– Cerner appoints Mark Erceg as the company’s
new Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer (CFO), effective
February 22, 2021.
– Erceg will succeed Marc
Naughton, who is departing from Cerner at the end of the first quarter.
Naughton will serve as an Executive Advisor to ensure a smooth transition.
– As Cerner’s CFO, Erceg
will lead the company’s global finance organization, including accounting,
treasury, financial planning and analysis, tax and investor relations.
– Erceg comes to Cerner with
more than 25 years of multi-dimensional financial experience, including serving
as CFO at three different publicly-held companies. He began his career at
Procter & Gamble and spent more than 18 years in a variety of finance,
strategy and operational leadership roles. After leaving P&G, Erceg had
three successive CFO roles at Masonite International Corporation, Canadian
Pacific Railway and Tiffany & Company, where he has developed deep
functional expertise and technical knowledge in all aspects of corporate
The COVID-19 pandemic, which has taken 270,000 American lives to date, has shined a light on another crisis — the U.S. currently has no standardized system for reporting public health data. Health departments all over the country resort to using paper, fax, phone, and email to transmit and receive critical information, and essential healthcare workers are spending precious time retyping data into systems from printed reports and PDFs.
At the heart of this lack of a centralized infrastructure for reporting public health data is the 10th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which says, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” Because of this amendment, the federal government — including the CDC — is not able to mandate that states, providers, or public health entities use a centralized reporting mechanism for managing all public health data. Further, the 10th Amendment also allows states to set up their own IT systems independently of other states and the federal government. The CDC then has to beg for data that sits in bespoke, disparate information systems in each state andterritory.
Congress has tried three times in the last fourteen years to fix the issue. In 2006, it passed the Pandemic and All Hazards Preparedness Act (PAHPA), which required the CDC to establish the near-real-time, electronic, nationwide, public health data-sharing capability. Four years later in 2010, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) reported that not even the most basic planning steps were taken to establish the network.
Then in 2013, Congress passed the Pandemic and All Hazards Preparedness Reauthorization Act (PAHPRA), which unsuccessfully called for a near real-time interoperable public health data exchange network. Finally, just months before the current pandemic, Congress passed the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness and Advancing Innovation Act (PAHPAI), and our need for such a system is now greater than ever.
An Interoperable Public Health Data System
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) needs to lead the creation of a modern public health data approach on behalf of all public health agencies throughout the country, including the CDC. HHS was given $1 Billion for public health data infrastructure modernization in the recently passed CARES Act.
A modern approach to public health data would cost a fraction of that and must consist of three things: the creation of a gateway to link and securely move data between public health entities, the adoption of and adherence to widely accepted health data standards, and the creation of a cloud-based data hub for transparent analysis and reporting of data.
Creation of a Data Gateway
Data must be complete, timely, and accurate. A single federal data gateway would allow for the secure, two-way flow of data between all of the components of the public health ecosystem. The idea is not to create new, custom systems as we have done in the past, but to create a single gateway system at the federal level that stitches all existing data systems together using modern application programming interfaces (APIs). Such a system will allow data to timely flow between jurisdictions and up to the CDC so that we can collectively inform public health decision-making and public policy.
We should leverage recently adopted interoperability standards to connect data from existing Electronic Health Records (EHR) and insurance claims systems wherever possible to avoid duplicate entry of data by essential workers.
Adoption of a Standardized Data Model
We need to encourage state and local health organizations to use and promote a standardized approach to collecting data at the points of care, testing, and immunization.
Fortunately, the public health data interoperability challenge can be solved by supporting the private sector’s move to a standardized data model for healthcare data. Congress spent billions of taxpayer dollars over the past several years incentivizing healthcare providers to adopt electronic health record systems and data interoperability standards, most recently as part of the 21st Century Cures Act, which just saw its regulations go into effect this year. Healthcare providers are busy preparing to accommodate the Cures Act’s updated standards and requirements. The federal government should eat its own dog food by adhering to the same standards when creating the new gateway.
The two main standards to pay attention to are Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) and the United States Core Data for Interoperability (USCDI). Major IT and EHR companies like Google, Amazon, Microsoft, IBM, Oracle, Salesforce, and Cerner have pledged to support these standards meaning they can immediately begin supporting a new gateway and helping America’s public health system quickly modernize.
A Cloud-Based Data Hub
Once the data is available, flowing, and standardized, we need a national, cloud-based data hub to begin gaining insights from COVID infection rates, vaccinations, and many other key indicators important to recovering from the pandemic.
Led by HHS with support from OMB and the White House, this new system could be set up within months. There are well-known tools and virtual computing environments that could be put to use right away. A modern data hub would benefit not only the federal government but also the research community and academia, as these organizations play very important roles in helping us further understand and respond to the pandemic.
Most importantly, such a hub would provide transparency and accountability, giving confidence in the data being reported by providing independent reproducibility of conclusions from data analysis.
About Ed Simcox
Ed Simcox is the chief strategy officer of LifeOmic, the creator of LIFE mobile apps, JupiterOne cloud compliance and security operations software, and the Precision Health Cloud platform in use at major medical and cancer centers. Prior to joining LifeOmic, Ed served as the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the largest civilian government agency in the world. He led efforts at HHS to effectively leverage data, technology, and innovation to improve the lives of the American people and the performance of the Department’s 29 agencies and offices. While CTO, he also served as Acting Chief Information Officer at HHS, where he oversaw the Department’s IT modernization efforts, IT operations, and cybersecurity
Cerner announced some leadership changes promoting long-time associates Travis Dalton to Chief Client & Services Officer and Dan Devers to Chief Legal Counsel. After long, respected, meaningful careers at Cerner, John Peterzalek and Randy Sims will be departing.
Cognoa, the leading pediatric behavioral health company developing diagnostic and therapeutic solutions for children living with autism and other behavioral health conditions appoints Eric B. Mosbrooker as Chief Operations Officer. Mosbrooker will be responsible for overseeing and leading the global commercialization of the company’s product offerings, expanding Cognoa’s operational capabilities and implementing scalable business processes.
Discovery Health Partners announced that Sameer K. Mishra has joined the company as Chief Information Officer. Leveraging his significant health payer technology experience, Mishra will lead Discovery’s dedicated IT staff and evolve the company’s technology platform.
Medical Microinstruments (MMI) SpA, hires Mark Toland as Chief Executive Officer. He brings more than 25 years of experience in the medical device industry and most recently served as President and CEO of Corindus, a vascular robotics company that Siemens Healthineers acquired for $1.1 billion in 2019. Following the CE mark of MMI’s Symani Surgical System® in 2019 and successfully completing the first human use cases in 2020, Toland will drive the company’s strategic direction from the developmental stage to broad commercialization.
Dr. Marilyn Ritholz and Dr. David Horwitz will join Chairman Eric Milledge on Dario Health’s scientific advisory board. Dr. Ritholz is a psychologist at Joslin Diabetes Center, a Harvard Medical School affiliate, and Dr. Horwitz is the former Global Chief Medical Officer of Johnson and Johnson Diabetes Institute. They will work on advancing Dario’s technical leadership and help to guide the development of its technology roadmap.
DrChrono expands its senior leadership team with two new hires joining the company. Shahram Famorzadeh will be joining as Senior Vice President of Engineering, responsible for scaling DrChrono’s platform to the next level to support its growing network of physicians and practices, and Jason Rasmussen has joined as Senior Vice President of Revenue, contributing his expertise to DrChrono’s financial operations team.
Vave Health announced two additions to its executive team and advisory board to support the company’s accelerated growth in the medical imaging market. David Garner, a long-time veteran of point-of-care ultrasound and previous vice president at Butterfly Network, brings more than 22 years of experience to Vave Health, and Terri Bresenham, founder of TruNorth Health Advisors and recognized global healthcare expert, joins as a member of the company’s advisory board.
Anang Chokshi, PT, DPT, OCS, SCS joins Include Health as Chief Clinical Officer (CCO). Chokshi joins IncludeHealth’s executive team to provide clinical and technical expertise as IncludeHealth expands its portfolio of products.
Conversion Labs, Inc. appoints licensed personal care and wellness physician and psychiatrist, Dr. Anthony Puopolo, to the new position of chief medical officer. Dr. Puopolo will be responsible for overseeing the company’s rapidly expanding network of state-licensed physicians and ensuring that the company is delivering the highest quality of care.
BioCardia®, Inc. appoints Krisztina Zsebo, Ph.D., a 31-year veteran of the biotech industry, to its Board of Directors following her election at BioCardia’s 2020 Annual Meeting of Stockholders in December 2020.
Achiko AG appoints biotechnology research scientist and entrepreneur Dr. Morris S. Berrie to the position of President, and business leader in the life science industry Richard Lingard to the position of SVP Commercialization.
ApprioHealth announces the addition of Carl Swart as chief operating officer (COO). Prior to joining ApprioHealth, Swart served as the vice president for revenue cycle for Ensemble Health Partners. Additionally, he spent nearly a decade with Mercy Health as a market vice president.
A group of organizations have come together to work on a solution that will provide digital access to Covid-19 vaccination records. As the country eyes a challenging transition to the new normal, a verifiable vaccine record will be necessary to ensure individual and community safety.
Meditech continues to hold the largest EMR market share in Canada, but it is losing customers — mostly to Epic, which has seen a rapid rise in popularity, a new KLAS report shows. The report delves into market share data and customer satisfaction insights to assess EMR vendors’ positions in the Canadian market.
– Healthcare private equity firm Heritage Group launches a $300M fund to invest in high-growth healthcare services and technology companies.
– Heritage is backed by some of the leading healthcare organizations in the nation, including large provider systems, payers, and healthcare service providers.
Heritage Group, a Nashville, TN-based healthcare-focused private equity firm, today announced the closing of over $300 million in its oversubscribed third fund, an increase of nearly $100 million over its prior fund in 2016. Heritage will continue its successful strategy of investing in solution-oriented, high-growth healthcare services, and technology businesses that are addressing the industry’s most pressing challenges.
“We are very pleased with the market’s response to our offering, especially during such a challenging economic environment,” said Paul Wallace, partner at Heritage. “We are grateful for the ongoing support of our longtime investors, and we’re excited to welcome several new LPs. We’re fortunate to have a great team and a unique model, which combine to create value for all of our stakeholders.”
Investment Model & Approach
The firm was founded by Rock Morphis and David McClellan in 1986, Heritage seeks to make majority and minority investments, ranging from $20 to $40 million per portfolio company, in high-growth healthcare services and healthcare technology businesses that address the challenges of the U.S. healthcare system. Heritage engages deeply with its strategic investors, who provide unique value and insights through all stages of the deal process, including the identification, evaluation, and subsequent growth of its portfolio companies. The firm’s strategic investors operate over 550 hospitals, with 90,000 beds, and handle approximately 3M discharges annually.
Heritage’s strategic investors and partners represent
national leaders in the payer, provider, IT, and service sectors of healthcare.
This diversity is particularly valuable as these sectors begin to converge in
the shift towards value-based care. Limited Partners include Adventist Health
System (Florida); Amedisys (Louisiana); Cardinal Health (Ohio); Cerner Corp.
(Missouri); Community Health Systems (Tennessee); Health Care Service
Corporation (Illinois); Horizon Healthcare Services (New Jersey); Intermountain
Healthcare (Utah); LifePoint Health (Tennessee); Memorial Hermann Health System
(Texas); Sutter Health (California); Tenet Health (Texas); Trinity Health
(Michigan); and UnityPoint Health (Iowa).
“Heritage’s strategic engagement is outstanding and allows us to work together as true partners. We are able to lend our expertise and share the key pain points that we encounter as we strive to provide care in a value-based model, which requires new ways of reaching and treating consumers and patients,” said Scott Nordlund, chief strategy and growth officer at Banner Health. “Heritage has been instrumental in identifying innovative businesses that solve these concerns for our organization.”
Heritage has invested in some of the leading healthcare
services and technology companies, including Aviacode, AllyAlign Health, Medical Solutions,
Sharecare, Abode Healthcare, MDLIVE, Lumere, Reload, Spero Health, etc.
Health systems and EHR vendors have been working for months to comply with the ONC’s final rule on interoperability and information blocking that goes into effect in April and is expected to grant patients unprecedented access to their health information. Here is a look at some of the issues they contended with.
The combination of Teladoc Health and Livongo creates a
global leader in consumer-centered virtual care. The combined company is
positioned to execute quantified opportunities to drive revenue synergies of
$100 million by the end of the second year following the close, reaching $500
million on a run-rate basis by 2025.
Price: $18.5B in value based on each share of Livongo
will be exchanged for 0.5920x shares of Teladoc Health plus cash consideration
of $11.33 for each Livongo share.
Siemens Healthineers Acquires Varian Medical
On August 2nd, Siemens Healthineers acquired
Varian Medical for $16.4B, with the deal expected to close in 2021. Varian is a
global specialist in the field of cancer care, providing solutions especially
in radiation oncology and related software, including technologies such as
artificial intelligence, machine learning and data analysis. In fiscal year 2019,
the company generated $3.2 billion in revenues with an adjusted operating
margin of about 17%. The company currently has about 10,000 employees
Price: $16.4 billion in an all-cash transaction.
Gainwell to Acquire HMS for $3.4B in Cash
Veritas Capital (“Veritas”)-backed Gainwell Technologies (“Gainwell”),
a leading provider of solutions that are vital to the administration and
operations of health and human services programs, today announced that they
have entered into a definitive agreement whereby Gainwell will acquire HMS, a technology, analytics and engagement
solutions provider helping organizations reduce costs and improve health
Price: $3.4 billion in cash.
Philips Acquires Remote Cardiac Monitoring BioTelemetry for $2.8B
Philips acquires BioTelemetry, a U.S. provider of remote
cardiac diagnostics and monitoring for $72.00 per share for an implied
enterprise value of $2.8 billion (approx. EUR 2.3 billion). With $439M in
revenue in 2019, BioTelemetry annually monitors over 1 million cardiac patients
remotely; its portfolio includes wearable heart monitors, AI-based data
analytics, and services.
