Home » News » Currently Reading:

News 5/19/21

May 18, 2021 News 16 Comments

Top News


The 2021 HIMSS and HLTH conferences will require in-person attendees to show proof that they have been fully vaccinated for COVID-19.

HLTH attendees will need to present vaccination proof via Clear’s Health Pass app, which is not yet available for COVID-19. HIMSS hasn’t decided how attendees will prove their vaccination status, but suggests that it will choose a digital solution.

Other announced items related to HIMSS21:

  • Attendees, exhibitors, and HIMSS staff who have not received the full regimen of vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, J&J, or AstraZeneca will not be allowed to enter conference areas.
  • Exhibit hall booths will be spaced, as will the layout within individual booths.
  • Presenters will be required to wear face shields.
  • HIMSS has not yet decided whether attendees will be required to wear masks.
  • Seating in educational sessions will be spaced with reduced capacity guidelines, with overflow seating and live stream simulcast offered for some sessions.
  • HIMSS is still reviewing rules for networking events, but may require them to be conducted outdoors, to serve only individually portioned food and beverage items, and to employ distancing.


In other conference news, RSNA confirms that it will return to an in-person conference this year, starting on its usual Thanksgiving weekend at McCormick Place. RSNA  work with the convention center and the city to determine health and safety requirements.

Reader Comments

From Eadric: “Re: Meditech surgical case data. Do you know of any experts who can help point my company in the right direction to get it for our shared clients?” I don’t, but I will forward any contacts that readers suggest.

From Co-Vegas: “Re: HIMSS21. The HIMSS conference precautions won’t mean much in Las Vegas, which is anything-goes when it comes to coronavirus.” Read down the page for the just-announced HIMSS21 precautions. Las Vegas is the probably the worst US city for trying to seal off a conference to control viral spread given the mask-free intermingling of domestic and international tourists along with conference attendees in hotels, casinos, and restaurants. Convention centers are usually freestanding entities that control access to their entire footprint with their own security, but that’s not possible in Las Vegas, which intentionally makes it impossible to get from Point A to Point B without passing through crowded casinos, packed elevators, and throngs of sketchy Strip occupants.


June 3 (Thursday) 2 ET: “Diagnosing the Cures Act – Practical Prescriptions for Your Success.” Sponsor: Secure Exchange Solutions. Presenters: William E. Golden, MD, MACP, medical director, Arkansas Medicaid; Anne Santifer, executive director, Arkansas Department of Health – Office of Health Information Technology; Kyle Meadors, principal, Chart Lux Consulting. A panel of leading experts will provide practical guidance on how to prepare for the Cures Act. Will it upend your business model? What is information blocking? How can standardized technologies be applied to meet Cures Act requirements? What must I do now as well as in the next five years?

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

Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock


Healthcare staffing, resource, and telemedicine company AMN Healthcare acquires virtual care startup Synzi from Kinderhook Industries for $42.5 million.


Provider management and credentialing software vendor Symplr acquires HealthcareSource, which specializes in healthcare employee recruitment, retention, and development. Symplr acquired competitor Phynd Technologies in January.


Employer-focused mental health tech company Lyra Health raises $200 million just four months after securing $187 million, bringing its estimated value to $4.6 billion.


  • National medical group Mednax selects R1 RCM.



Darren Dworkin (Cedars-Sinai Health System) joins Press Ganey as chief strategy officer and managing partner of PG Ventures. He has been at Cedars for 16 years as SVP/CIO, managing director of its venture organization, and executive managing director of its accelerator.

image image

Culbert Healthcare Solutions names David Francis (Steward Medical Group) SVP of management consulting services and Charlie Brown (Tower Health) VP of Epic revenue cycle consulting services.


Luyuan Fang (Change Healthcare) joins Prescryptive Health as chief AI and data officer.


Advanced Medical Strategies names David Cardelle (Change Healthcare) chief strategy officer.


Patient Discovery Solutions hires Theresa West (Signify Health) for the new role of chief commercial officer.


Dina hires Bob Maluso, MBA (Woundtech) as chief growth officer.

Announcements and Implementations

The American Medical Association announces Return on Health, which will develop a framework for assessing the value of digitally enabled care, such as telehealth.

The Minnesota Board of Pharmacy will give prescribers access to the state’s prescription monitoring program data through Appriss Health’s PMP Gateway interface.


Sutter Health (CA) implements Docent Health’s patient engagement technology as part of its new virtual mental healthcare program. GetWellNetwork acquired the company in January.

Blessing Health System (IL) deploys Allscripts Sunrise at Blessing Health Keokuk, Hannibal Clinic, and Scotland County Hospital. It has also signed on for the company’s managed services.

Medhost chairman and CEO Bill Anderson describes in an Amazon Web Services blog post how its multi-tenant, cloud-based EHR benefits customers and supports innovation such as machine learning, analytics, telehealth, ambient listening, mobile-friendly apps, and Alexa-based services.


Cleveland Clinic expands its virtual second opinion program for employers and health plans, offered with Amwell, to brain and prostate cancer.


Scripps Health remains offline more than two weeks after it was hit by a ransomware attack.


