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February 14, 2012 News 2 Comments

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2-14-2012 5-48-59 PM

Acting CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner tells an AMA audience that she is committed to re-examining the pace at which ICD-10 is implemented in order to give providers more time to make the transition. She says her office will make a formal announcement about regulation changes within the next few days.

Reader Comments

inga_small From Don Pablo: “Re: data breaches. I saw where you are not relaying the stolen laptop breaches since they have become commonplace. I used to work in financial services and watched for reports of breaches. This was my favorite site to check a couple of times a week. I bring it to your attention as not every breach is easily found.”Great site to check out, unless you are obsessively worried about your personal data getting into the wrong hands, because lots of organizations seem to be losing our data.

2-14-2012 9-50-42 AM

inga_small From WellHeeled: “HIStalkapalooza. I just want to be sure it is as black tie and glamorous as last year (so I pack the appropriate Red Carpet attire)…is that the case?” There may not be a red carpet this year, but readers have assured me they are packing their sequins, high heels, and more than one black tie. SmyrnaGirl, for example, tweeted that she is bringing her A game with these hot shoes.

2-14-2012 12-57-52 PM  2-14-2012 12-56-15 PM

inga_small From Lucky Jackson: “Best dressed at HIStalkapalooza. Tell me what I have to do to win one of Mr. H’s big prizes.” In the fashion categories, we have HIStalk King (best-dressed man), HIStalk Queen (best-dressed woman), Best Elvis Impersonator (based solely on attire, so choose your favorite young or old Elvis outfit and don’t worry about the singing), and Best Left-in-Vegas Attire (think showgirl or over-the-top glitz; Mr. H is hoping for a lot of showgirls.) If you want to be in the running for the fashion or the shoe contests, arrive early because our judges will be selecting finalists between 6:30 and 7:30 pm.

mrh_small From Former CIO: “Re: booth crawl. I hope the sponsors will have the answers readily available in the booths. With 50+ answers to get in around 11 hours of booth time, there won’t be much time for sales pitches.” We’ve asked the sponsors to have their booth crew prepared with the answers. I expect some will just post the answer on their wall. As a refresher to the detailed instructions: (a) download the form here and print it off, (b) get your answers from the booths and Web pages listed; (c) post them to the online entry form by Wednesday evening at 7:00, and (d) watch HIStalk Wednesday evening to see if you won. At minimum, you get good exercise and flaunt a confident, purposeful stride as you move from one booth to the next on a Apple-seeking mission instead of just meandering around following the scent of some vendor’s freshly baked cookies. With luck (and the odds should be decent), you’ll pack home one of 55 iPads. And as I mentioned last time, I’m the one grading the entries, and if you miss a question or two, I’ll most likely be lenient because I really want you to have an iPad. I was indifferent to the device when I won mine at HIMSS last year, but it has totally replaced my iPod Touch for around-the-house stuff: checking the weather, looking at e-mail, doing a quick order on Amazon, and reading Kindle books.

mrh_small From Elaine: “Re: HIMSS. Any word on a McKesson event? It would be fun to let loose a bit after hours.” I’ll be honest in saying that I don’t even open any of the HIMSS-related mail I get (sorry, companies who pay big bucks to send it) so I don’t know anything about their event. The only ones that have risen above the noise for me were from companies that contacted me directly: a cool-sounding Cerner event at the Bellagio (called me at work), a great-sounding Iatric Systems lunch (e-mailed), and and SCI Solutions get-together (sent to my Mr. HIStalk e-mail). I’ll make this offer: for companies throwing an event that’s open to anyone (and that includes vendor people, just to be clear) let me know and I’ll mention it here, as long as you’re OK with the possibility that gregarious HIStalk readers will overwhelm you with interest, which we have to re-learn every year with HIStalkapalooza. Everybody ought to have a party invitation or two, don’t you think?

mrh_small From MJOG: “Re: GE Centricity Advance. Discontinued with no warning and very little time to transition. They are offering Centricity CPS, but at $1,500 it is too pricey for the small practices that used Advance. Even their own VARs can’t guarantee a transition within GE’s timeframe. Practices that went live with Advance in January 2012 have to pay in full for implementation of dead software. GE is really out of touch.” I think what you are seeing is what lots of people predicted: when EMR certification turned out to be too easy to achieve and everybody earned it, that left it up to the market to weed out those products and companies that have a less than a fully competitive position in the face of disruptive companies that are happy to sell hosted, easily implemented systems for a few hundred dollars per month. The MU carrot is forcing practices to choose their dance partners nearly simultaneously, so the consolidation writing is on the wall as the rich get richer. It’s painful for existing customers, but is both desirable and inevitable over the longer term. Maybe we should have a mandatory Y2K every 10 years to thin the herd.

