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Morning Headlines 3/21/22

March 20, 2022 Headlines No Comments

Murray, McMorris Rodgers demand VA stop computer system launch in Walla Walla after reports reveal problems persist at Spokane hospital

Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) demands that the VA delay its planned March 26 Cerner go-live at the Walla Walla VA following VA OIG reports of continuing problems at the first live site at Mann-Grandstaff VA Medical Center in Spokane.

Healthcare tech platform Doctolib reaches $6.4 billion valuation

France-based Doctolib — which offers doctor search, scheduling, virtual visit booking, and document sharing — becomes the country’s highest-valued startup at $6 billion based on a new funding round.

Canopy Launches Out of Stealth With $13 Million to Help Oncology Practices Adopt a Proactive Care Delivery Model

Canopy (formerly Expain Health) launches its EHR-integrated technologies for oncology practices alongside securing a $13 million funding round.

Monday Morning Update 3/21/22

March 20, 2022 News 6 Comments

Top News

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Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) demands that the VA delay its planned March 26 Cerner go-live at the Walla Walla VA following VA OIG reports of continuing problems at the first live site at Mann-Grandstaff VA Medical Center in Spokane.

VA OIG issued a report Thursday in which it substantiated several user complaints related to medication management at Mann-Grandstaff, along with deficiencies in migrating DoD patient information to Cerner.

OIG substantiated reports that Cerner was not configured to accept future clinic orders for subsequent outpatient visits, so it cancelled them without notifying the provider. They also noted that if RNs entered multiple medication orders, only the first one was held pending physician authorization.


Reader Comments

From RFT: “Re: ROI Healthcare Solutions. Jason Berry left as president in February and not replaced. Marketing VP Danielle Watson, Controller Don DeHaven, Sales VP Brent Prosser, VP Lane Tucker, and CFO Jimmy Haddad all gone.” I compared the leadership page to its year-ago cache to note that four of the eight listed executives are no longer there, and all of the folks that the reader named have indeed left. I’ve omitted some of the reader’s other comments because I have no way to verify them as factual or to ascertain what that person’s connection is to the company.


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

End-of-winter alert: it is officially spring as of yesterday (Sunday), it’s getting dark later, and the HIMSS conference is over. That’s two long, dark COVID winters down, hopefully none to come. Another noteworthy day from last week, in addition to St. Patrick’s Day and sporting events, was Friday’s Match Day, when medical students learn where they will be spending their next few years as residents (or begin their panic over not matching and thus being dumped into the last-chance maelstrom of The Scramble).

Dear vendors, as a “Start at Zero” zealot, I won’t publish your graph whose X axis doesn’t begin at zero. Otherwise, you are intentionally misrepresenting a trend as being more significant than it is. I also won’t run poll or survey results that don’t include the number and type of respondents, a description of how those respondents were chosen, and preferably the exact wording of the questions that were asked. It’s easy to turn science into marketing fiction via shaky statistical methods.

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Most poll respondents, whether attending HIMSS22 or not, expected to be working harder last week.

New poll to your right or here: Do patients get their money’s worth for indirectly paying the cost of providers and vendors to attend conferences like ViVE and HIMSS? It’s easy to forget that all those expensive hotels, lavish parties, and eye-popping exhibits are funded on the backs of sick people and taxpayers. Those sumptuous trappings also serve as the unintentionally ironic backdrop for brow-furrowing discussions about why the underperforming US healthcare system is the world’s most expensive.

Speaking of those conferences, I’m interested to hear from people who attended both as either an exhibitor or attendee. What were their strengths and weaknesses? How did the first “real” HIMSS conference since 2019 deliver? How well did the CHIME program integrate with ViVE compared to when it was offered with HIMSS? Which one(s) will you attend in 2023? Email me.

I found little value in most of the HIMSS22-related tweets last week. Conference tweets would ideally recap educational sessions for the benefit of those not attending, but most of what I saw was (a) endless mugging “look at me with my pals” selfies; (b) party photos; (c) overtweeting from people who were running around making pointless videos or podcasts; and (d) exhibitor booth staff photos or announcements. I actually kind of enjoyed (d) anyway since those people who worked the booths deserve some recognition and sometimes the company announcements were useful.


Webinars

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.

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


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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France-based Doctolib — which offers doctor search, scheduling, virtual visit booking, and document sharing — becomes the country’s highest-valued startup at $6 billion based on a new funding round. The 2,300-employee company plans to enhance its provider-only, subscription-based offerings, which start at $140, with physician-to-physician instant messaging.


Sales

  • In the Netherlands, Erasmus University Medical Center will implement Sectra’s digital pathology solution.
  • Legacy Health chooses Pivot Point Consulting, a Vaco Company to provide Epic help desk support.

People

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Jonathan Lloyd (Epic) joins AccessOne as VP of implementation.


Announcements and Implementations

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Data warehouse as a service vendor Snowflake launches Healthcare & Life Sciences Data Cloud, which it says will allow organizations to centralize, integrate, and exchange sensitive data. Customers include Anthem, IQVIA, Spectrum Health, and Siemens Healthineers. SNOW shares jumped 6% Friday following the announcement, valuing the Bozeman, MT company at $68 billion, although they’re down 45% since mid-November 2021. Director Carl Eschenbach of Sequoia Capital Operations holds shares worth $3.4 billion, while  CEO Frank Slootman’s stake is worth around $7 billion.

InterSystems announces HealthShare Health Connect Cloud, a platform as a service for interoperability and data integration among clinical applications.

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Salesforce announces enhancements to Customer 360 for Health to include Slack-powered patient care coordination, virtual care, unified health scoring, patient data platform, and a patient commerce portal.

Connecticut Children’s goes live on Nym Health’s autonomous medical coding system for RCM in its emergency department.

Secure transaction exchange among Surescripts network users increased 17% in 2021, with huge jumps in the use of Clinical Direct Messaging, Medication History, and Record Locator & Exchange. Electronic prescribing increased from 84% of all prescriptions to 94%.

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A survey of 240 physicians, most of them PCPs, finds that most of them have used telehealth and expect to continue doing so. Most of them conducted telehealth visits by video or phone, with much smaller percentages using secure messaging, email, and text messaging. More than half or providers were frustrated by the quality of care they can provide via telehealth, the unrealistic expectations of patients of what can be accomplished virtually, and the quality of the technology.

Cerner will integrate Nuance’s DAX ambient clinical documentation with Millennium. It’s interesting that a company that is about to be acquired by Oracle – which made integration of Millennium with its own hands-free voice interface as the acquisition driver — would tout integration with Microsoft-owned Nuance and its Azure-hosted voice solution. Somehow I doubt that this latest announcement will come to fruition unless the acquisition deal falls apart since I don’t see Oracle playing all that nice with Microsoft, Google, or anyone else.


Government and Politics

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Naval Medical Center Camp Lejeune is among several DoD locations in North Carolina that are going live on Cerner this week.


Other

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Amazon CEO Andy Jassy said in leaked audio from a November all-hands company meeting that he considers Amazon Care primary care business as one of the company’s most innovative projects. He said that Amazon is a “significant disruptor” in healthcare and that the cumbersome process of seeing a doctor in a traditional visit would seem “crazy” 10 years from now. The company plans to integrate and expand its three major healthcare businesses – primary care, online pharmacy, and diagnostics – into a one-stop shop that will offer “a much better value” than the usual primary care experience. Amazon is reportedly considering an entry into the Medicare Advantage market, working with health plans such as BCBS to become an in-network benefit, and to partner with startups and health systems. It is also considering launching a brick-and-mortar pharmacy that uses its cashierless technology and also adding pharmacies to its Whole Foods locations.

