Recent Articles:

Morning Headlines 12/4/23

December 3, 2023 Headlines No Comments

Culmination Bio Raises $10M From Amgen Ventures and Merck Global Health Innovation Fund to Bring Longitudinal Health Data to Biopharma

Intermountain Health spinoff Culmination Bio, which offers drug companies a clinical study recruitment platform that contains 40 years’ worth of de-identified EHR and biospecimen data, raises $10 million from two drug company investment funds.

Potrero Medical Announces Restructuring and Continued Operations

Potrero Medical, which offers medical devices and analytics for monitoring acute kidney injury, files Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Hippocratic AI Launches Early Access Partnership Program With Leading Healthcare Organizations Including OhioHealth, Roper St. Francis Healthcare, Evernow, HarmonyCares, and Guidehealth

Hippocratic AI launches a development partnership program that includes OhioHealth, Roper St. Francis Healthcare, Evernow, HarmonyCares, and Guidehealth.

Monday Morning Update 12/4/23

December 3, 2023 News No Comments

Top News

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Intermountain Health spinoff Culmination Bio, which offers drug companies a clinical study recruitment platform that contains 40 years’ worth of de-identified EHR and biospecimen data, raises a $10 million investment from two drug company investment funds.


Reader Comments

From Spangler: “Re: physicians in rural areas. It’s concerning that we are facing a shortage even if telemedicine and AI try to help.” The real issue is that the dismal conditions of working as a corporate physician are driving many away from patient care or out of medicine. This exodus is tempered only by the need to repay massive school loans. It’s worth reconsidering the necessity of an eight-year education plus internships and residencies for primary care physicians (PCPs) that push their career entry into their late 20s or early 30s. Alternatives could include expanding the roles of nurse practitioners, physician assistant, and pharmacists. Additionally, integrating AI into medical training could accelerate training, especially given the rapid obsolescence of classroom work, and could be used to provide support as needed for more unusual cases. Meanwhile, the profit-obsessed US healthcare system is increasingly strained as major physician employers compete for the essential yet limited clinical workforce.

From Poppy: “Re: ChatGPT 4 Plus or Pro. You can now add any file type and it will analyze and even visualize the data for you. I’ve used it to sort DEI survey responses as either friendly or antagonistic and it works like a charm.” ChatGPT keeps adding features to the point I can’t keep up. I use custom instructions to ask it to include source links as well as its numeric confidence rating of its response, both of which are helpful. I’ve also upload images and files and asked it to perform simple functions, although I’m still using it mostly to analyze writing or to generate ideas, and while I wouldn’t call it mission-critical to my work, it’s getting there. I would like to hear from readers – what are some less-than-obvious ChatGPT capabilities that you are using to get work done? I’m still anxiously awaiting an easily installed, inexpensive chat/search function that would provide a front-end for searching HIStalk, which contains everything important that has happened in health IT since 2007.


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

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The biggest PCP frustration among poll respondents by far is trying to book an appointment.

New poll to your right or here: How would you grade health IT conferences on their level of presenter diversity? An additional question that is more for commentary than polling – should conferences be held accountable for offering a diverse roster of presenters and panelists when the underlying cohort mostly involves white males? 


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Generous donations from Karen, Bill, another Bill, and Mike, with matching funds from third parties and my Anonymous Vendor Executive, fully and anonymously funded these Donors Choose grant requests from teachers who are working in historically underfunded schools:

  • A math book series for Ms. K’s middle school class in Fort Stockton, TX.
  • STEM station materials for Mr. G’s middle school class in Greenacres, FL.
  • STEM activity kits for Ms. G’s elementary school class in Baltimore, MD.
  • A lectern for Mr. P’s high school class in Pharr, TX.
  • Headphones and math manipulatives for Mr. W’s elementary school class in North Las Vegas, NV.
  • Math games for Ms. C’s elementary school class in Jamaica, NY.
  • A coding robot and math manipulatives for Ms. K’s elementary school class in Orlando, FL.
  • Headphones for Ms. M’s middle school class in Glendale, AZ.
  • Home health aide training books for Ms. W’s high school class in La Jara, CO.
  • A bilingual STEM center for Ms. R’s elementary school class in Las Cruces, NM.
  • Headphones for Mr. S’s elementary school class in Yonkers, NY.
  • Headphones for Ms. K’s elementary school class in Tyler, TX.
  • Science books for Ms. S’s elementary school class in Natchez, MS.
  • STEM books for Ms. P, a librarian at a middle school in Coffeyville, KS.
  • An achievement button making machine for Ms. E’s high school class in Goodyear, AZ.
  • Books for Ms. K’s high school class in Bronx, NY.
  • STEM development activities for Ms. F’s elementary school class in Indian Orchard, MA.
  • STEM model building kits for Ms. W’s elementasry school class in South Ozone Park, NY.
  • Programmable robots for Ms. J’s elementary school class in San Diego, CA.
  • Headphones for Mrs. H’s elementary school class in Kinston, NC.
  • Classroom supplies for Ms. G’s elementary school class in Mission, TX.
  • Accelerated reading and anti-racism books for Ms. H’s elementary school class in Shreveport, LA.

You can do these things to support HIStalk:

  • Join my spam-free mailing list.
  • Connect on LinkedIn and join Dann’s HIStalk Fan Club, which tells me when you change jobs and gives you Swiftie-level influence points for favors asked.
  • Tell my sponsors, or potential ones, that you value their support of what I do.
  • Share news, rumors, and intriguing insights.
  • Consider being interviewed if you are full of brash, eminently quotable expertise.
  • Companies, consider booking my Top Spot Ad that lords over the entire HIStalk page and earns a commensurate number of reader clicks.

Webinars

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


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Hippocratic AI launches a development partnership program that includes OhioHealth, Roper St. Francis Healthcare, Evernow, HarmonyCares, and Guidehealth.

Potrero Medical, which offers medical devices and analytics for monitoring acute kidney injury, files Chapter 11 bankruptcy.


Announcements and Implementations

Black Book posts results from its healthcare cybersecurity satisfaction analysis, with the overall KPI leader being CrowdStrike. The report concludes that cybersecurity solutions that were purchased before the beginning of 2023 may already be outdated in their ability to protect against hacks and breaches, with remote patient access systems and telehealth offering new entry points for cyberattacks. 


