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May 2021

Cerner announces that Chairman and CEO Brent Shafer will leave the company. The company has hired a search firm to identify external candidates. Shafer will remain in the role until his replacement has been hired, then will serve as advisor for a year. Shafer, who was previously CEO of Philips North America, took the top Cerner role in January 2018. CERN share price is up 4% since Shafer took over. The Nasdaq composite index has risen 92% in that period. Cerner also announced Q1 results: revenue down 2%, adjusted EPS $0.76 versus $0.71, beating consensus expectations for earnings but falling short on revenue. From the earnings call:

  • CFO Mark Erceg said that as a recently hired newcomer looking back at Cerner history, he thinks that the company’s lack of focus and sub-optimal execution hindered revenue and margin growth, placing it in the bottom quartile of shareholder return among its peer group.
  • Brent Shafer said that he expects the new CEO to focus on operations rather than strategy development or portfolio management.
  • Providers engaging patients at home has emphasized the need for a unified communications strategy for reaching consumers.
  • President Don Trigg says that the entry of life sciences data competitors to Cerner’s Learning Health Network validates Cerner’s strategy and its investment in Kantar Health, also noting data opportunities with the federal government that go beyond DoD and VA.
  • Cerner thinks that the federal government’s TRICARE program will provide opportunities in value-based care for data aggregation and longitudinal records. CDC is also a prospect and signed a real-world data contract in Q1.
  • Shafer says Cerner is doing everything it can to be an attractive employer given the global competition for technology talent, emphasizing to prospective employees that they can make a difference in the world since their work involves healthcare. (5/7/21)

A new KLAS report finds that non-US EHR activity was strong in 2020, with 135 net new deals and 23 migrations, although 30% less than in 2019. The biggest winners were Epic, Dedalus, InterSystems, and Cerner. Epic’s market share in Canada has grown from three hospitals in 2016 to 146 now, but migration to Meditech Expanse is becoming more common. (5/5/21)

April 2021

The US Army’s General Leonard Wood Army Community Hospital (MO) goes live with MHS Genesis / Cerner, the first facility to use the system for in-processing of newly arrived trainees. Above is Major Cynthia Anderson, chief nursing information officer, overseeing use of the mass readiness module that was developed for military medicine and is used at GLWACH to process 100 trainees per hour. (4/30/21)

Northern Maine Medical Center goes live on Cerner. (4/28/21)

Black Book Research names Cerner as its top-rated inpatient EHR vendor as well as earning the highest client experience scores in academic medical centers. (4/28/21)

Leidos Partnership for Defense Health brings 10,000 clinicians live on MHS Genesis / Cerner in a wave deployment that covered locations in 12 states. (4/28/21)

Cerner chooses life insurance data vendor MIB Group to sell consented access to its 54 million patient medical records, adding to MIB’s list of EHR partners. (April 4/23/21)

The Patent Trial and Appeal Board upholds most of CliniComp’s data-sharing patent, as challenged by Cerner and Athenahealth. (4/21/21)

In England, London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust and The Hillingdon Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust will implement Cerner Millennium. (4/21/21)

CHIME, which recently ended its participation in the HIMSS conference, partners with the HLTH conference to offer Vive, an annual “reimagined health technology event” whose first conference will be held March 6-9, 2022 in Miami Beach. It will offer digital health innovation content, CHIME’s Spring Forum, an exhibit hall, and a matchmaking program that pairs potential buyer attendees with vendors. Some of the 18 title sponsors are also exhibiting at HIMSS21, but notable companies that will be only at Vive, at least according to HIMSS21’s exhibitor list so far, include Allscripts, Cerner, and Meditech. In an interesting adjacency of time and space, Vive will convene eight days before and 230 miles away from HIMSS22 in Orlando. (4/16/21)

The VA reaffirms that it will not bring its second Cerner site live in Columbus, OH until it has completed a strategic review of the project and shared the results with Congress, following concerns from users at the first site in Spokane, WA. (4/16/21)

