HHS announces that the October 1, 2013 compliance date for provider use of ICD-10 diagnosis codes will be pushed back to an unspecified date.
From Imelda: “Re: Soles4Souls. Your shoe drive inspired me to clean out my closet. I promise to bring at least three pairs to donate. Where do I need to take them?” Awesome! You can bring your donation of any style of gently used shoes to the exhibit floor and drop them off at ESD (booth 4616), HealthPort (252), DrFirst (5456), or Gnax Health (2875). We’ll also have a drop-off box at HIStalkapalooza for those who received an invitation for it.
From Fred Gailey: “Re: your interview. I enjoyed the interview with you in the Dodge Communications blog. You were so articulate. You and the HIStalk gang are the most famous anonymous people I know.” Thanks. I like that Fred feels he knows me.
From Tom: “Re: ICD-10 delay. I thought you might get a chuckle from this web page announcing the delay today.” Bowing to AMA pressure and exhibiting typical federal government indecisiveness (and possibly keeping a close eye on the re-electability of HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius’s boss in the White House) HHS decides yet again to delay ICD-10 like it did HIPAA and just about every other piece of legislation that big-donor provider groups might squawk about, using patients as their human shield of excuses. It wasn’t even due to kick in until almost 20 months from now, meaning it will probably be ICD-12 or 13 if and when the feds ever pull the trigger. We don’t want to rush into ICD-10, though – it’s only been out for 20 years. ICD-10 is cumbersome, but it won’t get less so with a delay, so if it sucks, let’s just say we’re never going to do it and move on to something else. As is often the case with federal programs these days, the responsible people (those who prepared for the change instead of ignoring it) get the shaft.
From RJ: “Re: ICD-10 delay. It should be noted that HHS posted an announcement last evening with an emphasis on its commitment to the rulemaking process. They reissued the release this morning, but removed all references to the rulemaking process. Here are the versions.” I put the two versions sent over by RJ into Word and kicked out the changes. HHS removed everything referencing rulemaking and took Sebelius’s name out of the headline. Interesting.
From Bob: “Re: Booth Crawl. I can’t make it to HIMSS this year. Can I participate virtually by reviewing the vendor web sites and submitting an entry form online?” Inga and I didn’t write many rules since we made the whole thing up in about 15 minutes, so checking the rather slim rulebook finds no requirement that you actually visit the booths – you only have to answer the questions. I would be surprised if the participating companies chose questions with answers that can be easily found online, but I also admit that I haven’t actually looked. Since you do not need to be present to win, we would have no way to check anyway, so good luck!
From Dave: “Re: shoes. Saw these, thought of Inga.” Now you’ve got Shirley Temple’s At the Codfish Ball stuck in my head: “Come along and follow me, to the bottom of the sea …”
From Mark: “Re: NIST. Isn’t this a few years late?” The National Institute of Standards and Technology asks EHR vendors to provide their products to help it develop usability standards, a process it estimates will take a year to complete. Vendors can sign up through March 15. My first thought was that it would not be in a vendor’s best interest to participate, but I reconsidered … it’s probably not a bad idea to connect with the NIST folks (and ONC indirectly) and make sure they understand your particular point of view.
From Curmudgeon: “Re: ICD-10 spleen-venting. What timing. Clarification best come before the flock gathers in Las Vegas or confusion will reign. The review process better not be a Meaningful Use-esque five-act drama. CIOs know this will happen and progress must continue, but now there’s a reason for organization management to pull the old ‘well wait and see’ attitude, shorting funding, staff and time. Dr. Madara’s ‘find another method!’ has to be the mindblower of the century. I hear he wants to appear at HIMSS, but is uncertain if his horse and buggy will be there in time. There are quality reasons, information reasons and better care reasons to do ICD-10. The excuse that the rest of the world doing it is shouldn’t be the reason for the US to do it. The reason should be that the rest of the world found it smart to do it! Unless we know something they don’t. Safe travel to all going to the Strip and thanks to all who stay behind keeping the home chips and bytes burning.”
From History Buffy: “Re: previous HIMSS conferences. I ran across this 2007 document by the HIMSS Legacy Workgroup (never heard of them) that attempted to document the history of HIMSS. It has the location, number of attendees, exhibitors, etc. for all the conferences.” Pretty cool. The first conference was in 1962 in Baltimore, when the precursor of HIMSS (Hospital Management Systems Society) had all of 53 members. Conference attendance didn’t crack 10,000 until San Antonio in 1995, when HIMSS had 5,534 members.