Sponsor Updates

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  • Netsmart takes first and third place among 115 teams that competed in the AWS re:Invent Jam.
  • Nordic expands its partnership with Fortified Health Security to strengthen security operations and deploy global response capabilities for customers.
  • Wolters Kluwer Health expands its Sentri7 clinical surveillance suite to include the Sentri7 Drug Diversion solution, formerly Flowlytics from Invistics.
  • Gartner names NTT Data a Leader in its 2023 Magic Quadrant Managed Network Services and a Leader in its 2023 Magic Quadrant Network Services, Global.
  • Nuance shares success stories from early adopters using its PowerScribe Smart Impression generative AI solution for radiology reporting.
  • Nym names Hen Sinai junior backend engineer, Adi Sivan software engineer, Yuval Shtechman medical data analyst, Barbi Elmore director of product, Zack Hechtman customer success associate, and Yuval Tov junior backend engineer.
  • Rhapsody announces a long-term partnership with Blackford Analysis to enhance Blackford’s medical AI solutions platform by providing deeper clinical workflow integrations.
  • RxLightning names Christopher Hemminger cloud data architect and Karen Outlaw project manager.

A Black Book Market Research survey of top cybersecurity customers ranks solutions according to highest user satisfaction. HIStalk sponsors include:

  • Clearwater – cybersecurity advisors and consultants / compliance and risk management solution.
  • Fortified Health Security – cybersecurity awareness training and education.
  • CloudWave – outsourcing and security networked managed services.
  • PerfectServe – secure communications platforms: physician practices
  • Spok – secure communications platforms: hospitals and health systems.

Blog Posts


Contacts

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

Morning Headlines 12/1/23

November 30, 2023 Headlines 6 Comments

Cigna, Humana in Talks for Blockbuster Merger

Health insurers Cigna and Humana are negotiating a merger that they hope to finalize within the next four weeks, according to insider reports.

Experian Health Acquires Wave HDC, Immediately Enabling Real-Time, Single Inquiry Insurance Discovery/Verification at the Point of Patient Registration

Experian acquires Wave HDC, which captures patient insurance and demographics at registration.

HFMA Aligns with FinThrive to Introduce the Industry’s First Revenue Cycle Management Technology Adoption Model for Health Systems

HFMA and FinThrive launch a peer-reviewed, five-stage Revenue Cycle Management Technology Adoption Model, with initial analysis indicating that 42% of health systems are at Stage 1.

News 12/1/23

November 30, 2023 News No Comments

Top News

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Health insurers Cigna and Humana are negotiating a merger that they hope to finalize in the next four weeks, according to insider reports.

The companies are sure to face anti-trust challenges as they did in their failed 2015 merger attempt.

Humana focuses on Medicare Advantage plans, while Cigna recently announced its intention to exit that business to focus on its pharmacy benefit and commercial insurance offerings.

The value of the combined companies would approach $140 billion. Cigna and Humana shares dropped on the news.


Reader Comments

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From Ex-HHC: “Re: Donors Choose. Can you re-post donation instructions?” I will, while adding that while I use the term “my Donors Choose project,” I don’t actually have a project and I don’t actively bug readers to support one (that constitutes “virtue signaling,” as one cynical reader stung me with). It’s a great cause in which you are donating directly to Donors Choose, I apply matching money from my Anonymous Vendor Executive, and I fully and anonymously fund STEM-related teacher projects of my choosing as that person requests. Above is a photo from Ms. D, whose Ohio middle school class has already received a tablet and 30 sets of headphones courtesy of Mark’s donation just two days ago. Anyway, long story short (too late):

  • Purchase a gift card in the amount you’d like to donate.
  • Send the gift card by the email option to mr_histalk@histalk.com (that’s my Donors Choose account).
  • I’ll be notified of your donation and you can print your own receipt from Donors Choose for tax purposes.
  • I’ll pool the money, apply all matching funds I can get, and publicly report here the projects I funded, including occasional teacher follow-up messages and photos.

From Litany of Brittanys: “Re: winter holiday. What was that one you mentioned last year?” That holiday is Yalda, which falls on December 21. Below is my explanation from last year, but I’ll also throw in an interesting and slightly related factoid — while the winter solstice signifies the fewest hours of daylight for those of us who are north of the equator, the earliest sunset occurs on December 8, for reasons that are too astronomically complicated to explain here. Back to Yalda:

Yalda celebrants, most of them in Iran and nearby countries, observe the winter solstice, the last day of autumn and the longest night of the year, after which hours of daylight start increasing again. People stay up all night, eat watermelon and pomegranates (their glowing colors symbolize dawn and life), read poetry, and dance and play drums when the sun rises in a triumph of light over dark. Yalda means “birth.” I like it even beyond my personal obsession with changing hours of daylight — nobody is excluded or favored since the same sun shines down on us all, although I suppose folks in the Southern Hemisphere would need to buy their Yalda pomegranates in June.


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

I’m getting inquiries lately from companies that want to pay me to do a video interview or podcast with an executive, highlight their product, or feature their press release. Other sites do this without disclosing the paid arrangement, they say, so they seem surprised when I tell them that my integrity isn’t for sale. I appreciate the interest, but it’s a no.


Webinars

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


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

Meanwhile, a KFF article notes that some hospitals are dropping their acceptance of Medicare Advantage plans — even as seniors more frequently choose that alternative to traditional Medicare — because of low and late payments and bureaucratic approval and denial processes. This could be a significant issue because it isn’t easy for a consumer to switch from an MA plan to traditional Medicare with a Medigap policy, potentially leaving them insured but with no in-network hospital nearby.

Experian acquires Wave HDC, which captures patient insurance and demographics at registration.

Stat’s Bob Herman notes that UnitedHealth Group’s Optum Health provider division now employs 90,000 physicians, up from 70,000 one year ago.

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Mayo Clinic will spend $5 billion to redesign its Rochester campus that features “health neighborhoods” that are more convenient for extended care and for patients who have multiple health issues. Technology will play a key role, Mayo says. The plan is built around Rochester’s “Destination Medical Center” 20-year economic development plan, not that US healthcare wasn’t already confusing enough to the rest of the developed, longer-lifespan world without hinging regional growth on selling medical services.


People

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PeriGen hires John Parker, MD (OhioHealth) as chief medical officer.


Announcements and Implementations

Duke Health begins its use of Microsoft Copilot, with IT employees developing Microsoft 365 use cases involving email management, editing and creating documents and presentations, and creating summaries of virtual meetings.

St. Joseph’s / Candler Health System (GA) goes live on Meditech Expanse ambulatory and launches implementation of Expanse Oncology.

HFMA and FinThrive launch a peer-reviewed, five-stage Revenue Cycle Management Technology Adoption Model, with initial analysis indicating that 42% of health systems are at Stage 1.

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HIMSS announces Alabama football coach Nick Saban as the HIMSS24 closing keynote speaker, trying to pre-refute “any willing celebrity” smirks with the dubious explanation that there exist “so many parallels from football to healthcare.” I’ll consider this as validation of my decision to skip attending the boat show for the first time in forever. The HIMSS24 exhibitor count is at 483 versus the 1,216 of HIMSS23, which suggests either exhibitor procrastination or a disastrous drop under conference operator (or is it owner?) Informa Markets.

