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March 5, 2019 News 4 Comments

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FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, MD resigns, effective next month. He resignation letter did not indicate the reason for his departure from the job he has held since May 2017.


Gottlieb was a supporter of digital health technologies and modernization of FDA’s approach to regulating them. That included development of FDA’s Digital Health Software Precertification Program that allowed certified software vendors to fast-track their products to market. He also advocated using EHR data for post-market electronic safety surveillance of drugs and medical devices.

The 46-year-old Gottlieb previously worked for FDA in 2002-2003 and 2005-2007 and was a venture partner specializing in healthcare from 2007 until he was appointed FDA commissioner.


Gottlieb tweeted on January 3 that he was not leaving FDA, a denial that was apparently greatly exaggerated.

Reader Comments


From Minor Trauma: “Re: HIMSS Analytics. Now that it’s owned by Definitive Healthcare, should they still be using the HIMSS ‘not-for-profit’ position in soliciting survey responses, especially when working with PwC, another commercial org?” Definitive Healthcare didn’t buy HIMSS Analytics – they bought the HIMSS Analytics provider data business. HIMSS kept the consulting business, mostly involving its various Adoption Models, and that work (including this survey) will continue under the HIMSS Analytics name. Definitive CEO Jason Krantz responded to my inquiry on your behalf as follows:

Definitive Healthcare bought the data services part of HIMSS Analytics, which collects and provides data and analytics on the healthcare provider community. The data assets and clients of this part of the business will be entirely integrated into the Definitive ecosystem, which should be massively beneficial to those clients as we combine the best of both products. HIMSS Analytics will, however, remain an ongoing concern with a renewed focus on their mission of helping healthcare providers utilize technology more effectively to drive improved patient outcomes. In essence they are providing consulting services to providers with a focus on goals that are consistent with their non-profit objectives.  

From Digital Native Uprising: “Re: HIMSS. How much did it receive for its sale of the data business of HIMSS Analytics?” The number wasn’t announced and Jason Krantz from Definitive Healthcare (as I asked him the question above) was obviously not willing to provide details. Long-timers will remember that HIMSS originally bought that business from someone else whose name I’ve forgotten in 2003 and renamed it the HIMSS Solutions Toolkit. I always wonder how much HIMSS paid for acquisitions such as Healthbox and Health 2.0’s conferences, not to mention the mostly forgotten acquisitions of the rights to Disruptive Women in Healthcare, the MHealth Summit conference, the Medical Banking Project (apparently still around with HIMSS under John Casillas), Health Story Project, Microsoft Healthcare Users Group, and several other organizations that were rolled up into something bigger that no longer use their original names.

From Bohn E. Maroney: “Re: Orlando Health’s venture capital arm. Is it ethical for health systems to create or invest in for-profit businesses?” I admit that it makes me nervous when someone who is making healthcare decisions on behalf of a patient – whether it’s a hospital with private company investments, a doctor earning royalties, or the average for-profit medical practice — stands to benefit financially from ordering a particular course of therapy. I don’t think financial influence would encourage them to knowingly harm a patient, but it might sway them toward overuse, especially if the patient risk is low and their insurance company is footing the bill. That’s why we have a zillion times more diagnostic imaging machines than pure science says we need and armies of drug company reps living in mansions. We set ourselves up for disappointment in hoping that doctors and hospitals will act more nobly than the rest of society in declining to take the perfectly legal action that benefits them most. In all aspects, conscience has proven to be an ineffective deterrent to questionably ethical behavior.

HIStalk Announcements and Requests


I just read this book that Datica was offering at HIMSS19 and found it to be very good, especially given my modest knowledge of the technical underpinnings, business imperatives, and legal considerations of cloud computing. The authors are Datica CEO/Chief Privacy Officer Travis Good, MD and Chief Marketing Officer Kris Gösser. It finally convinced me that cloud isn’t “someone else’s hard drive.” Coincidentally, I just read that Lyft’s IPO documents reveal that it pays $100 million per year to Amazon Web Services for cloud computing services. 


