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December 3, 2020 News 4 Comments

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AI solutions vendor Olive acquires Verata Health, which offers an AI-powered prior authorization solution.

Verata’s 60 employees will join the 400-plus headcount of Olive.

Reader Comments


From Motion Detector: “Re: CHIME. What the heck was Russ Branzell doing pitching Imprivata’s acquisition of FairWarning as the ‘real answer’ for healthcare security?” CHIME and HIMSS usually manage to keep a public straight face while pleasuring their vendor underwriters privately, so it’s jarring to see Russ’s laudatory quote in the press release’s second paragraph. Privacy and security vendors who, unlike their competitor Imprivata, didn’t earn CHIME’s endorsement as the market’s “real answer” have reason to take umbrage. I guess richly compensated membership organization CEOs have been forced, in the absence of conference revenue, to brandish their “will work for food” signs more forcefully. The third paragraph was another questionably appropriate quote from a KLAS VP, but at least his cheerleading was masked as a general market observation instead of genuflecting to specific companies.

HIStalk Announcements and Requests

I’m curious how the government and COVID-19 vaccine vendors will track the performance and side effects of the available products after their administration, especially since vaccine administration records will be scattered all over the place. Hospital folks, care to elaborate what you’re planning in terms of recording vaccine administration (your own or as reported by the patient or other providers) that can be tied later to outcomes? It would be helpful to know how many of those folks end up with COVID-19 despite being vaccinated or experience other problems. I expect it will be helpful in encouraging folks to get vaccinated early on to be able to quickly report that few significant issues with it have surfaced.

I’m getting sick of the overused term “unlock revenue,” but I’ll accept the word “wantrepreneur,” which describes those self-promoters whose vast business insight never seems to materialize into an actual successful business.


None scheduled soon. Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre to present your own.

Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock


McKesson launches Ontada, which will (as I’m inferring from its PR puffery) sell drug companies real-world patient data from its IKnowMed oncology EHR and Clear Value Plus cancer pathways system. The company unwisely lets the marketing VP laboriously explain the company’s brand and contorted name development (O means having no beginning or end, ON is derived from oncology even though the O was already used, and TADA is an anagram for data – I guess they ruled out NODATA). Your body, like mine, is surely luxuriating in that “every part of our visual identity was chosen to make people feel at ease, confident, hopeful, and energized.”


Imprivata acquires threat detection platform vendor FairWarning.


Home care provider MedArrive announces its launch with a $4.5 million seed funding round. The company will attempt to bridge the virtual care gap by partnering with health systems to send virtually physician-supervised EMTs and paramedics into patient homes to draw blood, administer vaccinations or medications, and perform urgent care services. Co-founder and CEO Dan Trigub previously led healthcare operations for Uber and Lyft.

Virginia’s VCU Health System lays off 635 employees as it outsources revenue cycle management, although 90% of the workers have been hired by the outsourcer, Ensemble Health Partners. VCU Health says the decision wasn’t triggered by a 2019 investigative report in which it was found to be using aggressive collection methods against patients, including seizing their homes and paychecks.


  • Campbell University and Wayne HealthCare choose Emerge’s ChartGenie service to convert their existing existing EHR data to Athenahealth and to provide ongoing access to those systems afterward.
  • Health and wellness concierge monitoring vendor MonitorMe chooses Cumberland to optimize its Athenahealth platform.
  • Lake of the Woods District Hospital chooses Vocera’s intelligent communications solutions that include its Smartbadge and Vina smartphone app.



Halo Health hires Julia Goebel (Benefitexpress) as VP of marketing.


Anthony Belthrop (PeopleFluent) joins MDLive as CISO.


Experity hires Brian Wilson, MBA (Ascentis) as chief customer officer.

Announcements and Implementations


Meditech announces a Google Cloud-hosted platform that includes Expanse Now, High Availability SnapShot, and Virtual Care.

First Databank updates its COVID-19 Medical Supply Guide with 1,300 test kits, PPE, and disinfectants. The guide is provided to health systems at no charge.

Google announces its Healthcare Interoperability Readiness Program, which includes an implementation plan for FHIR API development, Google Apigee API management, the Google Cloud Healthcare API, and interoperability resources.

Government and Politics

CMS will continue to pay for certain telehealth services after the pandemic’s end, most notably those for nursing home residents in rural areas. CMS notes, however, that Medicare does not have the authority to pay for telehealth services outside of rural areas or to patients in their homes.



Wednesday’s COVID Tracking Project report finds another record-setting day, with 196,000 new US cases reported and over 100,000 people hospitalized with COVID-19. Daily deaths rose to 2,733, just shy of the all-time record set on May 7 and exceeding the body count on December 7, 1941 while falling just short of the toll of September 11, 2001.

