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Morning Headlines 4/7/22

April 6, 2022 Headlines No Comments

Evernow Raises $28.5M in Series A Funding to Redefine Menopause Treatment

Women’s telemedicine and online prescription startup Evernow raises $28.5 million in a Series A funding round.

Adam Boehler and Martin Ventures Invest in Healthcare Company for People with Disabilities

StationMD, a telemedicine company specializing in treatment for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, raises $3.2 million.

Healthtech Leader Eon Announces $16MM Growth Equity Investment Led by Integrity Growth Partners

Patient capture, engagement, management, and tracking software vendor Eon raises $16 million.

Morning Headlines 4/6/22

April 6, 2022 Headlines No Comments

Clarify Health Closes $150M Series D Funding to Unlock the Promise of Value-Based Care with End-to-End Intelligence on Every Patient Journey

Cloud-based analytics and value-based payments software vendor Clarify Health raises $150 million in a Series D funding round.

HealtheMed Secures Funding to Fuel Expansion of Digital Care Service

Home-based virtual care company HealtheMed, which focuses its services on Medicaid patients in Minnesota, raises $1.2 million in seed funding.

Mindtree Invests in COPE Health Solutions to Accelerate its Healthcare Business

Technology consulting firm Mindtree invests in consulting and analytics company Cope Health Solutions.

Eleos Health Raises $20M to Unlock In-Session Behavioral Health Voice Data

AI-powered, clinical documentation company Eleos Health raises $20 million in a Series A funding round led by F-Prime Capital and Eight Roads Ventures.

News 4/6/22

April 5, 2022 Headlines 2 Comments

Top News


Private equity firm Patient Square Capital will acquire acute care telemedicine provider SOC Telemed for $3 per share, for a total of about $300 million.

SOC Telemed went public via a SPAC merger in November 2020 at $10 per share.

TLMD shares traded at a low of $0.58 in late January 2022.

HIStalk Announcements and Requests

A reader asked whether anyone visited the booth of First Line Software at HIMSS22, thinking that they operate in Russia. I received this response from Anatoly Postilnik, head of the company’s healthcare practice. First Line Software’s healthcare offerings include real-world evidence and data, health data management, AI/ML, systems development and integration, and clinical quality and safety systems. He clarifies:

First Line is a US consulting and custom software development company with a stellar reputation. We are headquartered in Cambridge, MA and have no affiliation with Russia or its government, which is currently waging a horrific war in Ukraine. We have offices on every continent and used to have a presence in Russia, but much like McDonald’s, Microsoft, and other respected US and International companies, we have aggressively pulled out of Russia and severed all ties with this country, relocating our employees to other countries and providing financial assistance to them to alleviate hardship.

Listening: Gilbert Neal, whose tracks I found randomly on Spotify and then played most of the day Monday. It is genre-bending excellence in singing and songwriting, every track highly listenable with smart, clear lyrics (not the usual love-and-lust prattling trying to pass as profound) and musicality that might at any given moment suggest Billy Joel, Steely Dan, Moxy Fruvous, or a 1970s prog rock band. I haven’t heard music this emotionally engaging for a long time. Website. The best phrase I’ve heard lately is Gilbert’s term for a group of his friends that would make a smashing band name– “a cabal of ne’er-do-wells.”


April 6 (Wednesday) 1 ET. “19 Massive Best Practices We’ve Learned from 4 Million Telehealth Visits.” Sponsor: Mend. Presenter: Matt McBride, MBA, founder, president, and CEO, Mend. Virtual visits have graduated from a quickly implemented technical novelty to a key healthcare strategy. The challenge now is to define how telehealth can work seamlessly with in-person visits. This webinar will address patient satisfaction, reducing no-show rates to single digits, and using technology to make telehealth easy to use and accessible for all patients. The presenter will share best practices that have been gleaned from millions of telehealth visits and how they have been incorporated into a leading telemedicine and AI-powered patient engagement platform.

On demand: “Cybersecurity Threats Facing Healthcare Today.” Sponsor: Net Health. Presenters: Jason James, MS, CIO, Net Health; Monique Hart, MBA, CISO, Piedmont Healthcare; Jeffrey Rosenthal, , MBA CIO, Reliant Rehabilitation; David Jollow, MBA, CISO, Healogics. The panel of CIO and CISO leaders will discuss the cyberthreats that healthcare faces today. They will review security priorities for the increasingly complex healthcare IT environment that includes cloud-based applications, an increased number of endpoints that include connected devices and patient wearables, and patient portals.

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

Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock


Advocate Aurora Enterprises, the development and commercialization arm of the Illinois-based health system, acquires MobileHelp, which offers remote patient monitoring and personal emergency response systems.


Cloud-based analytics and value-based payments software vendor Clarify Health raises $150 million in a Series D funding round, bringing its total raised to $328 million. The company acquired analytics company Embedded Healthcare last month.


Nurse-1-1, a nurse chat software startup that works with digital health companies, raises $2.3 million in seed funding.

Home-based virtual care company HealtheMed, which focuses its services on Medicaid patients in Minnesota, raises $1.2 million in seed funding.


  • Rady Children’s Hospital – San Diego will offer patients tech-enabled, home-based physical therapy services from Luna Care.
  • Desert Oasis Healthcare (CA) will implement Lark Health’s digital cardiovascular coaching program.
  • MemorialCare (CA) will integrate TytoCare’s AI-powered remote medical exam technologies with its telehealth services.
  • HonorHealth goes live on Loyal’s Symptom Checker.


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Protenus names Michael Baglio (Codametrix) CTO and Sonal Patel (DataBank) VP of professional services.


Konica Minolta Healthcare Americas promotes Fumihiko Hayashida to president and CEO.


Kelly Ostertag (Pivot Point Consulting) joins Continuum Health IT as VP of operations.


Kyruus hires Gail Airasian, MBA as GM of emerging markets.


Edward T. A. Fry, MD begins his term as president of the American College of Cardiology. He helped launch Ascension-owned data quality management company Navion Healthcare Solutions.

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Orbita hires Sara Inman, MA (Press Ganey)  as SVP of sales and Elizabeth Glaser (2bPrecise) as SVP of marketing.


Madaket Health promotes Martin Cody to VP of sales.


Tiffani Misencik (Intelerad Medical Systems) joins Greenway Health as chief revenue officer.


Craig Richardville, MBA (SCL Health) becomes SVP/CIO of Intermountain Healthcare as it completes its acquisition of SCL Health, expanding Intermountain to 33 hospitals, 385 clinics, and 59,000 employees with operations in seven states.

Announcements and Implementations

Amerimed Medical Solutions implements Bamboo Health’s Pings and Spotlights real-time care notification and performance metrics technologies.

A survey of community mental health center executives conducted by Owl and MCHA finds that top priorities are staff training, delivering treatments to the right person at the right time, expanding care access, delivering evidence-based guidelines, and measuring individual outcomes.


A new KLAS report on the EHR market in Europe finds that Dedalus and CompuGroup Medical expanded their market share via acquisitions, with Cerner selling its Selene and Medico products to CGM in shifting its focus to Millennium and I.S.H. Med. Software Medical and Epic had the largest organic growth, while Epic’s performance score topped the list. Low-scoring vendors are ChipSoft and Cambio (Benelux and Northern Europe) and InterSystems and Dedalus (Western Europe), although InterSystems TrakCare has high user satisfaction in Southern Europe, particularly Italy. 

Government and Politics

ONC publishes the agenda for its 2022 Virtual Annual Meeting February 2-3 (education sessions) and April 13-14 (panel sessions, exhibit hall, and networking).


