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News 4/22/22

April 21, 2022 News 8 Comments

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Clinical trials solutions vendor Reify Health raises $220 million in a Series D funding round that values the company at nearly $5 billion.

The co-founders, who attended the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and served a three-month stint as Rock Health fellows, are Ralph Passarella, MD, PhD and Michael Lin.


April 22 (Friday) 1 ET. “CMIO 3.0: What’s Next for the CMIO?” Sponsor: Intelligent Medical Objects. Presenters: Becket Mahnke, MD, CMIO and pediatric cardiologist, Confluence Health; Dale Sanders, chief strategy officer, IMO. The relatively short history of the CMIO role includes Version 1.0 (EHR implementation, Meaningful Use, and regulatory compliance) and Version 2.0 (quality and efficiency). Version 3.0 is at the forefront of predictive analytics, population health initiatives, and optimization of data-driven tools. The presenters will discuss the digital revolution’s impact on CMIO responsibilities; the connection between clinical informatics, analytics, population health and the CMIO; and how CMIO 3.0 will be involved in the adoption of advanced technologies.

April 28 (Thursday) 2 ET. “Undercoded and Underpaid: Making It Easier to Document to Optimize Reimbursement.” Sponsor: Intelligent Medical Objects. Presenters: Deepak Pillai, MD, physician informaticist, IMO; June Bronnert, MSHI, RHIA, senior director of informatics, IMO; Nicole Douglas, sales engineer, IMO. The presenters will discuss how to simplify precise documentation for clinicians; the effects of imprecise coding on reimbursement; why accurate code capture at the point of care can have positive downstream impact on population health initiatives; and how third-party solutions integrated with the EHR can reduce documentation burdens.

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

Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

Amwell expands its virtual services to include musculoskeletal and dermatology.

Remote patient temperature monitoring technology vendor Blue Spark Technologies raises $40 million in growth funding. I interviewed President and CEO John Gannon last May.


Netsmart acquires TheraOffice, an EHR/PM for physical therapy and rehabilitation practices that will be incorporated into Netsmart’s CareFabric platform.


Venture capitalist Aike Ho explains why she doesn’t invest in healthcare AI companies:

  • AI doesn’t really exist in healthcare. It is really just machine learning (“glorified big data”) with no deep learning or neural networks.
  • It takes months or years, at startup burn rates, to get agreements from health systems and universities to provide data for training models.
  • The data is often low quality or in need of cleaning.
  • The total addressable market for most AI applications is small because it involves ancillary services such as diagnostic help and workflow automation and most US healthcare revenue involves services.
  • Gaining adoption is hard unless you are also delivering care. That’s her preferred model for AI/ML – digital health companies that use AI/ML to improve their own care delivery. No AI/ML company that sells to provider groups has had a breakout so far.
  • It’s hard to get risk-averse providers to use a solution without documenting superior clinical outcomes.
  • Insurance rarely pays, so that leaves patients and providers to foot the bill. That’s harder if the value proposition is saving money rather than boosting revenue.
  • Workflow friction and training costs must be minimal.
  • Charging for usage is great, but only if you can figure out adoption, while a flat cost is harder to sell.


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New Zealand-based breast imaging screening AI vendor Volpara Health promotes advisor Teri Thomas, RN, MSN — who spent 21 years through 2016 as an Epic executive — to CEO. She replaces founder Ralph Highnam, PhD, MSc, who will transition to chief science and innovation officer.


Health system-owned interoperability vendor Graphite Health hires Ted Gaubert, PhD, MBA (Dunn & Bradstreet) as CTO.


Ed Marx resigns as Tech Mahindra’s chief digital officer for health and life sciences.

Announcements and Implementations

A study performed by the Australian New South Wales Health Service finds that use of Net Health’s wound imaging and analysis platform resulted in better documentation, more engaged patients, and improved wound measurement and management.

Golden Valley Memorial Healthcare (MO) goes live as the first site running Meditech Expanse Genomics.

Kyruus and Upfront partner to offer provider search, match, and scheduling with continued personalized and omnichannel engagement.


A new KLAS report looks at health system compliance with CMS’s requirement to post prices for common services, as revenue cycle leaders express doubt that the regulation – which they say was poorly executed, is confusing, and requires extensive labor for compliance — will improve financial outcomes. Respondents say that posting a master list of prices may benefit payer and provider organizations more than patients. Epic was the most-often used vendor to comply with the requirement, while Experian Health, Vitalware, and NThrive/FinThrive led the third-party solutions list. 

Government and Politics

Healthcare waste management company Stericycle – which also owns patient engagement technology vendor Stericycle Communication Solutions — pays $84 million to settle DOJ charges that it bribed officials in Brazil, Mexico, and Argentina to earn waste management contracts.


The VA congratulates Hardeep Singh, MD, MBA of the Houston VA for earning Joint Commission’s patient safety and quality award for safety related to diagnostics and health IT.



Adventist Health Mendocino Coast Chief of Staff William Miller, MD outlines lessons learned from its implementation of Cerner in its clinics in a local newspaper opinion piece:

  • Timelines were extended due to COVID-caused staff resignations and shortages.
  • System bugs prevented the prescription refill function from communicating with local pharmacies and impeded referrals to specialists.
  • The problems increased phone call abandonment and hold time.
  • Moving data to Cerner required more time than expected, extending appointment scheduling time from weeks to two months.
  • The hospital didn’t do a good job of communicating the transition to patients and the community.


