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October 31, 2023 News 5 Comments

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Healthcare robotic process automation vendor Olive AI shuts down after selling its clearinghouse and patient access assets to Waystar and its prior authorization line to Humata Health.

Olive, which was once valued at $4 billion after raising $856 million from investors, previously sold its payer-facing prior authorization business to Availity and its business intelligence solution to BurstIQ.

Olive renamed itself from CrossChx in 2018 after divesting its legacy patient check-in technology to focus on AI. Co-founder Sean Lane told TechCrunch last year that Olive had pivoted its business model 27 times.

Axios reported in early 2022 that Olive’s automation software wasn’t saving health systems the millions of dollars it promised. Sources said that the sophisticated AI technology that it claimed to deploy was actually powered by 1990s-era screen scraping tools. They also reported that customers who were receiving a fraction of the expected benefits didn’t speak up because they were embarrassed. Epic made Olive stop using its name, which it said was being used to mislead prospects, and KLAS noted that Olive overstated its capabilities and was not proactive in addressing issues.


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

I received my renewal notice for dental insurance, which reminds me that we not only treat the oral cavity as a non-medical part of the body that requires its own specialists, we also buy “insurance” for their services that is really not insurance at all:

  • It covers predictable, inexpensive costs fairly well (like cleanings), but pays little for major dental work, whether planned or not.
  • Annual maximum benefits in the $1,500 range mean that the insurer rather than the insured is protected against financial catastrophe.
  • There’s no risk pooling since anyone can sign up, and most customers know that they will use basic preventive services.
  • The only real value of dental insurance is to provide treatment price discounts that dentists illogically don’t offer to cash-paying patients. Any dental practice could easily craft a better package — two cleanings each year plus best-offered price on everything else – and charge patients directly as a membership, cutting out the middleman while also locking their patients into receiving all their care at their particular practice.

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Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Kinsa, which offers smart thermometers that feed a tracking and resource prediction system for contagious illnesses, closes its doors. Founder and CEO Inder Singh is hoping to sell the company’s IP. 

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Canada-based Kento Health will use $4.1 million in new funding to bring its AI-powered cardiovascular care software to the US market. Its offerings include predictive analytics, remote patient monitoring, and real-time feedback for cardiac rehab and cardiovascular disease support.

Commure acquires Mount Sinai spinoff Rx.Health and will integrate the company’s care coordination software with its Commure Engage automated care coordination technology. Rx.Health CEO Richard Strobridge is now Commure’s VP of sales.

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Ambulatory-focused health IT vendor IKS Health acquires AQuity, which offers acute care organizations clinical documentation, coding, and RCM software and services, for $200 million.

Business Insider investigates Spora Health, a $10-per-month virtual-first primary care practice for people of color, after its readers questioned an interview it did with the company’s CEO Dan Miller. Miller claimed that the company had signed several large companies as customers and was seeing thousands of patients, but actually had shut the company down and laid off all employees in 2022 after failing to make payroll. Reporters found that the company allowed its business registrations to lapse in several states and that most of the clinicians that its website lists no longer work there.

GLP-1 prescription issuing startup Calibrate, which is restructuring under a new private equity investor, fires founder and CEO Isabelle Kenyon.

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Virtual cardiac telemetry platform vendor InfoBionic will work with Mayo Clinic to enhance the company’s algorithms and analytics for cardiac monitoring from hospital to home. CEO Stuart Long is an industry long-timer with executive stints at imaging vendors, Philips Capsule, and Monarch Medical Technologies.


Sales

  • Behavioral health treatment network Zinnia Health (RI) will use social care referral software from Unite Us as a part of its Healing for Heroes program for veterans and first responders.
  • Missouri Department of Mental Health will implement Oracle Health’s EHR.

People

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Chris Skiffington, MBA (Oracle) joins Annexus Health as chief commercial officer.

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Mia Nease, DBA (Komodo Health) joins Trio Health as chief commercial officer.

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Imad Nijim, MBA (Virtual Radiologic) joins United Theranostics as chief information and technology officer.

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Jack Courtney, who served as an executive CTG for 25 years until his retirement in 1993, died on October 18 at 87. His daughter Kathy Hochul is governor of New York.


Announcements and Implementations

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University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust in England delays its Oracle Health implementation, reportedly due to problems it unearthed during testing.

Flatiron Health will integrate Guardant’s genomic profiling tests into its OncoEMR oncology EHR.

