Federal defense contractor ManTech International acquires federal healthcare system integrator Evolvent Technologies. You may remember Evolvent from HIStalkapalooza in Atlanta a couple of years ago, which they co-sponsored with Encore Health Resources and Symantec.
From Stacy London: “Re: HIStalkapalooza. I have registered and hope to make the official invite list. I haven’t been before, so I am not sure what to wear. Thought it was better to ask you than Mr. H.” Indeed. You will see everything from the dreadful “straight from the exhibit hall” company logo shirts to glitzy gowns and tuxedos (seriously.) However, if you’d like to be in the running for HIStalk King or Queen, I suggest some serious cocktail party attire, complete with great shoes and lots of bling. Because we are in Vegas, we are including two special categories: Best Elvis Impersonator and Best Left in Vegas Attire. Ideally, the winners of the Vegas categories will actually be trying to win. All winners, including those crowned in the Inga Loves My Shoe contest, will be awarded fabulous prizes from the generous Mr. H (who may not know fashion, but who knows this stuff makes me happy so he puts up with it.) Our esteemed judges are pictured above.
From Is It Just Me: “Re: HISsies survey. Of all the silly questions and odd choices, I thought listing John Hammergren as an ‘HIS industry figure’ was the biggest stretch. And shouldn’t ‘guest contributor of the year’ between Vince Ciotti, Ed Marx, Ben Rooks, and Mr. H’s Epic id merit a question?” The silly questions have been the same for years, so there’s nothing new there. Readers chose the nominees, so any quibble about the odd choices should be directed that those who submitted nominations (or more accurately, the vast majority who didn’t despite my exhortation, saving their input until it was too late.) Inga advocated for adding a “best HIStalk contributor” item, but I didn’t want to diminish the accomplishments of those who didn’t win since they’re all good. If you received an e-mail HISsies ballot link, please vote soon since I’ll probably finish it up this weekend. About 1,000 votes are in and there are some surprise leaders so far. We’ll invite some of the winners to join us at HIStalkapalooza, although they usually turn us down.
From Ed Amame’: “Re: UMMC layoffs. Some folks on the right aren’t happy about it. Hot Air, as I understand it, has a pretty big readership. Wonder what waves this will create in HIT policy discussion outside the niche?” Right-wing site Hot Air quotes my mention of University of Mississippi Medical Center layoffs that were implied to be related to its $80 million Epic cost (a story I just picked up from a newspaper there) and turns it into another vast conspiracy of Obamacare-loving liberals. A few thoughtful comments were left (one basically just pasting in my discussion from the original mention), but many are wildly tunnel-visioned, hysterical, and hateful. It’s no wonder the government is paralyzed by partisanship and an unwillingness to compromise – the politicians are unfortunately representing their intellectually lazy and often ill-informed electorate perfectly, so thoughtful democratic process has turned into a bad reality TV show.
From Spanky: “Re: unions. Why they’re bad for healthcare.” An ambulance technician in Scotland ignores an emergency call because he’s eating lunch. The patient dies. The union last week rejected a salary increase that would have paid paramedics $150 every time an emergency causes their break to be interrupted.
HIStalk Announcements and Requests
HIStalkapalooza invitation signups will be closed Friday evening, so if you have an interest in attending but haven’t filled out the online form, now’s the time.
Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock
Consumer health site WebMD gives up trying to sell itself, its CEO quits, and the company warns of “significantly lower” profits in 2012 because drug companies are moving away from buying its advertising and competition from Facebook is increasing. Shares dropped 29% on Tuesday.
Healthcare apps developer Novarus Mobile Technologies changes its name to Novarus Healthcare. The company also hires Tom Hearn, formerly SVP of ambulatory services with Novant Health (NC), as managing principal.
Shares in Scotland-based charge master software vendor Craneware drop by a third after the company warns that performance of its acquired US revenue cycle software business ClaimTrust will not meet expectations. The company also says it may sue after it lost a large ClaimTrust InSight contract that was being handled by a third party and complains that US hospitals are buying HITECH-subsidized clinical systems instead of its financial ones.
Ascend Learning acquires Advanced Informatics, a Minneapolis-based vendor of clinical education systems.
