ONC publishes a Health IT Dashboard that includes six views and 250 custom dashboards for states, ONC programs, and grantees. It includes charts, maps, and downloadable tables pertaining to EHR adoption, REC programs, and HIT workforce training. An interesting statistic: of the 143,890 EPs enrolled in RECs, only 17,144 (12%) have demonstrated MU. Also surprising: only 39% of acute care hospitals were using even a basic EHR by the end of 2011.
From David: “Re: Dr. Jayne’s comment on ‘educational session’ put on for members of Congress. As someone who used to put these on, these are simply a forum for making a lobbying pitch to lawmakers and Congressional staff under the guise of education. The ‘education’ is to get lawmakers to vote in the interests of the event’s corporate sponsors.” Sponsors listed include HIMSS, Ingenix, Allscripts, BCBSA, and a bunch of other companies, government contractors, and member organizations. It was the Washington schmoozing and complete surrender to its Diamond members that largely turned me against HIMSS as an organization that represents me as a non-profit hospital employee and dues-paying member instead of a piece of meat offered up for ogling by its conference exhibitors. I would rather see HIMSS split into two groups, one for providers only (like it almost was before the current regime got dollar signs in their eyes) and the other being the vendor trade association that HIMSS denies being despite ample similarities.
From Dell-lightful: “Re: Dell Services layoff. It’s true. I’ve spoken to two senior salespeople in the healthcare vertical who were laid off in recent weeks. One of them said the action was called Operation Savings Storm. He e-mailed me a picture of him shaking hands and smiling with Michael Dell. I suppose that only Michael is smiling now since his labor cost just went down, good for his quarterly report.”
From Eileen Dover: “Re: Lahey Clinic. Scrapping their Allscripts implementation and going big with Epic. You probably already knew that.” I ran reader rumors to that effect in June, but got no response from the CIO when I asked about the “unified architecture” the rumor said they were pursuing (which means they’re planning to buy Epic nine times out of ten). Their original strategy involved using Orion Health to serve up scanned PDFs of inpatient records and using Allscripts on the outpatient side, which doesn’t sound like much of a strategy at all given Meaningful Use requirements and changing care models. I’ll leave this as Unverified since I’m missing the standard confirmation: the posting of a ton of Epic jobs on their site.
From SubDude: “Re: athenahealth. Saw this poster on the green line of the Boston T.”
From Empty Handed: “Re: Encore Health Resources. In talks to be acquired by Dell.” I asked the Encore folks a few weeks back and they said this rumor isn’t true. I believe them, but I also noted from experience with other companies being acquired that you always get that same answer even when it really is true, with an apology later for being less than truthful out of necessity. All I can say is that I’ve heard the rumor from anonymous readers twice now, the company denies it, and I have nothing to back it up.
From Debunker: “Re: the EMR cost study you mentioned. There are also significant issues with how the HIMSS Analytics data collection is performed when you look under the covers at the raw data.” That’s a good point. Everybody trying to do these lazy database-matching “studies” assumes that those databases have perfect information, which I’m sure they do not.
