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Monday Morning Update 3/29/21

March 28, 2021 News 7 Comments

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A Change Healthcare SEC filing indicates that the company has received a Department of Justice request for additional information about its proposed $13 billion acquisition by UnitedHealth Group’s Optum.

The American Hospital Association asked DoJ for an antitrust review on March 17, expressing concerns about reduced health IT market competition and moving control of healthcare data from the independent Change Health to the insurer-owned Optum.


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

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The most popular poll respondent options for improving the privacy of patient data involve restricting the sale or sharing of identifiable data without the patient’s permission.

New poll to your right or here: Which city or region has the strongest claim to call itself the US capital of healthcare technology? I’m sure I didn’t think of every contender, so add a comment after voting if I missed an important one. I’ll compare these results to those of a similar poll I ran many years ago.


Webinars

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


Sales

  • Summit Healthcare announces several sales of its Provider Alert ADT notification and care coordination solution, including Lincoln Surgical Hospital, Bartlett Regional Hospital, and Madera Community Hospital.

People

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Jillian Wood, MBA joins Pivot Point Consulting as VP of marketing and operations.

Sphere promotes Ryne Natzke, MBA to SVP of growth and strategy.


COVID-19

The remarkable pace of COVID-19 vaccination in the US continues with daily doses exceeding 3 million, as CDC reports that nearly 20% of adults are fully vaccinated and 72% of those 65 and over have had at least one shot.

Case counts are surging again in Michigan, Massachusetts, and the New York tri-state area , with much of the increase in the 10-19 age group. Overall US case counts are also rising again, with increases in 34 states, and hospitalization numbers are up in 20 states. Former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, MD urges surging vaccine supplies to the hardest-hit areas.

In Canada, a physician and past president of the Ontario Medical Association says that COVID-19 has exposed the weaknesses of non-integrated EHRs. He says it’s getting better, but in the mean time, “There’s no way of tracking who’s ill and no way of sharing information electronically from say Collingwood hospital to Toronto General and there’s no way of sharing information from the hospital to public health if someone’s really sick with COVID so they can start the contact tracing process. It’s all done by paper and fax and that sort of thing.”


Other

The updated HIMSS21 schedule shows that some of the keynote speakers that were scheduled for HIMSS20 will be back —Alex Rodriguez, former governors Terry McAuliffe and Chris Christie, and Arianna Huffington. I assume that former President Trump won’t be kicking things off this time around. I made my keynoter suggestions last November.

KHN describes a patient whose $30 yearly arthritis injection was suddenly billed at $1,400, of which she owed $355. The hospital-employed doctor had been moved up one floor in the same building to be classified as a “hospital setting” that supports a $1,260 “operating room services” fee even though the woman didn’t have a procedure or infusion. The hospital threatened to take her to collections, so her family chipped in to cover the cost. As someone pointed out on Twitter, it would be like a Starbuck’s $2 coffee that costs $20 if you buy it from a stand inside a grocery store.


Sponsor Updates

  • Nuance announces that independent ambulatory clinics are accelerating the adoption of its Dragon Ambient Experience (DAX) ambient clinical intelligent solution and reporting significant gains in satisfaction.
  • Pure Storage’s FlashBlade nears $1 billion in sales and is used by more than 25% pf the Fortune 100.
  • GHU Paris selects Sectra’s digital pathology solution.
  • Vocera is partnering with Status Solutions to enhance and expand alert management solutions in long-term care facilities.
  • The Modern CTO podcast features Waystar CTO Chris Schremser.

Blog Posts


Contacts

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Currently there are "7 comments" on this Article:

  1. HIMSS21- Alex Rodriguez! I had forgot he was to speak. So will he bring Jaylo! I am sure he knows a lot about healthcare since he was a PED user.

  2. Can someone smarter than me explain why facility fees on standard outpatient visits/procedures aren’t one of the first things looked at by the government to lower the cost of healthcare? I got hit with one last summer on an urgent care visit which effectively increased the cost vs. independent urgent care by 2x.

    • Along the same line of thought: Last year I found out that the ER where i was treated was in network but the ER doctor was not but not until I received the Provider’s bill. So…….what’s a patient to do in an emergent situation?

      • For emergent care, write on the consent form that you won’t accept out of network charges or a bill over X and take a picture of the signed document. Then when they send you the bill, tell them you have signed document and that you are willing to negotiate. If they don’t want to negotiate, tell them you expect the collection agency to give you a better deal and that negotiated paid medical bills won’t affect your credit score. Most medical billing departments are incompetent bureaucracies who have no real means to get you to pay them the initial quote. I’ve been involved in three ER visits in Wisconsin and we’ve never had to pay the full bill.

        • I called the Provider billing company and received an updated, reduced bill (75%) but that’s a bandaid.

          In this case, it’s not about the technology it’s about how Providers contract with Payers and until that specifically is addressed, all the technology in the world won’t fix healthcare.

    • The problem is not this specific fee or that specific regulation, it’s the fee for service model in a privatized market. That has always been the answer and always will be the answer to reducing healthcare costs. We will get the lowest per person costs when everyone is in the same risk pool. We will get the best drug rates when we can collectively bargain with pharma as an entire industry. This is the way. Anything else is missing the point.







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