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Morning Headlines 7/3/18

July 2, 2018 Headlines No Comments

VA looks to scrap Epic scheduling contract

Politico reports that the VA will not move forward with its MASS patient scheduling project – powered by Epic — despite recent assurances that a system-wide rollout would be much cheaper and faster than originally estimated, choosing to go with the equivalent Cerner modules instead.

Layoffs at Watson Health Reveal IBM’s Problem With AI

Employees of acquired companies Phytel, Explorys, and Truven are hit hardest by staffing cuts as laid-off IBM engineers claim that former KLAS-topping population health management technology vendor Phytel has lost half its customer base and 80 percent of its employees under IBM’s ownership.

Toolkit: Using Data Analysis To Calculate Opioid Levels and Identify Patients At Risk of Misuse or Overdose

HHS OIG releases a SAS-powered tool that allows health plans to analyze their prescription drug claims data to identify at-risk patients.

Netsmart Finalizes Acquisition of Change Healthcare Home Care and Hospice Solutions

Netsmart completes its acquisition of the solutions formerly owned by McKesson.

Morning Headlines 7/2/18

July 1, 2018 Headlines No Comments

Why telemedicine has been such a bust so far

CNBC’s Chrissy Farr says lack of awareness, cost, and the desire for human interaction are responsible for the lack of widespread use of video visits.

T-System President and CEO Roger Davis resigns

The company confirmed the June 30 departure of Davis, but did not issue an announcement

As Part of National Healthcare Fraud Sweep, Los Angeles-Based Prosecutors Filed 16 Cases Alleging $660 Million in Fraudulent Bills

A former hospital owner is charged with paying $40 million in kickbacks over 15 years to generate $950 million in fraudulent hospital charges for surgeries, compounded drugs, home health services, and hospice care.

Medicare spent $2 billion for one drug as the manufacturer paid doctors millions

Claims analysis finds that 80 percent of the doctors who prescribe Acthar Gel are receiving checks from the company for speaking fees as the questionably useful drug’s cost has increased from $40 per vial in 2000 to $39,000 today.

Morning Headlines 6/29/18

June 28, 2018 Headlines 1 Comment

Amazon acquires online pharmacy PillPack in move into health care

Amazon reportedly outflanks Walmart in buying the mail order pharmacy for a rumored $1 billion in cash.

Cerner to pay $4.5 million to settle overtime claims

Cerner settles an employee overtime lawsuit brought on behalf of the company’s delivery consultants and system analysts.

National Health Care Fraud Takedown Results in Charges Against 601 Individuals Responsible for Over $2 Billion in Fraud Losses

The Department of Justice and HHS OIG announce the biggest healthcare fraud enforcement action in history that crosses 58 federal districts.

VA Electronic Health Record Modernization: The Beginning of the Beginning

The House Committee on Veterans Affairs presses VA executives and Cerner President Zane Burke on the VA’s $16 billion project, which will see three hospitals going live in 2020.

Morning Headlines 6/28/18

June 27, 2018 Headlines No Comments

Molina Healthcare Reaches Agreement with DXC Technology to Sell Medicaid Management Information Systems Business

Molina Healthcare will sell its Medicaid Solutions IS business to DXC Technology for $220 million.

‘Failure is not an option’: VA nominee Robert Wilkie told to fix the agency’s morale crisis

Members of the Veterans’ Affairs Committee tell VA Secretary nominee Robert Wilkie during his Senate confirmation hearing that the agency is in desperate need of leadership after the tabloid-like ouster of former Secretary David Shulkin, MD and nominee Ronny Jackson, MD.

Tampa Bay tech community pulls together to help displaced CareSync workers

Tampa, FL-based tech companies and associations are quick to publicize job openings and host job fairs in the wake of CareSync’s abrupt closure.

VA will have 3 Cerner-powered hospitals by 2020

Acting VA Secretary Peter O’Rourke tells lawmakers that the VA will begin deploying Cerner software at three hospitals this October, with full implementation expected by 2020.

Morning Headlines 6/27/18

June 26, 2018 Headlines No Comments

GE Focuses Portfolio for Growth and Shareholder Value Creation

GE will spin off GE Healthcare into a standalone business as the struggling behemoth that yearns to be a “simpler, stronger GE” focuses on its aviation, power, and generator businesses.

New team assembled to unlock the innovation potential in healthcare data

Microsoft Healthcare hires Jim Weinstein, DO, MS (Dartmouth-Hitchcock) as head of innovation and health equity and Joshua Mandel, MD (Verily) as chief architect.

VA IT MODERNIZATION Preparations for Transitioning to a New Electronic Health Record System Are Ongoing

A GAO report finds that the VA was spending $1 billion per year maintaining VistA, and that work remains to define exactly what VistA is and how Cerner can replace the nearly 50 percent of VistA applications that don’t have a Cerner counterpart.

Greenway Health Announces Richard Atkin as the Company’s New CEO

Richard Atkin (Vista Equity Partners) replaces Scott Zimmerman as CEO of Greenway Health.

