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Monday Morning Update 8/2/21

August 1, 2021 News 2 Comments

Top News

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Cerner announces Q2 results: revenue up 10%, adjusted EPS $0.80 versus $0.63, exceeding analyst expectations for both. 

From the earnings call:

  • The company is increasing its earnings outlook for the year.
  • DoD is live at 42 commands and 663 locations with 41,000 activated users. The Coast Guard’s deployment will be completed this year.
  • Cerner says the results of the VA’s strategic review focused on governance, training, and readiness rather than Cerner-caused problems, consistent with the findings of an internal assessment that Cerner conducted earlier this year. It also notes that the DoD’s initial go-live resulted in similar required work in the 12 months following.
  • The search for a CEO replacement for Brent Shafer continues and “has been very active.”
  • The company continues to look for acquisitions that enhance Cerner’s competitive position, exceeds its cost of capital, is accretive over time, and creates shareholder value. Areas being considered cybersecurity, technology to support provider networks operating in both fee-for-service and fee-for value arrangements, and data.
  • Cerner will continue selling unneeded office space that represents half of its owned property.
  • The company laid off 500 employees in the quarter and eliminated 300 open positions, which will deliver $70 million in annualized savings.
  • Asked by an analyst about Amazon’s HealthLake announcement, Travis Dalton said, “There’s a long history of big cap entry and big cap exit from healthcare. There’s an inherent complexity at the intersection of healthcare and IT. I see market interest in areas that we’re focused on is very validating of the growth opportunity that exists.” He added that healthcare data is dirty and requires normalization around Master Data Management.
  • Cerner expects to have 80 provider organizations selling data to life sciences via its Learning Health Network by the end of the year.

Reader Comments

From Ephraim: “Re: news items. How many readers click to the announcement or story you link to?” I don’t track those clicks, but I will say that if I’ve done my job well in summarizing the news item, most readers won’t need to click over. I only run items that I consider newsworthy (which excludes probably 95% of industry PR), so I expect that many readers get the gist (the company, the person, or whatever the item relates to) without actually clicking anything. My experience with Twitter is similar – most people skim the tweet but don’t click to learn more.

From Yes Sars: “Re: COVID-19. Time to start up your COVID-19 news section again?” Maybe, if readers want me to. I thought pandemic doom scrolling was behind us given availability of an effective, safe, and free vaccine, but here we are again with overcrowded hospitals.


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

Jenn put together our HIMSS21 guide (PDF version), which includes the participation information of those of my sponsors that submitted it.

I’ve heard from maybe three tiny companies that they have decided to join Medicomp and Olive in cancelling their HIMSS21 exhibitor plans. The exhibitor count has dropped by only three in the past few days, although that might be questionably useful information unless those companies notify HIMSS and they are removed from the exhibitor list quickly. I will play Las Vegas bookmaker and place the odds at 70% that the conference will go on and will increase those odds to 95% if HIMSS doesn’t cancel it Monday. Not much else could go wrong unless Las Vegas cracks down in ways that would be hard to fathom given its historical focus on protecting tourism revenue. I assume HIMSS won’t refund attendee registration fees under any circumstances since they cover both the in-person and virtual version and the latter allows checking the box as delivered, but exhibitor fees that also include rolled-over HIMSS20 credits would be hit hard if the exhibit hall is cancelled. I would cancel my own attendance except I think readers have a strong interest in living it vicariously. 

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It’s a fairly even poll respondent split of who is most responsible for the VA’s Cerner rollout issues. My take: nearly all of the misfires were by the VA, which has a long history of struggling to successfully complete projects, but perhaps compounding the issue is Cerner acting as its own prime contractor. The question is whether Cerner told the VA about the training, infrastructure, budgeting, and support issues and nothing was done, or if Cerner drew a box around what it considered as its responsibility and let VA worry about the rest. Epic’s implementation approach would have put problems front and center, but that doesn’t mean that VA would be as obedient to fix them compared to a health system with hundreds of millions of dollars on the line. DoD seems to be doing pretty well with its Cerner rollouts and using Cerner’s services successfully, or at least we aren’t hearing as much about any problems.

New poll to your right or here: Would you as a patient be OK with having contact with a masked health system employee who hasn’t received COVID-19 vaccine?


Webinars

On-Demand Webinars:

Key Differences: Value Based Care vs. Fee-For-Service.” Part 1 of a three-part series. Sponsor: Net Health. Presenters: Bill Winkenwerder, MD, chairman, CitiusTech; Josh Pickus, CEO, Net Health. Dr. Bill Winkenwerder, former assistant secretary of defense for health affairs for the US Department of Defense, shares his unique perspective on the future of value-based care (VBC) systems in the public sector and how VBC differs from fee-for-service models in the private sector. This Part 1 webinar covers which aspects of the fee-for-service health system payment model look the most different compared to fully value-based systems (clinical, back-office, analytics, etc.)

Current Innovation and Development in Value-Based Care.” Part 2 of a three-part series. Sponsor: Net Health. Presenters: Bill Winkenwerder, MD, chairman, CitiusTech; Josh Pickus, CEO, Net Health. Dr. Bill Winkenwerder, former assistant secretary of defense for health affairs for the US Department of Defense, shares his unique perspective on the future of value-based care (VBC) systems in the public sector and how VBC differs from fee-for-service models in the private sector. This Part 2 webinar discusses what health systems should know about the transition to value-based care, including macro versus micro shifts.

Future of Value-Based Care: Predictive Analytics, Technology, Policy.” Part 3 of a three-part series. Sponsor: Net Health. Presenters: Bill Winkenwerder, MD, chairman, CitiusTech; Josh Pickus, CEO, Net Health. Dr. Bill Winkenwerder, former assistant secretary of defense for health affairs for the US Department of Defense, shares his unique perspective on the future of value-based care (VBC) systems in the public sector and how VBC differs from fee-for-service models in the private sector. This Part 3 webinar discusses the role analytics will play in the shift to value-based care and how financial and clinical ROIs for analytics-oriented products must differ when applied to FFS and VBC models.

Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre to present your own.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

WellSky will acquire Healthify, which connects providers with community-based social services organizations to address social determinants of health of patients. Terms were not disclosed. Healthify had raised $26 million, including $16 million in a Series B round in November 2019.

Handheld ultrasound and medical imaging vendor Exo raises $220 million in Series C funding.

A newspaper in Ireland says that Amwell paid $250 million for Ireland-based SilverCloud Health and $70 million for Conversa Health in the combined acquisition that was announced only at a total of $320 million. The companies had raised $26 million and $34 million respectively and have $15 million in combined annual revenue, meaning Amwell paid 21 times revenue.

Vocera announces Q2 results: revenue up 19%, adjusted EPS $0.15 versus $0.08, beating Wall Street expectations for both. From the earnings call: the company had six sales of more than $1 million in the quarter and follows its largest sale ever to Providence  in Q1. VCRA shares are up 36% in the past 12 months, valuing the company at $1.4 billion.

Spok announces Q2 results: revenue flat, EPS –$0.04 versus $0.20.


Sales

  • Health and Social Care Northern Ireland will implement First Databank’s Multilex to provide e-prescribing decision support within Epic.

People

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Guthrie promotes Terri Counts, MHA, RN to SVP/CIO.


Other

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MIT Technology Review notes that AI tools that were supposed to help hospitals diagnose or triage COVID-19 patients didn’t accomplish anything, though a few turned out to be harmful. Significant problems included the use of quickly published and low quality data, researchers using data whose provenance wasn’t considered, and showing falsely accurate results by testing systems on the same data they were trained on. One system was trained on chest scans that the researcher didn’t know were limited to children, and instead of the system learning to recognize COVID versus non-COVID patients, it simply learned to recognize that the image was that of a child. Another issue is that researchers can’t make a name for themselves by validating or improving existing models, so they create new models that incorporate all the mistakes that were made by previous researchers.

Epic will require all of its US-based employees to be fully vaccinated by October 1. The company says that nearly 97% of its Verona-based staff already meet that requirement. Epic will require masks for meetings if the room occupancy is 75% or more or if any attendee voices a preference that masks be worn.

Ozarks Healthcare (MO) posts a video of CMIO Priscilla Frase, MD describing how some patients are wearing disguises and pleading anonymity when coming in for COVID-19 vaccine over concerns about the negative reaction of their friends, family, and co-workers.


Sponsor Updates

  • The AI in Action Podcast features OptimizeRx VP of Data and Products Adam Almozlino.
  • Spok announces that all 20 adult hospitals and all 10 children’s hospitals named to US News & World Report’s 2021-22 Best Hospitals Honor Roll use Spok’s secure healthcare communication solutions.
  • Health Catalyst CFO Bryan Hunt will present during the Canaccord Genuity Growth Stock Conference August 11.
  • CareSignal is included in a CHCF case study of engagement results at Axis Community Health.

Blog Posts


Contacts

Mr. H, Lorre, Jenn, Dr. Jayne.
Get HIStalk updates.
Send news or rumors.
Contact us.

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News 7/30/21

July 29, 2021 News 8 Comments

Top News

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HIMSS will require HIMSS21 attendees and exhibitors to wear masks on the conference campus. This decision follows publication of new CDC guidelines and state and local emergency orders.

HIMSS says that 18,000 people have registered for the in-person and virtual versions of HIMSS21. HIMSS19 had 43,000 registrants.

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Clark County’s test positivity rate is at 15.5%. County hospitalizations are at 1,000 versus early January’s all-time high of around 1,400.

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Medicomp cancelled its HIMSS21 participation Thursday afternoon, the first company that has told me directly that deteriorating COVID conditions convinced them to stay home.


Reader Comments

From Oliver Twist: “Re: HIMSS21. It’s time to do the right thing and cancel. As much as I want it to happen, it would be the wrong decision, and the only reason to proceed is financial. If public health is not a HIMSS priority, what is? Just don’t wait until next week and add to the hardship.” I’m waiting until the weekend to see if HIMSS cancels the event (a couple of companies have told me they’re doing the same). If they don’t cancel, I’m probably 60% likely to attend, down from 100% a few days ago, but that number is declining as I weigh the ever-worsening risk versus reward as evidenced by new studies regarding Delta variant breakthrough infections, the possibility of tapering vaccine protection, and the potential of developing long COVID from a mild breakthrough infection. Plus HIMSS22 is just 227 days away and should be the first non-asterisked HIMSS conference since 2019. I have $895 invested in rolled-over HIMSS20 registration fees, a few hundred dollars in a flight that probably isn’t refundable, and $1,000 for the OnPeak-booked hotel that appears to be refundable minus one night. I feel sorry for HIMSS, which weathered the financial hit and no-refund fallout of HIMSS20, only to see the pre-Christmas joy of cheering on the Pfizer trucks that were delivering the miracle of science dashed by the reality that a lot of people are indifferent or hostile to science.

From HIMSS Fail: “Re: HIMSS21. Disappointed that HIMSS isn’t offering the Nursing Informatics Symposium virtually. My registration fees for last year were transferred to this year, but as a healthcare professional, I don’t think it’s responsible given the rise in the Delta variant to travel to Las Vegas and be exposed to crowds of people. HIMSS has had a year to figure out how to host a virtual an in-person conference. So I’ve lost my registration fees and perhaps in the future HIMSS will lose my membership fees.”

From MyAlias: “Re: HIMSS21. Word is that vendors and health systems are pulling out. Are you hearing the same?” No, but companies wouldn’t necessarily tell me. Last year’s pullout was evidenced by diminishing numbers on the frequently updated HIMSS20 exhibitor list, which I haven’t seen with the HIMSS21 list. It could be that the exhibitor list isn’t being updated the same way, and regardless we wouldn’t easily know how many provider organizations have banned travel to Las Vegas. Let me know if your employer has cancelled your planned attendance.

From Calico: “Re: HIMSS21. Is the exhibitor count apples to apples with that of previous years? Half the usual number doesn’t seem like a bad turnout.” That includes a bunch of first-time exhibitors and 125 or so companies that booked a meeting room (either instead of or along with a regular booth). I see 410 occupied booths in Sands Expo of 200 square feet or larger, so that leaves maybe 285 good-sized booths that aren’t in MP. Jump to 400 square feet – still pretty modest – and you’re down to about 65 companies. I haven’t run the lists to see which of the usual suspects won’t be exhibiting.

From Rashaverak: “Re: Epic. Accused of paying health systems exorbitant amounts to use its ~20 often inaccurate predictive diagnosis models. Epic says it doesn’t do marketing, but it appears its practices are no different than any other software vendor.” Stat News says unidentified employees of several health systems told its reporters that Epic’s sepsis prediction model is unreliable, but Epic pays hospitals incentives for using them in its voluntary Epic Honor Roll programs.


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

Listening: the reader-recommended new album from Blue Oyster Cult. It sounds good, in a snarly biker kind of way, for band whose remaining original members are 76 (Eric Bloom) and 73 (Buck Dharma). The video includes some self-parody when BOC’s original drummer Albert Bouchard pops in to provide “more cowbell.” There’s also a Spinal Tap reference.


Webinars

On-Demand Webinars:

Key Differences: Value Based Care vs. Fee-For-Service.” Part 1 of a three-part series. Sponsor: Net Health. Presenters: Bill Winkenwerder, MD, chairman, CitiusTech; Josh Pickus, CEO, Net Health. Dr. Bill Winkenwerder, former assistant secretary of defense for health affairs for the US Department of Defense, shares his unique perspective on the future of value-based care (VBC) systems in the public sector and how VBC differs from fee-for-service models in the private sector. This Part 1 webinar covers which aspects of the fee-for-service health system payment model look the most different compared to fully value-based systems (clinical, back-office, analytics, etc.)

Current Innovation and Development in Value-Based Care.” Part 2 of a three-part series. Sponsor: Net Health. Presenters: Bill Winkenwerder, MD, chairman, CitiusTech; Josh Pickus, CEO, Net Health. Dr. Bill Winkenwerder, former assistant secretary of defense for health affairs for the US Department of Defense, shares his unique perspective on the future of value-based care (VBC) systems in the public sector and how VBC differs from fee-for-service models in the private sector. This Part 2 webinar discusses what health systems should know about the transition to value-based care, including macro versus micro shifts.

Future of Value-Based Care: Predictive Analytics, Technology, Policy.” Part 3 of a three-part series. Sponsor: Net Health. Presenters: Bill Winkenwerder, MD, chairman, CitiusTech; Josh Pickus, CEO, Net Health. Dr. Bill Winkenwerder, former assistant secretary of defense for health affairs for the US Department of Defense, shares his unique perspective on the future of value-based care (VBC) systems in the public sector and how VBC differs from fee-for-service models in the private sector. This Part 3 webinar discusses the role analytics will play in the shift to value-based care and how financial and clinical ROIs for analytics-oriented products must differ when applied to FFS and VBC models.

Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre to present your own.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

Cerner will announce Q2 earnings Friday morning at 9:00 ET, which will be a much-followed event given its CEO search and takeover speculation. UPDATE: Cerner reports that revenue was up 10%, adjusted EPS $0.80 versus $0.63, beating analyst expectations for both.   

Telehealth provider Amwell will acquire digital mental health platform vendor SilverCloud Health and text-based automated patient interaction developer Conversa Health for a combined $320 million.

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Avera Health (SD) sells its telemedicine services company Avera ECare to a private investment firm that will take on its 230 employees and rename the company Avel Ecare. Services include behavioral health, correctional health, emergency, hospitalist, ICU, pharmacy, school health, specialty clinic, and senior care. Terms of the acquisition were not announced.

Clinical performance management technology vendor MDmetrix announces a $6 million Series A funding round and a name change to AdaptX. Co-founder and CEO Warren Ratliff, JD was co-founder and COO of Caradigm.

