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Morning Headlines 4/18/18

April 17, 2018 Headlines No Comments

UNC Health Care Achieves Highest Rank Possible in Three Health IT Categories

UNC Health Care (NC) announces that it has achieved HIMSS Stage 7 for inpatient, ambulatory, and analytics, of which neighboring Duke Health was the first trifecta winner.

Livongo Health Acquires Retrofit

Livongo Health acquires 80-employee, Chicago-based Retrofit, which provides online programs for weight management and disease prevention.

Greenway Health adds 104 jobs at Tampa headquarters, thanks to $520,000 in state and local incentives

Greenway Health has added 104 jobs at its Tampa headquarters as it closed offices in Lake Mary, FL, Birmingham, AL, and Atlanta.

VA loses its CIO, creating further uncertainty for EHR modernization

Interim VA CIO Scott Blackburn, who was heavily involved in its plan to implement Cerner, resigns for unspecified reasons.

Morning Headlines 4/17/18

April 16, 2018 Headlines No Comments

CMS Paid Practitioners for Telehealth Services That Did Not Meet Medicare Requirements

An OIG analysis finds that CMS erroneously paid out $3.7 million for telemedicine claims that did not meet Medicare requirements.

Pentagon wants to spot illnesses by monitoring service members’ smartphones

DARPA awards a $5.1 million contract to KryptoWire to develop the Warfighter Analytics using Smartphones for Health program.

HealthInsight and Qualis Health Announce Formal Merger Agreement

Healthcare consulting firms HealthInsight and Qualis Health announce formal merger plans.

Nokia’s Health division is up for sale (again) and Nest is interested

Google-backed Nest expresses interest in purchasing Nokia’s consumer health division, which includes the Withings assets acquired for $190 million in 2016.

Morning Headlines 4/16/18

April 15, 2018 Headlines No Comments

CHS lays off dozens of corporate employees

Nashville-based hospital chain Community Health Systems lays off at least 70 corporate IT employees. Rumors suggest data center and deployment areas were hit hard.

GE Healthcare IT unit carveout backed by US$850m in loans

Veritas Capital has arranged $850 million in leveraged loans to support its acquisition of GE Healthcare’s IT business for $1.05 billion.

CVS Hires Doctor From Health Startup in Sign of Medical Ambition

CVS Health hires the chief medical officer of Iora Health as CMO for its MinuteClinic division, further fueling rumors of its interest in providing services to Medicare Advantage patients as part of its proposed merger with Aetna.

Physician turned entrepreneur begins work with new patients: Union-Tribune and L.A. Times

Billionaire NantHealth CEO Patrick Soon-Shiong, MD outlines his plans to take over ownership of The Los Angeles Times, The San Diego Union-Tribune, and several Southern California-based community papers in a $500 million deal expected to close later this month.

Medical records of Texas Health patients may have been exposed in data breach

Texas Health Resources notifies 4,000 patients of a data breach involving email accounts last October.

Morning Headlines 4/13/18

April 12, 2018 Headlines No Comments

FDA permits marketing of artificial intelligence-based device to detect certain diabetes-related eye problems

IDx receives FDA clearance to market its AI-based diabetic retinopathy diagnostic system to PCPs, giving them access to a tool that assesses patients without need for physician analysis.

This Woman’s Apple Watch Helped Detect Her Severe Thyroid Problem

Twenty five year-old Heather Hendershot’s Apple Watch alerts her to an abnormally high resting heart rate – a lone symptom that led to a diagnosis of and hospital stay for hyperthyroidism.

Committed to proactively addressing the security concerns of our customers

Philips warns that security vulnerabilities in its ISite and IntelliSpace PACS products could affect patient confidentiality and system integrity, some of which could expose systems to remote attacks using publicly available exploits.

Morning Headlines 4/12/18

April 11, 2018 Headlines No Comments

Apple’s iOS 11.3 electronic health record initiative ‘might be overhyped’

At an AMIA briefing on Capitol Hill, Geisinger Health System (PA) Chief Clinical Informatics Officer Alistair Erskine, MD points out that Apple’s Health Record app initiative is more limited than headlines suggest, given that it excludes Android users and does not yet give users access to their full medical records.

Epic won’t protest Coast Guard move to Cerner

Epic will not protest the Coast Guard’s decision to move on from its failed $60 million Epic implementation and join the DoD’s $4.3 billion Cerner contract.

Livongo Health Raises $105 Million

Livongo Health raises $105 million in a Series E funding round and announces it will work with Cambia Health Solutions to develop and market new consumer-friendly digital health offerings for those with chronic conditions.

Morning Headlines 4/11/18

April 10, 2018 Headlines No Comments

Theranos Lays Off Most of Its Remaining Workforce

Theranos lays off most of its remaining employees following SEC fraud charges and ahead of a likely bankruptcy filing, leaving around 20 employees.

