Author Archives: Thomas Finn

Sign of the Times: CollabRx and Affymetrix Partner to Optimize Genetic Variant Annotation (GVA) Service

High-throughput DNA sequencing platforms are now widely available. As a result, personal genomes are being sequenced with increasing regularity in both research and clinical settings. However, the resulting and massive amounts of variants data continue to challenge those who would make sense of it all for us. And that is why you will continue to see collaborations like the one announced below —highly targeted and/or disease-specific. CollabRx, Inc. (NASDAQ: CLRX), a leading provider of software and IT systems that support clinical decision-making in oncology, and Affymetrix, Inc. (NASDAQ: AFFX), an industry leader in genomics analysis, yesterday announced an agreement to [...]

[More...]
 

The Wrong Kind of Transparency: Obama Administration Wants to Expose Whistleblowers?

The Obama administration wants potential government whistleblowers to identify themselves, before the fact, by registering themselves and their intent with the FBI. There are few supporters of the idea, but they do exist. They suggest that it’s an appropriate way for the government to quickly distinguish between true insider threats and legitimate whistleblowing activity. Everyone else is pointing out that it’s a terrible idea, if not antithetical to the Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989, considered a landmark piece of legislation. Indeed, if whistleblowers were organized, the president’s action would be equated to union busting, as anonymity is likely more important [...]

[More...]
 

High School Students Use Crowdsourcing to Find a Cure for Melanoma

In a groundbreaking effort, 3,500 of the country’s top high school students will build the world’s largest wiki on melanoma research — and work toward finding that needle in a haystack to cure melanoma. The effort is led by www.SaveJordan.org, which will use crowdsourcing to drive user-generated content related to melanoma cancer research to a wiki site. “The idea is to bypass mainstream medicine and medical research and compile fresh ideas,” said Jordan Guernsey, the 29-year-old father of two and Stage IV cancer survivor who is the force behind SaveJordan.org. “The young people working on SaveJordan.org are the best and brightest future [...]

[More...]
 

Consolidation Trend Continues: Tufts Medical Center and Lowell General Hospital Forming System

Tufts Medical Center and Lowell General Hospital are joining forces to form a new health care system they say will offer lower-cost medical services from Southern New Hampshire to south of Boston at a time of changes sweeping through the industry. The alliance would link a 415-bed Boston teaching hospital that has been scrambling for a niche in the fast-consolidating market with one of the state’s largest community hospitals. Lowell General, which two years ago took over a crosstown rival, Saints Memorial Medical Center, has 434 beds on two campuses. Under terms of a tentative agreement approved by both boards, each nonprofit [...]

[More...]
 

ICD-10 Industry Surveys Show Directly Conflicting Results

Just before the transition to ICD-10 was officially delayed, NueMD conducted a survey of 1,300 healthcare professionals to gauge their attitudes towards ICD-10. The survey, which garnered responses from all 50 states, found that 55 percent of respondents thought the transition to ICD-10 should be delayed or should not happen at all. When comparing those results to  a 2012 survey that asked the same question, 56 percent of respondents wanted a delay or no transition, suggesting there hasn’t been any change in attitude over the last 18 months. The NueMD survey also measured healthcare professionals’ thoughts on financial and operational [...]

[More...]
 

University of Kentucky Hospital Joins Virginia Purchasing Collaborative

The University of Kentucky Hospital in Lexington, Ky., announced  today that it has joined the supply chain collaborative established  by the University of Virginia Health System in Charlottesville, Va., and VCU Medical Center in Richmond, Va. In 2007, the two Virginia hospitals combined their purchasing efforts and began working with UHC and its supply contracting company, Novation. The University of Kentucky Hospital will now also benefit from the power of combined purchasing volume, which will help all three hospitals reduce their costs. University of Kentucky Hospital, University of Virginia Health System, and VCU Medical Center are all participants in UHC Supply Chain Intelligence, through which they have access to an extensive portfolio of product [...]

[More...]
 

Friday Rant: Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed…

What happened to the good ol’ days –you know, when SCM vendor marketing budgets were properly anemic? SAP announced the concept of a “Supply Chain Control Tower” a little over a week ago at its supply chain conference in Las Vegas. If you’re curious about what it is, here’s my stab at it: Great marketing. Dammit, it’s a control tower not a dashboard! And because most of us in the SCM space have little experience dealing with a well-financed, first degree marketing assault, it will probably work —and that’s a good thing. If nothing else, it is validating the work of [...]

[More...]
 

Guide for Public Health and Primary Care Integration: The “Practical Playbook” Rolls Out Nationwide

On March 5, 2014, the de Beaumont Foundation, Duke Community and Family Medicine, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention launched A Practical Playbook: Public Health & Primary Care Together, a new website designed to promote and facilitate collaborative health projects between public health officers and primary care providers. In the first month, A Practical Playbook has been met with high praise, even as project team members work behind the scenes to enhance functionality and add even more content to its list of 700+ resources. Dr. Michael McGinnis, a senior scholar at the Institute of Medicine (IOM) and the Executive Director of the [...]

