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Monday Morning Update 10/25/21

October 24, 2021 News 5 Comments

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Consumer DNA testing company 23andMe will acquire telemedicine and online pharmacy vendor Lemonaid for $400 million in cash and shares.

23andMe says the acquisition it will extend its ancestry foundation into information about health risks and treatment that will “transform the traditional primary care experience and make personalized healthcare a reality.”

23andMe went public in June 2021 via a SPAC merger that valued the company at more than $3 billion. Shares are up 2% since versus the Nasdaq’s 8% gain.

Reader Comments

From HLTH Watcher: “Re: HLTH and ViVE conferences. Does reader feedback encourage you to attend? I’m considering it for next year or the year after depending on how HIMSS22 goes.” Maybe. Below are the attendee comments I received. My personal challenges with attending to write up the proceeds for HIStalk are: (a) as an introvert, I don’t love attending conferences; (b) I pay my own way to conferences using a phony job title instead of requesting a media pass so that I get a true on-the-ground impression of exhibitors, so my cost would be significant; (c) ViVE ends five days before HIMSS starts, leaving me unsure how to get the most out of two back-to-back conferences in Florida without sensory overload; and (d) HLTH22 is in Las Vegas, a city I avoid whenever possible. I’m sure HIMSS is watching closely since the new competitive threats of HLTH and CHIME could siphon off some of the HIMSS decision-making audience that has kept exhibitors paying, although HLTH momentum could fade if the stock market takes a hit that deflates some high-flying digital health startups that it draws. Meanwhile, HIMSS updates its conference page to reflect HIMSS22, which will offer both an in-person and digital track. The exhibitor count is at 378.

From John Moore: “Re: HLTH. I attended and it’s mostly a conference for smaller VC-backed companies and their investment partners. Exhibit hall was quiet with exceedingly few end user buyers and customers. Small companies had the ability to meet with larger health IT incumbents for potential partnerships. The good part of HLTH is that no other event outside of JPMorgan brings in executives from all facets of healthcare, which provides a broader perspective. The not-so-good is that outside the love fest between startups and their investors, there’s not much for users or patients, it has excessive glamor and glitz, and it’s definitely not worth the expense of attending unless you have networking objectives.”

From Dan Nigrin: “Re: HLTH. I was again impressed. The content and exhibitors represent the future of our industry. At least 100 small startups had friendly people stationed in their small spaces ready to explain things intermingled with larger companies instead of being relegated to some faraway exhibition space. Equally interesting was the gradual entry of more traditional HIT vendors. Panel and keynote discussions were interesting and relevant, many of them with standing room only. Disclaimer – I’m on the CHIME board, which is putting on VIVE together with HLTH this spring.”

From Diligent Scribe: “Re: HLTH. The exhibit hall was never overwhelmingly crowded, but flow of folks was consistent. It felt about perfect since booths were spaced but the exhibit hall didn’t feel bare. As a first-time attendee, what struck me was the quality of attendees and the variety of titles they represented. such as lots of transformation and innovation folks. This led to deep, high-quality conversations in our booth as well as offering a tremendous opportunity to talk with existing and prospective partners. The educational sessions were informative and not a regurgitation of the same old, same old. I felt it was a worthwhile use of my time and the company’s expense, to the point that I’m considering skipping HIMSS next year and just doing CHIME, VIVE, and HLTH since all three together cost less than HIMSS and likely deliver better results due to their content and the audience.”

From Love Doctor: “Re: Surescripts medication histories. Our health system received a patient safety notification that medication histories from two pharmacies were missing the slash or hyphen in the dose, which could cause a dose of ‘take 1-2 tablets a day as needed’ to display as ‘take 1 2 tablets a day as needed’ in Epic. Surescripts has removed the dosage portion of the medication history and Epic has provided a list of patients whose reconciled histories were impacted and removed those that were uncreconciled.” 

HIStalk Announcements and Requests


Two-thirds of providers failed to review the available medical records from other providers in the most recent encounter of poll respondents.

New poll to your right or here: Which healthcare organization provided the poorest customer service in your recent personal or family experience?


