Allscripts announces Q4 results: revenue flat, adjusted EPS $0.08 vs. $0.16, beating revenue expectations and meeting consensus earnings estimates.
From Dr. Detroit: “Re: misspelling HIMSS. Once a vendor does it in four separate emails as this one did, they should be granted credentials as a certified ‘HIPPA’ consultant.”
From Stool Pigeon: “Re: fecal transplants. You’ve grossed out readers before, so you might find this interesting.” MIT launches OpenBiome, the country’s first stool bank, to collect samples to treat patients with C. difficile intestinal infections. At least it eliminates that awkward moment of asking friends and loved ones to sit and be counted.
From Pathology MD: “Re: HIStalk pins. I am a loyal reader but can’t get to Orlando. I collect pins and really would like the 10-year HIStalk pin or both for my collection. I’ll pay.” Lorre and I were touched by this request for this request for the inexpensive giveaway that was her idea, so she’s sending the pins to this reader as well as another with a similar request (obviously I’m happy to pay the postage.) We have a limited number of these to give away in Booth #1995, so maybe they really will become collectible.
From Dr. J: “Re: men’s wear for HIStalkapalooza. My $99 boots arrived just yesterday.” I love these, especially because they have a big toe box unlike some of those pointed boots that surely cause digital damage. They are from Dude’s Boutique Online, which I see has a really cool crocodile and ostrich boot in cognac for only $198 on sale as long as you don’t mind leaving a trail of dead animals behind your purposeful stride. I’ve asked Dr. J which ones these are because I need a pair to make me look more rock and roll.
HIStalk Announcements and Requests
Welcome to new HIStalk Platinum Sponsor Netsmart of Overland Park, KS. Netsmart is the leader in coordinating care among behavioral health, physical health, and acute care hospitals. That’s important because severely mentally ill people die 25 years younger than the rest of the population and drive up Medicaid costs and other loss ratios. Netsmart links primary care initiatives with broader, coordinated care for the body and mind to reduce readmissions. Netsmart CareFabric offers clinical solutions (EHR, eRX, CPOE, consumer engagement, analytics, care coordination) and business solutions (PM, client banking, RCM.) The company’s products are used by 23,000 clients, including 450,000 providers and 40 state systems, to improve the quality of life for 25 million people each day. Its clients include mental health and addiction services agencies, health homes, psychiatric hospitals, private and group mental health practices, public health departments, social services and child and family health agencies, managed care organizations, and vital records offices. Thanks to Netsmart for supporting HIStalk.
Welcome to new HIStalk Platinum Sponsor Premier, Inc. of Charlotte, NC. Premier (NASDAQ:PINC) is a leading healthcare improvement company that unites 2,900 hospitals and 100,000 other providers to transform healthcare. Premier enables better care and outcomes at a lower cost through integrated data and analytics, collaboratives, supply chain solutions, and advisory and other services. A recent offering is PremierConnect Enterprise, a cloud-based data warehousing and business intelligence offering that combines trusted information, collaborative development, and access to expertise to enable information-driven health systems. Premier’s database is among the industry’s most comprehensive with data covering one in four hospital discharges, 2.5 million real-time clinical transactions each day, and $40 billion in annual purchasing information, all used to connect, share best practices, solve important problems, and build new technologies. The company has been named among the world’s most ethical companies for six years in a row. Thanks to Premier for supporting HIStalk.
Ion IT Group is supporting HIStalk as a Platinum Sponsor. The Carthage, TN-based company offers strategic services, consulting, and outsourcing. Specific services include managed IT, security and risk assessment, business solutions, and infrastructure. It also offers the Vital Connect remote vital sign monitoring solution (weight, blood pressure, temperature, pulse oximeter, and blood glucose) that works via a mobile phone data collector. It also provides HealthX secure messaging based on the Direct standard, which enables the exchange of EHR reports, documents, images, and structured data, and Evault services for cloud-based backup, recovery, and end point protection. Thanks to Ion IT Group for supporting HIStalk.