Private equity firm Hughes & Company closes its first fund at $116 million, which will make investments of $5-$20 million in lower middle market healthcare software and technology enabled companies. The firm has an active investment in Azara Healthcare and exited its stake in Aldera, Aperture, and IN2L.


Sales

  • UMass Memorial Health chooses Halo Health for clinical communication and collaboration.

People

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US Army Lieutenant Colonel Alison Murray, MS, MSN, RN is assigned to clinical informatics specialist and CMIO at Dwight D. Eisenhower Army Medical Center. She has also been named a recipient of the Order of Military Medical Merit.

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MDClone promotes Erin Giegling to VP of marketing.

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Scottsdale Institute promotes Janet Guptill, MPH to president and CEO.


Announcements and Implementations

Health Catalyst announces PowerLabor, an AI-enabled view of health system labor data that is part of its Financial Empowerment Suite.

Cerner will sell its Continuous Campus in Kansas City, KS as a predominantly hybrid work model reduces its real estate needs.

Dubai-based Etisalat Digital launches a cloud-based EHR to meet the UAE government’s requirement for a centralized, connected medical record for every citizen and resident.

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The digital arm of India’s Apollo Hospitals Group will launch a Microsoft Teams-based solution that will offer virtual visits with Apollo physicians, prescription ordering, and scheduling lab sampling at home.

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Well Health launches ChatAssist AI, a chatbot that it says completes 95% of patient-provider conversations without human intervention. Epic user Sansum Clinic’s six-month pilot focused on the chatbot’s use for telehealth, portal enrollment, insurance verification, and COVID-19 vaccination. 

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A new KLAS report on nurse and staff scheduling finds that the strongest products for using predictive analytics to manage staffing up to two months in the future are Symplr ShiftSelect and HealthStream ANSOS Staff Scheduling. Those products were acquired by their current vendors in February 2019 and November 2020, respectively. Cerner Clairvia delivers high customer satisfaction for same-day analytics.


Government and Politics

ONC opens the synchronized feedback period for the Interoperability Standards Advisory, the Standards Version Advancement Process, and the draft United States Core Data for Interoperability Version 3.


Sponsor Updates

  • Meditech will host its virtual Expanse Summer Showcase August 10-11.
  • First Databank VP of Clinical Content Joan Kapusnik-Uner co-authors the study, “Using Medicare Data to Assess the Proarrhythmic Risk of Non-Cardiac Treatment Drugs that Prolong the QT Interval in Older Adults: An Observational Cohort Study.”
  • The Atlanta Healthcare Entrepreneur Meetup will feature Jvion Chief Marketing Officer Lizzy Feliciano August 5.
  • Medicomp’s Tell Me Where It Hurts Podcast features Jessica Cox, RN from Holy Name Medical Center.
  • Meditech publishes a new case study, “Emanate Health Advances COVID-19 Contact Tracing with Meditech Professional Services.”

Blog Posts


Contacts

Mr. H, Lorre, Jenn, Dr. Jayne.
Get HIStalk updates.
Send news or rumors.
Contact us.

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News 7/28/21

July 27, 2021 News 2 Comments

Top News

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British health IT company System C acquires medication management vendor WellSky International from parent company WellSky Corp.

WellSky International will change its name to CareFlow Medicines Management and operate as a division of System C, which primarily serves NHS trusts.

WellSky International, the former JAC and Mediware Information Systems BV, took that name in mid-2019 following the 2018 renaming of then-parent company Mediware to WellSky.


Reader Comments

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From Essential Oils: “Re: McLeod Health, SC. Replacing Cerner with Epic.” Verified, according to a health system announcement. The health system chose Cerner Millennium in late 2016 to replace Cerner / SMS Invision and Soarian. The first of McLeod’s seven hospitals went live on Millennium in early 2019 and the rollouts continued through at least early 2020, so that was a short stay. The health system says that the move to Millennium was the largest project in the health system’s history.

From Nanner Puddin: “Re: HIMSS21. My company has zero confirmed face-to-face meetings versus our requirement of having five booked at least two weeks before the conference, so we have decided against attending.”

From New to the Startup World: “Re: EHR. I recently started working at one of those telehealth disruptor type Silicon Valley startups after many years in health IT. I laughed so hard I nearly fell out of my chair when I heard they are planning to build their own EHR. I don’t see how they can get by without a certified EHR and I don’t see how it makes sense to build one purely for internal use. Amy I the crazy one? Does anyone still build their own EHR? Can you get by without a certified EHR? Oh, also note that the company does not have any staff with EHR experience.” I used to argue that non-traditional providers that don’t deal with insurance could gain competitive advantage by building their own EHR-lite that is centered around patients and providers, basically more like a CRM (although for that purpose, maybe an actual CRM would be the best option). A few investor-backed primary care companies that tried that failed, although most likely for other reasons. The Silicon Valley argument for building would be Uber or other company whose entire physical and business presence is a seemingly simple app that is powered by a lot of hidden computing power. A smart, aggressive, well-funded, and disruptive telehealth provider might convince me that a custom-developed EHR is essential, but hopefully they at least keep integration in mind since we’ve learned that even telehealth companies with their own providers can’t exist responsibly in a medical silo.


Webinars

July 28 (Wednesday) 1 ET. “Stop running from your problem (list): Strategies for streamlining the EHR’s front page.” Sponsor: Intelligent Medical Objects. Presenters: Amanda Heidemann, MD, CMIO, CMIO Services LLC; James Thompson, MD, physician informaticist, IMO. How can clinicians mitigate the longstanding EHR problem list challenges of outdated or duplicative entries, rigid displays, and limited native EHR capabilities? The presenters will describe how to analyze current problems, create a problem list governance strategy, and measure improvement progress.

On-Demand Webinars:

Key Differences: Value Based Care vs. Fee-For-Service.” Part 1 of a three-part series. Sponsor: Net Health. Presenters: Bill Winkenwerder, MD, chairman, CitiusTech; Josh Pickus, CEO, Net Health. Dr. Bill Winkenwerder, former assistant secretary of defense for health affairs for the US Department of Defense, shares his unique perspective on the future of value-based care (VBC) systems in the public sector and how VBC differs from fee-for-service models in the private sector. This Part 1 webinar covers which aspects of the fee-for-service health system payment model look the most different compared to fully value-based systems (clinical, back-office, analytics, etc.)

Current Innovation and Development in Value-Based Care.” Part 2 of a three-part series. Sponsor: Net Health. Presenters: Bill Winkenwerder, MD, chairman, CitiusTech; Josh Pickus, CEO, Net Health. Dr. Bill Winkenwerder, former assistant secretary of defense for health affairs for the US Department of Defense, shares his unique perspective on the future of value-based care (VBC) systems in the public sector and how VBC differs from fee-for-service models in the private sector. This Part 2 webinar discusses what health systems should know about the transition to value-based care, including macro versus micro shifts.

Future of Value-Based Care: Predictive Analytics, Technology, Policy.” Part 3 of a three-part series. Sponsor: Net Health. Presenters: Bill Winkenwerder, MD, chairman, CitiusTech; Josh Pickus, CEO, Net Health. Dr. Bill Winkenwerder, former assistant secretary of defense for health affairs for the US Department of Defense, shares his unique perspective on the future of value-based care (VBC) systems in the public sector and how VBC differs from fee-for-service models in the private sector. This Part 3 webinar discusses the role analytics will play in the shift to value-based care and how financial and clinical ROIs for analytics-oriented products must differ when applied to FFS and VBC models.

Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre to present your own.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Bloomberg reports that Europe-based private equity investor Nordic Capital is in talks to acquire health data analytics vendor Inovalon. Since going public in 2015, Inovalon has acquired Avalere Health, Ability Network, Complex Care Solutions, and Creehan & Company. INOV shares rose 70% in the past 12 months, valuing the company at $6 billion.


Sales

  • CPSI will integrate Medicomp’s Quippe Clinical Data Engine with its acute and post-acute EHR products.
  • Adventist Health (CA) selects GetWellNetwork’s full line of digital patient engagement technologies.
  • In Australia, South West Alliance of Rural Health and Barwon Health will deploy the InterSystems Iris for Health data extraction and analysis software.
  • LTC ACO will implement PatientPing’s real-time care notification and coordination software across more than 700 member facilities.
  • Marshfield Clinic Research Institute (WI) joins TriNetX’s global health research network.
  • The ACT Health Directorate in Australia will use Capsule’s device integration technology to connect medical devices with its new Epic system, set to go live in September.
  • Everest Rehabilitation Hospitals will implement WellSky’s rehabilitation software, including its EHR, across its facilities in Texas, Arkansas, Ohio, and Florida.
  • LifeBridge Health (MD) selects Intelerad’s cloud-based medical imaging managed services.
  • University Hospitals (OH) will launch its Hospital at Home program using Edgility technology.
  • HealthLinc will use Greenway Health’s telehealth solution.

People

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Siv Raman, MD (Lumilla) joins 314e as chief product officer.


Announcements and Implementations

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Infor announces GA of its FHIR Server for improved data storage and exchange based on the FHIR standard.

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Ochsner Health (LA) adds ActX’s genomic decision support to its Epic system.

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UnityPoint Health develops social services referral software using technology from Aunt Bertha.

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I assume all of us HIMSS members received an email today pitching Accelerate, a HIMSS-developed app that hopes to connect users, HIMSS-designated thought leaders, and HIMSS exhibitors and content. Mostly so far it seems to push Healthcare IT News articles into a news feed. HIMSS apparently formed a new company called One OpCo, LLC to support the app and apparently hopes to sell it to “enterprises, organizations, and associations interested in getting access to their members.” HIMSS uses Accelerate name for innovation-related products, including what used to be called VentureConnect. The app tracks a ton of user data, according to app store privacy details. I don’t see me launching the app a second time since I rarely find HIMSS-generated content useful and my experience is that healthcare IT folks aren’t interested in contributing content and participating in discussions.


Other

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From Tuesday afternoon’s CDC press conference:

  • Fully vaccinated people are now advised to wear masks when indoors in areas where spread is extensive.
  • Teachers and students are urged to wear masks indoors regardless of vaccination status.
  • The Delta variant makes up 83% of new cases and most transmission is occurring in low-vaccination areas, which includes most counties in Arkansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida.
  • It appears that some people who have been vaccinated can spread the Delta variant, which wasn’t common with previous strains.
  • CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, MD, MPH said that coronavirus is “just a few mutations potentially away” from becoming resistant to COVID-19 vaccines.

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Penn Medicine (PA) will launch the Center for Applied Health Informatics to develop best practices for data projects across its health system and foster informatics leadership. Initial projects will focus on telehealth expansion and COVID-19 response efforts. Collaborators will include Information Services, the Center for Health Care Innovation, and the EHR Transformation team, among others.

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Kaiser Permanente develops a COVID-19 HotSpotting Score to help providers predict COVID-19 surges up to six weeks ahead of time. The predictive modeling tool’s estimates, which incorporate variables like COVID-19 test rates, inpatient and clinic data, and call center and patient email data, strongly correlated with COVID-19 hospital activity during the last half of 2020.


Sponsor Updates

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  • Cerner receives an award from the Missouri House of Representatives commending its mass vaccination efforts during Operation Safe.
  • CloudWave and Vital Images will partner to deliver enterprise imaging as a cloud-based service.
  • Audacious Inquiry and the Georgia Hospital Association announce that hospital participation in GA Notify, powered by Audacious Inquiry’s Exposure Notification Service, has tripled over the past six months.
  • Optimum Healthcare IT publishes a video titled “Optimum CareerPath: A Different Approach to Building a Team.”
  • Mach7 Technologies has received the Frost & Sullivan Global Enterprise Imaging Solutions Product Leadership Award, has been recognized by Industry Tech Insights magazine as one of its Top 10 Companies Revolutionizing Healthcare in 2021, and has been named one of the Top 20 Most Promising Workflow Solution Providers by CIO Review magazine.

Blog Posts


Contacts

Mr. H, Lorre, Jenn, Dr. Jayne.
Get HIStalk updates.
Send news or rumors.
Contact us.

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Monday Morning Update 7/26/21

July 25, 2021 News 4 Comments

Top News

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Clinical data and genomic platform vendor Sema4, a Connecticut-based venture of Mount Sinai Health System, goes public via a SPAC merger at a valuation of around $3 billion.

A health IT connection is President and COO Jamie Coffin, PhD, whose history includes time with Dell and IBM.


Reader Comments

From Exit the Kraken: “Re: HIStalk fan club on LinkedIn. Seems like a lot of company promotion going on there.” Some of the HIStalk “fans” use the group to pitch competing sites or advertise their non-supporting companies in a way that seems distasteful, but I guess that’s the nature of PR-seeking LinkedIn users. I’ll take it as a compliment that my readership is larger and more influential to the point that folks abandon their pride in an attempt to reach it.


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

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Poll respondents expect Amazon to be the strongest healthcare market participant in the tech world, although I probably shouldn’t have listed it among pure tech companies since their competitive advantage mostly lies elsewhere. Eddie T. Head throws down the “you heard it here first” gauntlet in boldly speculating that the winner will be Oracle after they buy Cerner.

New poll to your right or here: Who is most responsible for the VA’s Cerner rollout challenges?

I didn’t get many responses to my inquiry about folks who had planned to attend HIMSS21 but recently changed their mind, which may or may not mean that there aren’t many of them. A couple of folks say their employer has banned travel, a mom who is breastfeeding her new baby and would have had to bring them along says it’s not worth the exposure given the rise in the Delta variant, one says they fear being infected even with vaccination even though it likely wouldn’t be fatal, one is under UK travel restrictions, and one says they won’t give personal information such as vaccination status to HIMSS.

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Meanwhile, hospitals in Las Vegas – along with those in other low-vaccination states like Missouri, Florida, Louisiana, and Arkansas — say they are straining with high numbers of COVID-19 patients, most of them young and unvaccinated. Cases in Clark County have jumped fivefold in the past month and hospitalizations are reaching peaks that approach last year’s summer surge. Only 39% of county residents are fully vaccinated. That number is almost certainly underestimated since it would not include the many visitors who unknowingly take the virus home during its 2-14 day incubation period.

The challenge for HIMSS is that unlike in Orlando, the Las Vegas conference areas cannot be secured from unvaccinated outsiders since hotels were intentionally designed to force people to pass through the casinos to reach conference areas, guest rooms, and restaurants. Still, that incidental contact is unlikely to support respiratory spread, so the danger zone is outside the cordoned off HIMSS21 areas where exposure is extended (bars, restaurants, casinos, shows, etc.) Vaccinated attendees are unlikely to become infected and any breakthrough infections should be mild, but while vaccinated people are less likely to spread COVID-19 to some unknown but likely significant degree, hospitals may decide the risk isn’t worth it for their employees and keep them home.

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The security membership group ISC West just wrapped up its conference at the Sands Expo & Convention Center (which, by the way, will be renamed to The Venetian Expo on September 2) with about 11,000 attendees – less than half the usual number – so we will see if any superspreading is reported (actually, it’s unlikely to be detected since contact tracing just isn’t done here). That conference did not require vaccination proof or masks – video from there (above) shows basically nobody masked — and instead relied on the usual pointless hygiene theater of obsessively disinfecting surfaces and pushing hand sanitizer after checking temperatures at the door.


Webinars

July 28 (Wednesday) 1 ET. “Stop running from your problem (list): Strategies for streamlining the EHR’s front page.” Sponsor: Intelligent Medical Objects. Presenters: Amanda Heidemann, MD, CMIO, CMIO Services LLC; James Thompson, MD, physician informaticist, IMO. How can clinicians mitigate the longstanding EHR problem list challenges of outdated or duplicative entries, rigid displays, and limited native EHR capabilities? The presenters will describe how to analyze current problems, create a problem list governance strategy, and measure improvement progress.

Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre to present your own.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Digital front door systems vendor Qure4U raises $25 million in funding.

