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Morning Headlines 1/7/19

January 6, 2019 Headlines 1 Comment

Senate Confirms James Gfrerer as VA’s Information, Technology Leader

The VA finally has its first permanent CIO in two years after the Senate confirms James Gfrerer as assistant secretary of information and technology.

SVB Financial Group Completes Acquisition of Healthcare Investment Bank Leerink Partners

SVB Financial Group completes its acquisition of healthcare and life sciences investor Leerink Partners for $280 million in cash.

Livongo Names Lee Shapiro Chief Financial Officer

Livongo hires its board member and investor Lee Shapiro as CFO.

Morning Headlines 1/4/19

January 3, 2019 Headlines No Comments

Alphabet’s Verily gets $1 billion in funding round led by Silver Lake

Alphabet’s life sciences company Verily —  the former Google Life Sciences — raises $1 billion in a new capital funding round.

Medsphere Acquires HealthLine Solutions, Expands CareVue Platform

Medsphere acquires supply chain vendor HealthLine System a few weeks after raising $32 million.

Best Buy bones up on health care biz

Best Buy promotes Asheesh Saksena to president of its new health division, which will focus on helping seniors age in place.

Medici starts 2019 by buying another Austin health-tech startup

Telemedicine vendor Medici acquires competitor Chiron Health for an undisclosed amount.

Morning Headlines 1/3/19

January 3, 2019 Headlines No Comments

HL7 Publishes FHIR Release 4

Health Level Seven International publishes the FHIR Release 4 standard.

Bristol-Myers Squibb to buy Celgene in $74 billion deal

The merger, if approved by shareholders and regulators, will create the US’s fourth-largest drug company.

Jvion Secures Significant Strategic Growth Investment to Expand Application of Its Healthcare AI and Prescriptive Analytics Platform

Healthcare AI vendor Jvion raises a growth equity investment of an unstated amount, led by JMI Equity.

Morning Headlines 1/2/19

January 2, 2019 Headlines No Comments

Epic Systems adds dentists, life insurers to its software network

Epic’s VP of population health says the company is “moving beyond the walls” in creating a single repository for all of a patient’s electronic health records – dental, on-site clinics, drugstores, specialty clinics, and potentially home health and hospice providers.

When Doctors Serve on Company Boards

Cancer centers are responding to the perceived conflicts of interest that arise when their researchers and doctors serve on the boards of drug, lab, and medical device companies.

In Screening for Suicide Risk, Facebook Takes On Tricky Public Health Role

Facebook has deployed suicidal thoughts detection algorithms without tracking their outcomes even as the company faces global scrutiny for its privacy practices.

Malware attack disrupts delivery of L.A. Times and Tribune papers across the U.S.

Several newspapers are left unable to print editions after Tribune Publishing is taken down by an attack of Ryuk ransomware, a potent strain spread via malicious emails that was the subject of an HHS Cybersecurity Program warning in August 2018.

Morning Headlines 12/31/18

December 30, 2018 Headlines No Comments

CenturyLink outage knocks out 911 calls, hospital’s patient records

A CenturyLink outage left several hospitals without Internet service Friday, also taking down phones, 911 access, and ATMs all over the country.

Cranky comments: detecting clinical decision support malfunctions through free-text override reasons

A JAMIA-published study of comments that clinicians enter when overriding clinical decision support warnings finds that the text can be mined to identify system shortcomings about 26 percent of the time.

‘Bleed Out’ Shows How Medical Errors Can Have Life-Changing Consequences

A filmmaker’s new HBO documentary covers what he says was a medical error that left his mother with permanent brain damage, for which he primarily blames Aurora West Allis Medical Center’s use of E-ICU coverage.

Stanley Black & Decker Debuts Healthcare And Security Innovations At CES 2019

The company will launch a voice-controlled, smartphone-integrated medication management and caregiver communication tool that supports independent living.

Morning Headlines 12/28/18

December 28, 2018 Headlines No Comments

Livongo Focuses on Government and Labor Segment with Proven Executive

Former Livongo sales executive Randy Forman returns to head up the company’s government and labor division following an eight-month stint at Vida Health.

Can medical devices be hacked? Arizona doctors prepare for possibility of cyberattacks

University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix convenes CyberMed Summit, led by two ethical hackers who are graduates of the medical school.

After nearly five years lawsuit against Flowers Hospital is over

The Alabama hospital sets aside $150,000 to cover claims that a since-jailed lab employee sold 1,200 patient records for filing fraudulent tax returns.

Hospital prices: full cost lists must be published from January 1, new federal rule says

A rule announced in April requires hospitals to post “what they have online” in the form of annually updated, downloadable price lists.

Morning Headlines 12/27/18

December 27, 2018 Headlines 1 Comment

One Giant Step for a Chess-Playing Machine

The New York Times describes Alphabet-owned DeepMind’s AlphaZero machine learning algorithm that not only became unbeatable in chess, it also appears to have used psychology to actually learn the game rather than choosing from pre-programmed moves, which may lead to development of novel solutions in science and medicine.

