Nextgov uncovers a scathing internal Pentagon memo that says DoD’s plans to acquired commercial off-the-shelf software fly directly in the face of the President’s call for a joint DoD-VA EHR based on open standards.
From Wesley: “Re: Encore Health Resources. They have laid off multiple people in recent weeks.” I asked Encore CEO Dana Sellers, who provided this reply:
Encore continues to experience strong, healthy growth thanks to wonderful clients and the best consultants in the industry. As a result, we’ve done some realignment of our Client Services organization over the past few weeks to better position Encore to execute our strategy: the delivery of a full life cycle of consulting solutions with a focus on business intelligence and performance improvement. In fact, to meet our increasing business demands, we are actively recruiting for Client Services Executives in Nashville, Florida, Colorado, and California. Send some great folks our way, would you?
From John Porta: “Re: Advisory Panel CIOs not finding value in the HIMSS conference. Who does find value, the marketing VPs? Sales employees think it’s the biggest waste of their time in the pipeline, which is why they spent their days on their phones while ignoring the giveaway seekers and non-buyer IT staff. Why do vendors spend an average of probably $250K to be there preaching to the choir? Maybe just companies trying to justify their marketing existence. I believe the HIMSS conference is an ongoing, self-perpetuating, ad-selling, marketing come-on. Few companies have the balls to pull out.”
From Iggy: “Re: MModal. Debtwire said that on April 3, executives told their debt holders that they fell out of compliance in the period ending March 31 and One Equity will ‘cure’ this. Is this routine?” I asked Ben Rooks, who writes HIStalk’s “Healthcare IT from the Investor’s Chair,” who with help from his friends at investment bank Houlihan Lokey provides this explanation:
Loans such as the one that allowed One Equity to borrow money to purchase MModal (the Leverage in the term LBO, or Leveraged Buy Out) have certain ongoing requirements with which the company must comply (known as “covenants”). In this case, there was actually only one such covenant, but it allowed for a maximum amount of net leverage (how much debt each dollar of EBITDA — earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization — must support). This metric rose since the deal closed, reaching 6.43x at the end of last year in contrast to the 5.35 that was projected. Interestingly, it was set at 6.5 in Q1, then drops sequentially by .25 until it reaches 5.75 in Q1 2014 (presumably as the company both pays down its debt and grows its revenues and EBITDA). According to Standard & Poor (the debt rater in this case), “MModal has seen its revenue weaken as a result of a slower-than-expected transition to its new products strategy and competitive pricing pressures” and it downgraded the debt a notch. Realizing that these things can happen, however, the loan agreement allows the sponsor (One Equity) to cure the problem, typically by adding more equity dollars or else guarantying part of the loan. Incidentally, M*Modal might not be public, but its debt is, so this was, in fact, disclosed publicly, just not as loudly as in the case of public companies.
Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock
LifeIMAGE closes a $15 million Series C round of financing.
Henry Schein, Inc. secures $300 million of committed financing with The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Ltd. based on the securitization of its A/R.
CTG reports Q1 results: revenue up five percent, EPS $0.24 vs. $0.20. CTG attributes its growth on increased demand for EMR and other health information technologies.
Healthcare learning platform vendor HealthStream announces Q1 results: revenue up 25 percent, EPS $0.07 vs. $0.05, beating earnings expectations and sending shares up 16 percent Tuesday.
Israel-based medical social data mining vendor Treato raises $14.5 million in funding. The company’s platform extracts patient comments from blogs and discussion forums, applies natural language processing and other analytics, and provides an overview of patient comments about drugs and conditions. According to the company’s CEO, “Until now, everyone wanted to hear the doctor’s voice. Now, because of social changes and even legislation, everyone wants to hear the patient’s opinion. Regulation no longer pays for the doctor to treat, but for the patient to heal.”
Nightingale Preventive Care, a provider of healthcare services in Kmart stores, selects HealthFusion’s MediTouch EHR.
Riverside Health System (VA) chooses HealthMEDX Vision for EMR and billing for its Lifelong Health and Aging Related Services division.
Orange Accountable Care (FL) selects Halfpenny Technologies to provide a lab data interface for referring physicians using risk management services from Orange Health Solutions.
Scott & White Healthcare (TX) contracts with KPMG LLP to assist with its Oracle PeopleSoft v0.2 Human Capital Management reimplementation project.
Ardent Healthcare will expand its use of Infor’s human resources and financial management suites.
Huron Consulting Group hires Todd Christiansen (IBM Global Business Services) and Joseph Gaetano (Siemens Medical) as managing directors in its healthcare practice.
Anthony Caponi (Maxim Healthcare Services) joins Direct Consulting Associates as VP of sales.
MediRevv hires Randy Blue (Resource Corporation of America) as director of sales.
VC firm Polaris Partners names Tim Kilgallon as CEO in residence, focusing on consumer-directed digital health opportunities. His healthcare IT experience includes stints with Pointshare Corporation and Medaphis.
Health program and population health management software vendor Aegis Health Group promotes Bill Walker to CTO.
Mobile applications platform developer Kony Solutions, announcing 90 percent year-over-year growth, names Abhay Parasnis (Oracle) as president and COO.
Gary Peat (Council Capital) joins eDoc4u as SVP of corporate and business development.
Announcements and Implementations
The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute will fund up to $68 million to support organizations focused on the advancement of comparative clinical effectiveness research.
Hamad Medical Corporation in Qatar will implement Cerner Millennium across its primary care centers and eight hospitals.
Allscripts releases Allscripts Care Director to enable care coordination across all care settings.
Emmi Solutions wins a communication award from The Center for Plain Language for its Heart Failure Transition multimedia series.
