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Health Management Technology News
  April 24, 2014
In this issue:
 

 Health Management Technology’s Resource Guide sign-up

 Kaufman Hall announces acquisition of Axiom EPM

 White House thanks Seattle CEO for healthcare outreach

 Two of Texas’ largest health information networks connect for the first time

 FBI warns healthcare sector vulnerable to cyber attacks

 Where the Jobs Are: Healthcare


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Kaufman Hall announces acquisition of Axiom EPM

Kaufman Hall announced that it has completed the acquisition of Axiom EPM, a Portland, OR-based private software company recognized for delivering sophisticated, flexible performance management solutions used by leading organizations in sectors including healthcare, higher education and banking.

Terri Wareham, Kaufman Hall CEO, said the combination of Kaufman Hall and Axiom “creates a single company with unmatched expertise and experience in data-driven analysis to transform financial, operational and strategic planning.”

“As companies today struggle with critical business decisions, it is particularly difficult for them to assess and quantify the strategic and financial impact of plans, scenarios and actions,” Wareham noted, “especially in sectors such as healthcare, higher education and banking, where regulatory challenges, revenue pressures and rapidly changing market conditions make strategic decisions and resource allocation so challenging.”

Peri Pierone, Axiom EPM CEO, noted that “Our combined strength is built on the unique synergy of industry-leading consulting expertise and innovative software.Kaufman Hall’s consulting expertise and established software install base, combined with Axiom’s advanced planning and decision-support capabilities, delivered via cloud or on premise, create an organization that meets clients’ needs today and into the future.”

Pierone added “We are also thrilled about the solid foundation for significant growth created by our two powerful blue chip portfolios. Kaufman Hall’s breadth in consulting in healthcare is complemented by Axiom’s significant experience in creating innovative planning and cost accounting software solutions used by major healthcare organizations. The synergies form a solid core that is further enhanced by Axiom’s expertise and proven software solutions for organizations in higher education, banking and other sectors.”

The combined company will be positioned to broaden its base of business via Axiom’s multi-sector portfolio and to extend, as appropriate, Kaufman Hall’s consulting expertise into new industry sectors. Similarly, Kaufman Hall’s industry-leading presence in healthcare will create significant opportunities for utilization of Axiom’s already in-market tools such as cost accounting and service line analytics that are absolutely critical for healthcare providers dealing with the challenges of health system reform.

Both companies have a proven track record of superlative client service and satisfaction. Pierone said “As a combined entity, we have achieved 100 percent implementation success and a client retention rate in excess of 97 percent over the past 10 years – numbers that speak for themselves and are unheard of in this industry.”

The Axiom EPM brand will continue and operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Kaufman Hall. Current employees and offices will be retained and targeted hiring plans will be put in place to serve increased market demand for performance management software and services. There will be no changes to existing contracts for current Kaufman Hall or Axiom EPM customers and partners. There will also be no changes for current clients in terms of customer support for existing solutions and technology.

Read the full press release here  

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White House thanks Seattle CEO for healthcare outreach

The White House this week is thanking the leader of a Seattle-based health organization for her work educating Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders about the Affordable Care Act.

Teresita Batayola is chief executive officer of International Community Health Services (ICHS), which has medical and dental clinics in neighborhoods including Seattle’s Chinatown International District and at two schools.

During the recent Affordable Care Act open-enrollment period, ICHS staff helped nearly 6,000 people purchase insurance through the state’s insurance exchange and sign up for Medicaid. In addition to working with patients at their clinics, the staff also held enrollment events out in the community.

More than 146,000 people statewide signed up for insurance through Washington’s exchange, many of whom were eligible for tax breaks that brought down the price of their premiums. More than 423,000 residents joined Medicaid, which is locally called Apple Health. Insurance enrollment will open again in November, and people eligible for free health care through Medicaid can join any time.

