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August 13, 2009 News 9 Comments

iSoft Enters US Integration Market
Social Security Administration Says New Certification Bodies Coming
HIPAA Violations: Nobody Has Ever Been Fined

From UCSFWatch: “Re: UCSF CIO’s e-mail. The GE Centricity Enterprise project is in full stop mode.” The attached and unverified e-mail from CIO Larry Lotenero says this: “The medical center’s Senior Management Group has engaged Kurt Salmon Associates (KSA) to assist us with a review of our IT clinical strategy. We are doing the review because we are dissatisfied with our progress to implement clinical applications to support the care of our patients. KSA will arrange interviews with many of you to capture your insights for the strategy planning. They will be on-site to begin their interviews on August 18. If KSA contacts you, I ask that you be as flexible as possible with your schedule to accommodate this process. We expect to receive a final report before November. For now, all activities associated with developing the GE clinical system should immediately be put on hold. Despite this action, we remain fully focused on our goal to complement our excellent clinical care providers with equally excellent clinical applications as soon as possible.”

From Jeannie with the Light Brown Hair: “Re: Allscripts. What? No mention of the Allscripts class action? Thought we’d hear some anti-lawsuit rhetoric at least.  :)” Jeannie, I’m concerned about you. I mentioned the securities lawsuits prominently on 8/5 and again on 8/7, appropriately loaded with anti-lawsuit rhetoric (all the lawsuits since then are just copycat litigation filed by the same old me-too corporate heel-nippers who must love America’s legal system since they make a nice living wasting everybody’s time and money with BS lawsuits just because a company’s stock price drops). My concern: I bet a third of the e-mails I get regularly say, “Wow, you have to check out this story” and send a link to something I’ve mentioned days, weeks, or even months before. So here’s the warning: I write concisely and I don’t follow the lazy “Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead tonight” trick of repeating a story endlessly. I figure HIStalk readers are smart enough to get it the first time around. So, the takeaway is this: (a) read carefully, even the short paragraphs; (b) if you miss reading a posting, don’t just skip it since I will probably not repeat any of the same stories out of respect for your time; and (c) I still appreciate having stuff sent my way even if I’ve already mentioned it.

From Weird News Andy: This is neither weird nor news; I have instinctively known it for years.” Heart attack survivors improve their survival odds by eating chocolate at least twice a week.


WNA also called attention to the above photo, which shows a Lahey Clinic doctor consulting with a patient in a hospital 20 miles away. That led Andy to ponder, “Is the point of service the hospital room or the clinic where the doc is?”

I’ve been citing strong hints for months that iSoft had eyes on the US market, so that has finally turned into news. The big Australian HIT vendor acquires Boston-based integration vendor BridgeForward, which sells the Viaduct integration design studio, the Physician Integrator for connecting EMRs to practice management systems, and integration servers. They paid up to $15 million depending on performance. BridgeForward’s founder was John Moriarty, who founded integration vendor MicroScript before it was swallowed in the bottomless pit that was New Era of Networks. All of the company’s executives were from MicroScript as well.

A former Kaiser executive files a whistleblower lawsuit against the organization, saying it ignored his concerns and instead assigned an HR “grim reaper” to make him quit. He claims that Kaiser refused to track patient deductibles and instead made them bring in receipts; exposed medical information on all of its dementia patients by putting a registry on an unsecured network; and dumped intact patient records into unlocked Dumpsters. This site reports that the complaint says KPIT’s compliance officer responded to his complaint as follows: “That officer told Plaintiff that Kaiser leadership did not care and that there was widespread violations of HIPAA throughout the Kaiser network and throughout the organization. He told Plaintiff that the only way he could get the company’s attention would be to send the information anonymously on a disk to George Halverson, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan’s then CEO, at his home with a note telling him that unless this was corrected by a certain date, the next time he would see the information would be in the New York Times.”

