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Weekender 4/26/19

April 26, 2019 Weekender No Comments


Weekly News Recap

  • Cerner announces Q1 results that meet Wall Street’s revenue and earnings expectations
  • Seattle-based genetic testing and health coaching startup Arivale shuts down after burning through $50 million in funding
  • CPSI announces plans to acquire patient engagement vendor Get Real Health
  • Bain Capital hires financial advisors to help it assess the potential sale of RCM vendor Waystar
  • The FTC files an antitrust lawsuit against Surescripts for allegedly monopolizing the e-prescribing market
  • Athenahealth lays off 200 employees
  • HHS announces CMS Primary Cares, two value-based care payment models launching in 2020 that it says will cover at least 25% of Medicare beneficiaries and providers
  • HHS opens Draft 2 of its Trusted Exchange Framework and Common Agreement for public comment

Best Reader Comments

The EHR’s screen can be really busy and have many redundant ways of doing similar workflows. This causes some levels of frustration because various trainers or local support folks will show different ways to accomplish a task (at times it’s the incorrect / non-best practice way). I remain empathetic to my colleagues as I know that they are constantly flooded (brain blocking) from all the tech tips etc. However, I just encourage them to “make it yours” via personalization of the user interface and data entry areas a little at a time. Over a few months, they’ll find that they are recouping a few minutes a day. (Dave Butler)

I’ve not been directly involved with IBM Watson Health, but from its beginning, I have always seen Watson as a hammer looking for a nail. Not to say that it doesn’t work (I don’t know), but it is an expensive way to already do what humans do pretty well, like diagnose patients. At best, it probably is 10 years ahead of its time, before the needs and questions appear that it best answers. (Prof. Moriarty)

Watercooler Talk Tidbits

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Ms. V in Texas asked for an Apple TV for her Houston-area students — all of them English language learners and many of them living in temporary housing following Hurricane Harvey — via a DonorsChoose teacher grant request. She reports, “The Apple TV has impacted my classroom in ways I didn’t even imagine. I have seen students more engaged and excited about lessons in class. The students are eager to answer and ask many questions while learning! My students love when I use the iPad connected to the Apple TV. I am able to walk around the room while I teach. This allows me to keep an eye on student engagement as well as incorporate the students into the lesson. My students enjoy being able to show their work on the iPad as well. I have downloaded an app that allows me to put PDFs on my iPad, which include worksheets, textbooks, etc. With this app, I am able to teach from these items and students are able to write over them. It’s amazing! This technology has changed the way I teach for the better, I am so grateful for these wonderful resources!”

Wisconsin Public Radio covers the “My Life, My Story” project in which volunteers talk to hospitalized VA patients about their lives and enter their story into the EHR. One of the project’s organizers says, “”The [electronic medical] record is a mess. If you were to try to get a sense of someone’s life from that record, it might take you days.” The idea came from a VA medical resident who realized that residents rotate out of a given facility quickly, but patients in the resident clinic stay the same as they just keep meeting new doctors. A survey found that 85% of clinicians find it worth their time to read the stories of their patients to help them communicate with them as individuals.

I guess North Korea is out of network – the federal government reportedly approved paying (but apparently never actually paid) a $2 million hospital bill to gain the release of detained US citizen and University of Virginia student Otto Warmbier, who was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor for removing a hotel’s propaganda sign. It’s not exactly value-based care, either – Warmbier was returned in a coma and died shortly afterward, with a US court finding the North Korean government liable for his torture and death.


A former pediatric resident who was fired by UK Hospital (KY) in 2017 for possessing child pornography on his work computer is charged with that crime. The Linkedin of Ryan Keith, DO extols his residency performance without noting its undistinguished end, but he has since found a career (likely not long-lasting, if I were betting, given new media exposure) as a quality associate at IV manufacturer Baxter Healthcare.


In Australia, an ED doctor is suspended for six weeks for posting patient photos online, proclaiming that mental illness involves “the only language these people understand is the language of violence,” posting anti-gay comments, and posting explicit photos of his psychiatrist wife with the warning that a failed marriage “would end in murder.” A litany of his bizarre online commentary reveals some truly disturbing beliefs, which he says are irrelevant because he’s a great doctor.


A 19-year-old “Instagram butt model” and “influencer” convinces a Beverly Hills plastic surgeon – himself a self-proclaimed influencer – to declare her posterior free of surgery in what she says is “the first certified real booty.” I’m torn among directing my scorn to the US healthcare system, to social media, or to those so easily “influenced” by vapid societal non-contributors. 


An Oregon pediatrician who courts antivaxxer parents lobbies against a proposed bill that would eliminate non-medical exemptions for vaccination, all while pitching his YouTube channel, anti-vaccine book, nutritional supplements, and detox clinic.


The local paper profiles Duke Health spinal surgeon Oren Gottfried, MD, who has earned 100 on-screen TV credits for creating medical plot lines for TV dramas and then ensuring that they are portrayed accurately. He’s about to get his first on-screen appearance on “Chicago Med.”

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Reader Comments

  • Cognitive Distortion: Classic black and white comments from the OP that drive discourse/comments in all areas of our society these days. I don...
  • Math: As an IT person, anecdotally, old people complaining about technology has been a constant across all markets, as far as ...
  • What: This may be a dumb question. Why do private companies like Meditech and Epic care about if their profits get diluted in ...
  • Ross Koppel, PhD, FACMI: Once again, we see blaming docs -- in this case -- older docs -- for the problems of clunky EHR interfaces. 60-year-o...
  • HISJunkie: Re:Meditech and billing service Remember 3 or so years ago Epic was going to do this.But then it never happened because...
  • Allscrap: Good to see. I've always thought that Allscripts needed to do more financial engineering....
  • But also...: The reason I would "dislike" (though I didn't - who needs that kind of negativity?) is your assumption that EHRs are des...
  • EHR is just a tool: Here's why you are getting more dislikes. We doctors should stop thinking about EHR as a "special thing". It is just a t...
  • What: More tests doesn't mean better tested....
  • Or Maybe: You're just not that likable?...

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