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November 29, 2022 News 5 Comments

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A paywalled Boston Globe article says that Athenahealth CEO Bob Segert is preparing to take the company public for a second time.

Private equity firms Veritas Capital and Evergreen Coast Capital acquired the company in 2018 for $5.7 billion, bringing Segert on as CEO after his stint as chairman of Virence Health, which Veritas owned and combined with Athenahealth as part of the deal.

Athenahealth first went public in 2007. Veritas took the company private in 2019.

Reader Comments

From A Friend of Abry: “Re: Sensato acquired by Cloudwave. Sources say they paid a high multiple, hoping to create the first end-to-end healthcare operating platform that spans the public/private cloud and on-premise environments and will offer the first network and security solution that is specifically designed for healthcare.”

HIStalk Announcements and Requests


Vicki’s donation, matched dollar for dollar in a Giving Tuesday program, fully funded these Donors Choose teacher grant requests:

  • Math resources for Ms. R’s elementary school class in Richmond, VA.
  • Math manipulatives for Ms. D’s elementary school class in Tallahassee, FL.
  • Science flashcard supplies for Ms. M’s elementary school class in Brownsville, TX.


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

Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock


Healthcare data security company CloudWave acquires managed cybersecurity services vendor Sensato for an undisclosed sum. Sensato founder John Gomez will become Cloudwave’s chief security and engineering officer.

Virtual mental therapy provider Talkspace is reportedly in talks to be acquired by Amwell for $200 million in shares, barely more than the value of its cash on hand and representing a loss of 90% of Talkspace’s value in less than two years. TALK went public in a SPAC merger in June 2021, with shares closing at $9.19 per share versus today’s $0.89 following a 36% jump on the rumor. AMWL shares that closed at $23.07 on their first day of trading in September 2020 are now worth $3.49, valuing the company at $960 million.



Air Force veteran and former White House physician Benjamin Barlow, MD (American Family Care) joins Experity as chief medical officer.

Announcements and Implementations


Adventist Health Mendocino Coast (CA) will go live on Oracle Cerner December 1.

Visage Imaging will offer an adapter to Amazon HealthLake Imaging from Amazon Web Services as part of its Visage 7 Enterprise Imaging Platform.

Canon launches Canon Healthcare USA, hoping to strengthen its business in imaging diagnostics, health IT, and in vitro diagnostics.

Privacy and Security

Hackers reportedly demand $50 million in cryptocurrency to restore the servers of India’s 2,200-bed AIl India Institute of Medical Services.


ProPublica looks at how half of Americans die while under hospice care, with a lack of regulation encouraging fraud and exploitation that has turned hospice care into a $22 billion industry that is mostly paid for by federal taxpayers via Medicare. Salespeople knock on doors in low-income areas offering free medications and housekeeping services in return for allowing their chronic conditions to be portrayed as fatal. The authors note that hospice companies get the highest rate of return for the least amount of work of any healthcare sector, with per-day payments requiring only twice-monthly visits, for which a hospice with only 20 patients can generate $1 million in annual revenue. A previous study found that 12% of hospice patients were not visited in their last two days of life and that for-profit hospices regularly discharge patients whose life has extended long enough to raise Medicare suspicion. An attorney says that expecting whistleblowers to keep for-profit hospices honest places “a ludicrous amount of optimism in a system with a capitalist payee and a socialist payer.”

A Washington Post opinion piece says that US healthcare inefficiency subsidizes the rest of the world, as profit-seeking providers and a lack of price controls allows drug, device, and IT companies to make most of their profits here and sell elsewhere for a fraction of our price. The US has 4% of the world’s population but 50% of its $8 trillion healthcare economy.


The State Medical Board of Ohio suspends the license of plastic surgeon Katharine Roxanne Grawe, MD for violating rules pertaining to maintaining patient privacy when sharing photos or video via social media, and for inappropriately treating and/or failing to appropriately treat three patients who suffered severe post-surgical complications. The board specifically notes Grawe’s repeated failure to cease live-streaming surgical procedures, during which she responded to viewer questions and comments in real time.

