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Monday Morning Update 8/9/21

August 8, 2021 News 3 Comments

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From the Allscripts earnings call, following Q2 results that beat Wall Street expectations for revenue and earnings:

  • The company expects a Microsoft Azure-hosted version of Sunrise to drive new sales due to high availability, cybersecurity, and disaster recovery and business continuity capabilities.
  • Quarterly revenue in the core clinical and financial segment was flat, while the Veradigm analytics business delivered double-digit gains that it expects to continue.
  • The company booked a $5 million recovery in its Department of Justice settlement over Practice Fusion.
  • Allscripts is solving interoperability rule requirements by having a reseller agreement with CarePort, which it recently divested.
  • The company will potentially look for bolt-on acquisitions around Veradigm, probably smaller players since those assets are expensive.

HIStalk Announcements and Requests


Most poll respondents would rather not have contact with a health system employee who has not been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Some comment themes: (a) you shouldn’t be working in healthcare if you don’t believe in science or have judgment too poor to opt in for a lifesaving vaccine; (b) some people are not candidates for vaccination under current guidelines and you can’t blame them for not getting it; (c) the vaccine has not yet earned FDA’s full approval; and (d) it might be OK under urgent circumstances, if employees are required to be tested regularly as an alternative, or if the respondent-patient knows the person hasn’t been vaccinated and can put a mask on. My take – you won’t be able to tell which employees have been vaccinated if health systems don’t require it for all employees, so about all you could to is ask each employee directly (kind of like the “have you washed your hands” patient interrogation effort to reduce healthcare-associated infections), then hope they answer honestly and offer to send someone else in if you object.

New poll to your right or here: Healthcare providers: is your employer mandating COVID-19 vaccination? Use the poll’s comment function to elaborate further on what proof is required, whether a history of infection or antibody test can be substituted, or whether exceptions are allowed.

It’s been nearly two years since Northwell Health and Allscripts announced via press release that they would develop a new cloud-based, voice-enabled, AI-based EHR. How about an update that might also include whether the Avenel EHR, announced by Allscripts in early 2018, will ever see the light of day?

HIMSS21 Updates


From Dateless and Desperate?: “Re: HIMSS21. Attached is the third email I’ve received from HIMSS trying to get me to accept free registration for the digital version of HIMSS21. They must be desperate to get the numbers up. I hope you don’t fly across the country only to find minimally staffed booths with third-tier employees who can’t find their ass with both hands.” Folks who paid $895 for HIMSS20, had their registration involuntarily rolled over to HIMSS21 when it was cancelled, and then decided not to attend HIMSS21 in person probably aren’t thrilled to know that HIMSS is just giving away registrations for the virtual version. HIMSS also charged some unknown number of folks $495 or more for that same, now-free registration.


I also noticed that someone tweeted out the complimentary registration code, so HIMSS21 digital is now like Woodstock, where some suckers bought tickets, but most attendees just crashed the gate.

Some experts say that cloth masks alone aren’t protective enough against the delta variant in indoor gatherings, suggesting instead that people either use N95 masks instead or wear a surgical mask under the cloth one. That made me wonder what kinds of masks will be available from HIMSS and HIMSS21 exhibitors.

Epic’s UGM starts Sunday, August 22. I wonder how many more people might have attended HIMSS21 if it wasn’t so close to UGM?

I’m leaving for Las Vegas Monday morning. I’m not sure if I’ll do anything HIMSS-related on Monday since I find the opening reception to be dull, but I’ll post an update of what I see in general. Dr. Jayne will be covering the virtual conference. Both of us would appreciate hearing your impressions as attendees to avoid that “blind men describing an elephant” HIMSS conference problem. I’ll be as scathing as a Fyre Festival tweeter if I get there and feel duped by small crowds and low energy that I traveled into a COVID hotbed at my own expense to see.


