AMIA announces in an email to members that Kevin Fickenscher, MD will step down as president and CEO on November 30, 2013 to return to industry. He took the position for 20 months ago. The search for his replacement will start immediately.
From Pitiful: “Re: U. Arizona Health System. More than 9,500 glitches in its Epic EHR, claims to have solved more than 6,000. The health system is financially precarious.” Unverified. They were scheduled to go live November 1.
Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock
Vocera reports Q3 results: revenue flat, adjusted EPS -$0.02 vs. $0.13, missing earnings estimates.
Alan Dabbiere, chairman of mobile device technology vendor AirWatch, expresses an interest in acquiring BlackBerry’s services division and integrating the Blackberry server technology into its device management technology to provide corporate customers a single dashboard for all devices.
Long-term care EHR provider PointClickCare acquires Meal Metrics, the developers of a web-based nutritional management solution.
AuthentiDate announces a $2.46 million private placement from unnamed investors. The company offers telehealth, referral management, and discharge management solutions, with the VA as a notable customer.
Star Valley Medical Center (WY) selects Access E-forms on Demand to eliminate paper forms.
ValleyCare Health System (CA) will implement CareInSync’s Carebook mobile communication platform for care team coordination.
The 11-provider Ocean Eye Institute (NJ) selects SRS EHR.
Denver Health (CO) selects Besler’s BVerified Screening and Verification solution.
The Nevada HIE will deploy the Orion Health HIE.
Montefiore Health System will upgrade its newly acquired hospitals in New Rochelle and Mount Vernon to Allscripts Sunrise, including EHR, Analytics, Radiology, and Laboratory and implement the FollowMyHealth patient engagement platform.
SummaCare (OH) selects Wolters Kluwer Health’s Health Language to convert ICD-9 codes and DRGs to ICD-10.
PaySpan names Cheryl King (First Data) CFO.
Candace Smith (Medline Industries) joins Voalte as CNO.
The VA appoints Arthur L. Gonzalez (TISTA Science and Technology Corp.) deputy CIO for service, delivery, and engineering.
Direct Recruiters, Inc. promotes Dan Charney to president.
Scotland-based Craneware appoints Colleen Blye (Catholic Health Systems of Long Island) to its board.
Announcements and Implementations
Nextgen introduces NextGen Share, an interoperability solution based on the Mirth HIE platform that facilitates clinical data exchange and referrals from within the NextGen EHR.
CSI Healthcare IT completes a Cerner activation at the University of Tennessee Medical Center.
Merge Healthcare will exit the consumer medical information kiosk business, which reportedly accounted for $10 million of the company’s $250 million in sales last year. Merge, which spent $2.8 million on 500 of the kiosks last year with an ultimately failed plan to roll them out throughout Chicago, said technology upgrades were too expensive and it agreed to get out of the business following a patent infringement lawsuit. The kiosks made up one of 11 deals between Merge and companies owned by its chairman and largest shareholder, Michael Ferro, who stepped down in August 2013.
Westmed Medical Group (NY) reports that its ACO program with UnitedHealthcare and Optum improved nine of 10 health quality metrics, increased patient satisfaction, and reduced costs since its establishment in mid-2012.
DrFirst launches the Patient Advisor Report Card, a medication adherence alert system that provides a physician with medication adherence rates for each patient.
NextGen announces NextPen Voice, a pen that accepts either voice or written input depending on user preferences and activities. It uses digital pen technology from Sweden-based Anoto, which announced three weeks ago that it couldn’t survive another 12 months without issuing new stock rights.
Four large Boston-area organizations – Dana-Farber, Brigham and Women’s, Boston Children’s Hospital, and Broad Institute – form the Joint Center for Cancer Precision Medicine, which will study the genetic characteristics of tumors to choose the best chemotherapy drug treatments for individual patients.
Government and Politics
The Wall Street Journal reports that fewer than 50,000 people signed up for health insurance through Healthcare.gov during October. Despite my “success” about 10 days ago signing up for insurance, my application now appears to be in limbo. After two support chat sessions, two support phone calls, and an email exchange with my selected insurance carrier, I’ve been advised that the normal 48 hour “acceptance” process has been delayed. I’m trying to remain optimistic that the new plan will be in place in time for me to cancel my current plan so I won’t be stuck paying for two plans come January.
