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News 4/9/21

April 8, 2021 News 1 Comment

Top News

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Investment firm KKR acquires a majority interest in Therapy Brands, which sells behavioral health EHR/PM systems under 19 nameplates.

Thanks to reader Inchoate, whose tip allowed me to run a rumor of the acquisition a couple of days ago before the deal was announced.


Reader Comments

From Crass Credential: “Re: listing job changes. Why don’t you include fellowship credentials, such as FACHE?” I’m not a bit interested in (and thus don’t list) someone’s fellowship activities, certifications, or expensive weekends spent at a big-name school’s non-degree executive program. I always include an earned master’s or doctorate and, depending on what I’m writing about, I will generally mention past military service, but the rest tells me more about someone’s check-writing experience than their intellectual capability or perseverance.


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

I use LinkedIn mostly just to look up credentials, but top of increasingly irrelevant (and sometimes political or personal) posts, now I’m gritting my teeth at user writing that tries to humble-brag using this overly dramatic format:

Dramatic emphasis is being attempted.

With one sentence per line.

We hear about their setbacks and how they bravely overcame them.

To become simultaneously wonderful and humble, and you can do it, too.

Imitative marketing haiku writing for dummies. #lame.


Webinars

April 20 (Tuesday) noon ET. “The Modern Healthcare CIO: Digital Transformation in a Post-COVID World.” Sponsors: RingCentral, Net Health. Presenters: Dwight Raum, CIO, Johns Hopkins Medicine; Jeff Buda, VP/CIO, Floyd Medical Center. A panel of CIOs from large health systems will discuss how the digital health landscape is changing and what organizations can do now to meet future patient needs. Moderator Jason James, CIO of Net Health, will guide the panelists through topics that include continuum of care and telemedicine, employer-provided care delivery, consumerization of healthcare, and sustainability and workforce management.

April 21 (Wednesday) 1 ET. “Is Gig Work For You?” Sponsor: HIStalk. Presenter: Frank L. Poggio, retired health IT executive and active job search workshop presenter.  This workshop will cover both the advantages and disadvantages of being a gig worker. Attendees will learn how to how to decide if gig work is a good personal fit, find the right company, and protect themselves from unethical ones.

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


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Virtual-first, employer-focused primary care provider Firefly Health raises $40 million in a Series B funding round. The company says it can save employers 30% of their healthcare costs by directing employees to less-expensive settings, reducing their use of specialists, and controlling unnecessary referrals. It operates in four northeastern states. The company’s executive chair is Athenahealth co-founder Jonathan Bush.

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Vesta Healthcare, which offers clinical services and a digital health platform to support high-needs members and their home caregivers, raises $65 million in growth capital.

Privia Health, which offers medical practices administrative services, technology, and its own medical group, files SEC documents to launch an IPO.

Signify Research examines the just-completed acquisition of DXC’s provider business by Dedalus for $450 million. It notes:

  • DXC was created in 2017 by the merger of CSC (which had previously acquired ISoft following its NPfIT struggles) and the enterprise services business of HPE.
  • Dedalus had previously acquired a majority position in France-based Medasys and the EHR and integrated care business of Agfa Health.
  • The combined entity is the largest EHR vendor in Europe, with annual revenue of $600 million. It offers legacy EHRs such as Lorenzo, I.CM, I.P.M., MedChart, Swift, Patient Care, and others.
  • The analysis says that Dedalus needs to retire its legacy solutions quickly and move customers to newer platforms without upsetting them, which it notes is not easy.

Fierce Healthcare covers the new Advocate Aurora Enterprises investment arm of the Advocate Aurora health system (the health system reported $558 million in profit for 2020, boosted by $786 million in federal COVID-19 relief funds, so this your taxpayer dollars at work.) Points:

  • AAE acquired in-home senior care franchisee Senior Helpers for a reported $180 million last week.
  • It recently led a $25 million funding round in Foodsmart, which offers telenutrition visits, meal planning, and online meal ordering and grocery lists.
  • Its investments will focus on established companies that address independent aging, parenthood, and quackery-rich “personal performance” (integration of mind, body, and nutrition.)
  • AAE will explore investments in digital health since its health system revenue is limited by Medicare and Medicaid payments.

