Community Health Systems will buy for-profit hospital competitor Health Management Associates for about $3.6 billion in cash and stock. With the assumption of debt, the merger is valued at $7.6 billion and includes 206 hospitals in 29 states. It will be interesting to see if HMA shareholders approve the deal since it only pays $10.50 per share compared to Monday’s closing stock price of $13.92.
Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock
Specialty medical billing vendor Zotec Partners will acquire Atlanta-based ED billing firm Medical Management Professionals for $200 million from CBIZ. The combined companies will have 1,750 employees and $215 million in annual revenue.
Mediware CEO Kelly Mann says the company, which has acquired five home health software companies, will acquire one or two software vendors each year, focusing on home health and long-term care.
Excela Health (PA) contracts with SCI Solutions for its Schedule Maximizer, Order Facilitator, and Results Facilitator solutions.
The Arkansas Office of HIT selects Get Real Health as the patient portal development vendor for providers participating in the statewide HIE.
CareTech Solutions CEO Jim Giordano is named chairman of the St. John Providence Health System (MI) board of trustees.
John Lutz (Navigant Consulting) joins Huron Consulting Group as managing director of the company’s healthcare practice.
Justin Graham, MD (NorthBay Healthcare) is named chief innovation officer, healthcare of Hearst Business Media.
Dann Lemerand (The HCI Group) joins eVariant as vice president, solution engineering.
Clinical Architecture appoints Andrew Frangleton (UBM Medica) managing director of the company’s UK office.
Announcements and Implementations
Qsource and the Tennessee Office of eHealth Initiatives introduce Direct Technology for secure exchange of patient data.
Catholic Health Initiatives reports savings of nearly $1.5 million from reduced overtime and $3 million for reduced length of stay since its 2010 implementation of the Cerner Clairvia workforce and operations suite in 14 of its hospitals.
TECSYS announces the OR Inventory Manager perioperative supply change management system.
Napa State Hospital (CA) and two other psychiatric facilities give employees Ekahau RFID-powered name badges to signal for help and transmit their location in an emergency.
Baltimore-based Parallax Enterprises will begin beta testing its CHaRM OR safety checklist system starting in the fall.
Government and Politics
Through the end of June, 305,778 EPs and 4,024 hospitals collected more than $15.5 billion in EHR MU incentives.
In a Politico opinion piece, Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Ron Wyden (D-OR) argue for the passage of legislation that would make Medicare claims data available through a free, searchable online database. The senators contend, “The publication of Medicare data will become healthcare’s new financial baseline; the measure of what America’s largest and most powerful buyer of healthcare gets for nearly $600 billion a year.” I understand that privacy issues remain a chief concern, but I have yet to hear a argument compelling enough to convince me that keeping this data largely sealed is preferable to open access and transparency for researchers and consumers.
A Time article recaps a Washington Post investigative article from earlier this month that describes the AMA group that tells the government how much Medicare should pay doctors. According to former CMS Administrator Tom Scully, “The idea that $100 billion in federal spending is based on fixed prices that go through an industry trade association in a process that is not open to the public is pretty wild.” The AMA criticized the article saying its recommendations are just optional guidelines, but left out the fact that the government accepts 90 percent of those recommendations without question.
Innovation and Research
A team from the Houston VA Medical Center creates EHR-based triggers to make sure that clinicians follow up on abnormal lab results that can indicate cancer (PSA, occult blood, iron-deficiency anemia, and bloody stools.) Positive predictive value ranged from 58 to 70 percent.
A heart surgeon in India who founded a chain of 21 medical centers offers coronary bypass surgery for $1,583 and hopes to drop the price to $800 within 10 years. The same procedure at Cleveland Clinic costs $106,000.
MMRGlobal announces Australian singer Guy Sebastian as the spokesperson for its “Don’t Worry Be Happy” advertising campaign for its personal health record.
The ratings agency for Catholic Health Services of Long Island downgrades its bonds, with a key ratings driver being, “Additional expense pressures in fiscal 2013 related to the implementation of an electronic medical record (EMR) has resulted in an operating loss of $18 million for the interim period.” The system filed a $144 million certificate of need in 2010 to implement Epic, which it estimated would add $40 million to its bottom line beyond HITECH payments, including a projection that its length of stay would drop 0.5 days for an annual savings of $28 million.
A jury awards a woman $1.44 million after a female Walgreens pharmacist shared her prescription records with the pharmacist’s husband, who was also the patient’s former boyfriend. Walgreens says the jury was wrong in finding it responsible for the actions of an employee who intentionally violated company policy and says it will appeal.
Weird News Andy calls this article “Potty Mouth.” A China-based research team grows teeth from stem cells extracted from urine. WNA says of this article about a venipuncture robot, “He vants to drink your blaad.”
- CommVault announces enhancements to its Edge software that give users the ability to securely share, search, and restore files across their mobile, desktop, and laptop devices.
- NextGen reseller TSI Healthcare will integrate PatientPay with NextGen PM.
- HealthTronics will integrate SampleMD’s eCoupon and eVoucher solutions from OPTIMIZERx Corp. within its UroChartEHR and meridianEMR platforms.
- McKesson adds real-time analytics and mobile access to its Strategic Supply Sourcing supply chain solution.
- ONC head Farzad Mostashari, MD and MGMA Healthcare Consulting Group’s Rosemarie Nelson will deliver keynote addresses at this week’s Aprima 2013 Annual User Conference in Dallas.
- Greenway Medical will provide its PrimeSUITE customers access to PatientCo’s patient financial engagement platform.
- Greythorn Senior Account Executive Paul Tran writes about the importance of “soft skills” within a technology environment.
- LiquidEHR partners with DrFirst to offer users integrated e-prescribing functionality.
- Allscripts profiles Manitoba e-Health and its implementation of dbMotion’s eChart solution.
- Infor Healthcare highlights the success of its supply chain management solutions at several organizations, including MLK Community Hospitals (CA), Huntington Hospital (CA), Prime Healthcare (CA), WellStar Health System (GA), University Health System (TX), and Greenville Health System (SC).
- Talksoft Corporation integrates its portfolio of messaging services within the Healthpac Computer Systems billing platform.
- Craneware introduces an update to its Supplies ChargeLink solution that includes an automated search function to identify HCPCS codes.
- Ingenious Med releases a white paper that offers tips for transitioning to ICD-10.
- A local publication features the use by Colquitt Regional Medical Center (GA) of Versus RTLS to improve patient care.