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November 20, 2012 News 9 Comments

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11-20-2012 8-06-30 PM

Nuance reports Q4 results: revenue up 28 percent, adjusted EPS $0.51 vs. $0.42, beating expectations of $0.48. In the earnings call, Chairman and CEO Paul Ricci said the company’s healthcare business will generate more than $1 billion in 2013, making the company one of the largest HIT vendors. He also said that the recent Quantim and JATA acquisitions will contribute $90-100 million in annual revenue.


Reader Comments

inga_small From Samantha Taggart: “Re: giving thanks. I am very grateful and thankful to all of you for doing what you’ve done for this (our/my/your) industry. Healthcare is a precious thing and I can’t imagine what HIT would be like today if you all hadn’t somehow provided the transparency and insight into what’s really going on in this industry. We ALL thank you so very much. Enjoy your holidays and feel very good about what you do.” On behalf of Mr. H, Dr. Jayne, Dr. Travis, Dr. Gregg, Donna, and Lt. Dan, a big thank you for the kind words. I will save this note for those days I find myself thinking I can’t possibly read one more thing about healthcare and technology. I am thankful that I lucked into the greatest job ever in HIT, that I work with such fun and smart people, and that people continue to read and support HIStalk week after week. Best wishes to all for a great holiday. I’m off for the rest of the week off to spend time with family and friends, eat too much food, watch some football, and perhaps buy a couple of pairs of new shoes.

From MDRX Scrooged: “Re: Allscripts. Everyone is expecting huge cost cutting if Allscripts is sold to a private equity firm, but what may not be expected is that the cost cutting will start in the next couple of weeks. Between 70 and 130 employees will be let go, mostly from services and engineering. Happy holidays to us!” Unverified. I’ve received a few rumors on where the possible acquisition stands, pretty much split between: (a) talks are at an impasse because the PE people won’t pay above $15 per share and the board won’t accept that offer with shares trading at $12.35, and (b) a deal has already been finalized but not yet announced. In other words, I don’t know any more than you do.

11-20-2012 6-47-24 PM

From Force Majeure: “Re: Allscripts. A practice that requested termination of its MyWay agreement was turned down even though its contract says Allscripts will comply with any CMS requirements to meet MU and any other standards, with the explanation that the practice was offered a free upgrade to Professional. What about costs for infrastructure, equipment, and possible lost productivity? The contract didn’t say they company will meet the requirements by making the customer switch products. They’re going to be flooded with these requests.” Unverified, but FM provided a copy of the purported e-mail above, where the company takes the position that moving a customer to a completely different product than the one they bought is contractually acceptable since it’s a free switch to a more expensive product. I think I’d probably side with the company legally, although as a customer I’d still be ticked that I have to spend money and energy because of the company’s business decision. Obviously your options as a customer are limited if you recently signed up for the five-year lease – you’re going Professional unless you’re willing to lose a lot of money (either by not collecting Meaningful Use money or in paying off your lease while buying a competitor’s product). I assume the leases work like they do for a consumer transaction – a third-party financing company buys the contract at a discount and handles the payment collection, meaning it’s not up to Allscripts to let customers out of their lease agreements. Leasing terms might make an interesting topic for Bill O’Toole in a future HITlaw column given this example.

From Nasty Parts: “Re: [company name omitted]. They were apparently shocked to see former employees working for competitors at MGMA and offered a bounty to current employees to identify them so they can be send cease and desist letters.” Unverified. I’m sure someone must have proof if this claim is accurate, so I’ll fill in the blank if someone will provide that proof.


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

I will most likely not do news this Friday unless I get bored since I doubt anyone would read anyway. Enjoy your holiday. I’ll be back at the keyboard Saturday as usual putting together the Monday Morning Update.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

11-20-2012 5-33-03 PM

Medical education firm Pri-Med, a division of Diversified Business Communications, acquires EHR provider Amazing Charts.

