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September 28, 2021 News 6 Comments

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A Government Accountability Office investigation into the activities of President Trump’s trio of Mar-a-Lago associates finds they were involved in decision-making for no fewer than five VA programs, including its contract with Cerner, despite having no official ties to the agency.

A review of 223 email exchanges between the three men and VA officials found they also weighed in on personnel decisions, budgeting, and ideas around monetizing VA patient data.

One of the three, Bruce Moskowitz, MD, shopped the data-selling idea to Johnson & Johnson, Apple, and CVS after a consultant he employed said that “it can be leveraged into hundreds of millions in revenue.” No personal gain was implied in the proposal. Documents suggest that VA Secretary David Shulkin, MD liked the idea.

Another member of the group, former Marvel Entertainment chairman and CEO Ike Perlmutter, scolded Haley Van Dyck, then deputy administrator and co-founder of the White House’s US Digital Service, for communicating with Apple while excluding “our broader team of subject matter experts.” He accused her of exhibiting “clear disrespect for everyone involved” and “hijacking of this effort,” adding, “I will not allow this to happen while I am involved.”

Reader Comments

From Academic Doc: “Re: Teladoc. I found your commentary about its stock performance interesting. Our hospital started using Microsoft Teams for telehealth early in the pandemic. There were a number of glitches and problems with people downloading the app, but in general it has been pretty usable. We piloted Teladoc and it was horrible in performance and features, although a newer version helped. The main advantages seem to be that you don’t need an extra app installed and Teladoc has their own support to help patients (although we don’t yet know how responsive they really are). It allows patients to complete rating scales, consents, and other forms, which was a weakness with Teams and our patient portal, but it apparently won’t integrate with the EHR except as a PDF. It also doesn’t seem to accessibility features such as closed captioning and doesn’t support group sessions. It integrates with the EHR’s patient schedules but not Outlook, so you have to switch back and forth to see scheduled patients versus other meetings.”

HIStalk Announcements and Requests

I analyzed the first 100 items in my LinkedIn feed this morning, excluding promoted items, which yielded just 13 possibly relevant and interesting items (13%) as LinkedIn becomes more like Facebook every day:

  • Annoyingly flowery inspirational story written or liked: 20
  • Company or product pitch: 14
  • Interesting article link: 11
  • Personal article (deaths, new puppy, new school): 8
  • Congratulations to a company or person: 8
  • Recruiter or job available pitch: 8
  • Unrelated local event or link to unrelated article: 6
  • Social issue, company complaint, or COVID arguing: 6
  • Proud of employer or team: 6
  • Preachy how-to business instruction: 3
  • Excitement at attending a conference: 3
  • Self-promotion: 3
  • Need a job: 2
  • Mildly interesting company update: 2
  • Job update: 2
  • Relevant poll: 1
  • Irrelevant poll (what is the best chain chicken sandwich?): 1


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


Healthcare Triangle will likely go public later this week in an anticipated $40 million IPO. The cloud, security, advisory, and implementation services company was formed in June 2020 through the merger of health IT firm Cornerstone Advisors and software company 8K Miles, now known as SecureKloud.

Former HHS Deputy Secretary Eric Hargan launches a healthcare consulting firm offering advisory services, investor guidance, and legislative and policy expertise.


  • Walmart will implement Epic across all of its health and wellness business lines, beginning early next year with four new Health Centers in Florida. Some, if not all, of its clinics were using Athenahealth when they opened in 2019.
  • IHealthHome will add VitalTech’s remote patient monitoring technology to its senior-focused care management software.
  • The Marion County Health Department will implement Epic through a software sharing agreement with West Virginia University Medicine.
  • Unity Health (AR) will implement Meditech Expanse across its three hospitals and long-term acute care facility.



MedeAnalytics names Steve Grieco (ConnectYourCare) CEO.


Chris Powell (Aspenti Health) joins clinical assessment and triage software vendor ThinkMD as CEO.


Lumeon hires Breht Feigh, MSc (Press Ganey) as CFO.

Announcements and Implementations

Southwestern Health Resources (TX) implements analytics and predictive modeling from ClosedLoop.


Carolina Pines Regional Medical Center (SC) rolls out Vocera’s Ease app, enabling care teams to securely send messages to a patient’s family members.

