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May 10, 2011 News 12 Comments

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5-10-2011 6-33-46 PM

Q2 numbers for Nuance: revenue up 17%, EPS $0.01 vs. -$0.05. Revenue was up 13% in healthcare, its largest segment. The company announced that it will acquire document management and print management solutions vendor Equitrac for $157 million in cash. NUAN shares hit a 15-year high Monday on rumors of a potentially expanded relationship with Apple.

Reader Comments 

5-10-2011 7-02-37 PM

image From MEDITECHer: “Re: Howard Messing. Wins the town’s annual award.” Meditech’s president and CEO wins the annual community service award from Town of Westwood, MA, where he has lived for 21 years and for which he has served on several committees and provided technology expertise. Meditech long-timers are definitely give-back types.

image From ArkieHorn: “Re: JPS Health Network. The CIO resigns only a few months after taking on the full-time role from his interim role. The tax-supported hospital in Fort Worth selected Epic to make MU in 2009. Rumor has it they contracted with Accenture for a CIO to manage the Epic project … also being implemented by Accenture. The fox is in the house.” Unverified.

5-10-2011 7-16-26 PM

image From Anonymister: “Re: Alameda County Medical Center, Oakland, CA. A nice article on turning around a failing public hospital.” Fast Company profiles ACMC CEO Wright Lassiter III and calls him a “medical wonder” in turning around the “shockingly mismanaged” inner city hospital (as its tenth CEO in 11 years), which is mostly remembered for a patient beating one of its doctors to death and “nurses who followed doctors’ orders only when they felt like it.” Lassiter brought in a new management team, cut costs, fired underperformers, and got union concessions (and signed up for Soarian, as we just mentioned). I like that he holds an MHA instead of the more common and less healthcare-specific MBA. His stated goal:

I want to make this place as good or better than the private hospitals. I believe ACMC has to be a real third choice in this community, a place where an elected official or a corporate executive would come for care. It’s not just the quality of medical service; it’s the helpfulness. Are people looking you in the eye and saying, “What can we do for you?”  — anticipating your needs, instead of saying, ‘’Just go in the corner and wait. We have too many people to deal with today.”

image From Coolio: “Re: physician practices. There is strength in numbers. It is hard for an independent physician to leverage size while negotiating reimbursement contracts (and even larger organizations often do not use their decision support applications well in determining whether a contract makes sense). Independent physicians are just at a disadvantage when dealing with payors. Plus, is it really worth being on call every night or every third night? And not being able to spread back office costs among more providers? That is a question for physician to face. (And it’s the primary care doc who usually loses out.) For years and years, hospitals have focused on physician outreach and links/alliances (for referral business). Software apps are one of those links. Why would a physician want the headache of implementing an EHR with clinical content tailored to her practice when she could share the cost of it?”

5-10-2011 8-52-00 PM

From The PACS Designer: “Re: using iPhone for dictation. Another iPhone app that looks interesting is one that provides dictation capabilities. Not sure how accurate it can be, but with the development of an iPhone dictation platform by Integrated Document Solutions called Voice2Dox, it’s probably worth a try in clinical applications.”

 HIStalk Announcements and Requests

image I thought it odd that Reuters cited “particularly weak” Medical Manager sales in its review of Sage Healthcare’s recent performance. I didn’t think Medical Manager would have that much influence considering that Sage’s go-forward product is Intergy, but I figured Reuters must know something I don’t. Turns out they don’t — my Sage executive contact tells me that Medical Manager hasn’t been actively sold for quite some time, even though Sage continues to support and enhance it. I’m not sure what Reuters was thinking.

Listening: Shinedown, Leave a Whisper. Solid, radio-friendly hard rock from Jacksonville, FL.

Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

5-9-2011 7-42-16 PM

Elsevier acquires Fisterra. com, a Spain-based clinical reference solution.

image Microsoft will acquire free phone calls software vendor Skype for $8.5 billion, its largest acquisition ever. My reaction: (a) they’re paying way too much for a company that has always managed to lose money even with high penetration and big revenue, maybe just because they didn’t want Google to end up with it; (b) most Skype users don’t pay anything, and have plenty of free alternatives to prevent MSFT from simply charging for its use, so the best use of it will be as an add-in to other MSFT offerings; (c) it’s kind of bittersweet to remember when Microsoft was the brash innovator instead of the cash-rich, reactionary follower (remember when they wanted to pay eye-popping dollars to buy the hoarily irrelevant Yahoo, which has dropped something like two-thirds in value since then?); and (d) as an occasional Skype user (I use it for doing interviews) and I hope they don’t mess it up.

