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News 6/25/08

June 24, 2008 News 3 Comments

From Maxwell Silverhammer: "Re: Patients’ Action Network. I received this in my e-mail and haven’t seen a lot about it." Link. Looks like the AMA is trying to enlist patients to petition Congress to not reduce Medicare doctor payments.

From The PACS Designer: "Re: cloud utilities. TPD has commented about clouds and their spread across the globe through employment of computing grids. Even Dr. Bruce Friedman of Lab Soft News has dedicated his web comments to the cloud phenomenon by quoting myself and others. Now, through a mention by Dr. Bruce, I’ve been reading the Rough Type web site by Nicholas Carr, who has a recent post about how far cloud computing has come and where it is about to go, which should prove interesting to HIStalkers. His post is titled On the trail of the itinerant computer." Link. That’s a thought-provoking read, the idea that computing and digital property can’t be constrained to time and place, with ensuing political and economic ramifications.

From Dr. Bernie Tupperman: "Re: MEDecision. The premium to share price is ridiculous to the point of being insane. I guess that’s the decision-making you get as a quasi-nonprofit when your accountability is totally limited. The fact that HCSC accounts for 25% of the revenue of MEDE just makes the multiple that much higher. I am surprised no political candidates have grabbed on to this. It’s great news for MEDE shareholders, but the cash to pay for it is coming out of the hides of consumers in Illinois, Texas, etc." I think I’m the only person to pick up on the fact (in Brev+IT, which you can sign up for to your right) that BCBS operator HCSC is MEDecision’s biggest customer. They’ve offered $121 million, quadruple the closing share price, to acquire the company.

From Slap Maxwell: "Re: CattailsMD. Will Weider is not the CIO of Ministry and Marshfield. They are completely separate organizations. Carl Christensen is the corporate CIO for Marshfield Clinic. Also, Ministry is not the alpha site. The system is already used by over 700 physicians and several organizations. Marshfield has been building its own systems for more than 20 years and has almost 200 programmers employed to build and maintain its CCHIT-certified EHR." Will is CIO over two organizations, of which I got one right (the other, I assume, is some kind of joint hospital project). I don’t know anything about the players, so I asked Will for dumbed down explanation. Ministry has its own 160-physician group that competes/collaborates with the 750-doc Marshfield Clinic, but Marshfield admits most of Ministry’s hospital inpatients. Ministry will implement a homegrown ambulatory clinical application from its competitor, in other words, chosen over the usual big-name commercial ambulatory EMR systems. Ministry’s inpatient clinical systems (Meditech and Centricity) aren’t going anywhere, though.

From RUKR: "Re: Royal Bath. First UK trust to go live with Millennium LC1." Link.

I ran an anonymized rumor from Rodney A. Rippy last Friday about a physician office EMR vendor supposedly in looking for an angel investor in a New York meeting. Not true, the company’s CEO tells us. His investment bankers met with execs from a competing EMR vendor to see if that company might be a good acquisition target and that was it so far. He promises to tell HIStalk first if anything changes, into which I read that the company will actually expand, not contract.

Regional Medical Center at Memphis (TN) implements Medseek’s physician portal, putting Meditech data in front of its docs. Other Medseek announcements: its sales doubled in Q1 and it will support HealthVault.

Jobs: Cerner Clinical Consultants, .NET 3.5/WPF Developer, McKesson Consulting Opportunities.

Columbia, MD-based business intelligence vendor Medisolv acquires Clinsaver, a Canadian decision support/dashboard vendor.

Mediware announces its BiologiCare transplant materials tracking system.

Drug companies spent $168 million on lobbying in 2007, double 2001’s total.

A hospital clinical informatics nurse is interested in a high-level, head-to-head comparison of clinical systems from Cerner and Meditech (either Magic or C/S) for an in-house decision. If you have experience with both and want to jot down some thoughts, I’ll send them her way. Thanks.

Premise CEO Eric Rosow will ride a bike 85 miles in the Pan-Mass Challenge on August 2 to raise money for Dana Farber’s The Jimmy Fund. I sponsored him (Premise does the same for me, so it’s only fair) and you are welcome to join me.

Sad news from Meditech President Howard Messing: "I don’t know if this is the kind of thing you print, but Darrel Lapierre has passed away. Darrel was well known and respected in the MEDITECH community, serving as Staff Master Sergeant in the Air Force (highest non-commissioned rank), then CIO of Hillcrest Baptist Hospital, then as CIO of Columbia/HCA Healthcare, and then as a consultant to many, many hospitals. He will be missed by many of us who deeply respected him.  Full obituary: Darrel John Lapierre was born April 13, 1944, married on  February 12, 1966 to his wife of 42 years Bonita Jacquetta McGaw, and died at the age of 64 on June 22, 2008 in his home after a courageous battle with cancer. Darrel was born in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. At a young age his family moved to Joliet outside of Chicago. He was an avid sportsman excelling in wrestling and football. After High School he joined the US Air Force while still as a Canadian citizen. The Air Force assigned him to Tachikawa, Japan. There fell in love and was married to his devoted wife Bonnie. Darrel became a proud US Citizen, and together they raised two children while traveling the world. He worked with the medics and hospitals of the Air Force and was assigned to many overseas posts, once being transferred from Thule, Greenland to Las Vegas, NV. By Federal law, only one percent of the Air Force enlisted force may hold the rank of Chief Master Sergeant. CMSgt Darrel J. Lapierre (Ret.) had a long and distinguished career making friendships that he treasured. After retiring from the Air Force he continued to work in hospital administration and focused on data management. Advancing in his field, he became the CIO of Columbia Healthcare (now HCA), one of the largest healthcare organizations in the nation. After retiring a second time he built a successful consulting business just to enjoy working with the people he cared about.His last career was maintaining a low handicap, a great yard, and a happy home. He is survived by his wife Bonnie, son Coady, daughter Eve, sister Debbie, 3 grandchildren, and countless friends." Condolences to the family and those who knew him.

