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Monday Morning Update 6/19/17

June 18, 2017 News 1 Comment

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FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, MD outlines his digital health plans for the agency, which include the development and launch of a third-party certification program for low-risk digital health products that it deems “software as a medical device.” He adds that using “a unique pre-certification program for SaMD could reduce the time and cost of market entry for digital health technologies.”

Reader Comments


From Peg Leg Pete: “Re: Problems at Baptist Health. As a group concerned with how EHR implementations are affecting hospitals and their financial situations, we are currently seeing some problems in Florida. Baptist Health in Pensacola is having delays and cost overruns on their Allscripts implementation. The hospital may face layoffs. As it’s a private hospital, this news isn’t reported publicly.” The 492-bed Baptist Health selected Allscripts in 2015, deciding to implement Sunrise plus a number of other financial and population health management technologies. The provider’s bond ratings agency noted in April of last year that it had taken on a $22 million loan from Allscripts to fund the roll out.

From Potato, Tomato: “Re: VA Cerner vs. DoD Cerner. There seems to be some debate at the VA and in Congress as to whether Cerner will use an ‘identical’ system to the DoD or a ‘similar’ but separate system. (I’ll bet 10 out of 10 HIStalk readers know the answer.) No doubt Cerner’s PowerPoint experts are frantically focus-grouping which line style looks the most ‘seamless’ when you draw it between a VA box and a DoD box.”

From Gordon Gecko: “Re: Cerner financials. I read somewhere (was it HIStalk?) that Cerner’s stock price didn’t pop on the VA announcement because it was already expected/baked in. More likely, the street is aware that … if you take out the DoD and one deal that bundled 30 micro-hospitals … Cerner has actually lost more hospitals as customers (96) than it has added new (92) in the last two years. Not confidence-inspiring, especially when coupled with a late and scope-reduced DoD pilot.”


From Eagle Eye: “Re: Middle Eastern HIT. Ministry of Health Saudi Arabia is about to sign a $1.5 billion dollar deal with GE. GE will be developing an HIS that consists of its specialty modules (maternity, cardiology, etc.), and combine it with two very basic health information systems – one locally-developed billing solution and a Turkish HIS. The MOH is in for a major mess as the solution has not been even built. It is not clear whether GE is planning to re-enter the HIS market after exiting it a long time ago, or if it’s a one-off thing taken on for the money.”

HIStalk Announcements and Requests


The “Noes” have it when it comes to considering research studies before purchasing health IT or signing up to participate in private or public clinical programs. Pragmatist puts the role of such studies during decision-making in perspective: “Research results are very important from many standpoints, but generally provide minimal insight into commercial systems that are not readily subjected to research comparisons due to intellectual property considerations.”

New poll to your right or here: Given the latest round of industry speculation around Apple’s healthcare efforts, do you think it is truly capable of moving the patient-centered interoperability needle? I know it’s a loaded question, and so I’m hoping you’ll expound on your “yes” or “no” by leaving a comment.


Welcome to new HIStalk Platinum Sponsor PatientPing. The Boston-based, Silicon Valley-backed company is building a network of providers who are notified via real time "pings" when their patients receive care elsewhere, allowing them to share care instructions for better care coordination. The network includes physicians, nurses, case managers, and care coordinators in hospitals, EDs, ACOs, physician practices, SNFs, home health agencies, and payers, all of whom rely on PatientPing’s network to support their delivery of high-quality, cost-effective care with improved patient outcomes and experience. I interviewed CEO Jay Desai earlier this year and he did a great job explaining the company’s lightweight technology, the resulting workflow, and its business model. Thanks to PatientPing for supporting HIStalk.

This Week in Health IT History


One year ago:

  • Reuters reports that McKesson is discussing a merger of its Technology Solutions IT business with Change Healthcare (the former Emdeon).
  • An independent investigation recognizes Healthcare.gov as the second-most secure consumer website, while Twitter took top honors.
  • Doctors at the University of Pennsylvania are seeking approval to use CRISPR gene editing technology on humans for the first time.
  • Federal agents have arrested 300 suspects in the largest ever crackdown on Medicare fraud, with suspected losses totaling $900 million.
  • VA Undersecretary of Health David Shulkin, MD says during testimony before the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs that its EHR modernization plans are “not dependent on any particular EHR.”


Five years ago:

  • CMS reports that more than 110,000 EPs and over 2,400 hospitals have been paid a combined $5.7 billion in EHR incentives from Medicare and Medicaid.
  • The VA establishes a goal of conducting more than 200,000 clinic-based telemental health consultations in fiscal year 2012.
  • An FDA report finds that software problems cause 24 percent of medical device recalls.
  • The US Supreme Court refuses to consider an appeal by former McKesson Chairman Charles McCall to overturn his 10-year prison sentence for scheming to inflate company revenue.