11-20-2012 6-12-45 PM

Shades of McKesson-HBOC: shares of the perpetually bumbling HP drop 12 percent Tuesday after the company announces that it will take an $8.8 billion write-down on its 2011 acquisition of British software vendor Autonomy. HP says Autonomy had cooked its pre-acquisition books by counting low-margin hardware sales as software income and claiming that resellers were customers. Details have been shared with US and British regulators to pursue criminal and civil charges. If HP is right, nice work by Deloitte, to whom it paid big money for pre-acquisition due diligence. The previously fired CEO of Autonomy denies everything, defers to Deloitte’s audits, and says HP destroyed the company’s value by raising prices and lowering sales commissions, adding that, “The difficulty was that the company [HP] needed a strategy, and I still couldn’t tell you what that is.” HP’s now-irrelevant Q4 numbers: revenue down 5 percent, adjusted EPS $1.16 vs. $1.17 but more dramatically –$3.49 vs. $0.12 including the write-down. The ugly five-year chart above plots HP shares (blue) against the Nasdaq index, indicating that you’d probably have been better off burning dollar bills to keep warm. Oracle was smarter: they passed when Autonomy made a “please buy us” pitch – see the hilarious Another Whopper from Autonomy CEO Mike Lynch post from September 2011 on Oracle’s site, placed there after Lynch denied trying to convince Oracle to buy his company. The always-feisty Oracle, in response to his denials, posted the PowerPoint slides Lynch used in the meeting, which seemed to jog his memory of the conversation.


Sales

The National Football League signs a 10-year contract worth $7-$10 million with eClinicalWorks to implement an EHR that can help the league research and treat player head injuries.

DoD awards Acuo Technologies a nine-year, $40 million contract for its vendor neutral archive solution.

11-20-2012 11-13-02 AM

Huntington Memorial Hospital (CA) selects the Merge PACS iConnect Enterprise Clinical Platform for its hospital inpatient EHR and its Huntington Health eConnect HIE.

Sharp HealthCare selects 3M’s 360 Encompass System for medical records coding, clinical documentation improvement, and performance monitoring across its four hospitals and affiliated medical groups.

Aurora Health Care (IL, WI) will deploy Humedica’s MinedShare analytics platform to support its ACO initiatives, improve coding accuracy, and develop ambulatory physician scorecards.


People

11-19-2012 7-23-45 AM

CareCloud hires Ralph Catalano (athenahealth) as VP of operations.

11-20-2012 8-56-21 AM

Health monitoring company Medivo appoints David B. Nash, MD (Jefferson School of Population Health) to its medical advisory board.


Announcements and Implementations

11-20-2012 11-14-34 AM

White Plume Technologies releases its AccelaMOBILEmobile charge capture product app.

11-20-2012 11-15-40 AM

McKesson will give $1 million in free Practice Choice EMR licenses to 100 small-practice physicians who practice in primary care, internal medicine, gynecology, or pediatrics and who have a history of providing unreimbursed care to low-income patients.

11-20-2012 5-43-37 PM

MedCentral Health System (OH) expands its system-wide use of the Surgical Information Systems solution to include anesthesia automation, perioperative analytics, patient tracking, and integrated tissue tracking.

11-20-2012 5-52-53 PM

NextGen Healthcare releases its 8 Series EHR content, which includes a new user interface, standardized framework for templates, and streamlined navigation.

Children’s Hospital Association goes live a contract with Baltimore-based mdlogix to provide an informatics platform that will support its Hospital Survey of Patient Safety tool.


Government and Politics

The GAO finds that CMS is behind schedule on the implementation of its Fraud Prevention System for analyzing Medicare claims data for fraudulent behavior.

11-20-2012 6-44-34 PM

CMS releases Meaningful Use Stage 2 spec sheets for EPs and hospitals.

The Tampa paper covers the power struggle between dueling startup HIEs, the state-run one and a local, for-profit HIE that has the Hillsborough Medical Association as a member. The article suggests that the organizations are fighting for the potential profits involved with selling HIE-collected de-identified patient data. The local HIE says the state HIE is not seeking physician input, noting that the average hospital doesn’t see most of the patient population and also generates only 10 percent of patient health records.