HIStalk Announcements and Requests
Got HIStalk Practice? If not, here is what you missed over the last week: HIT adoption by US physicians is higher than in other advanced nations. CMS launches a Web page dedicated to clinical quality measures. HHS introduces a $9.1 million loan repayment program to encourage medical students to practice primary care in underserved areas. AAFP’s TransforMED publishes a toolkit for PCMH implementations. Culbert Healthcare’s Brad Boyd offers advice for extending IT to community practices. Readership on HIStalk Practice continues to climb – thank you, readers. For you non-readers, that means your colleagues and competitors are staying one step ahead of you, so you had best get on the HIStalk Practice bandwagon.
The fun folks at World Wide Technology are hosting a party in Las Vegas Saturday night and that’s where you’ll find me. They are so proud of their HIStalk sponsorship that they created a special banner to display at the event. How cool is that? Party pics to follow.
Charles Babbage posted a comment this week regarding my Dodge Communications interview, which included my confession that I was often star-struck by big-name CIOs and vendor CEOs. From Charles’ original comment:
This Inga quote illustrates how we have moved the focus of HIT from benefiting patients to selling products and glorifying salesmen and their leaders. The people Inga calls the ‘Rock Stars’ of HIT should be the CMIOs and clinicians who make the systems work to help patients and improve healthcare.
Charles added that he adores me, so my delicate ego was not too terribly crushed. In a follow-up e-mail exchange, Charles added:
Thanks also for understanding that the comment is NOT directed at you, but at the unfortunate values that HIMSS perpetuates by idolizing people who sell software that has balkanized health IT services, requires four or more years to implement, achieves usability standards of the early-to-mid 1990s, connects only to itself, and too often obscures information rather than presenting it in ways that help clinicians. And it does not help either clinicians or patient safety that the software too often takes 15 clicks to find information that should be contiguous on the same screen. Now, that does not make the vendors evil, and most do want to help healthcare if they can make money by selling their goods — and there ain’t nothing wrong with that. BTW, after today’s post, I got a slew of invites to meetings, breakfasts, etc. for only $89 each.
The DrFirst folks are offering another way for HIStalk readers to win an iPad. Stop by their booth (#5456) on Tuesday, mention their HIStalk contest, and get your picture taken with their HIT super hero Doctor Defender while doing something funny, creative, or otherwise noteworthy. The winning picture will be displayed and announced at HIStalkapalooza Tuesday night.
Welcome to new HIStalk Platinum Sponsor Healthcare Clinical Informatics (HCI.) The Jacksonville, FL company provides EMR implementation talent, helping healthcare organizations with all phases of the implementation lifecycle, making sure that workflow is integrated and ROI is delivered. The company is growing like gangbusters, having hired 70 employees in 2011 and on track to bring on another 150 this year. HCI also supports the growing UK healthcare IT market from its offices in South Wales, partnering with a number of NHS Trusts. Its clients include Adventist Health System, Parkland, and Tenet. They can help whether you need consulting help or permanent placements. I always like to check out the executive roster and I found a couple of highly experienced folks I know: CIO Sean O’Rourke (he used to be CIO at UPMC) and VP of Optimization and Clinical Adoption Marcy Stoots (she ran Baycare’s implementation.) The HCI folks are excited about being connected with HIStalk and I appreciate their support. Thanks to Healthcare Clinical Informatics.
Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock
HIMSS buys the mHealth Summit conference and exhibition after helping produce it this past December. The conference was formerly run by the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health. HIMSS also hires the conference director, Richard Scarfo, as a VP of vendor events. This year’s event will be held December 3-5 in Washington DC.
athenahealth announces Q4 numbers: revenue up 33%, EPS $0.15 vs. $0.21. Excluding special items, the company’s earnings of $0.26 exceed analysts’ expectations of $0.24, sending shares up 3% early in after-hours trading Thursday.
Merge Healthcare announces Q4 numbers: revenue up 39%, adjusted EPS of $0.19 vs. $0.10, beating estimates of $0.13. Revenue fell short of expectations.
Allscripts announces Q4 numbers: revenue up 15%, adjusted EPS $0.25 vs. –$0.03, meeting estimates. Shares are down 6% in early Thursday after-hours trading as its full-year profit forecast fell short of expectations. The company also announces an expansion of its operations in India, with more than 300 positions to be filled there by the end of the year.
Family HealthCare Center (ND) contracts with Intelligent InSites to provide RTLS solutions for tracking, managing, and displaying the real-time location and status of patients, staff, and equipment.
PeaceHealth’s Sacred Heart Medical Center at Riverbend (OR) expands its utilization of the Versus Technology RTLS platform.
Health Management Associates signs an exclusive three-year technology agreement for McKesson’s pharmacy automation suite.
Medical scribe services vendor ProScribe hires Suzy Wier Thorby as SVP of corporate development. The former ED nurse co-founded T-System along with two physicians in 1996.
