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January 10, 2012 News 11 Comments

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1-10-2012 5-49-35 PM

Federal defense contractor ManTech International acquires federal healthcare system integrator Evolvent Technologies. You may remember Evolvent from HIStalkapalooza in Atlanta a couple of years ago, which they co-sponsored with Encore Health Resources and Symantec.

Reader Comments

1-10-2012 5-45-45 PM

inga_small From Stacy London: “Re: HIStalkapalooza. I have registered and hope to make the official invite list. I haven’t been before, so I am not sure what to wear. Thought it was better to ask you than Mr. H.” Indeed. You will see everything from the dreadful “straight from the exhibit hall” company logo shirts to glitzy gowns and tuxedos (seriously.) However, if you’d like to be in the running for HIStalk King or Queen, I suggest some serious cocktail party attire, complete with great shoes and lots of bling. Because we are in Vegas, we are including two special categories: Best Elvis Impersonator and Best Left in Vegas Attire. Ideally, the winners of the Vegas categories will actually be trying to win. All winners, including those crowned in the Inga Loves My Shoe contest, will be awarded fabulous prizes from the generous Mr. H (who may not know fashion, but who knows this stuff makes me happy so he puts up with it.) Our esteemed judges are pictured above.

mrh_small From Is It Just Me: “Re: HISsies survey. Of all the silly questions and odd choices, I thought listing John Hammergren as an ‘HIS industry figure’ was the biggest stretch. And shouldn’t ‘guest contributor of the year’ between Vince Ciotti, Ed Marx, Ben Rooks, and Mr. H’s Epic id merit a question?” The silly questions have been the same for years, so there’s nothing new there. Readers chose the nominees, so any quibble about the odd choices should be directed that those who submitted nominations (or more accurately, the vast majority who didn’t despite my exhortation, saving their input until it was too late.) Inga advocated for adding a “best HIStalk contributor” item, but I didn’t want to diminish the accomplishments of those who didn’t win since they’re all good. If you received an e-mail HISsies ballot link, please vote soon since I’ll probably finish it up this weekend. About 1,000 votes are in and there are some surprise leaders so far. We’ll invite some of the winners to join us at HIStalkapalooza, although they usually turn us down.

mrh_small From Ed Amame’: “Re: UMMC layoffs. Some folks on the right aren’t happy about it. Hot Air, as I understand it, has a pretty big readership. Wonder what waves this will create in HIT policy discussion outside the niche?” Right-wing site Hot Air quotes my mention of University of Mississippi Medical Center layoffs that were implied to be related to its $80 million Epic cost  (a story I just picked up from a newspaper there) and turns it into another vast conspiracy of Obamacare-loving liberals. A few thoughtful comments were left (one basically just pasting in my discussion from the original mention), but many are wildly tunnel-visioned, hysterical, and hateful. It’s no wonder the government is paralyzed by partisanship and an unwillingness to compromise – the politicians are unfortunately representing their intellectually lazy and often ill-informed electorate perfectly, so thoughtful democratic process has turned into a bad reality TV show.

mrh_small From Spanky: “Re: unions. Why they’re bad for healthcare.” An ambulance technician in Scotland ignores an emergency call because he’s eating lunch. The patient dies. The union last week rejected a salary increase that would have paid paramedics $150 every time an emergency causes their break to be interrupted.

HIStalk Announcements and Requests

1-10-2012 10-02-08 PM

mrh_small HIStalkapalooza invitation signups will be closed Friday evening, so if you have an interest in attending but haven’t filled out the online form, now’s the time.

Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

1-10-2012 10-03-07 PM

mrh_small Consumer health site WebMD gives up trying to sell itself, its CEO quits, and the company warns of “significantly lower” profits in 2012 because drug companies are moving away from buying its advertising and competition from Facebook is increasing. Shares dropped 29% on Tuesday.

1-10-2012 7-22-04 PM

1-10-2012 7-23-06 PM

Healthcare apps developer Novarus Mobile Technologies changes its name to Novarus Healthcare. The company also hires Tom Hearn, formerly SVP of ambulatory services with Novant Health (NC), as managing principal.

mrh_small Shares in Scotland-based charge master software vendor Craneware drop by a third after the company warns that performance of its acquired US revenue cycle software business ClaimTrust will not meet expectations. The company also says it may sue after it lost a large ClaimTrust InSight contract that was being handled by a third party and complains that US hospitals are buying HITECH-subsidized clinical systems instead of its financial ones. 

