MedQuist Holdings changes its name to M*Modal, which is the business MedQuist acquired last year for $130 million in cash. CEO Vern Davenport rang the Nasdaq opening bell to commemorate the company’s rebranding and new MODL trading symbol. The company also confirms that most of its executives will work from an office to be opened in Raleigh, NC while company headquarters will remain in Franklin, TN.
From Lourde: “Re: Party attire. I finally found my shoes for the party last night. Super excited that that is off my plate!! Choosing the perfect shoe – so ‘stressful.’” I feel your pain. I will admit to no one how many pairs of shoes I have bought in the last month because I keep finding what I think are the “perfect” pair. Since we are talking shoes, it’s a good time to mention that this year’s Inga Loves My Shoes contest during HIStalkapalooza will include special shoe categories. Our judges (Lindsay Miller of RelayHealth and Timur Tugberk of DrFirst) have not yet revealed the categories, but I promise to share more soon. Meanwhile, if you are seeking fame in the overall best dressed contest, keep in mind you’ll have an opportunity to be crowned HIStalk King and HIStalk Queen, as well as Best Elvis Impersonator and Best Attire Left in Vegas. Ladies and gentleman, start your shopping.
From Party Central: “Re: invite from DIVURGENT. We are hosting our Kingpin Bowling Social event Monday night during HIMSS. It’s at 8:00 pm at the Palms Casino and Resort Kingpin Suite and we’d love HIStalk readers to join us.” Sounds fun and gives me an excuse to wear my bowling shoes! Here’s the invite and RSVP information.
From Number Cruncher: “Re: Practice Fusion. Their latest press release indicates 130,000 users. Are those all doctors?” The Practice Fusion folks tell me that about 40% (about 52,000) are physicians. I asked for clarification to understand if the 52,000 physicians were all considered “active” users, but not yet received a reply. Regardless, assuming the US has 600,000 office-based physicians, the 52,000 figure would give Practice Fusion about 8.5% of the market.
Awarepoint has seen a record-setting year for sales contracts and hospital implementations in 2011. Along with its steady growth last year, Awarepoint strategically acquired Patient Care Technology Systems (PCTS) in order to become the only complete RTLS solution optimizing healthcare workflow. After the acquisition, an analysis of the workforce revealed duplicate positions and a decision was made to restructure the workforce. Around 10 positions have been consolidated, though Awarepoint continues to hire strategic positions to support growth and customer support.
From RS: “Re: Catholic Healthcare West. Just changed their name to Dignity Health.” The 40-hospital CHW also drops its Catholic Church affiliation and opens up its governing board to non-Catholics, although its 25 Catholic hospitals will retain the sponsorship of local congregations. The press release mentions the $1.8 billion it is investing in electronic health records. The organization announced plans to triple its revenue, so the change allows it to acquire and partner with hospitals without running afoul of church policies.
HIStalk Announcements and Requests
Our own Travis Good MD of HIStalk Mobile will serve as a guest speaker of a January 31 Kony Solutions webinar, Mobile Strategy for Pharma – Opportunities and Challenges.
Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock
The Advisory Board expects to realize a $3.5 million gain on its recent sale of its OptiLink business to Kronos. Also, Texas Governor Rick Perry announces that his state will invest $500,000 in The Advisory Board, which plans to create more than 200 jobs and invest $8.1 million to expand its Texas operations.
Rockingham Memorial Hospital (VA) selects Amcom Software’s messaging and communications solutions.
The VA contracts with Decision Simulation’s virtual patient platform for its simulated training and education program for healthcare providers and educators.
Montrose Memorial Hospital (CO) selects PatientKeeper’s application suite.
Unity Health System (NY) chooses dbMotion’s interoperability platform for its 70 locations.
CentraCare Health System (MN) picks iSirona’s device connectivity technology to deliver patient data from its ventilators into its Epic EMR.
Cooley Dickinson Physician Hospital Organization (MA) signs a contract for MedVentive Risk Manager, which it will use to manage its new Alternative Quality Contract with BCBS.
Intermountain Healthcare chooses the mobile application development platform from Kony Solutions to develop its own apps.
The State of New York chooses First Databank and Ernst & Young to survey drug average acquisition costs, a Medicaid reimbursement benchmark authorized by the legislature in 2011.
GE Healthcare IT appoints Michael Jackman VP and GM of its specialty solutions business. He was previously with iSoft, Carestream Health, and Kodak.
The Huntzinger Management Group names William C. Reed VP of business development. He’s the former president and CEO of AllOne Health and CIO of Geisinger Health System and Thomas Jefferson University Hospital.
Rubbermaid Medical Solutions names Cheryl D. Parker, PhD, RN-BC, FHIMSS as its chief nursing informatics officer. She was previously with Motion Computing.
Noel Williams, CIO of HCA, announces her retirement, effective at the end of May.
M*Modal names Amy Amick as COO. She was previously GM of worldwide services for Microsoft’s Health Solutions Group.
Mediware promotes VP and Controller Robert W. Watkins to CFO.
Announcements and Implementations
Kaiser Permanente announces that its 9 million patients can access their medical information on a new, free Android app, with an iPhone version to follow in a few months. It offers appointments, secure e-mail, lab results, refills, and a facility locator, all available to both patients and their families acting on their behalf.
UPMC moves all its electronic transactions with suppliers to Toreion’s EDI exchange solution.
Isabel Healthcare and BMJ Group partner to offer Best Practice, which combines Isabel’s diagnostic tools with BMJ’s clinical content. BMJ publishes the British Medical Journal and is a wholly owned subsidiary of the British Medical Association.