[More...]
 

Less Than Half of Americans Polled Believe Humans Have Anything to Do with Climate Change

In looking back at the winter that just came to a close, and according to a new Harris Poll, Americans in each region of the country feel quite a bit differently about the Winter that just passed. When it comes to the temperature, almost nine in ten Midwesterners (88%) and over four in five Easterners (84%) say it was colder than normal, as do 71% of those in the South. In the West, they are a little more divided as 45% believe it was warmer than normal, one-third (33%) say it was about the same as normal and one in [...]

[More...]
 

Holding Patients Hostage: UPMC and Highmark Ripping the Community Benefit Standard to Shreds

The Stockholm Syndrome is a phenomenon that occurs when people who are held hostage –by captors who express concern for their welfare– eventually develop a tendency to identify with their captor’s interests. Far more ridiculous theories have been promoted to explain how UPMC, Western PA’s dominant healthcare provider, could get away with refusing to do business with Highmark, the area’s largest and most dominant insurer. Instead of the resolve getting stronger among those who could actually do something to fix this, remarkably, it seems to be weakening. For the hundreds of thousands of UPMC patients who are insured by Highmark, and appear [...]

[More...]
 

Direct Contracting Trend: aptitude Signs the West Coast Purchasing Coalition (WCPC)

Late yesterday, aptitude announced that the West Coast Purchasing Coalition (WCPC), a 22-member hospital network spanning Arizona, California, Hawaii, Oregon and Washington, will be using the company’s direct contracting solutions. Since launching nearly a year ago, aptitude’s contracting speed –time to value– has proved to be the big attraction.  Shortening the contracting cycle from several months to an average of 38 days  has been cited repeatedly by aptitude customers as the marketplace’s most distinguished and compelling benefit, and the coalition expressed the same sentiment:  ”The ability to contract efficiently is a necessity in our business, and the aptitude platform can provide that functionality,” said Bob Hemker, Palomar Health’s [...]

[More...]
 

Premier Acquires MEMData –New Capabilities To Help Providers Reduce CAPEX and Construction Costs

Premier, Inc. PINC +0.22% today announced it has acquired MEMdata, LLC, an equipment planning, sourcing and analytics business focused on capital equipment needs for existing medical facilities, as well as those under construction. The addition of MEMdata’s capabilities is expected to enhance Premier’s ability to drive meaningful supply chain savings for its hospital and health system members in the high-cost areas of construction and capital equipment acquisitions. “Capital equipment is a large-spend category that presents challenges for our members since products are purchased infrequently and technology changes rapidly,” said Premier President and CEO Susan DeVore . “Capital equipment planning is an [...]

[More...]
 

The Dust Settles on April Fools… Still Shopping for Clear Coffee?

Well, the dust has settled on April Fools Day.  A week has passed, which means little to most of us, but for those who fell for a prank and are still among the walking duped, take comfort in knowing that you’re not alone. The tech community loves April Fools Day —it’s their national holiday. This year, Microsoft announced “Bing Dogglz” and “Pet Translator.” An obvious parody of Google Glass, these goggles were promoted as a solution to “better connect dogs to their outside world,” providing practical ways for them to locate the nearest fire hydrant or dog park. Pet Translator [...]

[More...]
 

Premier and American Society of Anesthesiologists To Develop Perioperative Surgical Home Collaborative

In an initiative designed to improve patient experience, outcomes and reduce readmissions, the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) today announced it has chosen Premier, Inc. (NASDAQ: PINC) to help it develop a first-of-its-kind learning collaborative for the ASA’s Perioperative Surgical Home (PSH) model of care. ASA’s PSH is a patient-centered, physician-led, team-based practice model of coordinated care that guides a patient throughout the entire surgical experience. The collaborative is intended to bring together health care organizations to develop, pilot, and evaluate this innovative model to improve care for surgical patients from the moment surgery is planned, through recovery and discharge [...]

[More...]
 

Millennials Showing More Anxiety About Financial Planning Issues Than Older Generations

Younger Americans, including “millennials” age 25-34, show the highest level of concern across all generations for common financial planning issues, including saving for retirement, paying for a child’s education, and burdening others with final expenses. The 2014 Insurance Barometer Study, released today by nonprofit Life Happens (formerly the LIFE Foundation) and LIMRA, found that while sentiment has improved slightly among the overall U.S. population, younger consumers are noticeably more anxious about their financial plans, despite being best suited to take actions now that can make a difference. According to the annual study, half of consumers age 25-34 (52 percent) state [...]

[More...]
 

In Search of the Perfect Order?

Realizing an ambitious goal makes us feel good. Setting a goal and failing to live up to it doesn’t. While procurement organizations continue to make great strides in placing additional spend under management, the lofty expectations that originally drove the early rush to P2P automation have been lowered on certain fronts. Yes, it’s easy to point to less-than-stellar implementations and/or technologies that just weren’t up to task, but there are other culprits—like the danger in placing too much focus on process and/or our tendency to take a “permanent breather” after a failed attempt. In short, while process efficiency/automation is obviously [...]

[More...]