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News 1/14/22

January 13, 2022 News 1 Comment

Top News

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Axios reports that  private equity firm GTR is close to a signing a deal to acquire urgent care EHR vendor Experity for around $1.2 billion.

The company’s owner, private equity firm Warburg Pincus, formed Experity in May 2019 by merging DocuTAP and Practice Velocity.

Experity’s software is used by more than 50% of US urgent care clinics.


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Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Ambient patient-physician voice scribing solution vendor DeepScribe raises $30 million in a Series A funding round. The company says it has 400 physician users and has integrated its system with Claimpower, Elation, AdvancedMD, Practice Fusion, Athenahealth, and DrChrono. It says doctors save an average of three hours per day at one-sixth the cost of human scribes. 

Telehealth system vendor Caregility raises $25 million in funding.

Mindfulness app vendor Headspace Health acquires Sayana, which offers an AI-powered self-help app.

Data exchange platform vendor Avaneer Health raises $50 million in seed funding.

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Medically Home, which provides hospital-at-home support services and technology to health systems, raises $110 million in funding from investors that include Baxter International, Cardinal Health, Mayo Clinic, and Kaiser Permanente. The company has raised $275 million. It says 7,000 patients have been treated using its offerings.

Health system patient acquisition and capacity management software vendor DexCare, which was spun off by Providence, raises $50 million in a Series B funding round.


Sales

  • Roche Diagnostics USA will offer Glytec’s Glucommander insulin dosing support system as the first software application to run on its just-announced Cobas Pulse point-of-care blood glucose system.
  • The VA signs a $13 million contract for Google Cloud’s Apigee API management platform.
  • Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices Companies chooses Microsoft as its preferred cloud provider for digital surgery solutions, which provide medical device insights about patients to surgeons to increase consistency.

People

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Patient engagement software vendor Tendo hires Bala Hota, MD, MPH (Rush University Medical Center) as SVP / chief informatics officer.

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Healthcare Triangle names Sanjay Dalwani, MBA (Capgemini) as chief revenue officer.

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Patient engagement software vendor Clearwave hires Saji Rajasekharan, MBA (Premier) as CTO.

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Mayur Yermaneni, MBA, MS (EQHealth Solutions) joins healthcare analytics and consulting form Blue Health Intelligence as chief strategy and growth officer.

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Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center hires Rémy Evard, MS (Flagship Pioneering) as chief digital officer and head of technology.

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David Wright, MPH (Get Well) joins Vital Software as chief growth officer.


Announcements and Implementations

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A JAMIA perspective piece says that health systems that switch EHRs – because they are acquired or want to replace their existing system – should apply the principles of Requisite Imagination in visualizing the desired future state to identify what might go wrong, especially with regard to patient safety. The authors make six recommendations:

  • Choose a leadership structure that includes technical and operational experts who encourage users to speak up about problems. Pay clinicians for content development.
  • Conduct a self-assessment of risk using ONC’s SAFER Guides checklists.
  • Standardize features, functions, nomenclature, and workflows to avoid unwarranted variation.
  • Create a standard taxonomy to track performance indicators from multiple sources, such as adverse event reports, help desk tickets, audit logs, and operational performance and patient satisfaction measures.
  • Import as much coded and free-text as possible from the old EHR, then provide an easily understood summary of the old chart for reconciliation with the new system during the first visit.
  • Communicate clearly to users what changes are upcoming, how quality care will be maintained, and how they will be supported. Offer workflow-specific training, dedicated practice time, and one-to-one support for clinicians who are struggling and consider reducing patient loads where possible in the first few weeks after go-live.

Atlantic Health System (NJ) expands its use of Kyruus ProviderMatch to offer online scheduling on its website.

HIMSS updates its HIMSS22 Right of Entry Protocols with two options for attendees, exhibitors, and speakers: (a) voluntarily provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination (boosters are not required) before badge pick-up; or (b) present negative antigen or PCR test results no older than the day before badge pick-up. Masks must be worn at all times while on the campus. The next update will be January 26, which will presumably provide details about how vaccination proof can be submitted before arrival.


