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Monday Morning Update 6/1/20

May 31, 2020 News 9 Comments

Top News

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Virtual diabetes clinic vendor Onduo names Vindell Washington, MD, MHCM as interim CEO.

Google’s Verily hired the former national coordinator for health IT as chief clinical officer early this year.

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Verily and France-based drug maker Sanofi formed Onduo as a joint venture in 2016 with a $500 million investment, A December 2019 restructuring eliminated most of the stake of Sanofi, which said it had invested too much in the business as it was ending development of diabetes and cardiovascular drugs due to poor sales.

Onduo’s customer base is employers and health plans.

Onduo founding CEO Josh Riff, MD, MBA “is leaving to pursue other early-stage entrepreneurial opportunities.”


Reader Comments

From Greg: “Re: US withdrawal from WHO. What impact will this have on licensing ICD-10, for which WHO holds the copyright?” WHO authorizes the US government to modify the ICD-10 data set (created for mostly public health and research purposes) to develop our ICD-10-CM (for our unique use of it as a billing tool). I don’t know the terms of the agreement, although I found online references to “member states” only. If WHO wanted to be petulantly punitive, and if the licensing terms allow it, they could create a near-shutdown of US healthcare with the stroke of a pen. Meanwhile, some countries are already using ICD-11, which has been out for two years, although its official effective date is January 1, 2022 (HHS has said we’ll consider it here for 2025 or 2027). Bottom line: I don’t know, but I suspect federal officials haven’t even thought about that.

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From Dazed and Confused: “Re: journalistic style. Is it ‘health care’ or ‘healthcare?’” I use the rules of the “AP Stylebook” for journalists with few exceptions, but one of those is that I write “healthcare” as a single word. I don’t have a strong feeling either way , but the one-word variant saves space without sacrificing (although I acknowledge that “medicalcare” or “hospitalcare” don’t work). I also really dislike AP’s 1950s-style state abbreviations (“Conn.”) so I use the shorter USPS abbreviations instead (“CT.”) The most important takeaway is that every site should have its own consistent standards, ideally with 95% of them from the Stylebook and the rest customized for defensible reasons. I spend extra effort making HIStalk deceptively easy to read and understand, even as I acknowledge that I’m an outlier when most online content ranges from annoyingly sloppy to unintelligible.

From Creative Juice: “Re: Change Healthcare and TriZetto. Hearing any rumors?” I am not, but maybe someone out there is.


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

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Two-thirds of poll respondents expect their working conditions to be better a year from now, with most of them expecting to remain with their current employer.

New poll to your right or here: what is your preferred work location?

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Welcome to new HIStalk Gold Sponsor Ingenious Med. The physician-founded company has, since 1999, helped health systems and physician groups (70% of the country’s largest health systems and physician management companies) strengthen their revenue cycle, gain data-driven insights, extend EHR functionality, align with quality measures, and optimize workflows with mobile and web solutions. Health system offerings include revenue optimization (clinician charge capture, physician performance dashboards, coding tools); data intelligence (benchmark management, disparate data connection, automatic capture and processing of patient and charge data); and value-based alignment (flagging patients for quality measures, care team coordination, MIPS registry). ROI is 13-15x, with a $30,000 annual revenue increase per physician. Health IT long-timers make up the company’s entire executive team, including CEO Nimesh Shah and founder and chief medical officer Steven Liu, MD. Thanks to Ingenious Med for supporting HIStalk.

I found this Ingenious Med overview on YouTube.

I’m looking for a few folks who interact with us occasionally on behalf of HIStalk sponsors to give us feedback. Contact Jenn if you are our contact for a sponsoring company and can spare a few minutes by email.


Webinars

June 10 (Wednesday) 1 ET. “COVID-19: preparing your OR for elective surgeries.” Sponsor: Intelligent Medical Objects. Presenters: Janice Kelly, MS, RN, president, AORN Syntegrity Inc.; David Bocanegra, RN, nurse informaticist, IMO. The presenters will cover the steps and guidelines that are needed for hospitals to resume performing elective surgeries and how healthcare information technology can optimize efficiencies and financial outcomes for the return of the OR.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Hematology technology vendor Haemonetics sells some of its blood center donor management systems to Italy-based GPI Group and its US software subsidiary Hemasoft.

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Siren, which manufactures fabric that is embedded with medical monitoring sensors, raises $12 million in a Series B funding round. The company’s first product is a wirelessly connect temperature monitoring sock for patients who are a risk for diabetic foot ulcers.

