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December 15, 2011 News 10 Comments

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KLAS publishes its 2011 Best in KLAS Awards for software and professional services. A few highlights:

  • Epic is named the top overall software vendor and takes the #1 spot in seven categories, including acute care EMR and ambulatory EMR over 75 providers. Epic’s winning margins in these categories were significant. In acute care, Epic earned 90.3% satisfaction score compared to second place Cerner PowerChart at 78.5%. In the ambulatory EMR75+ provider segment, Epic scored 89.8% compared to eClinicalWorks’ 76.1%.
  • If you compete against Epic on inpatient core clinicals and ancillaries, you’ve got your work cut out for you. Epic tops every application category except lab, including EMR (orders, results, documentation), pharmacy, radiology, and surgery, not to mention that Epic also is #1 in patient accounting and patient management. And, all of those products run on a single database and are fully integrated. It’s not shocking, then, that vendors are trying to beat Epic on price since that’s about the only competitive point that’s up for grabs.
  • McKesson Paragon beat Cerner PowerChart by 10 percentage points in the community acute care EMR segment. Interestingly, Paragon was not ranked in the acute care segment because that’s not Paragon’s primary market (according to KLAS.) Paragon’s scores in the acute care segment would have been good enough for a fourth-place ranking, beating out Horizon and others.
  • It’s pretty impressive to have 100% of your users (those participating in the survey, anyway) say they would buy your product again. Among those achieving that distinction: Epic (multiple categories), SCI Solutions (enterprise scheduling), Sunquest (community laboratory), Allscripts (patient accounting/patient management), Nuance (speech recognition), iMDsoft (anesthesia), GetWellNetwork (interactive patient systems), athenahealth and SRSsoft (ambulatory EMR), athenahealth and OptumInsight (practice management), and ZirMed (clearinghouse services.) Interestingly (to us, anyway), all but two of these companies are HIStalk sponsors.
  • maxIT was ranked the top overall services firm, edging Hayes Management Consulting by 0.2 points.

Reader Comments

mrh_small From DtwlnLax: “Re: iPhone users. Check this out – 25 GB of free cloud storage for iPhone users.” Sign up for Microsoft SkyDrive and its yours.

mrh_small From Non Sequitur: “Re: holiday greetings! HIStalk provides a great service and somehow ties us all together into one common community in some way that I don’t entirely understand, but it works. You should enjoy knowing how common an occurrence it is around this setting (and in my former life as a vendor) to walk in on a conversation where someone is saying, ‘Did you read such and such in HIStalk this morning?’ or counters an argument in a meeting with, “There was an article on HIStalk recently where they addressed this, and the gist of it was…’ I really appreciate the news, the good articles, the inside story, and of course the delicious pithy comments! An e-mail from HIStalk or HIStalk Practice is like getting a little gift from my Secret Santa. Your industry insight amazes me and those of us in the trenches really, truly appreciate the effort and commitment! Happy Holidays to Mr. HIStalk, the long-suffering Mrs. H, and to the Intrepid Inga! My hero!” That was maybe the best e-mail anybody has ever sent us. Inga wanted me to run it unedited, but I argued that it was indeed great, but it seemed distastefully self-promoting to run it publicly instead of just basking in it privately. We compromised: I edited it to the version above to reduce the volume of the shameless tooting of our own horn (from 11 to 10, at least). Non Sequitur, who works for the hospital of one of the finest public universities in the country, made our day, needless to say. She’s sweet.

mrh_small From All Hat No Cattle!: “Re: Partners Healthcare. Sent an internal memo stating they have decided to buy a new EHR for their facilities. Wanna bet whether it will be Epic or Siemens?” Glaser connection or not, Siemens wouldn’t seem to be a great choice given Soarian’s limited (non-existent?) track record with facilities their size and complexity, although they’ll surely get lots of promises of extra-special hand-holding that might sway their opinion from the obvious choice.