Price: $2.8B ($72 per share), to be paid in cash upon
Hims & Hers Merges with Oaktree Acquisition Corp to Go Public on NYSE
Telehealth company Hims & Hers and Oaktree Acquisition Corp., a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) merge to go public on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the symbol “HIMS.” The merger will enable further investment in growth and new product categories that will accelerate Hims & Hers’ plan to become the digital front door to the healthcare system
Price: The business combination values the combined
company at an enterprise value of approximately $1.6 billion and is expected to
deliver up to $280 million of cash to the combined company through the
contribution of up to $205 million of cash.
SPAC Merges with 2 Telehealth Companies to Form Public
Digital Health Company in $1.35B Deal
Blank check acquisition company GigCapital2 agreed to merge with Cloudbreak Health, LLC, a unified telemedicine and video medical interpretation solutions provider, and UpHealth Holdings, Inc., one of the largest national and international digital healthcare providers to form a combined digital health company.
Price: The merger deal is worth $1.35 billion, including
WellSky Acquires CarePort Health from Allscripts for
Price: $1.35 billion represents a multiple of greater
than 13 times CarePort’s revenue over the trailing 12 months, and approximately
21 times CarePort’s non-GAAP Adjusted EBITDA over the trailing 12 months.
Waystar Acquires Medicare RCM Company eSolutions
On September 13th, revenue cycle management
provider Waystar acquires eSolutions, a provider of Medicare and Multi-Payer revenue
cycle management, workflow automation, and data analytics tools. The
acquisition creates the first unified healthcare payments platform with both
commercial and government payer connectivity, resulting in greater value for
Radiology Partners (RP), a radiology practice in the U.S., announced a definitive agreement to acquire MEDNAX Radiology Solutions, a division of MEDNAX, Inc. for an enterprise value of approximately $885 million. The acquisition is expected to add more than 800 radiologists to RP’s existing practice of 1,600 radiologists. MEDNAX Radiology Solutions consists of more than 300 onsite radiologists, who primarily serve patients in Connecticut, Florida, Nevada, Tennessee, and Texas, and more than 500 teleradiologists, who serve patients in all 50 states.
PointClickCare Acquires Collective Medical
PointClickCare Technologies, a leader in senior care technology with a network of more than 21,000 skilled nursing facilities, senior living communities, and home health agencies, today announced its intent to acquireCollective Medical, a Salt Lake City, a UT-based leading network-enabled platform for real-time cross-continuum care coordination for $650M. Together, PointClickCare and Collective Medical will provide diverse care teams across the continuum of acute, ambulatory, and post-acute care with point-of-care access to deep, real-time patient insights at any stage of a patient’s healthcare journey, enabling better decision making and improved clinical outcomes at a lower cost.
Teladoc Health Acquires Virtual Care Platform InTouch
Teladoc Health acquires InTouch Health, the leading provider of enterprise telehealth solutions for hospitals and health systems for $600M. The acquisition establishes Teladoc Health as the only virtual care provider covering the full range of acuity – from critical to chronic to everyday care – through a single solution across all sites of care including home, pharmacy, retail, physician office, ambulance, and more.
Price: $600M consisting of approximately $150 million
in cash and $450 million of Teladoc Health common stock.
AMN Healthcare Acquires VRI Provider Stratus Video
AMN Healthcare Services, Inc. acquires Stratus Video, a leading provider of video remote language interpretation services for the healthcare industry. The acquisition will help AMN Healthcare expand in the virtual workforce, patient care arena, and quality medical interpretation services delivered through a secure communications platform.
CarepathRx Acquires Pharmacy Operations of Chartwell from
CarepathRx, a leader in pharmacy and medication management
solutions for vulnerable and chronically ill patients, announced today a
partnership with UPMC’s Chartwell subsidiary that will expand patient access to
innovative specialty pharmacy and home infusion services. Under the $400M
landmark agreement, CarepathRx will acquire the
management services organization responsible for the operational and strategic
management of Chartwell while UPMC becomes a strategic investor in CarepathRx.
Cerner to Acquire Health Division of Kantar for $375M in
Cerner announces it will acquire Kantar Health, a leading
data, analytics, and real-world evidence and commercial research consultancy
serving the life science and health care industry.
This acquisition is expected to allow Cerner’s Learning
Health Network client consortium and health systems with more opportunities to
directly engage with life sciences for funded research studies. The acquisition
is expected to close during the first half of 2021.
Cerner Sells Off Parts of Healthcare IT Business in
Germany and Spain
Cerner sells off parts of healthcare IT business in Germany and Spain to Germany company CompuGroup Medical, reflecting the company-wide transformation focused on improved operating efficiencies, enhanced client focus, a refined growth strategy, and a sharpened approach to portfolio management.
Price: EUR 225 million ($247.5M USD)
CompuGroup Medical Acquires eMDs for $240M
CompuGroup Medical (CGM) acquires eMDs, Inc. (eMDs), a
leading provider of healthcare IT with a focus on doctors’ practices in the US,
reaching an attractive size in the biggest healthcare market worldwide. With
this acquisition, the US subsidiary of CGM significantly broadens its position
and will become the top 4 providers in the market for Ambulatory Information
Systems in the US.
Price: $240M (equal to approx. EUR 203 million)
Change Healthcare Buys Back Pharmacy Network
back pharmacy unit eRx Network
(“eRx”), a leading provider of comprehensive, innovative, and secure
data-driven solutions for pharmacies. eRx generated approximately $67M in
annual revenue for the twelve-month period ended February 29, 2020. The
transaction supports Change Healthcare’s commitment to focus on and invest in
core aspects of the business to fuel long-term growth and advance innovation.
Walmart acquires CareZone, a San Francisco, CA-based smartphone
service for managing chronic health conditions for reportedly $200M. By
working with a network of pharmacy partners, CareZone’s concierge services
assist consumers in getting their prescription medications organized and
delivered to their doorstep, making pharmacies more accessible to individuals
and families who may be homebound or reside in rural locations.
Verisk, a data
analytics provider, announced today that it has acquiredFranco Signor, a Medicare Secondary Payer
(MSP) service provider to America’s largest insurance carriers and employers.
As part of the acquisition, Franco Signor will become part of Verisk’s Claims
Partners business, a leading provider of MSP compliance and other analytic
claim services. Claims Partners and Franco Signor will be combining forces to
provide the single best resource for Medicare compliance.
Rubicon Technology Partners Acquires Central Logic
Private equity firm Rubicon Technology Partners acquires
Central Logic, a provider of patient orchestration and tools to accelerate
access to care for healthcare organizations. Rubicon will be aggressively driving Central Logic’s
growth with additional cash investments into the business, with a focus
on product innovation, sales expansion, delivery and customer support, and
the pursuit of acquisition opportunities.
In a wide-ranging interview with MedCity News, Cerner CommunityWorks President Mitchell Clark discussed the healthcare challenges facing rural communities amid the Covid-19 pandemic and the company’s new free offering that aims to support rural telehealth.
The EHR giant is planning to buy Kantar Health, which provides data, analytics and research to the life sciences industry. Through the acquisition, Cerner aims to provide its clients with more access to data analytics and research expertise and engagement with life sciences companies.
– Cerner announces it will acquire Kantar Health, a leading data, analytics, and real-world evidence and commercial research consultancy serving the life science and health care industry.
– This acquisition is expected to allow Cerner’s Learning
Health Network client consortium and health systems with more opportunities to
directly engage with life sciences for funded research studies. The acquisition
is expected to close during the first half of 2021.
Cerner today announced an agreement to acquire Kantar Health, a division of Kantar Group, a leading data, analytics, and real-world evidence and commercial research consultancy serving the life science industry for $375 million in cash, subject to adjustment.
Acquisition Will Create Leading Data Insights and Clinical
With this acquisition, Cerner plans to harness data to improve the safety, efficiency, and efficacy of clinical research across life sciences, pharmaceuticals, and health care at large. This acquisition is expected to allow Cerner’s Learning Health Network client consortium to more directly engage with life sciences for funded research studies.
The Cerner Learning Health Network offers health systems complimentary access to a network of bi-directional, de-identified data resources. This access helps advance research efforts and provides opportunities to generate revenue with funded research studies from life science companies. Kantar Health’s proprietary syndicated data products including CancerMPact, Claritis, National Health & Wellness Survey, and its broader oncology, rare disease, and multi-therapeutic expertise are used today by all of the top 20 life science companies to further their real-world evidence, commercial and clinical research efforts.
The combination of Cerner and Kantar Health is expected to
enable a two-sided collaboration between providers and the pharmaceutical
industry, where researchers can generate insights and use differentiated
real-world data assets and expertise to address the most complex clinical
“Cerner launched the Learning Health Network with our provider clients to advance a shared vision: treat global diseases more effectively through an acceleration of clinical research,” said Donald Trigg, president, Cerner. “Kantar Health has incredible health economics and medical affairs expertise, differentiated real-world data assets and strong relationships with the world’s leading life science companies. It offers us an amazing opportunity to drive cross-industry collaboration that can change health outcomes around the world.”
Acquisition Reflects Cerner’s Strategic Focus on Clinical
This is the second announcement in this month expanding upon
Cerner’s commitment to improving the safety and efficiency of clinical research
in life sciences and health care. Last week we announced a relationship with
Elligo which broadens the clinical trial resources available to rural and
community hospitals and physician practices. This is significant to help
broaden the diversity of individuals involved in clinical research, including
those in minority populations and rural communities.
The acquisition is anticipated to close in the first half of 2021, subject to regulatory approval, employee consultations, and other conditions, and is not expected to have a material impact on Cerner’s earnings in 2021.
– Cerner Corporation today announced with Xealth new
centralized digital ordering and monitoring for health systems, starting with
Banner Health, to foster digital innovation.
– Health systems can prescribe digital therapeutics, smartphones, and internet apps directly within the EHR to address areas such as chronic disease management, behavioral health, maternity care, and surgery prep.
Cerner, today announced it’s building on the recent collaboration with Xealth to offer health systems new centralized digital ordering and monitoring for clients. These capabilities are designed to help health systems choose, manage, and deploy digital tools and applications while offering clinicians access to remote monitoring and more direct engagement with patients. Phoenix-based Banner Health, one of the country’s largest nonprofit hospital systems, is one of the first Cerner clients to use the new capabilities to benefit its clinicians and patients.
Prescribe Digital Therapeutics Via EHR
With the new capabilities, health systems can prescribe digital therapeutics, smartphones, and internet applications to address areas such as chronic disease management, behavioral health, maternity care, and surgery prep. This access to a more holistic view of the organization’s digital health solutions supports the clinical decisions doctors make every day and provides real opportunities to improve medical outcomes and enhance efficiency, meet the increasing demand for telehealth and offer remote patient monitoring.
For example, the new capabilities can help simplify how
clinicians prescribe tools such as mobile mental health apps to monitor anxiety
triggers or a glucose device to help trace blood sugar levels for diabetes
Digital solutions will be available in a single location in
the electronic health record where health systems can use apps based on
clinical and financial metrics. A wide array of digital health tools is
integrated with Xealth’s offering today and the list is ever-growing. Early
examples of companies that have previously deployed in health systems using
Xealth include Babyscripts, Glooko, SilverCloud Health, Welldoc, as well as
Healthwise Inc., GetWellNetwork and ResMed that have existing relationships
“As digital tools are increasingly included in care plans, health systems seek a way to organize and oversee their use across the health system. We anticipate the emergence of digital and therapeutic committees to govern digital tool selection similar to how pharmacy and therapeutic committees have historically governed medication formularies,” said David Bradshaw, senior vice president, Consumer and Employer Solutions, Cerner. “Digital health has extraordinary potential to reshape the way we care for patients and, working with Xealth, we are answering the need and helping providers create more engaging and effective patient experiences.”
Why It Matters
Digital health has great potential to make an immediate difference, especially as it relates to automating patient education, delivering virtual care, supporting telehealth, and offering remote patient monitoring. Health systems with a digital health program and strategy in place have the ability to respond faster and more efficiently.
“Now, more than ever, extending care teams to meet patients where they are is critical,” said Mike McSherry, CEO and co-founder, Xealth. “As digital health programs roll out, they should elevate both the patient and provider experience. Cerner building out a digital formulary, with Xealth at its core, is listening to its strong clinician base by delivering tools to enhance patient care, without adding additional steps for the care team.”
Telehealth and virtual care are not brand-new phenomena suddenly cobbled together as a rapid response to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, but the average US patient could be forgiven for thinking that it is. Indeed, virtual visits to care providers and remote patient monitoring have been available for quite some time, delivering two key benefits:
– Providing a platform to address cost-efficiencies and accessibility to quality healthcare for the populace at large
– Playing a key role in managing a growing population of chronically ill seniors.
Prior to 2020, however, the rules of reimbursement and implementation for associated telehealth services were difficult to navigate, wildly differing at the state and federal level with a host of regulations further complicating matters. Federal reimbursement policies are centered on Medicare, via the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) – the single largest payer for seniors and chronically ill patients. Additionally, compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) dictated rigorous standards for direct and monitoring communications between care providers and patients. Complicating matters further, US states offered a patchwork of individual telehealth laws dictating separate Medicaid policies.
The result was a lack of clarity of how healthcare providers could overcome regulatory and financial reimbursement barriers to implement effective telehealth programs as well as a lack of parity in coverage services and payments for patients. To address this at the federal level, CMS released new guidance in 2020 to relax reimbursement restrictions for providers. Now, we’re at the cusp of a new era of telemedicine where providers could widely offer:
– Virtual office visits that address traditionally in-person services such as primary care, behavioral health, and specialty care (e.g. pulmonary or cardiac health rehabilitation)
– On-demand virtual urgent care to address pressing concerns and urgently needed consultations
– Virtual broader home health services such as remote patient monitoring, outpatient disease management, and various forms of therapy (e.g. physical, speech)
– Tech-enabled home medication administration helping patients receive injectable or consumable medication via monitored self-administration
This is all, of course, dependent upon the mobile technology (e.g. tablets, wearables, etc.) and associated services that telehealth providers will rely upon to make these services happen at parity and scale for their patients. Even more importantly, virtual care programs being scaled up to cover a larger percentage of patients will fall apart if providers don’t have the resources to offer robust support and maintenance options for these devices and services. Quality of virtual care is highly dependent on persistent device and service availability and dependability.
