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Morning Headlines 10/22/18

October 21, 2018 Headlines No Comments

Head of IBM Watson Health leaving post after company stumbles, growing criticism

Deborah DiSanzo, general manager of IBM Watson Health for the past three years, will will take a demotion to the strategy team of IBM Cognitive Solutions.

Perficient Announces Formation of a Dedicated Digital Health Service Line

Consulting firm Perficient launches a digital health line of services that will focus on delivery of care, data and insights, and engagement.

CMS Responding to Suspicious Activity in Agent and Broker Exchanges Portal

CMS Administrator Seema Verma assures consumers open enrollment at Healthcare.gov will not be negatively impacted by the breach of 75,000 consumer files on the Federally Facilitated Exchanges for agents and brokers.

Morning Headlines 10/19/18

October 18, 2018 Headlines No Comments

FDA proposes updated cybersecurity recommendations to help ensure device manufacturers are adequately addressing evolving cybersecurity threats

The FDA updates draft guidance on managing cybersecurity issues for the premarket submission of medical devices.

Gauss Raises $20 Million in Series C from Northwell Health and Softbank Ventures Korea for AI-Enabled Platform for the Operating Room

Gauss Surgical raises $20 million in a funding round led by Northwell Health (NY) and SoftBank Ventures Korea, with help from seven other health systems.

Duplication causes headaches for state patient exchange

Vermont Information Technology Leaders struggles to pare down the number of duplicate patient records in the state’s HIE.

FDA and DHS increase coordination of responses to medical device cybersecurity threats under new partnership; a part of the two agencies’ broader effort to protect patient safety

FDA and DHS will work together to share information on cybersecurity vulnerabilities in medical devices so that threats to patient safety can be addressed more quickly.

Morning Headlines 10/18/18

October 17, 2018 Headlines No Comments

OptimizeRx Acquires CareSpeak Communications

Digital prescription savings company OptimizeRx acquires interactive patient messaging vendor CareSpeak Communications for an undisclosed sum.

Apple gives U.S. users tool to see what data it has collected

Following a similar GDPR-induced move in Europe, Apple gives US users the ability to view, edit, and delete the data it has collected on them.

Sequoia Project Launches Interoperability Matters Forum

The Sequoia Project creates the Interoperability Matters Advisory Group and solicits nominations for workgroup members who will provide feedback and recommendations on interoperability endeavors.

Morning Headlines 10/17/18

October 16, 2018 Headlines No Comments

Influential Leapfrog Group Jumps In To Rate 5,600 Surgery Centers

Hospital grading organization Leapfrog Group will launch safety and quality surveys of the country’s 5,600 outpatient surgery centers after an investigation revealed poor oversight and substandard clinical practices.

M.I.T. Plans College for Artificial Intelligence, Backed by $1 Billion

MIT will spend $1 billion to create an artificial intelligence college spanning all five of its schools that will begin instruction in the fall of 2019.

This company, led by veteran athenahealth execs, just raised $300m

Medicare Advantage insurer Devoted Health raises $300 million in a Series B round, increasing its total to $362 million.

Morning Headlines 10/16/18

October 15, 2018 Headlines No Comments

Anthem Pays OCR $16 Million in Record HIPAA Settlement Following Largest U.S. Health Data Breach in History

Anthem will pay the HHS Office of Civil Rights $16 million to settle HIPAA violations from a 2015 data breach that impacted 79 million people.

Four Men and Seven Companies Indicted for Billion-Dollar Telemedicine Fraud Conspiracy, Telemedicine Company and CEO Plead Guilty in Two Fraud Schemes

HealthRight President Scott Roix pleads guilty to felony conspiracy charges related to a telemedicine scheme that bilked payers out of nearly $1 billion.

Varian Expands Cancer Care Portfolio with Noona Healthcare Acquisition

Cancer care technology company Varian Medical Systems acquires Noona Healthcare, a developer of oncology patient-reported outcomes software.

Dell Medical School Professor Joins Prestigious National Academy of Medicine

Dell Medical School Professor and former ONC head Karen DeSalvo, MD becomes a member of the National Academy of Medicine.

