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November 18, 2008 News 4 Comments

From Jamie Sommers: "Re: Payerpath. Word is that Art Glasgow, the Payerpath president, resigned from Allscripts-Misys today on a town hall conference call. He was a good guy and the reason why Misys bought Payerpath in the first place." Unverified.

From The PACS Designer: "Re: federated identify. You will be hearing soon about a new concept called federated identity. Microsoft and other software firms are working on bringing this concept to fruition in the next year or so. Cloud computing requires a better method of identifying users that won’t overload requests for additions to Active Directories. Microsoft has a software download called Services Connector that provides the ability to identify authorized e-mail addresses from federated databases through its Live ID software when logging on to a cloud service." Link.

From Fourth Hansen Brother: "Re: FDA. Have they been cheating in medical devices?" Link. FDA scientists claim that agency executives pressured them to change their findings so that medical devices could get marketing approval. 

claimed last time that a marketing person planted the Clara Barton comment about an Allscripts product at AMIA since it sounded pretty rosy and "I was at AMIA and I didn’t see Allscripts/Misys there." I thought it sounded legit, although it was borderline because it was so positive. My Allscripts contact saw the mention and quizzed all the marketing people there to make sure someone didn’t go rogue and post a fake comment here, then cast the net wider to see what Clara Barton was talking about. There was indeed an Allscripts demo at AMIA, although a brief and informal one. Jacob Reider MD, the company’s medical director, did a five-minute demo of Allscripts Prenatal at the Primary Care Informatics Working Group on Saturday night in front of around 40 people. The product isn’t GA yet, but I’m sure you’ll hear more when it is. I also appreciate that Allscripts was ready to go after anyone on their side who tried to mislead readers here, which is fortunately unnecessary since everything was above-board.


From HITPundit: "Re: Partners. There is a good read in the Sunday Boston Globe about the Partners effect. I thought it was about patients? Non-profit status for most of these places is a joke." Link. Of course it is. The story is about how Taj Mahospitals get paid more money to deliver average care for certain services than their less-ritzy but better-outcome competition. It mentions Mass General’s $686 million expansion and Partners’ $1.7 billion in profit in the last four years, while Caritas Christi was borrowing money to pay for oxygen tanks. It also mentions Partners’ leveraging its patient perception to manhandle insurance companies, resulting in 30% higher payment than similar hospitals (although Children’s Boston has the highest rates in Massachusetts). The quote HITPundit liked came from the chairman of Partners’ board: "Some are able to spend more than others. It’s our fortune that we’re probably in the lead on those investments. And several hospitals aren’t able to keep that pace. And that’s what I, as a businessman, call market forces, if you will." I thought this snip was interesting: "And it is there, in the workaday world of hospital care, that the hospitals’ reputation for unmatched excellence fades – and with it much of the rationale for the higher payments they receive for such treatments. The growing, if still inadequate, body of data available about hospital quality paints a fairly consistent picture of the care at the Brigham and Mass. General: often good, but rarely extraordinary, and sometimes inferior to the care available at other hospitals."

From Pacstech: "Re: stolen records. How about an arrest warrant for the idiot that allowed the records to be stolen? With 25 beds, how many people in medical records are we taking about here?" Bags of paper medical records stolen from Down East Community Hospital (ME) wash up on a local riverbank.

From HCC Princess: "Re: CMS. CMS is auditing 30-40 Medicare Advantage Plans. Claims from 200 random members will be audited and apparently any unsubstantiated claims will be extrapolated across the entire plan’s membership base. CMS is looking to recover a lot of money."

From Vern Den Herder: "Re: Epic. A healthcare organization in Connecticut recently signed with Epic. Wondering who?"

From Vince Ciotti: "Re: the $25K IT project. Spending more in IT won’t get you squat for recognition. Spend less! Use the $25K as rewards for ideas in a cost-cutting campaign that solicits ideas from your IT staff. $10K to the winner, $5K to runner-up, etc. Have finance vet the ideas and only the ones finance says will produce real ROI (that is, reducing someone’s budget next year) get considered. In the 100+ IT assessments we’ve done with The Hunter Group and Navigant Consulting, some of the best ideas have been given to us by IT staffer we interviewed. Why pay us to find them – get them yourself from your own staff!!"

Computerworld writes up Midland Memorial Hospital’s OpenVistA implementation, although emphasizing "cheap" rather than "works just fine" (the "old code" remark was snarky, especially given that many commercial products are older than VistA, which was rolled out in 1996). The hospital’s project was named as a winner of a 2008 InfoWorld 100 award.

I admit that I’m old-school patriotic, not a fair-weather flag-waver, so I was happy to join in the Valour-IT Veterans Day fundraiser, which ends next Thursday (Thanksgiving Day — how appropriate). My 401k may be hitting a rough patch, but I can darn sure find a few dollars to help buy a severely injured soldier, sailor, or airman some technology to help them recover from devastating war wounds. Their sacrifice (and that of their families) isn’t diminished one whet by the fact that I don’t always agree with the orders they are given (I’m sure they’re not always thrilled about it, either, which is all the more reason to get them back on track). It costs around $700 to provide a laptop with assistive technology and I was happy to provide one to someone who deserves it. Being a 19-year-old kid surrounded by the constant threat of harm and miserable conditions far from home is bad enough, but being shipped back to your family missing limbs has to suck big time. All donations of any amount are welcome and are tax-deductible.


