A former patient files a $20 million class-action lawsuit against Stanford Hospital & Clinics on behalf of 20,000 fellow patients, seeking $1,000 each following a data breach in which patient records were posted on a commercial Web site for almost a year. Stanford has issued a statement blaming co-defendant Multi-Specialty Collection Services, which at the time of the breach was providing collection and billing services.
From Boot Scootin’: “Re: eClinicalWorks National Users Conference. You should have been at the party. I think you would have enjoyed the dancing and noticed some good-looking cowboy boots.” Indeed, these folks look to be having some fun and the “skirts with boots” look is one of my all-time faves. eCW is entertaining a crowd of 2,700 this week in Scottsdale.
From Rye Catcher: “Re: subcontractor payments. I’m a long-time reader and huge fan. I did EHR implementation work this summer as a subcontractor for one of your sponsors. I’ve done work for them previously and was always paid on time, but haven’t been paid for June and July hours and haven’t worked for them since July. The CEO gives me ever-changing reasons for the delay, telling me four times that the check was in the mail and giving me fake tracking numbers twice. I wonder if your readers have experienced this problem and can offer any tips? I’d rather not take the legal route, but my options are dwindling.” Please leave a comment on this post if you have ideas that can help RC (short of engaging a leg-breaker to get someone’s attention.)
From The PACS Designer: “Re: Apple iPhone 4S instead of iPhone 5. CEO Tim Cook surprised his audience with the announcement that the new features for the iPhone family will be called iPhone 4S. Prices will be $199 with 16 GB of memory to $399 with 64 GB. It will come in a black or white case. A new feature called Assistant adds voice activation capabilities for apps. Transcribing with the iPhone 4S could be a future enhancement for healthcare users when the app becomes available.” A little more horsepower for graphics, GSM and Sprint capability, the Siri personal assistant, eight-hour talk time, and a better camera are the features, but the most significant change may be the lower price (not to mention that the previous models will be discounted as well). Sounds like a comparative disappointment, putting some wind in the Android sails (or sales). Apple shares closed down a tiny percentage. Somehow it all seemed kind of dull without Steve Jobs around, like watching a band play with a replacement lead singer.
Here’s a demo of Apple’s Siri technology. They bought the company for a couple of hundred million last year. There’s a Nuance connection other than Siri uses Nuance speech recognition: the company that formed Siri out of a government research project (SRI International) incubated and IPO’d Nuance at the end of the 1990s.
From Inga’s BFF: “Re: AHIMA. Here are some shoe pictures!” I get two reactions when I run shoe pictures: the ladies gush and the men accuse me of pervdom. Like most men, though, I don’t know a flat from a pump, but I’ll take my chances in pandering to the women.
From Pathos: “Re: Sunquest’s acquisition of PowerPath. Wonder what will happen to its CoPathPlus AP product?” According to the FAQ (which is marked confidential, but it’s out there on the Web), both products will be supported and enhanced going forward, giving Sunquest a 24% market share. All Elekta employees working on PowerPath will transition to Sunquest and there is an “absolute and clear ‘No Sunset’ policy.”
From Denali: “Re: McKesson Paragon. Heard they’re going to start selling it as just a revenue cycle product. They will still support clinicals. Are they finally admitting that HERM will never be more than a slick PowerPoint?” Unverified. McKesson said they would provide a response from their PR folks, but I haven’t heard back for a couple of days.
From Loop Froots: “Re: HIPAA. Our small healthcare information technology needs to speak with someone about making sure our storage of PHI is compliant with HIPAA and other regulations. We haven’t stored PHI so far, but may need to in the future.” I think Loop is looking for some consulting or advisory help if anyone is qualified and interested. E-mail me and I’ll pass your info along.
From Bomp deBomp: “Re: [provider name omitted]. They’re using an outdated system to rip off the government stimulus money. The system does not allow scanning or viewing images, so they use pieced together applications that are dangerous to patient care. EKGs and x-rays are viewed by different systems and outside reports aren’t available until the patient is discharged. The system is tedious to use, so notes are scant and can’t be followed by other personnel, not to mention that ordering meds and labs is so time-consuming that most physicians do verbal and faxed-in orders. Critical results are hard to find. The lawyers are going to have a heyday, but their physicians will take the brunt of the settlements. Meaningful Use has never been so bastardized.” Unverified.
