Accretive Health sends a detailed response to Senator Al Franken, who is investigating the company’s hospital collection practices. The company says its primary purpose is to help patients by making sure they use the benefits to which they are entitled, also adding that the company follows HFMA guidelines, including making it clear that services won’t be withheld for financial reasons. Accretive says it complies with all federal laws, including HIPAA, and that all but one of its missing laptops was encrypted and that one was because a now-fired employee messed up. The company also hires a boatload of influential guns-for-hire former politicians to polish its tarnished reputation: former HHS Secretaries Mike Leavitt and Donna Shalala, former Senate majority leaders Tom Daschle and Bill Frist, and former CMS administrator Mark McClellan. Newt Gingrich on Line 1?
From MT Hammer: “Re: Transcend Services (now Nuance). Medical transcriptionists file a class action lawsuit against the company for labor law violations.” The 13 named transcriptionists claim that Transcend violated federal labor laws by paying them per line of text transcribed or edited but not for related activities such as looking up information, thereby dropping their compensation below the $7.25 federal minimum wage. I’m surprised that Transcend hired them as work-from-home employees instead of independent contractors, but maybe the company provides more direction than would be expected for a contractor.
From David Stock-Man: “Re: Quality Systems/NextGen. Anyone have thoughts on the company missing its numbers and shares getting crushed?” QSII announced preliminary Q4 results last Thursday, with expected revenue for the quarter of $107-111 million and EPS $0.24-0.27, blaming revenue recognition delays for missing expectations and issuing guidance down for the fiscal year. FY2013 guidance calls for revenue and earnings growth of up to 25%. Some folks on the stock message boards are crying foul, saying that pro traders were taking huge put positions in the shares right before the announcement, suggesting the possibility that word leaked out (without having any proof, of course.) Shares that were trading in the $45 range just a handful of weeks ago are down to $30. Above is a one-year graph of QSII (blue) and the Nasdaq (red). Shares have a long track record of steady growth, are now priced relatively cheaply, and the company’s margins are good, so if you’re feeling confident that this is just a bump in the road, you get to buy shares at a discount (and if you’re wrong, you get to lose even more money). All I know is that quite a few of the old-school EMR vendors seem to be failing to meet lofty expectations lately despite billions of taxpayer dollars being spent to help them sell product, so if not now, when?
HIStalk Announcements and Requests
Thanks very much to the 68 readers who donated to support the four young daughters of Epic analyst and long-time HIStalk reader Tim Dodson of Children’s Medical Center (TX), who passed away recently at 34. Including the three of us who matched $250 in contributions dollar for dollar, our total contribution was $5,495, which I’ve deposited to the fund set up by Tim’s wife Wendy for the girls, flagging it with a note saying it came from Tim’s fellow HIStalk readers. I covered the credit card fees, so every dollar you donated went directly to support the children. Those of us who chipped in know that it could have been us who died young and unexpectedly, leaving a family deprived of not only their loved one, but of their primary breadwinner as well. You did good.
Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock
The Trizetto Group announces that its subsidiary Gateway EDI has acquired NHXS, a provider of contract compliance and point-of-service adjudication workflow automation. Gateway will incorporate NHXS’s capabilities into its EDI and RCM offerings.
Wolters Kluwer sells its prescription data business to PE firm Symphony Technology Group.
Simplee, which offers free online medical expense management tools for consumers, raises $6 million in a Series A funding round.
Unity Health System (NY) selects Phytel’s Atmosphere platform as part of its infrastructure for population health management.
Cape Cod Healthcare (MA) chooses Courion Suite for user access management for its Siemens Soarian system, scheduled for a December go-live.
Stewart Webster Hospital (GA), a 25-bed critical access hospital, selects the ONE EHR from RazorInsights.
The State of Arizona contracts with Mosaica Partners for consulting help in updating strategic and operations plans for the state’s HIE.
Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center (CA) selects PerfectServe’s clinical communication platform.
Hartford Hospital (CT) will deploy OTTR’s transplant system, including the recently announced OTTRvad module for ventricular assist device patients.
Norton Sound Health Corporation (AK) will deploy ambulatory and inpatient solutions from NextGen.
Chesapeake Regional Medical Center (VA) contracts with ICA Informatics to develop an HIE for its integrated delivery network.
Boston Medical Center (MA) signs a five-year license agreement with Streamline Health for use of its business intelligence and analytics solutions in 19 physician group practices, while Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center (NY) extends its licensing agreement with Streamline Health for five years.