12-15-2011 9-23-44 PM

mrh_small From Patti: “Re: ACO training in four hours. Check out this Craigslist ad for the Prognosis ACO. The ACO sales rep would get four hours of education on ACOs and ‘the sales pitch’ and would then be ready to recruit physicians to sign up, pushing their EHR as well. Reps get the equivalent of $30K per year plus $500 per enrolled doc, but their contract ends in March.” The big spiff for reps is that the company provides business cards. The Craigslist ad is here. There’s not much listed about who is behind the hard-selling ACO, but domain registrations seem to point to an Illinois oncologist.

mrh_small From Larry: “Re: McKesson. They wanted to get rid of Paragon years ago, but worried about the viability of old products like Series and HealthQuest with ICD-10 coming and let Jim Pesce talk them into Paragon as a clinical solution. About the same time, Michael Simpson, now running the GE-Microsoft thing, swore he could get HERM done if they let him take it offshore like he had with his previous employers (check out Unisys and Novell to see how well that worked out.) Paragon was to be the hedge bet, to be killed off if Simpson was successful. Obviously he wasn’t.”

12-15-2011 10-10-34 PM

12-15-2011 10-09-39 PM

mrh_small From Wet Willy: “Re: the new company of former Allscripts CTO John Gomez. I hear they are working on a search and analytics platform for healthcare, a hybrid of Google and Amalga done right with a huge emphasis on usability for outcomes-focused analytics. I also heard they are introducing an Allscripts-to-Epic migration tool and service that will allow a hospital to migrate Sunrise facilities, printer locations, patient records, medical history, formulary and other data and map it to Epic’s schema with 80% accuracy.” I asked John. His answer for #1: “It is true, we are working on that.” For #2: “We really can’t comment.” Above are his company’s guiding principles.

HIStalk Announcements and Requests

12-15-2011 4-26-06 PM

inga_small This week on HIStalk Practice: athenahealth’s Jonathan Bush calls for greater transparency and accountability in the Meaningful Use program. The White House says the government has recovered more than $2.9 billion in healthcare fraud this year. HHS issues an advisory opinion that concludes a vendor would not be violating anti-kickback statutes if it facilitated payments between providers for the exchange of EHR data in a patient referral situation. The Chicago and Maine RECs say they’ve met their enrollment targets. If you can’t send me a pair of Christian Louboutins for Christmas (size 8), then the next best thing would be to faithfully read HIStalk Practice and sign up for e-mail updates.

mrh_small A reader from a large hospital system in Shanghai, China is looking for a vendor to provide an outpatient PM/EMR/dental system that can then be expanded to the inpatient hospital. I don’t know of any US-based vendors that offer these capabilities with support for customers in China, but if yours can, I can forward your contact information. I was just happy to brag to Inga that one of our readers needed our help, and oh by the way, she’s in China.

12-15-2011 8-34-00 PM

mrh_small Say hello to new HIStalk Platinum Sponsor Ingenious Med of Atlanta, GA, whose company name is one of my favorites. The physician-founded company has been around for more than 10 years, offering workflow-intelligent physician solutions for charge and data capture, coding and documentation, quality, reporting, and inter-staff communication. “Physician-friendly” means “mobile” these days, and Ingenious Med just this week won its third consecutive Mobile Star Award. The company has 9,000 users in 800 facilities that include Emory Healthcare, WakeMed, Kaiser Permanente, Texas Health Resources, Sentara, Geisinger, BJC, and a bunch of other high-profile providers. So why would a hospital be interested in solutions like these? Simple: hospitals spend tons of money subsidizing the P&L of their docs, eating the loss with the hopes of offsetting it via increased hospital business, while the company’s tools soften the blow by increasing collections by $30-40K per doc per year just by capturing information accurately (they’ll put it in writing, and show you their 97% customer renewal rate). Hospitals also like reduced exposure to RAC audits and insight into whether individual physicians seem to be over- or under-coding based on industry standards. Thanks to Ingenious Med for supporting HIStalk.

mrh_small On Healthcare IT Jobs: McKesson STAR Analyst/Consultant, Cerner PathNet Consultant, EMR Application Specialist.

Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

athenahealth reaffirms its existing guidance for fiscal 2011, predicting earnings of $0.78 to 0.85 per share and revenue of $320-$325 million. Analysts had predicted $0.86 per share. The company also projected 2012 revenue of $410-430 million, in line with expectations, but non-GAAP net income of $0.85 to $0.97 per share vs. the Street’s anticipated $1.16 per share. The share price slipped over 15% Thursday to $49.04.

12-15-2011 4-31-33 PM

Spectrum Equity Investors and Trident Capital  take a majority position in HealthMEDX, LLC, a provider of long term and post-acute care technology. Former McKesson Technology Solutions President Pam Pure joins the company as CEO. Former Visicu SVP/CFO Vince Estrada was also named EVP of business development and CFO.


