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News 7/18/08

July 17, 2008 News 2 Comments

From Dr. Bob: "Re: The origin of Johns Hopkins name. Oh Inga, spelling Johns Hopkins without the ‘s’ is like spelling Wahington or Pittburgh. :-)) Wikipedia  explains the origin of Johns Hopkins’ name. ‘The peculiar first name of philanthropist Johns Hopkins is the surname of his great-grandmother, Margaret Johns, who married Gerard Hopkins. They named their son Johns Hopkins, and his name was passed on to his grandson, the university’s founder (1795-1873).’ Also, at the end of the Wikipedia entry there is a humorous piece about Mark Twain and John(s) Hopkins.” Ug. Mr. H. hadn’t even closed his suitcase yet and I committed a major sin! I’m blaming it on my post-vacation fuzzy head. I loved this history lesson, though, and Mr. H says the Mark Twain reference is a must read.

From Rosemary Thyme: “Re: Sage Software Restructuring Response. She’s right. Sage Healthcare is not a callous company. Her quote, on the other hand, was callous. More so now that she’s confirmed there wasn’t a misquote. In context or out of context, reporter or no reporter, sensitivity matters in situations like this. It matters to those that are leaving and to those that are left. Sage shouldn’t have sent the SVP of sales in to publicly represent management’s decision to be open about employee lay offs. They reported that the cuts to sales and other "customer facing jobs" were minimal. So why send sales and marketing in to comment on such a strategic corporate action?? We should’ve heard from someone closer to it. Sales should be selling. There are 1400 employees left that are counting on the revenue. Calling it a PR mistake and moving on.” Ms. Thyme is referring to the recent HIStalk comment from Sage sales VP Sharon Howard.

From Dyan Cannon: "King-Harbor Hospital in LA just can’t stay out of trouble. The hospital made headlines in 2007 when it left a dying patient on the ER floor for 45 minutes, going so far as to “mop around her.”  Shortly thereafter, the hospital lost huge amounts of funding and limited to outpatient care.  Now, after talks of trying to breathe new life into the hospital by UC, King-Harbor has fallen under public scrutiny yet again.  Following a company wide background check, 16 employees have been suspended for undisclosed criminal convictions, one of which includes rape.  This, coupled with reports earlier this month that 22 former employees connected with the closure of the hospital are still employed by the county as a result of a ‘computer glitch,’ simply adds mileage to the already lengthy rapsheet they’ve developed.  I’d be curious as to the burnout rate of their Human Resources and Public Relations departments."

From Who Knew: “Re: Medsphere. Medsphere is moving offices to Carlsbad. Downsizing? Upsizing? Better surfing further south?” I asked Medsphere COO Rick Jung and he said the company is indeed packing their bags (no mention of surfboards, however.) “I can confirm Medsphere is indeed moving as the rapid expansion of our Company has required we more than double our physical space. Our new offices are in Carlsbad, CA.”

Medsphere, by the way, also just announced a new partnership with WebReach, Inc. The agreement provides Medsphere with comprehensive support for WebReach’s healthcare messaging integration engine which facilitates interfaces and data exchange within the Open Vista EHR.

GE names John Dineen president and CEO of its $17 billion healthcare division. Dineen moves from GE Transportation where he held a similar role. Dineen is a 22-year GE employee, though this appears to be his first stint in healthcare. Will his healthcare deficiency help or hurt the division?

TeraMedica and Hyland Software team up to create faster physician access to medical images and other types of clinical digital content through healthcare organizations’ existing EMR systems.

PatientKeeper announces its MEDITECH customer base now includes over 200 hospitals.

Mr. H’s parting words to me included a request that readers send us updates on their summer vacations. Creating your own essay entitled “What I Did on My Summer Vacation” is sure to remind you of the first day of school, new clothes, and searching for your locker.