CHIME’s fall healthcare CIO boot camp will be held in San Diego October 23-26. I should interview a freshly graduated participant one of these days since I suspect people who haven’t worked as an IT executive would find the content interesting.


Announcements and Implementations

UPMC will pay $2.65 million to settle a class action lawsuit that charged it with failing to protect employee information that was stolen and used in a phony tax refund scam.


Sponsor Updates

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  • Pivot Point Consulting sponsors and participates in the Wellspan York Health Foundation Benefit Golf Tournament.
  • Fortified Health Security releases a new video, “Cyber Insurance Requirements Have Changed. Are You Prepared?”
  • Authority Magazine interviews Nordic Advisory Services Practice Lead John Distefano.
  • The HIMSS Podcast, “What We Learned About Health IT During the Pandemic,” features PatientKeeper VP of Product Management Cathy Donohue.
  • Pure Storage expands as-a-Service offerings designed to support business outcomes.
  • RxRevu publishes a new whitepaper, “How Accurate Prescription Data Can Drive Valuable Decision Making at the Point of Care.”
  • Masstricht University Medical Center, Laurentius Hospital, and VieCuri MC in the Netherlands jointly select Sectra’s digital pathology solution.
  • Spok releases a new video, “Go ‘beyond’ secure texting in healthcare.”
  • Tegria publishes a new case study featuring Val Verde Regional Medical Center and Engage’s work to implement a remote-hosted EHR during COVID time pressure.
  • Waystar appoints former JP Morgan executive Heidi Miller to its Board of Directors.

Blog Posts


Contacts

Mr. H, Lorre, Jenn, Dr. Jayne.
Get HIStalk updates.
Send news or rumors.
Contact us.

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News 7/23/21

July 22, 2021 News No Comments

Top News

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The VA tells the House Veterans Affairs Committee that it won’t bring any more sites live on Cerner for at least six months. From the hearing (in addition to misstating the Eastern time zone as “EST” above):

  • Rep. Matt Rosendale (R-MT) said that despite the VA’s assurance, “we’re going to find out the proof is in the performance. If the army of crackerjack management consultants, and tiger teams, and advancement teams, and adoption coaches, and change management experts can’t make headway with the situation in Spokane, the reason is probably pretty simple. The software just isn’t any good, folks. Either that or it isn’t good for the VA.”
  • VA OIG told the committee that VA’s modernization committee reported that 89% of users passed proficiency tests with a score of at least 80%, but OIG found an earlier draft stating that just 44% passed at that level, indicating that the report was altered before submission. The VA says it will consider disciplinary action if its investigation shows it to be warranted.
  • Acting Deputy Secretary Carolyn Clancy, MD told the committee that “we will not be scheduling any deployments in the next six months” as the VA reviews infrastructure requirements and develops a new rollout schedule that will be driven by site readiness.
  • Rep. Mark Takano (D-CA) expressed skepticism that the VA gave Cerner the minimum passing grade of “satisfactory,” questioning whether it did so just to avoid having the contract cancelled.
  • Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN) expressed frustration with the project’s overall cost, noting that VA OIG’s list of missed items could swell the budget to $21 billion and also recalling that former VA CIO Roger Baker originally gave a number of $30 billion. The original project estimate was $10 billion.
  • The VA is reviewing Cerner’s patient portal and its contractual obligations, with Dr. Clancy predicting that the end result will be a combination of Cerner’s product and the aspects of My HealtheVet that veterans like.
  • Rep. Rosendale pressed Cerner executive Brian Sandager on why Cerner’s bid was so far off the mark even though the company was the sole-source bidder and thus the presumed expert. Sandager blamed changing requirements and lack of access to VA staff because of the pandemic.

Reader Comments

From Banned Book: “Re: Cerner. Seems like a lot of execs are moving on lately.” Maybe, but Cerner is a huge, publicly traded company with deep talent, and some of those folks have been around long enough to realize that maybe they’ve peaked at Cerner and need to move out to move up. The lackluster company performance over the past few years that led to Brent Shafer’s announced departure and his uncertain replacement is likely accelerating the exodus. I don’t think it’s necessarily a poor reflection on the company or an indication of executive dissent – it’s a hot health IT market out there and well-funded startups need some adults in the room.


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

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Welcome to new HIStalk Platinum Sponsor Upfront Healthcare. The Chicago-based company navigates patients to the care they need as new digital services, sites of care, and non-traditional competitors reshape the way they expect to interact with their health system. The company delivers superior outcomes through personalization, in which advanced analytics is used to adapt communication channel and content to eliminate barriers to patient engagement. The frictionless experience requires no download or login as it guides patients to the services they need to close care gaps, attend visits, reschedule in a single click, enroll in services, improve medication adherence, follow up after a transition of care, prepare for an episode of care, and schedule open referrals. It provides the contact center and care team with a unified view of patient communications for all modalities (SMS, email, digital voice, etc.) and can be launched from the EHR or CRM with integration using API, HL7, SMART on FHIR, and batch files. Co-founder and CEO Ben Albert, MBA is an industry long-timer who founded what is now Crimson Care Management. Thanks to Upfront Healthcare for supporting HIStalk.


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Were you planning to attend HIMSS21 but have changed your plans in the past couple of weeks? Tell me why. The beginning of the end for HIMSS20 was companies – including health systems – that banned travel due to the alarming rise in COVID-19 cases and readers keep asking me if that could happen again.

If you attend HIMSS21 in person instead of watching the virtual version, you’ll miss the virtual-only keynote of “Grey’s Anatomy” star and TV doctor Patrick Dempsey. His credentials are a bit shy of being a real doctor — he dropped out of high school to join the circus, and once he became famous on TV years later, his high school just gave him the diploma he didn’t earn.

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Dann Lemerand, who started the HIStalk Fan Club on LinkedIn in mid-2008, says it has 4,000 followers. I can’t make a strong argument for joining since you don’t get anything for doing so, but at least you’ll be rubbing virtual elbows with some pretty high-level industry folks who signed up. I really should review my LinkedIn connections and recommendations for an emotional lift in those moments where I question the wisdom of sitting in an empty room filling an empty screen.


Webinars

July 28 (Wednesday) 1 ET. “Stop running from your problem (list): Strategies for streamlining the EHR’s front page.” Sponsor: Intelligent Medical Objects. Presenters: Amanda Heidemann, MD, CMIO, CMIO Services LLC; James Thompson, MD, physician informaticist, IMO. How can clinicians mitigate the longstanding EHR problem list challenges of outdated or duplicative entries, rigid displays, and limited native EHR capabilities? The presenters will describe how to analyze current problems, create a problem list governance strategy, and measure improvement progress.

Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre to present your own.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

Staff and consulting services vendor Optimum Healthcare IT is acquired by Achieve Partners, which invests in skills development technologies and businesses that can create American jobs. Achieve will expand Optimum’s paid health IT apprenticeship program.

Imprivata acquires Xton Technologies and will incorporate its privileged access management solutions into its digital identity framework.

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Bon Secours Mercy Health makes an unspecified investment in healthcare analytics vendor Trilliant Health.

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Digital health vendor B.well Connected Health raises $32 million in a Series B funding round, increasing its total to $59 million.


Sales

  • Health engagement company Higi chooses Ellkay for platform integration with its healthcare partners.
  • Laboratory data integration services vendor Diagnostic Support Services chooses Lyniate Corepoint to enable advanced interoperability.
  • Winton Hills Medical & Health Center (OH) selects Emerge’s ChartGenie data conversion solution for its move to Athenahealth along with the company’s ChartScout and ChartPop products.

People

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Ted Pfeiffer, MBA (Sg2) joins healthcare consulting firm The Greeley Company as VP of product innovation.

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Syntellis Performance Solutions, the former Kaufman Hall software division, names Flint Brenton (Centrify) as CEO. He replaces Kermit Randa, who will leave the company now that it has been taken independent with investments from Thoma Bravo and Madison Dearborn Partners.

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Mike Nill (Cerner) joins Rx Savings Solutions as strategic advisor.


Announcements and Implementations

Vocera announces Edge, a cloud-based clinical communication and collaboration solution for smartphones.

Google Cloud offers a private preview of Healthcare Data Engine, which creates real-time views of longitudinal patient records. The company says the product can map 90% of HL7v2 messages to FHIR out of the box.

Canon Medical Systems will rename its health IT division, which includes Vital Images, to Canon Medical Informatics.

Document Storage Systems (DSS) launches a commercial division called Juno Health, which will offer an EHR and solutions for e-prescribing and emergency services.

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Highlights from the just-issued “Semi-Annual Market Review” of Healthcare Growth Partners, which as usual drew me in to read every word instead of the quick skim I envisioned:

  • The company estimates that digital health company valuations have risen 30% since the pandemic began, with high-performing companies seeing even bigger premiums.
  • M&A is on track to jump 43% this year, while investment value is on pace to rise 85%.
  • HGP sees four factors driving this activity: excess financial market liquidity, impending increases in the capital gains tax, the obvious appeal of digitizing and virtualizing healthcare, and the fear of missing out (buyers) and of losing it all (sellers).
  • SPACs are popular with lower-revenue companies and share price of those less-mature companies is more volatile due to their appeal to inexperienced investors and lower share supply. Digital health IPO stocks have increased significantly in price, while SPAC stocks trade below offer price on average.

Government and Politics

A Georgia law firm files an ONC information blocking complaint against Doctors Hospital of Augusta, Meditech, and Ciox Health, claiming that the patient records the firm requested on behalf of its malpractice client were not provided as an OCR-readable PDF file.

ONC seeks feedback on use of the HIPAA Security Risk Assessment tool.


Other

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Green (R-GA) tells a reporter who asked if she’s been vaccinated for COVID-19 that the question is “a violation of my HIPAA rights.” She is likely not the only member of Congress who thinks HIPAA is something it isn’t.

University of Vermont Medical Center discloses how ransomware took its systems down for a month and cost it at least $50 million – an employee took a hospital laptop on vacation and used it to open an email from their homeowners’ association, which had been hacked and whose email contained malware. When the employee came back to work and connected to the hospital network, the malware was spread.

HIMSS says it expects a smaller attendance for HIMSS21 than in previous years, but says that paid professional attendance has reached 75% of the 2019 total. First-time attendees make up 40% of the total registered. The exhibit hall will host 750 companies, 200 of them first-timers. HIMSS says that it is “mindful” of COVID-19 case numbers and recognizes that some registrants may not be able to attend due to various travel policies. A conference update says that all venue and hotel staff will be masked per recent Southern Nevada Health District guidance, while masks are encouraged but not required on the HIMSS21 campus since attendees must prove they’ve been vaccinated to enter.


Sponsor Updates

  • InterSystems announces that Forrester has recognized its Iris data platform as a leader in “The Forrester Wave: Multimodel Data Platforms, Q3 20201.”
  • Wolters Kluwer Health releases the second edition of its “Future of Technology in Nursing Education” survey.
  • EClinicalWorks releases a customer success video featuring Zeid Medical Group, “Using Prisma and Interoperability for Better Records.”
  • Upfront Healthcare partners with Firstsource to offer personalized patient navigation.
  • Redox launches an Amazon HealthLake Connector offering and announces its support for the Amazon for Health initiative.
  • Healthcare IT Leaders, BD, and TrackMy Solutions provide COVID-19 testing services and support to Camp Barney Medintz.
  • Fortified Health Security releases its “2021 Mid-Year Horizon Report.”
  • Goliath Technologies publishes a new case study, “Central Maine Healthcare Drastically Reduces Citrix & Cerner Clinician Time to Remediation.”
  • Healthcare Growth Partners advises MDTech in its sale to EverCommerce.

Blog Posts


Contacts

Mr. H, Lorre, Jenn, Dr. Jayne.
Get HIStalk updates.
Send news or rumors.
Contact us.

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News 7/21/21

July 20, 2021 News 2 Comments

Top News

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WebMD acquires The Wellness Network, which offers advertising-supported patient education videos and broadcast channels for hospitals.


Reader Comments

From A Concerned Citizen: “Re: HIMSS21. Will it be cancelled, or just set records for poor attendance? Between the delta variant and the White House report that ranks Las Vegas the most dangerous of all metropolitan areas, registration must be falling quickly.” A couple of readers said their employers have instituted policies that will prohibit their planned attendance. I was about to say that it’s too close to the conference kickoff to contemplate shutting down the live component, but then I recalled that HIMSS20 was cancelled March 5, four days before it would have started. A virtual-only conference is the backup plan, but I don’t think that HIMSS could survive losing its main money-maker for two consecutive years. I predict the show will go on, even with an attenuated audience.

From Tom Paine: “Re: IBM Watson. Former CEO Ginny Rometty is to blame for overhyping it. It was presented as the great hope for IBM, while more important initiatives like the cloud fell further behind.” Rometty should have been skeptical about the Watson hype given that her degree was in computer science and electrical engineering and her IBM background was mostly spent in technical roles. IBM is usually late to parties at which competitors have already taken the best seats, so maybe the draw of being an early entrant into AI was appealing. The company’s biggest Watson mistake was probably choosing healthcare as its showcase, a hill that many swaggering tech companies have died whimpering on. 


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

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I found the Clear Health Pass app frustrating to use for HIMSS21 vaccination verification, especially since my submission is stuck in “pending verification” status. I strongly recommend using Safe Expo Vaccine’s online option instead, as recommended by reader Susan Newbold. The submission page is 1990s clunky, but it took seconds to submit photos of my driver license and vaccination card and then just another 1-2 minutes to have it confirmed by email.

More evidence of the decline of US journalism – it seems that every news website now features cursory “product reviews” that hope to entice readers to click to buy, generating an affiliate commission for the site. The link is almost always to Amazon because it pays those commissions reliably and people are more likely to buy from Amazon anyway, meaning that non-Amazon products are ignored along with other sites that offer the same item cheaper.


Webinars

July 28 (Wednesday) 1 ET. “Stop running from your problem (list): Strategies for streamlining the EHR’s front page.” Sponsor: Intelligent Medical Objects. Presenters: Amanda Heidemann, MD, CMIO, CMIO Services LLC; James Thompson, MD, physician informaticist, IMO. How can clinicians mitigate the longstanding EHR problem list challenges of outdated or duplicative entries, rigid displays, and limited native EHR capabilities? The presenters will describe how to analyze current problems, create a problem list governance strategy, and measure improvement progress.

Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre to present your own.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

The Massachusetts EHealth Collaborative dissolves and distributes its assets to six public charities. The organization says it has completed its work and fulfilled its mission related to interoperability, standards development, and health IT policy.


Sales

  • Georgia-based ACO TC2 will implement Jvion’s Avoidable Admissions technology.
  • St. Bernard’s Hospital (AR) selects NICUtrition clinical decision support software from Astarte Medical.
  • North Mississippi Health Services will implement Picis Total Perioperative Automation software with Envision Analytics from Picis Clinical Solutions.

People

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Adam Laskey (Cerner) joins EverCommerce as GM of EverHealth.

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VitalTech names Chad Haynes (Cerner) as chief commercial officer.

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John McCullough (Cleveland Clinic) joins The Chartis Group as principal in its Informatics & Technology practice.

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Patricia Daiker, RN (Dragonfly Lights) joins Orb Health as VP of clinical operations.

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Signify Health names Sam Pettijohn (Cerner) chief growth officer and Erin Kelly (CVS Health) chief commercial officer.

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Industry long-timer Scott Weingarten, MD, MPH (Cedars-Sinai) joins Medicare Advantage insurer SCAN Group as its first chief innovation officer, where he will launch its geriatric primary care medical group.

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Shayna Schulz (Blue Shield of California) joins Grand Rounds Health and Doctor on Demand as COO.


Announcements and Implementations

Illinois Bone & Joint Institute begins implementing Epic at its facilities in Illinois and Indiana.

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McLaren Health Care implements Medi+Sign’s automated patient communication technology across its network in Michigan and Ohio.

