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Morning Headlines 5/24/18

May 23, 2018 Headlines No Comments

Senate Passes $55 Billion Veterans Affairs Reform Bill

As the VA preps to overhaul its medical records system, the Senate passes the VA Mission Act, a $55 billion bill that will give vets more leeway to see private-sector providers, expands family caregiver stipends, and mandates a review of aging facilities. President Trump is expected to sign the bill soon.

A New Challenge Competition – Can you Help Make EHR Safety Reporting Easy

ONC announces an $80,000 contest to entice developers to create apps that will help users identify, record, and report potential health IT safety issues in real time.

DAS Health Secures $6 Million to Accelerate Company Acquisition Strategy

After purchasing a string of companies over the last three years, health IT reseller and consulting company DAS Health raises $6 million to continue its buying spree.

Morning Headlines 5/23/18

May 22, 2018 Headlines 1 Comment

New Cancer Treatments Lie Hidden Under Mountains of Paperwork

A New York Times article says that hospital EHRs are a “medical records mess” that impede research efforts because of incompatible data formats and the reluctance of health systems to share their patient data.

Bruce Greenstein departs HHS CTO role

HHS CTO Bruce Greenstein joins home health provider LHC Group as chief innovation and technology officer.

House Passes Bill to Keep Tabs on VA’s Health Records Modernization

The House passes a bill that would require the VA to provide Congress with regular updates on its Cerner project and to notify lawmakers promptly if it experiences contract or schedule changes, milestone delays, bid protests, or data breaches.

Routine DNA Screening Moves Into Primary Care

Geisinger Health System (PA) will begin offering DNA sequencing to patients, after which results will be sent to their primary care physician for one-on-one counseling and incorporated into their EHR.

Morning Headlines 5/22/18

May 21, 2018 Headlines 3 Comments

Epic Systems gets a win in U.S. Supreme Court decision limiting workers’ ability to sue employers

After reviewing the employee arbitration cases of Epic and two other companies, the US Supreme Court declares that companies do have a right to mandate that employees sign agreements preventing them from taking workplace grievances to courts of law.

Iora Health Raises $100 Million in Series E Financing

Primary care company Iora Health raises $100 million, which it plans to use to further develop its proprietary care coordination technology.

Janus Henderson Reports 11.9 Percent Stake In athenahealth

Janus Henderson Group, Athenahealth’s largest shareholder, urges the company to initiate a formal sale process.

Theresa May: Artificial intelligence will prevent 22,000 cancer deaths a year by 2033

British Prime Minister Theresa May outlines the government’s industrial strategy, which includes significant investments in healthcare-focused AI and analytics to help catch cancer diagnoses earlier.

Morning Headlines 5/21/18

May 20, 2018 Headlines 9 Comments

Cerner chief: VA contract taught him about ‘fake news’ that may involve a competitor

Cerner President Zane Burke blames an unnamed competitor (presumably Epic) for publicizing negative reports about the DoD’s MHS Genesis project, labeling the resulting coverage as “fake news” in Friday’s annual shareholder meeting.

TransUnion Expands Healthcare Solutions with Agreement to Acquire Healthcare Payment Specialists

TransUnion will acquire Fort Worth-based Healthcare Payment Specialists, which offers solutions for hospital Medicare reimbursement.

President Trump announces he will nominate Robert Wilkie as next VA secretary

President Trump will nominate acting VA Secretary Robert Wilkie to the permanent position.

Sponsors vie for Cardinal Health’s naviHealth

Cardinal Health hires Allen & Co. to provide financial advice on the potential sale of NaviHealth, a post-acute care services and analytics vendor it acquired in 2015 for $290 million.

Morning Headlines 5/18/18

May 17, 2018 Headlines No Comments

Statement by Acting Secretary Robert Wilkie – VA signs contract with Cerner for an electronic health record system

Acting VA Secretary Robert Wilkie signs a 10-year, $10 billion contract with Cerner, saying its system will allow patient data to be “seamlessly shared between VA, DoD, and community providers.”

