Private equity firm TPG Growth acquires critical care systems vendor iMDsoft. We reported that rumor here on June 8, along with the rumored sales price of $80 million that was not confirmed in the announcement.
From SmallBiz: “Re: Accolade. Your post about Accretive Health’s chairman Michael Cline and reference to Accolade made me curious. A quick Google search shows the company on the SBA 100 list of companies that have received small business assistance. Call me crazy, but I thought SBA assistance was meant for budding entrepreneurs or bootstrappers trying to change the world, not for multi-millionaire private equity guys who want to add one more high flyer to their portfolio. The more one researches Accretive, the more one scratches their head.” Ditto the more one tries to understand how the federal government can be so free with taxpayer money while drowning us all in red ink.
From The PACS Designer: “Re: Apple’s iOS6 Preview. This fall we’ll see the arrival of Apple’s iOS 6 platform. For now, we have the iOS 6 Preview announced by Tim Cook this week. TPD particularly likes the Apple Maps, which shows cities and their skylines through Apple’s detailed air mapping process.“ I’m not really an Apple fanboy even though I use the iPad for routine stuff (checking the weather, looking up something I’m watching on IMDB) but I admit that I intently follow live blogs of their World Wide Developer’s Conference every June. There’s just something compelling about the excitement of the unveiling and the hipness of Apple that makes me want to feel like I’m there among the geeks and crusties. The big announcements (other than Apple dumping its Google relationship for maps) involved a refresh of the laptop line (including a rare price drop on the Mac Pro) and some iOS enhancements. Boring if you were expecting a new Apple TV or the iPhone 6. It was cool, though, that everything being announced other than the new Mountain Lion OS was available for online purchase the same day (once they brought the Apple store back online later Monday.) Other than Google, the companies taking it in the shorts from Apple were Intel and its partner companies trying to sell Windows-powered Macbook Air lookalikes (aka ultrabooks) that aren’t nearly as cool for about the same price ($999), the same Apple manufacturing pricing advantage that makes it suicide to roll out an iPad competitor. Even the low-end Air now comes with all-flash storage, Thunderbolt and USB 3 connectors, and a FaceTime HD camera. For Maps, it looks like Apple has struck a deal with TomTom to turn the iPhone into a free, voice-powered GPS with real-time traffic updates driven by automatic data from individual iPhones and integration with services such as Yelp and OpenTable.
HIStalk Announcements and Requests
Maybe it’s just me, but has Facebook been dog slow lately? Are they punishing users for their unimpressive IPO by throttling back the Web server horsepower? Ditto the hourglass city for Twitter. How many billions does it take to keep the Web page coming up?
I’m speaking to the men here, but the ladies are welcome to read. I was reading a list of suggested ways to make the woman in your life happy. A common answer was to hug her from behind, kiss her cheek, and tell her she’s beautiful whether she is or not (assuming she is to you, anyway, which I hope is the case.) You and I probably have in common the fact that we haven’t done this with either Inga or Dr. Jayne even though they are clearly loved and beautiful, so here’s a list of alternatives: (a) sign up for spam-proof e-mail updates; (b) give them a virtual hug by friending, liking, and connecting via all the hipster social not-working sites; (c) send us news, rumors, photos, or anything else that is informative or entertaining; (d) intently study our sponsors via the categorized and searchable Resource Center or the gloriously non-animated ads to your left, and if you’re provider seeking consulting help, fill out a quick online form and get a bunch of responses via the Consulting RFI Blaster; (e) have patience with our sometimes terse and/or delayed responses or occasional crankiness since we work full time elsewhere, and doing all things HIStalk is an intensely enjoyable but time-sucking hobby that requires constant reallocation of hours. Do these things and the smart and sassy HIStalk ladies will virtually lean their heads on your shoulder and sigh contentedly, squeeze your bicep and insist that your workouts are buffing you up, and pretend to find your timely Caddyshack quips to be funny. Heck, I might do that myself since we appreciate all of our readers and sponsors.
Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock
The Chicago business paper reports that Fidelity Investments, the largest outside investor in Merge Healthcare, has sold most of its shares, dropping its ownership from 6.7% of the company to around 1%. Shares were up 1.34% on the day, although they’re still down by more than 60% since late March.
Compuware hires an underwriter to prepare for the IPO of its Covisint business. The company hopes to raise $200 million.
Bacon County Hospital (GA) selects Summit Healthcare’s Express Connect and Provider Exchange interoperability technology for its Meditech 6.0 system.
Huntington Memorial Hospital (CA) announces a strategic collaboration with Cerner to implement its clinical and financial solutions and connect with the hospital’s information exchange.
The Orange County Partnership RHIO (CA) selects Mirth’s data exchange solutions.
Catholic Health Initiatives selects Orion Health as its HIE technology partner for its $1.5 billion EHR initiative. I’m interested to know the scope of the overall project given its cost, so help me out if you know.
Thailand-based medical tourism hospital Bumrungrad International Hospital chooses business intelligence tools from Agilum Healthcare Intelligence of Nashville, TN (known as Anthem Healthcare until a name change a few weeks ago.)
Wireless infrastructure vendor Firetide wins a contract for 4,000 centrally managed access points for a 180-hospital WLAN rollout in Korea.
Dallas County Medical Center (AR) chooses the Prognosis HIS EHR after reviewing a dozen vendors. The hospital’s CEO says a key factor was a guaranteed 120-day go-live and the 100% of customers who have received Meaningful Use money.
Federal contractor CACI International is awarded a $20 billion contract to provide IT services to the National Institutes of Health and other government agencies. The company says healthcare IT is an important growth area and that its services will provide “innovative solutions to enhance taxpayer services.”
The Navy rejects the EMMA computerized medication dispensing system from INRange Systems because of concerns about the security of its wireless communication. They planned to pilot it, but changed their minds when it failed to earn certification and word of bad experiences from Army pilot sites got out. They also said its potential to control drug abuse among service members was overstated.
Steve Sarros (Spectrum Health) is named VP/CIO of Baptist Health Care (FL).
Announcements and Implementations
Agfa Healthcare selects Dell to host its medical imaging archiving services.
Precyse signs a software interface license agreement with 3M Health Information Systems to interface Precyse’s computer-assisted coding product with 3M’s Coding and Reimbursement system.
T-System introduces RevCycle+, an RCM solution for the emergency department that encompasses facility coding, physician coding and billing, and consulting.
M*Modal announces its Catalyst suite of cloud-based applications that allows extraction of data from unstructured clinical documentation (such as dictated encounter notes) that can be merged with structured EHR information. A key benefit is the ability to search all medical documents regardless of source and system while preserving context beyond simple keyword searches.
Hospira announces enhancements to its TheraDoc clinical surveillance system to support hospital antimicrobial stewardship programs, including an eMAR interface, dashboards, and alerts.
Business analytics software vendor SAS partners with the non-profit Health Care Incentives Improvement Institute to develop analytics-powered provider reimbursement models to support bundled payments and ACO shared savings models. I’m impressed with the most recent (and fun) blog post by HCI3’s executive director Francois de Brantes (formerly of GE) or his ghostwriter — Too Many KITAS can be a PITA, which applies behavioral theory to ACO-type reimbursement:
The carrot and stick approach, what Herzberg refers very cynically in his paper as the KITA method (for kick in the ass), doesn’t work very well. Instead, he suggests an exercise in minimization of toxic environmental factors. We’ve grown accustomed to thinking that incentives can be optimized, that behaviors can be finely tuned to respond to the incremental adjustment in fee schedules or bonuses. They can’t. What we must do is actively minimize misalignment of incentives – factors that lead to job dissatisfaction. If I encourage employees to seek care while penalizing physicians for delivering too much care, then I’m creating a toxic environment leading to dissatisfaction. If I put physician income at risk but only tell them after the fact what their budget was and that they blew it, then I’m creating a toxic environment leading to dissatisfaction. If we want physicians to develop and maintain an internal motivating generator (as Herzberg refers to it), we have to minimize the factors that are stopping them from achieving their potential.
