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September 1, 2022 News 2 Comments

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Emergency medical services technology vendor ESO acquires Occam Technologies, which offers an EMPI platform.


September 22 (Thursday) 1 ET. “ICD-10-CM 2023 Updates and Regulatory Readiness.” Sponsor: Intelligent Medical Objects. Presenters: June Bronnert, MSHI, RHIA, marketing director, IMO; Julie Glasgow, MD, marketing manager, IMO. The yearly update to ICD-10-CM is almost here. Prepare your organization for a smooth transition, and avoid any negative impacts to your bottom line, with an in-depth look at the upcoming changes. Listen to IMO’s top coding professionals and thought leaders discuss the 2023 ICD-10-CM coding changes. This webinar will review additions, deletions, and other revisions to the ICD-10-CM code set and how to make sure you get properly reimbursed.

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

Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock


Wheel, which offers virtual health infrastructure and clinical services, lays off 35 employees, representing 17% of its headcount. The company says the workforce reduction will allow it change focus from building a marketplace to developing an enterprise platform.

Sectra creates a genomics IT business unit and will work with University of Pennsylvania Health System to develop a precision medicine solution.

Insurer Oscar Health announces in an SEC filing that a Florida health plan is cancelling its contract to use Oscar’s technology platform. Health First Health Plans, which previously announced that it was pausing its implementation of the +Oscar system due to integration challenges, was generating $60 million in annual revenue for Oscar.

Walgreens Boots Alliance completes its acquisition of a majority stake in CareCentrix, which sells predictive analytics and homecare technology.

Innovaccer reportedly lays off 120 employees, about 8% of its workforce, nine months after it ran a $150 million Series E funding round that valued the company at $3 billion.

Specialty acute care telemedicine vendor SOC Telemed acquires Forefront Telecare, which offers virtual behavioral health services.


  • Visage Imaging signs contracts with Montage Health, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and Bay Imaging Consultants.



Katherine Virkstis, ND (Advisory Board) joins Get Well as VP of clinical advisory services.

Announcements and Implementations

The Sequoia Project publishes QHIN standard operating procedures and an application for designation, which it will begin accepting on October 3.

The CommonWell Health Alliance will apply to become a QHIN.

Ochsner Health incorporates oncology precision medicine information from Tempus in its Epic system.

Southern Ohio Medical Center reports a 30% reduction in hospital-acquired C. difficile infections following work with Meditech Professional Services and implementation of Expanse tools.


Wellstar Health System will close money-losing 460-bed Atlanta Medical Center on November 1, leaving Grady Memorial Hospital as the city’s only level 1 trauma center.


Masimo releases its $499 W1 consumer health watch, which offers continuous monitoring of oxygen saturation, pulse rate, respiration rate, and hydration levels. The medical version, which is available only outside the US, adds spot check ECG, atrial fibrillation detection, and a remote monitoring and telehealth application for clinicians and hospitals.

Privacy and Security

Credit rating agency Fitch Ratings says that the cost of cyber risk mitigation is increasing for non-profit hospitals even as their margins are decreasing, placing them at more risk for cyberattacks.


A physician-authored opinion piece calls the EHR inbox an “after-hours second job for physicians” who are expected to respond to patient messages and manage low-value inbox notices without compensation or adjusted productivity targets. The authors recommend:

  • Measure the volume of inbox messages and the time required to manage them.
  • Turn off low-value messages, such as for tests ordered but not yet resulted and notifying primary care physicians of every test ordered during an inpatient stay.
  • Assign a lower-license team to review new messages, resolve those they can, and then meet with the physician to manage the rest.
  • Pay physicians for providing patient services via email and include that work in productivity measures.
  • Research the non-visit inbox work across specialties, assess the risk and benefits to patient care of that work, and study the effectiveness of interventions that are intended to reduce inbox management demands.

A behavioral health researcher whose bipolar disorder has required numerous medication changes over the years recommends that clinicians use a simple, shareable form to document when a patient’s drugs are started, stopped, or adjusted along with the reason for the change. The document would help patients remember their medication history and avoid having a medication ordered that was previously unsuccessful.

