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Weekender 6/28/19

June 28, 2019 Weekender No Comments


Weekly News Recap

  • Change Healthcare goes public on the Nasdaq exchange.
  • Providence St. Joseph Health acquires Bluetree Network.
  • Sansoro Health and Datica announce plans to merge.
  • Vyne is acquired by PE firm The Jordan Company.
  • The director-general of Australia’s Queensland Health announces plans to resign following problems with its Cerner implementation.
  • UnitedHealth Group acquires PatientsLikeMe in a government-ordered fire sale.
  • The White House issues an executive order requiring providers to disclose pricing information.
  • Phreesia files for an IPO.

Best Reader Comments

From my reading of Change Healthcare’s filing, they mostly make their money from EDI and sending people bills in the mail. Is that correct? Their actual software revenue seems to be smaller and lower margin. That doesn’t seem good as software is supposed to be high margin and they will have a lot of future competition from EHR vendors on the provider side and payers’ own IT staff / Optum et al on the financial side. (WhatAreTheyCha(n)(r)ging?)

Many of our newer contracts for software require that we stay relatively current with upgrades, such as the being no more than one full release behind the current production release. These ‘N-1’ provisions seem to be good for our business and also for the vendor. The vendor doesn’t have to provide backward compatibility for five releases in use so they can put more effort into current fixes and future enhancements. They also work harder on the testing of new releases because if they don’t, half of their clients are going to be really mad because they’re taking that version. N-1 contracts also set an expectation internally with our departments. We tell them they’re getting on a treadmill and they don’t get to jump off without paying a hefty software maintenance premium for supplemental support. Upgrading also puts downward pressure on customization and shifts the emphasis to configuration, which is where it should be. (IT Vendor Mgmt)

Would be interesting to see the gap, perhaps chasm, between what Mark Roche thought the CMS chief health informatics job was going to be and what it actually turned out to be. (JeanneC)

Watercooler Talk Tidbits


Readers funded the DonorsChoose grant request of first-year teacher Ms. K in Washington, DC, who asked for math manipulatives for her kindergarten class. She reports, “We have been in the full swing of our addition and subtraction unit. These hands on math manipulatives have been AMAZING to help us learn! We’ve been practicing using the unifix cubes, counters, and various other objects. Having manipulatives to use has helped us to better understand the concept and to get accurate answers. Thank you so much for your support!”

A study of crowdfunding campaigns for cancer-related expenses in Canada finds that high-income, highly-educated homeowners in urban areas make up the majority of people who ask others to pay for their cancer treatments. The authors conclude that crowdfunding does little to solve problems with the healthcare system.

A Lyft driver says VCU Medical Center should have warned him that the discharged patient he was called to pick up there was delusional and talking to himself in a loud voice. Lyft says that medical facilities that are scheduling a patient’s ride should indicate whether the rider is a patient who might pose a risk to others. The hospital says it can only do so much since patient rides can be arranged by the patient themselves, their insurance company, or an outside transportation company.


A Philadelphia pain management doctor is arrested for handing out “goodie bags” of oxycodone and muscle relaxers to patients, for which he then billed insurers more than $4,000 each.


Wired magazine covers a University of Colorado ED doctor’s simulation class that addresses the medical realities that will be faced by astronauts on Mars. The program, held at the Mars Desert Research Station in Utah, emphasizes that the medical issues of astronauts will need to be addressed with the people and resources at hand. NASA is running risk assessments to determine which medical problems are most likely, also considering whether crew members could use videos to guide them through performing medical procedures and use 3D printers to create medical equipment.


A newspaper fact-checking a candidate for the Florida House of Representatives who claimed to have to have — as an Orlando Health cardiologist and ED doctor — “removed 77 bullets from 32 people” after the Pulse nightclub shootings finds that she is neither a doctor nor an Orlando Health employee. State records indicate that Elizabeth McCarthy was a certified nursing assistant until 2005. She claims to have been an RN who went back to medical school who also played college basketball for both the University of Florida and Florida State University, which both schools say isn’t true.

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