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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.

Morning Headlines 3/26/18

March 25, 2018 Headlines No Comments

Israel to launch Big Data health project

Israel will spend $287 million to make the health data of its 9 million citizens available to researchers and private companies for work on preventive medicine and personalized medicine projects.

Health IT groups happy with the omnibus

The federal government’s spending bill leaves ONC’s annual budget unchanged at $60 million – at least through September – instead of being reduced to $38 million as requested by the White House.

As Ascension restructures, it hints at smaller hospital footprint

Ascension Health (MO) President and CEO Anthony Tersigni tells 165,000 employees that the 151-hospital health system will embark on a “dual transformation” that will shift its focus from hospital services to more outpatient care and telemedicine.

CMS Deputy CIO to Replace HHS CISO Departing Amid Controversy

HHS CISO Chris Wlaschin announces his resignation, putting the Healthcare Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center on even more tenuous ground given the departure of its director and removal of its deputy CISO.

Morning Headlines 3/23/18

March 22, 2018 Headlines No Comments

HHS official who approved Tom Price’s flights resigns

John Bardis, the former MedAssets founder who as HHS assistant secretary of administration signed off on the charter flights of long-time friend HHS Secretary Tom Price, resigns effective April 6.

Finger Lakes Health: ‘Minimal patient impact’ from cyber attack

Finger Lakes Health (NY) is still recovering from a ransomware attack over the weekend that forced it to revert to paper-based processes and EHR backups.

The Yelping of the American Doctor

The threat of a negative patient Yelp review holds more sway with physicians than educational campaigns encouraging them to reduce unnecessary prescribing of antibiotics.

Morning Headlines 3/22/18

March 21, 2018 Headlines No Comments

Trump’s pick to lead CDC both celebrated and censured

HHS Secretary Alex Azar announces that HIV/AIDS researcher and 20-year US Army Medical Corps veteran Robert Redfield, MD will become director of the CDC.

Apple EHR Initiative to Expand API Use?

Apple’s EHR initiative takes root as Cerner announces plans to expand its pilot of the Health Records app from four customer sites to nine, and Athenahealth lobbies for a consumer-friendly appointment calendar interface.

Wyoming Department of Health to improve clinical record sharing

The Wyoming Dept. of Health will partner with Medicity to launch a statewide HIE that it hopes to eventually connect to neighboring HIEs in Colorado and South Dakota.

Morning Headlines 3/21/18

March 20, 2018 Headlines No Comments

VA Open Application Programming Interface Pledge Gains Momentum to Shape a New Direction for Health Care

UPMC Chief Innovation Officer Rasu Shrestha, MD, MBA will lead the VA’s API project that was announced at HIMSS18.

Intermountain Healthcare employees brace for more job cuts as Utah’s largest employer readies to ‘adapt or die’

Intermountain Healthcare employees prepare for another round of layoffs as the Utah-based health system continues cost-cutting efforts to remain competitive with disruptors to the healthcare field like Amazon and Google.

VA-Cerner numbers skyrocket

The VA’s Cerner project will cost $16 billion instead of the previously hinted $10 billion, according to comments made in a House Appropriations Committee by Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-FL).

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