Gwinnett Hospital System (GA) adopts the ChartWise:CDI clinical documentation system.
Government and Politics
HHS considers amending the HIPAA Privacy Rule to allow states to report information on potentially dangerous mental health patients to the National Criminal Background Check System, the database that houses information on individuals prohibited by law from possessing firearms.
CHIME calls on HHS to extend certification requirements to include the HIE market.
CMS and ONC will convene a May 3 meeting on appropriate coding using EHRs from 9:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. in Baltimore. The session will also be streamed online.
A bipartisan group of senators unveils a discussion draft of a bill to create a nationwide electronic system for tracking the distribution of prescription drugs. The proposed measure would require every entity in the prescription drug supply chain to provide electronic transaction information when there is a change of ownership, plus shift the country from a lot-level drug tracing system to a unit-level tracing system.
CMS and ONC post a joint fact sheet that breaks down the progress made since the passage of the HITECH Act that also includes the latest numbers on EHR adoption, e-prescribing rates, and the increased emphasis on interoperability and exchange.
Medical device company Smiths Medical will develop connectivity between its infusion systems and Epic using IHE standard profiles to establish communication between the systems.
A small-scale Johns Hopkins study finds that first-year residents in academic medical centers spend just 12 percent of their time interacting with patients, while computer duties take up 40 percent of their hours. Patient time has been significantly reduced since a similar 2003 study, suggesting that mandatory reduced hours may have caused an undesirable balance of work duties. The researchers say better EMR systems would reduce some of the computer time required. The study’s senior author, a hospitalist, concludes, “All of us think that interns spend too much time behind the computer. Maybe that’s time well spent because of all of the important information found there, but I think we can do better.”
The Kansas Department of Health and Environment will officially take over the Kansas HIE effective July 1. The HIE board acknowledged in September that it financially unsustainable and voted to relinquish its functions to the state.
John Halamka reflects on hospital lessons learned from last week’s Boston Marathon bombings in his “Life as a Healthcare CIO” blog. Among them: making sure systems can support working from home, limiting data center access, increasing on-screen warnings to staff about looking up patient information, and improving HIE capabilities.
A review of CEO salaries of non-profit Chicago hospitals finds 20 who made at least $1 million in total compensation in 2011, with the CEO of Northwestern Memorial HealthCare leading the pack at $4.6 million.
Two former patients of Glens Falls Hospital (NY) file a class action lawsuit against the hospital and its contractor Portal Healthcare Solutions after the medical records of 2,300 patients are left on an unprotected computer network for four months.
Microsoft will sponsor an April 25 panel discussion on Unintended Consequences: Patient Perspectives on the HIPAA Omnibus Rule at the Microsoft Innovation & Policy Center in Washington, DC. Panels will include Iliana Peters (OCR), Corinne Cary (New York Civil Liberties Union), Deborah C. Peel, MD (Patient Privacy Rights), and Hemant Pathak (Microsoft).
Baltimore-based Healthify, a new startup led by Johns Hopkins University graduates and students, develops a free electronic waiting room questionnaire that can screen for health determinants such as psychosocial risks, nutritional status, housing, education, and substance abuse, all of which significantly increase the odds of an individual requiring hospitalization.
No-frills clinics in India say they can offer heart surgery for $800 by operating in prefabricated buildings that have air conditioning only in the OR suites and that require family members of patients to help care for them. The company’s founder, a noted heart surgeon, says that while Stanford Hospital is spending $600 million to build a 200-300 bed hospital and a new London hospital will cost $1.5 billion, the clinic can build and equip a hospital for $6 million and have it up and running within six months.
Weird News Andy says this might make sense. In England, NHS is considering sending recovering elderly patients to “hospital hotels” run by private hotel chains. It’s modeled after a similar program in Scandinavia and would relieve “bed blocking,” where local councils have cut funding for home health and residential services, leaving patients stuck in expensive hospital beds they don’t really need.
WNA also likes a story that he titles “A different kind of Brazilian close shave.” A Brazilian fisherman accidentally fires a foot-long harpoon into his skull, then decides to go home to sleep it off. His aunt calls the fire department 10 hours later. He’s in ICU and has permanently lost sight in one eye.
- Infor will donate $5 to charity for each attendee of Monday night’s Infor Healthcare party, held in conjunction with Inforum in 2013 in Orlando.
- Greenway Medical will add RemitDATA’s comparative analytics solution into its PrimeDATACLOUD Remittance Intelligence service, giving practices reimbursement and productivity insights and performance benchmarking.
- Jill Farnsworth and Mike Grisaffee from Encore Health Resources will participate in educational sessions at the HIMSS Texas Regional Conference May 14-15 in San Antonio.
- Healthcare Anytime offers a June 4 Webinar on surviving the avalanche of patient data.
- Bottomline Technologies donates $2,500 to a memorial fund for Joshua Krantz, a recently deceased employee.
- The Denver Post names Ping Identity Top Workplace for the second consecutive year.
- InstaMed launches the InstaMed Healthcare Payments Account, which helps providers get paid faster and through more channels.
- Visage Imaging releases version 7.1.3 of the Visage 7 Enterprise Imaging Platform, which incorporates over 1,000 enhancements and product fixes.
- T-System will deploy the NextGen PM solution for its RevCycle+ solution clients.
- Craneware showcases enhancements to its Bill Analyzer and InSight Audit solution during this week’s HCCA 17th Annual Compliance Institute in National Harbor, MD.
- eClinicalWorks offers a series of Webinars in April and May on its upcoming eBO Version 6 release.
- Henry Johnson, MD, VP and medical director for Midas+, a Xerox company, discusses value-driven analytics and the best big data trends for healthcare.