Private equity firm Warburg Pincus will acquire Intelligent Medical Objects, according to an FTC pre-merger filing.
From The Truth: “Re: lying on contracts. I know a major EMR vendor who does it.” Only one? However, allow me to take the other side of the argument: a client who rightly insists on a properly detailed set of terms and conditions with appropriate non-performance penalties makes vendor lying pointless. My experience is that while salespeople might on occasion embellish the truth, skate to where the puck is going in describing offerings that technically might not actually exist, and sometimes speak in soothing but non-binding generalities, wise customers include everything they expect in their contracts. Hospital people are often so exhausted by their product selection process and so loath to restart it that they subconsciously align themselves with their vendor in treating the contract as a relief-inducing ceremonial formality than what it really is – the only tangible manifestation of all that prep work and the sole protection against an undesirable future state. Don’t be that football player who spikes the ball and commences a showily choreographed celebratory dance before the ball has actually crossed the plane of the goal line.
From In the Know: “Re: eClinical Works. Has lost two huge customers in their own back yard that are switching to Epic – the physician networks of Boston Children’s Hospital and Mount Auburn Hospital.” Unverified.
From Twice Bitten: “Re: Streamline Health. Laid off half its financial management and scheduling team (the 13 year in a row KLAS winner).” Unverified. Streamline Health acquired patient scheduling system vendor Unibased Systems Architecture in early 2014. USA’s product has always ranked high in KLAS but is pretty low profile, both in terms of existing customers and in STRM’s promotional material.
From Freddie Kroger: “Re: [publication name omitted]. They just gave a big splash to their EHR satisfaction results. Note the small print: they received only 340 responses.” That didn’t stop them from running a bunch of brashly written articles that tried to sound authoritative but were embarrassing given the complete lack of statistically defensible methodology. They got even fewer responses than the 400 last year that fueled a ridiculous salvo of pointless articles and overly cute graphics. The survey also seems to confuse inpatient and ambulatory EHRs and fails to distinguish among multiple EHRs offered by a single vendor. It’s a worthless survey other than for fueling clickbait. I ended my critique of last year’s version by listing factors to ponder in deciding whether to trust a survey’s results:
- How did you choose your pool of potential survey respondents? Was random sampling of a known population used?
- How did you invite participation?
- What was your survey’s sample size and response rate?
- What were the characteristics of your survey’s non-respondents?
- What is the motivation of those who responded? (unsatisfied people are more likely to respond in most cases).
- What were the demographics of your respondents?
- How did you prevent ballot box stuffing?
- What did your survey instrument look like? Were your questions clear, unbiased, and appropriate for those surveyed? Did the sponsoring organization create bias (unintentional or otherwise) in the choice and wording of questions?
- Does your survey report include raw data that prove its conclusions? What type of statistical methods did you apply in analyzing the responses?
- Do your conclusions overreach the underlying data in trying to gain publicity with catchy headlines and graphics that aren’t supported? Do your published results state the limitations of the survey?
HIStalk Announcements and Requests
Thanks to Jenn for covering for me as I took a few days off. I’m happy nobody missed me so I could enjoy my little vacation without feeling too guilty. I love traveling with my Chromebook for instant-on connections with a fantastic keyboard instead of an on-screen one. It has fully replaced my tablet and laptop for traveling, other than using the tablet as a Kindle reader on planes.
I was unfortunately imprecise in last week’s poll question, where I was interested in learning how providers view the resumes of salespeople, but my poor wording suggested I was also cultivating the opinions of those in a sales hiring role. Nonetheless, I’ll go with the most important salesperson attributes as voted: (a) a lifetime career in health IT; (b) a healthcare professional degree; and (c) consulting experience. Since earning a non-healthcare graduate degree ranked low, nothing important on my list is easily undertaken by someone already in sales who wants to make a better LinkedIn first impression, which means that professionalism, honesty, and interpersonal skills rule the day. I’m an outlier in that military service ranks #1 on my list, especially if the person either graduated from one of the service academies, served as an officer, or deployed overseas.
New poll to your right or here: what speaker tendency annoys you the most when attending a conference session or webinar? Early returns suggest the same problems that we vigorously coach against when we help people make their planned webinar better.
