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July 12, 2007 News 5 Comments

From TalkOfTheTown: “Re: Allscripts. Executive changes in the small business unit of Allscripts (A4). VP of sales is leaving there is some indication that the president of the business unit is leaving as well.” Unconfirmed.

From Bill Blazejowski:Re: Eclipsys. Much as Eclipsys would like you to believe they let Mike Etue go, he in fact resigned and will be joining another vendor next week. After all, Jay Deady has to pretend to do something to justify his $2.3M 2006 paycheck (see proxy). Demonstrate action by reorganizing over and over again, which Andy seems to like – progress through attrition and bringing in sycophants to make you feel good.” I wondered if Etue might end up at Misys, since the rumored source of their new sales VP was either Kodak or Eclipsys. Coincidental timing, maybe, but jobs don’t open up every day at his level. I hear from reliable sources that Misys named the new VP Tuesday, but I don’t have a name yet.

From Scot Silverstein: “Re: ‘I only wish those similar types might go back to being physicians full time and stay out of informatics, where they DON’T belong.’ I agree with that. Informaticists need to be intermediaries between different healthcare factions, not primadonnas. Your audience might like a presentation I gave to ARMA last year on this issue.” Most of the informatics people I know, docs included, are pretty down to earth. From reader comments, Vandy’s aren’t, apparently, despite the tiny domain they’re lording over. I guess it’s like Star Trek conventioneers feeling smug when one of their ilk doesn’t know which actor was missing a middle finger.

From Edward Koogle: “Re: Epic employees. What do you know about ways around hiring Epic employees? Does the whole industry really pander to Judy so much that they let her get away with harboring and controlling all the Epic talent in the marketplace? We aren’t an Epic partner and we want to hire a current Epic employee, but is there any hope of getting a client to contract them from us? All the clients seem to be willing to stay in the corner that Judy puts them in without a word of dissent. It’s un-American to stand by passively while the spirit of free competition is quashed!” I’ll allow those who are more knowledgable of that particular situation to respond.

From In the Know: “Re: Bronx Lebanon. Eclipsys and Medsphere are being dragged along to keep Cerner honest on price. The CIO drank the Kansas City Koolaid. It’s Cerner’s deal to lose … and GE’s, too.”

From Dewey Oxberger: “Re: sponsors. You’re getting a lot of sponsors. Are you and Inga doing some kind of marketing blitz?” No. All we do is reply to e-mails when someone asks for information about sponsoring. Nothing’s changed since I started HIStalk in 2003, other than I’ve got a ton of readers and that gets the attention of sponsors (as does the presence of the lovely Inga as my Queen). I’m still the same irascible, annoying, cynical blowhard that I’ve always been, although I’m hoping to mellow into a lovable curmudgeon at some point. I sure do appreciate the support, however. I’ve worked harder on HIStalk than anything else in my undistinguished career, so it’s nice to get some recognition (which is hard to come by when you’re sitting alone in a room writing anonymously).

From Francis Soyer: “Re: Sentillion. Someone told me that Sentillion laid off 30% of the company a few weeks ago, although they tried to take care of those affected. The person said that competition from Carefx, Improvada, and the big vendors is cutting into sales.” Unconfirmed, but I’m sure someone will update me.

From Bob Saccamano: “Re: CHOP. I just heard from a frustrated physician at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia that Epic has been down in the clinics for two and a half days (since Monday) and they’re back to paper. No idea if it’s Epic or IT issues, would love to know if any HISTalk readers have more info. Keep up the great work, it’s much appreciated. Also, love HISTalk2 and the weekly email summary concept and can’t wait to sign-up.” Thanks, Bob, Anyone got the scoop on CHOP? I heard the same thing from another source. And thanks for the HIStalk2 kudos – having a new design and platform is like wearing a shiny new pair of tennis shoes. The weekly e-mail update is imminent – my graphics guy is working on a logo and fine-tuning my crude HTML e-mail format as we speak. HIStalk is great for those of us knee-deep in the industry every day who know all the companies and people. The weekly update will be more accessible to executives, non-IT provider-siders, and those who just want a no-nonsense quick read with background information and opinion (printing it off will be a one-click option – I know you travelers love that).