2-14-2012 7-33-19 PM

mrh_small From All Hat No Cattle: Re: electronic problem lists. What do you think of this idea?” Reported in a JAMIA article, Brigham and Women’s sets up EHR alerts to prompt the physician to review the problem list if patient data in the EHR suggests that any of 17 specific conditions (asthma, hypertension, diabetes, etc.) might be present but undocumented. The alerts were accepted 41% of the time, more problems were documented, and interventions and quality improvement work could presumably be more specifically targeted. I like the idea only because it has the potential (although modest, I expect) to improve the care of individual patients, unlike the similar adverse drug event triggers that have always seemed to me to be a complete waste of time except as a learning tool that nobody ever seems to learn from. On the other hand, pestering docs with alerts that are not helpful almost 60% of the time indicates a need for algorithm refinement. That’s where these projects end a lot of the time – the available information just isn’t good enough to improve the hit rate.

HIStalk Announcements and Requests

2-14-2012 6-36-04 PM

mrh_small Thanks to Streamline Health, supporting HIStalk as a Platinum Sponsor. The Cincinnati, OH-based company offers the AccessAnyWare document management system, which supports hybrid document-electronic hospitals (which is the vast majority) by organizing their information to streamline processes and improve patient care. Its OpportunityAnyWare business analytics solution aggregates information from disparate systems so that users can perform data mining and collaboration using dashboards that can include an unlimited number of key performance indicators, metrics, and alerts. Its Patient Access solutions integrate document workflow related to referrals, pre-op documentation, and financial forms to eliminate delays and process barriers, accelerating the billing process and increasing employee productivity. They even have a solution (CharityWare) to manage the need-based financial assistance screening process. Before and after stats for several clients are here. The executive team has a ton of healthcare experience and the company’s chairman of the board is our old HIStalk friend Jon Phillips of Healthcare Growth Partners, who I interview once a year or so because his healthcare IT business predictions are uncanny (and it’s about time to do that again.) Thanks to Streamline Health for helping us do what we do.

mrh_small I realized today that I have listed the exotic recipe for the IngaTinis to be served at next week’s event, but forgot to mention the other custom-created specialty cocktails that will be served (the bartenders at First are seriously legendary craftspeople of the alcoholic arts.) The Mr. H Incognito is a rum punch with ingredients that are, like its namesake, best left undisclosed. For you root beer fans – and you know who you are – the ESD Activation Sensation is a mixture of IBC root beer with whipped cream vodka (who knew?) with a brandied cherry garnish. And while I’m on the topic, I should repeat that we are ecstatic to host those lucky folks who received an invitation, but we regretfully cannot accommodate anyone who didn’t (guests, co-workers, hastily propositioned showgirls, etc.) You are welcome to swing by at 8:00 p.m. to see if no-shows have freed up space, but otherwise we’re packed to the rafters.

2-14-2012 6-56-22 PM

mrh_small Thanks and welcome to HealthMEDX as a new HIStalk Platinum Sponsor. The Ozark, MO company offers an integrated clinical and financial system that covers all post-acute care settings: long-term care, home health, hospital, rehab, and Continuing Care Retirement Communities (if you’re a hospital person and think this doesn’t pertain to your organization, it definitely does – the comfortable lines between acute care hospitals and all these other important venues of care are getting blurrier by the minute.) When ACO-type arrangements put you on the hook to coordinate care with these other providers, solutions from HealthMEDX ensure that best practices are followed to meet regulatory requirements, reduce cost, reduce errors, and (pay attention here) reduce those hospital readmissions that come right out of your pocket. Every one of HHS’s favorite programs requires unheard-of levels of data-sharing and coordination to give patients coordinated care at the most cost-effective location. HealthMEDX has solutions running in more than 3,000 facilities and has earned CCHIT certification for Home Health and SNF in addition to ONC-ATCB modular certification for both hospitals and EPs. And lastly, if you’re thinking, “I know I’ve heard of HealthMEDX somewhere,” it’s the company that former McKesson Technology Solutions President Pam Pure joined as CEO right before Christmas. Thanks to HealthMEDX for supporting HIStalk.

