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September 23, 2021 News No Comments

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Bloomberg reports that Veritas Capital and Elliott Management are considering a sale or IPO of Athenahealth at a $20 billion valuation.

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Veritas and Evergreen Coast Capital – a subsidiary of hedge fund operator Elliott — acquired the company for $5.7 billion in cash in late 2018, Veritas had previously acquired GE Healthcare’s value-based care solutions group for $1 billion and named it Virence Health, which was then merged with newly acquired Athenahealth, retiring the Virence Health name.  

Former Athenahealth CEO Jonathan Bush is among several CEOs who have lost their jobs following campaigns by activist investor Elliott. He reportedly received $142 million when the company was acquired five months after his departure.


Reader Comments

From Adjudicator: “Re: conference poll. Was it a surprise that HIMSS was the preferred conference of readers over HLTH by a two-to-one margin?” Not really. My thoughts:

  • Limited sample size (353 respondents) and a self-selected HIStalk poll audience probably favors the longstanding HIMSS conference, particularly among HIMSS exhibitors who have not attended HLTH.
  • HLTH is the venture-funded new kid on the block, but it has convened only a few conferences (I think it has offered just two in-person events). It made a shockingly ill-advised mistake in convening its first conference right after HIMSS18 in the same city (Las Vegas), then skipped to the fall of 2019 in hopes of avoiding the competition. It draws big-name presenters outside the usual HIMSS focus on health systems.
  • The direct competitor to HIMSS will be the VIVE conference, which is being co-developed by HLTH and CHIME. Its first conference will be in March 2022. Its model is a bit different, however, in offering a “Hosted Buyer Program” that corrals suppliers and prospects together in a matchmaking program in which buyers attend free if they agree to attend at least eight assigned vendor meetings. HIMSS is an unabashedly commercial boat show, but VIVE takes it to the next level in a way that I’ve seen work fairly well in other healthcare-focused conferences. The question there is scalability – how many health IT decision-makers will attend and buy product to draw exhibitor dollars? Does it really need to be a national, big-attendee blowout to support that format? CIOs switching their allegiance from HIMSS to VIVE and the CHIME Fall Forum would be tough on the HIMSS conference.
  • Nobody knows how the forced trend of virtual conferences will affect in-person attendance. Will those formerly large in-person audiences seek to reconnect in person, or will they reconsider the value of spending time and money to attend an in-person conference to sit in front of speakers who un-ironically extol the virtues of virtual healthcare?
  • We also don’t know how the cancellation of HIMSS20 and the underwhelming HIMSS21 will affect future HIMSS conferences. I can’t say I have a lot of enthusiasm for doing it all over again in March, I get zero value from being a HIMSS member, and their high executive salaries and purely revenue-seeking actions seem a bit tone deaf (although to be fair, I feel the same way about most healthcare systems). I wouldn’t attend if I weren’t covering it for HIStalk.
  • It’s not hard to see the appeal or value of user group meetings. All they are missing is the opportunity for broader networking with users of other systems.

HIStalk Announcements and Requests

The HIMSS22 exhibit hall floor plan shows just over 500 vendors signed up so far, with the big-booth exhibitors being Optum, Epic, and Cerner. I’ll probably ask companies about their HIMSS22 plans in the next few weeks since the conference kicks off in 171 days.


Webinars

October 6 (Wednesday) 2 ET. “Solving Patient Experience Challenges Through a Strong Digital Front Door.” Sponsor: Avtex. Presenters: Mike Pietig, VP of healthcare experience, Avtex; Jamey Shiels, MBA, VP of consumer experience, Advocate Aurora Health; Chad Thorpe, care ambassador, DispatchHealth. Patients expect healthcare providers to offer them the same digital experience they get when banking, shopping, and traveling. This webinar will describe how two leading healthcare providers created digital front doors that exceed patient expectations, improve patient outcomes, drive loyalty and acquisition, and future-proof their growth strategies in competitive markets.

October 6 (Wednesday) 1 ET. “A New, Streamlined Approach to Documentation and Problem List Management in Cerner Millennium.” Sponsor: Intelligent Medical Objects. Presenters: Deepak Pillai, MD, physician informaticist, IMO; David Arco, product manager, IMO; Nicole Douglas, senior product marketing manager, IMO. The IMO Core CSmart app, which is available for Cerner Millennium in the Cerner code App Gallery, helps providers document with specificity, make problem lists more meaningful, and improve HCC coding. This webinar will review the challenges and bottlenecks of clinical documentation and problem list management and discuss how streamlined workflows within Cerner Millennium can help reduce clinician HIT burden.

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


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Analytics platform vendor Clearsense acquires Compellon, which offers a plug-and-play AI predictive modeling solution.

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Users of Apple mobile devices can download and store their COVID-19 immunization and test results in Wallet with the just-released IOS 15.1 update.

Verily, the life sciences unit of Alphabet, is reportedly planning to separate from Google’s technology in preparation for an eventual IPO.

Ascension Technologies will outsource the jobs of 330 remote tech support employees in the areas of application and platforms, collaboration and end-user engineering, network and telecom, and field services.