Federal News Network digs into the problems VA clinicians have been dealing with during the transition to Cerner Millennium – a process that, despite initial reports of success, has prompted congressional leaders to call for a review before further rollouts are initiated. Users have noted an excessive number of clicks for certain tasks, data migration failures, dropped community care referrals, and needing to use Microsoft Teams to communicate with other users about EHR problems. The House Veterans Affairs Technology Modernization Subcommittee will meet later this week to review the $16 billion, 10-year project. (4/14/21)

Cerner wraps up its $375 million acquisition of Kantar Health, a data, analytics, and real-world evidence and research consulting subsidiary of New York-based Kantar Group. (4/2/21)

March 2021

VA Secretary Denis McDonough says in a House hearing that he is concerned about user productivity at its first live Cerner site, Mann-Grandstaff Medical Center (WA), raising the issue that the project’s cost could run over its $16 billion budget. (3/31/21)

Astria Health (WA) blames Cerner for its bankruptcy and the closure of Astria Regional Medical center in bankruptcy court, contending that Cerner fraudulently misrepresented that Millennium would integrate seamlessly with its revenue cycle offerings. Astria Health says its collections went from 97% of net revenue to 54% after Cerner’s billing system went live and the Medicare and Medicaid claims of its clinics were frequently rejected. Cerner denies the allegations. Cerner previously objected to the health system’s planned bankruptcy because Astria Health had $10.7 million in unpaid bills that it did not plan to pay because it said Cerner problems had cost it $150 million, but the parties resolved that issue in December 2020 and the bankruptcy proceeded. (3/26/21)

Cerner will enable EHR data retrieval to New York Life to reduce life insurance application processing time. (3/26/21)

VA Secretary Denis McDonough orders a strategic review of the VA’s Cerner EHR implementation. He said in an announcement that while the VA is committed to Cerner Millennium, problems with its use at Mann-Grandstaff VA Medical Center make “a strategic review necessary.” The VA says its ongoing post-deployment analysis at Mann-Grandstaff has necessitated a rollout schedule change, although Columbus remains as the next go-live site. The VA’s 12-week review will include optimizing productivity and clinical workflow and looking into patient-facing functions such as the patient portal, data syndication, and revenue cycle. Rep. Cathy Rodgers (R-WA) asked McDonough last Wednesday to launch an inquiry following reports of problems with prescription ordering, the patient portal, and user training. She calls the system “broken” and suggested a review of Mann-Grandstaff staffing, productivity, staff morale, training resources, and remaining infrastructure improvements. The GAO recommended in a report last month that the VA delay going live at additional sites until it resolves call critical problems at Mann-Grandstaff, which was its first center to go live in October. The VA responded that it agreed in principle, but would not delay further rollouts. Cerner provided a statement in response to the VA’s review announcement, saying that it supports the decision, that the company’s priority remains veterans and delivering solutions that drive care transformation in the VA, and that it is proud of its successes that include one of the largest health data migrations in history and deployment of a joint HIE between the DoD, VA, and community partners. (3/19/21)

The Defense Health Agency works with Cerner to develop MassVax, a COVID-19 vaccine management system the DoD is incorporating into MHS Genesis. (3/17/21)

Northern Inyo Healthcare District (CA) will implement Cerner Millenium through the CommunityWorks program. (3/3/21)

Naval Medical Center San Diego goes live on Cerner in the fourth wave of the DoD’s MHS Genesis rollouts. (3/3/21)

February 2021

General Leonard Wood Army Community Hospital (MO) employees prepare to go live on Cerner as part of the DoD’s MHS Genesis Cerner roll out. (2/24/21)

A new GAO report recommends that the VA stop its implementation of Cerner until all known critical issues have been addressed. The VA agrees in principle, but says it won’t stop the rollout and instead will test and mitigate risks. Most of the GAO’s data came from work performed last fall. VA has since closed most of the high-severity issues that GAO noted. Just 55 of the previous nearly 400 issues remain open.The VA says it will have all issues resolved by January 2022. Next up for go-live is Puget Sound Health Care System in Q4 2021. (2/15/21)

