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May 1, 2018 News 10 Comments

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Reports surface that West Palm Beach family physician Bruce Moskowitz, MD has participated in several planning calls with the VA/Cerner contracting team, and may in fact be responsible for its delay. Moskowitz, who has ties to President Trump’s inner Mar-a-Lago social circle, has been vocal about his dislike of Cerner’s software based on his use at two Tenet hospitals in Florida – technology deemed out of date by investigators from the VA’s Office of Information and Technology.


Moskowitz’s influence and that of Marvel Entertainment Chairman Ike Perlmutter, who has also been on the calls, reportedly rankled former VA Secretary David Shulkin, MD and clinicians involved with the EHR project. Their influence came to national light in 2016, when they helped to convene a hush-hush meeting at Mar-a-Lago between President-elect Trump and leaders from the Cleveland Clinic, Johns Hopkins, the Mayo Clinic, and Partners HealthCare.

HIStalk Announcements and Requests


Responses to this week’s question are trickling in, with most emphasizing the tightrope managers must walk in firing someone that deserves it, but not being able to articulate the reasons why to the rest of the company for confidentiality reasons. I hope you’ll add your experience to the mix.


May 9 (Wednesday) 2:00 ET. “How to Make VBC Work for You: The Business Case to Transform Into the Health System of the Future.” Sponsor: Philips Wellcentive. Presenters: Mason Beard, co-founder and chief product officer, Philips Wellcentive; Scott Cullen, MD, principal, ECG Management Consulting; Seema Mathur, director of strategy, Sage Growth Partners. How well is your organization funding its transformation to VBC? This free webinar explains how to achieve ROI as your organization transforms to meet the future. You’ll learn how VBC is impacting healthcare system management, three strategies for funding your transformation, and what the healthcare system of the future will look like.

May 24 (Thursday) 1:00 ET. “Converting Consumers into Patients: Strategies for Creating Engaging Digital Experiences People Demand.” Sponsor: Healthwise. Presenters: Antonia Chappell, director of consumer solutions, Healthwise; Josh Schlaich, senior product manager, Healthwise. Nearly three-quarters of US adults use a digital channel to manage their health and the internet to track down health information. It’s clear that consumers have come to expect online interactions as an integral part of their overall patient experience. In fact, the Internet may be the first way people come in contact with your organization. They have more choice than ever on where to get healthcare services, and their decisions are increasingly influenced by how well organizations connect with them in the digital space. This webinar will show you how to create engaging digital and web experiences that convert casual consumers into patients and keep them satisfied throughout their entire patient journey.

June 5 (Tuesday) 1:00 ET. “Increase Referrals and Patient Satisfaction with a Smarter ‘Find a Doctor’ Web Search.” Sponsors: Phynd Technologies, Healthwise. Presenters: Joseph H. Schneider, MD, MBA, FAAP, retired SVP/CHIO, Indiana University Health; Keith Belton, VP of marketing, Phynd. A recent survey found that 84 percent of patients check a hospital’s website before booking an appointment. However, ‘Find a Doctor’ search functions often frustrate them because their matching functionality is primitive and the provider’s information is incomplete or outdated. Referring physicians need similarly robust tools to find the right specialist and to send the patient to the right location. Attendees of this webinar will learn how taxonomy-driven Provider Information Management improves patient and referrer satisfaction by intelligently incorporating the provider’s location, insurance coverage, specialty and subspecialty, and services offered that can be searched via patient-friendly terms.

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

Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock


Agfa Healthcare receives FDA 510(k) clearance for its DR 800 multipurpose digital imaging system.


Enterprise telemedicine vendor InTouch Health acquires competitor Reach Health for an undisclosed sum.


AMA invests $27 million in the Health2047 technology company it founded in 2016 with a $15 million investment. The company launched health data network Akiri (fka Switch) last year, and plans to develop additional companies in the areas of physician productivity, value-based care, chronic disease, and data exchange.


Operations management and analytics company EXL will acquire SCIO Health Analytics for $240 million.


Health data management company Datavant raises $40 million and acquires data de-identification vendor Universal Patient Key. Former FDA CIO Eric Perakslis now serves as Datavant’s chief scientific officer.



Lety Nettles (Baker Hughes) joins Novant Health as CIO.


Omkar Kulkarni (Cedars-Sinai) joins Children’s Hospital Los Angeles as its first chief innovation officer.

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Clearwater Compliance names John Moore (PwC) chief risk officer and Richard Staynings (Cisco) chief security and trust officer.

Announcements and Implementations

In an effort to keep up with the Apple and Amazon Joneses, Fitbit will use Google’s Cloud Healthcare API to share user data with providers via their EHRs.


Providence St. Joseph Health (WA) launches a Virtual Health System comprising 50 telemedicine programs across 100 facilities in five states.


UCHealth Yampa Valley Medical Center (CO) will go live on Epic in early May.


Kaweah Delta Medical Center (CA) goes live on Cerner. The organization was due to replace its Cerner/Siemens Soarian system with Cerner Millenium in November 2017.

Main Line Health (PA) integrates Bernoulli Health’s clinical surveillance, medical device integration, and data analytics platform with its EHR at four hospitals.

The SSI Group adds patient payment management capabilities to its Access Management line of revenue cycle software.

