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October 14, 2008 News 10 Comments


Reminder: Allscripts CEO Glen Tullman will be live here in an online chat at 7:00 ET Wednesday evening. Several folks have left comments on his article or weighed in on the merger, so why not let Glen answer your questions directly? I’ll be posting the chat thing right here on HIStalk like any other article. You can set up a reminder for yourself right in the chat thing (I don’t know what else to call it, but it will make sense when you see it – picture above). I’ve practiced a little with it and I promise it’s fun and easy to use. Watch for the link or just go to www.histalk.com and you’ll see it.

From AHIMA IS DEAD: "Re: News from AHIMA – Seattle. One word – DEAD. Needs to be merged into HIMSS. No decision makers, no excitement, no pulse, no attendees." I know QuadraMed is there with some of those more modern technologies you’re interested in (HIM and identity management), so drop by their booth, tell them you’re probably the only HIStalk reader in attendance, and ask to be informed and entertained (no promises, but it never hurts to ask, unless you’re a competitor anyway).

From Duffy Dyer: "Re: Medsphere. The company put out a press release that implied that the VueCentric GUI was open source and part of its product, then had to retract it on Hardhats, saying they intended only to say that VueCentric was used in the Indian Health Service facility that just won the Davies." I’d call that press release a total disaster since it was nearly impossible to comprehend even without the gaffe. It must have been a slip because the others are OK and Schwartz PR is among the best that I’ve seen.

From Wilma Flintstone: "Re: Allscripts. Misys was supposed to be the acquirer, but all the top management is from Allscripts, the Allscripts name replaced the tainted Misys one, and it looks like from the site that the old Misys products like Tiger, Vision, Misys EMR, and even MyWay may be available only from resellers. The orange color might be what you get when you mix purple and red and the logo kind of looks like an M and an A (with the M in the shadows), but otherwise it looks like 90% Allscripts."

From Lula: "Re: Ingenix. You might be interested to know (if you don’t already), that Paul Sinclair, ex-senior VP of Cerner, resigned a few weeks ago and is now the COO of Ingenix Consulting. You can validate this via his Linkedin profile." You are correct. I didn’t know that. He had run Cerner’s professional services business for 12 years.

From Fourth Hansen Brother: "Re: shooting victims taken to closed hospital." I couldn’t find the online story to link to, but the text FHB copied says people took shooting victims to a closed Milwaukee hospital twice in a single night. Two men in their 20s were shot in unrelated incidents and in both cases, friends and family drove them to St. Michael Hospital, which has been closed for two years. Police advised everyone to call 911 instead of driving victims to a hospital.

I was Googling former IDXer Jim Crook to see what he’s up to, having forgotten that he’s now on the board of Vitalize Consulting Solutions. If you’re been around awhile (their employees average 12 years with their particular product) you might want to peruse their job listings, of which they have some juicy ones.

A new article by MEDSEEK president Peter Kuhn brings up an interesting statistic: scheduling a patient appointment by telephone takes six minutes (three each for the patient and the scheduler), while doing the same thing via a patient portal takes one minute (just the patient). That’s the same reason I buy online (and schedule appointments online) whenever I can.

This legal mumbo-jumbo, as best I can tell, is some kind of preliminary argument about definitions in McKesson’s lawsuit against Epic that claims MyChart infringes on McKesson patients. In this round, McKesson was the clear winner, it appears.

Online doctor rating service MDX Medical/Vitals.com gets $4 million in VC funding. Inquiries are free, so I looked up John Halamka. The information is basic (specialty, hospital affiliation, medical school, publications) and the results screen includes ads (one for billing software, one a silly game advertising a drug). Why would regular people checking their doctor’s credentials be hot prospects for buying physician billing systems or prescribing Lunesta? The site has all the cute bubble graphics and the Arial Rounded font that embodies 2.0 anything (and that will be as dated as a ’76 Vega in a couple of years), but I’m not seeing $4 million worth of potential with all the similar sites out there.


