Oracle Cerner EHR rollout faces yet another hurdle. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced that the next go-live, Ann Arbor (Michigan) Healthcare System, originally scheduled for completion by July 2023, would be delayed until much later this year or even early 2024. It turns out that a key reason for the delay is that Ann Arbor is a VA research center, and there are major concerns that the EHR changeover won’t blend well with their medical research. VA Under Secretary for Health Dr. Shereef Elnahal told FedScoop during a media roundtable that “…there are many VA medical centers that are heavy with clinical research because of their academic affiliations, and so those centers will need this research functionality. It’s not just an issue with the Ann Arbor Hospital.” In the article, Dr. Elnahal also lamented that the VA health system running on two separate EHRs, VistA and Oracle Cerner, presented additional risks to security. Also FedHealthIT Hat tip to HISTalk 24 Feb
Walmart’s 32 clinics are building out their infrastructure. Working with their Epic EHR, all the clinics are now operating on the Horizon Cloud on Azure platform paired with VMware cloud infrastructure and digital workspace technology services. A blog published by VMware interviewing BreAnne Buehl, director of life sciences solutions for VMware, and David Rhew, MD, global chief medical officer at Microsoft, details the ambitions of Walmart to move beyond ‘minute clinic’ to broader primary care and chronic disease management, into proactive predictive analytics. Becker’s Hospital Review, VMWare
And on the less cheerful side:
- Beleaguered telemental health/ADHD provider/prescriber Cerebral announced another 15% layoff, cutting 285 people. It is its third layoff in one year, following a 20% cut last October. Cerebral is also closing its medication-assisted treatment (MAT) program for opioid use disorder (OUD). A Cerebral spokesperson said the decisions were made to reorganize the company to “refocus on the most important service offerings for our patients.” Another reason for the MAT program closing is the pending renewal of requiring in-person visits for certain mental health medications. For instance, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) is proposing that buprenorphine can be prescribed via telehealth for treating OUD for 30 days but then an in-person exam would be required. Last year, Cerebral faced still-unresolved DOJ and FTC actions on their telehealth prescribing of ADHD and other controlled Schedule 2 medications, from deceptive advertising (FTC) to overprescribing (DOJ) [TTA 18 Nov 22]. Topping this off are dueling lawsuits with former CEO Kyle Robertson [TTA 30 Nov 22]. Cerebral at the end of 2021 was valued at $4.8 billion by Softbank and other investors, but no one wants to talk about its worth today. Reuters, Layoffs Tracker, Behavioral Health Business
- Payer/provider management services organization Evolent Health quietly laid off 460 positions in its Chicago operations, about 9% of their 5,100 person staff, starting in December 2022 into last month. Their Q4 net loss doubled to $11.25 million on $382 million in revenue, doubling 2021’s $5.65 million loss, though full year 2022 closed with a final loss of $19 million, about half of 2021. The company projects Q1 revenue of $420 million to $440 million, with 2023 revenue of $1.92 billion to $1.96 billion with a shift of emphasis to specialty care, bolstered by its closed acquisition in January of Magellan Specialty Health from Centene. Layoffs Tracker, Washington Business Journal
- Quil Health shut down operations, with employees departing 10 February and executives 24 February. The Philadelphia-based Comcast-Independence Blue Cross joint venture was founded in 2018 to support older adults and caregivers in ‘aging-in-place’ alert and monitoring technology. The sole report in HISTalk states that the website is offline plus their CEO Carina Edwards updated her LinkedIn profile for Quil with a February 2023 end date and changed the company description to past tense, pushing up her board positions. Their Facebook page is still live but no posts after 16 January after announcing their joining the AARP AgeTechCollaborative. In 2019, this Editor wrote that they were developing pre- and post-care support through TV (!) with Comcast working on an ambient sensor-based device to monitor basic vital signs and fall detection, which launched in 2020 as Quil Assure. To this Editor, it sounded like a home version of QuietCare circa 2009 with multiple sensors and diagnostics.
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