Report: Long waits for health care, outdated technology at Vaughn prison

An assessment of the healthcare services at Delaware-based Vaughn Correctional Center (where inmates last year led a deadly uprising) produces a long list of EHR-related problems, including poor connectivity, inefficient workflows, and numerous workarounds.

FDA reports quality problems for data provided by the firm IQVIA that were used to inform estimates for some controlled substances

FDA says data vendor IQvia has for years provided it with incorrect national opioid dispensing data, as calculation errors “raise serious concerns about systemic issues with IQvia’s data and quality control procedures.”

Morning Headlines 5/17/18

May 16, 2018 Headlines No Comments

Jury Convicts Texas Man of $19 Million Fraud Scheme

A federal jury convicts Suresh Mitta and several co-conspirators for their roles in Cerner impersonation schemes that included selling a fake MRI machine to Dallas Medical Center for $1 million.

The Bezos-Buffett-Dimon joint venture to save health care is struggling to find a CEO

The search for a CEO to lead the proposed joint healthcare venture of Amazon, Berkshire Hathway, and JPMorgan stalls as the companies change their recruiting tactics to focus on someone with entrepreneurial experience.

LifeBridge Health and LifeBridge Potomac Professionals Notify Patients of a Recent Security Incident

LifeBridge Health (MD) notifies patients of a September 2016 malware attack on its registration and billing systems, and the EHR used by its Potomac Professionals group.

Democrats call for firing of VA’s top technology official

A group of Democrats call for the ouster of acting VA CIO Camilo Sandoval as part of an overall outcry about the lack of effective leadership (and staff) that they believe has led to agency waffling on whether or not to move forward with the Cerner EHR contract.

Morning Headlines 5/16/18

May 15, 2018 Headlines 2 Comments

Sutter Health experiencing systemwide communications failure

Sutter Health confirms that some of its electronic systems remain down from an unstated problem that started late Monday. Sutter’s Epic system in at least some of its facilities as well as its public website are offline.

Medical Records: Fees and Challenges Associated with Patients’ Access

A GAO investigation commissioned under the 21st Century Cures Act finds that patients are sometimes charged more than HIPAA allows for copies of their medical record.

Pentagon’s EHR Setbacks ‘Don’t Bode Well’ for Potential Veterans Affairs Rollout

Former VA CIO Roger Baker comments on the military’s report that called out extensive problems with its MHS Genesis pilot sites, ultimately pointing out that the VA has gone too far down the Cerner path to reconsider despite the DoD’s report.

Morning Headlines 5/15/18

May 14, 2018 Headlines No Comments

Elliott Management Releases Letter to the Board of athenahealth

In a letter to Athenahealth’s Board of Directors, Elliott Management urges the company to engage in acquisition talks after hearing nothing since issuing a takeover offer of over $6 billion last week.

Qventus Closes $30 Million in Series B Financing To Increase Efficiency of U.S. Health Systems

Real-time decision management IT vendor Qventus raises $30 million in a Series B round led by Bessemer Venture Partners.

Black Book’s Annual Cybersecurity Survey Reveals Healthcare Enterprises Are Not Maturing Fast Enough, Processes Continue Underfunded and Understaffed

Amidst static or shrinking budgets, health security professionals profess to making somewhat hasty cybersecurity purchasing decisions that lacked appropriate due diligence and buy-in from end users.

Morning Headlines 5/14/18

May 13, 2018 Headlines 1 Comment

Military Healthcare System (MHS) GENESIS Initial Operational Test and Evaluation (IOT&E) Report

A newly declassified April 30 Department of Defense evaluation of the military’s four MHS Genesis pilot sites concludes that the system “is neither operationally effective or operationally suitable” and says it is inadequate for managing and documenting care delivery.

Cumberland Consulting Group Expands Managed Services Practice with LinkEHR Acquisition

Cumberland Consulting Group acquires EHR-focused managed services firm LinkEHR, expanding its consulting and services offerings into Epic-focused help desk, application break-fix, maintenance, physician concierge support, and build / optimization.

