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Morning Headlines 5/17/18

May 16, 2018 Headlines No Comments

Jury Convicts Texas Man of $19 Million Fraud Scheme

A federal jury convicts Suresh Mitta and several co-conspirators for their roles in Cerner impersonation schemes that included selling a fake MRI machine to Dallas Medical Center for $1 million.

The Bezos-Buffett-Dimon joint venture to save health care is struggling to find a CEO

The search for a CEO to lead the proposed joint healthcare venture of Amazon, Berkshire Hathway, and JPMorgan stalls as the companies change their recruiting tactics to focus on someone with entrepreneurial experience.

LifeBridge Health and LifeBridge Potomac Professionals Notify Patients of a Recent Security Incident

LifeBridge Health (MD) notifies patients of a September 2016 malware attack on its registration and billing systems, and the EHR used by its Potomac Professionals group.

Democrats call for firing of VA’s top technology official

A group of Democrats call for the ouster of acting VA CIO Camilo Sandoval as part of an overall outcry about the lack of effective leadership (and staff) that they believe has led to agency waffling on whether or not to move forward with the Cerner EHR contract.

Morning Headlines 5/16/18

May 15, 2018 Headlines 2 Comments

Sutter Health experiencing systemwide communications failure

Sutter Health confirms that some of its electronic systems remain down from an unstated problem that started late Monday. Sutter’s Epic system in at least some of its facilities as well as its public website are offline.

Medical Records: Fees and Challenges Associated with Patients’ Access

A GAO investigation commissioned under the 21st Century Cures Act finds that patients are sometimes charged more than HIPAA allows for copies of their medical record.

Pentagon’s EHR Setbacks ‘Don’t Bode Well’ for Potential Veterans Affairs Rollout

Former VA CIO Roger Baker comments on the military’s report that called out extensive problems with its MHS Genesis pilot sites, ultimately pointing out that the VA has gone too far down the Cerner path to reconsider despite the DoD’s report.

Morning Headlines 5/15/18

May 14, 2018 Headlines No Comments

Elliott Management Releases Letter to the Board of athenahealth

In a letter to Athenahealth’s Board of Directors, Elliott Management urges the company to engage in acquisition talks after hearing nothing since issuing a takeover offer of over $6 billion last week.

Qventus Closes $30 Million in Series B Financing To Increase Efficiency of U.S. Health Systems

Real-time decision management IT vendor Qventus raises $30 million in a Series B round led by Bessemer Venture Partners.

Black Book’s Annual Cybersecurity Survey Reveals Healthcare Enterprises Are Not Maturing Fast Enough, Processes Continue Underfunded and Understaffed

Amidst static or shrinking budgets, health security professionals profess to making somewhat hasty cybersecurity purchasing decisions that lacked appropriate due diligence and buy-in from end users.

Morning Headlines 5/14/18

May 13, 2018 Headlines 1 Comment

Military Healthcare System (MHS) GENESIS Initial Operational Test and Evaluation (IOT&E) Report

A newly declassified April 30 Department of Defense evaluation of the military’s four MHS Genesis pilot sites concludes that the system “is neither operationally effective or operationally suitable” and says it is inadequate for managing and documenting care delivery.

Cumberland Consulting Group Expands Managed Services Practice with LinkEHR Acquisition

Cumberland Consulting Group acquires EHR-focused managed services firm LinkEHR, expanding its consulting and services offerings into Epic-focused help desk, application break-fix, maintenance, physician concierge support, and build / optimization.

Early investor doubles down on support for Elizabeth Holmes and Theranos: ‘She did a great job’

Venture capitalist and early Theranos investor Tim Draper says founder and CEO Elizabeth Holmes was “bullied into submission,” adding that he is “thrilled at what she has done” despite SEC charges that the company was a massive fraud from the beginning.

Morning Headlines 5/11/18

May 10, 2018 Headlines 1 Comment

Hearing to Review the FY2019 Budget Request for the U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs

VA CFO Jon Rychalski tells the Senate Appropriations Committee in a Wednesday budget hearing that the agency will decide if it wants to move forward with a Cerner contract by May 28.

EHealth Exchange to Become Carequality Implementer

The Sequoia Project will divide its corporate structure into two subsidiaries – Carequality and EHealth Exchange – this summer.

Contract Nurses, Mayo Clinic Divided on Success of Epic Training

A local TV station receives several complaints from temporary nurses who were hired by contractor HCI to help with Mayo Clinic’s Epic implementation.

Amazon is building a ‘health & wellness’ team within Alexa as it aims to upend health care

Amazon develops a team to make Alexa more relevant in the healthcare space, as well as to ensure future applications are HIPAA-compliant.

Morning Headlines 5/10/18

May 9, 2018 Headlines No Comments

Tencent’s WeDoctor raises $500 million, values firm at $5.5 billion pre-IPO

In China, diagnosis and appointment booking app company WeDoctor raises $500 million in a round led by AIA Company Ltd. Its $5.5 billion pre-IPO valuation puts it ahead of competitor Ping An, whose recent IPO peaked at $1.1 billion before shares started to tumble.