Barry Chaiken MD, formerly of McKesson and BearingPoint, is now CEO at Medting of Palma De Mallorca, Spain (field trip!) Never heard of them, but it looks like a physician collaboration platform for sharing cases that can include media.

TELUS, the Canadian telecommunications company that bought Emergis a year ago, which had previously bought Dinmar in 2006 (and therefore its Oacis clinical system), creates TELUS Health Solutions and says it will invest $100 million over three years in it.

SCI Solutions wins two marketing awards: one for its ad graphics and the top award overall for its Access Management magazine.

CodeRyte gets $13 million in Series D funding, for a total VC funding of $50 million.


It took Inga awhile to get confirmation from some earlier reader rumor reports, but she has verified officially that Ingenix has acquired Global Works Systems, Inc. and will make them part of Ingenix Consulting.

This stock analyst says GE is in big trouble, calling it "a bank disguised as an industrial conglomerate" and an over-leveraged one at that, saying that if GE fails, it "could trigger the mother of all bailouts." I’ve speculated all along that its GE Capital exposure was a lot more than Jeff Immelt was owning up to. Speaking of which, may we assume that Intermountain’s CareCast pig-lipsticking project is either dead or at least so far behind that no one could possibly still care?

Right after I wrote the above, along comes a GE Healthcare press release touting "Digital Day One" without ever really saying what it is, although data-sharing and new hospital construction are mentioned. I read the release three times and I still have no idea what they’re talking about, with no clarification available on their site because the press release isn’t there at all. Marc Probst is quoted, so Intermountain is involved, apparently with regard to "timely sharing of newly published medical breakthroughs and best practices."

But speaking of GE, this Motley Fool analyst tries to figure out which company is more screwed up: GE (GE Capital) or Siemens (bribery).

Half of primary care physicians say they’d get out of medicine if they had an alternative, all because of insurance and government red tape. Everything said there is pretty much what Susanne Madden said when I interviewed her.


University of Toledo’s McKesson EDIS implementation is written up on its site.

Former Cerner sales guy Mike Fiorito is named chief sales and marketing officer of cardiac monitoring services vendor  LifeWatch Services. Hopefully he’ll direct better press release writing since I had to read the first two paragraphs of this one at least five times to make sense of it (and I read a ton of press releases).

Texas Health Resources demonstrates a patient-doctor relationship tool built on the Microsoft’s Surface computers, that "wave your hand over the coffee table" gadget that Steve Ballmer kept yapping about in his HIMSS keynote. More important applications have already been built for it, however, as Harrah’s has Surface computers running in Rio Casino "allowing customers to flirt and order specialty drinks using the technology."

Children’s Health System (AL) picks what sounds like the entire Eclipsys Sunrise product line. A big peds hospital customer is a great opportunity, but I’ve never seen one yet that wasn’t a pain in the adult-sized ass. I guarantee that a six-hospital IDN with one peds hospital will spend 50% of the entire project effort just accommodating the sometimes bizarre but indefatigably argued practices in peds, always defended with the reminder that "kids aren’t just little adults." Sometimes I think they’re as unlike general community hospitals as a veterinary hospital, occasionally for good reasons.

Odd: a former New Zealand health district CIO goes on trial for stealing $11 million US by submitting false invoices. He had "grand properties," a luxury car collection, and a 150-foot, 17-bedroom yacht.

Misys CEO Mike Lawrie on the prospects for Allscripts-Misys: ""Everyone recognises spending in US healthcare is out of control and is projected to consume 17 per cent of [gross domestic product]. And they’ve just spent a trillion bailing out the financial system. There is a limit to how much money you can print. And my view is there’s no way, with a new administration, [rising costs] can be left unchecked. And technology will be part of the solution."

Spheris names former Pediatric Services of America CEO Dan Kohl as president and CEO.

Glenn Dennis is named president and COO of Perry Biomedical Corporation, which makes hyperbaric oxygen chambers. He was previously with DataLoom, Exigent, SoftMed, and GE.

Chinese Internet company Baidu.com reels when it’s found that a chunk of its paid search revenue comes from unlicensed medical and drug customers, whose paid links were mixed in with real results based on popularity. Its a lot like Google, making its founder a billionaire.

Kenya has an ambitious plan to connect all hospitals over the Internet for telemedicine, ordering supplies, and providing second opinions. It will also support TelePresence, Cisco’s high-quality videoconferencing tool.

East Tennessee Heart Consultants brags on its IT outsourcing to Claris Networks, claiming it costs less and is more reliable.

Hospital layoffs: Beaumont Hospital (MI), 500 employees; MetroHealth (OH), 25 employees.

The University of Texas System, reorganizing UTMB after Hurricane Ike damage and massive layoffs that started this week, brings in Kurt Salmon Associates to help develop a plan.

