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June 3, 2021 News 9 Comments

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Ascension begins its layoff of 651 remote IT employees with 92 Ascension Technologies workers in Indiana. Their jobs will be moved to an offshore outsourcer.

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From Spam in the Can: “Re: heading back to work. Let’s see photos of readers returning to their offices!” Above is a posted photo of Jonathan Teich’s work group back in the office at InterSystems. Send me your team-in-office photo to celebrate another step toward a new, vaccine-enabled normal.

From IANAL: “Re: Jonathan Bush. Zeus Health lists him as CEO in its job listings, but his LinkedIn says he is still executive chairman at Firefly Health.” Zeus Health is in Watertown, MA and has several former Athenahealth executives on its team, but I’ve seen no confirmation of Bush’s employment. I assume it won’t conflict with his Firefly board responsibilities. Zeus Health seems to be doing healthcare API work in stealth mode.

From Shingle Hanger: “Re: striking out on my own. What success have you seen with people who leave a health system or vendor job to work for themselves?” Not much. Most of the folks I know who have done it realized pretty quickly that they had overestimated their marketability, sending them back into corporate arms at first opportunity. That’s especially true of those who ventured out mid-career or beyond, often after they were let go or realized that their streak of upward career mobility had ended, but failing to realize the significant differences involved in working for themselves instead of someone else. I assume it’s not easy to give up a predictable income and benefits, corporate trappings such as an assistant and sweet office, and the reliable ego-stroking of aspirational underlings. It must be jarring to just sit at home with ever-increasing desperation waiting for the phone to ring while trying to remain upbeat. I would personally omit from LinkedIn those 1-2 year self-employment stints as solo consultants, executive coaches, and freelancing that are squeezed in between corporate jobs since their presence signals failure of either planning or execution.

HIStalk Announcements and Requests


Welcome to new HIStalk Gold Sponsor KONZA. The Topeka, KS-based company operates health information exchanges in multiple states, including Kansas, Missouri, Louisiana, Mississippi, Georgia, South Carolina, New Jersey, and Connecticut. It is deeply committed to connecting healthcare providers, patients, health plans, and its technology partners together to organize healthcare data into information that will drive healthcare transformation. Patients, health plans, physicians, healthcare facilities, and other healthcare providers from across the country benefit from KONZA’s delivery of unequaled actionable intelligence. Thanks to KONZA for supporting HIStalk.


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

Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

CareCloud acquires Santa Rosa Staffing, which was formerly part of Santa Rosa Consulting, from MedMatica Consulting Associates for $10 million in cash.

Revenue cycle solutions vendor Ensemble Health Partners acquires Odeza, which offers an EHR-integrated consumer communications platform.

Behavioral EHR vendor CentralReach acquires Behaviorsoft, which offers EHR/PM solutions for small applied behavior analysis therapy practices.

Social care marketplace vendor Aunt Bertha raises $27 million in funding.

Emme, which offers a birth control pill reminder app and tracking case, launches a birth control prescription delivery and telemedicine service that covers 16 states.

Cerner is named to the Fortune 500.


London-based “hospital at home” and decentralized clinical trials platform vendor Huma makes an unspecified investment in Pluto Health, a Duke University spinout that assembles patient data from multiple sources for review by researchers, providers, and patients themselves.


  • Mongolia’s Ministry of Health licenses the UpToDate clinical decision support from Wolters Kluwer, Health for all of the remote country’s healthcare professionals, who can download the content to mobile devices to use in areas that have no internet connectivity.
  • Canada’s Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre implements Everbridge’s digital wayfinding solution for indoor turn-by-turn navigation, which became more important as COVID-19 forced closing some entrances and eliminated volunteer access.
  • Antelope Valley Hospital selects Goliath Technologies to troubleshoot Citrix and Cerner issues for faster resolution.
  • Baptist Health of Northeast Florida chooses Gozio Health’s mobile wayfinding system.
  • Geisinger is implementing Certify Health’s facial biometrics positive patient ID system.



Alphabet-owned Verily names Amy Abernethy, MD, PhD (FDA) as president of its clinical research business, which is expanding to offer a clinical evidence generation platform that will support clinical trials and real-world evidence studies.


Relatient hires David Klasnick, MBA (StayWell) as COO.


GAO appoints Caravan Health founder and executive chair Lynn Barr, MPH to the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission. Her career includes time spent as a health IT consultant and hospital CIO.


Tod Thompson, MBA (Optum) joins Central Logic as COO.


Stanford Health Care CIO Eric Yablonka, MBA retires.


England’s NHS Digital hires informatics nurse Jo Dickson, MS (Nuffield Health) as chief nursing officer.

Announcements and Implementations

Galesburg Cottage Hospital goes live on Medsphere’s CareVue Cloud EHR and RCM Cloud.


A new KLAS report on patient privacy monitoring finds that Maize Analytics and Protenus are the standouts, offering strong service and deploying AI-powered monitoring that reduces manual work. Managed privacy services customers of Imprivata’s recently acquired FairWarning report high satisfaction, although non-MPS users of the product are less optimistic about its functionality and development path. Cerner customers often use its low-satisfaction P2 Sentinel but have Imprivata, Maize, and Protenus as alternatives; Epic sites fare best with Maize and Protenus; and Harris-owned Iatric Systems performs best for Meditech sites.

Aigilx Health will integrate NextGate’s EMPI with its HIE data aggregation platform to support identity matching, expanding on work that was done for Rochester RHIO.


UPMC and its commercialization arm launch Realyze Intelligence, which mines structured and unstructured EHR data to identify patients who could benefit from interventions.