12-15-2011 4-32-29 PM

Orion Health appoints Andrew Ferrier, former CEO of Fonterra, to its board of directors.

12-15-2011 6-12-30 PM 12-15-2011 6-13-53 PM

CHIME elects Melinda Costin (VP, Baylor Health Care) and Randy McCleese (VP/CIO, St. Claire Regional Medical Center) as board trustees.

12-15-2011 4-37-33 PM

Diversinet Corp. names Hon Pak, MD as interim CEO, succeeding the retiring Albert Wahbe. Pak recently retired as CIO of the US Army Medical Department and had served as president of the American Telemedicine Association.

12-14-2011 3-39-43 PM

The New England chapter of HIMSS names Daniel J. Nigrin MD, MS as Clinician of the Year. He’s SVP/CIO and a pediatric endocrinologist at Children’s Hospital in Boston, not to mention a faithful HIStalk reader.

National eHealth Collaborative announces new officers: Kevin Hutchinson (My-Villages), Holt Anderson (NCHICA), Tom Fritz (Inland Northwest Health Services), Paul Uhrig (Surescripts), and Janet Corrigan (National Quality Forum).

Announcements and Implementations

Catholic Healthcare West’s north state division will deploy MobileMD to connect its hospitals to physician offices, clinics, and other hospitals.

12-15-2011 4-40-18 PM

St. Rita’s Medical Center (OH) goes live on Ohio’s statewide HIE with the transmission of clinical data to Greenway EHR customer Health Partners for Western Ohio.

Emerus Emergency Hospital (TX) goes live on the InsightCS revenue cycle solution of Stockell Healthcare Systems at six Texas locations.

Birmingham VA Medical Center (AL) implements GetWellNetwork’s interactive patient care solution in its tertiary care facility.

Government and Politics

mrh_small A healthcare blog post in The Hill observes that Republican presidential front-runner Newt Gingrich isn’t talking about electronic medical records like he used to, possibly because conservative voters weren’t thrilled with his support for spending taxpayer money on technology for private businesses (some of which were his consulting firm’s customers.)

mrh_small CMS will announce the first Medicare accountable care organizations on Monday, rumor has it.

mrh_small North Carolina legislators criticize the state’s Department of Health and Human Services for allowing cost overruns for building a new Medicaid claims system. The final tally for the state’s $265 million contract with CSC is now pegged at $495 million. It will also take 22 months longer to complete the system and will cost $91 million more to keep the old system running in the mean time. One state representative called the project a “money pit” and added that if it were a private sector project, heads would have rolled, but when the agency’s IT head was asked to give herself a grade, she said she deserves an A. CSC originally got the bid when a 2004 contract with ACS was cancelled, costing the state $10 million to settle the resulting ACS lawsuit. When the CSC contract was signed in 2009, the current DHHS secretary was a lobbyist for CSC.

mrh_small In the UK, vocal NPfIT critic MP Richard Bacon says BT and CSC are charging NHS trusts triple the market price for Cerner Millennium and iSoft Lorenzo.

Innovation and Research

Mount Sinai Medical Center (NY) will start a pilot project in January that will link the genomic sequence of patients to their electronic medical records, allowing physicians to incorporate the patient’s genetic characteristics when choosing drugs and dosages.

12-15-2011 10-14-40 PM

The safety institute of Johns Hopkins Medicine, led by Peter Pronovost MD, PhD, will collaborate with Lockheed Martin to create a new generation of hospital ICU. An example given of its potential work is a patient alarm prioritization system. According to Pronovost, “A hospital ICU contains 50 to 100 pieces of electronic equipment that may not communicate to one another nor work together effectively. When an airline needs a new plane, they don’t individually select the controls systems, seats and other components, and then try to build it themselves.”


Fujifilm Medical Systems announces the availability of Synapse Financials, a billing solution that integrates with Fujifilm’s Synapse RIS platform.

Axial’s Care Transition Suite wins first place in the "Ensuring Safe Transitions from Hospital to Home" initiative, sponsored by Health 2.0 and HHS’s Partnership for Patients Initiative.


