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Weekender 3/12/21

March 12, 2021 Weekender No Comments


Weekly News Recap

  • PatientPoint acquires one-time high flyer Outcome Health.
  • Brainlab acquires Mint Medical.
  • A former Practice Fusion sales exec pleads guilty to obstructing a federal investigation into the company’s EHR change to push opioids on behalf of its drug company client.
  • Telus will acquire Babylon Health’s Canadian operation.
  • Harris acquires Bizmatics.

Best Reader Comments

[Small banks being like small providers facing large competitors] This is a good analogy from a tech angle, but bad from a business angle. Your local bank had assets that big banks were interested in. Your local practice or average small hospital does not. What will happen to them is more like what happened to independent pharmacies. When CVS came to town, the payout for your local pharmacy owner was a sign-on bonus for their new employment contract at CVS. (IANAL)

[On Newfoundland and Labrador choosing Change Healthcare Canada to develop staff scheduling software] Healthcare staff scheduling is a well-developed product category. I’m very familiar with this sector. Workbrain, Kronos, and QHR Technologies all have good solutions on offer. Also, the $28 million in incentives? Newfoundland has a bad budget deficit and no idea how to pay that off. I mean, there was semi-serious talk of just asking the federal government to come in and take over. [Brian Too]

Insurtechs, like Oscar and Clover, offered a little bit more [than provider portals] – aggregated patient histories, simplified rostering, and direct scheduling – but they weren’t light years ahead. The biggest difference between the two groups was in how much better the insurtechs were at marketing their provider portal tools … Traditional insurers didn’t attempt to defend their tech at all. They offered the kind of bland, no-frills login page you’d expect to see guarding an enterprise intranet. Investors generally believe disruption = tech superiority, so it’s not hard to see why insurtechs would take the advantage of owning that perception, especially when incumbents are leaving it unchallenged and free for the taking. (J-Hambone)

It feels like there is a lot of combined insurer-health tech-healthcare provider activity lately. My PCP is at Atrius Health, which Optum bought. And Cigna just bought MDLive, which I would guess is the third or fourth biggest telehealth company. Those are both areas that health systems thought they could grow into, but insurers are beating them out. And I’m sure that the little startup insurance companies are doing product R&D and plan to prove something works before getting bought by Optum or one of other big dogs, sort of like how in the 90s it seemed like everyone was trying a crazy software startup and Microsoft would then buy the ones that worked out. (IANAL)

Watercooler Talk Tidbits


Readers funded the Donors Choose teacher grant request of Ms. P in Florida, who asked for 10 books whose theme is “it’s OK to be different.” She reports, “Thanks to your kindness and generosity, I can choose from a multiple of well written and diverse literature. This means that my little friends can find themselves represented in the stories that I read. These students who were previously marginalized in literature are now the heroes or heroines. We learn so much from the different cultures that it created an atmosphere of acceptance for diversity. For example, we started playing music from different cultures as a form of acceptance. The Caribbean kids got to share soca with the class and next week the Latinos will choose a song for us to enjoy. My kids welcome diversity and see the beauty in everyone now.”


In England, a 27-year-old former teacher from Canada who has experienced two rounds of osteosarcoma that has metastasized and is likely terminal hopes to finish a 16-week hospital rotation that will allow her complete her medical degree requirements. Krista Bose was not allowed to work in hospitals until she finished a chemotherapy round that would have made it unsafe for her to be exposed to COVID-19 patients. She explains why she is is willing to accept what could be a life-threatening risk to complete her MBBS: “No matter what I say, or what I want, or what I hope, my life is limited. This might be the last year my life … I’m willing to take that risk … If I have a limited amount of time left, but I spend that time doing what I love with the people I love and working towards my goals and working for the sake of other people and to help patients, then that’s a life worth living.”

University of Missouri pays $16 million to settle personal injury and false advertising claims over a university-developed knee repair procedure that plaintiffs claim had an 86% failure rate. One of the two developers is a veterinarian, who the lawsuits claim was allowed to perform the procedure without supervision. He holds a distinguished chair position in the university’s medical school, is chief of its orthopedics research division, and is director of operations and research of its joint center.

Police charge a Miami-area woman with practicing medicine without a license after she botched two attempts to perform a $2,000 nose job on a man who was left disfigured. The man says she also prescribed antibiotics and painkillers under a doctor’s name. She appears to be the operator of Millennium Anti-Aging and Surgery Center, a medical spa that offers plastic surgery, Botox, weight control plans, electrotherapy, and general surgery. It is conveniently located adjacent to the House of Kabob and a traffic ticket lawyer.


Northwell Health donates items that were used to inject the US’s first dose of coronavirus vaccine — at Long Island Jewish Medical Center on December 14, 2020 — to the medical collection of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. The donation includes the scrubs, ID badge, and vaccination record card of Sandra Lindsay, RN, MS, MBA, director of critical care patient care services. 

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