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April 11, 2019 News 3 Comments

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Cityblock Health raises $65 million just three months after announcing a Series A round of $21 million.

The New York City-based company was spun out of Alphabet’s Sidewalk Labs in 2017.

The company offers care coordination services and technology that cater to Medicaid patients in underserved areas.


Reader Comments

From Ralestorm: “Re: Windows APIs. Check out this problem, in which a sign-off Epic user’s session is restored when a different user logs in afterward. I’ve seen this with other systems and vendors as a CMIO over the years.” This is a timely reminder that APIs create dependencies that can screw things up. Imprivata found out from internal testing that a Microsoft Windows 10 API is no longer working, so that when users switch within a XenApp session, the new user will be dropped back into the previous user’s session. The interesting aspects are these:

  • Microsoft has never told software developers who use the API that it is no longer working or why it’s broken. It has not been officially deprecated, but reports are widespread that it fails.
  • Imprivata caught the problem in its Windows 10 testing, which a lot of vendors might not have done.
  • The problem is technical, but the result could be clinical – users could sign on and inadvertently start entering orders on the wrong patient.
  • Imprivata has modified its OneSign agent to use a new Windows API and will post a hotfix before qualifying Windows 10 1809, a nifty bit of release coordination.
  • Microsoft is touting its new commitment to healthcare, and while this is not a healthcare-specific issue, it might make you wonder whether it really understands the critical nature of its internal APIs and has the communications channel in place to work with vendors who rely on them.
  • As quaint as it seems today as everybody pins interoperability hopes on APIs, this is the problem that healthcare software vendors avoided years ago by refusing to use third-party software components published by companies whose conduct and business outcomes were outside of their control. 

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From Jiggy Jardust: “Re: Cerner. Will it follow the path of Athenahealth now that an activist investor is embedded?” Maybe. My thoughts:

  • Cerner’s share price has been going in the wrong direction for quite some time, even now down considerably since before it signed huge contracts with the DoD and VA. Clearly the company wasn’t impressing investors.
  • The hedge fund activist investor Starboard Value wasn’t as venomous as the one involved with Athenahealth’s – which used some truly deplorable smear tactics to get Jonathan Bush fired so that the reputation-faded Jeff Immelt could broker a questionable deal to sell out – and Cerner was unusually pliable about agreeing to making changes even before the hedge fund had a chance to go low. Starboard wasn’t even a significant holder of CERN shares.
  • Brent Shafer had already laid out Cerner changes, but whether he will survive in his first CEO job reporting to an activist-heavy company board of nearly all new members is anyone’s guess.
  • Whether you like Cerner’s changes may well depend on whether you are an investor or a customer. The recent announcements seem to shift focus to the former, who like the idea of the latter covering the cost of higher company revenue and profit, and Starboard’s track record of making money from activist investing is outstanding. Customers, however, aren’t necessarily going to be big fans of plans to boost profits by cutting costs and increasing revenue.
  • Today’s Cerner is vastly different from the one that Neal Patterson was running until he died in mid-2017. The contrast between the publicly traded Cerner and its chief rival in privately held Epic was already sharp, but even more so now that Cerner is seeking fresh horizons and has involved hardcore Wall Street types for whom it’s just another investment to milk hard.

From Clinical Trials Curious: “Re: software to manage clinical trials. A researcher from a large academic medical center is surprised that we don’t have a platform for managing our clinical trials. We’re a medium-sized health system using an EHR, but manage trials outside it. Are people using specific software?” I’ll invite readers from similar organizations to respond. If you work for a clinical trials management software vendor that has community health system customers, I’ll waive my rule and allow you to give your company‘s information in your comment.