A company I’ve never heard of is bringing 40 jobs “to Henderson”, with no mention anywhere on the site of the Evansville Courier & Press as to what state the company, Henderson, or Evansville are in (I’d guess Indiana except I don’t care enough to waste the energy since the ace journalists can’t be bothered to actually say). The company, Innovative Workforce Technologies (wow, killer name there) doesn’t even have a Web site that comes up on Google. The story says they have an odd lot of apps like interactive patient entertainment, bed management, and some other stuff I can’t decipher from the reporter’s description.

TPD says he likes Google’s Caffeine search engine, the heir apparent to Google search and a Bing-killer, the company hopes. It’s fast for sure (and free of Adsense ads for now). I tried “HIStalk” on both and Caffeine got 91,000 hits vs. 90,000 for plain old Google. I did find one killer Bing feature a couple of weeks back: if you Bing a location and click Maps, you can shoot the location with one click directly to your MSN Direct-powered GPS right over the satellite connection without even plugging the GPS into the USB jack. I’m find that highly useful – any time I’ve looked up an address or location by name, I just click Send and it loads as a Web favorite on my Nuvi 780 the next time I turn it on. That’s just plain brilliant.


maxIT Healthcare of Westfield, IN is a new HIStalk Gold Sponsor. The company’s 300 healthcare-only consultants offer a long list of services, with their long suit being EMR and clinical systems (Cerner, Epic, Meditech, Allscripts, and all the big names). In fact, a recent KLAS report, 2009 Maximizing Your Consulting Investment: A Report on Healthcare IT Consulting Services, survey found that where only four companies had enough engagements for clinical applications consultants to be rated and found that ‘maxIT Healthcare scored the highest, receiving especially high marks for the quality of their consultants’ in Staff Augmentation. Thanks to the folks there for supporting HIStalk.

I don’t have enough interest to want to absorb the details and I suspect you don’t either, but it appears JMJ and its EncounterPRO EMR may or may not be wrapped up in some kind of lawsuit and bankruptcy actions, depending on how you define some confusing holding and parent companies. There’s supposedly a family feud involved (or so this message purports), a 1:250 reverse stock split, a management attempt to authorize 500 million shares of stock, the resignation of the CEO from the board of the holding company, and all kinds of questionable but entertaining gossipy tidbits. Shares are at 6/10 of a penny. If you think your life is hard, imagine being a salesperson for them.

Health plans are responding in inconsistent ways to the drug price drop that will happen in September as a result of the McKesson, First DataBank, and Medispan AWP lawsuits that were settled awhile back. Payors expect a windfall, while PBMs are adjusting prices upward to protect their now-lower margins.

Cardinal Health launches the Pharmacy Health Network, a closed-circuit video channel for retail pharmacies that will will carry what sounds like endless paid advertisements for drug companies aimed at people waiting the inevitable 20 minutes for their prescriptions.

Researchers at Northwestern University create a 120-question pain scale software application. Sounds good, except if I was in pain I sure wouldn’t want to sit there and answer 120 questions about it instead of just pointing to a smiley/frowny face or grimacing theatrically to make sure the narcotic analgesics keep coming.

Here’s another argument for placing exam room computer monitors so docs don’t have to turn their backs on patients. A family medicine doctor turned away from a drug-seeking patient to enter information on the computer. The patient attacked him, biting his finger off.


A consulting firm says half of the $2.2 trillion the US spends on healthcare is wasted.

Siemens posts some ARRA-related online tools (I can’t imagine they’ll be a player, but they have to try), but what caught my eye is the “all your base are belong to us” odd grammar and phrasing, like someone with English as a second or maybe a third language labored to sound like a native English speaker.

The Social Security Administration will pay $500 million to settle a class action lawsuit claiming that it illegally withheld benefits. The agency’s computer matched beneficiary names to arrest warrant databases in an attempt to cut off payments to criminals on the run, but instead shut off benefits to people with false allegations and old warrants. I bet there was a fat cat contractor company doing the programming.