mrh_small Inga is interviewed by the folks from Dodge Communications, in which she downplays her role in HIStalk and makes me seem way more interesting and virtuous than I really am. Feeling uncharacteristically affectionate after reading it because she was so sweet in her comments, I wanted to have Valentine’s Day flowers delivered to her, but the florist reacted with a combination of a contemptuous laugh and and annoyed snort when I called up Tuesday morning and cheerfully asked if they could deliver that same day (I may offer her and Dr. Jayne a spa day at HIMSS instead.) Anyway, here’s a quote, which I can verify as accurate because I’ve hung out with her at HIMSS:

I have met quite a few people in HIT over the years and I love the opportunity to catch up with former co-workers and meet new people. I’m always on the look-out for HIT rock stars and always get excited when I see a big-name CIO or certain vendor CEOs. It’s totally a nerdy reaction and I have to remind myself to act cool and not like a 14-year-old who catches a glimpse of Justin Bieber. I also enjoy the exhibits. It’s fun to see what the buzz is and what new things vendors are promoting. I like seeing which vendors are over-the-top in terms of their marketing efforts and enjoy chatting with the smaller vendors assigned to small booths on the outer edges of the show floor. It’s a circus but I wouldn’t miss it.

Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

Imprivata announces that it added 160 healthcare customers in 2011 and increased its healthcare revenue by 103%.

Lexmark’s Perceptive Software unit posts an operating loss of $4 million for 2011, although Q4 revenue grew 41% from a year ago to $31 million. Lexmark CEO Paul Rooke says the company acquired Perceptive for growth and is pleased with the numbers.

2-14-2012 9-24-11 PM

Lumeris, Highmark, Horizon BCBS NJ, and Independence BC sign an agreement to acquire NaviNet, which offers a real-time communication network for physicians, hospitals, and health insurers.

Medicity will announce Wednesday that 2011 was its busiest year ever, with 43 contracts signed (22 by new customers, 21 by existing customers expanding their use.)

2-14-2012 7-57-19 PM

mrh_small GE Healthcare and Microsoft announce the name of their new joint venture as Caradigm, also announcing company executives and a board of directors comprised of company insiders. We cited a Geekwire article on February 3 speculating that Caradigm would be the name. The companies confirm that they’re working with the CenCal Regional Health Authority in Santa Barbara, CA to obtain permission to use the Caradigm name, which that organization trademarked years ago (their website still comes up at caradigm.com.) GE and Microsoft admit that they invested a lot more due diligence in choosing the Caradigm name than did CenCal RHA, which picked it in an employee “pick a name for our new company” contest 2002. The employee who came up with it got $50 and a pizza party.

2-14-2012 8-46-41 PM

mrh_small A New York Times piece says that Essence Healthcare, financially backed by legendary Silicon Valley investor John Doerr, is finally bearing fruit. Two of its holdings are ClearPractice (EMRs) and Lumeris (analytic software.) Lumeris was just announced as one of the purchasers of healthcare communication network provider NaviNet, where Lumeris software will help physicians answer administrative questions sent via NaviNet.

mrh_small Meditech kills its contested $65 million project to build an office complex in Freetown, MA, moving on to other location possibilities after a protracted archaeological fight with the state’s historical commission. Freetown gets to keep an empty lot that may or may not contain Native American remains, while somewhere else gets 800 high tech jobs.


2-14-2012 3-27-07 PM

Humility of Mary Health Partners (OH) signs an agreement with Care Logistics to implement the Care Logistics Hospital Operating System at three of its hospitals.

RegionalCare Hospital Partners (OH) selects MediClick’s supply chain and accounts payable solutions.

Community Health Alliance (VA) partners with MEDfx to create a statewide HIE.

Hawaii selects Medicity to provide the infrastructure for its statewide HIE.

