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News 8/17/07

August 16, 2007 News 1 Comment

From John Winger: “Re: Ingenix. Ingenix acquired LighthouseMD. Not sure when it will hit the wire, but I hear it’s public within Ingenix.” Thanks for that info. Does it seem like just about every semi-cool, little-known physician EMR vendor is getting bought or buying someone else? I admit I’m mostly a hospital guy, but I’ve never heard of most of these companies.

From Reggie Hammond: “Re: Misys. I hear that Misys is looking to do some sort of partnership with e-MDs. Misys wants to resell e-MD’s new ASP software. I think it makes sense because Misys has been wanting a lower-end ASP integrated PM/EMR option and the Amicore effort failed. Look for Kelley Schudy (former head of Physician System sales) to oversee the transition and then leave. Also, speaking of leaving Misys, three HR VPs have announced their resignation, though it is unclear if any/all will leave now or over the next few months.” Reselling a much hotter company’s software? How far the mighty have fallen.

From Billy Bear: “Re: Misys. After having been pared down to the bone to make the books look good for the Vista Equity buyout, Tucson support staff have been told the deal is contingent on their reducing the (large) volume of outstanding support calls. That may be true, but it’s more likely current management trying to shift the blame.” I doubt the deal hinges on it, although incentives may be in place. There’s nothing that keeps already antsy customers happier than demanding that terrified support reps prematurely close their support tickets.

From Cheryl: “Re: Google Health. Here are screen shots.” Link. Not much to look at. I bet it’s got a good personality.

I read an interesting editorial about Citrix’s purchase of virtualization software company XenSource for $500 million. Aimed at private equity guys, it argues that the VC model is less successful than incubating a company to begin with and (surprisingly and arguably) less risky. That’s an interesting thought since most companies jump in big only in later rounds. They also mention that Citrix probably wishes it had latched on before competitor VMWare did its own blockbuster IPO this week ($1.1. billion raised – priced at $29, now nearly double that).

I noticed that Lucida Healthcare IT has a new web page design. I know it’s geeky to watch for that kind of stuff, but it fascinates me. I think their current consultant openings page is new – lots of Meditech, Epic, clinicals, imaging, etc. They also offer a Personal Career Advisor and a Star Service Concierge Specialist to help consultants keep everything running smoothly, locating engagements, and structuring compensation. The site lists the engagement options that Bruce Cerullo talked about when I interviewed him.

And speaking of cool new sites, eScription has one, too. Will companies have to update yearly to keep up with new design styles, kind of like buying a new car every year? It’s looking that way, but the Web 2.0 stuff was the first big change in awhile.

SureScripts joins NACDS, NCPA, AAFP, MGMA, BCBS, and Intel to form The Center for Improving Medication Management. It will perform research on using electronic linking technologies (like that of SureScripts, let’s say) to improve prescribing, dispensing, and using medications as well as measuring outcomes. They’re talking about bringing in RAND for a study. If they can keep it non-proprietary, they could do some good work. E-prescribing and electronically managed refills will bring patient compliance issues (of which there are many) out of the closet.

Gerard Dab, CEO of VisualMED, is interviewed by the Wall Street Reporter. I liked their product when I saw it many years ago and I still think they’re kind of a cool company. I interviewed Gerard last year.

Barnet and Chase Farm Hospitals become the first London NHS facilities to go live on Cerner Millennium.

New executives at anesthesia software vendor DocuSys: Robert Watson, formerly of Concuity and Cerner, is named CEO. Joseph Heins is the new EVP/COO after previous stints at Eclipsys, Cerner, and Infoway. If you’re an up-and-comer suit, it’s obviously good to have worked at either Cerner or GE Healthcare since those folks are popping up everywhere. Does that mean we’ll end up with a boatload of companies just like those two?

Another former Eclipsyser, Noel Strong, is Mediware’s new CTO.

Google bundles Sun’s StarOffice in its Google Pack, meaning its price just went down from $70 to $0. I’ve used it (a little) and it’s a nice option when you otherwise have to pay for Office (like for your kid’s computer).

Transaction processor MedAvant announces Q2 numbers: revenue down slightly, EPS -$0.31 vs. -$0.14. That’s if I did the math right, since EPS wasn’t reported (I can see why).

The VA and DOD are issuing millions in healthcare IT contracts. The recipients aren’t surprising: Northrop Grumman and Booze Allen (oops, that’s Booz). Somehow noble-sounding government initiatives always end up meaning millions for SAIC, Accenture, BearingPoint, or all the other high-price, insider IT mercenaries out there. Not surprisingly, once their people are on the ground, the government never seems to find a way to dismiss them and do the work with its own employees.

