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February 3, 2009 News 8 Comments

From At TEPR: "Re: I’m at TEPR. Attendance is way,way down. I feel sorry for the MRI, and that’s bad to feel sorry for a good organization. Might be best to pull the plug and go out with dignity, or else morph into something else."

From oneHITwonder: "Re: TEPR. Opening session — 3 hours and 15 minutes straight, four different speakers. Nothing earth-shattering in the first three, couldn’t sit there for the fourth speaker. Breakouts are organized strangely, with multiple speakers on a related topic grouped together, some talking for 20 minutes, some 25 minutes, some 30 minutes. Makes it very hard to session-hop. First two speakers in breakout were like an advertisement for particular vendors. Interesting to learn about new products, but geez. The best part of the day was the conference center fire alarm that got me out of one session that was a bit dull. Oh, and no refreshments other than water. Lunch was a brown bag with a chicken wrap and a cookie … the cookie was 631 calories…OMG! But for those of you buried under snow, it was 82 degrees here yesterday!"

From The PACS Designer: "Re: IPv6. The Internet is running out of available IP addresses and it is forecast that the 4 billion address maximum will be reached by 2011. To alleviate this problem, some of the countries outside the U.S. have already upgraded to the new Internet Protocol version 6 or IPv6. The IPv6 can handle 340 billion or more addresses, so upgrading your systems to be able to handle IPv4 and/or IPv6 will be necessary in the near future." Link

From RIS Guy: "Re: Agfa. As a follow-up to the report a few weeks ago about Agfa cutting sales positions, they laid off 80 people in their service and support groups. They were already threadbare."

From Tom DaschedHopes: "Re: printing HIStalk. Is it possible to have a printer-friendly button for articles?" That was apparently lost in the recent upgrade, which I hadn’t noticed. I will try re-installing it. I liked it myself.

Another Obama nanny tax washout: chief performance officer candidate Nancy Killefer, who withdrew her candidacy Tuesday for the same "distraction" reason that Daschle gave. The former Treasury Department CFO led the modernization of the IRS, but once she left office, had a tax lien placed on her home for $298 in unpaid taxes. Treasury Secretary Geithner somehow slipped by despite far more significant transgressions. 

Guess which regional healthcare therapeutic product business grosses $100 million a year, pays its CEO $500K, employs 1,000 people, and has people questioning why its board members are also its vendors? The non-profit Florida’s Blood Centers of Orlando. I suppose its tough not to make a fortune when your product cost is zero (courtesy of donors) yet sells for $300 a unit to other non-profits.


Philips creates the iPill programmable pill (technically, iCapsule) that can be directed to travel to specific parts of the body and to release its payload in specific ways. Mentioned here before, but apparently closer to reality.

An Allscripts survey finds that physician groups are overwhelmingly happy to take federal stimulus money to use toward EHR adoption. Less consensus was found in what form the payments should take — being paid to buy EHRs or being paid to use them. Two-third of doctors said they would participate in a pay-for-purchase program, and not surprisingly, practices that already have EHRs think Uncle Sam should reimburse them retroactively. Survey flaws: only 15% of the respondents were actual providers; the rest were administrative staff. EHR users made up 60% of those surveyed, far outpacing overall adoption. And, the response rate was less than four percent. That’s not a criticism of the survey, just the usual cautions about drawing conclusions from it.

London Health Sciences Centre gets a magazine mention for its Censitrac software system that tracks medical instruments in sterile processing right down to the tray and follows them through the cycle of use and preparation for re-use.


Epocrates enhances its iPhone drug reference application with a premium version that includes disease content and medical calculators.

SafeMed, the real-time analysis vendor that Google Health uses, changes its name to Anvita Health. It claims the new name (from some Sanskrit word that nobody’s ever heard of) is more reflective of the company’s expanding decision support capabilities beyond the original drug interaction checking. I’m suspecting an infringement lawsuit, but I’m reliably cynical.

Apple and Adobe are collaborating to create an acceptable version of Flash for the iPhone.

I did an HIStalk Practice interview with Garrison Bliss, MD of Qliance, a concierge-type medical practice in Seattle. I really like the concept: patients pay from $49 to $129 per month, depending on their age, whether they want family medicine vs. internal medicine coverage, and whether they prefer after-hours access to general coverage vs. a specific physician. There’s no contract required and no exclusions by health or insurance status. They use technology, although I see all the sign-up documents are PDFs that have to be mailed or faxed back. This blogger wrote a great piece summary of the model.

E-mail me.

HERtalk by Inga

From Tempid: “TEPR. Official attendance is supposedly over 700 people, but the opening session looked to have only about 200 people. A few years ago, this show drew about 2,500. But the weather is great.”

I’m feeling pretty 2.0-ish, using Twitter to follow the TEPR show. Nick van Terheyden provided some great impressions, including: “Interesting view shared @TEPR. It’s so Web 1.0…. no blog, no tweet, 1 month before presentations will be online; Google thinks PHR penetration is 2-3%; The panel format is difficult since we get 3 similar answers to each question.” Nick said he would try to give HIStalk readers a more expanded write-up. (Nick is my latest BFF because he took the time to check out my LinkedIn photo and tell me he loves it).

