News roundup: Cerner goes live at VA, DOD Lovell Center; WebMD expands education with Healthwise buy; Dexcom has FDA OK for OTC glucose sensor; Centene may have buyer for abandoned Charlotte HQ

In news other than Walgreens and Optum/Change Healthcare–with more to come out of HIMSS in Orlando this week…

The DOD/VA Cerner EHR went live on Saturday 9 March in the Capt. James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center (Lovell FHCC), right on scheduled time. This EHR which will serve both active duty service members in the Military Health System (MHS) and veterans through the VA is being watched closely. While MHS Genesis has been rolled out in most military health facilities in the US and overseas, the VA’s has stalled at five. As of now, Lovell is the only VA implementation planned for this year and its functionality and interoperability with MHS is under a microscope. Training has been intensive and VA reports having made many changes from the earlier implementations. The MHS Genesis team from DOD have also been a key part of the training.

VA has shown improvement with no full outages in 300+ days and with the nagging smaller incidents greatly reduced. But the VA’s deputy inspector general reported significant and dangerous faults in the Oracle Cerner Millenium medication record system only last month to the House Subcommittee on VA Technology Modernization [TTA 22 Feb]. While the fixes are in effect in the five VA locations with Millenium, Genesis at Lovell will not have them yet.

Lovell FHCC is located in north Chicago, has a combined DOD/VA staff of 3,200, and serves 75,000 patients per year: 25,000 veterans, over 10,000 TRICARE enrollees, and 30,000 Navy recruits from Great Lakes with a 300-bed main facility and clinics in the Chicago area. Federal News Network

WebMD buys health education developer Healthwise. The company’s patient education assets including content and technology that integrate into care management platforms for both health systems and payers will become part of WebMD Ignite, which was formed last April to unite Krames, also in health education, Mercury Health data analytics, Wellness Network videos, Vitals provider scheduling, in addition to Medscape and WebMD. According to the release, the combination of Krames and Healthwise will reach 650 healthcare organizations, comprising more than 50% of hospitals in the U.S. and 85% of the top 20 payers, which is a dominant market share with limited other competition such as Wellframe, owned by HealthEdge. Transaction cost, surviving name, and management/staff transitions were not disclosed.

Healthwise is unusual in that it was formed as a non-profit in Boise, Idaho in 1975. In the 2024 Best in KLAS Report, Healthwise was ranked first in health education for value-based care. While the education assets are being sold to WebMD, the non-profit will go on, according to Healthwise. Healthcare IT News (Editor’s disclaimer: Donna was a consultant for Krames on marketing projects during 2021-22, prior to Ignite.)

WebMD is also integrating into Ignite personalized medication instructions from First Databank (FDB)’s Meducation through WebMD Ignite’s Krames On FHIR platform. It will then go into prescribers’ EHRs and patient portals. FDB release

Dexcom receives FDA clearance for Stelo, the first over-the-counter (OTC) continuous glucose monitor cleared in the US. Like the prescription version, the biosensor attaches to the arm to monitor blood glucose without skin penetration and connects to a Dexcom phone app. The sensor is the same as the prescription Dexcom G7, with a battery life of about 15 days. Stelo was cleared for use by adults 18+ who have Type 2 diabetes but not on insulin therapy–over 25 million people in the US. Release is scheduled for online-only release this summer as a cash-pay purchase (cost not disclosed), with insurance reimbursement TBD over the next few years. Mobihealthnews, Healthcare Dive

Centene may be close to selling its ‘dream’ Charlotte, North Carolina headquarters building. The now near-complete 800,000-square-foot building in Charlotte’s University City would have been Centene’s East Coast HQ. It was planned by the previous CEO in 2020 to be the center of a campus with over 6,000 employees, 3,200 to be hired locally. The plan was abandoned in August 2022 due to a shrinking office-based workforce primarily in St. Louis with some in plan locations throughout the country. Cushman & Wakefield is marketing the building with word being that a single company is interested in purchase. New Class A space is reportedly relatively rare in Charlotte, though the vacancy rate in the immediate area is at 25%. There is also undeveloped land on the site that has attracted interest from a locally active multifamily developer, although that would require a rezoning. Centene purchased the land in 2020 for $19 million, not including a separate 51-acre parcel purchased later in 2020. In addition to reducing its real estate pattern, Centene has also been reducing its staff with two 2,000-person layoffs in 2023, one in the summer and the second in December.  Charlotte Business Journal, Becker’s

Categories: Latest News.