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News 9/12/18

Top News

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Cerner President Zane Burke announces he will leave the company November 2. John Peterzalek, EVP of worldwide client relationships, will assume Burke’s responsibilities and the title of chief client officer. Burke joined the company in 1996 and took on the title of president in 2013. Analysts have expressed little surprise at his impending departure, given that he had just about reached the pinnacle of the company’s corporate ladder.


September 26 (Wednesday) 12:30 ET. “How to Ensure Patient Records are Always Available.” Sponsor: Goliath Technologies. Presenter: Goliath Technologies engineering staff. This webinar will discuss how an early warning system can help your organization ensure your EHR systems and patient records are always available. You’ll also learn how to proactively anticipate, troubleshoot, prevent, and resolve end user experience issues before users or patients are impacted.

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

Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock


Clarify Health Solutions raises $57 million in a Series B round led by KKR. The San Francisco-based company has developed analytics-based software to help providers better match and assist patients with tailored clinical services.


In the face of Verity Health’s bankruptcy filing, California legislators stress that owner Patrick Soon-Shiong, MD must uphold the original ownership agreement approved by the state attorney general, especially as it pertains to safety net care and the continued employment of 7,000 staff across six hospitals and affiliated facilities.


The FDA grants “breakthrough device” status to heart health technology company AliveCor for an algorithm it has developed that can detect high blood potassium levels through EKG analysis. Traditional detection methods require a blood sample. The Mayo Clinic-backed company’s products include an EKG smartphone attachment and app, and an Apple Watch band with similar capabilities. CEO Vic Gundotra expects it will take a year to bring the new technology to market.


Nostrum Laboratories hikes the price of an antibiotic for bladder infections from $474.75 to $2,392, a move CEO (and avowed Martin Shkreli supporter) Nirmal Mulye believes is in keeping with the “moral requirement to make money when you can … to sell the product for the highest price.” He adds that, “This is a capitalist economy and if you can’t make money you can’t stay in business.”



Former VA Secretary David Shulkin, MD joins Sanford Health (SD) as chief innovation officer.


LHC Group promotes EVP and Chief Innovation Officer Bruce Greenstein to the additional role of chief strategy officer.


Nanticoke Health Services (DE) promotes Steffan Williams to CIO.

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HCA President and COO Sam Hazen will succeed CEO Milton Johnson when he retires at the end of the year.

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The Value-Based Care Solutions Group names Bob Segert (Aspect Software) chairman and CEO, and has promoted Jon Zimmerman to president. Veritas Capital acquired the group from GE Healthcare in July, and intends to rebrand the company.

Announcements and Implementations

Q-Centrix adds natural language processing capabilities to its clinical data registry reporting software.


Government and Politics

A Kaiser Health News analysis of 1,406 comments on President Trump’s proposal to cut down the 340B hospital drug discount program finds that half were submitted anonymously and contained suspiciously similar wording, with two submitted hundreds of times containing the same grammatical error. Further digging by KHN also found that some patients can’t remember commenting, implying that they were unwittingly coerced into submitting them by practices affiliated with the Community Oncology Alliance, a nonprofit trade organization funded by drug manufacturers. CMS Administrator Seema Verma and Deputy Secretary Eric Hargan pointed to patient comments as a big part of their decision to cut annual 340B payments to hospitals by $1.6 billion.


The Mike O’Callaghan Military Medical Center on Nevada’s Nellis Air Force Base becomes the first base to connect with the VA’s Tele-ICU center in Minneapolis. Installed in five of the center’s rooms, the extra set of virtual “eyes” have especially helped in the prevention of ventilator-associated pneumonia, catheter-related bloodstream infections, and stress ulcers.



The latest report from KLAS looks at the shrinking pool of release-of-information vendors and their ability to deliver consistently across customers. While Ciox Health continues to dominate thanks to the combined customer bases of its predecessors, IOD and HealthPort, it lags behind Verisma and MRO in customer satisfaction. While some Ciox customers seem prepared to leave over a lack of focus, culture, and personal touch, others are optimistic that the company’s new automated technology will close performance gaps. Customers give MRO high marks for high-quality customer service, especially in the areas of educational programs and training. Verisma, the smallest vendor, has experienced steady growth along with high levels of satisfaction for personal attention and access to the executive team – traits that may be hard to maintain as the company grows.

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