Government and Politics
AHRQ produces an e-prescribing toolset for physician practices that includes a readiness assessment, sample workflows, a task table, an e-prescribing vendor assessment tool, sample project timelines, a computer skills assessment, and a flyer for patients.
Innovation and Research
A JDRF-funded study demonstrates the feasibility of an artificial pancreas for ambulatory use. Two patients were connected to an insulin pump that was controlled by a smart phone that constantly monitored their blood glucose levels and adjusted their insulin doses accordingly, allowing them to eat meals and sleep outside the hospital while maintaining near-normal blood glucose levels without medical intervention.
An Arizona teen wins an innovation award for his enhancements to existing free software that allows people with Lou Gehrig’s disease to control a browser using their eye movements. Commercial equivalents cost $20,000, but his version costs less than $2,000 including hardware. He’s talking to some VCs about marketing it.
HIMSS Analytics introduces the Ambulatory EMR Adoption Model, which will track IT adoption in more than 28,000 ambulatory facilities that are part of hospitals or hospital systems. None of the 9,247 ambulatory facilities that are providing information to HIMSS Analytics are at Stage 7 and nearly half are Stage 0 (purely paper-based.)
The Advisory Board Company’s daily briefing newsletter highlights this story, in which a researcher digging through boxes of old paper at the National Archives finds 21 pages of notes taken by the first doctor to attend to Abraham Lincoln after his shooting at Ford’s Theater. The doctor, who was also attending the play “Our American Cousin,” had earned his medical degree just six weeks before. I couldn’t help but think how uninformative the rich historical narrative would be had it been reduced to today’s codes and checkboxes.
A UK hospital admits that it believes one of its employees leaked information to a tabloid about the cystic fibrosis diagnosis of the four-month-old son of former Prime Minister Gordon Brown in 2006. The tabloid is owned by Rupert Murdoch.
In Canada, a Grey Bruce Health Services computer problem takes down the phone and computer systems of six hospitals.
Patient advocates complain that University of Iowa Foundation sent patient information to the questionable fundraising groups it hired, allowing them to enhance their mass mailings seeking donations to its hospitals by adding the signature of each patient’s doctor. The hospital says the practice is legal and everybody else does it. One of the fundraising companies raised $1.1 million for the university, but charged $1 million for doing so. The newspaper article only casually mentions an item that I consider the most troubling:
The head of the hospital’s ophthalmology department says the flow of information works both ways in that the foundation tells him which of his upcoming patients have agreed to donate money. The foundation and hospital have also agreed in writing to collaborate on “wealth screenings of patients” in order to maximize donations.
An American Medical News editorial calls Meaningful Use Stage 2 “a recipe for failure,” saying its increased number of performance measures and higher thresholds raise the chances that a practice will miss out on their HITECH check, possibly through no fault of their own (like practicing in an area where labs can’t accept electronic EHR data and patients who aren’t interested in using technology).
Inga says she hopes she has a leg up on Weird News Andy in finding this story. A Gulf of Mexico shrimper drags up a $30,000 custom-painted artificial leg from the water, saying, “I was hoping I wasn’t going to find a body with it as well.” The leg’s University of Kentucky motif allowed him to track down the owner, who says he lost it while swimming over Memorial Day. The diehard Wildcats fan wasn’t reduced to hopping on one leg in the interim: he has two more like it.
- AirStrip Technologies and Palomar Health launch a vendor-neutral mobile platform to provide access to clinical data.
- Kony Solutions hosts a June 14 Webinar on developing an enterprise mobile strategy.
- EBSCO Publishing releases three medical e-book collections of top-rated content on its EBSCOhost electronic library collection of 300,000 e-books and audiobooks.
- The Ohio Orthopedic Center of Excellence selects eClinicalWorks EHR for its 59 providers.
- Covisint announces that DocSite is open for 2012 PQRS submission, which costs a flat $299 per provider. It also offers free webcasts and a 2102 CMS Incentives FAQ document.