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Covenant Health rolls out tele-ICU services at its facilities in Tennessee using technology from Hicuity Health.

InterSystems develops HealthShare Message Transformation Service, enabling users to convert existing data formats to FHIR standards to populate Amazon HealthLake.

Amazon’s AWS machine learning blog profiles Medhost’s migration of all its data to AWS to provide patient access and to support advanced analytics and compliance needs. 

Wolters Kluwer announces EmmiEducate, which delivers patient educational material.


Other

JAMA-published research finds that medical debt is the largest source of debt in collections in the US, now totaling $140 billion from the 18% of Americans who hold medical debt that has gone to collection. Total medical debt is likely larger since hospitals are increasingly suing patients rather than selling their debt to collections agencies at a discount. The total also does not include balances owed on credit cards or payment plans. Medical debt is increasing faster in the 12 states that do not participate in the ACA’s Medicaid expansion program (AL, FL, GA, KS, MS, NC, SC, SD, TN, TX, WI, WY).

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And EHR trigger analysis of the VA’s corporate data warehouse finds that nearly one-third of patients who were admitted for stroke had been discharged from the ED with seemingly benign headache or dizziness in the previous 30 days. The authors approached the study not to prove the existence or extent of diagnostic errors, but rather to (a) highlight the need to validate the data that appears to prove such problems for such issues as miscoding; and (b) use it as a springboard for reviewing ED workflow and clinician diagnostic methods to reduce future harm from missed diagnoses.


Sponsor Updates

  • InterSystems and University Hospital Sharjah celebrate a decade of successful partnerships for digital transformation.
  • Infor and Change Healthcare announce their support for the AWS for Health initiative.
  • Kyruus describes the use of its ProviderMatch platform by AtlantiCare (NJ).
  • Diameter Health has been selected by AWS as a Connector Partner for Amazon HealthLake.
  • CereCore welcomes Michael Gagnon (NTT Data) as its first Enterprise Fellow.
  • Diameter Health publishes a case study featuring HealtheConnections, “Improving Ambulatory Clinical Quality Measurement Using a Consolidated Patient View.”
  • The Lifelong Customer Podcast features Dimensional Insight VP of Marketing Kathy Sucich.
  • Elsevier Clinical Solutions releases a new Clinical Insights Podcast, “How Well are COVID-19 Vaccines Working in the Real World?”
  • Experian Health announces that its Enterprise Health Patient Identifier Solution and Hospital Claims Management Systems have been deemed top-rated solutions in Black Book’s 2021 “Top Client-Rated Financial Solutions Achieving Accelerated Digital Transformation in the Nation’s Healthcare Systems.”
  • EClinicalWorks releases a new podcast, “How Population Health Solutions Improve Patient Outcomes and Experiences.”

Blog Posts


Contacts

Mr. H, Lorre, Jenn, Dr. Jayne.
Get HIStalk updates.
Send news or rumors.
Contact us.

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Monday Morning Update 7/19/21

July 18, 2021 News 11 Comments

Top News

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The New York Times says that IBM Watson failed to achieve its goals to transform industries and make IBM successful. It says that Watson’s capabilities were oversold by IBM’s top executives – mostly former sales and services people – who ignored the warnings of the company’s scientists that it was a one-trick pony that was built purely to win “Jeopardy.”

The article notes that Watson’s healthcare “moon shot” failed in multiple health systems, as the technology was not capable of performing real-time cancer diagnosis or smart literature searches. IBM has discontinued its genomics and oncology offerings after they failed in high-profile health systems.

IBM’s Watson Health business spent $4 billion to acquire Merge Healthcare, Phytel, Explorys, and Truven Health Analytics. The company is reportedly considering selling those businesses as it lags competitors in cloud computing. Watson Health is reportedly bringing in $1 billion in annual revenue but still loses money.

NYT says Watson is “a sobering example of the pitfalls of technological hype and hubris around AI,” but says the technology has improved to the point that it can manage workhorse natural language tasks as offered by IBM’s cloud competitors, such as task automation and virtual assistants.


Reader Comments

From He’s Not Here: “Re: remote patient monitoring. Doesn’t that term contain a bit of geographic paternalism?” It does. Healthcare was historically built around the “my patients come to where I am” model, where other than for the rare house call, the provider has always sat in their building and waited for people in need to show up. I would say that in itself is not paternalistic since it’s no different than any other retail or professional business that doesn’t involve services that are provided in the home or on the road, but the idea that a patient is “remote” begs the question, remote from what? It’s the same as “after hours” care – after whose hours? Still, while some monitoring could be performed regardless of patient location, the capability must exist to react to it by dispatching humans, and that’s a last-mile problem for many patients, especially when health systems and the emergency services providers who have boots on the ground are almost always disconnected and sometimes competitive.


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

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Most poll respondents presume that information blocking exists when Epic-using providers in the same area aren’t sharing patient data. My opinion is that we know that most EHRs can exchange patient data – as evidenced by at least one client of each vendor who is actually doing it – so ONC should focus on eliminating the “we weren’t aware” provider excuse via outreach and setting patient expectations to increase interoperability demand.

New poll to your right or here: Which tech company will have the most impact on US healthcare in five years? I will leave it up to respondents to define “healthcare impact.”

Dear companies – while I appreciate the option to engage with your website chatbot even though I can’t imagine a situation in which I would actually do so, please do not make it beep at me, especially every time I navigate to a new page of your site. That’s not exactly a testament to your software usability expertise.

We’re doing some pre-HIMSS summer slacking off around here lately. Jenn was vacating last week so we posted few sponsor updates, while I was day-tripping with Mrs. HIStalk Friday and elected to skip writing the Weekender. It feels good to have places to go and things to do after losing last summer to hunkering down, but sometimes having so many options available again makes me anxious that I’ll miss something.


Webinars

July 28 (Wednesday) 1 ET. “Stop running from your problem (list): Strategies for streamlining the EHR’s front page.” Sponsor: Intelligent Medical Objects. Presenters: Amanda Heidemann, MD, CMIO, CMIO Services LLC; James Thompson, MD, physician informaticist, IMO. How can clinicians mitigate the longstanding EHR problem list challenges of outdated or duplicative entries, rigid displays, and limited native EHR capabilities? The presenters will describe how to analyze current problems, create a problem list governance strategy, and measure improvement progress.

Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre to present your own.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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OM1, which offers chronic disease registries and real-world data, raises $85 million in financing.


Sales

  • Baystate Health (MA) expands its Cerner implementation with HealtheIntent for its physician organization and unspecified revenue cycle solutions.  

People

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Gary Christoph, PhD died earlier this month of Parkinson’s Disease at 76. He spent time as CIO of HCFA (now CMS), leading it through Y2K and cybersecurity and writing many of the regulations contained in HIPAA. He also led IT for NIH and Northrop Grumman’s healthcare IT group.


Government and Politics

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The Senate confirms Donald Remy, JD as VA deputy secretary, its second-highest official. He will take charge of the VA’s Cerner project. Remy, who was confirmed in a 91-8 vote, is an Army veteran and COO / chief legal officer of NCAA.

A patient advocacy group’s review of the websites of 500 hospitals finds that 471 have not posted their prices as required by federal transparency rules that took effect January 1. The group says the $300 per day penalty should be increased.


Other

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A JAMA Network Open article suggests that physicians avoid the use of “stigmatizing language” in their notes since patients may see them. The authors suggest avoiding language that questions patient credibility, indicates disapproval, stereotypes race or social class, indicates that the patient is difficult, or that conveys a paternalistic tone.

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Three weeks before HIMSS21, the COVID-19 resurgence in Las Vegas causes the Venetian, Palazzo, and Sands to once again require their employees to wear masks, regardless of vaccination status. The health district is also recommending that everyone wear masks while indoors, advice that will surely be ignored by 99.5% of visitors. The Nevada Gaming Control Board has not re-imposed casino masking policies so far. The HIMSS21 “no masks required” policy remains aligned with CDC and county recommendations since all attendees must be vaccinated. COVID-19 case counts, positivity rates, and hospitalizations in Southern Nevada have returned to February levels, with 78% of those new cases being accounted for by Clark County. More than half of the state’s residents have not been fully vaccinated. The situation is so significant that the public health chief of Los Angeles has advised locals, especially those who are unvaccinated, to avoid travel to Las Vegas.


Sponsor Updates

Blog Posts

  • A Revenue Cycle Guide for Private Equity Firms in Healthcare (RCx Rules)
  • 10 Key Facts Hospitals Should Know About Denials in 2021 (Vyne Medical)

Contacts

Mr. H, Lorre, Jenn, Dr. Jayne.
Get HIStalk updates.
Send news or rumors.
Contact us.

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News 7/16/21

July 15, 2021 News 10 Comments

Top News

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VA Secretary Denis McDonough tells the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee that he is putting the VA’s Cerner implementation on hold. This follows completion of a three-month project review that found serious “governance and management challenges.”

McDonough says that the VA’s first implementation at Mann-Grandstaff VA Medical Center (WA) in October 2020 did not live up to its promise of “seamless excellence in VA care,” adding that the report found “numerous patient safety concerns and system errors” as well as significant negative impact on productivity.

McDonough said he commissioned the review after hearing firsthand about duplicated prescriptions at Mann-Grandstaff and a user’s complaint that a Cerner help desk employee was unable to answer a user’s questions because he had just one week’s experience. He added that clinicians tell him that most of the integration between the respective Cerner systems of the VA and DoD happens inside their heads, not on their computers.

McDonough vowed to improve training and testing, to increase its oversight of Cerner, and to make leadership changes to get the project back on track. He also says the original plan to roll out Cerner by geographic area was a mistake and scheduling of go-lives will now be based on evidence of readiness.

The cost of the project, which was originally estimated at $10 billion when Cerner was awarded a no-bid contract in 2017, has risen to over $20 billion. McDonough has ordered a new budget estimate for the entire project, which will include the several billion dollars of infrastructure upgrades that the original estimate missed.

Committee chair Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) told the group, “I’ve had the impression for some time there are folks out there milking the cow. Every day they go out and they see this cash cow, and they’re getting every dime they can get out of it. There’s been damn little accountability. I hope Cerner’s watching this. Cerner’s not up to making a user-friendly electronic medical record, and in fact what’s transpired here is we’re going in the opposite direction, then they ought to admit it and give us the money back so we can start over.”

McDonough identified specific project issues:

  • The VA lacks a specific definition of a patient safety issue and how to manage open issues.
  • The decrease in productivity includes problems in revenue cycle, where much of the claims and payments process requires manual entry.
  • Cost estimates did not include any issues beyond the Cerner contract, infrastructure readiness, and the project management offices.
  • The VA did not create key performance indicators.
  • The patient portal experience was fragmented, leading the VA to study the user experience to support “decisions on the future of the portal” that takes legal and contractual obligations into account.
  • Testing did not reflect real-world workflow.

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Also offering testimony to the committee was Ellkay Chief Innovation Officer Marc Probst, MBA, who described the rollout of Cerner at Intermountain Healthcare when he was CIO and the keys to a successful EHR implementation. He responded to a question about what Congress should expect by urging clear goals, reductions in support tickets and complaints over time, and performance against real milestones. Asked if anything stood out for immediate action, Probst recommendation resetting expectations against original and current requirements and reviewing detailed project work plan milestones.


Reader Comments

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From Rashaverak: “Re: Woman’s Hospital, Baton Rouge. This is the first I’ve heard that the sheer cost of an EHR implementation is driving a hospital’s business strategy, essentially forcing it into an affiliation or merger because it can’t afford its EHR of choice. It must be a record for Epic if the hospital’s stated cost is indeed $200 million over seven years – has Epic no shame for pricing the system at 10% of the 168-bed hospital’s total expense? That kind of pricing will keep Meditech and Allscripts around and makes the $1.2 billion that Partners spent over 10 years look like a bargain. Isn’t the goal of IT to bend the cost downward instead of upward?”


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

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Welcome to new HIStalk Platinum Sponsor VitalTech. The Plano, TX-based company offers more than telehealth. More than RPM. More than population health. VitalTech is the nation’s first fully integrated virtual care platform. The company develops technologies, platforms, and hardware that empower patients to better care for their health and wellness while enabling clinicians and health systems to remotely monitor, manage, and care for patients. Its integrated digital health platform, VitalCare, aggregates and contextualizes critical data that is collected from multiple devices, EHRs, and third-party sources. Data is then pushed via the VitalCare cloud to user apps, family connection apps, care teams apps, administrative web portals, and third-party integrations in real time so actionable insights can be made. The solution enables health systems, physicians, payers, employers, senior living facilities, skilled nursing facilities, and home health providers to streamline workflows while improving health outcomes, increasing patient safety, and lowering the cost of care. The suite includes easy-to-use devices and software that increase patient engagement and compliance. Thanks to VitalTech for supporting HIStalk.

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VitalTech sent over a link to this intro video and client testimonial. Holy Name Medical Center CEO Michael Maron movingly describes how contracting COVID-19 and then infecting his own family was a “burden I’ll have to bear for the rest of my life,” but he says that being monitored by VitalTech’s system at least allowed them to recover at home.


Listening: old Genesis, which I didn’t follow until pandemic times. “Firth of Fifth” and “Supper’s Ready” are as good as music gets to my ear, and while I can’t abide the treacly 1980s hits of Phil Collins, he spent the late 1970s effortlessly backing and then leading a band of individual musical geniuses by drumming the most complex time signatures imaginable. Genesis wrote and played their best music, which I predict will be as timeless as Beethoven, in their late teens and early 20s.

I’m jealous of people starting new jobs who post photos on LinkedIn of the cool company swag that was waiting at their desk on their first office day. I don’t think I ever got anything when I took a new health system job.

It’s about time to post my HIMSS21 guide describing what HIStalk sponsors will be doing there, so submit your information this week. I’ve received submissions from 19 companies, including two who aren’t actually sponsors and thus will be regretfully unrepresented.


Webinars

July 28 (Wednesday) 1 ET. “Stop running from your problem (list): Strategies for streamlining the EHR’s front page.” Sponsor: Intelligent Medical Objects. Presenters: Amanda Heidemann, MD, CMIO, CMIO Services LLC; James Thompson, MD, physician informaticist, IMO. How can clinicians mitigate the longstanding EHR problem list challenges of outdated or duplicative entries, rigid displays, and limited native EHR capabilities? The presenters will describe how to analyze current problems, create a problem list governance strategy, and measure improvement progress.

Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre to present your own.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Healthcare payments software vendor Waystar will acquire Patientco, whose technology includes patient payments, communications, and engagement.

Bloomberg reports that the private equity owner of healthcare payments analytics vendor Cotiviti is considering an IPO that would value the company at $15 billion.


Sales

  • MedStar Health chooses oncology data and analytics vendor COTA to support cancer research and care.
  • An unnamed drug company will use OptimizeRx’s platform to offer physicians choices when their Medicare patients risk treatment lapse due to loss of coverage.
  • Blessing Hospital (IL) selects CarePort Interop to allow it to meet CMS event notification requirements.

People

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Frank Nydam, MBA (VMware) joins Tausight as chief development officer.

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Glytec hires Scott Bettner, MS (Hillrom) as regional VP. 


Announcements and Implementations

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Non-invasive digital sensor developer Rockley Photonics announces plans for trials of “clinic on the wrist,” a combination of hardware, firmware, and cloud analytics that measures biomarkers such as body temperature, blood pressure, hydration levels, and measures of blood alcohol, lactate and glucose. The company hopes to complete testing and release the product for commercial use next year. The company is about to go public via a SPAC merger.

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Amazon announces AWS for Health, a set of services and partner solutions for healthcare, genomics, and biopharma.

Applied behavior analysis EHR vendor CentralReach acquires Behavior Analysts, Inc., which offers an ABA assessment system.

