For-profit publicly traded hospital operator Health Management Associates will restate its financials going all the way back to 2010 after internal review finds that 11 of its hospitals inappropriately collected $31 million in HITECH money in 2011-2013 due to the corporation’s mistaken application of EHR certification criteria in failing to meet Meaningful Use requirements. HMA has repaid the money. I received a rumor report last Friday from FL IT Guy, which I didn’t run in its entirely because I couldn’t verify it and HMA is publicly traded, that said, “After releasing our CIO and multiple VPs from his organization at HMA, the office has been in a state of chaos. Auditors have been working around the clock including over the weekend capturing any and all documentation. It’s unknown to most of us what they are looking for however it appears serious and it’s easy to speculate that some inappropriate handling of funds was occurring with vendors.”
From VAInsider: “Re: VA’s latest contracting fiasco. There is more to this story that is likely to be uncovered if an official investigation is launched. This is yet another example of the VA’s flawed IT procurement process and what happens when you let greedy contractors steer the ship.” The VA awards a $162.5 million contract to ASM Research to improve the user experience of VistA on September 30, choosing the vendor whose bid was more than triple that of two competing bids of less than $50 million. The bid was issued under a $12 billion IT contract with vague requirements that let departments use vendors without seeking competitive bids. One month after issuing the bid to ASM, one of the VA technical leads who worked on the contract quit to become chief strategy officer for ASM. The VA cancelled a 2012 $102.6 million contract with ASM due to a conflict of interest with ASM’s subcontractors, one of which is Agilex, which had hired former VA CIO Roger Baker as chief strategy officer in April. Accenture acquired ASM Research just over a month ago
Welcome to new HIStalk Platinum Sponsor BlueTree Network. The Madison, WI HIT consulting company’s network of 300 healthcare IT experts develop their professional equity via contributions to the company’s collaborative network, endorsements from colleagues, and ratings from previous clients. Once BlueTree objectively identifies the best people, they give them the chance to offer services that they’re really good at and enjoy, moving away from staff augmentation toward offering specialized solutions based on client needs. The best people get the best placements. One consultant used her extensive Epic and ICD-10 experience to develop an ICD-10 service package, while another created dynamic tools to help clients optimize their revenue cycle. Clients rate the experts publicly on every project, so there’s nowhere for mediocrity to hide. A happy consultant is a productive consultant and BlueTree’s Consultant Happiness Advocates offer feedback, goal alignment, and making sure work and lifestyle are balanced. If you think you’re up to the challenge of working with the best, create a profile on their site, find projects that interest you (part-time, full-time, remote, on-site, etc.) and see if you can make the cut to bid on and win a choice assignment. Thanks to BlueTree Network for supporting HIStalk.
Here’s an introductory video for BlueTree Network that I found by Googling.
Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock
Vista Equity Partners, parent company of Vitera Healthcare Solutions, acquires the outstanding shares of Greenway Medical common stock for $644 million, completing the merger of the two companies. The new company will be privately held and operate under the Greenway brand, with Tee Green (Greenway) assuming the role of CEO and Matthew Hawkins (Vitera) as president. We interviewed Green and Hawkins when the merger was first announced in September.
The Advisory Board Company reports Q2 numbers: revenues up 16 percent, adjusted EPS $0.31 vs. $0.31, beating estimates on both. The company also announced the acquisition of Care Team Connect and the promotion of SVP Glenn Tobin to CEO of the Crimson unit. I asked Chairman and CEO Robert Musslewhite about former Crimson CEO Paul Roscoe, who has been in health IT for years at Microsoft HSG, Sentillion, Sybase, and NEON. According to Robert, “The Advisory Board Company leadership wants to recognize that Paul did a tremendous job of leading Crimson to explosive growth and impact to our member hospitals and health systems. Paul, in working from and living in New England, realized that there needed to be greater presence for the Crimson CEO role in Austin, Texas. We collaboratively initiated a decision with Paul to hand over management of the business to Glenn Tobin, PhD.” Tobin was previously SVP of accountable care solutions, and before that, held COO positions with CodeRyte and Cerner.
CPSI files Q3 numbers: revenues up 4 percent, EPS $0.66 vs. $0.63, missing expectations by $0.01. The board of directors also declared a regular quarterly cash dividend of $0.51 per share.
Francisco Partners completes its acquisition of McKesson’s hospital automation unit (the former Automated Healthcare) and renames it Aesynt.
Compliance information and HR training provider Business and Legal Resources acquires the HCPro and HealthLeaders Media brands.
Fletcher Allen Health Care (VT) selects healthcare enterprise management solutions from Avantas.
