Cerner over the past 40 days: 11 key updates

In a little over a month, Cerner has made multiple key partnerships and announcements about the company's direction moving forward.

In addition to executive transitions, the EHR vendor entered into collaborations with Pipeline Health, Uber Health and Vively Health over the past few weeks, as well as reported layoffs and the details behind its contract termination with Roseville, Calif.-based Adventist Health.

Here are 11 key updates from the past 35 days:

1. The Department of Veterans Affairs plans a March 2020 deployment of Cerner EHR, but the House VA subcommittee expressed concerns on Nov. 20 that the VA may not be ready to start using the new system by the go-live date. Members of the subcommittee believe the VA may not be aware of the complexity of transitioning its legacy systems to Cerner.

2. Los Angeles-based Pipeline Health, a private hospital ownership and management company, said it will roll out Cerner EHR to its seven hospitals, 25 clinics and 12 freestanding emergency departments over the next 28 months.

3. On Nov. 12, Cerner reported plans to lay off 131 employees in the U.S. to increase operating margins to 20 percent by the end of the year. So far in 2019, the company has onboarded more than 4,000 associates and plans to hire hundreds more next year. This round of layoffs follows a 255-employee layoff in September, as the company attempts to cut $200 million in costs through Dec. 31.

4. The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives honored Cerner and Encompass Health CIO Rusty Yeager the 2019 collaboration award for their partnership to create a tool that would identify patients at risk of unplanned acute-care transfer.

5. Cerner COO Michael Nill's departure was announced in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing on Nov. 1. Mr. Nill spent 23 years with the company and his official last day will be Jan. 10, 2020. Cerner Executive Vice President and Chief Innovation Officer Jeff Townsend also retired Nov. 1 and serves as executive senior adviser at the company.

6. Kern Medical in Bakersfield, Calif., went live on Cerner EHR on Nov. 1. The 222-bed hospital spent 20 months on the transition, which is expected to cost around $30 million in the next seven years.

7. On Oct. 28, Cerner partnered with Uber Health on non-emergency transportation services. Providers can now schedule Uber transportation through the Cerner EHR for patients.

8. Cerner partnered with Vively Health, a home-based primary care provider for patients with chronic conditions. The five-year partnership was announced on Oct. 29 and will transition Vively to Cerner's Millennium EHR.

9. Cerner reported $1.43 billion in third quarter revenue, up 7 percent year over year, on Oct. 24. The company's professional services revenue was $507.46 million and drove the third quarter increase. The company anticipates fourth quarter revenue at $1.41 billion to $1.46 billion.

10. During its earnings call on Oct. 24, Cerner Executive Vice President and CFO Marc Naughton discussed the company's contract termination with Adventist Health in Roseville, Calif. After initially partnering in January 2018, Cerner announced that 1,700 employees would become Adventist Health employees, including all associates of Cerner RevWorks, which had managed the health system's revenue cycle and clinical application staff. Mr. Naughton described the termination as a "joint decision" and said the move would reduce annual revenue by $170 million, but likely wouldn't impact earnings. He also reported the company is reviewing the remainder of its revenue cycle business to determine the best path forward.

11. Cerner Chairman and CEO Brent Shafer also spoke during the earnings call on Oct. 24 about the company's partnership with Amazon Web Services. He expects the partnership to result in new solutions that are faster and use artificial intelligence as well as machine learning tools to improve workflow. He hopes the partnership will quicken the company's time to market with new software and platform developments. The company will also move the HealtheIntent and CareAware platform to AWS.


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