Business Insider reports that Google Health will shut down after three years and will reassign its 570 employees across Google.
The group’s most noteworthy remaining employee was Chief Health Officer Karen DeSalvo, MD, MPH, MSc, who will be reassigned to report to Google’s chief legal officer. Google Health VP David Feinberg, MD, MBA was announced as Cerner’s new president and CEO on Thursday.
This is the second time Google has created and then quickly killed off a Google Health organization, the first being in 2011 when its personal health record failed to attract user interest.
Google says its health work will continue within individual teams.
From Go Knowles: “Re: David Feinberg. How would you grade Cerner’s CEO choice?” C at best, but even that is a better grade than I would assign to Cerner’s board. He has no experience as a for-profit or publicly traded company CEO; his medical background in psychiatry is not all that relevant to the vast majority of physicians or technologists; he acknowledged upon his hiring by Google that the company’s healthcare efforts had fizzled but he nevertheless left them shortly afterward with even less healthcare accomplishment; and he stated then that his goal was to use now-dissolved Google Health’s scale to help billions of people but then left to run a company without anywhere near that kind of influence. I don’t understand why Cerner’s board keeps hiring people without big-company CEO experience, fails to groom internal candidates in its succession plan, and can’t decide whether it wants to be a software vendor or would rather chase a new dream of selling patient data to drug companies. A career spent mostly running non-profit health systems is not the usual background found in publicly traded companies with 28,000 employees and a $25 billion market value. He is already guaranteed making a fortune and will make even more if the company’s shares perform well or if the company is acquired. I don’t know if Google Health dissolved because he was leaving or if he was lucky to find a gold-plated life raft at the perfect time.
HIStalk Announcements and Requests
Few respondents said that HIMSS21 improved their perception of HIMSS, but at least “no change” outdrew “negatively.” One of the negatives was that people who paid registration fees for HIMSS20 but were concerned about attending HIMSS21 in person were not given the option to hold their credit until HIMSS22, forcing them into the digital version where they don’t gain access to the in-person session recordings.
New poll to your right or here: What was your reaction to Cerner’s hiring of Google Health’s David Feinberg as president and CEO? Tell us more by clicking the poll’s “Comments” link.
HIMSS21 Survey Results
I won’t over-analyze the responses since I received only around 50 of them, but here are some high points:
In-Person HIMSS21, Paid Attendees
- Respondents gave it a B-minus grade.
- All but one said their perceived COVID-19 risk was the same or lower than expected.
- They liked the increased seating space, the higher-quality conversations that were possible since people weren’t rushed, and catching up with friends.
- They didn’t like having the event spread over multiple venues, the quality of the CIO Summit compared to the previous CHIME event, and the empty spaces in the exhibit hall.
- Interesting topics or vendors were few, but one respondent liked the nursing innovation “Shark Tank” event.
- Twice as many attendees say they are more likely to attend HIMSS22 now than those who say they are less likely.
- Exhibitor staff graded the conference lower, but enjoyed more-engaged participants. Negatives include convening a conference in a venue that allows indoor smoking, the lack of exhibitor value, lack of mask-wearing enforcement, the lack of qualified prospects, and using the Caesars building when the Sands complex had ample space. One questioned the diversity of presenters, especially among the HIMSS staff – anyone care to comment since I didn’t attend any presenter events?
Virtual HIMSS21 Attendees
- Respondents gave it a D grade.
- Comments: the conference was bland, the Accelerate app was poor but HIMSS was pitching it endlessly, not all sessions were available virtually, the forced banter and enthusiasm of the TV-style anchors with zero healthcare knowledge was annoying (this was a common theme), and company officials including those of HIMSS engaged in pontification of platitudes.
Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock
Cerner SEC filings outline the compensation package that its board is giving incoming President and CEO David Feinberg, MD, MBA, which adds up to nearly $35 million in his first 15 months:
- $900,000 base salary.
- Target cash bonus of $1.35 million.
- $13.5 million in restricted shares for 2022.
- $3.375 million in shares for Q4.
- A one-time cash bonus of $375K.
- A new hire award of $15 million in restricted shares to offset his equity loss with Google.
- Use of Cerner’s jet.
- Generous severance terms, such as change of control — two years salary, bonus, health insurance, and equity vesting.