On-Demand Webinars:

Key Differences: Value Based Care vs. Fee-For-Service.” Part 1 of a three-part series. Sponsor: Net Health. Presenters: Bill Winkenwerder, MD, chairman, CitiusTech; Josh Pickus, CEO, Net Health. Dr. Bill Winkenwerder, former assistant secretary of defense for health affairs for the US Department of Defense, shares his unique perspective on the future of value-based care (VBC) systems in the public sector and how VBC differs from fee-for-service models in the private sector. This Part 1 webinar covers which aspects of the fee-for-service health system payment model look the most different compared to fully value-based systems (clinical, back-office, analytics, etc.)

Current Innovation and Development in Value-Based Care.” Part 2 of a three-part series. Sponsor: Net Health. Presenters: Bill Winkenwerder, MD, chairman, CitiusTech; Josh Pickus, CEO, Net Health. Dr. Bill Winkenwerder, former assistant secretary of defense for health affairs for the US Department of Defense, shares his unique perspective on the future of value-based care (VBC) systems in the public sector and how VBC differs from fee-for-service models in the private sector. This Part 2 webinar discusses what health systems should know about the transition to value-based care, including macro versus micro shifts.

Future of Value-Based Care: Predictive Analytics, Technology, Policy.” Part 3 of a three-part series. Sponsor: Net Health. Presenters: Bill Winkenwerder, MD, chairman, CitiusTech; Josh Pickus, CEO, Net Health. Dr. Bill Winkenwerder, former assistant secretary of defense for health affairs for the US Department of Defense, shares his unique perspective on the future of value-based care (VBC) systems in the public sector and how VBC differs from fee-for-service models in the private sector. This Part 3 webinar discusses the role analytics will play in the shift to value-based care and how financial and clinical ROIs for analytics-oriented products must differ when applied to FFS and VBC models.

Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre to present your own.

Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

Remote patient monitoring vendor Cadence launches with $41 million in funding and a deal to deliver remote care to 100,000 chronic patients of LifePoint Health. Co-founder and CEO Chris Altchek previously co-founded a publishing company, while co-founder Kareem Zaki co-founded healthcare-related companies Scope Security, Nava, and Cedar.

Nuance announces Q3 results: revenue up 13%, EPS –$0.09 versus $0.06, beating revenue expectations but falling short on earnings. The company will not host an earnings call due to the expected closing of its acquisition by Microsoft by December 31.

OptimizeRx announces Q2 results: revenue up 55%, adjusted EPS $0.10 versus $0.02, beating analyst expectations for both. Shares are up 294% in the past 12 months versus the Nasdaq’s 34% gain, valuing the life sciences provider and patient messaging company at $1.2 billion.


Verifiable, which offers a provider credentialing, network enrollment, and onboarding platform that is access via APIs, raises $17 million in a Series A funding round. Founder and CEO Nick Macario previously co-founded a blockchain-powered digital credentials service and a company that developed a remote work platform.

Announcements and Implementations

GoodRx will provide drug discount price information to prescribers using Surescripts Real-Time Prescription Benefit.

Cerner announces a new solution, Cerner Determinants of Health, which includes a dashboard and tools that are integrated with Millennium. Jvion will also integrate its SDOH and behavior health insights with Cerner’s products. 

HL7 posts SDOH Clinical Care for Multiple Domains v1.0.0.


Microsoft renames its Azure API for FHIR to Azure Healthcare APIs. I was interested that the graphic above shows as one of its health data sources as “social influencers of health,” which sounds someone confused SDOH with a Kardashian Instagram, but I learned by Googling that it’s actually a common term.


US COVID-19 deaths have reached 616,000.


Florida’s count of hospital-admitted COVID-19 patients hits a new high. Its seven-day rolling average of new deaths per day has increased from 22 one month ago to 88 now as its overall total breaks through 40,000. Test positivity rate is at 22%. As Eric Topol points out, Florida and Louisiana have the highest per-capita cases of COVID-19 of any state or country in the world except for Botswana. In Texas, Austin’s mayor warns that the situation is “dire” as 180 COVID-19 patients fill most available ICU beds, 102 of them on ventilators, and officials in several other cities deliver the same warning about COVID-19 cases creating staff and bed shortages and prolonged 911 response times. 