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Bloomberg Businessweek questions whether ADHD drugs are too easy to obtain online, focusing on investor-backed online mental health provider Cerebral. Snips:

  • The growth-obsessed startup targets patients with social media ads. Google “buy Adderall” and a Cerebral-sponsored result is headlined with “ADHD Meds Prescribed Online – First Month $30.”
  • The company’s revenue comes from subscriptions that cost up to $325 per month.
  • Providers are assigned high numbers of daily patients and are required to prescribe medications such as Adderall, amphetamines, and Xanax to 95% of patients, but not 100% since that might make the service look like a pill mill.
  • A former Cerebral coordinator says she was assigned 1,000 patients on her first day and received 100 messages from them each day, some of them in crisis.
  • Patients who are angered by Cerebral providers who choose not to prescribe what they want are offered a “second opinion” from a more prescription-friendly company provider.
  • Former nurse employees of the company say they fear that not only is Cerebral meeting demand, it is creating it and likely fueling a new addiction crisis.
  • One former employer said of 30-year-old founder and CEO Kyle Robertson, “Whenever he talks about ‘providing quality mental health care,’ his eyes are dead. He does not care.”
  • Cerebral’s biggest fear is that DEA will go back to stricter pre-pandemic rules for prescribing controlled substances. The company has joined 300 others in calling for Congress to extend telehealth waivers.

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I didn’t know that UTHealth’s School of Biomedical Informatics offers the country’s first DHI (doctorate in health informatics) degree, which is a practice degree rather than a research doctorate like a PhD. Joe Bridges is its first graduate.

England’s chief nursing officer calls for every healthcare organization to employ a CNIO to give nurses a stronger voice in healthcare change.


Sponsor Updates

  • PatientBond publishes a new case study, “Recovering Missed Patient and Insurance Payments.”
  • Redox releases a new podcast, “The Return to HIMSS.”
  • West Monroe promotes 13 employees to managing directors and appoints new office leaders to continue scaling its next stage of growth.

Blog Posts


Contacts

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

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From HIMSS with Dr. Jayne 3/17/22

March 18, 2022 News No Comments

Today was the last one for the exhibit hall. I was pleasantly surprised by how many attendees stuck it out through the afternoon. Usually by noon on Thursday, the hall is a ghost town filled with bored booth reps, some of whom are trying to pack up their goods without looking like they’re packing up. This year, people were still combing the halls and reps were largely engaged, which is a testament to how desperate people were to return to in-person conferences.

Booth swag was being freely given nearly everywhere except for Salesforce, which was insistent on requiring participation in their quest around the booth before they would grant anyone a pair of socks.

Intermountain Healthcare had several different styles of shirts they were clearing out. I was happy to score one that says “Talk Data to Me.” Their reps were friendly and didn’t act annoyed even when there was a feeding frenzy of attendees coming at them.

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Intelligent Medical Objects again brought their A-game to the footwear contest, winning the day with these Lion King-themed socks featuring Pride Rock along and also with this eye-catching Oxford/sock combination.

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The best sandals of the show were submitted by a reader who spotted them at the opening reception and sent along a photo.

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Get Real Health had a leprechaun at their booth in honor of St. Patrick’s Day.

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Mr. H mentioned the EK USA booth earlier this week and featured their Cat Crap lens defogger. I stopped by to check it out and learned that it works not only to mitigate the glasses / mask issue, but also for motorcycle helmet visors, which should come in handy given some of my upcoming activities. The company also manufactures badge holders and reels designed for high-risk environments such as the US military, nuclear power providers, manufacturing, and healthcare. Organizations are at risk if employees lose their ID badges, especially if they allow proximity access to sensitive systems. Replacing lost badges is both a materials and personnel cost, not to mention lost time and productivity by the employee who is temporarily without a badge. I didn’t know there was such a thing as a certified card holder, but I do now. This is their first time at HIMSS, but clearly not their first trade show – the booth reps were some of the most engaging I encountered this week and I brought several people by to visit them. The company has been around for decades, and I hope they do well in the healthcare space.

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I must have walked by the Welt booth a dozen times this week but didn’t notice it since it was on the main aisle, which was generally busy Tuesday and Wednesday. They have a smart belt that can track gait and look for signs of deterioration that can indicate worsening of status for patients with movement disorders. They are a spinoff of Samsung. I’m looking forward to learning more about them.

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IBM’s color-changing booth was pretty cool, although when it was flooded with white light, it looked a bit bland. My booth crawl companion and I think they should project movies on it next year.

I’m glad I stayed till Thursday, but after lunch I reached the point where I was done and headed to the airport early. My airline is handling so many bags due to spring break that they had to split how they were accepting checked bags and sent passengers to a secondary bag drop to try to maximize capacity. The airport was fairly chill except for the man in front of me who refused to remove his Air Pods for TSA. When they forced the issue and asked him to place them in a bin to go on the conveyor (he wanted to just put them on top of his loose driver’s license so they wouldn’t touch the belt), he started demanding “something to sanitize this bin with” and they pulled him aside. Sounds like someone needs to start carrying some cleaning wipes or perhaps a bag in which he could have put his loose items. I wonder how long he was detained with whatever secondary screening they decided he needed.

That’s a wrap for HIMSS22. Thanks for going on this journey with me, and I’ll see you next year in Chicago!

Morning Headlines 3/18/22

March 17, 2022 Headlines No Comments

$23M in Series B funding to enable Embold’s continued growth​

Healthcare analytics and provider performance transparency company Embold Health increases its Series B funding round to $23 million, bringing its total raised to $53 million.

Serious issues with VA electronic health records system remain unresolved, watchdog says

A new report from the Office of the Inspector General finds ongoing patient safety issues with the VA’s Cerner roll-out, including problems with scheduling appointments, errors in importing medication lists and orders, and missing suicide risk alerts.

Nuance and Cerner Working to Improve Clinician and Patient Experiences

Cerner will integrate Nuance’s Dragon Ambient Experience voice-enabled automated documentation software with its Millennium EHR.

News 3/18/22

March 17, 2022 News 2 Comments

Top News

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Healthcare analytics and provider performance transparency company Embold Health increases its Series B funding round to $23 million, bringing its total raised to $53 million.

The Nashville–based company offers solutions for physicians, payers, employers, and benefits companies. Founder and CEO Daniel Stein, MD previously served as chief medical officer for Walmart Care Clinics.


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

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Welcome to new HIStalk Platinum Sponsor Curation Health. The Annapolis, MD-based company was founded by a team of healthcare veterans and clinicians to help providers and health plans effectively navigate the transition from fee-for-service to value-based care. Its advanced clinical decision support platform for value-based care drives more accurate risk adjustment and improved quality program performance by curating relevant insights from disparate sources and delivering them in real time to clinicians and care teams. With Curation Health, clinicians enjoy a streamlined, comprehensive clinical documentation process that enables better clinical and financial outcomes while simultaneously reducing clinical administrative burdens on providers. The company takes pride in combining the flexibility and speed of a startup with decades of leadership experience and know-how from roles in leading services companies including Clinovations, Optum, Evolent Health, and The Advisory Board Company.  Thanks to Curation Health for supporting HIStalk.


Webinars

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.

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


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Avive Solutions has raised $22 million in a Series A round of funding. The company has developed automated external defibrillator technology that wirelessly connects to local 911 and EMS services, and other medical professionals.


Sales

  • Baptist Health will implement PatientBond’s psychographic segmentation model and leverage its Insights Accelerator to enhance its patient engagement strategies.
  • The VA will use medical imaging workflow technology from Laurel Bridge Software during its transition from VistA to Cerner.
  • UNC Health selects Oncology Pathways software from Philips.
  • Newman Regional Health (KS) will connect its Meditech Expanse EHR to nearby Coffey Health System.
  • Cerner will integrate Nuance’s Dragon Ambient Experience voice-enabled automated documentation software with its Millennium EHR.
  • Novant Health (NC) will implement EVideon’s Vibe Health smart room technology, incorporating Caregility’s virtual care capabilities.

