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Monday Morning Update 8/15/22

August 14, 2022 News No Comments

Top News

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Truepill reportedly conducts its third round of layoffs in 2022, this time involving 175 employees that represent about one-third of its workforce.

The company, which offers white-labeled, API-connected virtual pharmacy and telehealth solutions as well as home diagnostic kits, claimed last year that it was bringing in $300 million in annual revenue. It was reported to have been valued at $1.6 billion after raising $255 million.

CEO Sid Viswanathan says the company will focus on increasing revenue and cutting expenses.

Truepill was the preferred pharmacy provider of virtual mental health provider Cerebral and had acquired competing virtual ADHD provider Ahead. It shut down Ahead in April 2022 as the Drug Enforcement Administration started investigating the prescribing practices of both of the online ADHD providers, leading Cerebral to stop issuing those prescriptions. 


Reader Comments

From Derek Smalls: “Re: new Oracle Cerner deals. Notice how small the new clients are?” The Cerner announcement lists six of the 11 new CommunityWorks hospital clients the company signed since April, ranging from 15 to 35 beds. I would say that it’s encouraging that these rural, community, and critical access hospitals can implement Cerner in a way that is affordable and technically feasible.


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

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Life’s lessons from poll respondents who have lived them: plan your financial future early, take more risks, stay healthy, and don’t ignore your family.

New poll to your right or here: Has your employer conducted a layoff that you would consider significant in the past 12 months?


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Epic’s UGM is coming up August 22-24. It never occurred to me that I could feature how HIStalk sponsors are participating in that and other events as I do with the HIMSS conference, but let’s give it a shot. Sponsors, complete an information form by Wednesday, August 17 and I’ll summarize the results later this week for those who are traveling to Verona. I’ll do this for other conferences if response is good.


Webinars

None scheduled soon. Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre to present your own.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

Shares in the Global X Telemedicine and Digital Health ETF health IT index were up 11% in the past 30 days versus the Nasdaq’s 13.5% rise. However, they are down 27% in the past year and 17% since their July 2020 inception, meaning that your money would have been better invested in Nasdaq index funds.

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A business filing indicates that BD’s price to acquire hospital pharmacy software vendor MedKeeper was $93 million.

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Medicare Advantage primary care chain ChenMed is considering selling its majority stake in JenCare, a joint venture with Humana that runs 30 clinics in five states, at a company valuation of $4 billion. Family-owned parent company ChenMed also owns Dedicated Senior Medical Center and Chen Senior Medical Center. ChenMed CIO Hernando Celada runs two other ChenMed businesses, Curity (AI-powered care management) and IntuneHealth (primary care centers and telehealth).

Dental software vendor Planet DDS acquires the QSIDental cloud-based dental practice management software platform from NextGen Healthcare.


Sales

  • Oracle Cerner executed 161 new, extended, or expanded contracts from April to June 2022, including 11 new clients.

People

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Julie Schubert, RN, MS joins Well Health as VP of professional services.

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Intermountain Healthcare President and CEO Marc Harrison, MD, MMM resigns to run an unnamed healthcare platform business for venture capital firm General Catalyst. He earned $6 million in 2020, according to Intermountain’s most recent tax filings, and like other former big-system CEOs, further blurs the already faint line between being a highly compensated non-profit executive and taking leadership roles in the most capitalistic organizations in American society.


Government and Politics

A security researcher tells a Defcon security conference audience that the decades-old encryption system that the VA’s VistA system uses could be easily defeated, allowing a hacker to perform clinician functions.


Privacy and Security

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An Oregon hospital becomes the latest in a list of those that overpaid their employees during several weeks of ransomware-caused Kronos payroll system downtime that are trying to get employees to return the extra money. St. Charles Health System says the average employee amount owed is $780. The Oregon Nurses Association says it will issue a cease-and-desist letter to the hospital because its demand for repayment is illegal and the health system has provided no evidence that anyone was actually overpaid.


Other

A Commonwealth Fund blog post whose authors include former National Coordinator David Blumenthal, MD says that Amazon’s acquisition of primary care chain One Medical won’t resolve the “international embarrassment” of the US healthcare system. Snips:

  • While Amazon shouldn’t be underestimated, its previous healthcare forays have largely failed, such as its Haven partnership and its minimally disruptive Amazon Pharmacy.
  • One Medical has always lost money because third-party payers pay little for primary care, leading the authors to predict that Amazon will need to pursue value-based care contracts with commercial insurers instead of the usual Medicare and Medicaid market.
  • The authors expect that Amazon will uncharacteristically need to restrict customer choice by negotiating preferred rates with local PCPs, which may not be acceptable in the employer-funded insurance model where the employees complain about being excluded from the big-brand medical centers.
  • Amazon must complete with Optum and CVS Health / Aetna, which already have scaled up provider employment and bring unparalleled expertise in managing risk.
  • The article concludes that the real question is whether profit-driven entrepreneurship and innovation can bring the US healthcare system up to the level of most other developed countries that do a better job of keeping people healthy at an affordable cost. 

Sponsor Updates

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  • Diameter Health CEO Eric Rosow and CTO Harvard Pan raise money for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute through their participation in the Pan-Mass Challenge.
  • The Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation integrates Xealth’s digital therapeutic content distribution capabilities with its Oracle Cerner EHR, making it easier for patients to access educational content through their patient portals.
  • PerfectServe adds more than 400 physician practices across 37 states in the first half of 2022.
  • Sphere will exhibit at Epic UGM August 22-24 in Verona, WI.
  • Spok announces that 18 of the 20 adult hospitals and all 10 children’s hospitals named to US News & World Report’s 2022-23 Best Hospitals Honor Roll use Spok secure healthcare communication solutions.
  • Vocera will exhibit at the 2022 Defense Health Information Technology Symposium August 16-18 in Orlando.
  • West Monroe publishes a new report, “2022 Be Digital Research.”

Blog Posts


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