Sponsor Updates

  • Nuance announces that Baptist Health (KY) and Einstein Healthcare (PA) have joined the Nuance Precision Imaging Network.
  • Agfa HealthCare has been named to the Leaders Category in the IDC MarketScape: US Enterprise Medical Imaging 2022-2023 Vendor Assessment.”
  • Bamboo Health names Christopher Conway (Brown & Toland Physicians) legal ops manager and Madeline Lally (Pathways Healthcare) business development representative.
  • Biofourmis wins a bronze Digital Health Award in the connected digital health category for telehealth/remote patient monitoring.
  • CHIME releases a new CHIMEcast Leader to Leader Podcast, “Unlocking the Digital Front Door to Improve Patient Care & Provider Efficiency.”
  • Nordic publishes a video titled “The Download – Harnessing Data and Analytics to Freeze the Squeeze.”
  • Clearsense will present at the Data Governance & Information Quality Conference December 5 in Washington, DC.
  • Clearwater will sponsor the H-ISAC Fall Americas Summit December 6-8 in Phoenix.
  • Vyne Medical’s FastAttach, Trace Web Application (Hosted), and Refyne Denials Management systems earn Certified status for information security from HITRUST.

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Currently there are "5 comments" on this Article:

  1. Re: “The US has 4% of the world’s population but 50% of its $8 trillion healthcare economy.”

    True, at least as far as what the overall direction is. I don’t know the specific numbers but these are at least in the ballpark.

    Do you know what else is true? The U.S. is comparatively wealthy and has a highly developed healthcare industry, all the way from research to delivery. There are high expectations placed on this industry for healthcare delivery even as there are few expectations on healthcare consumers.

    Will citizens and patients will do what is best for their health? For acute care interventions, usually Yes. For lifestyle adjustments, well that’s pretty unreliable. The US insurance system is wildly inefficient overall yet politically very difficult to change.

    What country or countries would you have pay more? Indonesia? Pakistan? Ivory Coast? Bolivia? Meanwhile among the developed countries, they have long since made their healthcare systems more efficient. They are very expensive, but nowhere near as expensive as the US system, and they usually get better outcomes too.

    The US is paying champagne prices and getting jailhouse toilet wine results.

    All the data I’ve seen suggests that the wisest spending involves doing the basics really well. The fabulous high-tech interventions are certainly cool, and intellectually interesting. Yet they are wildly expensive and trend towards “rescue a citizen who’s health was compromised years ago due to an easily avoidable situation.” If that citizen gains a year or two of good, healthy life as a result, everyone counts that as a Big Win.

    Want a model to follow? Look to the Japanese. I’ve heard their healthcare providers characterized as “cautious, reluctant to intervene, and remarkably conservative in treatment plans.” Yet they have among the world’s longest lifespans and are top rated in quality of life too.

    • My radical, probably very bad idea to solve this problem is to base health insurance premiums on one’s ability to complete a basic fitness test or something of that nature (although there would need to be a long list of ADA and other exemptions). Long story short, best thing I can come up with is to essentially financially gamify personal health for the American healthcare consumer. A lot of smarter people could probably explain why that too would fail and be ripe for fraudulent abuse.

      • 1) Love the name you chose
        2) Didn’t we try this 15 or so years ago with the ‘fat tax’ when companies were starting to self-insure? They wanted to charge unhealthy, overweight, and reluctant to change employees more to provide health coverage? What happened to that? Was it effective? Legal? Implemented?

      • So, this isn’t a new concept — many employers have tried gamifying health insurance premiums with earning incentive points via a health risk assessment and completing wellness activities that can reduce premiums, charge up your FSA, offer you swag at the gift shop (basically, your premium is artificially higher than it should be, and you earn it back down to baseline). The problems with this though include

        a) it doesn’t really result in sustained behavior change. After you earn your points, you tend to revert back to your typical patterns.
        b) the actual premium offsets don’t really balance with the outsized expense a complex case incurs. (we charged you an extra $1,000 on your premium, and you cost the health plan $100,000).
        c) until you get into coverage for seniors (Medicare), “base health insurance premiums” are mostly paying for accidents, pregnancies, muskulo-skeletal issues, congenital conditions, and cancer — the 18-65 year old population doesn’t tend to have a ton of medical expense related to their lifestyle and level of fitness (those come back to haunt CMS later in life).
        d) As long as health insurance is an employment benefit, it’s a delicate line to walk — a company’s jobs page saying “Great benefits (if you do your part to stay healthy!)” doesn’t draw in talent. Also…unions…
        e) Health equity. Someone who can pay for a gym membership and has easy access to healthy food has a lot better shot at meeting the expectations of the basic fitness test than someone working two or three jobs and only has time for drive-through food.

      • There’s a duration mismatch in the existing system. If I run a health plan, maybe a fifth of my members turnover per year. I decide to pay someone to lose weight. The lost weight makes the person healthier over the next few decades and I get a couple years of lower cost from that healthier member. My competitors get the other few decades of lower cost. I paid for an investment that profited my competitors. Paying members to get healthier doesn’t make sense in the commercial employer market.
        Also I’d love to see the HR meeting where they explain fat tax plans to employees.

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