Healthcare News of Note: Oracle once again extends its tender offer to acquire Cerner, indicates further extensions are likely
- Oracle again extended its tender offer of $95 in cash per share to buy all outstanding shares of common stock of health IT company Cerner.
- U.S. COVID-19 vaccination efforts through March 2022 prevented over 2 million deaths and 17 million hospitalizations, according to The Commonwealth Fund.
- More Americans are making the leap from blue-collar jobs and hourly work to new roles that often involve tech skills and don’t require a college degree or previous experience.
Over the last few weeks, I have found these industry news stories that should be of interest to healthcare finance professionals.
1. Oracle extended to May 11 its tender offer to acquire Cerner
Oracle extended its tender offer of $95 in cash per share to buy all outstanding shares of common stock of health IT company Cerner. The extension was offered “to provide more time to satisfy the remaining conditions,” according to an April 13 news release. The new tender offer is expected to expire May 11.
Oracle agreed to acquire Cerner for approximately $28.3 billion through an all-cash tender offer in late December. Oracle had previously expected the sale to close Feb. 15, but it was extended to March 16 and then again to a mid-April close.
“The tender offer, which was previously set to expire on April 13, remains subject to approvals under foreign direct investment and foreign competition laws and may be further extended in accordance with the merger deal and the Securities and Exchange Commission’s rules and regulations,” the release added.
Approximately 11.5% of Cerner’s outstanding shares had been tendered as of April 8, Oracle said.
2. The Commonwealth Fund: COVID-19 vaccination program spared the U.S. healthcare system from being overwhelmed by pandemic-related hospitalizations
The COVID-19 vaccination program “spared the U.S. health care system an overwhelming number of COVID-19 hospitalizations,” according to the authors of an April 8 blog post from The Commonwealth Fund.
Vaccination efforts through March 2022 “prevented over 2 million deaths and 17 million hospitalizations,” the authors added.
Without vaccinations, there would have been 66 million additional COVID-19 infections and nearly $900 billion in associated healthcare costs, the authors said.
The authors wrote that if there had been no vaccines available:
- The daily peak of deaths pre-omicron would have exceeded 24,000 (7.3 per 100,000 people), far eclipsing the actual peak of 4,300 per day (1.3 per 100,000) reached during winter 2021
- Hospitalizations would have peaked at more than 48 per 100,000 people during the delta wave
- Hospitalizations would have peaked at 85 per 100,000 people during the omicron wave
“Investing in vaccination programs also has produced substantial cost savings … by dramatically reducing the amount spent on COVID-19 hospitalizations,” the authors wrote.
3. Healthcare and finance among the top 5 industries hiring former blue-collar and low-wage earners during the pandemic
An April 8 article (login required) in The Wall Street Journal documents how “more Americans are making the leap from blue-collar jobs and hourly work to ‘new collar’ roles that often involve tech skills and come with better pay and schedules.
“More than a tenth of Americans in low-paying roles … made such a switch during the past two years, according to new research from Oliver Wyman, a management consulting firm that surveyed 80,000 workers world-wide between August 2020 and March 2022. Many of the new jobs are in software and information technology, as well as tech-related roles in logistics, finance and healthcare.”
As companies struggle to fill open positions, many have “dropped pre-qualifications like prior work experience or a four-year college degree,” while others offer on-the-job training, according to the authors.
“Many employers from International Business Machines Corp. to CVS Health Corp. now say they are happy to help relatively inexperienced new hires get trained up in coding, cybersecurity and healthcare technology to fill positions,” wrote the authors.
How are they gaining the required skill sets?
Many people who moved into a new, better-paying job needed a new skill set, according to the article. The top three ways individuals got the required training included:
- Free course – 59%
- Social media – 42%
- Paid course – 38%
Only 2% of those surveyed “went to school” for training, according to the article.
Where are these ‘new-collar’ individuals working?
Citing data from the Oliver Wyman survey of U.S. adults, the article identified the top industries attracting former blue-collar and hourly wage earners as:
- IT/data processing
- Electronics manufacturing
HFMA bonus content
- Read the April 13 article “More than 2 years into the pandemic, the issue of deferred care continues to affect the healthcare industry,” by Nick Hut, senior editor with HFMA.
- Listen to one of HFMA’s latest podcasts: “To patients, the financial experience isn’t separate from the clinical one. Here’s how to leave them with a good lasting impression.”
- Register for HFMA’s Annual Conference to be held June 26-29 in Denver.