Morning Headlines 6/26/18

June 25, 2018 Headlines No Comments

Outcome Health founders step down from board

After cutting its staff headcount by half and bringing on a new CEO, Outcome Health founders Rishi Shah and Shradha Agarwal step down from the board in an effort to “provide clear leadership transition for the new management team.”

Netgain Acquires iManaged Solutions to Expand "Specialized IT Cloud" Expertise

Healthcare cloud services company NetGain Technology acquires IManaged Solutions for an undisclosed sum.

State switches to electronic health records for prisons

Prisons in Connecticut will move from paper to GE Centricity medical record software.

Chief Health Informatics Officer

CMS looks to hire a chief health informatics officer who will develop health IT and information management strategy for CMS and HHS.

Morning Headlines 6/25/18

June 24, 2018 Headlines No Comments

Health care IT company CareSync shuts down, laying off 292

The Tampa paper provides more details about CareSync’s abrupt closure last Thursday, including the fact that founder and CEO Travis Bond unexpectedly left the company several weeks before, and the interim CEO assured employees last Monday that the company was “on incredibly good financial footing.”

Amid cost cuts, Qualcomm eyes partial sale of health tech subsidiary Qualcomm Life

Cost-cutting Qualcomm is seeking a buyer for a majority stake in its Qualcomm Life subsidiary, which includes the 2net remote patient monitoring system and Capsule medical device integration platform.

Allscripts offering buyouts

Politico reports that Allscripts is offering voluntary retirement to a large number of employees.

Morning Headlines 6/22/18

June 21, 2018 Headlines No Comments

Tech company once lauded for growth shutters Tampa office suddenly, leaves over 100 without jobs

Chronic care management company CareSync closes amidst bankruptcy rumors.

Wildflower Health Acquires Circle, an Innovative Mobile Health Business Incubated by Providence St. Joseph Health

Wildflower Health acquires Circle and its EHR-compatible pregnancy and parenting app for an undisclosed amount.

Developing Software Precertification Program: A Working Model

The FDA updates its software pre-certification program guidelines to emphasize benefits for startups and small companies that haven’t yet established a track record of reliable development.

Morning Headlines 6/21/18

June 20, 2018 Headlines No Comments

GoodRx, a service for finding the best price on prescription drugs, is in sale talks for up to $3 billion

Prescription drug comparison pricing company GoodRx is reportedly in talks with several companies, including McKesson, to sell its assets for between $1.5 billion and $3 billion.

Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase Appoint Dr. Atul Gawande as Chief Executive Officer of Their Newly-Formed Company to Address U.S. Employee Healthcare

Surgeon, professor, and journalist Atul Gawande, MD will become CEO of Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, and JPMorgan Chase’s new healthcare venture, effective July 9.

Special congressional panel to scrutinize VA’s medical records overhaul

Rep. Phil Roe, MD (R-TN) and Tim Walz (D-MN) will create a House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs subcommittee that will keep a close eye on the VA’s EHR overhaul and other major IT projects.

Morning Headlines 6/20/18

June 19, 2018 Headlines No Comments

Quest Analytics Acquires BetterDoctor to Create First Health Plan Platform to Ensure Network Adequacy, Provider Data Accuracy and Improved Member Experience

Healthcare provider management and network access technology company Quest Analytics acquires provider management system vendor BetterDoctor.

Ascension Debuts Subsidiary to Help Other Companies Succeed Through Process Automation

Ascension’s shared services subsidiary launches Agilify, which will offer help with intelligent process automation.

Veritas Capital-backed Verscend to Acquire Cotiviti for $4.9 Billion

Verscend Technologies will acquire healthcare payments technology company Cotiviti for $4.9 billion.

Morning Headlines 6/19/18

June 18, 2018 Headlines No Comments

Walmart Patents System for Accessing Medical Records Stored on a Blockchain

Walmart’s latest patent suggests it will develop a wearable that will give emergency responders access to an unresponsive patient’s medical record using blockchain technology.

Google is training machines to predict when a patient will die

Findings from Google’s Medical Brain team show that its AI has a higher accuracy rate at predicting deaths, discharges, and readmissions than traditional hospital warning systems.

Judge rules in favor of OCR and requires a Texas cancer center to pay $4.3 million in penalties for HIPAA violations

MD Anderson Cancer Center (TX) must pay $4.3 million in penalties for HIPAA violations stemming from three data breaches and non-compliance in following up with device encryption.

Morning Headlines 6/18/18

June 17, 2018 Headlines No Comments

Elizabeth Holmes indicted on wire fraud charges, steps down from Theranos

The US Attorney indicts Theranos founder and CEO Elizabeth Holmes and former President and COO Sunny Balwani for fraud, charging that as Theranos executives, they knew that the company’s blood testing technology was unreliable and was not competitive with conventional lab testing.