From CIO a NO GO: “Re: MD Anderson. Reportedly offered a candidate the CIO role after a long search with many fits and starts. The ‘recruit’ insisted on tenure status and that stopped the process. They are in desperate need of direction after the Epic Rollout Blowup but it doesn’t appear that they will budge or that anyone will jump into the deep end without a life jacket.” Unverified. I haven’t followed that position since Chris Belmont left in August 2017. The organization struggled with post-Epic financial problems (since resolved, apparently), a high-profile failure to make IBM Watson Health do anything useful, and the resignation of its president following investigation of institutional upheaval and a heavy-handed management style. The new president comes from Canada, so I don’t know how much relevant IT background he brings, especially regarding Epic.


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

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Provider IT people — here’s a final chance to explain to outsiders who think we drag our feet on implementing disruptive technologies. I’ll recap soon.


Webinars

None scheduled soon. Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre for information.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Multi-vertical records retrieval company Ontellus acquires medical records request vendor ChartSwap. Healthcare Growth Partners advised ChartSwap on the transaction. Ontellus President Newton Ross will lead the new ChartSwap division, while Dawn Toups (Verisma Systems) will join the company as VP of provider sales.

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Glytec receives another patent allowance for systems and methods related to its Therapy Advisor. When released, the new product will broaden the company’s capabilities beyond insulin optimization to include inhaled, oral, and non-insulin injectable diabetes medications.


People

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Patient transfer software company Central Logic names Matt Dinger (Epic) VP of professional services.

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Government health IT vendor Ventech Solutions promotes Tonia Bleecher to chief growth officer and hires Timothy Moore (Auburn University) as SVP of commercial health IT and Nathan Anthony (IBM Watson Health) as VP of healthcare enterprise solutions.


Sales

  • In Canada, Mackenzie Health will deploy patient engagement software and services co-developed by GetWellNetwork and FlexITy at a new hospital set to open late next year.
  • Summit Health Management will deploy population health management technology from Arcadia across its physician practices and New Jersey-based Summit Medical Group.

Announcements and Implementations

Partners HealthCare (MA) will equip its clinicians and researchers with the tools necessary to develop their own AI algorithms through its MGH & BWH Center for Clinical Data Science. The center collaborated with the American College of Radiology and computing company Nvidia to develop a similar set of software and services that will be offered for free to radiologists around the country.

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Frances Mahon Deaconess Hospital (MT) goes live on Meditech Expanse with consulting help from Engage.

Teladoc Health will work with Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center to develop telemedicine software for pediatric hospitals. The hospital opened a telehealth command center several years ago.


Government and Politics

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AHRQ awards Northwell Health (NY) SVP Thomas G. McGinn, MD a $1 million grant to further his work on developing a clinical decision support system that integrates seamlessly with EHRs and presents minimal disruption to provider workflows.


Sponsor Updates

  • EClinicalWorks will exhibit at the ACP Internal Medicine Meeting April 11-13 in Philadelphia.
  • Ensocare will exhibit at the ACMA 2019 National Conference April 14-17 in Seattle.
  • EPSI extends early-bird pricing for its 2019 summit through April 30.
  • Modern Healthcare ranks Optimum Healthcare IT as #2 among the largest healthcare IT consulting firms.
  • Healthwise will exhibit at ANIA April 11-13 in Las Vegas.
  • Mobile Heartbeat releases a new video featuring its clinical communication and collaboration work with Freeman Health System.
  • PatientPing transforms care for high-risk, high-utilizing patients across North Carolina through its care coordination platform.
  • Vocera will add Julie Iskow (Medidata Solutions) and Bharat Sundaram (Vizient) to its board.
  • SyTrue names former HMS Holdings EVP/Chief Strategy Officer Cynthia Nustad to its advisory board.

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Currently there are "3 comments" on this Article:

  1. Clinical Trials Curious –

    Forte Research Systems is a solutions company with a mission to transform clinical research with a site-centric approach. We provide key solutions for Cancer Centers, Academic Medical Centers and Health Systems, including technology, consulting and optimization, and administrative services. For more information please visit our website (https://forteresearch.com/contact-us/) or email info@forteresearch.com and we’d be happy to see if we can help with your clinical trials management!

    Look forward to connecting!

    Denali Stahlke







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