Some thoughts on Allscripts stock, which Forbes called one of the most dangerous. Price-to-book ratio and return on invested capital were mentioned, which aren’t that meaningful for acquisition-minded tech companies. Old news, in other words, and presumably built into the stock price. Software companies don’t have many assets on the balance sheet (or so you hope, since they probably wouldn’t really drive revenue all that much anyway). Cash flow is more important than paper writeoffs, although Allscripts needs to improve cash flow since the share price is pretty much NPV – a price reflecting future cash flows. The bottom line: these measures don’t move share prices up or down. For growing companies, it’s all about shareholder expectations and growth. Supply and demand of shares, in other words, to use my favorite economic principle. Pull the back issues of Forbes and see how often they’ve hit the nail on the head before following their advice mindlessly.

A reader tried to explain the Apple thing to me. Summary: (a) Windows is a cheap imitation of Apple’s good ideas; (b) OS X is far more secure than Windows; (c) reboots and OS reinstalls are nearly unheard of on Macs and reboots are nearly instantaneous compared to Windows; and (d) DLL Hell is a Windows-only disaster. He mentioned that journalists given Apples to try rarely went back to Windows afterward. Since I’m not a Windows slave anyway, I’d try a Mac if Apple gave me a freebie (especially since the reader mentioned that Macs now run Windows apps at full speed and can also dual-boot). My bias against Apple is because of whiners form my previous IDN: the half-dozen or so marketing hippies and pain-in-the-ass docs who hit you over the head with their Apple evangelizing every time their stuff didn’t work on our network. Those self-proclaimed rebels mindlessly followed every oppressive hospital rule except the “PCs only” one, using that pitifully insignificant rebellion as a proclamation of their individual freedom over corporate control. Sounds good until you can’t get on the network and no one in IT knows squat about Apple.

Please welcome to our happy little band MedMatica Consulting Associates, of Chester Springs, PA. They just signed on as a Platinum Sponsor of HIStalk and offer IT strategic planning, application evaluation and selection, operational improvement assistance, HIPAA, contract negotiation, implementation of most major systems (Siemens, Epic, Cerner, Eclipsys, Lawson, etc.), and technology consulting (database, e-commerce, COBOL, and SAS). Pay attention to their value proposition – highly skilled consultants deployed regionally with a very competitive fee structure and flexibility for the client to structure whatever services meet their needs. Check out their client testimonials, with real names of hospitals and people, several of whom I know. MedMatica has been named as the 12th fastest growing company in the Philly area, so they must be doing something right. Click over, take a look, and tell Bruce Generotti or the folks there that you appreciate their support of HIStalk and its readers. They could have thrown away ad dollars running glossy pages in free magazines that no one reads, but instead they chose to support an independent blog and its “think for yourself” readers, which Inga and I truly appreciate.

I didn’t hear anything further on the rumor that Meditech is buying the rest of LSS. A couple of readers asked. Sorry, I don’t know (yet).

The former Surgeon General says that the Bush administration compromised public health by stifling him on politically charged issues like contraception, global health, and secondhand smoke. He was also told to mention President Bush three times per page of his speeches, ignore Special Olympics because the Kennedys are involved in it, and make partisan fundraising appearances.

A House bill would create independent health record trusts, giving patients ownership of their electronic records and allowing them to assign trusted parties to manage them.

Billie Waldo is named chief nursing officer of McKesson.

A little problem in HMS’s billing system: each patient’s bill was the cumulative total of all bills that printed before it. The highest for a Northern Cochise Community Hospital (AZ) patient: $49 million. The hospital said HMS told them they were busy that day and didn’t notice. Funny quotes from hospital staff, among them, “If enough people pay them, we’ll keep the nursing home open longer!” Hey, it happens, might as well laugh and move on.

Sanford Health (SD) chooses EnovateIT for mobile and arm-mounted devices for their EMR rollout.

MedAssets keeps buying: they acquire revenue cycle software vendor MD-X Solutions.

Blue Shield of California announces $11.3 million in nonprofit grants, including rural IT and telemedicine.

Two Sioux Falls (SD) health systems will use Meditech.

