From Friend of Tim: “Re: Yale New Haven. They’ve signed with Epic and the CIO is out.” Verified. Health system SVP/CIO Mark Andersen confirms that YNHH signed a contract with Epic this week (no surprise there – I said months ago that they were going Epic if they could find the money and Mark confirmed). They just brought up Eclipsys Sunrise CPOE and pharmacy a couple of years ago and were also running nurse and physician documentation, so Eclipsys loses a high-profile customer. With the Epic deal done, Mark will be leaving in a couple of weeks after 13 years there. He’s always been gracious and quick in responding to my questions. I wish him the best.
From CP Uh-Oh: “Re: Chicago CPOE error detailed in a Friday happy hour e-mail blast.” The purported e-mail from a Chicago hospital radiologist:
We have discovered a systems issue that may convert CPOE orders for CT examinations without IV contrast into CT examinations with IV contrast in Radiant. I have asked all Radiology Faculty and trainees to be particularly cautious in protocoling CT contrast examinations, and would like to enlist your assistance in carefully checking contrast CT orders. In addition, until the problem is solved, it would be prudent to call CT to verify that contrast will not be administered to at risk patients. Your support is appreciated.
From CPAhole: “Re: Allscripts MyWay. I heard they’ve said they won’t support ICD-10 in MyWay since it will be sunsetted in 2012.” Unverified. I’ll be incognito at the Allscripts user meeting August 5-7, so if I don’t hear anything before then, I’m sure I will there in Las Vegas. Inga and I speculated when the merger was announced that MyWay was the square peg in a round hole, but we were just guessing then, too.
From A Once-Burned Skeptic: “Re: IBM’s $100 million healthcare investment. This strikes me as funny. Didn’t IBM invest roughly the same amount a few years ago by buying Healthlink, which had doctors and nurses focusing on healthcare transformation? If IBM would have simply retained the talent they had from that acquisition, they would be well positioned to do exactly this right now. Call me a skeptic on IBM’s interest in healthcare.” Everyone should be skeptical since companies like IBM and Oracle are always immersing themselves in healthcare for a couple of years, then losing interest after spending a ton of money with little to show for it. IBM couldn’t keep Kaiser as a customer for its expensive custom software development once Epic got traction, blowing through $400 million of Kaiser’s endless fortunes before they were replaced with Epic for $2-4 billion. I’m not sure how its $400 million deal with UPMC turned out. Healthcare IT is one of those things that seems to work backward from nearly every other product: the bigger and more diversified the company selling it, the less impressive the result.
HIStalk readers would have voted Don Berwick into his CMS administrator job given the chance, but only barely. New poll to your right: are the final Meaningful Use requirements for providers too easy, too hard, or about right?
Ed Marx has added his responses to your comments on his Strategic Plans – Getting to 2.0 post from last week. Want him to write about something specific? He would be pleased to hear from you.
CapSite will announce Monday that Saint Like’s Health System (MO) has subscribed to its service, which offers line-item pricing breakdowns from healthcare IT contracts and proposals in 60 categories.
Everybody, me included, is sick of hearing about Meaningful Use now that the regs are final. I think a few more practices in the 1-5 doc range might be interested with the bar lowered a bit, but I’d still bet most of them will run the numbers and pass, at least for now. The final MU requirements, as flexible and less demanding as they may be, still aren’t worth meeting in strictly financial terms, so that means hospitals, large practices, and tech-savvy small practices will get most of the checks. The great majority of practices and hospitals are small (1-5 docs and <100 beds, respectively) and I expect they’ll look at the ambitious timeline, the cost, and the stress on already-stressed doctors and simply say no to Uncle’s strings-attached cash (I’ve always called that my “Free Kittens” theory). We’ll see how accurate all those surveys have been that claimed the only thing holding docs up was upfront EMR cost.
Another new Epic site: Hurley Medical Center (MI).
Apple’s response to its embarrassing Antennagate iPhone 4 problems have been quite un-Apple like. I can imagine an HIT vendor faced with angry customer backlash over a CPOE bug reacting the same way in sequence: (a) it’s your fault for using our product incorrectly; (b) it’s actually not a problem, but a minor bug that makes it look like one and we’ll fix that eventually; (c) we’re not really sure if it’s a problem, but the best option is for you to spend your own time and money adding on a third-party solution; (d) OK, it might really be a problem, but it hasn’t been reported much, so it’s not a big deal; and (e) OK, it’s definitely a problem, but it’s the entire industry and not just us and everybody needs to do a better job.
GE’s Q2 numbers: revenue down 4%, EPS $0.30 vs. $0.27. Jeff Immelt says healthcare orders, along with oil and gas, were “particular bright spots.” GE Healthcare’s revenue and profit were up, at $4.1 billion and $661 million, respectively.
Verizon announces the Verizon Health Information Exchange, offering a clinical dashboard, patient index, and secure messaging. The MedVirginia RHIO has signed on, presumably meaning that its original (struggling) vendor Wellogic is out. Verizon’s offering runs on the Oracle Healthcare Transaction Base, which I thought had fizzled out years ago after the usual big splash followed by corporate indifference. Just in case it isn’t obvious, Verizon’s healthcare interest surged recently when taxpayer wealth was redistributed to make it more lucrative. Since HITECH, the company has announced services for security, telehealth, and physician data sharing.
A fun story: the guy responsible for killing a proposed Anthem Blue Cross 39% medical insurance rate increase in California is a work-from-home actuary who did part of his analysis from a hospital bed. California law requires the state to accept insurance rate hikes as long as the company proves it’s spending 70% of the premiums to pay medical claims (obviously that idea contains endless misaligned incentives that help keep healthcare costs rising). Hired by the state to double-check the insurance company’s numbers, the actuary found obscure mistakes in some of its inflation projections. Anthem and its corporate parent WellPoint claim appreciation for his diligence and express their relief in being able to hit the state up for less money (anybody buying that?) They resubmitted an increase request for half the original amount and then tried to hire him. A consumer group said, “He slew the giant. It was David versus Goliath, except David was armed with a calculator rather than a slingshot.” His tiny company also offers hospital services, including provider contracting and medical management reviews.
More only-in-California goofiness: 1,000 nursing union members picket the $3 million house of billionaire Meg Whitman, former eBay CEO and current candidate for governor. They’re upset at her promises to cut the state’s budget (including their pensions) even though it’s running a $20 billion deficit. She’s even in the polls with Jerry Brown even though she’s never held office and doesn’t even vote all the time. She’s spending up to $120 million of her own money to gain the seat.
St. Luke’s Health System (ID) loses power for 24 hours, forcing it to go to paper when its backup power systems also fail. My experience with backup generators is about the same as with data backups: they work about 80% of the time, which means IT is going to look really stupid in 20% of the unexpected disasters.