Hospira acquires the EndoTool blood glucose monitoring system from MD Scientific.

Iron Mountain, apparently tired of making a ridiculously profitable living hauling truckloads of medical records to its old limestone mine for long-term storage, wants to "shift toward a more consultative approach in the healthcare space" by telling hospitals how to handle paper records. The obligatory President Bush/EMR/2014 boilerplate is inserted as a reference to how poorly hospitals are doing with EMRs. I bet they had a big presence at AHIMA.

TeraMedica wins an imaging informatics value award for delivering ROI to its customers, specifically for consolidating disparate PACS through partnerships and in-house engineering.

Carilion’s struggles to convert from a hospital to a clinic are detailed in the local paper. One nugget: they’ve put aside $66 million for a statewide medical information system.

A new Pennsylvania law bans mandatory nurse overtime. It’s too bad a law had to be passed preventing employers from making people work when they don’t want to (or who aren’t at 100%, increasing the chance of error).

HealthBridge, the Cincinnati HIE company, is considering expanding to other cities. It just extended its relationship with Axolotl.

I’m fairly knowledgeable about the use of barcodes, so I found this entry in Loftware’s blog interesting: how about a color-enhanced barcode that can store 1.2 gigabytes of content? As it points out, that could be interesting for easy, cheap storage of medical records, medical images, or even media. If you ask me, healthcare is just beginning to realize the potential of barcodes.

Now you know why subscriptions are free. Modern Healthcare launches its fancily titled "leadership forum," which it says will offer "unparalleled access to highly qualified healthcare decision-makers." Pieces of meat … uhh, provider attendees … can be happy that "educational sessions will not compete with exhibiting, providing maximum sales exposure and sales opportunities for exhibiting companies." Don’t hospital executives have problems to solve at home without attending the equivalent of a timeshare sales pitch? I’m a little hostile, but only because I thought Modern Healthcare was above that level of overt pimping.

The Raleigh paper moans about losing its Misys Healthcare headquarters to Chicago, also claiming without further reference that 44 jobs will be lost as a result. 


Hillcrest Medical Center (OK) will deploy the CareView bedside TV and workflow application. Looks like it includes patient monitoring cameras and recording, online patient viewing for family, Internet access, basic telemedicine, and movies. Tommy Thompson is on the company’s board.

Jobs: Production Control Manager (MA), Regional Sales Director NE (NY), Customer Support Analyst – EMR (PA), Application Manager, Epic Ambulatory (CA).

Dossia joins the Continua Health Alliance (Wal-Mart PHR meets home device monitoring). I thought Continua was going to be hot when it started, but I haven’t heard much.

Microsoft says it will stick with SpeechMagic for Amalga even though Philips sold that division to Nuance.

If you’ve ever been to a seminar talking about the drug supply chain, this is familiar. A former Cardinal employee pocketed $350,000 in kickbacks from a felon in buying drugs of dubious quality on behalf of Cardinal. Cardinal already settled for trading in the so-called secondary drug market. The article cites a case I knew about: a cancer patient died because someone swapped her Procrit labels to sell the lower concentration drug at full price. That drug came from the same guy the Cardinal employee was buying from, who also made $42 million (!) selling phony Lipitor. The program I attended was shocking: totes full of fake Valium coming through the Miami post office, Mexican dealers who buy the same expensive labeling equipment the drug companies use (even holographic label printers) for making convincing fakes, and thieves who had already cracked RFID just in case FDA requires tracking products. Forget Tony Montana’s crack dealing: the real money is in fake drugs for fake Canadian pharmacies and innocent hospitals who don’t know what they’re getting or where it’s been.

Philips misses Q3 estimates, blaming slow US healthcare business.

MedAssurant, a healthcare data analysis company, moves to Bowie, MD. One of the Roche family just invested $175 million in the company, so it must be hot stuff (and has 2,000 employees besides).

