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News 2/20/08

February 19, 2008 News No Comments

From Felonious Monk: "Re: Ralph Korpman. He’s developing a PHR under the company name CentriHealth in Nashville. He left HDS/Medaphis/Per-Se to found HealthTrio, but fell out with his partner. His new company is keeping a low profile, delivering the PHR as a subcontractor for Anthem, Ketting (OH), and Florida Medicaid." He’s certainly a pioneer. Personally, I’d like to see him design another clinical system, but he didn’t have a lot of success with the first one, I guess.

From Billie Newman: "Re: CPR. QuadraMed is showing poor judgment laying off folks such as Christine Stanfield. The CPR product is powerful, but complex. Sending development offshore will not work, as the system is too complex and will require folks with in-depth knowledge to maintain/support/advance." 

From Duane Feckless: "Re: sales team. Who do you use to sell your sponsorships? Maybe we could help you out for a percentage." No need. Companies e-mail us – we don’t solicit sponsors, make calls, or follow up after sending a PDF info sheet. Vendors know who we are, so they’re either in or they’re not and our job doesn’t change either way. Inga and I are very happy with the sponsors we have and we’re not hustling for more.

From Animal Price: "Re: Sage. The West Coast VP of sales, a 13-year vet, leaves the company. The remaining four VPs of sales have less than seven years total EMR/PM sales experience and the senior VP is a marketing professional."

From Jay’s Friend: "Re: Jay Parkinson MD. I’ll try to bring my friend Jay to the HIStalk party. How will I know which lovely lass to introduce him to?" I’m sure none of the lovely lasses would object to being introduced, so just start a receiving line and we’ll make an announcement.

From Samantha Sang: "Re: Pronovost interview. This was incredible! If there was a literary award for excellent journalist reporting in a blog, I would nominate this piece." Well, Peter did all the work, but I’ll accept on his behalf. I’ll finally be ready for more interviews after HIMSS, so I’ll be on the hunt. My #1 choice: Neil Pappalardo of Meditech, just because he fascinates me and never does interviews. The industry deserves the chance to know him better.

Palomar Pomerado Health (CA) will unveil its Second Life-based online hospital next Monday at the HIMSS booth of its partner, Cisco, which underwrote half the cost.

Listening: Flyleaf, hard-rocking, chick-led, semi-Christian.

The HIStalk reception at HIMSS is sold out, so we’ve shut down the RSVP page. I was expecting a few dozen signups and secretly hoping for 100, so 400 is pretty darned special indeed. Thanks to Healthia Consulting for footing the bill and making the arrangements. Coming: 46 presidents/CEOs, 64 VPs, 8 CIOs, 3 CMIOs, 4 COOs, 6 CTOs, and lots of other cool folks. A couple of weeks from now, I’ll be scratching my head that Healthia offered to put it together and that so many people, a few of whom I’ve swapped e-mails with, were able to come together. We’ll have a very special Miss HIStalk and Inga, the HISsies announcements, and a big-name speaker at around 7:30. With all those high-powered attendees, I bet some deals will go down. I’ve got a couple of folks who say they’ll snap some pictures, but if you want to bring your camera and help out, that would be cool.

A couple of weeks ago, I offered to make Miss HIStalk available to hold court in vendor booths at HIMSS. I got no takers until now: Miss HIStalk will be in RelayHealth’s booth (#2663) on Tuesday, so if you find yourself missing her attractive company after Monday night (and you will), drop by and get yet another variation on the badge ribbon theme, this one specific to RelayHealth (hey, don’t say I didn’t offer to help you other vendors stand out in the crowd). In fact, RelayHealth was so moved by my clearly ingenious marketing strategies (bring cute girls) that they’ll have a "Miss HIStalk wannabe", as they told me, handing out still more badge ribbons with HIStalk-related phrases at the HIMSS opening reception Sunday evening (they’re sponsoring it). I tried to get a Mr. HIStalk for you ladies, but couldn’t find a source. Now the pressure’s on to come up with something fun for next year in Chicago (HIStalkapalooza?)

Speaking of HIMSS, I know that at least three M&A deals will be announced during the conference. One or two may actually come out this weekend. You may recall that I scooped the McKesson acquisition of Practice Partner before their HIMSS announcement last year (so if you know anything, spill it). In fact, I made another accurate prediction that same day in response to a comment Misys had made about their physician focus over their hospital lines: "Well, they have to dump those businesses now, right? Why else announce to the world (and your existing lab and CPR customers) that those product lines are also-rans? Must be great to be a Misys sales guy trying to beat the odds and move some of those systems, only to have the boss tell your prospects that they really aren’t important."

