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July 1, 2021 News 5 Comments

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HIMSS will offer HIMSS21 attendees three options for proving that they have received COVID-19 vaccine, which is required for picking up their conference badge and entering the conference venue:

  1. Install the Clear Health Pass app and either link to their vaccine provider’s records or upload a copy of a CDC-issued vaccination card. This option is not available for attendees from outside the US.
  2. Book an appointment to show paper or digital vaccination record in a virtual call with a Vaccine Concierge, who will then email a verification card for printing or displaying on a mobile device. Appointments for the video calls will be available weekdays starting July 12.
  3. Bring paper or digital vaccination records to the conference and have them reviewed on site at one of four Vaccine Verification Centers.

Other safety procedures:

  • Attendees will not need to show vaccine-related records once they have picked up their badge.
  • Mask-wearing won’t be required.
  • HIMSS has eliminated its previous requirement that presenters wear face shields.
  • Exhibitor staff will need to pick up their badges individually since they will be required to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination.
  • COVID-19 testing will be offered on site.

Reader Comments

From Servile Pleaser: “Re: HIMSS21. Any updates?” We’re just about five weeks out, it’s 110 degrees every day in Lost Wages, and the enthusiasm I’ve seen mostly comes from excessively exuberant amateur podcasters and video-makers who can’t wait to clog up the exhibit hall aisles with self-important “broadcasting” that nobody will actually consume. Exhibitor count has improved to 626, about half the usual number. I usually get many dozen HIStalk sponsors providing their information for my HMSS guide, but so far I’ve received submissions from just five companies (the last chance to be included is at hand – submit your information here). I’m dreading going, but happy it will likely be far from the usual grueling marathon – I’ve rearranged my travel to leave on a Thursday night redeye to minimize my time in Las Vegas.

From Grammar-Minded Lad: “Re: Bill Cosby getting off on a ‘technicality.’ Wondered what you think about the use of that term?” Labeling a controversial but legally supported decision as being due to a “technicality” or a “loophole” is an insidious way for news organizations to pander to armchair experts who think they know more than actual experts (i.e., just about anyone who uses Facebook or Twitter and will obligingly click an inflammatory link). Our democracy is built on technicalities and loopholes, such as reading a suspect their rights even though they’ve heard them on TV a thousand times. Both are, by definition, legal and thus ethical. I’m skeptical that high-horsers who claim they would not personally take full legal advantage of tax or criminal laws that would give them huge personal benefit. As has been said way too many times, don’t hate the player, hate the game.

HIStalk Announcements and Requests


Welcome to new HIStalk Platinum Sponsor EZDI. The Louisville, KY-based company offers a cloud-based, AI-powered integrated clinical documentation and medical coding platform (computer-assisted clinical documentation, computer-assisted coding, computer-assisted coding compliance, comprehensive data analytics, and clinical NLP APIs). Its computer-assisted coding platform earned the top overall KLAS score of 92.5 among competitors. Its clinical NLP APIs extract meaningful clinical entities (problems, procedures, modifiers, lab data, etc.) from structured and unstructured data such as physician notes, clinical reports, and lab reports for use cases such as risk adjustment, prior authorization, fraud detection, semantic search, clinical trials management, population health, and predictive analytics. Thanks to EZDI for supporting HIStalk.


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

Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

Process automation vendor Olive raises $400 million in a funding round that values the company at $4 billion. The company says its products are being used in 900 US hospitals.

Netsmart acquires post-acute care reimbursement and quality measures analytics vendor SimpleLTC.

Virtual musculoskeletal pain physical therapy vendor Sword Health raises $85 million in a Series C funding round.

Tendo Systems raises $50 million in a Series funding round, valuing the healthcare digital engagement platform vendor at $550 million less than a year after its founding. The company’s website is maddeningly vague on exactly what it is selling.



Lawrence General Hospital (MA) promotes Gerald Greeley, MHA to CIO.

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NThrive names Hemant Goel, MBA (Capsule Technologies) as CEO and James Evans, MBA (ESolutions) as CFO.


Bryan Wolf, MD, PhD retires from a long career at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and Penn’s medical school that included years as CIO and chair of the department of biomedical and health informatics.

Government and Politics

VA Secretary Denis McDonough reaffirms its commitment to its Cerner implementation as a review of the project concludes, indicating that any changes to the VA’s program will be announced within two weeks.