A Thai software company called International Medical Software has developed a large-hospital system in J2EE that’s being used in 12 hospitals. An ISP "pay per use" feature is coming.

Oracle CEO Larry Ellison says he’s on the prowl for acquisitions cheapened by the stock sell-off, expecting to continue the company’s one-per-month average.

Odd hospital lawsuit: an overweight 46-year-old woman arrives at the ED complaining of abdominal pain. The nurses and doctors start her workup, but she asks to use the restroom. Staff later find her 6-pound newborn daughter in the toilet. She’s suing the hospital (actually the newborn is suing) for lifelong care of the baby, claiming the medical staff missed obvious labor signs even though the woman herself didn’t know she was pregnant. She had cocaine in her bloodstream. An outside psychiatric expert summarized, "Chutzpah. This is America. You’ve got to love this country. This woman doesn’t know she is pregnant, but somebody else should."

E-mail me.

HERtalk by Inga

From Janeen: “Re: MGMA. Inga, I had to smile when I learned you were going to MGMA. Your friends from RelayHealth will be there. Should we have an Inga lookalike in our booth again?” For those who attended HIMSS earlier this year, RelayHealth did have a lovely Inga stand-in. Too bad Mr. H and I didn’t get our act together in time to provide our unique brand of Fake Ingas, celebrity galas, and giveaways for MGMA, but it was a last minute decision. Anyway, one reason Mr. H is sending me on this field trip is to brush up on the latest in the ambulatory space. We’d like to be better versed in that area to appeal to our readers from that world. Janeen also reminded me that RelayHealth has a PHR offering, with their model connecting to the consumer via their provider. I do plan to stop by to see their plans for working with HealthVault.

I’ve stopped opening my 401K statements recently because all those down arrows make me depressed. On the other hand, I bought gas for $2.69 a gallon this week, so go figure out what it all means. Last week, before the close of the Allscripts-Misys deal, Dr. Borges asked why I thought Allscripts stock was falling if the merger was suppose to be such a great thing. I asked an expert (and HIStalk fan) Sean Wieland, Piper Jaffray analyst and industry mover and shaker, for his impressions since I clearly don’t have the economy figured out. To paraphrase Sean’s comments, this isn’t the time to rationally explain the movement of any stocks because all stocks are trading independent of their fundamentals right now. However, one factor possibly affecting shares of Allscripts was the trade x-dividend. Shareholders through October 10th are scheduled to receive a dividend. The tax treatment of dividends can be a little messy, so some stockholders may have elected to sell their shares in advance to avoid the tax implications. On Monday, Allscripts opened at $4.40 and closed at $5.47; Tuesday it closed at $5.40.

Ingenix announces the winners of its 5th Annual Top 200 coding hospitals. The award recognizes facilities based on the completeness and accuracy of their medical coding practices to bill Medicare for inpatient medical services.

The Health Resources and Services Administration announces plans to hand out $18.9 million to 25 community health organizations for EHR implementation. It seems like a lot until you remember it’s just a drop in the bucket compared to the billions our government is shelling out to our banks and automobile makers. This latest EMR incentive is in addition to the $290,000 per practice that the CMS promised last week to primary care groups with 20 or fewer physicians.

Alegent Health selects LYNX Medical Systems, a Picis company, to provide outpatient facility coding services to its five Omaha metropolitan area hospitals.

I don’t watch a lot of TV, but I do remember that old commercial (for Vicks-44, I think) where the good-looking guy says, “I’m not a doctor, but I play one on TV.” Maybe advertisers will resurrect it from this statistic: 26% of Americans say they get a big part of the health information from TV, particularly TV dramas (not PBS, not even TLC).

Eclipsys announces that the University of Michigan Health System recently deployed Sunrise Acute Care across its 913-bed system and has seen a 29% decrease in medical errors. Additionally, the health system claims a 40% reduction in the time to administer urgent medical orders.

