The Weekly Roundup

August 11, 2017 | Pamela Youngberg Dickson

Electronic Health Records (EHR) software has come under heavy scrutiny following a $155 million fraud settlement by eClinicalWorks that came after allegations that the company circumvented software certification requirements. The case highlights an IT issue that could have a significant impact on patient care: “interoperability,” or in layperson’s terms, it just doesn’t play nice with other systems. When that is the case, the information flow between providers can become disrupted or incomplete. The problem seems hard to understand, says Dr. Julia Adler-Milstein, from the University of Michigan : “When our banks talk to each other seamlessly and online ads show us things we’ve already been shopping for, it is hard to understand why hospitals and doctors’ offices still depend on their fax machines.” The blame-game, though, is wasteful; the point is to find a way forward. So far, that doesn’t seem to be happening. The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) is using the eClinicalWorks case to highlight EHR flaws that could be widespread, and has signaled that it will continue to dig to find other vendors that it says could compromise patient safety or trigger false claims through the EHR incentive program.

Here are a few other stories that might be of interest:

  • The (Cheshire) cat’s out of the bag: “It’s Alice in Wonderland” time out there, says one prescriber, as patients are befuddled by insurers’ insistence that they buy branded, not generic, prescriptions for some conditions.  
  • Speaking of generics…here are some tips for talking with your patients about the benefits of generic drugs.
  • Stock-check: FDA is alerting pharmacists of Burkholderia cepacia contamination in liquid products from Florida-based PharmaTech LLC; Rugby announces voluntary recall of Diocto Liquid and Diocto Syrup. 
  • Like term limits—only different. At least 17 states are capping the number of opioid prescriptions physicians can write.
  • Medical marijuana: Making the case for pharmacy management at the AMCP’s Academy of Managed Care & Specialty Pharmacy Annual Meeting.
  • Keep ‘em comin’! Study finds nearly one-fourth of US adults get their flu vaccinations in a pharmacy setting.
  • Immunization Awareness Month: Some resources for handling immunizations across a diverse population. 

[Editor’s note:] Our inboxes are stuffed with newsletters and our coffee tables stacked with magazines and industry digests. I’m sure yours are, too. So we’ve decided to run a weekly sampling of interesting stories, issues coverage, and business ideas we come across each week. We hope you’ll share some of your favorites, too. Drop us a line at

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Pamela Youngberg Dickson

Before she came to Smart-Fill, Pamela developed marketing strategy and content for a range of technology start-ups and large-cap enterprises. Outside the office, she's into gardening, renaissance history, the Big Ten, and exploring the great outdoors.