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A new KLAS report on PACS finds that 20% of health systems plan to replace their systems in moving from legacy systems and moving toward enterprise imaging strategies. Sectra leads by far in purchase energy due to peer recommendations, strong customer relationships, and EHR integration, although cost considerations sometimes discourage smaller organizations. Visage Imaging’s cloud-based diagnostic viewer is gaining momentum among large health systems who like its radiologist-friendly user interface and strong integration, although its recently introduced vendor-neutral archive has seen limited adoption. (click the image to enlarge).


Other

A survey finds that 72% of consumers are unable or unwilling to pay their medical bills immediately, two-thirds of them because of money problems. Half of the respondents say they have postponed care and prescription fills due to cost, while one-third have no confidence in their ability to pay a medical bill over $500.

Tech expert Robert Scoble highlights how a Texas prison is using AI mental health conversation analysis software from Savantcare to address the 1,300 inmates who are being unconstitutionally held because they can’t mentally understand the charges they face.


Sponsor Updates

  • Health Data Movers announces a strategic partnership with Workday as a certified Workday Advisory Services Partner.
  • CHIME selects Meditech vice chair Howard Messing for its CHIME Foundation Industry Leader Award.

Blog Posts


Contacts

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

EPtalk by Dr. Jayne 11/30/23

November 30, 2023 Dr. Jayne 1 Comment

We’ve made it past some of the early fall holidays, and those of us on the front lines are waiting to see if they will cause a spike in respiratory illnesses.

Heading into Thanksgiving, many parts of the US were feeling the pressure already. Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), COVID, and influenza are leading the pack. At one point, all of the pediatric hospital beds in the Dallas-Fort Worth area were full, which should ring alarm bells for those who care about children.

My colleagues at Cook Children’s in Fort Worth mentioned that they were seeing up to 500 patients daily in the emergency department and were boarding critically ill patients in the emergency department because there were no ICU beds. New vaccines for RSV are in short supply in some regions, which will likely add to the problem later in the season.

This week, I ran across a couple of articles that talked about the fact that ChatGPT has only been around for a year or so. Headlines included phrases such as “ChatGPT scared the heck out of us,” and there was a lot of retrospective thought about whether its launch opened as big of a Pandora’s box as everyone thought it might.

Generative AI has certainly matured over the last year. There’s still a lot of hype about how it’s going to transform the way people work. One suggested that managers use AI to help define ambitious deadlines for projects that are underway, or that they can use it to create motivating speeches for their teams. It went on to say that AI could help identify ways to make the workplace more exciting.

Another gave the idea that AI could be used to create employee satisfaction surveys and to process results to determine how employees want to be incentivized. I kind of like this one since I’ve worked for several employers that totally disregarded employee sentiments. Maybe because AI is such a darling, they’ll pay attention to those results just because they were processed using a tool versus a basic employee survey. One article brought up an interesting tidbit about OpenAI’s GPT-4, namely that certain restrictions can be bypassed by using less-common languages such as Gaelic or Zulu. That’s definitely interesting, and you can bet I’ll be playing around with that idea.

Just a few days prior to the Veterans Day holiday in the US, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) met its goal of enrolling one million veterans in its genetic database, aptly named the Million Veteran Program. The database is unique because it links genetic information with electronic health records and also includes information on diet and environmental exposures. Researchers have been working for 12 years to reach the goal. Compared to other genetic databases in Europe, this one represents a more diverse population. The data is only available to physicians and scientists at VA facilities. Veterans can continue to enroll either through the link above or by calling 866.441.6075 to make an appointment at a VA facility.

Although the VA’s EHR project certainly gets a lot of press, there is so much more that the organization is doing to support veterans. It’s a vast organization, with locations from coast to coast. This year, the Veterans Health Administration delivered 116 million patient appointments at 1,300 facilities, beating the previous record by 3 million. It’s not only a care provider, but manages benefits applications and compensation programs, which necessitates maintaining a different staffing profile than other healthcare organizations. It’s also responsible for delivering services around those parts of its business. To give you an idea of scale, its Health and Benefits App reached 1 million downloads this year.

The VA is also actively investing in the artificial intelligence space, working on tools to reduce employee burnout. It plans to launch an AI-related contest that features $1 million in prize money for teams that create the best solutions in speech-to-text for medical appointments and in document processing as non-VA medical records are added to the patient’s VA chart.

Several of the physician groups that I follow on Facebook have had an overwhelming number of posts about cybersecurity incidents. Since organizations tend to take their entire network down when there is an incident, that means that physicians have no access to downtime solutions such as disaster recovery servers or third-party information archives. Although the health systems in question typically put out press releases that state that patient care is being delivered safely and effectively, comments from the trenches seem to reflect an environment that is anything but:

  • No ability to look up labs.
  • No way to access history and physical forms for surgical procedures.
  • Hand writing operative reports.
  • Clinicians who are relatively new grads have never charted on paper.
  • Systems haven’t practiced for downtime events, resulting in mass chaos.

One clinician whose system recently went through a cybersecurity event but is back online noted that she recommends keeping copies of all handwritten notes. Apparently, many were lost during the event and were not scanned or otherwise added to the system, resulting in requests for her to redo documentation weeks after the event. Another reported that his hospital was down for over a month, which as a clinician, I can’t even imagine. Hackers are a reality and organizations that think it couldn’t happen to them are mistaken. I challenge all the CIOs and CMIOs out there to ensure their organizations have adequate supports in place and that they’re practicing for a potential event.

I dropped by my primary care office this week to get a vaccine booster. Despite having just had my photo ID scanned at another office in the same system last week, I had to again present photo ID to be scanned as opposed to just being verified. I could see the previous scan of my photo ID on the receptionist’s screen, since there was no privacy filter on the monitor. I could also see my photo on my patient chart, which matched the already-scanned ID. I understand she was likely just following an office policy, but this is where I challenge people to make sure that the policies in place make sense and/or provide value or whether they’re just process for process sake.

I was also greeted with a 2020-esque COVID interrogation, including being asked if I had traveled internationally in the last six months (yes), whether I had been around sick people (yes), whether I had traveled internationally in the last 30 days (yes), and whether I had any respiratory symptoms (no). There were no follow-up questions to any of the positive responses.

As I sat waiting to be called back, another couple came in, and when asked the question about sick people, they asked, “What do you mean by sick?” It was clarified to be “measles, mumps, or chicken pox.” I suppose I should have been a “no” on that one then. They weren’t asked the question about symptoms. The couple was already wearing medical masks, so I’m guessing the receptionist made an assumption if the intent of the questioning was to determine if patients should have masks. Respiratory season is upon us and it will be interesting to see if the questionnaires morph as the season progresses.