My editorial in this week’s Inside Healthcare Computing: "Sun Was Right: The Promise of Healthcare Applications Requires a Grid, Not a Data Center Full of Servers." Scott Shreeve gave me the idea.

I was reading somebody’s HIT predictions for 2008 when it occurred to me: HIStalk has more smart readers than anyone I know, so maybe we could harness that brainpower to make better ones. I know the investment guys hang on every word, so it ought to be done right. I’m a provider-sider and don’t have a clue how to do this effectively, so if you’ve got experience, let me know.

Strange: a moonlighting pathologist in Canada develops what he says is innovative software to review Pap tests with better accuracy than tired pathologists. The newspaper discovered his invention while researching his frequent absences and reportedly shoddy work, which has forced Canadian authorities to review 15,000 cancer cases that he may have misdiagnosed while tending to his software project.

CSC, fresh off its acquisition of Covansys and FCG, will double its workforce in India to 32,000.

A Pittsburgh TV station ("Team 4" – precious) gets lathered up over HIPAA after investigating 378 Western PA claims and 80 violations that resulted in zero fines or prosecution. In fact, Team 4’s intrepid sleuths noticed that the list of complaints it got from HHS  included names, leading them to conclude that "the people in charge of enforcing the medical privacy law failed to follow their own rules." HHS politely reminded them that it isn’t covered by HIPAA.

The Ohio Board of Pharmacy is investigating e-prescribing errors.

E-mail me.

Sponsor Updates and Housekeeping

Sonitor Technologies announces the launch of its PC-Detector RTLS technology to be featured at HIMSS Booth #3815.

The Picis folks sent us a note about some of their prestigious clients who are presenting case studies at HIMSS: St. Luke’s Episcopal Health System, Abington Memorial, MD Anderson, William Osler Health, Stormont-Vail Healthcare, and Group Health Cooperative will present at Picis’ booth, #2849.

Stratus Technologies announces a new “medical grade” class of servers proven to be capable of delivering uninterrupted 24/7 access to digital data and information and can support virtualization.

Greenway Medical Technologies is selected by 27-provider group and FQHC PrimaryPlus of Kentucky and Ohio. Though their press release didn’t specifically say this, the suggestion is this may be Greenway’s first FQHC sale and they are trying to pursue more.

AmSurg, who own a majority interest in 170 ambulatory surgery centers across the country, is implementing (warning: PDF) NextGen EMR/EPM. The AmSurg centers focus primarily on gastroenterology, ophthalmology, and orthopedic specialty procedures.

Inga’s Update

A medical device maker in Minneapolis sues a competitor, claiming its business was damaged after the company raided its sales force. Apparently 11 reps moved from one company to the other between May and January of this year.

athenahealth’s latest client is Therapeutic Associates in Portland, OR. The physical therapy and rehab organization, which has over 150 providers and 65 locations in the Pacific Northwest, will use athenahealth’s on-demand practice management and billing services.

Correction to an item last week on PatientKeeper. HCA will be implementing PatientKeeper’s physician portal and not patient portal.

REACT Systems announces a strategic partnership with Santa Clara Valley Medical Center and the Seton Family of Hospitals. REACT provides critical response notification systems.

Would you (or your elderly relative) pay $5 a month to get real time updates on their doctors? Healthgrades is offering (warning: PDF) a new “Watchdog” e-mail alert service that will let patients know if there are any changes in disciplinary actions, malpractice judgments, and updated patient ratings. Maybe I just don’t go to the doctor enough or just don’t care enough about the statistics to pay even $5 a month for that type information.

I’m a fan of green initiatives, so I was pleased to read a Philips announcement of a 33% increase in sales of green products in 2007, including a 35% rise in its healthcare division. The biggest boost came from MRI scanner range plus patient monitors. The Philips MRI scanner Achieva 3.0T X-series has a 32% reduction in its environmental impact and the IntelliVue MMS X2 Patient Monitor consumes 52% less energy.

I’d like to see the results of this survey, so I will probably participate. Beacon Partners will ask HIMSS attendees four questions about which presidential candidate they think will most positively impact the industry.

I am trying to decide what to pack for HIMSS and was reminded how glad I am not to wear some boring company shirt that matches everyone else’s and really designed to look best on a man. Individuality and self-expression in fashion is so invigorating! Which led me to a thought that I should warn the fashion conscious that I plan to be take copious notes on who is wearing hot outfits to the HIStalk party next week, as well as who needs to be turned into the fashion police. If you are one of the unlucky forced to wear the corporate uniform, I promise to be kind, although I will give bonus points to any who are able to spice up and personalize some lame company golf shirt.

E-mail Inga.

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