A few highlights from HIStalk Practice this week include: proposed Stage 3 MU objectives that may impact EPs. The Colorado Health Institutes suggests that the use of technology may help mitigate a looming shortage of PCPs. EClinicalWorks CEO Girish Navani predicts it will only be a matter of time before all providers convert to EHRs. Results from teledermatology assessments are found to be nearly identical to results of in-person assessments. Dr. Gregg provides a thorough list of all the JUNK you’ll need to lug with you to HIMSS. Thanks for reading.
On HIStalk Connect: Industry insiders suggest that the Apple iWatch will predict heart attacks in time for wearers to seek help. Surgeons at Washington University in St. Louis test a pair of smartglasses that highlight hard-to-spot cancer tumors during surgery. Partners HealthCare’s bid to acquire South Shore Hospital is rejected because the Massachusetts Health Policy Committee believes that population health-based cost savings are exaggerated. Dr. Travis dives into the world of Big Data in an article that focuses on the patient and the various tools available for capturing and sharing patient-centric data.
HIMSS has been emailing a Groupon-like but even lamer “HIMSS14 Conference Deal” that purports to offer the recipient something of value for opening it. Most of those emails haven’t offered anything at all, only a pitch for a company buying the ad. That doesn’t sound like a a deal for anyone except HIMSS. Those with memories going back more than a couple of years may recall the gentle era when HIMSS didn’t overtly flog the wares of its members to its other members with spam that promotes webinars, white papers, and other promotional stuff that has nothing to do with HIMSS except they’re getting paid to talk it up with little evidence of objectivity or restraint.
I received this by email today, just in case you wonder where all your post-HIMSS conference junk email and cold calls come from. I don’t recall having an opt-out option when registering for the conference as an attendee.
You may be rocking your HIStalk temporary tattoo after stopping by our booth, but you can’t match Lorre, who will let her fingers do the HIStalking.
HIMSS guides for your last-minute perusal: Exhibitor Giveaways, Sponsor Activities, Sponsor Meet-Ups
The event will be memorable, with many surprises that I won’t spoil now. The roster of attendees, which unfortunately couldn’t include everyone who wanted to be there, is spectacular and nicely diverse, with a huge number of hospital people enjoying amazing food, lots of drinks including an all-new IngaTini developed by the lady herself, and party music until late. Don’t even think about bailing out for some other event if you have an invitation because you’ll be sorry Tuesday morning when you hear everyone talking about it.
- Transportation to and from the Convention Center will start at 6:30 p.m. on Monday.
- At the House of Blues, we’ll have a red carpet greeting, photographers, and interviews by Jennifer Lyle. Your photos will be available to pick up on your way out as a souvenir.
- The band (Party on the Moon) will play a set starting at 7:00 as the appetizer buffet and bars are open.
- The dinner buffet will start at 7:30.
- We’ll open the stage part of the evening at 7:45 with the music of Ross Martin, MD of AMIA and The American College of Medical Informatimusicology and a welcome from Jennifer, Lorre, and the folks from Imprivata.
- The “Inga Loves My Shoes” contest with Lisa Reichard and Ed Marx will start at just after 8:00.
- We’ll crown the HIStalk King and Queen next with Dave Lareau, Bonny Roberts, and Jennifer Dennard.
- Then come the HISsies awards, with Ross Martin and Missy Krasner of Box.
- We’ll wrap up the stage part of the evening by around 8:45 and the band will play until 11:00.
HIMSS Conference Social Events
Verisk Health is conducting a service project supporting the Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida on Tuesday at 6:00 p.m. at the Rosen Centre Hotel. Participants can spend an hour helping to assemble 4,000 food packs for children who do not have access to school cafeterias during the weekend.
ICSA Labs will host an evening of cocktails and hors d’oeuvres from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. Tuesday at the Hyatt Regency. RSVP here.
Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock
Merge Healthcare announces Q4 results: revenue down 17.2 percent, EPS $0.00 vs. -$0.19, missing expectations on both. Shares are up 15 percent in after-hours trading.
