Thomson Reuters reportedly puts its healthcare data and analytics unit back on the market after shelving the process last year due to tough market conditions. Multiple bidders may be vying for the business, which is expected to fetch up to $1 billion.
From Willy Loman: “Re: Imprivata. Being sued for patent infringement for its OneSign SSO.” I Googled and came up with a new suit brought by CeeColor Industries LLC claiming that Imprivata is infringing on its 1999 patent for proximity-based security using electronic sensors. Imprivata’s OneSign uses a webcam with optional facial recognition software to validate a user and lock their session when they walk away. I can find nothing about CeeColor Industries, which suggests that their primary business, if they have one beyond just owning a patent, at least isn’t extortion by litigation. Companies get sued all the time for reasons both valid and not, so I wouldn’t get too excited about this lawsuit just yet. I interviewed Imprivata CEO Omar Hussain a year ago and asked him about Secure Walk-Away and how the webcam aspect works. Above is a video that explains it.
From James: “Re: Roy the HIStalk King. We (Medicomp) had Roy’s HIStalkapalooza sash framed. He seems very happy about it ;)” Roy Soltoff from Medicomp was not only named HIStalk King, he also served as part of Inga’s security detail for her Quipstar competition. You can see Roy in action in the excellent HIStalkapalooza video that ESD put together (he wins at the 2:30 mark.) His beauty queen sash looks good up there on his wall and the color / black and white photo effect is cool (either that or Medicomp and its people are very drab.)
From Roller Boy: “Re: Allscripts. Downgrades from Jim Cramer and JP Morgan have created the perfect storm. Night and weekend meetings with board and execs with talk of impending changes.” Unverified and unwarranted, I’d say, given that shares are down only 6% in the past month, although the Nasdaq was up 4% in that same period. Other brokers have stood by their recommendations and neither Cramer or Morgan said anything new – they just recited the obvious challenges the company faces in integrating and selling Sunrise after its $1.3 billion acquisition of Eclipsys, if indeed that’s such an important driver of their business. My interview with Phil Pead and Glen Tullman about the acquisition is here and worth a revisit since I asked some tough questions, like how their performance should be graded two years down the road (that date is coming up soon.) I also said this about Eclipsys when the deal was announced in June 2010:
Despite the arguably superior CPOE and clinical documentation capabilities of Sunrise, it has competed poorly against Epic and Cerner … Nearly 40% of ECLP revenue supposedly comes from about 20 big customers … Eclipsys most likely paid big money for its recent acquisitions, buying the former Medinotes/Bond practice EMR products, EPSi financial management, and Premise throughput management as it desperately sought to diversify away from its at-risk Sunrise user base. Those acquisitions didn’t seem to do much for the company’s performance … It’s late in the HITECH land grab to try to integrate companies and products in the hopes that enough hospitals are left that haven’t locked into their vendor partners to prepare for Meaningful Use. This would have been a much better deal a year ago.
From HITwatcher: “Re: system sales. A quiet year as everyone is hunkered down protecting their base while Epic continues to go after the huge brass rings. Will Partners really announce a choice of Epic by April 1? Dunno, but they will go that route, then on to HCA for the no pie-in-face lady.”
HIStalk Announcements and Requests
What you missed if you didn’t check out HIStalk Practice this week: Dr. Gregg’s recent cloud/hosted server debate. Joslin Diabetes Center (MA) offers national telehealth services. Practices adopting the PCMH model of care have higher staff morale but also higher physician burnout. EZ DERM incorporates Nuance’s medical speech capabilities into its iPad EHR. Practice Fusion offers free interfaces to 16 reference labs. While you are stopping by HIStalk Practice, take a moment to sign up for the e-mail updates because it will keep you smart and make make me feel loved.
My Internet (and cable TV) went out earlier this week, so I have resorted to tethering my laptop to my iPhone for Internet access. It’s not an ideal solution (the connection seems to drop at least once an hour) but it’s actually pretty handy. I’ve used the tethering option a bit in the past when I’ve bee in an area without free Wifi, but never before full time. I wouldn’t trade trade tethering for my high-speed cable, but it’s a surprisingly workable solution. Meanwhile, I keep wondering if no cable TV means no recordings of American Idol on the DVR.
On the Jobs Board: Release Manager, Consultant, Application Developer. On Healthcare IT Jobs: Director of Federal Health Business Development, Technical Project Manager, Health Information Systems Programmer/Analysts.
Inga, Dr. Jayne, and I are emotionally needy. We yearn for intimacy and fulfillment with our much-loved readers, but alas, our anonymity and geographic separation preclude such contact. Therefore, like a prisoner who proposes surreptitious visual stimulation from the other side of the telephone room glass or requests passionate mail in lieu of physical contact, may I suggest that you: (a) sign up for the e-mail updates; (b) engage in the mutually satisfying activity of liking, friending, and connecting via the appropriate online services in which we dwell; (c) send us news, rumors, or anything else that might serve as a fancy-tickler; (d) review and click some sponsor ads, marveling that otherwise button-down companies publicly support our unpolished journalistic style and sophomoric humor because their executives at times find as amusing and informative as a hyperactive, crude teen armed with neighborhood gossip; (e) check out the Resource Center for more sponsor information and the Consulting Engagement RFI Blaster to painlessly request consulting proposals; and (f) enjoy our fleeting moments together since one of these days when I’m no longer clacking the keyboard, you’ll be bereft of musical recommendations and HIMSS booth critiques. Thanks for reading, since without you all this typing would be pointless.
Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock
On Assignment, a provider of temporary workers to IT and healthcare companies, will purchase IT staffing firm Apex Systems for $383 million in cash and $217 million in new stock.
Xerox’s IT division wins a 10-year, $1.6 billion contract to oversee claims processing for California’s Medicaid program.
WESTMED Medical Group (NY) chooses UnitedHealthcare and Optum to help it launch an ACO for its 220 physicians in Westchester County, NY.
The Huntzinger Management Group hires Nancy Chapman (ACS) as practice director of ICD-10 transition and RCM services. We also note that she is part of an exclusive group of 2,324 industry leaders who have joined the HIStalk Fan Club that long-time reader Dann started and maintains on LinkedIn.
LifePoint Hospitals (TN) appoints Karla Schnell (North Highland) as senior director of informatics and Paige Porter as senior director of pharmacy informatics.
National coordinator Farzad Mostashari will present the opening keynote address at the Summit on the Future of Health Privacy in Washington, DC on June 6-7, hosted by Patient Privacy Rights and Georgetown University. Security expert Ross Anderson PhD, FRS will also address the conference and Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) will receive an award for his support of privacy and security protections in the HITECH act. Registration is free.
Announcements and Implementations
US Preventative Medicine announces an agreement to offer its wellness platform through Dossia’s Health Management System.
HIMSS names The Health Information Exchange Formation Guide, written by Laura Kolkman and Bob Brown, as its 2011 Book of the Year.
PerfectServe announces that its clinical communication applications are available for BlackBerry and Android smart phones.
iMDSoft’s MetaVision Suite for ICUs and ORs earns ONC-ATCB 2011/2012 certification.
Elsevier signs an agreement with ExitCare LLC to offer its patient education information via Elsevier’s Clinical Pharmacology electronic reference. Elsevier will also offer ExitCare licenses to its customers.
Air ambulance operator Mercy Jets implements iPad-based medical records, allowing its medical teams to monitor vital signs and to document care delivered during patient transport.
In England, Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust goes live on NextGate’s Multi-Language EMPI for its clinical portal that links multiple systems.
Government and Politics
HHS launches a developers’ challenge to design Web-based applications that use Twitter to track health trends in real time, allowing officials to identify emerging health issues.
The FDA’s Janet Woodcock MD says the agency could do a better job of predicting the effectiveness and safety of new drugs if it were able to collect information from the field electronically rather than relying on voluntary drug company reporting.
The State of Maryland, along with the CRISP RHIO and the Abell Foundation, launches a competition to identify innovative ways to improve public health using clinical information available from Maryland’s HIE, either alone or tied into publicly available data sets (motor vehicle records, birth and death, boards of education, etc. or Maryland subsets of federal databases) Submissions can address either general public health issues or ideas related to the Million Hearts initiative to prevent heart attacks and strokes. Prizes are offered and submissions are due by April 16. If you don’t want to submit, you can vote – the first round of vetting and discussion will involve the public, who can participate right on the site.
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and IBM collaborate to combine the computational power of IBM Watson with MSKCC’s clinical knowledge and data to create an outcome and evidence-based decision support system.
The Saginaw newspaper describes Covent HealthCare’s used of 14 locally trained scribes in the ED to interact with its Epic system while the physician focuses on the patient. Doctors say they save at least an hour for every 25 patients they see.
HIMSS clarifies that hotel rooms for exhibitors at HIMSS13 haven’t been released yet, so they aren’t showing up on the housing site. They says a “blog site” (obviously this one) said they’re full, which isn’t exactly true – a reader (two, actually) told me that rooms weren’t showing up and I said I don’t know anything about exhibitor housing since I’m a provider grunt, but I did see at least 10 hotels showing non-exhibitor availability. Like most everything else at the conference, high rollers (Diamond members) get first crack. It’s like college football programs that require a big upfront donation to earn the privilege of buying expensive football season tickets.
Epic is awarded a patent for a search method that provides a list of possible appointments that match require provider and resource criteria.
Federal agents seize documents and computers from the town hall of West New York, NJ, reportedly investigating possible insurance fraud by Mayor Felix Roque, a physician who runs a pain clinic. Campaign staffers of the mayor’s defeated political opponent admit that they provided information to federal authorities hoping to discredit him.
A highly regarded and long-established family clinic in Wisconsin becomes one of the first in the state to stop accepting Medicare, citing inadequate payments and increasing expenses that include $700K for a new EMR. Says the founder: “I love taking care of Medicare patients, but every time we treat them we have to dig into our wallets. What kind of business model is that?” The doctor’s wife says he says up until midnight at home some nights to finish up his EMR charts.