A survey by mental health vendor Woebot Health finds that users of its therapy encounter app develop a bond — similar to that between human therapists and patients — within 3-5 days of use without diminishing over time. The “relational agent” app simulates a supportive conversation using AI and NLP that monitors and manages symptoms of stress, depression, and anxiety. I started a free trial to check it out and am not all that impressed so far – it led me through a heavily scripted “chat” that was mostly me clicking on canned responses, went through a “lesson,” insisted on a daily session (no more, no less), and then didn’t have anything useful to offer when I revisited for the second time today and said I was feeling anxious to see what would happen. Maybe it will perform better over time or as it learns.

Kaiser Health News calls out dentists who recommend unneeded or more-expensive procedures to boost their bottom lines, quoting an insurance fraud journal that concludes, “Medicaid fraud is the most lucrative business model in US dentistry today.” Corporations and private equity firms who acquire small practices sometimes order their employed dentists to push profitable procedures and fire them if they don’t. One dentist was charged with fraud after billing for $2 million in crown procedures in 18 months, which authorities say he made possible by intentionally breaking the teeth of patients with his drill while filling their cavities.

Sponsor Updates

  • Wolters Kluwer Health announces that the global customer support teams for Ovid, Lippincott, and Audio Digest have received the CRMI’s NorthFace ScoreBoard Award for the 10th consecutive year.
  • SOC Telemed will present during the virtual 2021 RBC Capital Markets Global Healthcare Conference May 18.
  • Athenahealth integrates Nuance’s Dragon Medical speech and virtual assistant technology into its AthenaOne EHR and mobile app.
  • Patient engagement vendor Sonifi Health announces a partnership with CipherHealth.
  • Capsule Technologies publishes a new white paper, “Remote Monitoring Assessment of COVID-19 Patients.”
  • Epocrates becomes the exclusive reseller of ConnectiveRx’s ScriptGuide patient savings messages.
  • Netsmart earns its seventh consecutive top post-acute technology solutions vendor ranking from Black Book Market Research.

Blog Posts


Mr. H, Lorre, Jenn, Dr. Jayne.
Get HIStalk updates.
Send news or rumors.
Contact us.


HIStalk Featured Sponsors


Currently there are "16 comments" on this Article:

  1. Re HIMSS and HLTH,

    They can put their vaccination requirements up where the sun don’t shine.

  2. “In-person HIMSS attendees will be required to show proof of vaccination.” How about NO. It’s almost as if they have no idea what PHI is…

    • Question. If they are vaccinated why do they care if I’m vaccinated eh? Can’t wait to here the woke responses.

      • I care because, although indications are vaccinated people are vanishingly unlikely to get seriously sick, the level of reduced likelihood of spreading is less studied (at least I assume because I have only seen qualitative statements not quantitative). Not everyone in my household is fully vaccinated yet.

        There are also people who aren’t able to get vaccinated (allergies, immunocompromised). If we don’t require masks for those most likely to spread this thing, they’re not really able to interact in society.

        It’s not only “woke” people who should be thinking about the effects of our actions on others. It’s what we owe to each other living in a society.

    • It’s almost as if YOU have no idea what PHI is…

      Your doctor’s office sharing identifiable vaccination data without your permission: misuse of PHI

      You sharing your vaccination information at a private event that you are choosing to attend: … nothing to do with PHI/HIPAA

      Come on people

    • Tell me you don’t know anything about PHI without telling me you don’t know anything about PHI!
      “In-person HIMSS attendees will be required to show proof of vaccination.” How about NO. It’s almost as if they have no idea what PHI is…”

    • I wondered if anyone would notice! I am thrilled that US COVID-19 news is minimal and what there is of it is positive.

  3. “Exhibit hall booths will be spaced, as will the layout within individual booths.”

    That’s one way to avoid saying that there will be fewer exhibitors.

  4. Seriously a health IT conference and the vaccine only requirement? This is going to backfire. Sweeping vaccination statement along with face shields required for presenters and outside only options for catering events. If you’re vaccinated, what’s the point? I asked a simple question about religious exemption or a positive test in the past (natural immunity – which the healthcare community (I mean Pharma) continues to bury) and in a typical HIMSS response was returned a cut and paste job from their Right of Entry protocols which I read. Note: the Venetian uses Clear Pass which allows for lab results and vaccination status. That should be considered. Oh, and no answer if all the floor staff (catering, trucking, booth build personnel) need to be vaccinated too. Short sighted, knee jerk reaction. Typical.

  5. For all those who are vaccinated, um what’s the concern by August whether there are people on the floor that are not? I have an idea, “let’s assume attendees are stupid and will all require vaccinations. Then we will tell them if they present a topic they need a face shield to protect vaccinated people from vaccinated people. Oh, and we can’t have the vaccinated people too close so we’ll spread out their booths. Then, cocktail hours in booths, oh no, we can’t have that. Push them outside in the August Las Vegas temps and they can drink warm wine and beer to go along with to go bags. They can shout at each other 6 feet away. Plenty of business will get done there. Oh and we won’t tell them that we cannot require the support staff, Venetian employees, and anyone else that will be on prem to be vaccinated.” Nevermind what everyone does on their own time in casinos, bars, restaurants and god knows where in Vegas. But, we are protecting them and others.” LAUGHABLE – who’s falling for this stuff….

Text Ads

Recent Comments

  1. I'll see your flu vaccine and COVID booster, and raise you 1 Prevnar 23 and a cortisone shot to my…

  2. I, too, have had "minimal reaction" to all my Moderna vaccines (5 in all!) and every time I've wondered 'Geez,…


Founding Sponsors


Platinum Sponsors






















































Gold Sponsors











Sponsor Quick Links