India’s securities and exchange board warns Tata Consultancy Services that the company should have prominently disclosed to investors in 2016 that it had been assessed a $940 million penalty in a trade secrets lawsuit that was brought by Epic (the judgment was later reduced to $420 million as required by Wisconsin’s judgment caps). TCS disclosed the value of the judgment only in the contingent liabilities section of its financial results report, which Sebi says did not provide adequate notice to investors. Epic’s lawsuit accused TCS employees who were contracting with Kaiser Permanente of misrepresenting themselves as KP employees, which allowed them to use Epic’s UserWeb to download proprietary information that Epic says was intended to jumpstart development of a competing system.


Announcements and Implementations

Netsmart launches a COVID-19 Mobile Screening Solution that helps organizations screen employees, clients, and visitors with questions about travel, existing health conditions, symptoms, and any previous test results.


COVID-19

AdventHealth sues an attorney who it said kept a $2 million fee after failing to provide a promised 10 million N95 masks for $57.5 million.

Broad COVID-19 screening of patients who visited Seattle Children’s Hospital for a blood draw for any reason finds that 1% were positive in April in a sharp uptick from March as the outbreak spread. Most patients had no symptoms but developed a robust immune response, suggesting that a vaccine could be successful.

Israel starts closing schools that have spikes of new COVID-19 infections, as a single student infects over 100 people. The government will close 17 schools and start issuing fines for violating policies regarding distancing and wearing masks. The country has had 284 COVID-19 deaths in 17,000 cases. Meanwhile in Indonesia, the world’s fourth-most populous country, a full-blown outbreak is underway even as the government relaxes restrictions to restart the economy and citizens flout travel rules to gather for Ramadan.

A Washington county’s public health department reports that its workers are being threatened on social media, have had their home addresses posted online, and been the target of suggestions that they be assaulted. Fringe elements make their job of containing the pandemic harder, they say, especially following big budget and staffing cuts in 2008, and they wish people understand that they do contact tracing all the time to combat cases of food poisoning. I can’t imagine working as a contact tracer in today’s environment.


Other

Hospital EHRs are doing a better job of identifying potentially harmful medication ordering errors – their scores on simulation testing have improved from 54% in 2009 to 66% in 2018 — but advanced clinical decision support lags and overall results vary among hospitals that use the same EHR. The authors conclude that EHRs are nearly universally deployed in hospitals, but they still fail to meet federally endorsed health IT safety measures 30% of the time, leading to a recommendation that hospitals perform their own CPOE safety tests annually and share the results with their vendor.

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A brilliant summary of the now-virtual American Society of Clinical Oncology annual meeting.


Sponsor Updates

  • Central Logic CEO Angie Franks and Banner Health Senior Director of Transfer Services Charley Larsen are interviewed about the Arizona Surge Line public health project.
  • The local news covers the implementation of Meditech’s Virtual Visit software at several Canadian hospitals.
  • A Forbes Technology Council post features Greenway Health Chief Technology & Innovation Officer Kali Durgampudi.
  • Loyale Healthcare makes available to its customers two RevSpring solutions – Talksoft patient messaging and IVR Advantage.
  • OmniSys, the National Community Pharmacists Association, and the Association of Diabetes Care & Education Specialists launch an initiative to help small business independent pharmacies offer the National Diabetes Prevention Program to people with prediabetes.
  • OptimizeRx will present at the virtual William Blair & Company’s annual Growth Stock Conference June 10.
  • Pure Storage announces first quarter fiscal 2021 financial results.
  • Forbes features ROI Healthcare Solutions in an article on COVID-19’s impact on IT.
  • The Puget Sound Business Journal profiles TransformativeMed.
  • The Wall Street Journal features TriNetX VP of Clinical Sciences Jennifer Stacey in an article on AI’s role in understanding heart disease in COVID-19 patients.
  • Wolters Kluwer Health wins a Bronze Stevie Award from the American Business Awards for its Care Without Judgement video series.

Blog Posts


Contacts

Mr. H, Lorre, Jenn, Dr. Jayne.
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Currently there are "9 comments" on this Article:

  1. If the WHO is only feeling mildly petulant, they could simply charge the US for continued access to the ICD, an amount comparable to the totality of what we were paying as members. That way WHO efforts will remain financially supported in coping with the pandemic and they won’t have to be bothered with dealing with chaotic input, conspiracy theories, etc from the US leadership.