A former patient sues a just-closed eight-bed Ohio hospital, claiming the struggling facility refused to transfer him to a more capable hospital because it didn’t want to lose the revenue. The lawsuit claims that lack of prompt treatment of the man’s infection by Physician’s Choice Hospital resulted in gangrene that required surgeons to perform emergency surgery, which included removing skin from his penis. He said it hurt, of which I have little doubt.
- T-System posts a new video showing its T SystemEV EDIS.
- Lifepoint Informatics announces that its March user conference was attended by over 40 clients, with a keynote address by Bruce Friedman MD on “The Continuous Search for Greater Lab Functionality: Best of Breed LIS versus Enterprise-Wide Solutions.”
- GE Healthcare will introduce Centricity Cardio Enterprise at next week’s 61st Meeting of the American College of Cardiology.
- TELUS Health Solutions announces the integration of HIPAAT’s privacy consent management services into its Assure EHR Integration Platform.
- API Healthcare sponsors the DAISY Foundation, which honors nurses through its DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses.
- MedAssets offers a case study of the $65.4 million it helped Texas Purchasing Coalition save from its supply chain.
- White Plume releases AccelaMOBILE, a free physician charge capture app for mobile devices.
- The Advisory Board Company launches its Innovations in Impact grant program designed to reward best practice-driven initiatives that articulate measurable, quantitative outcomes goals. The application deadline for the $20,000 per year grants is April 13.
- Houston Orthopedic & Spine Hospital achieves Stage 1 MU using the Healthcare Management Systems (HMS) EHR.
- Gateway EDI earns full EHNAC Healthcare Network accreditation. Gateway also shares results of ICD-10 preparedness survey, which includes the finding that 56% of practices report are moving forward with ICD-10 preparation despite the enforcement delay.
- DrFirst congratulates 44 of its EHR partners who were awarded the Surescripts White Coat of Quality for 2011.
- Nuesoft posts a full transcript of its billing webinar series on third-party insurance billing.
- An article by Santa Rosa Consulting’s Matt Wimberley discusses the opportunity to improve a hospital’s financial outlook through participation in the MU program.
- Informatica highlights BCBS Michigan’s ICD-10 transition and Ochsner’s standardization on Informatica technologies for its HIE.
- Recondo Technology partners with ZirMed to offer the ZPay credit card and check processing solution.
EPtalk by Dr. Jayne
Several readers were taken with my article on the caduceus vs. rod of Aesculapius debate. Several mentioned Nehushtan, the fiery serpent used by Moses to heal those who looked upon it.
CMS asks providers who feel they have received an ePrescribing penalty in error to contact them. Impacted providers may have had their G codes stripped by billing clearinghouses or may have reported the wrong annual code. Problems with hardship exemptions may also be the culprit.
HHS’s Office of the Inspector General approves Ascension Health Alliance to form a group purchasing organization, allowing it to offer its contracting services to hospitals and health systems outside of Ascension. The 21-state Ascension, the largest Catholic healthcare organization in the US, says formation of the GPO “demonstrates our commitment to transform healthcare by 2020.”
A research letter in this week’s issue of JAMA discusses the prevalence of physicians using social media to post unprofessional content online. Surveying state medical boards, the authors found violations that included inappropriate patient communication, sexual misconduct, prescribing without a clinical relationship, and online misrepresentation of credentials.
IBM Research teams with an Italian cancer center on a new analytics platform that will personalize treatment based on pathology guidelines and past clinical outcomes as documented in hospital systems. The Clinical Genomics tool can also provide an aggregated view of patient care.
AMA Board of Trustees chair Robert M. Wah MD reflects on his recent trip to the HIMSS conference, calling it “a gathering of more than 40,000 of my closest friends and colleagues.” Dr. Wah has an interesting pedigree: Navy active duty, deputy national coordinator for health IT and founding staffer at ONC, chief medical officer at Computer Sciences Corp., and head of the Navy’s largest OB/GYN training program. He’s an interesting guy and I am glad someone with his experience is chairing the board. I hope the AMA will show real healthcare IT leadership to reverse the black eye it obtained by blocking ICD-10.
Speaking of ICD-10 codes, one of my Twitter followers keyed me in to this app available on iTunes. For $24.99 and it only one review, I think at this point I’ll take a pass.
Several readers responded to my mention of the allergist who closed his practice to join the Army as a lieutenant colonel. Rank is apparently based on experience and specialty. One reader told a great story about his own Army service, where he had to take away several service weapons from physicians who mishandled or misplaced them, including one major who left his Beretta in the PX while shopping. That’s a little different than losing your sunglasses or your keys.
A shout out to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles Medical Group, which is hosting its annual “Pediatrics in the Islands: Clinical Pearls” conference in Maui. It’s a great conference. but I think it’s time to include some health IT topics, hint hint. Perhaps a celebrity guest speaker?