E-mail me.

HERtalk by Inga

A computer virus at Barts and The London NHS Trust causes a system shutdown that lasts more than 24 hours. E-mail and Internet access were affected, but not the Cerner application (finally there is an issue that couldn’t be blamed on a Cerner application).

Speaking of hospitals across the pond, several are facing closure because they are not attracting enough patients. Recent reforms allow patients to choose where they’d like to be treated, which has shifted traffic to the more successful medical centers.

The University of Missouri and Cerner are winners of CHIME’s Collaboration Award for using HIT to help UM family physicians and patients manage chronic diseases.

NightHawk Radiology Holdings announces the appointment of David M. Engert as CEO, following the resignation of Dr. Paul E. Berger. Engert is a former McKesson and Quality Care Systems exec. Berger, who co-founded NightHawk along with his son Jon, will remain as non-executive chairman of the board. Jon Berger, an SVP and board member, has also resigned from both the company and board.

Barcode POC provider IntelliDOT and latric Systems sign an agreement that formalizes pricing for interfaces, implementation, and maintenance for customers using Iatric System interfaces between IntelliDOT and MEDITECH solutions.


Beginning in January, the Seton Family of Hospitals (TX) is implementing a new dress code for nurses and other patient care employees. Tattoos must be covered and piercings limited to earrings and a small nose stud. I personally prefer fashion accessories to permanent body adornment, but tattoos don’t particularly bother me (assuming everyone has had the appropriate hepatitis screening), although I find I can never quite look someone in the eye if they have a nose ring or piercings in their eyebrows. Even though they have no effect on the quality of care, I suppose some patients would be more at ease if they didn’t see a naked lady tattoo while getting a blood draw.

Eclipsys claims they’ve exceeded sales targets for the EPSi budgeting and financial decision support systems for the first three quarters. Their announcement doesn’t mention if their sales goals were set too low or whether the sales have translated to higher profits, but, it’s still good to hear that someone is making headway in these economic times.

A friend mentioned that his employer (a law office) is downsizing its holiday bash this year. Rather than renting a steak restaurant for an evening of expensive food and drink, they’re having a holiday luncheon delivered to the office. Some of the party savings will be donated to charity. It got me wondering what other companies are planning; hence the new poll to your right. This year, Mr. H and I are planning a Virtual Holiday Party. We are thinking perhaps setting up an online chat and he’ll drink his beer while I sip on my wine. Mr. H is tight with his money, so he still hasn’t decided if we can bring dates to the affair. Meanwhile, according to the Raleigh paper, the Allscripts-Misys folks will have a chance to act like one big happy family at their convention center holiday bash.


Red Hat chairman Matthew Szulik is named E&Y’s 2008 Entrepreneur of the Year for turning his company into a billion-dollar business. Glen Tullman of Allscripts was a finalist in the Technology division.

MedcomSoft announces its Q1 results. The news remains bleak for this 2007 Best in KLAS winner, now desperate for a buyer. Revenues were down 10% year on year and the net loss was almost $800K.

Former VeriChip CEO Scott R. Silverman regains control of the company after a $5.4 million purchase of common stock. In addition, the company purchased all intellectual property rights related to its human implantable RFID technology. Silverman claims he is eager to “re-ignite” the company.

Virtual Radiologic appoints Kevin H. Roche to its board of directors. He’s a managing partner at Vita Advisors and formerly the CEO of Ingenix and general counsel for UnitedHealthGroup.

Thomson Reuters releases its annual study of the top cardiovascular care hospitals.

Peter Dolphin is named VP of business development for Beacon Partners. He was most recently the VP of sales at eScription, and before that worked at IDX Systems (GE Healthcare).

E-mail Inga.

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Currently there are "4 comments" on this Article:

  1. The financial state of the large healthcare insurers has been curiously quiet lately – why is that? If the market is tanking their investment portfolio can’t be too great. Anyone out there have any insights on the status and stability of this part of the insurance industry sector?

    What happens if instead of a hospital, an insurance company goes down?

  2. Art Glasgow may or may not be a good guy but he was a Misys employee and had nothing to do with “why” Misys bought Payerpath. As one of the orginal employees of Payerpath I can assure you the reason Misys bought Payerpath was that they had a good product, were profitable, and, unlike Misys, had a good relationship with their clients and provided outstanding support.

  3. Re: Partners…Why is Partners to blame because they have the ability (data) to negotiate better contracts than other facilities while adding services and R&D that will benefit all of Healthcare? Where do you think those clever reporters got the information on the fee schedules…? call Joe the plumber, the payers are leaking….The article about Partners was a total hack job by the Boston Globe Socialist and their slack jawed reporting team on behalf of the insurance companies to make Partners look bad. Unless everyone can cut through the smoke and mirrors to level the playing field, we are all going to pay a high price for healthcare or lack thereof

  4. Re: MedcomSoft press release: “After failing in its strategy … investors expressed an interest in access to the high quality management team”.

    Did the investors want to thank the “high quality management team” for the failed strategy or was this an insert compliments of the “high quality PR, er, management team”?

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