March 6 (Wednesday) 1:00 ET. “Pairing a High-Tech Clinical Logistics Center with a Communication Platform for Quick Patient Response.” Sponsored by Voalte. Presenters: James Schnatterer, MBA, clinical applications manager, Nemours Children’s Health; Mark Chamberlain, clinical applications analyst, Nemours Children’s Health. Medics at Nemours Children’s Health track vital signs of patients in Florida and Delaware from one central hub, acting as eyes and ears when a nurse is away from the bedside. Close monitoring 24 hours a day integrates data from the electronic health record, such as critical lab results, and routes physiological monitor and nurse call alerts directly to the appropriate caregiver’s smartphone. This session explores how the Clinical Logistics Center and more than 1,600 Zebra TC51-HC Touch Computers running Voalte Platform connect care teams at two geographically dispersed sites for better patient safety and the best possible outcomes.

March 27 (Wednesday) 2:00 ET. “Waiting on interoperability: What can payers and providers do to collaborate?” Sponsored by Casenet. Presenter: Amy Simpson, RN, director of clinical solutions, Casenet. A wealth of data exists to identify at-risk patients and to analyze populations, allowing every payer and provider to operate readmissions intervention and care management programs. Still, payer and provider care managers are challenged to coordinate and collaborate to improve outcomes because of the long road ahead to interoperability. Attend this webinar to learn what payers and providers can do now to share information and to coordinate their efforts to create the best healthcare journey for members and patients.

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

Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock


Medical device maker Zoll Medical acquires Golden Hour Data Systems, which offers charting, revenue cycle management, and hospital integration software for emergency medical service companies.



ROI Healthcare Solutions hires Jeff Tennant (Leidos) as executive director of revenue cycle IT services.


Practice Velocity hires Deven Shah (FTD) as VP of software development.

Announcements and Implementations


AHIMA and Artifact Health will offer templates and a mobile app for delivering compliant physician query templates, which means coders asking doctors to clarify their documentation for accuracy and maximum payment.

The Sequoia Project will hold a public forum webinar on the federal government’s proposed information blocking policies on March 19 as part of its Interoperability Matters initiative.

A smallish survey of senior healthcare leaders finds that two-third of health systems have rolled out executive dashboards to aid in decision-making, but rarely use them daily. The survey also found that healthcare systems use an average of four analytics tools, while one in six of them use 10 or more.

Privacy and Security


This is true of healthcare, too, where collecting and selling patient data is everywhere. In related news, Facebook gets caught for its practice of harassing users to provide their telephone number to support two-factor authentication, then immediately using that number to target ads, with the newfound twist being that Facebook allows looking up users by their telephone number with no opt-out provision. Also like healthcare, Facebook does little to correct wrongdoing until it makes headlines.


A Health Affairs article warns that “consumer-driven healthcare” is an appealing-sounding but potentially harmful health reform concept because healthcare isn’t a classic market that can be shaped by consumer actions. Patients don’t understand healthcare, they don’t choose providers based on quality and price, and their insurers don’t have enough bargaining power to drive down prices, so health reform that is based on consumerism is likely to fail. It also notes that, unlike in other markets, giving patients what they want in a “customer is always right” model can compromise provider integrity and result in patient harm.


A startup in Japan develops AI-powered software for existing closed-circuit security cameras that can detect shoplifters by their suspicious body language such as fidgeting, potentially allowing employees to deter their crime by asking them if they need help. The company’s website lists possible healthcare uses, such as detecting poor physical condition, and I can see hospitals using it to identify hospital visitors who are struggling to navigate the usual consumer-unfriendly hallways, although if hospitals cared that much, they would probably address the problem rather than the symptom.