Whether providers have already begun purchasing the mobile devices needed or are still struggling with the choice of what devices and services they need and/or can afford, however, they now face a different quandary: How to stand up these virtual care services at scale in a sustainable way that works within current budget resources and doesn’t pass on ballooning costs to your patients?
One way to make complex mobile technology deployments financially manageable is opting for a mobile device as a service (mDaaS) model which allows you to shift from a CapEx-based spending model to an OpEx spending model for purchasing hardware and allows telehealth providers to bundle or roll up a range of devices, accessories, services, maintenance and support into a single, predictable monthly per-device price. With mobile device technology rapidly evolving, telemedicine providers will need the operational agility to pivot to different solutions and quick technology refreshes as the need arises.
When done with the right third-party partner, it offers the additional advantages of outsourcing end-to-end support and lifecycle management to highly trained agents, who can free up precious IT resources. Most importantly, it creates a level of control over technology and spend that makes standing up virtual care programs convenient and stress-free.
There are many options to consider when expanding telemedicine services rapidly to larger patient bases, whether during disruptive events such as the COVID-19 pandemic or in the years to come. The key to making these services sustainable is finding a financing model that will free up internal resources, offer greater spending flexibility, and offer end-to-end support for your healthcare mobile technology ecosystem.
About Don Godbee Senior Mobile Solutions Architect at Stratix
Don brings a unique perspective to mobility in the Healthcare Vertical with over 25 years of consulting and delivery of critical solutions. Don has delivered various solutions from OEM integration of sensors in medical devices to mobile point of care solutions and services with major EHR software solution providers such as Epic, Cerner, GE Healthcare, Allscripts, and McKesson.
– Amazon today announced the launch of Amazon HealthLake,
a new HIPAA-eligible service enables healthcare organizations to store, tag,
index, standardize, query, and apply machine learning to analyze data at
petabyte scale in the cloud.
– Cerner, Ciox Health, Konica Minolta Precision Medicine,
and Orion Health among customers using Amazon HealthLake.
Today at AWS re:Invent, Amazon
Web Services, Inc. (AWS), an Amazon.com company today announced Amazon HealthLake, a
HIPAA-eligible service for healthcare and life sciences organizations. Current
Amazon HealthLake customers include Cerner, Ciox Health, Konica Minolta
Precision Medicine, and Orion Health.
Health data is frequently incomplete and inconsistent, and is often unstructured, with the information contained in clinical notes, laboratory reports, insurance claims, medical images, recorded conversations, and time-series data (for example, heart ECG or brain EEG traces) across disparate formats and systems. Every healthcare provider, payer, and life sciences company is trying to solve the problem of structuring the data because if they do, they can make better patient support decisions, design better clinical trials, and operate more efficiently.
Store, transform, query, and analyze health data in
Amazon HealthLake aggregates an organization’s complete data across various silos and disparate formats into a centralized AWS data lake and automatically normalizes this information using machine learning. The service identifies each piece of clinical information, tags, and indexes events in a timeline view with standardized labels so it can be easily searched, and structures all of the data into the Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) industry-standard format for a complete view of the health of individual patients and entire populations.
Benefits for Healthcare Organizations
As a result, Amazon HealthLake makes it easier for customers to query, perform analytics, and run machine learning to derive meaningful value from the newly normalized data. Organizations such as healthcare systems, pharmaceutical companies, clinical researchers, health insurers, and more can use Amazon HealthLake to help spot trends and anomalies in health data so they can make much more precise predictions about the progression of the disease, the efficacy of clinical trials, the accuracy of insurance premiums, and many other applications.
How It Works
Amazon HealthLake offers medical providers, health insurers,
and pharmaceutical companies a service that brings together and makes sense of
all their patient data, so healthcare organizations can make more precise
predictions about the health of patients and populations. The new
HIPAA-eligible service enables organizations to store, tag, index, standardize,
query, and apply machine learning to analyze data at petabyte scale in the
Amazon HealthLake allows organizations to easily copy health
data from on-premises systems to a secure data lake in the cloud and normalize
every patient record across disparate formats automatically. Upon ingestion,
Amazon HealthLake uses machine learning trained to understand medical
terminology to identify and tag each piece of clinical information, index
events into a timeline view, and enrich the data with standardized labels
(e.g., medications, conditions, diagnoses, procedures, etc.) so all this
information can be easily searched.
For example, organizations can quickly and accurately find
answers to their questions like, “How has the use of cholesterol-lowering
medications helped our patients with high blood pressure last year?” To do this,
customers can create a list of patients by selecting “High Cholesterol” from a
standard list of medical conditions, “Oral Drugs” from a menu of treatments,
and blood pressure values from the “Blood Pressure” structured field – and then
they can further refine the list by choosing attributes like time frame,
gender, and age. Because Amazon HealthLake also automatically structures all of
a healthcare organization’s data into the FHIR industry format, the information
can be easily and securely shared between health systems and with third-party
applications, enabling providers to collaborate more effectively and allowing
patients unfettered access to their medical information.
“There has been an explosion of digitized health data in recent years with the advent of electronic medical records, but organizations are telling us that unlocking the value from this information using technology like machine learning is still challenging and riddled with barriers,” said Swami Sivasubramanian, Vice President of Amazon Machine Learning for AWS. “With Amazon HealthLake, healthcare organizations can reduce the time it takes to transform health data in the cloud from weeks to minutes so that it can be analyzed securely, even at petabyte scale. This completely reinvents what’s possible with healthcare and brings us that much closer to everyone’s goal of providing patients with more personalized and predictive treatment for individuals and across entire populations.”
– Cerner announced a strategic investment in Elligo
Health Research, a leading research organization that enables clinical trials
with nationwide community-based health care practices.
– Cerner plans to expand the data and tools available in
the Cerner Learning Health Network to offer additional clinical trial resources
to community and rural hospitals and physician practices.
– Financial terms of strategic investment were not disclosed.
Cerner Corporation today announced an undisclosed strategic investment in Elligo Health Research, a leading integrated research organization that enables clinical trials with nationwide community-based health care practices. As part of the strategic investment, Cerner will enter into a commercial agreement to expand the data and tools available in the Cerner Learning Health Network to offer additional clinical trial resources to community and rural hospitals and physician practices.
Single Platform to Accelerate Clinical Research
Founded by John Potthoff, Ph.D., and Chad Moore in 2016, Elligo
Health Research Since 2016, Elligo Health Research, founded by John Potthoff,
Ph.D., and Chad Moore, has accelerated the development of new pharmaceutical,
biotechnology, medical device, and diagnostic products using its novel clinical
technology and its Goes Direct® approach. As one of the largest health networks
for clinical research, Elligo works to bring research as a care option to as
many participants as possible by offering innovative, patient-centric solutions
within the practices of trusted physicians.
Collaboration Will Accelerate Clinical Research
Health systems face significant obstacles such as patient recruitment, costs, and access to clinical trial resources. Today, for example, the drug development process takes more than 17 years and costs approximately $2.5B. Cerner and Elligo will focus on helping reduce those obstacles health systems face to make clinical trials become more of a reality – no matter the size, location, or academic standing.
Additionally, most clinical trials are executed in large,
urban areas with homogenous trial populations, which offer insights that may
not be broadly applicable to all patients in need of the therapies. Clinical trial
resources can offer funded research opportunities for health care organizations
as well as access to trial therapies for patients who need it most, including
those in minority populations and rural communities. This could result in
outcomes that are more representative of diverse populations and a potential
increase in drug safety through post-market surveillance capabilities.
This collaboration is expected to help accelerate clinical
research timeframes, make clinical trials more broadly and easily accessible
and reduce the costs associated with bringing a therapy to market. In addition,
Cerner representatives will also join Elligo’s board of directors.
“At the beginning of the year, we launched a bold push with our provider clients to change the pace and cost of clinical trials. Today, 51 health systems are part of our Learning Health Network,” said Donald Trigg, president, Cerner. “Elligo shares our passion for making clinical trial opportunities accessible to every provider and patient. Our collaboration will accelerate that shared mission in the quarters ahead.”
Razor-thin operational margins coupled with substantial and ongoing losses related to COVID-19 are culminating in a perfect storm of bottom-line issues for U.S. hospitals and health systems. A study commissioned by the American Hospital Association (AHA) found that the median hospital margin overall was just 3.5% pre-pandemic, and projected margins will stay in the red for at least half of the nation’s hospitals for the remainder of 2020.
The reality is that an increase in COVID-19 cases will not overcome the pandemic’s devasting financial impact. An internal analysis found that, in the first half of 2020, client organizations documented more than 1.2 million COVID-19 related cases. At least one study suggests that $2,500 will be lost per case–despite a 20% Medicare payment increase. And notably, a positive test result is now required for the increased inpatient payment.
The healthcare industry must face its own “new normal” as the current path is unsustainable, and the future stability of hospitals in communities across the nations is uncertain. If financial leaders do not act now to implement systems and embrace sound revenue integrity practices, they will face unavoidable revenue cycle bottlenecks and limit their ability to capitalize on all appropriate reimbursement opportunities.
The COVID-19 Effect: A Bird’s Eye View
The financial impact of COVID-19 is far-reaching, impacting multiple angles of operations from supply chain costs to lost billing opportunities and compliance issues. Findings from a Physician’s Foundation report released in August suggest that U.S. healthcare spending dropped by 18% during the first quarter of 2020, the steepest decline since 1959.
Already vulnerable 2020 Q1 budgets were met with substantial losses when elective procedures—a sizeable part of income for most health systems—were halted for more than a month in many cases. Many hospitals continue to lose notable revenue associated with emergency care and ancillary testing as patients choose to avoid public settings amid ongoing public safety efforts.
Outpatient visits also dropped a whopping 60% in the wake of the pandemic. While a recent Harvard report suggests that numbers are back on track, the reality is that a resurgence of cases could make consumers wary of both doctor visits and elective procedures again.
In addition, the supply chain quickly became a cost risk for health systems by Q2 2020 as the ability to acquire drugs and medical supplies came at a premium. Meeting cost-containment goals flew out the window as did the ability to create value in purchasing power.
Further exacerbating the situation is an expected increase in denials as healthcare organizations navigate a fluid regulatory environment and learn how to interpret new guidance around coding and billing for COVID-19 related care. For example, while telehealth has proved a game-changer for care continuity across the U.S., reimbursement for these visits remains largely untested. History confirms that in times of rapid change, billing errors increase—and so do claims denials.
While there is little that can be done to minimize the impact of revenue losses and supply chain challenges, healthcare organizations can take proactive steps to identify all revenue opportunities and minimize compliance issues that will undoubtedly surface when auditors come knocking to ensure the appropriate use of COVID-19 stimulus dollars.
Holistically Addressing Revenue
Getting ahead of the current and evolving revenue storm will require healthcare organizations to elevate revenue integrity strategies. Hospitals and health systems should take four steps to get their billing and compliance house in order by addressing:
1. People: Build a cross-functional steering committee that will drive revenue integrity goals through better collaboration between billing and compliance teams.
2. Processes: Strategies that combine the strengths of both retrospective and prospective auditing will identify the root cause of errors and educate stakeholders to ensure clean, timely filed claims from the start.
3. Metrics: Best practice key performance indexes are available and should be used. Clean claim submission, denial rate, bad debt reduction and days in AR are a few to consider.
4. Technology: The role of emerging technologies that use artificial intelligence cannot be understated. Their ability to speed identification of risks, perform targeted audits, identify and address root causes and most importantly, monitor the impact of process improvements is changing current dynamics. For one large pediatric health system in the Southwest, technology-enabled coding and compliance processes resulted in $230 million in reduced COVID-related denials and a financial impact of $2.3 million.
Current manual processes used by many healthcare organizations to assess denials and manage revenue cycle will not provide the transparency needed to both get ahead of problems and identify areas for process improvement and corrective action in today’s complex environment.
About Vasilios Nassiopoulos
Vasilios Nassiopoulosis the Vice President of Platform Strategy and Innovation at Hayes, a healthcare technology provider that partners with the nation’s premier healthcare organizations to improve revenue, mitigate risk and streamline operations to succeed in an evolving healthcare landscape. Vasilios has over 25 years of healthcare experience with extensive knowledge of EHR systems and PMS software from Epic, Cerner, GE Centricity and Meditech. Prior to joining Hayes, Vasilios served Associate Principal at The Chartis Group.
– Cerner launches new Video Visit platform for CommunityWorks clients at no cost through 2021 to support rural health organizations.
Today in honor of National Rural Health Day, Cerner has announced the launch of their new telehealth offering to support rural health organizations through these tough times. The Video Visit platform will be offered to Cerner CommunityWorks℠ clients at no cost through 2021. The platform, which was announced at a virtual event for community and critical access hospitals earlier this week, aims to help make it easier for those living in rural areas to see providers. Initial sites have already started to go-live and are seeing strong adoption.
The CDC estimates about 46 million Americans live in rural
areas, which face distinctive challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic. Key
features of Cerner’s NEW CommunityWorks Video Visit Trial Program
• Video visits are part of a comprehensive suite
of virtual healthcare solutions that enable organizations to provide near
real-time, interactive communications between consumers and clinicians from any
• Delivers a comprehensive, integrated experience
that empowers consumers to be active participants in their health and care.
• Consumers receive convenient, quality care
using their modality of choice.
• FREE and rapid implementation and trial
of Cerner Video Visits until 12/31/21.
• Expedited implementation taking place in days,
not weeks or months.
“Throughout the pandemic, we’ve seen a significantly increased desire from both consumers and health care providers for virtual health solutions and rapid innovation and adoption of existing products. One of those products is Cerner’s Virtual Visit solution that we are now offering free of charge to our eligible CommunityWorks clients through the end of 2021. This trial program delivers a comprehensive, integrated experience that empowers consumers to be active participants in their health and care. I am excited to formally launch this on the 10th annual National Rural Health Day as we celebrate the Power of Rural and I look forward to helping our clients provide another way to adapt to, and overcome, challenges presented by this pandemic in order to provide the best care and experience for their patients,” said Mitchell Clark, President, Cerner CommunityWorks, Senior Vice President at Cerner in a release statement.