Speaking of Tweetering, is it appropriate to send Tweets while your wife is delivering your child? Or, while you are in the middle of getting a vasectomy? (Note to self: ask these questions before getting serious with next boyfriend).


UMass Memorial Health Care (MA) selects dbMotion to create a single, interoperable electronic patient record across various IT environments and care areas.

Yet again, Nuance Communications extends its cash offer to acquire Zi Corp. Nuance is giving the shareholders two more weeks to consider the merits of its $.40/share offer. I wonder if I’d like having a boyfriend as persistent as this?

The National Qualify Forum (NQF) names Memorial Hermann Healthcare Systems (TX) the 2009 NQF National Quality Healthcare Award winner.

Medical Records Institute announces the 2009 TEPR Award winners. The VA won first place with its MyHealtheVet PRH and the Private Access suite won in the “Hot Products" category.

HIMSS announces that registration for its annual conference is ahead of 2008 trends. Non-exhibitor attendance is up almost three percent from the same period last year.

Police take a prisoner to United Medical Center (DC) for unspecified medical treatment. The patient/prisoner is allowed to go the men’s room alone, wearing only a white shirt and boxers. Before anyone has time to miss him, he climbs through the restroom ceiling, reaches another hospital room, and escapes. The prisoner has not yet been found. The paper indicates that the police didn’t provide a description of the boxers.


Researchers develop a new application for RFID that evaluates walking patterns to detect early signs of dementia.

Quality Systems, the parent company of NextGen Healthcare, reports a 17% jump in net income in its fiscal third quarter, to $13.2 million. Revenue grew 36% to $65.5 million. The bulk of the earnings came from the NextGen division, which posted $61.5 million in revenue (up 40%) and operating income of $22.8 million (up 28%). About $7.5 million of NextGen’s revenues came from two separate practice management companies acquired last year.

Mediware Information Systems reports a Q2 profit of $303,000 ($.04/share) compared to a $337,000 loss the same period last year. Revenue was up from $8.7 million a year earlier to $10 million.

Aspen Valley Hospital (CO) signs a five-year extension to its business process outsource agreement with CSC. The original outsource agreement was with First Consulting Group in December 2005. CSC also announces a new subscription tool called HealthSpace Advisor, which enables hospitals to analyze how effectively they’re using space in key revenue-generating areas.

Logical Images names Andrea Pennington chief medical office. The company provides decision-support technology for diagnostic-imaging providers.

E-mail Inga.

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Currently there are "8 comments" on this Article:

  1. Re the HIMSS numbers, they don’t really say what the relative totals are, do they?? I hear that there are concerns.

  2. Not that it matters much in terms of how paltry the sum actually is, but Nancy Killefer actually had a $946.69 lien against her house for failing to pay unemployment compensation tax on domestic help. On the face of it, this seems well within the margin of error and not worth declining the nomination over, but she did anyway.

    As for why Geithner gets a pass and Daschle does not, the NY Times offers some expert analysis here: http://roomfordebate.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/02/02/a-tax-dodge-or-an-honest-mistake/?ref=politics

    The main points seem to be that the tax code is hopelessly complex, Geithner actually tried to do the right thing, and Daschle perhaps did not. Oh, and this is how Washington works. Get used to it.

    [From Mr. HIStalk] The lien was for $946, but the unpaid taxes were $248. The rest was penalties and interest (I’m working from memory, but I think that’s right). She was paying college kids. Maybe that’s a cheap line item for Obama’s stimulus plan — eliminate payroll taxes on domestic help! Nobody’s paying the the taxes anyway (thus it’s a zero cost item), it would exclude fewer political appointees, and it would create jobs (former stockbrokers could mow lawns).

  3. I’m extremely disappointed in your little jab at Florida’s Blood Centers. The ‘product is free’ line is a particularly inflammatory, and patently untrue statement. While I haven’t in years, I used to work for a blood center (not Florida’s Blood Centers), and to call the product ‘free’ is just stupid. The blood bags aren’t ‘free’, the infectious disease testing isn’t ‘free’, the facilities and people to do the drawing, the processing, the storage, and the distribution aren’t ‘free’. Your ill thought, uninformed, inflammatory remark is an insult to all the hard working, dedicated people in blood centers everywhere.
    If you think $500k is too much for the CEO, that is one thing, but to degrade into cheap shots to bolster your opinion is not what i have previously expected on this site.
    And as to that question, maybe you will publish the salary you earn at your ‘day job’, and also how much you make for the increasingly annoying litter of ads on this site. Until then, questioning what others are paid doesn’t really impress me too much.

  4. The only way to get slides from presenters is at gunpoint. Preferably also with a USB stick handy, for the getaway.

  5. RE: oldMster Comment. Sham-wow what at retort. I believe oldMster might just be one of those “vampires” that never sleep. Right Robert?

  6. oldMstr – You and your hard-working, dedicated peers got paid for working at the blood center, not as noble volunteers, so get off the high horse. That one’s tax records show profits of several million dollars. It’s a nonprofit, so salaries, surplus, and business dealings are fair game as the Orlando paper knows.

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