Amazon Web Services selects Diameter Health as a Connecter Partner for Amazon HealthLake.

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OSF HealthCare opens its OSF OnCall Digital Health building at its headquarters in Peoria, IL. Capabilities of the “virtual hospital” include remote patient monitoring, fall prevent innovations, virtual nurse triaging, ICU monitoring, and monitoring 40 telehealth carts.

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A KLAS report on cardiology systems says that no individual offering stands out, as organizations have pieced together multiple systems but are re-evaluating as part of their enterprising imaging strategy. Most often considered are Philips, IBM Watson Health, and Fujifilm, while Epic is often chosen as part of its product suite even though it lacks a cardiology archive and offers weak structured reporting.


Government and Politics

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ONC hopes to have the Trusted Exchange Framework and Common Agreement (TEFCA) network open for participation in the first quarter of 2022.

The companies contracted by ONC to develop draft EHR Reporting Program developer measures seek feedback by September 14, 2021.


Other

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In Ireland, people complain that their names are misspelled on their government-issued COVID-19 digital travel certificates and worry that the mismatch will prevent them from boarding flights, which the government says is due to hospital, doctor, and pharmacy systems that can’t handle language-specific punctuation and characters such as the fada.


Sponsor Updates

Blog Posts


Contacts

Mr. H, Lorre, Jenn, Dr. Jayne.
Get HIStalk updates.
Send news or rumors.
Contact us.

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News 7/14/21

July 13, 2021 News 4 Comments

Top News

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ONC releases USCDI v2, which provides interoperability standards for the optional exchange of social determinants of health, sexual orientation, and gender identity.  


Reader Comments

From Shoot the Messenger RNA: “Re: post-COVID hospitalization. This is interesting work using Epic Cosmos.” A study of 8.6 million vaccinated patients using Epic’s Cosmos customer data set finds that only 0.049% tested positive afterward and just 0.018% (1,600 people) were hospitalized for COVID-19 after being fully vaccinated. Also interesting is that the study was performed  as a Dual Team Study as defined by Epic Health Research Network, where two groups are assigned the same study, work independently, and then present their work only if their conclusions are the same. Another EHRN study I noticed while looking up the first one found that most adults didn’t experience a significant weight change during the pandemic, and nearly as many patients lost weight as gained weight. These types of studies have limitations, however – they cover only patients of Epic users and researchers can see only the information that resides in Epic. The first study must have determined vaccination status as reported by patients since many or most health system patients would not have received their vaccinations from a hospital, while the second study is limited by definition to patients who had an encounter in which their weight was captured. Just about all of our inferential research data sources are imperfect due to lack of data sharing, the presence of valuable information only in freetext form, and the unreliable proxy of using billing codes to infer clinical status and activities.

From Conference Confrere: “Re: HIMSS21. Will I wish I was leaving early if attendance or energy is down?” Maybe, which is why I booked a flight out Thursday night instead of Friday morning, limiting my time in Las Vegas to three nights. I left my hotel reservation for four nights, figuring that will allow me a more leisurely departure for my red-eye flight late Thursday. But I may find that I’ve seen everything interesting in the first couple of days and end up just hanging around. Meanwhile, Las Vegas and Clark County are experiencing a mini-outbreak of COVID-19, with 1,600 new cases over the weekend, an 11% test positivity rate, and the lagging indicator of hospital admissions going up. Nevada’s vaccination rate is under 50%, visitors from everywhere are packing casinos and restaurants unmasked and undistanced, and you’ll struggle to avoid potential exposure outside the HIMSS21 protective bubble if that even works. US cases are up 94% in the past two weeks.

From Pinhead: ”Re: company pins. I’m seeing a resurgence of those lapel adorners.” Me too, even though I never understood why people would so deeply identify with the faceless company that sends them paychecks that they would be bursting to tell the uninterested world. It is fascinating to me that people who claim to be fiercely independent free thinkers pigeonhole themselves publicly by wearing garb that provides free advertising for their favorite employer, political cause, or sports team, encouraging the world to ignore everything else about them. Mrs. HIStalk reminds me that people who ask “what do you do” are really asking “what’s your job, so I can stereotype you” so they can avoid considering you to be something more than your job, so I suppose wearing a company lapel pin makes the impersonality more efficient. 


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

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Welcome to new HIStalk Platinum Sponsor Mach7 Technologies. The South Burlington, VT company’s philosophy is based on a simple premise: legacy radiology solutions were not designed to carry healthcare organizations into the future. From its first line of code, its solutions were designed to meet the imaging needs of the entire healthcare enterprise. Its data management, workflow, enterprise and diagnostic viewing, teleradiology, PACS, mammography, and other solutions are focused on integration, workflow, scalability, and performance to ensure that imaging data can be made available wherever it is needed. Mach7 is focused on the future of healthcare. It gives healthcare organizations unprecedented technology independence and flexibility to deploy its solutions according to their needs, whether in their individual components or unified into a comprehensive end-to-end enterprise imaging platform. Its solutions bridge an organization’s legacy solutions to meet the full spectrum of multi-disciplinary imaging needs, and position them to grow, adapt, and innovate. The company’s unique approach to enterprise imaging empowers healthcare organizations of all sizes to increase their efficiency, achieve profound operational cost savings, leverage their existing IT investments, improve the experience for patients and medical professionals, and support healthier outcomes. Stop by booth #4243 at HIMSS21 to learn more. Thanks to Mach7 Technologies for supporting HIStalk.


The Clear Health Pass app – required for attending HIMSS21 – is still showing “pending verification” of my COVID-19 vaccination card, which I had to submit as a photo since by provider wasn’t listed for a direct connection. Beats me whether it will get me into the conference.

I’m watching the slow but perhaps inevitable morphing of LinkedIn into Facebook (perhaps intentionally) as I’m getting force-fed more posts about politics, lame philosophical manifestos, sports, and personal and family bragging. I can always unfollow or mute someone, but I’m wondering if the folks who “like” one of those non-business posts or add a comment to them realize that the feeds of their connections are then polluted with unwanted junk?


Webinars

July 28 (Wednesday) 1 ET. “Stop running from your problem (list): Strategies for streamlining the EHR’s front page.” Sponsor: Intelligent Medical Objects. Presenters: Amanda Heidemann, MD, CMIO, CMIO Services LLC; James Thompson, MD, physician informaticist, IMO. How can clinicians mitigate the longstanding EHR problem list challenges of outdated or duplicative entries, rigid displays, and limited native EHR capabilities? The presenters will describe how to analyze current problems, create a problem list governance strategy, and measure improvement progress.

Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre to present your own.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Recently formed Truveta, whose health system members sell their de-identified patient data to drug companies and providers, raises $95 million in a Series A funding round. The company announced new members Baylor Scott & White Health, MedStar Health, and Texas Health Resources.

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Israel-based medical imaging AI vendor Aidoc raises $66 million in a Series C funding round.

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Health IT services firm HCTec acquires managed IT solutions company Talon Healthy IT Services, which offers healthcare help desk services.

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Healthcare analytics vendor VisiQuate raises a $50 million equity investment.

Harris acquires long-term and post-acute care software vendor ADL Data Systems, which it will combine with its Collain Healthcare LTPAC EHR business.  

CrossBridge, which offers technologies that address the cost and outcomes of treating patients who have chronic inflammatory diseases, acquires the PACER rheumatology disease management software from its developer Geisinger.


Sales

  • UNC Health will deploy the radiology module of Sectra’s enterprise imaging solution, integrated with Epic and replacing several legacy vendors.
  • Stamford Health will implement the Route solution of Appriss Health-owned PatientPing for sending ADT event notifications.

People

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Olive promotes Rohan D’Souza to chief product officer.

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Meditech officially confirms the months-ago promotion of President and COO Michelle O’Connor to president and CEO. She replaces Howard Messing, who remains on the company’s board.

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Cerner SVP of Client Relationships Ben Hilmes, MHA joins Adventist Health as SVP / chief integration officer.

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David Butler, MD (Calyx Partners) joins The Chartis Group as principal, informatics and technology.

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Sonifi Health hires Mark Dyer (DaytoDay Health) as SVP of sales.

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Leidos promotes James Perea, MBA to VP of VA health solutions.

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Glytec promotes Jordan Messler, MD to chief medical officer.

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Glenn Keet (Clinithink) joins Ciitizen as VP of HIE strategy.

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Tegria promotes Justin Jozwik of its Bluetree Network business to managing director, international.

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Riverside Healthcare (IL) hires Kirk Larson, MHSA, MBA (Rochester Regional Health) as VP/CIO.


Announcements and Implementations

Holy Name Medical Center’s ED goes live on Holy Name’s self-developed EHR, which is powered by Medicomp’s Quippe Clinical Data Engine. They will demonstrate the system at HIMSS21.

HealthShare Exchange and Audacious Inquiry extend the ENShare encounter notification service outside the HSX network in the Philadelphia area.

Patient transport software vendor Cheyenne Mountain Software renames itself to Motient.

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KLAS’s first report on healthcare’s use of public cloud providers covers Amazon Web Services, with 11 responding organizations saying that AWS has saved them time and/or money. Respondents say that AWS offers strong product quality and development, but less-effective service and support, mostly waiting for customers to proactively engage rather than reaching out to them. Click the graphic above to see KLAS’s nicely done framework for healthcare cloud solutions. Future reports will address Google Cloud Platform and Microsoft Azure.  


Other

Stat covers the sharp drop in telehealth visits as state emergency declarations expire and insurers phase out coverage. The article notes that as doctors are once again being prohibited from conducting virtual visits for patients who are located in states where they aren’t licensed, some of the doctors are asking their patients participate in a virtual visit by driving across the state line to the first available retail store parking lot. Providers favor a telemedicine-only national license that would allow doctors to care for established patients regardless of that patient’s location.

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Hospitals sue the manufacturer of the Da Vinci surgical robot for forcing them to purchase maintenance services and replacement parts at inflated prices that generate the bulk of Intuitive Surgical’s $4 billion in annual revenue. Company engineers have threatened hospitals that they will turn their expensive machines into “paperweights” if they buy parts or services from competitors, while one hospital says the company remotely shut down a machine in the middle of a surgery upon hearing that the hospital was talking to a third party about a service contract. Intuitive Surgical’s market cap is $113 billion despite a lack of evidence that machine-assisted surgeries deliver better outcomes. Axios reporter Bob Herman notes that the lawsuit is “one monopoly fighting another.”


Sponsor Updates

Blog Posts


Contacts

Mr. H, Lorre, Jenn, Dr. Jayne.
Get HIStalk updates.
Send news or rumors.
Contact us.

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Monday Morning Update 7/12/21

July 11, 2021 News 6 Comments

Top News

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VA OIG looks at training deficiencies in the VA’s first Cerner rollout at Mann-Grandstaff VA Medical Center, in Spokane, WA, noting:

  • The VA Office of Electronic Health Record Modernization is charged with the implementation, but the involvement of VHA, which houses all of the system’s users, is not clear.
  • Training design was internally called “button-ology” because it focused on telling users which buttons to push to get a desired outcome, with little context provided to users who then failed to understand how to use the system.
  • Users struggled because the classroom training didn’t focus on workflow.
  • The system that was made available for user practice did not match the VA’s actual system.
  • Cerner’s classroom trainers were not capable of answering questions and raised facility concerns because they lacked a clinical background and EHR knowledge. Users complained that Cerner’s trainers would defer many basic questions to the “parking lot,” which became a running joke among employees being trained.
  • All of the 30 super users said their training was a waste of time that left them demoralized, distrustful of Cerner and the VA project team, and less prepared to help users than before the training.
  • Leaders did not fully understand Cerner’s role-based permissions and how to manage staff who required multiple role assignments, causing users to be assigned to the wrong training classes.
  • VA contracting officials scored Cerner’s training work as “satisfactory,” the minimum level that meets contractual requirements.
  • The post-live decrease in user productivity and morale was attributed to EHR training factors.
  • The project’s change management group withheld some OIG-requested training evaluation data and altered other data before sending it.

Reader Comments

From Uniquely Qualified: “Re: company reps. My BS detection tip – it’s not actual knowledge they are selling if the answer to every problem is that company’s solution.” That’s true for life in general. I immediately tune out anyone whose industry viewpoint, politics, worldview, sports team loyalty, or entertainment choices are unwaveringly consistent and represent so much of their identity that they belittle those whose opinions differ. Anyone who can’t find an occasional good point being made by someone from the “other side” of any given issue is either a self-serving deceiver or intellectually comatose hack. Salespeople should believe in their product, but surely they can see as plainly as the rest of us that it is imperfect and sometimes fails to achieve the promised results for reasons that may or may not be under the company’s control. I started HIStalk 18 years ago for that reason – the lame publications were paid cheerleaders for advertisers and would studiously ignore the real-life challenges I saw every day working in hospital IT. My experience is that good companies get better by paying attention to constructive criticism from experienced outsiders, while bad ones sputter indignantly and shoot the messenger.

From Mr. Softy: “Re: Microsoft 365 Business Basic. I’m a user and the pros are that it’s a good deal, I strongly prefer Teams over Google Meet, performance is good, it’s easy to set permissions for a growing team, and the company’s support agents have been prompt and helpful. Cons are that you only get web versions of the Office apps and those lack a good number of advanced features of the desktop versions, Google has a more comprehensive feature set, the products could use some polish, and Microsoft sometimes makes security recommendations that aren’t available to users of the Basic plan.” Thanks much for that review.


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

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The expensive technology that is being used by providers and insurers is doing little to make poll respondents healthy and happy.

New poll to your right or here: If two Epic-using providers in the same area don’t share patient data, would you assume they’re guilty of information blocking? Looking at it another way, if we know that every Epic client can theoretically share information with all the others, then what reasons other than intentional information blocking would explain why they aren’t? (you can elaborate on that in the poll’s comments).


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Welcome to new HIStalk Platinum Sponsor Clearsense. The Jacksonville, FL-based company’s data platform-as-a-service integrates data from any source, maintains line of sight from source to target, and jumpstarts the ROI of existing business intelligence tools without the need to hire specialized staff. Its DataHub operates as the central nervous system for healthcare data to automate data curation, preparation, normalization, and governance to allow it to be used meaningfully and with full transparency. Customers benefit from strong privacy and security, ease of use, an end-to-end solution from a single partner, accelerated data maturity, and the Clearsense Data Science Workbench that empowers citizen data scientists in delivering data science on demand. Sign up for a private meeting with the company at HIMSS21 or attend its lunch and learn. Thanks to Clearsense for supporting HIStalk.

A YouTube cruise turned up this Clearsense overview video on YouTube.


Can we all agree to dress comfortably and casually for HIMSS21? Not only are most of us readjusting to venturing out again and frowning that our dressy clothes seem to be a bit snug these days, Las Vegas hit 117 degrees Saturday. The health IT industry won’t collapse if we attend a conference in shorts and tee shirts, so I’m calling for a clothing truce. Conferences should be like schools that provide mandatory uniforms so that people won’t waste time and money trying to impress each other with a few ounces of thread.

Another Las Vegas issue – COVID-19 test positivity is at 10%, COVID-19 metrics have risen to February levels, only half of residents have been vaccinated, and travelers come and go from all over the place within the incubation period. As Andy Slavitt tweeted, “Whatever happens in Vegas isn’t staying in Vegas.” It’s still a life-threatening pandemic, just one that is limited mostly to the unvaccinated.


Webinars

None scheduled soon. Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre to present your own.


People

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Industry long-timer and Cerner SVP of Consumer and Employer Solutions David Bradshaw resigns.

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Health policy attorney and disability rights advocate Erin Gilmer, JD died by suicide last Thursday.  


Announcements and Implementations

The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign launches a self-paced, online “AI in Medicine” certificate at a cost of $750.

Toronto General Hospital goes live on Vocera Smartbadge in three of its ICUs.