The IT director of 15-bed critical access hospital Syringa Hospital (ID) urges its board to stick with Cerner instead of following its plan to use Epic from Kootenai Health. The hospital says it is switching to gain cost savings and better connectivity to other Epic hospitals, but the IT director says it would “really grieve me” to re-do the work and warns that not all information will convert. She adds that Epic isn’t in the top five EHRs for small hospitals. A board member said she appreciates the input, but the IT director’s view is slanted because “that’s her baby,” adding that the board expected the hospital’s leadership to come to them with a recommendation and instead they were divided. (2/12/21)

In England, West Hertfordshire NHS Trust signs a 10-year, $41 million contract for Cerner. (2/12/21)

Cerner reports Q4 earnings: revenue down 3%, adjusted EPS $0.78 versus $0.75, meeting earnings expectations and exceeding on revenue. CERN shares dropped slightly on the news and down 1% over the past 12 months versus the Nasdaq’s 46% gain, valuing the company at $24 billion. From the earnings call:

  • The company says it has reduced annualized operating expenses by $300 million in the past two years and has reduced its product set from 25,000 features to 400 products.
  • Cerner expects to create a $1 billion health network business by 2025.
  • Asked by an analyst how the company can simultaneously address losing market share to Epic as well as convincing customers to choose Cerner in innovative areas where it competes with new companies, President Don Trigg says Cerner was built to work on the current business as well as to identify new growth opportunities that may be adjacencies or new markets. They are looking at new buyer types beyond providers, such as payer, employer, government, and pharma.
  • Trigg said in response to a question about how it will work with pharma contract research organizations following its acquisition of Kantar Health that Cerner’s differentiators are data as well as access to patients and providers. The acquisition allows linking data to support capabilities needed for late-stage drug trials.
  • Cerner expects the acquired Kantar Health to generate about $150 million in revenue for 2021 even with COVID-19 slowdowns.
  • The company may divest a limited number of assets in 2021, but is mostly interested in acquisitions.
  • Health systems that participate in Cerner’s Learning Health Network share the revenue that Cerner earns from drug companies.
  • Cerner’s federal business generates $1 billion per year and is growing at a mid-teens percentage rate. It sees opportunity in contracting with new agency work, especially on the network side, and the company will become more efficient with its experience as a prime contractor.
  • The company took a $20 million charge that was due to an entity in the Middle East declaring bankruptcy. That entity wasn’t named, but I assume it was Belbadi Enterprises, a sole proprietorship that was formed by Abu Dhabi’s former health minister that signed a deal in 2008 to provide Cerner to UAE hospitals. Cerner was awarded $62 million, but was never paid, and then failed in its attempt to seize Oregon real estate that was owned by a related company. (2/12/21)

The 377th Medical Group at Kirtland Air Force Base in New Mexico will go live on Cerner Millenium in April as part of the DoD’s continued rollout of MHS Genesis. (2/10/21)

Cerner wins “Best in KLAS Software & Services 2021” distinctions in the top software suite and behavioral health categories. (2/3/21)

Four hundred Cerner employees will help administer COVID-19 vaccines at company headquarters later this week as part of the Operation Safe coalition in North Kansas City, MO. The coalition, which includes local hospitals and governments, hopes to vaccinate up to 4,500 people every other week. (2/3/21)

January 2021

A Black Book population health management poll of hospitals, practices, and payers finds that most expect to spend more for systems and integration, while one-third expect the government to offer incentives for providers who participate in information blocking rule fixes. Some of the PHM system vendors that score tops in customer satisfaction and loyalty are Azara Healthcare, Inovalon, I2I Population Health, Cerner, Datarobot, Casenet Trucare, and Epic MyChart. (1/29/21)

Consulting firm ReMedi Health Solutions assists a Northeastern health system with a virtual Cerner go live across 23 facilities. (1/27/21)

Cerner hires Mark Erceg (Tiffany & Company) as VP/CFO. He replaces Marc Naughton, whose departure was announced last fall. Cerner’s entire executive team has now been replaced since Brent Shafer was hired as chairman and CEO in January 2018, with the exception of Don Trigg, who was then president of Cerner Health Ventures and is now president of Cerner. (1/22/21)

New York State Office of Mental Health chooses Cerner’s hosted revenue cycle management solutions in a 10-year contract that covers 23 inpatient and 155 outpatient facilities. (1/22/21)

