Wolters Kluwer Health will acquire Lexicomp, a provider of drug information and clinical content for pharmacists and clinicians.
Toshiba will buy medical imaging software company Vital Images for $273 million. Toshiba Medical Systems is the largest customoer of Vital Images. Toshiba America Medical Systems also announces that Donald L. Fowler, a former VP of Siemens Medical’s MR business unit, will be the division’s GM and SVP.
Cerner’s Q1 results: revenue of $491.7 million, up 14% from a year ago. Profit was $64.6 million or $0.75/share compared to last year’s $0.59/share. Cerner also says it signed a record $524.9 million in new bookings, a 30% jump over last year.
From Sam Adams: “Re: GE and tax protests. Did you see the pictures of people protesting outside the GE/IDX building last week on tax day?” Thanks to Sam for sending the link. GE Healthcare’s Burlington, VT facility was the chosen site for protestors rallying against the US corporate tax code, which they believe unduly benefits large corporations. Earlier this month, The New York Times reported that GE paid zero federal taxes on $14.2 billion in profit.
From Epicwatcher: “Re: Epic. I’ve heard from three sources that Epic might go for an IPO. It would be a good time to go to market, but I doubt Judy would go for it.” Unverified, but agreed on both arguments. It would be a great time but it probably won’t happen.
From Keep em Honest: “Re: Cerner. Interesting coincidence that Cerner COO Mike Valentine resigned within 48 hours of the first Siemens customer attesting for MU. HIT sleuths will recall that Valentine’s signature was on a letter penned to rival Siemens customers back in 2009 that claimed Siemens would not be able to get their customers to MU in time. As it happened last week, Siemens was the first of the major HIT vendors to have a customer attest.”
From JD: “Re: cloud backups. Your readers might be interested to learn about GNAX, a company in Atlanta that provides data center and cloud hosting services. Its customers include a number of hospitals in the Atlanta area. I toured their facility a few months ago and was very impressed by the many backups they had for their backups in case of things like power outages, floods, etc. (though I readily admit I am still learning when it comes to the cloud).” I found the video above on YouTube, which is fun as well as educational because there’s a great keg party going on right behind the speaker in the HIMSS11 exhibit hall. I should mention that I know JD and this isn’t shilling – she’s in an unrelated healthcare business.
HIStalk Announcements and Requests
This week on HIStalk Practice: Dr. Gregg contemplates dancing stars and easy EMRs. Rob Culbert debuts his Consultant’s Corner column with suggestions for the successful development of medical groups. CaroMont Health partners with athenahealth. Greenway Medical helps out the Boys & Girls Clubs. Triangle Capital Corp. bets big on house-calls. A urology group asks a judge to evict a hostile doctor. While you are visiting, join 1,063 of HIT’s coolest kids and sign up for the e-mail updates. You know you wanna.
Thanks to new HIStalk Gold Sponsor JEMS Technology of Orion, MI. This is cool stuff: a physician can perform a HIPAA compliant JEMS Consult via smart phone or tablet. Examples: consulting on a patient who’s on the surgery table, conducting a stroke evaluation from any location, getting or giving a second opinion, and safely evaluating prisoners without entering facility. The on-site person chooses the camera feed, the remote consultant presses the JEMS icon on their smart phone and enters their password, and the consultant is instantly participating in a live JEMS Consult from wherever they are, including the ability to carry on a conversation with those on the other end over the video stream. Benefits include making surgeons happier, decreasing OR time with on-the-spot consultations, and potentially reducing lawsuit risk. AT&T chose JEMS as its partner for handheld video streaming in healthcare. Thanks to JEMS Technology for supporting HIStalk.
Preaching to the PR people, continued: everyday is an adjective, not a phrase. You might wear everyday shoes, but you wear those shoes every day, not everyday. That was in a press release I got today and I was appalled. On the other hand, I was happy just to receive it since Yahoo Mail was down all afternoon and is still acting flaky even though the mail’s going through. Maybe this cloud thing is overrated.
