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Weekender 11/16/18

November 16, 2018 Weekender 1 Comment


Weekly News Recap

  • The VA tells a House EHR subcommittee that it will need to spend an extra $350 million on top of its $16 billion Cerner budget to hire “subject matter experts to grade the implementation efforts of Cerner”
  • HHS OCR issues an RFI to solicit the public’s views on whether HIPAA rules prevent or discourage providers, payers, and patients from sharing information for care coordination and case management
  • App vendor Driver, whose technology matches cancer patients with clinical trials, runs out of cash and shuts down just two months after its high-profile launch
  • Veritas Capital and Elliott Management subsidiary Evergreen Coast Capital announced their deal to acquire Athenahealth for $5.7 billion
  • Allscripts rebrands its Payer & Life Sciences Division to Veradigm, offering clinical workflow, research, and analytics software and services to providers, payers, and health IT and life sciences companies
  • Alphabet will move its London-based DeepMind healthcare AI subsidiary under the newly formed Google Health, which will be led by former Geisinger CEO David Feinberg

Best Reader Comments

From my own personal experiences being around and using Allscripts products again NONE of their products are remotely close to being seamlessly, fully integrated … With a dwindling client base, very little new sales in US or abroad it is hard to believe anything about this survey and the process used. (DrJay)

The fear for us as a vendor is that when clients are blindly encouraged to take any external survey, there is then a mechanism for that client to overly complain (not recommend) and our total company satisfaction scores actually drop, not rise. Trust me when I confirm, vendors are not relied on for client participation! Obviously the reaction here is about Allscripts because they promoted this single, narrow focused award so much. Cerner, Epic GE, Athena, Meditech etc. all broadly receive many more Black Book awards every year but publicize them far less, or at least the reactions are tamer. (Longtime HIT Marketer)

Biggest winners [in Athenahealth’s sale to Veritas Capital] — eCW, Greenway, and small vendors willing to go after the long tail. Epic, Cerner, and Meditech in the IDN market. Biggest losers — Athena customers, Athena employees, Athena shareholders who don’t sell in the next six months, and Jonathan Bush’s legacy. (Pickin up the pieces)

I’m sure it’s heartwarming to Athenahealth customers that Immelt’s lead-in was “maximize shareholder value.” (sam lawrence)

Blockchain and bitcoin fever is over. Great! No more explaining what this is to executives and others who are worried we are missing the Blockchain Train! (CaveNerd)

Watercooler Talk Tidbits

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Readers funded the DonorsChoose teacher grant request of Ms. S in Ohio, who asked for a long list of “Rube Goldberg machines” for her fourth-grade gifted and talented class. She reports, “Students were given materials to create their own Goldberg. We started with the marble run and the Angry Birds LEGO set. Students had to explain why certain things would work. Then they were given different supplies and had to put the marble in the cup. My students loved the hands on aspect of this project and they learned a great deal. Thank you for your generous donation to our classroom!”

US exceptionalism of the negative kind is evidenced by schools offering “Stop the Bleed” training so that students can try to save their classmates who have been taken down by a mass shooter. It’s depressing to think of sixth graders screaming “medic” while pinned down by hostile fire like you see in a Vietnam war movie.


The ED of England’s Northwick Park Hospital pilots using smartphone-dispatched patient transporters (they call them “porters” there), replacing a two-page paper form (!!)

Mayo Clinic will rename its medical school after turnaround consulting firm founder Jay Alix., who has donated $200 million to make the school’s tuition more affordable and to allow it to build technology-focused programs that include artificial intelligence.


A Salt Lake City newspaper columnist draws heat for gleefully recounting the “night when I beat the system” by skipping out on an ED bill after being examined for an eye problem. She complains that she doesn’t make enough money to afford health insurance but makes too much to earn government subsidies, then describes how she realized that the ED’s computer downtime left them with nothing more than her name, so she and a friend “crouched and ran toward the exit” and hopped a cab home to avoid paying. She then concludes that it’s cheaper to pay out of pocket (she cluelessly assumes the ED bill was probably around $50, puzzling given that she graduated from the London School of Economics) and that “someone should do something about that.” Readers chimed in with fun comments, such as the fact that the real cost of an ED visit makes her a felon, that “cutesy-poo” writing doesn’t hide the fact that she’s a thief, and that she probably wouldn’t behave similarly at a restaurant.

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A woman who had just delivered a baby girl by C-section at Camp Fire-engulfed Adventist Health Feather River is immediately evacuated, after which the ambulance in which she is crammed in with other patients and several hospital clinicians catches fire. The hospital workers, including Tammy Ferguson, RN, who took the photos above, got everybody out and moved the patients to a nearby home, then grabbed garden hoses and shovels to successfully save the house and themselves.

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Reader Comments

  • Justa Trench Rat: Nice to see Cerner continuing with their new campus. I am sure our implementation of their highly questionable revenue ...
  • FRANK POGGIO: Shows to go ya...answering black and white Jeopardy questions is a far cry from the massive grey area of medicine/pharma...
  • Number Cruncher: You are right AC. The cost is seriously underestimated here. Just looking at the numbers - $1 B for 5 years = $200 M ...
  • Abraham Van Helsing: Re Theranos. Will be interesting to follow the saga. As I and others had noted going back 2+ years, something was obvi...
  • Prof. Moriarty: Re: Watson pull out. I've not been directly involved with this product, but from its beginning I have always seen Watso...
  • mih: Of course they can, and for much much cheaper. But why would they do it? Existing arrangement works for everyone in the ...
  • Andrew M. Harrison: Thanks for (actually) reading our paper. I enjoyed the story of your friend, as well as the translation of numbers to em...
  • Mike: I would love to see this type of discussion around Blockchain. It is being hyped heavily currently. Yet, I wonder how we...
  • Brian Too: Just slightly off-topic, but I recently heard an interesting downtime rule-of-thumb: Every hour of downtime requires 2 ...
  • James E Thompson: AI in particular isn't disruptive until it can offer an effective alternative against which a go/no-go decision makes se...

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