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Morning Headlines 1/8/20

January 7, 2020 Headlines No Comments

Healthgrades Acquires Evariant

Physician directory and patient scheduling vendor Healthgrades acquires Evariant, which sells patient and physician relationship management systems.

Pieces Technologies raises $25.7 Million Series B led by Concord Health Partners

Clinical analytics vendor Pieces Technology raises $25.7 million in a Series B funding round, increasing its total to $58 million.

Clearlake Capital-Backed Provation Acquires MD-Reports

Specialty EHR vendor Provation acquires MD-Reports, which offers EHR and practice management systems for ambulatory surgery centers and specialty practices.

HCTec’s HIM Business Line Acquired by GHR

Recruitment agency GHR Healthcare acquires HCTec’s HIM business, leaving its health IT and managed services businesses intact.

Morning Headlines 1/7/20

January 6, 2020 Headlines No Comments

Walgreens names new chief medical officer

Former Athenahealth CMO Kevin Ban, MD takes on a similar role at Walgreens.

Perficient Announces Acquisition of MedTouch

Perficient adds to its healthcare marketing and technology consulting capabilities with the acquisition of MedTouch.

Philadelphia health tech firm raises $1.75M, plans to double headcount

Hospital discharge planning software startup Repisodic raises $1.75 million.

Morning Headlines 1/6/20

January 5, 2020 Headlines No Comments

AMIA Announces Departure of President and CEO, Douglas B. Fridsma

The American Medical Informatics Association fires President and CEO Doug Fridsma, MD, PhD after five years.

Alphabet-backed One Medical files for IPO as money-losing tech companies struggle on public market

Membership-based primary care company One Medical files for a $100 million IPO.

NHS gets £40m to cut login times on its IT systems

England’s NHS will receive $50 million to implement single sign-on technology across its facilities.

Morning Headlines 1/3/20

January 2, 2020 Headlines 3 Comments

Changes in Quality of Care after Hospital Mergers and Acquisitions

NEJM-published research finds that not only does hospital quality usually not improve after a merger, it sometimes gets worse as lower-rated hospitals acquire those with better quality scores.

Liberty IT Solutions Awarded $95M Management Consulting Services and Healthcare Revenue Workflow Management and Business Information Technology Tools Task Order

The government consulting firm expands its VA contract portfolio to over $800 million with more Cerner-related work.  

It Looks Like Health Insurance, but It’s Not. ‘Just Trust God,’ Buyers Are Told.

One million Americans have chosen unregulated cost-sharing health ministry plans to save money over traditional insurance, even though the companies issuing them are not obligated to pay claims, they don’t cover pre-existing conditions, they have a fixed limit on payouts, and they require adherence to a Christian lifestyle.

Morning Headlines 1/2/20

January 1, 2020 Headlines No Comments

Doctors, Nurses and the Paperwork Crisis That Could Unite Them

Professors of nursing and medicine urge the professions to come together to reduce the documentation requirements enforced by the “bureaucratic nightmare” of EHRs.  

Using AI to improve breast cancer screening

A study in UK hospitals with the participation of Google Health finds that an AI model that supports radiologists in detecting breast cancer produced a modest reduction in false negatives and positives even though the model did not have access to patient histories and prior mammograms.  

The Family Wanted a Do Not Resuscitate Order. The Doctors Didn’t.

A ProPublica report finds that transplant doctors sometimes talk families out of asking for DNR or withdrawing life support within 30 days to avoid skewing the survival statistics of their programs. 

Social media hosted a lot of fake health news this year. Here’s what went most viral.

The most widely shared health misinformation on social media in 2019, much of it originating with anti-vaccination groups, include the US government conspiring with drug companies to hide cancer cures, herbs and homeopathy that cure cancer and chronic conditions more effectively than medical treatments, and the injuries and deaths caused by vaccines.

Woman wrongly told she had cancer when software misheard doctor

A hospital in England apologizes to an endoscopy patient for telling her doctor that her exam revealed “cancer,” which it says was an unnoticed mistake made by its speech recognition software that misunderstood the word “candida” that relates to the patient’s yeast infection.

Morning Headlines 12/31/19

December 30, 2019 Headlines No Comments

FDA Failed to Ensure Safe Prescribing of Opioids, Documents Show

Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health researchers find that FDA was lax in failing to require opioid manufacturers to collect data to prove that their physician prescribing training was effective in reducing addiction, overdoses, and deaths and instead allowed those companies, in the absence of such data, to regulate themselves.

