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Monday Morning Update 5/21/18

Top News

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Cerner President Zane Burke blames an unnamed competitor (presumably Epic) for publicizing negative reports about the DoD’s MHS Genesis project, labeling the resulting coverage as “fake news” in Friday’s annual shareholder meeting.

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Burke said, “If you had an axe to grind with us and wanted to perhaps keep us from getting to a Veterans contract, and you’re one of our competitors, you might want to use some information negatively. There was some negative information out there.”

He didn’t specify whether the “fake news” involved publication of the DoD’s own internal assessment of the project or some other event.

Burke said that just keeping VistA running would have cost more than $20 billion in the next 10 years vs. the $10 billion the VA will spend on Cerner, so it’s a good deal for taxpayers. Chairman and CEO Brent Shafer, ,asked about what issues keep him up at night, answered, “The VA was keeping me up at night until last night. It was a good night last night,” but added that his big issue is retooling the company to move more quickly.

Cerner has posted the audio recording and presentation from the shareholder meeting.


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

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It’s an even split among the minority of respondents who care either way about someone’s use of fellowship credentials such as FHIMSS and FCHIME.

New poll to your right or here: what should the VA have done about an EHR? Show your work by clicking the comments link on the poll after voting and explaining.

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This week’s “Wish I’d Known” question involves taking the first leap to overseeing the work of others.


Webinars

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

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Cerner shares rose only 1 percent Friday after the announcement Thursday after the market’s close that the VA had signed its $10 billion contract with the company. CERN shares are down 4 percent in the past year vs. the Nasdaq’s 21 percent gain, while over five years CERN us up 28 percent vs. the Nasdaq’s 113 percent gain.

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TransUnion will acquire Fort Worth-based Healthcare Payment Specialists, which offers solutions for hospital Medicare reimbursement that include Medicare bad debt review and disproportionate share analysis. 


Decisions

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


People

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RCM vendor Access Healthcare hires Jim Carlough (Cognizant) as SVP of North America operations.

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David Adams (Revenue Platforms) joins consulting firm Crux Strategies as VP of business development and revenue cycle management.


Government and Politics

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President Trump will nominate acting VA Secretary Robert Wilkie to the permanent position, adding in Friday’s announcement at a prison reform event, “He doesn’t know this yet. I’m sorry that I ruined the surprise.” Wilkie is a former lawyer and White House security advisor.


Other

Eastern Maine Health Systems (ME) ends its addiction treatment partnerships with two cities that named individual physicians – some of them present or former EMHS doctors – in their billion-dollar lawsuits brought against drug manufacturers and distributors. The city councils of Bangor and Portland voted to join the lawsuits, causing the health system to say that it will withdraw from any initiatives involving cities or counties that sue it.

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I belatedly learned via a tweet that former UPMC CIO Dan Drawbaugh has since 2015 been CEO of orthopedic group The Steadman Clinic and its research institute in Vail, CO.

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Weird News Andy says there’s “so much wrong” in this story, in which a former hospice executive pleads guilty for her involvement in a $60 million fraud scheme that also involved intentionally killing unprofitable patients as ordered by the hospice’s owners, a CPA and his wife (above). The former operations director says the owners ordered her to falsify EHR entries to admit patients who weren’t eligible for hospice services, fabricated “do not resuscitate” orders to avoid paying for ambulance trips when families called 911, and took patients off medications solely because they weren’t covered by insurance. The FBI’s search warrant says the CPA texted a nurse, “You need to make this patient go bye-bye.”

Medical residents at an hospital in India go on strike to demand better hospital security after the angry family members of a patient who died prior to planned gallbladder surgery beat up two doctors, a nurse, and a visiting relative of another patient who tried to stop the attack. The hospital realized afterward that it had never followed through with installing a security alarm as planned two years ago and says it will get that done.

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Rainbow City, AL police arrest a doctor for breaking into the office of the medical practice from which he had recently resigned to steal six computers, a server containing patient information, and medical equipment. He opened the practice’s safe, apparently in an effort to make the break-in look like a robbery, but police immediately suspected him because the safe’s contents were intact, including cash and narcotics.


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Contacts

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