HealthCare Partners (CA) will deploy Allscripts EHR across its California medical group sites and will add the FollowMyHealth patient portal and the dbMotion population health management platform.
Indiana University Health selects Evariant’s Patient Solutions platform for business analytics and patient communications.
Kareo hires David Mitzenmacher (Volusion) as VP of customer success and Nitin Somalwar (Flurry) as VP of engineering.
Vikram “Vik” Natarajan (MDLIVE) rejoins Medfusion as CTO.
The Dallas Business Journal names T-System CFO Steve Armond private technology CFO of the year.
Cleveland Clinic Innovations names acting Executive Director Gary Fingerhut to the permanent position. He was previously the group’s general manager for IT commercialization.
Announcements and Implementations
Ocean Beach Hospital and Medical Clinics (WA) rolls out Healthland for inpatient clinicals and NextGen for the clinics.
EXTENSION changes its name to Extension Healthcare and rebrands EXTENSION HealthAlert to Extension Engage.
One thousand healthcare professionals in Tennessee adopt Direct secure email technology through the state’s Health eShare Direct Project.
Bottomline Technologies announces Logical Ink for the iPad, which allows completion and signing of forms electronically and sending discrete data to downstream systems.
This is either wickedly funny or a sad indication of just how far partisanship in government has gone. HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, speaking at a healthcare event in Memphis, is presented with the book Websites for Dummies by Tennessee State Senator Brian Kelsey, who you may infer is a Republican. You may also infer from the Secretary’s expression that she was not amused.
And in the daily recap of new Healthcare.gov problems, a South Carolina man demands that HHS remove the information he entered after another user accidentally pulls it up and e-mails him screen shots to prove it. CMS’s Marilyn Tavenner acknowledged the problem in a Senate hearing Tuesday, explaining, “We implemented a software fix yesterday to fix that.” The man who saw his records says he’s not buying insurance anyway – when he saw that the prices listed on Healthcare.gov were double what he expected, he figured he doesn’t need a doctor very often and decided to save money by going uninsured and paying the federal penalty instead.
Innovation and Research
A study of highly questionable design (and with quite a few product misspellings) from Riverside Methodist Hospital (OH) concludes that medical residents don’t think iPads are worth much for clinical use. It was performed as a satisfaction survey, which is already questionable since nothing was actually measured, but the reasons I suggest ignoring it completely (as well as any site that publishes its conclusions uncritically) are:
- It asked a lot of questions about using the iPad on rounds and when doing documentation, but the hospital is still hand-writing orders with no CPOE.
- It didn’t mention the clinical system they use, but the iPad access to it was running VMware View, which I assume means screens designed for seated users who are typing on keyboards were just dumped onto an iPad.
- It didn’t distinguish between resident satisfaction with the systems they were accessing vs. satisfaction with the iPad itself.
- It questioned the residents on their use of the iPads outside the hospital, but the iPads were Wi-Fi only.
- The app generating the highest number of complaints was ORB Mobile, OhioHealth’s homegrown results browser.
- Many complaints related to connecting to Wi-Fi, but those complaints weren’t analyzed to determine if the problem was actually the network or authentication rather than the iPad.
- User expertise wasn’t tested, so they don’t know how many of the residents had used iPads previously.
ECRI Institute releases its 2014 Top 10 Health Technology Hazards:
- Alarm Hazards
- Infusion Pump Medication Errors
- CT Radiation Exposure in Pediatric Patients
- Data Integrity Failures in EHRs and other Health IT Systems
- Occupational Radiation Hazards in Hybrid ORs
- Inadequate Reprocessing of Endoscopes and Surgical Instruments
- Neglecting Change Management for Networked Devices and Systems
- Risks to Pediatric Patients from “Adult” Technologies
- Robotic Surgery Complications due to Insufficient Training
- Retained Devices and Unretrieved Fragments
One-fourth of community hospitals say they would not buy the same HIS again, according to a KLAS report. No vendor demonstrates a combination of high customer satisfaction and strong sales momentum, though Epic comes closest. Epic is winning the most deals, mostly from larger health systems converting their community hospitals, while Siemens, McKesson, Meditech, and Cerner are losing the most legacy clients.
Epic reveals plans for its fourth campus, which will be called the Wizards Academy and is meant to resemble the traditional look of classroom buildings at older universities in the US and England. Plans call for exteriors with steeples and castle-like notched parapets, as well as 1,580 offices and underground parking for 1,500 cars. The two-story King’s Cross Dining Hall will have 64,000 square feet of space. Epic says the new campus will be filled to capacity the day it opens. The Verona City Council is scheduled to vote on a conditional-use permit next week. Who needs to go to Disney when you can go to Wisconsin to experience Harry Potter, a farm, outer space, and original art?
