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June 8, 2017 News 3 Comments

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Athenahealth acquires EHR optimization vendor Praxify Technologies for $63 million. The six year-old company employs 80 at its office in Palo Alto, CA and maintains a development presence in India. Athenahealth CTO Prakash Khot is enthusiastic about the benefits Praxify’s machine learning and natural language-processing capabilities will bring to the company’s cloud-based products. Praxify is perhaps best known for its Mira voice-enabled charting technology.

Reader Comments

From AirStrip Technologies CEO Alan Portela: “Re: Rumored NantHealth acquisition. AirStrip has not been acquired and continues to gain momentum in the industry. AirStrip has formed a strategic alliance and commercial agreement with NantHealth that leverages synergies between the AirStrip One mobile interoperability platform and the Nant platform, particularly in the areas of data aggregation, normalization, real-time data streaming and visualization. Our alliance will focus initially on supporting clinical workflows in acute-care settings, with a gradual move toward post-acute and community-based care settings.”

From GraySky: “Re: Athenahealth/Medhost deal. Athenahealth is in due diligence conversations to acquire all or part of the Medhost products. It’s looking to get access to the small community and rural hospital market that Medhost has access to with its inpatient and ED solutions. Cerner officially passed up Medhost late last year after doing due diligence. Valuation was too high in the area of $200M-$400M. Shrinking customer base that includes only a few large customers that are evaluating conversion to Cerner or Epic. Aging product suite.” Athenahealth declined to confirm or deny.

HIStalk Announcements and Requests

This week on HIStalk Practice: Siemens Healthineers finalizes its acquisition of Medicalis. Merritt Hawkins releases its annual physician recruitment/salary report. Mindcotine hopes to use virtual reality to help smokers kick the habit. Brad Boyd outlines ways to leverage MACRA to support long-term strategic goals in the Consultant’s Corner. Plaintiff dismisses lawsuit against MDLive. Hematology-Oncology Associates of Central New York nearly suffers a $250k loss due to clerical error. Salus Telehealth finds an untapped telemedicine market in summer music tours. EClinicalWorks adds telemedicine capabilities to its app. Thanks for reading.


June 22 (Thursday) 1:00 ET. “Social Determinants of Health.” Sponsored by Philips Wellcentive. Presenter: David Nash, MD, MBA, dean, Jefferson College of Population Health. One of the nation’s foremost experts on social determinants of health will explain the importance of these factors and how to make the best use of them.

June 29 (Thursday) 2:00 ET. “Be the First to See New Data on Why Patients Switch Healthcare Providers.” Sponsored by Solutionreach. As patients pay more for their care and have access to more data about cost and quality, their expectations for healthcare are changing. And as their expectations change, they are more likely to switch providers to get them met. In this free webinar, we’ll look at this new data on why patients switch and what makes them stay. Be one of the first to see the latest data on why patients leave and what you can do about it.

July 11 (Tuesday) 1:00 ET.  “Your Data Migration Questions Answered: Ask the Expert Q&A Panel.” Sponsored by Galen Healthcare Solutions. Presenters: Julia Snapp, manager of professional services, Galen Healthcare Solutions; Tyler Suacci, principal technical consultant, Galen Healthcare Solutions. This webcast will give attendees who are considering or in the process of replacing and/or transitioning EHRs the ability to ask questions of our experts. Our moderators have extensive experience in data migration efforts, having supported over 250+ projects, and migration of 40MM+ patient records and 7K+ providers. They will be available to answer questions surrounding changes in workflows, items to consider when migrating data, knowing what to migrate vs. archive, etc.

Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre for information on webinar services.



Former CMS Chief Data Officer Niall Brennan joins the Health Care Cost Institute as president and executive director.

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Digital diagnostics services company Analyte Health appoints Kevin Weinstein (Valence Health) CEO. Former CEO Frank Cockerill, MD will take on the position of CMO.

Announcements and Implementations


Einstein Healthcare Network (PA) selects Teladoc to help it jumpstart a telemedicine program that will initially focus on the health system’s 8,500 employees.


Rush University Medical Center (IL) starts a three-month pilot of Proteus Digital Health’s Discover smart pill sensor, one that is added directly into traditional pills. The sensor detects when the pill has been ingested via a patch worn on the patient’s stomach, and then sends a signal updating an app with medication adherence data.


Humber River Hospital in Toronto works with GE Healthcare to build a 4,500 square-foot digital command center that will aggregate and analyze real-time data from systems across the hospital to help improve staff workflows and patient care.


Meditech adds MModal’s Fluency Direct speech-recognition dictation capabilities to its Web EHR.


Apple updates the ResearchKit app to include new tests related to range of motion, and selective and visual attention.

Cerner will integrate CareVive’s care planning software with its PowerChart Oncology EHR.


Nuance adds PowerScribe Workflow Orchestration and PowerScribe Lung Cancer Screening to its line of screening program tools for radiologists.


Nuance seems to have quietly acquired San Mateo, CA-based radiology solutions company Primordial, its partner in developing the aforementioned technologies.

Privacy and Security


From DataBreaches.net:

  • Southwest Community Health Center (CT) notifies patients of a potential data breach resulting from two separate break-ins during which burglars took several computers. No mention is made of whether or not the devices were encrypted. The center is offering affected individuals free identity monitoring and restoration services.
  • Mississippi’s Medicaid Division alerts 5,220 people of potential PHI exposure stemming from six online forms managed by a third party that were sent to staff via unencrypted emails for nearly three years.
  • Public school guidance counselor and West Carolina Counseling Services owner Joseph Korzelius admits to using information from his sessions with elementary students to file $450,000 worth of false Medicaid claims. He faces up to 10 years in jail and a $250,000 fine.

