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December 5, 2023 News 1 Comment

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CVS Health will use the name CVS Healthspire for its health services business that include Oak Street Health, Signify Health, MinuteClinic, Caremark, and its recently created biosimilar company Cordavis.

The company is following the lead of competitors that offer both health insurance and health services, such as UnitedHealth Group (Optum), Cigna (Evernorth Health Services) and Elevance Health (Carelon).

CVS also announced that its pharmacy pricing formula will change to a more transparent cost-plus model, following the lead of Mark Cuban’s Cost Plus Drugs.

Reader Comments

From Joy DiVive: “Re: North Carolina’s NCCARE360. A non-profit human services organization says that that weaknesses in Unite Us’s referral platform is the biggest threat to the $24 million Healthy Opportunities Pilot as funded by federal taxpayers.” Verified, per the communication that HSO Reinvestment Partners sent to the state complaining of poor invoice tracking, deficiencies in protecting confidential patient information, deficient case tracking, and the inability to upload and export data. That’s one organization’s opinion, anyway.


From Ellipse: “Re: CareRev. Another reduction in workforce today, about one-fourth of the company.” Unverified. The nurse shift-bidding platform reportedly laid off 100 employees, about one-third of its headcount, in June. The decreased use of gig clinicians post-COVID was a problem, unnecessarily enhanced by the loose lips of the now-departed co-founder and CEO who told co-workers of his love for microdosing LSD.

From Tick Tock: “Re: Oracle Health. Have they lost interest in the VA or in healthcare in general? None of the promised improvements have been delivered and the company no-shows congressional hearings.” Either they are focusing on basic blocking and tackling with the VA or they have lost interest as the project struggles. Oracle closed its Cerner acquisition in June 2022, and after some initial lofty healthcare pronouncements from Larry Ellison, most of the news since has involved layoffs, an expressed fervor to milk Cerner’s profits harder in a provider climate where that will be difficult, and selling unrelated Oracle products to health systems. They were supposed to rewrite Millennium, deliver a new pharmacy system to the VA by April 2023, and switch to a voice-first user interface. The company also promised to grow Cerner’s community presence in Kansas City, which has gone the other way. It will get ugly if the VA can’t get its implementations going again or if ORCL shares tank for unrelated reasons and all-important investors demand a quick turnaround. Their best hope, given Oracle’s army of lobbyists, would have been federal government, except that not much is left after bagging DoD, VA, Coast Guard, and IHS. Second best hope is overseas sales, although Epic is growing in the most attractive areas. The company promised a couple of big sales this quarter that added up to $1 billion, although much of that may come as subcontractor to General Dynamics for the $2.5 billion Indian Health Service contract.

HIStalk Announcements and Requests

Generous donations from Michael and Natalie, matched with funds from multiple sources including those from my Anonymous Vendor Executive, fully and anonymously funded these Donors Choose teacher grant requests:

  • Headphones for Mr. S’s elementary school class in San Antonio, TX.
  • STEM and engineering tools for Ms. T’s elementary school class in Waluku, HI.
  • Science materials for Ms. M’s high school class in Homestead, FL.
  • Math supplies for Ms. C’s elementary school class in Peoria, IL.
  • Books for the computer science lab of Ms. C’s elementary school in Revere, MA.
  • Math workbooks for Ms. A’s elementary school class in Spring Valley, CA.
  • Headphones for Ms. F’s elementary school class in San Diego, CA.


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

Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock


KONZA National Network and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment are piloting the use of real-time alerts for incoming or transferred patients who are actively diagnosed with multi-drug resistant organisms. The alerts are delivered directly to a provider’s EHR in less than five minutes using Direct Secure Messaging, allowing immediate isolation and implementation of transmission-based protocols. 


  • UofL Health (KY) will implement Verato’s healthcare master data management software to help improve identity management across its system.
  • Emory Healthcare (GA) will use Nference’s Nsights de-identified patient data technology to support its research in several therapeutic areas.


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Children’s Hospital Colorado promotes Amy Feaster to SVP/CIO and chief digital officer. She replaces Dana Moore, who will retire at the end of the month.


Ric Downs (Veris Health) joins Fuse Oncology as VP of sales.


Amenities Health names Scott Heatherly (Hyro) VP of sales.


Stanford University medical school professor and Stanford Health Care radiology informatics director Curtis Lanlotz, MD, PhD is named president of RSNA. He earned his medical degree, master’s in AI, and doctorate in medical information science from Stanford.