2-14-2012 9-29-26 PM

Children’s Hospital and Medical Center (NE) selects iSirona’s device connectivity solution in conjunction with the launch of its Epic EMR.


2-14-2012 5-35-34 PM

Diversinet Corp. appoints interim CEO Hon Pak, MD as CEO.

2-14-2012 3-30-21 PM

NexJ Systems appoints Eric Gombrich as SVP and GM of its Health Sciences Group.

2-14-2012 5-30-31 PM
Elsevier promotes Jay Katzen to managing director of its Clinical Decision Support group within Elsevier Health Sciences.

2-14-2012 5-36-39 PM

Randy Drawas joins M*Modal as chief marketing officer.

2-14-2012 5-37-59 PM

PerfectServe names Optum Accountable Care Solutions CEO Todd Cozzens to its board.

William G. Bithoney, MD joins the healthcare business of Thomson Reuters as the national provider business medical leader. He was previously interim president, CEO, COO, and CMO at Sisters of Providence Health System (MA).

2-14-2012 5-45-30 PM 2-14-2012 5-45-00 PM

Healthcare consulting firm WPC names Ray Guzman (Microsoft) as SVP of sales and business development and Brad Hutson as  chief security officer.

2-14-2012 5-39-57 PM

Fletcher Allen Health Care (VT) hires Healther Roszkowski as chief information security officer.

MedHOK appoints David Butterworth (Emdeon) as SVP of business development.

2-14-2012 6-16-18 PM

Glenn Yarbrough joins the Health Information Partnership for Tennessee as director. He was previously with Ardent Health Services and was the CTO of the State of Tennessee.

Announcements and Implementations

2-14-2012 5-47-31 PM

Saratoga Hospital (NY) deploys DigitalPersona Pro and U.are.U Fingerprint Readers for identity authentication.

Norma Tirado, VP of HR and HIT for Lakeland Healthcare (MI), discusses her organization’s implementation of Epic, which goes live this month.

2-14-2012 5-46-42 PM

HIMSS and the nonprofit trade association Open Health Tools announce a collaboration to promote the use of open source tools in healthcare.

Optum launches a cloud-based healthcare environment and Optum Care Suite, a set of applications that provide detailed health intelligence on patient, system, and population health. We interviewed Optum SVP Ted Hoy about the announcements this week.

VistA provider DSS launches a mental health kiosk for behavioral health hospitals.

Government and Politics

Federal authorities say they recovered $4.1 billion in healthcare fraud judgments last year, up about 50% from 2009.

President Obama’s fiscal year 2013 budget proposal includes $66 million for ONC, an 8% increase over FY2012. That includes $12 million for standards and interoperability work for data exchange, $7.8 million to support EHR adoption, and $5 million for health privacy and security efforts. The proposed budget also includes a 5% cut for the Office for Civil Rights.

mrh_small The VA wants a 7% increase in its FY 2013 IT budget, looking for $3.37 billion. It wants $169 million to continue development of a shared EMR with the Department of Defense, $53 million to develop a Virtual Lifetime Electronic Record, and $1.45 billion for hardware maintenance. The VA seems to be less optimistic that it seemed previously about turning over its VistA data centers to DoD, saying that unless DoD carves out specific space within its data centers to allow VA personnel to run its own systems, they will pursue setting up interim data centers. Nice digging by the folks at Nextgov.

mrh_small In Canada, the illegally accessed medical records of a high-ranking member of the country’s Veterans Review and Appeal Board are used in a smear campaign by fellow agency members who disagreed with his review decisions. Up to 40 officials accessed the files of the decorated veteran in order to use his service-related disabilities to discredit him.


The US Patent and Trademark Office awards DR Systems a patent related to methods of matching medical images according to user-defined matching rules.


2-14-2012 3-14-44 PM

KLAS examines medical device integration systems, focusing on Capsule’s DataCaptor, Cerner’s iBus, and iSirona’s DeviceConX.

2-14-2012 6-11-03 PM

CapSite’s 2012 US Smart Infusion Pump Study finds that 34% of hospitals are in the market for new infusion pumps.