Misconceptions About Health Costs When You’re Older

End-of-life spending is often declared wasteful after the fact, but predicting who is likely to die to save the cost of heroic intervention isn’t accurate.

Massachusetts Stroke Patient Receives ‘Outrageous’ $474,725 Medical Flight Bill

A woman whose doctor and insurer agreed that her stroke symptoms required emergency transportation via private air ambulance to Massachusetts General Hospital, an hour’s drive away, is shocked to learn that she’s on the hook to pay the nearly $500,000 portion of the bill that isn’t covered by insurance.

Humana Announces Inaugural Hospital Incentive Program Participants

Cleveland Clinic, Jackson Health System, TriHealth, and WellStar Health System will participate in Humana’s coordinated care program that emphasizes access to screening, avoiding health complications, using analytics to coordinate care, and paying doctors based on outcomes rather than volume.

Morning Headlines 12/24/18

December 23, 2018 Headlines No Comments

Banks Asks VA to Adopt Modern Appointment Scheduling System

Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN), chairman of the House’s VA technology subcommittee, questions the VA’s plan to implement Cerner patient scheduling, noting the VA hasn’t said what it will cost to move to Cerner scheduling, the timelines required, and the benefit to veterans.

BayCare Hospitals Go Mobile with Wayfinding

BayCare (FL) goes live on indoor patient way-finding powered by Connexient’s MediNav.

With incubators, hospital systems tread ethical boundaries

Politico points out the ethically shaky ground hospitals find themselves on when developing sometimes sub-par technology through on-site incubators, often as a means to firm up finances.

Morning Headlines 12/21/18

December 20, 2018 Headlines No Comments

DrChrono Raises $10M from SQN Venture Partners

Tablet-based EHR vendor DrChrono raises $10 million in funding.

Cerner could snag another big VA contract

The VA is considering terminating its $624 million Epic-Leidos patient scheduling system pilot project and buying a similar system from Cerner.

Medicare Program: Accrediting Organizations Conflict of Interest and Consulting Services; Request for Information

CMS issues an RFI asking for feedback on whether or not the consulting practices of hospital accreditation agencies like The Joint Commission pose a conflict of interest.

This Health Startup Won Big Government Deals—But Inside, Doctors Flagged Problems

An exposé on Babylon Health finds that, despite raising $85 million and convincing the NHS to use its chatbot-powered diagnosis app, its software wasn’t tested anywhere else and didn’t work.

Morning Headlines 12/20/18

December 19, 2018 Headlines No Comments

3M to Acquire M*Modal’s Technology Business

3M will acquire MModal’s AI-powered physician documentation technology for $1 billion.

GE Files Confidentially for Health IPO, Buoying Stock

GE firms up plans to spin off its healthcare business via a public filing that will likely take place in mid-2019.

Walgreens to tackle health-care costs with Alphabet’s Verily

Walgreens and Verily will work together to develop solutions for patients with chronic conditions, initially focusing on diabetes and medication management.

Morning Headlines 12/19/18

December 18, 2018 Headlines No Comments

Premier Health Announces Binding LOI to Acquire Cloud Practice Inc., a National Medical Software Application Company

Canada-based health IT vendor Premier Health will acquire Cloud Practice, which offers an EHR based on an open source product developed by McMaster University, for up to $5 million.

Teladoc Health Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer Resigns

Teladoc Health EVP/COO/CFO Mark Hirschhorn resigns following publicity and lawsuits over his romantic affair with a since-resigned Teladoc employee to whom he gave stock tips.

Brightree Acquires Mobile Delivery Provider Apacheta to Streamline HME Delivery

ResMed’s post-acute care technology subsidiary acquires Apacheta, which offers mobile software for medical equipment vendors.

Glen Tullman’s wearable tech startup hires a new CEO—and opens a new chapter

Chronic disease management technology vendor Livongo Health hires Zane Burke (Cerner) as CEO, replacing Glen Tullman, who moves to executive chairman.

Morning Headlines 12/18/18

December 17, 2018 Headlines No Comments

FDA Names Flatiron Health Executive Amy Abernethy Deputy Commissioner

Flatiron Health CMO Amy Abernethy, MD joins the FDA as principal deputy commissioner.

McKesson’s Change Healthcare is close to buying blockchain health-tech start-up PokitDok

CNBC reports that Change Healthcare will acquire health data integration vendor PokitDok as early as this week.

The $23 billion health system in Amazon’s backyard just hired a new chief information officer from Microsoft

B.J. Moore, a Microsoft VP with experience in cloud and AI, joins multi-state Providence St. Joseph Health as CIO.

Morning Headlines 12/17/18

December 16, 2018 Headlines No Comments

Federal court rules Obamacare unconstitutional — but the law stands for now

A federal judge in Texas rules that the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional because Congress eliminated the penalty for people who don’t sign up for health insurance.

WellSky Expands Investment in Hospice Technology with Acquisition of Consolo Services Group

Health IT company WellSky acquires hospice and palliative care software vendor Consolo Services Group.

