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Monday Morning Update 11/1/21

October 31, 2021 News 6 Comments

Top News

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Cerner reports Q3 results: revenue up 7%, adjusted EPS $0.86 versus $0.72, beating analyst expectations for both.

From the earnings call:

  • President and CEO David Feinberg, MD, MBA says that EHR vendors have done a good job of automating processes and digitizing medical records, but their products haven’t reached their potential to allow caregivers to spend less time on the computer. He says one of his top priorities will be to improve system usability, a theme he repeated several times in the call.
  • Feinberg says that Cerner has historically tried to do too many things, often without involving other companies. He says the company will focus on high-value areas, sometimes in partnership with others.
  • The company says it is making end-of-life decisions for some less-profitable products. It will also end some low-value partnership arrangements.
  • Client satisfaction that has “not been as high as it should be” has limited Cerner’s ability to pass along the Consumer Price Index escalators that many of its customer contracts allow.
  • Cerner’s data business that is now known as Enviza is generating $130 million in annual revenue.
  • Feinberg says that while health system mergers and acquisitions may create customer attrition, losing a customer who is disappointed with Cerner’s products and services “is something that is completely unacceptable to me.” He will meet with any customers that have been identified as unhappy in his first 100 days.
  • Feinberg said in response to an analyst’s  question about layoffs that companies can’t shrink their way to greatness. He said, “I think it oftentimes is a reflection of management not predicting where the business is going and getting folks retrained for areas of growth so that this stuff doesn’t happen. We need to right the ship, and I think that’s part of the process here. But in some ways, to me, it’s been lack of discipline and lack of focus.”
  • Cerner’s employee count dropped by 1,000 from the end of Q2 to the end of Q3, equally split between layoffs and managed attrition.
  • Asked about revenue cycle product consolidation, Feinberg said that it should have been done earlier, but the mindset was that anything built outside of Kansas City couldn’t be the best.
  • Feinberg says that HealtheIntent offers a good strategy for population health management, but it needs to be streamlined and some of it is falling behind competing systems.

HIStalk Announcements and Requests

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Insurance companies were most often named by poll respondents as providing poor customer service recently, although the results are likely skewed because fewer people would have had “recent” experience with a hospital or post-acute provider.

New poll to your right or here:  Do you want to have ongoing engagement with a primary care physician who knows your health story? Mike Linnert made me think when he observed in my interview with him that “lifetime value” of health engagement differs among age cohorts – it’s not as simple as younger people behaving less responsibly or thinking they are immortal.

LinkedIn contradictions: (a) bragging that starts with “I’m humbled by …” and (b) personal information posts that lead off with “I rarely post personal information here, but …”


Webinars

November 11 (Thursday) 1 ET. “Increasing OR Profitability: It May Be Easier than you Think.” Sponsor: Copient Health. Presenters: Michael Burke, co-founder and CEO, Copient Health; David Berger, MD, MHCM, CEO, University Hospital of Brooklyn at State University of New York Downstate Health Sciences University. The OR is a hospital’s biggest source of revenue and its costliest resource, yet it often sits idle because of unfilled block time even as providers with cases ready to book lack access. AI-powered emerging technologies can help fill unused OR time and provide decision support to structure workflows and optimize block allocation. This webinar explores the biggest challenges to profitability faced in the OR and the fastest, most impactful changes a hospital can make to address them.

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


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Vocera announces Q3 results: revenue up 18%, adjusted EPS $0.28 versus $0.26, beating expectations for both.

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NextGen Healthcare reports Q2 results: revenue up 7%, adjusted EPS $0.29 versus $0.30, beating expectations for both. NXGN shares are up 19% in the past 12 months versus the Nasdaq’s 38% gain, valuing the company at $1.1 billion.


People

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Divurgent hires Jason Potter, MBA (Auditec Solutions) as VP of client services and Sonny Sarma, MPH (Reingold) as principal.