Welcome to new HIStalk Platinum Sponsor Dimensional Insight. The Burlington, MA-based data analytics and business intelligence solutions vendor offers the award-winning (Best in KLAS in BI/Analytics for five years) Diver Platform, an end-to-end enterprise reporting and analytics system that provides actionable, role-based business intelligence. Capabilities include diabetes management, MU compliance, quality reporting, population health, payroll analysis, product line analysis, reimbursement management, asset utilization, EHR reporting, staffing requirements forecasting, and strategic planning. Specific solutions include Physician Performance Advisor, which brings all KPIs into a single application; Surgery Advisor for OR management; Meaningful Use Advisor that allows measuring, analyzing, and attesting from a single app; and GL Advisor for allowing finance departments to answer their own questions using data integrated from multiple systems such as accounting, payroll, and time and attendance. See the case studies. Thanks to Dimensional Insight for supporting HIStalk.
I found this just-published Dimensional Insight customer testimonial from Henry Mayo Hospital (CA) on YouTube.
Welcome to new HIStalk Gold Sponsor Kyruus. I like the company’s description of what it does as “precise demand-supply matching,” which advocates that as an alternative to standardizing medical practices into a one-size-fits-all model, we should instead “understand, measure, and embrace the heterogeneity” in identifying patient outliers and matching them with doctors who are best at managing their condition. I had marginally fond, acetone-fumed memories of organic chemistry classes in reading the origins of the company’s name, which is derived from the word “chiral” and features two U’s to represent using big data to unleash physician potential. The company’s ProviderMatch helps access centers and networks (and even patients themselves) connect patients with the right doctor, taking into account doctor expertise, insurance acceptance, locations, availability, demographics, and business rules to enable real-time provider search, scheduling, and referral instead of the creaky and nearly worthless “doctor finder” webpages offered by most hospitals. The company’s executive roster boasts folks with impressive backgrounds. Customers include Beaumont, Keck Medicine of USC, MedStar Health, MercyHealth, Partners HealthCare, Providence and Swedish. Thanks to Kyruus for not only supporting HIStalk, but for putting up an interesting and passionate website.
I found this Kyruus video called “The Patient Access Journey” on YouTube.
Listening: new from Metallica, which sounds just like Metallica. They aren’t the most musically amazing group and aren’t likely to extend their loyal fan base with this offering, but they stick to their Flying-V knitting nicely and remain intense on stage.
October 13 (Thursday) 2:00 ET. “Glycemic Control During Therapeutic Hypothermia.” Sponsored by Monarch Medical Technologies. Presenter: Tracey Melhuish, RN, MSN, clinical practice specialist, Holy Cross Hospital (FL). Using therapeutic hypothermia (TH) as a method of care can present risks of hyperglycemia, hypoglycemia, and blood glucose variability. Maintaining safe glucose levels during the cooling and rewarming phases of TH reduces the risks of adverse events. Tracey Melhuish, author of “Linking Hypothermia and Hyperglycemia,” will share best practices for optimal glucose control during TH and the success Holy Cross Hospital sees while using a computerized glucose management software.
October 25 (Tuesday) 1:30 ET. “Data Privacy/Insider Threat Mitigation: What Hospitals Can Learn From Other Industries.” Sponsored by HIStalk. Presenters: Robert Kuller, chief commercial officer, Haystack Informatics; Mitchell Parker, CISSP, executive director of information security and compliance, Indiana University Health. Cybersecurity insurers believe that hospitals are too focused on perimeter threats, ransomware, and the threat of OCR audits instead of insider threats, which are far more common but less likely to earn media attention. Attendees will learn how behavior analytics is being used to profile insiders and detect unusual behaviors proactively and to place privacy/insider risk within the risk management matrix.
October 26 (Wednesday) 1:00 ET. “How to Create Healthcare Apps That Get Used and Maybe Even Loved.” Sponsored by MedData. Presenter: Jeff Harper, Founder and CEO, Duet Health. Patients, clinicians, and hospital employees are also consumers who manage many aspects of their non-medical lives on their mobile devices. Don’t crush their high technology expectations with poorly designed, seldom used apps that tarnish your carefully protected image. Your app represents your brand and carries high expectations on both sides. This webinar will describe how to build a mobile healthcare app that puts the user first, meets their needs (which are often different from their wants), creates "stickiness," and delivers the expected benefits to everyone involved.
Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock
Infor systems integrator Avaap acquires Falcon Consulting, which offers Epic consulting services that are ranked #1 in KLAS.