From Neal: “Re: Glen Tullman compensation by Allscripts. Thanks for keeping an eye on the mega-earnings of the vendor CEOs. However, it’s fair to note their value is not reflected solely by share price. Tullman grew Allscripts from a niche ambulatory vendor to a near-competitor with Cerner if not yet Epic across virtually every segment of the market. It’s too early to tell if he’ll be successful, but they will be a serious competitor if they can integrate their myriad solutions. He has one year, two tops, to deliver or face the boot from his new board.” Glen did a masterful job of wresting control of the company from Misys and then buying Eclipsys. The mistakes he’s made from my cheap seats view: (a) paying too much for Eclipsys, which nobody else seemed to want; (b) declaring mission accomplished with Sunrise integration almost immediately after the acquisition, backing up that statement with questionable comments that having two unrelated systems both running on Microsoft-powered servers meant they could just start happily interoperating once the ink dried on the sales collateral; (c) trying to pass off Allscripts as a serious competitor to Epic; and (d) escaping an ugly board power struggle and then caving in to a proxy fight that gave a dissident shareholder board seats. You are right that Wall Street encourages actions that boost share price for all the wrong reasons, often at the cost of long-term possibilities, like when Cerner stock took a beating in the late 1990s as they dared spend research dollars to build Millennium instead of booking big earnings per share. Allscripts needs to deliver technically before the competition (both inpatient and ambulatory) pushes it permanently into the mid-majors. If you’re a customer, you’re better off with Glen in charge than selling off to private equity investors, who would have a field day retiring products, selling off divisions piecemeal, and milking services revenue to juice the bottom line to enable a quick flip. We’re already down to basically three vendors for big hospitals (Epic, Cerner, and Allscripts plus a bit of Meditech in the mix). I don’t see Allscripts gaining much inpatient ground given its few announced sales to mostly small hospitals, which is the same problem Eclipsys had despite an arguably superior product, but I hope they keep it competitive. I should have also mentioned that despite seemingly generous compensation, this particular bonus plan announcement actually represented a pay cut for Glen.
Say hello to LDM Group, supporting HIStalk as a Platinum Sponsor. The St. Louis-based company offers behavior-changing prescription management programs. Specifically, its patented process improves patient compliance and outcomes by connecting patients with their prescribers and pharmacists. The company’s electronically targeted ScriptGuide messaging (print, e-mail, SMS) helps build tighter provider-patient relationships and helps meet Meaningful Use and ACO requirements for customized patient education and engagement. LDM Group’s network of providers, EMR/EHR vendors, and sponsors of educational material (pharma, payers, health plans, and PBMs) help patients become better educated about their healthcare via personalized messaging from their trusted providers right at the point of service. The company’s case studies show that medication adherence increases up to 16% for specific disease categories, potentially avoiding expensive interventions due to non-compliance. Thanks to LDM Group for supporting HIStalk.
Epic’s UGM is underway. Your report, photos, etc. are welcome since we are not in attendance. So many conferences, so little time.
Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock
Mediware completes its acquisition of the assets of Strategic Healthcare Group, a provider of blood management consulting, education, and informatics solutions. Mediware also reports Q4 results: revenue up 4%, EPS $0.29 vs. $0.25.
Elsevier acquires ExitCare, LLC, an enterprise-wide solution for patient education and discharge instructions.
Rush University Medical Center (IL) selects MethodCare’s Charge Recovery Solution to optimize charge capture.
The University of Colorado Hospital will implement Infor Lawson Healthcare’s financial, supply chain management, and human capital applications.
Coordinated Health (PA/NJ) selects Allscripts Sunrise Clinical Manager. Their hospitals are Coordinated Health Allentown Hospital (22 beds) and Coordinated Health Bethlehem Hospital (20 beds).
Cancer Treatment Centers of America chooses QlikView to replace its existing business intelligence software, using its analytic capabilities to find opportunities for improvement and planning its future use to predict which therapy options will work best for a given patient.
Clarity Health names Bill Bunker (Vertafore Agency Markets) as CEO, taking over for founding CEO and newly appointed executive chairman Peter Gelpi.
The GAO appoints Christopher Boone, director of outpatient quality and HIT for the American Heart Association, to fill a vacant patient advocate seat on the HIT Policy Committee
Announcements and Implementations
West Virginia University Healthcare installs the Patient Safety Net incident reporting system from Datix and UHC.
HIMSS Analytics recognizes Hennepin County Medical Center (MN) and Truman Medical Center (MO) with its Stage 7 award for EMR adoption.
Franciscan Alliance goes live with iSirona’s device connectivity solution at multiple facilities.
In Southeast Texas, CHRISTUS Health, Texas Children’s Hospital, UTMB Galveston, and Legacy Community Health Services sign up with Greater Houston Healthconnect to exchange patient information.
