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News 9/8/17

September 7, 2017 News 1 Comment

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STAT investigates IBM’s failure to develop Watson into a revolutionary technology for cancer care, highlighting the fact that its marketing blitz may have over-promised on the machine’s capabilities – none of which have been formally documented in scientific papers. In development for six years, Watson for Oncology has been adopted by just a few dozen hospitals. HIStalk readers will likely remember MD Anderson’s decision to walk away from the technology late last year after spending upwards of $62 million on the project. Other complaints include advice that is biased towards American patients and caregiving methods; and expense, particularly as it relates to linking up the system to EHRs.

Reader Comments


From Harold & Kumar: “Re: United’s acquisition of Advisory Board. What’s United’s next move? An EHR vendor? Allscripts? Athena? If not an EHR, then Evolent? They seem to have a lot of cash and a long shopping list.” With a deal valued at a total of $2.58 billion, I’ll heartily concur that the piles of cash probably won’t lay around for long. I’ll invite readers to look into their M&A crystal balls and offer up their best predictions. It will be fun to look back and see who, if anyone, got it right.


From Just a Symbol: “Re: The state of journalism today. Typos are one thing, and we can surely forgive the occasional HER, but this headline takes the cake for lack of fact checking.” The New Delhi-based website bills itself as “a leading online news publication.”

HIStalk Announcements and Requests

This week on HIStalk Practice: Care Convene steps up Harvey relief efforts.  Vice President Pence swears in Jerome Adams, MD as US Surgeon General. The CDC doles out nearly $29 million to help states with PDMPs. Iora Health will care for WellCare’s Medicare Advantage patients. Dermatologist Jordan Miller equates the EHR’s impact on physician/patient relationships with that phone-obsessed friend who never makes eye contact. Weave Communications raises $17 million. HHS Secretary Tom Price, MD declares a public health emergency in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. HIStalk sponsors, submit your company’s details to the MGMA 2017 guide.


Welcome to new HIStalk Platinum Sponsor Lightbeam Health Solutions. The Irving, TX-based company offers end-to-end population health management solutions that reduce cost and improve patient management and coordination, including an enterprise data warehouse, analytics, risk stratification, HCC coding, quality measure optimization, physician engagement, care management, patient engagement, GPRO reporting, HIE, and cohort builder. One Texas ACO reports saving $28 million using Lightbeam’s tools and was one of just four ACOs nationally to achieve a 100 percent quality score. The company offers a free Population Health Made Simple series that describes how technology helps providers who are working under new payment models. Industry long-timer Pat Cline joined the company as CEO in 2012. Thanks to Lightbeam Health Solutions for supporting HIStalk.


September 13 (Wednesday) 1:30 ET. “How Data Democratization Drives Enterprise-wide Clinical Process Improvement.” Sponsored by: LogicStream Health. Presenter: Katy Jones, program director of clinical support, Providence Health & Services. Providence is demonstrating positive measurable results in quality, outcomes, and efficiency by implementing clinical process improvement solutions in arming operational and clinical stakeholders with unlocked EHR data. Providence’s army of process engineers use their self-service access to answer questions immediately and gain an understanding of how their clinical care delivery is impacting outcomes. The presenter will describe practical applications that include antibiotic stewardship, hospital-acquired infections, and comprehensive knowledge management.

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

Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock


Cognizant Technology Solutions plans to bring 75 healthcare-focused jobs to its office in Tampa, FL over the next three years.



Radiology and Imaging Specialists (FL) selects NextGate’s EMPI to reconcile over 1 million patient records.

Alliance Behavioral Healthcare selects ZeOmega’s Jiva population health management software for its 2,200 providers.


In Australia, South Western Sydney Primary Health Network opts for the dbMotion HIE tool from Allscripts to more easily exchange information between primary and acute care facilities.


Yale New Haven Health (CT) and Yale School of Medicine choose Appriss Health’s NarxCare solution to integrate their Epic EHR with Connecticut’s PDMP.


Freeman Health System (MO) signs on for CRM software from Influence Health.

LifeSpan (RI) selects cloud-based identity and access management technology from IDdriven.

Announcements and Implementations


Rehabilitation Hospital of the Pacific (HI) will upgrade its EHR from Harris Healthcare to include e-prescribing, among other features, and expand its use across ambulatory settings.


Surescripts and Allscripts partner to provide pharmacists in Texas and Louisiana free access to patient medication history data.


Union Hospital (OH) uses middleware from Iatric Systems to connect its smart infusion pumps with its Meditech EHR.


Citizens Medical Center (KS) wraps up department-wide deployment of speech-recognition tools and cloud-based image sharing capabilities from Nuance.


Meditech makes chemotherapy order templates from the National Comprehensive Cancer Network available in its Web EHR.

MedAptus develops new patient assignment software for nurses.

Casamba adds Kno2 health data exchange capabilities to its HealthWyse, TherapySource, and Smart EMR products for home health, hospice, SNFs, and outpatient clinics.