I tracked my sleep with an Oura ring — here’s what I learned

CNBC’s Chrissy Farr says Oura’s sleep tracking ring provided a lot of sleep quality data over a two-week period, but the 15 minutes she spent with a sleep coach – which the company does not offer – provided more value.

What’s Next for Health: Leading Through Change with a Strategic Direction

HIMSS touts its “new strategic direction and brand re-alignment” that includes a reorganization to remove silos, an emphasis on its value beyond the annual conference, and its intention to become “a catalyzer to transform the global health ecosystem through the power of information and technology.”

The Big Change Coming to Just About Every Website on New Year’s Day

The California Consumer Privacy Act, which takes effect January 1, requires the websites of large companies to provide ways – including web buttons saying “Do Not Sell My Personal Information” – to their websites, which will be available to all US citizens since the sites can’t target Californians specifically.

Morning Headlines 12/30/19

December 29, 2019 Headlines No Comments

DCH Health System patients file federal suit over ransomware attack

Four patients of the Alabama-based health system claim their care was disrupted by an October ransomware attack.

Verily Partners with Emory Healthcare to Analyze Medication and Lab Ordering Patterns for Improved Cost-Effectiveness and Operational Efficiency

The health system hires Alphabet-owned Verily to use analytics to find value opportunities.

Just what the doctor ordered: How AI will change medicine in the 2020s

Eric Topol, MD again calls for technology to give doctors “the gift of time” that will allow them to develop deeper relationships with their patients.

New York doctor sues Apple over irregular heartbeat detection

NYU Langone Health cardiologist Joseph Wiesel, MD says Apple violated his patented method for detecting atrial fibrillation after he shared details with the company in September 2017.

Morning Headlines 12/27/19

December 26, 2019 Headlines No Comments

The Watch Is Smart, but It Can’t Replace Your Doctor

A physician author says in a New York Times article that the public health value of the Apple Watch’s atrial fibrillation detection capability is overhyped and that even study participants mostly ignored its guidance.

Artificial Intelligence Is Rushing Into Patient Care – And Could Raise Risks

AI systems have already made significant healthcare mistakes as technology companies their rush products to market without the benefit of peer-reviewed studies and with minimal FDA oversight.

Mayo Clinic names chief digital officer to lead transformative digital strategy, create Center for Digital Health

Mayo Clinic hires Rita Khan (United HealthCare, Best Buy, Macy’s) as chief digital officer.

Augmedics Announces FDA 510K Clearance and U.S. Launch of xvision, the First Augmented Reality Guidance System for Surgery

Chicago-based Augmedics earns FDA’s F10(k) clearance for its augmented reality system that allows surgeons to visualize 3D spinal anatomy and track instruments and implants while looking directly at the patient.

Morning Headlines 12/26/19

December 25, 2019 Headlines No Comments

Artificial Intelligence Is Rushing Into Patient Care – And Could Raise Risks

Experts say AI could have a big healthcare impact, but worry about excessive hype, the tech industry’s mantra to “fail fast and fix it later,” systems whose training allows them to base predictions on meaningless data points, and the absence of any randomized clinical trials proving that such systems actually work.

Pentagon Warns Military Personnel Against At-Home DNA Tests

The military urges service members to decline to take consumer DNA tests because they create security risks, their results are unreliable, and they could lead to unintentional discovery of genetic information that could jeopardize their military career.

CoverMyMeds about to grow to 1,500 jobs – as outgoing CEO Matt Scantland charts what comes next

CoverMyMeds will grow to 1,500 employees by the end of March, triple its headcount since McKesson acquired the medication prior authorization company three years ago.

Morning Headlines 12/24/19

December 23, 2019 Headlines No Comments

Electronic Health Records Creating A ‘New Era’ Of Health Care Fraud

Kaiser Health News covers fraud by hospitals and medical practices in receiving Meaningful Use payments, by vendors that overstated their MU compliance, and in false claims settlements by Greenway Health and EClinical Works, with experts concluding that the MU program was poorly conceived and that most of the money was handed out too early in the program when providers were paid for doing little beyond agreeing to participate.