Sales

  • TransformativeMed and partner Red One Medical will provide the VA Puget Sound Health System – Seattle Division with the CORES Work Manager suite of clinical decision support tools and the CORES Diabetes Module.
  • Cancer Treatment Centers of America connects to the MedAllies HISP platform to develop technology to meet CMS requirements to send patient event notifications to primary and post-acute care providers.
  • UC San Diego Health chooses the Unifier platform of Dicom Systems for imaging interoperability.

People

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St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital hires Shannon Dean, MD (UW Health) as CMIO.

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Medical imaging AI vendor Mirada names Mark Crockett, MD (Verge Health) as chief medical officer.


Announcements and Implementations

Renown Health announces that it has answered 57,000 questions and completed 700 COVID-19 risk assessments via its rollout of Loyal’s AI healthcare chatbot and live chat solution on its website.

Researchers at MIT and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center develop MedKnowts, a problem-oriented EHR side panel that displays a patient information card and offers a note-taking editor with auto-complete for clinical terms.

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Salesforce launches Health Cloud 2.0, which includes a COVID-19 management platform for in-person events, contact tracing, vaccine management, and virtual visits. The product is not specific to healthcare organizations and will be available to all businesses. I’m confused by the product name since Salesforce Health Cloud offers solutions for providers and other healthcare organizations. The announcement’s link to Health Cloud 2.0 refers to a Health Cloud page that doesn’t mention anything new. UPDATE: I reached out to the company, which explained that Health Cloud hasn’t changed, while Health Cloud 2.0 is a bundle that includes Health Cloud plus the new COVID-related functionality. My confusion remains.

Intrado adds SMS-based referral management, along with integration with Cerner and Meditech, to its HouseCalls Pro digital patient engagement platform.

Children’s Health of Orange County joins Cerner’s Learning Health Network research consortium.

Meditech will hold its Physician and CIO Forum September 29-30 as both an in-person and virtual event.

Canada-based Well Health Technologies will acquire specialty EHR vendor Aware MD for up to $8 million.

Bizmatics enhances its PrognoCIS EHR to support the correct scheduling of virtual visits based on the individual time zones of patient and provider.

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Prescription discounter GoodRx rolls out GoodRx Health, which will answer the most commonly Googled questions about health. The company says the new site is a cross between NerdWallet and Wirecutter for healthcare.

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A new KLAS report on data and analytics platforms finds that Cerner, Epic, and Health Catalyst have the deepest adoption among established analytics solutions, while Innovaccer has high adoption as a newcomer. Dimensional Insight customers report high satisfaction and see the company as a partner, while Cerner has a 40% overall dissatisfaction rate mostly due to overpromising. Click the graphic above to see KLAS’s data and analytics platform framework and the underlying components.


Government and Politics

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A GAO review of the DoD’s Cerner implementation finds that the system is live in six of 24 planned waves, system performance has improved, and early issues have been addressed. However, testing and resolution of the issues it raises remain unresolved, users say the training system doesn’t match production, and system change information isn’t being disseminated well.


COVID-19

FDA approves booster shots of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for those 65 and over who received their second dose at least six months earlier and for high-risk people. CDC’s advisory committee is meeting this week to determine those high-risk criteria and to discuss how the new recommendation affects people who received the Moderna or J&J vaccines.


Other

University of Toledo Medical Center will use its $4 million fiscal year surplus to create a $21 million capital reserve that will help pay for its Epic implementation, among other projects.


Sponsor Updates

  • Wolters Kluwer Health will combine its Medi-Span Clinical drug-screening solution with Ecaresoft’s Cirrus EHR to offer a fully integrated NPHIES-compliant solution to providers in the Middle East.
  • The HCI Group will sponsor the CHIME Innovation Summit September 23-24 in Chicago.
  • Everbridge CEO David Meredith wins the 2021 Globee CEO World Award in the visionary category.
  • Health Catalyst CFO Bryan Hunt and SVP of Investor Relations Adam Brown will present during the Cantor Global Healthcare Conference September 30.
  • Healthwise celebrates its staff in a new video, “Celebrating Healthwise Yesterday & Today.”
  • Intrado offers new capabilities within its HouseCalls Pro digital patient engagement platform, including automated referral management.
  • Kyruus opens registration for its Annual Thought Leadership on Access Symposium November 9-10.
  • National Coordinator Micky Tripathi will keynote Meditech’s 2021 Physician and CIO Forum September 29-30.

Blog Posts


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Reader Comments

  • Eddie T. Head: Re: Cerner subreddit - the subreddit became private over the weekend. No more leaks, I guess....
  • IANAL: How many virtual primary care startups can the market support?...
  • Ernie Riddle: Good insight and a note that there is a lot of change ahead. Many technology platforms are active in Healthcare and the...
  • Quynh Tran: Appreciate the shift in language from "follow the science" to "evidenced-based." The latter may be less intimidating a...
  • Matthew Holt: I'm at HLTH The testing on site was smooth--once you go into it. The Clear app to get into the testing was not.... ...

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