Consumer health site Sharecare, founded by TV huckster Dr. Oz, acquires BioLucid, which offers the You 3D human body simulator. The product might even accurately depict that portion of Dr. Oz’s anatomy from which his medical claims originate (it’s conveniently located right next to his wallet).
Wolters Kluwer will acquire patient engagement systems vendor Emmi Solutions for $170 million.
The innovations group of the ProMedica health system (OH) partners with app development technology vendor Kaonsoft to form Kapios health, which will apparently commercialize apps developed by ProMedica.
Cerner tells the Kansas City business paper that it will expand its revenue cycle management business “aggressively.”
- Cooperstown Medical Center (ND) will go live on Epic on November 2016 under the Community Connect program of Altru Health System.
- Keefe Memorial Hospital (CO) went live on CPSI’s EHR and revenue cycle systems in June 2016, replacing systems from CPSI-acquired Healthland.
- University Medical Center of Southern Nevada will replace McKesson Horizon with Epic in 2017.
These provider-reported updates are provided by Definitive Healthcare, which offers powerful intelligence on hospitals, physicians, and healthcare providers.
Keith Hagen (IHM Services) joins Aviacode as CEO.
Spok hires Andrew Mellin, MD, MBA (RedBrick Health) as chief medical officer.
Announcements and Implementations
In Africa, the World Health Organization is completing development of a phone-based app that will help non-specialists manage pregnancies, hoping to reduce child and maternal death by applying the knowledge gleaned from the hospital records of 10,000 pregnant women in a “patients like me” model.
Varian Medical Systems releases its 360 Oncology care management platform that supports virtual tumor board meetings, care coordination, trials management, and patient engagement.
Providence Hospital North Houston (TX) goes live on Wellsoft’s EHR. It’s a micro-hospital, a small facility that offers full services but with only a handful of inpatient beds intended for short stay, often built by a large health system that can’t justify developing a full-sized hospital in an otherwise attractive geographic area. Advisory Board has a nice overview of the concept, which is pretty fascinating. That handful of beds might be enough even for larger areas if hospitals can ever be financially convinced to manage the health of the populations they claim to serve instead of feeding their never-ending edifice complex.
FormFast launches Connect, which guides patients through their healthcare experience by making sure they read and complete forms and checklists before and after each care event, such as for pre-admissions or post care follow up.
VMware adds smart glasses management features to AirWatch, the first unified endpoint management solution to extend into wearables.
Carevive Systems will offer a CME/CNE-accredited symposium on applying the IOM care management plan to patients with non-small cell lung cancer on October 26 in Philadelphia.
Government and Politics
Non-profit Maryland insurer Evergreen Health switches to a for-profit company as it brings in private equity investors to avoid its imminent shutdown, leaving intact only five of the 23 non-profit insurance co-ops funded by the Affordable Care Act. The insurer blames ACA’s risk adjustment program, which resulted in the company’s receiving a $23 million bill for not having as many expensive patients as other insurance companies. Its website (and perhaps its mission) might need an update since it continues to declare that, “for far too long, health insurance carriers have put profits ahead of people.”
Former President and would-be First Gentleman Bill Clinton, stumping on behalf of his wife, calls the Affordable Care Act “the craziest thing in the world” that has provided insurance for 25 million more people, but with premiums doubled and coverage halved because those individuals have no leverage with insurers since they aren’t part of a big risk pool. He advocates Hillary Clinton’s proposal to allow middle-class consumers who aren’t eligible for federal insurance subsidies to buy into Medicare and Medicaid.
Meanwhile, UnitedHealth Group’s startup Harken Health, which offered relationship-based, lower-cost ACA insurance plans and healthcare services, pulls all of its offerings from the marketplace and fires its founding CEO, citing huge losses due to – like even the less-hip insurance companies — unexpectedly older and sicker enrollees.
The DEA will require opiate drug manufacturers to decrease production by 25 percent next year, with the federal government trying yet again to impose a war on drugs by limiting the supply instead of the demand. The main result will be to drive up the street price and shift more addicts to impure street products that will in many cases kill them.
Privacy and Security
- The US Surgeon General warns the 6,600 medical professionals of the Public Health Service that their information has been accessed by hackers.
- An illegally operating medical marijuana dispensary in Canada exposes the identities of 500 of its customers when a now-fired employee uses CC: instead of BCC: in sending them a mass email.
