Healthcare billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong launches health IT company NantHealth at the JPMorgan Healthcare Conference, which will offer the “intelligent Clinical Operating System” (iCOS) that will integrate information from molecular science, computer science, and big data to deliver solutions for population health management, cancer care coordination, transition management, and wellness. The company also announced a partnership with the Clinton Foundation to implement iCOS in two areas of the country. The company says iCOS is running in the country’s largest oncology group that covers 150 practices, 22 EMRs, and real-time data feeds moving 50GB per day; its Cancer Decision Support Engine is used by over 50 percent of oncology practices; and its EMR is running in 12,700 facilities in 13 countries. It talks about DeviceConX device connectivity, which is the iSirona’s product it gained when it acquired the company effective January 1, 2014. Most of the other offerings are also previous NantHealth acqusitions, including the GlowCaps medication reminder system, home monitoring devices from Boston Life Labs, and Ziosoft medical imaging. Soon-Shiong spent $800 million on 60 companies and research projects that make up iCOS, which he says can be purchased right now. I’m never quite sure whether to take Soon-Shiong seriously, but having $7 billion gives him at least some instant credibility.
From Holly S: “Re: Jonathan Bush’s leave. He’s going on an extended vacation from February to April. He’ll be spending time with friends and family, both travelling and hunkering down. His agenda is to play and experience some things he’s always wanted to do. He has never been so energized about the business, its ability to effect change in health care, the marketplace’s receptivity to change. He’s all-in on what’s ahead.” Thanks to athena for providing this update in respond to a reader’s inquiry. JB told me he hates to miss “the boat show” (the HIMSS conference) and especially his MC duties at HIStalkapalooza, but as he also confided, “I am honored to have been your MC these past few years and hope dearly that whoever replaces me in 2014 will be a bomb so that you will have me back in 2015.”
HIStalk Announcements and Requests
Thanks to Greenway Medical for sending this note in response to recent rumors of employee layoffs:
We’d prefer to not comment on rumors. We have, in fact, been working through a very thorough review of our organization since completing the merger of Greenway Medical Technologies and Vitera Healthcare Solutions, which includes Vitera’s SuccessEHS. That process includes aligning our resources to most effectively serve our customers, which we’re accomplishing by delivering our innovative7 industry-leading solutions, delivering data liquidity through our powerful interoperability engine, and leading our customers through what will be an awesome change from production medicine to outcomes-based medicine through our clinically driven revenue cycle management solutions. Our mission at Greenway remains the same. We believe healthcare will continue to electronify, the consumer will become more engaged and demand change, and we will improve population health by delivering smarter solutions. We’re privileged to serve such a large provider base, clinical professionals who provide care to millions and millions of patients.
Voting for the HISsies awards is underway, as follows:
- I pleaded for nominations on HIStalk over several days and, as happens every year, didn’t get many nominations even though anyone can nominate. If you don’t like the choices on the ballot, blame those few hardy readers who actually submitted nomination since everyone who has complained so far didn’t.
- The most-nominated entries made it onto the final ballot, which was emailed directly to the addresses in the HIStalk update list (which prevents ballot box stuffing since the voting is tied to the email address.)
- So far, 765 of the 10,000 email recipients have voted.
- The results will be revealed at HIStalkapalooza and on HIStalk.
Listening: new (released today, in fact) from Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, brilliant and amazing 1960s-style revivalist pop soul with lots of horns recorded on good old analog. Treatments for Sharon’s pancreatic cancer (diagnosed June 2013) left her bald but unbowed in the video.
Welcome to new HIStalk Gold Sponsor Accreon. The company is a leader in system optimization, information integration, and software solution development. They worked on Canada’s clinical information highway and have built tools for US-based vendors for population health management, remote patient monitoring, and workflow optimization. Services for providers include strategic planning, project management, implementation, integration, analytics strategy and optimization, and HIE architecture and sustainability. They can also help vendors with near-shore solutions, software development, integration, and analytics projects and they also do work for payors, pharma, and government. Eric Demers is the Boston-based president of Accuron USA and not only is an industry long-timer who you may know, he even has a MHSA degree, which always clearly signifies that “I’m a healthcare person” since just about everybody else gets a general MBA instead. Thanks to Accreon for supporting HIStalk.
January 16 (Thursday), 1:00 p.m. Advanced Efforts to Identify and Eliminate Waste from Healthcare. Sponsored by Health Catalyst. Presenter: David Burton, MD, executive chairman, Health Catalyst. Based on a breakthrough analyses using several large healthcare data sets as representative samples, Dr. Burton and team will present insights designed to help executives struggling to identify, quantify, and extract waste from their systems.