Government and Politics


The FDA launches a Digital Health Entrepreneur-in-Residence program to help develop and launch its Software Precertification Pilot. Applications are due September 29.


At the request of HHS, the National Quality Foundation issues a lengthy report on measuring EHR interoperability, as well as interoperability’s impact on “patient safety, costs, productivity, care coordination, processes and outcomes, and patients’ and caregivers’ experience and engagement,” outlining dozens of ways that interoperability could be measured and improved upon within the US.

The New York Times highlights the impact President Trump’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program will have on the healthcare industry. Nearly 20 percent of DACA beneficiaries work in healthcare and education, filling positions like nursing assistants and home health aides – prime examples of roles that are facing a looming shortage of skilled workers.

Innovation and Research


A Health Affairs study finds that in 2016, 60 percent of the plans available on individual exchanges included provider networks where at least 25 percent of the local provider community was in network, contrary to growing concerns that network consolidation would lead to restricted access to care.


Scottish scientists develop a camera-like device that can “see” through the body. The camera, which detects sources of light in the body, was created to help physicians keep better track of medical equipment like endoscopes.

An NHS study of 444 people finds that escalating levels of severe health anxiety are placing unnecessary strain on the healthcare system, costing over £420 million in unnecessary outpatient appointments, tests, and scans. Researchers accuse Dr. Google and wearables of inciting this new state of cyberchondria.



Meditech South Africa appoints Charlotte Jackson group CEO.


Matt Parker (Connecture) joins HealthSparq as VP of product.


Correctional healthcare provider Corizon Health announces the immediate resignation of CEO Karey Witty. An operating committee of board members will take over in the interim.

Privacy and Security


There are just a few days left to register for Sensato’s Hacking Healthcare conference September 13-14 in Long Branch, NJ. The event will take place at the Ocean Place Resort & Spa – just steps away from the beach.


Lenovo will pay $3.5 million to 32 states that filed complaints related to the company’s preloading of advertising software onto its laptops without customer consent. The software also apparently captured personal data users shared with websites. The FTC filed a related civil complaint against the company over security vulnerabilities, and the two parties settled out of court earlier this week.


Equifax informs the public that a data breach discovered in late July could affect up to 143 million people. Stolen information could potentially include names, birth dates, SSNs, addresses, and some driver’s license and credit card numbers. Company officials point to hackers who “exploited a US website application vulnerability to gain access to certain files.”



Weird News Andy says it pays to clean up after yourself: Investigators discover NIH employee Christopher Dame’s scheme to sell over $75,000 worth of stolen NIH equipment after he left an eBay receipt on the photocopier near his office. Dame admitted to stealing over 400 items from the agency over a four-year period, and has been sentenced to six months in federal prison.

This puts a new spin on the phrase “privacy breach:” Denver Health Medical Center suspends five nurses for three weeks after word spread through the hospital grapevine that the group had opened a body bag to look at a deceased male patient’s genitals. It soon surfaced that a similar incident had occurred before the patient’s death while he was incapacitated.

Sponsor Updates

  • ECG Management Consultants will present at The Governance Institute – Leadership Conference September 10 in Colorado Springs, CO.
  • EClinicalWorks and Healthfinch will exhibit at the AAFP Family Medicine Experience September 12-16 in San Antonio.
  • Gartner includes Evariant in its “Hype Cycle for Healthcare Providers 2017” report.
  • KLAS recognizes The HCI Group as the top healthcare IT consulting firm globally.
  • Iatric Systems will exhibit at the HCCA Regional Conference September 8 in Boston.
  • InstaMed partners with Bridge Bank to expand its credit facility.
  • InterSystems will host its Global Summit 2017 September 10-13 in Palm Springs, CA.
  • Intelligent Medical Objects will exhibit at HIMSS AsiaPac17 September 11-14 in Singapore.
  • More than 900 healthcare professionals advance their education and network at the 2017 Aprima User Conference.
  • MedData will exhibit at the Viva 17 Vascular Interventional Advances event September 11-15 in Las Vegas.
  • Netsmart will exhibit at the MACMHP Annual Conference September 12 in Saint Paul, MN.
  • Experian Health will exhibit at the HFMA SoCal conference September 10-12 in Los Angeles.
  • FSU’s Jim Moran Institute for Global Entrepreneurship includes ROI Healthcare Solutions in its Seminole 100 list of fast-growing businesses owned by FSU alumni.
  • Utah Business ranks Solutionreach twenty-fifth on its Fast 50 list of growing companies.

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Currently there is "1 comment" on this Article:

  1. Re: IBM Watson failure…
    Not surprised, playing Jeopardy is a long way from practicing Medicine. If IBM would have stopped to ask “why is it called the ‘practice’ of medicine?” I think they would have been a far less boisterous.

    As a dean of a medical school once said to me: They call it the ‘practice of medicine’ because if we practice long enough someday we’ll get it right!

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