Innovation and Research

The Consulate General of Canada in Philadelphia will launch a healthcare IT accelerator in early 2013, hoping to increase growth opportunities for Canada-based companies as similar efforts have done for companies in Israel. The 4th Annual Canada-US eHealth Innovation Summit will be held November 28 in Philadelphia, featuring presentations from Canadian companies Caristix, EDO Mobile Health, Evinance, Input Health, HandyMetrics Corporation, Mensante Corporation, Memotext, NexJ Systems, Nightingale Informatix Corporation, Orpyx Medical Technologies, TelASK Technologies, and VitalSignals Enterprises.

11-20-2012 8-11-44 PM

A JAMA-published study finds that patients using a patient portal had a higher number of office visits and telephone encounters than non-users. The study, which reviewed the use of MyHealthManager by patients of Kaiser Permanente Colorado, concludes that just putting up a portal doesn’t reduce demand for clinical services, and in fact may have the opposite effect.


Technology

11-20-2012 5-45-23 PM

ADP-AdvancedMD introduces a charge capture app for EHR for use on the iPad and iPad mini.

Nurses at Phoenix Children’s Hospital create the Journey Board discharge teaching app, funded by a $5,000 donation from former hospital patients. It’s available free for Android and iOS.

11-20-2012 7-54-25 PM

Massachusetts General Hospital Emergency Medicine Network launches EDMaps.org, a national ED locator for travelers, and a new version of its EMNet findER app.


Other

11-20-2012 11-52-23 AM

Key findings from the eHealth Initiative’s 2012 Report on HIE:

  • Support for ACOs and PCMHs is on the rise
  • Federal funding still supports many HIEs, raising concerns about their long-term viability
  • HIEs worry about competition from other HIEs and from HIT vendors offering exchange capabilities
  • Other challenges for HIEs include privacy, technical barriers, and addressing government policy and mandates
  • Support for Direct is growing, particularly to facilitate transitions of care and the exchange of lab results.

11-20-2012 5-49-42 PM

The National eHealth Collaborative publishes a five-tier framework of strengthening patient engagement strategies that includes steps entitled Inform Me, Engage Me, Empower Me, Partner With Me, and  Support My Community.

 

An Imprivata roundtable on the healthcare impact of technology and mobility featured Boston-area healthcare IT executives, with their discussion summarized in the eight-minute video excerpt above.

Weird News Andy says “This doc was da bomb.” A 60-year-old doctor and Occupy Wall Street protester who was fired by his hospital employer in 2007 for suspected stalking of a nurse is arrested when police find assault rifles and large quantities of bomb-making chemicals in his basement.


Sponsor Updates

  • MedAssets CEO John Bardis wins a Community Leadership Award for driving and supporting the volunteer activities of his employees.
  • Greer Contreras, T-System’s VP of revenue cycle coding, discusses revenue integrity and the need for organizations to have a holistic view of their revenue cycle processes in a guest article.
  • Compressus integrates MModal’s speech understanding solution into its MEDxConnect suite.
  • Vitera Healthcare introduces Hands-On Lab for virtual product training.
  • Shareable Ink is spotlighted for assisting The Center for Orthopedics (OH) capture MU data.
  • Zirmed releases a white paper on the use of technology to manage rising levels of patient responsibility.
  • PeriGen posts its November and December Webinar schedule.
  • David Caldwell, EVP of Certify Data Systems, discusses opportunities offered by HIEs that can enhance revenue and improve patient care in a guest article.
  • Besler Consulting’s CTO Joe Hoffman reviews challenges in complying with the CMS exclusion list during a November 28 Webinar.
  • Dell ships its PowerVault DL2300 appliance with CommVault Simpana 9 software for enterprise-wide data protection.
  • SCI Solutions recognizes Mountain States Health Alliance (TN) with its Most Innovative Use award for best adoption and implementation of its self-scheduling tool.
  • Levi, Ray & Shoup releases an enhanced version of its Enterprise Output Management software that includes mobile access and support for Windows 8.

