Industry News Update 12/27/19

December 2019 | Mike Murphy, Director of Business and Industry Analytics

Industry News

Learn About the Latest in Healthcare and Healthcare IT by Reading this Week's Industry News Update

Click on the links below to read the full news articles.


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Regulatory, Legislative,


Legal News


Sutter Health will pay $575 million and operate under a monitor for up to 13 years under the terms of a preliminary settlement related to anticompetitive behavior that California's attorney general called "game changing."

In an effort to expand the adoption of electronic health records (EHR) and increase the use of cybersecurity technology, the HHS has proposed expanding protections for EHR and cybersecurity donations and is seeking public input by the end of the year.

Months of debate on how to protect patients from out-of-network charges at in-network facilities culminated in an eight-day period when a bipartisan, bicameral Congressional proposal with White House support came together, but ultimately fell short and was left out of the year-end spending bill.

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Investment News


Reimbursement solutions vendor Besler acquires a majority ownership position in Panacea Healthcare Solutions, which offers physician revenue cycle services and technology.

Gympass, a platform for employer’s benefits programs that offers fitness class bookings to members, announced the acquisition of Lisbon, Portugal-based artificial intelligence company Flaner.

Gundersen Health and Marshfield Clinic have scrapped their merger plans after seven months of talks.

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New Products





Eko, maker of tools for monitoring heart function, announced that a novel ECG-based algorithm for detecting lowered left ventricular ejection fraction has received Breakthrough Device designation from the FDA.

CPSI’s Evident business unit and Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre announce plans to develop a Canada-specific hospital information system that will combine the health center’s Sunnycare system with the Evident EHR.

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Hospitals report that they are being inundated with requests to sell patient information to technology companies, many of them well-funded Silicon Valley startups that need to train their newly developed AI systems.

Facebook will stop using members' phone numbers in its friends’ recommendation system in 2020 following concern about privacy implications.

More than 267 million Facebook user phone numbers, names and user IDs were exposed in a database that anyone could access online.

The military urges service members to decline to take consumer DNA tests because they create security risks, their results are unreliable, and they could lead to unintentional discovery of genetic information that could jeopardize their military career.

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The number of cases of vaping-related lung illness reported to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has decreased by 88% percent since peaking in September, according to a study from the New England Journal of Medicine. Researchers note they are unclear if the decrease is due to a lapse in case-finding by state health agencies or a decline in overall cases.

Although about nine in ten hospitals have deployed electronic portals that give patients access to their health data, many of these organizations are not adequately informing patients fully about using the portals, according to new research from the Regenstrief Institute and Indiana University School of Medicine.

Scientists are warning that people eating a vegan diet need to make sure they get enough vitamin B12 because the risk of deficiency is "not a myth".

A machine learning algorithm developed by a team from Massachusetts General Hospital analyzed EHR data to estimate the risk that a healthy person will receive a dementia diagnosis in the future, a study published in the journal Alzheimer’s and Dementia found.

MIT researchers say their Gates Foundation-funded, patch-based vaccine delivery system would not only eliminate the need for syringes, it wouldn’t require an EHR for documentation either since the patch leaves a skin pattern that can be detected by smartphone.

The ONC found a patient safety issue in 3.7% of all certified EHRs, or a total of 275 systems from nine vendors, according to researchers who analyzed surveillance data and published their findings this week in JAMA.

Standards developer NCPDP and Experian Health announce that they have assigned a Universal Patient Identifier to all 328 million Americans.

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