Webinar questions? Contact Lorre.
I’ll post a separate HIStalk article Wednesday afternoon with the link to the registration page, so watch for the email update. There’s no need to rush – we’ll leave the registration page up for several days and then invitations will go out February 4. Above is a bit of a hint about the sponsor and location. Meanwhile, I’ll say just once more that I think the primary sponsor has one co-sponsor slot open, so email me if you want more information.
Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock
WellDoc, provider of a Type 2 diabetes mobile device management program, raises $20 million from Merck Global Health Innovation Fund and Windham Venture Partners.
Surgical Information Systems acquires ambulatory surgery EMR and management software vendor AmkaiSolutions.
Online employee health shopping systems vendor HealthSparq acquires ClarusHealth Solutions, which offers a provider search function for consumers. HealthSparq’s president is Scott Decker, formerly of NextGen and Healthvision.
Transcription and speech recognition vendor MModal, acquired by a JPMorgan private equity arm in a leveraged buyout worth $1.1 billion in August 2012, hires a restructuring firm, according to sources cited by The Wall Street Journal. Sales are dropping and the company is paying high interest charges on its debt of $750 million, which has tripled since the acquisition.
Post-acute care software provider Brightree acquires Strategic AR, a provider of private-pay billing and collection services.
Rush Health (IL) contracts with Caradigm for healthcare analytics and population health software to support its private HIE. Rush Health’s CEO says the HIE is the largest investment the organization has ever made, adding, “We want to use this infrastructure to connect and exchange real-time information so we can do a better job coordinating care.” Rush Health will also offer to cover the first-year of EHR expenses the 10 percent of its doctors who are still using paper, moving them to Epic, eClinicalWorks, or athenahealth.
Contra Costa County Health Services (CA) engages Vonlay to support its Epic 2012 upgrade.
The 22-hospital St. Vincent Health (IN) will pilot Acupera’s population health analytics and clinical workflow management platform in one of its physician offices.
Catholic Health Partners (OH) will implement Epic’s MyChart Bedside at all of its hospitals following a successful pilot at its St. Rita’s Medical Center (OH) location. Patients and family members access their health information, labs, caregiver team member information, and educational materials on a hospital-issued tablet.
Geisinger Health System (PA) selects Besler Consulting to identify Transfer DRG underpayments.
CMS awards Optum/QSSI a contract to serve as a senior advisor on the HealthCare.gov website following its interim engagement as general contractor after the site’s October 1 meltdown. The company’s press release, oddly enough, includes testimonials from HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner.
CHIME names HIStalk’s own “CIO Unplugged” Ed Marx (Texas Health Resources) as its 2013 John E. Gall Jr. CIO of the year.
Arcadia Healthcare Solutions names Sam Adams (Accretive Health – above left) SVP of sales, Jonathan Rider (Jetstream Consulting) SVP of technology and engineering, and Sandi Molettieri (UTC Aerospace Systems – above right) director of HR.
NavigatorMD appoints Alexander Poston, Jr. (Entrada) CIO.
Artemis Health Group names John Doulis, MD (MedCare) president and CEO, replacing Phillip Suiter, who resigned.
Andrew Baker (Intuit Health) joins Culbert Healthcare Solutions as VP of business development.
Mike “The PACSMan” Cannavo (McKesson) returns to his PACS consulting business.
Kim Bahrami joins government contractor Acentia as VP of business development over the company’s expansion into DoD and VA healthcare.
CMS appoints Acting CIO Dave Nelson as the agency’s permanent CIO.
Announcements and Implementations
CECity and athenahealth will offer a health data exchange integration and reporting service to automate information flow from athenaClinicals to national clinical registries using CECity’s clinical quality data gateway.
Dubai’s Mediclinic City Hospital and Mediclinic Welcare Hospital will install Oneview Healthcare’s patient engagement software.
Varian Medical Systems will expand its existing Salt Lake City facilities in anticipation of creating 1,000 full-time jobs over the next 15 years.
Heart Imaging Technologies provides Merge Healthcare access to its portfolio of healthcare information patents, including zero footprint technologies to provide access to diagnostic-quality images in a standard web browser. The agreement also settles litigation initiated by Heart IT against Merge for patent infringement related to internet-based image viewing.
MedHOK, which just closed $77.5 million in funding, will increase its 100-person staff by about 35 percent over the next year.
