ONC names Judy Murphy, RN, FACMI, FHIMSS as deputy national coordinator for programs and policy, the position Farzad Mostashari held until being named National Coordinator. She was previously VP of EHR applications at Aurora Health Care and has served on the boards of HIMSS and AMIA.
From ShareBear: “Re: Continuity of Care Document. Does Canada use it as well? Just wondering if US patients could carry and delivery a CCD from their ONC-certified vendor.” I thought it was US-only, but experts can chime in.
HIStalk Announcements and Requests
Inga is all full of herself running around at MGMA in Las Vegas (or “Vegas,” as the logo annoyingly states), trying hard not to compromise her stealthy Inga identity while composing her daily summaries for HIStalk Practice, so I’ve given her the HIStalk day off. I’ll still put my little blue icons here and there since I’d miss them otherwise. The red ones will be back Thursday.
I’m a good way through the Steve Jobs biography (reading it on the iPad, not too ironically), so I’m sure I’ll have something to say about it by the weekend. My impression so far: he was an brilliant, rebellious, insensitive jackass who had amazing ideas and who didn’t hesitate to use his overpowering personality and caustic scorn to streamroll over anyone who stood in the way of seeing them realized, either by their intentions or their lack of equally shared enthusiasm. But it definitely worked for him and for Apple. I felt sorry for Steve Wozniak after reading how he was treated, but even Woz admits that there would be no Apple without Jobs. He should be the next to write a book (I have no doubt it’s coming, if for no other reason than for him to tell his side of the story.)
Save the date for HIStalkapalooza 2012: Tuesday, February 21, 7:00 to 10:00 p.m., at the HIMSS conference in Las Vegas. I was losing interest since I had too little time to figure out the details, but a fun sponsor stepped forward to take the load off my shoulders. Actually, several companies volunteered to foot the bill and meet my attendee-centric requirements (which I really appreciate) and in the interest of fairness, I simply chose the first one that met my checklist. We’ve chosen the venue, menu, and entertainment, so now Inga and I have to work out the stage show (shoe awards, beauty queen sashes, HISsies, etc.) Remember that everything is a day behind in Las Vegas: Monday is the old Sunday (pre-conference workshops, opening reception) and Tuesday is the old Monday (opening session, exhibits open). We’ve always had HIStalkapalooza on Monday, so this year is no different except it will be Tuesday (that makes no sense, but neither does the HIMSS schedule.) We’ll get all the registration stuff together later, probably right after New Year’s. Ladies, start your fashion shopping engines.
Admire the animation-free ad of new HIStalk Platinum Sponsor Passport Health Communications of Franklin, TN. The company, founded in 1996, offers business operations and payment certainty solutions to hospitals and providers. It serves over 1,900 hospitals and 8,000 practices and processes 300 million transactions each year through its eCare revenue cycle solutions, making it one of the fastest-growing SaaS service companies in the country. Its eCare NEXT Patient Access Suite is a single solution that handles patient information verification, address checking, and payments, offering (as the animation-free ad says elegantly) Payment Certainty for Every Patient. The company just announced a big deal to provide 27-hospital Providence Health & Services with payer eligibility connectivity services. You can read case studies on its site from organizations such as Vanderbilt Medical Group, UNC Health Care, West Virginia University Hospitals, Meriter, and Advocate Health Care. Thanks to Passport Health Communications for supporting HIStalk.
Speaking of Passport Health Communications, this is a first. To celebrate their HIStalk sponsorship, they got together with their customer Quorum Health Resources and put together the video above, which is pretty darned funny (my favorite part was the last few seconds). As I watched, I was thinking that the guy who played the boarding pass taker was a good actor, then I saw at the end that it’s actually Passport CEO Scott MacKenzie. I’m impressed.
Health business intelligence vendor Analytix On Demand acquires Integrated Revenue Management Inc. and changes its name to CentraMed, which will offer a BI platform and professional services.
McKesson announces Q2 numbers: revenue up 10%, EPS $1.63 vs. $1.25, beating analyst expectations by $0.24 (excluding a $118 million one-time contribution to litigation reserves related to the drug pricing lawsuits it faces). The company also beat revenue expectations and raised guidance. Technology Solutions had revenue of $825 million, up 7%. The conference call was this afternoon, but the transcript hasn’t been posted yet.
Long-time IBM CEO Sam Palmisano steps down, replaced by sales and marketing SVP Virginia Rometty. Palmisano will remain as chairman.
HealthStream announces Q3 numbers; revenue up 24%, EPS $0.08 vs. $0.04, beating expectations for both. The Nashville company, which offers healthcare learning and staff competency solutions, has a market cap of $317 million. Shares were just mentioned in a Forbes article called Fifteen Small Company Stocks To Buy Right Now.