Medecision’s care management solution is added to the Availity network to support post-discharge planning and coordination.
Government and Politics
ONC posts draft test procedures and test data files for the 2014 Edition EHR certification criteria.
HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announces that the public can vote for their favorite innovation among finalists in the HHSinnovates Program, which is designed to recognize innovative projects developed by HHS employees to solve healthcare challenges. Public voting is open until September 14.
Allscripts CEO Glen Tullman pens a Forbes opinion piece extolling the accomplishments of his friend President Barack Obama, also saying great things about his stimulus bill, particularly the HITECH part that benefited Allscripts immeasurably. He concludes, “Now what he needs is one more term to finish the job.
AirStrip Technologies is awarded a patent for its technology and process for delivering physiologic monitoring data to smartphones, tablets, and other devices.
A 17-year-old invents an inexpensive and portable EKG that collects heart rhythm data via Bluetooth and sends it to a remote physician.
An orthopedic surgeon uses an iPod Touch in knee replacement surgeries, saying it allows more precise placement of the artificial knee and thus reduces complications and provides a greater range of motion.
Weight loss company Diet Doc offers its customers weight loss consultations with physicians at its 30 locations via Skype. The (female) CEO cites the “growing possibilities that telehealth has” in decided to replace its telephone-based consultations with video in managing its human chorionic gonadotropin diet plans. They’re probably the only telehealth-using provider featuring a Star magazine cover of Kim Kardashian with the CEO’s unsolicited opinion that “comfort foods added a few pounds to her frame” but that she has thankfully “slimmed down to snag a man.” The FDA doesn’t have anything good to say about HCG diets and has banned non-prescription sales. It requires prescription HCG products to be labeled with a warning that there’s no proof that they work.
Two University of Miami Hospital employees are accused of selling the information of thousands of patients they obtained from registration face sheets over 22 months. The university’s medical school reported the theft of a pathologist’s briefcase earlier this year that contained an unencrypted flash drive with six years’ worth of patient medical record data.
A computer hacker in Italy with brain cancer, desperate for second opinions, cracks the proprietary format of his electronic medical records, converts them to an open format, and shares them on his Web site. Two doctors responded in the first 24 hours to what the patient is calling “My Open Source Cure.” He invites doctors, hackers, musicians, or anyone who can help to review his information and e-mail him their “cure,” which he will post on his site. If you’d like to help out, you will need someone who can read Italian to translate the scanned records.
The former hospital equipment designer who in 1982 designed the first laptop computer, the GRiD Compass, has died. Bill Moggridge was 69.
In the UK, Fujitsu is reportedly blacklisted from being awarded any government services contracts after previous failures, notably its work on the failed NPfIT project.
A Chicago-area health department says EMR implementation temporarily reduced the walk-in patient capacity of its clinics by half right after go-live last week. At a two-physician clinic whose appointments are booked out for months, one patient said the line that snaked around the corner looked like “a Depression-era soup line.”
Weird News Andy says an interdiction might be placed on the future work of this surgeon, who is being sued by a patient whose lawsuit claims his cancerous penis was amputated without his consent.
- HTMS, an Emdeon company, and Managed Care Executive Group launch the fourth annual Industry Pulse Survey to identify issues and concerns important to healthcare payers.
- Pivot Point and NextGate collaborate to offer identity management, credentialing, and RCM enhancement solutions to HIEs, ACOs, and health systems.
- Orion Health posts the agenda for its October Healthcare Collaborative in Colorado.
- Imprivata demonstrates its secure no-click access at Epic’s annual UG meeting and offers a white paper on optimizing Epic clinical workflow.
- Awarepoint adds VT Group as a VAR for its aware360 RTLS suite.
- MED3OOO announces the keynote speakers and agenda for its October National Healthcare Leadership Conference in St. Thomas, USVI.
- Greenway recognizes Pediatric Associates (WA), Premier Family Physicians (TX), and Medical Park Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Clinic (AR) for their innovative use of Greenway solutions to improve care delivery.