A Valence Health study finds that more than one-third of Americans will consider non-traditional healthcare plans.
In England, Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust, which was one of the first hospitals to bail out of the NPfIT program in 2009 to buy its own solution, will dump its $50 million Meditech 6.0 system that just went live last year. The primary reason appears to be that physicians don’t like it and weren’t involved in its selection and rollout. Perot Systems (now Dell Services) did the implementation. The Trust’s board called the project a “catalogue of failure.”
Jackson Health System (FL) had a $832 million bond referendum on the ballot Tuesday, of which $130 million is planned for electronic medical records. UPDATE: Miami-Dade voters approved the measure, which will raise their property taxes to fund facility and equipment upgrades as the hospital hopes to make itself more attractive to patients with insurance. Jackson will build a new rehabilitation hospital and open a dozen urgent care centers. The health system already gets $350 million per year from taxpayers from property taxes and a half-cent sales tax.
Northwestern Memorial Health Care (IL) paid an apparent record price for the Chicago area of around $349 million to buy 900-physician Northwestern Medical Faculty Foundation, or around $400K per doctor.
Strange: Desert Springs Hospital Medical Center (NV) rolls out a virtual plastic surgery imaging app, hoping that paying customers who like the looks of their photo after they’ve swiped away excess pounds will sign up for bariatric surgery.
I am happy to report I was finally able to complete my application on the healthcare.gov website last week. I also finally opened a letter from my current insurance provider (note to self: open mail more regularly) and realized that my existing plan would not be available next year. My choices were to move to a comparable plan that met ACA requirements (about five percent more than this year’s plan) or to a plan that did not include dental (about four percent less.) My 2013 rate, by the way, was about eight percent higher than 2012’s. Bottom line: I’ve secured a new plan that is four percent less than my current coverage and includes a lower co-pay and a significantly lower deductible and out-of-pocket maximum. Once I got through the initial problems logging into the system, I found the site easy to navigate and the amount of data required for the application was minimal, though I did have to provide my Social Security number. Over the weekend I encountered an issue that prevented me from reviewing my initial application and the live chat support advised me to call for assistance (I didn’t.) Without getting into any politics, I am glad the website finally worked for me and am pleased I’ll be saving a few hundred dollars a year.
- Aventura Founder and CTO Joe Jaudon presented at the International Conference on Awareness Computing and Technology on Monday on the topic of “Advancement in Clinician Efficiency Through Awareness Computing.”
- First Databank will convene its annual customer seminar in Miami beginning Wednesday.
- HIMSS Analytics reports that Imprivata is the most widely selected SSO solution in Canadian hospitals with a 34 percent market share.
- Abraham Verghese, MD provides the keynote address at this week’s 2013 First Databank Customer Seminar in Miami.
- Andy Smith, president and co-founder of Impact Advisors, discussed employee recognition systems at last week’s Workforce Live! event in Chicago.
- CareWire discusses how effective communication increases patient safety in surgery centers.
- Health Catalyst sponsors a November 6 webinar featuring Charles Marcias, MD reviewing cost and quality issues in light of changing payment models.
- Consultant Micah Solomon recommends direct communication technologies, such as Vocera’s Communications Badge, to improve patient satisfaction.
- Encore Health Resources selects Compuware’s Changepoint professional services automation solution to manage service engagements.
- QlikTech and Deloitte co-host a November 6 webinar on the use of analytics to improve capital planning decisions.
- Sagacious Consultants launches its Strategic Clinical service line to assist organizations with EMR implementations and optimization support.
- Christine Kalish, national practice director of strategic advisory services for Beacon Partners, shares tips for simultaneously planning and implementing ICD-10. Beacon Partners also hosts a November 15 webinar outlining steps to reduce revenue cycle risks with ICD-10.
- AirWatch CEO John Marshall discusses the industry’s move away from BlackBerry.
- CliniComp celebrates its 30th anniversary with a record of near perfect reliability despite technological challenges and various disasters.
- Hilo Medical Center’s (HI) use of E-forms on Demand from Access helps the organization move towards HIMSS Stage 7.
- PointClickCare will connect its EHR platform for the long-term care industry to more than 120 labs and imaging departments using the Liaison EMR-Link hub.
- iCIMS recognizes Intelligent InSites and NTT DATA with Excellence Awards for best company expansions of talent acquisition strategies.
- Culbert Healthcare Solutions and Greenway co-host a November seminar on how ICD-10 will impact clinical workflow.