Monday, August 25, 2014

athenahealth and Henry Schein, Inc. Expand Strategic Agreement

Jul 28, 2014

Integration of athenaNet® and Dentrix® Enterprise for Federally Qualified Health Centers and Community Health Centers to Streamline Reporting and Reduce Costs; Companies to Initiate Pilot Program to Ensure Seamless Integration
WATERTOWN, Mass. and MELVILLE, N.Y., July 28, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- athenahealth, Inc. (NASDAQ: ATHN), a leading provider of cloud-based services for electronic health record (EHR), practice management, and care coordination, and Henry Schein, Inc. (NASDAQ: HSIC), the world's largest provider of health care products and services to office-based dental, animal health, and medical practitioners, today announced an expansion of their strategic agreement announced on May 21, 2014. Under the expanded agreement, athenahealth's athenaNet® platform and Henry Schein's Dentrix® Enterprise, the leading Electronic Dental Record (EDR) solution installed in Community Health Centers (CHCs) across the United States, will integrate to facilitate Uniform Data System (UDS) reporting, which is a requirement for CHCs, including Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs).

The collaboration is expected to strengthen athenahealth's and Henry Schein's efforts to serve CHCs and FQHCs by bringing the two companies' best-of-breed products and services together with increased integration, creating new value and efficiencies. The advanced integration of the athenaNet and Dentrix Enterprise platforms will automate the UDS reporting process, ensuring accurate, complete UDS reports, without the need for manual and time-consuming reconciliation between separate systems.

"Value-based care models, like the FQHC model, require substantial documentation and reporting; our goal is to automate these processes wherever possible to save valuable time and reduce cost for our clients," said Jonathan Bush, chairman and CEO, athenahealth. "By teaming up with Dentrix Enterprise, we are enabling our CHC and FQHC clients to work smarter and more efficiently as they pursue quality care, better health, and lower costs for their patients."

"Staff time is a limited, critical resource in CHCs and FQHCs, and finding ways to increase efficiency through system integration are essential," said Kevin Bunker, President, Henry Schein North America Dental Practice Solutions. "Dentrix Enterprise already integrates with many medical EHR vendors through HL7 Interface. Our integration with athenahealth will provide CHC and FQHC customers with significant value through a more seamless exchange of information for customers that use both systems."

Family First Health of Pennsylvania and Three Lower Counties Community Services, Inc. of Maryland will participate in a pilot program to create standard documentation and efficient processes. The companies plan to roll out the integrated offering to their broader client bases in 2015.

"Managing the reporting demands as an FQHC can be a complex and time-consuming process, so we are thrilled that athenahealth and Henry Schein have partnered to simplify UDS reporting," said Jenni Black, chief information officer, Family First Health. "This effort is not only going to result in a substantial cost savings for our practice, but also will enable us to put more of our valuable resources toward patient care, where we can truly make a difference in our community."

"The pairing of athenaNet and Dentrix Enterprise is a positive step for FQHCs like ours, that are looking to find ways to streamline processes and reduce unnecessary work," said Susanne Gray, RN, MSN, CEO and chief operations officer, Three Lower Countries Community Services. "We are pleased that athenahealth and Henry Schein have identified this important opportunity to deliver value to their clients, and we look forward to working alongside their talented teams to make this integration a success."

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Friday, August 22, 2014

Hall of Fame Jim Kelly is Recovering from Oral Cancer

Earlier this year, I blogged about quarterback Jim Kelly and his battle against oral cancer.

I'm very passionate about fighting this disease because it frequently is a debilitating and disfiguring disease.

The secret to beating it is to catch it in its earliest phases, but that is often difficult.

If your dental office is not routinely doing oral cancer screenings/exams at every cleaning, request that they do so. We also use a variety of high tech devices to hat help us locate areas of concern at the earliest stages. I highly recommend that doctors acquire and use at least one of these.

CNN had a chance to talk with Jim Kelly recently about his checkup where doctors declared him "cancer free". It's a powerful video and I highly recommend you give it a look.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Check Your Server!