Government and Politics

A White House executive order calls for the Justice Department and Federal Trade Commission to review guidelines for hospital mergers, which economists say have increased healthcare costs. The order also calls for HHS to support existing rules to limit surprise medical bills and to require hospitals to disclose their prices.


Other

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A study of physician recommendations to improve EHR inbox notification design and workflow identifies these broad user suggestions:

  1. Limit inbox messages to issues that are actionable to patient care and that are relevant to the receiving clinician.
  2. Make the EHR inbox more like email by giving users explicit control of deleting messages; providing the equivalent of an email trash folder for retrieving deleted messages; allowing messages to be turned into a reminder or to-do item; and allowing users to send themselves reminders that are tagged with a future date.
  3. Reduce the number of clicks required to manage messages by adding tools such as macros, templated text, preference lists, and routing lists. Other suggestions included the ability to add comments to a previously reviewed message without reopening it and including EHR information within relevant messages to avoid navigating the patient’s record, such as with medication refill requests and reviewing lab results.
  4. Redesign inboxes to support team-based care, such as allowing support staff to triage the inbox and for care team members to message each other within the system.
  5. Employers should support the time required to manage inbox messages without interruption.

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A review of how PCPs in 349 ambulatory healthcare organizations use Epic finds that total daily EHR time was 95 minutes for pediatric clinicians, 121 minutes in general medicine, and 127 minutes for family medicine clinicians. After-hours time ranged from 24 to 34 minutes daily. Pediatric clinicians spent half as much time managing their inbox, receiving only one-fifth as many prescription messages, one-third as many patient messages, and half as many team-related and results messages compared to family medicine and general medicine clinicians.

A Kaiser Health News healthcare reporter reviews price worksheets to compare the charges of two health systems – the publishing of which is required by a CMS rule – and finds that it can’t be done due to the timing of charges, bundled billing practices, and the omission of physician charges. The reporter says that it’s nearly impossible to calculate the cost of one person’s medical procedure, much less to compare that cost among hospitals. He also notes that imaging and surgery centers, which usually charge less, aren’t required to publish their prices.

A Texas man is sentenced to 48 months in federal prison after being found guilty of stealing patient information from a provider’s EHR and then packaging it into physician orders that he sold to durable medical equipment providers, which netted the man an two co-conspirators several million dollars in kickbacks.


Sponsor Updates

  • Quil publishes a new white paper, “Home as Healthcare Hubs.”
  • Nuance has been named a “Best Company to Sell For” by Selling Power for the second consecutive year.
  • The CEO Blindspots Podcast features OptimizeRx CEO Will Febbo.
  • PeriGen hosts a Go Live Luau at Banner Health.
  • RxRevu publishes a new white paper, “How Accurate Prescription Data Can Drive Valuable Decision Making at the Point of Care.”
  • Talkdesk publishes a white paper, “Building a patient-centric healthcare contact center.”

Blog Posts


Contacts

Mr. H, Lorre, Jenn, Dr. Jayne.
Get HIStalk updates.
Send news or rumors.
Contact us.

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News 7/9/21

July 8, 2021 News 8 Comments

Top News

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FDA issues 510(k) clearance for the use of AliveCor’s $149 KardiaMobile 6L by healthcare professionals to calculate QTc interval from its EKGs. That value is used to diagnose certain disorders of electrical conductivity that can cause irregular heartbeat.

The company also offers a service to measure QT intervals.

I was an early user of KardiaMobile and am surprised every day that the company hasn’t been acquired by Apple or some other remote monitoring / wearables vendor given its strong history of working within FDA’s regulatory framework.

AliveCor has raised $154 million in funding, including a $65 million Series E round in November 2020 whose participants included the venture funds of Qualcomm and Omron.


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

I’m trying to understand the mental process that leads people to think that “app” should be spelled “APP.” Short words need more caps?

I received a robocall whose caller ID showed Clackamas, OR, so I’ve changed my fake LinkedIn location to the closest town to that it would allow, Happy Valley, OR. I looked it up and found that Tony Award nominee Hailey Kilgore was born there. I saw her in “Once on This Island” on Broadway few years back, so maybe that was her calling me to catch up.


Webinars

None scheduled soon. Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre to present your own.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

Intelerad acquires medical image management technology vendor Heart Imaging Technologies.

Marketing company Finn Partners acquires health IT-focused communications and marketing firm Agency Ten22, whose founder and CEO Beth Friedman will join Finn as senior partner.


Sales

  • Knox Community Hospital (OH) chooses Hicuity Health to provide tele-ICU and cardiac telemetry services.
  • Specialty drug management vendor Magellan Rx Management will offer its members live behavioral health support and wellness coaching from Heuro Health.

People

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Edifecs promotes Venkat Kavarthapu, MBA to CEO. He replaces founder Sunny Singh, who will move to board chair.

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Industry long-timer Jamie Trigg, MSITM (Virginia Mason Medical Center) joins CommonSpirit Health as national system director of Cerner.

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Payer software vendor HealthEdge hires Ryan Mooney (Cotiviti) as EVP/GM of its payment integrity product division.

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Bon Secours Mercy Health names Jason Szczuke, JD (Cigna) as its first chief digital officer.

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Kansas City-based worker compensation technology vendor Bardavon Health Innovations hires Ed Enyeart (Cerner) as CFO. He was recruited by former Cerner President Zane Burke, who joined Bardavon’s board in January 2021.


Government and Politics

A second VA OIG review of the infrastructure cost of implementing Cerner adds another several billion dollars to the project’s likely final cost. OIG notes, however, that the two infrastructure cost reports its office performed were conducted separately, so overlap is likely. The cost of the project, which was initially estimated at $10 billion and then $16 billion, could be as high as $21 billion if the estimates for cabling, user devices, and interfaces do not overlap. The VA – which OIG says underreported costs in its poorly documented estimates — agreed to all of OIG’s recommendations, which include having an independent cost estimate performed and ensuring that any additional project funding that is required is made available.


Announcements and Implementations

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Philips and Cognizant will co-develop digital health solutions for Philips HealthSuite.

A AHRQ-funded Regenstrief study finds that EHR alerts that are intend to reduce prescribing of dementia-linked anticholinergics in older adults are nearly never read by providers or medical assistants, so their effectiveness could not be measured. The authors conclude that human-based interventions might work better than computer-issued nudges for reducing anticholinergic prescribing.

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The Commons Project releases a free SMART Health Card Verifier App for IOS and Android that will allow businesses and other organizations to scan a COVID-19 vaccination card that uses the SMART standard to determine its validity and display vaccination details.


Other

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I ran across information for Microsoft 365 Business Basic, which seems like a great deal for $5 per user per month, with no mention of a minimum number of users. It includes web versions of Office apps, 50 GB of mailbox storage with Exchange, 1 TB of OneDrive storage and sync, a full implementation of Teams that includes webinars and 300-user meetings, and some elements of SharePoint that I don’t quite understand. No desktop app versions are included, but I’m pondering getting a lot of storage plus a Webinar platform for just $60 per year, which also includes 24-hour support.

Business Insider says that prospective business customers of its Amazon Care virtual service want it included as a benefit in their health insurance plans, but those insurers are balking, possibly because Amazon is recommending value-based contracts and the insurers would rather pay under fee-for-service deals.

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Eric Bricker, MD of First Stop Health notes a trend in physicians selling their medical practices to private equity firms, as follows:

  • The PE firm offers the physician owners of the practice a lump sump of cash and offers to take over its billing and collections.
  • The practice agrees to pay the PE firm up to 40% of future annual revenue.
  • The PE firm takes advantage of its now-larger group practices to squeeze insurers for higher payments.
  • Healthcare costs increase, but the doctors in the practice who weren’t owners – most of them younger — make less, allowing the PE firm to pocket the difference.

Sponsor Updates

  • Impact Advisors receives a high overall score in the KLAS “Security & Privacy Services 2021 Report.”
  • Redox enables its customers to create digital health apps using Unqork’s no-code platform that are interoperable with any organization in the Redox Network.
  • Healthcare Triangle achieves Google Cloud affiliate Partner status.
  • CereCore welcomes Michael Gagnon as its first Enterprise Fellow, where he will provide technical direction in IT solutions, cloud, and disaster recovery management.
  • VirtualHealth adds Healthwise’s educational healthcare content to its Helios care management platform for payers.
  • Vocera will relocate and expand its San Jose headquarters early next year.

Blog Posts


Contacts

Mr. H, Lorre, Jenn, Dr. Jayne.
Get HIStalk updates.
Send news or rumors.
Contact us.

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News 7/7/21

July 6, 2021 News No Comments

Top News

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UC San Diego Health adopts the SMART Health Card, giving patients and employees digital access to their vaccine records through the health system’s patient portal.


Reader Comments

From Informatics Nurse: “Re: COVID-19 vaccination. Since the ruling was upheld to allow hospitals to make COVID-19 vaccination a condition of employment, five consulting companies have reached out, saying they have a need for vaccinated go-live staff. The contracts are for 2-4 weeks, starting immediately, with all expenses paid and at hourly rates not seen since 2009. The reason is the termination of unvaccinated hospital IT staff who must have felt themselves indispensable and immune (pun intended) from termination after years of working on the project with go-live impending.” Unverified. Consulting folks – are hospitals calling to get quick, short-term replacements for IT-related staff who were let go because they declined vaccination?

From Inappropriate Umbrage: “Re: interviews. Some you’ve done contain fun or insightful tidbits, while others seem to recite the obvious. How do subjects prepare?” They don’t, because I don’t give them a topic list in advance, I don’t allow anyone else to get on the call, and I don’t give them the interview transcript draft afterward for their approval or editing. I decided early on to  buck the trend of dull health IT “interviews” that are really just committee-formulated company responses to a emailed list of non-insightful questions. I interview CEOs only, talk about whatever interests me, and then run a full transcript of that conversation, so give those interviewees credit for being willing to have an actual unscripted dialog — much of it related to the industry as a whole rather than the company — and have it just appear on the site without any other personal or company involvement. That requires a certain amount of courage and trust by the subject and some tolerance by readers who might not recognize the pressure the subject is under in being interrogated by an anonymous nobody of uncertain agenda in an unfamiliar setting.


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

I watched Questlove’s powerful, exuberant “Summer of Soul” Monday on Hulu and it was a stunning documentary, a historical look back at the tumultuous 1960s that is backdropped by concert footage of the forgotten “black Woodstock” of 1969’s 300,000-attendee Harlem Cultural Festival over six weekends. Musical highlights for me were shockingly charismatic The 5th Dimension and Sly and the Family Stone (I’m not really a gospel-funk fan even though I acknowledge the obvious talents of Mahalia Jackson and Mavis Staples) and seeing Stevie Wonder drumming better than most drummers. The film sat unprocessed and forgotten in a basement for 50 years — thank goodness it wasn’t on videotape — yet it offers perfect audio quality and depicts a bold palette of 1960s colors that, like the festival, have been largely forgotten (seen any bands wearing matching Creamsicle orange suits lately?) Questlove is a multi-talented and curious genius, of course, and he stayed out of the film’s way, allowing the tears and wistful reminiscing glow of festival performers and attendees who were shown footage 50 years after the event to provide the narrative. This festival was 100 miles geographically and light years away culturally from Woodstock. Segments about the Vietnam war, assassinations, and the moon landing are jaw-dropping, and you’re left with the message that while the music and fashion have changed, the struggle has not. 

I’m peeving once again on people who say they have “over 12 years of experience.” We know it isn’t 13 years or their carefully enumerative precision would have said so, maybe even rounded up if it was more than 12 years and six months, so why not just say “12 years of experience” and assume that the absence of those few extra months is immaterial? Otherwise, every since person’s resume would, except for one day per year, pointlessly describe their years of experience as “more than.”


Webinars

None scheduled soon. Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre to present your own.


People

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CMS appoints Meena Seshamani, MD, PhD (MedStar Health) as deputy administrator and director of the center for Medicare.

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Dina hires Maryann Lauletta, MD (Inspira Health) as its first chief medical officer.

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John Sheehan (All Tier Health Care Consulting) will join Rochester RHIO as CEO on August 1.


Announcements and Implementations

The incubator of Innovation Institute — whose members include Bon Secours Mercy Health System and MultiCare — will co-develop solutions with process automation vendor Olive and share commercialization revenue.

Children’s Hospital & Medical Center implements cloud-based enterprise imaging informatics and data insight solutions from Philips across its facilities in five states.

An InterSystems TrakCare Unified Health Information System update includes integration with its HealthShare Personal Community patient portal to support appointment scheduling and synchronization of third-party app data with patient records; support for virtual visits using Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, and WeChat; and support for SMART on FHIR apps. TrakCare is used in 27 countries, although not the US.


Privacy and Security

In England, an Information Commissioner’s Office analysis finds that more data breaches occurred in healthcare between 2019 and 2020 than in any other sector examined, prompting NHS Digital to delay its plans to share the health records of NHS patients with third-party organizations.


Other

A randomized controlled trial of a large company’s multi-site workplace wellness program after three years finds that while employees said they more actively managed their weight using the program, it otherwise had no impact on self-reported health, clinical health markers, healthcare spending or utilization, absenteeism, or job performance.

A Kaiser Health News report finds that rural, volunteer-based ambulance services are struggling to respond to calls due to a shortage of volunteers who are wiling to take the extensive emergency medical technician training and tests. it also notes that Medicare and Medicaid payments cover only about one-third of actual costs, leaving the services running in the red. Suggested solutions include funding EMS services via taxes, merging the services with fire departments, or turning them over to hospitals. 

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Saint Vincent Hospital (MA) CEO Carolyn Jackson cites an ongoing nurses strike as the reason for the Tenet-owned hospital’s decision to delay its Cerner implementation until early next year. The strike, which mostly involves concerns about nurse-to-patient staffing ratios, has been going on for nearly five months.


Sponsor Updates

  • EClinicalWorks releases a new customer success story, “PrimeCare Medical Clinic: Rocking Patient Engagement in Little Rock.”
  • Agfa HealthCare adds a chest X-ray visualization package to its Rubee for AI workflow software for radiology.
  • Clinical Architecture releases a new The Informonster Podcast, “Working Towards Price Transparency in Healthcare.”
  • Divurgent releases a new The Verged Podcast, “The Promise of the FDA Real-World Evidence Program.”
  • Ellkay recognizes VP of Customer Success Sunita Pradhan as part of its Women in Health IT Program.
  • Experian Health’s Enterprise Health Patient Identifier Solution and Hospital Claims Management Systems have been recognized as top-rated solutions in Black Book’s “Top Client-Rated Financial Solutions Achieving Accelerated Digital Transformation in the Nation’s Healthcare Systems” rankings.

Blog Posts


Contacts

Mr. H, Lorre, Jenn, Dr. Jayne.
Get HIStalk updates.
Send news or rumors.
Contact us.

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Monday Morning Update 7/5/21

July 4, 2021 News 6 Comments

Top News

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Three University of Texas organizations – University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, The University of Texas at Arlington, and The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center – form the Texas Health Informatics Alliance.

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THIA will hold its first conference virtually on September 9.


Reader Comments

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From Censored: “Re: HIMSS21 podcasts and video. The conference guidelines say that audio and video recording are mostly banned. Attendee interviews must be scheduled in advance and recorded in an enclosed location outside the aisles. Perhaps that applies to press only.” I’m one of few people who have been threatened (years ago) with expulsion by the HIMSS police for daring to snap a photo of a booth I was walking by. Despite that, I expect it’s mostly a complaint-based system designed to protect exhibitors from competitive espionage. According to the HIMSS21 guidelines:

  • Video recording, audio recording, and photography is prohibited during keynote sessions. HIMSS warns attendees that its staff will immediately escort anyone out who takes photos (good luck with that).
  • In the exhibit hall, photos and videos can be taken only in the exhibitor’s booth, with cameras or other equipment facing into that booth. Recording another exhibitor’s booth may result in termination of future exhibiting privileges. Media members must have HIMSS media credentials to take video or photos in a booth.
  • Attendees may not record interviews by walking up to people – interviews must be scheduled ahead of time and done in a booth or enclosed location away from the exhibit hall aisles and hallways outside keynote presentations.