Announcements and Implementations


Ireland’s National Forensic Mental Health Service goes live on InterSystems TrakCare.

Government and Politics

HHS will name the initial group of Qualified Health Information Networks in a livestreamed QHIN Designation Ceremony next Tuesday at 9:00 a.m. ET.

Politico says that members of Congress are concerned that Google is using advanced AI in healthcare before the government has created guidelines for such use, with particular concerns about patient privacy. The article notes that Google is hiring former federal healthcare regulators —  such as former National Coordinator Karen DeSalvo, MD, MPH, MSc and several former FDA officials — and is raising the concerns of startups that its deep pockets will squeeze smaller companies out.

Privacy and Security


Seattle-based Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center announces that it was the victim of a cyberattack just before Thanksgiving.


The Rhysida ransomware gang claims responsibility for a ransomware attack on London’s King Edward VII Hospital. The hackers allege that some of the stolen data, which they’ve threatened to put up for sale online, includes information pertaining to the British royal family. Hospital officials, on the other hand, insist that only a limited amount of “benign hospital systems data” was copied from its IT system.



UCLA Health researchers find that 20% of patients whose electronic medical data showed them as suffering from serious illness were in fact dead. Researchers analyzed the health data of 11,700 patients across 41 UCLA Health clinics over two years, then compared it with data from California’s Department of Public Health Public Use Death File. A state law prohibits death file data from being shared with healthcare institutions, resulting in what the researchers deem “wasteful outreach that strains resources and healthcare workers’ time.” The authors say the problem could be easily solved if the state didn’t restrict death record sharing except for financial institutions.


A fascinating LinkedIn post by Chris Deacon, JD questions how big-brand, non-profit health systems (Cleveland Clinic, Brigham) are allowed to accumulate billions of dollars in hedge funds and overseas investments – generated from US tax breaks, astronomical patient charges, and charitable donations – to build massive medical palaces in London, UAE, and China. She calls for non-profit health systems to account for their international spending given that their local communities are footing the bill even as services to those local communities are curtailed or to overloaded to book. A comment by my favorite curmudgeon Matthew Holt speculates that big health systems hold $250 billion in hedge funds, with another $250 billion owned by non-profit insurers like BCBS and Kaiser Permanente.

Sponsor Updates

  • Nordic releases a new Designing for Health Podcast, “Interview with Billy Nicolich.”
  • Agfa HealthCare recaps its time at RSNA with daily updates.
  • AvaSure publishes a new whitepaper, “Roadmap to virtual nursing: How UCHealth scaled its program and saved lives.”
  • The HLTH Matters Podcast features Bamboo Health Chief Clinical Innovation Officer Nishi Rawat, MD.
  • The Safeopedia Podcast features Bardavon Chief Clinical Officer Dorothy Riviere and VP of Injury Prevention Scott Coleman, “Revolutionizing Workplace Safety: The Power of Tech-Enabled Safety Cultures.”
  • Black Book Research’s latest user satisfaction survey ranks MedEvolve as the leading vendor for RCM workflow optimization and automation services.
  • Censinet releases a new Risk Never Sleeps Podcast, “The Key to Job Fulfillment: Autonomy, Complexity, and Reward, with Matt Christensen, Senior Director Cybersecurity at Intermountain Health.”
  • ConnectiveRx releases a new podcast, “Empowering Communities: Pharmacists’ Crucial Role in Patient Health.”
  • Dimensional Insight will sponsor the Massachusetts Health & Hospital Association’s Annual Women Leaders in Healthcare Conference December 7 in Waltham.
  • Divurgent releases a new episode of The Vurge Podcast, “Coming Together for Women in HIT and Cybersecurity.”
  • DrFirst publishes a new case study, “Cone Health Finds Medication History for 93% of Patients by Connecting with Local Pharmacies and Leveraging AI.”

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Currently there is "1 comment" on this Article:

  1. Cerner pulling the Paul Black model from the Allscripts days…. Milk what you have until the cow runs dry, blocking and tackling against investors and the board until you’ve sold off all of the profitable arms of the company and eventually you have nothing left.

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

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

  3. Dr Jayne is noticing one of the more egregious but trivial instance of bad behavior by allegedly non-profit organizations. I…

  4. To expand on this a bit. The Vista data are unique to Vista, there are 16(?) different VISN (grouped systems)…

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