Today on Health in 2 Point 00, the big news is about another COVID vaccine… or is it the collapse of the telehealth and digital health market as we know it? On Episode 167, Jess asks me about Bridge Connector shutting down 2 months after getting a $25.5 million raise, UK-based online mental health platform Togetherall raising $10 million, Cerner partnering with Well Health for provider-patient communication services, Solv Health—the OpenTable for healthcare—raising $27 million, and Springtide raising $18.1 million for its clinic and platform for children with autism.—Matthew Holt
– New KLAS report finds acute and ambulatory care EMR
vendors Cerner, Epic and NextGen are best at making outside patient data usable
for clinicians (data from outside the clinician’s health system).
– KLAS report examines adoption and usability among advanced
users of the main acute and ambulatory care EMR vendors.
The national interoperability networks of Carequality and CommonWell Health Alliance have become some of the primary means by which patient records are shared between healthcare organizations in the US. Despite progress in delivering interoperability, the number of providers connected to these plug-and-play networks, and the usability of the shared data varies significantly depending on the EMR in use. The KLAS report, Interoperability 2020 (Acute/Ambulatory) examines adoption and usability among advanced users of the main acute and ambulatory care EMR vendors.
Epic, NextGen, Cerner Best at Making Outside Patient Data
The report reveals Cerner, Epic and NextGen are the best
acute/ambulatory EMR vendors at making outside patient data
usable for clinicians (data from outside the clinician’s health system). Epic
continued to enhance the end-user experience with its Happy Together solution delivering
the most natural integration of outside data into the clinician workflow,
including the recent addition of basic lab trending.
KLAS named NextGen as the only ambulatory specific EMR vendor
to provide a strong usability experience for all interoperability workflows,
while Cerner customers validated its strong capabilities for accessing and
incorporating a wide variety of outside data into the patient record.
Duplicate PAMI Data a Growing Problem
Customers of both Cerner and Epic say the next step is for
the vendors to reduce the duplication of problems, allergies, medications, and
NextGen Healthcare is the only vendor whose customers report
significant improvement in this area. The NextGen EMR is able to filter out duplicate
medications, even for inexact matches (e.g., Tylenol vs. acetaminophen). While
other solutions may be capable of flagging duplicate information and removing
some of it, customers say the process is often still very manual.
Other key findings of the report include:
– athenahealth and Epic continue to lead in overall
adoption, with nearly all customers connected to CommonWell Health Alliance
– Cerner has been encouraging customers to adopt the
CommonWell connection for some time, and over the past 18 months, the number of
customers live has doubled, meaning a majority of clients are now connected.
– NextGen Healthcare has also continued to advocate for the adoption of Carequality among its customer base.
– eClinicalWorks customers have been actively connecting;
their usability experience remains similar to what it was in the past.
– Since early 2019, many organizations have implemented Expanse, but the adoption of CommonWell among MEDITECH customers has increased only slightly (from two customers to eleven).
– Allscripts was a founding member of CommonWell in 2013 but
never connected. After multiple delays and a shift to Carequality, they
connected their first customer (via dbMotion) in the second half of 2020.
– The latest report from Chilmark Research examines the
new approaches and tools for utilizing community resources that can address
social determinants of health, giving providers the ability to extend care
beyond the confines of the clinic.
– This research indicates that the next two years will largely bring an expansion of product capabilities with slow and steady growth in implementation as the market better defines key variables and sets standards for performance.
COVID-19 has dramatically increased the overall population’s need for community resource engagement in traditional healthcare settings. The steady march to value-based care (VBC) continually amplifies interest in solutions that contribute to utilization management strategies. Vendors are rising to meet this need by connecting community-based organizations to various healthcare partners so that both may benefit from the coordination of service provision.
The latest Chilmark Research report, Addressing SDoH: IT Solutions to Engage Community Resources, evaluates these solutions, identifying the strengths and weaknesses of options in the market and predicting how the market will develop in the future. Research in this report is based on interviews with executive leadership teams of solutions vendors, executives from the major EHR companies, and extensive secondary research.
Vendors discussed in the report include aunt bertha, Cerner, Epic, HealthEC, Healthify, NowPow, Signify Health, Solera, Unite US, Xealth
Leveraging Community Partners Is Key
to Addressing SDoH
are some of the best resources providers can
utilize to address the social factors impacting patients’ health status, but
this is a new need for HCOs, which under fee-for-service (FFS) tried to keep
all care within the clinic to maximize revenues. Data management and liquidity
make effective integration with external partners a key barrier to
implementation, while legal and internal engagement issues continue to slow
Predicted 10-Year SDoH Adoption Trajectory
This research indicates that the next two years will largely bring an expansion of product capabilities with slow and steady growth in implementation as the market better defines key variables and sets standards for performance. Within five years, a public option for insurance will dramatically increase the rate of solutions adoption, culminating in >80% adoption in provider locations by 2030.
The report provides a roadmap and
predicts key inflection points for the greater adoption of these solutions, and which social determinants have historically been
the best predictors of increased health services utilization. It includes brief
profiles of key vendors providing this functionality, and how they plan to
impact community health.
“This has been a major challenge to healthcare systems, and people now get that we need to address [SDoH] better. The pandemic has proven to be an additional, critical driver for continued expansion of VBC, which requires understanding all of the factors that can influence a member’s health status,” according to report co-author Jody Ranck. “We see an opportunity here from the pandemic, that it has basically shown us where the failures are in the system today, and that going forward we need to do more to engage resources beyond the clinic.”
The EHR vendor is integrating texting capabilities into its online portal to help streamline communications between providers and patients. The company collaborated with patient communication solutions provider WELL Health to offer this new feature.
– Cerner is striking a deal with patient communication
hub company WELL Health to change its patient communication technology for its
– Through Cerner’s HealtheLife, the new capabilities will
pull from a myriad of systems and apps to help improve communication and reduce
administrative time for clinicians and staff.
Cerner Corporation, a global health care technology company, today announced new capabilities designed to take the interaction between clinicians and patients beyond email to text message conversations, helping solve for a gap in communication in health care. The new features, in collaboration with WELL Health Inc. and to be integrated into Cerner’s patient portal, are designed to help improve patients’ engagement with clinicians through intelligent and automated communication.
New capabilities will unify and automate previously
disjointed communications, enhance patient engagement, and save clinicians time
Through Cerner’s HealtheLife, the new capabilities will
pull from a myriad of systems and apps to help improve communication and reduce
administrative time for clinicians and staff. Organizations can use the new
automation features to deliver critical health information, send flu shot
reminders, reschedule appointments, schedule virtual visits and prompt patients
to set up needed medical transportation. Additional benefits are expected to:
– Improve patient satisfaction, retention and acquisition
through timely communication and reduced hold queues, missed calls and email
– Save time spent scheduling and communicating with patients
by using automated workflows that reply and route based on patient responses.
– Reduce time spent on billing and payment collections by
auto-notifying patients when new bills are ready for payment.
“WELL Health is focused on what patients expect today – near real-time, personalized communication on their terms. We aim to move beyond the days of playing phone tag, leaving voicemails and expecting patients to continue showing up,” said Guillaume de Zwirek, CEO and founder, WELL Health. “WELL Health supports patients to text their health care provider like they would text a friend. For a provider’s staff, WELL Health is designed to unify and automate disjointed communications across the organization, helping to reduce unnecessary stress and limiting potential errors.”
Why It Matters
More than 5 billion people spend nearly
a quarter of their day on their mobile phones. In fact, in the last few years,
the number of active
cellphone subscriptions exceeded the number of people on Earth. Giving
patients the same person-centric digital experience in health care as they
receive from other industries has become increasingly important. Teaming with
WELL Health, Cerner will make technology more useable for health systems and
patients by meeting consumers where they are spending their time.
“Cerner is committed to making it easier for providers to create the engaging, comprehensive health care experiences that patients expect and deserve,” said David Bradshaw, senior vice president, consumer and employer solutions, Cerner. “By bringing patient data from different systems and streamlining in one unified view, we are strengthening our clients’ ability to build meaningful relationships with patients through a convenient, digital experience that has become a part of everyday life.”
In addition to the Mann-Grandstaff VA Medical Center, the EHR was implemented at its four community-based outpatient clinics across Washington, Montana, and Idaho, as well as the West Consolidated Patient Account Center, a VA business operations facility in Las Vegas.
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) now joins the
Department of Defense (DOD) and the Department of Homeland Security, via the
U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), in the successful deployment of Cerner-powered
technology that will create a single health record for 18 million Service
members, Veterans plus their family members. The technology is designed to
provide Service members a smoother transition when they leave active duty, as
well as provide VA clinicians the information they need to help Veterans
get quality individualized care.
“This new system is much more than an EHR,” said Travis Dalton, president, Cerner Government Services. “It is a platform to help drive interoperability across the continuum of care and ensure data flows between federal agencies and to commercial partners. This can help improve health outcomes, create public health infrastructure, enable more effective predictive clinical models and create better informed research critical to solving some of the nation’s most pressing health challenges, such as suicide and the opioid epidemic. Though there is still much work to be done, this go-live, along with the deployment of Cerner’s Centralized Scheduling Solution at Columbus and joint health information exchange are key proof points that EHRM is and will continue to be a success. We congratulate VA on this historic achievement and are proud to support this momentous initiative.”
Cerner announces an open call for additional health systems to sign on as testing partners of their EHR-integrated Voice Assist technology. Voice Assist will allow clinicians to interact with the EHR by just using their voice. Clinicians will be able to issue voice commands to complete a range of tasks that can save significant time and reduce the administrative burden on care teams by replacing manual data documentation.
How Voice Assist Technology Works
Using the phrase ‘Hey
Cerner,’ clinicians will be able to search for and retrieve information from
patient records, place medication orders and set up reminders. Clinicians will
be able to seamlessly switch between dictating the clinical note and navigating
the patient’s chart, improving efficiency and enhancing the health care
Examples of Voice Assist’s current functionality
“What is the latest white blood cell
“Remind me to call the patient in 6 months
about their high cholesterol”
“St. Joseph’s Health is excited to pilot Cerner’s Voice Assist technology, which will enable our clinicians to complete several tasks in the EHR via voice commands. We envision that this technology will be conducive to more meaningful clinician patient interaction since the clinicians will spend less time manually documenting. We hope to see improved efficiency, clinician and patient satisfaction throughout this trial period.” – Lisa Green, Director Clinical Information Systems, St. Joseph’s Health.
“At IU Health, we’re creating designated innovations centers where we trial the latest new technologies in real clinical workflows. This allows us to move new tools into our system rapidly and iteratively. We’re excited to pilot Cerner’s Voice Assist, which will allow our clinician’s to handle several tasks in the EHR with their voice. This technology will help our clinicians to focus their attention on their patients. We believe voice has the potential to increase clinician efficiency and hopefully, result in higher patient and clinician satisfaction.” – Cliff J. Hohban, Vice President, IS, Applications & PMO, IU Health
Voice Assist is supported with Nuance’s virtual assistant
capability and is expected to be widely available in 2021.
Helping Physicians Document Care During Virtual Visits
The cloud-based technology allows VA physicians to use their voices to capture and document patient stories securely, accurately, and more efficiently during virtual visits conducted by phone and the widely deployed VA Video Connect platform. Nuance Dragon Medical One is the leading medical speech recognition solution today used by over 550,000 physicians. Compatible with the VA CPRS and Cerner Millennium, it is a key productivity component in EHR solutions throughout the Federal Government, including Veterans Affairs and the Military Health System. Because the VA first standardized on Nuance cloud-based Dragon Medical solutions system-wide in 2014, physicians could readily adopt the added capabilities and mobile flexibility of Dragon Medical One for telehealth services.
“Helping frontline clinicians at the VA and other major health systems has been our highest priority since the pandemic began,” said Diana Nole, executive vice president and general manager of healthcare, Nuance. “The combination of our cloud-based platforms, organizational agility and deep experience working with the VA health system made it possible for us to act quickly and deliver the technology solutions needed to protect and assist physicians treating patients remotely. While our strong sense of mission and purpose in serving critical healthcare organizations and businesses already is very clear, it becomes amplified knowing that our technology solutions are playing a role in caring for our nation’s Veterans.”
– HP launches patient-first print technologies to help healthcare
workers stay safe and spend more time caring for patients.
– Innovations co-developed with healthcare professionals
include industry’s first sterilizable printers, exclusive EMR-compliant
workflow solutions, and services to improve patient safety and privacy.
Today, HP Inc.
officially launched new print solutions for the healthcare industry. Based on
deep customer insights and co-developed with healthcare providers, associations
and partners, HP Healthcare Print Solutions address the most pressing issues
facing the healthcare industry today including patient wellness and safety,
care coordination, mobility, privacy and security.
Reducing the Risk of Virus Transmission and Healthcare-Associated Infections
HP’s new Healthcare Edition MFP keyboards and touch-enabled
control panels are designed to be disinfected regularly, withstanding up to
10,000X industry-standard germicidal wipes, helping to reduce the risk of
health-care associated infections (HAIs) and viral pathogen transmission.
HP has further enhanced the disinfection capabilities of high-touch areas of
the printer with removable covers/drapes that can be sterilized daily in an
autoclave up to 134 ºC. HP is also collaborating with Clorox Healthcare to
offer a guide detailing infection prevention best practices and other
In order to enhance support of infection prevention
policies, HP has also broadened disinfection capabilities of HP Personal System
devices to include HP Engage Go3 and HP Elite products such as HP EliteDesks,
HP EliteOne (display panel only), ZBook Mobile Workstations and Z Series
Desktop Workstations, HP Elite and Z Displays (Z, S, E and P series, Display
Panel Only) and HP Education Notebooks (keyboards only) .
The U.S. Centers for
Disease Control (CDC) estimates that healthcare-associated infections
(HAIs) are responsible for 1.7
million infections and 99,000 associated deaths each year. Infections and
viruses add further strains to healthcare organizations’ ability to provide
safe, quality care to patients. Influenza alone accounts for an US$11B economic
annual burden. Studies show commonly used technologies, like printers and
mobile devices, are often highly contaminated with pathogenic bacteria and
viral pathogens. Most IT and IoT devices were not designed to be regularly
cleaned by hospital-grade disinfectant wipes. Repeated use has shown to damage
the integrity of the plastic and, ultimately, the device itself.