Ascend Learning acquires Advanced Informatics, a Minneapolis-based vendor of clinical education systems.

1-10-2012 9-57-25 PM

UnitedHealth Group forms strategic partnerships with three mobile health companies: CareSpeak Communications (patient medication communication by text message – above,) Lose It! (a weight loss app,) and Fitbit (pedometer and sleep monitor app.)


1-10-2012 5-48-52 PM

Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) and Cerner sign an agreement to digitize the public health system of Qatar, including all HMC hospitals and primary care centers.

BCBS of North Carolina and Kansas City form Topaz Shared Services and choose TriZetto Group to provide claims, enrollment, and billing services.


1-10-2012 5-52-47 PM

Sandata Technologies, a provider of IT solutions for the home care industry, names Tom Underwood (Alere Health) CEO.

1-10-2012 5-53-51 PM

ApeniMED (formerly MEDNET) elects Charles D. Birmingham, VP of corporate development for CareMore Medical Enterprises, to its board.

1-10-2012 5-54-45 PM

Carestream hires Barry Canipe (American Standard Brands) as CFO and promotes Jianqing Bennett to VP of global medical sales and services.

1-10-2012 5-55-46 PM

Surgical Information Systems promotes Kermit S. Randa to COO.

1-10-2012 5-57-07 PM

Streamline Health Solutions appoints Michael K. Kaplan (Altos Health Management) to its board.

1-10-2012 5-57-57 PM

Healthcare consulting firm Equation hires Howard Salmon (Premier, ReHab Care, Phase 2 Consulting) as principal.

1-10-2012 7-30-02 PM

Three Kansas hospitals that are affiliates of Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth Health System name Mike Malone as project manager for their Epic implementation. He was previously with the parent organization.  

1-10-2012 9-10-25 PM

Capella Healthcare names Magda Osburn BSN, RN as director of medical informatics. She was previously with McKesson Provider Technologies.

RCM company Medistreams hires Marcia McLure Hardy as national director of business development.

Announcements and Implementations

1-10-2012 5-59-43 PM

inga_small The local paper (which apparently does not use spell-check) highlights the EMR use of Takoma Regional Hospital (TN), which just received a $1.3 million check for its meaningful use of Cerner’s EMR. When I shared this with Mr. H, he got all nostalgic on me, reminiscing about a consulting gig he had at the hospital years ago, the nice people there, and the great grub at Stockyards Cafe.

While I was trying to figure out which EMR Takoma had in place, I found Cerner’s list of clients that have attested for Meaningful Use, which includes 136 hospitals and 238 EPs.

1-10-2012 5-44-48 PM

Omaha Imaging (NE) implements Avreo RIS/PACS.

1-10-2012 5-43-43 PM

Four Mercy Health (OH) hospitals go live on Epic’s Care Everywhere, allowing hospital staff to view the chart of any patient whose provider is also using Epic and Care Everywhere.

Zynx Health announces a software enhancement that improves integration of ZynxOrder order sets with MEDITECH CPOE.

BryanLGH Medical Center (NE) implements the Pharmacy Xpert clinical surveillance and intervention solution from Thomson Reuters.

1-10-2012 9-25-28 PM

Three Ohio hospitals implement InQuicker, software that allows patients to make ED appointments online and “skip the ER waiting room.”

Government and Politics

1-10-2012 6-02-20 PM

inga_small The latest Meaningful Use numbers, captured in December and presented at Tuesday’s HIT Policy Committee Meeting:

  • 172,974 EPs and 3,077 hospitals registered for either the Medicare or Medicaid MU programs.
  • Medicare paid $275 million to EPs and $1.1 billion to hospitals.
  • 33,515 EPs attested, 355 unsuccessfully.
  • 842 hospitals attested, all successfully.

mrh_small Aaron Berdofe analyzes the November Meaningful Use attestation report using IBM’s Many Eyes tool, finding that (a) Epic has 6,330 attestations, more than triple the #2 vendor; (b) Epic’s strength is concentrated in a few states where it dominates almost totally; and (c) Complete EHR attestations outnumber Modular EHR attestations 21,765 to 1,196.  

