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News 3/29/19

Top News


Medicare Advantage payer Clover Health lays off 140 employees as part of a restructuring that will eventually add more staffers with health insurance and clinical backgrounds. The company, which has touted its predictive analytics capabilities since launching in 2012, has raised nearly $1 billion. It operates in seven states including Tennessee, where it plans to open an office in Nashville.


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Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock


Healthcare CRM vendor SymphonyRM expands to Pennsylvania with the opening of its Health AI Center of Excellence in Pittsburgh.


Teladoc Health shares rise on the news it will launch its services in Canada.


Digital prescription startup Xealth raises $11 million in a funding round led by McKesson Ventures, Novartis, Philips, and ResMed. The company has developed software that enables providers to prescribe apps, devices, and services from their EHRs. It has raised nearly $20 million since launching out of Providence St. Joseph Health (WA) in 2017.



Max Hanner (HCTec) joins Pivot Point Consulting as VP of business development.


Clarify Health names Imran Qureshi (Health Catalyst) chief data science officer.

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Medication tracking company Kit Check promotes Doug Zurawski to SVP of clinical strategy and MaryAnn Jensen to VP of strategic marketing; and names Amy Langan (Fresenius Kabi) CMO and Eric Bolling (Cardinal Health) EVP. I interviewed Kit Check co-founder and CEO Kevin MacDonald last December.


Announcements and Implementations


Sutter Health (CA) will pilot an AI-enabled digital voice assistant developed by Suki in primary care, dermatology, and orthopedics.

The multi-state Lewis and Clark Information Exchange adds PatientPing’s real-time care alerts and patient utilization details to its HIE services.


Inspira Health (NJ) implements Intraprise Health’s wayfinding technology at its three hospitals.


United Regional Health Care (TX) will go live on Epic next week.

Thirty-five bed Lackey Memorial Hospital (MS) rolls out Evident’s Thrive EHR.

Government and Politics


Departing FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, MD tweets that the agency will make good on its promise to release thousands of patient safety reports after Kaiser Health News found manufacturers have for years been taking advantage of a secretive, alternate summary reporting program that kept patient safety impacts hidden from public view.


The Australian Digital Health Agency will offer qualifying vendors $30,000 to integrate interoperability standards into their clinical software so that providers using different systems can share health information. The incentive is part of the country’s larger effort to do away with paper-based communication and faxes by 2022.

Privacy and Security


Officials at Northampton General Hospital in England say they are fending off at least 240 data-breach attempts a day, and worry that the problem will only escalate as NHS facilities become paperless. They list phishing email campaigns, unpatched software, and a lack of cybersecurity expertise as their biggest concerns.


CynergisTek adds around-the-clock monitoring to its line of cybersecurity, privacy, and compliance services for healthcare.



Prosecutors say the former Vanderbilt University Medical Center nurse on trial in Tennessee for a medical injection error made at least 10 mistakes that led to the death of a patient, many in line with findings from a CMS investigation. The nurse has pled not guilty despite admitting she made a mistake. Errors included:

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