Cerner announces that Chief Client and Services Officer John Peterzalek and Chief Legal Officer Randy Sims will leave the company. They will be replaced by Cerner Government Services President Travis Dalton and SVP of Cloud Strategy / Chief IP Officer Dan Devers, respectively. Cerner Chairman and CEO Brent Shafer said in the internal announcement that the company’s annual client survey results require a greater sense of urgency in strengthening relationships, delivering on promises, innovating faster, and executing on strategies. (1/18/21)

AdventHealth’s replacement of Cerner, Athenahealth, and Homecare Homebase with Epic will cost $370 million in capital cost plus $290 million in operating cost, according to its J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference presentation. AdventHealth, the former Adventist Health System, says Its first go-live will be in Q4 of this year and the last will be finished a year later. The Florida-based system has 50 hospital campuses in nine states, 2,300 employed physicians, 80,000 employees, and $12.5 billion in annual revenue. (1/15/21)

A Department of Defense annual review of its MHS Genesis Cerner implementation (thanks to reader Vaporware? for sending the link) finds that:

  • MHS Genesis “is not operationally suitable because training remains unsatisfactory, dissemination of system change information is inadequate, and usability problems persist.”
  • The system is operationally effective for basic operations in conventional clinics, but not for some specialty clinics and business areas.
  • Performance scores increased from 45% of tested performance measures to 78%, with improvements needed in medical readiness, provider referrals, business intelligence, billing, coding, and reporting.
  • System usability improved from “unacceptable” to “marginal-low.”
  • The project has 158 open high-priority issues.
  • Information exchange with required external systems was “sporadic, and the data were sometimes inaccurate and complete.” AHLTA-housed patient allergies, meds, and immunizations didn’t transfer to Cerner 13% of the time and care was sometimes delayed because of the manual reconciliation that was required.
  • Cybersecurity experts found the system to be “not survivable in the complex, cyber-contested environment of a major medical facility.”
  • Testing has not yet been performed to determine if the system can sustain the expected number of users at full deployment. (1/1/5/21)

Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services chooses Cerner’s EHR for four additional behavioral health facilities. (1/15/21)

Cerner says in its J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference investor presentation that it will create a billion-dollar data business in selling de-identified patient data as real-world evidence to drug companies, partly driven by its $375 million cash acquisition last month of Kantar Health. (1/15/21)

Signify Research says the EHR market in Europe and EMEA in 2020 was better than in the US, which declined due to COVID-related financial challenges. It also notes that consolidation is picking up in Europe, with Dedalus acquiring Agfa’s HCIS business, CompuGroup Medical buying parts of Cerner’s non-Millennium assets, and the merger of big Nordics vendors Tieto and EVRY. (1/15/21)

Health and technology leaders announce the Vaccination Credential Initiative, which hopes to provide digital access to COVID-19 vaccination records using the open SMART Health Cards specification. Individuals could obtain an encrypted digital copy of their immunization credentials to store in a digital wallet or could receive a paper form containing a QR code. The goal of the initiative is to connect to The Commons Project Foundation’s CommonPass, which is being used for travel and return-to-work vaccine verification. Participants include CARIN Alliance, Cerner, Change Healthcare, The Commons Project Foundation, Epic, Evernorth, Mayo Clinic, Microsoft, Mitre, Oracle, Safe Health, and Salesforce. (1/15/21)

KLAS takes a look at the hospital EHR market in Canada, which in many cases involves group- or province-led collective decisions that are intended to keep costs down. Meditech leads Epic in hospital count, but has lost some market share as 88 big-system hospitals have replaced Meditech with mostly Epic from 2015 to 2019, while 31 legacy Meditech hospitals have upgraded to Expanse. Customers report satisfaction with Expanse, but say they could have used more guidance and best practices before going live and a better idea of the maintenance requirements afterward. Satisfaction with Cerner is stable, but customers say the Citrix-heavy client-server footprint requires a lot of maintenance, although experience with Cerner’s recently introduced remote-hosted option is good. Allscripts hasn’t had a new Sunrise sale in Canada in the past 10 years, Harris Healthcare is rarely considered in new deals, and Telus Health’s Oacis is rarely considered and hasn’t sold since 2015. (1/11/21)