Early investor doubles down on support for Elizabeth Holmes and Theranos: ‘She did a great job’

Venture capitalist and early Theranos investor Tim Draper says founder and CEO Elizabeth Holmes was “bullied into submission,” adding that he is “thrilled at what she has done” despite SEC charges that the company was a massive fraud from the beginning.

Morning Headlines 5/11/18

May 10, 2018 Headlines 1 Comment

Hearing to Review the FY2019 Budget Request for the U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs

VA CFO Jon Rychalski tells the Senate Appropriations Committee in a Wednesday budget hearing that the agency will decide if it wants to move forward with a Cerner contract by May 28.

EHealth Exchange to Become Carequality Implementer

The Sequoia Project will divide its corporate structure into two subsidiaries – Carequality and EHealth Exchange – this summer.

Contract Nurses, Mayo Clinic Divided on Success of Epic Training

A local TV station receives several complaints from temporary nurses who were hired by contractor HCI to help with Mayo Clinic’s Epic implementation.

Amazon is building a ‘health & wellness’ team within Alexa as it aims to upend health care

Amazon develops a team to make Alexa more relevant in the healthcare space, as well as to ensure future applications are HIPAA-compliant.

Morning Headlines 5/10/18

May 9, 2018 Headlines No Comments

Tencent’s WeDoctor raises $500 million, values firm at $5.5 billion pre-IPO

In China, diagnosis and appointment booking app company WeDoctor raises $500 million in a round led by AIA Company Ltd. Its $5.5 billion pre-IPO valuation puts it ahead of competitor Ping An, whose recent IPO peaked at $1.1 billion before shares started to tumble.

A few days after Epic Systems roll-out, everything going as planned

Mayo Clinic’s Epic roll out in Rochester, which kicked off Saturday, is going according to plan, perhaps “a little better than expected,” according to implementation co-chair Steve Peters, MD.

Innovaccer Raises $25 Million Series B to Build Healthcare’s Leading Data Platform and Drive $1 Billion in Healthcare Savings

Analytics vendor Innovaccer secures $25 million in a funding round that brings its total raised to $41 million.

Morning Headlines 5/9/18

May 8, 2018 Headlines No Comments

Former Medicare chief Andy Slavitt formally launches Town Hall Ventures to invest in healthcare

Former CMS Administrator Andy Slavitt launches Town Hall Ventures to invest in health IT companies focused on serving Medicaid and Medicare populations.

The CEO of a health startup backed by Eric Schmidt and top VCs has been fired amid allegations he intimidated employees

HealthTap’s Board of Directors ousts CEO Ron Gutman after looking into high turnover rates and concerning reports about his abusive conduct.

Protection of Patient Health Information at Navy and Air Force Military Treatment Facilities

The DoD’s Office of the Inspector General finds glaring disregard for data security across 17 information systems at a handful of Air Force and Navy healthcare facilities.

Walmart and Sam’s Club to restrict opioid fill limit up to seven days nationwide; require e-prescriptions for opioids by 2020

In order to cut down on fraud and abuse, Walmart will require that all opioid prescriptions be filed electronically with its pharmacies by 2020.

Morning Headlines 5/8/18

May 7, 2018 Headlines 5 Comments

Paul Singer’s Elliott makes all-cash offer for Athenahealth of $160 a share

Elliott Management makes an all-cash offer of $160 per share for Athenahealth, putting the transaction’s total value at more than $6 billion.

MTBC Signs Acquisition Agreement that could Increase Revenues by at least 50%

MTBC will acquire the practice management, revenue cycle, and group purchasing organization assets of Houston-based Orion Healthcorp and its 13 affiliates.

How to Lose $700 Million, Theranos-Style

Wall Street Journal Theranos investigator John Carreyrou uncovers a list of high-profile investors who helped Theranos secure over $700 million in funding.