Announcements and Implementations

Southeast Iowa Regional Medical Center has implemented Healthcare Triangle’s Elastic Recovery Service on AWS to ensure the stability of its Meditech system during a natural disaster or cyberattack.

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Fisher-Titus Medical Center in Ohio has integrated RevSpring’s PersonaPay and IVR Advantage payment data and communications technologies with its Cerner system.


Government and Politics

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Reynold’s Army Health Clinic at Fort Sill in Oklahoma will go live on Cerner this weekend as part of the DoD’s MHS Genesis deployment.


Other

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Grant Memorial Hospital (WV) will launch a telemedicine cancer care program this summer using connected medical devices and technology from Elekta.


Sponsor Updates

  • Health Data Movers promotes Alex Janssen to senior consultant.
  • Healthcare Growth Partners has advised Symplr during its acquisition of GreenLight Medical.
  • Healthcare IT Leaders publishes a new case study featuring OSHU-Tuality Healthcare.
  • Intelligent Medical Objects publishes a new case study featuring its efforts to help HIE CORHIO standardize data from a variety of sources.
  • Kyruus will work with government-focused digital care navigation company WellHive to make it easier for veterans to find and schedule appointments with the Veterans Health Administration.
  • Mach7 Technologies will offer analytics from Biologics as part of its enterprise imaging solution.
  • Medhost publishes a new infographic, “An EHR Implementation Timeline Model: Layering for a Strong Foundation.”
  • Meditech releases a new podcast, “Preventing Violence Against Healthcare Workers.”
  • NTT will donate $2.5 million to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the United Nations Children’s Fund, and other organizations to support humanitarian efforts for Ukraine.
  • Get Well, VitalTech, Current Health, Twistle, Biofourmis, PeriGen, and CareSignal earn spots on Avia Connect’s list of Top 50 Remote Patient Monitoring Technologies.
  • The latest release of the Philips Capsule Surveillance solution has received 510(k) market clearance from the FDA.

Blog Posts


Contacts

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

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From HIMSS with Dr. Jayne 3/16/22

March 17, 2022 News 1 Comment

Today was a whirlwind of activity. I hit the exhibit hall as soon as the doors opened. I was looking for a few specific solutions for my clients, so I had to make the day count.

One of my first stops was eMedApps to check out their EHR archive solution. I think we’re starting to see a new wave of people migrating away from legacy EHRs who don’t want to tackle conversions. Archiving data but linking to it within the patient chart seems like a nice compromise.

From there, I visited First Databank for a deep dive into the FDB Targeted Medication Warnings solution. I had a great conversation with their experts about finding the balance between presenting adequate alerts to clinicians and not killing them with too many. Sometimes people think it’s a bad thing when alerts aren’t being surfaced very much, but their team brought up the fact that it’s a good problem to have – it means clinicians are doing the right thing the majority of the time, allowing the alerts to catch the edge cases where they really matter. Given the diversity of FDB’s products, the conversation was wide ranging, and we touched on pharmacogenomics as well. Finally, we talked a bit about FDB Vela, which was announced this week. It has the potential to shake up the world of e-prescribing and I’m looking forward to seeing how things unfold over the next few months.

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Then I met up with Nordic Chief Medical Officer Craig Joseph, who is possibly one of the most entertaining booth crawl partners I’ve had in a while. He has so many funny stories and kept me laughing. We were distracted by this shirtless model at Butterfly and stopped in to learn more about their point of care ultrasound solutions. I didn’t know exactly why their technology was so affordable, but their rep Melissa explained it to us, then took us to a workstation for a deeper dive. She was one of the most knowledgeable and enthusiastic reps I have interacted with the show and handled our wacky questions with ease as we put on our “cranky doctor” and “cranky CFO” hats to explore the solution. I wish I had been able to have one in my pocket when I was in the in-person urgent care trenches.

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Juno Health had a booth with t-shirt artists printing creations that said, “Kiss me, I’m a Provider.” Not sure which audience I’d want to wear that around, so I took a pass.

Socks were a big giveaway in the exhibit hall this year, and I was trying to pick up a few cool sets for someone at home. I noticed the Skyflow booth, not only for their well-displayed socks, but also for their sales team, which was facing out and engaging the crowd. I loved their “excuse me, but could you tell me what that orange sticker is on your badge?” play as a way to start conversations. They gave me a straightforward rundown on their product and also humored me with some conversation about the cost of living in Palo Alto. Props to the team for a job well done.

From there, I learned about Prescription Digital Therapeutics courtesy of Pear Therapeutics. What they’re doing with substance abuse treatment is fascinating and they’ve also launched a solution for chronic insomnia. There is a huge need for the latter, especially with the small number of cognitive behavioral therapists who specialize in treating the condition. I was excited to see migraine therapy on their road map and will be keeping an eye on them.

Onward I went to Healthwise to check out the Healthwise Advise solution that they’ll be taking live this summer with their Epic clients. I’ve been a fan and a user of their products for quite some time and am an even bigger fan of solutions that make the clinicians’ lives easier while helping patients better manage their health conditions.

I stopped by the Epic booth for some conversation about telehealth solutions and patient engagement as well as to check out their Cheers customer relationship management system. The booth was smaller than previous years (as were many vendors’ booths) but the artwork was great as always, including a carousel-style unicorn covered in bottle caps and a supersized dog.

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I always enjoy a spin through the innovation area and the team at Skedulo was spot-on at engaging prospects and getting them to stop and listen. They work in other industries beyond healthcare and made my list of companies to read about on the flight home.

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I also enjoyed chatting with the team at VisiQuate and learning about their solutions. They were channeling blue and yellow in support of Ukraine, including both shoes and shirts.

Continuing to stroll the booths with one of my HIMSS BFFs, we stopped by the Arcadia “Sips and Socks” happy hour so I could complete my sock collection and learn about what they’re doing to support managed care. They’ve got some great success stories and serve a diverse client base, which always makes doing business more interesting.

The Wednesday party scene was a good one, starting with Redox at Taverna Opa. Attendees were greeted by performers in stilts wearing LED lights, which was a fun reminder of how HIMSS used to be. Years ago, you might see those kinds of antics in the booths. They also had a custom cocktail that was being poured through an ice sculpture, which was fun. We ended up there at the end of the night and the sculpture was ceremonially smashed, which was really something.

I also dropped in on the Lightbeam Health event at Cuba Libre, which featured hand-rolled cigars as well as the chance to visit with the team from CareSignal, which the company recently acquired. I’ve worked with both teams in a variety of capacities and it was fun to catch up.

From there, I met up with friends and we ended up splitting into two groups, those who headed out for karaoke and those who knew when to call it a night. The fact that today’s walking total was close to nine miles made a member of the latter, so I was glad to get back to the hotel, put my feet up, and start the mental game of Tetris as I contemplate repacking my suitcase.

What’s the best thing you’ve seen this week? Leave a comment or email me.

Morning Headlines 3/17/22

March 16, 2022 Headlines No Comments

House Rx Secures $30 Million in Financing to Improve the Specialty Pharmacy Experience for Patients and Their Care Teams

Specialty practice-focused House Rx, which offers technology that helps prescribers and pharmacists ensure patients have timely access to specialty medications, raises $25 million in a Series A funding round.

Avive Secures $22 Million in Series A Funding to Advance Intelligent AED and Lifesaving Platform for Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest

Avive Solutions, which has developed wirelessly connected automated external defibrillator technology, has raised $22 million in a Series A round of funding.

Startup behind menopause app Stella targets US market

UK-based menopause care app developer Vira Health will use a $12.1 million investment to grow employer adoption in the US, and support clinical trials and the addition of telemedicine.

From HIMSS 3/16/22

March 16, 2022 News 3 Comments

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It was quieter and cooler in the exhibit hall today, which was more enjoyable to me. I expect it will be really slow and laid back Thursday, but I’ll remind booth reps that the last day is when decision-makers sometimes emerge to roam unfettered among the thinned exhibit hall crowds. Also, the HIMSS conference is a great place for companies to find partners, and that too is easier and thus possibly more likely on the last day. Don’t just pile up luggage and clock-watch.

