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Weekender 9/24/21

September 24, 2021 Weekender 1 Comment


Weekly News Recap

  • Athenahealth is reportedly considering a sale of the company or an IPO at a $20 billion valuation.
  • Clearsense acquires AI-powered predictive modeling company Compellon.
  • AGS Health acquires EZDI.
  • Former Teladoc executive David Sides joins NextGen Healthcare as president and CEO.
  • Apple’s latest operating system gives IPhone users the ability to share health data with their providers via EHRs.
  • Shares in Definitive Healthcare jump 81% in their first week of trading following last Wednesday’s IPO, valuing the company at $7 billion.

Best Reader Comments

The state medical boards don’t really care about patient safety or good physician practice. What they do care about is maintaining their cash flow from physician and other professionals licensing fees … There needs to be a national licensing organization. The NBME already deals with the licensing exam and they could just as easily have everyone do the background checks and other licensing paperwork when submitting your Step 3 application. States could maintain some of their revenue by collecting a nominal standard fee ($25-35) for every state where you want a license with automatic approval with a valid federal license. Disciplinary actions would be more consistent if centralized and unscrupulous health professionals couldn’t move from state to state and fly under the radar. Telehealth would be facilitated and continuity of care would be better as well. (State Board Skeptic)

Re: Feds charge 138, including doctors, with $1.4 billion in health-care fraud involving telemedicine, Covid, opioids. This includes 42 healthcare professionals and 23 physicians! 23 PHYSICIANS! That’s why we cannot have nice things in healthcare. Those who complain about too much coding related documentation in healthcare, go and read the history of Medicare and why all those guardrails needed to be put in place over time. (Ghost of Andromeda)

When you wrote “I can only guess that the physician didn’t know how to contact the vendor”, it reminded me of hearing years ago that for many hospital/health organizations, the staff often have to channel their queries through one or two people who are the liaison to the vendor. I (sorta) get the intent here, but this makes no sense. (JT)

Epic sells to two groups within healthcare organizations: administrators and high value doctors. Epic is not going to tell the rank and file to go badger the people that cut Epic checks or the doctors who pull in a few million a year for the org. (IANAL)

Watercooler Talk Tidbits


Readers funded the Donors Choose teacher grant request of Ms. D in Arkansas, who asked for educational resources from the Teachers Pay Teachers program for her middle school class. She reports, “I cannot thank you enough for your generosity! With your donation I was able to purchase an online science curriculum that has helped me reach and engage my students this year. My students are so excited about the ‘scientist of the week’ package that I purchased, which includes information about a specific scientist that students get to explore and learn about for the whole week. This is just one of many resources that I was able to purchase that I can now use in my classroom moving forward. I was also able to purchase science stations and task cards which will help students use real world scenarios to learn science skills. Through this donation students have been able to engage in scientific thinking as well as see themselves as scientists, which has been very exciting for me to facilitate! Thank you!!!”

A North Carolina deputy is injured when a group of people who were fighting at a bingo hall resumed where they had left off in the hospital ED waiting room. The deputy was attempting to handcuff an armed participant when he was attacked by a juvenile female who charged him from behind. The deputy explains, “I hit her with my pepper spray, and I pepper-sprayed the gentleman that I’m fighting with. The gun falls out of his pocket onto the floor.” The melee started when one of those involved drove a car into the bingo hall, injuring several people.


A federal court convicts a Michigan doctor of running a $100 million healthcare fraud scheme in which prescribed opioids for patients who agreed to falsely claim that he gave them expensive spinal injections instead. Frank Patino billed Medicare for more of the spinal injections than any US doctor from 2012 to 2017. He was also Michigan’s #1 prescriber of oxycodone in 2016 and 2017. He took kickbacks from labs to which he sent patient samples, then used the money to promote his diet, lifestyle, and wellness books and programs.

In Canada, police are seeking a man who punched a nurse in the face repeatedly for administering COVID-19 vaccine to his wife without his permission.


New Hampshire’s health commissioner calls out the state’s highest-ranking lawmaker for spreading COVID-19 disinformation and placing federal vaccination funds on hold. Republican Rep. Ken Weyler claims without evidence that most NH COVID-related hospitalizations involve vaccinated people (when pressed, he cited his source as a talk radio show), federal government is being paid off by drug companies, the vaccine contains “something in the shot that’s going to help them control us,” and that he won’t receive the vaccine because his 25 years of flu shots – he’s 80 years old — make him immune from COVID-19. He adds that he gets his COVID-19 information from the Internet because “I don’t consider the CDC a credible source.”

A former concert pianist who completed her nursing degree when her father was diagnosed with liver cancer plays the piano in Mayo Clinic’s atrium as a volunteer after her shift as a Mayo non-vascular radiology nurse. The father of Genaida Benson, RN, who is cancer-free eight years after his first visit to Mayo, is among her audience when he returns for follow-up visits.   

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Currently there is "1 comment" on this Article:

  1. A 20 billion valuation for Athena seems strange when you look at comparable companies. If I had to pick some companies that are in the same business as Athena, I would pick Allscripts, Nextgen and R1 RCM. Adding up those companies valuations is maybe 8 or 9 billion. It’s hard to gauge Athena’s growth since they went private and everybody seems to have stopped publishing stats on outpatient emr vendors. I get the sense their business improved, but more because the company started to be run more efficiently, not that they are blowing the other vendors out of the water on market share.

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