A Japanese company says it saved Italy-based pharmacy IV automation vendor Health Robotics from a hostile takeover by unnamed US companies by acquiring a minority stake in the company. Health Robotics and McKesson sued each other after their distribution agreement went sour.
Seton Healthcare (TX) selects dbMotion Collaborate as its interoperability platform to cover 11 counties.
Walsall Trust (UK) chooses TeleTracking Technology’s TransportTracking system to replace an existing patient transport system.
Scripps Health (CA) selects Allscripts Community Record powered by dbMotion for its 2,600 affiliated physicians and five hospitals.
Memorial Hermann Healthcare System (TX) selects the T-SystemsEV EDIS to automate physician documentation in its nine EDs, including integration with the EMR and computer-assisted coding solution.
St. Peters Healthcare Services (NY) chooses the Pharmacy Xpert clinical intelligence dashboard for pharmacists from Thomson Reuters.
Awarepoint Corporation hires Merrie Wallace, RN, BSN, MN (McKesson) as EVP of product solutions; Chris Cosgrove (McKesson) as senior VP of sales; Greg Arthur (Microsoft) as VP of client management; and Carla Gallegos (Cisco) as VP of national account sales.
Healthcare data exchange vendor Proficient Health of Greensboro, NC names Dennis Barry to its board. He is a pharmacist, CEO Emeritus of Cone Health (NC), and a former educator and administrator for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
RelayHealth wins the VA’s “Blue Button for All Americans” contest. Its one-click Blue Button download of a patient’s information was implemented on the required 25,000 physician sites. VA Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shineski says, “We wanted to give Veterans and their families easy access to their health data with the Blue Button so they can have greater control over the health care they receive. RelayHealth’s contribution to this goal is more than commendable.” The company will donate its $50,000 prize to the Wounded Warrior Project.
Froedtert Hospital implements NCR Wayfinding to improve the patient experience.
El Centro Regional Medical Center (CA) implements the PatientSecure palm vein scanning patient ID system from HT Systems.
Kansas Health Information Network and eHealthAlign merge their two ICA CareAlign HIE contracts to increase efficiencies and reduced cost to providers.
Fujitsu and Osmosyz announce a scanning product suite that converts paper charts to interoperable documents that meet HL7 Clinical Document Architecture standards. They’re demoing the solution in the booth of partner Aprima at MGMA.
In India, Wipro announces a new version of its Hospital Information Management System that’s used by over 100 customers in India, the Middle East, and Africa.
Reporter: Congressman, we at Heritage have done some reporting about, specifically, one member of the Health IT Policy Committee sort of controlling where these federal funds are being spent, who seems to be using her position — this is Judith Faulkner at Epic Systems — to advance her company’s interests, using $20 billion in stimulus funds. Have you looked into how the people who are directing this policy stand to gain from this potential conflict of interest, the sort of cronyism at play here?
Huelskamp: We discussed that in our office just yesterday, and saw an article this morning … I appreciate your work about exposing that. You know, you roll back a little bit of history to the Hillary Clinton era, and that’s helped kill that when that was being put together. Given the closed nature of the process … and I’ll tell you, for Congress to say it’s not transparent on that end, while down the street we’ve got 12 folks around a table dictating the entirety of policy, it rings hollow.
But the point being, I think most Americans are saying, "Hey, wait a minute. That just doesn’t smell right." So I think that’s an angle to talk about and continue to push on that. We don’t have anything to add. You guys have done great research. We’re going to continue to push on that. We are looking for soft spots, and we just talked about that yesterday — where we can find those. Because there’s somebody in there, without a doubt. If I know Governor/Secretary Sebelius as well as I think I do, there’ll be plenty of other places. You follow the money, and you’ll find out where.
This is a multi-billion dollar initiative. I served on the information technology committee in the state legislature for about 10 years. They couldn’t put together a Medicaid system — am I right on that, Brian? I mean, it was millions and millions of dollars. It would fall apart every year, and then they’d start again and again. This is a cash cow, without a doubt. There’s only, in my understanding, two or three companies that could potentially pull that off and they’ve got connections to the administration.
And later in the interview:
Huelskamp: I’m just thinking about Judith Faulkner and her appointed group. They’re not for sure who appointed them? Yeah, surely you’re joking. We know it’s all political appointments, and that’s how it works, and we understand that.
Australia creates an oversight body to identify and manage patient safety risks related to its national electronic medical records rollout. The group will determine the severity of risks and provide guidance on how quickly to resolve them.
Innovation and Research
Graduate students at University of California Merced are developing an avatar-led virtual physical therapy software application to provide physical therapy services to the elderly.