I saw very few booth reps immersed in phone-land yesterday and today, which was encouraging. It felt like more reps were not only more heads-up in noting their surroundings, but also making eye contact and offering greetings. As basic as it sounds, sometimes you pass a booth and feel unwelcome because nobody looks up or acknowledges that you are standing there clearly waiting for assistance while reps look phoneward or gab with each other.

I realized today that I’ve yet to see even one instance of HIMSS22 fist- or elbow-bumping as handshaking is back as the standard. Also rarely seen is attendees picking up hand sanitizer giveaways. COVID-19 spread is almost entirely via the respiratory route, so it makes sense to worry less about spreading by touch. Wearing masks would be a theoretically good idea given that HIMSS didn’t require a negative COVID test, but sightings of those are rare.

Another item that is MIA – at least in my limited convention center travels – were those ball cap-wearing people sticking Healthcare IT News print copies in your face at every opportunity. Maybe they don’t do that any more.

I asked several exhibitors how the conference was going for them. Most common answer: “slow,” but they were trying to be upbeat about it. One exhibitor who was worn out from doing ViVE last week and said they didn’t feel that conference was worth it because few providers came to the exhibit hall, so they were a lot happier with HIMSS22.

I’ve heard from attendees of recent conferences that some people are annoyed with the member organization CEO inserts themselves into scripted entertainment or oratory in the opening session. I’ve also observed this over the years and have been kind of turned off. I think the CEOs of those member organizations forget that 99% of members don’t know or care who they are, so trying to serve as a highly visible host or presenter causes eye-rolling because that’s not why people attend. Certainly an organizational update or report is welcome if it’s short and not too “insider,” but the conference is a separate entity from the group’s leadership to most people and taking a self-congratulatory victory lap as the group’s executive doesn’t play well. I don’t go to a concert expecting to see the CEO of the band’s record label make a speech.


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Curation Health was excited about becoming a new HIStalk Platinum Sponsor, so I feel bad that I forgot to mention them in Tuesday’s various posts because it was late and I was tired. Jenn will give them the full introduction in Thursday night’s news, but I’ll acknowledge them now with thanks. Curation Health was founded by a team of healthcare veterans and clinicians to help providers and health plans effectively navigate the transition from fee-for-service to value-based care. Its advanced clinical decision support platform for value-based care drives more accurate risk adjustment and improved quality program performance by curating relevant insights from disparate sources and delivering them in real time to clinicians and care teams. With Curation Health, clinicians enjoy a streamlined, comprehensive clinical documentation process that enables better clinical and financial outcomes while simultaneously reducing clinical administrative burdens on providers. The company takes pride in combining the flexibility and speed of a startup with decades of leadership experience and know-how from roles in leading services companies including Clinovations, Optum, Evolent Health, and The Advisory Board Company. Thanks to Curation Health for supporting HIStalk.


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People from Mississippi-based Howard Medical were giving out Moon Pies in various flavors. My flavor choice was yellow.

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Alan from EK USA explained that Cat Crap is a crazy good cleaner and anti-fogger for glasses that has boomed lately because masks-wearers always struggle with fogged-up specs. I checked out their website and an ingenious offering is Not A Lock, a massive padlock that doesn’t actually lock – bad guys don’t usually actually test a padlock and this fake one prevents the owner from locking themselves out. Problems will always encourage people to create interesting solutions.

The people at Kit gave me a review of their mail-out lab test offering, where patients are sent sampling kits that they then return for lab processing. The list of available tests is short since most labs require venipuncture, so until someone invents a “blood draw at home” technology, they can only go so far in eliminating that particular last mile problem. The company was acquired by Ro last year just 17 months after its founding, with one of the draws (no pun intended) being Kit’s procedure for monitoring the test process so that life insurance companies, for example, can use the results to approve policies without sending someone into the applicant’s home to verify that their testing process was followed.

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Alpesh from Vayyar gave me a demo of the company’s senior monitoring solution, in which a small device is mounted to a wall or ceiling (it looks like a small smoke alarm) to monitor a patient’s movement without cameras or wearables. The radar-type device uses AC power, covers about 13×16 feet, and updates itself over the air. It can check for falls, room presence, in and out of bed status, and respiration (coming later this year). Providers or companies can design their own alerts and analytics per their specifications. I like this way, way better than phone-powered wearables.

I looked at Visier, which offers “people analytics” that can analyze various HR systems to answer questions about nurse retention, for example, to determine which employees are motivated by career advancement or educational opportunities instead of other benefits such as free parking.

I now know that Innovaccer’s name comes from “innovation accelerator.” It manages data for population health management and pay-for-performance programs.

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EClinicalWorks has a new product called Prisma that’s like a search engine and singular view for patient records, including those collected through Carequality and claims data. It can also collect and display data from wearables.

ESRI has theater presentations that cover a wide variety of interesting use cases for GIS in healthcare.

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I thought the Silex people were kidding with the “free beer” cooler since it was 11 a.m., but it was the real thing. The beer came from a microbrewery in the company’s Nashville home and the unfamiliar can design meant that one could (theoretically, you understand) roam the hall sipping a cold one around folks who still had egg on their breath. Silex was exhibiting with AbacusOne to offer RCM automation. They weren’t aware that ViVE is coming to Nashville next March and seemed pretty excited about it, as I kind of am since I’ve never been to Nashville except to visit one of my health system’s hospitals near there a few times many years ago.

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SkyFlow explained its Healthcare Data Privacy Vault, a quickly implemented API solution that manages role-based and policy-based access, consent-based sharing, IP and geolocation controls, and time-based access.

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That’s one big fireplace. Or being in the pun-heavy world of health IT, is that FHIRplace?

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Maybe the two saddest days in health IT were Neal Patterson dying and now to see what is likely the final exhibit of Cerner as an independent company.

From HIMSS with Dr. Jayne 3/15/22

March 16, 2022 News 1 Comment

Day 1 is in the books, and let me tell you it was a blur like I’ve not experienced in a long time. I’m sure my conference attendance muscles have atrophied over the last couple of years, but it was good to be back in person. I’m pretty sure I’m going home with COVID, though – virtually no one is masked. There are a lot of comments about people doing ViVE all week and being OK, but usually their expressions change when I remind them that attendees at ViVE had to show a documented negative COVID test, unlike at HIMSS.

The opening keynote was moderately attended, with plenty of empty seats in the back of the room. Attendance figures were quoted at 26,000 but it wasn’t clear whether that included both in-person and digital attendees. After greetings from the HIMSS team and the mayor of Orlando, Jonathan Bush delivered a brief keynote. He had some great analogies about HIMSS being like Hogwarts of Harry Potter fame, as well as it being like “the savanna” where prospective customers visited a feeding ground where vendors could hunt them. He skewered organizations for how much money they spend on HIMSS, and putting on my patient hat, it’s entirely appropriate to question the funding. People forget that every dollar spent at or on this show came from a patient or a taxpayer in one way or another.

The main keynote speaker was Ben Sherwood of Disney fame. He gave a great history of Walt Disney World and what it did to the growth of the Orlando economy. As someone who does a lot of work on sustainability and the environment, I noted that he completely left out the impact on the land and other downsides of the vast growth of tourism. He also talked about the Battle of Trafalgar and how Horatio Nelson had the ability to see the world differently as he planned his strategy for the battle. Sherwood noted that Nelson was killed in the battle and his body was taken back to England in a barrel of spirits, which is a detail that always reminds me of my days in gross anatomy lab.