The good thing that came out of that visit is that they pointed out that I had an open order for follow-up testing, which was interesting because the test had been allegedly scheduled during the in-person visit at another office last week. Apparently it hadn’t been scheduled properly, and had I not gone for that vaccine, I wouldn’t have had a clue. Four phone calls later, I finally had it scheduled, and I must say the patient experience component of the entire process has been lacking. At no point during any of the conversations did anyone apologize for the dropped ball, not even a lukewarm “I’m sorry you’re feeling frustrated by this.” It’s not an experience I want for my patients either, which is making me rethink my referral patterns. Where’s a patient satisfaction survey when you need one?

Does your organization actively work to stamp out non-value-added processes, or is it content with simply doing things the way they’ve always been done? Have they shifted processes to put more of the burden on the patient? Leave a comment or email me.

Email Dr. Jayne.

Morning Headlines 11/30/23

November 29, 2023 Headlines No Comments

Tampa General and Synapse Florida Seek Innovation Solutions to Reduce Cancer Mortality in Rural Communities

Tampa General Hospital, its Innoventures venture capital arm, and Synapse Florida launch a $50,000 innovation challenge to discover solutions that may improve cancer care in rural areas.

Mayo Clinic unveils plans for a new $5 billion campus in downtown Rochester

Mayo Clinic will redesign its campus in Rochester, MN to create health neighborhoods where patient care is more streamlined through remote patient monitoring, AI, and automation.

Honoring Excellence: CHIME Recognizes Outstanding Achievements of Digital Health Leaders and Professional Services Firms with the 2023 CHIME Awards

CHIME names Tufts Medicine EVP, Chief Digital Officer, and System CIO Shafiq Rab its 2024 CIO of the Year.

Healthcare AI News 11/29/23

November 29, 2023 Healthcare AI News No Comments

News

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Amazon announces Amazon Q, a generative AI assistant for businesses that provides personalized company content to employees.

NHS England will use AI to identify patients who are at risk for an ED visit or hospital admission and could instead be contacted by health coaches, including the use of sensors on refrigerators and teakettles to identify changes in eating and drinking habits. It is also using AI to predict the  top at-risk patients who are then contacted by staff who offer social care assessments and medication reviews. NHS has also expanded its hospital-at-home program to 10,000 patients. It expects the new programs to prevent 4,500 ED visits, 17,000 overnight hospital stays, and 23,000 physician appointments.

Hong Kong’s hospital authority will pilot the use of AI to identify potentially inappropriate ordering of certain broad spectrum antibiotics following a jump in vancomycin-resistant infections. Broad-spectrum antibiotic prescribing jumped during the pandemic as COVID-19 patients used most available isolation beds. 

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A Denver news outlet describes the efforts of UCHealth to apply AI to sepsis detection. CMIO C.T. Lin, MD says its initial deployment of Epic’s tool was causing alarm fatigue and a flurry of end-of-shift alerts as overworked nurses back-entered vital signs they had scrawled on their arms all day. The health system redirected the alerts to its virtual health center, where 24/7 ICU nurses monitor the vital signs of up to 500 patients and can immediately review the EHR and live video feeds. UC Health estimates that the sepsis alerts are saving 375 lives per year, with another 800 patients saved by early detection of other forms of deterioration.


Business

Drug maker Roche’s Genentech subsidiary will collaborate with microprocessor vendor Nvidia to advance drug discovery.

Vivodyne, which uses AI-powered robotics to cultivate, dose, and analyze prospective drugs on human tissues, raises $38 million in seed funding.


Research

Researchers use AI to identify brain imaging markers that may help diagnose ADHD in adolescents.

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A Microsoft study finds that GPT-4’s performance on medical specialty questions can be improved by the use of more carefully structured prompt alone, without being expensively trained on more detailed data.

Republic of Korea researchers develop a machine learning model to predict cardiac arrest in ICU patients using ECG data, which they say is a better predictor than EHR information and can be used for continuous monitoring. 


Other

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Sports Illustrated gets caught running AI-generated articles that are bylined to AI-generated writers with headshots that were acquired from online marketplaces. One article purportedly written by “Drew Ortiz” expertly opines that “volleyball can be a little tricky to get into, especially without an actual ball to practice with.”


Contacts

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

Morning Headlines 11/29/23

November 28, 2023 Headlines No Comments

Here is why IT major TCS has to pay $210 mn to rival firm DXC

Tata Consultancy Services, which was just assessed with $140 million in punitive damages for stealing Epic’s intellectual property by having its employees pretend to be hospital consultants, is hit with a similar $210 million judgment involving insurance software.

Aidoc Unveils $30M Investment in Revolutionary Foundation Model for Imaging AI at RSNA 2023

Medical imaging AI vendor Aidoc will use $30 million in recently announced funding to develop an imaging AI foundation model.

Harmony Healthcare IT Partners with Novacap to Accelerate Innovation and Growth in Healthcare Data Management

Health data management company Harmony Healthcare IT secures an undisclosed amount of funding from Canadian investment firm Novacap.

PayGround Announces $19.7M Oversubscribed Series A Funding Round

Patient payment app startup PayGround raises $19.7 million in a Series A funding round, enabling it to expand beyond its ambulatory roots into more inpatient settings.

News 11/29/23

November 28, 2023 News 4 Comments

Top News

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Ardent Health Services works to recover from a November 23 ransomware attack that forced it to take its computer systems offline across its six-state network of 36 facilities.

The health system specifically mentions in its latest data security update that it is working to restore access to Epic.

Numerous of its providers resorted to ED diversions and postponing surgeries and appointments.


Reader Comments

From Drupal: “Re: community hospitals that offer oncology and don’t use Epic or Cerner. I am looking to speak to a hospital contact who understands the market opportunity for chemotherapy ordering, medication preparation, and patient-reported outcomes. Can you offer advice or contacts?” I’ll ask readers who have ideas to contact me and I’ll connect you.