First Choice Professionals names Carol Selvey as VP of strategy and business development. She was previously with Iatric Systems.
Announcements and Implementations
Johns Hopkins Health System becomes the 100th organization to integrate Hyland Software’s OnBase ECM with Epic’s EMR. On an unrelated note, I wonder if OnBase is sticking with their sports bar-themed booth again this year or going for something new?
GetWellNetwork announces the availability of its interactive patient care solution for the iPad.
Aventura introduces the ability to auto-populate patient records on the screen as providers move from room to room.
Awarepoint’s RTLS solution is rolled out by The Royal Wolverhampton Hospitals NHS Trust in the UK in what the company says is the largest implementation of its kind in the world.
The Premier healthcare alliance will use data mapping from Clinical Architecture to standardize and normalize performance measurement across its 2,500 hospitals.
Government and Politics
CDC announces a new national system for tracking the use of antibiotics in hospitals, allowing hospitals to compare themselves with others. CDC says there’s not much work for hospitals as long as their pharmacy system supports the AU (Antimicrobial Use) Initiative. I finally tracked down a list of that software here and the only major inpatient pharmacy system on it is Epic’s.
A group convened by the West Wireless Health Institute to advocate cheaper, better wireless network infrastructure in hospitals completes its first milestone in creating a medical-grade wireless open framework. The architecture, which the group says can be incorporated in the same manner as electricity and plumbing, has been rolled out in several hospitals, including El Camino Hospital (CA) and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CA).
Former Sun Microsystems CEO Jonathan Schwartz, annoyed after his surgery to find that providers expected him to carry his own diagnostic images on CD, launches CareZone, a private space for families to store reference and contact information and to communicate via a Facebook-type application. The first year is free for signups before March 17, then it’s $180 per year.
If you are traveling to HIMSS this week, you will likely rely heavily on your smart phone to stay connected, either to family and co-workers back home or perhaps to schedule an important post-exhibitor floor “meeting” at one of the many Venetian bars. As you keep a firm hand on your phone, it could be a good time to ask yourself if you suffer from nomophobia, the fear of being out of mobile phone contact. This study suggests that two-thirds of adults suffer from the condition, and though it is generally worse for women and younger adults, one-third of all adults over the age of 55 are also afflicted.
Epic employee Rachel Brown and her husband Dave are competing this week in The Amazing Race TV show. He’s a military science instructor recently back from deployment in Iraq, where he was an intelligence officer and a Black Hawk helicopter pilot.
Queen of the Valley Medical Center (CA) is the latest of several hospitals forced to admit that its patient records were freely available to any search engine-savvy Internet user due to incorrect server security settings.
And speaking of HIMSS, imagine the disappointment of all those companies who built much of their exhibit hall presence around pitching ICD-10 services and products, only to have HHS rain on their parade by putting ICD-10 in limbo. Or maybe worst of all is if you’re scheduled to speak on ICD-10 at HIMSS, with the usual urgency of how providers need to take it seriously and move quickly starting yesterday to comply with the 2013 date (like that $89 breakfast I was fussing about.) Those session rooms are going to be seriously empty.
Weird News Andy opines that “ya gets what ya pays for” in this Las Vegas story. We’ve mentioned before the Heart Attack Grill in Las Vegas, whose motto is “Taste Worth Dying For” as nurse-uniformed waitresses (above) serve mammoth burgers with calorie counts up to 8,000 (free if you weigh over 350 pounds, and every customer must wear a hospital gown). A patron has a heart attack while eating a modest 6,000 calorie version, wheeled out sweating and shaking by ambulance workers as giggling tourists snap photos. The restaurant’s menu is a hoot, offering lard-cooked fries, no-filter cigarettes, pure cream milkshakes with optional vodka, and for those who “like it in the can,” 24-ounce cans of PBR and Miller. Book your HIMSS executive dinners now since after this news (I immediately suspected publicity stunt, but the hospital verified) the place is probably packed.
- Health Language announces a proof of concept collaboration project with Clinithink Ltd, a NLP specialist organization.
- Tanner Health System (GA), South County Hospital Healthcare System (RI), and Cottage Health System (CA) select Greenway’s PrimeSUITE EHR.
- Ministry Health Care (MN) teams with Thomas Reuters to develop a Meaningful Use quality manager solution.
- Ingenious Med introduces Imagine, a custom business intelligence and data analysis solution.
- ICA launches ICAetc, a free and open forum for software vendors to test the interoperability of their programs.
- ICA augments its ICA CareAlign solution with Emdeon Clinician for lab order and results distribution and electronic prescribing.