Surviving in a digital world is not just about plugging in some technology, hoping it works, and never looking at it again.
Unfortunately, this is what a lot of people do with their server.  They have someone bring it in, configure it, and then it sits there… humming away, doing whatever it is that servers do.
Unfortunately, that's not really what should happen.  A server, just like any computer, needs to be monitored and checked from time to time.  I'm surprised how many offices never check their server.  Many times it was installed by an IT professional and no one has touched it since that day.
Servers are just bigger more powerful computers and they require OS updates and program updates too.
I know I'm a little bit over the top when it comes to technology and I don't expect everyone who reads this to be like me (that's why you have me, for crying out loud).  However, it would behoove you to set aside a some time to check your server and make sure everything is up to snuff.  I would say probably something like once a week would be adequate. Maybe on your last day in the office for the week, before you leave for the day, just take a few minutes and have the server check for updates by running Windows update.  Check your logs & just overall make sure everything is OK.
Why am I making this post now?  Because I lost a hard drive in my server last week.  Now, I check my server every night before I head home.  I know that's a little in the overkill department, but that's what makes me, me.  Anyway, as I did my check, I noticed that I had a warning message that one of my server's hard drives had failed.  My server has 4 hard drives and RAID configuration.  While I won't go into all the boring details, suffice it to say that the hard drives basically back each other up.  So, losing one hard drive is not that big of a deal.  However, losing two can be, so knowing that a drive has failed ASAP is a good thing.  If it went unnoticed and then a second one failed, disaster could be in the wings, so checking frequently is just a good idea.
When I noticed the failure, I was on the phone with the IT people at Goetze Dental.  They sent a tech out, replaced the hard drive, and we were up and functioning at full speed again in no time.
Just because I'm a tech-head and a gear-head doesn't mean I'm immune to the same problems that plague everyone else.  My attitude is "I make mistakes, tell you about them, and hopefully you learn & don't make the same mistakes that I make".  In this case, I didn't make a mistake, but if I hadn't found the problem when I did, it would have been a major mistake.
Check your server!  You'll be glad you did!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Data Breach by Chinese Hackers Exposes 4.5 Million Health Care Records

I learned recently that the most valuable piece of data on the illegal market is not a Social Security Number or a credit card number, it's a health care record.  I was told that currently SSN's or CC's are worth about fifty cents while a medical record is worth about eleven dollars.  That's right, it takes 22 SSN's to equal ONE health care record.
With all of that being said, I saw a story today that Community Health  Systems (CHS) filed an 8-K regulatory filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in which it disclosed that somewhere between April and June 2014 the company suffered a data breach that affected roughly 4.5 million individuals.  The company that CHS hired to investigate the breach, stated that "In this instance the data transferred was non-medical patient identification data related to the Company's physician practice operations and affected approximately 4.5 million individuals who, in the last 5 years, were referred for or received services from physician affiliated with the Company".  However, CHS states that credit card data was not included in the stolen data.
Now that doesn't sound so bad… I mean no medial info & no credit card info was stolen.  However, sometimes it's telling what they are not saying.  I'm willing to bet that what WAS taken could easily be: name, address, phone numbers (including mobile, which opens up another whole can of worms), medical insurance info, perhaps next of kin info, perhaps mother's maiden name, among other things.  Also, while the medical info not released may be health history, they do say the patients were referred and if the referral info is included, that could certainly tell you a lot about a person's health… for instance a referral to a diabetic counseling service would allow one to make some basic assumptions about a person's health status...
This is one more reason to make sure that YOUR office data is secure.  A good dental IT provider such as Goetze Dental or Solution Start  can go a long way to make sure that your office is as secure as possible.  Add to that using a secure email system such as Aspida to help protect patient data between other providers can help as well.

Monday, August 18, 2014

A Big Thank You to the Academy of LDS Dentists!!!