From Reese Peace: “Re: AI. It seems that use cases have polarized to the complex and theoretical on one end and and the rather dull effectiveness boosters on the other.” I expect initial AI successes to focus on that latter category, where solutions could be developed that are inexpensive, non-threatening to clinicians, free of FDA oversight, and non-intrusive to patients. Examples:

  • Journal article search, although that will be limited by the paywalls of for-profit journals that will expect to be paid for allow their content – which was provided free by authors, many of them working under taxpayer grants – to be used for AI training and then for user access.
  • EHR search, including PDFs and free text. This is simple and already being done to unknown extent.
  • Creating patient-facing documents, including those specifically create clinician dictation and then formatted and optimized for patient-level reading.
  • Pre-visit triage and summarization. In-person visits could be prefaced, as with telehealth, by a pre-visit chatbot interview or data collection to avoid wasting encounter time.
  • Encounter transcription and data extraction, as with ambient clinical documentation.
  • Continuous monitoring of data from wearables and remote patient monitoring.
  • Streamline insurer prior authorization and initial claim validation.
  • Monitoring during surgery with visual and audio alerts or responses to questions.
  • AI-powered robotics for manual tasks.
  • Improving and personalizing available clinical decision support.
  • Inbox management, which is clearly the frontrunner for AI value in healthcare.
  • Guide non-physicians through patient encounters via protocols and guidance under some level of supervision.
  • Predict workload, staffing needs, patients who are likely to miss appointments, and scheduling preferences.

HIStalk Announcements and Requests

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I added a previously unnoticed sort-by-date option to the HIStalk search function, which is powered by Google Site Search and is listed as a link at the top of the page. I’ll definitely use this.

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Bitdefender offered me a one-year renewal for my soon-expiring five-device Total Security for $50, after which a quick Google search led me to find a two-year renewal on Best Buy for $31. You can buy a renewal at any time, and paste the key code into Bitdefender Central, where it tacks the additional years onto your expiration date.

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Reader Mark once again celebrated the holidays with a generous donation to my Donors Choose teacher grant project, which I then boosted with GivingTuesday matching funds as well as those from my Anonymous Vendor Executive to fully and anonymously fund these STEM-related projects:

  • Noise-cancelling headphones for Ms. D’s middle school science academy class in Youngstown, OH.
  • Math games for Ms. O’s elementary school class in Rosharon, TX.
  • Math manipulatives for Ms. R’s elementary school class in Redford, MI.
  • Hydroponic gardening kits for Mr. K’s high school class in Burton, MI.
  • STEM manipulatives for Ms. I’s elementary school class in Far Rockaway, NY.
  • Gardening kits for Mr. H’s elementary school class in Paterson, NJ.
  • STEM activity kits for Ms. A’s elementary school class in Savannah, GA.
  • Math puzzles for Mx. R’s middle school class in Saint Cloud, MN.
  • Geometry review books for Mr. H’s high school class in Bronx, NY.
  • A laptop speaker for Ms. G’s elementary school class in San Lorenzo, CA.
  • Math manipulatives for Ms. R’s elementary school class in Magna, UT

Webinars

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


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

India-based Tata Consultancy Services, which was just assessed with $140 million in punitive damages for stealing Epic’s intellectual property by having its employees pretend to be hospital consultants, is hit with a similar $210 million judgment involving insurance software. The lawsuit alleges that a TCS employee copied a competing firm’s source code and documentation and sent it to colleagues who were struggling to figure out how to perform an insurance calculation.

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Bloomberg says that Amazon has failed to disrupt healthcare while over-promising and under-delivering. Current and former employees say the company is overconfident that it can beat healthcare incumbents without hiring healthcare expertise or listening to experts, adding that its recently announced One Medical discount for Prime members isn’t much of a development.


Sales

  • Baptist Memorial Health Care (TN) chooses Optimum Healthcare IT to lead its EHR implementation on Amazon Web Services.

People

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PointClickCare Technologies promotes Travis Palmquist to SVP/GM of emerging markets.

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Sondra Hornsey, MS (Stanford Health Care) joins Vanderbilt University Medical Center (TN) as chief privacy officer.

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Hearst promotes Carolyn Simpkins, MD, PhD to president of its Zynx Health business.

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Shally Pannikode, MBA (Liberty Mutual) joins Zelis Health as CTO.

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Erica Drazen, MS, ScD — who retired in 2013 after a 40+ year health IT career that included roles at Arthur D. Little, First Consulting Group, and CSC — died November 25. She was 77. 


Announcements and Implementations

Klickitat Valley Health (WA) launches virtual consult technology from Eagle Telemedicine to support its ED, hospitalists, and nurses.

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Nym makes its autonomous medical coding technology available to inpatient facilities.

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Glacial Ridge Health System will go live on Meditech Expanse this week.

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Amazon Web Services announces Amazon Q, a generative AI assistant for businesses.


Other

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A technology conference is exposed for using AI to create fictitious female speakers to create the illusion of gender diversity and attract presenters who decline events with all-male lineups. The for-profit DevTernity conference brags that it selects speakers using the “Hollywood Principle” in which it replaces calls for papers with “don’t call us, we’ll call you.” The conference organizer says it was too hard to get women speakers for the $870 online conference and the phony bios were just a placeholder. The conference was cancelled after speakers and sponsors pulled out. The conference organizer is also suspected of creating a fake female tech Instagram influencer who mostly showed skin as she pitched the conference.

A South Dakota hunting lodge operator is gored by a bison and is evaluated and treated in the ambulance from an ED doctor who was 140 miles away. Jim Lutter, 67, was picked by a ambulance squad volunteer, who left his hardware store job to respond to the 911 call and used the state-funded ambulance telehealth system to get ED physician instructions and then alert the hospital that they were coming.


Sponsor Updates

  • EClinicalWorks publishes a new customer success story, “Transforming Care with RPM Seamless Integration.”
  • Sydney Adventist Hospital in Australia enhances its MRI appointment utilization and patient care through Foxo and Agfa HealthCare’s enterprise imaging platform.
  • Dimensional Insight announces that it has been recognized as the top outsourced analytics solution in Black Book Market Research’s annual outsourcing services survey.
  • Trillium Health Partners in Canada adds AI-as-a-Service capabilities from Sectra to its Sectra enterprise imaging technology.
  • SouthLake Regional Health Centre clinicians in Ontario reduce time spent on medication reconciliation by 64% using DrFirst’s MedHx powered by SmartSuite technology, according to the results of a recent pilot study.

Blog Posts


Contacts

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

Morning Headlines 11/28/23

November 27, 2023 Headlines No Comments

Ardent Health Services Reports Information Technology Security Incident

Ardent Health Services works to recover from a November 23 ransomware attack that forced it to take systems offline across its six-state network.

RepeatMD lands capital to grow its aesthetics and wellness booking business

Patient acquisition and retention software startup RepeatMD raises $40 million, bringing its total raised to $56 million.

Wyden, Merkley: USDA Invests $2.28 Million to Expand Health Care and Broadband Assistance in Rural Oregon

Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR) will distribute a grant of $2.28 million to providers in five Oregon counties so that they can provide more virtual care.

