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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).

Morning Headlines 3/19/18

March 18, 2018 Headlines No Comments

Technical glitch and market turmoil overshadow Healthineers IPO

Siemens AG raises $5.2 billion in its Healthineers IPO despite technical glitches that delayed the start of business.

Giving patients control of their health information will help give patients control of their health

CMS Administrator Seema Verma and presidential advisor Jared Kushner reiterate the Trump administration’s commitment to the MyHealthEData initiative.

Amazon is hiring a former FDA official to work on its secretive health tech business

Amazon hires the FDA’s first chief health informatics officer, Taha Kass-Hout (Trinity Health), to head up healthcare project business development on its Grand Challenge team.

Morning Headlines 3/16/18

March 15, 2018 Headlines No Comments

Mediware Announces New Headquarters In Overland Park

Mediware Information Systems will build a 66,000 square-foot global headquarters in Overland Park, KS that it expects to open in mid-2019.

UnitedHealth Group Announces Leadership Actions

Sir Andrew Witty (GlaxoSmithKline) will join Optum as CEO, replacing Larry Renfro, who will become a managing partner of Optum Ventures and its new $100 million fund.

Mount Sinai Announces Appointment of Joel Dudley, PhD, as Executive Vice President for Precision Health

Mount Sinai Health System (NY) taps Icahn School of Medicine Associate Professor Joel Dudley to lead its new Precision Health Enterprise, which will focus on external partnerships with technology companies as part of its strategy to develop personalized therapies for patients.

Morning Headlines 3/15/18

March 14, 2018 Headlines 9 Comments

Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes is not allowed to lead a public company for a decade

Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes will pay the SEC $500,000 to settle charges that she fraudulently raised over $700 million. She will also be banned from directing a public company for the next decade.

Software snarl riles patients of Danbury network doctors and hospitals

Danbury Hospital (CT) patients express frustration with scheduling and procedure delays resulting from a system-wide Cerner implementation earlier this month at Western Connecticut Health Network.

Springfield agencies will soon get software to better connect and serve

Community Partnership of the Ozarks in Springfield, IL prepares to launch a Mediware software project that will eventually connect 16 healthcare and social services organizations across the region.

Morning Headlines 3/14/18

March 13, 2018 Headlines No Comments

Electronic Health Record? Comprehensive Health Record? Connected Health Record!

A blog post from UCSF’s Center for Digital Health Innovation takes exception to Epic’s claim that it offers a “comprehensive health record,” pointing out that no EHR can be comprehensive since important information is also generated by numerous entities and sourced from non-clinical settings.

Cognizant Gobbles Up Another US Healthcare IT Services Provider

Cognizant will acquire Louisville, KY-based RCM services vendor Bolder Healthcare Solutions.

Presidential Order Regarding the Proposed Takeover of Qualcomm Incorporated by Broadcom Limited

The White House puts a stop to Broadcom’s hostile takeover of Qualcomm, meaning that medical device information systems and integration vendor Capsule Tech will remain a Qualcomm subsidiary.

Epic won’t challenge Cerner Contract

Epic’s Judy Faulkner says the company won’t challenge the VA’s single-source Cerner contract choice, but she estimates that Epic would have charged at least $3 billion less than Cerner and would have offered more interoperability with providers outside of the VA system.

Morning Headlines 3/13/18

March 12, 2018 Headlines 10 Comments

Mercy Health launches new department

Mercy Health (OH) hires former Angel MedFlight Worldwide Air Ambulance Services CEO Jason Siegert to head up its new analytics department, which will bring together business intelligence, and quality and population health analysis to better evaluate data.

Lake Mary firm to close, lay off employees

Greenway Health announces it will close its Lake Mary, FL and Birmingham, AL offices as it continues to consolidate operations at its headquarters in Tampa, FL.

Intermountain Healthcare Launches New Company, Expanding Access to Proven Mental Health Integration Approach

Intermountain Healthcare (UT) spins off Alluceo, a new company that will help providers apply technology to the integration of primary and behavioral healthcare.

Losing Software Bidder Charges University of Illinois is About to Make a $100M Mistake

After making a stink about the amount of money Illinois tax payers will have to pay if the University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System moves forward with its Epic contract, Cerner convinces the Illinois Procurement Policy Board to convene all parties to explain their bids and the procurement process.

Morning Headlines 3/12/18

March 11, 2018 Headlines No Comments

Minneapolis-based Ability Network sells to Inovalon for $1.2 billion

Analytics vendor Inovalon will acquire competitor Ability Network for $1.2 billion, doubling the 2015 investment of the latter’s private equity owners.

Nuance lands a major partner in the health care sector

Epic will integrate Nuance’s AI-powered virtual assistants into its Haiku, Rover, and Cadence software.

Cerner Investment Community Meeting HIMSS Las Vegas -2018

Cerner reps announce during a HIMSS investment presentation that the VA will go live in 48 waves that will begin in Q4 2019 with pilot sites and then run through 2027, while DoD go-lives beyond the pilot sites will start this fall and go live in 23 waves.

Morning Headlines 3/2/18

March 1, 2018 Headlines No Comments

Healthcare Consulting and Services 2018: Which Firms Deliver a True Partnering Experience?

A new KLAS report that asked providers to rate consulting firms they’ve worked with finds that Nordic and Deloitte were most often perceived as true partners, while Advisory Board was by far the firm providers would not use again because of disappointing outcomes and use of inexperienced consultants.

The SSI Group Announces Acquisition of ICA

The SSI Group acquires Informatics Corporation of America and its CareAlign clinical data aggregation and exchange platform.

Uber, but for Getting to the Hospital

Uber stirs up the healthcare hype with the launch of a HIPAA-compliant service that will enable providers to arrange rides for patients to and from appointments.

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