HERtalk by Inga
From: Overworked “Re: UCSF cancels GE Centricity project & lays off 33 IT analysts & support staff. Was this reported already somewhere? I work with a pharmacist who was formally laid off from UCSF last week and given 2 months severance pay. Apparently UCSFMC cancelled their GE Centricity project three weeks ago and he said he knows of 33 IT analysts and IT support folks that were laid off. He says the GE project budget was blown out of the water within 1 year and it had been going on for over 3 years – he had been on board for 3+1/2 years. He says it wasn’t even close to being implemented. I thought it was interesting that I couldn’t find anything in the press – but forgive me if I’m telling you old news.” Unverified. Dang. Mr. H always accuses me of not reading what he writes but I don’t think we have any official word that UCSF ha terminated its relationship with GE. However, UCSFWatch did send over a note last month suggesting things were not going well. The medical center management had hired Kurt Salmon Associates to figure things out and at that time GE-related activity was on hold.
The North Shore-LIF Health System (NY) announces it is subsidizing up to 85% of the EMR implementation and operating costs for over 7,000 of its affiliated physician. Participating doctors can received subsidies of up to $40,000 each over five years to implement Allscripts EHR. The initial agreement with Allscripts includes licenses for 1,200 doctors and one analyst suggests the deal is worth $20 million. In any case, it’s definitely one of Allscripts’ largest sales ever. North Shore’s subsidy program includes a unique twist: physicians will be subsidized at a rate of either 85% or 50%, depending on whether or not they are willing to allow North Shore to use the EHR to report and share their performance data and allow them to compare it against a set of nationally care and outcome metrics.
Allscripts also announces that Baptist Memorial Health Care (TN) has selected Allscripts EHR/PM to automate its 65 employed and 3,100 affiliated physicians.
Meanwhile, a Jeffries’ analyst upgrades Misys to a buy and predicts the company will sell off each of its three divisions. Speculation is that the first division to go would be the Allscripts segment, which would appeal to buyers like “GE Healthcare and similar major players.” Analyst Milan Radia says, “”Our upgraded price target reflects our view that we are now approaching an end game in the transformation of Misys.”
A reader forwarded the attached copy of an email sent to all the ER docs at his hospital. He explained to me the ER recently adopted a new documentation system and is now paperless. However, authorities are now questioning if the system is in compliance with billing regulations because it prompts users to add certain items in earn a higher level service. If the “experts” determine that the system is out of compliance, the hospital will likely need some sort of fix from the vendor. In the worst case, the hospital (and presumably others in its chain) will have to revert to paper for some amount of time. I asked a reader his opinion, and he believed that technically the system was “legal” because the doctor still has to approve the code. However, he suggests it is a tricky game that can invite “serious auditing.” Any other opinions?
If you are a careful reader, you will have noticed that Mr. H left me to my own devices this week while he is out gallivanting the world. We always joke about how I would handle things if some major IT story broke while he was out of pocket, like someone buying Cerner or Judy Faulkner resigning from Epic. I’m thinking that Xerox’s acquisition of ACS was just a warm-up for some really big, breaking story during Mr. H’s next vacation. Investors, by the way, appeared lukewarm on the merger, and Xerox’s stock price fell 15% on Monday. The $5.7 billion cash and stock deal allows Xerox to expand its footprint into the services business, not unlike HP’s EDS purchase last year and Dell’s recently announced bid to buy Perot.
Cerner and the University of Missouri announce a $100 million partnership that reassigns about 100 workers from the UM Health System to Cerner. The plan calls for the creation of the Tiger Institute of Health Innovation, which will be tasked with designing innovations to improve patient care and population health. University and Cerner officials say the collaboration could improve patient safety and save the state $1 billion (sounds optimistic.) As part of the 10-year agreement, the university and Cerner would split profits from any new developments based on the amount of money each invests in the institute. A portion of the proceeds would be used to continue funding the institute. Former Ascension Health CIO Sherry Browne will lead the institute.