In Germany, a 60-year-old man is arrested for forgery for receiving COVID-19 vaccine injections 90 times to obtain vaccination proof cards to sell. He was caught when he showed up at the same vaccination center on consecutive days.

Sponsor Updates

  • The HIT Like a Girl Podcast features Ascom Americas VP of Sales & Business Development Shelly Bond.
  • CareMesh publishes a new white paper, “5 Things Hospitals Can Do to Turn Epic into a Powerful Care Coordination Platform.”
  • GHX will hold its 2022 Summit May 9-12 at the Diplomat Beach Resort in Hollywood, FL.
  • Cerner releases a new podcast, “Breaking down bulk APIs.”
  • CHIME and HIMSS pay tribute to health IT visionary David Garets.
  • Clearwater publishes a new whitepaper, “The Guide to 405(d) Health Industry Cybersecurity Practices.”
  • Diameter Health will present at the virtual NLP Summit April 6.
  • Clearsense releases a new Tech Talk video, “The Rise of Clinician Data Scientists.”
  • Sonifi Health releases digital whiteboard features that enhance the patient experience in hospital maternity units.

Blog Posts


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


Morning Headlines 4/5/22

April 4, 2022 Headlines No Comments

SOC Telemed Stockholders Approve Acquisition by Patient Square Capital

SOC Telemed shareholders approve its sale to healthcare investment firm Patient Square Capital for nearly $300 million.

Advocate Aurora Enterprises acquires leading provider of health monitoring and emergency response solutions

Advocate Aurora Enterprises acquires MobileHelp, which offers remote patient monitoring and personal emergency response systems.

Nurse-1-1 Raises $2.3 Million in Seed Funding, Pioneering “Conversational Marketing for Healthcare”

Nurse-1-1, a nurse chat software startup that works with other digital health companies, raises $2.3 million in seed funding.

Curbside Consult with Dr. Jayne 4/4/22

April 4, 2022 Dr. Jayne No Comments

I spent some time this weekend at a non-healthcare, non-technology conference. It was nice to get away for a few days and spend time learning ways to improve my skills for one of my hobbies.

I’ve been attending this particular conference since 2018, and many of the attendees know about my past life in the emergency department. There were quite a few questions about COVID and whether I think it’s really over. I typically respond that I don’t think it will ever be over, but we’re learning how to cope with it in the US. Because our lives are back to normal, at least in part, many people have forgotten that there are other nations where people still haven’t had adequate opportunities to receive vaccines.

The Our World in Data website is one of my favorites. It shows that a high percentage of people in Africa have yet to receive even one dose of vaccine. It makes you think twice about living in a country where a large number of people still believe that COVID isn’t real and vaccines aren’t safe, despite there having been more than 11 billion doses administered worldwide.

I had some time to kill at the airport, so I participated in an online research study from Harvard University. The study was designed to evaluate strategies to influence vaccine-hesitant individuals to become up to date with the COVID vaccine schedule. Participants were educated on several strategies to try to persuade people to receive vaccines and then were asked to create narrative statements that they felt might work. Messages were to be in response to a patient who was concerned that the vaccine was rushed, that mRNA technology is too new, that fetal cells were used in vaccine development, and that vaccines cause death. The researchers plan to use a natural language processing algorithm to evaluate the messages, and which are best at demonstrating receptiveness. They also gathered data on the respondents’ perception of the concerned patient and whether they would be willing to interact with that person again, which I thought was interesting. I’ll have to keep my eye out for the results of the research in the future.

I also had time to read a study that was recently published and has been regarded as somewhat controversial. The Journal of the Mississippi State Medical Association published the study, “Targeting Value-Based Care with Physician-Led Care Teams” in its January issue. It details findings from Hattiesburg Clinic’s value-based care journey with its Accountable Care Organization. When cost of care was examined, the study revealed that care delivered by non-physician providers who were practicing independently was more expensive than care delivered by physicians. The findings led the Clinic to redesign its care model as well as to publish its findings. Multiple news outlets and physician organizations picked up on the article, leading to headlines about how midlevel practitioners just might not be the answer to the primary care physician shortage at all.

Looking at the organization’s journey, in 2005 it employed a combined total of 26 APPs (advanced practice providers), including nurse practitioners and physician assistants. Today it employs 118. Over the last 15 years, Hattiesburg Clinic had made decisions to expand care teams by allowing these providers to manage primary care patient panels on a largely independent basis. The Clinic has more than 33,000 Medicare beneficiaries and an associated Accountable Care Organization, so it was monitoring its outcomes carefully. The study found that by allowing APPs to operate independently, the organization “failed to meet our goals in the primary care setting of providing patients with an equivalent value-based experience.”

The authors looked at 2017-2019 CMS cost data on Medicare patients who did not have end-stage renal disease and who were not in a nursing home. The data showed that per member, per month spending was $43 higher for patients who had a non-physician in charge of their primary care needs. When applying risk adjustment factors for patient complexity, the difference was $119 per member, per month. Originally, the analysis was to help the organization identify high-cost providers so they could intervene. They didn’t expect the results they identified, including increased testing utilization, more specialist referrals, and more emergency department utilization for patients who were under non-physician care.

They also found that physicians performed better on nine of 10 quality measures, with notable differences in vaccination rates for influenza and pneumococcal disease. Physicians also had higher patient satisfaction scores across multiple domains measured via Press Ganey. Although they concluded that non-physician providers are valuable members of the care team, the organization determined that independent practice was not in the organization’s best interest. They then embarked on a year-long transition that would allow APPs to inform their patients that they would start seeing the supervising physician as well, and that the physician would become the primary care provider of record. Additionally, APPs in specialty areas were restricted from seeing new patient consultation visits except in emergencies or when approved by the referring physician.

There are some interesting factors to note with regard to the findings. First, the Hattiesburg Clinic is focused on value-based care. Their experiences may not translate to organizations that are still operating under a predominantly fee-for-service model. Under the value-based care model, excess testing and referrals cut into the organization’s bottom line, so there’s an inherent level of buy-in for operational changes. In a fee-for-service model, the organization can benefit from certain kinds of overutilization, which doesn’t encourage restricting services. Also interesting is the finding that the patients who had the best quality were those who had alternating visits with both the physician and the APP.

There are also some weaknesses in the study itself, including controlling for years of experience of the APPs compared to years of experience of the physicians, and any variation in the organization’s onboarding and training of different types of providers. Having worked with new and experienced nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and physicians, I’ve seen across the board that inexperience is directly related to the propensity to order increased testing and referrals. When you’ve seen a given clinical presentation hundreds or thousands of times, you’re likely to be more confident in your ability to manage the patient on your own and are also experienced enough to refine testing to the minimum necessary. The published writeup also doesn’t include enough information on the analysis to determine whether some of the differences were statistically significant.

It will be interesting to see if the authors submit their work for the additional scrutiny of one of the national journals and what the findings look like when they are subjected to additional statistical analysis. Although the findings seem dramatic, they underscore the need for critical reading and to determine whether findings are likely to be similar to other situations. There are hundreds of organizations across the country who have the same types of data as Hattiesburg Clinic, and it would be interesting to see whether they reach the same conclusions. We’ve entered an era where there is more healthcare quality and cost data at our fingertips than we’ve ever had, and it’s time to really start using it.

What does your organization think about Hattiesburg Clinic’s findings? Have you looked at this issue yourselves? Leave a comment or email me.

Email Dr. Jayne.

Readers Write: Why Data Quality Matters in Price Transparency Workflows

April 4, 2022 Readers Write No Comments

Why Data Quality Matters in Price Transparency Workflows
By Cory Deagle

Cory Deagle, is chief product officer of RxRevu of Denver, CO.