Cerner VP of strategic growth Amanda Adkins leaves the company after losing her bid to unseat Rep. Sharice Davids (D-KS) in the November US House election. She had been with Cerner for 15 years, but took a leave of absence a year ago to campaign. She lost by 10 percentage points as the Republican candidate. (1/8/21)

December 2020

LRGHealthcare (NH), the bankrupt two-hospital, 162-bed system acquired by Concord Hospital, says it was paying $342,000 per month – 9% of its total revenue – to run Cerner. (12/30/20)

The Defense Health Agency awards Cherokee Nation Operational Solutions a one-year, $42 million contract to support DoD’s MHS Genesis rollout of Cerner. (12/30/20)

Cerner announces four new rural hospital clients of CommunityWorks. (12/28/20)

Washington-based Astria Health resolves Cerner’s objections to its bankruptcy reorganization plan, in which Cerner said it was owed $10.7 million that the health system it wasn’t said it wasn’t paying because its problems with Cerner billing caused at least $150 million in damages. (12/23/20)

A newly updated KLAS report on EHR interoperability finds that “deep interoperability” (access to outside data, easy location of patient records, visibility of outside data within EHR workflow, and positive impact on patient care) has improved considerably since 2017 except in the most important “impact on care” category. Epic is the clear leader in record-sharing, while Cerner is improving significantly and EClinicalWorks is doing well but isn’t proactive. Little progress has been seen for Meditech, Greenway Health, and Allscripts. Cerner has the highest adoption rate of APIs, especially FHIR ones, while Epic is being selective on which vendors it will work with and is less focused on APIs. (12/23/20)

Banner Health is using Cerner integration with Xealth to allow providers to order digital content and services from a single location in Millennium. (12/11/20)

Cerner invests in Elligo Health Research and will use its technology to offer clinical trial opportunities to providers and patients. Allscripts has offered Elligo’s services since 2017. The company was awarded an FDA grant in October 2019 to work on real-world data harmonization for 21st Century Cures Act data sharing use cases. (12/9/20)

November 2020

Cerner offers CommunityWorks clients a video visit platform that will be free through 12/31/21. (11/20/20).

Northern Health in Melbourne, Australia, will implement Cerner towards the end of 2022. (11/18/20)

A KLAS study of health system connectivity to post-acute care organizations finds that only Epic and Meditech provide solutions in all areas, as Cerner offers long-term and behavioral health modules but resells home health and hospice technology from strong performer MatrixCare. Netsmart has significant market share in standalone organizations that aren’t connected to health systems, having acquired solutions from Allscripts, Change Healthcare, DeVero, and HealthMedx, but customer satisfaction has dropped following post-acquisition lapses in support, development, and integration. PointClickCare is the strongest performer in long-term care, but no vendor consistently meets behavioral health needs. Records-sharing with acute care organizations from which referrals are sent is inconsistent, with Cerner and Epic having a high percentage of customers connected to CommonWell or Carequality, Meditech and Allscripts having low interoperability adoption, and the majority of users of all four systems reporting faxing as the most common method of exchanging information. (11/16/20)

Cerner incorporates Well Health’s app-free clinician-patient interaction capabilities into its HealtheLife patient portal, which will allow provider organizations to deliver health information, reminders, and virtual visit scheduling. (11/13/20)

The 673d Medical Group in Alaska, including the Eielson Air Force Base and Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, goes live on Cerner as part of the DoD’s MHS Genesis program. (11/11/20)

Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton (CA) goes live on Cerner as part of the DoD’s MHS Genesis program. (11/4/20)

October 2020

Cerner reports Q3 results: revenue down 4%, adjusted EPS $0.72 versus $0.62, beating Wall Street expectations for earnings but falling short on revenue. From the earnings call:

  • EVP/CFO Marc Naughton will leave the company in 2021 after 29 years.
  • An analyst noted that two recent high-level hires came from Leidos, suggesting an interest in getting more federal business, which Cerner hinted is the case. It was mentioned later in the call that Cerner is looking at “adjacencies” to its DoD and VA business, such as Indian Health Service, and “looking at ways that we can use data proactively with different branches of the government.”
  • President Don Trigg says the next focus in its relationship with Amazon Web Services will be CareAware, also noting that Amazon’s PillPack pharmacy will play into pharmacy trends.
  • Cerner had 22,000 people register for this month’s virtual Cerner Health Conference, with an advantage of the virtual format being able to see which sessions attendees choose and compare that to company focus and investment. Cerner mentioned interest in real-time workforce management, hospital operations, and consumer focus.
  • Data opportunities include release-of-information for life insurance, legal, and workmen’s comp; the Learning Health Network; and clinical trials identification and enrollment for non-academic medical centers.
  • Cerner will consider making acquisitions, but will also focus on repurchasing shares and paying dividends. (10/30/20)

A new KLAS report on health system AI purchases finds that that they are seeking specific solutions rather than concentrating on a single AI vendor, with the expected results taking longer than they expected. Jvion has a large client base but declining client satisfaction; Epic Cognitive Computing is growing fast, especially with readmission and sepsis prediction, but organizations need to drive outcomes on their own; and Cerner’s HealtheDataLab is early in its life cycle, with few live sites and little consideration in the market. Among products that allow customers to develop their own models, KenSci has high client satisfaction, DataRobot’s customers express concern about lack of completeness and the company’s lack of healthcare expertise; and Health Catalyst has weak customer satisfaction as its product is slowly maturing. Big tech firm offerings are seen as average, with Microsoft’s healthcare expertise and partnerships taking it to the top of the list, as Google and Amazon are perceived as light on healthcare knowledge and IBM Watson Health is seen as over-promising, under-delivering, and offering low value. (10/28/20)

Mann-Grandstaff VA Medical Center (WA) goes live on Cerner as the VA’s first implementation site. (10/26/20)

Cerner is seeking health systems to help test its Nuance-powered Voice Assist technology for clinician EHR interaction, joining St. Joseph’s Health and Indiana University Health. (10/21/20)

Intermountain Healthcare chooses Vynca for Cerner-integrated access to advance care planning documents for clinicians, patients, and caregivers. (10/9/20)

The VA tells a House subcommittee that it is considering retiring the My HealtheVet portal in favor of Cerner’s MyVAHealth, but that move would cost $60 to $300 million since it isn’t included in its Cerner contract. The VA will initially run the two portals in parallel, with Spokane-area veterans getting the Cerner portal by default after the Cerner go-live there this month, while all others will continue to access MyHealtheVet. (10/5/20)

The VA plans to go live with a first round of Cerner EHR capabilities on October 24 at the Mann-Grandstaff VA Medical Center in Spokane, WA, with a second round scheduled for next spring. (10/2/20)

Banner Health reduces unnecessary medication-related decision support and dosing alerts by one-third, working with Cerner Continuous Improvement Delivery to by studying its own alert history and implementing best practices from other Cerner clients. (10/2/20)

September 2020

Cerner will integrate Vynca’s advance care planning system with Millennium to display end-of-life preferences to clinicians and in the patient portal. (9/23/20)

In the UK, the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Integrated Care System will implement Cerner’s HealtheIntent population health management software and HealthEDW analytics. (9/16/20)

Adventist Health (CA) adds provider look-up and patient self-scheduling capabilities from Kyruus to its website, and embeds them within its Cerner-powered patient engagement software. (9/16/20)

Cerner hires Ron Lattomus (DRS Global Enterprise Solutions) to head its federal programs, including the VA’s EHR modernization project. (9/15/20)

Cerner will integrate AxiaMed’s patient payment solution with Millennium and other products. (9/14/20)

Four of Finland’s regions will work with Cerner to develop a digital platform to support moving municipal healthcare services under a regional authority. (9/11/20)

FCW reports that the VA’s implementation of Cerner’s scheduling solution in the Midwest’s VISN10 region will be followed by the full Cerner rollout there. VISN10 will go live on the VA’s 1.1 capability set for small and medium-sized hospitals. (9/7/20)