UMass Memorial Health Care lays off 17 workers

Faced with a $22 million operations shortfall, UMass Memorial Health Care lays off 17 IT staff as part of system-wide downsizing efforts that have included the closure of several facilities.

Morning Headlines 10/15/18

October 14, 2018 Headlines No Comments

Cloud-Based Digital Pathology Startup Deep Lens Exits Stealth Mode With $3.2 Million Seed Financing

Pathology image detection support system vendor Deep Lens announces $3.2 million in seed funding and availability of its free VIPER service for pathologists.

Athenahealth has multiple bidders for sale of the company

Sources suggest that four private equity firms and activist investor Elliott Management are considering placing a bid to acquire Athenahealth.

Sloan Kettering Researchers Correct the Record by Revealing Company Ties

Several prominent Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center researchers update their conflict-of-interest disclosures in previously published journal articles, adding previously undisclosed financial ties to drug companies.

Theranos Criminal Case Is Broader Than Publicly Disclosed, Prosecutors Say

A judge rejects a bid by former Theranos executives Elizabeth Holmes and Ramesh Balwani to block prosecutors from accessing over 200,000 company documents, alluding to a broader investigation that may extend beyond the two defendants.

Morning Headlines 10/12/18

October 11, 2018 Headlines No Comments

Athenahealth is reaching out to previously rejected suitors

The New York Post reports that Athenahealth is waffling between accepting acquisition bids from companies it previously rejected, merging with NThrive, or remaining as is.

2 Florida hospitals in wake of Hurricane Michael evacuating all of their 330 patients

Bay Medical Sacred Heart and Gulf Coast Regional Medical Center evacuate 330 patients after suffering extensive damage, including downed computer systems, during Hurricane Michael’s destructive trek through Panama City, FL.

Penn Medicine Launches Initiative to Transform Electronic Health Record Systems

Penn Medicine launches an internal EHR campaign that it hopes will get its Epic end users thinking about how to use the software more for care delivery than documentation.

Morning Headlines 10/11/18

October 10, 2018 Headlines No Comments

CVS Health and Aetna $69 Billion Merger Is Approved With Conditions

The DoJ clears CVS Health to proceed with its $69 billion merger with Aetna, which will operate as a standalone business once the deal closes at the end of Q4.

Amazon patents new Alexa feature that knows when you’re ill and offers you medicine

A new patent suggests that Amazon’s virtual assistant will soon be able to detect when someone is ill through speech analysis, and then propose Amazon products to treat their illness.

VA Appoints IT Vet Paul Tibbits as Electronic Health Record Program Executive Director

The VA promotes Paul Tibbits from program executive officer for financial management business transformation to executive director for the Office of Electronic Health Record Modernization.

TransUnion Expands Healthcare Solutions with Agreement to Acquire Rubixis

TransUnion acquires revenue cycle vendor Rubixis for an undisclosed amount.

Morning Headlines 10/10/18

October 9, 2018 Headlines No Comments

Former GE Healthcare Value-Based Care Solutions Group Rebrands as Virence Health Technologies

GE Healthcare’s former Value-Based Care Solutions Group, sold to private equity firm Veritas Capital in April 2018 for $1.05 billion in cash, renames itself Virence Health Technologies.

Share Your DNA, Get Shares: Startup Files an Unusual Offering

Startup LunaDNA, backed by a DNA sequencing company, seeks SEC approval for its business plan to pay consumers for the right to sell their genetic information.

Roche Turns to App in Fight Against Multiple Sclerosis

Roche develops a symptom-tracking for MS patients in hopes of using aggregated, de-identified data to improve its treatments for the disease.

Morning Headlines 10/9/18

October 8, 2018 Headlines No Comments

Mayo Clinic completes installation of Epic electronic health record

Mayo Clinic wraps up its system-wide Epic implementation, dubbed the Plummer Project, with go lives at facilities in Arizona and Florida.