As a healthcare technology vendor, we often hear that data quality is critical. It’s true that without access to reliable data, providers will question or even ignore key notifications, patient information, and clinical data. Now more than ever, vendors have a responsibility to both identify and improve the data flowing through their pipes.

Real-time prescription benefit (RTPB) – one example of an integrated tool that brings patient-specific coverage and cost data to EHR workflows – has been adopted by thousands of health systems, hospitals, and clinics across the country. This technology allows patients to understand the cost of their medications, including if lower-cost alternatives are available, while they are sitting with their care provider. I’m sure many of us have experienced the unpleasant surprise of arriving at a pharmacy only to find out the medication prescribed had an outrageous price tag. As more and more providers adopt RTPB, this should become a thing of the past.

While RTPB has incredible power to transform the patient experience, unless the vendor is providing a heavy dose of quality checks against the data, providers will notice inaccuracies or incompleteness, rendering the tool useless when making prescribing decisions. In order to resolve this, RTPB vendors must work closely with PBMs and EHRs to translate indistinguishable codes, ensure clinical relevance, and filter unnecessary noise, all with the goal of providing meaningful information so that providers can have better cost conversations with patients.

Here are a few examples of data quality steps that can be taken to improve provider trust in RTPB:

  1. Quantity translations. Providers often enter medication quantities in familiar “clinical” terms (4,500 units of a diabetes injectable, for example) instead of entering quantities in “billing” units. Without a correction of the quantity from insulin units to milliliters (the billing unit for this medication), the cost information displayed could be an astounding $101,000. This is due to the fact that the PBM is pricing based on the quantity of insulin units submitted, which can be 100 to 300 times the billing unit. Vendors must be able to translate intended input quantities to ensure an appropriate covered price of $25 is displayed and communicated to the patient.
    Code Mapping: In many cases, drug costs cannot be determined because the National Drug Codes (NDC) used for pricing are obsolete or not recognized by the PBM. In order to receive an accurate price, solutions must automatically find comparable codes to display relevant pricing information.
  2. Clinical logic for improved outcomes. In many cases, solutions cannot display pricing information because of user input error. For example, providers often mis-select the days supply, which can lead to errors such as “maximum dose per day.” Best-in-class vendors are able to leverage intelligence to alter days supply issues and enable transaction success. Clinical expertise and medical literature can also be used to hide erroneous results and prioritize meaningful medication alternatives in the workflow.
  3. Message normalization. Providers want to focus on patient experience, but unhelpful error messages in the EHR (e.g. drug not found), slow down the ordering processes and drive mistrust in integrated tools. Standardizing errors codes from payer and PBM partners allows for actionable messaging (e.g. this medication is not covered at the selected pharmacy, please select a different pharmacy) and can improve the care experience.

It is the combination of these quality-focused tactics that can create a truly exceptional  and reliable healthcare experience. Technology vendors can no longer meet the bare minimum when delivering data. If they do, providers will ignore data presented to them, and patients will no longer trust the healthcare system they rely on. However, superior data and technology enable better decisions and drive real value in healthcare.

Readers Write: Unleash Human Capacity – And Leave Time for More Breakfast Burritos – With Better OR Scheduling

April 4, 2022 Readers Write No Comments

Unleash Human Capacity – And Leave Time for More Breakfast Burritos – With Better OR Scheduling
By Michael Bronson, MD

Mike Bronson, MD is an anesthesiologist with Providence Mission Hospital of Mission Viejo, CA; CEO of the Ketamine Wellness Clinic of Orange County of Laguna Beach, CA; and founder and CEO of AnesthesiaGo, which was acquired by PerfectServe in January 2022.


My path to becoming an anesthesiologist was, by all accounts, pretty normal. I went to undergrad, moved on to medical school, completed my residency, then joined a private practice. That was always the goal, and checking each of those boxes was fulfilling.

After I joined the practice, though, I started to wonder what was next. My whole life had been structured around working hard and staying focused on the future, and it felt a bit like I had reached the final phase.

Boy, was I wrong.

Like many other physicians, I was eventually thrust into a position that I never expected to inherit. There was some dissatisfaction in our group with the daily case scheduling process, and before I knew it, I was holding the hot potato in my hands.

As I leaned into this new responsibility, I most often found myself wrapping up daily cases around 5 p.m., only to be handed a stack of papers—representing the next day’s cases—and a pencil that was always topped with one of those old-fashioned detachable erasers. Why, you ask? Well, let’s just say changes, mistakes, and oversights were an inevitable part of the process.

This probably sounds relatable if you’ve ever doled out OR case assignments, but I’ll explain for everyone else. Fundamentally, it doesn’t sound too challenging—just put a name next to every case, make sure they’re not in two places at once, make sure they’re qualified to do every case, and make sure they’re credentialed at all locations.

But then come the other considerations. First, the person on call should get the most complicated cases. Second, you’ll find that surgeons often have preferences about who they want—and do not want—in the OR because of prior experiences. And finally, the patient may have a strong preference for a particular anesthesiologist because they were assigned to them previously. We always try to accommodate those requests when possible.

When you put all of this together, things can get messy. Like clockwork, every time I sent out a proposed schedule, calls and texts from colleagues would begin. Maybe somebody was double booked, or maybe there wasn’t enough travel time to get from one location to another. The reasons varied, but changes were always necessary.

In the end, this almost always took an hour or more, and I’ve seen anesthesiology groups where scheduling—which is typically done by a senior anesthesiologist—can take up to two hours. And remember, this is adding time to the end of the scheduler’s day, preventing them from going home or doing other important non-work activities.

If you’re reading this wondering whether technology can be used to improve this process, you’re asking the same question that popped into my mind several years ago. The short answer is yes, there’s a better way.

Scheduling technology isn’t necessarily new, but for a long time, the only vendors that existed were the ones that could take care of monthly scheduling needs: who’s on call, who’s working every day, who’s on vacation, and so forth. That’s a different animal than building a daily OR case schedule.

With intelligent OR case scheduling technology, you can use automation to quickly generate and distribute schedules that are free of the common mistakes people like yours truly would make when building them by hand. We’re all smart and well intentioned, but in this instance, technology is definitely the answer.

Going a step further, we can even champion provider wellness in a meaningful way. If a surgeon works best with a specific anesthesiologist, why not pair them together as much as possible to create an ideal working environment? As it turns out, technology can do that too.

I want to reinforce that none of this means we need to remove the human touch from healthcare. The best technology will make clinicians’ lives easier every day, but it should also give them a chance to provide meaningful oversight. No system is perfect, after all.

But in the end, shouldn’t we all be hyper focused on identifying and improving dated processes like the one I described? For me, getting home later every day because of scheduling duties meant less time with my family, and I had fewer chances to enjoy a favorite pastime with my son: grabbing a breakfast burrito.

Let’s all continue to think of better ways to unleash more human capacity by freeing ourselves from age-old processes that require too much time and effort. Less time being frustrated, more time caring for patients, and more time getting breakfast burritos with my son.

Morning Headlines 4/4/22

April 3, 2022 Headlines No Comments

RE: U.S. Federal Trade Commission and the U.S. Department of Justice Request for Information on Merger Enforcement

The American Hospital Association tells federal regulators that hospital mergers, including associated technology benefits, lower costs and create better outcomes, benefiting their patients and communities.

Gozio Health Announces Financial Partnership with Morgan Stanley Expansion Capital

Wayfinding software company Gozio Health secures an undisclosed amount of funding from Morgan Stanley Expansion Capital.

Visante and TRG offer expanded pharmacy informatics and technology

Hospital pharmacy consulting firm Visante acquires The Robertson Group, which offers pharmacy informatics and technology consulting.

