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March 2, 2023 News 6 Comments

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VA Deputy Secretary Donald Remy, JD, who oversees the VA’s Oracle Cerner implementation and other initiatives as its equivalent to COO, resigns as of April 1.

Remy’s departure follows that of VA EHR Executive Director Terry Admirim, MD, MPH, MBA, who left the agency last week.

The VA will nominate a replacement for Remy for Senate confirmation.

Meanwhile, Rep. Mark Takano (D-CA), ranking member of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, warns that the VA’s Oracle Cerner project “is on its fourth director in five years, and continues to burn money and disrupt care.” The head of the GAO told the committee that while the VA has addressed some challenges, its bureaucratic, decentralized structure makes positive change difficult and EHR project requires a more disciplined approach. 

HIStalk Announcements and Requests


I invited HIStalk sponsors who are participating in the ViVE conference to send me details for my online guide (I should call it a “curated” guide since that’s a crutch word for ViVE). I feel the need to repeat that invitation because I received only one response, and that was from a company that isn’t a sponsor, so I’ve curated them out. I’m amused at the intersection of ViVE’s commercial ambitions versus its attempt to come off as breezy and unorthodox, such as its lengthy “brand guide” that includes a section on making “key messaging” resemble casually created graffiti, murals, or doodles. That is some excellent curating.


I get a lot of feedback from teachers whose classes have benefitted from the Donors Choose donations of HIStalk readers, including Ms. S in California, who provided this update after receiving hands-on STEM tools:

My amazing scholars not only use, but enthusiastically ask for, “Fun Friday” every single week in order to explore the STEM materials YOU helped provide for them! They are building worlds using their imagination, and solving problems as they arise while using the engineering design process. They utilize critical thinking skills, and collaborative skills to learn science through creative fun spaces. Never were so many rowdy 5th graders ready to get their hands moving and brains working so late on a Friday afternoon. They always see these items on TikTok and never have gotten the chance to explore it for themselves. Thank you for giving them that that joyful opportunity!

Today I learned about the Dunning-Kruger Effect, which describes the “unconscious incompetence” in which people who lack knowledge or skill also lack the intelligence to realize just how incompetent they are.


Welcome to new HIStalk Platinum Sponsor Five9. The San Ramon, CA-based company is an industry-leading provider of cloud contact center solutions, bringing the power of cloud innovation to more than 2,500 customers worldwide and facilitating billions of customer engagements annually. Five9 provides end-to-end solutions with digital engagement, analytics, workforce optimization, and AI to increase agent productivity and deliver tangible business results. The Five9 platform is reliable, secure, compliant, and scalable. Designed to help customers reimagine their customer experience, the Five9 platform connects the contact center to the business while delivering exceptional customer experiences that build loyalty and trust. Thanks to Five9 for supporting HIStalk.

Here’s an intro video on Five9’s The Intelligent Cloud Contact Center and Workflow Automation.


March 7 (Tuesday) noon ET.  “Prescribe RPA 2.0 to Treat Healthcare Worker Burnout.” Sponsor: Keysight Technologies. Presenters: Anne Foster, MS, technical consultant manager, Eggplant; Emily Yan, MPA, product marketing manager, Keysight Technologies. Half of US health systems plan to invest in robotic process automation by the end of this year, per Gartner. The concept is evolving to help with staff burnout and physician productivity. The presenters will introduce RPA 2.0, explain how to maximize its value, demonstrate how to quickly start on RPA 2.0 and test automation in one platform, and answer questions about healthcare automation.

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

Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock


Veradigm, formerly Allscripts, delays its Q4 and annual results reports because a software problem caused it to overstate earnings going back to Q3 2021. Veradigm has also lowered its annual  revenue expectations by 2% and adjusted earnings per share by 10%. MDRX shares dropped nearly 13% on the news. They have lost 27% in the past 12 months versus the Nasdaq’s 15% loss, valuing the company at $1.6 billion.