Minimizing Contact with Common Points of Transmission
HP’s unique global Managed Print Services (MPS) program with
Zebra Technologies provides the HP Advance mobile app on Zebra’s TC52-HC
handheld touch computer to enable care providers to minimize contact with
common points of infection transmission at the point of care. Providers can
walk up to any HP Healthcare Edition MFP, authenticate with the TC52-HC mobile
computer and release critical patient documents without having to touch the
Reducing the Risk of Electromagnetic Interference (EMI)
Patient and clinical worker mobile and IoT devices add to a
very congested radio spectrum that can interfere via electromagnetic
interference (EMI) with life-saving medical devices. The new HP Health
Solutions portfolio of IoT hand-held devices and IoT print devices are EN/IEC
60601-1-2 certified for EMI safety. The EN/IEC 60601-1-2 certification
ensures these devices can be used within the patient sphere and shared patient
areas without risk of EMI to sensitive patients and surrounding medical
Helping Ensure Positive Patient ID
Patient identification errors are common and can lead to
serious reportable events that harm not only the patient’s health, but also the
clinical standing of the healthcare facility where such an error occurred. Together,
HP and Zebra solutions empower clinicians to better manage positive patient
identification through integrated color patient ID wristbands, trackable
specimen labels printed on-demand with Radio Frequency Identification (RFID)
location services and point of care identification solutions for patients.
Digitizing Processes for Faster, More Efficient Care
HP Healthcare Edition MFPs include the HP Workpath Biscom for Healthcare app fully integrated
with EPIC and Cerner. This
enables the entire clinical team to digitally transmit and receive patient
information and high-resolution color imaging like MRIs or directly input data
into the electronic
medical record (EMR) system right from an app on the printer. As a
result, care providers can make timely critical decisions to improve the
experience of patients and the entire care team and give back face time with
68% of physician respondents reported feeling burned out at
the moment, largely because of paperwork, regulatory demands and electronic
health record (EHR) documentation. Important pieces of healthcare data can fall
through the cracks, frustrating patients who don’t understand why a specialist
can’t see last week’s diagnostic test result or why they were not offered a
diabetic-friendly hospital menu while staying as an inpatient, for
Protecting Patient Privacy and Security
As the implementation of technology advances, so too are the
security threats against healthcare systems. To help healthcare
organizations defend against emerging threats, HP provides the world’s most
secure PCs16 and printing solutions to protect patient privacy and sensitive
information. The new Healthcare portfolio also offers Basic Print Cloud
Services delivered through a service, HP Print Security Advisory Services and
HP Security Manager that provides patient data protection to all HP devices,
with the added protection of PrintSecure on Zebra wristband printers.
HP Healthcare Print Solutions are now available for direct
MPS customers in North America with plans to roll out across Europe and Asia in
Today, Apple announced
the Health Records feature within the Health app is now available for users in
the UK and Canada to securely view and store their medical records right on
their iPhone, with their privacy protected at all times. Oxford University
Hospitals and Women’s College Hospital has been selected the first healthcare
institutions in the UK and Canada to make this feature available to their
How Health Records Works
Health Records creates a direct connection between medical
institutions and a patient’s iPhone, allowing users to see a central view of
their allergies, conditions, immunizations, lab results, medications,
procedures, and vitals across multiple institutions, and to be notified when
their data is updated. Apple utilizes a direct, encrypted connection between
the user’s iPhone and the healthcare organization to protect patient’s privacy.
All Health Records data is encrypted on device and protected
with the user’s iPhone passcode, Touch ID, or Face ID. Apple worked closely
with Cerner, Epic, Allscripts, and InterSystems to enable the FHIR (Fast
Healthcare Interoperability Resources) standards-based integration with the
Health app for their UK and Canadian customers.
To date, over 500 institutions currently support Health
Records on iPhone, listing more than 11,000 care locations. Previously,
patients’ medical records were held in multiple locations, requiring patients
to log in to each healthcare provider’s website to piece together their health
The Health Records feature in the Health app is available to
patients of the medical institutions listed below.
– Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust – Oxford,
– Milton Keynes University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust –
Milton Keynes, UK
– Women’s College Hospital – Toronto, Ontario
– St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton – Hamilton, Ontario
– Intermountain Healthcare collaborates with Vynca, a national leader in advance care planning solutions to prioritize and digitize advance care planning.
collaboration enables integrated digital completion workflows and establishes a
single, centralized source of truth with built-in error prevention – enabling
the Intermountain Healthcare team to honor patients’ end-of-life
wishes, avoid unwanted healthcare utilization and reduce trauma for
families, caregivers and clinicians when faced with hard decisions in a medical
Vynca, a national leader
in advance care planning solutions, today announced a partnership with Intermountain Healthcare, a
not-for-profit health system, to ensure advance care planning documents are
easily and reliably accessible to clinicians, patients and their caregivers
across the care continuum. The collaboration
enables integrated digital completion workflows and establishes a single,
centralized source of truth with built-in error prevention – enabling the Intermountain Healthcare team
to honor patients’ end-of-life wishes, avoid unwanted healthcare utilization
and reduce trauma for families, caregivers and clinicians when faced with hard
decisions in a medical crisis.
Why It Matters
been at the leading edge of healthcare systems
identifying evidence-based innovations to achieve the Triple Aim – improving
experience of care, health of populations and
reducing per capita costs. As such, they recognized that improving
end-of-life care quality and reducing
unwanted healthcare interventions required a
new solution with the digital data capabilities to define and track
success. Intermountain is able to transform the
process of advance care planning by integrating Vynca’s
end-to-end solution with the health system’s existing clinical workflow and
their Cerner electronic
health record (EHR), who is also a Vynca partner. The collaboration enables customized outreach to
patients, shared decision making to digitally complete documents and ensures
documents are available to clinicians, patients and their selected caregivers.
“We are grateful to collaborate with an innovative health system like Intermountain to support providers and patients through the advance care planning process,” said Ryan Van Wert, MD, CEO and co-founder, Vynca. “Vynca’s solutions and services are designed to guide and empower individuals and providers to engage in these important conversations. Through shared decision making and document accessibility, patients can feel confident that their care preferences will be known across the care continuum.”
with Cerner EHR
lack of clarity in patient wishes, combined with concerns over document
accuracy and integrity and breakdowns in transitions of care have
historically led to low clinical confidence in advance care planning documents, as
well as patient safety concerns and unwanted healthcare utilization.
By integrating Vynca’s digital technology solutions
throughout the entire system, Intermountain gains
the ability to increase advance care planning conversations and documentation, access forms at
the point of care, decrease hospital mortality and
readmission rates and improve patient and family care satisfaction.
“Vynca’s software solution provides an effective digital storage and retrieval system for advance care planning documents that integrates into our Cerner EHR,” said Mary Helen Stricklin, MSN, RNC, Intermountain’s system nursing director for palliative care. “Caregivers at various points of care are able to quickly glance to see if a patient has stated preferences for end-of-life care or life-support, so they can know, share and honor those preferences. The Vynca software also allows caregivers to complete electronic Provider Order of Life Sustaining Treatment (POLST) forms stating end-of-life wishes. Vynca provides for these forms to be signed electronically by the patient and provider with an immediate availability in their medical record. If patient wishes change, new documents are easy to create, and previous documents can also be viewed in their record.”
business intelligence and reporting information on when, where and if advance care forms were
accessed at the point of care before critical
clinical decisions were made – delivering insights into utilization, success
and value from implementing a digitized advance care planning program. Vynca enables providers and patients to not just view
documents, but also continue discussions across all care settings.
– Fresenius Kidney Care, the dialysis services
division of Fresenius Medical Care North America, rolled out CommonWell health
data exchange services to its dialysis facilities nationwide.
– This initiative is a significant stride towards better-coordinated care for patients requiring life-sustaining dialysis for kidney failure and will enable the real-time exchange of critical patient health information–allowing healthcare providers to access the most up-to-date records when treating these patients with complex health needs.
Fresenius Kidney Care, the dialysis services division of Fresenius Medical Care North America and the nation’s leading network of dialysis facilities, is deploying CommonWell health data exchange services to all of its dialysis facilities, enabling near-real-time exchange of critical patient health information. With the connection to the CommonWell Health Alliance interoperability network and its bridge to the Carequality interoperability framework, care team members can locate, exchange, and view patient health documents from more than 600,000 providers and 2,800 hospitals across the country.
National Data Exchange Network
The exchange enables the provider network to access dialysis
treatment records for any patient treated at Fresenius Kidney Care and better
coordinate care with patients’ other participating providers. Because people
living with kidney failure often have multiple comorbidities, many are
routinely treated in other facilities and hospitals outside the dialysis center
making access to health information critical.
The document exchange is made possible within the company’s
existing Cerner technology for managing patient health records. Examples of
health information accessible on the exchange network include discharge
summaries and emergency room visits.
“Ensuring all healthcare providers have the most up-to-date records when our dialysis patients receive care is vital to providing the best treatment and outcomes possible,” said Mike Asselta, President of Fresenius Kidney Care. “By implementing this leading national exchange, we are taking another important step toward better coordinated care for all patients living with kidney failure.”
Fresenius Kidney Care recently began implementing these data
exchange services in select states and dialysis centers and will continue to
expand these services in the coming months. Several studies have shown that use
of health information exchange (HIE) systems can decrease the number of
hospital emergency room visits and reduce readmission rates.
– The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced
its first go-live of the VA Electronic Health Record Modernization (EHRM)
program – launching the new Centralized Scheduling Solution (CSS) at the VA
Central Ohio Healthcare System in Columbus, OH to make medical visits more
efficient for care providers and Veterans.
– CSS streamlines patient scheduling by coordinating clinician availability and resources in a single system, allowing VA schedulers to identify and secure any resources needed in real-time as they make appointments, and enables Veterans to schedule and cancel their appointments online, making it easier to manage their medical appointments.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) launched a new
appointment scheduling tool Aug. 21 at the VA Central Ohio Healthcare System to
make medical visits more efficient for care providers and Veterans. The launch
marks the VA’s first go-live of the VA
Electronic Health Record Modernization (EHRM) program.
A critical component of VA’s Electronic Health Record
Modernization (EHRM) effort, the Centralized Scheduling Solution (CSS) will be
implemented at all VA health facilities to expedite patient-care coordination
throughout the department.
VA’s current scheduling solutions require VA staff to log in to multiple software applications to coordinate calendars, clinicians, rooms, and equipment. This process requires time-intensive manual data entry and workarounds to finalize appointments. CSS streamlines patient scheduling by coordinating clinician availability and resources in a single system, allowing VA schedulers to identify and secure any resources needed in real-time as they make appointments, and enables Veterans to schedule and cancel their appointments online, making it easier to manage their medical appointments.
Cerner is leveraging
innovation to ensure VA providers have the data and information needed to
improve health outcomes for Veterans. In preparation for CSS go-live, Cerner
successfully migrated and tested demographic information for 60,000 Veterans
who receive care at the VA Central Ohio Healthcare System. CSS is a capability
that will be included in VA’s new electronic health record (EHR). Following the
CSS go-live in Columbus, VA will begin implementing the full EHR at
Mann-Grandstaff VA Medical Center in Spokane, Washington this fall.
Why It Matters
This is a critical milestone in the project, bringing us one step closer to providing Service members and Veterans a lifetime of seamless care.
“VA has delivered an enhanced scheduling system that will benefit Veterans and health care providers,” said Acting VA Deputy Secretary Pamela Powers, who has oversight of VA’s EHRM program. “This is another successful launch of a major milestone in the EHRM effort and will optimize Veterans’ access to health care by improving appointment scheduling. CSS also provides an efficient and transparent method of identifying and eliminating double bookings, flagging canceled appointments and maximizing provider time spent with patients.”
– How the top US acute EHR vendors, namely Cerner, Epic, Allscripts, and MEDITECH (+85% share of US acute market in terms of revenues), have progressed on international expansion.
As highlighted below, there is a significant variance amongst the big four in terms of revenue and share of business outside the US. Cerner has by far the highest revenue at more than $650M in 2019, representing 12% of its business. Whilst MEDITECH has considerably lower revenue than Cerner, its international revenue is broadly similar to a share of its total revenue.
By contrast, Allscripts and MEDITECH each has international business that is comparable in terms of revenues, but as a share of overall revenues, international is much less important for Allscripts.
Allscripts’ international revenue was lower than Epic, Cerner, and Meditech in 2018, however, its growth in 2019 enabled it to overtake MEDITECH and become the third largest of the four vendors in 2019.
Cerner’s international revenues fell marginally as a proportion of its total business in 2019 (11.5%, down from 11.9% in 2018), although revenues grew in absolute terms by 3%. This growth was aided by success in Europe, particularly in the UK and Nordics where it won new contracts. Cerner’s overall revenue suffered a 3% decline in 1H 2020 (versus 1H 2019). Despite the impact of COVID-19, its international business witnessed marginal revenue growth (+1%) and rose as a share of its overall business (11.9%) during this period.
Cerner received a significant boost to its international business in 2015 when it acquired Siemens’ EHR business. This provided it with a broad footprint of deployments in DACH (Germany, Austria, Switzerland), Benelux, France, Norway, and Spain. Since this acquisition, the challenge for Cerner had been to migrate the customer base to Millennium. However, this has not happened to date, particularly in Germany and Spain.
Tough market conditions, especially in Germany which already had a highly competitive acute EHR market, was another factor impacting the market growth. The above challenges faced by Cerner were key drivers behind the deal to sell parts of Cerner’s Healthcare IT portfolio in Germany and Spain to CompuGroup Medical (CGM). Cerner will continue to maintain a presence in Spain and German acute markets via its i.s.h.med solution (originally contracted to SAP/Siemens), which was not included in the CGM agreement. i.s.h.med has also provided Cerner a footprint in several other European, African, and Asian countries such as Russia and South Africa.
In other European countries where Cerner has a Millennium footprint it has had more success, and the additional product support and development costs have been less.
Cerner has a substantial UK presence, in part owing to its legacy relationship with BT and the subsequent contracts given out under the largely failed NPfIT program. These customers do use Millennium and the company has grown this business in recent years. To date, Cerner has an installed base of 26 trusts in the UK, up from 22 in 2019, and has had success upscaling these contracts to include products such as HealtheIntent. It has also grown the number of acute trusts served. For example, in 2018 it won contracts with The Countess of Chester Hospital National Health Service Foundation Trust, previously using MEDITECH, and Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals. In 1Q 2020, Cerner was selected by two NHS Foundations Trusts (Ashford and St Peter’s Hospital and Royal Surrey) to implement a shared Millennium EHR system, which should support a more coordinated care approach between the two organizations.
