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Monday Morning Update 8/3/09

August 1, 2009 News 5 Comments

Meditech’s Revenue Flat, Earnings Up
Xbox Game Used for Hospital’s Veterans Therapy
Hospital Employees Charged with Selling Patient Information

From Colorado Epic Doc: “Re: Microsoft. Microsoft is taking credit for the improved outcomes at Kaiser in Colorado and claiming that patients are using HealthVault’s platform to communicate with their doctors, when in fact it is Epic that provides the portal. ‘The whole system is build around empowerment of patient, increased collaboration between healthcare professionals and with the patients, pay per quality ad performance. The patients are encouraged to manage their own health, are educated and informed. They have their own health space (called My Health Manager) based on HealthVault platform and can communicate easily with the healthcare team.’” It mentions an EHR without naming Epic, but mostly touts HealthVault and Amalga, which would do next to nothing without a robust EHR as the centerpiece. Microsoft’s folks are good at self-evangelizing.

From Support Tech: “Re: Sage Software. They’re closing the New Smyrna Beach office and laying off the staff. The office had the most senior and experienced MedWare product support teams. Support staff were initially told we would be able to work from home. Only two techs were willing and able to relocate.” Unverified, although someone posted a similar comment on JobVent. But from what you wrote, they didn’t lay you off, you opted not to take a company transfer to a location 2 1/2 hours west. I give Sage credit for offering, as inconvenient as it might be for employees to take them up on it in a terrible Florida housing market. Jobs are hard to find and the Tampa area is nice, so I hope everybody made the decision that was right for them.

In the last poll, I asked HIMSS members about its level of involvement in government relations projects. Participation wasn’t all that high, but 62% said HIMSS should do less of that, 16% said more, and 22% said about the same. New poll to your right: what do you think about the NPfIT project in the UK?


Welcome aboard to brand spankin’ new HIStalk Platinum Sponsor MedAptus. The Boston company, founded by doctors, offers charge capture automation for physician groups; an Inpatient Edition for managing patients and charges by hospital specialists like hospitalists and anesthesiologists; the EMR Edition for physician groups wanting to add robust charge capture to their clinical workflow; and other solutions for hospital-based outpatient clinics, infusion services, and large academic medical centers and IDNs. Lahey Clinic is saving $1 million a year with its coding and compliance tools. Looks like a strong management team and solid financial backers. Thanks, Medaptus, for supporting HIStalk and its readers.

Listening: Sloan, Canadian power pop.


Clinical Architecture has put together a 15-minute narrated screencast on how to work with the NLM’s RXNorm drug nomenclature database.

Several Boston-area companies wanted to distance themselves from the unnamed and supposedly struggling HIE vendor we mentioned earlier without naming them. One was PatientKeeper, who e-mailed to say (a) it’s not them, and (b) they are, in fact, hiring like mad, especially developers.

Wolters Kluwer Health announces a redesign of the user interface and searching tools in the Facts & Comparisons Online for Health Systems drug reference tool.

Meditech just filed its latest 10-Q. Revenue was flat, EPS $0.57 vs. $0.46. Its customers who have reached Stage 6 of the HIMSS Analytics EMRAM are listed here.

The former Fletcher Allen Health Care CFO who tipped off authorities about its fraudulent bookkeeping for a construction project lands a new job with Marin Healthcare District (CA), where he will coordinate a computer implementation run by Affiliated Computer Services. The Fletcher Allen CEO who fired him for refusing to take part got two years in jail for conspiring to defraud a state regulatory agency, joined there by several other Fletcher Allen brass. The CFO was charged with making false statements, a misdemeanor.

More big salaries for supposedly non-profit hospitals: the former CFO of Danbury Hospital was paid $4.7 million in one year, while an HR VP (!!) got $2.1 million. Paging Senator Grassley.

Investors in Maaguzi, a 2005 clinical trials software startup, made less than 20 cents on the dollar when the company was sold last week. Blamed: a poor economy, delays in getting product to market, huge contractor expenses to get the software ready to sell, and lack of access to further financing. There’s a good lesson to be learned: everything looks wonderful on its site, so don’t believe everything you read.

Pondering: Cash for Clunkers was so successful to the point of blowing its entire budget in a week. Maybe that’s the model that should have been used for EMRs. Trade in your old, character-based, non-interoperable system for a new one and get cash back. (Actually, Cash for Clunkers seem to indicate that today’s cars are overpriced by $4,500).


A New York hospital offers a new treatment to veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder: Virtual Iraq, a $50,000 simulator created by customizing the $20 Xbox video game Full Spectrum Warrior (now available as a free download, courtesy of the US Army, which paid $5 million toward its development, only to get screwed when developers ignored all the Army’s specs). According to a therapist, “It’s like watching a scary movie over and over again; by the 100th time you see it, you’re not as fearful.”

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer says Apple is too expensive, Linux is too cheap, and Windows is just right.

A New York clinic owner is arrested and charged with bribing hospital workers to send a lawyer friend the names of patients involved in auto accidents, who then steered them to the man’s chiropractic and acupuncture clinics. The clinic helped patients exaggerate their injuries so they could file lawsuits, the charges say, while the clinic billed their no-fault insurance carriers for millions in bogus services. The clinic owner has no clinical credentials. Two hospital employees have been charged so far.

E-mail me.

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Currently there are "5 comments" on this Article:

  1. Re: Big Salaries

    Maybe we’ve identified the $155 B in savings that hospitals are supposed to kick in for healthcare reform.

  2. Well using logic I’m sure we will all be able to figure out who the troubled company is now that we know its not Patientkeeper or Meditech…

  3. Re: Fletcher Allen CFO moving to Marin…
    According to the article, “The contract also gives Cox up to $55,000 a year to purchase his own health care insurance.”

    WHAT??? Seems a bit excessive…maybe some tax benefit to hiding some of your salary this way?

  4. RE: Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer says Apple is too expensive, Linux is too cheap, and Windows is just right.

    Balmer is so out of touch as depicted in the article.
    While I am not a fan of Apple, they do know the consumer and repeatedly release fresh and innovative products that the consumer wants (even when they did not know they wanted it — pure genious!
    Microsoft needs young, new and innovative leadership which it has lacked for many years. The IT scholars are leaving their academic training well versed on Linux and web apps that will put Microsoft in real jeopardy in the coming years.

  5. Re: Mystery company: Neither MEDITECH nor PatientKeeper would really be described as an “HIE” company, certainly not by someone as savvy as Mr. H. Therefore, I would imagine that we’re probably talking about a company with their hands in a few RHIO type exchanges.

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