LDS Meeting.jpeg
You probably noticed the lack of posts last Thursday and Friday.  Well, that's because I've been in Provo, Utah at the Academy of LDS Dentists annual meeting.
Last year I was honored to receive a phone call from Dr. Gordon Christensen.  He asked me if I would be available to speak at the meeting in August 2014.  Needless to say, I was absolutely stunned that a guy like me, from Kansas,  who began his speaking career taking stuff apart, was being asked by Gordon Christensen to come and present to an elite group of my peers.
The meeting was held in Provo on the campus of Brigham Young University.  The campus is a beautiful place, nestled at the base of the mountains with incredible views in all directions.  I'd been to Provo before, but I'd never really had the chance to be there for a long enough amount of time to really appreciate the beauty.
The meeting itself was incredibly well run.  The staff had spent a lot of time prior to the meeting organizing and making sure that everything was planned out well in advance.  This served to make things easy on someone like me.  I was assigned a student (thanks Max!) who made sure that I was in the right place at the right time and he even bought me some Gatorade to keep me hydrated during my Saturday lectures.
On Saturday morning,  Dr. Christensen was kind of enough to pick up the 3 of us who were speaking at the hotel and personally drive us to the lecture building at BYU.  How many people of his stature would be chauffeuring speakers around on a Saturday morning?  That's just the kind of person he is and it really shows the kind of meeting this is.
Over the years I've gotten to know Gordon and I am always impressed with how gracious he is.
If you are looking for a meeting with good education in a beautiful location, you really should check this one out.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

At RDH Under One Roof: Charles Whitney MD Launching New Company and Program for Oral-Systemic Specialists

Box Composite & Insert.jpg


Here is some interesting info from Dr. Charles Whitney.  It's about time we see our medical colleagues helping us by understanding that the mouth & the rest of the body are connected.  A brief history lesson… 


In the Middle Ages, barbers were the healthcare specialists of their day.  The traditional barber pole of red, white, & blue was done to represent the colors of fluids in the human body.  Sometime in the Middle Ages, there was a split.  Physicians & surgeons (at this time, surgeons were lower on the totem pole.  Physicians would stand near & tell the surgeons what to do but the physician did not get their hands dirty) split away from barbers & became their own group.  Barbers were no longer doing things like blood letting, leeches, etc.


However, barbers continued to "draw teeth" meaning they performed extractions.  So, as the medical profession split from barbers, dentistry did not.


Later, dentistry, like medicine, did indeed split from barbers.  However, because of physicians & surgeons leaving first, the 2 professions continued to operate as different entities.   This has always struck me as a weird part of history.  Here are 2 groups, both dealing with problems, diseases, and healing of the human body, but neither wanted to combine with the other.  Because of that, to this day we have physicians treating almost the entire body and dentists dealing with the head & neck.  If there were truly any logic in the world, dentistry would be a sub-speciality of medicine just like dermatology, endocrinology, etc.


However, because of the Middle Ages split, dentistry became a totally different profession.  This means that frequently patients can get caught in a merry-go-round of trying to run down problems from the 2 sides not communicating as well as they would if we were all one big happy family.


It's nice to see a MD colleague that "gets it" and wants to work with the DDS's & DMD's to help patients.  I mean, helping patients is what we are all responsible for.



Doylestown, PA – August 12, 2014 – Charles Whitney, MD who has become well known in the dental industry as a physician who understands the oral-systemic connection, and for being a strong advocate for improved collaboration between dentistry and medicine, will be launching a new company, 3rd Era Dentistry and The Oral-Systemic Specialist Empowerment Program for Dental Hygienists at exhibit #1 at Under One Roof 2014.


3rd Era Dentistry is a division of Dr. Whitney’s newly-formed parent company, 3rd Era Health Inc., which was formed to be a catalyst for integrating patient care across all healthcare disciplines in an effort to create health and prevent illness. 


The long-term plan is to form additional divisions for forward-thinking professionals in other healthcare specialties, but according to Dr. Whitney, “The integration of medicine and dentistry is sadly lacking. That’s why 3rd Era Dentistry was where we needed to start - especially among hygienists who are on the front lines of periodontal therapy and patient education.”