Read the full article from the Seattle Times here  

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Two of Texas’ largest health information networks connect for the first time

The Texas Health Services Authority (THSA) announced that two of the state's largest local health information networks took an important step in leveraging technology to connect patients, doctors and hospitals through Greater Houston Healthconnect (HEALTHCONNECT) and Integrated Care Collaboration (ICC) of Austin. This connection, which is made possible by THSA's state-level shared services, also known as "HIETexas," enables tens of thousands of health care providers from different parts of the state to quickly and securely share patient health data and critical medical information that can save lives.

Ensuring that patient preferences are honored is a key feature of shared service agreements that are designed to maintain local control of data management. Connecting through a single interface, HIETexas, is a cost-effective and efficient means of providing information under a single legal framework that ensures trust and interoperability, and eliminates the local expense of designing separate interfaces. In addition to connectivity, this collaboration will provide HEALTHCONNECT and ICC with a patient consent management service that determines if a patient has expressed consent to access such information.

The demand for electronic transfer of health information among providers is growing nationwide along with efforts to improve the quality, safety and efficiency of health care delivery. A recent study in New York showed that use of such technology reduced hospital readmissions by 30 percent.

Read the full article from Yahoo.com here  

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FBI warns healthcare sector vulnerable to cyber attacks

The FBI has warned healthcare providers their cybersecurity systems are lax compared to other sectors, making them vulnerable to attacks by hackers searching for Americans' personal medical records and health insurance data.

Health data is far more valuable to hackers on the black market than credit card numbers because it tends to contain details that can be used to access bank accounts or obtain prescriptions for controlled substances.

"The healthcare industry is not as resilient to cyber intrusions compared to the financial and retail sectors, therefore the possibility of increased cyber intrusions is likely," the Federal Bureau of Investigation said in a private notice it has been distributing to healthcare providers, obtained by Reuters.

The notice, dated April 8, did not mention the Obamacare website, Healthcare.gov, which has been criticized by opponents of the Obama administration for security flaws. It urged recipients to report suspicious or criminal activity to local FBI bureaus or the agency's 24/7 Cyber Watch.

FBI spokeswoman Jenny Shearer declined comment on the private industry notification, or PIN. In January the FBI issued a PIN advising retailers to expect more credit card breaches following last year's unprecedented attack on Target Corp.

Details of PINs are typically unclassified, but generally only shared with affected organizations who are asked to keep their contents private.

A series of privately commissioned reports published over the past few years have urged healthcare systems to boost security. Experts applauded the FBI for responding with its own warning.

"I'm really happy to see the FBI doing this. It's nice to see the attention," said Shane Shook, an executive with cybersecurity firm Cylance Inc who helps companies respond to breaches.

Read the full article from Reuters here  

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Where the Jobs Are: Healthcare

Love it or hate it, the roll out of the Affordable Care Act has created more jobs in the medical world.

“There are many, many jobs in health care,” says Janet Elkin, chief executive of staffing firm Supplemental Healthcare. “More people are being insured. Right now, there’s 7 million and counting [enrolled on state and federal health insurance exchanges]. A safe estimate is that at some point there will be 30 million insured.”

The aging baby boomer generation is also helping create more job opportunities as their medical demands increase and they start to leave their jobs. According to Elkin, the average age of nurses is around 48 and about one-third of current physicians are looking to retire in the next decade.

“Every segment within health care is seeing greater demand for talent,” adds Paul McDonald, senior executive director at Robert Half International. “More people are getting coverage, which means more demand on all the current systems that we have.”

But it’s not just doctors and nurses that will be in demand. According to industry experts, job openings in the medical world run the gambit from office workers to clinical specialists.

McDonald identifies staff supervisors and managers who are tasked with assisting in the higher volumes of appointments and medical billing as being in high demand, while Elkin says medical scribes are often highly-sought but under the radar.

But it doesn’t stop there: McDonald says accountants and finance professionals, technology experts, human resources professionals and attorneys can also find good job opportunities in the health-care industry.

“Some of the positions are requiring health-care experience, but that’s not always the case,” he says. “With some technology jobs, as long as they have the tech skills they are very transferable from one company to another.”

Read the full article from FOX Business here  

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