Rodney Schutt, formerly of GE Healthcare, is named COO of Luminetx.

Siemens and Intel will co-develop an electronic blood banking system for Malaysia’s 334 hospitals.

Verus, the healthcare billing company that made itself a household name by allowing all kinds of data breaches involving its hospital clients, has shut down. Investors pulled their money and MedSeek has taken over some of its business. A spokersperson said it was really just one IT error that caused all the problems. The fifth hospital, Sky Lakes Medical Center (OR), announced a Verus-caused vulnerability today. You just know there’s some nerdy network engineer who screwed up and brought the whole company down in the process.

LA County supervisors vote unanimously to shut down Martin Luther King Jr.-Harbor Hospital (a.k.a. King-Drew, a.k.a medical cesspool). One supervisor said it best: “I don’t know how you’d be able to tell how stupid some of these people are. I mean when I read this, I can’t see how a nurse couldn’t mix medicine. I can’t see how she says, ‘I don’t know where to find this instrument.’ That is incomprehensible.” On the other hand, someone had to have hired that person and supervise them, so I’d blame the bosses. The closure plan is here (warning: PDF). Here’s the CMS report (warning: PDF).

Another flavor of medical tourism: US seniors are heading across the border to live in nursing homes in Mexico. And why not, for $1,300 a month? “Douglas gets a studio apartment, three meals a day, laundry and cleaning service, and 24-hour care from an attentive staff, many of whom speak English. She wakes up every morning next to a glimmering mountain lake, and the average annual high temperature is a toasty 79 degrees.” I’m ready to head there now. If they have broadband, I can write HIStalk from there while sipping Dos Equis and eating carnitas and flan. The ladies are pretty there, too, although Mrs. HIStalk wouldn’t find that a plus.

Windber Medical Center (PA) cuts its ties with Conemaugh Health System and goes independent. CEO and blogger Nick Jacobs goes public with a plea to get the word out about Windber, although they’ll need local exposure instead of national to survive. A reader suggested I interview him. I’m game. I’ll evaluate and brag on its IT function if it’s any good.

IBA Health finally surrenders to CompuGroup on its attempted takeover of iSoft.

Philips buys RIS vendor XIMIS, whose site doesn’t say who runs the company. I hate that crap. Is it embarrassing or something? I’m going to start critiquing HIT-related web sites. Would that be entertaining or would you glaze over?

CMS is offering Web-based education for doctors interested in implementing EMRs for their practices.

Internet trade association USIIA opines on healthcare IT. Recommendations: more broadband, physician incentives for EMR adoption, and anti-Net neutrality. I was going to see who its members are, but in a delicious irony, its site was down. Maybe some of us healthcare geeks should return the favor and criticize how they run their industry.

News, rumors, HIStalk government contracts: e-mail me.

Inga’s Update

Ethidium is a company I hadn’t heard of until earlier this year when Take Care Health Systems (a Walgreen’s subsidiary) implemented their clinical software in 16 of their clinics, all of which are located in retail pharmacies. Ethidium has a line of products that include an ASP-based EMR, a personal health record (PHR) option with patient portal, and medical decision making tools. Now Ethidium announces it has acquired exclusive ownership of VLink health information exchange from Vaceris, which will enable Ethidium to offer connectivity needed by RHIOs, IPAs, etc. VLink is currently implemented by the 1700+ doctor Genesis Physician Group IPA in Dallas (oh by the way in HealthVision’s backyard.) No word as to whether Genesis is looking to offer their doctors an option for the Ethidium EMR solutions, but you have to believe they would love to. About three years ago Genesis had secured preferred pricing A4 health Systems/ Allscripts, GE Medical Systems (Centricity) and NextGen but the rumors are that not too many physicians took advantage of the offerings. I think Ethidium will be an interesting company to watch over the next few months.

WiFiMed Holdings Co. of Atlanta has completed its acquisition of JMJ Technologies Inc. JMJ is the developer of the EMR product EncounterPro.

Blue Shield of California announces it will award $31 million in pay-for-performance bonuses to medical groups and IPAs that showed performance improvements.

Talk to Inga.

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Currently there is "1 comment" on this Article:

  1. Not sure if Reggie Hammond is right or wrong about Misys reselling e-MDs, though it makes some sense. I hear Misys is still looking to buy someone (perhaps in addition?) and have been looking at Greenway.







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