Bottom line, as the reader is suggesting, anyone who is recording or taking pictures other than in an individual exhibitor’s booth is breaking conference rules. I swear last conference you could barely walk around without constantly running into someone who was recording an interview that the world cared nothing about.


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

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Most poll respondents don’t believe that the compensation of remote workers should be adjusted based on their local cost of living, with comments reflecting a “just pay people what the are worth” belief.

New poll to your right or here: How much impact has the information technology used by your providers and insurers had on your overall health and happiness?

Thanks to these companies that recently supported HIStalk. Click a logo for more information.

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I’m fascinated by the sad situation at the collapsed Champlain Towers South in Florida, mostly because it is unfolding nearly exactly as laid out by John D. McDonald’s 1977 novel “Condominium.” The book weaves a tale of Florida condo builder greed, the misery of living under HOA oversight, volunteer condo board members who are personally attacked by their neighbors over the necessary but potentially unaffordable cost of maintaining their shared homes, construction shortcuts that builders get away with, and Florida’s draw of newcomers who treat every day as a responsibility-free vacation. I got my copy in a “fill a bag with books for $5” library sale years ago and I’ve read it at least 10 times since, although I’ve misplaced that copy and am balking at paying $12 for its Kindle replacement. It’s a great read at nearly 600 pages, so I’ll probably pull the trigger even though I would be happier if Amazon allowed me to lend or gift the Kindle copy after I’ve read it for the 11th time as I did its $0.25 predecessor.


Webinars

None scheduled soon. Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre to present your own.


Sales

  • Virtual care vendor Orb Health chooses Redox to enable access to provider EHRs.

People

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TransformativeMed hires industry long-timer Shawn DeWane (Hayes MDaudit) as president and CEO.

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Mon Health (WV) promotes Mon Health Medical Center Chief Administrative Officer Mark Gilliam to SVP of the health system (he was the health system’s first CIO through June 2021) and promotes Associate CIO Mark Combs, MBA to CIO.

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The city celebrates retiring Huntsville Hospital CEO David Spillers, MBA, who started his healthcare in the 1980s as an IT analyst and then became CIO of Mission Hospitals (NC). 


Announcements and Implementations

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Belma Andric, MD, MPH, chief medical officer at Health Care District of Palm Beach County, celebrates its Epic go-live with a team photo. 


Other

Providence St. Joseph Health Senior Clinical Data Engineer Angelique Russell, MPH lists reasons that sepsis predictive models – like the one offered by Epic – fail:

  • Hospitals don’t equip many of their beds with continuous monitoring technology, so manual vital sign measurement and entry is delayed.
  • Hospitals upcode to maximize revenue, as coders are prodded to find enough sepsis criteria in “rule out sepsis” orders to justify higher bills that may not meet a strict clinical definition of sepsis. Systems that use bill codes for clinical purposes are likely to be unsuccessful.
  • Models developed elsewhere may not be generalizable depending on the other facility’s clinical definition of sepsis and the at-risk populations it treats.
  • No evidence exists to guide sepsis treatment that is predicted hours in advance.

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I don’t usually get involved with open positions, but Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas in Pittsburg, KS is recruiting a CIO. I figured they could use some pro bono help and I’ve got little to write about this holiday weekend, so there you go. Pittsburg is a two-hour drive from Kansas City or Tulsa and you can get a lot of house for the money – a richly detailed 4,000 square foot two-story from the early 1900s is less than $300K. I’ve heard of the town because it has two fried chicken restaurants next door to each other, Chicken Mary’s and Chicken Annie’s (their curious existence spawned a well-received fictional novel called “The Chicken Sisters.”) Anyway, I’ve worked in rural health systems and the opportunity and quality of life can be excellent, so consider your career objectives and whether a CIO job might help you attain them.


Sponsor Updates

  • Intrado’s HouseCalls Pro digital patient engagement platform earns a score of 88.3 out of 100 in a new First Look report from KLAS.
  • Protenus Chief of Staff Sherrod Davis wins a Baltimore Business 2021 Best in Tech Award.
  • Talkdesk launches Talkdesk for Service Cloud Voice on Salesforce AppExchange.
  • Business First Louisville names Waystar CFO Steve Oreskovich to its Best in Finance list.

Blog Posts


Contacts

Mr. H, Lorre, Jenn, Dr. Jayne.
Get HIStalk updates.
Send news or rumors.
Contact us.

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News 7/2/21

July 1, 2021 News 5 Comments

Top News

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HIMSS will offer HIMSS21 attendees three options for proving that they have received COVID-19 vaccine, which is required for picking up their conference badge and entering the conference venue:

  1. Install the Clear Health Pass app and either link to their vaccine provider’s records or upload a copy of a CDC-issued vaccination card. This option is not available for attendees from outside the US.
  2. Book an appointment to show paper or digital vaccination record in a virtual call with a Vaccine Concierge, who will then email a verification card for printing or displaying on a mobile device. Appointments for the video calls will be available weekdays starting July 12.
  3. Bring paper or digital vaccination records to the conference and have them reviewed on site at one of four Vaccine Verification Centers.

Other safety procedures:

  • Attendees will not need to show vaccine-related records once they have picked up their badge.
  • Mask-wearing won’t be required.
  • HIMSS has eliminated its previous requirement that presenters wear face shields.
  • Exhibitor staff will need to pick up their badges individually since they will be required to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination.
  • COVID-19 testing will be offered on site.

Reader Comments

From Servile Pleaser: “Re: HIMSS21. Any updates?” We’re just about five weeks out, it’s 110 degrees every day in Lost Wages, and the enthusiasm I’ve seen mostly comes from excessively exuberant amateur podcasters and video-makers who can’t wait to clog up the exhibit hall aisles with self-important “broadcasting” that nobody will actually consume. Exhibitor count has improved to 626, about half the usual number. I usually get many dozen HIStalk sponsors providing their information for my HMSS guide, but so far I’ve received submissions from just five companies (the last chance to be included is at hand – submit your information here). I’m dreading going, but happy it will likely be far from the usual grueling marathon – I’ve rearranged my travel to leave on a Thursday night redeye to minimize my time in Las Vegas.

From Grammar-Minded Lad: “Re: Bill Cosby getting off on a ‘technicality.’ Wondered what you think about the use of that term?” Labeling a controversial but legally supported decision as being due to a “technicality” or a “loophole” is an insidious way for news organizations to pander to armchair experts who think they know more than actual experts (i.e., just about anyone who uses Facebook or Twitter and will obligingly click an inflammatory link). Our democracy is built on technicalities and loopholes, such as reading a suspect their rights even though they’ve heard them on TV a thousand times. Both are, by definition, legal and thus ethical. I’m skeptical that high-horsers who claim they would not personally take full legal advantage of tax or criminal laws that would give them huge personal benefit. As has been said way too many times, don’t hate the player, hate the game.


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

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Welcome to new HIStalk Platinum Sponsor EZDI. The Louisville, KY-based company offers a cloud-based, AI-powered integrated clinical documentation and medical coding platform (computer-assisted clinical documentation, computer-assisted coding, computer-assisted coding compliance, comprehensive data analytics, and clinical NLP APIs). Its computer-assisted coding platform earned the top overall KLAS score of 92.5 among competitors. Its clinical NLP APIs extract meaningful clinical entities (problems, procedures, modifiers, lab data, etc.) from structured and unstructured data such as physician notes, clinical reports, and lab reports for use cases such as risk adjustment, prior authorization, fraud detection, semantic search, clinical trials management, population health, and predictive analytics. Thanks to EZDI for supporting HIStalk.


Webinars

None scheduled soon. Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre to present your own.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

Process automation vendor Olive raises $400 million in a funding round that values the company at $4 billion. The company says its products are being used in 900 US hospitals.

Netsmart acquires post-acute care reimbursement and quality measures analytics vendor SimpleLTC.

Virtual musculoskeletal pain physical therapy vendor Sword Health raises $85 million in a Series C funding round.

Tendo Systems raises $50 million in a Series funding round, valuing the healthcare digital engagement platform vendor at $550 million less than a year after its founding. The company’s website is maddeningly vague on exactly what it is selling.


People

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Lawrence General Hospital (MA) promotes Gerald Greeley, MHA to CIO.

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NThrive names Hemant Goel, MBA (Capsule Technologies) as CEO and James Evans, MBA (ESolutions) as CFO.

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Bryan Wolf, MD, PhD retires from a long career at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and Penn’s medical school that included years as CIO and chair of the department of biomedical and health informatics.


Government and Politics

VA Secretary Denis McDonough reaffirms its commitment to its Cerner implementation as a review of the project concludes, indicating that any changes to the VA’s program will be announced within two weeks.


Privacy and Security

Google asks a California federal judge to dismiss a proposed class action lawsuit that claims the company’s COVID-19 free contact tracing app – which it developed with Apple — exposes the confidential information of Android users. Google says the plaintiffs are making theoretical arguments related to storing contact tracing data in Android system logs, which it says has never resulted in an actual exposure of information. Google cites previous rulings that information must be viewed to violate someone’s privacy and that California privacy claims must allege that information was wrongfully disclosed.


Other

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Screenshots have been leaked by supposed early testers of the Google Health medical records management app, Android’s equivalent of IOS-only Apple Health Records.

The New York Times reviews the roughly 80 medical schools – most of them for-profit — that operate from the Caribbean, noting that 60% of their graduates are chosen for US residencies versus 94% of graduates of US schools. The Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates will stiffen school accreditation requirements by 2024 and has already banned certification of graduates of two Caribbean schools.

Interesting: IBM employees report a multi-day loss of access to emails and calendars after the company’s attempt to convert from an old version the Notes platform it formerly owned. IBM sold the former Lotus Notes and Domino to India-based HCL Technologies awhile back, then decided to migrate off that platform because its employee email data would have been stored in that country.


Sponsor Updates

  • Summit Healthcare publishes a new client use case, “Cottage Hospital Improves Physician Relationships, ROI, and Secure Data Exchange with Summit All Access.”
  • Glytec publishes the largest descriptive analysis of adult T1D patients with and without diabetic ketoacidosis treated with insulin management software.
  • Goliath Technologies publishes a new case study, “Universal Health Services Uses Goliath to Prevent EHR and VDI Logon Issues.”
  • The How AI Happens Podcast features Gyant co-founder and CEO Stefan Behrens.
  • Halo Health publishes a new case study, “Improving Clinical Communication and Collaboration at Great River Health System.”
  • Jvion’s clinical AI wins a Globee in the 2021 IT World Awards.
  • Optimum Healthcare IT adds Robert Morris University as a partner in its CareerPath program.
  • Medicomp Systems releases a new Tell Me Where It Hurts Podcast featuring Amy Gleason, project lead at the US Digital Service.
  • Pivot Point Consulting publishes its Q3 healthcare insights and trends report.
  • Meditech customers receive top hospital safety grades from the Leapfrog Group.
  • HealtheConnect Alaska renews its contract with NextGate for patient identification and statewide data exchange.

Blog Posts


Contacts

Mr. H, Lorre, Jenn, Dr. Jayne.
Get HIStalk updates.
Send news or rumors.
Contact us.

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News 6/30/21

June 29, 2021 News No Comments

Top News

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Harris acquires physician practice and hospital software vendor Ingenious Med.


Webinars

June 30 (Wednesday) 1 ET. “From quantity to quality: The new frontier for clinical data.” Sponsor: Intelligent Medical Objects. Presenters: Dale Sanders, chief strategy officer, IMO; John Lee, MD, CMIO, Allegheny Health Network. EHRs generate more healthcare data than ever, but that data is of low quality for secondary uses such as population health, precision medicine, and pandemic management, and its collection burdens clinicians as data entry clerks. The presenters will review ways to reduce clinician EHR burden; describe the importance of standardized, harmonious data; suggest why quality measures strategy needs to be changed; and make the case that clinical data collection as a whole should be re-evaluated.

Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre to present your own.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Providence Ventures invests in RxRevu one year after its affiliated health system in Seattle deployed the company’s SwiftRx real-time prescription benefit software.

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Stone Point Capital acquires and combines Verisys and Aperture Health, creating a company focused on credentialing, enrollment, and provider data management. Aperture Health CEO Charlie Falcone will lead the new company.

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Utilization management software and physician services company Xsolis secures a $75 million investment from Brighton Park Capital. The company recently hired Mandy Cruz (Sunquest) as VP of customer delivery and Tim Mueller (Optum) as VP of client success.

Healthcare governance, risk, and compliance solutions vendor RLDatix acquires UK-based Allocate Software,. which offers human capital management solutions.

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Hospital IQ, an operational management software vendor based in Massachusetts, raises $25 million in a Series C funding round.

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Nearly 500 One Medical employees (excluding physicians and other clinicians) announce their intent to unionize to address the mistreatment they say they’ve suffered during the pandemic. Their complaints include:

  • The company’s mismanaged COVID-19 vaccine program, which wound up making national news after company whistleblowers alerted the media to the fact that ineligible patients – some with ties to leadership – received the vaccine ahead of eligible patients, resulting in a congressional investigation.
  • Denial of hazard payment to frontline workers.
  • The wrongful termination of 19 employees.
  • Hiring unlicensed and/or inexperienced phlebotomists.
  • Sub-par care for community members who couldn’t afford One Medical’s typical membership fees.

One Medical went public earlier this year, and acquired senior-focused primary care company Iora Health several weeks ago for $2 billion.


Sales

  • CyncHealth, an HIE that serves seven Midwestern states, selects Lyniate’s Rhapsody software to improve participant onboarding, privacy, and security.
  • Marshfield Clinic Health System (WI) will implement NowPow’s community services referral software.
  • USMD Health System and WellMed (TX) select Leading Reach’s referral communication and care coordination software.
  • The North Estonia Medical Centre joins the TriNetX network to increase its engagement with the international healthcare research community.
  • UBC will use Surescripts Specialty Enrollment service in its biopharma support services that include REMS enrollment, clinical studies and registries, and patient support services.
  • In Canada, six Ontario hospitals will implement a shared regional instance of Cerner Millennium.

People

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Chuck Podesta (UConn Health) joins Renown Health as CIO.

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Eron Kelly (Amazon Web Services) joins Inovalon as president.


Announcements and Implementations

The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation will use data normalization services from Intelligent Medical Objects to improve clinical data from its CureCloud and CoMMpass clinical trial programs.

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A new KLAS report on security and privacy consulting services finds that Meditology, Clearwater, and CynergisTek top the list of companies that are most often viewed as partners by customers. The report notes that Impact Advisors has the highest overall performance score at 99.1 on a 100-point scale even though its security offering is less widely known. Clients of audit-focused firms such as Deloitte, EY, and PwC are more likely to seek less-prominent companies in search of  higher value or staff quality, with Deloitte customers in particular reporting problems with executive involvement, quality, delays, and its perceived use of a B-team of inexperienced employees


Other

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Ireland’s health service facilities continue to operate under downtime procedures after a ransomware attack took out their computer systems six weeks ago. The health service estimates that recovery costs will exceed $600 million.


Sponsor Updates

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  • Cerner employees assemble 300 hygiene kits, prepare 100 dental bags, and stuff 2,000 envelopes for its Care Kits and Healthe Kids Screenings programs.
  • Dina CEO Ashish Shah will speak at the Home Care 100 Leadership Conference June 30.
  • Lumeon publishes “The Future of Digital Transformation in Healthcare Report 2021.”
  • Surescripts announces that last year more than 745,000 individuals and organizations used its Clinical Direct Messaging to improve transitions of care, send immunization notifications, coordinate medication management efforts and achieve federal incentives requiring the use of secure electronic messaging.