Economist and sociology professor Juliet Schor discusses four-day work weeks at the TED2022 conference, citing her consulting work with non-profit Healthwise last year. She says Healthwise employees are happier and the company is enjoying higher revenue and outstanding customer satisfaction scores after the change. Healthwise CEO Adam Husney says employees picked up the pace to complete a week’s worth of work in four days, shifting personal tasks to their off days and using more time-efficient messaging so they can enjoy their downtime as a whole day off instead of occasional breaks.

The New York Times looks at the use of robots in nursing homes and the development of “virtual assisted living” in which technology – medication reminders, social engagement, fall prevention and response, food delivery, and toilet-powered health analysis – gives seniors an alternative to cash-strapped, understaffed nursing homes. The director of MIT’s AgeLab says Best Buy and Amazon are offering senior-friendly mobile phones that detect falls, connect to hospital systems, access electronic medical records, and give one-touch access to call centers that are prepared to contact doctors, arrange transportation, and notify caregivers.


Redesign Health provides yet another unwanted glimpse into the marketing sausage-making in being “thrilled to share our rebrand, which embodies both our aspirations for the future and the urgency that this moment in healthcare demands.” New logo, new color scheme, got it … but those responsible can’t resist pontificating in violating the “show, don’t tell” principle in mandating an eye-rolling journey through a self-congratulatory backstory (imagine if they had painted the Mona Lisa):

The symbol tells us where we want to go and what we want to be, beyond where we are now. And as the omnipresent fixture in our branding and the world we create, it will be something we use to tell our story forever … Ultimately, we hope our brand becomes a symbol in the world of health. We hope it influences not only how we continue to approach our work, but also the type of people that want to join us and the way our industry tackles big challenges — namely, with more ambition, urgency, and perspectives.


Is this how editors role?

Sponsor Updates

  • Healthcare Triangle will present at NobleCon18 April 21 in Hollywood, FL.
  • LexisNexis Risk Solutions announces that it has been named a leader in the “IDC MarketScape: US Provider Data Management for Payers 2022 Vendor Assessment.”
  • InterSystems offers prizes for applications that use its FHIR services as part of MIT Hacking Medicine’s Grand Hack 2022.
  • OSIS, which provides NextGen Healthcare technology services to Community Health Centers, chooses Well Health as a preferred vendor of digital patient communications.
  • Clearsense publishes a case study of a data archiving project that saved a 93-hospital IDN $23 million in annual cost savings.
  • Steve Shihadeh of Get-to-Market Health posts the second part of his conversation with digital health investor Lee Shapiro of 7wireVentures, which includes tips for co-existing with Epic, Cerner, and Meditech.
  • Medicomp Systems releases a new episode of its Tell Me Where It Hurts Podcast featuring Greenway Health CMO Michael Blackman, MD.
  • Meditech President and CEO Michelle O’Connor and EVP/COO Helen Waters will offer a May 17 keynote at the MUSE conference in Dallas titled “Looking to the Future of Digital Healthcare and MEDITECH.”

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Currently there are "8 comments" on this Article:

  1. Anyone else find it interesting that the visionary Ed Marx can’t seem to hold the job for more than a couple years before resigning?

    Let me guess, the training schedule for team USA and his podcast responsibilities are taking priority over holding an actual job in the industry.

    Would be interested to hear if others think it’s time to stop following the moves of this alleged industry luminary who gains publicity by getting other people to talk on his podcast and fawning over other people’s posts on LinkedIn.

    Iron sharpens iron!!

  2. Congratulations to Hardeep Singh-he’s really been a leader in improving EHR safety.

    Your really harsh with editors.

  3. We’d beg to differ with several of the points made by Aike Ho, or at least rephrase them. Ultimately, any product – regardless of technology – has to create value… more sales, lower costs, etc. This is a challenge for clinical systems unless better outcomes are incentivized. That’s often not the case, unfortunately. But there are numerous systems in hospitals where value is more demonstrable. We provide CAC technology, for instance, that increases coder productivity and quality. (The latter pays off in fewer declined claims, more detailed coding for higher reimbursement, and more.)

    But note in the above that I did not say anything about our technology. In fact, it’s machine learning that does not need the enormous datasets Ms Ho mentions as problematical. And the market for CAC is $100Ms – not bad for workflow productivity tools! And it works… in the field.

    I invite Ms Ho to contact me to discuss!

  4. I have some minor quibbles with technical parts of Aike Ho comments. Machine Learning is often used interchangeably with AI but technically, it is one of the ways in which AI capabilities can be achieved in a machine/computer etc. (Deep Learning being one of the ML techniques). So her comment that there’s no AI only ML in healthcare because there’s no deep learning doesn’t make sense.
    Anyway, some of her other, broader comments about economics and market dynamics of AI in healthcare are much more accurate. But they describe the current state accurately, not what the future might look like.
    Startups and their entrepreneurial founders, with help from VCs are supposed to dream up a better future and I think that’s what Aike is missing on in her comments. It may not look like it right now but as some of the fundamentals of healthcare economics get more in alignment with value, AI and digital are exactly the tools that we will need to be ready to enable and accelerate that process. Those who invest now, will be ready. Those who don’t, will end up like Blackberry, Blockbuster and the like (unless government snoops in to save them as essential services).

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  5. Was not the struggle of Teladoc foreseeable with the acquisition of Livongo?

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