Athenahealth reports Q2 results: revenue up 44 percent, non-GAAP EPS -$.08 vs. $0.24, beating revenue estimates but missing consensus earnings expectations of $0.22. The company says it stands by previous FY13 guidance.
From Keen Observer:“Re: Senate Finance Committee on Health IT hearing Wednesday. Here are my notes.” Thanks. Video is here and the transcript of Farzad’s testimony is here. I’m including your notes below.
Farzad and Patrick Conway from CMS fielded a lot of questions about the Meaningful Use program’s benefits and the adoption rate, especially among rural providers. Farzad’s bow tie also took a number of shots, including one from Sen. Pat Roberts advising him not to wear it in Dodge City, KS. Both Senators Baucus and Roberts urged Farzad to get out into rural America and see what the conditions are like before assuming that all rural hospitals and providers should be held accountable to the same IT standards as their urban counterparts.
They asked Farzad about his thoughts on a delay to Stage 2 and he said he didn’t think it would be beneficial to slow the momentum. Senator Thune asked about what Stage 3 will look like and if there will be more stages beyond that. Both witnesses ignored the second part of that question. They also talked a lot about interoperability and evolving standards. Some asked if the bar was too low for interoperability. Senator Enzi really hammered Dr. Conway about the physician drop out rate that was reported for docs who achieved Stage 1 MU.
Next week the Finance Committee will hold another hearing with with Janet Marchibroda from the Bipartisan Policy Center, John Glaser from Siemens Healthcare, Marty Fattig from Nemaha County Hospital which is a critical access hospital and Colin Banas from Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center.
HIStalk Announcements and Requests
This week on HIStalk Practice: CareCloud introduces an update to its Charts EHR that I believe includes Medicomp Quippe functionality. TransforMED selects 90 primary care practices for a three-year patient-centered medical neighborhood pilot project. CMS highlights key 2014 deadlines for the EHR incentive and other eHealth programs. Physicians in larger states, ER specialists, and pathologist historically experience higher levels of PQRS success. Dr. Gregg shares a scary tale of EMR demos, UXs, and UIs. Join the fun, take a read, and check out the offerings of a few HIStalk Practice sponsors. Thanks for reading.
Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock
Quality Systems reaches an agreement with Clifton Group, an investor that had called for the replacement of the company’s board. Quality Systems will add three Clifton Group nominees to its board.
UnitedHealth Group reports Q2 results: revenue up 12 percent, EPS $1.40 vs. $1.27, falling short on revenue expectations but beating handily on earnings. The company’s Optum segment turned in revenue of $8.8 billion with earnings from operations of $536 million, which contributed significantly to the bottom line. The insurer’s quarterly profit was $1.44 billion.
Care New England Health System selects Infor Healthcare’s business process automation solutions.
Jefferson Radiology (CT) contracts with McKesson Business Performance Services for revenue cycle management.
St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center (NY) selects ProVation Care Plans from Wolters Kluwer Health.
Pilgrim Hospital (UK) chooses MetaVision from iMDsoft for its ICU.
Extension names Brian McAlpine (Emergin) VP of product management and marketing and Johnathan Salyer (Capsule) director of strategic accounts.
CompuGroup Medical promotes Norbert Fischl to CEO of CGM USA.
HealthAlliance (MA) names Chris Walden, RN, BSN (Flagler Hospital) as CIO.
Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush joins the board of Alpharetta, GA-based healthcare staffing company Jackson Healthcare LLC.
Cleveland-based analytics vendor Socrates Analytics names Jim Evans (McKesson) as CEO.
Industry long-timer Jim Klein, who worked for CompuCare, QuadraMed, InterSystems, Advisory Board, and Gartner, died of prostate cancer Wednesday, July 17 at his home in Great Falls, VA. He was 65.
Announcements and Implementations
ProHealth Care (WI) implements Omnicell’s G4 Unity medication management platform.
The Ottawa Hospital launches Wolters Kluwer Health’s UpToDate Anywhere.