North Texas Accountable Healthcare Partnership (TX) selects Orion Health’s HIE solution to connect its 12,000 physicians.
Advocate Health Care (IL) selects Merge Healthcare’s cardiac imaging and informatics solution. Merge also announces that 12 radiology and orthopaedic practices have selected its EHR products.
Aetna selects Kony Solutions’ KonyOne Platform for its mobile health app.
The Massachusetts eHealth Institute names Laurance Stuntz (NaviNet, CSC Healthcare) as director.
e-MDs hires former CO-REC director Robyn Leone as director of public policy and government initiatives.
M*Modal brings on Kathryn Twiddy (Quintiles, Misys) as chief legal officer.
Blair Butterfield (GE Healthcare IT) joins VitalHealth Software as president of its North American division.
Announcements and Implementations
Rockford Memorial Hospital (IL) goes live next spring on the health system’s $40 million Epic system. Rockford’s physician group has been live since last year.
SoutheastHEALTH and Missouri Delta Medical Center join forces to build and manage a $3.5 million networking and data storage center for their organizations and other medical providers. Both hospitals will also install a $12 million Siemens Soarian system over the next year.
Austin Diagnostic Clinic (TX) goes lives on PatientKeeper Charge Capture for its 120 physicians.
Aetna Pharmacy Management offers its members new services based on their prescription claims data: (a) switching to once-per-day meds when appropriate; (b) recommending trying a less expensive single component of a combination drug; (c) flagging prescription that have been taken longer than recommended; (d) sending prescribers a letter for daily doses that exceed that listed in product labeling; and (e) identifying cases where a new prescription may indicate that a previous one caused side effects.
Medical billing and financial management vendor Fi-Med Management says it will expand its services and add 145 new jobs in the Milwaukee area. It says its new software can help hospitals identify over- and under-charging and avoid audits.
Allscripts will train and hire 40 City College of Chicago graduates, whose salaries will be paid by the City of Chicago for their first six months.
Cerner customer The Hospital de Denia achieves HIMSS Analytics Europe Stage 7, the first Spanish hospital and the second in Europe to do so.
A Northwestern Memorial Hospital (IL) employee is charged with identity theft after a police search of her home, triggered by her use of several credit cards to pay her water bill, uncovers the credit card numbers, birth dates, and Social Security numbers of more than 50 patients.
Last weekend I had the chance to snuggle with a relative’s new baby, which reminded me of this recent article. Laptop magazine compiled a list of 15 current technologies that newborns will never see, including wired home Internet, Windowed operating systems, hard drives, the mouse, desktop computers, and fax machines. If I had written the article, I would have put an asterisk by a few of them (desktops, fax machines) and added, “Not applicable to healthcare because providers are resistant to change.”
- Surgical Information Systems recognizes five hospital systems with 2012 SIS Perioperative Leadership Awards, among them Holy Spirit Hospital (PA – above.)
- Certify Data Systems ranks as a tier one enterprise HIE vendor in the Chilmark 2012 HIE Market Report.
- CynergisTek expands its portfolio of offerings to include the HIPAA Surveyor Solution Series and the HIPAA Audit Readiness Solution Portfolio.
- AHA Solutions and GetWellNetwork host a Webinar featuring Texas Children’s Hospital and its interactive patient care RFP process.
- PatientKeeper awards Ashe Memorial Hospital (NC) its customer innovation award.
- EHRConsultant’s AIMSConsultant division provides advice on choosing the right anesthesia information management system.
- Informatica releases its Informatica 9.5 platform, designed to maximize customers’ return on big data.
- BridgeHead Software will sponsor The Big Event social gathering at the 2012 MUSE International Conference May 29-June 1.
- Computerworld honors Lehigh Valley Network (PA) with its 2012 Laureate award and NASCAR Teamwork award for its innovative use of DigitalShare, T-System’s ED patient documentation system that’s based on Shareable Ink technology.
- Barrington Orthopedic Specialists (IL) selects NextGen’s EHR, PM, portal, and other solutions for its 15-physician practice.
- College Park Family Care Center (KS) selects eClinicalWorks EHR for its 91 providers.
- Emerson Hospital (MA) integrates Access Intelligent Forms Suite with its Meditech Magic system.
- Kareo upgrades its billing system clients to a new release, which includes enhanced claim scrubbing capabilities.