Accretive Health, a provider of RCM services, files for a $200 IPO.
HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announces $27.8 million in ARRA awards, including 18 grants totaling $22.6 million for EHR implementations. The balance will support various HIT projects, including HIEs and helping existing health centers use existing EHRs to improve patient health outcomes. Think how fun it must be to be Sebelius, handing out millions of dollars to grateful recipients every couple of weeks. Almost as good a gig as Santa Claus
The Hannaford Charitable Foundation presents Health Quest (NY) a $50,000 donation to help fund its CPOE project. This is the second such gift from the foundation that was created by the Hannaford supermarket chain. Health Quest is investing about $60 million to overhaul its IT infrastructure, including implementation of a Cerner system.
Freshmen at Indiana University are embracing the school-supplied PHR, with 40% already using the program just weeks after the start of school. NoMoreClipboard.com is the PHR vendor.
The State University of New York at Stony Brook expands its deployment of PatientKeeper products, adding the ePrescription and Pay for Performance applications.
Nuance Communications announces the availability of version 9 of its eScription application. Among other changes, version 9 offers advancements in document quality review and administrator efficiency.
The Lake Erie Regional Health System/TLC Health Network is awarded a $4 million grant towards a $5.6 million IT integration project between the Brooks Memorial Hospital and TLC Health Network facilities. The grant is part of $436 million in funds being distributed through the Health Care Efficiency and Affordability Law of New York State.
RelayHealth says that both Hill Physicians Medical Group (CA) and Montefiore Medical Center (NY) have improved care collaboration, patient satisfaction, and specialty treatment prioritization using RelayHealth’s referral management service. The product, which was co-developed with Hill Physicians, facilitates secure health information exchange between primary care providers and specialists.
West Georgia Health System signs a seven year deal with Perot Systems for revenue cycle services to the hospital organization. Perot just recently provided the health system support services to implement MEDITECH 6.0.
Speaking of Perot, I was sad to hear that the individual charged with insider trading ahead of Dell’s proposed purchase of Perot was one of the heroes in the 1979 Iranian hostage rescue. If you aren’t familiar with the story, Ross Perot spearheaded a mission to rescue two of his employees held hostage in an Iranian jail. Reza Saleh was an EDS employee at the time and led the mob that broke into the prison and ultimately rescued the hostages. The SEC has now charged Saleh of making $8.6 million in illicit profits from the Perot/Dell deal.
Hudson Headwaters Health Network, a network of 16 community health centers in upstate New York, receives a $7 million grant to finance HIT and a medical centered home initiative.
A new report from the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation finds that Finland, Sweden, and Denmark are the clear global leaders in terms of EHR adoption in hospitals. Those countries also ranked far better in their use of electronic prescribing and CPOE. At least we beat the Brits and New Zealand.
University Hospitals (OH) makes plans to rent a closed school to train more than 4,000 employees on its new Eclipsys Sunrise EMR system. The health system wants 6-day-a-week, 24-hours-a-day access to the school from January to June.
Cumberland Consulting Group is named one of 2009 Best Small Firms to Work for by Consulting Magazine.
The CDC issues $4.37 million in grants to fund four new Centers of Excellence in Public Health Informatics. The recipients will use the funds to enhance HIT and improve the detection of and response to emerging public health interests. Winners are Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, Indiana University, the University of Pittsburgh, and the University of Utah.
Warning: if you are an HIT purist, feel free to mosey along and not read this last note. For the rest of you, here is an amazing statistic: more than 2 billion applications have been downloaded from Apple’s App store since July, 2008. More than 85,000 apps are currently available, and only about 18% of the downloaded apps are paid for. However, the average cost of paid applications is growing and US revenues for applications will grow 10 times between 2009 and 2013, reaching $4.2 billion. I downloaded my first paid application recently: Scrabble ($4.99) and I am totally addicted.