Amwell pursues M&A to grow into new markets; AMA joins the call for mandatory vaccines for healthcare workers . Plus: The Department of Veterans Affairs will not continue to deploy its Cerner electronic health record at any more sites for at least the next six months.
Links to the stories:
Amwell furthers behavioral health, patient automation services via SilverCloud, Conversa Health M&A
AMA adds voice to providers and others calling for vaccine mandates for healthcare workers
VA will stop Cerner EHR rollouts until next year
Amwell has furthered its behavioral health services through a strategic acquisition. What does this mean for the telehealth company? I’m Jeff Lagasse with Healthcare Finance News, and we'll explore that and other topics in this week’s Top Stories.
This week, major telehealth player Amwell snapped up digital mental health company SilverCloud Health and fellow virtual care company Conversa Health for a combined price of $320 million in cash and stocks. MobiHealthNews reports (https://www.mobihealthnews.com/news/amwell-furthers-behavioral-health-patient-automation-services-silvercloud-conversa-health-ma) that the acquisitions are meant to help Amwell expand its platform offerings, grow into new markets and expand its client base. Conversa has been deployed in several large health systems, including Northwell Health and UNC Health, while SilverCloud recently inked a deal with Ireland’s Health Service Executive, which makes its service available to users throughout the Republic of Ireland. M&A is a key part of Amwell’s future strategy.
Many healthcare organizations are backing calls for the industry to mandate vaccines for its workers, and this week the American Medical Association added its name to that list, saying it’s concerned about rising case numbers and hospitalizations. According to Healthcare Finance News (https://www.healthcarefinancenews.com/news/ama-adds-voice-providers-and-others-calling-vaccine-mandates-healthcare-workers), the AMA said vaccination is the best means of avoiding the return of stringent public health measures such as masking and social distancing. With full FDA approval looming for the currently available vaccines, the AMA said all healthcare workers should get their shots, not only for their own health, but to protect those who are vulnerable, including unvaccinated children and the immunocompromised.
Finally this week, the Department of Veterans Affairs will not continue to deploy its Cerner electronic health record at any more sites for at least the next six months. As we see in HealthcareITNews (https://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/va-will-stop-cerner-ehr-rollouts-until-next-year), the agency will be initiating reviews for IT and physical infrastructure requirements at every facility in the system. The VA will then deploy based on site readiness, which will be determined by on-site reviews. The program has experienced multiple setbacks, including an implementation delay, a pause and a 12-week review shortly after the initial rollout.
I’m Jeff Lagasse with Healthcare Finance News, and this has been Top Stories.