Partners Healthcare Center for Connected Health gets a $25,000 Verizon Foundation grant to develop a wireless pedometer (a sneaker chip) for teens and a text messaging program that sends them health and nutrition suggestions based on their activity. That’s a pretty brilliant idea and the execution looks good.
A CapSite survey finds that 80% of hospitals either belong to an HIE or plan to join one and three-fourths of them plan to purchase HIE solutions. Most hospitals aren’t so sure about signing up for an ACO, however.
An American Medical News article covers the use of digital pens integrated with an EMR to avoid having physicians starting at a keyboard and screen instead of looking at their patients. It mentions Medical Specialists Centers of Indiana, which uses Shareable Ink for clinical documentation with up to 99% accuracy, according to the practice’s CEO.
A private investor at an investment and advisory firm weighs in on the compensation of McKesson CEO John Hammergren in a Forbes guest column:
The one to triumph in this year’s tournament for the most rapacious pillage of shareholder property is John H. Hammergren, chairman and CEO of McKesson Pharmaceuticals. His “compensation” which is doesn’t really capture the essence of his remuneration, was a mind blowing $131.2 million U.S. dollars. This number is obscene. It is just shy of 11% of the total $1.2 billion in net income for the entire company … But defenders will say, McKesson’s stock is up 20% and Hammergren has created prodigious amounts of shareholder value. And my goodness, McKesson is the 15th largest company in America with deca-billions in revenue and they do all of these incredibly wonderful things and John is such a great leader and manager and family man, and charitable and a civic leader, and don’t go on because nausea has overcome me and I’ve already vomited. Deaf to it all I am.
It cannot be reiterated enough. He’s a manager, nothing more nothing less. McKesson has been “a trusted supplier of medical goods and supplies” for more than 175 years. Hammergren joined the company in 1996. His CV on the company website attributes to him no inventions or holder of patents. He assumes no personal risk: Unlike an entrepreneur, he has no personal capital whatsoever on the line. MANAGER. He is surely an astute and capable one given his pay, but a manager nonetheless. Excuse makers remind me that the bulk of such CEO pay comes from the exercise of stock options. In Hammergren’s case, he exercised more than $100 million in options this year. But why was he given the stock options in the first place? Grant of these options is just one more wealth transfer from shareholders to one man, in our example John.
In Louisiana, anesthesiologist William Preau III MD writes a letter of recommendation for Robert Berry MD, an anesthesiologist colleague who had been fired from their practice over concerns of substance abuse. At his new job, Berry puts a 31-year-old woman in a permanent vegetative state while administering anesthesia under the influence of unspecified drugs. The woman’s family settles their lawsuit, getting $1 million from Berry and $7.5 million from the hospital. The hospital then sues Preau and his practice for giving Berry a glowing recommendation after they had fired him for substance abuse. The practice got off the hook since their original response had been to simply acknowledge that Berry was a former employee, but Preau’s three sentences cost him $8.2 million in damages, which his malpractice carrier won’t cover since the case involved tortious misrepresentation, not bodily injury.
- Robert Hitchcock, CMIO of T-System is interviewed for a podcast on the survival of hospital EDs and the necessity of EHRs.
- CareTech Solutions is recognized with “Outstanding Website Developer” and “Information Services Standard of Excellence” awards from the Web Marketing Association, while 13 of its clients win WebAwards of their own.
- Modern Healthcare’s Best Places to Work in Healthcare names Aspen Advisors, Encore Health Resources, Hayes Management Consulting, Iatric Systems, Impact Advisors, maxIT Healthcare, and The Advisory Board Company among its top 100.
- Cumberland Consulting Group promotes Jessa Sprenkle to executive consultant.
- Orthopaedics of Steamboat Springs, PC (CO) selects the SRSsoft EHR.
- ZirMed announces the release of its Patient Payment Developer Kit at MGMA.
- ADP AdvancedMD announces cloud integration between its practice management system and Modernizing Medicine EMA-Ophthalmology EHR.
- Carondelet Health and Ascension Health Information Services (KS) select eClinicalWorks PM/EHR and Electronic Health eXchange.
- Coastal Medical (RI) announces that 47 providers have achieved MU using eClinicalWorks.
- MedVentive Inc. closes a $12 million offering of Series D preferred shares.
- Billian’s HealthDATA affiliate HITR.com launches a blog called Nurse Tech Talk – Bridging Nursing and IT.
- Health Language Inc. launches its LEAP I-10 claims analytics module at the Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange Fall 2011 Conference.
- Greenway Medical releases an analysis of Medicare’s final ACO rule, authored by VP Justin Barnes, who also is co-chair of the national Accountable Care Community of Practice.
- Intelligent InSites will present Getting the Most out of an RFID/RTLS Implementation at the Northeast Healthcare Technology Symposium in Groton, CT next week.