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Cleveland Clinic will use Zipline’s drones to deliver drugs to the homes of patients starting in 2025.

One-fourth of surveyed US medical students are considering dropping out, while more than half of students who are studying medicine and nursing are hoping to get jobs that don’t involve patient care.


Government and Politics

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HHS proposes info-blocking penalties for providers that would result in the loss of Meaningful User status under the Medicare Promoting Interoperability Program, result in a score of zero in the Promoting Interoperability performance category of MIPS, and result in the loss of eligibility to participate in the Medicare Shared Savings Program, among other disincentives. Comments are due January 2.


Other

A New York Times article notes — in referencing the White House’s newly issued executive order to set AI standards — that FDA has authority over using AI tools for patient care only if they are commercially sold, leaving health systems and insurers free to build and use AI tools without government oversight or mandatory transparency. The order requires FDA’s parent HHS to establish an AI safety program.

More than half of surveyed CMIOs serve on the executive leadership team of their employers, while 80% say their responsibilities have grown to include digital transformation, AI tools, and analytics. Three-fourths continue to practice clinically to some degree, with most of those indicating that the revenue generated by their patient work helps cover their informatics compensation.

Symplr creates a “Moments that Matter” movie series that honors nurses who have been nominated for Daisy Foundation awards.


Sponsor Updates

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  • Ascom Americas employees help sort 28,000 pounds of apples at the Food Bank of Central & Eastern NC.
  • Inovalon announces that customers using its cloud-based Converged Quality solution for quality measurement, reporting, and improvement outperformed other health plans on the 2024 Medicare Advantage Star Ratings released by CMS.
  • AdvancedMD announces that DeepScribe has joined its marketplace as an integration partner.
  • Bamboo Health will exhibit at CrisisCon November 13-16 in Charlotte, NC.
  • Cardamom Health will sponsor the 365 Leadership Summit November 6-7 in Madison, WI.
  • Censinet releases a new “Risk Never Sleeps” podcast titled “Implementing Effective Cybersecurity Measures.”
  • Nordic releases an episode of its In Network podcast, “Designing for Health: Interview with Deepti Pandita, MD.”
  • Clearsense announces that it is an Amazon Web Services Healthcare Partner.
  • ConnectiveRx will sponsor the Access Insights Conference November 6-8 in Orlando.
  • CloudWave and Divurgent will sponsor the Bluebird Leaders S.O.A.R. Without Borders Conference November 1-3 in Scottsdale, AZ.
  • Symplr announces that its technology has been recognized as the leading workforce management software for staff retention, clinician scheduling, time and attendance, and compliance in a recent series of awards and industry reports.

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Currently there are "5 comments" on this Article:

  1. Was there ever a doubt that Olive was a scam? It came out of nowhere, was everywhere and I’m sorry if you were embarrassed, but shame on any healthcare executives that did not speak up because they were embarrassed of buying into Olive’s hype.

    The FBI should get involved and Sean Lane should share a cell with SBF. Two peas in a pod.

    • Sigh.

      I did not know that Olive was a scam. But I also had zero contact or interest in them.

      (Begin Old Man Rant)
      Why is it, in this day & age, that such information gets sprung on us? Information is now cheap & easy!

      I’m old enough to remember when information was scarce & precious. You differentiated yourself by your network of contacts, your knowledge of products in the real world, and your wisdom about vendors.

      OK, so the world has changed. But where is Gartner Group? Where is KLAS? Where is CHIME and the others?

      It took Axios until 2022 to state, without veiled language, that Olive was a giant waste of time? It took Sean Lane & TechCrunch until 2022 to point out that Olive was all hat and no cattle?

      I sometimes wonder if our endless deference to the very concept of Capitalism, and our worship of corporations, is unhealthy.
      (End Old Man Rant)

    • The first tipoff was that it was being run by some ex DOD guy, it was only ever a medium (obv not long) con or a stealth population surveillance tool. Either way you slice it, nobody should have gone near it.

  2. I was sorry to get the news that Kinsa closed its doors. I’d only recently discovered it and liked it. So much for a new start-up!

    [Kinsa, which offers smart thermometers that feed a tracking and resource prediction system for contagious illnesses, closes its doors. Founder and CEO Inder Singh is hoping to sell the company’s IP.]

  3. I’m on a membership plan with my dentist. Regular cleanings and 20% off any other work. The annual fee is less than the cost of dental insurance I could have purchased.







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