Industry longtimer Nick van Terheyden joins speech recognition/physician documentation vendor M*Modal as CMO.

Anesthesia system vendor DocuSys will move its headquarters from Mobile to Atlanta.

Cardinal Health buys red tee shirts for 600 of its employees to wear on Fridays in the USA Cares "Red Shirt Friday – I Care Too" campaign to support US troops and raise money for the Military Family Assistance Center.

A New Jersey hospital has fired two nurses for HIPAA violations since last year, the nurse’s union says. The union is offering privacy training to its members, so kudos to them for taking that initiative (regardless of motivation).

Mayo Clinic’s two retail pharmacies re-opened Tuesday after being shut down since last Wednesday by an unspecified computer problem.

PubMed creator and NIH employee David Lipman, MD is one of three finalists in the 2008 Service to America Medal in the Citizen Services category.

Odd lawsuit: a 69-year-old woman fired after 42 years on the job at an Omaha hospital is suing Alegent Health for age discrimination. Her complaint says a new, younger female supervisor called her an "old lady" and a "dinosaur", said the was "older than dirt," and made adult diaper remarks before firing her.

Emageon caves in in its proxy fight with big shareholder Oliver Press Partners. CEO Charles Jett will leave the company’s board and OPP will get three board seats.

E-mail me.

Inga’s Update

I ran across a side-by-side comparison of McCain’s and Obama’s health care proposal. Helpful if you are interested in just the highlights of each candidate’s positions on access to health care coverage, cost containment, improving the quality of care, and financing.

Eclipsys announces the availability of a new revenue cycle dashboard tool. Children’s Omaha is one of the first organizations giving it a try.

Misys’ Center for Community Health Leadership releases a free handbook entitled “Best Practices for Community Health Information Exchange.”

Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian (CA) is extending preferred pricing on Allscripts EHR/PM for qualified staff. If I recall correctly, Hoag is providing similar arrangements for several EMR vendors, following the assumption that one size does not fit all.

Covisint is partnering with AT&T and Microsoft to create an HIE over a secure broadband connection. Patients will use HealthVault to share their information with providers accessing AT&T’s Healthcare Community Online. If you build it, will they come?

The Indiana Family and Social Services Administration creates the Indiana Flood Victims eHealth Support Center, designed to provide doctors with medical information on flood victims. Regenstrief Institute, the Indiana HIE, and Electronic Data Systems (EDS) are also lending a hand.

We mentioned last week that Mercy Medical (IA) was evacuated due to the Midwest floods. Another facility suffering major damage (to the tune of $125 million) is Columbus Regional Hospital in Indiana. The floodwaters filled the basement and rose 2-3 feet in the first floor. Several areas got hit pretty hard, including the ER, lab, pharmacy, and IS department. As workers do their best to clean up, ER employees are setting up a temporary space in a mobile emergency room trailer borrowed from the Carolinas Medical Center. The mobile ER includes four ICU beds and a two-bed operating room.


CCHIT publishes its approved final criteria for inpatient and ED EHR certification. For the first time, it has also published standards for a new certification category – enterprise EHRs, for vendors providing interoperable outpatient, inpatient, and ER records.

Emerging Health Information Technology and Davincian Technologies are teaming up to help healthcare organizations further automate their revenue cycle billing processes. The strategic alliance positions Emerging to provide the professional services and Davincian the software solutions.

I went to Mr. H’s HIStalk Radio and found his selections fun but a bit too hip for me (go figure!) If his mix doesn’t work for you, my newly created Inga Radio includes hunky guy singers, legendary guy singers, hip chicks, lots of singer-songwriters, some indie, a bit of hip-hop, foot-tapping rockabilly, and a bit of country-folk-rock. Sort of the anti-Mr. H. In any case, I am now a total Pandora addict.

The Trizetto Group releases a survey that concludes information sharing and aligned incentive programs will reduce healthcare costs. Also, between 88 and 91% of patients responding saw some value in online information tools that help anticipate healthcare costs, select benefit options, and obtain customer service. Eighty-one percent of consumers expressed concern about their future healthcare costs, while more than 90% of both employers and payers considered wellness incentives at least somewhat effective at lowering employees and families’ healthcare costs.

Looks like McKesson is going to have to settle for as much as $15 billion in damages in connection with the lawsuit allegedly inflating prescription drug prices (we predicted the payout could be big in a Brev+IT earlier this year). That makes John Hammergren’s $26.8 million compensation for 2007 seem like chump change. Hammergren’s pay grew 18% from 2006, which is 9% higher rate than McKesson’s revenue growth for the fiscal year ending in March.

E-mail Inga.

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Currently there are "3 comments" on this Article:

  1. It is sad to hear about Darrel – I worked for him for a long time. Then worked with him once he left HCA and he was with FCG – good guy always had his priorities in the right place.

  2. I never had an opportunity to work with Darrel, but used him for a sounding board. He was a great guy and offered good advice and insight.

  3. Thanks for posting Darrel’s obituary. He was a great guy and he will be missed. I agree with Profit CIO: he had his priorities in the right place.

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