Morning Headlines 5/7/18

May 6, 2018 Headlines No Comments

Mayo Clinic launches massive medical records overhaul

Mayo Clinic goes live on Epic at its Rochester, MN campus as part of a $1.5 billion system-wide software overhaul that will bring all of its facilities onto a single platform.

Buffett targets CEO for Berkshire-Amazon-JPMorgan healthcare venture soon

Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett reiterates his commitment to the healthcare improvement project his company is launching with JPMorgan and Amazon, emphasizing that a CEO will be in place within the next two months.

Trump May Pick 40-Year VA Insider To Run Veterans Health Administration

DisabledVeterans.org suggests that President Trump will meet with National Association of Veterans Affairs Physicians and Dentists President Samuel Spagnolo, MD to discuss his potential nomination for VA Secretary.

Morning Headlines 5/4/18

May 3, 2018 Headlines No Comments

Allscripts to significantly expand FollowMyHealth® patient engagement platform portfolio with new, advanced capabilities through acquisition of HealthGrid

Allscripts will acquire patient engagement and CRM company HealthGrid for $60 million.

Up to 270 women may have died after breast cancer screening IT error

NHS Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt says a 2009 algorithm error likely contributed to 450,000 women missing breast cancer screenings over an eight-year period, resulting in the deaths of between 135 and 270.

Health Catalyst Acquires Medicity

Data analytics vendor Health Catalyst acquires HIE vendor Medicity – both based in Salt Lake City – for an undisclosed price.

Morning Headlines 5/3/18

May 2, 2018 Headlines No Comments

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Launches Health Technology Exploration Center

Beth Israel Deaconess taps CIO John Halamka, MD to lead its new Health Technology Exploration Center, which will explore the role of emerging technologies like blockchain and IoT in healthcare delivery.

Cerner Reports First Quarter 2018 Results

Cerner shares drop after the company reports lower than forecasted Q1 revenue of $1.29 billion.

Nokia is selling its smart watch and digital health business

After acquiring Withings in 2016 to build out its digital health business, Nokia plans to sell the business to Withings co-founder and former chairman Éric Carreel.

Morning Headlines 5/2/18

May 1, 2018 Headlines No Comments

Health2047 Inc. Secures $27.2M Investment From the American Medical Association to Fuel Business Momentum

AMA invests $27 million in the Health2074 technology company it founded in 2016 with a $15 million investment.

EXL deepens investment in Healthcare and Analytics by signing a definitive agreement to acquire payment integrity and population risk management company SCIOInspire Holdings, Inc.

Operations management and analytics company EXL will acquire SCIO Health Analytics for $240 million.

Jackson Won’t Return As Trump’s Personal Physician, Report Says

White House officials conclude that several of the allegations made against President Trump’s former personal physician and VA Secretary nominee Ronny Jackson, MD released last week by Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) are not true.

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Reader Comments

  • GenesRFree: Your first sentence points out the problem, "a piece on CNN". Turn that fake news off!!...
  • Frank Poggio: I would file these announcements under...Almost fake news....
  • ErinsDad: Unfortunately, money frequently follows the hype, before the reality sets-in... "Please be advised that on September 12,...
  • Weather Man: The terms “winter weather, “winter weather,” “winter weather advisory, and “winter storm warning,” are defin...
  • Mr. HIStalk: Thanks! You provided my "today I learned" item for the day, and one I will surely remember. I had no idea that meteorolo...
  • Ex-Epic: Semi-angry rant... I was disappointed it ended as soon as it did. The LOINC codes are ridiculous. It's all there ready...
  • THB: It IS a winter storm ... meteorological winter is defined by "weather folks" as the three coldest months of the year ......
  • Robert Lafsky: Semi-angry rant but a good one...
  • Renee Broadbent: The issue regarding interoperability will never be fully solved by creating more regulations and layering on all sorts o...
  • Vaporware?: Charlie & 'Answer' ... No answer is coming. Cerner's "vision" was invented to make the sale. CommonWell was invented...

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