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November 8, 2007 News 3 Comments

From Larry Kubiac: “Re: Emageon. Why is Emageon totally tanking in the market? Is it technology? Channel? Poor management?” Q3 numbers: revenue down 31%, EPS -$0.20 vs. -$0.01. Market cap is down to $100 million. As CEOs always do, Chuck Jett terms the quarter “disappointing”, but predicts impending wonderfulness. Given that shares are down 71% in the last year, I’d say it had better be soon.

From Grace Musso: “Re: HITSP. I heard HITSP has finally adopted a set of national security and privacy standards. It’s a big deal, but nobody’s talking about it.” I know we have readers with security and privacy expertise, so comments are welcome.

From Mikey Randall: “Re: HIStalk. Rumor is you’ve sold everything to a big media company. Confirm or deny.” Honestly, how does this stuff get started? Deny. I’m just some guy who sits in a spare bedroom in front of a computer for way too much time. Money doesn’t interest me and I have no other nerdy hobbies to occupy my time, so I’m not going anywhere. But, while we’re on the subject, please peruse and click the sponsor ads to your left to see what they’re up to. That support keeps me behind a closed door (not selling out to media companies) while Mrs. HIStalk watches dull celebrities tripping the light fantastic on TV. Although I have to timidly confess: Marie Osmond in a glittery dress kind of raises my eyebrow.

From Frank Lemmer: “Re: Dynamic Imaging. Does anyone know the terms of the GE/Dynamic Imaging transaction? Either the price paid and/or DI’s revenues?”

From Jerry Steiner: “Re: Microsoft. Interesting observation about CIO departure at Microsoft. Kevin Turner and Stuart Scott were ‘keynote interviewees’ at the InformationWeek 500 conference in September. Attendee comments afterward were typically ‘what a bizarre team: Wal-Mart and GE running IT at Microsoft!’ They really talked up what a great team they were, how much ‘in sync’ they were with each other, what great things they were doing at Microsoft, etc. Oops, maybe not. Be interested in what readers think about the various CIO-type conferences that are held each year — InformationWeek, Computerworld, CIO, CHIME, HIMSS and a new one that popped up this year, Healthcare CIO Summit.”

From Parker Lewis: “Re: Cedars-Sinai going with Epic.” Link. Cedars says it will enter discussions with Epic with the intent to sign by the end of the year (hint: you don’t get a deal with that kind of poker face). What I wrote about their homegrown CPOE system in 2005: “Washington Post has a post-mortem on the Cedars-Sinai CPOE debacle of 2002 (their $34 million, homegrown CPOE system was canned after just three months when physicians revolted.) Lessons learned: the app was slow and clunky (orders that took three minutes to write required 30 minutes to enter,) physicians weren’t involved in setup decisions, training was inadequate, clinical alerts drove the docs batty, and the hospital went for a ‘big bang’ implementation (and the bang was indeed pretty damn big.) They aren’t in any hurry to try again. Now that we’ve got a few failures behind us as an industry, someone should be documenting the lessons learned for the benefit of those behind them on the treacherous path to CPOE nirvana.”

Somebody asked about who’s funding the Health Record Banking Alliance. I e-mailed CEO Bill Yasnoff and he got right back with me. It’s a non-profit trade association, collecting what Bill says are dues payments from members for the first time. No other funding sources, he says. Another reader noticed the federal language says “encourage,” which presumably means no taxpayer dollars are involved in subsidizing health record trusts … yet. I’m still looking for a critical overview of the concept if someone with expertise is so inclined.

The Fall CCS is over, but maybe you’re interested in presenting at the spring version, to be held in May in DC. Also announced for 2008: an HIT Investment Forum. I eat that investment stuff up, even though I don’t understand most of it.

Federal agents seize the luxury cars and bank accounts of a New York couple after charging their company with selling pirated imaging software to hospitals. GE Healthcare and MedWeb have testified in the case.

You may have missed Jay Parkinson’s response (in a comment) to a reader who said he was wrong in thinking he’s not a HIPAA covered entity. According to documents on CMS’s site, you’re a covered entity only if you submit payment transactions electronically. He doesn’t, so he’s not. He mentions that he does have to abide by state privacy laws that are not pre-empted by HIPAA. I’m pretty sure from his well-formulated answer that his statement about not being covered by HIPAA was not a off-the-cuff comment. He’s done his homework.