image I’m suddenly getting e-mails from some pay-membership site aimed at healthcare CIOs, but apparently written by folks with limited understanding of healthcare IT and English as a first language. Here’s a sample: “Wolters Kluwer’s Buys Lexicomp: An Acquisition of Importance to The Realm of Meaningful Use. Wolters Kluwer Health (WKH) acquired Lexicomp. What is the big deal? Why is this any different than say Allscripts and Eclipsys?” It misspells both company names in the headline, mangles punctuation in several creative ways, and throws in some truly puzzling choices of wording (you don’t often see “What is the big deal?” in an article aimed at executives – that odd wording made me immediately think of SNL’s wild and crazy guys, “After all, there is no other pair of Czech brothers who cruise and swing so successfully in tight slacks!”). The graphics are randomly chosen stock photos (like a Meaningful Use analysis featuring the Jefferson Memorial). The site takes great pains to provide no information about who owns it, where it’s located, or what the annual subscription costs (even on the signup form where you’re committing).


Muenster Memorial Hospital (TX) picks Custom Software Systems’ ChartSmart Electronic Medical Record for its critical access facility.

St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center (NY) contracts with MedQuist for clinical documentation outsourcing services.

Advocate Trinity Hospital (IL) will use PerfectServe’s clinical communication system.

5-10-2011 8-43-46 PM

Dallas Medical Center (TX) chooses HMS’s EHR and remote hosting services from its HMS Direct subsidiary.


5-9-2011 6-54-46 PM

Netsmart Technologies names former Cerner EVP/COO Michael Valentine as CEO. He replaces the retiring James Conway.

5-9-2011 6-57-12 PM

iSirona appoints Polly Mulford, formerly of AHA, as VP of account management.

5-10-2011 6-44-24 AM

Cape Regional Medical Center (NJ) appoints Dianna Derignan, MD to the role of CMIO.

Precyse names Chris Powell to the newly created position of president. He was previously with GE Healthcare and IDX.

5-10-2011 1-17-44 PM

Former Hillcrest Medical Center (OK) CEO Steve Dobbs joins the board of advisors for PSCI, a provider of analytics and decision support tools.

5-10-2011 2-59-11 PM

Billing service provider MedData names Frank B. Murphy to is board. He is president and CEO of Perimeter Health Advisors and was formerly president and CEO of HealthPort Technologies.

5-10-2011 8-45-32 PM

image I see from my LinkedIn updates that HIStalk friend Mark Andersen, former CIO at Yale New Haven who I think is doing consulting work now, is interim chief technology and health information office at University of Virginia Health System.

Announcements and Implementations

PwC earns top ranking in a new KLAS report on extended business office service firms, followed by Firstsource (MedAssist) and Deloitte Consulting. Providers said the most important factor in selecting and keeping a vendor is, not surprisingly, its ability to keep receivables low and cash collection high.

CSC announces that it has brought all prisons in England live on the SystmOne clinical software.


image A Florida woman diving for coupons in a recycling bin finds a variety of paper records from an oral surgeon’s office that contain medical histories and Social Security Numbers. The doctor could be penalized even though the documents were placed in the recycling bin in error. Quote from a patient: “Thank God for the coupon lady. Without her, anybody could have gotten their hands on this."

image A hospital volunteer sues Longmont United Hospital (CO) after being hit by a food cart during her shift, causing a fall and a compression fracture. She wants more than $100,00 to cover medical expenses and “loss of enjoyment of life.” I personally have felt compelled to sue various folks (a couple of ex-boyfriends come to mind) for loss of enjoyment of life, but never took action.

Sponsor Updates

  • Culbert Healthcare Solutions hires Jeff Wasserman to lead the company’s strategy and executive services team. He was previously with The Bard Group.
  • Southeast Eye (GA) selects NextGen EPM PM and EHR for its eight-location practice. TSI Healthcare will provide implementation services.
  • Surgical Information Systems (SIS) recognizes four clients with its 2011 SIS Perioperative Leadership awards for significant advancements in operational, financial, and clinical initiatives. The company also announces that Huntsville Memorial Hospital (TX) has selected the SIS system to interface with its current Meditech HIS.
  • The Ohio Health Information Partnership selects Medicity to create the technology infrastructure for its CliniSync HIE.
  • e-MDs is named a Tier 1 EHR vendor by the Kansas Foundation for Medical Care, the REC for the state of Kansas.
  • Allscripts makes a strategic investment in clinical analytics company Humedica. The companies will collaborate to market Allscripts Clinical Analytics Powered by Humedica, a new module which Allscripts will integrate into its acute and ambulatory EHRs.
  • MED3OOO wins 2011 top honors in customer experience and satisfaction among all EMR systems focusing on multispecialty clinics. Other top performers include NextGen Healthcare, Allscripts, Dr. First/Rcopia, Sage, Epic Systems, LSS Data, and Greenway Medical.
  • Childs Medical Clinic (AL) successfully attests as Greenway Medical’s first client to receive payment for Meaningful Use.