William Mintz (Leidos) joins Cerner as chief strategy officer. (9/4/20)

Cerner’s government services business receives a $161 million order to implement an enterprise healthcare services network at four VA medical centers in Ohio. (9/1/20)

August 2020

Cerner integrates its systems with Amazon’s new Halo, a health and wellness wearable, app, and membership program. (8/28/20)

The VA launches its Cerner appointment scheduling system at the VA Central Ohio Healthcare System, with a VA-wide rollout to follow. (8/26/20)

Baptist Health South Florida President and CEO Brian Keeley says the health system will spend upwards of $100 million on a digital transformation over the next several years that will include adding new scheduling and registration capabilities to its Cerner system; investing in analytics; upgrading its website with more patient engagement tools; and bolstering its Amwell-powered Care on Demand telemedicine app. The search for a chief digital officer is underway. (8/21/20)

The bond rater of Wise Health System (TX) says that one reason the health system’s margin has slipped is the cost of replacing Cerner with Allscripts, which in addition to staffing expense, created $12 million worth of revenue cycle inefficiency. It notes, however, that Wise Health Surgical Hospital improved its revenue cycle performance in 2019 following the EHR implementation. (8/19/20)

Starboard Value, the activist investor whose purchase of just 1.2% of Cerner shares convinced the company to give it four board seats in April 2019, reduces its CERN holdings to 2.6 million shares, about 0.8% of the outstanding shares, worth less than $200 million. CERN shares have gone up 16% since the day Cerner capitulated, although the Nasdaq has moved up 38% in the same timeframe. (8/17/20)

Cerner-sponsored Life Aid, which was launched in March to address veteran and first responder suicide, will be featured in a Discovery Channel special on August 30. (8/17/20)

Politico reports that the VA will re-commence its EHR overhaul with a rollout at an unnamed facility in October. The conversion from VistA to Cerner was halted earlier this year as VA facilities focused on preparing for and treating COVID-19 patients. The VA has switched its go-live plans from facilities in bigger metropolitan areas to those in smaller cities in the Pacific Northwest and Midwest, citing a lack of access during the pandemic to clinical experts who had been expected to help with system customizations for the larger facilities. (8/7/20)

Cerner and VC firm LRVHealth invest $6 million in Xealth, a Providence Health & Services spin-off that has developed software to help providers find and prescribe digital health apps and programs. (8/7/20)

July 2020

Nacogdoches Memorial Hospital (TX) and Cerner agree on partial payment to settle the $20 million the hospital owes for an implementation it delayed repeatedly and finally cancelled. (7/31/20)

Cerner will add Nuance’s virtual assistant technology to Millennium, allowing users to navigate by voice for chart search, order entry, and scheduling. (7/31/20)

Cerner reports Q2 results: revenue down 7%, EPS $0.44 versus $0.39, beating consensus earnings expectations but falling short on revenue. From the earnings call:

  • The company says its revenue came in lower than expected because the pandemic impacted sales or timing of some low-margin offerings, such as technology resale and billed travel.
  • Q3 revenue expectations have been reduced because of divested businesses and a larger-than-expected pandemic impact, but the company expects earnings to grow due to cost reduction.
  • The company says it won’t cut R&D spending.
  • Cerner says that while virtual go-lives work for simple implementations, the future model will be a hybrid, with fewer people on site who are supported centrally, which also reduces billable travel for the client. The company notes that employees are 25% more productive working remotely because avoiding two half-days of travel during the work week means they have five days billable per week instead of four.
  • Cerner is looking beyond its Amwell virtual visit partnership to virtual hospitals and ICUs that would involve its CareAware platform.
  • An analyst asked about a $35 million acquisition that he saw on the cash flow statement, which Cerner says was for a cybersecurity company that it can’t talk about otherwise.
  • Cerner is interested in acquisitions related to research data and analytics.
  • The grating phrase “new operating model” thankfully wasn’t uttered even once. (7/31/20)

Cerner announces CommunityWorks Foundations, a fixed-fee, cloud-based version of Millennium for Critical Access Hospitals that can be brought live in six months. (7/24/20)

