Mediware will be acquired by PE firm Thoma Bravo LLC for $195 million, the company announced Wednesday. The $22 per share cash offer represents a 40% premium over Tuesday’s closing price.
From Shades of Green: “Re: RECs and EPs. You point out that only 17,144 EPs have demonstrated Meaningful Use through the REC program. I did a little digging and found that total grants for RECs to date (which does include some funding for rural hospitals) is $706 million. That comes to $41,181 for each of the 17,144 EPs demonstrating Meaningful Use.”
From N2InformaticsRN: “Re: MappyHealth. You mentioned a few weeks back our entry into the HHS NowTrending 2012 Challenge. I have an update – we won! Not bad for two nurse informaticists and a computer science student.” Social Health Insights LLC’s free application mines real-time tweets via Twitter’s open APIs to serve as an surveillance system for emerging health issues. The challenge, which drew 33 entries, was created by HHS after it observed that social media trends can be correlated to disease outbreak. The team is Brian Norris, Charles Boicey, and Mark Silverberg. I’m sure they are keeping their fingers crossed that their app doesn’t get hosed as Twitter continues to reduce the functionality and terms of service of its APIs in hopes of monetizing tweets instead of allowing others to build applications around them. Several small companies whose only products were Twitter add-ons have already gone belly up when their data hose went dry.
From The PACS Designer: “Re: iPhone 5. Faster, thinner, 4” display, and iOS 6. Apple is prepared to meet Q4 demand by preparing suppliers to ship as many as 50 million of them in the quarter.” The only Apple products I own are an iPad and a Nano, but I still watch blow-by-blow live-blogging of every Apple announcement, which is an indication of how dramatic Apple makes their unveilings (not to mention how well they keep those huge, world-impacting announcements a secret, which is truly amazing to me). I can’t think of any reason I should care given that I’m not in the market for new Apple products, but I still do. I’m not convinced that the iPhone 5 is better than some of the Samsung or other Android phones (many of the new iPhone features have been on Android for a long time, leading some analysts to openly ridicule Apple for under-delivering), but I can safely predict that the fanboys will be camping out at the Apple store next Thursday night (what recession?) I read the other day that Apple’s iPhone sales volume alone is bigger than all of Microsoft.
From Arnold: “Re: KLAS report on Epic consulting firms. They just posted an update saying one firm has been removed because KLAS mistakenly gave them credit for another company’s survey. How shoddy, and it isn’t the first time we’ve seen this kind of mistake.” I blurred the company’s name on the KLAS announcement since it’s a good news/bad news thing – in removing some other company’s negative survey, this company’s score went up, but then it didn’t have enough surveys, so KLAS removed it completely from the updated report.
From Blue Dog: “Re: Allscripts Enterprise EHR. Heard CHS in Oklahoma City had a great implementation and they are re-looking at using it in other markets. They had a huge contractor downsizing and had postponed or shifted to athenaclinicals in many markets.” Unverified.
HIStalk Announcements and Requests
This week’s HIStalk Practice highlights include an example of “EMR garbage.” Opinions on why specialists may seek MU incentives less often than primary care providers. Healthcare expenditures fall when patients have more access to office-based care after hours. An internal medicine physician grades his EHR. More feedback from the HIStalk Practice Advisory Panel on the ACA’s potential impact on patient volumes. Culbert Healthcare Solutions VP Jeff Wasserman offers strategies to help independent practices enjoy the financial benefits of quality-based care. Thanks for reading.
Despite the inconvenience of the new adapter, I am ready to take advantage of the $199 option to upgrade my iPhone 4 to the 5. The fast-draining battery has always been my biggest gripe with the iPhone, so longer battery life is the most appealing new feature. A bigger display will also be nice and I am envisioning all the cool panoramic photos I’ll be able to take at the upcoming MGMA meeting. I’ll be one of the geeks standing in line at the Apple store on September 21.
I was waiting for the elevator at work today with the “going up” button lit. As I stood patiently, some guy charged around me and gave the already-lit button several quick jabs. Do you suppose he thinks there’s an algorithm built in that gives preference to the number of times the button is pushed, does he harbor suspicions that elevator lights are rigged, or is he just an impatient jerk who assumes I’m not capable of pushing the button correctly?
Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock
Streamline Health reports Q2 results: revenue up 22%, EPS –$0.04 vs. $0.00.
MRO Corp. acquires the assets of Florida Medical Records Services, a provider of release of information services.
Athenahealth signs a definitive agreement to acquire Healthcare Data Services, a provider of healthcare data analysis and population health management solutions for payers and providers.
Nightingale Informatix secures $2.75 million in Series B funding.
In England, mental health EHR vendor Strand Technology is acquired by Advanced Computer Software Group for $3 million.