Mayo Clinic offers 400 transcriptionists buyout packages

Mayo Clinic offers voluntary separation packages to 400 transcriptionists as technology replaces them even before it goes live on Epic.

Veterans Affairs on course to top agency health IT spending

Analysts attribute projected growth in federal health IT spending to VA and DoD investments in new EHR software and related network and infrastructure upgrades.

Allscripts Care Management Joins With CarePort Health to Build Next Generation Care Coordination Solutions

Allscripts repositions its care and referral management system under CarePort, the outcomes technology vendor it acquired in October 2016.

Morning Headlines 4/10/18

April 9, 2018 Headlines No Comments

After botched acquisition, Coast Guard joins Pentagon electronic health record system

The Coast Guard will implement MHS Genesis, joining the DOD’s 10-year, $4.3 billion contract with Cerner.

Google is teaming up with the largest doctor group for a medical data challenge

The AMA and Google launch the Health Care and Interoperability Innovation Challenge to uncover new ways of monitoring and sharing health data between chronic disease patients and physicians using mobile technology.

Specialist-Centric Systems Lead Small Physician Practice EHR Satisfaction, Black Book Survey

Seven vendors – each with specialty-focused EHRs that offer RCM, coding, and practice management tools – score highest for customer satisfaction in Black Book’s latest market analysis.

Morning Headlines 4/9/18

April 8, 2018 Headlines No Comments

Trump taps new director for office on Medicare reforms

The White House hires Landmark Health CEO Adam Boehler as director of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation.

Netsmart to Acquire Change Healthcare Home Care and Hospice Solutions

Netsmart will acquire Change Healthcare’s home care and hospice solutions, integrating them into its HIE, analytics, referral management, and mobility technologies.

Roche completes acquisition of Flatiron Health

Roche wraps up its $1.9 billion deal with New York City-based oncology EHR and research company Flatiron Health, which will continue to operate as its own business entity.

Morning Headlines 4/6/18

April 5, 2018 Headlines No Comments

Jamie Dimon Lays Out JPMorgan-Amazon-Berkshire Health Care Priorities

JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon provides shareholders high-level details about the employee healthcare venture the company is undertaking with Amazon and Berkshire Hathaway.

Facebook sent a doctor on a secret mission to ask hospitals to share patient data

Facebook reveals it considered embarking on a research project with several hospitals that would have combined anonymized patient data with its user data to pinpoint patients in need of care.

London doctors protest over NHS smartphone ‘video appointment’ service

GPs in London protest NHS England’s decision to offer patients text-based care via the Babylon Health-powered GP at Hand app, the use of which automatically de-registered users from their local NHS surgery.

Morning Headlines 4/5/18

April 4, 2018 Headlines No Comments

Welltok Raises $75 Million in Funding

Consumer health tech company Welltok raises $75 million in a second Series E round, bringing its total funding to $252 million.

One vets group wants President Trump to rethink acting pick

Several veterans groups express a lack of confidence in acting VA Secretary Robert Wilkie and his ability to keep the yet-to-be signed Cerner contract on track.

SCI Solutions Acquires DatStat to Lead Digital Patient Engagement

Care coordination software company SCI Solutions acquires patient engagement vendor DatStat for an undisclosed sum.

Morning Headlines 4/4/18

April 3, 2018 Headlines No Comments

Dismal result for former tech darling Orion

Orion Health Group announces poor annual results and implementation of a cost-saving restructuring as it reorganizes into three business units – Rhapsody, population health, and hospitals.

Microsoft alleges CHS copyright infringement

Microsoft is suing Community Health Systems (TN) for breaching its software licensing contracts.

State Department Looks Into New EHR

The State Department issues an RFP for a new EHR after efforts to collaborate with the Coast Guard on an Epic implementation failed.

Morning Headlines 4/3/18

April 2, 2018 Headlines 1 Comment

GE Sheds Health IT Assets for $1B, Doubles Down on A.I. and Devices

Veritas Capital will acquire GE Healthcare’s Value-Based Care Division – including ambulatory care, RCM, and workforce management assets – for $1 billion.

St. Charles’ new $79.5 million record system going online

St. Charles Health System (OR) brings its “slightly under budget” Epic system online after a two-year implementation process.

Insurers will study blockchain to fix their provider lists

UnitedHealth Group, Optum, Humana, Quest Diagnostics, and Multiplan embark on a pilot project to determine if blockchain technology can streamline the process of verifying and updating their provider lists.

Merged Aurora Health Care, Advocate Health Care consider clinic expansion near Foxconn

Advocate Aurora Health co-CEO and co-President Jim Skogsbergh says the newly merged entity’s biggest priority will be converting Advocate facilities to Epic – a three-year project with an as yet undisclosed cost.