Contacts

Mr. H, Inga, Dr. Jayne, Dr. Gregg.

More news: HIStalk Practice, HIStalk Mobile.

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Currently there are "9 comments" on this Article:

  1. RE: Force Majeure. Those Allscripts contracts have holes in them big enough to drive several trucks full of paper records through. Even an average lawyer will be able to get clients out of them … I suspect there will be plenty of legal action to keep the Allscripts legal team busy, at least until somebody gets smart and files a class action.

  2. Lost in the discussion re: AHS and a PE deal is the reality that getting out of the publicly traded quarterly dance allows firms to invest with a goal vs chase the next quarter. This could be quite positive for AHS clients on a number of fronts including platform integration. This is not a guarantee of a PE deal but it is a driver both for Health IT and other industries. ef

  3. The JAMA study, that patient portals are associated with more visits and increased expenses, should come as no surprise to the clinicians.

    The ONC and its meaningfully useful rule panels must be shocked at this revelation.

  4. Regarding the comment that a PE acquisition of Allscripts might be a good thing for platform integration.

    I guess only time will tell, but I suspect very much the opposite.

    The number of enterprise clients who care about this integration is small and shrinking every day.

    A more likely course correction under PE ownership would be to shed legacy platforms and focus on Allscripts previous core strength (small to mid-market ambulatory). Allscripts can compete and win in this market and there is still plenty of sales to be made in this arena.

    Let’s see what happens…

  5. “ed fotsch ” & “ADC” raise a very interesting questions of what is the best ownership structure for HCIT vendors if looking at it from the customers prospective.

    ed fotsch makes the convincing point that not having to hit quarter to quarter metrics of earnings, revenue, new deals, etc. makes “going private” via PE an appealing option. It also gives management the flexibility to make strategic decisions and investments that may take a while to pay off for the company, but improve the product and the company long-term.

    ADC states the true fact that PE funds like to slash costs, including jobs as a way to make money off their investment. This often means eliminating customer support jobs and legacy product lines.

    To me, it seems like the ideal situation from the customer’s perspective is to have the HCIT company be privately held, but having significant size that they no longer are a “small” vendor. Think EPIC, Meditech, and others.

    Thoughts?

  6. @Star Trib Reader –

    You raise good points about the issues with public or PE ownership structures. Both are a deal with the devil in some sense.

    Private ownership is far superior while it lasts, but the biggest problem with it is succession planning. Let’s say a group of 1 or 2 or 3 people own a majority stake in a $1B privately held company. Great if they are all 45 and plan do to this until they die. But what if they are 70? What if they are 52 and plan to retire at 55? Their employees can’t necessarily cough up $1B to buy them out.

    Just as quarterly earnings needs aren’t good for customers, and PE cost cutting isn’t good either, neither is the uncertainty around a major ownership transition which is most certainly looming for some large private companies in HIT.

  7. Regarding this comment: “Nasty Parts: “Re: [company name omitted]. They were apparently shocked to see former employees working for competitors at MGMA and offered a bounty to current employees to identify them so they can be send cease and desist letters.” Unverified. I’m sure someone must have proof if this claim is accurate, so I’ll fill in the blank if someone will provide that proof.”

    It’s Vitera Healthcare Solutions. This is the company culture established by CEO Matthew Hawkins.

  8. @StarTrib, interesting that you put Meditech and Epic in the same sentence. Meditech was the heavyweight years ago, and stumbled over its legacy technology while being surpassed by an upstart, Epic. Epic is peaking now, and will be subjected to the same pressures to continue to evolve legacy technology. There’s great examples in the tech business of publicly held companies that continue to innovate (Apple, Microsoft, even Sony and IBM). Public companies can raise capital much more easily than privately held companies. The bottom line is that public v. private doesn’t matter – culture, decision-making, technology, and R&D matter. Purchase a product based on the entire product experience, not the company.







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