12-15-2011 6-20-53 PM

Wes Wright, CTO of Seattle Children’s Hospital (WA) says its deployment of 2,600 Wyse zero client devices for Citrix will save $400,000 per year in power consumption.

mrh_small MoneyWatch reports the top-compensated US CEOs for 2010, with McKesson’s John Hammergren in the #1 spot with $145 million (5,370 times the median US income.) Two other healthcare CEOs made the Top 10: Joel Gemunder of Omnicare ($98 million) and Ronald Williams of Aetna ($58 million.) Another site says Hammergren’s payday will get a lot bigger if McKesson changes ownership at some point — his contract calls for him to be paid $469 million.

mrh_small Making sure to place this item for maximal ironic effect, soon-to-be-displaced McKesson employees can check the comments left on my earlier post, where some vendors who are looking for Horizon or other talent have posted their contact information (I entered a few myself from information e-mailed to me).

mrh_small An interesting article in The New York Times ponders whether clinicians are becoming distracted by their growing arsenal of smart phones, tablets, and other gadgetry. It cites a research article that asked technicians who monitor heart bypass machines during surgery whether they used their electronic devices right in the OR, with 55% saying they had talked on their cell phone and 50% admitting they had texted. Funny: a Stanford doctor and author calls the attention-demanding screens “the iPatient,” and says the iPatient is getting wonderful care. In a sobering example, a patient was left partly paralyzed after surgery, with evidence presented in the ensuing malpractice lawsuit documenting that the neurosurgeon had made at least 10 personal calls from a wireless headset during the surgery.

mrh_small A Boston Globe article covering a visit by the head of HHS’s HIPAA enforcement organization, Office for Civil Rights (which it mislabels as Office of Civil Rights), cites Micky Tripathi’s breach article on HIStalk Practice. It’s also being reprinted in a Canadian information security journal after they requested his permission and he graciously deferred to us.

Sponsor Updates

  • Jeffrey DiLisi MD, associate VP of medical affairs at Virginia Hospital Center (VA), will discuss motivating physicians to improve documentation during The Advisory Board Company’s December 16 web conference.
  • MD-IT releases a case study on the ability of neurologist Gordon M. White, MD (TX) to maintain productivity while qualifying for the EMR incentive program.
  • Nuance joins 11 other organizations as a strategic partner with the Center for Connected Medicine.
  • Billian’s HealthDATA announces an alliance with  HealthLink Dimensions to add hospital-affiliated physician data to Billian’s existing offerings.
  • Nuance releases findings of a managing paper records in a medical practice.
  • Ignis Systems releases its EMR-Link Maintenance Training webinar schedule.
  • Greater Glasgow and Clyde Health Board (EU) announces that over 15,500 active patients have adopted its Orion Health clinical portal.
  • Practice Fusion shares its top seven healthcare IT predictions for 2012.
  • The Micromedex mobile drug information app from Thomson Reuters earns a spot on the WIRED App Guide to 400 Essential Apps.
  • Covisint works with Intermountain Healthcare (UT) to earn nearly $1 million in PQRS incentives.

EPtalk by Dr. Jayne

Medicare announces that starting in January, recovery audit contractors (the dreaded RAC auditors) will offer a new service to amuse and delight physicians: prepayment reviews. The audits will be piloted in states with a relatively high percentage of fraudulent and inaccurate submissions, as well as states with a high percentage of short hospital stays. Another demonstration project will require prepayment review for motorized wheelchairs and scooters, with a goal of requiring prior authorization within the next year.

It is unclear why Medicare chose to use the RACs to do this instead of the Medicare Administrative Contractors that actually process the claims. I do like the idea of looking at the process for payments covering powered mobility devices. A couple of vendors are entirely too pushy and work very hard to convince patients that every Medicare beneficiary deserves a scooter “at absolutely no out of pocket cost” because they’re not cheap and all of us are paying for them.

CMS plans to offer up to $1 billion in grants for healthcare innovations. The Health Care Innovation Challenge program targets public-private partnerships, multi-payer groups, and groups caring for patients with complex health care needs. Administered by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI – ooh, a new acronym!), the grants stem from $10 billion in funding from recent health reform legislation. Proposed projects have to be rapidly deployable (less than six months) and able to be replicated, expanded, and sustained. I’m interested to hear from anyone who is considering an application. Letters of intent are due Monday and applications are due January 27, so if you want to wait until after the deadline so no one steals your ideas, I understand. The minimum award is $1 million, so get those keyboards moving.

Based on the content so far, I might as well make this the “all CMS, all the time” column this week. The House of Representatives passes a bill this week to postpone the scheduled 27% pay cut for Medicare physicians that is only a few days away. However, it is not expected that the Senate will follow, and even if they do, President Obama is expected to veto it.