From Been There: “Re: NPfIT. Having worked for several miserable months on the UK disaster at the very beginning, it was obvious that it would fail. The guy running it had zip, zero, nada experience in health care and didn’t see why that would matter. He was all about writing gotcha contracts with the vendors and ‘holding their feet to the fire.’ Don’t blame it on the docs, blame it on the idiots in charge.” I’ve made that observation previously and it’s a fascinating one: just about every vendor involved got pressured to sign unfavorable contracts, then bailed when it was clear they could be neither successful nor profitable. I don’t know of any precedent where vendors with multi-billion dollar contracts still wanted out and there weren’t really any others qualified to replace them.
HIStalk Announcements and Requests
My doctor’s office now has an electronic check-in kiosk. Very cool. You verify your appointment online, print out a one-page confirmation with a bar code, then when you get to the office, just skip around all the people waiting in line, wave your bar code under the scanner, and take a seat. It’s way easier to use than an airport kiosk and a great way to avoid all the coughing, bleeding, and wheezing folks (and their secretions and excretions) who would otherwise be ahead of you in line.
Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock
Business integration and data management service provider Liaison Technologies closes $30 million in financing to accelerate its growth in the life sciences, healthcare, and HIE markets.
University Medical Center in Nevada contracts with Interpoint Partners for revenue cycle and clinical products, as well as Interpoint’s 835 denial management software.
The National Cancer Institute’s Center for Cancer Research awards Harris Corporation a $37 million re-compete contract to continue managing data for the center’s clinical research.
Capital Health System, Inc. selects Hayes Management Consulting’s MDaudit Hospital software for proactive risk mitigation.
Carson-Tahoe Regional Healthcare (NV) selects ProVation Order Sets, powered by UpToDate Decision Support, as its electronic order set solution.
Central Illinois Health Information Exchange finalizes a contract with ICA to implement the CareAlign HIE platform.
Keith Hagen, former COO of Aperio and CEO of QuadraMed, is named president and CEO of Quantros, which offers quality performance and risk management applications.
Connexall USA appoints Bob Kennedy (Kryptiq) as VP of sales.
Radiologist and former White House Fellow Pat Basu, MD joins Virtual Radiologic as chief medical officer.
The National Quality Forum hires Rosemary Kennedy, the former chief nursing informatics officer of Siemens Medical, as its VP of HIT.
AHIMA elects Kathleen Frawley, associate professor and chair of HIT at DeVry University, as the association’s president-elect for 2012. Other new members to AHIMA’s board include Ann Frischkorn Chenoweth (3M Health Information Systems), Dwayne M. Lewis (DML Consulting), and Melissa M. Martin (West Virginia University Hospitals.)
Ingenious Med names former A.D.A.M president and CEO Mark Adams as its CFO.
Jonathan Goldberg, VP/CIO of St. Peter’s Health Care Services (NY), will hold the same role with the newly formed St. Peter’s Health Partners, which brings together St. Peter’s, Albany Memorial, St. Mary’s, and Samaritan, all in the Albany area.
Announcements and Implementations
Anthelio enters a strategic partnership with MedQuist to implement MedQuist’s clinical documentation services at several of its facilities, also offering the company’s Front-End Speech Recognition and Natural Language Understanding solutions to its clients.
Connecticut Children’s Medical Center preps for its $20 million Epic implementation that will cover both the hospital and its 165 specialty physicians.
HHS, AHIMA, and North Shore Medical Labs (NY) announce a demonstration project to support broader use and adoption of EHRs by providers in underserved communities. AHIMA will provide free HIT training and North Shore will donate EHR software and services through Nortec Software. The project is part of AHIMA’s “HIM Jobs for America initiative,” which supports employment and training opportunities for HIT professionals.
Streamline Health, which has posted losses in recent quarters, announces a new brand identity (logo, Web site, and product names) intended to “represent the Company’s progress as it continues its transformation into an externally focused, high-growth healthcare technology company.” I wonder if my life would be any spicier if I refreshed by brand identity (hair color and new wardrobe) or if, in the end, it would just be a better-looking me with the same old life. Hmm.
Vocera announces the release of its B3000 Communication Badge, which offers enhanced durability, audio quality, and speech recognition.