In addition, outgoing CEO Brent Shafer gets his existing salary, bonus, and $2.5 million restricted shares for helping out during the one-year transition.
- University of Colorado Medicine implements the RCxRules Revenue Cycle Engine at its 100 locations with 3,000 providers.
Government and Politics
In India, an executive of Apollo Hospital Group says that it has logged 10 million subscribers to its online health service after the government’s implementation of a national patient ID and a digital voucher system for patient payments. The company expects online pharmacy and telemedicine sales to increase significantly because of the digital healthcare strategy that was developed by Apollo and the government 10 years ago.
FDA will likely issue full approval to the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine on Monday. Approval could help support company-required vaccination and possibly sway some unvaccinated people into getting the shot.
Orlando’s mayor urges residents to stop watering their lawns and washing their cars to preserve supplies of liquid oxygen, which is used by the city’s utility provider to purify drinking water water, because it is desperately needed for COVID-19 hospital inpatients. The city faces a boil water advisory within a week if residents don’t comply.
Alabama reports a negative supply of ICU beds, Louisiana says that 28% of new COVID-19 cases involve children, and six of the biggest hospitals in Kansas are at 100% ICU capacity as unvaccinated COVID-19 patients fill beds.
Alabama’s UAB Medicine says that a record 39 unvaccinated pregnant women have been admitted to its ICU this month, nearly all of them undergoing forced early delivery due to COVID-19 damage. Two pregnant women died and nine lost their babies as doctors were forced to perform C-sections in the ICU on women who were on a ventilator or ECMO. None of the pregnant ICU patients are vaccinated.
Mississippi’s poison control center is seeing an increase in calls and at least one hospitalization related to ivermectin exposure. The state is asking people to stop buying the veterinary worm medicine from feed stores to self-treat COVID-19.
Abbott Laboratory ordered workers in its Maine factory to destroy existing inventories of its BinaxNOW rapid COVID-19 test in June and July, then laid off employees, cancelled supplier contracts, and closed the only other plant that makes the tests and laid off its 2,000 employees, all because sales were down. Abbott, which didn’t foresee the increased demand that is driven by the delta variant, now says it can’t provide enough tests. Abbott issued a statement saying that it did not destroy any finished product and that demand dropped because CDC advised people to avoid testing unless they had symptoms.
Weird News Andy (WNA) is proud to announce the winners of the inaugural AHA! (Acronyms in Healthcare Awards) competition. His impartiality allows him to unashamedly choose himself as the winner, for which he says he’ll take himself out for a post-work ice cream cone.
- Third place goes to Brian Too for HIM.
- Second pace goes to RobertLS for CCHIT.
- First place goes to WNA for HAPI.
- OptimizeRx names Kristen Mignon (Orbita) VP of account management.
- DirectTrust names PatientPing VP Jitin Asnaani an Interoperability Hero as part of its inaugural awards program.
- Vocera CMO Bridget Duffy, MD will present at the Ending Physician Burnout Global Summit August 24.
- Well Health achieves four ISO certifications for ISMS and PIMS.
- ICYMI: Diversify Your Service Lines or Bust (Netsmart)
- How to Use Technology to Increase Patients Payments and Revenue (PatientBond)
- Key Takeaways from HIMSS 2021 Global Conference (Pivot Point Consulting)
- Why the Patient Experience Matters to Your Revenue Cycle (PMD)
- Built for Longevity, Our Customer Success Tops What You’ll Find Anywhere Else (Protenus)
- The Art of the Small Pull Request (Redox)
- How Teleneurology Provides Expertise for Epilepsy, MS, Movement Disorders, and Dementia Patients (SOC Telemed)
- Realize Revenue Earlier by Offering Patients More Flexible Payment Options (Sphere)
- Do Your Data Security and Compliance Strategies Consider the Remote Worker? (Spirion)
- The real-world impact of clinical communication and collaboration (Spok)
- Virtual contact centers: How they operate and why they are the future (Talkdesk)
- 11 Ways to Rethink Your Patient Engagement Strategy (Twistle)
- How front-end automation supports a more efficient + precise revenue cycle (Waystar)
- Fight CMS’ Proposed 2022 Payment Cuts (WebPT)
- Modern Trends in Healthcare Revenue Cycle Management (Vyne Medical)