Health Catalyst reports Q4 results: revenue up 7%, adjusted EPS –$0.05 versus –$0.19, beating estimates for both. HCAT shares have lost 46% in the past 12 months versus the Nasdaq’s 16% loss, valuing the company at $780 million.


Walmart will open 28 new Walmart Health locations in 2024, increasing its count to 75 as it expands into Missouri and Arizona. The 5,750-square foot centers, housed in Walmart Supercenters, offer primary care, dental care, behavioral health, labs, X-ray, audiology, and telehealth.


Health insurer Bright Health – fresh off layoffs, the exiting of most lines of business, an impending delisting of shares on the NYSE, and a $1.4 billion loss in 2022 – warns that it has overdrawn its credit and expresses doubt that the company can continue as a going concern. Its valuation is down 97% since its IPO peak of $11 billion in June 2021. Bright Health paid its CEO $181 million in 2022.

UnityPoint Health and Presbyterian Healthcare Services announce their intention to create a parent company for their health systems, which will operate as a 40-hospital, 40,000-employee organization while retaining their existing brands.


  • Genomics England deploys enterprise imaging from Sectra.
  • University of Kansas Health System will implement AI-powered medical documentation from Abridge, which was created at the Pittsburgh Health Data Alliance that includes Abridge investor UPMC. 
  • Compass Health Network chooses NextGen Behavioral Health Suite.
  • Deaconess Health System will implement Health Catalyst’s enterprise analytics and outcomes improvement.
  • Bryan Health selects Health Catalyst for population health analytics and value-based care performance improvement.



Holly Urban, MD, MBA (Oracle Cerner) joins CliniComp as VP of clinical product design.


Adam Terzich (Redox) joins MediQuant as RVP of sales.

Announcements and Implementations

Wolters Kluwer Health launches Coder Workbench, a high-productivity risk adjustment solution based on the Health Language Data Platform.

A small consumer survey commissioned by KeyCare finds that two-thirds of respondents who needed minor but urgent medical services during out-of-state travels chose telehealth visits with their regular clinicians over urgent care and telehealth visits with non-affiliated providers.

Epic will incorporate patient experience functionality from Press Ganey, initially into MyChart and Cheers, and eventually into other modules. Former Cedars-Sinai SVP/CIO Darren Dworkin joined Press Ganey as president and COO in August 2022 .

HealthBook+ launches to offer a care and guidance platform for healthcare workers that aggregates patient data to offer next best health steps.

Louisiana Children’s Medical Center goes live with Sapphire Health’s AWS-based Epic Cloud Read-Only ransomware recovery tool. Sapphire Health’s founder and CEO is Austin Park, who served two stints as interim CTO at LCMC.

Virtual care technology company Biofourmis and Chugai Pharmaceutical Co. will develop digital solutions for objective assessment and management of endometriosis pain, pairing the Biofourmis Biovitals platform with data that has been collected in studies involving Chugai’s investigational drug product for endometriosis pain.


The Australian Digital Health Agency launches My Health, which provides mobile access to My Health Record’s medical history, lab results, vaccination management, allergy tracking, hospital discharge summaries, and prescription information.

Privacy and Security

The government of Ireland fines provider Centric Health $490,000 for GDPR violations following a 2019 ransomware attack. The personal health information of 2,500 patients was permanently deleted from Centric’s Primacare systems, which is was in the process of replacing. Centric paid an unspecified ransom, but was too late to prevent the data loss.

The Federal Trade Commission warns Amazon that it will be monitoring its use of patient data following its acquisition of primary care provider One Medical, noting that it will judge pre-acquisition privacy promises by the standard of a “reasonable consumer” rather than that of a HIPAA expert.



Osama Alswailem, MBBS, MA, an informaticist who is CIO at King Faisal Specialist Hospital & Research Centre in Saudi Arabia, lists technologies that are driving healthcare in the Middle East: virtual health, AI, wearables, blockchain, 3D printing, and personalized medicine. He says the CIOs have been redefined to chief digital officer as healthcare organizations rely more on data-driven decision-making. His hospital is using AI to improve resource management via a unified command center, working with 3D-printed prosthetics, and using virtual reality for staff training and patient education.