Vocera reports Q4 results: revenue up 6 percent, adjusted EPS $0.03 vs. $0.03, beating earnings expectations. The company also announces that two New York luxury hotels are implementing its solution for employee communication.
Healthwise and the Informed Medical Decisions Foundation announce their pending merger.
UnitedHealth’s Optum division acquires a majority stake in Audax Health, the developer of a consumer health management platform that was founded four years ago by the now 24-year-old Grant Verstandig.
ISirona retires its name following its January 2014 acquisition by NantHealth.
Saint Luke’s Health System (MO) selects Solarity technology from EDCO Health Information Solutions for scanning medical records at the point of care and remote indexing services.
Sanford Health (ND) will spend $30 million to implement Intelligent InSites RTLS at several locations.
Farzad Mostashari, MD joins the board of patient engagement company Get Real Health.
CureMD announces the death of President, CEO, and Co-Founder Kamal Hashmat, MD following a “tragic accident.” Co-founder and CIO Bilal Hashmat will replace him.
The Institute of Medicine names Duke University Health System President and CEO Victor Dzau, MD to a six-year term as president. He will replace Harvey Fineberg, MD, PhD, who has held the role for 12 years.
Bill Spooner, SVP/CIO of Sharp HealthCare, announces his retirement after 32 years in the position. He will be replaced by Ken Lawonn, formerly SVP of strategy and technology at Alegent Health.
Announcements and Implementations
Sixteen health information organizations throughout the Midwest and Rocky Mountain states form The Mid-States Consortium of Health Information Organizations, with the goal of advocating for health information exchange across states and in rural areas.
HIMSS Analytics introduces the Continuity of Care Maturity Model to address the importance of information exchange, care coordination, interoperability, patient engagement, and analytics.
The president of Toshiba says the company will spend billions of dollars on mergers and acquisitions to boost annual sales in its healthcare division to $9.78 billion by March 2018.
Kaiser Permanente Colorado, the largest not-for-profit health plan in Colorado, will join the CORHIO HIE.
Deloitte Consulting launches ConvergeHEALTH by Deloitte, a business unit that supports data-driven transformation of healthcare using analytics, consulting, and collaboration with leading healthcare organizations.
A group of Mayo Clinic physicians launches Ambient Clinical Analytics and raises $1.1 million in funding on top of its original $16 million CMS grant. It will offer Mayo-developed mobile device tools such as surveillance alerts and an analytics-powered EMR viewer. It will be debuted at the HIMSS conference next week.
Government and Politics
CMS announces that it will offer end-to-end ICD-10 testing in summer 2014 to a small group of providers.
ONC selects 15 provider and administrator champions for its HIT Fellows Program.
Carilion Clinic identifies 8,500 patients at risk for developing heart failure using NLP and predictive analytics technology from IBM to analyze clinical data from the health system’s Epic EMR.
A HIMSS survey finds that 19 percent of health systems and physician practices experienced a security breach in the last 12 months and 12 percent had at least one reported case of medical identity theft.
Nashville attorney Michael Dagley, who represented Trinity Medical Center (ND) in its $106 million settlement with Cerner over its ProFit accounting software, indirectly accuses the company of over-promising on ProFit’s capabilities to earn the clinical systems business. He also warns hospitals that limitation-of-liability clauses may prevent hospitals from suing their vendor, saying, “Vendors will have in their contract, almost always, a limitation of liability. Which means you cannot sue us for any consequence of the software being defective, you can only get your money back for the software. The providers, a lot of times, do not understand the significance of that agreement. So now, they’re three months into it, they’ve bought the software, and they’ve lost $100 million. They pull up the contract, and the contract says you can get your money back for the software and they’re going, ‘That’s $300,000, but I lost $100 million!’” He suggests consulting KLAS rankings and talking to clients.
A study finds that few consumers pay attention to online physician reviews even though they’ve gained popularity.
The outgoing CFO of Nevada Regional Medical Center (NV), which is laying off employees and losing $575,000 each month, says, “The biggest expense we’ve had is Cerner’s fees.” Cerner agreed to lower its payments by $31,000 per month for six months and then add $2,000 per month for the remainder of the eight-year agreement (they get paid the same total amount, in other words.)
