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News 6/27/07

June 26, 2007 News No Comments

From SpiderMan: “Re: Payerpath. The recent Misys announcement highlighted Payerpath as an area of success. Apparently not successful enough, as it was announced to the staff last week that Payerpath will cease to run as a stand-alone unit. In addition, founder and president Jim Brady will be leaving Misys.” Consider this to be conjecture until I receive confirmation, as usual.

From Roy: “Re: Mirth Project. We’ve been looking at Mirth closely for several months and are about to deploy it in some projects. If you want to use it without paying for support, you’d better be pretty technically astute. But it works, is pretty powerful, and is adding features fast. I’m impressed, and I think we’ll likely standardize on it, if things continue to go well. I always felt like interface engines were overpriced, so these guys have correctly spotted an opening in the market, IMHO.”

From Art Vandelay: “Re: open source installations. Having worked with OpenVistA, your depiction is accurate. Very few open source applications have straightforward installations. If a for-profit third party cannot create an single-step installation executable (i.e. Medsphere), you know you are in for a fun time. Even Oracle can’t seem to get a clean application installation without having to read at least three technical bulletins and a few tech support forum posts. Microsoft and IBM do a great job of offering usually pain-free installations. You won’t get adoption without a straightforward installation.”

From Hatchet Guy: “Re: Cerner. Paul Black will go when they announce Q2 earnings in late July. His recent exercising of options is one more sign.”

From Grizzled Veteran:Re: Sage. Layoff at Sage last Thursday. Various departments, big losses in Professional Services (training). Laying off trainers can only mean lack of new business.” Not yet confirmed here. Anyone?

Vince Kuraitis has well thought out speculation on what Google Health will be and what impact it will have. Some quotes: “The personal health URL and the supporting infrastructure is the cornerstone of the GH offering … Google likely will use a combination of carrots and sticks to encourage and cajole various parties to help PHI flow freely into and from Google’s repository that feeds the patient’s personal health URL … GH will make the CCR standard the MP3 of Personal Health Information.” Even if it turns out he’s wrong, this is a fun and compelling article. One thing to remember about Google: they’re in the eyeballs business. Whatever they develop has to attract lots of well-targeted eyeballs attached to folks willing to respond to online advertising. To a marketer, the information in your PHR might be the most valuable information about you because it (a) targets you as a customer; (b) allows identifying customer groups not easily reached until now because of privacy issues; (c) provides endless opportunities for fine-tuning targeting and messaging; and (d) involves high-priced products and services, with a correspondingly high value to the companies selling them.

Good quote, too from a reader’s comment to Vince’s article: “… all of us who have been around this industry and have seen numerous failures of ‘the next great thing’ delivered by the non-healthcare IT world that promises to finally bring healthcare into this century. Nonetheless, we will root for the effort. While institional resistance to change will be a huge barrier to the GOOG, we may find that consumer apathy and fear (of loss of privacy) may be even more important. GOOGLE’s business success has been founded on fast consumer uptake and that source of energy will not drive this effort. GH will indeed have to demonstrate persistence until payors mandate electronically accessible records as a condition of participation and payment, and then the world will change.”

Frankly, I thought Vince’s stuff was more interesting than the report by California HealthCare Foundation called “Perspectives on the Future of Personal Health Records.” It’s a collection of six “what do you think about PHRs” write-ups provided by experts. I expected something more collectively insightful, intellectually challenging, and predictive. There’s nothing wrong with it, but a quick skim seemed ample.

Mediware will delist itself from the NYSE Arca stock exchange, citing “regulatory and administrative burdens,” but will continue on Nasdaq.

Michael W. Carelton is the new CIO for HHS, reporting to Mike Leavitt and coming over from GSA.

The HIMSS Summit is over. If you went, tell us about it.

“Millennium Research Group (MRG) has conducted a detailed and thorough analysis of the acute care clinical information systems (CIS) market and finds that a major driver in the US is the demand for improvement in patient safety.” If you find that sentence to be loaded with insight and startling revelation, you’ll no doubt want the full report for just $5,000.

TheraDoc will offer multi-hospital IDN capability for its Expert System Platform in September.

Accuro says it sold BI and revenue management software (cost of care estimator, denials management, contract management, and coding and compliance) to 239 hospitals in the first half of 2007.

Managed care company Molina Healthcare announces the resignation of its CIO. I don’t care about that, but his name made it interesting: Rick Click.

Smart: IntelliDOT announces a barcode solution to make sure NICU babies get breast milk from their own mothers, not someone else’s (although in our odd world, adult humans drinking milk from another species of animal … cows … doesn’t seem weird until you spend five seconds thinking about it.)

Bravo: GE Healthcare is urging its employees to stop screwing around with their electronic toys when someone is trying to hold a meeting. I think meeting rooms should have a designated box for BlackBerries and the like, with the occasional TSA-like inspector patting attendees down to find those idiots whose limited attention span lures them into reading routine e-mails instead of paying attention.

LA Times editorial headline: “Close King-Harbor. After years of warnings and last chances, it’s time to shut the hospital down.” And comments: “Certainly a hospital can be fixed, can’t it? If there is inadequate funding, get more money. But, as The Times reported three years ago, the medical center is flush, with more money per patient than other county hospitals. If the problem is poor management, bring in management consultants to shape up the place. But the county spent more than $17 million on a firm to do just that, and the problems remain. Fire the employees? Done. They interviewed, and nearly three-quarters of them were rehired. Turn it over to a successful hospital, like Harbor-UCLA? Tried that. It turns out that, when Harbor-UCLA was supposedly running the place, the same personnel were still in charge.”

A big healthcare accomplishment for Barack Obama: he brings home $350k of your federal tax dollars to help a Kankakee, IL hospital pay for CPOE.

Healthcare Growth Partners will help Optio Software review strategic alternatives for its healthcare division, including its potential sale.

News, rumors, bon mots: e-mail me.

Discuss today’s HIStalk.


Inga’s Update

Gateway is now offering PC solutions that include MedicWare® Electronic Medical Record software. I am surprised that more software and hardware vendors haven’t partnered to provide pre-packaged solutions. Sure, the MedicWare and similar low-end charting systems aren’t going to work for the majority of practices out there, but there are definitely opportunities at the low end where money is tight and high product sophistication isn’t a requirement.

GE Healthcare will provide more than $30 million in equipment and services to a new hospital and cancer center in British Columbia.

The Healthcare Solutions business of JPMorgan Chase and RelayHealth, the connectivity services company of McKesson Corporation, announced today that they have formed a strategic relationship to offer an integrated set of claim and payment processing solutions. This relationship will transform the way that insurers, healthcare providers and consumers interact to settle claim payments, moving to a fully electronic model. The revenue processing cycle will become electronic and develop a single portal that can be accessed online by all key constituents along the revenue cycle. Anyone care to comment about this? Ultimately who benefits by this – the patient? Provider? Insurance companies?

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