Health documents reveal patient harm linked to Queensland’s new medical record system

In Australia, a TV news department’s Right to Information request finds that 95 cases of patient harm have been attributed to Queensland Health’s Cerner IEMR system in just over a year, with 45 incidents being caused by user error and 32 by poor usability.

Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and Evident Partner to Improve Patient Outcomes in Canada

CPSI’s Evident business unit and Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre announce plans to develop a Canada-specific hospital information system that will combine the health center’s Sunnycare system with the Evident EHR.

Besler acquires majority ownership in Panacea Healthcare Solutions Inc.

Reimbursement solutions vendor Besler acquires a majority ownership position in Panacea Healthcare Solutions, which offers physician revenue cycle services and technology. 

For Her Head Cold, Insurer Coughed Up $25,865

A woman’s insurer pays $26,000 for a PCP visit in which she received only a throat swab and blood test, with much of the expense being the exotic DNA tests – all of which were negative – the doctor sent off to an out-of-network lab whose price was 20 times higher than average in her area. The lab is apparently owned by the doctor. 

New FDA Commissioner Takes Over Predecessor’s Twitter, Deletes All Previous Tweets

New FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn, MD converts the @SGottliebFDA twitter account to @SteveFDA to keep his predecessor’s 44,000 followers for “maximum exposure,” but also deletes all of Gottlieb’s tweets and public comments, which some some experts say raises ethical concerns.

Morning Headlines 12/23/19

December 22, 2019 Headlines No Comments

Australians shun My Health Record with only 9 per cent ever logging in

Government health officials in Australia admit that while 23 million people have a My Health Record online health account, 91% of them have never logged in and most of those who did log in have not returned.

Abbott Labs kills free tool that lets you own the blood-sugar data from your glucose monitor, saying it violates copyright law

Drug maker Abbott Labs issues a takedown notice to a diabetes support group that told users how to extract their own blood sugar readings from the company’s continuous glucose monitor and monitor them on a free software tool.

New Software Targets ICU Delirium

Epic works with Vanderbilt University Medical Center (TN) to release workflows that prevent ICU delirium.

Morning Headlines 12/20/19

December 19, 2019 Headlines No Comments

NCPDP & Experian Health Announce 100% of the U.S. Population Has a Universal Patient Identifier, Powered by Experian Health UIM and NCPDP Standards™

Standards developer NCPDP and Experian Health announce that they have assigned a Universal Patient Identifier to all 328 million Americans.

Hospital execs say they are getting flooded with requests for your health data

Hospitals report that they are being inundated with requests to sell patient information to technology companies, many of them well-funded Silicon Valley startups that need to train their newly developed AI systems.

Mass General team detects Alzheimer’s early using electronic health records

Massachusetts General Hospital scientists say they can predict dementia by scanning their EHR data for a list of cognitive-related terms using natural language processing.

Morning Headlines 12/19/19

December 18, 2019 Headlines No Comments

Streamline Health(R) Announces Signing of Definitive Agreement to Sell Enterprise Content Management (ECM) Business to Hyland

RCM vendor Streamline Health will sell its enterprise content management business to Hyland.

Blue Button 2.0 API Update

CMS temporarily shuts down the Blue Button 2.0 system after a developer notifies the agency of a bug that may have improperly exposed Medicare beneficiary data.

NTT DATA Services to Acquire NETE, Expanding Digital Transformation Capabilities in the Federal Healthcare Sector

NTT Data Services will acquire 300-employee NETE, which provides digital services including analytics and cybersecurity to NIH, CMS, and HRSA.

LifeLabs users wise to worry about fraud, ID theft after mass data breach say experts

Canada’s largest laboratory testing company notifies patients of an October ransomware attack that compromised a server used for online appointment bookings.

Morning Headlines 12/18/19

December 17, 2019 Headlines No Comments

Announcing ICD-10-CM and RxNorm Ontology Linking for Amazon Comprehend Medical

Amazon Web Services adds ICD-10 and RXNorm linking to its Amazon Comprehend Medical natural language processing service.

Nashville executive lands head job at CMS innovation center

Aspire Health co-founder Brad Smith will become the new head of the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation.

Fujifilm to buy Hitachi’s diagnostic imaging business

Fujifilm will reportedly buy Hitachi’s diagnostic imaging business for $1.5 billion to improve its competitive position against Siemens, GE, and Philips.

Tidelands Health network impacted by malware attack

Computer systems of three-hospital Tidelands Health (SC) are apparently still down following a malware attack of an unspecified nature last Thursday.