Mile Bluff Medical Center (WI) will convert from NextGen to Meditech Expanse on October 1.


A new KLAS segment insights report looks at how 27 health systems define the term “digital front door.” Click the graphic above to enlarge. Epic customers turn to Epic first for digital front door tools, while Cerner customers more likely look elsewhere to companies like Amwell, Kyruus, R1, and Well Health. Companies that have successfully carved out niches include Kyruus (provider search and match and self-scheduling), Krames (patient education delivered via existing platforms), and Zoom (video visits). Those health systems reported that a wide variety of their C-level executives oversee their digital front door programs, ranging from CEO, CIO, CMIO, chief digital officer, and chief experience officer. Only one-third of respondents sought outside help to create their program.

Sponsor Updates

  • Imprivata has celebrated the achievements of customers from the UK and Ireland at its annual HealthCon user group meeting.
  • Arcadia announces that its MSSP ACO customers generated $386 million in shared savings in 2020, averaging $10.7 million each.
  • Azara Healthcare completes the NCQA HEDIS Health Plan Measure Certification Program for 35 measure year 2021 HEDIS measures.
  • Central Logic congratulates Clinical Operations Regional Lead & Solutions Architect Charles Larson on being elected to the American Organization for Nursing Leadership Board of Directors.
  • CHIME releases a new Digital Health Leaders Podcast, “A Conversation with Aaron Miri, CHCIO, FCHIME, SVP, CDIO, Baptist Health.”
  • Dina will exhibit at the NAACOS Fall Conference September 29-October 1 in Washington, DC.

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Currently there are "6 comments" on this Article:

  1. Interesting and timely LinkedIn update and certainly aligns with a growing sentiment. I keep meaning to track unsolicited Connect requests, the ultimate in laziness. Tell me why we should connect. Cheers!

  2. I haven’t had any of the chain chicken sandwiches except someone brought me a spicy KFC one for the first time last week and it was pretty good with a modest amount of heat. I have had Wendy’s Pub Chicken and it’s darned good if you omit the bacon and pretend not to notice the calorie and fat count. Pickles are always the key consideration, I say as a banh mi lover. Let’s continue this conversation on LinkedIn, sandwiched (pun intended) in between eye-rollingly unoriginal inspirational thoughts, humble-bragging, and irrelevant personal postings that start with “I don’t usually post personal comments on LinkedIn, but …”

    Most of what pollutes my LinkedIn feed comes from unrelated posts as liked or commented on by a connection (often because that connection has connections unrelated to our industry, as you might expect, and those once-removed connections have little to say that would interest me). It would be nice if LinkedIn either (a) allowed users to suppress showing these activities to connections, in which case I could blame those users for failing to use that option; or (b) allow me to suppress seeing posts from non-connections, either across the board or to squelch a particularly chatty connection’s comments and likes. If that’s an option, I don’t see it.

    • I have noticed that some of the worst polluters of my LI feed comes from my connections that are a fanboys/girls of specific non-connections and seem to share/like/comment on all or most of their irrelevant (from my perspective) musings. You can click on the three dots on the right side of the top of the post by your connections name and select “Mute (non-connection)”. It removes the non-connection from appearing in your feed even when liked/commented/shared by your own connections. This way you can still see original posts from your connections without some of the added clutter. I use this now on every Facebook-worthy post I see that originates from a non-connection. It helps a little bit.

      • I’ve been muting the non-connections to the point my wrist is exhausted, but my connections like and comment such wild variety of stuff that the task seems impossible. Right now in my feed even after all the muting:

        A real estate agent’s pictures from childhood
        A pitch for reverse mortgages
        A college’s new gift
        An article on the amount of plastic in McDonald’s Happy Meals
        A religious message
        Announcement of a new wine vintage
        Wedding proposal pictures
        A real estate agent’s award brag
        A ticket sales announcement for soccer in Qatar

        I think I’ll have to start unfollowing some of the click-happy people I’m connected with. LinkedIn could fix this by allowing mass suppression of material from non-connections to the news feed, or hiding the content of users who I could flag as junking up my feed.

    • I like the Burger King spicy chicken sandwich. Most of the ones from the other chains just don’t deliver on the spice and come off rather bland.

      Don’t get the idea that I’m some sort of heat fiend either! Definitely not.

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