The local paper says that Epic may reach 10,000 employees by 2018, with much of the growth due to international expansion that will be run from Verona. The article lists “Epic’s 12 Principles” that it says are posted all over its campus:
1. Do not go public.
2. Do not be acquired.
3. Expectations = reality.
4. Keep commitments.
5. Be frugal.
6. Have standards. Don’t do deals.
7. Create innovative and helpful products.
8. Have fun with customers.
9. Follow processes. Find root causes. Fix processes.
10. Don’t take on debt, no matter how good the deal.
11. Focus on competency. Do not tolerate mediocrity.
12. Teach philosophy and culture
St. Vincent Hospital (IN) notifies 1,100 patients that their medical information is in unknown hands after a laptop attached to an EEG machine is stolen. The hospital issues the standard boilerplate in staying it has no reason to think the information is at risk, that it will offer free credit monitoring, and that it just might take a look at encrypting devices one of these days.
All-digital Banner Health (AZ) was all-paper Banner Health Wednesday as its Cerner systems go offline, forcing its hospitals in Arizona, Colorado, and Nevada to go to downtime procedures. The systems came back up Thursday afternoon.
I bragged on buying a cell phone charger to use at HIMSS so I can recharge my iPhone without tethering to a wall jack, but I should have waited: Jay at Lifepoint Informatics saw the mention and said the company will be giving them away at the HIMSS conference. Jay not only says the company is a proud HIStalk sponsor, he even posed the charger with their HIStalk booth sign from last year to demonstrate it. I would get to Booth #6069 early since this is a really nice giveaway.
If you are headed to Orlando, travel safely and I will see you there. If not, thanks for holding down the fort and feel free to take long lunches and leave early because your boss isn’t really working that hard at the HIMSS conference.
- Caristix interfaces the Mirth Connect interface engine to iNTERFACEWARE’s Iguana engine to provide point-and-click migration from one interface to another.
- ScImage announces availability of a universal MPI translator for importing diagnostic images from disparate systems into its PICOM365 system.
- IMDsoft makes MetaVision AIMS available for anesthesia practices independent of any facility infrastructure and as a subscription-based license.
- DataMotion enables 16 EHR systems to achieve 2014 ONC-ACB certification using its DataMotion Direct secure messaging service as “relied upon software.”
- Ricoh Americas partners with InterSystems to develop new interoperable healthcare solutions, including the Ricoh Healthcare Camera, which allows clinicians to scan barcodes from a patient’s wristband and add information on the injury before taking pictures.
- Surescripts certifies First Databank’s FDB MedsTracker for prescription routing in adherence with the NCPDP SCRIPT 10.7 standard required for MU Stage 2 certification.
- Coastal Healthcare Consulting launches Wave, an implementation solution that encompasses project management, workflow analysis, design, building, testing, training, and go-live support.
- EClinicalWorks deploys Array Network’s APV10650 appliances to consolidate its cloud-based application infrastructure into a smaller number of larger data centers.
- Welch Allyn will use Accelero Connect from Iatric Systems to automate the capture and recording of vital signs into EHRs.
- Bon Secours Medical Group (VA) VP/Chief Clinical Officer Robert Fortin discusses his organization’s move into population health management in an iHT2 article.
- Apelon and Clinical Architecture partner to offer Clinical Architecture’s Symedical with Apelon’s professional services
- Covisint and actuarial Milliman Inc. introduce the Covisint Predictive Analytics solution.
- Liaison Healthcare completes interoperability testing of its Master Person Index and Patient Document Repository offerings with 70 test partners during last month’s 2014 IHE North American Connectathon.
- University Medical Associates (OH) joins the Guideline Advantage quality improvement program, which leverages Forward Health Group’s PopulationManager toolset.
- Orion Health reports that its statewide HIE customer count grew 40 percent in 2013 and its HIE customers increased by 200 percent. The company will open a development center in Scottsdale, AZ later this year.