Emids acquires software design and development vendor Quovantis Technologies.

Harris subsidiary MediSolution acquires Quebec-based, MIRTH-focused healthcare integration services vendor Intégration Santé.


Sales

  • National post-acute care services provider AccentCare will implement Jvion’s clinical AI CORE to reduce avoidable readmissions that are related to social determinants of health.
  • Springfield Clinic (IL) will implement RCxRules HCC Coding Rule Set to identify HCC coding gaps in value-based contracts.
  • Tucson Gastroenterology and Midland Cardiac Clinic choose Greenway Health for revenue cycle management.
  • Health First (FL) will use the ThinkAndor Vaccine Management Toolkit for vaccine distribution.
  • University Hospitals of Cleveland chooses VisuWell’s browser-deployed telehealth platform. VisuWell CEO Sam Johnson is an industry long-timer with experience at Misys, Greenway, and Relatient.
  • Stanford Health Care will implement real world evidence-based guidelines from Atropos Health. The company was incubated through last October at the health system’s innovation program, uses Stanford-licensed technology, and was based on Stanford’s Clinical Informatics Consult service. The company’s product uses aggregated, anonymized EHR data to provide personalized evidence for decision-making in individual patients.

People

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Nick van Terheyden, MBBS (Incremental Healthcare) joins ECG Management Consultants as digital health leader and principal.

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Ken Boyett, MBA (TeleTracking) rejoins Healthcare IT Leaders as managing director of provider solutions.

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AGS Health appoints Eileen Voynick as board chair.

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Diameter Health names James Bradley, MS, MBA as its board chair.

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Lumeris hires Jean-Claude Saghbini, MS (Wolters Kluwer Health) as CTO.


Announcements and Implementations

Meditech announces Expanse Patient Connect, which uses Well Health’s text, phone, email, and chat messaging solution to send patients reminders, instructions, and follow-up instructions that can be accessed from Meditech’s patient portal and app.


COVID-19

University of Michigan begins cancelling surgeries to make room for accelerating COVID-19 admissions.

A study finds that 34% of COVID-19 survivors were diagnosed with neurological or psychiatric illness within six months, most commonly anxiety and mood disorders. They also found that 7% of patients went home after being admitted to the ICU with COVID-19 had a stroke within six months and 2% were diagnosed with dementia.

CDC reports that 42% of US adults and 76% of senior citizens have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

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The Washington Post tests New York State’s IBM-developed Excelsior Pass “vaccine passport” that allows those who have been vaccinated or who recently tested negative to gain admission to public spaces by voluntarily presenting their phone-based green checkmark. It notes challenges:

  • Account setup via a website takes a fair amount of time, technical know-how, and a decent Internet connection.
  • It’s easy to set up a fake pass.
  • Users still have to present an ID along with the phone pass, which some will be reluctant to do.
  • Test results aren’t always uploaded to the state database quickly, especially by private providers, so users may still need to present their paper results to attend events that occur shortly after being tested.
  • The system is a voluntary alternative to simply showing a vaccination card or test result.

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People are selling forged COVID-19 vaccination cards on sites such as Etsy, Ebay, and Facebook, potentially violating trademark and identity theft laws while raking in cash from unvaccinated people who want to travel or attend events. It’s not just anti-vaxxers – some buyers are writing in phony first-dose dates in hopes of fooling pharmacies into giving them priority access to their “second” dose of the vaccine. I can’t imagine that the folks who are charged with checking the plain-looking cards will have the ability or time to weed out the fake ones – it’s not like currency or a driver’s license that contains a lot of counterfeit-detecting features.