Healthgrades’ 11th Annual Hospital Quality Study concludes that patients have a 70% better survival rate when treated at one of the nation’s top-rated hospitals compared to the lowest-rated ones. Across the board death rates are declining at the 5,000 hospitals studied, but the drop is faster at the top performing hospitals.

E-mail Inga.

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Currently there are "10 comments" on this Article:

  1. Wilma Flintsone: I could not get any connection in the Allscripts logo. Makes no sense. But I agree, it seems Misys is invisible – rightly so – in the whole merger. The video is a joke. It is all Allscripts. Kudos to them – do NOT associate with Misys, it is a death message. They should nix the association with Misys ASAP. Tainted for sure!

    Tina – now working again for Sunquest, resurrecting itself after the Misys national nightmare of 5+ yrs! UGH!

  2. Re: Epic / McKesson Legal Mumbo Jumbo – as you read these claims it seems that any internet site hosted by a healthcare provider connected to any clinical system providing a patient information that existed prior to 1999 would serve as prior art to the patent and therefore invalidate it.

    A thought – could HISTalk serve as a forum for health care systems veterens to provide concrete references to prior art that would stop the onslaught of patent conflicts that we’re about to see as this market tightens up. Maybe a contribution to the greater good and a novel way to use the collective wisdom of your readership!

  3. RE: Allscripts
    Anyone that read the SEC documents knew that Allscripts would be the surviving entity (there’s never any such thing as a “merger”). Misys PLC (the London parent company) may control the Boardroom, but Glenn Tullman controls the Executive Suite (unless, of course, the Board later decides otherwise).

    Initial moves are rapid and very impressive, but time will tell if the “new” Allscripts lives up to its opportunity, and responsibility, as the industry leader. They’ve already dropped the word “Misys” from their marketing, they should drop it from the official corporate name as soon as they can – it’s a millstone around their neck.

  4. It’s not about reducing the pepole, it’s about reducing the number of legacy products. MISYS never had the courage to “sunset” products and in these tough times for publically held companies I doubt if Glen T. will be any different. If you want to know where the profit is leaking out…that’s a good place to start looking. Also, let’s check back in 3 -4 months and see what the number of physicians supported is, the market says it is a rapidly eroding base.

  5. Mr H. I liked reading about the bar codes. New technologies like that are something you do not read about or hear about all. If you find more of these keep them comin.

  6. “Eclipsys announces that the University of Michigan Health System recently deployed Sunrise Acute Care across its 913-bed system and has seen a 29% decrease in medical errors.”

    So how did they measure this?

  7. I always like the marketing numbers that management throws out re: number of physician customers. I chuckle b/c at Misys, it was always the number of clients sold. Even if a customer left (which has been known to happen over the last few years), it was never reflected in the number of providers. Also, if you sold the product into a 200 doc IPA, but only 5 docs were using, I’ll let you guess how many docs were counted in the total physicians using Misys products. I’d love to know the true number of “prospects” that Allscripts has. I sincerely doubt it is 90,000 physicians.

  8. AHIMA was slower than normal. Attach it to HIMSS? Not a good idea. HIMSS is already out of control and a good ole boy system of rubbing elbows. At least at AHIMA we still get CE credits and information that is actual useful.

  9. As a point of clarification, HIMSS educational conferences provide opportunities to earn continuing education credit toward annual licensure or certification for physicians (CME), nurses (CNE), pharmacists (CPE), project managers (PMP), and HIT professionals (CPHIMS), HIM professionals (RHIA), and ACHE members. Signed, JoAnn Klinedinst, CPHIMS, PMP, FHIMSS, Vice President – HIMSS Education

  10. I truly enjoyed and appreciated the transcriapt from Glen Tullman, Allscripts, chat session. Though I have bad mouthed Misys a tad (my sincere apologies), I wish them both all the success as a merger. Best wishes to both, and may you have great success. Their products are great, they deserve to move forward. Best of luck!


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