in an unmonitored inbox, causing patients to miss follow-up appointments. “We continue to have concerns about queues, unknown queues, unknown kind of areas where … veterans may end up,” he said. “I think that concern is significant enough that we’re not talking about a single, discrete issue that would suggest … a single discrete fix. But rather, they’re a pretty fundamental set of improvements. We’re continuing to make assessments about how big the challenge is.”
Hurricane Ian leaves catastrophic damage caused by severe flooding, high winds, and power outages after hitting Florida’s West Coast Wednesday. Staff at HCA Florida Fawcett Hospital in Port Charlotte saw the ICU flood after its roof was blown off, and storm surge flood the lower level emergency room.
- NTT Data sponsors The Children’s Inn Golf INNvitational.
- First Databank names Brittany Pritsch and Jasmine Stuckey research associates, and Nikki Sleeper regional manager.
- Get Well publishes a new case study, “Putting the patient first in digital care management.”
- Intelligent Medical Objects publishes a new case study featuring the University of Manchester, “Enhancing NLP with clinical terminology.”
- Netsmart announces its intent to become a Qualified Health Information Network.
- Sultan Bin Abdulaziz Humanitarian City in Dubai extends its contract with InterSystems for another five years.
- Clearsense publishes a new infographic, “6 Questions for Healthcare Data Transparency.”
- Zynx Health introduces a complimentary Monkeypox order set and care plan bundle.
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