Monday Morning Update 4/4/22

April 3, 2022 News 9 Comments

Top News


The American Hospital Association tells federal regulators that hospital mergers lower costs and create better outcomes, benefiting their patients and communities.

AHA specifically calls out the technology benefits of mergers:

  • Expanded repositories of clinical and cost data.
  • Real-time support of diagnoses and treatments.
  • Advanced analytics.
  • Large health systems making advanced technologies available to their smaller affiliates that otherwise couldn’t afford them.

AHA says the government’s merger guidelines don’t require big changes and should retain market definitions as a component of competition analysis.

AHA adds the FTC and DOJ should focus instead on “anticompetitive mergers and deceptive conduct by insurance companies.” It specifically supports DOJ’s lawsuit to block UnitedHealth Group’s planned acquisition of Change Healthcare.

Reader Comments

From Brody Brodock: “Re: solutions that connect patients to clinical trials. I know of one, Ciitizen, although they seem to do only cancer trials.”

HIStalk Announcements and Requests


The employers of most poll respondents will focus this year getting and keeping employees and developing new offerings.

New poll to your right or here: For those who were laid off or terminated more than five years ago: what was the impact on your career? I did a similar survey years ago and it was shocking to see the super-high percentage of folks who said their unplanned job loss was a positive career event. As I often say, who wants to work for a company that lays people off, especially if you’re one of them? Although today’s truth is that nearly every company lays people off, kicking one set of “valued associates” to the curb while publicly bragging on company success that requires a fresh batch.

I received a large donation for Donors Choose and funded a bunch of classroom projects.

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



April 6 (Wednesday) 1 ET. “19 Massive Best Practices We’ve Learned from 4 Million Telehealth Visits.” Sponsor: Mend. Presenter: Matt McBride, MBA, founder, president, and CEO, Mend. Virtual visits have graduated from a quickly implemented technical novelty to a key healthcare strategy. The challenge now is to define how telehealth can work seamlessly with in-person visits. This webinar will address patient satisfaction, reducing no-show rates to single digits, and using technology to make telehealth easy to use and accessible for all patients. The presenter will share best practices that have been gleaned from millions of telehealth visits and how they have been incorporated into a leading telemedicine and AI-powered patient engagement platform.

On demand: “Cybersecurity Threats Facing Healthcare Today.” Sponsor: Net Health. Presenters: Jason James, MS, CIO, Net Health; Monique Hart, MBA, CISO, Piedmont Healthcare; Jeffrey Rosenthal, , MBA CIO, Reliant Rehabilitation; David Jollow, MBA, CISO, Healogics. The panel of CIO and CISO leaders will discuss the cyberthreats that healthcare faces today. They will review security priorities for the increasingly complex healthcare IT environment that includes cloud-based applications, an increased number of endpoints that include connected devices and patient wearables, and patient portals.

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

Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock


Buyouts magazine awards Francisco Partners its “Deal of the Year” recognition for carving out medical device integration technology vendor Capsule Technologies and selling it to Royal Philips for $635 million in early 2021 at a 233% gross internal rate of return. Qualcomm acquired Capsule Technologie (its original name as a France-headquartered company) in 2015 and made it part of Qualcomm Life, which Francisco Partners acquired in February 2019. FP renamed the business to Capsule Technologies, refocused it back on addressing inpatient hospital communications, hired former Spok CEO Hemant Goel to lead the company (he’s now at NThrive / FinThrive), and acquired clinical monitoring technology vendor Bernoulli Health, all in its first six months of ownership. FP sold the company to Philips two years after acquiring it, where it operates as Philips Capsule.

Hospital pharmacy consulting firm Visante acquires The Robertson Group, which offers pharmacy informatics and technology consulting.



Debra Carpenter, PhD (Crowe Healthcare Risk Consulting) joins Tri-State Memorial Hospital as CIO.


Change Healthcare hires Edward Baird (Spectralink) as VP of strategic accounts.


Industry long-timer Joyce Sensmeier, MS, RN retires as senior advisor of informatics at HIMSS.

Announcements and Implementations

Cerner won’t require non-client facing employees to be vaccinated until June 6, when workers are expected to return to in-office work.


England scales back its pandemic surveillance programs in a move toward living with COVID-19 rather than trying to eliminate it, raising concerns among health experts that the dialed-back data systems will not support the early detection of new surges and variants. Britain was the global leader in performing random community testing, genomic sequencing, and combining the results with electronic medical records and epidemiology to provide the world with much of its COVID intelligence.

Amazon Web Services posts a job for head of worldwide health technology solutions, which involves building health system relationships, working with partners, and creating AWS business opportunities.

Sponsor Updates


  • VisiQuate founders and staffers travel to Ensenada, Mexico with Baja Bound to build a house for a working family.
  • The Urban Health Today Podcast features PeriGen CEO Matthew Sappern and his insights on rural maternity deserts, nursing burnout, and how AI is helping.
  • Protenus will exhibit at the NADDI National Healthcare Facility Rx Diversion Summit April 25-26 in Raleigh, NC.
  • TigerConnect will exhibit at AONL 2022 April 11-14 in San Antonio.
  • TriNetX has signed a partnership agreement with Mitsui to expand its global research network in Japan.
  • Consulting magazine names West Monroe partners Christina Powers and Melanie Prestridge Leading Women in Technology in the future leader and excellence in client service categories, respectively.

Blog Posts


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


Weekender 4/1/22

April 3, 2022 Weekender 3 Comments


I will call this a “very special Weekender,” as the old TV shows used to say, as I limit this episode to a Donors Choose update. Feel free to skip this if you are looking for health IT news only.

Alex Benson, MPA is a long-time HIStalk reader, former Cerner executive, and SVP/GM of Bardavon Health Innovations since last year. He emailed to say that the company was interested in supporting the Donors Choose program. Which they did, in a generous way that needs its own post because the list of projects it funded is long.


Overland Park, KS-based Bardavon Health Innovations is a workers’ compensation digital health partner whose “clicks and mortar” technology connects its national network of physical therapists to self-insured employers to offer injury prevention, treatment, and work readiness solutions. There’s quite a bit of Cerner DNA in the company – Cliff Illig and Zane Burke are investors and board members, Ed Enyeart is CFO, and Jeff Steiner and Alex are general managers.

The company’s donation fully funded these Donors Choose teacher grant requests that I chose:

  • Math manipulatives for Ms. F’s elementary school class in Miami, OK.
  • Headphones for Ms. G’s elementary school class in Naples, FL.
  • Science and STEM materials for Ms. W’s elementary school class in Miami, OK.
  • Math learning tools for Ms. T’s middle school class in Montgomery, AL.
  • Math learning tools for Ms. E’s elementary school class in Casa Grande, AZ.
  • Math learning centers for Ms. P’s elementary school class in Washington, DC.
  • Science sensory kits for Ms. H’s pre-kindergarten class in Washington, DC.
  • Number recognition kits for Ms. G’s pre-kindergarten class in Columbus, IN.
  • Robotics parts for the robotics teams of Mr. E’s magnet school in Van Nuys, CA.
  • Sight words puzzles for Ms. B’s special education class in Brooklyn, NY.
  • Storytelling kits for Ms. M’s elementary school class in Miramar, FL.
  • Phonics and reading material for Mr. H’s elementary school class in Orlando, FL.
  • Education centers for the kindergarten class of Ms. O in Staten Island, NY.
  • Emotional support books and supplies for Ms. J’s elementary school class in Houma, LA.
  • Math manipulatives for Ms. M’s elementary school class in Moore, OK.
  • Flexible seating for Ms. R’s elementary school class in Kansas City, KS.
  • Autism calm and focus tools for Ms. M’s autism preschool class in Glendale, AZ.
  • Behavioral specialist supplies and games for the elementary school class of Ms. M in Las Vegas, NV.
  • Dramatic play kits for language and social skills for Ms. K’s kindergarten class in Universal City, TX.
  • Classroom organization mailboxes for Ms. B’s first grade class in Erie, PA.
  • A set of 14 books for Ms. B’s elementary school class in Kansas City, MO.
  • Science invention kits for Ms. M’s high school class in Kansas City, MO.
  • 30 scientific calculators for Mr. F’s elementary school class in Kansas City, MO.
  • Headphones and dry erase markers for Ms. C’s kindergarten class in Orlando, FL.
  • STEAM bins for Ms. S’s elementary school class in Naples, FL.
  • Sensory exploration kits for Ms. T’s special needs kindergarten class in Kernersville, NC.
  • Soccer team supplies for Ms. F’s elementary school class in Yuma, AZ.
  • Reading reward book purchase gift cards for Ms. S’s elementary school class in Bronx, NY.
  • Building kits for Ms. G’s elementary school class in Sylmar, CA.
  • A shelter and water cooler for the track team of Ms. M’s high school medical science class in Bronx, NY.
  • Teaching resources for the speech therapy class of Ms. B in Detroit, MI.
  • Mental health materials for the elementary school counseling sessions of Ms. R in Los Angeles, CA.
  • Math and writing resources for the elementary school class of Ms. Z in Phoenix, AZ.
  • Literary skills tools for Ms. D’s elementary school class in Eastpointe, MI.
  • Behavior and sensitivity books for Ms. S’s elementary school class in Fresno, CA.
  • English-Spanish dictionaries for Ms. G’s middle school ESL class in Indianapolis, IN.
  • Classroom supplies for the autism elementary school class of Ms. H in Mesa, AZ.
  • Headphones for the math intervention middle school class of Ms. P in Brighton, MA.
  • Basketballs for the boys and girls teams of Ms. Q in Glendale, AZ.
  • Decorations for the alternative prom for special needs students, voted by the school’s National Honor Society as an official project, for Ms. V’s high school in Buckeye, AZ.
  • A mobile easel for the COVID-affected second grade class of Ms. M in Westminster, CA.

Many teachers responded quickly and I usually get updates (often with photos) to report how the donated items were used. Just to be clear, I receive these emails, but Bardavon Health Innovations provided the money.






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Morning Headlines 4/1/22

March 31, 2022 Headlines No Comments

Thomas H. Lee Partners Acquires Intelligent Medical Objects

Private equity firm Thomas H. Lee Partners acquires Intelligent Medical Objects for a reported $1.5 billion.

Zephyr AI Raises $18.5 Million in Seed Funding Led by Lerner and M-Cor

Precision medicine and drug discovery analytics vendor Zephyr AI raises $18.5 million in seed funding.

Medical image sharing startup raises $16M

PocketHealth, a medical image-sharing startup based in Toronto, raises $16 million in a Series A funding round led by Questa Capital.

News 4/1/22

March 31, 2022 News 6 Comments

Top News


Private equity firm Thomas H. Lee Partners acquires Intelligent Medical Objects for a reported $1.5 billion.

Reader Comments

From Kaizen: “Re: HIMSS22. I meant to wander by the booths of Intetics (from the Ukraine) and First Line Software (Russia). Wondering if anyone checked them out and how their traffic was.” Offshore developer Intetics has (or maybe “had”) offices in Kyiv, Kharkiv, and other cities in Europe and the US. Software engineering firm First Line Software  has a US headquarters and lists offices in other countries that don’t include Russia. Anybody drop by their HIMSS22 booths? UPDATE: First Line provided an update – the US-based company formerly had a presence in Russia, but in protest of that country’s invasion of Ukraine, has pulled its people out and severed all ties with Russia. For that, I’m adding a little plug for its services with real-world evidence data, health data management and governance, AI/ML, systems development and integration, and clinical quality and safety systems.

From Green Lantern: “Re: clinical trials. Wondering if there are good systems that help patients find them?” I think most systems are aimed at physicians who are helping connect their patients to trials, so other than, I don’t know of any that are intended for consumer use. Reader input is welcome.

HIStalk Announcements and Requests

Keep an eye on Epic’s website Friday for their annual creative April Fool’s shenanigans. I had a dream that the fake news included a retirement announcement from Judy that, in a bit of excellent Epic wit, turned out to be sadly real.

I’ll let others share their Dave Garets anecdotes since I have just this one. It was at the opening session at a long-ago HIMSS conference, and the stage curtains opened to a band playing some searing, nasty, surprisingly loud blues that made me want to drink a breakfast beer and take up smoking. Finally, I thought, HIMSS has hired some actual musical pros instead of bringing in the usual white bread “Up with People” Disney day-jobbers who shoot for “inspiration,” but instead hit “collective embarrassment.” The band wrapped up way too soon and its members turned out to be Dave, Jonathan Teich, and some other health IT folks I’ve forgotten, all of whom had spent time as professional musicians.

I’m trying not to snicker at the expert insight that is being widely offered unsolicited by attendees of “HIMMS.”


April 6 (Wednesday) 1 ET. “19 Massive Best Practices We’ve Learned from 4 Million Telehealth Visits.” Sponsor: Mend. Presenter: Matt McBride, MBA, founder, president, and CEO, Mend. Virtual visits have graduated from a quickly implemented technical novelty to a key healthcare strategy. The challenge now is to define how telehealth can work seamlessly with in-person visits. This webinar will address patient satisfaction, reducing no-show rates to single digits, and using technology to make telehealth easy to use and accessible for all patients. The presenter will share best practices that have been gleaned from millions of telehealth visits and how they have been incorporated into a leading telemedicine and AI-powered patient engagement platform.

On demand: “Cybersecurity Threats Facing Healthcare Today.” Sponsor: Net Health. Presenters: Jason James, MS, CIO, Net Health; Monique Hart, MBA, CISO, Piedmont Healthcare; Jeffrey Rosenthal, , MBA CIO, Reliant Rehabilitation; David Jollow, MBA, CISO, Healogics. The panel of CIO and CISO leaders will discuss the cyberthreats that healthcare faces today. They will review security priorities for the increasingly complex healthcare IT environment that includes cloud-based applications, an increased number of endpoints that include connected devices and patient wearables, and patient portals.

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

Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock


Precision medicine and drug discovery analytics vendor Zephyr AI raises $18.5 million in seed funding.


  • Blessing Health System chooses Biofourmis for its hospital-at-home program that includes biosensors, a patient companion app, and analysis of wearable streaming data and patient-reported outcomes using the AI-powered Biovitals Analytics Engine.
  • Carevive Systems will use technology from Datavant to de-identify its oncology patient experience data and connect it for sale to life sciences companies.



Dina promotes Tim Coulter to president, where he will also continue in his role as COO.


Keith Tode, MBA ( joins Net Health as VP of clinical research.


Sansum Clinic promotes Sean Johnson, MHA, RN to CIO.

Announcements and Implementations

New Zealand Health IT renames itself to the Digital Health Association.


Intermountain Healthcare will use a $100,000 grant from Intel to purchase 70 additional cameras for its Patient Safety Monitoring remote observation program. Intermountain says the program reduces room traffic and thus COVID exposure, frees up CNA time, and allows immunocompromised caregivers to continue caring for patients.

Telehealth vendor Hims & Hers Health will refer its patients who have complex clinical needs to primary and urgent care provider Carbon Health.


Medchart — which provides patient-authorized records release to legal, insurance, and research customers – announces Marble, an API that makes that information available to developers.

Athenahealth announces improved gender-affirming care capabilities for AthenaOne.

Surgical Information Systems moves to a new corporate headquarters in the Avalon community of Alpharetta, GA.

