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Monday Morning Update 3/7/22

March 6, 2022 News 5 Comments

Top News

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Microsoft closes its $19.7 billion acquisition of Nuance.


Reader Comments

From Craptacular: “Re: chief digital officer. Did you see this article claiming they are more important than the health system’s CEO?” I did not, but I’ll throw out this challenge to the author, a doctor-turned-salesperson who has never been a CEO or CDO – prove your premise with an example in healthcare, or any other industry, where the CDO is paid more than the CEO. I’m all for improving the healthcare experience with consumer-facing technology, but the motivation of big-profit health systems is more preservation of the status quo rather than its disruption, thus limiting the CDO’s star power.

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A summary of reader comments (paraphrased slightly by me) on Allscripts selling just about all of its non-Veradigm business to Harris:

  • The sale price of $700 million was stunningly low. Harris has years of profits ahead by collecting maintenance fees and reducing costs as customers go through the time-consuming steps to replace the former Allscripts products.
  • Northwell represents 12.5% of the 2021 revenue of Allscripts, about $188 million. Companies can provide service when they have one big customer like Northwell paying the bills, but that doesn’t work if you have only small health systems to bankroll support and development.
  • Harris probably won’t enhance the acquired products, but maybe it is better than Allscripts at keeping the lights on instead of focusing on acquisitions and Veradigm. “Allscripts users will get the cheap corporate experience that comes from harvesting dated enterprise software investments. And they’ll avoid the unfocused, hostile, hot garbage experience that comes from being used as a component to complement another more strategic corporate investment.”
  • The last publicly traded EHR company bites the dust.
  • The projected revenue drop isn’t surprising, but the company’s projection of a 10-15% drop in EBITDA may suggest that Allscripts has been aggressive on financial engineering around depreciation and amortization, especially on legacy hardware.
  • “I could never figure out what leadership was doing on the Allscripts side of the house. DbMotion was declining year-over-year in sites, their Population Health Analytics solution was finally put down after years of not being able to calculate the most basic of conditions or generate a cohort list. The DbMotion solution itself was extremely expensive to configure and maintain, and the resulting data was often — troubled. The Community Integration Agent (CIA) that fed it from the Allscripts product was written by the same team that wrote Avenel. Avenel was a bowl of spaghetti that couldn’t do basic EHR functions nor even Alexa-level transcription. TouchWorks was a hot mess, being passed back and forth between continents, having outside contractors rewriting the middle tier only to have to rewrite it again, then to let the entire team go that worked on the uplift the week it was released.”
  • Who wants to take bets that the company will rebrand to Veradigm by the next HIMSS conference and bury the name Allscripts for good?

HIStalk Announcements and Requests

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The most common healthcare financial problems that poll respondents had – of those who had any at all – were unexpectedly high out-of-pocket costs or insurance paying less than expected.

New poll to your right or here, which I like to run every couple of years: What’s better about your life now compared to a year ago?

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To those sunning in Miami, my sponsors are doing stuff at ViVE they want to tell you about. I would also appreciate getting on-the-ground reports and photos. I’m interested in how ViVE intersects with the co-located but separate CHIME Spring Forum, which is open only to CHIME members and foundation partners, as Russ Branzell explained to me a few weeks ago. Attendee and exhibitor composition, exhibitor satisfaction, and general buzz are the most important aspects of both ViVE and HIMSS for 2022, especially since it’s the first ViVE and the first real HIMSS conference since 2019. I’m curious to see how ViVE’s “hosted buyer” program plays, in which providers must attend eight one-on-one vendor sales pitches to get in free instead of paying $2,500. I’ve been a buyer attendee of similar conferences over the years and it was a great experience for me (expensive accommodations, food, and events for free for attending a few awkwardly misguided pitches) but the vendors didn’t seem to be getting much value in return.

On a HIMSS22 downer note, I’m crestfallen after scanning the exhibitor list that MedData won’t even have a booth, much less use it to bake the scones of the gods.

LinkedIn users – I invite you to connect with me (I approve all non-scammy connection requests) so I can keep up with what you’re up to. While you’re there, please check your headshot and replace it if it’s tiny, grainy, taken at your wedding 10 years ago, or features a distracting background or the obvious presence of poorly cropped out others. We all have phones, so there’s not much excuse for not taking 60 seconds to take and post a clear, identifiable picture on your profile. Omission makes you look careless or ashamed of your appearance, while poor photo quality suggest sloppiness or failure to master basic Internet concepts, both of which are puzzling for someone who bothered to post a profile in the first place. It is surprising how many times I Google for a decent headshot to accompany a job change or company announcement and the Internet comes up blank.

Folks have mentioned some of their HIStalkapalooza memories on Twitter this week. Here’s video from the 2012 version, which I enjoyed more than any other because ESD was a magnificent sponsor, their folks did an amazing job making exactly what I wanted happen, and the scale was manageable. Do you see yourself or anyone you know? I was also checking out photos from the 2015 edition and reviewing the final one in 2017. I just realized that this is the first year since it ended that nobody has emailed me asking for tickets. Update: Lorre read this and let me know that she just received a request to attend this year’s event even though the final one was five years ago, which is actually kind of flattering.