Centra sees operating margin drop as electronic records rollout leads to increased costs

Centra Health (VA) attributes a drop in operating margin – its first in more than a decade – to increased costs incurred by its Cerner implementation.

Morning Headlines 12/14/18

December 13, 2018 Headlines No Comments

HHS seeks public input on improving care coordination and reducing the regulatory burdens of the HIPAA Rules

OCR seeks input on modifying HIPAA rules to improve coordinated care, with comments due February 11.

Medsphere Closes $32 Million Financing Led by Morgan Stanley Expansion Capital

EHR and RCM vendor Medsphere will use $32 million in new financing for expansion efforts, including acquisitions and hiring.

Apple to Invest $1 Billion for Texas Expansion Plan

Apple will spend $1 billion on a second campus in Austin, TX, which will house up to 15,000 employees on 133 acres.

Morning Headlines 12/13/18

December 12, 2018 Headlines No Comments

Jonathan Bush on Sale of Athenahealth

Jonathan Bush appears on CNBC six months after stepping down as CEO of Athenahealth to share his side of its sale story.

Nashville Hospital Company Pledges To Share Its Sepsis-Fighting Technology With Others

HCA develops and promises to share its Sepsis Prediction and Optimization of Therapy (SPOT) software, which is capable of diagnosing a patient 20 hours before a physician.

Apple now has dozens of doctors on staff, showing it’s serious about health tech

Sources tell CNBC that Apple has at least 50 physicians on staff, many of whom are keeping their roles across the organization quiet.

Pomerantz Law Firm Announces the Filing of a Class Action against Teladoc Health, Inc. and Certain Officers

A scathing article from the Southern Investigative Research Foundation prompts the filing of a class-action lawsuit on behalf of Teladoc shareholders, citing false statements made by the company and a failure to disclose inappropriate employee relationships and insider trading.

Morning Headlines 12/12/18

December 11, 2018 Headlines No Comments

Dr. Denise W. Hines to Join HIMSS as Chief Americas Officer

Former GaHIN Executive Director and EHealth Services Group CEO Denise Hines, DHA, MS joins HIMSS as Chief Americas Officer.

Health Systems Advise Financially Struggling Peers to Measure EHR Vendor Value Propositions Against Heavy Brand Influences

Black Book finds that 88 percent of mid-sized regional systems regret their EHR implementation due to hidden costs, unexpected consulting fees, lost revenue, patient frustration, and clinician burnout.

‘Hey, Alexa! How’s my blood pressure?’

Amazon works with Omron Healthcare to develop a skill for Alexa that connects the virtual assistant to the vendor’s blood pressure monitor.

Colorado hospital failed to terminate former employee’s access to electronic protected health information

OCR fines Pagosa Springs Medical Center (CO) for failing to cut off a former staffer’s access to a Web-based scheduling calendar that included PHI.

Morning Headlines 12/11/18

December 10, 2018 Headlines No Comments

Former Director Of Healthcare Services Company Charged In Alleged $300 Million Investment Fraud Scheme

Federal officials arrest Pavandeep Bakhshi, a former Constellation Healthcare Technologies board member, for his role in a scheme that attempted to trick investors out of $300 million meant to help take the company private.

University of Maryland Medical System investigating malware attack

The University of Maryland Medical System recovers from a ransomware attack that impacted 250 of the system’s desktop computers.

GI Partners and TA Associates to Acquire Allscripts’ stake in Netsmart Technologies

Shares of Allscripts rise on the news that GI Partners and TA Associates will acquire its stake in Netsmart Technologies for $525 million.

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Partners with T-Mobile to Help Expand Access to Health Care for Veterans

T-Mobile will provide the VA with 70,000 lines of wireless service to help it expand telehealth services for veterans.

Seattle Children’s spin-out MDmetrix adds operating room capabilities, looks to expand

Health data analytics startup MDmetrix expands into operating room capabilities with OR Advisor, and looks to expand beyond its Seattle Children’s roots.

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Reader Comments

  • EHR Guy: I enjoyed your comments about Epic and their CEO Judy. In watching and being in the industry over the years as Epic has ...
  • EHR Guy: how so... Pretty straight forward. Please explain if you are going to comment....
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  • EHR Guy: I enjoyed your comments about Epic and their CEO Judy. In watching and being in the industry over the years as Epic has...
  • KP Alum: Re the Kaiser Permanente medical school: I think it makes a lot of sense for them to train physicians in how Permanente ...
  • EHRVendor: Good article, unfortunately, this lost credibility when Athenahealth was considered one of the five major EHR Vendors le...
  • Patient advocate: Hi. I don’t see our organization on the Commonwell slide. We have gotten a lot of value from the tool and have ac...
  • Anonymous: I worked for Cerner at the time of the fire, and Cerner had a few dozen associates at the Feather River facilities. Both...
  • monica: 'Champions of Heath' that is perfect and says more about the whole rebranding strategy in 3 words than I could in a para...
  • Bill Spooner: It would be great to know about healthcare costs and outcomes in China, India and Norway, to learn how the various care ...

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