Sponsor Speaking Engagements at HIMSS
- Brian Levy, MD, VP of global clinical operations for Wolters Kluwer Health’s Health Language division, will discuss leveraging analytics to capture the benefits of ICD-10 on Wednesday at 11:30 a.m.
- Vital Images will feature VitreaView in a live case study at the Interoperability Showcase on Tuesday at 4:30 p.m.
- Medhost will demonstrate YourCareCommunity in the HIMSS Interoperability Showcase (Hall F).
- Ryan Witt, global manager director for Juniper Networks, will moderate a lunch and learn session Wednesday at 12:30 p.m. that will discussing managing network requirements to support new technologies.
- Intelligent InSites customer Veterans Health Administration will share best practices in implementing RTLS in a Sunday pre-conference symposium.
HIMSS14 in Review
By Vince Ciotti
Since I spend my winters right here in sunny Florida next to Orlando, I thought I’d give readers of HIStalk the advantage of reading the very first report on HIMSS 2014.
- The crowd was huge, way up from last year’s paltry 35,000 to about 40,000 this year. At an average of $800 each for registration fees, that gives HIMSS over $30 million. Maybe next year they’ll lower their annual membership dues.
- Weather was near perfect, although a little on the warm side at about 80 degrees. Interestingly, that was the same temperature inside the hall as well as outside due to the large volume of hot air from all the demo dudes & dollies.
- There were almost 200 booths from vendors new to HIMSS this year, with 195 of them featuring “Big Data” analysis and reporting. Conspicuously absent were major players NSA and Target.
- Vendor booths were absolutely stunning. If you add the out-of-pocket costs for their thousands of marketing mavens and sales reps plus the fees charged for booths and floor space, it was possibly the single largest line item in healthcare costs outside of EHRs.
- The multitudes of speakers had truly impressive PowerPoint files: amazing builds, animation, and other visual effects that must have taken many months of hard work away from providing user service & support.
- 1,275 vendor booths featured banners that claimed they were “Best in KLAS” for one category or another. Indeed, KLAS’s own booth claimed they were rated as the very best source for evaluation of vendors’ true capabilities by… guess who?
- It was hard to count the many new products and releases that were announced, every one of them far better than what clients are suffering with today. All of it was offered at special low pricing for HIMSS attendees who signed up early.
- 417 consulting firms announced new divisions that specialized in Epic implementations, every one of them manned by senior employees (some actually in their 30s) with vast experience of more than one year each.
- Keynote speaker Hillary Clinton surprised everyone when she praised the Affordable Care Act. Her only complaint was that it didn’t go far enough, and whoever becomes the next president really needs to try to improve healthcare even more.
Stay tuned next month — I may have an early report on HIMSS15 in Chicago.
Vince Ciotti is a principal with H.I.S. Professionals LLC.
Ten Tips for Making the Most of Your HIMSS14 Experience
By Jodi Amendola
- Build your plan around the trends or issues you’re most interested in, then mark the booth and educational sessions that address them.
- Include networking events in your plans.
- Building in scheduled breaks throughout the day. Real ones, not check-your-email breaks. Many vendors offer space to sit along with free refreshments.
- HIMSS14 is not the place to break in a new pair of shoes or to sacrifice comfort for fashion.
- Take advantage of apps such as the HIMSS14 Mobile Guide; a business card scanner; a personal health monitor; a friend locator; a restaurant and entertainment locator; and apps that let you confirm travel plans for the trip home.
- Re-invigorate a long-distance relationship over a cup of coffee or a meal and mine your contacts to reconnect with or get to know other colleagues better.
- Put away the smartphone. Considering how much time and money you’ve invested in being here at the best health IT conference of the year, that email can wait.
- Connect with the speakers by asking questions during the Q&A, introducing yourself, or connecting via Twitter or LinkedIn.
- Put a star in the margin of your notes (electronic or handwritten) next to any action item, then distill every session into one or two key takeaways.
- Share video or audio files of the sessions you found especially valuable with your colleagues and friends or give a talk about something you learned at your next staff meeting.