Elsewhere in Europe, Cerner expanded its Nordic business recently with large contracts in Region Skäne and Västra Götalandsregionen (both in Sweden) during 2018 and 2019. Cerner was chosen as the preferred EMR supplier for Central Finland (four of 19 sote-areas) and will have the opportunity to expand the contract to other surrounding regions in the mid-long term. However, it lost its Norwegian footprint to Epic when it chose not to bid when the Helse Midt-Norge (Central region) contract was renewed in 2019.
The company has also seen success in the Middle East, particularly in the UAE, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia. However, growth has been more subdued over recent years. In the UAE, it has large contracts with the Ministry of Health and Prevention (MOHAP) and Abu Dhabi department of health (HAAD). Whilst Cerner already has a significant footprint in Saudi, e.g. King Faisal Hospital, the country is still relatively untapped in terms of deployment of digital solutions and offers Cerner a good future growth opportunity.
In Asia Cerner has been successful in Australia, winning state/territory-wide EHR contracts in both Queensland and New South Wales (the only vendor to win two state/territory-wide contracts), and also had success in other states/territories where procurement is decentralized. Cerner was aiming to add a third centralized Australian contract to its customer base, namely ACT Health (Capital Territory), but was unsuccessful in a head-to-head with Epic, which was selected as the chosen partner in July 2020. Cerner aims to push its PHM solution (HealtheIntent) through its existing state-level contracts where it already has a presence with Millennium.
Most of Cerner’s non-US business in the Americas is in Canada where approximately 100 hospitals are estimated to be using its solution. Here it faces competition from the other leading US vendors such as MEDITECH, Epic, Allscripts, and also local vendor Telus.
In summary, Cerner has broadly made a success of its international business. It tops the market share table in several of its international geographies and it has done this while broadly maintaining the margins achieved with its US business. However, Cerner’s divestiture of the legacy Siemens business in Germany/Spain, and withdrawal from Norway (Central region), will reduce the size of its European business. Cerner also faces an increasing threat from EMEA competitor Dedalus, whose recent acquisitions of Agfa Health’s EHR and integrated care business, and DXC’s healthcare provider business (deal to close in March 2021), could impact Cerner’s position as acute EHR market leader in EMEA moving forwards.
Allscripts’ international revenues witnessed a substantial rise in real terms (up by 34% versus 2018) and as a share of overall business in 2019. This was partly due to a strong performance in the UK with existing customer sales, and new contract wins in New Zealand, Qatar, Philippines, and Saudi Arabia. The impact of COVID-19 on Allscripts’ total revenues was comparatively significant (versus Cerner and MEDITECH), with declines of 9% and 6% respectively in 2Q 2020 and 1H 2020. It is estimated that these declines predominantly impacted North American revenues, whereas international revenues suffered to a lesser extent.
Canada had historically been its largest market outside the US accounting for just under a third of its non-US business, however, its share fell by six percentage points from 2018 to 23% in 2019, largely owing to the growth of its business in the UK and Australia, which are estimated to now be broadly similar in size to Canada.
In Canada, it is a top-five player, but lagging someway behind MEDITECH, Cerner, and Epic in terms of hospital installations. Allscripts continues to steadily grow its Canadian business with a focus on selling added functionality/upgrades to long-standing customers in three provinces (Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and New Brunswick). It aims to expand its Canadian coverage by securing the contract with Nova Scotia province in 2H 2020.
Success in EMEA was mainly driven by wins in the UK, which included two Sunrise clinical wrap contracts along with several added-value solutions for existing client systems. In May 2019, Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust selected Allscripts to provide a clinical wrap around InterSystems’ PAS. This was rolled out to the entire Trusts’ inpatient wards in March 2020 and represented the fifth clinical wrap around another vendor’s PAS in the UK. In the UK it serves 18 acute trusts (only Cerner, DXC, and SystemC are estimated to serve more).
Much of the company’s UK footprint was built from its acquisition of Oasis Medical Solutions six years ago. However, it has slowly built on this foundation adding new acute trust customers and upgrading many from the legacy Oasis PAS solution to Sunrise and other Allscripts’ solutions such as dbMotion – although perhaps at a slower rate than hoped. Besides the UK and Italy (where it has one Sunrise contract) Allscripts does not have immediate plans for Sunrise expansion in mainland Europe. However, countries that are attempting to implement integrated data-sharing programs (e.g. France, Germany, and Italy), offer Allscripts potential markets for its dbMotion solution.
Allscripts also achieved growth in the Middle East, fuelled by a contract win in March 2020 with Qatar’s Alfardan Medical / Northwestern Medicine for Sunrise. Allscripts has been working on opportunities across Saudi Arabia, UAE, Oman, Qatar, and Kuwait, with different strategies for each country. For example, Oman has a relatively low level of digital healthcare maturity and is being targeted with EMR solutions, whereas relatively mature health markets (e.g. UAE and Qatar) are being targeted with PHM/dbMotion.
Its entry into the Oceania market was also largely via acquisition (Core Medical Solutions in 2016). Core Medical Solutions was a leading player in the smaller hospital and private hospital markets in Australia. Allscripts has added to this legacy with a state-wide Sunrise EHR contract in South Australia (although deployment has not been without its challenges). Sunrise has been implemented in Royal Adelaide Hospital, South Australia Health and Medical Research Center, University of Adelaide, and the University of South Australia.
In 4Q 2019 Allscripts added South Australia’s largest regional hospital network, Mt Gambier, to its coverage. It also had success selling its Sunrise solution outside of this state-wide contract (e.g. Gippsland Health Alliance in Victoria in 2018) and in 2019 its footprint expanded into New Zealand.
In terms of its broader Asian strategy, the company recently split its Asian business into two sub-businesses, ASEAN and ANZ, indicating it sees opportunities beyond its existing Singapore footprint in South East Asia. This has been supported by 2019 wins in the Philippines. In less digitally mature countries, the BOSSNet EHR solution it obtained via the Core Medical Solutions acquisition offers a potential route to offering a more entry-level EHR solution compared to Sunrise.
At just 4.0% of revenues in 2019, international remains a relatively niche business for Allscripts. To some extent the company needs to decide where it wants to take this business. Relying on organic growth in the regions it currently serves is unlikely to move the dial far from this 4.0% figure over the next five years. A significant change is likely only via acquisition, something the company has not shied from in the past. However, should it focus on cementing its position in existing markets or expansion into new? Given it is not a top-two vendor in any of its current geographies outside the US, acquisition to cement its position in existing markets would make more sense than further expansion into new geographies.
Historically, there have been two major points of entry into new geography for EHR vendors; either through a partnership to gain expertise and ‘localize’ a solution or through the acquisition of a local vendor (as with Cerner and Allscripts earlier). Both have their challenges, with partnerships often being slow to progress and acquisition resulting in the long-term support, and in some instances a significant burden of a legacy solution (e.g. Cerner is still supporting several legacy Siemens EHR solutions nearly six years after announcing its acquisition plans and most of Allscripts’ UK customers are not using Sunrise).
Examples where vendors have taken on large regional projects without sufficient ‘localization’, have often resulted in projects not meeting expectations and negatively affecting both vendors and providers alike. To some extent, Epic has suffered from this with several of its non-US deployments, in particular in the UK (e.g. Cambridge University Hospitals in 2015) and more recently in Denmark (regional contracts in the Zealand region and Capital Region) and Finland (regional contract in the Apotti Region).
Epic has not made acquisitions to enter its international markets and in all these examples EHR implementations have not met expectations and have either had to be scaled back, delayed, or required a significant amount of remedial action. The main criticism is often not enough ‘localization’ before deployment. That said Epic has had success elsewhere internationally, with less controversy surrounding its deployments in DACH, Netherlands, Middle East, and Singapore. In Canada, it is estimated to be the market leader in terms of revenues and second only to MEDITECH in terms of hospital deployments.
Epic has increased its focus on international expansion in recent years with incremental increases in revenue. However, it needs to improve on implementation/execution or future opportunities may be limited. The fact it was the only vendor to hit the preselection criteria in Norway for the Helse Midt-Norge contract which it won in 1Q 2019 (replacing Cerner) suggests that progress has perhaps been made on this front.
Historically Epic has struggled to win any Australian state/territory-wide deployments where Cerner, Allscripts, and InterSystems have been successful. However, Epic strengthened its position by winning its first state contract in July 2020 – a $151m deal for the Australian Capital Territory (ACT Health). This was also significant due to it being the first time the Capital Territory had centralized contracting.
At 12% of 2019 revenue, MEDITECH had the highest proportion of non-US sales of all the vendors analyzed in this insight. However, the overwhelming majority of this was from Canada, where it is estimated to be the market leader in terms of the number of hospital installations (although in terms of revenues it is smaller than Epic, Cerner, and Allscripts). Of approximately $60M in non-US sales in 2019, nearly $50M is estimated to have been from Canada. Non-US revenue share was down marginally from 13% in 2018 and in absolute revenues (-7%) due to a fall in Canadian revenues (-8%), whereas revenue from other international markets was marginally up (+1%).
In early 2018 MEDITECH announced the release of its cloud-based EHR, Expanse. MEDITECH has since been rolling out its cloud-based EHR to new customers and replacing its legacy hosted Magic solution for existing customers. This will ease some of the costs and time associated with implementing the solution, which should make it more competitive. In addition, the data hosted on the cloud will make it easier to drive interoperability through a Health Information Exchange, further increasing its attractiveness for provider networks.
Implementation delays caused by COVID-19 contributed toward MEDITECH’s total revenue declining by 3% in 2Q 2020 (versus 2Q 2019). However, a strong international performance in 1Q 2020 (estimated revenue up by c.25%) was driven by new Expanse installations in Canada (including Ontario Mental Health Hospital), leading to 1H 2020 revenues rising by almost 10% (versus 1H 2019).
Approximately 2% of MEDITECH’s business comes from outside North America, a trend that has remained relatively unchanged for several years. As with Epic, Cerner and Allscripts, a significant proportion of its non-American business is in other English-speaking countries, such as the UK/Ireland (22 customers in the UK and 3 in Ireland – mainly public/private sector hospitals), South Africa (24 hospitals) and Australia (72 private hospitals). In the UK it is a second-tier vendor providing EHR solutions to a small number of NHS trusts (low double-digit). Despite a concerted push into the UK, with the acquisition of Centennial (its UK distributor and system integrator) and the official formation of MEDITECH UK in 2018, the number of trusts served decreased with Cerner taking Chester NHS Trust from MEDITECH in 2018.
The company has had considerable success in Africa, selling solutions in 12 countries including Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, and Uganda. In September 2019, it partnered with Aga Khan University for a new 2020 deployment of Expanse in South African and Kenya, and subsequent deployment in Pakistan. Contracts in Kuwait and the UAE result in the whole MEA region accounting for a sizable share of its non-North American business.
MEDITECH’s international business mirrors its US business to some extent. It has one of the largest installed bases of hospitals worldwide, but predominantly small hospitals, and often in countries where spend per bed is low; it is also typically not upselling beyond core EHR, meaning that its international revenues, particularly when Canada is excluded, remain small.
In Signify Research’s latest global EHR analysis, it was estimated that the US accounted for nearly two-thirds of global EHR sales in 2019, so for these four vendors it must remain the key priority. However, the US is forecast to be one of the slowest growing EHR markets over the next five years as it approaches saturation, particularly for core-EHR products in the acute market. Further, the acute market in the US has now broadly consolidated around these four vendors meaning opportunities for gains in share through replacement is increasingly rare – the long tail has gone.
The geographic expansion offers a potential avenue to drive growth. However, it is not easy and there are plenty of pitfalls. Localizing solutions, acquiring local vendors, displacing local incumbents, aligning products to match government requirements and projects, and putting in place local implementation, project management, and support teams all require significant time and investment. Because of this, the global market remains highly fragmented and market share change is slow. However, for the big four discussed in this insight, ignoring the international opportunity will significantly limit long-term growth; so despite slow and sometimes painful progress, we expect it to remain a priority.
About Arun Gill, Senior Analyst at Signify View
Arun Gil is a Senior Market Analyst at Signify Research, a UK-based market research firm focusing on health IT, digital health, and medical imaging. Arun joined Signify Research in 2019 as part of the Digital Health team focusing on EHR/EMR, integrated care technology, and telehealth. He brings with him 10 years’ experience as a Senior Market Analyst covering the consumer tech and imaging industry with Futuresource Consulting and NetGrowth Consultants.
– New Chilmark Research report on revenue integrity
in healthcare reveals a transitional market making strides to address the new
burdens of modern care economics.
– The ongoing COVID-19 public health emergency underscores
the imperative need for automation and reduced administrative costs even
has and continues to be one of the most difficult challenges in healthcare.
These issues manifest in the claims process of submission, appeal, and
remittance, but the causes are found much earlier in clinical workflows. Rather
than think of these as separate issues, they should all be considered under a
broader category of revenue integrity. The latest report from Chilmark Research,
Revenue Integrity in Healthcare: Solutions Driving Payment Performance,
reveals a market in flux as new technologies are applied to old problems,
increasingly complicated by contracts that include performance and reporting
Modern Revenue Integrity Solutions Can Improve Financial
New software and platforms can accelerate, automate, and
improve the accuracy of these activities. Automated outreach, demographic and
eligibility checking, computer-assisted coding, natural-language processing,
and more traditional revenue cycle platforms.
These tools are offered by:
– Electronic Health Records (EHRs)
– Independent Platforms
– Best-of-Breed Solutions from outside the Revenue Integrity
space, but with powerful tools to address payment needs
These activities are essential for healthcare enterprises of
all sizes, scopes, and specialties. They are needed whether the organization is
primarily concerned with fee-for-service (FFS) reimbursement or value-based care (VBC).