An emergency medicine physician leaves the specialty, citing inappropriate ED use that is fueled by hospital administrators and contracted ED operators who boost profits by encouraging people to visit the ED for sports physicals and other non-emergent issues. Leonard Arnavi, MD also observes that hospitals push HIPAA responsibilities onto doctors even though ED layouts guarantee a lack of privacy, tie compensation to patient satisfaction surveys that force doctors to choose between practicing good medicine versus giving patients what they want, and train resident physicians poorly in their quest to capture GME funds and to create a supply of cheap labor.


Zus Health founder Jonathan Bush provides his always-interesting perspective to Fast Company. Snips:

  • The hospital itself can only serve the people that can drive there. They’re in a local battle for a deep, vertical monopoly … [new market entrants are saying], “I’m going to take one narrow thing—anxiety, prediabetes—and crush it nationally.” These new companies don’t give a shit about vertical monopoly. They have no plans on even having an exam room, let alone a lab, a pharmacy, an operating room, an imaging center.
  • A new class of company that on their most selfish day are happy to share data because that’s not how they make money; they can’t win by controlling your referral patterns beyond what they’re focused on.
  • While Amazon has been able to keep its true North Star ever “closer to the customer,” One Medical has needed to seek payment from one hospital provider over another. This channel conflict with consumer interest will be very tough to iron out as the market heats up.
  • [Health IT startups should] quickly get to the thing that no one else has and spend all your R&D, design, product time on that and rent everything else, at least until you get to break even or get to some sort of operational stability. That may be obvious advice, but during this last orgy of nearly free capital, people forgot it, and many young people started businesses not ever knowing that was a thing, and they’re about to get a massive bucket of water on their head explaining it to them.

Sponsor Updates


  • Tegria supports the Snoqualmie Valley Schools Foundation in Snoqualmie, WA.
  • PerfectServe celebrates its 25th anniversary.
  • Surescripts releases a new episode of its There’s a Better Way: Smart Talk on Healthcare and Technology Podcast, “Healthcare, Tech, and Capitol Hill.”
  • Vocera releases a new Caring Greatly podcast, “Linking Leader and Team Member Well-Being.”
  • Sixteen of Wolters Kluwer Health’s Lippincott healthcare publications earn 24 wins in the annual Awards for Publication Excellence competition.
  • Surescripts announces that use of its Record Locator and Exchange increased by 76% in the first half of 2022 versus 2021, exchanging 622 million clinical documents for 62 million Americans.

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Currently there are "2 comments" on this Article:

  1. Re: behavioral health medication change tracking. As the primary caregiver for someone who’s been struggling with mental health for the past few years and has tried numerous combinations of meds, I can’t overstate how helpful this would be. It’s a particularly difficult cognitive load when doing Rx reconciliation at a PCP or other medical appointment that may be months behind

  2. Re: Portal Usage, Inbox messages, and Physician Burnout

    I have worked with a number of Epic-using organizations as a professional, and I have consumed healthcare services from a number of Epic-using organizations as a patient. The fault here is squarely on the operational decision makers at health systems and the Ambulatory and MyChart IT teams which support them. Decision makers so often regard the In Basket and MyChart automation features as an afterthought, let alone standard In Basket maintenance and weeding. The In Basket is one of your providers most important workflows. Stop making excuses for leaving it a mess. Stop making excuses for holding back new automation features. As a patient, I LOVE using Direct/Open Scheduling and Request Appointment features. Me and the health system both get to save each other time and hassle. Efficiency is staring you in the face, did you learn nothing from your MBA? Yet I find so many Epic-using hospitals completely uninterested in making it easy for me to find their providers and schedule with them.

    It’s 2022. It should be possible for me as a patient to:
    -Go to your portal and register an account without an activation code, and without having to navigate a labyrinth of different phone numbers and call centers
    -Schedule my own new patient appointment at eligible clinics or at least electronically request one
    -Enter my insurance and guarantor/payment details before I get to the clinic
    -Know which services are covered by primary care, and which will need a referral to see a specialist, and the path to obtaining that referral
    -Not have to talk to a single human being or message a single human being to achieve all of the above

    We have the technology. Despite our technology, most health systems I use miss the mark on these and miss it badly. “Canadians have to wait in queues for healthcare” is a poor critique of socialized medicine when I have to wait 9 months to even get a new patient appointment with a burned out physician in our lovely privatized system.

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