On the other hand, I was beaming at the simple fix to my slow wireless Netflix streaming to the TV via my Roku box: powerline network adapters. I was skeptical, but they worked right out of the box: plug an adapter into a wall jack and connect it by network cable to your router, plug the other in the wall jack next to the TV and run the network cable from there to the Roku. Two minutes and $85 later, no more wireless bottlenecks – it’s like I had Cat 5 wiring right to the TV.
Listening: new from Augustana, straight-ahead Springsteen-type rock.
Jobs on the sponsors-only job board: Director, Revenue Cycle Solutions – Virtual Office, Product Specialist – Physician, Inside Sales Executive/Telesales, Systems Engineer. On Healthcare IT Jobs: Business Development Manager, eGate Integration Analyst, Epic Clinical Applicataions Specialist.
Your honey-do list: (a) sign up for e-mail updates to your upper right; (b) visually inspect HIStalk Practice and HIStalk Mobile as my quality assurance specialist to make sure Inga and Dr. Travis are doing a good job; (c) Friend, Like, or Connect everything HIStalk-y on Facebook and LinkedIn to help Inga, Dr. Jayne, and me feel like immensely popular celebrities, which offers some illusory consolation as we contemplate our reality of toiling in solitude like monks copying scripture on papyrus; (d) avail yourself of the Rumor Report function to send me whatever you know that is scandalous, insightful, or funny; (e) intently observe the impressive lineup of sponsor ads to your left, paying them homage with an occasional click in recognition of their sometimes misplaced confidence that sponsoring HIStalk means their days of worrying about being the subject of negative news or snotty commentary are over. And thank you for riding shotgun in the HIStalk weenie wagon by reading what we write since it would be pointless otherwise.
Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock
A federal jury finds that a former Mayo Clinic researcher misappropriated trade secrets and violated his employment contract when he left Mayo for a job at Mount Sinai Medical Center. However, the jury ordered Mayo to pay Dr. Peter Elkin $143,222 in royalties for record-keeping software that was eventually sold by the company, LingoLogix, to Cerner for $5.7 million. Elkin and Mayo have been battling the issue since 2008. Mayo says Elkin tried to undermine the commercialization of the software. We profiled the technology (pre-Cerner) back in 2008. A Mayo representative sent over their summary of the verdict, saying the amount awarded to Elkin was money they had already planned to pay as his share even before the lawsuit was filed. The non-profit Mayo requires all funds that result from commercialization of its intellectual property be returned to it.
Telehealth provider iMetrikus changes its name to Numera. The company says its new brand “reflects the company’s focus on developing high-quality, low-cost methods of collecting objective patient health and biometric data and integrating this into popular electronic medical records, care management, and personal health records .” I don’t get how a name change “reflects” any of that, but then again I majored in economics and not marketing. The company also appoints Tim Smokoff CEO “to spearhead the newly branded company.” Smokoff is the former GM of Microsoft’s World Wide Health Industry Solutions Group.
athenahealth reports Q1 earnings of $69.9 million, a 28% increase over last year. Net income was $3.3 million, or $0.09/share, versus 2010’s $0.01/share.
Oppenheimer, which just started coverage on Cerner with an “underperform” rating, initiates coverage of Allscripts with an “outperform,” setting a $25.00 price target. Shares closed Thursday at $20.61, giving the company a market cap of $3.9 billion. Above is a one-year share price chart showing Allscripts (blue), Cerner (green), and the S&P 500 (red).
McLeod Health (SC) picks MedeAnalytics’ Patient Access Intelligence product for front-end patient collections and insurance verification.
The VA awards telehealth system provider Robert Bosch Healthcare a new contract for its Health Buddy System.
Reference lab PAML (WA) selects 4medica for clinical pathology lab ordering and results reporting.
Three HCA hospitals in South Florida sign up for AirStrip Cardiology to allow physicians to read ECGs on their smart phones.
IGI Health hires Lee Barrett as president and CEO. Founder Arthur Kapoor will assume the role of chairman. Barrett has previously served as executive director of EHNAC CEO of Claredi.
Streamline Health Solutions appoints Stephen H. Murdock as CFO.
Harry Greenspun, MD joins the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions to focus on health sciences and government clients, leaving his position as EVP and CMO at Dell Healthcare Services. He came to Dell as part of its Perot Systems acquisition.