Welcome to new HIStalk Platinum Sponsor Verato. The McLean, VA-based company — the identity experts for healthcare — enables better care everywhere by providing the single source of truth for identity to organizations across the care continuum, including providers, payers, healthcare technology, life sciences, public health, and HIE organizations. Over 70 of the most respected brands in healthcare rely on Verato’s next-generation cloud identity resolution platform for a complete and trusted 360-degree view of their patients, provider networks, and customers in their communities. Organizations can integrate with its HITRUST-certified platform at every step of the care journey across CRM, EHR, enterprise analytics, and digital health experiences quickly and at scale. Thanks to Verato for supporting HIStalk.

I found this explainer video for Verato’s MPI on YouTube.


October 28 (Thursday) 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. IMO and Cerner announce the launch of the IMO Core CSmart app, an in-workflow offering to improve clinical documentation and problem list management in Cerner Millennium. The presenters will review the challenges and bottlenecks of clinical documentation and problem list management, discuss how streamlined workflows within Cerner Millennium can reduce clinician HIT burden, and demonstrate how IMO Core CSmart can help clinicians document with ease and specificity, improve HCC coding, and make problem lists more relevant. Additional sessions will be offered on November 17 and December 1.

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

Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock


Cerner President and CEO David Feinberg, MD, MBA confirms an anonymous employee’s Reddit comment that Cerner will lay off 150 workers in early November.


Shares in London-based digital health tools vendor Babylon Health closed their first day of trading Friday up 18% following its SPAC merger, making founder and CEO Ali Parsadoust, PhD a billionaire. The company predicts 2022 revenue of $710 million and that its losses will turn into profit in 2024.


Medicare primary care provider Oak Street Health acquires RubiconMD, which offers PCPs electronic patient consults with specialists.


  • Hendrix Medical Center (TX) goes live on a newly created TeleMFM (maternal-fetal medicine) service offered by SOC Telemed and Ob Hospitalist Group. SOC program allows 94% of women with high-risk pregnancies to receive prenatal care and delivery services in their own communities instead of seeing specialists in urban centers.



KONZA National Network hires Jeff Messer (ToolWatch) as COO/CFO.


David Finn, MA (CynergisTek) joins CHIME as VP over its affiliated professional groups.


Hillrom promotes J. B. Leeming to area VP of digital health.

Announcements and Implementations

Ninety-one percent of surveyed healthcare professionals say that fixing broken administrative processes is healthcare’s most urgent need for improving patient care, while patients having their medication history readily available to any provider they see would do the most to improve their outcomes. Nearly all healthcare professionals in the Olive-sponsored survey predict that healthcare AI use will be widespread by 2026, but patients remain skeptical.

Government and Politics


A Florida state audit finds that case managers of its compensation program for brain-damaged children didn’t consult experts and instead Googled medications, therapy, supplies, and surgeries to decide which were medically necessary. The organization amassed $1.5 billion in assets while sometimes arbitrarily denying or delaying care while offering no appeals process for parents. It did not use a system to track denials or complaints, leading the state’s CFO to observe, “Why is a program of this size doing record-keeping with CD-ROMs?” The program’s executive director resigned on September 21 ahead of the report’s release.


The employee relations department of Phoenix Children’s Hospital (AZ) emails 370 unvaccinated employees using CC:, thus exposing the list of recipients to all. I was thinking as I was writing this that not many people have seen an actual “carbon copy,” just as many computer users know the “save” icon even though it depicts a floppy disk that they have never physically touched.

Sponsor Updates

  • Olive launches The Library, a marketplace offering key distribution channels for industry pioneers.
  • Ascom and Ellkay bolster their respective offerings with RingCentral’s message, video, phone, and call center capabilities.
  • RxRevu receives Cerner’s Partner of the Year Award.
  • Sectra publishes a case study, “One for all – native support for automated breast ultrasound in Sectra’s expanded breast imaging PACS.”
  • Spok publishes a new infographic, “Burnout in healthcare contact centers.”
  • Waystar will exhibit and present at the MGMA MPE21 Conference October 24-27 in San Diego.
  • West Monroe publishes a client story, “Demand for a seamless patient experience drove this health system to innovate – and led to 5X faster results.”
  • Vyne Medical plants hundreds of trees as part of its “Growing Vyne Day” environmental sustainability effort.

HIStalk sponsors exhibiting at the CHIME Fall Forum October 27-30 in San Diego include Bluetree, Clearwater, Meditech, Divurgent, Ellkay, Optimum Healthcare IT, Clearsense, Imprivata, Cerner, HCI Group, Spok, InterSystems, Infor, Quil, Experian Health, and Agfa HealthCare.

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