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Cerner to lay off 150 workers next month

New Cerner CEO Dr. David Feinberg on Thursday told employees that a set of layoffs will take place in November, a company spokesperson confirmed to Modern Healthcare.

Feinberg, who took the helm as Cerner’s CEO on Oct. 1 following nearly three years leading Google Health, sent an email to employees Thursday evening after noticing a comment on Reddit, according to the Kansas City Star, which first reported the news. The Reddit commenter had said they were a company employee that recently learned they would be laid off.

“You will always get transparency from me,” Feinberg wrote in the email, according to the Kansas City Star. “Although I would have liked to be the first to inform you, I can confirm, in early November, approximately 150 positions will be eliminated from their roles at Cerner. These actions are never easy.”

Cerner did not respond to questions regarding what departments would

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Expert panel takes up complicated COVID-19 booster questions

Influential government advisers are deciding Thursday how best to expand the nation’s COVID-19 booster campaign, including whether and when it’s OK to “mix and match” brands for the extra dose.

The advisers to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are slated to discuss who should get extra doses of the Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccines — and the bigger question of getting a different brand for the booster than people’s original vaccination.

The Food and Drug Administration authorized both steps Wednesday, as part of a federal push to broaden booster access for the U.S. public. But the CDC, guided by its advisory panel, provides the final blessing.

About two-thirds of Americans eligible for COVID-19 shots are fully vaccinated, and several million have gotten additional doses of Pfizer’s vaccine after the FDA and CDC gave that go-ahead last month. While health authorities hope boosters will shore up waning immunity

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California’s mental health crisis: What went wrong? And can we fix It?

California Gov. Gavin Newsom is steering a major transformation of California’s behavioral healthcare system, with much at stake in the years ahead. On Oct. 6, the Sacramento-based publication Capitol Weekly invited KHN’s Angela Hart to moderate an expert panel tackling the origins of the state’s broken system and potential solutions ahead.

The lively discussion featured healthcare leaders with deep experience in the political, provider and research aspects of mental health and addiction. The panelists were Dr. Elaine Batchlor, CEO of MLK Community Healthcare; former state Sen. Jim Beall, a Santa Clara County Democrat who spearheaded mental health legislation during his tenure in the legislature; Michelle Doty Cabrera, executive director of the County Behavioral Health Directors Association of California; and Janet Coffman, a researcher and faculty member with Healthforce Center at the University of California-San Francisco.

The discussion illuminated challenges that arise when the state puts insurance companies in charge

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HHS proposes withdrawing Trump ‘good guidance’ rules

The Biden administration on Tuesday announced plans to withdraw Trump-era rules that make it harder for regulators to punish individuals and organizations for not following Health and Human Services Department guidances.

The rules, issued in the final months of the Trump administration, ban HHS from penalizing individuals and organizations for noncompliance with agency guidance and requires the agency only carry out civil enforcement actions using standards that are publicly stated.

HHS proposed withdrawing the rules Tuesday, arguing it creates “unnecessary hurdles” to issuing guidance and bringing enforcement actions and is inconsistent with the goals of the Biden administration.

The rule would impede the administration’s response to “urgent challenges facing the nation,” including the pandemic and inequities in healthcare, the agency wrote the proposed rule published Tuesday in the Federal Register.

The Trump rules would “have a disproportionate effect on marginalized and vulnerable historically underserved communities because they make

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Jefferson Health partners with venture capital firm on digital health

Jefferson Health on Monday announced an innovation partnership with General Catalyst, under which the not-for-profit health system will be able to tap into a set of technology companies to support its digital transformation efforts.

Philadelphia-based Jefferson Health will have access to companies in General Catalyst’s health assurance network, a group that comprises healthcare technology companies that the firm’s invested into. Health assurance describes a move away from so-called “sick care” and toward a healthcare system that provides more proactive and preventive patient care.

Jefferson Health will tap into the network to implement and co-develop tools that improve patient experience, ease its transition to value-based care and diversify its revenues steams, among other objectives.

The partnership builds on previous collaborations between Dr. Stephen Klasko, Jefferson Health’s CEO and president of Thomas Jefferson University, and Hemant Taneja, managing partner of General Catalyst. Last year, Klasko and Taneja co-authored a book on health

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Walmart makes headway into self-insured space with Transcarent partnership

Walmart is making its first foray into the self-insured employer market through a new partnership with healthcare startup Transcarent, the retailer announced Friday.
Employers that contract with Transcarent will share any cost savings that result from workers using Walmart expanding suite of healthcare services, which includes in-person clinics, discounted prescription drugs, virtual care, vision care and specialty medications. In addition to shared savings, Walmart stands to benefit from additional customers in its stores.
Transcarent
currently has 100 self-insured employer clients and serves more than 1 million employees. Among the company’s offerings are expert second opinions, medication reviews, and referrals to surgery sites and centers of excellence.

Transcarent seeks to ensure employees get accurate diagnoses and avoid unnecessary procedures, leading to savings for employers. Transcarent operates under a full at-risk model and doesn’t charge employers upfront for access to its services.  Transcarent also pays health systems upfront for

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