HIMSS will open the process to solicit volunteers for its 2013-14 committees on January 2. Individual members and corporate members who are not already in HIMSS leadership positions are eligible as long as they have maintained membership for the past 12 consecutive months. Watch the Committees home page for more information.

We talked about flu vaccines recently, but right now there’s an outbreak of pertussis (whooping cough) in Chicago and surrounding counties. Vaccines are effective and are now recommended for adults as well as for children.


I mentioned last week that I had something big planned. Since our last get-together was at HIMSS11, I thought it was time that I paid my BFF Inga a visit. Although I frantically searched the racks at Nordstrom looking for something appropriate to wear, I suspected my efforts would be fruitless because I could never keep up with Inga. Seeing her walk through the door having paired these with jeans for a casual dinner, I knew I was right.

So what do the sassy ladies of HIStalk discuss over drinks? The enigma that is Mr. H, recent events at McKesson, who has the best date for HIStalkapalooza, and potential beauty queen sashes. We also discussed our no-longer-secret project. As Inga mentioned, you’ll want to make sure you include a pair of new or gently used shoes for our charity event when you make your packing list. (Sorry, no stiletto dash for those of you who suspected that’s what we were up to. I don’t want to be called upon to treat any orthopedic injuries while I’m enjoying the evening.)

It was nice to actually get together since we typically connect via e-mail and the occasional text message. I usually have at least one good physician war story for Inga, and this time she topped me with the writeup of a new book: Stuck Up! You’ll have to read for yourself what it’s about. Let me just say that it’s wackier than anything even Weird News Andy would send.



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

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Currently there are "10 comments" on this Article:

  1. Healthmedx is a big player in a little market but wondering how moving them to Colorado makes financial sense. Pam mut be relying on her development team from her mckesson days to grow the company.

  2. Why did Mike take HERM offshore? Can any one help me here? Are there any succesful offshore stories in HIT space that you cater to ?

  3. In response to news of McKesson layoffs:

    athenahealth is currently hiring in our Alpharetta, GA offices. We would be very interested in hearing from McKesson job seekers.

    Please feel free to send resumes to: ajackson@athenahealth.com or to apply on our careers page: careers.athenahealth.com

    We look forward to hearing from you!

    Physician Practice Management, EHR, and Patient Communication Services
    there is a better way

  4. response to Frmtheotherside: The sales pitch was that they could perform the development of the HERM product at a much reduced cost and save 10’s of millions of dollars in development costs. It was a quantitative decision to impact the bottom line of the business. Mckesson learned some painful lessons on requirement management and how to manage a team of 150+ offshore engineers doing dev. It was the first project ever done that way w/in McK and it was painfully oversold.

  5. Re: the KLAS ratings. Methodologically Nonsense. Now, it’s entirely possible that the ratings reflect something — like enthusiasm of recent buyers, cognitive dissonance over having spent a lot of money and needing to justify it, word-on-the-street, number of clients, whatever. It could even be that the higher ranked software is in fact better? Perhaps much better? But that’s got to be a third order effect. The KLAS methodology is the the platonic example of what never to do in sampling and research methods. How they get away with selling these data is beyond me. It shows that hospital administrators should be obliged to take at least basic level courses in research methods.
    If KLAS sells you a bridge, post a note to MrHIStalk ASAP. We’ll send the GPS coordinates to show you how to avoid it.

  6. Amen Mr. Babbage

    KLA data is about as reliable as a Major League Baseball Drug Enforcement Policy…….oh wait……wasn’ that the NL MVP that just tested positive for PED’s…..maybe they’re putting something else in the kool-aid in Wisconsin, hehe………Drink up, Mr.H

  7. RE: the NYTimes article on clinician distraction. The “Stanford doctor” Abraham Verghese is an astute clinician, writing a great book about the early years of HIV in small town America-“My Own Country” It’s a fascinating book discussing aspects of medical practice that goes beyond what is formally taught in medical school.

  8. Siemens is hiring clinical, revenue cycle and business intelligence
    professionals for both implementations and strategic consulting positions:

    Clinicians with experience in ED, OR, Ambulatory, Acute Care, BI
    -advanced practice nurses
    Revenue Cycle professionals with experience in hospital and/or physician
    practice, BI
    -Domain experience in one or more of the following:
    –Patient Access
    –Provider Accounting

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