1-10-2012 9-15-11 PM

mrh_small  ONC launches its Healthy New Year Video Challenge, offering $5,000 in prizes to consumers who submit a short video explaining their health-related New Year’s resolution and how they will use technology to accomplish it.

mrh_small  Newt Gingrich, speaking at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, says bureaucracy crushes healthcare innovation and that treatment protocols based on statistics interfere with the doctor-patient relationship. Peter Merrill, DHMC IT director, grilled Gingrich on his role in government gridlock, but wasn’t impressed with Gingrich’s answer. “I thought it was an incredibly articulate and well-reasoned defense of his actions in response to my characterization of him as responsible for the current gridlock in government. It was in no way an answer to my question of how to get past the current gridlock. My personal belief is that he is one of the major people responsible.” Merrill says he’ll probably vote for Obama again unless Republicans come up with a better candidate.


1-10-2012 8-41-31 PM

mrh_small First-year medical students at the NYU School of Medicine use an interactive, virtual 3D cadaver to complement the traditional anatomy instruction, exploring the digital content with projected images, 3D glasses, and iPads. A free online version is here.


inga_small  US health spending grew 3.9% in 2010, which was only .01 percentage points faster than the 2009 rate and the second-slowest rate in 51 years. The slower growth is blamed on high unemployment, loss of private health insurance coverage, lower median incomes, and higher patient deductibles and co-pay. Total 2010 spending was $2.6 trillion, or $8,402 per person, of which the federal government paid a record 29% and the combination of federal, state, and local governments paid 45% of all health spending.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that healthcare added 22,600 jobs in December, including 9,800 in hospitals and 11,300 in ambulatory health services. Healthcare employment grew by about 315,000 jobs for the year.

A study finds that nurses using a basic EMR reported better outcomes and were less likely to report adverse patient safety issues, frequent medication errors, and low quality of care.

Cerner, dbMotion, Epic, Medicity, and RelayHealth are the vendors winning the most private HIE deals, according to KLAS, while Axolotl, InterSystems, Medicity, and Orion Health are leading in public HIE selection. Affordability is the top consideration in vendor

mrh_small  Fast Company covers mHealth. It’s not particularly conclusive or insightful (at least not compared to HIStalk Mobile,) but does mention some interesting technology work: Best Buy is researching earbuds that can monitor heart rate, J&J has invested in sleep monitoring technology, and AT&T and Qualcomm are working on mHealth projects.

mrh_small Two English hospitals struggle with error-filled surgical case lists, warning employees to double-check them. The North Bristol NHS Trust blames user error. One surgeon said his case list included patients from outside his specialty.

mrh_small  Weird News Andy likes this Baby Beyonce’ Lockout story. Beyonce’ and Jay-Z have their daughter (named Blue Ivy) at Lenox Hill Hospital (NY), but at least one other new parent says the hospital locked down the NICU to accommodate Beyonce’s visitors, preventing everybody else from seeing their lesser-pedigreed babies. The hospital denies reports that it was paid $1.3 million to give the celebrities an entire floor to themselves. Gossip sites claim the hospital installed bulletproof glass in the delivery area, taped over security cameras and confiscated employee cell phones to prevent pictures being taken, and kicked people out of nearby waiting rooms. The couple is supposedly worth something like $750 million.

mrh_small WNA also says he’ll “take a flyer” that the da Vinci medical robot people didn’t count on their robots to be used to make paper airplanes, even in Boeing-centric Seattle.

mrh_small Guess which company is looking for a senior sales manager. The candidate must cold-call, hit sales targets, negotiate contracts, create sales campaigns and models, persuade prospects, and “aggressively solicit new customers by telemarketing and formulating follow up plans.” The answer: HIMSS, which needs someone to push corporate memberships and organizational affiliate memberships.

mrh_small An IT specialist with an Atlanta medical practice is sentenced to 13 months in prison for hacking into the server of his previous employer, a competing practice located in the same building. He download patient information from his former employer’s system, deleted it from their server, and then launched a direct mail campaign touting his current employer.