Government and Politics
CMS announces it will consider on a case-by-case basis requests made under the Freedom of Information Act for information to find out much Medicare pays individual physicians.
VA CIO Stephen Warren says that for 2014 his agency will be focusing on improving its system baseline practices and procedures, configuration management, patch management, and elevated privilege review.
A GAO report criticizes CMS, the VA, and six other agencies for their inconsistent implementation, policies, and procedures for responding to data breaches involving personally identifiable information.
Innovation and Research
A report finds that ACOs are competent in offering e-prescribing, a single database containing medical and prescribing information, and formulary options that encourage the use of generic drugs, but lack tools that notify physicians when prescriptions are filled, prevent duplicate drug therapy, measure quality, and demonstrate the value of appropriate medication use.
Alere Connect receives FDA 510(k) market clearance for its Alere HomeLink platform, which also earned CE Mark certification which will allow it to be marketed in Europe.
Cerner Middle East expands its office in Riyadh (Saudi Arabia) in support the company’s growth plans.
Products from EBSCO, Elsevier, Wolters Kluwer, Truven Health Analytics, Isabel, and Logical Images earn the highest rankings in a KLAS report on clinical decision support resources, including tools for disease reference, drug reference, nursing reference, and diagnostic decision support.
An ICD-10 readiness survey by Navicure and Porter Research reveals that 74 percent of physician practices have not yet started implementing their ICD-10 transition plan, though most don’t anticipate any disruptions from their EHR, PM, or clearinghouse vendors. A couple of alarming stats: 27 percent of survey practices are unsure how or where to start preparing for the transition, while 22 percent claim they don’t have the staff or resources to begin preparing.
The former CEO of two-hospital, 350-bed Cape Cod Healthcare (MA) who resigned abruptly in 2010 remained the organization’s highest-paid employee for the next two years, earning over $1 million in each year, and was still being paid in 2013. The hospital’s board chair said, “A lot of executives have post-employment benefits,” while a business ethics expert says it’s no wonder that US healthcare is so expensive. The CEO is also a physician and was disciplined by the state medical board after he left the hospital for inappropriately writing prescriptions for family members.
Weird News Andy notes, “Hipsters, beware” about this story in which a man in China stretches and yawns so hard that he collapses his own lung. WNA provides his targeted warning because the at-risk group is “tall, slim young men.”
WNA also likes a story that he titles “Clean Booze,” in which a man steals 12 bottles of hand sanitizer from a hospital by hiding it in his arm sling and then goes back twice more for additional bottles. He told the police who finally nabbed him that he makes a cocktail by mixing the alcohol-containing cleaner with orange juice.
- HealthMEDX announces that it will be the first long-term and post-acute care EMR vendor to participate in the Interoperability Showcase at HIMSS14.
- McKesson’s MED3OOO division expands its Dayton, OH office space from 10,000 to 12,000 square feet and will increase its local employee head count from 110 to 122.
- Allscripts will incorporate the Adheris DirectStart medication adherence communication program into its EHR.
- Gartner positions InterSystems as a Challenger in its Magic Quadrant for Operational Database Management Systems.
- Clinovations consultant Matt Lambert, MD publishes a book that includes his reflections on healthcare and the push for change in the midst of healthcare reform.
- Wolters Kluwer Health expands use of Lippincott’s Nursing Procedures and Skills to include hospital-based clinicians and renames the product Lippincott Procedures.
- Doctors Community Hospital (MD) shares how its use of GetWellNetwork improved patient education and entertainment while generating revenue.
- The Rochester Business Journal names eHealth Technologies to its Rochester Top 100 list based on dollar and percentage revenue increases over the past three years.
- Loran Cook, product evangelist for Billian’s HealthDATA, considers the future of partnerships, payers, and a loophole in the ACA.
- Rock Health names Health Catalyst CEO Dan Burton to its list of Top 50 Digital Health Entrepreneurs.
- RelayHealth releases the second generation of RelayAnalytics Pulse for comparative analytics.
- Emdeon achieves CAQH CORE Phase III Certification, which certifies the company accurately and efficiently exchanges healthcare electronic funds transfer and electronic remittance advise information.
- ICSA Labs certifies InteHealth’s patient and physician portals with 2014 Edition Modular EHR Inpatient and Ambulatory ONC HIT Certification.
- Cornerstone Advisors founder and president Keith Ryan advises Bartlett Regional Hospital’s (AK) planning committee on its EHR options.