Health IT Roundup—Athenahealth gives Elliott Management the cold shoulder; What healthcare CEOs think of Amazon

athenahealth headquarters
Athenahealth has not responded to Elliot's offer to buy out the EHR vendor. (athenahealth)

Athenahealth gives Elliott Management the silent treatment

It’s been a week since Elliott Management proposed a $160 per share buyout of Athenahealth, and the investment hasn’t heard a peep from the EHR vendor.

In a letter to Elliott Management’s board, partner and Senior Portfolio Manager Jesse Cohn said the firm has “heard nothing from the Company beyond its cursory, boilerplate press release.” Cohn added that the same thing happened when Elliott made a buyout offer in November, noting that Athenahealth’s board “dashed off” a letter so quickly that the company “forgot to even sign it.”

“Elliott believes that, for the benefit of shareholders and the Company, this pattern of behavior needs to stop,” Cohn wrote. “Our proposal to acquire athenahealth represents an attractive proposition, and numerous shareholders, research analysts and media sources have agreed that athenahealth should engage with us to explore whether a value-maximizing transaction is achievable.” Letter (PDF)

More than 30 organizations call on Congress to overturn patient identifier ban

Nearly three dozen organizations have asked Congress to include language in the fiscal year 2019 Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) budget that allows federal agencies to provide technical assistance for patient matching.

The American Health Information Management Association, the American Medical Association and America’s Health Insurance Plans are among the 34 organizations that signed the letter that includes clarifying language on the unique patient identifier ban.

Congress has banned HHS from using funds to implement a unique patient identifier dating back to 1999, a move driven primarily by privacy concerns. But the organizations argued patient matching issues have reached a critical level.

“The quality, safety and cost-effectiveness of healthcare across the nation will improve if a national strategy to accurately identify patients and match those patients to their health information is achieved,” the groups wrote. Letter (PDF)

Execs want Amazon as a supply chain distributor

A new survey shows 62% of healthcare leaders want Amazon to enter the healthcare supply chain, according to a new survey.

The survey, by Reaction Data, comes weeks after Amazon said it would scrap plans to enter the hospital supply chain, citing existing alliances that are difficult to break down. Still, 75% of respondents, which consisted primarily of hospital CEOs and directors of operations or materials management, said Amazon would be successful in such an endeavor.

Nearly half of respondents said the company should focus on “commodities,” while 9% expressed interest in surgical supplies. Survey