Government and Politics


CDC Director Robert Redfield, MD asks for and receives a pay cut after reports surface that his projected salary of $375,000 was far above those of his HHS colleagues, including his boss, HHS Secretary Alex Azar. Redfield’s initial compensation was determined by the Title 42 salary program, which was established to attract top-notch researchers to government posts.


Former HHS Secretary Tom Price, MD gives a keynote at the World Health Care Congress, during which he admits that doing away with the individual mandate “actually will harm the pool in the exchange market because you’ll likely have individuals who are younger and healthier not participating in that market. And, consequently, that drives up the cost for other folks in that market.”


White House officials conclude that several of the allegations made against President Trump’s former personal physician and VA Secretary nominee Ronny Jackson, MD released last week by Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) are not true. Jackson, who withdrew his nomination after the allegations came to light, will stay on as an active duty Navy physician within the White House medical unit.


  • University of New Mexico Hospital will implement Glytec’s eGlycemic Management System.

Privacy and Security

The NHS will convert all devices to Windows 10 in an effort to prevent cyberattacks like WannaCry, which last year hit a third of its facilities and led to the cancellation of thousands of appointments and procedures.



As part of its $1.5 billion transition to Epic this weekend, Mayo Clinic will activate 51 patient intake kiosks at its campus in Rochester, MN. This won’t be the health system’s first foray into kiosks. It tried out two HealthSpot telemedicine kiosks in 2014 to remotely serve a local school and employer. That endeavor ended when HealthSpot went out of business two years later.

Sponsor Updates

  • Pivot Point Consulting partners with Trinisys to help customers migrate their legacy EHR data to new systems.
  • Clinical Architecture and CompuGroup Medical will exhibit at HLTH 2018 May 6-9 in Las Vegas.
  • KLAS gives Health Catalyst an “A” for high rates of customer satisfaction and customer retention in a new report, “Decision Insights 2018: National Trends & Best Practices.”
  • AdvancedMD will exhibit at APA’s annual conference May 5-9 in New York City.
  • Docent Health CEO Paul Roscoe will speak at HLTH 2018 May 8 in Las Vegas.
  • Casenet adds MCG Health’s Chronic Care Guidelines to its new TruCare Assessment and Care Plan Interface.
  • Aprima and Surescripts will co-present at Asembia’s 2018 Specialty Pharmacy Summit May 2 in Las Vegas.
  • Bluetree Network will exhibit at the 2018 Spring Hospital & Healthcare IT Conference May 2-4 in Atlanta.
  • Datica CEO Travis Good, MD will present at HLTH 2018 May 6-9 in Las Vegas.
  • Cumberland Consulting Group will exhibit at the NCPDP Annual Technology and Business Conference May 7-9 in Scottsdale.
  • Surescripts publishes a new white paper, “Changing the Course of the Opioid Epidemic: The Power and Promise of Proven Technology.”
  • Vyne develops an exchange platform to help payers manage member-related communications.
  • Medecision adds appeals and grievances monitoring, tracking, and management capabilities for payers to its Aerial product line.
  • GCS Medical College, Hospital & Research Centre in India selects the eClinicalWorks Hospital Management Information System.
  • ZappRx adds FDB’s e-prescribing capabilities to its specialty drug prescribing and prior authorization platform.

Blog Posts


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Currently there are "10 comments" on this Article:

  1. Re: the Secret Service’s purported comments about Sen. Jon Tester’s statements on Adm. Ronny Jackson’s not being true….I am confused. I thought the Secret Service protected the president, his family and others. Never knew they weighed in on comments and statements made by Senators and others in Congress. What do I know? Back to Civics class for me! 😉

  2. Have to ask: Is Bruce Moskowitz,the next nominee to head the VA? I mean, he is a doctor after all and that qualifies him for pretty much anything. Also: Would blockchain have prevented Trump from writing his own medical assessment (“healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency.”)?

  3. I dunno guys, the idea of getting advice from people who have actually done this successfully probably had some merit.

    I’m sure Kushner has spent lots of money in his life, but that feels like where his relevant expertise ends.

    • Agree, EE, but they shouldn’t just be asking questions to the best. They SHOULD be asking Cerner physicians at Tenet and other customers – not just the Cerner reference list.

      Find those folks and ask them if Dr. Moskowitz’s experiences sound familiar. Ask them how CommonWell is working for them. Ask them how easy it is to share with athena users, epic users, allscripts users. Then ask how effortless it is to connect to other cerner users. Ask them how their overall experience and cost compares to as-advertised.

      Then ask DoD pilot-site physicians and staff how it’s working for them. Ask how is productivity. Ask how is the data sharing with community providers and the VA.

      When the entire premise of the no-bid decision is the simplicity of data exchange and the wisdom of using the same DoD system – maybe we should pause to be sure that system works? I’ll grant that the idea of single system is an obvious and logical rationale, but only if the system does what it’s bought to do.

      • Maybe they should just ask the folks at University of Illinois? Or perhaps Banner Health?

  4. Lead in story is a repost from a Politico article that fails to name sources.

    My my how politico this blog has become.

  5. “leaders from the Cleveland Clinic, Johns Hopkins, the Mayo Clinic, and Partners HealthCare.”

    Coincidentally all Epic shops.

    • The meeting in 2016 was reported as related to Obamacare, and healthcare reform, not about the VA.

    • If you haven’t already purchased kiosks, check out Epic Welcome on tablets. They announced it during XGM this week. It was released earlier this year.

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