A few days after Epic Systems roll-out, everything going as planned

Mayo Clinic’s Epic roll out in Rochester, which kicked off Saturday, is going according to plan, perhaps “a little better than expected,” according to implementation co-chair Steve Peters, MD.

Innovaccer Raises $25 Million Series B to Build Healthcare’s Leading Data Platform and Drive $1 Billion in Healthcare Savings

Analytics vendor Innovaccer secures $25 million in a funding round that brings its total raised to $41 million.

Morning Headlines 5/9/18

May 8, 2018 Headlines No Comments

Former Medicare chief Andy Slavitt formally launches Town Hall Ventures to invest in healthcare

Former CMS Administrator Andy Slavitt launches Town Hall Ventures to invest in health IT companies focused on serving Medicaid and Medicare populations.

The CEO of a health startup backed by Eric Schmidt and top VCs has been fired amid allegations he intimidated employees

HealthTap’s Board of Directors ousts CEO Ron Gutman after looking into high turnover rates and concerning reports about his abusive conduct.

Protection of Patient Health Information at Navy and Air Force Military Treatment Facilities

The DoD’s Office of the Inspector General finds glaring disregard for data security across 17 information systems at a handful of Air Force and Navy healthcare facilities.

Walmart and Sam’s Club to restrict opioid fill limit up to seven days nationwide; require e-prescriptions for opioids by 2020

In order to cut down on fraud and abuse, Walmart will require that all opioid prescriptions be filed electronically with its pharmacies by 2020.

Morning Headlines 5/8/18

May 7, 2018 Headlines 5 Comments

Paul Singer’s Elliott makes all-cash offer for Athenahealth of $160 a share

Elliott Management makes an all-cash offer of $160 per share for Athenahealth, putting the transaction’s total value at more than $6 billion.

MTBC Signs Acquisition Agreement that could Increase Revenues by at least 50%

MTBC will acquire the practice management, revenue cycle, and group purchasing organization assets of Houston-based Orion Healthcorp and its 13 affiliates.

How to Lose $700 Million, Theranos-Style

Wall Street Journal Theranos investigator John Carreyrou uncovers a list of high-profile investors who helped Theranos secure over $700 million in funding.

Morning Headlines 5/7/18

May 6, 2018 Headlines No Comments

Mayo Clinic launches massive medical records overhaul

Mayo Clinic goes live on Epic at its Rochester, MN campus as part of a $1.5 billion system-wide software overhaul that will bring all of its facilities onto a single platform.

Buffett targets CEO for Berkshire-Amazon-JPMorgan healthcare venture soon

Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett reiterates his commitment to the healthcare improvement project his company is launching with JPMorgan and Amazon, emphasizing that a CEO will be in place within the next two months.

Trump May Pick 40-Year VA Insider To Run Veterans Health Administration

DisabledVeterans.org suggests that President Trump will meet with National Association of Veterans Affairs Physicians and Dentists President Samuel Spagnolo, MD to discuss his potential nomination for VA Secretary.

Morning Headlines 5/4/18

May 3, 2018 Headlines No Comments

Allscripts to significantly expand FollowMyHealth® patient engagement platform portfolio with new, advanced capabilities through acquisition of HealthGrid

Allscripts will acquire patient engagement and CRM company HealthGrid for $60 million.

Up to 270 women may have died after breast cancer screening IT error

NHS Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt says a 2009 algorithm error likely contributed to 450,000 women missing breast cancer screenings over an eight-year period, resulting in the deaths of between 135 and 270.

Health Catalyst Acquires Medicity

Data analytics vendor Health Catalyst acquires HIE vendor Medicity – both based in Salt Lake City – for an undisclosed price.

Morning Headlines 5/3/18

May 2, 2018 Headlines No Comments

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Launches Health Technology Exploration Center

Beth Israel Deaconess taps CIO John Halamka, MD to lead its new Health Technology Exploration Center, which will explore the role of emerging technologies like blockchain and IoT in healthcare delivery.

Cerner Reports First Quarter 2018 Results

Cerner shares drop after the company reports lower than forecasted Q1 revenue of $1.29 billion.

Nokia is selling its smart watch and digital health business

After acquiring Withings in 2016 to build out its digital health business, Nokia plans to sell the business to Withings co-founder and former chairman Éric Carreel.

Morning Headlines 5/2/18

May 1, 2018 Headlines No Comments

Health2047 Inc. Secures $27.2M Investment From the American Medical Association to Fuel Business Momentum

AMA invests $27 million in the Health2074 technology company it founded in 2016 with a $15 million investment.

EXL deepens investment in Healthcare and Analytics by signing a definitive agreement to acquire payment integrity and population risk management company SCIOInspire Holdings, Inc.

Operations management and analytics company EXL will acquire SCIO Health Analytics for $240 million.