Mr. H, Inga, Dr. Jayne, Dr. Gregg.

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Currently there are "12 comments" on this Article:

  1. for Meditech, you left out:


    1) their workflows are horrible and have cost clinicians tens of millions in lost time

    2) after developing all the code from fresh out of school grads on the cheap, he gave new definition to the word “In-Source”, errr, Outsource.

  2. From Coolio: “Re: physician practices. There is strength in numbers. … ). Independent physicians are just at a disadvantage when dealing with payors … Why would a physician want the headache of implementing an EHR with clinical content tailored to her practice when she could share the cost of it?”

    You really, really need to read two documents:

    1. The Constitution of the United States;
    2. The Road to Serfdom by von Hayek.

  3. As a RN with a MHA (shout out to The Medical University of South Carolina), I found your comments comparing the MHA to the MBA affirming and appreciated. The MHA curriculum along with an IT focus sprinkled across the top was the perfect path for me. This month marks 7 years since graduation and it has been a heckuva ride since then. Thanks for noticing the difference!

  4. Glad I’m not the only one who was scratching their head about the Healthcare CIO e-blast that suddenly started appearing in my Inbox recently.

  5. M$ has hardly been ‘innovative’ – just ask Novell, Lotus, IBM and others that it has out-marketed and left in its dust.

  6. A low ball you pitched. I have a personal subscription and we use them for ACO planning on our IT side. I have yet to meet a better group of people, both in knowledge of IT and work ethic.

    The price I pay for their research (content) is a tremendous value, and what all consultants should emulate.


    [From Mr. HIStalk] Assuming we’re talking about the same organization (since I didn’t name it) I can only go by what I can see as a non-paying member, which is pretty atrocious. If they really are good at consulting, they ought to put a commensurate effort into the material they post for prospective members to see.

  7. I’ll second that. As a CIO, I find their information above the “tearline” valuable. We have subscriptions to high-level firms such as SG2 and Advisory Board Company, yet I trust, still, HCIO for best in class knowledge and content
    (I believe we are talking same firm here based on titles you mention).

    ref: homepage. as a hobbyist in photography, the graphics are not stock photos. Each is from a professional and actually very costly. One looks like expensive graphics development over a photo.
    If you want a bad “effort” at upfront material on homepage, look no further than others like Gartner or SG2. yikes!

    anyhow. my 2 cents. thats all.

  8. I tend to agree with the sentiment expressed about generally preferring the MHA over the MBA. One notable exception is the MBA in Healthcare Administration offered by Loma Linda University (a healthcare-based university) and taught out of its School of Public Health.

  9. I must disagree. Without refrain, your reference is to HCIO. In lieu of the reference, I quite enjoy the newsletter. Furthermore, the services are an affirmation of intelligent thought and deep analysis. Real effort is made, and I profound to be a heavy user of their content.

    Recently, I positioned a few slides in a board meeting (pursuant to their permission) as what we denote “impact material slides. They were a big hit. Helped us all along under these difficult times.

    I do know registration is free. Because i registered and they did not ask for my payment :). After you register, I was able to look around. Well crafted place.

    I would like more on analytics, but i have been told they are in process of such activity.

    Thanks for a great site, Mr. Histalk!

  10. Your off the mark here on those comments. I believe I know what firm you refer to, and I have nothing but high accolades for them.

    Our experiences with them remain solid – saved my butt on a PHR consult.

    did someone pay you to say clearly wrong items. Mr H, your better than that.

    [From Mr. HIStalk] Unless you have insider knowledge that Wolters Kluwer and Lexi-Comp spell their names “Wolters Kluwer’s” and “Lexicomp”, respectively, then you haven’t proved me clearly wrong. I said that the snip of this article that got e-mail blasted to me had two (of two) company names misspelled, the article’s wording was bizarre, the Web site has a ton of pictures that have nothing to do with the topic, and nothing on the public part of the site says who is behind it (and the domain registration is masked as well). I’ll trust your judgment on their consultations, but I’ll also assume that you must have had a lot of faith to engage them on the basis of their poor public presentation.

  11. Based on the grammar, spelling and (ahem) unique phrasing, I suspect that Mr. H’s critics are in fact the authors of HCIO.

    “A low ball you pitched”?

    “yet I trust, still, HCIO for best in class knowledge and content”?

    “Without refrain, your reference is to HCIO”?

    “In lieu of the reference, I quite enjoy the newsletter”?

    “Real effort is made, and I profound to be a heavy user of their content”?

    “did someone pay you to say clearly wrong items”?

    I suppose its possible that a bunch of posters happen to be big fans of HCIO – but not such big fans of conversational English

    Or maybe, just maybe, the same guys who put together the awkwardly-phrased website HCIO are launching a laughably poor defense. If so, thanks for the unintended humor.

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Reader Comments

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