Johnson & Johnson warns users of its Animas OneTouch Ping insulin pump, which the user controls via a Wi-Fi remote control, is susceptible to hacking, assuming the would-be hacker can get within 25 feet of it.
Innovation and Research
A UK-based project is studying 100,000 people in matching their brain imaging results to their demographic and medical history to identify early markers of age-related brain problems
A fifth Texas man pleads guilty for his involvement in a scam in which the co-conspirators created a company called Cerner LLC and sold Summit Medical Center (OK) a new MRI machine. You might wonder how a surgery center’s due diligence could be insufficient to the point of not being aware that Cerner doesn’t sell MRI machines.
The mainstream press is amused that a hospital charged a father $39.95 to hold his newborn. They should be outraged that if he was a cash-paying customer, he would have been stuck with a $13,000 bill since he wouldn’t get the $5,600 discount extended to his insurance company.
In case you didn’t know, non-profit healthcare is a pretty big business.
Here’s some nicely dry wit from Acting CMS Administrator Andy Slavitt.
Here’s the new video from ZDoggMD.
- Medicomp Systems is hosting a sold-out training program in Bangkok, Thailand this week in which customers will learn how to integrate the company’s Quippe documentation tools into their EHRs.
- Healthegy names Health Catalyst as its Digital Healthcare Innovator of the Year.
- Optimum Healthcare IT launches a new website and branding.
- Aprima will exhibit at the Patient-Centered Medical Home Congress October 7 in Chicago.
- Audacious Inquiry releases a new video on “How to Reduce Hospital Readmissions.”
- CompuGroup Medical releases a newly rewritten version of its Labdaq Teleios laboratory information system that includes best practices rules, an interactive performance dashboard, and an interface monitoring tool.
- Bernoulli will exhibit at the American Association for Respiratory Care Congress 2016 October 15-18 in San Antonio.
- Catalyze publishes daily recaps of Health 2.0.
- Besler Consulting releases a new podcast, “Revenue recovery opportunities from class action settlements.”
- CapsuleTech will exhibit at HIMSS Middle East October 12-13 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
- CTG’s Angela Rivera is featured in the San Diego Business Journal.
- Cumberland Consulting Group Principal Taylor Ramsey speaks at the South Carolina HFMA Women’s Leadership Conference.
- EClinicalWorks will exhibit at IPHCA’s 2016 Leadership Conference October 5-7 in St. Louis.
- The Connecticut Technology Council and Marcum name Evariant to the Marcum Tech Top 40 list.
- Two locations of Sutherland Healthcare Solutions earn URAC Credentials Verification Organization Accreditation, recognizing the company’s commitment to quality and best practices in the areas of credentialing, provider data management, claims administration, and population health solutions.
- GE Healthcare creates a Centricity Partner Program.
- A Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology study demonstrates Glytec’s superiority in meeting ADA guidelines.
- HCS will exhibit at the NJ HFMA Annual Institute October 5-7 in Atlantic City.
- Healthwise will exhibit at AdvancedMD Evo16 October 11-12 in Salt Lake City.
- The Path to Health IT Project Success (Spok)
- A Pathway to Alternative Payment Models (APMs) (AdvancedMD)
- How to Manage Pharmacy Costs in an ACO (Arcadia Healthcare Solutions)
- Can MACRA and MIPS Move the Needle for Healthcare Analytics? (Caradigm)
- 3 Major Benefits of Leveraging Mobile Health Tools (CareSync)
- 10 Ingenious Things You Can Do With Your CoverMyMeds Account (CoverMyMeds)
- Benefits of Giving Back as an Organization (Direct Consulting Associates)
- Improving Provider Efficiency and Satisfaction through EHR Optimization (Culbert Healthcare Solutions)
- Choosing the Right Care Transformation Model (ECG Management Consultants)
- Serving Clients Before and After the Sale with Extension Engage Health Checks (Extension Healthcare)
- Why #IHeartHIT with a Passion (Galen Healthcare Solutions)
- 3 Ways Technology Must Show Up in the Consumerization of Healthcare (Hayes Management Consulting)
- 3 Unexpected Issues to Look Out for During an EMR Go-Live (The HCI Group)
- The Right Amount of Disruption (Healthfinch)
- Writing Content That Connects: This Time It’s Personal (Healthwise)