Health IT Roundup—Athenahealth's newest suitor; ONC touts FHIR progress

Athenahealth building 2
nThrive, led by Jeffery Immelt's former colleague Joel Hackney, could be in the running to merge with Athenahealth. (athenahealth)

Report: nThrive emerges as Athenahealth's white knight

Following reports that Elliott Management was dropping out of the bidding process to take over Athenahealth, a healthcare payments company may be swooping in.

nThrive has reportedly made an offer to merge with the EHR vendor, sources told the New York Post. The company's CEO, Joel Hackney, worked with Jeff Immelt at General Electric. Immelt is overseeing Athenahealh and the bidding process following former CEO Jonathan Bush's departure. 

The unnamed sources said Athenahealth took final bids last week, and it's possible the proposed merger with nThrive could fall through. (NY Post

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ONC touts FHIR progress

A new blog post by officials with the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT says 87% of hospitals and 69% of providers use EHRs with the Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) standard build into their platform. 

Although just 32% of vendors have adopted the 2015 certification standards, those vendors account for the majority of hospitals and clinicians. Among the top 10 vendors with the largest market share, Cerner, Epic and Meditech serve nearly two-thirds of the hospitals using FHIR-certified products.

But that's not cause for celebration yet.

"While these data are encouraging, it’s not time to pop any champagne," ONC officials wrote in a blog post. "Industry-wide, much work remains from standards development to implementation." (Blog post)

Will the Apple Watch improve outcomes?

The new Apple Watch is getting a lot of attention for its ability to detect falls and track user heart rates. But will that data prove beneficial? 

That's the question former Cleveland Clinic Chief Medical Information Officer Dave Levin, M.D., pondered in an op-ed for Healthcare Informatics. He noted that while the watch has some impressive new features, they won't mean much if clinicians don't have a way to use the data.

"It’s clear AW4 will generate new data," he wrote. "It’s less clear how that data can be harnessed to improve health outcomes in the real world." (Healthcare Informatics)

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