Ten years ago:

  • Richard Granger, head of NHS Connecting for Health in the United Kingdom, has announced that he will leave the program at the end of the year.
  • Pro basketballer Dikembe Mutombo buys a smartcard-driven EHR for a hospital in the Congo.
  • Athenahealth announces IPO plans.

Weekly Anonymous Reader Question


Last week’s survey: What characteristics made the worst doctor you’ve ever had so bad?


This week’s survey: What is the best practice you’ve seen for a company to encourage gender equity?

Last Week’s Most Interesting News

  • Rumors circulate that Apple wants to store health information on the IPhone, and work with EHR developers to allow users to export information to providers as needed.
  • The House Appropriations Committee approves a $65 million down payment toward the VA’s Cerner procurement, with the stipulation that it will integrate with both DoD and private EHR systems.
  • Omada Health raises $50 million in a round led by Cigna, which will offer the company’s digital chronic disease management technology to its members.
  • Kieran Murphy is named president and CEO of GE Healthcare, succeeding John Flannery who has been promoted to CEO and chairman elect of GE.
  • An OIG report concludes that CMS inappropriately paid eligible providers $729.4 million in EHR incentive payments.


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.

Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock


ChartSpan Medical Technologies raises $16 million in a venture round led by Cypress Growth Capital, bringing its total funding to $22.15 million since launching five years ago. The Greenville, SC-based chronic care management-focused technology vendor plans to create 300 jobs over the next 18 months and expand beyond its Appalachian borders.


Inspira Health Network (NJ) announces plans to open the Inspira Innovation Center to develop and commercialize patient-focused health IT.

Government and Politics


TIAG will customize its Warrior Performance Platform to meet the needs of US Navy sailors. Originally developed for training programs for Special Operations forces, the WP2 will evolve into the Human Performance Self-Service Kiosk, enabling sailors to log fitness, training, and nutritional goals, plus sync them with data from select wearables. No word on whether the data will eventually link with the DoD’s MHS Genesis EHR from Cerner.


  • Wadley Regional Medical Center At Hope (AR) will go live with Cerner in December.
  • Sartori Memorial Hospital (IA) will switch from McKesson to a Cerner inpatient EHR in October. (Its clinic will remain with an Epic ambulatory EHR.)
  • Hereford Regional Medical Center (TX) will switch from Healthland (a CPSI company) to Cerner next month.
  • Select Specialty Hospital – Danville and Gainesville (PA) plans to switch to Epic.
  • Regency Hospital Of Central Georgia will go live with Epic in 2019.

These provider-reported updates are supplied by Definitive Healthcare, which offers a free trial of its powerful intelligence on hospitals, physicians, and healthcare providers.

Privacy and Security


In New York, prescription eligibility check vendor CoPilot Provider Support Services agrees to pay $130,000 to settle a case with the state attorney general after waiting more than a year before notifying affected patients that a hacker had accessed its system and stolen 220,000 patient records.

A Global Cyber Alliance survey finds that US hospitals have, for the most part, not yet invested in cybersecurity tools at an enterprise level – a statistic that bodes well for hackers looking to take advantage of organizations that have made themselves sitting ducks either through lackadaisical attitudes on the part of upper management or lack of funds. Just six of the 50 largest public hospitals have adopted an email authentication, policy, and reporting protocol known as DMARC. Presumably bigger budgets have enabled 22 of 48 for-profit hospitals to implement DMARC; only one of those has implemented it to the level that it prevents suspicious emails from hitting inboxes.

Innovation and Research

Researchers from the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and the California Pacific Medical Center will use a $300,000 grant from the Muscular Dystrophy Association to develop and integrate an ALS Toolkit with Epic. The kit will consist of a set of smart forms within the EHR that will help MDA ALS Care Center providers collect and access standardized health data for clinical and research purposes.

Sponsor Updates


  • Summit Healthcare helps raise money for The Gatehouse, this year’s MUSE conference’s selected charity.
  • QuadraMed, a division of Harris Healthcare, will exhibit at the Wisconsin Rural Health Conference June 21-23 in Wisconsin Dells.
  • Salesforce will accept applications for its incubator program through July 15.
  • The SSI Group renews its HFMA Peer Review designation for the sixth consecutive year.
  • SK&A publishes a “US Elder Care Market Summary.”
  • Versus Technology offers its RTLS for wayfinding initiatives using Bluetooth Low Energy networks.
  • Zirmed will exhibit at the CAPG Annual Conference June 22-28 in San Diego.
  • LogicStream Health will exhibit at the 2017 AMDIS Physician Connection Computer Symposium June 20-22 in Ojai, CA.

Blog Posts


Mr. H, Lorre, Jenn, Dr. Jayne, Lt. Dan.
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