Privacy and Security

Google asks a California federal judge to dismiss a proposed class action lawsuit that claims the company’s COVID-19 free contact tracing app – which it developed with Apple — exposes the confidential information of Android users. Google says the plaintiffs are making theoretical arguments related to storing contact tracing data in Android system logs, which it says has never resulted in an actual exposure of information. Google cites previous rulings that information must be viewed to violate someone’s privacy and that California privacy claims must allege that information was wrongfully disclosed.



Screenshots have been leaked by supposed early testers of the Google Health medical records management app, Android’s equivalent of IOS-only Apple Health Records.

The New York Times reviews the roughly 80 medical schools – most of them for-profit — that operate from the Caribbean, noting that 60% of their graduates are chosen for US residencies versus 94% of graduates of US schools. The Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates will stiffen school accreditation requirements by 2024 and has already banned certification of graduates of two Caribbean schools.

Interesting: IBM employees report a multi-day loss of access to emails and calendars after the company’s attempt to convert from an old version the Notes platform it formerly owned. IBM sold the former Lotus Notes and Domino to India-based HCL Technologies awhile back, then decided to migrate off that platform because its employee email data would have been stored in that country.

Sponsor Updates

  • Summit Healthcare publishes a new client use case, “Cottage Hospital Improves Physician Relationships, ROI, and Secure Data Exchange with Summit All Access.”
  • Glytec publishes the largest descriptive analysis of adult T1D patients with and without diabetic ketoacidosis treated with insulin management software.
  • Goliath Technologies publishes a new case study, “Universal Health Services Uses Goliath to Prevent EHR and VDI Logon Issues.”
  • The How AI Happens Podcast features Gyant co-founder and CEO Stefan Behrens.
  • Halo Health publishes a new case study, “Improving Clinical Communication and Collaboration at Great River Health System.”
  • Jvion’s clinical AI wins a Globee in the 2021 IT World Awards.
  • Optimum Healthcare IT adds Robert Morris University as a partner in its CareerPath program.
  • Medicomp Systems releases a new Tell Me Where It Hurts Podcast featuring Amy Gleason, project lead at the US Digital Service.
  • Pivot Point Consulting publishes its Q3 healthcare insights and trends report.
  • Meditech customers receive top hospital safety grades from the Leapfrog Group.
  • HealtheConnect Alaska renews its contract with NextGate for patient identification and statewide data exchange.

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Currently there are "5 comments" on this Article:

  1. “I’m skeptical that ethical high-horsers would not personally take full legal advantage of tax or criminal laws for a huge personal benefit.”

    I’m skeptical that most regular people would ever be offered the kind of sweatheart deals Cosby and Epstein received. I think a lot of people are quite explicitly hating the game. I think you can also hate the player for their personal conduct, regardless of their legal strategy.

    • Technicalities aside, it is hideous that Cosby is scot-free. The judicial system has been seriously flawed (see the OJ fiasco) from the get-go. Heck, if someone shot the president in plain sight of 100 people, an astute lawyer will find a way to acquit the shooter. Grrr.

  2. Olive’s valuation at $4B is a signal that we’re in the midst of a bubble.

    They were valued at $1.5B as recently as December 2020. One could argue that the $1.5B valuation was frothy. Now they claim to be worth nearly 3 times that, a mere 6 months later.

    I’ve seen these companies before: Raise, dilute, raise, dilute, acquire, raise, dilute, acquire, raise.

    The real test will be if they IPO, what valuation does the market support. The market will be more careful, and do more diligence. And keep in mind, during those first 6 months when the market is taking care to figure it out, insiders such as employees will be locked-up and unable to sell.

    Given the types of contracts they sign and services they provide, Olive seems like they are somewhere in between an enterprise software company (valuation would be 5-6 times revenue) and a consulting firm (valuation would be 1-2 times revenue). I’ve looked at lost of pure SaaS companies in my day, and Olive does not deserve a pure play SaaS valuation.

    Unless their revenue is way above what we estimate (even with the recent tuck-in acquisitions), this $4B valuation is an outlier – and in a bubbly way. Too bad they can’t just cash in now (but not from me).

    • Not sure I’d put so much faith in the public market, given DOCS IPO valuation of $9B+ for a business not that much different in its fundamentals than the founders’ previous effort (EPOC) which lost 75% of its IPO value and ultimately sold for ~$250M.

      But America loves second chances!

  3. The Supreme Court decision in the TransUnion case this week makes it pretty clear the lawsuit against Google isn’t going anywhere. If the court doesn’t consider you to be harmed when a credit reporting agency mistakenly informs you that you’re on the terrorist watch list, they’re definitely not going to consider you harmed by having some personal info undisclosed in a log file somewhere.

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