Curbside Consult with Dr. Jayne 11/27/23

November 27, 2023 Dr. Jayne 3 Comments

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We’ve made it past the Thanksgiving holiday, and hopefully people were able to spend time with their loved ones and then have a little time on their own to de-stress before heading back to work.

Historically, this time of year brings out all kinds of family drama. Looking at the data from one of the practices I work with, over the past couple of years there have been upticks in the number of visits for anxiety and depression between mid-November and mid-January.

Although I avoided dinner time conversations about Medicare, one family gathering involved a conversation about hospital-affiliated primary care practices that are charging facility fees. Another covered the move of private equity organizations into the local care ecosystem, leading to decreased access as they cut providers from their rosters following acquisition. US healthcare is certainly in a dark spot, and patients are paying the price as they find it more difficult and more expensive to get the care they need.

Local pharmacies have been eager to step into this gap. However, one elderly relative discovered that it wasn’t as easy to get appropriate care as it should have been. She’s in her 80s and has multiple risk factors for severe disease from RSV infection, so she tried to make an appointment for the recently approved vaccine. She walked into a location of a nationwide retail pharmacy chain and was told she couldn’t get the vaccine without an appointment. However, per her recollection of the story, they wouldn’t make an appointment for her, instead telling her to call for one. She called and wound up in a phone tree system, which kept prompting her to choose a location despite the fact that she was standing in one. When she selected the prompt to speak to a representative, it continued to ring, but no one answered.

She went to another location, which refused to administer the vaccine because she didn’t have a prescription. I’m not sure if this was because the pharmacy didn’t have the appropriate standing order in place from their medical director, or if it was some kind of insurance issue, or if they didn’t want to do the counseling since the vaccine isn’t strictly recommended based on age but rather as a part of a shared clinical decision-making process.

Either way, she left without her vaccine and instead spoke to her primary care physician. It sounds like the primary physician isn’t keeping up with the literature, because he told her she didn’t need the vaccine because she “isn’t around babies,” which has nothing to do with the indications for the vaccine. It’s designed to reduce the burden for a disease that hospitalizes more than 60,000 older adults each year and results in up to 10,000 deaths among retirement-age adults each year.

I’m hoping that the EHR team at her primary care physician’s office ensures that the vaccine is added to health maintenance dashboards so that physicians who aren’t keeping current might be prompted to address the condition with their patients. Hopefully that hospital-affiliated organization will also be providing continuing education to ensure physicians are aware of current recommendations, since it’s foolish to assume that technology alone can solve a clinician knowledge gap.

But in the mean time, thinking about my family members, I was tempted to dig out a prescription pad and just write the order myself. I don’t practice medicine like that, though, so I provided some coaching to hopefully help the patient have a better conversation with her physician. In the mean time, I’ll be calling a couple of pharmacies to see if they have standing orders in place that would allow her to get the vaccine.

Is this a place where telehealth-only organizations might help patients that can’t get what they need? Probably not, since many of them won’t allow their clinicians to order injectable medications even if they are low risk, like vaccinations. At one telehealth organization where I worked during the height of the COVID pandemic, we weren’t even allowed to write letters that would have explained that patients were high risk and could receive priority vaccinations. Even though providers on those networks are usually independent contractors, they’re often constrained by group policies that prevent them from doing things that might otherwise be straightforward in a traditional medical practice.

Speaking of telehealth, a recent article in JAMA Network Open looked at how patients complete tests and referrals when those services are ordered as part of a telehealth visit compared to those ordered during in-person visits. The telehealth visits were delivered by providers at a large hospital-affiliated primary care practice and community health center in Boston during the time period between March 1, 2020 and December 31, 2021. The authors looked at colonoscopy orders, dermatology referrals for suspicious skin findings, and cardiac stress tests. They found that only 43% of orders placed during a telehealth visit were likely to be completed, compared to 58% of orders placed during in-person visits. Interestingly, 57% percent of orders placed without a visit (perhaps as a result of a non-visit telephone call, or a patient portal message) were completed.

The authors suspect that one reason for the discrepancy might be the absence of schedulers or medical assistants to help patients during telehealth visits, or the lack of follow up communications encouraging patients to close the loop on their orders. That doesn’t explain why the non-visit orders were completed as frequently as they were, however, unless schedulers were assisting those patients. I would be curious to look at completion rates for orders from third-party telehealth organizations. Some of them won’t even generate orders for patients because they have no way to get those orders to a performing facility near the patient. Others limit their orders to those that can be done as part of an employer wellness program, such as diabetes screening tests or cholesterol testing. Third parties are often worried about liability, and given the transactional nature of many visits, there isn’t a mechanism to follow up on abnormal test results or to easily communicate follow up instructions to patients.

As someone who has done a lot of process engineering work, these are the “people” and “process” parts of the equation, but I continue to see organizations that try to solve them with “technology” alone. I’d love to see more organizations put their money towards solving people and process problems, whether it’s integrating a checkout person or scheduler into a telehealth workflow or making it easier for patients to self-schedule certain tests and procedures or doing a better job of reminding patients of orders that aren’t completed. Certainly, technology is part of all of those solutions, but it’s not the only answer.

How is your organization making it easier for engaged patients to receive the services they need? Leave a comment or email me.

Email Dr. Jayne.

Morning Headlines 11/27/23

November 26, 2023 Headlines No Comments

DOD’s EHR Deployment Nearly Complete

The Department of Defense completes the last of 23 MHS Genesis go-live waves.

BSA diverting ER patients after ‘potential security incident’ causes network outage

BSA Health System (TX) reverts to downtime procedures including ER diversion due to a Thanksgiving Day network outage.

Hackers accessed sensitive health data of more than 8 million Welltok patients

A notice filed by Virgin Pulse-owned Welltok says the personal information of 8.5 million people was exposed in a breach of its Moveit file transfer system, with affected customers including BCBS plans, Sutter Health, Stanford Health Care, and The Guthrie Clinic.

HHS’ Office for Civil Rights Settles HIPAA Investigation of St. Joseph’s Medical Center for Disclosure of Patients’ Protected Health Information to a News Reporter

Saint Joseph’s Medical Center (NY) pays $80,000 to settle HHS OCR charges that it provided photos and information of three patients in April 2020 to the Associated Press, which was writing an COVID-19 story, without the approval of the patients.

Monday Morning Update 11/27/23

November 26, 2023 News 10 Comments

Top News

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The Department of Defense completes the last of 23 MHS Genesis go-live waves.

The military’s final Oracle Health implementation is scheduled for March 2024 at Lovell Federal Health Care Center, which it jointly operates with the VA.

DoD says that its teams are anxious to move on to optimization and applying analytics at the site and enterprise levels.


