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Weekender 2/22/19

February 22, 2019 Weekender 1 Comment


Weekly News Recap

  • Allscripts announces Q4 results that fall short of revenue and earnings expectations.
  • Provider management and credentialing software vendor Symplr will acquire workforce management tech company API Healthcare from Veritas Capital
  • Unsealed testimony reveals that a focus of the Amazon – Berkshire – JPMorgan healthcare organization will be to make health insurance and prescription drug prices easier to understand
  • Healthcare experts file a Federal Trade Commission complaint against Facebook over security problems with its Groups functions that exposed the personal information of patient advocacy groups
  • A patient of a closed Arizona hospital is prevented from obtaining life-saving surgery because her medical history is stored in an EHR that was shut down as creditors argued over payments
  • HIMSS gives a preview of the “evolution of the HIMSS Brand”
  • Virence Health will retire the company name it created in October 2018 and will instead operate as Athenahealth after acquiring that company five weeks later

Best Reader Comments

A Kaiser Permanente medical school makes a lot of sense for them to train physicians in how Permanente medicine works. (The Permanente Medical Groups are the for-profit physician partnerships that pair with the Kaiser Health Plans in various regions.) The KP group practice model is a different beast. They also have a mature and well-supported Epic implementation. They are able to do high-volume medicine with good quality because of the “system-ness” of how they approach things and the fact that most of their physicians don’t fight it. (KP Alum)

We have gotten a lot of value from CommonWell and have access to data in our region which is supporting care transitions. It would be helpful if folks like eCW would actually play ball with others to improve care. I am not worried about Cerner and Epic but rather the small players’ ability to share. (Patient advocate)

It’s almost shocking that hospitals in the US support their employees attending a sales show for a week, paying for expensive hotels and booze while hospital margins are slim to non-existent. (Donald Lyons)

[Pink Socks] is just a form of self-promotion and attention-grabbing that is legion at HIMSS. If you can name one objective and tangible thing Pink Socks has done, I’ll possibly change my opinion. (Lazlo Hollyfeld)

I almost feel a little bad and embarrassed for Cerner. It’s notable that MEDITECH’s “re-branded” and “old” EMR has scored higher in KLAS than Cerner’s flagship for the last two years. And celebrating your first plug and play exchange in the year 2019?! Two brave, pioneering Cerner sites are now connected to the world. Is the $5 billion DoD connected? (Vaporware?)

Watercooler Talk Tidbits

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Readers funded the DonorsChoose teacher grant request of Ms. W in Minnesota, who asked for MakerSpace supplies for her elementary school’s library. She reports, “Your generous donation has helped stock our MakerSpace for the next year. They enjoyed building robots and making them move with Littlebits, as well as building bird’s nests out of paper and fabric to hold eggs when suspended from boxes. They look forward to building new things that continue to teach them about the engineering process.”

A plastic surgeon covering a New York hospital’s ED stitches and splints a woman’s mashed mashed finger, complaining to her that he’ll make only $200 for his 15 minutes of work. He then bills her insurance company $56,000 for “exploring wound extremity” and “complex repair of finger” and he doesn’t accept the woman’s insurance. The hospital said it doesn’t control what he charges because he’s not an employee. The patient is lucky to be in New York, which protects patients from surprise ED bills caused by out-of-network doctors working in EDs.

Google adds drug disposal locations to its Maps app, hoping that drug abuse will be reduced by people securely discarding their unused medications.

Nebraska hospitals complain that law enforcement agencies all over the state are releasing people who are in custody while they are hospitalized, allowing the agencies to skip paying the individual’s bill because they are no longer under arrest and are thus responsible for their own charges. A newly introduced bill would prohibit releasing a person from custody just to avoid paying for their medical care.


University of Iowa’s children’s hospital loses its second arbitration case brought by contractors that demanded more money, increasing the cost of the project that was budgeted at $271 million in 2011 to at least $370 million. The 190-bed hospital spent millions of dollars on temporary facades and overtime to prepare for its grand opening after making on-the-fly design changes that had already inflated the cost. Swapping the already-installed doors in some areas with automatic sliding doors required flying the new doors from Switzerland and operating a round-the-clock convoy to transport them from California in time for the grand opening, increasing the cost of the doors from $122,000 to $1.2 million.

The Medical Center, Navicent Health (GA) offers its heart patients the chance to donate their replaced pacemakers to dogs being treated at the University of Georgia’s veterinary school, which has implanted the refurbished devices in six dogs so far. 

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Reader Comments

  • Frustrated Patient: " suggesting that my providers don’t really want to open up a can of medical worms by asking how I’m doing overall e...
  • AC: That's good to hear. So the major vendors have worked on this and provided tools. The question now becomes are organizat...
  • Associate CIO: Re: EHR internal timers and event log monitoring Cerner has this as well, it is called the Lights On Network. A curr...
  • Bob: Liked - "The jammed interoperability floodgates would magically open by Labor Day if their payments depended on it."...
  • Bob Smith: Great comment on the interoperability incentives. My experience having been a patient across at least 5 health systems t...
  • richie: Yes Anon, I believe it's in the referenced in supporting documents. Initial: Patients want to know who is grabbing thei...
  • Anonymous: Richie, as someone who hasn't read the proposed rule, do you mind elaborating? Does it really deny patients access to t...
  • InfoDoc: Your pain scale image reminded me of this: http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com/2010/02/boyfriend-doesnt-have-ebola-...
  • Mr. HIStalk: The actual operating entity, according to the lawsuit, is Jack Hughston Memorial Hospital in Phenix City, which is physi...
  • Gitfishin: Re: AL hospitals paying sales tax on software purchases. Why would a not-for-profit pay taxes? Or does this only apply t...

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