Precision medicine platform vendor Tempus raises $200 million in a Series F funding round that values the Chicago-based company at $3.1 billion.
CEO Eric Lefkosky, JD founded the company in 2015 after launching two marketing companies, a logistics technology company, and a venture capital firm. He is also chairman and co-founder of Groupon and formerly served as that company’s CEO.
From Food for Chewing: “Re: KLAS’s new report on Cerner revenue cycle management. I’m curious to know if Cerner paid for or commissioned the report.” KLAS responded to me by saying that it was initially creating the report without Cerner’s involvement, but Cerner asked KLAS to convene a big-client summit that was hosted by Intermountain. The Cerner clients then asked KLAS to provide quarterly updates about Cerner’s progress. Cerner will engage around those results, and while KLAS tell me specifically that Cerner is paying, it’s not unreasonable since Cerner commissioned the follow-up. Cerner won’t get much immediate mileage from this initial report – the client feedback (at least as reported in the “Key Findings” summary, which is all I can see) is nearly universally negative, not surprising given the meeting’s genesis (no pun intended for you Cerner DoD MHS types).
From Crowdfunding Not for the Weak at Heart: “Re: HEAL Diabetes Clinic. Received an email indicating that after its StartEngine funding campaign, CEO Richard Koffler ‘surprised us by announcing his resignation from the company.’ The company decided that it couldn’t move forward without home, so it is shutting down and returning any leftover money to investors.” The company’s webpage says it has closed and Koffler’s LinkedIn indicates that he has resigned. It offered a ketogenic diet program.
From Non-Corporate Man: “Re: your experience with an HIT vendor owned by a large company. My experience was the opposite. I did just about every job you could think of in corporate HIT, did an MBA and law degree while working full time, and got the CEO job because I knew all the pieces.” My only for-profit experience was with this vendor, but it was eye-opening to see what happens when a Fortune 500 company acquires a failing software vendor that quickly disappears into the murk of the corporate balance sheet once it fails to meet overly optimistic expectations. They only bought us with the questionable hope that our sexy-sounding business would jumpstart their anemic growth rate, apparently actually believing our financials that must have been quite the work of fiction ( (I speculate our executives offered them the “Promises & Lies” version of our P&L).
From Union Rep: “Re: HIT headlines. This one is surely among the worst.” I agree. As health IT wit goes, this is half. The story itself is basically a rewritten press release, so someone was anxious to show some poorly executed creativity in the headline in desperately punning “Sunrise.” I can only imagine the damage they would do in trying to work “Millennial” into a Cerner sales announcement.
Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock
Multi-state Bon Secours Mercy Health will sell a majority stake in its Ensemble Health Partners RCM and Epic optimization business to Golden Gate Capital for $1.2 billion.
Cerner initiates a $0.18 quarterly dividend, its first-ever such payment and $0.03 greater than it originally mentioned in February. Opinions vary on whether companies that initiate dividend payments are showing signs of strength (making so much money that they might as well share it with investors) or weakness (management can’t entice people to buy the stock otherwise). I generally side with the latter. Companies that are doing well and expect strong future performance would be better off investing the money in their own business and let the success-driven share price increase reward its shareholders. But that’s just me, and if CERN shareholders love the stock, they can just reinvest the dividends themselves. CERN shares are down 3% vs. the Nasdaq’s 3% rise since Brent Shafer took over on January 10, 2018.
Government health IT contractor Apprio creates a new commercial healthcare division to market its RCM services to hospitals and health systems.
Talkspace raises $50 million in a Series D round led by Revolution Growth, bringing its total funding to $107 million. Optum’s behavioral health business has signed on for the company’s online therapy service.
Pillo Health raises $11 million to complete its Series A round. Lead investor Stanley Black & Decker will work with Pillo to launch a direct-to-consumer version of its digital home health companion later this year.
Patient relationship management vendor Welkin Health raises $17.5 million in a Series B round, bringing its total funding to $30 million.
- UCLA Health (CA) selects Microsoft’s Azure cloud computing services to speed up data analysis for researchers and precision medicine efforts.
- The Louisiana Dept. of Health will implement provider credentialing software from Verisys.
- Allegheny Health Network (PA) selects Vynca’s end-of-life care planning technology.
Mount Sinai Health System (NY) names Andrew Kasarskis, PhD (Icahn School of Medicine) as EVP and chief data officer.