Community Hospital Anderson will use Summit Healthcare’s Express Connect and Provider Exchange technology for internal and bi-directional integration with its Meditech system.
Cherry County Hospital (NE) chooses Access Intelligent Forms Suite for electronic forms management as it migrates to Meditech 6.0.
The Federal Economic Development Agency will use the Connected Wellness Platform of NexJ Systems for its Connected Health and Wellness Project.
Fort Drum Regional Health Planning Organization (NY) selects Wellcentive to provide disease registry, case management, and predictive analytics.
Anne Arundel Medical Center (MD) chooses Medseek’s ecoSmart Patient Precisioning CRM solution for patient engagement and education.
Key-Whitman Eye Center (TX) selects Versus Advantages RTLS to track patient progression and staff workflows.
HealthEast Care System (MN) chooses Humedica for its ACO and PCMH initiatives.
Lance Fusacchia (Webmedx) joins Shareable Ink as CFO.
CHIME awards its State Advocacy Award to Texas Health Resources SVP/CIO Ed Marx.
Tom Penno (Indiana HIE) joins NoMoreClipboard as VP of channel management.
SuccessEHS promotes Lori Junkins and Elizabeth Featheringill Pharo to VP and Elizabeth Pitman to general counsel.
Jim Speros, who led the VA’s innovation prize contests and promoted its use of Blue Button, died September 3 at 59.
John Cox, former CIO at the Hospital for Special Surgery (NY), died September 12.
Announcements and Implementations
HIMSS names Hawai’i Pacific Health the winner of the 2012 Enterprise HIMSS Davies Award of Excellence.
In the UK, Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust adds three modules to OpenEyes, its self-developed, open source patient management system. The new modules include surgical notes, discharge letters, and prescriptions.
Government and Politics
HHS announces $983,100 in grants to support improved healthcare access and coordination for veterans living in rural areas using telehealth and health information exchanges.
HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius admits to violating the Hatch Act, a federal law that restricts the political activity by government employees. Sebelius called for the re-election of President Obama at a February speech to a gay rights group. Sebelius has apologized and the Democratic National Committee has reimbursed the government for the cost of her trip.
ONC’s blog urges nurses to request a copy of their own electronic health record, verify the accuracy of its contents, and sign an online pledge. I suspect few of us in healthcare IT have requested electronic copies of our information, so I will post this as a challenge of my own to all readers. Request a copy of your EHR information and let me know how the process went – how convoluted the request process was, how long it took, and how accurate and complete your information was. I’ll run anything you send me. Somehow I think that, like almost everything related to healthcare, it doesn’t work nearly as well as patients have a right to expect. It’s not exactly Golden Rule territory.
ONC releases its educational security training game for medical practices. I played it and it’s pretty cool.
Medicare says it won’t pay providers based on copied-and-pasted patient notes.
CareCloud will establish a Massachusetts office to take advantage of the region’s technical talent.
I said in January when US CTO Aneesh Chopra resigned that I expected him to run for lieutenant governor of Virginia, but instead he went back his previous employer, The Advisory Board Company. I should have paid more attention to the election calendar: the election is in 2013 and he has announced as a Democratic candidate for that office.
A Financial Times article called “Healthcare: Cyber wards” covers Silicon Valley companies trying to break into healthcare. It doesn’t contain anything all that interesting, but it does quote an entrepreneur who says VCs are still wary of investing in companies because of long healthcare sales cycles and their previous experience with products that were never perfected.
University of Minnesota Medical Center, Fairview violated patient protection and EMTALA laws by its aggressive collections tactics overseen by Accretive Health, a federal investigation finds. Fairview says they “continue to learn from this experience.” Shares in Accretive were down 11% Thursday on the news, by far the biggest percentage loser on the NYSE. The company had already paid a $2.5 million fine and agreed to cease operations in Minnesota. Shares owned by founder and CEO Mary Tolan are still worth $108 million.
Weird News Andy is convinced that being real smart doesn’t preclude being real stupid. Richard Keller MD, a pediatric endocrinologist and Harvard Medical School instructor (WNA summarizes as “a vile human being,” at least assuming he’s found guilty), is arrested when a package containing 50 DVDs of child pornography is delivered to his attention at Phillips Academy, where he was medical director until last year. He might be one of few people whose life goes directly into the toilet because he forgot to update his shipping address or perhaps had the misfortune of back-ordered porn.
Markle Foundation puts out a video promoting the consumer use of Blue Button.