He closed with some comments on E. M. Forster’s novel “Howard’s End,” which happens to be not only one of my favorites, but one upon which I did some scholarly work during my undergraduate years. He urged people to heed the advice given at the end of the book, and in thinking of how we all need to work together to solve the many problems facing healthcare, I agree with the wisdom: “Only Connect.”

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From there it was straight into the craziness of the exhibit hall. I stopped by to see the Dash offering by Relatient (booth 4879) and to catch up with the team about how the tool brings communication and scheduling solutions together for better patient care.

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Bandwidth (booth 1927) caught my eye with their sparkly sequined jackets and their plush unicorn giveaways (also wearing sequined tops). Their staff was friendly and engaged, but I’m glad they turned away for a moment so I could capture the picture.

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Pure Storage (booth 2421) kicked off the exhibit hall social hour with a fantastic bourbon tasting. I was happy that Dr. Nick van Terheyden @drnic1 spotted it during our first annual booth crawl. It certainly made the afternoon more smooth. He had a lot of great things to say about the newest evolution of DAX (Dragon Ambient eXperience) at Nuance (booth 1941). Apparently, it’s come a long way since the last time I saw it in a demo, so I’ll be sure to see it before the week ends.

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There was a strong footwear game happening at Intelligent Medical Objects (IMO, booth 3849) during the social hour as well. IMO is one of my favorite companies and I was glad to see some longstanding colleagues for a catch-up.

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I managed to score a Pink Socks scrunchie courtesy of my most longstanding HIMSS pal. Based on the humidity and the rain, I’ll need it tomorrow. Other giveaways that caught my eye included socks, cotton candy, and of course hand sanitizer. Less thrilling was the booth rep who was leaping at people in the aisles asking “would you like a light-up pen” and he asked me at least three times in the span of 10 minutes. There were of course plenty of disengaged booth reps, which is sad for Day 1 of the conference. If they couldn’t make it through 2 p.m., I have no idea how they’ll have the stamina to do it again tomorrow.

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Edifecs (booth 5171) is again running their #WhatIRun campaign to support women in healthcare IT. The initiative highlights the fact that women are estimated to be involved in 80% of healthcare decisions but continue to be underrepresented in leadership roles. For each social share of the #WhatIRun hashtag, they’ll donate $1 to brightpink.org. I’ve been a long-time fan, so please stop by and give them a shout out. I met some fascinating women today, including some cybersecurity experts, and had the chance to learn about one’s experience with the Chief membership network. HIMSS is always a great place to learn things you never expected and to make new connections.

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Tonight was my big dinner out for the week, courtesy of Nordic (booth 3965) at the Sharks Underwater Grill at Sea World. It was great to have the opportunity to talk with other CMIOs and people who are directly working in healthcare IT and to hear their experiences and challenges. The conversation was great and the drinks were flowing, and of course the sharks were fascinating. After dashing through the rainstorm at the end of the night and trying to find my Uber at the mysterious rideshare pickup point, I was starting to feel like these two chaps that I spotted at the bottom of the tank. My feet were done for the night, so I was glad to just head back to the hotel to recharge and prepare for Wednesday.

What were your personal highlights from the show floor? Anything particular I should check out? Leave a comment or email me.

From HIMSS 3/15/22

March 15, 2022 News No Comments

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From Fault Line: “Re: HIMS22. Not sure about others, but for me, it was 45 minutes for cab at airport, then and outside and inside line to check in at hotel. Why did we miss traveling again?”

I added some reader comments to the ViVE attendee reactions from last week.

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Tuesday’s commingled lines for health check, registration, and badge pickup snaked forever through the convention center with nobody from HIMSS directing folks where to line up. It’s a rare logistical slip-up by HIMSS that caused folks to be late for their sessions or for the 10:00 a.m. exhibit hall opening. Someone behind me said the lines were like Space Mountain, snaking down the hall and around corners. I guess that’s a good thing for HIMSS, which supposedly announced in-person attendance of 26,000 in the opening session that I didn’t attend.

I secretly want to be a bus driver as my next job. Every time I attend a HIMSS conference, I’m envious of their bouncy seats and horizontal steering wheels.

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It felt like a pre-HIMSS20 conference, as the exhibit hall was packed with no extra spacing, masks were optional and therefore rarely seen, and the booths featured snacks, performers, and throngs of people. I’m sure the exhibitor and square footage count were down from their pre-pandemic prime, but the energy was excellent. It’s like a band that could either fill a 1,000-seat theater or half-fill an arena – the theater wins on vibe and excitement.

I threw smoked brisket away for the first time in paying $19 for a horrible lunch from the 4 Rivers Smokehouse exhibit hall stand. I love barbeque in nearly every form, but this was inedible. I should have known this from the non-existent line and their use of homey skillets to hold badly prepared smoked meat and macaroni and cheese. I threw half away and still felt queasy for hours after.

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Know what we have? A truck. A big one. So there.

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Salesforce had an impressive booth. I don’t really understood its point, but it was like summer camp for technology folks.

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I tend to like booths that while phony, imitate life. So I was more than OK with 3M’s.

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And Intelerad’s, which was like a homey restaurant booth with cushions.

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My favorite booth was that of McKessson-owned CoverMy Meds. It was beside the booth of Redox. I feel some parental pull toward both companies because they sponsored HIStalk before anyone had heard of them and are now a big deal. I don’t usually call out favorite companies, but CoverMyMeds is a spectacular success story and co-founder Matt Scantland has impressed me both times I’ve interviewed him.

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Nice summary, Experian Health.

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Tax-advantaged provider, investor in for-profit-companies, and vendor? Correct answer — all of the above. Big booth.

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Epic claims to have no marketing people, but someone’s doing an excellent job regardless of their title.

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The Epic booth person told me that its Cheers CRM is just the same old products like MyChart overarched with a new name. I’m not sure if that’s correct, but they would know better than I.

The Vocera booth was quite busy.

Change Healthcare was taking headshot photos, which judging from the LinkedIn profiles of some attendees, are desperately needed.

The nicest exhibitors are always the folks from the Philippines, who not only provide more nurses to the US than any other country, they offer advantages for outsourcing health IT companies in various forms. I have never been to that country in my somewhat limited world travels, but they always make a positive impression at HIMSS conferences.

I liked Glooko’s remote patient monitoring platform for diabetes.

The folks at Pro Forma were cool in describing their promotional products. They agreed with me in wondering where the out-of-the-blue trend came from of exhibitor employees wearing outdoor-type vests, which I saw all over the hall. Other sartorial trends – light brown shoes with suits of any color, tennis shoes with suits, and semi-dress shoes worn without socks.

I took a look at HPE’s Zerto ransomware testing and recovery tool.

UKG (Ultimate Kronos Group) had a big booth, which I would guess at times was invaded by customers irate at its weeks-long cloud payroll system downtime that left hospitals in endless arguments with employees who weren’t paid correctly.

Palo Alto Networks gave me a nice overview of their system that monitors the network, finds and fixes performance problems, and evaluates the network problems of individual users such as those trying to participate in a Zoom call. They’re giving away a home appliance that does the same thing while looking cool.

I don’t know if I detected any particular HIMSS22 trend, but candidates would be cybersecurity and interoperability.

I saw people riding on Segways who were not G.O.B. Bluth.

Vendors – make your booth people disperse within the confines of your booth. It is off-putting to have them talking with each other in a closed circle that is unwelcome for prospects to penetrate.

Sphere is giving away ring lights for those who don’t have them for their Zoom or Teams sessions.

I went to a session in which Meditech and Google Health laid out their partnership to make Google Health’s Care Studio search tool available in Expanse. Meditech EVP/COO Helen Waters suggested that perhaps EHR vendors should focus on their platform and assume that companies like Google Health are amply equipped to overlay their products with consumer-grade UI. Meditech is looking for Care Studio to integrate its legacy products with Expanse.

Pondering – are booth reps playing with their phones because nobody is there, or is nobody there because booth reps are playing with their phones? I didn’t see nearly as much “expensive phone booth” time as in years past, so good job, folks.