Former National Coordinator David Blumenthal, MD, now president of The Commonwealth Fund, says President Obama’s call for federal government IT procurement reform after the contractor-assisted bungling of Healthcare.gov is necessary because “the federal process is clearly broken.” He says of his experience at ONC:
Our staff would decide what services we needed, write a request for proposals (RFP), and send it off to a totally independent contracting office. That office could be within the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), but if the DHHS office was too busy, the RFP could go almost anywhere: the Department of the Interior, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Department of Education — whatever contracting office had time to process the work. Officials extensively trained in the details of federal procurement, but lacking familiarity with our programs or field of work, would put the RFP out to bid. An expert panel–over which we had minimal control — would evaluate the responses. Months later, the contracting office would present us with the signed contract. The winner was usually picked from a group of companies with considerable experience working the federal procurement process. If we weren’t happy with the firm, or with their later performance, there was virtually nothing we could do about it. Getting out of this shotgun marriage meant months of litigation, during which the funds would be frozen and the work itself would grind to a halt.
News I missed from several weeks ago, if it was announced: CMS awards several companies an $800 million contract to support the Measure and Instrument Development and Support program for healthcare quality measures as part of HITECH.
It’s not just the federal insurance exchange website that’s having problems. Users report that the Massachusetts Health Connector site won’t accept hyphenated names and requires proof of incarceration for non-prisoners. The spokesperson gave the same response as those for Healthcare.gov – sorry for the problems, we’re fixing them, but in the mean time, pick up the phone or mail a paper form.
The New York Digital Health Accelerator celebrates its first year and the recent success of two graduates of its nine-month mentorship program: Avado (patient relationship management tools, acquired by WebMD) and Cureatr (secure physician messaging, obtained $5.7 million in funding).
If you are like me, you may be a little flash-mobbed out. However, this video of a woman dancing with the OR staff minutes before undergoing a double mastectomy brought tears to my eyes. Got to love the doctors, nurses, and techs who busted some moves with Deborah Cohan, an OB/GYN and mom of two who I wouldn’t mind having as a BFF.
Patient Privacy Rights launches a “Save Health Privacy” campaign on crowdfunding site Indiegogo, hoping to raise $10,000 to purchase privacy-friendly technology and to create a privacy education app. Donate $500 and you’ll get a dinner with PPR Founder Deborah Peel, MD.
The National Patient Safety Foundation releases an online, self-paced course titled “Health Information Technology through the Lens of Patient Safety,” targeting physicians, pharmacists, nurses, and quality professionals who are involved with both IT strategy and patient safety. Topics include organizational culture, transparency, patient engagement, integration of care, and human factors engineering. The course costs $30 and CE credits are provided. McKesson provided an educational grant to make the course possible. I’ll most likely take the course myself and report back.
A Pittsburgh internist sues a local medical billing company after its systems fail with no usable backup. The doctor concludes, “It is all in the cloud, and if the cloud disappears someday, we are all in trouble.”
Weird News Andy notes the story of an ABC reporter who got her first-ever mammogram on live national TV to call attention raise awareness for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, only to have the test reveal that she has cancer. Amy Robach, 40, will have a double mastectomy performed this week. WNA observes that under new guidelines, she would not have been a mammogram candidate until she turned 50, assuming she had lived that long without treatment.
- Salar sponsors the Student Design Challenge: Reinventing Clinical Documentation at next week’s AMIA 2013 Annual Symposium in Washington, DC.
- Amcom Software hosts its annual user conference, Connect 13, this week in San Diego.
- NextGen Healthcare is hosting 5,000 attendees this week at its user group meeting in Las Vegas. Dr. Jayne’s personal physician offers her impressions of the conference on HIStalk Practice.
- Hyland Software and Bottomline Technologies will integrate their mobile data capture and ECM technologies.
- Elsevier adds new content types and an enhanced mobile app to Mosby’s Nursing Consult .
- Kootenai Health (ID) estimates that its implementation of the Summit Interoperability Platform saved the organization $50,000 to $75,000 in 2012 through the elimination of duplicate interface purchases and maintenance costs and the reallocation of hospital IT staff.
- ChartMaxx hosts webinars November 13 and 21 discussing ways to provide high quality care while cutting costs and improving revenue cycle.
- LDM Group sponsors the iPatientCare National User Conference November 15-17.
- Strata Decision Technology hosts a November 18 webinar on high performance decision support operations.
- Market research firm Harvey Spencer Associates ranks Nuance Communications the world’s leading scanning and capture software vendor based on market share.