Government and Politics

Practice Fusion will pay $200,000 to settle federal charges that it failed to comply with the terms of its $145 million EHR opioid kickback settlement in January 2020. The US Attorney alleged that Practice Fusion failed to maintain and fund an Oversight Organization as the settlement required, which the company denied.


A former Yale University ED finance director pleads guilty to stealing $41 million from the medical school by repeatedly authorizing purchases of Suface Pros and IPads, which she broke into individual orders to fall within her $10,000 purchasing authority, then having the items shipped to a business that sold the devices and paid her a cut. Yale didn’t notice until an anonymous tipster questioned her high purchasing volume and why she was placing the equipment into her own car. Her purchasing limit means that she had to generate 4,000 purchases at $10,000 each over eight years – around two purchase orders per weekday — that the School of Medicine failed to notice. Federal investigators say Jamie Petrone-Codrington spent the money on cars, real estate, and travel, also raising the IRS’s interest for not filing tax returns that should have generated $6 million in federal taxes. She will forfeit $560,000 in her business’s bank account, two Mercedes, a Land Rover, two Cadillac Escalades, and a Dodge Charger, along with several real estate holdings. She faces up to 23 years in prison.



Jonathan Bush explains that despite the impediments to interoperability – the challenge of building cross-app experiences, anti-competitive behavior, and broader networks that raise trust issues – he is optimistic:

To steal from Inigo Montoya: I know something that perhaps you do not know. COVID has ushered in a massive explosion in the number and funding of digitally forward, virtual-first healthcare providers. These companies have incredible outcomes, almost no fixed cost base (compared to old med), and an always-on, super convenient access layer. They are also almost all “focus factories” in that they take on one narrow problem, but solve it on a national level. As focus factories, they selfishly WANT a shared record. The amazing irritable bowel syndrome team at Oshi Health has absolutely no designs on taking over your diabetes care someday, but would really like a real-time holistic picture of their patients! They don’t just want federated data because it is clinically and ethically superior, but because they make more money when it exists. The incentives were not so for the Facebook application developer community of the Open Graph era and not so for the medical record guardians of Old Med.

Sponsor Updates

  • CTG publishes a white paper titled “Continued Acceleration—Digital Transformation in 2022.”
  • Cerner recaps Children’s National Hospital’s go-live on its clinically driven revenue cycle as an ITWorks client.
  • Symplr CEO B.J. Schaknowski is named to the board of Susan G. Komen.
  • Everbridge teams with technology leaders to offer a critical communications platform to support humanitarian efforts in Ukraine.
  • First Databank becomes the NCPDP Foundation’s inaugural Patient Safety Founder Gift Donor with a donation of $100,000.
  • Well Health names Malissa Miot (Carium) Northeast enterprise director of sales.
  • InterSystems is recognized with the Business Intelligence Solution Provider of the Year award in the Data Breakthrough Awards program.
  • The InteropNow! Podcast features Lyniate Chief Marketing Officer Michelle Blackmer in a new episode, “Removing the Confusion of Interoperability Solutions with Lyniate.”
  • Meditech congratulates its customers that were included in The Chartis Group’s lists of top 100 rural and community, and critical access hospitals
  • NTT Data is accepting applications for the NTT Data Hackathon as part of TechGig Code Gladiators 2022.

Blog Posts


Mr. H, Lorre, Jenn, Dr. Jayne.
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EPtalk by Dr. Jayne 3/31/22

March 31, 2022 Dr. Jayne 1 Comment


A recent survey conducted by the American Medical Association found that 85% of responding physicians are using telehealth in their practices. Approximately 60% of physicians agreed or strongly agreed that telehealth enables the provision of high-quality care. I wasn’t surprised by the breakdown of visit types – 93% of them are offering video visits and 69% of them are offering audio-only visits. More than half of respondents say they are motivated to increase the use of telehealth in their practices. Uptake of other telehealth services, such as remote monitoring, seemed low at only 8%. As far as other interesting statistics, more than half of physicians indicated that telehealth had improved job satisfaction. The online survey was conducted anonymously, with 2,000 physicians responding.

A lot of people think that true telehealth services have to include both audio and video, but in my experience as a telehealth physician, it seems that the majority of patients are happy with audio-only services. Physicians have mixed feelings about doing audio-only visits. It’s definitely easier to assess whether people have an increased rate of breathing when you can see them, and you can quickly gauge their overall level of distress. Especially when caring for sick children, I like to see if they are clingy and how consolable they are as part of the evaluation.

For many adults seeking telehealth services, however, observation and other elements of physical examination don’t add much to the clinical picture. Ultimately it should be a balance, taking into account the patient’s preferences and the clinician’s comfort level with different telehealth modalities. There are plenty of studies that indicate that inclusion of audio-only services results in greater telehealth access among underserved populations, older patients, those who seek care in safety net facilities, and some demographic subsets.

Although there’s a lot of enthusiasm about telehealth, other sources look at telehealth from a different lens. One survey commissioned by UnitedHealth Group found that 55% of physicians are frustrated by managing unrealistic patient expectations for virtual visits. About half are also frustrated by issues with audio and video technology. Providers who responded to the UnitedHealth survey were less optimistic about telehealth’s impact on job satisfaction, with only 25% saying it was improved. There was also division on the role telehealth plays with regard to physician burnout – 30% said it increased burnout, while 30% said it reduced it. I’m sure the perceptions are valid at both ends of the continuum since I’ve seen some outstanding telehealth implementations and some that are marginal at best. I do hope that those organizations that plan to continue making it a large part of their patient care strategies spend the time and money to optimize their offerings for both patient benefit and clinician satisfaction.


Henry Ford Health unveils a new brand, dropping the word “system” from its name. According to its press release, removing “system” places more emphasis on the word “health” and broadens the vision. The new logo drops the iconic Henry Ford signature and oval and adds three shades of blue as well as a swath of purple. The purple is certainly eye-catching, but I’m not sure what to think about the different blues. The organization plans to roll out the new branding to its largest facilities first, with others phasing in the new branding over the next few years. Along with the visual branding, Henry Ford Health is launching an omnichannel ad campaign titled “I Am Henry.” It includes stories from the organization’s patients, employees, and from the communities it serves.

The organization’s press release notes that the “new logo clearly transitions the identity from one steeped in the visual history of founder Henry Ford, to a brand expression focused on humanity, backed by a powerful heritage of innovation and drive.” I’m not sure I fully feel that, but I’m willing to play along. On one of my recent projects, I learned an incredible amount about marketing, branding, and how different visuals can evoke specific responses from viewers. Looking critically at the new logo, I find the font rather intriguing. The majority of the letters are strong and uncomplicated, but the leg of the R adds a bit of whimsy. The swooping crossbar of the leading H pulls you into the name, and the trailing H feels downright playful. The purple feels a little too bright compared to the blues, but that’s just me. I’d be interested to hear what the marketing gurus out there think of it compared to my decidedly amateur opinion.

I learned last night that a physician who I worked closely with during my residency took his own life on Monday. He was a few years ahead of me in training . The loss of a young and talented physician (as well as a father and spouse) is tragic. Each year, 300 to 400 physicians die by suicide. Even if we personally are not at risk, the odds are that someone we work with might be struggling. The grief was particularly heavy since Wednesday was Doctors’ Day in the US, which was created to honor physicians for their dedication and their service to humanity. Knowing that some physicians feel there is no way to get through the challenges is heartbreaking, especially since I’ve lost two colleagues this way in under two years.

