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Weekender 7/30/21

July 30, 2021 Weekender No Comments


Weekly News Recap

  • HIMSS21 attendees will be required to wear masks following CDC’s updated guidance and state and local emergency orders.
  • Two HIMSS21 exhibitors announce that they have decided not to participate based on COVID conditions in Las Vegas.
  • Cerner’s Q2 revenue and earnings beat Wall Street expectations.
  • Avera Health sells its 230-employee telemedicine services company to a private investment firm.
  • Amwell acquires a digital mental healthcare company and an automated virtual care vendor for a combined $320 million.
  • England’s System C acquires medication management vendor WellSky International and renames it CareFlow Medicines Management.
  • Clinical data and genomic platform vendor Sema4 goes public via a SPAC merger at a valuation of $3 billion.

Best Reader Comments

There is such a thing as momentum and popular sentiment. This is politics playing out in the healthcare space. Imagine that the very concept of EMRs becomes tainted. It’s a Failure and it’s No Good, Anyone Can See That. Medicine would not change and modernize in ways that it desperately needs to modernize.This is what happened to the metric system in the United States. Yet, and this is very important, the metric system only failed in the US. Why? It was a political failure. You see, the problem wasn’t the metric system. The metric system is successful everywhere that isn’t the US. And I challenge you to come up with a reason that doesn’t sound like total nonsense. For example, America is Exceptional, is a nonsense reason. Yet that’s still the comfortable go-to trope of those anti-metric proponents. Meanwhile EMR technology has a LOT more value to offer than the metric system does. (Brian Too)

Regarding McLeod: What? They are ditching Cerner after only two years being active! Such a waste of time, money, etc. (Bigdog)

Ever since the HITECH Act gave HHS authority to impose ever-increasing EHR requirements, it has seemed that ONC has continually sought additional additions to those requirements, whether they make sense or not. No one disputes that these are not good ideas, but one surely can dispute how much one can expect the industry can absorb, especially when the documentation requirements and other bureaucracy continue to increase. I don’t dispute the value, just the pace of adoption and the expectations on our providers. (Bill Spooner)

Watercooler Talk Tidbits


Readers funded the Donors Choose teacher grant request of Ms. D in Texas, who asked for a set of Big Books for her first-grade class. She reported in December, “This year has been a little different some of my students are home and some are here with me in class. We use all the technology available to help bridge the distance. The first book I read to them was our ‘Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear?’ I was ALONE in the room and reading to the children, it was an odd feeling, but it was so nice to have a book that the students could see the book and my expressions. With regular sized books I would have to project it and then they would not be able to see my face. As a teacher of mainly low-income students, I love being able to give my students the chance to ‘have’ something that they may only see in a store. There is just something about having a large book that literally makes the students feel like they are part of the story. Thank you again for taking the time to enhance the education of a young child.”


Bringing home an Olympic gold medal in fencing is third-year University of Kentucky medical student Lee Kiefer. Her sister and 2011 NCAA fencing champion is an OB-GYN resident, their mother is a psychiatrist, and their father is a former Duke varsity fencing captain who is now a neurosurgeon.

The two Arkansas Children’s hospitals report that 24 pediatric patients are hospitalized with COVID-19, 50% more than any previous pandemic peak. Seven are in ICU and two are on ventilators. Half of the inpatients are aged 12 and over and are thus eligible to be vaccinated, but none of those hospitalized had been.

AdventHealth’s Central Florida Division cancels non-emergency surgeries and hospital-based outpatient procedures as its COVID-19 patient count swells to 1,000, exceeding that of the previous peak in January. Florida reported 18,000 new cases Thursday, the biggest one-day increase since January.


In England, a husband and wife who are both doctors whose licenses have been suspended face charges of selling puberty-blocking drugs to children via their internet-only online transgender clinic. Helen Webberley, MBChB, LLM  is working from Spain in what she calls a “global” enterprise, exploiting a loophole that allows any EU doctor’s prescriptions to be filled in the UK. The website lists 35 employees. The drugs she prescribes are being used to block puberty while the young patient considers their gender options, but the psychological and growth effects of the drugs on children are unknown.


A California cyclist who was hoping to land a spot in the Tokyo Olympics crashes on a Pennsylvania velodrome track, with his several resulting injuries resulting in a $200,000 out-of-network bill from two hospitals. Phil Gaimon was covered by two health insurance policies, but Lehigh Valley Health Network billed $152,000 for services an expert said should have cost $21,000. They billed $26,000 for a night in the ICU and $30,000 for one in the burn unit, which Gaimon said was only because the hospital had no other beds available. He lives in California, one of 33 states that prohibits surprise medical bills for insured patients, but the state’s authority applies only to in-state providers.

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