Sponsor Updates

  • Kindred Healthcare Inc. selects MED3OOO’s RCM services and InteGreat PM for its partner physicians.
  • PatientKeeper CEO Paul Brient will speak this week at the JP Morgan 30th Annual Healthcare Conference.
  • Fred Pennic, a senior advisor with Aspen Advisors, suggests six ways for healthcare organizations to use business intelligence software.
  • HealthEdge and Keane announce a strategic partnership to deliver a performance-based business process outsourcing service to the healthcare payor community.
  • Imprivata releases a white paper on preparing for a HIPAA audit.
  • RelayHealth hosts a live HFMA webinar January 11 on patient consumerism.
  • Nuesoft announces its podcast series “2012 Billing Trends: What’s on the Horizon.”
  • A Texas hospital selected for the OCR’s pilot HIPAA audits contracts with CynergisTek for preparatory consulting and advisory services.
  • McKesson Specialty Health offers a free webinar on the selection and implementation of EMRs in oncology practices.
  • eHealth Global Technologies Inc and OptumInsight will deploy a medical image exchange service for HEALTHeLINK, a New York RHIO.
  • Idaho Health Data Exchange signs an agreement with Greenway Medical to provide interoperability between Greenway’s PrimeSUITE EHR and the OptumInsight-powered HIE.
  • Community Health Network (IN) says consulting services and technology from MedAssets improved its cash position by $26.7 million, reduced denials by 47%, and increased patient access employee productivity by 100%.
  • Aspen Advisors ranks third in Planning and Assessment in the Best in KLAS awards.


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

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Currently there are "11 comments" on this Article:

  1. Re: hacker – the article claims he hacked in but doesn’t mention methodology. The charge was simply unauthorized access. usually this is indicative of no real hacking so much as user management issues when it occurs outside healthcare so I doubt it is different here.

    When an individual leaves an organization it is important to deactivate their accounts and change password s on generic super user accounts they had access to as former employees who retain access can do a lot of bad things as has been common in IT generally.

  2. Re: InQuicker. If you can schedule an appointment online to avoid a wait in the ED, isn’t this by definition Urgent care rather than Emergency care? This should be use to direct people to urgent care centers rather than maximize use of the ED.

  3. RE: “From Spanky: “Re: unions. Why they’re bad for healthcare.” An ambulance technician in Scotland ignores an emergency call because he’s eating lunch. The patient dies. The union last week rejected a salary increase that would have paid paramedics $150 every time an emergency causes their break to be interrupted.”

    Regardless of any union question, in another profession if you allowed someone to die so as not to interupt your lunch then being fired is the minimum that would happen. The fact that this is discussed as a union issue than a moral one is suprising to me.

  4. About InQuicker…really surprised to see that Premier Health Partners is rolling it out free of charge. The first hospitals I saw using it were from for-profit systems and I assumed it was partially a revenue grab. To be honest, I like it for a fee, for free it just seems like you’re likely to broaden the problem. Trying to get more paying patients into the ER does seem to be a trend these days though…

  5. Re: Peter Merrill’s comments on Newt’s questioning about gridlock. He has a valid point about gridlock, but his last comment that he will probably vote for Obama if the Republicans don’t produce a better candidate is beyond weird. There is such a gulf of difference in the core beliefs of conservatives and liberals, I can’t see how an Obama supporter could ever switch to the other side, or vice-versa.

    If one truly understands what is going on, you either want government control of society – including healthcare – or you don’t. While I agree the Republicans are not offering the strongest possible candidate slate, the core beliefs are so different that any informed person should have a solid commitment to one side or the other and should already know which party, if not necessarily which candidate, they will vote for.

    I would ask Peter just what Republican – running or not – that he’d actually vote for.

  6. Isn’t today the 11th, not the 10th (as in the headline)?

    [From Mr. H] Very observant! Inga had a technical problem last night that left me scrambling to put the post together and I got the date wrong. Usually I would catch that, but last night was a very long one. Fixed.

  7. Nicolo –

    When you are in the 20% that is the far right or the 20% that is the far left, you cannot see how anyone could be anything but with you or against you.

    However to the 60% of Americans who are moderate it is usually a choice between candidates not hard-core ideology. It is very possible that people might vote for Obama and not think it is a vote for total government control – because it isn’t. And a vote for whoever the GOP candidate might be isnt necessarily a vote for an unregulated class-stratified healthcare system. If either party goes to far, the electorate has the option to change the balance in the next election. Not to mention the fact that healthcare is an important issue but not the only one.