Citing weak demand, IBM Watson Health to scale back hospital business

IBM Watson Health executives tell employees that the company will scale back its hospital pay-for-performance tools business.

UK report warns DeepMind Health could gain ‘excessive monopoly power’

An external review raises red flags over DeepMind Health’s control over NHS data streamed between its real-time, care communication Streams app and future third-party developers.

Walgreens to Move Approximately 1,800 Positions to New Chicago Office

Walgreens will employ 1,800 staffers at a new office in Chicago that will accommodate its expanding Technology Center of Excellence.

Morning Headlines 6/15/18

June 14, 2018 Headlines No Comments

Hackensack Meridian Health Funds Key Innovation to Improve Health Care in New Jersey

Hackensack Meridian Health uses its $25 million innovation investment fund to finance Pillo Health’s digital home health companion.

Outcome Health names advertising executive as new CEO

Embattled waiting room media company Outcome Health names Matt McNally (Publicis Health) CEO.

Google is hiring people to work on improving visits to the doctor’s office with voice and touch technology

Google looks to grow its Medical Digital Assist project, which is working on physician note transcription using the company’s AI-powered Home and Assistant technology.

Morning Headlines 6/14/18

June 13, 2018 Headlines No Comments

Medici Raises $22M+ in Private Capital

Text-based telemedicine app company Medici raises $22 million in a Series A funding round.

CD&R and Cardinal Health to invest in naviHealth

Cardinal Health sells a majority stake in post-acute care services and analytics company NaviHealth to private investment firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice for an undisclosed amount.

Countess of Chester cosies up with Cerner in 15-year deal

The Countess of Chester Hospital NHS Foundation Trust will replace its Meditech software with Cerner Millenium.

Morning Headlines 6/13/18

June 12, 2018 Headlines No Comments

Private equity’s thirst for health care providers

Triggered by news of KKR’s planned acquisition of Envision Healthcare Corporation for $9.9 billion, a new report says that private equity firms love buying healthcare provider companies that wield a lot of market power, especially physician and ED staffing groups and air and ground ambulance companies.

Biotech’s Soon-Shiong hiring bankers for Nant cancer drug IPO

Billionaire doctor Patrick Soon-Shiong, MD says that despite the poor stock performance and heavy criticism of his two publicly traded companies NantHealth and NantKwest, he will IPO a new chemotherapy development company later this year.

GPB Capital Acquires Health Prime International, Building Upon its Healthcare IT Portfolio

Private equity firm GPB Capital acquires Maryland-based RCM/EHR vendor Health Prime International.

Moody’s says Lahey merger could help bond rating of Beth Israel parent

Moody’s downgrades the credit rating of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center parent CareGroup, citing concerns about its $534 million BIDMC expansion project and significantly lower margins at Mount Auburn Hospital following its $110 million FY2017 implementation of Epic.

Inspirata Acquires Health Analytics Company, Caradigm; Plans to Use its Award-Winning Platform to Accelerate Development of its Cancer Information Data Trust

Cancer informatics technology vendor Inspirata acquires Caradigm from GE Healthcare. Imprivata bought Caradigm’s identity management business in October 2017. Microsoft, originally a 50-50 Caradigm joint venture investor with GE Healthcare to which it contributed its Amalga data platform, sold its share to GE Healthcare in April 2016.

Morning Headlines 6/12/18

June 11, 2018 Headlines No Comments

IBM’s problems with Watson Health run deeper than recent layoffs, former employees say

Former IBM employees say Watson Health’s troubles stem from the company’s inability to successfully merge the health data assets of Phytel, Explorys, and Truven Health – companies it acquired between 2015 and 2016.

VA Awards Contract to 1Vision and AMC Health for Telehealth Solutions

AMC Health and 1Vision will provide enrolled veterans access to telehealth services as part of the VHA Home Telehealth Program.

Apple, Cerner, Microsoft, and Salesforce

Former deputy national coordinator for health IT and Alliance for Better Health CEO Jacob Reider, MD downplays the likelihood of top Athenahealth suitors successfully picking up where Jonathan Bush left off.

Morning Headlines 6/11/18

June 10, 2018 Headlines 3 Comments

UMass Inventor Insists On Due Credit For Nurses Who Innovate

UMass Amherst nursing professor Rachel Walker, PhD, RN is named to the American Association for the Advancement of Scientists.

“SHE ABSOLUTELY HAS SOCIOPATHIC TENDENCIES”: ELIZABETH HOLMES, SOMEHOW, IS TRYING TO START A NEW COMPANY!

WJS reporter and “Bad Blood” author John Carreyrou provides a couple of new tidbits about Elizabeth Holmes.

NYU Langone Health tests out Amazon Business programs

NYU Langone Health is testing Amazon Business for allowing employees to order supplies directly as it works to evolve into a more digitally-savvy organization.

VA Moves to Launch Implant Registry with FDA, CMS, DoD Input

The VA will create a medical implant registry to allow it to notify patients about recalls, identify devices in emergencies, and track outcomes.

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