Morning Headlines 4/2/18

April 1, 2018 Headlines No Comments

23andMe Plans To Hire 200 People In 2018. Here’s How To Be One Of Them

23andMe plans to hire 200 employees this year as it looks to expand its consumer genetic testing and research capabilities.

Did Shulkin get fired or resign? This is why it matters

The White House insists that VA Secretary David Shulkin, MD resigned, disputing Shulkin’s own account of being fired.

Hey, Alexa, What Can You Hear? And What Will You Do With It?

Patent filings from Amazon and Google suggest that their digital assistants could do a lot more than obey pre-programmed commands, suggesting potential uses to monitor conversations for ad-serving ideas and body sounds for potential medical situations.

Accolade Announces $50 Million in Financing, Supports Solution Innovation and Growth to More than 1.1 Million Members

Personalized health and benefits solution vendor Accolade raises $50 million in a Series F funding round, increasing its total to $217 million.

Morning Headlines 3/30/18

March 29, 2018 Headlines No Comments

Doctors put patients in charge with Apple’s Health Records feature

Apple moves its Health Records app out of beta, with 39 healthcare institutions signing up to make patient records available via the app.

David J. Shulkin: Privatizing the V.A. Will Hurt Veterans

Former VA Secretary David Shulkin, MD explains in a New York Times op-ed that his ouster was the result of political infighting amongst those who want to privatize the VA; a move he soundly denounces as “a political issue aimed at rewarding select people and companies with profits, even if it undermines care for veterans.”

Walmart talking with Humana on closer ties; purchase possible

Sources say Walmart and Humana are in talks to expand their partnership beyond a co-branded drug plan that prompts members to visit the retailer’s stores. Walmart’s acquisition of Humana is a possibility – one that sources say would enable the company to better manage prescriptions through access to EHRs.

Morning Headlines 3/29/18

March 28, 2018 Headlines 6 Comments

Trump pushes out Shulkin at VA, nominates Jackson as replacement

President Trump fires VA Secretary David Shulkin, MD after a wave of negative press and nominates his personal physician, Rear Admiral Ronny Jackson, as his replacement.

98 IT employees of Intermountain Healthcare transition to DXC Technology

As Intermountain Healthcare (UT) prepares to shift 2,300 jobs to billing company R1 RCM, it announces it will also shift 98 IT staffers to employment with DXC Technology, an IT and consulting services company it has worked with since 2012.

Theranos Investors Turn Scavengers on Wounded Unicorn’s Remains

Two hundred Theranos investors prepare to vie with the SEC to obtain some type of recompense for the $724 million they helped raise for the private company that is now all but obsolete.

Cyberattack disrupted Baltimore emergency responders

A cyberattack over the weekend forces Baltimore’s emergency dispatchers to revert to manual processes for 17 hours.

Morning Headlines 3/28/18

March 27, 2018 Headlines No Comments

CDRH to Open Digital Health Pre-Cert Program to More Companies by Year’s End

FDA will expand its digital health pre-certification pilot program by the end of the year, taking on more companies beyond the 10 current participants.

Cybersecurity team will ‘lie, cheat and steal’ to protect Blue Cross patients’ data

The 24×7 regional security monitoring center of Blue Cross Blue Shield of IL, MT, NM, OK, and TX employs 200 analysts to look for foreign access and unusual member activity.

CFO says hospital district remaining positive

The CFO of Medical Center Health System (TX) blames its credit downgrade to a worsening local economy and the hospital’s Cerner implementation, which he says “has really hurt us from an accounts receivable standpoint.”

Finger Lakes Health pays ‘ransom’ over cyber attack

Finger Lakes Health (NY) pays an unspecified sum to to bring its systems back online after a week of ransomware-caused downtime.

Morning Headlines 3/27/18

March 26, 2018 Headlines No Comments

Shulkin survival odds decline

Rumors continue to swirl around predictions that President Trump will soon fire VA Secretary David Shulkin, MD, with the AP reporting that former Cleveland Clinic President and CEO Toby Cosgrove might be a replacement frontrunner.

Data Breaches at Hospitals Associated with Thousands of Additional Patient Deaths

After taking into account quality scores, remediation activities, regulatory inquiries, litigation, and diverted resources, a Vanderbilt University researcher concludes that hospital data breaches lead to 2,100 patient deaths annually.

California Medicaid expansion enrolled hundreds of thousands of ineligible people, federal report finds

Citing deficiencies in the state’s computer system, an OIG report concludes that California spent $1,893,000 on enrolling ineligible or questionably eligible Medicaid beneficiaries as part of its Medicaid expansion.

Consortium led by London CSU wins national contract to build population health dashboard

NHS England awards a consortium led by North East London CSU a contract to build a population health management dashboard built on Cerner’s HealtheIntent software.

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