Big news: the Dossia PHR project, whose corporate members include Wal-Mart and Intel, is falling apart. Dossia has filed a restraining order against Omnimedix Institute, a 13-employee nonprofit headed up by J.D. Kleinke. He says Dossia did it to prevent an Omnimedix suit of its own. Omnimedix wanted paid, but Dossia says it hadn’t met deliverables. Omnimedix was supposedly getting $15 million to build the PHR system, which is behind schedule. Dossia is considering other vendors. Fine reporting by InformationWeek. I’m sure our intrepid HIT rags will catch up eventually.

Memorial Hospital of Rhode Island will partner with ICW America to create a PHR based on that company’s existing LifeSensor PHR.

GE won’t buy Abbott’s diagnostic testing business for $8 billion after all.

Baylor complains that one of its hospitals was declared worse than average in heart attack deaths, saying they missed the cut by just one patient. CMS said it was one of the worst in the country. As usual, the hospital howls that its widely recognized excellence drives dying patients to seek them out, skewing their numbers. CMS wasn’t impressed: “There are other hospitals who said the same thing.” Among them: fellow cross-town bottom feeder Huguley Health System. Baylor trotted out a list of its own wonderfulness, including the fact that its $240 million EMR system will reduce post-surgical deaths, ignoring the fact that hospitals that beat the pants off it have no such system.

According to this newspaper, HIPAA stands for “Health Insurance Probability and Accounting Act”. That’s 60% right for you “glass half full” types.

If you have anything important or scandalous to say, e-mail me. I’d do it for you.

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Currently there are "5 comments" on this Article:

  1. Unfortunately Epic has a triple lock on employees leaving: a one year non-compete against working or consulting for any of the major vendors or anyone who’s ever contacted sales, customers agree not to employee ex-epic (not sure of the details) and only consultants working at approved (read as supporting the non-compete) firms can maintain their certifications.

    Which means most ex-employees work at Walmart for a year and then consult or find a company not on the non-compete and never look back (I chose the latter).

  2. The Epic non competes are different depending on position and when the person joined the company. When I started, the non compete I signed was that I couldn’t work for customers of Epic for six months after I left Epic or until I had been at Epic for three years, which ever came first.

    I’ve seen a similar situation to the original Epic comment. An Epic customer hired an ex Epic employee as a consultant. When Epic found out, they told the customer that they would sue them if they didn’t stop working with the consultant. In fact, they specifically stated that they could not allow the consultant to access any documentation, screen shots or access to the system. The consultant was out of their non compete and had every right to do the work (IMO). Basically it sounded like Epic railroaded this poor guy out of a job. The kicker is that Epic promised to allocate extra resources (Epic internal) to the customer to work on the issues that the consultant was but then never did. That actually wasn’t that all that uncommon of an occurrence while I was there unless of course your company initials were KP. After getting out and working in the non Epic world, it’s amazing that Epic doesn’t have more deinstalls.

  3. Re: Apple. Your reader gave an excellent characterization of Windows, circa 1995. Actually, the “stole all ideas from Apple” bullet point was from even earlier–the 80’s. The one thing your reader got 100% right is that Microsoft produces classless/crass products, with the Zune being the prime example. It’s like an iPod, but worse in almost every way.

    But I’m not really here to talk about that. I am actually interested in discussing the iPhone, or the “mobile platform” in whatever form it takes, whether it’s the admittedly awesome iPhone or BlackBerry phones or Windows Mobile phones. This has potential to open up several new opportunities in healthcare. I’m thinking of physician e-signing specifically–imagine the physician can now do everything they need on the little phone.

    I suppose the better way to envision the (ever-improving) mobile platform is to think of it as POTENTIALLY as useful as e-mail on a BlackBerry, but in a more general sense. Just like we make jokes about executives reading their email during meetings, we can IN THE FUTURE possibly make jokes about how > is always > on their phone. The point is, the potential is there, for something…not sure exactly what at this point.

  4. RE: Bob Saccamano: “Re: CHOP.
    I heard from a friend at CHOP that the downtime was due to a power “oops” in the data center and it affected lots of apps, not just Epic.

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