Other

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Forbes profiles Epic in a click-baity article titled “The Billionaire Who Controls Your Medical Records.” The article opines, not very convincingly, that the company’s “build it alone” approach could become its biggest liability after the pandemic as people may continue to avoid hospitals. It also says, equally unconvincingly, that new federal rules giving patients some control of their medical records could erode the “health-data oligopoly” of Epic and Cerner. Then it was off to a rehash of easily Googled information cobbled into a non-story with a few harmless quotes thrown in. The writer apparently interviewed Judy Faulkner, but either didn’t ask the right questions or didn’t get the right answers since it’s the same-old, including the obligatory wonderment at its campus.

Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health researchers find that non-profit hospitals spend even less on providing charity care than their for-profit counterparts, averaging $2.30 for each $100 in expenses, but in some cases less than $1.00. The authors conclude that non-profit hospitals, which are subsidized by tax revenues and are exempt from paying most taxes, “have their cake and eat it, too.” They also note that IRS doesn’t have specific requirements for the amount of care or community benefit that tax-exempt hospitals provide, they have no incentive to increase it. They suggest that hospitals be competitively ranked by the amount of charity care the provide and a reworking of the tax exemption rules to align charity care with tax status.

Radiation treatment appointments at four Rhode Island hospitals are rescheduled when radiation oncology cloud vendor Elekta is hit by a ransomware attack. The hospitals said the company restored its systems within a day.

New York Magazine examines “the therapy app fantasy,” in which the large number of mentally ill and suicidal Americans have drawn investors to “slickly marketed companies promising a service they cannot possibly provide.” The author notes that most apps don’t really offer therapy at all, but instead tout the benefits of relaxation games, journal-keeping, mood trackers, and chatbots. She says that actual therapy apps are unlike healthcare in general because the patient is the customer, but those customers don’t know what they need. She also observes that companies like Ginger and Lyra sell their services to employers, which allows those companies to address employee unhappiness while continuing to treat them poorly. Users report overloaded therapists, messaging therapists who don’t respond, and claimed 24/7 therapist availability that really means you can send a text message any time that may not get answered anytime soon. Therapists complain that the companies don’t set clear expectations, don’t have enough therapists to handle the workload, and pay them below-market rates based on factors other than time, which mostly attracts less-discriminating therapists who are moving, working multiple jobs, or caring for their children. .


Sponsor Updates

  • SOC Telemed earns The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval for Ambulatory Health Care Accreditation.
  • Wolters Kluwer Health adds two new payer solutions to Health Language’s reference data management capabilities.
  • Experity publishes a new case study, “Experity Meets CRH Healthcare Where Consumers, Retail, and Healthcare Intersect.”
  • Gyant publishes a new case study, “Hackensack Meridian Health Achieves 89% Screening Completion Rate with Virtual Assistant.”
  • HCTec and Impact Advisors will exhibit at the virtual CHIME Spring Forum April 15-17.
  • Optimum Healthcare IT joins the ServiceNow Partner Program.
  • East Alabama Medical Center goes live on the enhanced physician documentation system of Crossings Healthcare Solutions, decreasing transcription expense by 95%.
  • Cardinal Health will offer oncology practices Jvion’s CORE population health decision support system as part of its Navista Tech Solutions suite.
  • Health Data Movers appoints Monica Gupta and Alyssa Rapp to its Board of Directors.
  • InterSystems has joined the Gartner Peer Insights Customer First program for its adherence to transparency and integrity in managing the Gartner Peer Insights review process for customers.

Blog Posts


Contacts

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Currently there is "1 comment" on this Article:

  1. LOL, your take on that Forbes profile of Judy Faulkner!

    How does Forbes, of all organizations, not understand the concepts of “competitive advantage”, “barriers to market entry”, and “intellectual property”?

    Shall we also explain to Forbes the terms Return on Investment, Profit and Loss, and the Invisible Hand? LOL!







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