Nuance Communications announces a new version of its eScription platform, which includes a streamlined documentation creation process and enhancements to the quality assurance workflow.
RelayHealth adds Blue Button capability to its network, allowing patients to download, print, and share their health information with a single click.
Government and Politics
ONC awards APP Design, Inc. a $1.2 million contract to design ways to help patients understand their choices about how their information is shared, including in an HIE environment. It will result in an e-consent pilot with Western New York’s HEALTHeLINK.
eClinicalWorks unveils four new products at its National Users Conference this week, including a patient app for Web-enabled devices; Project Scribe, which converts free text to structured data; Project Nimbus, which enables practices to view and update patient data during outages; and eClinicalWorks for the iPad. All will be out by next summer.
Security companies will host a free Medical Device Hacking Summit in Minneapolis next month.
Rock Health opens up the application window to find its next round of startups to accelerate in San Francisco. Applications are due by November 14 and the next group of entrepreneurs moves into its office in January for five months. The above video has entrepreneurs explaining what Rock Health is. Below that are the folks who run it: Halle, Leslie, Clare, and Jess.
From KLAS: over 80% of providers will use emergency department information systems to help them attest for Stage 1 Meaningful Use, though many products lack required functionality such as medication reconciliation and CPOE. Half of Epic, Cerner and Medhost customers report being ready for MU, but 2/3 of those using McKesson, Meditech, and Picis mention one or more functionality gaps that need to be addressed.
Cherie Lester, an old friend of HIStalk, has an interesting post on her EngageMeHIT blog on how to prepare for a Skype-based job interview. My favorite tip: no pets. If you’ve every been on a conference call with a working-from-home person who doesn’t know how to use the mute button and whose giant-sounding dog barks at every passing vehicle outside, you’ll understand.
A telehealth project in Canada diagnoses and treats dermatology conditions in Africa’s developing countries, expanding the Canada-only Consult Derm to an international philanthropic program called Telederm Outreach.
Weird News Andy cleverly notices that in this case, the mouse really is connected to the computer. Scientists in Israel implant a computerized cerebellum into a brain-damaged mouse, allowing its brain to communicate with its body. If you’re wondering where the scientists happened to find a brain-damaged mouse, you probably don’t want to know more about how animal experiments are conducted.
A hospital staff psychiatrist makes The New York Post for pulling down $516K in taxpayer-paid overtime in addition to his $174K salary, reporting an average of 110 hours per week that also include one four-day stretch of working around the clock.
- Mac McMillian, CEO of CynergisTek, participates as a panelist during the October 5 webcast Health Information Exchange Privacy and Security – Are you Ready?
- SRSsoft partners with Omedix to provide SRS clients with a fully integrated patient portal.
- Mike Smyly, chief business development officer for Inland Northwest Health Services, will co-present with Tim Cromwell from the VA in a National eHealth Collaborative Webinar on HIE leadership and sustainability Wednesday afternoon (October 5) at 1:00 p.m. Eastern.
- Merge Healthcare announces the creation of a clinical advisory board, led by CMO Cheryl Whitaker.
- AsquaredM offers an October 11 Webinar called Applying Value Stream Mapping to the Revenue Cycle.
- Hayes Management Consulting releases a synopsis of the final CMS rule for RACs.
- InHealth Clinical Documentation Solutions joins MD-IT as an MTSO Associate.
- QMACs Inc partners with MED3OOO to offer its physician clients the company’s InteGreat EMR and PM products.
- Brian Levy, MD, CMO and SVP of Health Language Inc., presented an education session on medical terminology and interoperability at this week’s AHIMA convention.
- Medicity’s Kipp Lassetter and McKesson’s Emad Rizk, MD earn nominations to Modern Healthcare’s and Modern Physician’s list of the 50 Most Influential Physician Executives in Healthcare.
- NextGen Healthcare hosts an October 6 webinar entitled Providing Practices a View into What Matters Financially.
- Concerro will preview its new ShiftPredict schedule modeling tool at the ANCC National Magnet Conference this week in Baltimore.
- SourceHOV signs an agreement with 3M Health Information Systems to make its outsourced coding resources available with 3M’s suite of ICD-10 products and services.
- San Juan Regional Medical Center (NM) selects Access Universal Document Portal to move perinatal documents from GE Centricity into Meditech.