Banner Health signs up for Cerner’s revenue cycle system, expanding its Millennium implementation. (7/17/20)

Cerner says it will keep employees working from home for at least several more months, pushing back its phased plan to bring up to 50% of employees back to office-based work. (7/17/20)

A new KLAS report that looks at advanced users of clinical communications platforms finds that Epic, Halo, and TigerConnect have the greatest breadth of workflows; PerfectServe and Telmediq have fewer workflows and are more widely used in inpatient settings; and Cerner, Hillrom (Voalte), Mobile Heartbeat, and PatientSafe Solutions focus on inpatient settings and have less use in outpatient. Cerner and Epic have tight integration with their own EHRs, as Epic Secure Chat provides fully embedded functionality and Cerner offers CareAware Connect Communications as a separate app. (7/8/20)

The White House’s 2021 budget request includes $105 billion for the VA, including $4.9 billion for IT and $2.6 billion (versus $1.5 billion this year) for its Cerner project. (7/8/20)

June 2020

Cerner conducts another round of layoffs, this time involving 100 employees. The nails-on-blackboard corporate phrase “new operating model” was uttered yet again as an explanation. (6/24/20)

The VA gives Cerner a $99 million task order for sustainment support of hardware and software associated with its $10 billion EHR modernization project. (6/12/20)

A GAO review finds that the VA has implemented effective configuration decision-making in its Cerner implementation by holding national workshops and creating 18 EHR councils, but needs to improve representation at local workshops. The report also notes that while the VA and DoD both user Cerner, coordination is needed to allow sharing of information and tasks, such as VA’s requirement to maintain durable orders for life-sustaining treatment across patient encounters that is not supported by the DoD’s Cerner configuration. (6/8/20)

Congressional sources say the VA probably won’t restart its Cerner rollout until the fall because of COVID-19 demands. (6/5/20)

RCM company R1’s shares jumped over 9% on the news that it will acquire Cerner’s RevWorks business in a transaction valued at $30 million. As part of the deal, Cerner will offer R1’s software and services to customers and prospects. In an April 2019 earnings call, company reps said RevWorks had grown stagnant, contributing $200 million in annual revenue. Cerner had been using its RevWorks offerings “to more tightly align the client to Cerner” for additional sales of its software and services. (6/5/20)

North Central Health Care (WI) will implement Cerner’s Behavioral Health EHR in three multi-specialty behavioral facilities. (6/3/20)

Cerner hires Jerome Labat (Micro Focus) as CTO. (6/3/20)

May 2020

Forty-nine municipalities in Sweden’s Västra Götaland region will implement Cerner Millennium. (5/29/20)

Cerner develops COVID-19 re-opening and social distancing projections for 60 countries using data from sources that include CDC, Johns Hopkins, Definitive Healthcare, and the COVID Tracking Project. (5/29/20)

Cerner joins the Fortune 500 largest US companies by annual revenue, coming in at #498. (5/20/20)

Cerner will begin moving employees back on campus Monday, starting with 10% of its workforce and aiming for no more than 50%. Employees will be encouraged to wear masks, fitness centers and cafeterias will be closed, elevators will be limited to two passengers, and staircases will be designated as one way. The company says positions in its consulting and client support areas may remain virtual permanently. (5/18/20)

Cerner announces that its annual conference, scheduled for October 12-14, will be conducted as a virtual event. The conference, one of Kansas City’s largest, is among 78 that have cancelled so far during the pandemic. City officials estimate that the cancellations will cost the local economy $137 million in lost hotel room bookings alone. (5/15/20)

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Reader Comments

  • Vikas Chowdhry: Will AI (I prefer the term Machine Learning - ML) magically fix all the incentives that have been created in the US heal...
  • Brian Too: I dunno. Seeking an answer in AI for America's healthcare woes seems a little desperate. LIke, adding one magic new in...
  • meltoots: You forgot that politics will have to be programmed in your AI. On both sides of the aisle, misinformation, doing things...
  • IANAL: So what should Cerner do though? They have some market issues because the largest potential or current customers have at...
  • Ghost of Andromeda: That's exactly the opportunity here! Cerner is struggling and could really use someone who knows how to execute with dis...

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