Former Misys Healthcare CEO Vern Davenport is named to the advisory board of public health consulting firm SciMetrika.
PenRad Technologies hires Dan Bickford as EVP of sales and business development. He was co-founder and EVP of Confirma, now Merge Healthcare.
University of Wisconsin-Madison gives Judy Faulkner and four other alumni its Entrepreneurial Achievement Award.
John Glaser of Siemens is mentioned as being on the board of KEW Group, a Boston-area startup that is buying and partnering with community cancer centers that will use its personalized medicine and clinical IT platform. According to the company’s site, he is a founder.
Garrick Palmer, formerly of Oracle, IBM, and Cerner, joins Fujitsu to lead healthcare sales of its biometric solutions, such as the PalmSecure palm vein scanner.
AHA gives its exclusive (paid) endorsement to nVoq’s SayIt in the category of healthcare voice recognition. I have to say that I’ve never heard of it. I didn’t know that Nuance even had competitors that it hasn’t already acquired.
Sharp HealthCare uses Oracle’s SOA Suite and Weblogic to create its patient portal.
Government and Politics
HHS is considering a “mystery shopper” program to assess primary care physicians on their willingness to accept new patients and to provide them with services in a timely manner. The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation will contact 465 PCPs and simulate requests for appointments for both privately and publically insured patients. I have just two words to summarize my opinion: budget crisis.
CMS announces that it will offer conference calls next week to provide information about the Meaningful Use attestation process. They are scheduled for Tuesday for hospitals and Thursday for EPs. Signups close the day before the session.
The LA Times brings to light public pensions, including those of healthcare executives. The president and CEO of a public hospital district received a $3 million lump sum retirement payout when he turned 65, worked two more years at $688K per year, will get another $900K when he retires for a second time this week, and will get a pension of $150K per year for life. “I think I’ve earned it,” he says.
Road warriors take note: Columbia University researchers find that extensive travelers are 260% more likely than light travelers to rate their health as fair to poor. Extensive travelers are also 92% more likely to be obese and have higher cholesterol and blood pressure.
Thieves steal $100,000 worth of copper from the Cerner campus and cause “a substantial amount of property damage.” The copper was in a building under renovation.
An internal audit at University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics finds “flaws” involving its $61 million Epic system, including inconsistent use and information being incorrectly entered or not at all. One pediatrician had not switched to Epic for prescriptions and was using an outdated system that lacked audit controls. Significant lag times were noted in three departments and 32 bills were missed in November as physicians were not entering charges in a timely fashion. One regent noted that “younger staff are more comfortable with the new technology but older staff have a harder time adapting.” So is it flawed software or flawed workflow?
Imaging the World wins a $100,000 grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for its low-cost rural ultrasound project for areas of high maternal and neonatal mortality. The founders are Kristen DeStigter, MD (Fletcher Allen Health Care associate professor and vice chair of radiology) and Brian Garra MD (chief of imaging systems and research at the Washington DC VA and associate director in the imaging division of the FDA).
Employees of the Allscripts office in Raleigh, NC used Thursday’s “Take Your Daughters and Sons to Work Day” to prepare kits of personal items for victims of the April 16 tornadoes, which will be distributed by the Salvation Army.
Pompare Technologies files suit against Hospira, Cerner, and Epic, claiming those companies infringed on its patent for controlling an IV infusion pump. Pompare doesn’t come up in a Google search. Its patent was granted Tuesday and it set the lawyers loose on Wednesday, seeking to recover damages “but in no event less than a reasonable royalty.”
A couple’s lawsuit against a hospital in which the woman claimed she suffered marital problems and traumatic anxiety after a physician’s assistant stole the narcotic from her epidural pump is thrown out by a skeptical jury. The woman claims her motivation was purely to improve hospital safety, saying she wanted to make sure “this was something that wasn’t hid in the closet.” The jury foreman found her intentions less noble, saying “Every time we got to a particular count, it was like Swiss cheese. I almost felt bad for their attorney.”
- Grant Memorial Healthcare (WV), a 45-bed facility, selects HMS’s clinical and financial applications.