A New York Times opinion piece asks the question, “Why are ketamine ads following me around the internet?” as telehealth startups are taking advantage of pandemic-relaxed rules to aggressively tout the drug for questionable uses, underplaying the abuse potential and potentially dangerous side effects (permanent bladder damage, anyone?) The author brings up an interesting point: the US is one of two countries that allow drug companies to pitch their wares directly to consumers – increasingly, via social media – but even those companies, unlike telehealth companies, are required to stick to FDA-approved uses. Unmentioned in the article is a review of why telehealth-paid doctors are willing and able to ignore science to give customers whatever they want.


An orthopedic surgeon whose planned surgery was denied by the patient’s insurer finds that the company’s peer reviewer is a surgeon who was permanently banned from the OR by the state medical board. The surgeon dug up what he believes is an X-ray from the case that triggered the board’s action against the peer reviewer, in which an artificial hip was implanted backward. Stunned Twitter doctor commenters question whether the surgeon was impaired or incompetent, noting that (a) he also performed two follow-up corrective surgeries without fixing the problem, which was finally caught when the patient was seen by a new surgeon; and (b) horrifically botched surgery or not, the doctor kept his medical license and can practice however he likes outside the OR.

Sponsor Updates

  • EClinicalWorks achieves Google’s Chrome Enterprise Recommended designation.
  • Experity recognizes three urgent care leaders with Limelight Awards at its Urgent Care Connect Conference in Miami.
  • Vyne Medical publishes a new case study, “How to Save Time and Increase Profitability with Auto-Indexing.”
  • CloudWave’s OpSus Live cloud hosting for healthcare infrastructure as a service achieves a ‘Best Practice’ rating after completing the Meditech Infrastructure and Supporting IT Process audit.
  • The Health Plan Innovation Roundtable honors Enlace Health with the Fall 2022 Innovator Traction Award.
  • Nordic publishes a podcast titled “Making Rounds: The Big Squeeze in Healthcare.”
  • Fortified Health Security names Dylan Storm (Optiv) renewals specialist, Benjie Graham (Corpay) client success manager, and Jason McKellips (Allied Universal) regional director.
  • Get Well honors Product Manager Andrew Todtenkopf with its Heart Award for his extraordinary contribution to company performance and culture.
  • Kyruus publishes a new guide, “Successful Online Scheduling in 5 Steps.”

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Currently there are "6 comments" on this Article:

  1. Dunning Kruger effect: follow-up poll please.

    More pronounced in men or women? Boomers or Gen Z? Cats or dogs? Engineers or Art Historians? …

    • Related is “illusory superiority,” where people (including most Facebook users, in my experience) overestimate their own knowledge or virtues. Also known as the Lake Wobegon effect, where all children are above average. Related to that is ultracrepidarianism, in which people are quick to give advice and opinions on topics that they know little about (thanks to Wikipedia for turning that word up).

    • If you look up “Nobel Disease” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nobel_disease) you’ll see that even Nobel prize winners can make fools of themselves when they get into areas they know nothing about. I’ve personally seen this in MDs and PhDs who go so far afield from their areas of expertise that they don’t know what they don’t know–it can be simultaneously laughable and terrifying.

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  1. Agreed, The VA is using CCDAs today for outbound communication and they started with C32s back in 2012. Looked at…

  2. Part of my attitude relates to an experience I had. And this was within a single HIS. I wanted to…

  3. For what it's worth, the VA currently releases C-CDA (or HITSP C-32...my memory fails me) via eHealth Exchange and has…

  4. Unfortunately, I can't disagree with anything you wrote. It is important that they get this right for so many reasons,…

  5. Going out on a limb here. Wouldn't Oracle's (apparent) interoperability strategy, have a better chance of success, than the VA's?…

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