The Tulsa newspaper profiles a BCBS Oklahoma project in which physicians at University of Oklahoma in Tulsa who offer a patient-centered medical home can review the medical claims data of covered patients to get a better picture of their health status.

mrh_small A Bloomberg article says that TV cable carriers are building up their broadband revenue from hospitals and practices, offsetting declining residential cable subscriber counts by charging medical users higher prices for using their networks. Cox says telecommunications companies such as AT&T and Verizon have 80% of the healthcare business, which it estimates at $460 million in the areas it serves. Comcast says healthcare represents a big chunk of the business services market that it estimates is worth $10-15 billion per year. Cable companies can offer lower prices through bundling, but they are less competitive in the areas of data security and wireless communications. AT&T says its healthcare revenue is $5 billion per year.

In the UK, an orthopedic surgeon criticizes thieves who steal live communications cable, which in repeated incidents has taken hospital systems offline, caused surgeries to be postponed, and forced hospitals to deal with downtime of telephone systems and PACS.

2-14-2012 9-32-02 PM

Rice Memorial Hospital (MN), preparing for a computer system conversion, offers patients a 25% amnesty discount to pay old bills so the hospital can shut down its retired billing system earlier.

mrh_small This isn’t really healthcare related, but it’s too funny not to mention. A Marshall University student files suit against a fraternity and one of its members after a party at the fraternity house, in which the allegedly intoxicated fraternity brother tried to shoot a bottle rocket out of his rear. The plaintiff says the bottle rocket exploded in the brother’s rectum, which according to the suit, “startled the plaintiff and caused him to jump back” and fall off the deck, with the resulting injuries costing him playing time with the baseball team.

Sponsor Updates

  • WellPoint (CO) selects Health Language Inc’s LEAP I-10 to transition to full ICD-10 compliance.
  • SRS releases an enhanced version of its certified EHR.
  • Heritage Valley Health System (PA) enhances its mobile iPad app using the dbMotion platform.
  • Fletcher Allen Health Care (VT) will deploy MEDSEEK’s patient portal and optimization services.
  • Wellsoft launches its redesigned website.
  • Orion customer Inland Empire HIE launches its pilot running six hospitals, seven practices and a health plan.
  • CareTech Solutions releases an interactive brochure explaining the capabilities of a hospital-specific help desk.
  • A Vitera Healthcare survey finds that 25% of practices are not aware of the required transition to ICD-10, though larger organizations appear more aware and have a greater sense of urgency.
  • Beacon Partners’ Ben Tobin provides tips for managing revenue cycle and cash flows in the midst of health reform.
  • The Advisory Board Company announces a webinar highlighting its Crimson Critical Advantage platform.
  • Trustwave partners with John Gomez’s JGo Labs to enhance and evolve Trustwave’s healthcare product line.
  • Tri-River Family Health Center discusses its use of RelayHealth to  communicate and reduce non-emergency phone calls.
  • Caremore (CA) purchases PatientKeeper’s Charge Capture software.
  • UMass Memorial (MA) standardizes on Informatica’s data integration platform for integrated views of patients, providers, and encounters.
  • Intelligent InSites announces that its RTLS solution supports ThingMagic Astra passive RFID readers.
  • Emdeon joins the Interoperability Showcase at HIMSS.


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

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Currently there are "2 comments" on this Article:

  1. This Inga quote illustrates how we have moved the focus of HIT from benefiting patients to selling products and glorifying salesmen and their leaders. The people Inga calls the “Rock Stars” of HIT should be the CMIOs and clinicians who make the systems work to help patients and improve healthcare. Rather we see this quote from Inga (whom, of course, I adore): “…I’m always on the look-out for HIT rock stars and always get excited when I see a big-name CIO or certain vendor CEOs. It’s totally a nerdy reaction and I have to remind myself to act cool and not like a 14-year-old who catches a glimpse of Justin Bieber….I like seeing which vendors are over-the-top in terms of their marketing efforts and enjoy chatting with the smaller vendors assigned to small booths on the outer edges of the show floor. It’s a circus but I wouldn’t miss it.”


  2. Re: glorification of salespeople

    I wonder how often the salespeople remind HIT customers that they are voluntarily buying medical devices (per FDA CDRH) not approved by anyone, and are using them at their own risk.

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

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

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

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

  5. Dr Jayne is noticing one of the more egregious but trivial instance of bad behavior by allegedly non-profit organizations. I…

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