Southeast Hospital (MO) implements Access e-forms barcoding to manage registration packets, order sets, and home health documents.
Navicure reports that it increased revenues 27 percent in the second quarter and added 316 medical practices.
Government and Politics
CMS releases information suggesting that EHR use is helping providers manage patient care and provide more information securely. CMS notes that since 2011, providers have used EHRs to send more than 190 million prescriptions electronically, send 4.6 million patients an electronic copy of their health information, forward more than 13 million patient reminders, check drug and medication interactions over 40 million times, and share more than 4.3 million care summaries with other providers.
During a Senate Finance Committee hearing, ONC head Farzad Mostashari, MD says that pausing the MU program to evaluate whether the bar has been set too low would “stall the progress that has been hard fought (and) take momentum away from progress.” Incidentally, even senators aren’t immune to Mostashari’s dapper bowties: Sen. Orrin Hatch apparently took a moment to call Mostashari’s cravat “a beauty.”
Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) introduces a bill that would impose specific deadlines for the Department of Defense and the VA to exchange electronic health information. The Service Members’ Electronic Health Records Act would require the DoD and VA to use standardized forms within six months of enactment; to exchange real-time information and use a common UI within a year; and to offer service members with electronic copies of their information by June 30, 2015. According to the Senator, “For 15 years, we have tried to fix this problem. In the past five years, the departments have spent around $1 billion, but we are not there yet.”
Seamless Medical Systems is awarded a $50,000 grant from the Venture Acceleration Fund of Los Alamos National Security, LLC. The company will use the money to further develop its SNAP Practice patient engagement platform.
Connexin Software will use Health Language applications from Wolters Kluwer Health to normalize data into standard terminologies within its pediatric EHR solutions.
Tech writers are stalking executives of Apple, hoping to see visual evidence of the wearable body sensors or related devices that the company is rumored to be studying.
Tech Crunch profiles ElationEMR, a San Francisco-based startup founded by a Stanford economics professor who says she and her brother “had no prior experience building anything of the sort. And my brother happened to have a knack for design and I kind of had a bit of a knack for engineering and learning quickly to pull things together.” The EMR costs $149 per month, which includes support, e-prescribing, lab interfaces, training, and a patient portal. An ElationEMR user can see all the practices that have seen their patient. Signup for a test account is free.
A majority of surveyed EHR consultants expects the majority of EHR vendors to involved in merger, acquisition, or closure within five years, most often due to delaying usability problems in favor of meeting MU requirements. Do we blame the fallout on opportunistic vendors taking advantage of a hot market, or the government and MU for managing their development priorities? Probably a bit of both. The study concludes that well-funded smaller vendors serving niche sectors may do better than some larger vendors who have failed to resolve “fundamental flaws caused by being all things to all physicians.”
The National Football League says it’s on track to roll out an iPad-based sideline concussion assessment tool next season. The results will be printed and placed in a paper chart, but eight teams will be piloting a program to send the information directly to the patient’s electronic medical record. The league’s 2011 collective bargaining agreement called for deploying a full EMR this year that would allow medical records to follow a traded player. Safeguards are being put in place to prevent viewing of the records by competing teams, the league itself, and teams for which the player is trying out but is not yet signed. The NFL signed a 10-year agreement with eClinicalWorks in November 2012 to provide its EMR.
Milwaukee Health Services, a Federally Qualified Health Center, says Atlanta-based Business Computer Applications is endangering 40,000 people by remotely locking the organization out of its own data servers in a billing dispute. Milwaukee Health Services has done business with BCA for 24 years, but says it paid the vendor $3 million to develop an EMR called Pearl EMR that still doesn’t work and isn’t HIPAA compliant. The hospital moved to GE Centricity, claiming BCA promised to give it a copy of its database, but later reneged. It’s suing under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. BCA claims to be the largest minority-owned software company in the world and claims it developed the first EMR in the US outside of the Department of Defense. It still sells Pearl EMR, which is certified by CCHIT as a Complete EHR for ambulatory.