Some folks observed that the VA’s purchase of Cerner’s LIS is puzzling, given the renown its self-developed VistA system gets. You may recall that VA brass wanted to spend hundreds of millions to rewrite VistA a few years ago, claiming they couldn’t get MUMPS programmers (at any price??) They backed down, but obviously are still smitten with the idea of dumping or rewriting VistA. The Cerner purchase seems to indicate the former. They’ve had problems with downtime lately, which could either be a reason to seek new systems or a convenient excuse for doing so. One way or another, VistA seems doomed within VA, although potentially living on in its open source incarnation.

FCG’s final quarterly results now that they’ve been acquired by CSC: revenue unchanged, EPS $0.75 vs. $0.12, but earnings were increased mostly due to some one-time benefits.

HIStalk Platinum Sponsor Picis is looking for a few good men and women. Click the ad to your left to check out positions available in sales, project management, implementation, software engineering, technical writing, and more.

Mark Stevens is named interim executive director of the Pennsylvania eHealth Initiative.

A third Louisville-area hospital will use robots from InTouch Health to provide remote physician consultations.

Oregon hospitals can use a Regional Mobile Satellite Trailer network to continue with Internet and VoIP services when their own systems are down. Its Honda generator can run for a week on a five-gallon can of gas. Great idea, especially with the cost shared. Anyone doubt that Internet access is a critical utility?

Opus Healthcare Solutions announces GA of its OpusMobility wireless clinical system for PDAs and cell phones. Included in its suite: clinical documentation, order management, CPOE, medication administration, and physician portal.

Hx Technologies (PA) announces the free open source licensing of its Xebra platform for Web-based distribution and viewing of medical images. It’s IHE XDS-I compliant, which is a pretty big deal if you checked out IHE’s demos at HIMSS. “‘Xebra was born of the restrictions and closed nature of current imaging distribution software which have combined to drive commoditization and complacency while erecting barriers to innovation,’ said Dr. Elliot Menschik, HxTI President and COO. ‘This situation is not unlike what was seen in the broader IT industry when a single proprietary web browser dominated. Just as it took the upstart open source Firefox to breath new life into browsers, we see the public release and free licensing of Xebra as the start of an effort to reintroduce innovation into the imaging side of the healthcare IT industry.'”

HealthSouth sells its remaining stake in 250-employee software developer Source Medical, started by HealthSouth’s own executives.

VISICU’s Q3 numbers: revenue up 23%, EPS $0.08 vs. $0.07.

Non-profit (snicker) Kaiser Permanente made $654 million profit in Q3, racking up its nine-month total to $2.5 billion. The CFO tries to keep a straight face in describing the member-serving investments that will be made and the comfort those billions will give Kaiser when it faces the kind of imminent financial disaster that is predicted when talking to reporters. Kaiser isn’t quite up to Exxon-like profits, but they’re getting close. I’m sure, as in Exxon’s case, the excess will be distributed back to those who overpaid to allow it. And while Kaiser’s CEO was collecting an award for diversity, it was paying $180,000 to settle an EEOC-backed L&D nurse’s civil rights suit that claimed Kaiser took back her promotion when they found out she was pregnant.

WebMD’s Q3: revenue up 31%, EPS $0.19 vs. $0.01. Apparently keen to completely baffle the stock market and its shareholders, the already-confusing structure will get more complicated: “WebMD also stated that its majority stockholder HLTH Corp., will likely propose a merger in which it would become part of WebMD.”

RFID vendor InfoLogic announces Q3 numbers: revenue up 26%, EPS -$0.02 vs. $0.02.

E-mail me.

Introducing HIStech Report

HIStech Report


Vendors often ask Inga or me about running an interview when they introduce a new product or service. We explain that we don’t really do interviews for that reason – they have to be of someone genuinely interesting who’s willing to cover a wide range of non-commercial topics to enlighten us.

