Bryan Sivak is outta here, the Supreme Court gets a break on another Obamacare case (Morning Read)

Bryan Sivak, chief technology officer for Health and Human Services, is stepping down next month. He was among a few remaining members of the Todd Park clique at HHS and was front-and-center at many key tech-driven health initiatives. Read about this, the potential Shire buyout of BioMarin, and whether the big biotech buys mean there is no bubble in today’s Morning Read?


Bryan Sivak, chief technology officer for Health and Human Services, is stepping down next month. He was among a few remaining members of the Todd Park clique at HHS and was front-and-center at many key tech-driven health initiatives (and gave a heck of a keynote at 2013 CONVERGE).

We warned you! DON’T GET EXCITED ABOUT A REAL DOC FIX. “A small core of opposition forced Senate leaders to hold off on the vote until at least April 13.”

Is the Shire buyout of BioMarin a done deal?

The Supreme Court has declined to take up the latest lawsuit against Obamacare, which challenges what’s being called the “death panel.”

The case, Coons v. Lew, contested the constitutionality of the Independent Payment Advisory Board, among other complaints against Obamacare. The IPAB is designed to limit spending growth in Medicare, but the challengers say that it will result in limiting care for seniors.


Flagship Ventures and Arch Venture Partners are managing New York’s $150 million biotech fund.

Don’t reach, biotech folks. The Auspex and Hyperion deals don’t put an end to the biotech bubble talk, says Adam Feuerstein.

Merck Serono is paying $941 million as part of an Intrexon cancer immunotherapy licensing deal.

Medical device company Echo Therapeutics, which has been through a few ups and downs in its quest to bring noninvasive glucose monitoring to market, has developed a set of tools to share that data through mobile phones.

Novartis’ lung cancer drug Zykadia makes progress in the UK.

The CDC is hoping a program piloted in Chicago will help decrease the incidence of ‘nightmare’ infections by so-called antibiotic-resistant ‘superbugs.’

GNC has agreed to implement new procedures in all of its 6,000 stores nationwide to authenticate its herbal supplements, following accusations from New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman that the company was selling tainted and mislabeled products.


Yes, the 1-to-10 pain scale is not very helpful. So a patient created the Chronic Pain Scale which asks how often pain prevents someone from preparing a typical meal, folding laundry or loading the dishwasher, among other things.

Grady Health and Ble Cross Blue Shield of Georgia have agreed to a truce.

Healthcare recruiters are worried about turnover and intimate not enough time is spent on retention (hint: pay better).

What we already know: It’s hard to screen for suicide risks.

Income inequality is bad for your health, apparently.

China wants to double its doctors by 2020. Prediction: many will be pretty awful doctors.


Telehealth wonks: Keep a eye on the North Carolina Board of Dental (NCBD) Examiners vs Federal Trade Commission court case.

The healthcare subsidiary of China’s Alibaba Group is creating an online hospital platform. Alibaba, for those who don’t know, is worth $230 billion+.

Web-based discounted prescription eyewear retailer GlassesUSA raised $12.5 million to speed up expansion in b2b and b2c markets.

Telehealth in stroke evaluations: Not faster (probably not cheaper) and it does equally as well.

Hacking your pacemaker: Still possible.

The VA is launching a clinical trial around its PTSD Coach app.


A federal proposal would keep quality of care measures from being used in malpractice suits.

Rep. Dina Titus (D-Nev.) has presented a new bill that would create a five-year pilot program for providing food to students eligible for free or reduced lunch during the week, when school is out.


The game Cards Against Humanity (basically a dirty/risque version of the game Apples to Apples) has released a new science-themed expansion. All of the proceeds will benefit a brand new scholarship; one that gives women seeking undergrad degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics a full ride to college.

The Morning Read provides a 24-hour wrap up of everything else healthcare’s innovators need to know about the business of medicine (and beyond). The author of The Read published it but all full-time MedCity News journalists contribute to its content.