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February 8, 2018 News 6 Comments

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Former GE Chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt is named board chair of Athenahealth, replacing co-founder and CEO Jonathan Bush. Under a plan announced last year to appease an activist investor, Bush will remain CEO but will relinquish his president and board chair titles. The president’s job has not been filled.

Immelt will invest in Athenahealth and will buy $1 million of its shares on the open market.

A company SEC filing says Immelt will get standard Athenahealth board member compensation: a $60,000 annual cash retainer (plus another $50,000 per year for serving as chair), $281,000 in shares, and travel expense reimbursement.

Immelt ran GE from 2001 through 2017, during which time the company’s share price dropped 56 percent vs. the Dow’s 120 percent gain.

Reader Comments

From Bad Robot: “Re: Epic’s MyChart Central. Its terms and conditions clearly state, ‘You hereby expressly assume the sole risk of any unauthorized disclosure or intentional intrusion.’ Are they really off the hook in the event of a data breach?” I found the same wording in the T&C of a bunch of MyChart-using health systems, with additional interpretation suggesting that it’s to warn patients that their PCs or Internet connections could be compromised and thus might expose their information. Attorneys who would like to weight in can review Cleveland Clinic’s MyChart T&C, which basically says they are responsible for nothing even though that is most likely far from the truth. I assume Epic supplies the legal boilerplate, although it’s probably correct that Epic isn’t liable for any breach of a system it doesn’t host.


From Whistle Blower: “Re: Bob Dolin. The former Kaiser doctor and HL7 board chair served prison time starting in 2015 for possession of child pornography involving sadistic abuse of infants and toddlers. He’s apparently out now and attended an HL7 working group meeting last week. He’s also working with former Kaiser colleagues at Elimu Informatics as a senior clinical informaticist. Given recent news of US Gymnastics, can you imagine if the former chairman went to prison and then returned to participate?” I emailed HL7’s media contact but did not get a response indicating what role, if any, Dolin has with the organization. His LinkedIn says he’s an independent consultant. Here’s where I’m a little bit torn – what he did was incredibly sick, but should he barred from making a living after he has served his sentence and the job doesn’t involve contact with children? I have to say I’m leaning toward no – his informatics work isn’t likely to be a springboard to more crime. It’s still OK to detest him for what he did, but banishing him to a lifetime of unemployment in his late 50s doesn’t seem to improve public safety.

From Bombshell: “Re: ‘Giving Up Baldrige.’ It’s supposedly an HIT tell-all book that covers IT gaffes, Meaningful Use fraud, and Baylor’s Dr. Death and the suspiciously extensive wiping of computers.” I haven’t heard of it and neither has Google.


February 13 (Tuesday) 1:00 ET. “Beyond Sliding Scale: Closing the Gap Between Current and Optimal Glycemic Management Practices.” Sponsor: Monarch Medical Technologies. Presenter: Laurel Fuqua, BSN, MSN, EVP/chief clinical officer, Monarch Medical Technologies. The glycemic management practices of many hospitals and physician staff differ from what is overwhelmingly recommended by experts and relevant specialty societies. As a result, they are missing an opportunity to improve the quality, safety, and cost of care for their patients with diabetes and hyperglycemia, which commonly represent more than 25 percent of their inpatient population. Hospitals that transition from sliding-scale insulin regimens to consistent use of basal / bolus / correction protocols are seeing reductions in hyperglycemia, hypoglycemia, and costs. Making this shift more effective and efficient is the use of computerized insulin-dosing algorithms that can support dedicated staff using a systematic approach.

February 14 (Wednesday) 2:00 ET. “Time is Money: Aurora Health’s Journey of Implementing and Advancing Cost Accounting.” Sponsor: Strata Decision Technology. Presenter: Patrick Nolan, VP of finance, Aurora Health Care. Aurora Health Care’s implementation of Strata’s Decision Support module involved not only building an improved cost accounting model, but improving the process to engage a cross-functional team in cost development. It now has accurate, consistent cost data to support decision-making. Aurora’s next phase will be to use actual procedure and visit times to allocate costs. This presentation will provide a detailed view into both the implementation and future direction of the Strata Decision Support program within Aurora.

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

Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock


From the Cerner earnings call:

  • Q4 bookings were $2.3 billion, up 62 percent quarter over quarter and $300 million above guidance.
  • Full-year bookings were up 16 percent.
  • Cerner’s Works businesses are selling well, but their lower margin and short-term higher expenses are affecting earnings.
  • The company will invest most of the windfall it will receive from the federal tax rate cut from 35 percent to 21 percent, planning to expand its campuses and hire 600 employees for the Works businesses.
  • The company raised EPS guidance by $0.05, but that’s after a $0.19 gain from the tax rate change.
  • The VA’s failure to sign a contract as expected in Q4 hurt results, although the company wasn’t expecting a huge revenue and earnings bump anyway.
  • Cerner signed six Q4 deals of over $75 million.
  • The company says the hospital EHR market has matured, with the biggest opportunity being full implementations in small hospitals that don’t have a currently marketed EHR.



CDI company Enjoin promotes James Fee, MD to CEO.



Intermountain Healthcare (UT) selects Elsevier’s Via Oncology pathway tool.

The Nebraska Health Network — an ACO serving patients of Methodist Health System, Nebraska Medicine, and Fremont Health – will use Koan Health’s population health analytics and consulting services.