UnitedHealth Group forms strategic partnerships with three mobile health companies: CareSpeak Communications (patient medication communication by text message – above,) Lose It! (a weight loss app,) and Fitbit (pedometer and sleep monitor app.)
Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) and Cerner sign an agreement to digitize the public health system of Qatar, including all HMC hospitals and primary care centers.
BCBS of North Carolina and Kansas City form Topaz Shared Services and choose TriZetto Group to provide claims, enrollment, and billing services.
Sandata Technologies, a provider of IT solutions for the home care industry, names Tom Underwood (Alere Health) CEO.
ApeniMED (formerly MEDNET) elects Charles D. Birmingham, VP of corporate development for CareMore Medical Enterprises, to its board.
Carestream hires Barry Canipe (American Standard Brands) as CFO and promotes Jianqing Bennett to VP of global medical sales and services.
Surgical Information Systems promotes Kermit S. Randa to COO.
Streamline Health Solutions appoints Michael K. Kaplan (Altos Health Management) to its board.
Healthcare consulting firm Equation hires Howard Salmon (Premier, ReHab Care, Phase 2 Consulting) as principal.
Three Kansas hospitals that are affiliates of Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth Health System name Mike Malone as project manager for their Epic implementation. He was previously with the parent organization.
Capella Healthcare names Magda Osburn BSN, RN as director of medical informatics. She was previously with McKesson Provider Technologies.
RCM company Medistreams hires Marcia McLure Hardy as national director of business development.
The local paper (which apparently does not use spell-check) highlights the EMR use of Takoma Regional Hospital (TN), which just received a $1.3 million check for its meaningful use of Cerner’s EMR. When I shared this with Mr. H, he got all nostalgic on me, reminiscing about a consulting gig he had at the hospital years ago, the nice people there, and the great grub at Stockyards Cafe.
While I was trying to figure out which EMR Takoma had in place, I found Cerner’s list of clients that have attested for Meaningful Use, which includes 136 hospitals and 238 EPs.
Omaha Imaging (NE) implements Avreo RIS/PACS.
Four Mercy Health (OH) hospitals go live on Epic’s Care Everywhere, allowing hospital staff to view the chart of any patient whose provider is also using Epic and Care Everywhere.
Zynx Health announces a software enhancement that improves integration of ZynxOrder order sets with MEDITECH CPOE.
BryanLGH Medical Center (NE) implements the Pharmacy Xpert clinical surveillance and intervention solution from Thomson Reuters.
Three Ohio hospitals implement InQuicker, software that allows patients to make ED appointments online and “skip the ER waiting room.”
- 172,974 EPs and 3,077 hospitals registered for either the Medicare or Medicaid MU programs.
- Medicare paid $275 million to EPs and $1.1 billion to hospitals.
- 33,515 EPs attested, 355 unsuccessfully.
- 842 hospitals attested, all successfully.
Aaron Berdofe analyzes the November Meaningful Use attestation report using IBM’s Many Eyes tool, finding that (a) Epic has 6,330 attestations, more than triple the #2 vendor; (b) Epic’s strength is concentrated in a few states where it dominates almost totally; and (c) Complete EHR attestations outnumber Modular EHR attestations 21,765 to 1,196.
ONC launches its Healthy New Year Video Challenge, offering $5,000 in prizes to consumers who submit a short video explaining their health-related New Year’s resolution and how they will use technology to accomplish it.
Newt Gingrich, speaking at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, says bureaucracy crushes healthcare innovation and that treatment protocols based on statistics interfere with the doctor-patient relationship. Peter Merrill, DHMC IT director, grilled Gingrich on his role in government gridlock, but wasn’t impressed with Gingrich’s answer. “I thought it was an incredibly articulate and well-reasoned defense of his actions in response to my characterization of him as responsible for the current gridlock in government. It was in no way an answer to my question of how to get past the current gridlock. My personal belief is that he is one of the major people responsible.” Merrill says he’ll probably vote for Obama again unless Republicans come up with a better candidate.
First-year medical students at the NYU School of Medicine use an interactive, virtual 3D cadaver to complement the traditional anatomy instruction, exploring the digital content with projected images, 3D glasses, and iPads. A free online version is here.