Announcements and Implementations

InterSystems IRIS for Health joins Postgres, MS SQL, and Oracle as a data platform for i2b2 (Informatics for Integrating Biology and the Bedside) for clinical research data management that includes FHIR-based solution development, certified interoperability, seamless data management, and open analytics.

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Redox launches a FHIR API that offers patient health record queries, single sign-on, receiving specific events, and writing events back to the EHR.

NextGen Healthcare adds remote patient monitoring to its telehealth solution, allowing practices to support home monitoring devices such as glucometers and blood pressure tools.

Main Line Health (PA) is working with partners to commercialize technology developed by its nurses, initially focusing on hospital room and facility safety devices, EHR add-on components, clinical tests, and medical devices. Informatics nurse Michelle Gray, RN, MSN developed and EHR charting tool that allows nurses to enter information once for both mother and newborn.


Government and Politics

The US Supreme Court may hear Epic’s appeal of its trade secrets lawsuit against Tata Consultancy Services in which an initial jury award of $940 million to Epic was reduced based on precedents that Epic says were incorrectly applied. Epic is appealing a circuit court decision to cap punitive damages at $140 million, which would limit the total award to $280 million.


Other

China will increase its regulation of the country’s 1,600 online hospitals, requiring telehealth physicians to authenticate their identity and limiting the use of AI to impersonate or replace those physicians. China doesn’t allow online consultations as a tool to sell prescriptions, but the new regulations also prohibit physicians making money from drugs and medical examinations and also from directing consumers to specific vendors of drugs and supplies.

Rapper Megan Thee Stallion will graduate from Texas Southern University next month with a bachelor’s degree in health administration.

In England, an 83-year-old partially disabled man who doesn’t use a computer had to wait in line to have blood drawn at a walk-in clinic after being told that several NHS Derby and Derbyshire  locations only book appointments online.

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Germany-based prescription migraine app vendor M-sense wins the Internet with this brilliant dig at Facebook.


Sponsor Updates

  • Waystar will partner with Jefferson Community and Technical College in Kentucky to launch the Waystar Scholars Mentoring Program.
  • Premier and Resilinc expand their partnership to enhance supply chain visibility and sustainability.
  • The Healthcare Americana Podcast features RxRevu founder and Chief Innovation Officer Carm Huntress, “Helping Providers Make Informed Prescribing Decisions Through Actionable Data.”
  • Sectra publishes a new case study, “’Cutting-edge’ enterprise imaging enhances workflows and patient care at Mayfair Diagnostics.”
  • Optimum Healthcare IT wins the 2021 CHIME Foundation Partner Award.

Blog Posts


Contacts

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Currently there are "6 comments" on this Article:

  1. As a pro-Epic aficionado, it’s embarrassing to see them hunt for more than $280 million for someone accessing their customer-facing documents.

    • The lawsuit and allegations are bit deeper than that. India-based contractors (who were under contract by Kaiser at the time) were stealing Epic documentation from their UserWeb and Galaxy knowledge libraries en masse, purportedly to sell to an Indian healthcare software company who was developing their own products. Epic’s UserWeb is very clear that contractors’ use of documentation is limited to the customer they are working for, as the documentation contains a lot of details about features, functionality and UI. It’s a pretty straight-forward IP case, from my understanding.

      • Way back in the stone ages (circa 2002) I remember IDX suing Epic for a similar faux pas. IDx won and Epic paid them millions to settle. Ergo, what goes around comes around!

        • I was intrigued by this comment, and did a little searching. Found a short article from 2002 – https://www.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/stories/2002/08/26/daily31.html

          This lawsuit is a bit different than the Epic v. Tata case, and centers more around IDX being upset about losing a contract to Epic for UW Health. For what it’s worth, the court dismissed any charges related to IP/trade secrets (the accusations were the UW Health gave them to Epic, as part of the contract evaluation process), so that part of this comment appears to be debunked. The court did uphold the charges that UW Health displayed favoritism toward Epic in the contracting process.

  2. Would love to see the calculation for high client satisfaction to factor passing along Consumer Price Index escalators and then apply it to other shoddy software companies.







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