I tried to use the HIMSS22 app, but it kept freezing on the title screen.

I skipped out early because my regrettably untested shoes weren’t up to the carpet-trodding task and therefore my back and legs were paying dearly for exhibit hall miles, but I’ll be back Wednesday. If you’ve seen something amazing that I should check out, let me know.

Morning Headlines 3/16/22

March 15, 2022 Headlines No Comments

Lyniate and NextGate Announce Merger Agreement, Advancing Healthcare Interoperability Leadership

Health data integration company Lyniate will acquire patient identity management vendor NextGate.

OptimizeRx Acquires EvinceMed, a Specialty Drug Prescription Initiation Platform

OptimizeRx acquires EvinceMed, a Las Vegas-based company that automates specialty pharmacy transactions.

Komodo Health preps summer IPO

De-identified patient data and analytics vendor Komodo Health, valued at $3.3 billion, will reportedly go public this summer.

News 3/16/22

March 15, 2022 News No Comments

Top News

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Health data integration company Lyniate will acquire patient identity management vendor NextGate for an undisclosed sum.


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

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Mr. HIStalk and Dr. Jayne are busy in HIMSS-land while I hold down the fort at the virtual HIStalk hacienda. Hopefully, Mr. H has finally made it through the registration and badge pick-up line, which, based on his tweet from earlier today, doesn’t seem likely. In lieu of show-floor convos with our wonderful readers that typically involve attempts to get me to divulge Mr. H’s true identity, I’ll instead reminisce about past HIStalkapaloozas. (Is there a better party band than Party on the Moon?) I’m still saddened by the fact that my footwear over the years earned me no HIStalk accolades, though I like to think it did help me make my case for joining the team nearly eight years ago. Help me stay busy this week by emailing me any health IT news you’re afraid might get lost in the #HIMSSanity.


Webinars

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.

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


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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OptimizeRx acquires EvinceMed, a Las Vegas-based company that automates specialty pharmacy transactions.

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Avant-garde Health, which offers analytics for surgical and procedure-based care, raises $12 million in a Series A funding round.

Komodo Health will reportedly go public this summer. The offers de-identified patient data and analytics, has raised $314 million, and earned a $3.3 billion valuation.

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Precision medicine and clinical dataset vendor Prenosis secures funding from Pace Healthcare Capital, bringing its total raised to over $20 million.

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Healthcare payment analytics company Clarify Health acquires Embedded Healthcare, an analytics vendor focused on changing provider behavior to encourage value-based care. The acquisition comes a year after Clarify raised $115 million in a Series C funding round, and six months after its acquisition of Apervita’s value optimization business.

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Drug knowledge and decision support company First Databank launches the Vela e-prescribing network, giving prescribers, payers, and pharmacies an additional industry option for medication eligibility and benefits information. FDB partnered with RxRevu and RxLightning to offer real-time pharmacy benefits and specialty prescription enrollment and processing functionalities as part of the new network.


Sales

  • EMC Healthcare in Indonesia will implement the InterSystems TrakCare EHR across its six hospitals.

People

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Kevin Schweikert (Veradigm/Allscripts) joins Cota as VP of life sciences.


Announcements and Implementations

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Clinical Architecture announces GA of SeekDX, a diagnosis search and documentation tool; and Nomad, a fully managed interoperability and data normalization solution designed to help organizations comply with the 21st Century Cures Act.

Leidos will integrate Clearsense’s health data archiving and management capabilities with its managed services offerings.

Caregility announces GA of its subscription-based Inpatient Virtual Engagement service, comprising an administration portal, access point of care system, and management tool for telehealth devices.

Cape Cod Healthcare (MA) will use $1.5 million in federal funding to connect 90 providers from independent practices and community health centers to its Epic system.

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InterSystems releases a cloud-based version of its HealthShare Health Connect integration engine.

Consensus Cloud Solutions develops NLP- and AI-based technology that enables providers to convert unstructured clinical content into usable data for improved decision-making.

Meditech will pilot the FHIR-enabled integration of Google’s search and summarization capabilities within its Expanse EHR.

Main Line Health (PA) enhances its website with Yext’s Find-a-Doc search tool and Stericycle’s appointment-booking software.

Philips announces GA of cloud-based, interoperable, enterprise imaging technology, and performance analytics for radiology and cardiology.

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Kootenai Health in Idaho has replaced 11 EHR systems with Epic.


Privacy and Security

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Registered nurses file a class action lawsuit against their employer, University of Massachusetts Memorial Medical Center, for allegedly depriving them of accurate wages after last December’s Kronos data breach. The cyberattack on the payroll vendor led to a payment freeze for all UMass Memorial hourly workers, resulting in inaccurate or unpaid paychecks. The suit seems to be separate from a similar filing by RNs initiated in January. Update: UMass Memorial Health EVP and CFO Sergio Melgar clarifies that, “To avoid disruption during the Kronos issue, we used the previous week as a base for pay in order to provide our caregivers with some wages. We did not freeze wages nor miss a pay period. We communicated with our caregivers that their pay might not be accurate at the time, but that we planned to go back and adjust as we worked through this national issue.”


Other

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Caledonia Health Center Office Team Lead Cassie Baker and Office Manager Amy DeGood win first place in the University of Michigan Health-West’s inaugural Big Pitch competition for their idea to use Nuance’s AI-powered documentation software to develop an automated prescription messaging and approval process for patients.

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Apple’s latest Iphone software update enables masked Face ID users to unlock their phones.


Sponsor Updates

  • Surescripts has expanded its specialty medications solutions to enable more prescribers, pharmacists, and patients to benefit from the accelerated speed to therapy supported by these innovations.
  • Availity will donate $25,000 to the UN Refugee Agency to help Ukrainian refugees, and will offer to match up to the same amount on behalf of associates who donate.
  • Bluestream Health joins the N50 Project to provide virtual care and telehealth services to marginalized communities around the globe.
  • Change Healthcare expands its relationship with AWS to accelerate healthcare transformation.
  • Olive and NTT DATA will co-develop new Loops – applications that work on Olive’s platform to provide real-time intelligence – and new machine learning and robotic process automation (RPA) models, initially focusing on improving supply chain and IT efficiencies.
  • CoverMyMeds signs on as the first employer partner in Fortuity’s Pathways Workforce Development program, which helps prepare highly qualified candidates for call center employment with local businesses.
  • Elsevier Clinical Solutions publishes “Clinician of the Future: a 2022 report.”

End users give the following HIStalk sponsors top user satisfaction marks, according to a Black Book survey of specialty practices:

  • Netsmart (behavioral and mental health, home health large agency & hospice, psychiatry)
  • Cerner (colon and rectal surgery, general surgery, internal medicine, pediatric surgery)
  • WebPT (physical therapy & rehab)

Blog Posts


Contacts

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

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From HIMSS with Dr. Jayne 3/14/22

March 15, 2022 News 3 Comments

They say travel is broadening. I’m not sure how much I learn from the travel experience itself, but lately travel has become an exercise in patience and trying to remain calm in the face of craziness.

My flight to Orlando was delayed, which wasn’t much of a problem because the airline alerted me early. I used the time to pick up a beautiful deli sandwich to enjoy in my car at the airport parking garage. Unfortunately, when I arrived at the check-in area, I immediately understood why flights were being delayed. The baggage system had malfunctioned, preventing agents from sending bags on their merry way down the conveyor belts. Instead, they were piled all around the ticket counters and spilled towards the TSA screening areas, making me wonder if my bag would ever make it onto the plane.