CMS, until recently the HIPAA security rule enforcer for over four years, didn’t levy a penny in fines to violators. Likewise, new enforcer Civil Rights Office, which received 44,000 privacy complaints over six years, didn’t issue even one fine. Joe Conn did what journalists are supposed to do (but rarely do in HIT-land) when covering an otherwise mundane story – he dug for the facts that nobody else even thought to ask about.

While I’m kudoing journalists, I’ll laud nextgov, which I’ve found to be an excellent resource. This article about the Social Security Administration’s $24 million contract to automate its disability program, but only for certified products, has some fascinating facts buried in it. An SSA spokesperson said that while CCHIT is the only certifying agency now, “other programs are planned for the near future”. US CTO Aneesh Chopra was reported as acknowledging that CCHIT’s specs have a worthy competitor in the Continuity of Care Record and finds the discussion important. GE was somehow involved in commenting on certification, and being a multi-national conglomerate that hasn’t innovated anything interesting that I can recall in HIT and that sells CCHIT-certified products, took the obvious position: “Officials at GE, which manufactures CCHIT-compliant technologies, said not only are certification criteria not a barrier to innovation, they actually enable it by focusing product development on value-added areas, while facilitating the exchange of data among different health organizations and products.”

A US district judge issues a permanent injunction prohibiting Microsoft from selling copies of Word after a ruling found that it violates the XML patent of a Canadian company. If the injunction is upheld when appealed in the next 60 days, Microsoft won’t be able to sell Word 2003 or 2007.

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HERtalk by Inga

From Michelle Duggar: “Re: Tweeting during childbirth. Obviously this lady had issues.” Michelle Duggar sent this story about the wife of Twitter CEO Evan Williams. Ms. Williams tweeted her 14-hour childbirth experience to 15,000 followers, starting from the time her water broke. Narcissistic? Twitter hype? Or perhaps just more effective than Lamaze breathing?

KLAS confirms what vendors have been saying for months: sales of acute care EHRs have been slow. KLAS, which has been collecting similar sales data for the last seven years, reports that 2008 sales were the lowest they’ve ever recorded. However, Epic grew its market share, selling 40% of the new systems sold to 200+ bed hospitals. McKesson and Siemens also saw market gains, though Cerner saw no new net growth for the first time.

CSC is named a preferred vendor for the Georgia Hospital Association. CSC hopes to help Georgia hospitals comply with ARRA’s yet-to-be-finalized Meaningful Use provisions for EHR.


maxIT Healthcare announces that its client, Gila Regional Medical Center (NM), has achieved Stage 6 designation on the HIMSS Analytics EMR Adoption Model. Phoenix Health Systems also assisted Gila Regional advance its Meditech utilization.

Ochsner Health Systems will take advantage of a three-year grant from the CDC to create a telemedicine stroke network. Ochsner will connect physicians at five of its community hospitals to on-call neurologists using REACH’s telestroke and telehealth service.

AHRQ plans to extend $48 million in grant opportunities for developing national patient registries that can be used for comparative effectiveness research. This amount is in addition to the $300 million funded by the economic stimulus to fund similar research. Look for more details this fall.

Meridian Health (NJ) selects Language Access Network to provide real-time video language interpretation services.

Virtua, an IDN in New Jersey, picks the Picis CareSuite perioperative and anesthesia solution for its nine facilities. The Picis software will connect to Virtua’s Siemens applications.


Healthcare Managements Systems secures an order with Madison County Memorial Hospital (IA) to supply an integrated clinical and financial solution for Madison’s 25-bed hospital and two rural health clinics.

MGMA members say their top concerns and struggles are dealing with operating costs rising faster than revenue, maintaining physician compensation despite reimbursement declines, and selecting and implementing an EHR. Interestingly, medical practice managers ranked these same three issues at the top of last year’s survey. Other big concerns centered around patient collections, uncertain Medicare reimbursement rates, recruiting physicians, and negotiating payer contracts.