    Your comments demonstrate that you are in the 20% extreme who are so thoroughly convinced of thier beliefs that “any informed person” must choose one side to join. And not to hard to guess which side since “if one truly understands” then one knows that Obama = government control of society.

    While such cartoonish characterizations of your opponents feels good and raises lots of political contributions, they also has contibuted to the unhealthy type of gridlock we have today. Locked in a never-ending election cycle, compromise has become a dirty word and progress is something you want to keep your opponent from achieving.

    With so much unregulated money flowing into the current parties and process, I have little hope for either party advancing anything to fix this. At some point a 3rd alternative may be our only hope for sanity.

  8. Re: ONC Healthy New Year Video Challenge, offering $5,000 in prizes to consumers who submit a short video explaining their health-related New Year’s resolution

    I wonder if this would win?
    Rather then sitting at my computer for hours trying to download my EMR, then sorting through the reams of information and then trying to figure out what the heck adenosine deaminase deficiency is, I will jog down to my docs office (5 miles) and ask him. Then I’ll jog back -backwards. That should make for riveting video!

  9. McCynical – If you stand for nothing, you’ll fall for anything. Compromising for sake of calm is not healthy. If compromise is so important to you, just give in on everything the conservatives want, and you’ll have it. And I love it that you fall back on the ad hominem by calling me ‘extreme’.

    As to “compromise” – that word didn’t exist when one party had full control of Congress from 1960-1993. I didn’t see any “compromise” from Pelosi when she rammed PPACA through in the dark of night despite over 65% of the population saying “no”.

    While we can compromise on some things – like what color the curtains should be – many things are A or Z. You can either abort or not, you can change the definition of marriage to include “gay” or not, but in those examples, you can’t be “a little” married or “a little” aborted. Just like you can’t be a little pregnant.

    “Compromise” to some means “agree with us or well call you obstructionist” or worse. How do you compromise on things that have no grey area and must be one way or the other by their nature?

    There is actually right and wrong (shocking!). And in our US secular society, the arbiter of that is the Judeo-Christian ethic (not religion) found in our laws, supported by the Constitution as set up 200+ years ago. One of the parties seems to believe differently.

  10. Niccolo –

    You might want to look up the defintion of compromise: “a settlement of differences by mutual concessions”. By definition, someone who thinks compromise is a valid process to seek progress wouldn’t be satisfied by “giving in on everything” nor would they be saying “agree with us or else”. It’s actually a pretty simple concept.

    While you are at it, you might want to read about how conservative hero Ronald Reagan compromised with a Democratic congress on Social Security in 1983. And I think you might find quite a few examples of that type of compromise between 1960-1993. You see, that was a time when leaders were held accountable on how they ended up serving thier country.

    Finally, in general our Constitution and laws do not seek to define right and wrong. Instead they focus on ensuring the individual rights of the citizens of the United States, and attempt to address right and wrong when an action endangers or infringes on the rights of another citizen of the United States or the best interest of the United States.

    If you are not infringing on those things, then you are fairly free to determine right and wrong by yourselves while you enjoy life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness as described in our Declaration of Independence.

  11. Niccolo,

    Just what is the Republican plan to address the healthcare crisis? Tort reform…and….?

    Why does the party preaching small government (except for military) and individual liberty try to dictate the bedroom habits of the entre country and uteri of half the population (not your half not coincidentally) – imposing YOUR moral convictions on the rest of us?

    ACA was a GIANT compromise, Rahm in back room cutting deals with pharma and insurers. Many believe Single Payor – Medicare for all – is inevitable and was position Obama should have pushed for and Pelosi wanted. The current system unsustainable – political gridlock or not.

    The Repbulicans love fetuses – pontificating about preservering life from conception while defunding food programs for indigent women and children (WIC program), cutting unemployment pay and food stamps stomping out Planned Parenthood which prevents more abortions than it performs and provides education and health services to underserved women.

    Heard of separation of church and state? Know about the Church of England and what the founders were trying to AVOID?

    No one is asking for calm, just reasonableness.

    It’s not the idiology that’s the problem with “one of the parties”, it’s the sanctimonious, unwavering hypocrisy and dogmatic positions.

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