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Weekender 8/6/21

August 6, 2021 Weekender 1 Comment


Weekly News Recap

  • Healthgrades sells its doctor marketplace and renames the remaining enterprise software business to Mercury Healthcare.
  • Relatient raises $100 million and announces plans to merge with Radix Health.
  • HIMSS21 remains on track for its Monday start, although minus some exhibitors that have cancelled their attendance plans.
  • Allscripts announces Q2 results that beat Wall Street revenue and earnings expectations.
  • Change Healthcare’s Q1 results beat revenue estimates, but fall short on earnings.
  • Evolent Health will acquire Vital Decisions.
  • Clarify Health acquires Apervita’s value optimization business.
  • Renown Health gives a look at its new Transfer and Operations Center.
  • Cerner’s Q2 results exceed Wall Street’s revenue and earnings expectations.
  • Epic requires its Verona employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 by October 1, with 97% of them already meeting that requirement.
  • WellSky will acquire Healthify.

Best Reader Comments

No doubt HIMSS will stay mum about cancelations, ultimately they’re just a trade organization maintaining their position against the likes of HLTH and whatever shiny new entity shows up to try and steal the healthcare IT crown. I’m more disappointed by the exhibitors like Salesforce, Philips, and Accenture, which clearly eliminated almost all of their LinkedIn posts promoting their booth and presentations but have yet to make a statement about their presence. (LongTimeFan)

OMG, [cyberattack vulnerabilities of] pneumatic tube systems! We got rid of the last of ours in the 1999-2000 era. They were already a relic by then and ours broke down or jammed constantly. Of course, I am reliably informed that the Internet is a Series of Tubes, so maybe the pneumatic tube systems just evolved into a higher plane of existence. (Brian Too)

Since it’s positioned as a “Transfer and Operations” hub, I’m not sure that they’re claiming it will improve clinical outcomes. Seems more like the goal is increased efficiency and probably reduce redundancy across different facilities. I think the patient outcomes in other countries is more likely to be tied to better access to primary and preventative care, rather than logistics technology or lack thereof. (KatieB)

I remember having a discussion [about privacy of minors] with a public health-type person, many years ago. The topic was youth, STDs, sexual health, and how the rights of the parents intersected with the rights of the youth. My concerns were information related and not service delivery. My assumption going in was, Age of Majority was everything. Well, was I given a jolt! It turned out that the topic was complex and effectively, the youth was granted various adult-type rights and protections in stages. Yet I also remember, I was not introduced to any specific policy or plan, enumerating exactly how that happened. Which left me scratching my head a little, to be honest. It sounded more like, a clinical judgment call was being made. Perhaps they were gauging how mentally and emotionally mature the youth was? (Brian Too)

I am working on a project surrounding Adolescent and Young Adult care transitions this summer! One major barrier for my project specifically is the organization’s interpretation of a minor’s ability to consent to the Terms and Conditions of the patient portal as an individual. This bars patients under the age of 18 from creating and managing their own patient portal account, so there is no ability to teach patients how to manage their own healthcare via a digital platform. This interpretation is compounded by limitations in the patient portal with hiding and showing information dynamically based on the clinical area, such as labs related to sexual or reproductive health or notes from child and family abuse visits. Re: discussing “Healthcare Adulting 101” at age 17, my research has found that introducing the concept as early as age 12 leads to best results, with discussions happening over time until the patient leaves the practice. (JustAnIntern)

Question on the Epic requirement – is anyone seeing hospitals require vaccination for third party vendors? If so, is it self-reported or are they requiring documentation? (HITGUY24)

Watercooler Talk Tidbits


Readers funded the Donors Choose teacher grant request of Ms. C in Illinois, who asked for books for her classroom library. She reported in December, “I would love to thank you again for your generosity! The students were so excited to receive brand new books to take home during remote learning. Our school is a Title 1 school, which means a high percentage of students (93.9%) are from economically disadvantaged families  — students in families receiving public aid, living in substitute care, or eligible to receive free or reduced-price lunches. Many lack access to books at home and few have a library card. My classroom library is typically a place that my students really enjoy; however, the pandemic has forced us into remote learning. Due to your generous donation I was able to send books home for the students to use! One of my students, Anthony has already read several of the books that were provided. He was so excited that there were multiple books from the same series so he could continue to read book after book. This project has helped to enrich my student’s experiences with the printed word. They are so excited that we can read books together on Zoom meetings and discuss what we have read. Believe it or not they are sick of technology and love the opportunity to have real books to read.”


BBC covers “Munchausen by Internet,” where would-be influencers fake illnesses and one-up each other’s list of diagnoses, post their medical records and surgery photos, or share Apple Watch readings. A Reddit group does armchair investigations of their posts to look for inconsistencies, although that has sometimes devolved into posting home addresses and other personal information. The conclusion is that nobody can assume anything about a person’s health by looking at their social media.

COVID-overwhelmed employees of Arkansas hospitals are walking off the job in the middle of their shifts. Only 37% of the state’s residents are fully vaccinated and cases and hospitalizations are climbing steeply.


Kaiser Health News looks at Detroit’s privatization of public health going back to the early 1900s. The city’s health department went from 700 employees in 2008 to five in 2012 as white flight, auto industry turmoil, and the recession eventually led Detroit to file bankruptcy in 2013. A state-funded non-profit ran health programs with little local accountability. The city’s former executive health director says, “There’s not that much money in making sure that babies have what they need to thrive. There’s not that much money in making sure that restaurants are up to code. If there was, private industry would hop to do it.” A private developer is turning the public health department’s former home, the Herman Kiefer complex (above), into space for auto and medical technology businesses as the city rebuilds the department – whose budget is paid for by federal and state taxpayers — while struggling to address COVID-19. The city’s COVID-19 vaccination is at 34%, its COVID death rate is double the national average, and pandemic response has stalled lead poisoning programs and less than half of the city’s children have been vaccinated against measles and mumps.

A San Diego TV station asks several hospitals that were called out by a patient advocacy group for not posting their prices as required by CMS why they failed to do so, with these answers:

  • Dignity Memorial Hospital – we are working to comply over the next several months, but meanwhile enhanced our online tool to estimate out-of-pocket costs for specific insurance plans.
  • Kaiser Permanente – we provided the shoppable services list, but as an integrated delivery system, our hospitals have only one rate, which is with our own health plan.
  • UCSD Health – we developed a patient-specific price estimator, but most of our contracts don’t involve set prices and instead use a percentage of gross charges or a not-to-exceed number, neither of which are supported by the CMS-required format.
  • Sharp HealthCare — we developed a patient-specific price estimator and consumers would be confused by commercially negotiated rates because costs vary by plan and coverage.


Mattel honors healthcare workers by creating a #ThankYouHeroes set of six Barbie dolls that are sold at Target. Mattel will donate $5 from each sale to the First Responders Children’s Foundation. The US workers depicted are Las Vegas internist Audrey Cruz, MD and New York City ED nurse Amy O’Sullivan, RN.

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Currently there is "1 comment" on this Article:

  1. “Sharp HealthCare — we developed a patient-specific price estimator and consumers would be confused by commercially negotiated rates because costs vary by plan and coverage.”

    Presumably *costs* are the same regardless of how the patient is paying. It’s *prices* that are different based on plan and coverage. This is the *exact thing* the price transparency regulation was addressing.

    Sharp HealthCare is using the justification of the regulation to try to justify not complying with the regulation. Unless they actually use cheaper materials and lower paid workers to treat patients depending on their insurance.

    And of course, they’re doing this to save the poor, easily-addled consumers from being confused.

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