Telehealth Services signs up two new customers for its TIGR on-demand patient education system. Both Peace River Regional medical Center (FL) and SSM St. Clare Health Center (MO) will install Philips LCD televisions and the TIGR interactive patient education and entertainment systems.

Presbyterian Intercommunity Hospital (CA) reports a 99% CPOE adoption rate since going live on Eclipsys Acute Care last year. The director of pharmacy also notes a 60% decrease in medication delivery times, down from 60 minutes to 24. The hospital recently activated Eclipsys’ Sunrise Pharmacy solution.

At least 10 HIStalk sponsors made the 2009 Inc. 5000 list, which recognizes the country’s fastest growing private companies in terms of revenue. One of the highest ranking HIT companies was eClinicalWorks, which has grown revenues 460% between 2005 and 2008. SRSsoft has grown 330% over the same time period. In case you were wondering, the overachieving Northern Capital Insurance topped the list with a 19,812% growth rate.

Global Med Technologies saw a 79% jump in its Q2 net income. Net income was $272,00 and quarterly revenues increased 66% to $8.1 million. Global Med provides blood and laboratory systems and services.

Perhaps a lawyer can explain how one can even file a lawsuit this vague. A man files suit against an unknown person for an alleged and unnamed medical condition. The unnamed medical condition created unspecified disabling injuries, so the man is asking for Mr. Unknown for $75,000 in damages.


E-mail Inga.

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Currently there are "9 comments" on this Article:

  1. …you might also suggest that readers use your little search bar if they can’t believe you haven’t run something. “allscripts class action” finds your recent articles quite easily.

  2. “A consulting firm says half of the $2.2 trillion the US spends on healthcare is wasted.”

    This link points to the patient-bites-doctor-finger story.

    [From Mr. HIStalk] Fixed, sorry. I was in my 16th straight hour of work yesterday and was starting to lose focus a little. That or the finger story was just too compelling not to mention again.

  3. The IWT reference is a little misleading. IWT is Innovative WorkFLOW technologies and they do have a website http://www.iwtsolutions.com. I must say though, after reviewing the site I still do not know what they do. some wireless apps it seems…

  4. “All your base are belong to us” – given it is Siemens, if you say it in a kind of “Governator” accent, then it all sounds perfectly logical.

  5. “All your base are belong to us” is commonly used by the gamer community as a taunt to declare victory over your opponent. Ha! Kudos to the sly techie/gamer who was able to sneak that in there. Siemens, you’ve just been PWN’d!

  6. trying to look for the quote, but not finding it, did Siemens take it off site already?

    [From Mr. HIStalk] That wasn’t a quote, just an observation that the wording on the page was really odd. Still is. The “all your base are belong to us” reference was just a way of saying that it almost seemed that the page’s content wasn’t written by someone all that familiar with conversational English. Example: “Secure your Healthcare IT! Secure your Healthcare IT! As your long-term partner Siemens wants to educate you on key HIT provision through our Webcast Series and up to the minute information from our ARRA team.” Missing punctuation (commas and dashes) and no S after provision.

  7. Evansville is in the southern tip of Indiana, across the river from Henderson, KY. In the 1980’s I worked on a year-long project at St. Mary’s Hospital. My FCG co-worker and roommate was Bill Greskovich who is the CIO at St. Agnes in Baltimore.

  8. Thought you might find this CBO Rpt on Veterans Health Administration of interest….Certainly there are some lessons that could be learned here…notably that a “public” health care system might be a great option!

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  1. Agreed, The VA is using CCDAs today for outbound communication and they started with C32s back in 2012. Looked at…

  2. Part of my attitude relates to an experience I had. And this was within a single HIS. I wanted to…

  3. For what it's worth, the VA currently releases C-CDA (or HITSP C-32...my memory fails me) via eHealth Exchange and has…

  4. Unfortunately, I can't disagree with anything you wrote. It is important that they get this right for so many reasons,…

  5. Going out on a limb here. Wouldn't Oracle's (apparent) interoperability strategy, have a better chance of success, than the VA's?…

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