It seemed there were plenty of people around who are either new travelers or who haven’t flown recently. I watched two large families realize they had no luggage tags and have to scramble to fill out the flimsy airline ones. I was glad I was flying at a non-peak time, but as is typical with non-stop flights to Orlando, the gate area was full of fussy youngsters whose schedules were off due to travel. It’s par for the course with springtime travel and I’d rather be surrounded by children who might have a good excuse for their behavior rather than be surrounded by obnoxious adult travelers doing video calls without headphones or who insist on trying to convince the gate agent that their three carry-on bags are really only two. After more than a decade of being a road warrior, I’ve learned to tune most of it out, which I suppose is a useful life skill.

I’m staying at my usual hotel just a hop, skip, and a jump from the convention center and appreciate the predictability of the experience. The weather is also much appreciated, especially since it’s been sub-freezing the last week and I’m tired of dirty snow and salt everywhere. The week looks to be mild except for some occasional rain showers, which I think I can cope with.

I also spent some quality time with the ironing board since I opted for breezy linen shirts for this year’s conference. No more suit jackets for me, thank you very much. Hopefully there will be a continued move towards more casual dress, but regardless, I plan to be comfortable this week. The new normal has negatively impacted the hotel breakfast for sure. I’m usually fine with an English muffin or a bagel to get me on my way, and neither of those were to be found. My choices included a prepackaged gluten-free muffin, a prepackaged breakfast taco, some kind of baby quiche, or a bowl of oatmeal. Fortunately, there was yogurt available, which worked well with the trail mix that I always carry.

I also put the finishing touches on my plans for the exhibit hall. Some of the booths I have lined up for opening day include:

Healthwise (booth 2571) is launching its new Healthwise Advise solution at HIMSS22. Designed for Epic customers, it’s FHIR-enabled and reduces maintenance and content updates. As if the time savings wasn’t enough of a draw, it also has greater integration with Epic than the previous solution and allows easier selection of patient-specific information as well as information on how patients have engaged with the materials. It’s also designed to learn how clinicians select materials and to anticipate their needs, so I’m excited to see how it works in person.

Cisco (booth 1559) as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives, is donating $5 to the Pediatric Cancer Foundation for every individual scanned in the booth or at their View from the Top session. They’re donating up to $10,000 so stop by and let’s see if we can max it out.

First Data Bank (booth 3659) is making a big announcement and I can’t wait to hear what they’re up to.

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I picked up my badge at the Hyatt and the process was smooth because I had printed my vaccine validation and my HIMSS barcode. For those who didn’t have those documents, they had several workers checking vaccine cards and IDs to get them through the process quickly. SWAG was minimal and included the obligatory tote bag along with the conference guide, a pen, and a HIMSS mask. We’ll see how many people actually sport the HIMSS-branded masks since overall masking is pretty minimal and the majority of those who are masking seem to be wearing medical-grade ones.

HIMSS is all about networking, and I was happy to run into one former colleague at the registration desk and two more while I was poolside. We’ve all been on a long strange journey through the healthcare IT universe, so it’s good to see a friendly face.

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From there it was off to the opening reception, where comfortable shoes were the order of the day for both ladies and gentlemen. Bar service was adequate, with minimal lines by the time we arrived. There were multiple food options, but vegetarian options were scarce except for the tofu and portabella mushroom kebabs and the ice cream bar.

From there, we were off to the ServiceNow/GDIT party, which had much better food options including a delightful goat cheese and pickled onion bruschetta as well as cheese pizza, lobster rolls, and sliders. Big thanks to the team working the door at one of the most sought-after parties of the night.

After that, I was able to connect with an old friend (and make a new one) followed by a trip to the Hyatt lobby bar, where I had a quick catch-up with Jonathan Bush. It felt like old times, although most of us were contemplating an earlier return to our hotel rooms than we have at HIMSS past. Tuesday’s keynote will come early enough, so it’s time to take out the contact lenses, drink some water, and get ready for another big day at HIMSS.

What’s on your list of must-sees at the exhibit hall? Leave a comment or email me.

Morning Headlines 3/15/22

March 14, 2022 Headlines 1 Comment

Clarify Health Acquires Embedded Healthcare to Scale Value-Based Care for Health Plans

Healthcare analytics company Clarify Health acquires Embedded Healthcare, an analytics vendor focused on changing provider behavior to encourage high-value care.

Specialty-Driven EHRs Repeat Top 2022 Physician Satisfaction Ratings, 12th Annual Black Book Ambulatory Practice Surveys

Ambulatory end users give ModMed, Cerner, and Allscripts top marks across multiple categories for user satisfaction, according to a Black Book survey of nearly 16,000 specialty practices.

Study: Patients more forthcoming on health issues with electronic assessments

Patients are more likely to disclose symptoms of depression, fall risk, or intimate partner violence when filling out a tablet-based assessment versus an in-person assessment, according to a study conducted at six Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist practices.

Morning Headlines 3/14/22

March 13, 2022 Headlines No Comments

Oracle (ORCL) Q3 2022 Earnings Call Transcript

Oracle reports Q3 results, beating revenue expectations but falling short on earnings, and announces that it will target the entire integrated healthcare ecosystem – a strategy that influenced its decision to acquire Cerner.

Avant-garde Health Launches Comprehensive Surgical Care Improvement Analytics Platform and Announces $12 Million of Series A Funding Led by Fulcrum Equity Partners

Avant-garde Health, which specializes in analytics for surgical and procedure-based care, raises $12 million in a Series A funding round.

Prenosis Announces Investment from PACE Healthcare Capital, bringing Total Funding to Over $20 million

Precision medicine and clinical dataset vendor Prenosis secures funding from Pace Healthcare Capital, bringing its total raised to over $20 million.

Monday Morning Update 3/14/22

March 12, 2022 News 5 Comments

Top News

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From the Oracle earnings call on Friday, following Q3 results that beat revenue expectations but fell short on earnings:

  • CTO and Chairman Larry Ellison says that healthcare is “the largest industry on Earth” and Oracle has as ERP/HCM customers Tenet, Kaiser, Mayo, Cleveland Clinic, Northwell, Mount Sinai, and Atrium.
  • He notes that Oracle is replacing Kronos in 83-hospital Community Health Systems.
  • He says that hospitals are an Uber-like gig economy because doctors and now nurses are increasingly independent contractors, making workforce payment complicated.
  • Ellison says that the company will be “going after the entire integrated ecosystem,” which influenced its decision to acquire Cerner. 
  • He also called out connecting clinical trials with hospitals and tracking hospital supplies by RFID.

ORCL shares are down 15% versus the Dow’s 6% loss since the December 20 announcement that it will acquire Cerner for $28 billion


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

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ViVE attendees sent me a few comments about attending. Feel free to send more thoughts, and for those who will have attended both ViVE and HIMSS22, to weigh in afterward on how the events compared.

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Here’s what poll respondents said about their life now versus a year ago.

New poll to your right or here: What will you be doing at work this week during HIMSS22?


Last-Minute HIMSS22 Notes

  • Don’t forget to set your clocks forward Sunday morning. Sunrise in Orlando each day will be 7:30 a.m. and sunset at 7:30 p.m.
  • Expect warm but rainy and cloudy weather in Orlando, with daily highs around 80.
  • Masks are optional for in-person attendees.
  • Review the pocket guide to plan your days before you arrive.
  • Download the HIMSS22 app for IOS or Android.
  • Tuesday’s opening keynote is at 8:30 a.m. and the exhibit hall opens at 10:00 a.m.
  • Dr. Jayne and I will report from the Orlando ground, while Jenn — atypically from my usual HIMSS week process – will publish daily headlines and news posts.

Webinars

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.

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


Sales

  • Genesis Physician’s Group (TX) will develop the GenesisLink HIE for the DFW area using KONZA’s national network.
  • API platform vendor Particle Health will use Verato Univeral MPI to track patients and data flow.
  • In England, Bedfordshire Hospitals chooses VitalHub’s Intouch patient flow solutions to help manage its elective care backlog.