- Iatric Systems receives ONC-ATCB certification from CCHIT for its Public Health Immunization Interface solutions.
- Wake Endoscopy Center (NC) will implement ProVation MD software for gastroenterology procedure documentation and coding and ProVation EHR and patient charting.
- Brazosport Regional Health System (TX) picks the e-Forms Repository downtime registration solution from Access.
- RelayHealth announces the general availability of ProSMART, an on-demand pharmacy claims adjudication reporting product for payers. Pharmacy benefits manager Restat is deploying the solution.
- Sunquest Information Systems is honored for its development of a CRM system that integrates sales and support functions.
- Heartland Regional Medical Center (MO) implements Voalte’s iPhone communication solution. The company also gets a story in its hometown Sarasota, FL paper for the pilot program, mentioning that nurses there can use their Voalte-powered iPhone to access the hospital’s GE call system, Philips Emergin alarms, Cisco wireless, and Siemens telephone system. It also notes that the company will hire developers to port its application to Android smart phones.
- Childs Medical Clinic of Samson, AL becomes the first Greenway Medical Technologies PrimeSUITE 2011 customer to attest and receive payment notice for Stage 1 Meaningful Use incentives.
- Billian’s HealthDATA adds contact information for more than 10,000 long-term care executives to its online market intelligence portal, which now includes more than 3,000 data points covering more than 40,000 US healthcare facilities.
- The Vancouver Clinic (WA) goes live on Epic ambulatory, with implementation assistance from the Epic practice of Culbert Healthcare Solutions.
EPtalk by Dr. Jayne
Dear Dr. Jayne,
Do you plan to attest for Meaningful Use in 2011 or 2012?
Dave the Healthcare Bean Counter
Are you a plant from my day job? Seriously, I get this question all the time. And the answer is, “most likely 2012.” We’re going to play the game under the Medicare rules, so we can’t ask for a check just for having purchased a system.
Like many other organizations across the US, we will have to upgrade to our vendor’s certified product before we can attest. Even though we’re able to do 90% of what Meaningful Use intends us to do, without the certified version, we may not be documenting in the precisely specified field that’s used for the certified version.
I alluded to this last week when I talked about tobacco use documentation. Do I ask every patient about their tobacco use and counsel those who use tobacco that they need to quit? Do I have a reportable discrete field in which to document? Absolutely. Am I documenting using one of the six required data points? Not so much, until I upgrade.
Additionally, after the upgrade, we’ll want to allow time for our providers to transition to the new fields (and some of the slick new workflow that comes with the upgraded version, independent of Meaningful Use) as well as to benchmark where our physicians stand.
I work for a large health system, which (news flash!) had priorities established long before MU was a blip on the horizon. We have a multi-year strategic plan that we’re trying to execute, with important outcomes like reducing length of stay, preventing medical errors, and providing care to the underserved and indigent. We’re targeting diabetes and obesity. We’re delivering thousands of babies and providing preventive care.
Needless to say, our IT department is fairly busy supporting all those initiatives. Although a fair amount of resources has been shifted to achieving MU, we don’t get to stop working on those priorities just because someone is handing out cash.
I’m grateful that our organization has gone with this approach. I think there are enough rational folks here who understand that MU is a bit of a shell game and will most certainly cost providers more than the payments they receive. But they’re also savvy enough to know that we don’t want to miss out on any of the money. Although we had plans to do the technology anyway, it’s definitely nice to have our friend Uncle Sam pick up part of the tab.
There was a recent discussion in the doctor’s lounge that revolved around whether Congress would repeal the provisions of health care reform and whether there would be any money available. Several independent physicians were discussing their plans to attest as soon as possible, just in case the funding dries up. Others lobbied for not even bothering, fearing or hoping that the program will disappear.
They asked my opinion, and it was this. If you plan to attest this year, keep going. Make plans to run interim reports to see how you’re doing and where you stand on the metrics, and implement programs and processes to get your numbers up if needed. Don’t let the fact that you can do it in either year delay you from your plans.
If you planned to attest in 2012, keep chugging away as well. If you meet your metrics early, you can always go ahead and submit and be ahead of the game.