The ongoing COVID-19 public health emergency has made the need for automation
and reduced administrative costs even clearer. With appointment volumes
dropping, provider organizations are faced with the need for reliable, accurate
payments for their care activities more than ever. These solutions are equally
valuable for traditional provider care and for modern virtual care solutions
“Accounting and revenue cycle work can never fix these issues. They need to be addressed where they occur and prevented from showing up in revenue cycle in the first place. One mistake in patient registration that was easy to fix can cause millions in complicated denials down the road.”– Lead Analyst Alex Lennox-Miller
Each type of solution (EHR, Platform, Best of Breed) is
evaluated based on how they address the needs of provider enterprises. The
report reviews the current state of the market, the maturity of solutions, and
the strengths and weaknesses of each solution type. While the current market is
valued at more than $20 billion, projections within the report show its
expected growth to nearly $35 billion in the next five years. The report shows
which segments of this market can expect annual growth rates exceeding 10% and
which will slow to under 2.5%.
Profile of Leading Revenue Integrity Vendors
In addition to the categorical analyses, this report includes 13 profiles of major and promising vendors: 3M, Allscripts, athenahealth, Cerner, Change Healthcare, Hayes|MDAudit, Medicomp Systems, Optum, PatientMatters, RevSpring, Sift, and ZOLL. Each profile includes an assessment of the vendor’s strengths and challenges, detailed descriptions and evaluations of the product capabilities and market execution, and rankings across 24 categories.
Managers and directors of healthcare organizations looking
for ways to address revenue cycle issues, lower clean claims rates, or improve
strategic revenue projections will appreciate the report’s clear breakdown of
vendor offerings and the impacts on their clinical and non-clinical staff.
Payers, including self-insured employers, and other organizations interested in
the total cost of care will find the market overview and product evaluations of
great value, helping them understand the tools and challenges their partner
organizations will be using.
– Cerner announces a commitment to help expand COVID-19 testing at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) across the U.S through a partnership with Testing for America.
– As part of the partnership, Cerner will serve as the national technology partner for a return to school effort led by the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) and The United Negro College Fund (UNCF). The strategic initiative aims to support HBCUs in their COVID-19 testing of students, faculty, and staff to help safely reopen campuses.
– Cerner recognizes the COVID-19 pandemic underscores the need for people of all races, colors, and socio-economic backgrounds to have access to quality health care and is proud to partner in this important initiative.
Cerner Corporation® announced it will serve as the technology partner in partnership with non-profit Testing for America and others, including the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) and The United Negro College Fund (UNCF), to support Historically Black Colleges and Universities’ (HBCUs) efforts to offer rapid, consistent and affordable COVID-19 testing for students, faculty, and staff. Testing for America and its collaborators are helping these academic institutions develop comprehensive reopening safety strategies and linking them to lab partners and other support in the hopes of helping them safety return to classes.
Why It Matters
The effort to support HBCUs comes as communities of color
around the nation are disproportionately impacted by the economic and health
effects of the novel coronavirus. Testing of everyone on campus is one tool in
an overall safety plan to help identify and contain the virus, often spread by
asymptomatic carriers, and to help the campuses of HBCUs, which will serve a
vital role in our nation’s recovery.
Cerner’s interoperable technology can be employed to make sure each COVID-19 test result is reported directly to the student, faculty, and staff member, as well as their physicians, for better, seamless medical care coordination and guidance and to all required public health agencies.
Importance of HBCUs Talent Infrastructure
This country’s HBCUs are a vital part of our national talent infrastructure. Our 101 HBCUs are responsible for 23% of all black college graduates, 60% of engineers, and 70% of doctors. Notably, they also have just one-eighth of the endowment of their non-HBCU counterparts. Cerner recognizes the COVID-19 pandemic underscores the need for people of all races, colors, and socio-economic backgrounds to have access to quality health care and is proud to partner in this important initiative.
“The nationwide effort to provide access to COVID-19 testing
holds the promise to be a key pillar of the safe return to campus for these
essential institutions. We are excited to have Cerner’s technology help scale
this important initiative.”
“Robust testing protocols will help give the university community more confidence in coming back and will support our comprehensive approach to reopening,” said Tony Allen, president, Delaware State University. “We want to ensure that the kind of space so many of our students call home is perceived as a safe one, so that they can continue their education without pause.”
– Cerner launches a new Command Center dashboard to help organizations visualize and optimize operations in a centralized location by leveraging real-time data and predictive analytics to provide situational awareness and decision support during COVID-19.
– Powered by AI and predictive models, helps organizations align patient needs, staffing, and resources to improve care and operational efficiency.
Healthcare IT leader Cerner recently launched a new tool to help organizations visualize and optimize operations in a centralized location by leveraging real-time data and predictive analytics to provide situational awareness and decision support. The Cerner Command Center dashboard, powered by AI and predictive models, helps organizations align patient needs, staffing, and resources to improve care and operational efficiency.
Helping Provider Manage Operational Efficiency During COVID-19
The need for healthcare systems to have situational awareness has never been greater. To help organizations manage operational efficiency during COVID-19, Cerner offered and is offering rapid deployment of the Cerner Command Center dashboard. The Cerner Command Center culminates people, processes, and technology into a single physical space to execute collaborative decision-making and workflows supporting the improvement of patient throughput. This approach focuses on patients — aligning the patient with the appropriate caregiver, in the right place, at the right time. The Cerner Command Center centralizes operational solutions that provide situational awareness and trigger the team to take immediate action when needed.
features of the Cerner Command Center include:
data and predictive analytics to provide health systems clear line of sight
into critical resources such as available beds or equipment in order to respond
to patient needs and plan for the next.
– visualize key clinical and operational metrics in a centralized location, aligning throughput, staffing, and resources to optimize operations and drive action.
– standardized and near real-time dashboard that is accessible to the right staff at the right time can be used for making important operational decisions that can help facilitate the delivery of quality care to patients, support transformational change, and predictable operational excellence.
Deployment at Northern Light Health
Northern Light Health in Maine was the first health
system to deploy the Cerner Command Center dashboard, as
part of its COVID-19 response. The ability to capture and display real-time
data and analytics has been vital for Northern Light Health to effectively
address managing bed capacity and care activities during this health
crisis. With a cloud-based machine learning ecosystem, Cerner used
3 years of historical data from Northern Light Health to go beyond the current
and predict operational needs in the near future.
Xealth, a company whose platform makes it easy to prescribe digital health tools and integrate them with patients’ health records, struck a partnership with Cerner. Both Cerner and LRVHealth invested $6 million into the startup.
– Siemens Healthineers and Varian Medical announce a $16.4B deal in an all-cash transaction on 2nd August 2020.
– Deal expected to close in 1H 2021.
– Varian Medical will maintain its brand name and operate “independently”
– Siemens AG will drop holding in Siemens Healthineers from 85% to 72% as part of the transaction.
News of the deal between Siemens Healthineers and Varian Medical will have caught many industry onlookers off guard on Sunday evening. Flotation of the Healthineers business segment on the German stock market raised a few eyebrows back in 2017, but with Siemens AG retaining 85% of the stock, many observers postulated little change to the fortunes of the well-known business; an unwieldy technical hardware leader facing an uphill battle in an increasingly digital market.
However, the Varian deal has just made it very clear that Siemens Healthineers has emerged from the IPO with big ambitions and firepower to match. So, what does this mean for the future?
Three benefits of the deal are clear at first glance. Firstly, Siemens Healthineers will be adding an additional mature product set to its already strong modality hardware line-up. Radiation Therapy hardware (linear accelerators, or linac), is the lion’s share of Varian’s business, for which it is market leader holding over 55% of the global installed base in 2019. Combining this with Siemens’ extensive business in diagnostic imaging and diagnostics will create a product line-up that no major peer can today match. It also opens up opportunities for providing “end-to-end” oncology solutions (imaging, diagnostics, and therapy) under one vendor, a strong play in a market where health providers are increasingly looking to limit supply chain complexity and explore long-term managed service deals with fewer vendors.
Secondly, Varian is operating in a relatively exclusive market, with its only main competition coming from market peers Elekta and Accuray Inc. Demand for linacs has been consistently improving in recent years, with Varian suggesting only two-thirds of the Total Addressable Market (TAM) for Radiation Therapy has been catered for so far. The acquisition, therefore, opens a new growth market for Siemens Healthineers to offset the gradual slowing demand for its advanced imaging modality (MRI, CT) business, a more competitive and mature segment. The adoption of Radiation Therapy in emerging markets such as China and India is also well behind advanced imaging modalities, offering new greenfield opportunities near term, a rarity in most of Siemens Healthineers’ core markets.
Thirdly, Varian has grown to a size where progressing to the next level of growth will require substantial investment in operations and new market channels. Revenue growth over the last five years has been patchy, though gross margin remains strong for this sector. If Siemens can leverage its far larger operational and sales network and apply it to Varian’s product segments, none of Varian’s current main competitors will have the resources to compete, unless acquired by another major healthcare technology vendor.
The Digital Gem
While the Radiation Therapy hardware business has gained the most attention for its potential impact on Siemens Healthineers’ business, Varian’s software business is arguably its most valuable jewel, hitting almost $600m and 18% YoY growth in FY19.
Many healthcare providers have become increasingly beleaguered by the challenges of digitalization today, especially in terms of complex integration of diagnostic and clinical applications across the healthcare system. This frustration is especially common in Oncology, which sits at the convergence of major departmental and enterprise IT systems, including the EMR, laboratory, radiology, and surgical segments.
Changing models of care provision towards multidisciplinary collaboration for diagnosis and care have only intensified focus on fixing this issue, with some preferring single-vendor offerings for major clinical or diagnostic departments. The Varian software suite is one of the few premium full-featured oncology IT portfolios available today, competing mostly against main rival Elekta, generalist oncology information system modules from EMR vendors (few of which have the same capability) and a host of smaller standalone specialist IT vendors.
For Siemens Healthineers, the Varian software asset is a great fit. Siemens has for some time been gradually changing direction in its digital strategy, away from large enterprise data management segments towards more targeted diagnostic and operational products. This process began with the sale of its EMR business to Cerner for $1.3B back in 2015, with notably reduced marketing focus and bidding or deal activity on big imaging management deals (PACS, VNA etc.) in North America in recent years.
Instead, Siemens Healthineers has channeled its digital efforts on three main areas where it has specialist capabilities: advanced visualization and access to artificial intelligence for image analysis; digitalization of advanced imaging hardware modalities, including driving efficiency for fleet management and radiology operations; and lab diagnostics automation. While still early in this transformation, this approach is tapping into the main challenges facing most healthcare providers today; improving clinical outcomes at a net neutral or reduced cost, better managing and reducing Total Cost of Ownership (TCO), and implementing autonomous technology to augment clinical and diagnostic practice.
Assuming integration with Siemens’ broader portfolio is not too bumpy, it is already clear how the different software assets of the Varian business sit well with Siemens’ digital strategy. The Aria Oncology Information System platform will provide an entry point for Siemens to build on clinical outcome improvement in Oncology (along with Noona/360 Oncology) while also integrating diagnostic content from the Siemens syngo imaging and AI-radiology applications. Further, with growing attention on operational software to support modality fleet services and radiology operations, Siemens could translate this business into RT linac fleet management, an area currently underserved.
With no competing vendor today able to match this capability in Oncology IT, the potential long-term benefits for Siemens’ digital strategy with Varian far outweigh the risks of integration.
From Morph Suits to Moon-shots
As alluded to in our introduction, perhaps most intriguing is the bullish signal Siemens Healthineers has made to its customers and the wider market about its future.
The Healthineers 2025 strategy identified three clear stages of transformation, with “reinforcing the core portfolio” the key aspect of the 2017-2019 post IPO. In the second phase “upgrading” the business focused on pushing up growth targets and earnings per share across all segments while adding capabilities in allied markets.
Judged against the criteria for the “upgrading” phase, the Varian deal has ticked all the boxes, perhaps clarifying why Siemens was willing to pay a premium:
The scale of the deal has also reinforced that the gradual untethering of Siemens Healthineers from its corporate parent Siemens AG is bearing fruit, both in terms of flexibility to deal-make and the ability to use the financial firepower of its majority shareholder for competitive gain.
The deal, once completed in 1H 2021, also now puts Siemens Healthineers in an exclusive club of medical technology companies with annual revenues above $20B, with a potential position as the third-largest public firm globally (based on 2019 revenues, behind Medtronic and Johnson and Johnson).
It is therefore hard to argue that the Varian acquisition can be viewed as anything but positive for Siemens Healthineers. Given the current impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and expected challenging economic legacy, the growth potential of Varian will help to smooth the expected mid-term dip in some core business over the next few years.
Yet it is the intention and message that Siemens Healthineers is sending with the Varian acquisition that has is perhaps most impressive; despite the turmoil and challenges facing markets today, it fundamentally believes in its strategy to reinvent its healthcare business and target precision medicine long term.
Its major competitors should sit up and take note; Siemens Healthineers is fast re-establishing itself as a leading force within healthcare technology. The morph suits of the “Healthineers” brand launch was just one small step on this journey; the Varian acquisition is going to be one great leap.
About Steve Holloway
Steve Holloway is the Director at Signify Research, an independent supplier of market intelligence and consultancy to the global healthcare technology industry. Steve has 9 years of experience in healthcare technology market intelligence, having served as Senior Analyst at InMedica (part of IMS Research) and Associate Director for IHS Inc.’s Healthcare Technology practice. Steve’s areas of expertise include healthcare IT and medical Imaging.
– Cerner and Xealth announce a collaboration to foster
tighter physician-patient relationships by giving patients easier access to
digital health tools.
– These assets will be prescribed directly within the physician’s EHR workflow to manage conditions including chronic diseases, behavioral health, maternity care, and surgery preparation.
– Cerner and LRVHealth have together invested $6 million
in Xealth as part of this agreement, with Cerner and Xealth planning to jointly
develop digital health solutions that extend the value of the EHR.
– Already integrated into Epic, the integration puts
Xealth in the EHR of record for more than half of the U.S. hospital systems.
Xealth, a Seattle, WA-based company enabling digital
health at scale, and Cerner
Corporation, today announced a collaboration that will bring digital
health tools to clinicians and patients to improve the healthcare experience.
As part of this agreement, Cerner and Xealth plan to jointly develop digital health
solutions that extend the value of the electronic health record
(EHR). Already integrated into Epic, this integration puts Xealth in
the EHR of record for more than half of the U.S. hospital systems.