Jodi Amendola is CEO of Amendola Communications.
EPtalk by Dr. Jayne
I’ll keep it this post relatively short because I am completely overwhelmed by HIMSS preparations and a major calamity at the office. Let’s just say that nothing can prepare you for the chaos that ensues when a provider is arrested in the middle of the work week.
Since it was a solo provider and we had to close the office, I seriously toyed with the idea of using our patient portal to blast a message to the impacted patients, but the risk management department shot me down. I guess it’s better for the patients to sit and wonder what will happen with their care, at least in their eyes.
Inga and I have been hard at work finalizing our social plans for Orlando. We had a reader ask if I would be making a scheduled appearance at the HIStalk booth (#1995 for those of you playing at home.) Although I will definitely be stopping by to pick up my HIStalk tattoo and a Smokin’ Doc pin, I’ll be doing it anonymously. Feel free to swing by, however, and see if there are any sassy blonde physicians lurking about. I’ll probably be there to support some of our scheduled celebrity appearances. I’ll also be at the Medicomp Systems booth (#2703) to support some of my BFFs as they compete in Quipstar.
Most of the events we’re attending are those whose hosts generously agreed to allow us to invite all our readers. Inga and I also have a penchant for hitting the in-booth happy hours, so look for us during the cocktail hour in the exhibit hall as well. I’m trying to fit in some educational sessions in between cruising the booths and taking pictures of ridiculous costumes that the hired booth attendants are forced to wear. Be sure to have your cameras at the ready and feed us pictures of hot shoes, cool giveaways, and the wildest outfits you see.
We’ve also been hard at work identifying the recipients of some of the coveted HIStalk beauty queen sashes. Don’t worry, there is still a chance to win one for yourself by entering Inga’s shoe contest or aiming for the coveted HIStalk King and HIStalk Queen titles.
I look forward to HIMSS each year, but it’s bittersweet on some levels. While many of us are away, we will be depending on the rest of our colleagues in the trenches to keep the infrastructure running and the providers under control. Although a lot of vendor organizations freeze in time around HIMSS, the rest of the health IT world does keep turning.
Case in point: NCQA announces the opening of a public comment period for proposed changes to the HEDIS measures for 2015. Proposed new measures include one on overuse of colorectal and prostate cancer screening and another on appropriate use of antipsychotic measures in children. Those slated for retirement include glaucoma screening in older adults and cholesterol management for patients with cardiovascular conditions.
HHS release a model Notice of Privacy Practices in Spanish. Since over 38 million people in the US speak Spanish, it’s about time. The offerings include fillable forms that can be printed for patients and are designed for both provider organizations and health plans.
The hot topic of conversation in the physician lounge this week has been the publication of the final rule amending the 1988 CLIA regulations to allow patients and their designees to receive lab results directly from laboratories. Physicians are generally resistant to anyone releasing lab or test results directly to the patient. Most of the time they cite concerns that the patient will not be able to interpret the results or that they may be confused or even harmed by results that lack explanation.
Our health system releases results to patients without physician review after 96 hours, so physicians have had to get on the ball and notify patients in a timely manner because the patients are going to receive their results if they are enrolled on the patient portal. There are a couple of tests that are restricted (like HIV and sexually transmitted infection labs) due to state privacy laws, but pretty much everything else in the lab or radiology realms is fair game.
Personally, I think it’s about time that other organizations have to start jumping through all the hoops that providers do with all the different rules that continue to be propagated. In this case, they only require the release of information within 30 days. Let’s make them release within three days like the rest of us and see how they do.
I’m off to pack. Including a half marathon in my weekend plans has definitely added to my fashion worries. If you happen to be at Walt Disney World in the wee hours of Sunday morning, keep an eye out for me as I run through Cinderella’s Castle in bling that even Inga would envy. Otherwise, my next report will be from the HIMSS opening reception.
Mr. H, Inga, Dr. Jayne, Dr. Travis, Lt. Dan, Lorre.
More news: HIStalk Practice, HIStalk Connect.