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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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.
Joe Murad (WithMe Health) joins Vida Health as CEO.
Announcements and Implementations
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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.
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