Roni Zeiger, MD (Smart Patients) joins Facebook as head of health strategy.
Announcements and Implementations
Woman’s Hospital (LA) goes live on Meditech Expanse.
OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital (OR) offers parents Locus Health’s app-based remote monitoring software for use post-discharge.
PerfectServe announces GA of embedded messaging within Cerner.
Privacy and Security
In Australia, auditors warn Victoria’s public health system officials that weak cybersecurity practices have left facilities vulnerable to attacks. A review of security measures at several hospitals within the state found similar weaknesses, including weak passwords, poor system and network monitoring, inadequate user access controls, and lack of appropriate governance and policy frameworks. Barriers to implementing all 72 of the recommended cybersecurity measures include lack of budget and staff, plus a lack of awareness around third-party vendor security protocols.
Allegheny Health Network brings its Epic system back online after an unspecified network issue caused it to go down Wednesday morning. The outage affected all seven of its Western Pennsylvania hospitals.
Indiana-based Medical Informatics Engineering and its subsidiary NoMoreClipboard will pay $900,000 to settle a multistate lawsuit brought against it last year by 16 state attorneys general over a 2015 breach that compromised the data of 4 million patients. Meanwhile, nobody is planning a PHI heist of 4 million clipboards.
Canada’s Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre will integrate its self-developed SunnyCare clinical workflow solution with CPSI Evident’s Thrive EHR. The organizations will also establish an outcomes innovation center in Toronto.
A New York Times investigation finds that pediatric cardiologists at UNC Children’s Hospital (NC) were so alarmed at high death rates that they questioned — in secretly recorded department meetings obtained by the newspaper — whether they would send their own children there for surgery. From the Times article:
- The hospital’s death rate was among the worst among the 82 institutions that publicly report it.
- Cardiologists and hospital executives were all worried about the hospital’s high death rate, but didn’t know what to do about it.
- Since 2015, the hospital had lost two of its pediatric cardiac intensivists and some experienced nurses, closed its CIC unit, and didn’t have a dedicated cardiac intensive care unit.
- A transplant surgeon failed to show up to perform a heart transplant when a donor heart became available on a weekend, leading one cardiologist to say, “This is what you signed up for. Who is he to play God with some kid’s life?”
- UNC said it has since replaced leadership that hospital administrators called “a dysfunctional group.”
- So many hospitals offer complex pediatric heart surgeries that some hospitals, including UNC, perform few cases and thus have limited resources and experience. Several hospitals have shut down similar programs or merged with others in hopes that higher volumes would drive better outcomes.
- UNC says mortality data alone isn’t a good measure and termed it “critically important” to instead look at risk-adjusted data, but then refused to release that data because it says the data doesn’t adequately reflect that its patients are sicker.
- The since-retired head of the children’s hospital told cardiologists to follow their conscience if that included referring patients to other hospitals, but warned them that reduced surgery volume would hurt hospital revenue and possibly cost them their jobs.
- HCTec employees volunteer with the Gentlemen’s Quest of Tampa and the United Way.
- Elsevier Clinical Solutions will exhibit at ASCO June 1 in Chicago.
- EClinicalWorks will exhibit at the SCPHA Association Annual Clinical Network Retreat June 7-9 in Myrtle Beach, SC.
- Glytec publishes a new case study, “Paul Chidester, MD: How Sentara Healthcare Achieved the Standard of Care in Glycemic Management, and Your Organization Can, Too.”
- Google Cloud releases a new video, “American Cancer Society: Powering cancer research using Google Cloud machine learning.”
- Hayes Management Consulting will host a reception during the AAMC Compliance Officers’ Symposium June 6 in Washington, DC.
- Audacious Inquiry celebrates 15 years in business by reflecting on 15 significant company milestones.
- Nordic releases a new podcast, “How to build an effective hub-and-spoke relationship.”
- NextGate publishes a new case study, “Enterprise Patient Matching Helps KeyHIE Establish Integrated Network of Accurate, Accessible Health Records and Drive Down Duplicate Record Rate to Less than 1%.”
- Is Urgent Care the New Primary Care? (EClinicalWorks)
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- Drive healthcare payer efficiency with digitization (Hyland)
- ImpactPalooza 2019 – Awards Presentation (Impact Advisors)
- Don’t Let IoMT Technology Impede Clinical Efficiency (Imprivata)
- Three Advancements in Mental Health: A Reflection on Mental Health Month (InterSystems)
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