The VA opens procurement for VistA Evolution workgroup coordinators, the next step in replacing VistA Web with a single VA-DoD EHR viewer that supports mandated interoperability requirements. The solicitation was posted on January 27, leaving just nine days for interested companies to assemble and submit proposals by the February 6 due date.
From Green Stamp: “Re: Dave Henriksen. Left Carestream Health, as you mentioned last week, and has moved on to NexTech Systems as president and CEO.” Dave’s LinkedIn profile confirms his new position with the PM/EHR vendor.
From Believe Me: “Re: CCHIT. Exiting the ONC certification business.” Unverified, but reported by more than one reader. CCHIT hasn’t responded yet. UPDATE: Verified, from an update on CCHIT’s site. CCHIT says ONC 2014 Edition certification requires a lot of testing and its federally-driven business is unpredictable, so it won’t accept any new applications for certification and recommends using ICSA Labs instead. CCHIT will change its business model to become a certification consulting firm and will partner with HIMSS to “provide both counsel and thought leadership to the health care provider and HIT vendor communities” that will include summits starting at the HIMSS conference, apparently still operating as a non-profit. The most recent Form 990 I could find was from 2011, at which time it was paying Chairman Karen Bell $409K, Executive Director Alisa Ray $250K, and five other employees over $100K. It would seem to me that given CCHIT’s genesis, mission, and name, it should just go away rather than trying to morph itself into the already overcrowded thought leadership business. It probably would if HIMSS wasn’t riding in on a white horse to save it, not surprising given that HIMSS formed CCHIT (along with partners AHIMA and NAHIT) in 2004.
From Hit Newbie: “Re: CMS. The MU attestation portal is having issues to Healthcare.gov. It’s laughable that there is still no API or portal designed for the volume. CMS says it won’t allow appeals for late attestations due to website downtime.”
From Bill Pare: “Re: HIMSS travel site. I notice that the login page is not encrypted. I find that ironic.” HIMSS uses a travel portal from nuTravel. I checked the company’s documentation and it says the registration page is encrypted with 128-bit SSL, but the HIMSS travel registration page is not encrypted.
HIStalk Announcements and Requests
HIStalkapalooza registration has closed with quite a few more requests than we have capacity. Imprivata will email invitations Tuesday, February 4.
Listening: new Dum Dum Girls, lo-fi jangly indie pop.
Welcome to new HIStalk Gold Sponsor Treehouse Resources. The company connects qualified Epic consultants with clients interested in hiring them at market-leading rates with hassle-free paperwork. The free, five-minute signup for consultants allows them to privately review opportunities that meet their career and life balance goals, even optionally becoming a W-2 hourly employee of Treehouse. Treehouse checks references and approves the consultants, then clients review the consultant profiles, arrange interviews, and let Treehouse manage the invoicing and billing. The company’s model (which is kind of like Angie’s List or Match.com) focuses on efficiency and doesn’t require recruiters or salespeople, meaning consultants make more money and clients pay some of the lowest rates in the country. At the moment, 487 consultants (of 1,100 who requested to participate) and 88 clients have signed up. You most likely know the principals behind Treehouse, Glenn Galloway and Mike Tressler, both previously with Healthia Consulting and longtime friends of HIStalk. Thanks to Treehouse for supporting HIStalk.
February 5 (Wednesday) 1:00 p.m. ET. Healthcare Transformation: What’s Good About US Healthcare? Sponsored by Health Catalyst. Presenter: John Haughom, MD, senior advisor, Health Catalyst. Dr. Haughom will provide a deeper look at the forces that have defined and shaped the current state of U.S. healthcare. Paradoxically, some of these same forces are also driving the inevitable need for change.
February 12 (Wednesday) 1:00 p.m. ET. Healthcare CO-OPs and Their Potential to Reduce Costs. Sponsored by Health Catalyst. Presenters: David Napoli, director of performance improvement and strategic analytics, Colorado HealthOP and Richard Schultz, VP of clinical care integration, Kentucky Health Cooperative. Consumer Operated and Oriented Plans (CO-OPs) were established by the Affordable Care Act as nonprofit health insurance companies designed to compete in the individual and small group markets. Their intended impact was to provide more insurance options for consumers to pay for healthcare.
February 13 (Thursday), 12 noon ET. Advancement in Clinician Efficiency Through Aware Computing. Sponsored by Aventura. In an age of information overload, a computing system that is aware of the user’s needs becomes increasingly critical. Instant-on roaming for virtual and mobile applications powered by awareness provides practical ways to unleash value from current HIT investments, advancing efforts to demonstrate meaningful use of EHRs and improve clinical efficiencies. The presenters will review implementation of Aventura’s solution at Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center.
Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock
Secure messaging provider TigerText raises $21 million in a Series B round. Its secure, industry-agnostic solutions sends encrypted messages that self-destruct after a preset time.
Perceptive Software reports adjusted revenue growth of 70 percent in Q4.
Patient engagement provider Relatient closes its first round of funding led by former AIM Healthcare Services president Jim Sohr. The company sends health-related messages including reminders for appointments, outreach, collections, and surveys.
Covisint reports Q3 financials: revenue up one percent, adjusted EPS -$0.10 vs. -$0.09.
Informatica reports Q4 results: revenue up 18 percent, adjusted EPS of $0.49 vs. $0.41, beating analyst estimates on both.
Apple reports Q1 numbers: revenue up 5.7 percent, EPS $14.50 vs. $13.81, beating expectations but releasing disappointing current-quarter guidance. Shares dropped 8 percent Tuesday on the news. Sales of the Mac and iPad beat expectations, but iPhone sales fell short and iPod sales were down more than 50 percent year over year. Analysts variously blamed smartphone sales, lack of new products, slow growth in China, and the inability of the iPhone 5c to create a strong low-cost entry in the smartphone market.
Health Catalyst closes $41 million in Series C funding led by Sequoia Capital and announces plans to invest $50 million in product development over the next 24 months. Investors also include customers Kaiser Permanente and Partners HealthCare.
I spoke to CEO Dan Burton and President Brent Dover before the announcement.
Burton says Kaiser will roll out Health Catalyst’s data warehouse platform for all 38 of its hospitals. “While we have worked with other large health systems – earlier in the year we signed with Partners in Boston and Providence – but Kaiser is almost in a class by itself in terms of size and scale. The nature of the first project is system-wide, a terrific test of the scalability of our platform.”
Burton says Kaiser will initially use Health Catalyst for two projects. “They have a specific need for system-wide access to a subset of data around transplant patients,” he explained. Dover added that Kaiser is working on a specific project for diabetic patients in Colorado. “Kaiser is reaching out to diabetic patients. They were going after patients using spreadsheets and complex SQL extracts. They told us Health Catalyst builds a cohort in 180 seconds when it used to take 180 days. This allows them to proactively go after patients for population health management.”
Eleven of Health Catalyst’s customers, including Kaiser, are Epic clients. I asked Burton why Kaiser chose a third-party tool over Epic’s Cogito data warehouse and reporting platform. “In our experience, it’s an apples to oranges comparison,” he said. “Cogito offers basic functionality from a data storage perspective that could meet rudimentary needs. We’re offering a data warehouse as a platform for transformation from an advanced clinical apps perspective.” Dover added, “When I worked at Medicity, customers always asked for analytics tools. No client really knows what they want to analyze – it’s a never-ending list. The market demands an incredibly flexible platform. We have 17 case studies and none of them have anything to do with each other – it’s what each of them needed to improve quality and cost.”
I asked Burton about the $50 million in product development to create 200 advanced clinical applications. “A couple of our longstanding customers, Texas Children’s and Stanford, worked on specific areas to identify inefficiency and variation of care in heart failure and asthma patients, showing where the variation existed, what needed to change, and tracking progress, even tracking the return on investment of the improvement. At a CEO level, said they need to target 20 applications per year over the next five years to measurably and meaningfully bend the cost curve to allow them to not only survive, but thrive and lead. That opened our eyes that what our clients are seeking is a roadmap. We decided to become a company that offers hundreds of analytic applications so we can be a long-term partner to help these health systems transform themselves.”
Vermont IT Leaders will incorporate Orion Health’s Rhapsody Integration Engine into its statewide HIE that runs on Medicity.
VHA selects Xerox to automate its healthcare claims pricing process.
Allina Health (MN) chooses Strata Decision Technology’s StrataJazz for cost accounting.
VMware names Chris Wolf (Gartner) CTO for the Americas.
Culbert Healthcare Solutions promotes Gibran Cotton to director of GE and Allscripts consulting.
Halifax Health (FL) promotes Tom Stafford to CIO.
Brian Ahier was interviewed last week in studio on WFED, Federal News Radio, where he talked about health IT and ONC’s recent annual meeting. He also gave a nice plug for HIStalk as the best place to keep up with healthcare IT news.
Divurgent hires Jeff Powell (AT&T) as client services VP and Anthony Jones, Shaun Sangwin (Vascular and Interventional Physician Partners), and Justin Stefano (MedSys Group) as regional client services directors.
Announcements and Implementations
Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (MD) implements AtHoc Interactive Warning System for mass notification and interactive hospital communications.
Long-term care provider Levering Management (OH) deploys the COMS Interactive Daylight IQ product suite covering disease management, care guides, and nursing assessments.