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Welcome to new HIStalk Gold Sponsor CTG. The Amherst, NY company is a leading provider of digital transformation solutions and services that accelerate clients’ project momentum and achievement of their desired IT and business outcomes. With more than 35 years of experience in the healthcare industry, it has earned a reputation as a faster and more reliable, results-driven partner focused on improved data-driven decision-making, meaningful business performance improvements, new and enhanced customer experiences, and continuous innovation. CTG has operations in North America, South America, Western Europe, and India. Thanks to CTG for supporting HIStalk.


Thanks to these companies that recently supported HIStalk. Click a logo for more information.

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Webinars

April 6 (Wednesday) 1 ET. “19 Massive Best Practices We’ve Learned from 4 Million Telehealth Visits.” Sponsor: Mend. Presenter: Matt McBride, MBA, founder, president, and CEO, Mend. Virtual visits have graduated from a quickly implemented technical novelty to a key healthcare strategy. The challenge now is to define how telehealth can work seamlessly with in-person visits. This webinar will address patient satisfaction, reducing no-show rates to single digits, and using technology to make telehealth easy to use and accessible for all patients. The presenter will share best practices that have been gleaned from millions of telehealth visits and how they have been incorporated into a leading telemedicine and AI-powered patient engagement platform.

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


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

Shares in the Global X Telemedicine & Digital Health exchange-traded fund dropped 4.5% in the past 30 days versus the Nasdaq’s 4% decline. EDOC shares are down 11% since the fund’s July 2020 inception versus the Nasdaq’s 26% gain. Its 10 biggest holdings are Illumina, DexCom, Agilent Technologies, Tandem Diabetes Care, Labcorp, Cerner, UnitedHealth Group, Nuance, Omnicell, and Change Healthcare.


People

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Lisa Potter (Data Innovations) joins JTG Consulting Group as chief growth officer.

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Stephanie Sames, MBA joins Harris-owned PulseCheck as EVP.

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Rx. Health hires Neri Cohen, MD, PhD (GBMC HealthCare) as CMIO.


Announcements and Implementations

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Vanderbilt University Medical Center describes in a JAMIA article its Clickbusters program that reduced Epic clinical decision alerts by 15%. The ultimate alert success measure is of course whether the clinician changed their behavior as a result of a warning or suggestion, although it gets somewhat murky after that since choosing a “why I’m doing it anyway” drop-down reason is often driven by the easiest-selected choice rather to provide a useful explanation.

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QGenda launches ProviderCloud, a scheduling-centric provider operations platform that brings together several of its systems.

Kootenai Health will go live on Epic this month.

Google-owned Fitbit recalls its Ionic watch that was manufactured from 2017 to 2020 after dozens of reports of burn injuries that were caused by an overheated battery.

Philips and its foundation will provide a 24-bed mobile hospital and mobile check-up units to Ukraine. The company will also provide financial assistance to displaced citizens and collect employee donations for a humanitarian relief fund.


Government and Politics

Spokane’s VA hospital warned users on Thursday to stop using its recently implemented Cerner system and to “assume all electronic patient data is corrupted / inaccurate.” The problem forced Mann-Grandstaff VA Hospital to stop new admissions, suspend the filling of prescriptions, and to review whether surgeries could be performed safely. The VA says the system went back online Friday morning. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) says she was told that the problem was a VA database update that was performed to communicate patient demographics with Cerner, which suggests that the Cerner system itself might not have been the problem. At least one veteran reported seeing another patient’s information when they logged in to the patient portal. The VA’s second go-live is set for March 26 and another round is scheduled for June.

A federal judge awards a whisteblower $390,000 for helping the federal government recoup $18.3 million from Athenahealth for paying kickbacks to doctors and other EHR vendors to recommend AthenaClinicals. The company was accused of providing luxury trips to sporting events to decision-makers, paying customers to refer prospects, and paying competitors who were discontinuing their EHR to recommend Athenahealth as a replacement.


Other

A New York Times article notes that customer service chatbots – known for creating a “spiral of misery” of poor understanding and scripted replies — are becoming more helpful and capable of carrying on more human-like conversations. It provides an example in insurer Anthem, whose mobile app is 90% accurate in answering questions about co-payments and medications. Anthem’s long-term plan is to use AI to merge claims, clinical, and fitness tracking data to provide personalized health advice, such as offering people with diabetes the “patients like me” best suggestions for diet, exercise, and medications.


Sponsor Updates

  • PerfectServe Values Awards winners include Sales Manager Joe Faso for collaboration, Enterprise Solutions Manager Alex Van Buren for integrity, Customer Solutions Director Cameron Shahnazi for innovation, Customer Success Advisor Courtney Allnutt for service, Deployment Manager Phil Towne for purpose, People Operations & Office Coordinator Kerry Mathews for inclusion, and VP of Customer Solutions Lois Hester for leadership.
  • Premier releases a new episode of The Conductiv Podcast, “How Henry Ford Health System is Leading the Way in Supplier Diversity.”
  • In England, the National Pathology Imaging Co-operative expands its use of Sectra’s pathology solution.
  • Talkdesk is named Cloud Innovator of the Year and Cloud Innovator of the Decade in the 2021-22 Cloud Awards.
  • Volpara Health will exhibit and present at NCBC 2022 Annual Interdisciplinary Breast Center Conference March 10-11 in Las Vegas.
  • Wolters Kluwer Health adds BioDigital’s 3D anatomy platform to its Ovid medical research platform for an immersive teaching and learning experience.

Blog Posts


Contacts

Mr. H, Lorre, Jenn, Dr. Jayne.
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