WiFiMed Holdings, the parent company for EncounterPRO Healthcare Resources and CyberMedx Medical Systems, is expanding into the European market. The company signed a Memorandum of Understanding to purchase UK-based Integrated Telecare and Position System Limited.

iMedica announces that Blue Cliff Partner will resell their Patient Relationship Manger and EMR products in Hawaii.

Now that Congress has approved the Medicare eRx incentives, will more physicians jump on the electronic bandwagon? The highest payment rate is 2% in fiscal 2009 and 2010, drops to 1% the next two years and then 0.5% in 2013. Beginning in 2012, payments to physicians will be reduced by 1%, then 1.5% in 2013 and 2% in subsequent years. Are the incentives/penalties adequate to affect change? eRx vendor Allscripts was quick to announce their pleasure over the act.

The 1105 Government Information Group is looking for bands for their third annual GIT Rockin’ Battle of the Bands. Participant bands must consist of at least two members of the government IT community (government and/or vendor executives.) Five bands will be selected to perform at an October 16th event in DC. I told Mr. H he should volunteer to be a judge but he thinks we need our own HIStalk Battle of the Bands with winners getting the chance to perform at HIMSS. Any takers?

McKesson adds another product to its portfolio with the acquisition of EN-Chart Scanning Program. EN-Chart provides computer-assisted facility coding and compliance solutions for the ED and McKesson has already been reselling the product for a couple of years. Though the product can be used stand-alone or integrated with other EDIS products, McKesson obviously favors connections with their own Horizon Emergency Care solution.

Healthvision expands northwards to Canada with the acquisition of MediSolution’s Healthcare Products & Service’s division. The $49 million purchase gives Healthvision a bigger installed base to sell its interoperability solutions, plus provides them an EHR and a variety of clinical solutions to market to new and existing customers. Given the soft RHIO market, a bit of product diversification is probably not a bad idea.

Medical Present Value’s purchase of TeraHealth sounds like a good fit. MPV specializes in providing financial tools for managing payor contracts and ensuring maximum re-imbursements. TeraHealth (which is changing its name to MPV) offers electronic insurance and benefit verification tools to ensure accurate reimbursement on the front end.

With its decision to offer LodgeNet Healthcare’s Interactive Patient Television System, will Brigham and Women’s Hospital feel more like a hotel? No mention of whether or not patients will have an option to use the TV to review their charges and check-out.

HHS slaps Providence Health & Services with a $100,000 fine for "potential" HIPAA violations related to Providence’s loss of electronic backup media and laptop computers with identifiable health information in 2005 and 2006.

Thanks to Dyan Cannon for keeping me up to date on a few odd lawsuits.  First, a woman is suing Lake Chelan Community Hospital in Chelan, WA, alleging that in June 2007, while in the hospital’s inpatient alcohol-treatment program, a nurse fondled her.  My favorite was the Virtua Memorial Hospital surgeon who is being sued by a patient for placing a temporary tattoo on her abdomen following back surgery.  He claims it was to lift her spirits, and that past “recipients” have only had positive responses.  She claims it was sexual misconduct and voyeurism.  I think it’s funny. Thoughts? 

If you are reading this it means that I figured out how to do the posting without crashing the HIStalk servers. Mr. H intends to ignore email for almost two weeks so if you use the green Rumor Report then chances are we won’t see it.  So, email me directly with any dirt, encouragement, love sonnets, etc.

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Currently there are "2 comments" on this Article:

  1. I hate to see things imposed on physicians but the complaints from physicians about ePrescribing being an unfunded and unfair obligation are ridiculous. First, this is nothing like installing an EMR in terms of cost, time, or practice work flow adjustments. Second, Medicare is giving physicians more than enough time and cash to get them to install this application. Physicians and their representatives need to more carefully pick their fights over more important issues or risk appearing out of touch and misguided.

  2. EMR vendor Purkinje is going to focus on it’s Medicare Advantage insurance and cut/reduce is EMR software sales business. Guess they see the insurance business being more profitable than the EMR software business….duh. Unfortunately, they let go some really talented folks!

    From Inga: Unconfirmed. Anyone know more?

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