HIMSS announces that the ONC’s Karen DeSalvo, MD will offer opening remarks at 8:30 am, Thursday, February 27, the closing day of the HIMSS conference.Too bad the mass exodus of attendees will begin Wednesday afternoon.
OhioHealth O’Bleness Hospital goes live on McKesson Paragon.
Memorial Hospital (MS) goes live on Cerner March 15 and will later implement analytics software from Health Catalyst.
Hearst Corporation announces the creation of Hearst Health, a new brand that encompasses its healthcare information businesses that include First Databank, Zynx Health, MCG, Homecare Homebase, and Map of Medicine. It also involves a new startup fund, Hearst Health Ventures, and Hearst Health Innovation Lab, which will prototype internal and external health IT projects. The innovation lab will be run by Chief Innovation Officer Justin Graham, MD, MS, previously CMIO of NorthBay Healthcare (CA), who joined the company in July 2013.
Mobile Heartbeat announces Mobile Heartbeat CURE, a smartphone-based location and communications application for clinical teams.
Mobile charge capture vendor pMD will announce Wednesday a partnership in athenahealth’s More Disruption Please program in which its product will be integrated with athenahealth’s billing and practice management systems.
A Commonwealth Fund study finds that practice EHR adoption rose considerably from 2009 to 2012, but solo physician practices lag in use of functions such as electronic data exchange with other providers. Practices associated with IDNs had the highest rate of technology adoption.
Black Book names its #1 HIE vendors in several categories: Covisint (payer/insurer based); ICA (core HIE); Cerner (inpatient EHR); Allscripts dbMotion (ambulatory based); and Infor (complex technology services).
Microsoft will rename its SkyDrive could storage to OneDrive after losing a trademark battle with British broadcaster BSkyB.
Concierge medicine provider PlushCare launches an Indiegogo campaign to create its service and to provide children with immunity to measles. It’s a confusing combination, but donors who are California residents get email, telephone, and video visits, and as a bonus, recognition for immunizing a child. The company says two Stanford MDs will diagnose and treat simple illnesses or injuries the same day. The tech guy is Ryan McQuaid, former product head for AT&T ForHealth.
Something’s fishy here: a Canadian company called Kallo Inc. claims to have sold the Republic of Guinea $200 million US worth of healthcare software that includes systems for hospital, telehealth, and pharmacy. The fishy part is that the company’s shares trade OTC for $0.15, valuing the entire company at $46 million, with shares having dropped almost 30 percent on the news of the big sale.
Weird News Andy is breathless over these stories. Researchers find that use of mouthwash raises blood pressure and increases the risk of heart attack, although the study involved only 19 patients and the increase in diastolic blood pressure was small. Another group of researchers finds that dogs can be trained to smell cancer in the same way they can sniff explosives or human scents, leading to the possibility of creating instruments that can detect the same odors to sense cancer.
- Madison Memorial Hospital (ID) reports an annual benefit of $327,658 following the implementation of Craneware’s Chargemaster Toolkit and Pharmacy ChargeLink.
- Wolters Kluwer Health and Laerdal Medical introduce vSim for Nursing, an online learning solution that simulates curriculum-driven patient scenarios.
- 3M Health Information Systems releases an enhanced version of its Code Translation Tool to convert ICD-9-based custom problem lists into ICD-10 coded problem lists for import back into a provider’s existing EMR.
- Forbes names Kareo to its annual list of “America’s 100 Most Promising Companies.”
- Sandlot Solutions will offer the White Pine Systems SPINN patient engagement platform to its HIE and ACO clients.
- InstaMed reports it enables payers to achieve the highest levels of electronic payment adoption with its fully integrated Claims Settlement Complete.
- Physicians’ Choice (CA) discusses in a case study how it uses Capario to process more than 24,000 claims a month.
- In a case study, Bozeman Deaconess Hospital (MT) shares how Quantros Safety Event Manager improved patient safety and satisfaction.
- Nuance Healthcare reveals details of its Conversations Healthcare 2014 conference April 6-9 in Phoenix.
- Alan Lundberg, Informatica’s principal marketing manager for emerging products, blogs about the value of business intelligence in business operations.
- SCI Solutions launches Provider Network Manager, a technology platform and service for health systems to create better managed affiliations with independent and employed providers.
- Bethesda Magazine spotlights GetWellNetwork founder and CEO Michael O’Neil, who discusses the creation of his company.
- Novation awards Paragon Development Systems (PDS) a VAR agreement for hardware and IT services.
- BlueTree Network co-founder Reggie Luedtke shares four healthcare trends to be excited about in a Forbes article.
- CCHIT certifies that Healthwise Patient Education EMR Module version 10.0 is compliant with the ONC 2014 Edition criteria as a Modular EHR.