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

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Poll respondents aren’t optimistic that any of the usual suspects can disrupt healthcare, but they choose retailers as the best hope. I’m intrigued that they chose employers as the least likely given that they are footing much of the bill and have the only significant amount of clout, which they never seem to use.

New poll to your right or here: What is your single biggest frustration with your primary care provider? I’m allowing only one answer to hide the noise of problems that aren’t the main one.


Webinars

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


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

London-based Phare Health, which offers medical coding tools, raises $3.1 million in a seed funding round.


Sales

  • Memorial Hermann Health System will implement Laudio’s worklfow automation tool for frontline leaders and has invested in the company.

Announcements and Implementations

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Researchers develop a wireless acousto-mechanical system whose wearable sensors continuously transmit data about body movement sounds such as breathing, digestion, and cardiac activity.

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London-based digital-first home healthcare provider Cera says it will provide 5 million care visits this winter to help address hospital capacity problems. Founder and CEO Ben Maruthappu, BM BCh. MPH was trained at London School of Hygeine and Tropical Medicine, University of Cambridge, Harvard, and University of Oxford.

A health official in China touts the country’s digital health success, listing online diagnosis and treatment, prescription services, fever clinic information, and hospital wait time.

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A16z lists the jobs that AI could perform to reduce provider burnout and increase effectiveness, which it says should be supported by CMS in the form of increased payment for AI-assisted or augmented care (click the image to enlarge).


Privacy and Security

Saint Joseph’s Medical Center (NY) pays $80,000 to settle HHS OCR charges that it provided photos and information of three patients in April 2020 to the Associated Press for a COVID-19 story without their approval.

A notice filed by Virgin Pulse-owned Welltok says that the personal information of 8.5 million people was exposed in a breach of its Moveit file transfer system. Affected customers include BCBS plans, Sutter Health, Stanford Health Care, and The Guthrie Clinic. Virgin Pulse acquired the company in November 2021.


Other

Politico notes that a physician shortage will force the federal government to stitch together a primary care system that is delivered by nurses, physician assistants, and virtual visits, with no promise that people can get, much less keep, a regular doctor. Long appointment waits are sending sick people to the ED, urgent care, or pharmacy-located clinic where services are purely transactional with no promise of prevention or taking the patient’s personal or even medical history into account.

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Cigna creates public outcry when it denies transplant coverage to a 47-year-old woman who was being prepped for a double lung transplant after being rushed to Vanderbilt University Medical Center when a matching donor had been found. VUMC sent her home and took her off the transplant waitlist. Cigna had previously approved the procedure, but found that the woman had the unapproved condition of terminal cancer. As is often the case, the insurer paid more attention to the bad press than to the patient and doctors in reversing its decision that it declared to have been an “error.” The patient now requires additional tests, the donor lungs are no longer available, and her only hope is to be placed back on the waitlist. Cigna got the black eye, while VUMC has drawn no public ire for declining to perform the transplant in the absence of Cigna’s willingness to pay.


Sponsor Updates

  • Health Data Movers appoints Curtis Cole, MD (Cornell University) to its board.
  • Through partnerships with Redox and Xealth, Tidepool develops EHR integrations for its diabetes data visualization software.
  • Five9 will present at the UBS Global Technology Conference November 29 in Phoenix and the Barclays Global Technology Conference December 7 in San Francisco.
  • Fortified Health Security names Kameron McNicholas senior SOC engineer.
  • Health Data Movers names Curtis Cole (Cornell University) to its Board of Directors.
  • Healthcare IT Leaders releases a new Leader to Leader Podcast, “Leading Through Growth and Change.”
  • Inovalon develops Converged Analytics Benchmarking to provide health plans with monthly determinations of their relevant national and state benchmarking for quality measurement and improvement initiatives.
  • InterSystems launches its HealthShare Health Connect Cloud solution in New Zealand.
  • A recently published study on brain health, “Using digital assessment technology to detect neuropsychological problems in primary care settings,” features Linus Health’s Core Cognitive Evaluation digital assessment technology.
  • Nordic names Claire Staple VP of strategy and country manager in Ireland.

Blog Posts


Contacts

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

Morning Headlines 11/23/23

November 22, 2023 Headlines No Comments

Tri-City Medical Center resumes nearly full operations after cybersecurity attack

Tri-City Medical Center (CA) resumes normal operations after a ransomware attack November 9 forced it to downtime procedures.

Company operating Nacogdoches Memorial Hospital files for bankruptcy

In Texas, Nacogdoches Memorial Hospital operating company Lion Star files for bankruptcy with debts of $10 million to $50 million owed to between 200 and 1,000 vendors, including $1 million owed to an EHR vendor.

Queensland Health fixes ieMR system crash after staff unable to login for hours

Queensland Health resolves an EHR log-in issue that had prevented users at its 24 facilities from accessing the Oracle Health system for several hours.

Morning Headlines 11/22/23

November 21, 2023 Headlines No Comments

Patient privacy fears as US spy tech firm Palantir wins £330m NHS contract

NHS England awards a consortium that includes Palantir and Accenture a five-year, $415 million contract to develop and operate the Federated Data Platform data-sharing platform across NHS trusts and care sites.

TCS Q3 to take $125 million hit on Epic Systems Corporation legal woes

Tata Consultancy Services will pay $140 million in punitive damages to Epic related to a 2014 case in which Epic accused TCS of downloading confidential material from UserWeb by having its employees pretend to be Epic customer consultants.

McWilliams School of Biomedical Informatics researchers awarded $31M in grants for medical artificial intelligence innovation research

Fifteen faculty members of UTHealth’s bioinformatics school are awarded $31 million in grants, $19 million of which came from NIH’s National Institute on Aging.

News 11/22/23

November 21, 2023 News 5 Comments

Top News

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NHS England awards a consortium that includes Palantir and Accenture a five-year, $415 million contract to develop and operate the Federated Data Platform data-sharing platform across NHS trusts and care sites.

Medical groups and other watchdogs immediately expressed concern that a US firm that is best known for providing military and espionage software to the CIA and foreign governments will be handling sensitive patient information. They also noted that founder and chair Peter Thiel in on record as declaring that NHS “makes people sick” and should be privatized. He has also stated that NHS support by Britons is a form of “Stockholm syndrome.”

The contract, which follows extensive government lobbying by Palantir, does not include Scotland or Wales.

PLTR shares dropped on the news, valuing the company at $43 billion.