In addition, Cerner
and LRVHealth have together invested $6M in Xealth. Cerner joins Xealth
investors including Atrium Health, Cleveland Clinic, Froedtert and the Medical College of Wisconsin, MemorialCare Innovation Fund, Providence
Ventures and UPMC as well as McKesson, Novartis, Philips, and ResMed.
At its core, the
relationship between Xealth and Cerner aims to give patients their own digital
data so they can be more engaged in their treatment plans. The Xealth platform
is designed to help clinicians easily integrate, prescribe and monitor digital health
tools for patients from one location in the EHR. Care teams will be able to
order solutions directly from the EHR to manage conditions including chronic
diseases, behavioral health, maternity care and surgery preparation. Incorporating Xealth into Cerner’s technology and patient portal
provides easier access to personal health information and gives care teams the
ability to monitor patient engagement with the tools and analyze the effects of
increased engagement on their healthcare and recovery.
between Cerner and Xealth will provide care teams and patients convenience and
help improve care accessibility. Better communications and engagement with key
members of their care team will create an experience that is connected across
settings before, during and after a care encounter.
Why It Matters
During the recent
surge of COVID-19 across the world, tools that automate patient education,
deliver virtual care, support telehealth and offer remote patient monitoring
have become even more prominent, creating new methods to inform care decisions
and keep care teams and patients connected.
“Today, we have the unique opportunity to improve people’s lives by allowing active participation in their own treatment plans,” said David Bradshaw, Senior Vice President, Consumer and Employer Solutions, Cerner. “Patients want greater access to their health information and are motivated to help care teams find the most appropriate road to recovery. Xealth and Cerner are making it easier and more convenient for patients and clinicians to accelerate healthcare in a more consumer-centric experience.”
digital health platform with clinician recommendations has been shown to
increase patient engagement rates as compared to a direct to consumer approach.
The company powers more than 30 digital health solutions, connecting patients
with educational content, remote patient monitoring, virtual care platforms,
e-commerce product recommendations and other services needed to improve health
“In order for digital health to have lasting impact, it needs to show value and ease for both the care team and patient,” said Mike McSherry, CEO and Co-Founder of Xealth. “We strongly believe that technology should nurture deeper patient-provider relationships and facilitate information sharing across systems and the care settings. It is exciting work with Cerner to simplify meaningful digital health for its health partners.”
“Combining our expertise in developing interactive digital solutions that improve the patient experience with Cerner’s world-class platforms creates immense opportunity for our clients to better meet the needs of today’s highly connected healthcare consumer,” concluded McSherry.
– Cerner expands its AI collaboration with Nuance to
provide joint customers with more advanced natural language virtual assistant
technology to navigate electronic health records (EHRs) using just
their voice, giving clinicians more time to spend with patients and less time
with a computer.
– As part of the expanded collaboration, Nuance will
offer Cerner deeply embedded virtual assistant technology that
delivers sophisticated conversational dialogues and skills to automate
high-value clinical tasks inside Cerner Millennium, such as chart
search, navigation, intelligent computerized physician order entry (CPOE), and
Communications, Inc. today announced that it has expanded its
long-standing AI collaboration with Cerner
to include the integration of Nuance’s virtual assistant technology into
the Cerner Millennium® electronic health record
(EHR). Building upon the existing integration between Nuance’s Dragon®
Medical platform and Cerner Millennium, joint clients can utilize
Nuance’s advanced natural language virtual assistant technology to navigate the
EHR using just their voice, giving clinicians more time to spend with their
patients and less time with their computer.
COVID-19 Underscores Importance of Addressing Physician
The expanded Nuance-Cerner relationship is driven by the healthcare industry’s need to mitigate what the World Medical Association is calling a “pandemic of physician burnout” with 51 percent of physicians reporting frequent or constant feelings of burnout. This is caused by a staggering administrative workload of electronic paperwork to document patient care and to meet requirements for insurance coverage, financial reimbursement, and medicolegal liability protection.
Research shows that more than 80 percent of physicians believe virtual assistants in health care can reduce the burden on care teams and improve the patient experience. Nuance’s virtual assistant technology helps physicians rapidly accomplish tasks and communicate more naturally while allowing them to use specialized medical terminology across a range of devices and applications with high accuracy.
Virtual Assistant Platform Integration Benefits
Nuance’s deeply embedded virtual assistant technology delivers sophisticated conversational dialogues and skills that automate high-value clinical tasks inside Cerner Millennium, such as chart search, navigation, intelligent computerized physician order entry (CPOE), and scheduling. Nuance technology’s high accuracy rates, rich set of voice-activated skills and ability to understand the user’s intent in context provides higher levels of workflow automation, and more efficient and complete documentation of patient care. Additionally, Nuance’s pre-built, HIPAA-compliant natural language understanding models and cloud platform will support Cerner to deploy the solution quickly and easily to joint clients.
“Together with Cerner, we’re bringing the next level of conversational AI directly to our joint clients with the goals of improving patient experiences, combating clinician burnout, and reducing costs,” said Joe Petro, CTO, Nuance. “Building on our Dragon Medical platform, already used by over 550,000 physicians in the U.S. alone, our new virtual assistant technology will help deliver solutions that automate time-consuming tasks, eliminate inefficiencies, and bring clinical intelligence and better decision-support to clinicians at the point of care.”
Select joint Cerner and Nuance clients can expect
to start deploying this integrated virtual assistant technology late this
– The latest Chilmark Research report examines how data-oriented APIs are contributing to development and integration efforts across healthcare from the perspective of the developer.
– Reeling from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and
seeking more effective ways to implement new functionality, healthcare
enterprises of all kinds are looking to alternatives for prevailing development
and integration practices.
Outside healthcare, the ascendance of
data access and integration facilitated by application programming interfaces
(APIs) is the culmination of decades of technology evolution and implementation
lessons with distributed applications. Across the SaaS landscape in particular,
APIs have become the preferred method for accessing data and conducting
transactions across applications and organizations. Developers recognize and
appreciate the value of loosely coupling their applications and data, wherever
each is located.
Inside healthcare, many enterprises are
hesitant on the topic of APIs, seeing them as too big a leap from established,
successful software practices. But they also recognize that eliminating the
need for hard-coded interfaces that must be re-implemented every time an
application or its underlying data changes will deliver higher programmer
productivity and more-responsive applications.
Traditional Integration Methods Fall
Conventional development and
integration approaches proved cumbersome and slow in efforts to contribute to
understanding or responding to the current health crisis. Unlocking more value
from the data scattered across healthcare communities is — post-COVID-19 —
a critical element in clinical and
“Enterprises across healthcare were already wrestling with challenging market forces and government mandates,” says Brian Murphy, the report’s lead author and analyst. “Open APIs will play a central role for providers, payers, or any healthcare enterprises that intend to better utilize their data and pursue development efforts that make them — and the broader healthcare community — more responsive and adaptable to the demands of a post-pandemic healthcare system.”
Developers Require Accessible Data
Developers find data wherever they can from among a large
and confusing mix of data holders and associated vendors. This report
identifies the sources where different kinds of health-related data are most
likely to be API-accessible. It shows how APIs are already contributing to
development and integration efforts across healthcare and estimates the much
larger potential of widespread adoption.
This report includes detailed profiles on 20 public and
private organizations and their offerings, including 1upHealth, 4Medica,
Allscripts, Apple, Athenahealth, Availity, Blue Button 2.0, Cerner, Change
Healthcare, Datica, Epic, Human API, Meditech, NextGen, NCPDP, Particle Health,
The Sequoia Project, Redox, Surescripts, and Validic.
– Holon and Cerner announced a partnership
to advance the delivery of relevant patient insights to providers when they
need it most.
– Holon and Cerner will deploy patented
technology that automatically delivers contextually relevant patient information
from Cerner’s HealtheIntent® population health platform, which
is EHR-agnostic, directly to clinicians in their workflow to inform care
one of health care’s most advanced knowledge delivery companies, and Cerner Corporation, announced
they are joining forces to accelerate the seamless delivery of critical patient
information to providers. Working together, Holon and Cerner will
deploy patented technology that automatically delivers contextually relevant
patient information from Cerner’s HealtheIntent® population
health platform directly to clinicians in their workflow to inform care
Advancing Value-Based Care Success
Simply having access to patient data is not enough for
today’s providers, especially those caring for at-risk patients through
value-based care arrangements. With mounting clinical and administrative
demands, providers do not have time to search through multiple systems for critical
patient information. To optimize clinical decision-making, treatment planning
and care delivery, Holon and Cerner are bringing providers curated,
patient-specific knowledge directly into their workflows during a care episode
to improve outcomes and reimbursements.
Holon’s CollaborNet® patented technologies sense provider workflow activity
and automatically surface relevant patient information from Cerner, such
as gaps in care, to providers in an unobtrusive “ribbon” that displays
alongside the patient chart in the provider’s EHR. The advanced
capabilities of the Holon technology are designed to support quicker and
more efficient delivery of valuable care insights without interruption for the
“Delivering critical knowledge at the point of need is the foundation of Holon’s mission in the market,” said Jon Zimmerman, CEO, Holon Solutions. “We are thrilled to be collaborating with Cerner to ensure the valuable information generated reaches providers when and where they need it – with no effort on the provider’s part – as a huge step toward better quality care, provider experience, business performance, and improving outcomes. We look forward to continuing this exciting journey with the Cerner team, their HealtheIntent clients, and provider users, as we work together to advance better healthcare for everyone.”
– Cerner announced a new offering, CommunityWorks
Foundations aimed at reducing costs and speeding up the implementation process
for Rural and Critical Access Hospitals.
– This much-needed offering caters to small rural healthcare providers, who often face challenges such as geographic isolation, workforce shortages, educational disparities, and diminishing resources that can make it harder to deliver high-quality care.
– Rural hospitals serve about 20% of all Americans, and
Cerner is committed to providing technology and services to help individuals in
all communities get access to quality comprehensive healthcare.
today announced a new tailored cloud-based technology offering, CommunityWorks Foundations, created to help
Critical Access Hospitals across the U.S. reduce financial burdens. This new
technology, geared toward smaller and rural hospitals, offers a fixed-fee
payment structure with no up-front capital spend to help reduce costs and
lengthy implementation processes.
Rapid Cloud-based Deployment
CommunityWorks Foundations, a cloud-based
version of the Cerner Millennium® electronic health record
(EHR), is designed to expedite implementation with a six-month kick-off to
go-live timeline and will make it easier for small hospitals to better serve their
As with all hospitals deploying CommunityWorks, those using CommunityWorks Foundations will also leverage Cerner’s solutions and services designed to help improve clinical and business outcomes, the patient and provider experience and satisfaction while reducing physician burnout. CommunityWorks clients have seen success, with more than 70% of new clients beating baseline accounts receivable by 180 days post-implementation. These hospitals averaged a 5.5% improvement in this area.
Why It Matters
Healthcare providers in small communities often face challenges such as geographic isolation, workforce shortages, educational disparities, and diminishing resources that can make it harder to deliver high-quality care. The National Rural Health Association found COVID-19 has exacerbated these trends, with significant financial impact on these specialty hospitals – half of which were operating at a financial loss prior to the pandemic. Rural hospitals serve about 20% of all Americans, and Cerner is committed to providing technology and services to help individuals in all communities get access to quality comprehensive health care.
“Working with this segment of clients for more than a decade, we have evolved this cloud-based model to meet the various challenges community and rural health care organizations face,” said Mitchell Clark, president, CommunityWorks, Cerner. “CommunityWorks Foundations is the next evolution based on what we’ve learned from our more than 200 rural and critical access clients and the broader industry. It is built to help reduce financial barriers and better support communities that sometimes face challenges accessing the most innovative health care technology.”
With the successful early adoption of CommunityWorks Foundations
at organizations like Macon
Community Hospital, Cerner continues to demonstrate value to clients.
Johnson County Hospital (JCH), an 18-bed Critical Access Hospital with two
clinics located in southeast Nebraska, recently signed for CommunityWorks Foundations.
Hospital leaders cite cost, ease of implementation and vendor support as top
drivers behind the switch to Cerner.
– Cerner and long-time client Banner Health announced
a new deal to implement a comprehensive suite of revenue cycle management
solutions as part of a long-standing strategic alignment to use health care
technology to drive population health improvement.
– The revenue cycle integration will take place across
Banner Health’s entire system, including 28 hospitals and clinics in six
Banner Health and Cerner,
today announced it is expanding its
relationship to implement an end-to-end, comprehensive suite of revenue cycle
management (RCM) solutions, building on a multi-year, long-standing
strategic alignment using health care technology to drive population health
improvement. The revenue cycle integration is designed to streamline and
simplify the clinician and patient experience across Banner Health’s entire
system, including 28 hospitals and clinics in six states.
Banner Health will integrate Cerner’s registration, scheduling, patient billing, practice management solutions, and transaction services with its existing EHR on the Cerner Millenniumplatform. This integration between the revenue cycle and clinical systems will help connect a patient’s clinicals and financials to one single view across the health system ultimately streamlining billing operations and improving the overall patient experience. Cerner’s open platform also offers a way to more easily integrate third-party applications to help meet Banner Health’s specific needs.
Why It Matters
To successfully manage
business today, health systems need clinical, financial and operational data
that works together. Cerner’s clinically-drive revenue cycle solution uses a
common, single and integrated platform designed to help improve savings,
cost-effectiveness and build a healthier bottom line for health systems.
“After comprehensive planning and alignment between our two organizations, we are confident that teaming with Cerner to achieve a fully integrated revenue cycle platform will meet our business needs now and into the future,” said Dennis Laraway, CFO, Banner Health. “Building on our past successful collaborations with Cerner for mainly clinical applications, adoption of their revenue cycle management solution is now a critical next step to streamline both clinical and financial solutions for our patients across the entire Banner Health enterprise.”
expansion is expected to better position Banner Health to flexibly adapt to new
payment structures, more quickly adjust to policy and compliance changes,
better coordinate single registration between acute and ambulatory services and
centralize single-source patient charting and reporting across multiple care
“The integrated approach housed within Cerner Millennium supports a more efficient and cost-effective approach for our providers and enhances the patient care experience as their health information easily follows them across the Banner Health continuum of care,” said Laraway.