This is an insightful tweet that notes yet another lack of actionable COVID-19 data.

The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in South Dakota this weekend was expected to draw 700,000 mostly unmasked attendees whose infections will be hard to measure since they will develop symptoms, become hospitalized, or die only after returning home. Sturgis is in Meade County, which has just 37% of its residents fully vaccinated. Chicago’s Lollapalooza festival drew 385,000 attendees last week, but required proof of vaccination or a recent negative test.

A Florida radio personality who referred to COVID-19 as a “scamdemic,” urged followers to not be vaccinated, and railed against mask-wearing dies of COVID-19 at 65. He is among several recent COVID doubters whose deathbed message was to get vaccinated.



Dr. Jayne called out Mount Sinai Health System (NY) for handing out COVID-19 challenge coins to employees on the front line, which were issued with the thanks of President and CEO Kenneth Davis, MD. Understand that Dr. Davis is personally coin-ineligible, however, since he was not actually present on those front lines in those frantic March 2020 days of trash bag-wearing nurses, as he elected to hunker down for weeks in his Florida waterfront mansion. He says his doctor told him to stay in his six-bedroom, eight-bathroom spread because he’s over 70. Decisions, decisions — he chose that $2.6 million home instead of his $2 million Long Island one or his $7 million Aspen digs. He probably doesn’t need a phony coin anyway since Mount Sinai is his own mint — he made more than $12 million in 2017.

Sponsor Updates

  • Vocera customers from Baptist Health Hardin and Metro Health – University of Michigan Health will share their respective experiences with Vocera technology during HIMSS presentations next week.
  • Wolters Kluwer Health releases Lippincott Skills for Nursing Education, combining evidence-based content with digital learning tools.
  • EClinicalWorks releases a new video featuring Prisma, “Our Health Record Information Search Engine in Action.”
  • PatientBond attends the 2021 HealthTrust University Conference.
  • PatientKeeper co-founder Sally Butta shares “The Five Lifestyle Tweaks That Will Help Support People’s Journey Towards Better Wellbeing.”
  • Protenus CEO and co-founder Nick Culbertson wins EY’s Entrepreneur of the Year 2021 Mid-Atlantic Award Winner.
  • The Slice of Healthcare podcast features RxRevu founder and Chief Innovation Officer Carm Huntress.
  • Leading children’s hospitals use interactive technology from Sonifi Health to ease pediatric patients’ anxiety.
  • SymphonyRM debuts its new Hello Health Podcast, “Where to Start with Health Equity.”

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Currently there are "3 comments" on this Article:

  1. Seeing the upcoming Epic UGM reminds me of a question I’ve had: What is Epic’s post-pandemic stance going to be on remote work?

    Other companies that have built massive campuses, like Salesforce, Google, and Apple, have announced that their employees can live anywhere in the future. Why? Because the employees have the leverage, and if you want to keep great talent, you need to offer flexible lifestyles.

    Epic has always been about the Verona empire. They want people to live in Madison, and have built a beautiful campus to accommodate that.

    That approach might have retained talent in 2015, but it won’t in 2025.

    Anyone know if Epic has announced a plan to be more enlightened and finally let their talent live and work where they want?

    • Ehhhh, I don’t know. The labour market cycles back and forth between excess supply and excess demand, all the time. If the economy grows strongly over the next few years (and many think it will, for several different reasons), then this might happen.

      However. Any such move would have to be reconciled with the slightly cultish and controlling Epic corporate culture. If Epic approaches this as, “Epic is So Great, they permit Work From Home!”, then yes, it could happen.

      It could easily go the other way too though. I can also imagine Epic saying, “We’ve invested so much in the Verona campus, and Epic thrives on the Power of the Great Link!”

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