People

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Amazon hires Aaron Martin, MBA (Providence) as VP of health. Martin was Providence’s EVP, chief digital officer of Providence St. Joseph’s Health, and managing GP of Providence’s venture fund. He had been with the health system since January 2014. Before that, he worked for Amazon’s self-publishing business for eight years.

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Relatient hires Craig McCoy (Ciox Health) as chief growth officer, names Josh Byrd (Savista) as VP of marketing, and promotes Emily Tyson, MBA to COO.

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Eric Rose, MD (US Department of Veterans Affairs) joins precision medicine drug discovery TenSixteen Bio as head of clinical informatics.

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University of Cincinnati College of Medicine and UC Health name Umberto Tachinardi, MD, MS (Regenstrief Institute) as VP / chief health digital officer and associate deal of health informatics.

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Eric Sato, MBA (Baxter International) joins Symplr as VP of marketing.

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Rauland hires Michelle Allen, MEM (Ametek) as division VP and business unit manager.


Announcements and Implementations

Vyne Medical launches Refyne Cloud Fax as part of its SaaS-based Refyne denials management platform.

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WVU Medicine goes live on Volpara Health’s AI-based breast imaging software tools, which it will use to maintain and improve mammographic quality in its 24 facilities in four states.


Government and Politics

Congress re-inserts a ban on funding a national patient identifier in HHS’s proposed FY2022 budget.

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Florida-based government medical contractor Comprehensive Health Services will pay $930,000 to settle false claims charges that it billed the State Department the $500,000 cost of developing a secure EHR,  but left paper record scans on a drive that non-clinicians could access.


Other

A Cedars-Sinai study finds that 0.25% of patients whose Apple Watch warned them of possible atrial fibrillation were candidates for starting anticoagulants. The percentage rose to just 36% even when AFib was positively diagnosed. The authors conclude that while the benefit of the Watch’s AFib detection was tiny, the combined Watch and EHR data could help target those patients with the highest potential benefit.


Sponsor Updates

  • Olive adds expanded connectivity and integration features to its automation platform for healthcare processes and operations.
  • Optum sponsors and will present during SXSW’s Health and MedTech conference track March 14 in Austin, TX.
  • IDC’s latest Marketscape Report recognizes Symplr’s Payer solution as a Major Player for its comprehensive offering and product vision.
  • Protenus publishes the “2022 Breach Barometer Report.”
  • Sectra publishes its nine-month interim report, highlighting top rankings in customer satisfaction surveys in the US, Canada, and Asia/Oceania.
  • Upfront Healthcare publishes an update on its growth in 2021, doubling in size and revenue for the third straight year.

Blog Posts


Contacts

Mr. H, Lorre, Jenn, Dr. Jayne.
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Contact us.

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ViVE Conference Attendee Comments

March 12, 2022 News 1 Comment

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I asked readers who attended the inaugural ViVE conference, offered by CHIME and HLTH, to give feedback about their experience.


CHIME Track

Even though this was a conference that was about innovation and transformation, the rest of the CHIME conference emphasized the focus groups that CHIME keeps pushing members to attend. If you decline after several attempts to bring you in at $100 each, they stick multiple sessions on your calendar anyway. I assume they promised the vendors that are paying that they would have a certain number of attendees.

CHIME Chief Analytics Officer Steve Lieber described how CHIME is now going to harvest all the information that its members submit as part of Most Wired for a new analytics service. If we want to do some benchmarking with this data, we can now pay them for access to information we handed over to them. Will make me now consider if Most Wired is really worth it, which I already had doubts about anyway. I think this recognition has run its course.

I actually spent less time on the CHIME stuff, other than the focus groups, and felt comfortable among the vendors, which is not usually the case. Perhaps that also is a comment on the CHIME topics for the larger sessions.

CHIME did a good job, but it felt more disjointed than previous spring CIO forums when it was the day before HIMSS.

Most of the CHIME general sessions had more people than seats available, so I suspect CHIME was pleased.

I enjoyed the combo of the two events and felt like I attended CHIME and HIMSS in one setting, which is a plus for me.

CIO Participation

There was little CIO representation on the exhibitor floor. It was easy to distinguish attendees as CHIME members, as we had a dark blue and black badge lanyard and everyone else had a neon green one. As I walked the floor, I was usually one of very few without a green lanyard. 

It was a nice effort to attempt to bring the startup community together with the CIO community. One would think that would be a good thing, but it I do not think it worked. From the outside looking in, it may have seemed to resonate with everyone buzzing around, but it was really what amounted to two separate conferences.

There were plenty of CIOs walking around the exhibit hall and the corridors. While chatting with a colleague for 20 minutes, I counted 15 other CIOs that walked past. The CIOs did not have a badge that stood out, so it might have been harder for those who don’t know faces.

Education Sessions

Some of the fireside chats and startup roundtables were really interesting. I have great respect for many of these founders who are putting a lot of effort into solving some very discrete health care problems.

Hosted Buyer Program

I paid the registration fee instead of agreeing to meet with eight vendors so I could control who I spoke to. Others may have found value in that program.

As an academic medical center CIO, I loved the hosted buyer concept and found it quite valuable. I received a registration rebate in return for having eight 15-minute meetings with vendors – both parties had to agree to meet in advance.

Exhibit Hall

It was low key on the exhibit hall floor since each booth has limited staff and most were approachable. I talked to many interesting companies, even if they did become repetitive. Established, non-startup vendors seemed underwhelmed about the value to them for attending. .

As an exhibitor, you’ll get zero out of it if you don’t do pre-conference prep make appointments. You can’t just show-up and hope that the CIO of a 17-hospital system takes time to pop into your booth just because they like the fuzzy socks you’re giving away.

You would have had a field day with all the booth workers in their phones as CIOs walked right past them.

Many of the CHIME CIOs were on the exhibit floor. Our booth was non-stop busy with questions and demos. Very happy with the experience and looking forward to next year in Nashville.

Overall Conference Reaction

There was little use for the CHIME side of ViVE. If you look at it as just a smaller HLTH conference, participating as if it was, it delivered.

I found ViVE to be very well done for a first-time effort.

The number of startups and PE firms was impressive.

As an introvert, I was on stimulation overload by the end of the day Tuesday and looking for quiet. I was out of practice for this type of event, and frankly have not stood so long over a two-day period in some time.

Smaller booths, fewer vendors, and the reverse trade show (Hosted Buyers) format were fresh changes from HIMSS.

I also love the smaller cities it can go to versus Orlando, Las Vegas, and Chicago.

I see it as my new choice over HIMSS.

The vibe of the event was very high energy. People seemed to feel paroled from COVID and I can say I saw and talked with many CIOs in the vendor area. Most of us were seeing vendors we knew, friends in the business, and some of us tried very hard to learn something new without being pressed for a sales commitment. The challenge, as the venue was so big and beautiful, was to timely get to all of your events.

I will certainly go back.

I will never attend HIMSS again. ViVE was everything I hoped it would be and more. It was not too big, not to small = just right. Kudos to CHIME + HLTH for an outstanding event.

As a 20+ year HIMSS attendee, I found ViVe refreshing and energizing. Fun touches like a DJ, Betty White tribute, bright signage and excellent navigation in the right-sized convention center were truly appreciated. I attended HLTH last Fall and felt the educational sessions included too much future casting, not enough real-world implementation. This was not the case at ViVe’22. The UC Davis Summit was particularly helpful along with sessions that included CIOs (like Vanderbilt’s CIO on obtaining ROI for IT investments). Great work to Team ViVE’22!

ViVE was exciting as it brought together health systems, vendors, and partners who collectively were looking for innovative ways to transform healthcare with technology. ViVE wasn’t the same old, same old HIT trade show with typical sellers, buyers, and tire-kickers. Rather, the content and interaction was fresh, with an intentional focus on digital transformation in healthcare.”

ViVE was great. It could be because it was in real life for the first time and without masks but they did a good job imho of balancing the various elements of a conference (education, fun, & networking).

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