Blog Posts


Contacts

Mr. H, Lorre, Jenn, Dr. Jayne.
Get HIStalk updates.
Send news or rumors.
Contact us.

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Monday Morning Update 6/28/21

June 27, 2021 News 1 Comment

Top News

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Health Catalyst will acquire patient engagement technology vendor Twistle, which it says will allow it to offer a comprehensive population health management solution to healthcare providers and life sciences companies.

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SEC filings indicate that Health Catalyst will pay up to $170 million for Twistle, which has $8 million in annual revenue and will lose an expected $3 million in 2022.


Reader Comments

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From William Pay: “Re: Doxo. Our hospital is getting complaints from patients about Doxo. The consumer bill pay network is paying for Google search results for specific hospital names.” Doxo came up in the top handful of my Google results for some randomly chosen hospital names plus “online bill pay.” The link leads to specific webpages that Doxo has created for those hospitals. Each hospital’s Doxo page clearly says that Doxo has no connection to that hospital. Doxo has generated 185 complaints on the Better Business Bureau website, quite a few of them from people who had problems with fees or delayed payment resulting from their use of Doxo to pay their hospital bills. Several business and city government websites have warned their customers against using Doxo, with some of them directly calling Doxo a scam.

From Informatics MD: “Re: Epic Sepsis Model. The published work is important and highlights the need for internal validation, but their experience is not shared by our institution or others we’ve interfaced with since. The implication is that health systems implemented the model without validation or careful oversight. We validated it in a unique, limited setting (the ED) and found its performance to be acceptable enough to proceed with cautious implementation through a controlled quality improvement intervention. Our results are forthcoming, although we can’t discuss them yet due to standard journal embargo policy.”


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

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Personal connections enabled half of poll respondents to get their present jobs.

New poll to your right or here: Should companies pay remote workers based on their local cost of living?


Webinars

June 30 (Wednesday) 1 ET. “From quantity to quality: The new frontier for clinical data.” Sponsor: Intelligent Medical Objects. Presenters: Dale Sanders, chief strategy officer, IMO; John Lee, MD, CMIO, Allegheny Health Network. EHRs generate more healthcare data than ever, but that data is of low quality for secondary uses such as population health, precision medicine, and pandemic management, and its collection burdens clinicians as data entry clerks. The presenters will review ways to reduce clinician EHR burden; describe the importance of standardized, harmonious data; suggest why quality measures strategy needs to be changed; and make the case that clinical data collection as a whole should be re-evaluated.

Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre to present your own.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

Shares of Doximity closed at $55.98 on Friday, valuing the physician social network platform vendor at $10 billion. The company booked $207 million in revenue and $50 million in net income in the latest fiscal year. CEO Jeff Tangney has beneficial ownership of $3 billion worth of shares.


Announcements and Implementations

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HIMSS announces that Dwight Schrute from “The Office” (actor Rainn Wilson) will keynote at HIMSS21. HIMSS says he will deliver a hilarious, insightful talk full of anecdotes and warmth.


Government and Politics

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Britain’s Health Secretary Matt Hancock resigns after a tabloid publishes photos of him kissing a health advisor-lobbyist in early May before indoor cross-household contact was allowed under national COVID-19 restrictions. He and the advisor, who he appointed, are married to others. The government is investigating whether the photos were intentionally leaked. Hancock’s replacement will be former Chancellor and Home Secretary Sajid David. 


Other

UF Health (FL) restores its EHR at its Leesburg and The Villages campuses after nearly a month of ransomware-caused downtime.


Sponsor Updates

  • Divurgent launches a Customer Experience Program focused on creating additional value for its clients before, during, and after an engagement.
  • Vocera announces that its solutions are used in six out of 10 children’s hospitals included in the latest US News & World Report honor roll.
  • EClinicalWorks releases a new customer success story, “Record Retrieval Made Easy with Prisma.”
  • Optimum Healthcare IT adds The University of Texas at San Antonio Alumni Association to its Optimum CareerPath apprenticeship program.
  • Summit Healthcare publishes a new client use case, “Cody Regional Health Enlists Summit Healthcare’s Integration Services to Support Epic Migration.”
  • EY announces that Protenus co-founder and CEO Nick Culbertson is an Entrepreneur of the Year 2021 Mid-Atlanta Award finalist.
  • Parity.org includes Quil Health on its 2021 Best Companies for Women to Advance list.
  • Ascom expands its Unite software ecosystem with the addition of the new Unite Collaborate communication application.
  • Twistle publishes a new case study, “ChristianaCare: Improving Detection and Management of Postpartum Hypertension.
  • Well Health receives a Rising Star Award as part of the 2020-2021 South Coast Business & Technology Awards.
  • Vyne Medical releases a new podcast, “The New Era of Patient Access and Revenue Cycle.”

Blog Posts


Contacts

Mr. H, Lorre, Jenn, Dr. Jayne.
Get HIStalk updates.
Send news or rumors.
Contact us.

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News 6/25/21

June 24, 2021 News 11 Comments

Top News

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Shares in Doximity, which set an IPO share price of $26 versus the expected range of $20 to 23, close at $53.00 on their first day of trading on the New York Stock Exchange, valuing the physician network vendor at $7 billion. 


Reader Comments

From Muumuu Summer: “Re: Epic. Are you hearing that they seem to be losing more employees than usual? It seems like they are bringing back a previous break-the-glass strategy by having senior people cover open positions until they can be filled, which can leave clients without a permanent person for months.” Epic clients are welcome to report their experience.

From Watcher of the Data: “Re: Avaneer and blockchain. You are dead right about this. The most amusing part of this is that blockchain won’t ‘solve’ the interoperability problem – it can become useful only once the problem has been solved.”

From Percolator: “Re: Epic’s sepsis model. Cerner has a free one that gets little use, and the company has had trouble selling models for other conditions. Every condition needs to be mapped to hospital work flow – who do you alert and how, and what is the recipient supposed to do? These models add little incremental value because (a) doctors are already very good at detecting sepsis and starting antibiotics, and (b) 90% of sepsis is community acquired before the patient is admitted. ‘Watch this patient more closely’ is not worth much, especially if doctors and nurses already suspect sepsis.” Thanks. I’ve removed identifying information since I wasn’t sure this comment was intended for public display.

From Ossify: “Re: Epic’s sepsis model. Why should anyone care what the algorithm does as long as it works?” You wouldn’t want to harm someone, either by overtreating or undertreating, because a software model was trained on a bunch of data and “learned” from facts that are clearly irrelevant or not universally applicable. Example: Epic developed a patient no-show model awhile back that incorporated the patient’s religion and body mass index in predicting whether they would show up for appointments, and researchers found that removing those features didn’t reduce the model’s predictive powers but eliminated some inequity issues. Did Epic really think those factors were relevant, or was their data science knowledge insufficient? Then there’s the “what do we do with this” issue – should appointments be double-booked in case those patients really do skip their appointments (and what happens if they don’t?) or perhaps could the information be less invasively and more constructively used to send reminders or to understand that particular patient’s possible issues with venue location, transportation, or available hours that could be resolved by suggesting a different location? AI is amazing for being able to detect data patterns that humans haven’t, but if pitched to replace or even enhance expert judgment, it’s the customer’s job to make sure that the algorithms work in their particular situation. I’m not sure the average health system has the expertise to make those evaluations, so that’s why outside review is a reasonable recommendation.

From Bagna Cauda: “Re: mental health apps. Which ones are best?” I’m skeptical that any of them accomplish much given the lack of peer-reviewed studies on their outcomes. FDA seems to lack interest in holding their developers accountable even when they are clearly being pitched for use in medical or psychological situations. It doesn’t help that psychological counseling itself may have outcomes that are hard to prove. Lastly, the nature of these behavioral health app companies is that they are pandering to investors who demand fast growth Silicon Valley style, which means their customers will have minimal human involvement and instead will interact with scalable, cookie cutter technology that offers the opposite of the human interaction that many people crave. It also seems that some vendors expect users to stop paying once the limited value of the app becomes clear, so they refocus on selling to employers and insurers (healthcare excels at separating the people who consume a service from those who pay for it).


Webinars

June 30 (Wednesday) 1 ET. “From quantity to quality: The new frontier for clinical data.” Sponsor: Intelligent Medical Objects. Presenters: Dale Sanders, chief strategy officer, IMO; John Lee, MD, CMIO, Allegheny Health Network. EHRs generate more healthcare data than ever, but that data is of low quality for secondary uses such as population health, precision medicine, and pandemic management, and its collection burdens clinicians as data entry clerks. The presenters will review ways to reduce clinician EHR burden; describe the importance of standardized, harmonious data; suggest why quality measures strategy needs to be changed; and make the case that clinical data collection as a whole should be re-evaluated.

Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre to present your own.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Providence-owned Tegria acquires healthcare AI vendor KenSci.

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Subscription-based opioid use disorder virtual care vendor Bicycle Health raises $27 million in a Series A funding round.

National emergency medical services provider Priority Ambulance acquires software vendor Randseco, which offers the StatCall digital patient logistics solution that supports information exchange among ambulances, hospitals, payers, and non-medical transportation services.

CitiusTech acquires Pittsburgh-based payment technology consulting firm SDLC Partners. 


Sales

  • The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston engages ReMedi Health Solutions to offer personalization training for 2,000 clinicians in 18 specialties as it implements Epic. The company also provided an AI-powered virtual assistant for workflow help and tipsheets.

People

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Healthcare IT Leaders hires Patrick Dougherty (Allscripts) as CTO.

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Pallav Sharda, MBBS, MBA, MMI (Google) joins employer bundled health services platform vendor Carrum Health as chief product officer. 

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Well Health hires John Knotwell, MBA (Get Bridge) as chief revenue officer and Marissa Morrison (Foursquare) as VP of people.

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Sheeza Hussain (Hillrom) joins remote patient monitoring technology vendor Bifourmis as chief commercial officer.

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RCM services vendor Kemberton names Deanna Gray (Millennia) as SVP of customer success.

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Peter Arduini (Integra LifeSciences) is named president and CEO of GE Healthcare, effective January 3, 2022.

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Virtual-first urgent care and primary care clinic HealthTap promotes co-founder and COO Sean Mehra, MBA to CEO.


Announcements and Implementations

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Healthcare Triangle releases DataEZ, a cloud-based analytics service that that can manage large quantities of data, including real-world data from remote monitoring, digital health services, and clinical trials.

Medical imaging software vendor Novarad announces GA of a software-only version of its CryptoChart image sharing product that uses a QR code to access the cloud-based information.

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Rehabilitation therapy platform vendor WebPT recaps its recent accomplishments – 20,000 clinic customers and a 40% market share, release of its Digital Patient Intake tool, key leadership appointments, and launch of an integrated virtual visit solution.

WellSky-owned CarePort announces a care coordination solution for ambulatory providers, which will allow them to connect patients to home- and community-based organizations directly from their EHR and to maintain two-way communication during the referral process.

3M will establish a Digital Science Community in Dublin, Ireland, employing 100 people to do R&D work for its HIS division.

MGMA and WhiteSpace Health release MGMA DataDiscovery, a physician practice performance analytics tool for medical groups.

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Allscripts-owned Veradigm and pharma contract research organization PRA Health Sciences develop an EHR-based clinical research network that uses Veradigm’s StudySource platform. 

Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women launches PeriWatch Vigilance in Malawi, with the fetal monitoring system being provided at no charge by PeriGen.

Omny Health develops a de-identified EHR data repository for dermatologic pharma research, offering the data of 7.5 million patients that was collected from 1,000 dermatology providers. The company announced GA of its anonymized data research platform in early May. Co-founder and CEO Mitesh Rao, MD, MS was Stanford Health Care’s chief patient safety officer through 2017 and remains an emergency medicine professor at the Stanford University School of Medicine.


Other

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England’s NHS publishes a draft data strategy that outlines NHSX’s use of data to give patients better access and control, to allow systems to share records, and to support research. It calls for the NHS app to allow patients to review test results, medication lists, procedures, and care plans and to be able to manage appointments, refill prescriptions and contact health and care staff. NHS also responded to concerns about its data-sharing plans by committing to publish a health data transparency statement by 2022.

Epic spokesperson Barbara Hernandez responds to the study in which Michigan Medicine researchers found that its sepsis alerting tool performed poorly, leading the authors to urge health systems to review the inner workings and past performance of such algorithms before using them in patient care. Epic’s points:

  • Customers have access to the full model, its formulas, and its accuracy measurements, all of which are published on Epic’s UserWeb.
  • The authors used a hypothetical approach that did not consider the analysis and tuning that is required before real-world deployment.
  • The tool has helped clinicians provide life-saving interventions to thousands of patients that might have been missed otherwise.
  • Michigan Medicine provided a positive review of the system in a UGM presentation in describing how pediatric patients are screened within two minutes of developing symptoms. 

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Meanwhile, one of the authors of the Epic Sepsis Model article that was published in JAMA Internal Medicine – nephrologist, assistant professor, and machine learning lab director Karandeep Singh, MD, MMSc of University of Michigan Medical School – provides further information via Twitter:

  • The authors ruled out configuration and mapping errors that often create low data AUCs (area under the curve). Epic’s AUCs were much higher in its own sensitivity analysis.
  • Singh notes that AUC is driven by two factors – the method of calculation (which was not a factor in their study) and the outcomes being considered (which was significantly different). Epic defines sepsis as presence of an ICD-10 code whose usage varies so much among hospitals that nearly nobody trusts it, including CDC and CMS, which don’t rely on the code to track sepsis or measure sepsis outcomes, respectively. The authors used the criteria that UM sepsis committee developed for quality measures tracking, which is a composite of the CDC and CMS definitions.
  • Singh raises the possibility that Epic’s model may infer sepsis from the ordering of sepsis-related medications, with the model’s data “leakage” making it look better than it really is.
  • Epic’s model identified only a tiny percentage of patients that clinicians would have otherwise missed.
  • Singh concludes that UM is using the model as part of a broader sepsis intervention that includes frequent nursing checks, but will be revisiting the model’s usage.
  • Singh’s recommendations to Epic, which he presented to its data science team in April, include releasing its models publicly for independent review as Cerner has done, increasing the transparency of the model’s coefficients and modeling code, and making it easier for Epic customers to run competing open models instead of limiting them to those offered by the company as “a walled-garden app store.”  

 

Vanderbilt University Medical Center informatics professor and department chair Kevin Johnson, MD, MS posts “Living Through Going Live,” a video recap of VUMC’s 2017 go-live on Epic.


Sponsor Updates

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  • Newfire Global Partners offers its team members an interoffice exchange program, such as employees from its Ukraine office working and culture-exploring on Croatia.
  • Users rate Halo Health the top clinical communication and collaboration platform in G2’s latest “Clinical Communication and Collaboration Grid Report.”
  • Health Data Movers publishes a new client story, “Data Conversion for Oncology EHR to Epic.”
  • InterSystems announces the latest release of its Iris data platform, which includes adaptive analytics capabilities and additional SQL extensions for analytics to improve the process of implementing an enterprise data fabric architecture.
  • Jvion will present at the Home Care 100 Leadership Conference June 27-30 in Marco Island, FL.
  • Ellkay joins the Active Archive Alliance.
  • CHIME President and CEO Russ Branzell, MBA interviews National Coordinator Micky Tripathi, PhD, MPP at the summer forum.
  • Nordic and the American Medical Association publish a white paper titled “2021 E/M Transition: How Organizations Are Moving Forward Successfully.”
  • Mental health patients at Citizens Memorial Hospital have chosen virtual care via Meditech.
  • Everest Group recognizes NTT Data as a Leader in its SAP Services PEAK Matrix Report.

Blog Posts


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Reader Comments

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