US health spending grew 3.9% in 2010, which was only .01 percentage points faster than the 2009 rate and the second-slowest rate in 51 years. The slower growth is blamed on high unemployment, loss of private health insurance coverage, lower median incomes, and higher patient deductibles and co-pay. Total 2010 spending was $2.6 trillion, or $8,402 per person, of which the federal government paid a record 29% and the combination of federal, state, and local governments paid 45% of all health spending.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that healthcare added 22,600 jobs in December, including 9,800 in hospitals and 11,300 in ambulatory health services. Healthcare employment grew by about 315,000 jobs for the year.
A study finds that nurses using a basic EMR reported better outcomes and were less likely to report adverse patient safety issues, frequent medication errors, and low quality of care.
Cerner, dbMotion, Epic, Medicity, and RelayHealth are the vendors winning the most private HIE deals, according to KLAS, while Axolotl, InterSystems, Medicity, and Orion Health are leading in public HIE selection. Affordability is the top consideration in vendor
Fast Company covers mHealth. It’s not particularly conclusive or insightful (at least not compared to HIStalk Mobile,) but does mention some interesting technology work: Best Buy is researching earbuds that can monitor heart rate, J&J has invested in sleep monitoring technology, and AT&T and Qualcomm are working on mHealth projects.
Two English hospitals struggle with error-filled surgical case lists, warning employees to double-check them. The North Bristol NHS Trust blames user error. One surgeon said his case list included patients from outside his specialty.
Weird News Andy likes this Baby Beyonce’ Lockout story. Beyonce’ and Jay-Z have their daughter (named Blue Ivy) at Lenox Hill Hospital (NY), but at least one other new parent says the hospital locked down the NICU to accommodate Beyonce’s visitors, preventing everybody else from seeing their lesser-pedigreed babies. The hospital denies reports that it was paid $1.3 million to give the celebrities an entire floor to themselves. Gossip sites claim the hospital installed bulletproof glass in the delivery area, taped over security cameras and confiscated employee cell phones to prevent pictures being taken, and kicked people out of nearby waiting rooms. The couple is supposedly worth something like $750 million.
Guess which company is looking for a senior sales manager. The candidate must cold-call, hit sales targets, negotiate contracts, create sales campaigns and models, persuade prospects, and “aggressively solicit new customers by telemarketing and formulating follow up plans.” The answer: HIMSS, which needs someone to push corporate memberships and organizational affiliate memberships.
An IT specialist with an Atlanta medical practice is sentenced to 13 months in prison for hacking into the server of his previous employer, a competing practice located in the same building. He download patient information from his former employer’s system, deleted it from their server, and then launched a direct mail campaign touting his current employer.
- Kindred Healthcare Inc. selects MED3OOO’s RCM services and InteGreat PM for its partner physicians.
- PatientKeeper CEO Paul Brient will speak this week at the JP Morgan 30th Annual Healthcare Conference.
- Fred Pennic, a senior advisor with Aspen Advisors, suggests six ways for healthcare organizations to use business intelligence software.
- HealthEdge and Keane announce a strategic partnership to deliver a performance-based business process outsourcing service to the healthcare payor community.
- Imprivata releases a white paper on preparing for a HIPAA audit.
- RelayHealth hosts a live HFMA webinar January 11 on patient consumerism.
- Nuesoft announces its podcast series “2012 Billing Trends: What’s on the Horizon.”
- A Texas hospital selected for the OCR’s pilot HIPAA audits contracts with CynergisTek for preparatory consulting and advisory services.
- McKesson Specialty Health offers a free webinar on the selection and implementation of EMRs in oncology practices.
- eHealth Global Technologies Inc and OptumInsight will deploy a medical image exchange service for HEALTHeLINK, a New York RHIO.
- Idaho Health Data Exchange signs an agreement with Greenway Medical to provide interoperability between Greenway’s PrimeSUITE EHR and the OptumInsight-powered HIE.
- Community Health Network (IN) says consulting services and technology from MedAssets improved its cash position by $26.7 million, reduced denials by 47%, and increased patient access employee productivity by 100%.
- Aspen Advisors ranks third in Planning and Assessment in the Best in KLAS awards.