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April 3, 2022 News 9 Comments

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The American Hospital Association tells federal regulators that hospital mergers lower costs and create better outcomes, benefiting their patients and communities.

AHA specifically calls out the technology benefits of mergers:

  • Expanded repositories of clinical and cost data.
  • Real-time support of diagnoses and treatments.
  • Advanced analytics.
  • Large health systems making advanced technologies available to their smaller affiliates that otherwise couldn’t afford them.

AHA says the government’s merger guidelines don’t require big changes and should retain market definitions as a component of competition analysis.

AHA adds the FTC and DOJ should focus instead on “anticompetitive mergers and deceptive conduct by insurance companies.” It specifically supports DOJ’s lawsuit to block UnitedHealth Group’s planned acquisition of Change Healthcare.

Reader Comments

From Brody Brodock: “Re: solutions that connect patients to clinical trials. I know of one, Ciitizen, although they seem to do only cancer trials.”

HIStalk Announcements and Requests


The employers of most poll respondents will focus this year getting and keeping employees and developing new offerings.

New poll to your right or here: For those who were laid off or terminated more than five years ago: what was the impact on your career? I did a similar survey years ago and it was shocking to see the super-high percentage of folks who said their unplanned job loss was a positive career event. As I often say, who wants to work for a company that lays people off, especially if you’re one of them? Although today’s truth is that nearly every company lays people off, kicking one set of “valued associates” to the curb while publicly bragging on company success that requires a fresh batch.

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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.

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

Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock


Buyouts magazine awards Francisco Partners its “Deal of the Year” recognition for carving out medical device integration technology vendor Capsule Technologies and selling it to Royal Philips for $635 million in early 2021 at a 233% gross internal rate of return. Qualcomm acquired Capsule Technologie (its original name as a France-headquartered company) in 2015 and made it part of Qualcomm Life, which Francisco Partners acquired in February 2019. FP renamed the business to Capsule Technologies, refocused it back on addressing inpatient hospital communications, hired former Spok CEO Hemant Goel to lead the company (he’s now at NThrive / FinThrive), and acquired clinical monitoring technology vendor Bernoulli Health, all in its first six months of ownership. FP sold the company to Philips two years after acquiring it, where it operates as Philips Capsule.

Hospital pharmacy consulting firm Visante acquires The Robertson Group, which offers pharmacy informatics and technology consulting.



Debra Carpenter, PhD (Crowe Healthcare Risk Consulting) joins Tri-State Memorial Hospital as CIO.


Change Healthcare hires Edward Baird (Spectralink) as VP of strategic accounts.


Industry long-timer Joyce Sensmeier, MS, RN retires as senior advisor of informatics at HIMSS.

Announcements and Implementations

Cerner won’t require non-client facing employees to be vaccinated until June 6, when workers are expected to return to in-office work.


England scales back its pandemic surveillance programs in a move toward living with COVID-19 rather than trying to eliminate it, raising concerns among health experts that the dialed-back data systems will not support the early detection of new surges and variants. Britain was the global leader in performing random community testing, genomic sequencing, and combining the results with electronic medical records and epidemiology to provide the world with much of its COVID intelligence.

Amazon Web Services posts a job for head of worldwide health technology solutions, which involves building health system relationships, working with partners, and creating AWS business opportunities.

Sponsor Updates


  • VisiQuate founders and staffers travel to Ensenada, Mexico with Baja Bound to build a house for a working family.
  • The Urban Health Today Podcast features PeriGen CEO Matthew Sappern and his insights on rural maternity deserts, nursing burnout, and how AI is helping.
  • Protenus will exhibit at the NADDI National Healthcare Facility Rx Diversion Summit April 25-26 in Raleigh, NC.
  • TigerConnect will exhibit at AONL 2022 April 11-14 in San Antonio.
  • TriNetX has signed a partnership agreement with Mitsui to expand its global research network in Japan.
  • Consulting magazine names West Monroe partners Christina Powers and Melanie Prestridge Leading Women in Technology in the future leader and excellence in client service categories, respectively.

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Currently there are "9 comments" on this Article:

  1. Who is the AHA trying to fool with these high-minded statements but little or no factual evidence about costs or quality and then opposing the Optum-Change deal (which I also think is bad for the industry as a whole). Health system ‘mergers’ are about market dominance for negotiating with payers and suppliers and little else

    • The endgame of all of this is that healthcare payments should be socialized at the point of primary care, not at the point of emergency care. I don’t know how anyone can come to a different conclusion. With a single payer system you remove the incentive to monopolize. Kind of insane that one of two major parties in this country gets away with having “lower prices” and “put patients and doctors back in charge” as their very very serious policy plan for 1/5 of the American economy.

    • “Health system ‘mergers’ are about market dominance for negotiating with payers and suppliers and little else”.

      OK, but here’s what I don’t get. Are these mergers actually effective at doing this?

      It’s my understanding that Medicare/Medicaid is forbidden from negotiating with drug companies. It’s also my understanding that insured bill payments carry full freight, implying little price negotiation there. Everyone is happy because employers are paying the insurance premiums (yeah, there are some pretty big gaps there, but for the most part I’ll stand by that statement).

      Are the health networks a vain hope? Grasping at what little control exists?

      • The economics of mergers are that the health system can increase prices that the working population then pays through premium increases taken out of their wages. To what degree should the American worker suffer to benefit highly paid health system administrators and medical specialists? Should we take 1% of everyone’s wages, burn half of it in inefficiency and give the rest of the take to those at the top of the heap at Big Health System? 5%? 10%? We can pontificate about single payer, political constraints, reform, etc. but today’s premium increases are mostly transfers from the general working population to an advantaged few.

        • I also enjoy reading your comments.

          Might I add the claims by both providers and payers that their business decisions are to benefit patients without any justification in terms of savings? All I see year after year are increases in patient financial responsibility on the front- (premiums) or backend (copays, cost-sharing). The tendency for both groups to claim to be the voice of the patient comes at no cost to either. The healthcare industry is like a big carcass floating in the ocean with every money-hungry organization looking to take its bite and then leave.

  2. The AHA stance on “hospital mergers” = good and “insurance company acquisitions” = bad reminds one of the old adage: ‘God hates your sin; mine’s no big deal.’

  3. Lower costs? Really Where? I’ve checked pricing at a few hospitals that were acquired, and prices were higher at the new parent health system.

    Hard to even tell at some ‘About 345 hospitals have been warned about price transparency, CMS says’.

  4. Please enlighten me on how hospital mergers are good for healthcare. Is there one example of how a merger has closed the gap addressing social determinants that influence disparities and inequities in our underserved communities. It’s time this nation get past the lip service of the value health system bring to these communities because the underserved has been waiting far to long for help.

  5. RE your clinical trial matching comment, Evidation Health does some of that through their app, though their aim is a little wider. Basically they will selectively match you to trials, but will also pay you nominal amounts of money to share things like step counts, food logs etc… which I then suspect they share as a collective product.

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