Privacy and Security


Aetna sues Kurtzman Carson Consultants — the claims administrator that sent out mailings on Aetna’s behalf that disclosed the HIV status of recipients because of poor envelope design – for the $20 million Aetna paid out as a result.


Decatur County General Hospital (TN) notifies patients of a September data breach in which an unknown hacker installed cryptocurrency mining software on its vendor-maintained EHR server. The hospital didn’t name the vendor, but its patient portal is CPSI’s.

Announcements and Implementations


Carolinas HealthCare System – one day after renaming itself to Atrium Health – announces that it will merge with Navicent Health (GA). Atrium is also in merger talks with UNC Health Care (NC).


Monarch Medical Technologies adds self-service analytics to its glucose management software.

Innovation and Research

A study of 14,000 Apple Watch users finds that the device’s heart rate sensor is capable of detecting diabetes in users already diagnosed with the disease with 85 percent accuracy.



A federal judge throws out a False Claims Act lawsuit brought against Epic by a former compliance employee of WakeMed (NC), who claimed in 2015 that Epic’s default setup double-bills Medicaid and Medicare by charging for both anesthesia base units and procedure time. The judge called the case, which had already been declined by the Department of Justice, “woefully deficient” since it included no proof that fraud had actually occurred. Epic’s motion to dismiss said the single document offered as proof by the plaintiff was not an anesthesia bill or claim.


A 20-minute power outage at Royal Adelaide Hospital in Australia leaves two patients undergoing surgeries in the dark, three patients stuck in elevators, and a score of anxious others. Officials have since pointed fingers at the hospital’s management company, which has attributed the unplanned outage at the recently opened $1.9 billion hospital to software glitches and a backup generator that ran out of gas.

Sponsor Updates

  • Steve Febus, CFO, Pullman Regional Hospital, discusses how Engage helps rural hospitals succeed at IT.
  • EClinicalWorks will exhibit at the 2018 AAD Annual Meeting February 16-20 in San Diego.
  • Glytec will present at the International Conference on Advanced Technologies & Treatments for Diabetes February 14-17 in Vienna.
  • Allscripts adds the Healthgrades appoint scheduling solution to its Developer Program.
  • Healthwise exhibits at the 2018 South ACE User Group Conference in Raleigh, NC.
  • Huron announces the promotions of 22 senior-level managing directors, partners, and VPs.
  • HCIactive adds WiserTogether’s Return to Health treatment guidance tool to its Workplace Wellbeing software for employers.
  • The Women Tech Council includes Health Catalyst on its 2018 Shatter List, which recognizes companies making an effort to increase the number of women working in technology.
  • Agfa Healthcare adds new features to its Engage Suite for Integrated Care.
  • LifeWorks Northwest (OR) adopts the Netsmart-powered Carequality interoperability framework.
  • Indiana HIE will pilot Diameter Health’s data-cleansing capabilities.
  • Adventist Health System’s Florida Hospital upgrades its digital radiography technology from Agfa HealthCare.
  • Surescripts achieves HITRUST CSF Certification.

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Currently there are "6 comments" on this Article:

  1. Interesting that Jeff Immelt has been appointed Athenahealth board chair. He’s done such a great job with GE and increasing GE Healthcare’s market share. It may be time to short stock.

  2. Regarding Dolin, I think looking at pics of infants and toddlers being sadistically abused makes you permanently toxic. Just because he’s out of jail doesn’t mean there won’t be social consequences for his depravity. I get what you’re saying, but I would find it difficult to have collegial feelings for the man. It wouldn’t make for a very productive work environment.

    • I agree. Working behind the scenes is different than being assigned a public role, which would surely not be good for HL7 no matter the degree of his ex-convict rehabilitation.

      Readers have contacted me anonymously to say there’s an angry divide among the attendees of the HL7 event following his surprise appearance. Some threatened to quit over his involvement, while others were vocal that his participation be allowed. As one attendee told me, “Open movements can’t stop people from showing up, but I won’t be co-operating with him anymore than I absolutely have to. If he gets any leadership role at HL7, I’ll be parting ways with HL7.”

  3. Regarding HL7 working group meetings – in the recent past there has been a teenager (not adult) who attends the meetings and participates. So, HL7 doesn’t have a rule that you must be an adult to participate. Additionally, given that nearly everyone travels to these working group meetings, sometimes they bring their families along (including children). The line between work and socialization can be blurred at these meetings.

    Regardless of there being children at the meeting or not, I agree with Sorry — Dolin is now toxic for the organisation (especially since he was formally the chairman!)

  4. Re Dolin: is there anything that people won’t equivocate on? What is the moral floor for people, where you comfortably say “this person so depraved, I will not associate with them”? He paid money for babies and tiny children to be raped — that is what the child pornography “business” is. Would you be able to do your job adequately, sitting across the table from him and knowing that he has exchanged money for children to be tortured? Would you demand that of your colleagues? WTF?!? Why *shouldn’t* people be banished for that? That’s just about the best reason for total social and professional ostracism I can think of.

  5. So let me see if I have this correct. Bob was convicted and paid his debt to society. He is now trying to get his life back, why would you people be against this? Furthermore, none of you (outside of his wife) knows the specifics of the case. God, you guys are a miserable group.

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