1-800 Contacts Enters Agreement to Acquire Revolutionary Vision Start-Up 6over6 Vision

1-800 Contacts acquires 6over6 Vision, whose smartphone app allows consumers in certain non-US countries (including Canada) to perform their own eye exams.

Morning Headlines 12/17/19

December 16, 2019 Headlines No Comments

Bankrupt uBiome preliminarily sells patents for 1% of the poop-testing startup’s original valuation

Once valued at $600 million, bankrupt microbiome-testing startup UBiome auctions off its patents and intellectual property for $7 million to a consumer DNA testing company.

CMS Made an Estimated $93.6 Million in Incorrect Medicare Electronic Health Record Incentive Payments to Acute-Care Hospitals, or Less Than 1 Percent of $10.8 Billion in Total Incentive Payments

An OIG audit finds that, because of inaccurate hospital calculations, CMS paid out $93.6 million in incorrect Medicare EHR incentive payments to acute-care hospitals between 2013 and 2017.

Evaluating Improvements and Shortcomings in Clinician Satisfaction With Electronic Health Record Usability

A study of 70 EHR vendors with the most Meaningful Use attestations finds that physician satisfaction with EHRs is diminishing for nearly half of the products.

Morning Headlines 12/16/19

December 15, 2019 Headlines No Comments

NJ’s largest hospital system forced to pay ransom in cyber attack

Hackensack Meridian Health, New Jersey’s largest health system, admits that it has paid a ransomware hacker to regain access to its computer systems.

GV Backs Kindbody As The Company Expands Employer Benefits Offering

Fertility clinic and technology company Kindbody secures financing from the former Google Ventures, bringing its total funding to $32 million and enabling it to further scale its direct-to-employer service.

US health insurance firm Cigna is using AI to check if patients are taking their medications but experts fear the controversial scheme may be used to cancel policies or avoid paying out

Privacy experts are concerned that Cigna’s new AI-powered medication adherence monitoring program will be used for the benefit of the payer’s bottom line rather than improved patient care.

VirTrial Acquires SnapMD and Bolsters Virtual Care Management Platform

Virtual clinical trial company VirTrial acquires telehealth vendor SnapMD.

Morning Headlines 12/13/19

December 12, 2019 Headlines 1 Comment

Partners HealthCare Launches Digital Health Initiative

Partners HealthCare (MA) will spend $100 million on a five-year digital health initiative focused on developing self-service technologies for patients.

Senate confirms Trump’s nominee to lead FDA

The Senate confirms MD Anderson Chief Medical Executive Stephen Hahn, MD to lead the FDA.

Caresyntax to Acquire Operating Room Analytics Provider, Syus

Surgical automation and software vendor Caresyntax acquires OR analytics company Syus alongside a $45 million funding round.

BJC outsources IT services, cuts 200 jobs

BJC HealthCare (MO) lays off 200 employees as it outsources some IT services to an unnamed managed service provider.

NextGen Healthcare Announces Agreement to Acquire OTTO Health

NextGen acquires telemedicine vendor Otto Health.

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Reader Comments

  • Grant: "Because in 14 years of attending, I never once saw actual research, just a bunch of cherry-picked stats provided by a ...
  • Dr. Z: If you want to hear a physician's response to the CBS Epic Story, here it is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qoQs162Yw...
  • Kermit: Wow, that's some first class writing, Mr. H. Thanks for an entertaining morning read. The tips are pretty good too....
  • Woodstock Generation: Re: Give me some advice Absolutely this is a conflict of interest! Shame on the state health system hiring Vendor A...
  • HIT Girl: Holding HIMSS during what is normal flu season seems like a bad idea generally. Last year all but I think three of the p...
  • Silence Dogwood: When you read the original response, it seems logical and has practical advice, and is actually educational. Here's ano...
  • CancelHIMSS: If being stuck on a luxury boat or fancy hotel is bad, can you imagine the nightmare of being stuck in a HIMSS conferenc...
  • El Jefe: Re HIMSS and COVID-19. It’s sound judgement to cancel the dang thing. To suggest that it’s too late ... tell...
  • HIT Girl: Compassion and the human element absolutely exists on EMR development teams. I've been part of that environment, at mul...
  • Bill Grana: Thanks for this commentary and I am in complete agreement. I had a similar (but less complex) patient portal experience...

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