Weird News Andy says if you have to be shot, there’s no better place. A patient is superficially wounded by a bullet shot through the window of her room in Crozer-Chester Medical Center (PA).
WNA says this woman doesn’t have a leg to stand on. A Utah woman who says she has wanted to be disabled since she was four years old seeks a doctor who will cut her perfectly healthy sciatic and femoral nerves to paralyze her legs. She suffers from Body Integrity Disorder, which causes her to believe her legs aren’t her own. The woman has tried to paralyze herself by intentionally causing accidents and now hopes that aggressive skiing might do the trick since she can’t afford to pay a doctor to cripple her.
- Allscripts will offer its ambulatory clients LDM Group’s ScriptGuide patient education solutions.
- Sandlot Solutions offers an August 14 Webinar, “Real-time, Clinical & Claims Data at the Point of Care: Reshaping the Way You Deliver Healthcare.”
- Aprima reports that over 1,000 Allscripts MyWay customers have switched to Aprima PRM since October, when Allscripts announced that it would not provide MU or ICD-10 enhancements to MyWay.
- The TrustHCS Academy graduates its class of coding students.
- Ecfirst validates Imprivata Cortext as HIPAA compliant and will perform ongoing audits.
- GetWellNetwork will add patient-education content from ASCO’s Cancer.net patient Website.
- An API Healthcare-sponsored study finds that hospital and health system executives are prioritizing workforce management-related issues to achieve long term fiscal sustainability.
- A Beacon Partners-CHIME survey of healthcare CIOs examines Meaningful Use progress and challenges.
- Ingenious Med announces impower Mobile 2.0.
- HealthMEDX forms a physician medical advisory board.
- Carl Fleming, principal advisor with Impact Advisors, discusses the evolution of tablets and how they are helping physicians.
- Wellcentive introduces a Network Maturity Model to evaluate the maturity of healthcare organizations.
- Clinical Architecture is recognized as a 2013 Indiana Company to Watch award.
- Sandlot Solutions Director Rosalind Bell discusses information as healthcare’s ultimate business partner.
- Intellect Resources publishes an infographic depicting the use of social media in healthcare.
- ICSA Labs’ Jack Walsh discusses the vulnerability of Android devices.
- Chicago Crain’s Business profiles Care Team Connect Founder and CEO Ben Albert.
- Ping Identity CEO Andre Durand discusses the setting of reachable goals in a New York Times interview.
EPtalk by Dr. Jayne
A reader sent me this slide show from a Medscape physician lifestyle report. I’m sad to see that both my primary and secondary specialties are in the top three for burnout. Check out Slide 8, which lists physicians’ favorite pastimes. Non-medical writing ranks at the bottom, but I’d personally put it at the top. Some weeks it seems like being part of the HIStalk crew is the only thing keeping me sane.
From Checklist Diva: “Re: checklists. I was reading your post about checklists and it warmed my heart. Personally, I love checklists. I write things on my lists just so I can cross them off, items like ‘eat lunch.’” I put a block on my calendar every day not only to remind myself to eat lunch, but also in the hopes that someone will show a little humanity and not schedule a lunch meeting. It works a good part of the time, probably because I put humorous titles on the appointments to make it look like I have important meetings. My admin occasionally gets into the spirit and changes the locations or adds ridiculous attachments that make me laugh. He provides support to several of us and I’m pretty sure I’m his favorite because I have a sense of humor.
Speaking of humor, I might not have much left after next week. It’s our regularly scheduled “All Provider” meeting, which usually turns into a freeform complaint session because the (very young) president of the medical group has a hard time moderating his more senior peers. Some of the physicians get pretty far out of control and the audience gets completely restless with audible sighs, vigorous paper shuffling, slamming chairs around, and the occasional demonstrative hand gesture. For years EHR has been the designated punching bag, but we seem to have been elbowed aside by Accountable Care as the villain of the day. Some meetings though I feel like we should be dressed for roller derby instead of the board room.