The computer hacker / brain tumor patient in Italy who cracked the proprietary formats of his electronic medical records so he could post them publicly to seek help has updated his site with the ideas he has received so far. It’s getting interesting – he’s about to publish a tutorial explaining the quirks he found with DICOM images and he’s putting out some rather eloquent ideas about health and technology:
The definition of "diseases" is "reserved" to doctors. Often using words which we don’t understand and, most important of all, touching only a part of the human condition, which is made from body, but also of spirit and sociality. The DICOM format is open, yes, but in a very "peculiar" condition of openness: it is like the openness of the words which they use to tell you about your health condition, and with which they describe and actuate their version of the "cure": you can’t understand it, you can’t reuse it, you can’t combine it with other possibilities. It is thought for "experts" and "professionals" (of one single type), leaving little space for other possibilities for expression and socialization … Maybe we could start to think about an "open" world in this sense, too, not dedicated to "professionals" and "procedures", but also to human beings.
- Vonlay created a Web page featuring live tweets and photos from the Epic UGM this week.
- PDR Network announces that its flagship service meets Meaningful Use Stage 2 requirements in delivering real-time FDA drug safety alerts and product program information at the point of prescribing.
- More than 50 employees from the Burlington, VT office of Allscripts will take part in a Habitat for Humanity build this week.
- Amerinet makes McKesson’s pharmacy automation solutions available to its 3,000 hospital members.
- Intelligent InSites integrates its RTLS with Haldor’s ORLocate surgical instrument tagging to offer a surgical instrument management and tracking solution.
- Lifepoint Informatics announces its Silver Level sponsorship of next month’s Pathology Informatics 2012 conference in Chicago.
- LDM will provide consumer medication information from Polyglot Systems in its point-of-care messaging solutions.
- HIStalk sponsors Allscripts, NTT Data (formerly Keane Inc.), and World Wide Technology earn spots on the annual InformationWeek 500 list of innovative business technology users .
- Forbes cites Greenway as being “ahead of the pack” in delivering information exchange and interoperability between its PrimeSUITE and the EHRs of other vendors.
- Orion Health will incorporate images from Agfa’s clinical imaging platform into its clinical portal.
- DrFirst and Meditech will demonstrate their combined solutions during a series of Webinars in September and October.
Although I was initially skeptical, Twitter has proved to be a great source of interesting health IT information. It can also be a huge time suck, so I’ve had to unfortunately cut back on some of the humorous tweeps I’ve been following because I just cannot keep up. I did enjoy a piece that Evan Steele shared the other day, entitled What My Doctor Thinks of Obamacare. Written by former Senate Majority Leader (and surgeon) Bill Frist, the interview is great and the comments are even better.
For readers who are gamers, ONC’s Office of the Chief Privacy offer announced the release of what it calls its “first web-based security training game.” Users have to respond to privacy and security challenges faced in a typical small medical practice. Choosing the right answers lets your practice grow and earn items such as exam room furniture and a new TV for the break room. The wrong choices hurts the practice and can cost you your exam room. I give ONC full credit for using the word “gamification” in its release e-mail.
Everyone seems to be buzzing about the Epic user group meeting taking place this week. It’s not the only show going, though. My good friend Bianca Biller is attending the Healthcare Billing & Management Association Fall Conference taking place this week. She reports in from Capitol Hill:
On Tuesday, it was an honor and privilege to participate in the HBMA Capitol Hill Visit and Lobby Day – 75 of us! Not only was I able to meet with members and health staff of the US House of Representatives and Senate, encouraging our Congress to pass a permanent fix to the SGR and to understand the importance of our billing organization, but I was able to see all the members of Congress come together to commemorate the anniversary of 9/11 on the steps of the Capitol building by singing the national anthem.
We delivered the message on behalf of our physicians that the SGR formula is flawed and our physicians cannot continue to have this looming over their heads year after year with threats of a 30% cut in reimbursement. We also discussed the concept of a centralized credentialing process for our providers. We truly believe if someone could figure this out that this would qualify as ‘administrative simplification’ without doubt! I believe our message was heard however we know that nothing will be addressed until after the election. That message was conveyed loud and clear.
The opening keynote Wednesday was the Honorable Newt Gingrich. His messages of “cheerful persistence” and encouraging us as citizens to bring forward answers to Washington DC rang out to more than 250 HBMA members attending. He also encouraged us to bring a generation of innovation (and of course to check out his new venture, newtuniversity.com). He believes the doctor crisis is real and we need to get care organized, and soon!
Next up is two full days of sessions on client modeling, EHR liability, ICD-10 updates, and Privacy and Security policy and enforcement. As usual, a great conference!
I think many providers (and an awful lot if IT people) don’t fully understand how crazily complex medical billing requirements are. I appreciate everything Bianca does to collect 99% of the money I’m due. Here’s a salute to all the billing professionals out there. When ICD-10 hits, I will be happy to commiserate with you over a martini.