  2. RE:”Epic’s lawsuit accused TCS employees who were contracting with Kaiser Permanente of misrepresenting themselves as KP employees, which allowed them to use Epic’s UserWeb to download proprietary information that Epic says was intended to jumpstart development of a competing system.”

    If I remember right, back in the early 2000’s IDx filed a similar claim against Epic and won that suit. Guess Epic doesn’t like it when the shoe is on the other foot!

    • The judge threw out the trade secret claim. The case was settled out of court, no one won anything. Especially IDX who later found themselves part of GE.

      • “Settled out of court” at minimum implies one part ‘won’ and one ‘lost’. It also means it was not thrown out of court as frivolous. Usually the defendant ‘paid’ (money or other) to make the case go away, thereby acknowledging there was grounds for the suit.

        • Epic went to court with preservation wellness (patent troll) instead of settling out of court for pocket change like most companies do. Epic corporate and their employees like to imply some righteousness about that case. But they settled out of court with GE.

          Of course, all of these IP legal squabbles pale in comparison to Epic taking a labor case to the Supreme Court resulting in the removal of labor protections for the most vulnerable, poor.workers, people doing gig economy jobs subject to arbitration agreements. Just so Epic, a company with the money to build corporate theme parks, wouldn’t have to negotiate with their white collar employees as a group or in public. And so that they didn’t have to pay overtime. Epic litigating a case to the highest level to allow companies like Uber to screw over their drivers just so Epic could save a buck.

          It’s clear whoever runs Epic’s legal team needs to get their moral compass checked

        • Perhaps I’m just splitting hairs here, but I don’t think “settled out of court” implies anything of the sort. *You* may choose to infer something from out of court settlements, but they are just about as neutral of an outcome as you can imagine. It’s the result of both parties deciding that they will achieve a more satisfactory outcome out of the courtroom than in it. A completely innocent accused may still choose to settle out of court if they believe that the costs of trying to settle in court will be too high, or if the “optics” of the situation will make them look worse. I don’t think it’s hard to imagine the circumstances where a plaintiff with bogus evidence would find it advantageous to settle out of court. It doesn’t even acknowledge grounds for the suit. Again, it’s merely the result of a cost-benefit analysis.

          I’m not making any claims about the specific case (about which I know nothing). Merely pointing out that I don’t agree with your interpretation of what “Settled out of court” means.

          • In the court of public opinion, a company settling many cases out of court is avoiding their actions being tried publicly. Not saying that Epic does it, but I think that’s where people get the idea that out of court settlements imply some level of guilt.
            If you’re clean, you have an incentive to do your legal business in public. Once you go behind closed doors, people are going to start to speculate and the conditions of your settlement will prevent you from commenting. That’s part of the package when it comes to resolving disputes that way.

          • If you’re a fan of the Microsoft vs Apple early days of windows conflicts or shows like Halt & Catch Fire, this history of IDX vs Epic in 2002-2006 is just as contentious. In 2002 it was a fight over what is a trade secret and enforce ability of non disclosures between a customer of IDX who’s employees later went on to become Epic employees that modified Epic software to match IDX functionality to win a contract. Judgement went against IDX in the district court, but reversed in the Circuit court, and then settled. There was also drama wherein Epic was counter suing alleging the suit was frivolous and IDX was abusing monopoly power using the Sherman act evidenced by adding the customer to the suit after Epic won the contract which was after updating the Epic code. IDX had a large share of the academic medical centers at the time. My understanding is the acrimony and various legal actions continued for years with another big dust up of Epic using an IDX specification document for scheduling in an Epic patent application claiming the documents were public domain when another client placed those documents on the web in an unsecured folder. I have no idea how that one ended (Season ending cliff hanger) It’s been a decade since I read about this but it was it was an great case to follow on IP and software companies,… if you like that kind of thing. I’m waiting for the mini series! Thanks for a cool memory.

        • Here is the judge’s order on the summary judgments in the IDX/Epic case:

          IT IS ORDERED that defendant UWMF’s motion for summary judgment, in which defendants Epic, Rosencrance and Quade join in part, is GRANTED dismissing with prejudice plaintiff’s claims for trade secret misappropriation, tortious interference with contract and breach of contract;
          […]
          IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that a contempt hearing is scheduled in Court at 9:00 A.M. on August 15, 2001 whereby plaintiff’s counsel Attorney David Sellinger may show good cause as to why he should not be found in contempt of court and fined;

          IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that judgment be entered in favor of defendants dismissing plaintiff’s complaint and all claims contained therein with prejudice and costs.







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