Change Healthcare expands its self-service API resources for developers, which include an API marketplace, technical documentation and tutorials, a testing sandbox, and a developer community.


A Stat article says that while healthcare AI interest is strong, a review of 400 studies that were related to using it for COVID-19 shows that all were flawed, mostly due to lack of large-scale training and validation against external datasets. The authors found that just 73 of 161 FDA-approved AI products have disclosed the amount of data that was used to validate their product and only seven reported the racial makeup of their study populations. It notes a high-profit Icahn School of Medicine study that touted a COVID-19 detection algorithm for chest CT scans that equaled the performance of senior radiologists, but the system was actually trained, tuned, and tested on a tiny sample of unknown completeness from hospitals in China and was then not retested against an independent dataset of known provenance.

Scripps Health begins notifying 147,000 people that hackers downloaded their information during a ransomware attacked that left the health system offline for four weeks. Scripps says the patient information was obtained from documents and the hackers did not penetrate Epic.

Systems at UF Health – The Villages (FL) are taken offline due to a ransomware attack.

Sponsor Updates

  • Get-to-Market Health founder Steve Shihadeh and Microsoft CNIO Kathleen McGrow, DNP, MS participate in a fireside chat that looks back at the accuracy of their healthcare predictions for 2020 and what they expect in the next 12 months.
  • The Chartis Group will collaborate with HFMA on a four-part research series about the future of the healthcare industry.
  • KLAS names InterSystems a top leader in EHR market share in Italy and the Middle East, according to a new report on “Global (Non-US) EMR Market Share 2021.”
  • Jvion Chief Marketing Officer Lizzie Feliciano contributes to STAT, “The US mental health care system failed my brother – and millions like him.”
  • Meditech releases a new podcast, “How The Valley Hospital used surveillance technology to move nurses from the computer to the bedside.”

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Currently there are "9 comments" on this Article:

  1. Not sure why all the venom on consulting. I did it – did it at mid-career too, but worked with a team of individuals who banded together. We made it six years, did well financially, stayed busy, hustled and sold real business and delivered real value to our clients. This then turned into an offer from a larger firm that took me another six years down the road and then went “back” to industry. Still at it and would do it again.

    You can die on the vine trying to do things yourself but I learned a lot, did well, grew a lot and found out there are a lot of people who have followed the same path.

    • No venom, just the observation that all of the folks I know who struck out on their own (usually not by choice) ended up just biding time anxiously until they got a full-time job offer and were back on someone else’s payroll within 1-2 years, sometimes just a few months. I agree that consulting provides amazing learning opportunities and can lead to a satisfying career, but only caution that doing the same kind of work is still a lot different when doing it without an employer and it must be jarring to realize there’s no guaranteed paycheck from which to pay your self-funded benefits. Bottom line: I admire what independent consultants do, to the point that I’m warning others that it isn’t always as easy or as fun as it looks.

      • I agree with Mr. HIStalk, consulting work allows one to find the ideal job while getting paid for it.

      • Mr. H is right… not many make it. and the primary reason is they underestimate (or dislike) the amount of ‘selling/marketing’ needed to convince a new client you have value. They also fail to build a solid network of contacts before jumping out.

        Back in 2018 I did a webinar for HISTalk titled” So You Want to be a Consultant”
        It covers many of the do’s and don’ts. It was targeted more on the IT discipline but was generic enough to apply to all disciplines.

        The you tube video is at:

        I did it (several times) and loved it, but clearly it’s not for everybody.

      • I knew a guy who became a consultant. Left the big corporate job and found freedom, as they say.

        Well, I stayed in contact, though only intermittently. Once after a silence of several years, we had a chance to catch up.

        “What are you up to these days?” I asked.

        “Oh, same-old, same-old. Still doing Oracle Forms.”

        Now, it wasn’t stated outright, but the underlying message seemed clear. This gentleman thought he was better than doing rather unglamorous Oracle work, but that Oracle Forms work was what the market was offering. He had bills to pay and that paid the bills.

        Could he have wound down those engagements and insisted upon sexier contracts? Of course! But he would have had to accept greater contract volatility. And he had a wife, child, and house to pay for. Therefore, the income variability of ‘higher standards’ just wasn’t in the cards for him.

    • One story I read about becoming a consultant stays with me. This is from a long time ago, but the message seems enduring to me.

      A lot of people who went independent, would get verbal commitments from people. “If you ever strike out on your own, give me a call! You do good work and we could use you.”

      This became a cornerstone of their consulting career move. It’s a good start at a Hot Prospects list at the very least. Except, once they followed up on those contacts, no engagements would result.

      What they had failed to appreciate is that people will say a lot of things to be supportive. They weren’t trying to torpedo a fledgling consultant, they were merely providing emotional support. There was no actual thought given to following through.

      And when this verbal chit was cashed, the people who said those things, discovered they (for various reasons) did NOT want to offer contracts.

  2. methinks there are 2 Zeus Health’s and that Mr @histalk has mixed them up

    perhaps @healthbjk can clarify

    • I think you are right – same company name, both are startups in healthcare technology, but otherwise no connection. I removed the background info on what is probably the “other” Zeus Health. The one JB is supposedly involved with seems to be in stealth mode, but seems to be working on API stuff.

      • JB’s Zeus health is for sure doing something to do with APIs and interop. They hired Brandon Keeler away from Redox who is an expert in that world. The other Zeus Health also based in Boston looks like a hedge fund vehicle for buying med devices. I assume a lawsuit over who owns what name will happen soon enough

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