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Weekender 6/18/21

June 18, 2021 Weekender 4 Comments


Weekly News Recap

  • Former Athenahealth CEO Jonathan Bush launches health developer platform vendor Zus Health with a $34 million Series A funding round.
  • Google Health is reportedly downsizing.
  • A Wall Street Journal report says that Apple’s plan to run a wearables-focused virtual primary care service hasn’t been successful and the company is shifting its emphasis to selling Apple Watch.
  • ONC publishes the first draft of its patient address standardization specification.
  • AMA says EHRs should not present drug company advertising.
  • Ambulatory surgery center software vendor HST Pathways acquires patient price transparency vendor Clariti Health.
  • A security services vendor COO is indicted on federal charges of launching a cyberattack against Gwinnett Medical Center (now Northside Hospital Gwinnett).

Best Reader Comments

Doesn’t look like the stock market has given up on CERN yet. Still near all time highs. (Bob)

I found the prices published by a health system I currently have a billing dispute with. Will be interesting to see what they say when I ask them why my insurance company’s payment was insufficient for the services they provided when it is 4x the minimum negotiated charge. (Price Transparency?)

While the [DoD and VA Cerner] systems may be of the same origin, they are not the same today, and so there is that specific problem of non-identical systems. Additionally, the origin data is not anywhere near identical in schema, dictionary, enumeration, etc., so that will be a broader problem. Lastly, they haven’t exactly settled the solutions at this point, so they are driving at a moving target. Failing early might not be a bad strategy, but if someone isn’t setting that expectation, then someone is going to be mighty surprised in very short order. (AnInteropGuy)

Watercooler Talk Tidbits


Readers funded the Donors Choose teacher grant request of Ms. M in Kentucky, who asked for a license to a learning platform to use in both in-person and remote classes. She reports, “”Your donation of the Nearpod Learning Platform has made a huge difference in the learning process for my English as a Second Language (ESL) students. Through this platform I have been able to modify their assignments to enable them to express their learning through drawing, matching, games, and voice recordings in addition to the tradition format of typing. The difference has been so great that my administration purchased Nearpod for the rest of our school. Now ALL students, not just ESL students are going to benefit. Thank you for helping me start this movement and show other how everyone can learn with the right tools and support.”


The charity RIP Medical Debt buys and forgives $278 million of hospital debt from Ballad Health, relieving the medical payment obligations of 82,000 low-income patients that in some cases go back decades. The charity says it works directly with hospitals that can turn bad debt into revenue without pursuing aggressive collection, address a major social determinant of health, and refine their charity care programs.

A federal court sentences a New York doctor to 57 months in prison for taking drug company bribes in return for prescribing Subsys fentanyl spray. Jeffrey Goldstein, DO took $200,000 in “speaking fees” for giving slide sessions for which attendee sign-in sheets were often forged and enjoyed an evening at a strip club in which drinks and lap dances were provided by company reps. He was the sixth-highest subscriber in the speaking program, generating $800,000 in sales in a single quarter of 2014 versus prescribing the drug just once before signing up for the speaking program. Federal agents also reported that during the speaking events, Goldstein drank heavily and used marijuana and cocaine with his staff. 


An Alabama nurse is fired and may have lost his license after he is shown in TikTok videos he posted as “@conservativecoy1776” where he says that COVID-19 isn’t dangerous and Anthony Fauci was paid to create it, claims that racism is an overreaction to what was actually a small number of slaveholders, and laughs at video of a patient who cried after receiving a high doctor bill in saying, “Hey, buddy, you better get used to saying that s***.” He made the mistake of recording some of his videos in a hospital room wearing his employee badge, which identified him and his employer, Baptist Health in Montgomery.


Emory University apologizes to a medical school applicant it rejected in 1959 with the explanation that the school was not authorized to admit “a member of the Negro race.” Marion Hood, MD says it was OK because he experienced discrimination every day and didn’t really expect Emory to admit him, but he was accepted and graduated at Loyola and then returned to Atlanta to open an OB-GYN practice that he ran for 34 years until he retired in 2008. Emory won its challenge of Georgia’s segregation laws in 1962 and admitted its first black student the next year. 

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Currently there are "4 comments" on this Article:

  1. While I would normally shocked that any healthcare worker would be peddling that type of misinformation about COVID, I suddenly understand when the story leads off with “An Alabama nurse”…. In a state that is so weak and willfully ignorant that 2 of 3 people are still unvaccinated, anything truly is possible. They may even someday win that War of Northern Aggression.

    You’ve got the rest of your Union,
    To help you along,
    What’s going wrong?

    • While I disagree with the judgmental tone of your post, I’m just horrified that a healthcare worker was silly enough to record at work, wearing a visible badge.

      I mean…….fired and losing his license is the least of this guy’s worries…..

      • I think the thing I am more concerned about than the belittling of a state or the “silly”ness of posting it on social media, is more the fact that he obviously had views of medicine that were contrary to basic science or logic. What other judgement errors did he make within his scope of practice and treatment of patients? Was there malpractice translated from his thoughts to his actions? Had there been previous reports of his thoughts by his coworkers? Did HR not address them?

        If someone believes that Fauci was paid to create the virus, given all the evidence to date, how could his medical judgement be trusted? How, did he not lose his license long ago. There are always three sides to every two party story — but this story seems a bit lopsided against the gentleman in question.

        • Judgement is okay in life and death matters like this, especially since tolerance and forbearance with guys like that didn’t exactly work in 2020. We’ve lost over 600K Americans in just a year, and may yet lose more Americans than we’ve lost in all of our armed conflicts combined. This is a huge shame for America, and I don’t care to be polite anymore towards the people that took sides with the virus. Even if there are a lot of those people. If it weren’t for the willing and enthusiastic hosts that the virus found in rural and conservative parts of America (like Alabama), this pandemic would actually have been a great opportunity for the country to leapfrog our competitors on the world stage, while they were struggling. Instead we have tens of millions of Americans who can’t be troubled to do a single thing differently in the face of a major security threat, and they are ruining it for the real Americans that are trying to save the day.

          So, no, not everyone in Alabama is bad as this guy. But COVID and Vaccinations are just the latest critical zone where Alabama has yet again chosen to be a laggard. It’s not okay. This is going to be a very hot summer for them if the Delta variant takes off there, and it will be the rest of us they look to for aid. Michigan blew up like crazy with the British variant with what I believe might have been an even higher vaccination rate at that time than Alabama has today. How will Alabama fare against an even more contagious variant?

          I don’t care if this sounds offensive. A lot of lives are still at stake, and we already tried politeness. I also second all the considerations that Mr. Brodock raised that this nurse’s views are diametrically opposed to his profession. He’s nowhere near alone in having those views, even in the medical profession. There is no doubt a direct line between those views on COVID and poor performance as a clinician.

          In any case, my point is that this clinician’s views are dangerous, and that he is operating in a state that has consciously chosen to accelerate that danger. I stand by my point.

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