Liberty IT Solutions Awarded $11.4MM Computerized Patient Record System (CPRS) Enhancements Phase 2 (EP2) Task Order

The VA awards government technology contractor Liberty IT Solutions (a partner on the Cerner VA EHR project) an $11 million contract to further enhance the VistA-integrated Computerized Patient Record System.

Ochsner develops new approach to opioid prescribing in primary care

Ochsner Health System (LA) connects its Epic system to the state’s PDMP as part of an effort to help its primary care physicians avoid overprescribing opioids.

Morning Headlines 10/8/18

October 7, 2018 Headlines 1 Comment

Assessment of US Hospital Compliance With Regulations for Patients’ Requests for Medical Records

A study of 83 mostly top-rated hospitals finds that patients still struggle to get copies of their medical information, with many facilities ignoring a federal requirement that they provide information in the patient-requested format.

These young cardiologists are opening tech-infused health clinics all over New York 

Cardiology practice startup Heartbeat is opening offices in New York City that will offer online tests, virtual care, and treatment plans that include exercise and nutrition components.

DoD rolls out new GENESIS sites, with hopes of fewer complaints about electronic medical records system

The DoD rolls out its Cerner-powered MHS Genesis EHR at a second round of facilities that includes Mountain Home Air Force Base in Idaho and three facilities in California.

Morning Headlines 10/5/18

October 4, 2018 Headlines No Comments

Health tech pioneer Deborah Estrin named MacArthur fellow

The MacArthur Foundation awards Deborah Estrin a fellowship for her work on determining how data generated by smartphones, wearables, and online interactions can be used for mobile health while still maintaining user privacy.

Frost & Sullivan Honors Medicomp Systems with the EHR Optimization Technology Leadership Award

Frost & Sullivan names Medicomp Systems the winner of its 2018 North America EHR Optimization Technology Leadership Award for its Quippe productivity enhancement solutions for reducing documentation burden.

A startup’s bold plan for a mood-predicting smartphone app is shadowed by questions over evidence

Mental health tech startup Mindstrong raises $30 million in funding and secures agreements with a dozen California mental health departments, but has yet to publish peer-reviewed data that back up its claims.

Morning Headlines 10/4/18

October 3, 2018 Headlines 1 Comment

McKesson’s Change Healthcare hires IPO underwriters: sources

Sources report that Change Healthcare has hired underwriters for a 2019 IPO that could be valued at up to $12 billion.

Technology Innovators, Experienced Systems Integrators Join Cerner in Mission to Modernize Veterans’ Electronic Health Records

Cerner announces that the core team it will work with on implementing the VA’s new EHR will include Leidos, Accenture, Henry Schein, AbleVets, plus 20 additional businesses.

California doctors now required to check database before prescribing painkillers

A California law goes into effect requiring physicians to check the Controlled Substance Utilization Review and Evaluation System (CURES) before writing prescriptions for controlled substances.

Morning Headlines 10/3/18

October 2, 2018 Headlines 1 Comment

Waystar to Acquire Transaction Services Business from UPMC’s Ovation, Adding Enhanced Claims Monitoring Capabilities to Platform

RCM vendor Waystar will purchase the transaction services software business of UPMC-owned Ovation Revenue Cycle Services.

Enhanced Patient Matching Is Critical to Achieving Full Promise of Digital Health Records

A new Pew Charitable Trusts report on patient matching offers potential approaches that include unique patient identifiers that incorporate biometrics, placing more onus on the patient through verification via text message, and standardizing data elements.

GE unexpectedly removes its CEO

GE’s board fires Chairman and CEO John Flannery after just over a year on the job, disrupting company plans to spin off GE Healthcare.

Patients’ heavy records cost hospital $11m

Australia’s Royal Adelaide Hospital will spend $7.8 million to extend its paper records storage and delivery service, with the failure of its Allscripts implementation forcing it to store records offsite since the hospital’s floors weren’t designed to handle that much weight.

‘This system has to survive;’ UMass Memorial Health Care, $22 million in the red, plans to focus on virtual healthcare

UMass Memorial’s deficit prompts CEO Eric Dickson, MD to consolidate services and focus on ACOs, minimally invasive surgeries, and virtual healthcare.