Judging by the reports in some of my social media feeds, the day was subdued for many, with occasional “snacks in the breakroom” celebrations. One physician reported that their organization gave everyone a book on wellness, which for many frontline physicians has become synonymous with pizza parties and therapy dogs. Another received a heart-healthy cookbook that appeared to be left over from a recent cardiology department open house based on the sticker gracing the back cover. I doubt hospital executives think about the idea that their selections might be posted on nationwide Facebook groups as a humorous counterpoint to those “best places to work” lists. Sadly, some physicians reported receiving no recognition in the clinic at all. With all the work physicians have put in over the last couple of years, I’m hoping that for them Doctors’ Day 2023 will be a better one.

Did your organization do anything to mark Doctors’ Day? Leave a comment or email me.

Email Dr. Jayne.

Morning Headlines 3/31/22

March 30, 2022 Headlines No Comments

The United States and Practice Fusion, Inc. Resolve Allegations of Violations of Practice Fusion’s Deferred Prosecution Agreement

EHR vendor Practice Fusion will pay a $200,000 fine to resolve allegations that it failed to adhere to the terms of its deferred prosecution agreement, initiated to resolve criminal charges for its role in soliciting and receiving kickbacks in return for embedding electronic prompts in its EHR to influence the prescribing of opioid medications.

Ransomware group claims responsibility for cyber-attack on metro healthcare organization

Oklahoma City Indian Clinic announces that it was the victim of a cyberattack earlier this month by the Suncrypt ransomware group, which claims to have stolen 350 gigabytes of data.

Brightside Health Raises $50 Million in Series B Funding to Accelerate Delivery of Life-changing Mental Health Care For All

Mental health-focused online medication and therapy startup Brightside Health raises $50 million in a Series B funding round.

Readers Write: The Life and Times of Dave Garets, Healthcare IT Evangelist

March 30, 2022 Readers Write 5 Comments

The Life and Times of Dave Garets, Healthcare IT Evangelist
By Ivo Nelson

Ivo Nelson is an entrepreneur, author, and speaker of Huntsville, TX. Helping with this tribute were Mike Davis, Steve Lieber, and Phil Pead. 


Dave Garets passed Monday morning at the age of 73, having battled Parkinson’s disease for several years. Dave made a huge impact on the healthcare IT industry.


It is hard to separate the man from his mission. For in Dave, he had the goodness of the human being coupled with the mission of improving healthcare. Dave believed that if technology was uniformly adopted in healthcare, then caring for patients would be greatly enhanced and outcomes would improve and become more predictable.

Two ideas formed from his healthcare IT experience. One was that the technology had to meet certain standards, because after all, healthcare IT was affecting people’s lives. The second idea was that healthcare IT had to be universally adopted to obtain the maximum benefit to society.

As a result, Dave left his mark on an industry that has now become almost entirely dependent on technology, the capture of healthcare data that is used in research to improve care outcomes and care safety, and delivering standardized care protocols to support lower cost and higher quality of care.

The early days of Dave’s exploits are told about his nightly guitar playing at local Idaho bars. He used this musical skill at several HIMSS venues over the years to create a unique identity for his presentations. Dave’s introduction to IT was developed by AT&T, where he would tell people that he used to code in assembler. Gartner analysts gave Dave the benefit of the doubt about his programming skills. Dave was an accomplished CIO for Magic Valley Hospital in Twin Falls, Idaho for several years, where he became a thorn in the side of Meditech.

He then moved on to management consulting with Arthur D. Little before joining Gartner as a VP for healthcare research and analytics. At Gartner, Dave demonstrated his executive management skills by successfully managing a group of research analysts who were highly intelligent, accomplished, and opinionated. The research and advisory team he built at Gartner is considered one of the best in healthcare.

Gartner provided the platform for Dave to truly shine. Dave loved being at the front and center of emerging healthcare technologies and regulations. He relished being on stage, presenting well thought out and defensible positions for using healthcare IT to improve healthcare. He promoted healthcare IT across the US and at international venues. Dave’s involvement with driving healthcare research provided him the platform to establish relationships with other powerful healthcare IT executives in provider, payer, and vendor organizations. Many vendor executives considered him a nuisance, especially when then did not deliver what they promised to the market.

I recruited Dave to my Healthlink consulting company to help drive consulting services for providers. Once again, Dave recruited the best and the brightest to join Healthlink during a pivotal point in the company’s growth. Under his leadership, Healthlink built one of the best strategy practices in the healthcare IT industry.

It was during his time at Healthlink that Dave was asked to be the chairman of the largest association in the healthcare industry, HIMSS, a byproduct of a merger between CHIM (healthcare IT vendors) and HIMSS (healthcare IT provider members).

Two major components of the deal struck from the CHIM-HIMSS negotiations were to change the formal membership structure to include a corporate member category (vendor companies) and to change the volunteer leadership succession in such a fashion that guaranteed that a CHIM (vendor representative) board member would become the next HIMSS chair. While this would not be the first time an employee of a vendor served as the volunteer chair of HIMSS, it would be the first time under the new membership structure.

The planned CHIM succession, which would determine who that new HIMSS chair would be, wasn’t the best approach for the organizations’ strategic objectives for the merged association. To solve this, Dave was instead elevated within CHIM leadership rotation and thus setting the stage for him to serve as HIMSS chairperson.

Dave was instrumental during his HIMSS leadership tenure in gaining widespread acceptance of the corporate community as full-fledged members of HIMSS. As both a former CIO and vendor, Dave was able to speak to both audiences and helped reinforce the strategic concept of HIMSS as a big tent, a place that was open and welcome to all points of view to get to the right answers for the American health systems and the patients they served.

It was during his term as HIMSS chair that HIMSS acquired survey research and data assets from The Dorenfest Group and set into motion a series of events that took Dave, HIMSS, and the entire health information technology sector in new directions that shaped HIT adoption trends and federal HIT policy for more than a decade.

Upon the acquisition of Dorenfest by HIMSS, a national search was conducted for the management head of the new initiative, which became HIMSS Analytics. Dave resigned as HIMSS chair and was hired to lead this group. Dave again demonstrated his executive management skills by converting a demoralized and toxic employee base into an empowered and progressive culture that generated an accurate and highly respected provider IT market database solution.

It was at HIMSS Analytics that Dave helped develop the EMR Adoption Model (EMRAM) that was used to objectively identify acute care EMR capabilities in hospitals. This model provided a simple and accurate assessment of provider EMR capabilities for supporting healthcare delivery.

In the early days, the model was challenged, and at times, maligned. Dave’s relentless promotion of the EMRAM in the US and internationally was the key factor in its market adoption, success, and impact on the EMR market and federal health policy. Much of the early dissatisfaction was how the model showed the lack of not only coherent HIT adoption, but also how the healthcare delivery system significantly lagged other business sectors in its technology adoption. The model’s enduring success proved that the thinking behind the model was right, and it ultimately became deeply connected to the US government’s efforts to spur the adoption of electronic medical records.

After achieving success with HIMSS Analytics, Dave was recruited by The Advisory Board Company to create a research and advisory service. Dave recruited several of his old Gartner team members to help create and launch it, the first at the Advisory Board to be completely electronic in format, replacing an outdated and expensive paper publishing research service. Dave also helped promote new consulting services for the company related to Meaningful Use regulations and the emerging ICD-10 coding system.

Dave retired from the Advisory Board, almost. He continued to take on consulting projects that kept him busy working with his wife Claire with their company ChangeGang that kept him connected to the healthcare IT market.

Dave helped drive healthcare IT advancements that resulted in considerable improvements for the market. He is irreplaceable in his zest for driving healthcare IT to enable higher levels of high-quality healthcare services. He created and developed strong corporate teams, he played the politics necessary to keep his team from experiencing corporate disruptions, he was the chair of HIMSS and participated in CHIME’s CIO boot camp training curriculum for several years, and he mentored his teams that generated several successful IT professionals.

