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December 1, 2020 News 3 Comments

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ONC, HL7, and other participants announce Project US@, which hopes to publish a healthcare standard for representing patient addresses sometime next year.

The project will review the US Postal Service Postal Addressing Standards, but says those can’t be adopted directly because they include both “preferred” and “acceptable” spellings and abbreviations and also require manual reconciliation with reference files.

HIStalk Announcements and Requests


No, Politico, Vice-President Pence did not say that the “calvary” was coming, unless he was referencing religion or geography and you forgot to capitalize.


December 3 (Thursday) noon ET. “Why Patient-Centered Billing: How University Physicians’ Association Increased Revenue and Reduced Days to Pay.” Sponsor: Relatient. Presenter: Christy Bailey, VP, University Physicians’ Association. Financial recovery calls for a better patient financial experience as providers drive revenue, engage patients, and reduce costs and bad debt. The presenter will talk about patients as payers and how delivering a financial experience that meets their expectations can improve the financial outcomes of providers, hospitals, and health systems.

Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre to present your own.

Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock


Virtual healthcare collaboration and delivery company Andor Health announces a Series A funding round from Microsoft’s M12 venture fund. CEO Raj Toleti’s health IT leadership experience includes stints at early patient kiosk company Galvanon (acquired by NCR), PatientPoint, and HealthGrid, which he co-founded and later sold to Allscripts.


Workforce solutions company HealthStream acquires Change Healthcare’s capacity management business, including its Ansos staff scheduling software, for $67.5 million in cash. Ninety Change employees will join HealthStream’s Workforce Solutions business, which includes its previous acquisitions ShiftWizard and NurseGrid.


Healthcare process automation vendor Olive achieves a $1.5 billion valuation after announcing a $225 million financing round.


Salesforce acquires Slack for $27.7 billion. 


  • Med Smart Wellness Centers will implement EHR and billing software from AdvancedMD at its first facility in Aventura, FL.



Spok names Kristen Lalowski, RN (MDLive) chief product officer.


Cheryl Pegus, MD (Cambia Health Solutions) will join Walmart as EVP of health and wellness.


Apervita hires David Yakimischak (ConnectiveRx) as CTO.


Eric Nilsson (The SSI Group) joins Medstreaming as CTO.

Announcements and Implementations


Agfa Healthcare announces GA of Rubee for AI, specialty-specific AI software for enterprise imaging.

The Vascular Institute of Chattanooga (TN) implements Saykara’s voice-enabled, mobile AI assistant for clinical charting.



A record 96,039 Americans were in the hospital with COVID-19 on Monday even as “data wobbles” that were caused by delayed reporting over Thanksgiving and the weekend will likely cause a spike in testing, case, and death counts during this week’s data submission catch-up. Total US COVID-19 deaths are at 269,000. Experts are questioning whether the decrease in week-ago new cases versus new hospitalizations as a percentage means that hospitals are sending people home who would have been sick enough to admit before beds became scarce.


Controversial White House coronavirus advisor and radiologist Scott Atlas, MD resigns his temporary position after four months, declaring in his resignation letter that his entire focus was to save lives using the latest science and evidence without political consideration. 


A CDC advisory committee met Tuesday afternoon to determine which groups will be the first to receive a coronavirus vaccine. Meanwhile, analysis of 534,000 COVID-19 Medicare claims finds that the most significant risk factors for over-65 coronavirus deaths are advanced age (over 85 years of age), male sex, and non-white race. Leading comorbidities are sickle cell disease, chronic kidney disease, leukemias and lymphomas, heart failure, and diabetes. Authors of the pre-print research suggest that CDC consider these factors in its prioritization.

CDC will reportedly reduce its recommended 10-day isolation period for people with known COVID-19 infection to five days, reflecting new analysis that suggests that most spread occurs from two days before symptom onset to five days after. The reduced isolation would make it more likely that infected people will comply.


Carnegie Mellon University’s Delphi Research Group enhances its COVIDcast real-time, community-level COVID-19 indicators with de-identified claims data from Change Healthcare.


A CDC analysis finds that COVID-19 hospital information from the HHS Protect system sharply diverges from other hospital data sources that are used by many states, potentially giving government health officials and hospital personnel inaccurate estimates of disease burden and resource availability. One official has said HHS data is of poor quality, inconsistent with state reports, and presented with slipshod analysis. Responsibility for COVID-19 hospital data was abruptly transitioned from the CDC to HHS in July, with data collection handled by TeleTracking and database management by Palantir. 



Alphabet’s DeepMind says it has developed an AI system that has solved the “protein folding problem” decades ahead of expectations, which will allow faster drug development and use of existing drugs to treat new viruses and diseases. The company has not said how it will share its findings.


The Association of Health Care Journalists calls HIMSS an “industry trade group,” which made me recall the quick correction that HIMSS issued years ago when I called out that its own press released identified it as such (correctly, I would argue) for the first time.

Sponsor Updates

  • Bluetree hires Christal Kozloski to direct its new Payer Solutions portfolio.
  • Frost & Sullivan recognizes Change Healthcare with its 2020 North American Cloud-Based Enterprise Imaging Customer Value Leadership Award.
  • CI Security will exhibit at the Atlanta Virtual Cybersecurity Summit December 2-3.
  • Digital.com includes AdvancedMD, Cerner, and EClinicalWorks among the best medical billing companies of 2020.
  • Diameter Health will host its second annual customer forum virtually December 3-4.
  • Engage publishes a new case study, “Engage’s ‘Army of Experts’ Provides Integrated Hosting and Consulting Services for Meditech Implementation at San Luis Valley Health.”
  • Lumeon makes its patient appointment reminders, and virtual care and telehealth solutions available in the Epic App Orchard.
  • The EverCare Group implements Wolters Kluwer Health’s UpToDate Advanced clinical decision support software at its hospitals in Africa and India.
  • Summit Healthcare expands its integration partnership with EMPI vendor NextGate to include real-time patient identification across its network of hospital systems.

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Currently there are "3 comments" on this Article:

  1. Politico reporter didn’t see “No Time for Sergeants” which leaves no doubt as to the spelling of cavalry based on the pronunciation

  2. Re: Olive. Not seeing it, what am I missing? They seem to have found a nice niche, but they are not what I would call revolutionary, and I don’t think their execution is anything to write home about. $1.5B valuation? Seems like this is a case of Silicon Valley easy money mania meets healthcare.

    • Yeah I’ve been asking myself the same question… they just acquired another company as well that purports to do what they were already claiming they’ve done so well (AI assisted pre-auth). I totally agree there’s a lot of administrative overhead in healthcare that could benefit from process automation but just throwing a blanket magical AI wand to claim “revolution” is awfully suspicious but perhaps there’s something the investors are seeing that the public is not?? Smells like another Theranos.

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