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Monday Morning Update 9/27/21

September 26, 2021 News 1 Comment

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Clinical research network vendor Elligo Health Research raises $135 million in a Series E funding round.

The company recently acquired research practice management organization ClinEdge.

Existing investor Cerner, which returned for this round, also acquired life sciences analytics vendor Kantar Health for $375 million early this year and created the Cerner Learning Health Network EHR-powered clinical trials service for participating health systems in 2019.

HIStalk Announcements and Requests


Poll respondents expect remote patient monitoring and telehealth to affect healthcare more than any other technologies.

New poll to your right or here: Should physicians and other healthcare providers be licensed nationally rather than state by state?


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


I was curious about the performance of Teladoc Health stock since announced its acquisition of Livongo for $18.5 billion in August 2020. Shares are down 30% versus the Dow’s 27% increase, with the company’s market capitalization now being barely more than the acquisition price of what was touted to be a $37 billion merger (the company is now worth $21 billion). TDOC shares are 56% off their 52-week high. The company lost $134 million in Q2.

Definitive Healthcare’s IPO performance and its resulting multi-billion dollar valuation has piqued curiosity about what the company does. Check out an analysis of its IPO filings by Redpoint Ventures principal Jacob Effron, MBA, who describes how the company has succeeded in offering prospect analytics to support healthcare sales for life sciences and healthcare IT companies as well as provider analytics for health systems.


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Insurer technology vendor HealthEdge hires Anshul Pande, MS (Stanford Children’s Health) as SVP of R&D and Angelo Devita, MPH (Avalon Healthcare Solutions) as VP of enterprise account management.


Dennis Sutterfield, MS (Temple Health) joins SUNY Downstate Medical Center as VP/CIO.


RCM services vendor Savista (formerly NThrive’s Services Division)  hires Jan Grimm (Butterfly Network) as CEO and board member. He replaces Brenda Cline, who has retired and joined the company’s board.



US COVID-19 numbers continue to improve, with cases, test positivity rate, and hospitalizations all down significantly in the past week, although deaths remain at nearly 2,000 per day.

CDC recommends boosters for some people who have received the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine – those over 65, people who live in institutional settings, those with underlying medical conditions, and frontline workers. CDC did not follow its vaccine advisory’s recommendation to exclude at-risk workers. The advisory panel has not yet been tasked with reviewing the need for boosters for the Moderna and J&J vaccines, but some panel members urged a mix-and-match strategy in which those recipients could receive a Pfizer-BioNTech booster.

Anti-vaccine Facebook groups are urging people to remove their relatives with COVID-19 out of hospital ICUs, which they say are blocking the use of “miracle cures” such as ivermectin. Groups whose members have realized that ivermectin is not effective are now touting a “protocol” that includes gargling with iodine and inhaling hydrogen peroxide. A Harvard professor calls it “vigilante medicine” that is “being practiced by laypeople who are reading groups created by other laypeople in echo chambers and silos that, likely, someone in the anti-vax movement is profiting from.” Meanwhile, horse owners can’t get ivermectin paste for de-worming because it is being bought up from feed stores for human use.

A startup launched in October 2020 that runs a dozen COVID-19 testing sites is charging $380 for the same at-home rapid test that drugstores sell over the counter for $20 and for which Medicare pays $41. Omaha-based GS Labs, which has performed 500,000 of the tests, is using a CARES Act requirement that insurers pay a provider’s cash price. The company says it prices are high because it offers premium service, such as fast appointments and a nursing hotline. It is owned by a real estate and investment firm. UPMC Health Plan noticed that 91% of patient claims that included both an antigen and an antibody test came from GS Labs, insurance payment for which is also guaranteed by CARES Act.


I don’t usually post job openings, but this one sounds good. CVS Health is recruiting for a physician to serve as senior medical director of health informatics.

Sponsor Updates

  • Nuance announces that it has again ranked highest in customer satisfaction by Black Book Research for AI-powered CDI, speech recognition, and clinical intelligence solutions.
  • The HCI Group releases a new DGTL Voices Podcast, “Future of Music in this DGTL Age.”
  • The Stevie Awards names Quil Health CEO Carina Edwards a Gold Winner for Most Innovative Woman of the Year in Healthcare.
  • RCxRules partners with Athenahealth’s Marketplace Program.
  • Spirion marks its 15th anniversary with a Great Place to Work Certification.
  • The Patient Safety & Quality Healthcare Podcast features Talkdesk VP of Strategy Greg Miller, “The Digital Front Door of Healthcare.”
  • Vyne Medical releases a new podcast, “Connecting with Today’s Consumer: A Closer Look into the State of Healthcare Consumerism.”

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Currently there is "1 comment" on this Article:

  1. I do not yet share optimism that the COVID wave is subsiding in any kind of meaningful way. I’ll also add that we probably can’t trust our COVID numbers as much as last year. Not all states are reporting daily, the number of tests is far down from our peak, and home tests are now available that are probably not getting tallied by public health departments. I do not doubt that we might be on some kind of downslope at the moment. We still need to think about where the puck is going.. We still have a lot of unvaccinated people across the country who also do not have natural immunity. Estimates of the size of this population are around 70+ million people. And there is a group of people that is 100% unvaccinated that congregates daily in close contact: Schoolchildren.

    We’re lucky that children are more likely to survive COVID. There are still edge cases and long-term complications that we don’t yet fully understand where it is simply unconscionable how we have relegated them, our future, to almost an afterthought. One thing that is not an afterthought, and that we do understand well, is that children infecting each other in class become vectors to bring Delta home to unvaccinated family members. We know where that goes.

    What we’ve been seeing in other countries that experienced Delta before us is that peaks rise quickly, they fall quickly, but they settle out to a higher baseline than what existed before. And we need to take the UK and Israeli experiences more seriously, as it sounds like we are at least in agreement with them that elderly people may already be losing some of their vaccination protection. Remember, 70+ million unvaccinated Americans without natural immunity. And this can take off again from that unacceptably high baseline very quickly, as we’ve seen with Delta this summer.

    In fact, think back to this time last year. We were also starting to see a Fall decline, and that led us to our previous peak around January/February which surpassed anything we’d been dealing with last Fall. Kids go back to school, families congregate for holidays, idiots go to Sturgis, all that. And last year we didn’t have unmasked football games in full stadiums and a Delta variant that was so much more contagious. Last year we also saw huge summer spikes in Southern states. But the disease moved North, and indoor weather brought us to our highest peak. We’re in a much different position with vaccinations today, but people are getting worse in their personal behavior and there is still a lot of wood this fire can burn through.

    Anyway, I don’t want to sound like Dr. Doom, but 700K dead Americans, and several times that wounded, would almost all tell us that we’ve failed in dealing with this virus. We really need to embrace that failure and how much it has sucked. That failure started by underestimating COVID and failing to learn from the experience of others. At this point, I can no longer count on my hands the number of family members and close colleagues that have had a particularly nasty experience with this virus. Being intelligent is learning from your own experiences. Being wise is learning from the experience of others. We can’t get to wisdom if we can’t be intelligent.

    Keep fighting! And to any readers that have not been taking this seriously, please start fighting and get the vaccine. Trust me, you’ll find the experience of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines to be far more palatable than getting the Trump Vaccine, which also goes by the names COVID and Delta.

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