Dave lived life large. He once owned three yachts at the same time (not on purpose). He traveled globally and immersed himself in the local cultures. He always had a well-stocked wine cellar that he gladly shared with friends. He married Claire, who was his intellectual match and had the character to keep him on his toes.

Dave slid into the home plate of life with a torn uniform, dirt on his face, bleeding, and missing a few teeth on March 28, 2022. But what a ride he had.

May God bless him and welcome him into heaven.

Readers Write: Thirty Years in Healthcare IT, An Accidental Pilgrimage

March 30, 2022 Readers Write 11 Comments

Thirty Years in Healthcare IT, An Accidental Pilgrimage
By Jim Fitzgerald

Jim Fitzgerald, MBA is founder and EVP/chief strategy officer of CloudWave of Marlborough, MA.


Friday is my last day at CloudWave, my latest and likely last team in which I labor full time in the healthcare IT space.

Whether you work at a healthcare provider, an industry software vendor, or a managed cloud services company like ours, healthcare IT is by nature a team sport. It is also often as much a vocation as a career. There are darned few deep thinkers, deeply technical people, or talented managers in HCIT who could not make more money outside of it. But on the flip side, could probably not muster the directed passion for the work outside of HCIT.

That has been a recurring theme from the time I entered this business in 1993 by joining a firm weirdly and appropriately called JJWild. Everything along the way needed to be designed, built, and managed so that to the greatest extent possible it could ease and empower the safe delivery of healthcare,while being where possible, “minimally invasive.” You would have to be a heartless megalomaniac (not that we notice many on the world stage these days) not to be able to buy into that mission. After all, short of a handful of blessed protected natives sequestered deep in the Amazon who have never had to read an Explanation of Benefits, we are all healthcare consumers. Some combination of spiritual awareness, concern for our neighbors, and enlightened self-interest continues to drive the space as powerfully as financial motives. At least I hope so.

What was the road like? In 1983 (yeah, I’m that old), I was working in a non-healthcare oriented technical and marketing support role at a modem company called Microcom. Our modems were unique in that the analog / digital conversion and signaling engine was overlaid on a Z8 breadboard with a whopping 64K of RAM that booted its own device OS and loaded code from EPROM that allowed the serial interface to be programmable and also allowed the modems to run their own in-band data communications protocol to protect the data stream.

This caught the attention of a rapidly growing HCIS vendor called Meditech, whose founder, Neil Pappalardo had invented a proprietary color terminal for their Magic OS that would deeply impact the industry. The appealing interface could do block and character color graphics at about 20% of the cost of a PC and almost no maintenance. The catch was that for remote data access, it needed a connection between the terminal and the remote terminal server that had no data communication errors, as the terminal server and the terminal were in constant “chatter,” both to transmit and receive HCIS data and to manage screen formatting and behavior.

That’s how I got to know Meditech, and it changed my path. Nine years later, I joined the team at JJWild at the urging of one of Meditech’s system gurus, Chris Anschuetz, whose simple explanation was, “We are moving from Magic to TCP/IP. Our customers are going to need open networks and we need partners who can build them.”

My personal education on TCP/IP had come from a product manager at Microcom, Eugene Chang, an MIT engineer with a gift for making the complex simple. He had helped build DARPANET while at the semi-legendary consulting firm Bolt, Beranek, and Newman. I was excited. Shortly thereafter I found myself counting wires in hospital closets, ceilings, repurposed laundry chutes, and ceiling chases. Lab visits were always the frightening highlight of those network walkthroughs.

One thing led to another. JJWild helped Digital Equipment / Compaq introduce the Alpha to the Meditech community. Data General, Meditech’s larger systems partner, got sold to EMC. JJWild started offering applications, tech consulting, and managed disaster recovery services to hospitals.

Oddly, this tech support guy turned sales engineer turned sales guy (also known by “pure” engineers as the path to the dark side) was kicked into a CTO role at JJ to cap my cost to the organization. It was insane in scope, but could be a lot of fun. I got to work with a large cross section of the company – sales, consulting, engineering, support, and partner management — while still being able to work daily with our hospital customers. A group of us from inside and outside the company constantly debated and schemed to figure out how to build unbreakable systems to support healthcare apps. We got support to launch a private cloud-based disaster recovery service, JSite, at JJWild.

Perot Systems gobbled JJWild up in 2007 and put us to work before the ink was dry on harnessing emerging cloud tech to host legacy healthcare apps. A hosting solution called MSite was introduced by Perot in 2008. Dell bought Perot in 2009 with the intent of becoming more services-oriented, but the Meditech team at Perot barely showed up on their financial radar at the time.

When it became clear we were not a core strategy for Dell at the time (they sold Perot to NTT Data in 2013), 27 of us quietly left Dell from October 2011 to May of 2012 and joined with Park Place International. Its founders agreed to fund a new hybrid cloud managed services venture that would evolve into CloudWave and a suite of secure, highly available managed services called OpSus that today hosts over 125 diverse applications from EHR to enterprise imaging for more than 200 hospitals, securely backing up petabytes of data to both public and private cloud, and disaster recovery protecting over 175 hospitals.

Our services, with a cross-cloud platform sourced from our own secure private cloud data centers as well as AWS and GCP, began to transcend the Meditech realm and are gaining new customers from hospitals running Epic and Cerner, as well as smaller ISVs who need somebody to provide an ops center that can “take them to cloud.”

What do I see coming? The 20-year cycle in IT that goes from everything centralized to everything decentralized will continue and perhaps compress. The ongoing migration to cloud is driven by economic, operational, and security forces and will continue, but the cloud edge will also get built thoughtfully to support advances in genomics, analytics, and machine learning. Either PHRs will become real and the consumer will be their own best health data steward, or the vaguely and mostly unintentionally evil government / medical / pharmacy / insurance megaplex that wants no one to really have a private life will win and someone other than you will own your EHR.

Consumers will reassume financial responsibility for their own healthcare with some kind of underlying insurance for big bills or will surrender to a central system that doles out equal misery and lack of excellence for all. Black hat hackers will be heavily prosecuted instead of modestly slapped and sent to abandoned monasteries to do something useful for the rest of their days, like crush wine grapes with their feet. All but the largest integrated healthcare systems will get out of the IT business in a similar fashion to how they got out of the laundry and food service businesses and buy IT services modularly, the way individuals mix apps on their tablets. No matter where you sit in the space, it’s still going to be a wild ride.

What have I learned? Most hospital IT teams I have worked with over the years are understaffed, underpaid, and hugely dedicated to their work. They have capacity for X projects per year, demand for 3x projects, and funding for X/2 projects. They adapt like ADHD chameleons traversing a mosaic. Intended and unintended poop is flung at them by regulators, vendors, colleagues, and customers.

You are collectively some of the best people I could have hoped to serve. Thank you for the privilege.

Morning Headlines 3/30/22

March 29, 2022 Headlines No Comments

Novant Health launches new business division to accelerate clinical, operational and technological advances for the healthcare industry

Novant Health (NC) launches Novant Health Enterprises, an independent business focused on developing, acquiring, and scaling clinical, financial, and patient-oriented solutions.

With tech launches, Epic Systems looks to future of healthcare accessibility

Epic expands its 1,100 acre campus in Verona, WI with the opening of its 350-office Mystery building, the forthcoming opening of its Castaway building, and the addition of three more facilities within the next five years.

Life Sciences and Healthcare Leader ConcertAI Raises $150 Million Series C from Sixth Street at $1.9 Billion Valuation

Enterprise AI and real-world data software vendor ConcertAI raises $150 million in a Series C funding round, bringing its total raised to over $300 million.

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