Reader Comments

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From Ossifier: “Re: Forward Health’s CarePods. Maybe when they fail in the US and the company pivots once again, they can offload their unused pods to the French government.” France’s national railway will install appointment-only Loxamed telemedicine setups in 300 train stations that are located in medical deserts by 2028, which will feature on-site nurses who use connected medical equipment and sessions with virtual physicians, with services are billed to the national social security system. France’s physician union has objected strongly to the plan, saying that “There can be no good medicine that comes from the touch of a button, at a distance, from a doctor who does not know the patient.” Loxamed was formed in March 2020 by an equipment rental company to offer COVID-19 diagnosis and eventually vaccination. My take is that people could initiate their own telemedicine visits from home, so the advantage of this plan is the ability to be evaluated by an in-person nurse who can take vital signs and perform assessment before the remote physician takes over.


Webinars

December 7 (Thursday) 2 ET. “Waystar + Epic Workflow 101: How to Maximize your Epic Investment.” Sponsor: Waystar. Presenters: Christine Fontaine, solution strategist, Waystar; Lori Anderson, channel partner director, Waystar; Ashley Rose, associate director of client consulting, Waystar. Many users are curious about enhancing their Epic environments, but how do you know which features your organization needs? During this session, you will be provided a proven process to help you evaluate Epic-related decisions, tangible examples of need versus want criteria, and concrete steps to extract full value from Epic workflows and environment.

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


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

AstraZeneca launches Evinova, a separate business that will further scale digital health solutions that are already used by the pharmaceutical company; and develop and market digital products in the areas of clinical trials, remote patient monitoring, and therapeutics.

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UpHealth will sell Cloudbreak Health and its Martti telehealth language interpretation services to private equity firm GTCR for $180 million. UpHealth is in the process of selling off or winding down certain service lines, with its focus now on its behavioral health business in Florida. Several UpHealth subsidiaries filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in September.

Novant Health (NC) will buy three South Carolina-based hospitals from Tenet Healthcare in a $2.4 billion deal that includes RCM services from Tenet subsidiary Conifer Health Solutions.

App-based chronic care company Vida Health raises $28.5 million, bringing its total raised to $216 million.

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Clinical notes analysis startup Layer Health raises $4 million in seed funding. Its debut product, Distill, helps clinicians find and submit data to clinical registries. The company’s five co-founders all have MIT-related backgrounds in AI, machine learning, and computer science.

Likely sensing a vacuum since the departure of Cerner for greener Oracle pastures, non-profit Digital Health KC hopes to help launch or lure 20 digital health companies to the Kansas City area using $4 million in grants.


Sales

  • NYU Langone signs a $115 million contract with Philips for enterprise informatics, pathology, AI-powered diagnostic imaging, and patient information technologies; as well as its Capsule Medical Device Information Platform.
  • Oregon Health & Science University will implement Visage Imaging’s Visage 7 enterprise imaging software.
  • McAlester Regional Health Center (OK) selects Smart Analytics from Sixth Sense Intelligence.
  • Children’s National Hospital in Washington, DC will use IT infrastructure services and technology from Kyndryl.
  • The Florida Department of Children and Families will implement Juno Health’s behavioral health EHR at Florida State Hospital.
  • Teladoc Health will open a virtual ED in a rural, remote part of Canada’s Newfoundland Labrador Health Services under a two-year, $16 million contract in which the patient will first see an in-person clinician, then be diagnosed and treated virtually.

People

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Joe Murad (WithMe Health) joins Vida Health as CEO.


Announcements and Implementations

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Washington County Hospital and Clinics in Iowa goes live on Epic.

Fifteen faculty members of UTHealth’s bioinformatics school are awarded $31 million in grants. $19 million of which came from NIH’s National Institute on Aging.

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Lincata launches an in-room hospital entertainment system that features patient engagement and health system marketing opportunities. The company’s executive board chair is industry long-timer Tom White, MBA, who is best known as co-founder and CEO of Phynd until the company was acquired by Symplr.


Government and Politics

Tata Consultancy Services will pay $140 million in punitive damages to Epic related to a 2014 case in which Epic accused TCS of downloading confidential material from UserWeb by having its employees pretend to be Epic customer consultants. The original award of $940 million has been reduced several times in court reviews. The US Supreme Court rejected TCS’s appeal of punitive damages on Monday, where the company argued that it had already paid $140 million in compensatory damages from the original award.

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HHS OIG warns consumers that scammers are cold calling Medicare enrollees to obtain their Medicare ID, after which they are signed them up for phony remote patient monitoring services that are billed monthly from pharmacies or durable medical equipment companies.


Other

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The South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust in Northern Ireland celebrates the birth of the first baby born with an Encompass digital health record. The trust went live on Epic November 9. The system will be rolled out to remaining trusts over the next 18 to 24 months.

An AvaSure study of virtual patient sitting technology versus in-person sitting at Providence finds that virtual sitting is correlated to lower levels of burnout.

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KFF’s Bill of the Month involves a woman’s first prenatal checkup, during which the nurse suggested having the standard panel of blood tests drawn at an office down the hall for convenience. The office belongs to a hospital that is run by religious non-profits Texas Health Resources and AdventHealth, whose lab billed her insurance at hospital rates for $9,500. Anthem BCBS negotiated the price to $6,700 and paid $4,300, leaving the patient to owe $2,400 for standard blood chemistry and STI tests. The average price of a CBC in Texas is $6 in an independent lab and $58 in a hospital, while the hospital in this case billed her insurance $207. She spent 10 months trying to ask questions, during which the hospital sent her bill to collections and ignored complaints that she had filed with the state’s attorney general. The hospital responded only when KFF started asking questions for its story, after which it cancelled all charges that, as it turn out, had been incorrectly submitted as diagnostic rather than preventive, which BCBS would have covered even at the inflated prices. Experts contacted by KFF questioned how well insurers negotiate hospital contract prices.


Sponsor Updates

  • Baker Tilly publishes a new case study, “Healthcare organization tests technical security controls and internal security awareness training with phishing campaign.”
  • Bamboo Health adds discharge summaries to its Pings real-time care notifications platform.
  • Prisma Health integrates Artera’s patient communications platform with Gozio Health’s location-aware mobile engagement platform.  
  • The Northern Virginia Technology Council recognizes DrFirst as a top technology company for the fourth year in a row.

Blog Posts


Contacts

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

Morning Headlines 11/21/23

November 20, 2023 Headlines No Comments

Medmo Raises $9M in Funding

Medical imaging technology company Medmo, which matches patients with partner imaging centers, raises $9 million.

Reed Jobs’ Yosemite makes first digital health bet on Maia Oncology

Maia Oncology, a virtual primary care clinic for cancer patients, raises $4.25 million in seed funding.

AstraZeneca launches Evinova, a health-tech business to accelerate innovation across the life sciences sector, the delivery of clinical trials and better health outcomes

AstraZeneca’s new stand-alone Evinova business will develop and market digital products in the areas of clinical trials, remote patient monitoring, and digital therapeutics.

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