Another interesting Health Affairs article looks at how patient portals have been integrated into the care processes of four health systems:

  • Ochsner Health System has created a hypertension program in which patients complete surveys about their diet, exercise, medications, and social determinants of health via Epic’s MyChart; are issued a blood pressure device that sends their readings directly to MyChart; are offered help with using digital tools via a Genius Bar-type desk; and are monitored by a care team that includes pharmacists and health coaches. Blood pressure control and patient satisfaction have improved and PCP visits have been reduced by 29 percent.
  • Sutter Health has convinced 79 percent of ambulatory care patients to use its Epic patient portal and has motivated clinicians to respond to patient  messages by using a triaging system and offering them incentives for answering messages within one business day. Patients are also using the portal for online scheduling, appointment wait-listing, and booking video visits.
  • Stanford Health Care invites patients to sign up for MyChart via a text message and automatically verifies their sign-up identity by asking questions about publicly available data, which has increased primary care patient enrollment to 87 percent. The portal also allows patient check-in, facility way-finding, and Open Notes chart information access. It is also being used to survey patients about unaddressed symptoms and needs. Stanford also shares all physician notes, other than those related to mental health, across all disciplines.
  • UC San Diego Health offers inpatients the use of tablets from which they can manage room settings (lights, shades, thermostats) and access Epic’s MyChart Bedside inpatient portal to review meds, procedures, test results, care team members, and educational materials.

Sponsor Updates

  • Cantata Health’s NetSolutions and Optimum platforms win Black Book’s highest satisfaction awards for ERP, long-term care, and hospital revenue cycle management.
  • OptimizeRx will present at the annual Roth Conference March 17-19 in Orange County, CA.
  • Healthcare Growth Partners posts its February health IT insights.
  • Bernoulli Health receives ISO 13485:2016 and Medical Device Single Audit Program certifications from Intertek.
  • Nancy Landman (IBM) joins The Chartis Group’s Information & Technology Practice leadership team.
  • DrChrono expands its partnership with CoverMyMeds, offering end users electronic prior authorization and support services, and prescription pricing transparency.
  • STAT profiles Nuance’s new ambient listening system for patient encounters.
  • Aprima will exhibit at the LHC Group Revenue Cycle Leadership Conference March 11-12 in New Orleans.
  • Atlantic.Net CEO Marty Puranik weighs in on a Facebook feature that lets people look up users by their phone number or email address.
  • Bluetree donates 624 trees to the National Forest Foundation at HIMSS19.
  • Healthfinch publishes an ebook titled “Achieving Refill Protocol Consensus – Best Practices for Creating and Maintaining Protocol Content.”
  • DrFirst’s RCopia is certified as compliant with the NCPDP Script 2017 e-prescribing standard.
  • NJ Biz profiles CarePort Health.
  • CareVive names Ethan Basch, MD (UNC School of Medicine) director of its Scientific Advisory Board.
  • ChartLogic will exhibit at the AAOS annual meeting March 12-16 in Las Vegas.
  • The Silicon Slopes podcast features Collective Medical CEO Chris Klomp.
  • CoverMyMeds will exhibit at the MHA Business Summit March 6-8 in Las Vegas.

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Currently there are "4 comments" on this Article:

  1. Himss bought analytics from Sheldon Dornfest or Dorenfest. Not sure of spelling. He may have been an SMS alumni too if my memory is correct!

  2. HIMSS Analytics was bought from Sheldon Dorenfest for $6mill. (About 8 yrs ago?).He built the data base up over 20+ years and called it the Dorenfest 3000. I doubt HIMSS got their 6mill back.

  3. How could you forget Sheldon? He was a fixture in the industry. You must be putting on the years. Have a great week!

    • HIMSS bought the Dorenfest Database in mid-2004, but had already launched the HIMSS Solutions Toolkit in mid-2002 using data from KLAS, Solucient, and other sources. It was with the Dorenfest acquisition that they named the package HIMSS Analytics and hired Dave Garets to run it.

      I thought I remembered that HIMSS had first bought a lesser known company that was doing hospital IT calling to form the Solutions Toolkit and then added the other data sources later, but I can’t recall details about that company.

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