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January 10, 2019 News 2 Comments

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Apple CEO Tim Cook tells CNBC’s Jim Cramer that the company will soon roll out new healthcare services that have been years in the making. He says those offerings will ultimately revolutionize the way patients manage their health data.

Cook added, “I believe, if you zoom out into the future and you look back, and you ask the question, ‘What was Apple’s greatest contribution to mankind?’ it will be about health.”

Cook’s enthusiasm for healthcare, while not new, comes at a time when the company has seen the health of its own share price suffer as consumers are finally rebelling against the Apple tax of paying premium prices for increasingly commoditized products. Those few days of AAPL’s $1 trillion valuation are receding in the rearview mirror.


January 17 (Thursday) 1:00 ET. “Panel Discussion: Improving Clinician Satisfaction & Driving Outcomes.” Sponsor: Netsmart. Presenters: Denny Morrison, PhD, chief clinical advisor, Netsmart; Mary Gannon, RN, chief nursing officer, Netsmart; Sharon Boesl, deputy director, Sauk County Human Services; and Allen Pendell, SVP of IS and analytics, Lexington Health Network. This panel discussion will cover the state of clinician satisfaction across post-acute and human services communities, turnover trends, strategies that drive clinical engagement and satisfaction, and the use of technology that supports those strategies. Real-world examples will be provided.

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

Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock


Change Healthcare makes a strategic investment in MDsave, a healthcare price comparison startup that offers consumers discounted services when booked through its website. The timing seems opportune, given the practically useless price lists hospitals are now federally mandated to post. Perhaps sites like these will give consumers a better, easier-to-understand way to compare costs at different facilities. The Brentwood, TN-based company boasts former senator Bill Frist, MD as a founding investor.


Seattle-based Providence St. Joseph Health’s venture arm announces a second $150 million VC and growth equity fund. Since launching in 2014, it has invested in Collective Medical, Kyruus, Omada Health, Trilliant Health, Xealth, and Wildflower Health.


Northwestern Medicine (IL) requires patients to agree not to pursue class-action lawsuits or jury trials over the mishandling of digital services like Epic’s MyChart. That product was ironically developed by Epic employees who are forced to accept a similar class action waiver, which the US Supreme Court upheld as a valid requirement to prevent employment-related class action lawsuits.

Despite a plethora of recent bad press about IBM Watson’s healthcare capabilities and disingenuous marketing practices, IBM CEO Ginni Rometty says it is still a viable part of the company’s business, and that Watson for Oncology is doing well. The company’s website offers no insight into how many organizations are using Watson for Oncology; its only case study material comes from two hospitals in India.


Boston-based PatientPing will hire 100 employees over the next 12 months in doubling its staff.


Federal health IT vendor Planned Systems International acquires competitor QuarterLine for an unspecified amount.


  • Val Verde Regional Medical Center (TX) will add patient engagement content and software from Allen Technologies to its in-room smart TVs.
  • VA hospitals in the Pacific Northwest will implement Carestream’s enterprise imaging technology.

Announcements and Implementations


In Texas, 25-bed Liberty Dayton Regional Medical Center (OH) spends $1 million on transitioning from paper record-keeping to Cerner.

Federal health IT vendor DSS adds newly acquired EDIS software from VeEDIS Clinical Systems to its new Juno EHR.


Stanford Children’s Health (CA) expects to double its telemedicine visits to 2,500 this year. The hospital uses virtual visit technology for clinic-to-clinic, home-to-clinic, and school-to-clinic visits. It introduced a second-opinion service with Stanford physicians last November, though I imagine the $700 presumably out-of-pocket fee might not make it Stanford’s most popular telemedicine service. The hospital is no stranger to high healthcare costs, having taken heat last year for charging a family $23,000 for a single MRI scan.


Solutionreach releases SR Spotlight, a phone-based patient triage system that integrates with practice management software.

Government and Politics


MHS EHR Functional Champion and Air Force Maj. Gen. Lee E. Payne, MD reassures federal health employees that the MHS Genesis project is on track now that the initial testing phases are over, and that the next wave of implementations will benefit from improved training processes. He stressed, however, that end users will have to adjust their workflows to fit the new Cerner-powered system. “If you try to take your existing business processes,” he says, “whether that’s in AHLTA or Essentris, and you try to jam that into the new electronic health record, you will fail.” The DoD rollout, scheduled to be organization-wide by 2024, will continue with wave-one implementations at three clinics in California and one in Idaho.


CMS Administrator Seema Verma reacts to consumer frustration and negative press over the agency’s efforts to make hospital price lists public, noting that, “While the information hospitals are posting now isn’t patient-specific, we still believe it is an important first step & sets the stage for private third parties to develop tools & resources that are more meaningful & actionable.” She added that University of Utah Health, UCHealth (CO), and Mayo Clinic (MN) have gone above and beyond in making their pricing user-friendly and transparent.



Lease requirements force several physicians to keep their practices open at Physicians Regional Medical Center (TN), which began shutting down last November as part of its parent company’s effort to consolidate services in the area. OB/GYN Lowell McCauley, MD is waiting out his six-month notice of termination in a facility that is now “a desolate institution.” His patients have been cancelling their appointments once they reach the parking lot. “It’s not that they’re not comfortable with me and my staff,” he says, “they’re just not comfortable driving in and seeing what looks like a prison.”


University of Washington Medicine researchers seek FDA approval for Second Chance, a phone-based overdose prevention app that will automatically dial 911 if a user’s breathing and movement slows down or stops.

Sponsor Updates

  • EPSi will exhibit at the HFMA Western Region Symposium January 13-15 in Las Vegas.
  • Loyale Healthcare talks with TransUnion Healthcare Services Principal of Healthcare Strategy Jonathan Wiik about his new book, “Healthcare Revolution: The Patient is the New Payer.”
  • HASA leverages Imat Solutions to deliver value to the healthcare community through data.
  • The local news highlights the Texas Hospital Association’s efforts to help providers fight the opioid epidemic using Collective Medical technology.
  • Cumberland Consulting Group Principal Lori Nobles joins AHIMA’s Commission on Certification for Health Informatics and Information Management.
  • Optimum Healthcare IT publishes an infographic titled “5 Phased Approach to an Epic Upgrade.”

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Currently there are "2 comments" on this Article:

  1. LOL… another move to distract from the bad press, china slow down,average $800 iphone costs, need to upgrade AND consumers no longer lovin it…
    sure they can influence the space w/ a few minor adjustments w/ watch heart rate and ECG not exactly as cutting edge as apple claims…
    the CNBC morons love this nonsense.
    Publicly traded company execs should be held accountable for their statements w/ proof of whats being done not this kind of bullshit so as to save the stock from tumbling further

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