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Morning Headlines 10/21/16

October 20, 2016 Headlines 1 Comment

athenahealth, Inc. Reports Third Quarter Fiscal Year 2016 Results

Athenahealth reports Q3 results: revenue climbed 17 percent to $276.7 million adjusted EPS $0.35 vs. $0.15, missing revenue projections and sending share prices down two percent on the news.

This is why you shouldn’t believe that exciting new medical study

An article on journalists that cover healthcare topics warns readers that the press tends to cover published studies without considering whether the underlying research findings are meaningful. The article notes that of 101 studies published in journals claiming to have identified a new therapy that was very promising, only five of those therapies made it to market within a decade, and only one went on to be extensively used.

Keynote Speaker: Ginni M. Rometty

HIMSS announces that IBM CEO Ginni Rometty will be a keynote speaker at HIMSS17, as the company works to build a viable health IT product with its Watson technology.

Study: With Medicaid, ER visits remain high for two years

An MIT study finds that people enrolled in Medicaid significantly increase ER use for at least two years after they first sign up.

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Currently there is "1 comment" on this Article:

  1. IBM Watson will not be successful in healthcare IT until it pivots and aligns its product to help healthcare providers and pharma to increase medical care consumption (that is, increase revenues) while giving them plausible cover to claim that they are using advanced analytics to “improve healthcare”.

    Let’s take a specific example – opioid addiction. Imagine IBM Watson using whatever technology that they use to flag chronic pain patients who are at risk for addiction. A logical next step will be for clinicians to take extra precautions before prescribing opioids for those patients – perhaps prescribe a drug that is less likely to lead to addiction or perhaps make them go through pain clinic. Assume that those precautions work and there’s actually a decrease in opioid prescription and use.

    Guess what? All of a sudden, the $9 billion opioid market is disrupted. Not only that, the drugs that treat the secondary effects of opioids, drugs that treat addiction, overdose and side effects (each one of those is at least a $1 billion market of its own according to Washington Post) are impacted as well.

    The business case and the ROI for IBM Watson in this case will be that they can reduce the $’s going to that cumulative ~$15 billion market, that they can help the patients, and reduce additional dollars being lost due to impact of addiction. They’d like to grab a slice of that reduction in wasteful spend. Everyone’s happy? Do you really think that pharma lobbyists will abandon that $15 billion growth market? Do you think you will not read stories in popular press talking about how AI is coming between doctors and patients? How algorithms are denying needed pain meds to chronic pain patients and forcing them to go to pain clinics? Do you think patients will not be encouraged to document their displeasure in patient satisfaction surveys (thus directly impacting provider reimbursement)?

    Now extend that same line of thinking to a million other use cases where someone’s source of revenue gets squeezed!

    On the other hand though – if IBM Watson can start flagging patients who were not being identified before who are at a higher risk of X and that X means that you can freak the patient (& provider) into opting for additional diagnostic tests, additional medications that don’t meaningfully impact quality of life, additional procedures that help those newly opened outpatient surgical centers humming. Well now you are talking.

    Why do you think EHR vendors are not moving more aggressively into this field? They know which side of their bread is buttered!







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Reader Comments

  • PM_from_haities: While I support moral stands, the reality is there are only so many health systems and starting new ones is nearly impos...
  • RollingMyEyes: Re: Opioid statistics. Interestingly, under President Trump's proposed budge, AHRQ's budget will be cut by 18% and it wi...
  • Stephen Fiehler: I see Apple continue to nibble on healthcare IT without taking a major plunge, such as buying athenahealth [ATHN], like ...
  • LFI Masuka: "Fortunately, my schedule doesn’t allow...." Your words say that this is bad, but then as a business, you don't back ...
  • Jonathan: Does anyone have the scoop on why Ben Chu so abruptly left Memorial Hermann?...

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