- MEDSEEK says that more than 100 hospitals selected its strategic patient engagement software suite in 2011.
- Wolters Kluwer Health introduces Facts & Comparisons eAnswers Mobile, allowing smart phone users find answers to drug information questions.
- DuPage Medical Group (IL) adds Merge Healthcare’s iConnect Access and Merge Eye Care suite to create an enterprise-wide imaging platform for its 330 physicians.
- Humana signs an agreement with NextGen to participate in its Medical Home EHR Rewards Program, which provides financial assistance to physicians purchasing EMRs.
- Ridgeview Medical Center selects Allscripts EHR/PM and the Allscripts Community Record powered by dbMotion.
- Vocera Communications introduces Vocera Connect for Cisco wireless IP phones and smart phones.
- T-System announces its plans for the HIMSS conference, including its participation in the HIStalk Booth Crawl.
EPtalk by Dr. Jayne
Mr. H mentioned last week that he doesn’t pay much attention to pre-HIMSS marketing mailings. I, on the other hand, am a sucker for advertising. Those of you not registered for HIMSS may or may not be receiving some of these – apparently advertisers are using both this year’s mailing list as well as last year’s.
Having changed both mailing and e-mail addresses during the last 12 months, I’m receiving all sorts of marketing materials in all four locations. The funny thing, though, is there’s no overlap. I’m not receiving the same e-mails at both addresses or the same snail mail either. I don’t know if HIMSS makes exhibitors pay for attendee mailing lists, but I’m guessing that either some are too cheap to get the updated list or too slacker-ish to update their mailing software.
For those of you not attending, I hope this brings a little bit of HIMSS to your doorstep so you don’t feel quite so left out. As you can guess, most of the next week’s posts will be about the big show. With that in mind, I bring you Dr. Jayne’s Marketing Hall of Fame / Hall of Shame. I’ll tell you what ads (of the literally eight-inch tall stack) caught my eye and which burned my retinas.
I liked Allied Telesis and their “Untold Stories of the EMR” headline with its steely-eyed surgeon and episode titles like “The Constipated Network,” “My Network is on Life Support,” and “Blame it on the Machine.” I’d give you a link to their site, but – oh yeah – they didn’t include a web address on the postcard. Seems like a pretty big oversight for a technology player advocating virtualized data storage in the cloud. And no, I’m not going to Google it for you.
Jeers to HealthPort and their bizarre comic book hero, AudaPro. With his bald pate and little glasses, he reminds me a bit of Benjamin Franklin on the cover picture. The internal picture, however, can only be described as highly creepy. What’s with the yellow trunks? Although someone certainly thinks a limited edition HealthPort comic book will entice visitors to the booth, I’d have gone with the IngaTinis.
Wolters Kluwer Health is apparently giving away a Rolex. Caught my eye, but I’d be more excited if they were giving away a pair of size 8 ½ Manolos. I doubt it’s this cool girly one I found on the website anyway. Probably some gigantic man-watch.
InteliChart sent a poker chip that can be exchanged for a Venetian casino chip (potentially worth up to $1,000,) so I might have to check that out.
Catching my eye (but in a bad way) was Healthcare Informatics Associates, who mailed a stiff plastic marketing piece that can’t be recycled. Good try with the playing card and poker chip theme, but your colors (white with light yellow outline on baby blue) made the text hard to read. I’m totally puzzled by the instruction to “peel away outer area” as I’m not sure why I’d want to turn an annoying plastic rectangle into an annoying jaggedly shaped piece of plastic.
Winning the “what am I thinking” category is Capsule with the vaguest wording ever: “See how our workflow focused solution features a patient-centered design that works with existing technologies and infrastructures and delivers a flexible and scalable solution that fits the way the nurse works.” Maybe I lost it somewhere in the run-on sentence, but from that text, I have no idea what they do or whether they’re selling hardware or software.
The most unusual piece I received was from TEKsystems, who sent this “pieceless puzzle” that was a nice spot of fun after spending the entire day completing staff performance evaluations. It’s a mouse pad cut with a seemingly unending incision, turning it into a puzzle with only one piece. It probably would have come together more quickly if I wasn’t trying to assemble it while watching a hilarious episode of Top Gear on Netflix where I couldn’t stop laughing as they inadvertently lit an RV on fire.
The last ad that caught my eye wasn’t even a HIMSS mailing but a one-page piece in the February issue of Health Data Management. NextGate carries the day with their headline, “When you exchange healthcare information, don’t gamble” and their excellent selection of sample patient names.
I hope to see all of you at HIMSS. For the rest of you keeping the home fires burning, thank you for all that you do to keep the systems up and the users happy. There’s always New Orleans in 2013.