Other

Drug maker and COVID-19 vaccine manufacturer Pfizer will lay off several hundred sales reps in predicting that doctors will prefer drug company contact to be conducted virtually 50% of the time even after the pandemic ends. Competitor Amgen took the same action a year ago, eliminating 500 sales rep jobs as the pandemic limited in-person contact.

Commonwealth Fund President and former National Coordinator David Blumenthal, MD says in a Harvard Business Review piece that big corporations – CVS-Aetna, Walgreens, Walmart, Amazon, Optum – are hiring PCPs and buying primary care practices, which will have an unknown effect on the US’s failing primary care system, where many people don’t see the value of PCPs or can’t find one. He says those big corporations need to figure out how to pay PCPs, who make much less than their procedure-driven counterparts, more without burning them out, with three options: (a) treat primary care as a lost leader to draw customers in who will buy greeting cards or lawn chairs; (b) use physician extenders to increase productivity and therefore profit under the fee-for-service system, with the risk that corporations will create provider and patient discontent or add on billable services to the detriment of the healthcare system; or (c) allow health insurers to manage chronic conditions for which they already bear financial risk for unnecessary hospitalizations and ED visits, which can allow both lowered premiums and higher profits. Blumenthal says Option C is the most promising.

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Zus Health Product Manager Brendan Keeler provides an concise Twitter summary of the Big Three healthcare interoperability networks (Epic’s Care Everywhere, Carequality, and CommonWell):

  • Care Everywhere is CDA-based (not FHIR) and allows both querying and pushing patient-level summaries, encounter-level summaries, specialty CDAs, and non-discrete data such as PDFs. Epic turns it on by default so all Epic hospitals can share data with each other, but some of its customers block that exchange by turning it off.
  • Carequality is a distributed exchange (not a centralized HIE) and is roughly equivalent to Care Everywhere.
  • CommonWell uses a centralized record locator service and stores only the demographics that are needed to match patients. It is primarily based on CDA, but uses some FHIR APIs.
  • Carequality and CommonWell connected in 2018 to form a “somewhat comprehensive” national network for obtaining patient summaries, but it does not support pushing data like Care Everywhere does.
  • Epic’s EHR exposes more data via these networks than other vendor EHRs, which mostly provide just a patient summary and possibly encounter summaries.

I always enjoy scouring the exhibit hall rules of the HIMSS conference for nuggets like these, each of which must have been triggered by real-life violation:

  • Exhibitors cannot enter the booth of another exhibitor without permission. This is expressed in a badly worded rule that says, “Exhibitors are required to remain in their own booth space during exhibit hours and non-exhibit hours,” suggesting incarceration and the use of adult diapers.
  • “Sideshow tactics” such as using megaphones, clowns, flash mobs, dancing, body painting, and bungee jumpers aren’t allowed. In addition, “clothing must be worn at all times (including tops and bottoms).” I’m curious how the bungee jumping worked and who was guilty of exhibiting topless or bottomless.
  • “Special talent” is not allowed to walk the show floor, although the term was not defined.
  • Soliciting isn’t allowed in the convention center lobby, outside, or within any HIMSS block hotel.
  • Exhibitors can’t give away or sell marijuana or other controlled substances on the show floor.

Sponsor Updates

  • Everbridge appoints former Citrix president and CEO David Henshall to its board.
  • Redox doubled its network reach in 2021.
  • The HCI Group releases a new DGTL Voices Podcast, “How Cancer Transformed Us.”
  • Nordic achieves Select Partner and Public Sector Partner within the Amazon Web Services Partner Network.
  • Tidelands Health sees a 52% drop in inappropriate telemetry orders using Meditech’s professional services.

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  1. A certain large event in England that celebrates, amongst other things, carnival and sideshow history, has been known to have to have nude bungee jumpers, or at least did about 20 years ago…







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