Morning Headlines 10/2/18

October 1, 2018 Headlines 1 Comment

Advisory council stunned to learn about parallel health information exchange efforts

Tasked with overseeing Connecticut’s latest HIE effort, members of the Health IT Advisory Council express disbelief and frustration when they learn that a separate state-run agency has been developing its own HIE.

DAS Health Announces Record 3 Concurrent Acquisitions

EHR reseller DAS Health acquires M E Computer Systems, MECS Billing Services, and the Aprima business of consulting firm CriticalKey.

MediQuant Receives Significant Growth Investment from Silversmith Capital Partners

Health data archiving company MediQuant promotes Jim Jacobs to CEO, coinciding with an investment from Silversmith Capital Partners.

Audit Highlights Erlanger’s Continued Net Patient Revenue Growth Of 13%; New Ventures Carried Out Despite $124 Million Uncompensated Care Expense

Erlanger Health System (TN) reports positive year-end income despite predicted shortfalls related to the implementation of its $100 million Epic system last year.

Morning Headlines 10/1/18

September 30, 2018 Headlines No Comments

Facing Crisis, Sloan Kettering Tells Exec to Hand Over Profits From Biotech

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center tells VP Gregory Raskin, MD to turn over $1.4 million worth of biotech company shares that he personally owns, and promises to revise its commercialization and investment policies so that it will retain any proceeds accruing from the involvement of its executives instead of enriching those execs.

Diagnosing the Orion Health buyout deal: Q&A

Orion Health shareholders approve the company’s plan to sell its only profitable division, which offers the Rhapsody integration engine, to a private equity firm that will run it as a private company.

Health care payments firm wants to merge with Athenahealth

Revenue cycle technology vendor NThrive (the former MedAssets and Precyse) is the previously unnamed strategic bidder that has offered to buy Athenahealth.

SingHealth COI hearing: Former IHiS CEO dismissed staff for ethical breach, didn’t probe alleged vulnerability

The former CEO of SingHealth’s IT services organization IHIS, testifying in hearings about its recent massive IT breach, says she immediately fired an employee who in 2014 discovered a security vulnerability in Allscripts Sunrise Clinical Manager and then emailed Epic to suggest using his information to increase market share.

Morning Headlines 9/28/18

September 27, 2018 Headlines No Comments

Athenahealth fields multiple bids, but offers not much higher than current stock price, sources say

Shares of Athenahealth rise slightly after CNBC reports that two private equity firms and one strategic buyer have expressed interest in acquiring the company for close to $131 a share.

‘State of the VA is better,’ Wilkie says, but not ‘good’ or ‘excellent’

VA Secretary Robert Wilkie tells the Senate VA Committee that he and representatives at the DoD are working to create a “single point of authority” for their respective EHR projects with Cerner.

Dozens more jobs being cut at Adventist Health Bakersfield

Adventist Health Bakersfield (CA) will do away with 60 financial services jobs early next year as part of a billing and collections outsourcing deal with Cerner that has already impacted 175 employees over the last six months.

Wearables pioneer Jawbone is back with a new mission: Warning you about health problems you didn’t know you had

Jawbone founder and CEO Hosain Rahman says the company has pivoted from fitness trackers to a device-agnostic remote patient monitoring business that will act as a health check-engine light for monthly subscribers.

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Reader Comments

  • Vaporware?: re: free CommonWell pledge - It's easy to not charge for something that nobody uses. Can we please pass a law that t...
  • Humble Don: I really really wish people would stop referring to healthcare as an industry, which suggests factories. System works fi...
  • Thew More Things Change: Very nice of IBM to allow Deb DeSanzo to keep her job and take a demotion despite her lack of success in turning the cor...
  • Avnish Rastogi: Great article and most likely the foundation for future ML learnings. It will be helpful to continue to update this arti...
  • Anon: Hisjunkie, I could write a thesis on this, but I am not going to waste my time. But, I would like to ask you, assumin...
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  • Kermit: I really wish folks would stop referring to the US healthcare "system." We have a healthcare industry, not a system (unl...

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