Innovation and Research


A team of researchers from MIT and Harvard develop a proof-of-concept tattoo ink that changes color based on metabolism changes in the body, allowing the tattoo to act as a low glucose or dehydration indicator.


Healthcare researchers call out the tendency of journalists to create headlines out of health studies that are “deeply flawed,” citing several articles related to the tenuous (and later debunked) claim that EHRs do in fact lead to improved outcomes. “Health care already consumes almost a fifth of America’s GDP — two or three times every other nations’ costs despite our often inferior outcomes,” they write in their conclusion. “It is vital that all stakeholders — journalists, scientists, policymakers, editors and the public — have a better understanding of basic research design and data interpretation. During this unusual moment in history, when politicians seek out whichever facts suit their ideology, the role of good science — and good reporting — could not be more vital.”


A Black Book survey finds that an overwhelming majority of hospital executives and managers will ultimately look to population health management-focused IT as patient accounting systems as they continue to shift their organizations to value-based care. Allscripts, Cerner, and Epic seem to have the most mindshare of those surveyed.

Government and Politics


President Trump decides to keep Francis Collins, MD on as head of NIH, a position he has held since 2009.

A VA spokesman confirms that Cerner will replace only the agency’s EHR, and that Epic’s $624 million contract to implement an appointment scheduling program for the VA is not in jeopardy.


HHS appoints Bruce Greenstein CTO. Greenstein was most recently president of behavioral health tech company Quartet Health, and served under Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal as secretary of the Dept. of Health and Hospitals.



The Government of Nova Scotia narrows the field of contenders for a “One Person, One Record Clinical Information System” to Allscripts and Cerner. Based on the procurement listing sent over by HITGeek, it looks like they beat out Evident, Harris Healthcare, and Meditech in preceding rounds that began last December.


In other northern health IT news, the provincial auditor of Saskatchewan recommends the Ministry of Health replace its 50 year-old IT system with one that can better screen the billing activity of physicians that are still paid on a fee-for-service basis. The auditor also recommends the development of standard criteria to more efficiently identify physicians whose billing practices should be investigated.

E-prescribing of controlled substances increased year over year by 256 percent, according to the latest progress report out from Surescripts. Nearly 75 percent of prescriptions in 2016 were electronic, totaling 1.6 billion.

Sponsor Updates

  • Meditech customers lead lists of five-star and double five-star hospitals.
  • Liaison Technologies will exhibit at the Cerner North Atlantic Regional User Group June 12-14 in Springfield, MA.
  • MedData will exhibit at the Ohio Hospital Association Annual Meeting June 12-14 in Columbus.
  • Medecision, NTT Data, RelayHealth, Surescripts, and ZeOmega will exhibit at AHIP Institute & Expo June 7-9 in Austin, TX.
  • Meditech releases the latest installment of its video series, “EHealth Partnership Unites Ontario Hospitals on Meditech.”
  • Frost & Sullivan recognizes Medicomp Systems with the 2017 Enabling Technology Leadership Award.
  • National Decision Support Co. adds Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging Appropriate Use Criteria to its CareSelect Imaging system.
  • Navicure will exhibit at the NJ MGMA conference June 14-16 in Atlantic City.
  • Experian Health will present at the HIMSS Brand IT Marketing Conference June 15 in Las Vegas.
  • YourStory.com profiles GE Healthcare’s efforts to bring healthcare accessibility and skills to rural areas in India.

Blog Posts


Mr. H, Lorre, Jenn, Dr. Jayne, Lt. Dan.
More news: HIStalk Practice, HIStalk Connect.
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Currently there are "3 comments" on this Article:

  1. Apparently, at least two of your geographically challenged sponsors are attending the Cerner North ATLANTIC Users Group conference in Springfield, IL. I hope my company isn’t the only one going to rhe conference in Springfield, MA. Who would I trade trinkets and war stories with at the Sheraton bar?

  2. I bet McKesson would be glad to sell Athena the copyright on “Horizon” or would “Web Horizon” even be an infringement?

  3. I may be wrong, because the paywall prevents me from seeing the whole article, but the WashPo article seems to be referring to ACOs and not EHRs.

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Reader Comments

  • Code Jockey: Mr. H - this is a response to 'Really' but I'm not sure how to respond to his post. Also, this is a note for both you an...
  • Clarence: From my experience 7 years as an Epic employee and then 4+ years integrating 3rd party clinical content/software into EH...
  • meltoots: I take issue with one thing in this. The ACR AUC system is ridiculous for specialist physicians. I am a board certified ...
  • Really: Come on Code Junkie... Would any software company on the planet let you take their code, do a minor modification and ...
  • Code Jockey: Sigh.... Code Corrections - the origin of this conversation was a statement by someone that Epic clients were creating t...
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  • Woodstock Generation: Re: Mr. HIStalk's response to Post-Acute Pat - Mr. HIStalk, you couldn't have said it better about today's healthcare i...
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  • Michael: Re: WSJ article - "without the patient's knowledge or approval." All of the patients consent to give their DNA for resea...
  • DataPlay: If Allscripts flames out of the inpatient market, does that kill their data play as well? I know roughly who buys inpati...

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