Cerner chooses TrustHCS to provide its clients with ICD-10 education.
Innovation and Research
Children’s Hospital Boston offers a $25,000 prize to the researcher who develops the winning best practices for communicating the information found in a patient’s genome to physicians and patients to improve outcomes. The prize carries one of the most contrived and awkward names ever – CLARITY, which they explain stands for “Children’s Leadership Award for the Reliable Interpretation and appropriate Transmission of Your genomic information.” One of the three project leaders is Isaac Kohane MD, PhD of the Children’s Hospital Informatics program. Applications are due March 12.
Tanking BlackBerry maker Research in Motion continues its unbroken streak of questionable decisions, naming one of its two low-visibility COOs (the one in charge of the RIM’s Playbook tablet, whose sales were so bad even at $99 fire sale prices that the company had to write down $485 million) to replace its two recently department co-CEOs. The new boss says he will mostly follow the path set by his predecessors, except he will hire a chief marketing officer. Shares have dropped 80% from their February 2011 price and took another 4% hit on the CEO announcement.
Apple’s Q1 numbers: revenue up 73%, EPS $13.87 vs. $6.43, crushing estimates with the its highest-ever revenue and profit. In the quarter, the company sold 37 million iPhones (up 128%), 16 million iPads (up 111%), 5.2 million Macs (up 26%), and in the only negative news, 15.4 million iPods (down 21%). The company has $98 billion of cash in the bank. Your $10,000 investment three years ago would be worth more than $50,000 today.
Medical records scanning and document management company EDCO Group will increase the number of employees in its Sioux Falls, SD facility from 40 to 70, helped out with development money from the state’s workforce commission.
Weird News Andy says this isn’t weird, just cool, even though he’ll pass on a spot on the camera recovery team. Researchers in Israel take the “pill cam” intestinal camera system to the next level by developing a version that can be steered by the magnet of an MRI machine.
In a rare public appearance by an Epic executive, COO Steve Dickman provides some company facts to a local technology group:
- 2011 sales exceeded $1.2 billion, up 45% from 2010
- The company expects to add 30 large customers this year
- Construction continues on a new 11,000 seat on-campus auditorium
- 38% of US patients are covered by an Epic product
- The company hires 1,500 new employees a year from 150,000 submitted resumes
- Only five employees work in sales, while 55% do implementation and support
- The average employee age is 29
- The company says it has no interest in buying competitors or being acquired itself
The Wall Street Journal runs a point-counterpoint article on whether the US should implement a national patient identifier. Arguing for: Michael Collins MD, chancellor of the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Arguing against: Deborah Peel MD, psychiatrist and founder of Patient Privacy Rights. Reader votes are running 59% no, 41% yes.
An Ohio hospital’s transparency policy regarding medical errors blows up in its face when the chief medical officer tells the family of a deceased knee surgery patient that his death was caused by malfunctioning lab equipment, which delayed reporting of the high serum potassium level that contributed to his heart attack. Unbeknownst to the hospital, the family had smuggled a tape recorder into the meeting and used the chief medical officer’s recorded admission as evidence in its wrongful death lawsuit against the hospital.
A Florida jury finds that an HCA-owned hospital allowed an uncredentialed surgeon to perform gastric bypass surgery on a patient who suffered brain damage. They award the patient $178 million.
Stanford University researchers find that women report feeling about 20% more pain than men for unknown reasons. Previous studies found that women are more likely to tell doctors about their pain and to delay seeking treatment for it. Here is my theory: men like to be perceived as macho, especially if they happen to be under the care of a cute nurse of the opposite sex. Meanwhile, women feel more cumulative pain between the experience of childbirth and the subsequent carrying of infants, toddlers, kids, and 40-pound bags of dog food. All that, of course, while wearing four-inch heels.
- Humedica and West Health Policy Center announce their collaboration to identify healthcare cost drivers that can be lowered through the use of technology.
- Premier Healthcare Alliance Inc announces a group purchasing agreement with UltraLinq Healthcare Solutions.
- Ingenious Med extends its mobile offerings to Android mobile devices.
- Sparrow Laboratories uses EMRHub from Lifepoint Informatics to send lab results to provider EMRs.
- MEDecision achieves full pass certification for its interoperability tests at the 2012 IHE Connectathon.
- NextGate announces its successful testing of MatchMetrix EMPI at the IHE Connectathon 2012.
- Commonwealth Orthopaedics (VA) selects SRS for its 91 providers.
- McKesson announces an ICD-10 transition service.
- Aspen Advisors publishes a case study on its ICD-10 readiness assessment for East Jefferson General Hospital (LA).
- Jon Phillips of Healthcare Growth Partners discusses his firm’s trade show strategy for HIMSS.
- CHRISTUS Health (TX) selects Compuware’s Gomez Platform to optimize the performance and availability of its EHR.
- AT&T announces communication and infrastructure tools to allow providers to use tablets and messaging more securely.
- Over 10,000 New York State healthcare providers had enrolled in either the NYC Health Department’s NYC REACH program or the NY eHealth Collaborative by the end of 2011.
- Intelligent InSites offers a January 25 Webinar on applying RTLS visibility and lean production principles to healthcare.
- MEDSEEK announces support for the ONC’s “Putting the I in HealthIT” program, which seeks to empower patients to become partners in their own health.
- DrFirst releases a Healthcare Hero video, also offering a HIMSS conference night on the town (limo, dinner, and show) as a prize to one selected person who leaves a comment on the video’s YouTube page.