Jackson Won’t Return As Trump’s Personal Physician, Report Says

White House officials conclude that several of the allegations made against President Trump’s former personal physician and VA Secretary nominee Ronny Jackson, MD released last week by Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) are not true.

Morning Headlines 5/1/18

April 30, 2018 Headlines 2 Comments

Fitbit stock soars after announcement of collaboration with Google

Fitbit will use Google’s Cloud Healthcare API to share user data with providers via their EHRs.

American Well to Acquire Avizia, Deepening Capabilities in Acute Care Delivery

American Well will acquire acute care telemedicine vendor Avizia for an undisclosed sum.

‘Who the hell is this person?’ Trump’s Mar-a-Lago pal stymies VA project

Reports surface that a West Palm Beach physician with ties to President Trump’s inner circle may be behind the VA/Cerner contract delay. Bruce Moskowitz, MD has expressed dissatisfaction with Cerner’s technology based on his use at two hospitals in Florida.

Datavant Acquires Universal Patient Key and Closes $40M Financing Round

Health data management company Datavant raises $40 million and acquires data de-identification vendor Universal Patient Key.

Morning Headlines 4/30/18

April 29, 2018 Headlines No Comments

DOD’s e-health record implementation to kick back off in 2019

DoD officials reassure legislators that the MHS Genesis roll out will pick back up with West Coast facilities in 2019, and that full deployment by 2022 is still achievable.

Erlanger earnings take a hit from new record system

Erlanger Health System (TN) attributes its third quarter $4 million shortfall to a 10-year, $100 million Epic implementation that kicked off with inpatient services last fall.

Jeremy Hunt launches review into training NHS staff to use new tech

In the UK, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt brings in Eric Topol, MD to lead a review of how to best train NHS staff on using new technologies including AI, digital health, robotics, and genomics.

Morning Headlines 4/27/18

April 26, 2018 Headlines No Comments

FDA chief moves to promote artificial intelligence in health care

The FDA announces it will tweak its pre-certification software program to better accommodate AI-powered technology, and the launch of a digital health incubator.

Trump’s VA pick bows out after allegations pile up

Rear Admiral Ronny Jackson, MD withdraws his nomination for VA Secretary.

Statement by VA press secretary Curt Cashour on VA’s near-term priorities under Acting Secretary Robert Wilkie

Despite a lack of leadership, the VA will move forward with near-term priorities that include signing the Cerner EHR contract, for which $1.2 billion has been allotted.

athenahealth Reports First Quarter Fiscal Year 2018 Results

Athenahealth announces Q1 results: revenue up 12 percent, with bookings down by $25 million for the quarter.

Morning Headlines 4/26/18

April 25, 2018 Headlines No Comments

Doctor on Demand Announces $74 Million Series C Financing

Doctor on Demand raises $74 million in a Series C funding round led by Princeville Global and Goldman Sachs Investment Partners.

2018 Healthcare Prognosis

Venrock survey takers believe the Amazon/Berkshire Hathaway/JPMorgan deal won’t amount to much in the near-term, but do feel Amazon (and Apple) are poised to make big healthcare progress in 2018.

Trump After Dark: No Action Jackson edition

Senate Democrats publish allegations against VA Secretary nominee Ronny Jackson, MD that include giving out prescription drugs to staffers, drinking to excess while on the job, and managerial misconduct.

Morning Headlines 4/25/18

April 24, 2018 Headlines 2 Comments

CMS Proposes Changes to Empower Patients and Reduce Administrative Burden

A proposed HHS rule would retarget the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs to “a new phase of EHR measurement with an increased focus on interoperability and improving patient access to health information.”

Ping An healthcare unit maps out plan for $1.1 billion Hong Kong IPO

China’s largest Internet healthcare platform, insurance subsidiary Ping An Healthcare and Technology, plans a $1.1 billion IPO on the Hong Kong exchange.

Transcription Service Leaked Medical Records

Kansas-based transcription firm Medantex takes down its customer web portal after security researcher Brian Krebs notifies the company that its audio recordings and site administrative functions were wide open to any Internet user.

After Trump Hints V.A. Nominee Might Drop Out, an Aggressive Show of Support

The Senate postpones the VA secretary nomination hearing of Admiral Ronny Jackson, citing allegations of improper conduct in his military career that require further investigation.

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Reader Comments

  • Julie McGovern: Re: Atul Gawande piece, heard an interesting NPR interview with author A.J. Jacobs who decided to thank every person inv...
  • RobLS: RE: Watson You should really let readers know about spoilers....
  • RecentMedicareRecipient: As a young and still motivated healthcare IT professional, I unfortunately find myself with a debilitating disease which...
  • VSP: For a tight-knit company that still has traumatic flashbacks to its last *involuntary* layoff of any size, a program lik...
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  • Vaporware?: Is seriously NOTHING included in the $20 billion we're shoveling to Cerner for MHS and VA? Or we pay that just for the p...
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