We agreed,however, that a forum for that purpose would be useful. So, we created one. Allow us to introduce HIStech Report, an offshoot of HIStalk that’s geared toward healthcare IT product and service news.

We think differently here, so instead of running the usual dry press releases, we’ll do an real interview with a company executive, asking the same kind of questions you’d ask about the product or service. We’ll have more space for photos and illustrations, with a cool new site and format. We’ve also got a very talented graphic artist who packages the result in a highly professional reprint format (warning: PDF) for downloading.

Robert Connely, CEO of Novo Innovations, agreed to be our first subject. His previous HIStalk interview was a hit, so we were anxious to catch up.

Companies always want HIMSS exposure during January and February, so this is the place. We’ve also got plans for a downloadable HIMSS exhibit guide with companies that have been featured (maybe including some of those secret party invitations or extra-special goody coupons).

Inga would be happy to provide information to interested companies. We think it’s a good read.

Inga’s Update

A reader asked today why everyone is so focused on what I look like (are you?) This particular reader was actually more curious what Mr. H looked like. Is it just human nature to be curious if the picture in our mind matches reality? I am a person who is always disappointed by movies after reading the book. Because I prefer to continue imagining Mr. H looks a lot like George Clooney, I won’t ask him to post his photo.

Probably because I think Mr. H is the premier HIT authority, I don’t read too many other blogs. But, I did read John Halamka’s recent post on Life as a Healthcare CIO. He writes about “The Dark Side of Going Public.” Having spent most of my years working for public companies, he was very spot on regarding Ronco sales tactics on the last day of the quarter and employee obsession with stock options. While I know lots of people who profited from stock options, I wasn’t so lucky, though I probably had enough to wallpaper my office.

Hisjunkie: Re: your note on Mediware revenue announcement, on their investor call, they also said they signed a deal with USA to move their surgery clients over to the USA’s ORMS product. I think it includes some incentives for hospitals moving over. So, if you’re a Mediware client, you can go from the worst KLAS-rated system to the best! Nice to see Mediware didn’t just leave clients high and dry. There’s a press release at USA web site (unibased.com).

Boston Scientific and GE Healthcare announce the industry’s first patient data integration between an EMR and a cardiac rhythm management remote monitoring system.

HCA Inc.’s third-quarter net income rises 25% to $300 million from $240 million a year earlier. Results included big gains from the sale of two Swiss hospitals.Allscripts also announces earnings. Income and revenue are both up, with predicted annualized revenue growth of 25%. Third-quarter adjusted earnings were $6.7 million, or 11 cents a share, though analysts were predicting 15 cents a share.


E-mail Inga.


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Currently there are "3 comments" on this Article:

  1. Cedars Sinai… now that’s really smart. Tell the world you’re in ‘exclusive’ contract negotiation and will sign by end of year, and HOPE you get a good deal /contract. Talk about painting yourself into a corner! Epic contracts are tough enough, now it’ll be unreal. With smarts like that no wonder their previous project went bust.

  2. Remember when you wanted to be a Doctor? Once a new health provider enrolls in the “reimbursement loop” he or she sells their Hippocratic souls to the system. This is not inherently undesirable but one might ask if this is the best I can do with my medical education for my fellow man.

    The Alchemist wanted to be a humble doctor since earliest memory probably 2nd grade under the tutelage of the Sisters of Notre Dame and then onto the ultimate corruption by the Jesuits for medical training. The decision not to practice Western Allopathic Medicine provided certain freedoms from the constraints of organized medicine. In 1985 upon the heels of Prospective Payment System, I developed a boutique healthcare market accepting only “self payor” client~patients and opted out of the federal or private reimbursement loop. Granted, I could not afford a new Mercedes Benz each year.

    Hippocratic Oath & Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendment 1967 was the only peer review that I needed to produce the desired affect of quality health surveillance for health improvement. Dr. Parkinson’s approach to “Public Health” reminded me of the trials and tribulations from medical peers upon implementation of a quest for true homeostatic health albeit prevalence of pharmacologic dependency. This altruistic and most will state naïve pursuit of health care works for me more today than twenty years ago. “Do not harm” to your self and to others.

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Reader Comments

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