The White House coronavirus task force warns that the post-Thanksgiving COVID-19 spread will overwhelm hospitals, compromising care for all patients. It also urges public health officials in states that don’t have mandatory mask policies to bypass their elected leaders and warn residents directly that they should avoid indoor spaces where people aren’t wearing masks.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti says the city will run out of hospital beds in the next three weeks, urging residents to “cancel everything.”

CDC Director Robert Redfield, MD says that today’s COVID-19 death count of 274,000 will rise to 450,000 by February if Americans keep refusing to wear masks. He also expressed disappointment that New York closed its schools again given that few clusters of infection have been traced to schools.

The American Ambulance System says the US 911 system is stretched and “likely to break” in its request for relief funds from HHS.

IBM’s cybersecurity operation warns that unknown hackers are launching malware attacks on the “cold chain” of refrigerated vaccine distribution, urging those who are involved in shipping, storing, refrigerating, and delivering COVID-19 vaccines to beef up their security. Many of the attempts involve emails impersonating an executive of a China-based biomedical firm whose contract attachment steals user credentials.

CDC recommends that Americans who ignore its advice to avoid travel get tested for coronavirus 1-3 days before departing and again 3-5 days after returning, the first time CDC has recommended testing for domestic travelers. CDC also recommends that travelers quarantine themselves for 7-10 days (depending on whether they are tested with a negative result) instead of their previously recommended 14-day quarantine period.


The mayor of Austin, TX becomes the latest public official to be caught ignoring their own dire warnings about travel, masks, and restaurants. Steve Adler broadcast his stay-home plea from Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, where he had just arrived via private jet for a vacation following his daughter’s 20-guest, mask-free wedding ceremony in Austin, where a 10-person group limit was in effect. Once caught, he followed the political playbook in expressing profound remorse at his rare lapse in judgment and insisting that now that he has seen the COVID light, he wouldn’t do it today. Denver’s mayor recorded a similar “don’t travel” pre-Thanksgiving warning, then immediately caught a plane to Mississippi for some family time.


Mental health EHR/PM vendor NTreatment exposes patient information in failing to secure its Microsoft Azure cloud storage with a password. Grammar joke: perhaps the company will NTreat its customers for forgiveness.

Sponsor Updates

  • The local paper profiles Sansum Clinic’s use of Well Health’s patient engagement and messaging software.
  • OptimizeRx enhances its digital health and communications platform with AI for more precise patient support.
  • Concierge telemedicine company MonitorMe selects Cumberland Consulting Group to optimize its Athenahealth software.
  • First Databank updates its COVID-19 Medical Supply Guide with more than 1,300 products to help in the fight against the pandemic.
  • Fortified Health Security Director of Cybersecurity Operations Preston Duren discusses healthcare IoT on “Between Two Servers.”
  • Healthcare Triangle becomes a partner in Google Cloud’s Healthcare Interoperability Readiness Program.
  • Healthwise wins six Digital Health Awards in the Health Information Resource Center Fall 2020 competition.
  • InterSystems publishes a new white paper, “AI in Healthcare: Early Stage with Steady March to Maturity.”
  • Jvion shares predictions on trends driving clinical AI adoption in 2021.
  • Kyruus wins the Powerhouse Healthcare Company of the Year award from the New England Venture Capital Association.
  • Lumeon releases a new video, “Current Challenges Facing Patient Access Departments.”

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Currently there are "4 comments" on this Article:

    • That was not listed as a reaction the branding folks were hoping for. Are you sure that your nausea wasn’t caused by being energized?

      I actually like the name. It’s the self-congratulatory and entirely unnecessary marketing backstory that makes my eyes roll. Let the company’s branding speak for itself.

  1. Sad state we are in when perceived neutral association leaders come out with such strong statements of support for a single vendor.

  2. Please continue to ‘out’ these elected public officials who foolishly don’t take their own advice and warnings about Covid-19 precautions. So sick of the double-standard and their constituents need to know the truth especially at the ballot box!

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  1. Yet you miss the critical end of that sentence ---- "..yet they have ALL the LEVERAGE IF there were any…

  2. The VA project involves dozens of billions of taxpayer dollars, a big industry vendor, and a lot of people who…

  3. KLAS expressed the hospital count by rounded percentage, as follows including those I didn't mention originally: Epic 35.9 Oracle Cerner…

  4. There are other vendors out there with even fewer hospitals, I think athenahealth has some. And then there are still…

  5. I want to start off by saying excellent content and to continue with that theme I feel organizations should implement…


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