At RDH Under One Roof, Dr. Whitney and his director of operations, hygiene thought leader Lisa Wadsworth, RDH will be unveiling The Oral-Systemic Specialist Empowerment Program for Dental Hygienists, a comprehensive package of tools designed to empower dental hygienists to achieve the following goals:



  • Become Oral-Systemic Specialists
  • Evolve into Integrated Care Managers
  • Enhance Patient Education Skills Regarding Oral-Systemic Links
  • Improve Case Acceptance for Perio Treatment
  • Learn Approaches to Collaborate with Physicians
  • Maximize the Professional Value of the RDH 

“The hygiene community is very fortunate to have a physician advocate like Dr. Whitney who truly appreciates what they do every day to contribute to the overall health of a patient,” explained Wadsworth. “The collaboration between a physician and a hygienist has resulted in a unique and powerful program”.

The Oral-Systemic Specialist Empowerment Program for Dental Hygienists consists of the following components:

  • Copy of the best-selling book “Beat the Heart Attack Gene” by Dr. Bradley Bale and Amy Doneen ARNP
  • 8x a year oral-systemic newsletter 
  • Quarterly CE webinars presented or hosted by Dr. Whitney and Lisa
  • Discounted products from strategic partners
  • 8x a year, interactive conference calls hosted by Lisa Wadsworth RDH with industry experts, including Dr. Whitney
  • 50% discount on  from
  • Copy of the mini-book by RDH thought leader Patti DiGangi, RDH “DentalCodeology: JumpStart Diagnostic Coding”
  • Guidelines on how to build MNR (medical necessity rationale) to increase treatment acceptance and insurance reimbursement


The cost to join 3rd Era Dentistry’s Empowerment Program for Dental Hygienists is only $399.00 for the first year and $199.00 for annual renewal to benefit from continued access to 



the phone consultations, CE webinars, discounted CE and newsletters. Hygienists who sign up during RDH Under One Roof 2014 will receive the first year membership for $299.00 and save $100.00!  For more information, visit , call 215-359-6627, or email


About Third Era Dentistry


Based in Doylestown, PA,3rd Era Dentistry is a division of 3rd Era Health, which was founded by practicing physician and healthcare industry thought leader Charles Whitney MD, to be a catalyst for integrating patient care across all healthcare disciplines in an effort to create health and prevent illness. 3rd Era Dentistry is specifically-focused on the links between oral disease and overall health as well encouraging increased collaboration between dentistry and medicine. The ultimate goal of 3rd Era Dentistry is to create optimal health and prevent systemic diseases that originate from or are exacerbated by periodontal or endodontic infections. These preventable or manageable diseases include heart disease, stroke, pregnancy complications, arthritis, diabetes and dementia. For more information, visit , call 215-359-6627 or email

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

File This Post Under "Life"

Robin Williams.jpg
Since it says "life" at the top of this blog, every once in a while you get something that deals with life… or in this case death.
Unless you've been in a coma for the past 20 hours or so, comedian and actor Robin Williams died yesterday… an apparent suicide.
I've been a fan of his most of my life.  I was in high school when I first saw him as the character Mork in that one weird episode of Happy Days that was so well received it gave birth to Mork & Mindy.
Williams always had that manic part that would just take over scenes, interviews, you name it.  When you would see it you would wonder "how can he do that?  How can he make those connections, remember those points?"  It never appeared rehearsed and frequently wasn't.  He just had a mind that worked differently than most.  Unfortunately talented artists frequently do… and that can mean that for all of that creativity, there is a dark side.
It turns out he was sort of known for also battling depression, which seems odd until you really think about it.  Someone that can be so manic has to balance that out somehow.  Unfortunately, the depression could be severe.  His people say he had been battling severe depression for a while and yesterday it must have just become too much.  That's sad.
I've lost some friends to this type of situation & the one thing I can say is "ask for help.  Tell someone how you are feeling".  For all the good he gave us, perhaps learning not to give in might be the best gift he leaves us...