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March 8, 2012 News 4 Comments

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National Coordinator for HIT Farzad Mostashari, MD takes issue with the recently published report that found doctors with online access to patients’ charts ordered more tests. Mostashari disputes the study, which raised questions as to whether or not EHRs cut costs. Mostashari’s contends that the study was based on 2008 data and before the start of the Meaningful Use program and thus does not address certified EHRs’ capabilities for data exchange and clinical data support.

Reader Comments

From EFMHead “Re: OB data management. Rumor has it that GE Centricity Perinatal is to be discontinued and that CPSI is auctioning off its OBIX product. Thoughts? If true, this signals an odd and sudden exodus of two major players from the OB data management market space.” Unverified. UPDATE: per GE Healthcare, the Centricity Perinatal rumor is not true.

3-8-2012 5-29-50 AM

From CW “Cake. Here’s a picture of the cakes that were prepared for Vada’s retirement. She was also presented with a quilt that reflected all the company names and colors over the last 24 years.” The cakes were prepared in honor of the retiring Vada Hayes, a longtime Allscripts/Misys/Medic support supervisor.

HIStalk Announcements and Requests

3-7-2012 2-10-35 PM

inga Highlights from HIStalk Practice this week include: a handy two-page summary of Stage 2 for EPs, prepared by two e-MD physician users. US physicians charge two to three times more than their French and German peers and achieve similar outcomes. MGMA urges Secretary Sebelius to consider adding due diligence to the ICD-10 timeline and limit required adoption to hospitals. A survey finds that 30% of physicians have implemented an EHR that meets MU criteria, 14% will in the next three years, and 17% have no plans to do so. Check out the rest of the goodies on HIStalk Practice and be sure to sign up for the email updates. Thanks for reading.

3-8-2012 6-42-37 PM

HIStalkapalooza’s  own singing Elvis is seeking  music video contributions for “Gimme My Damn Data,” as debuted at HIStalkapalooza last month. Dr. Ross D. Martin, MD encourages anyone wishing to promote access to their electronic health information to submit a video clip by March 26th. Check out the video clip – fun stuff.

Mr. H will be back in front of his computer this weekend, following his week-long get-away with Mrs. H. Of course I’m ready for him to be back at the helm, especially since he is the one most likely to feign amusement by my witty e-mails. He did a pretty good job staying off the Internet this vacation, meaning his inbox is likely overflowing; no doubt he’ll immediately be back to his workaholic ways.

Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

3-8-2012 7-10-24 PM

Medivo, a provider of decision support and analytics software, acquires WellApps, a developer of mobile disease management applications for chronically ill patients.


The 150 physician Holston Medical Group (TN) selects Humedica MinedShare as its clinical intelligence solution to be used in a joint venture with over non-Holston 1,300 physicians.

3-8-2012 10-14-26 AM

WellStar Health System (GA) selects PerfectServe’s clinical communication platform.

3-8-2012 7-12-04 PM

University Health System (TX) expands its Allscripts portfolio with the selection of Allscripts Community Record, powered by dbMotion, to share data across its 24 locations.

3-8-2012 7-13-05 PM

Watson Clinic (FL) selects MedAptus’ Professional Intelligent Charge Capture for its 294 multi-specialty providers.

Oakwood ACO (MI) contracts with Wellcentive to provide its the Wellcentive Advance healthcare intelligence solution suite for Oakwood ACO physicians.

3-8-2012 7-14-13 PM

Fairview Health Services (MN) chooses Amcom Software’s communication solutions, including smartphone-ready encrypted messaging and nurse call alerting on mobile devices.

3-8-2012 7-15-05 PM

Brattleboro Memorial Hospital (VT) selects Unibased’s ForSite2020 solution for enterprise scheduling.

CSC signs a nonbinding letter of intent with the NHS to move forward with additional implementations of the Lorenzo patient records system, beyond the 10 that have already been rolled out.


3-8-2012 7-16-08 PM

The Cal eConnect board of directors appoints Ted Kremer as president and CEO. Most recently Kremer served as executive director of the Rochester Health Information Organization.

3-8-2012 7-17-08 PM

Former Nuance Communications executive John Shagoury joins Eliza Corp. as president. Shagoury replaces company co-founder Alexandra Drane, who takes over as chairwoman and chief visionary officer of the patient engagement company. Shagoury is the former president of Nuance’s healthcare division.

3-8-2012 7-18-13 PM

Physicians Interactive, a provider of mobile and Web-based clinical resources, names Gautam Gulati, MD (Digitas Health) as CMO and SVP of product management and Joe Caso (King Pharmaceuticals, Pfizer) as EVP of new business development.

Announcements and Implementations

Datawatch Corporation partners with HIT consulting firm Jacobus Consulting, enabling Jacobus to incorporate Datawatch’s Monarch Report Analytics platform into its client offerings.

Bayscribe partners with Health Fidelity to integrate Fidelity’s NLP platform into BayScribe’s clinical documentation solutions.

Government and Politics

The Stage 2 proposed rules for Meaningful Use were officially published in the Federal Register Wednesday, marking the start the 60 day commentary period. CMS is accepting feedback through May 7th.


Solo and small practices are now outpacing larger practices in EHR adoption, with single-doctor office adoption growing from 31% to 37% for the second half of 2011. Overall EHR adoption rates remain higher as the number of physicians practicing at each site rises.

Moody’s Investor Service predicts even more consolidation among hospitals over the next few years as institutions look for ways to enhance efficiencies, improve competitiveness, and drive higher payments from insurers.

3-8-2012 6-26-39 PM

Forbes profiles Epic founder and CEO Judy Faulkner, whom it dubs “healthcare’s low-key billionaire.” The magazine estimates her net worth at more than $1.5 billion, making her the only woman to reach the rank of billionaire by founding her own technology company.

3-8-2012 6-58-17 PM

Weird News Andy checks in with a few goodies, including a story of a three-year-old who ingested 37 Buckyball magnets. The magnets snapped together in the child’s intestine, tearing holes in the intestine and stomach. WNA says, “No MRIs, please.”

WNA wonders how much the living received in overpayments, after an audit finds that Washington, DC paid nearly $700,000 in Medicaid payments for dead people, including one nearly nine years after the patient’s death.

And in an overachieving moment, WNA adds the story of a Texas dialysis nurse, accused of injecting bleach into the dialysis tubing of patients, killing five.

Sponsor Updates

  • API reports it added 38 contracts with new and existing clients between Q4 2011 and Q1 2012 to date.
  • BCBS North Carolina launches a mobile version of its member web portal that is based on Kony Solutions’ mobile technology
  • States and regional HIE’s drive demand for technology from Medicity, Axoloti, and Orion.
  • Gwinnett Medical Center (GA) launches MedGift, an online gift registry powered by RelayHealth.
  • Pathology Service Associates, a division of MED3OOO, prepares to move into a new, $5.5 million 32,000 square foot headquarters in Florence, SC.
  • Health 2.0’s Matthew Holt chats with Kareo CEO Dan Rodrigues about the current state of the one to four physician market.
  • iSirona releases DeviceConX 4.0, its latest version of connectivity software.
  • Hayes Management Consultant’s Anita Archer, CPC, provides recommendations for preparing for ICD-10.
  • Vitalize Consulting Solutions ranks third in the 2011 Best in KLAS Awards for software and services. Apparently KLAS inadvertently left VCS off the original report published in December.
  • The Advisory Board reports that nearly 50% of hospital CIOs will hire consultants to help achieve MU.

EPtalk by Dr. Jayne


Nuance announced plans to drop $300 million in cash to acquire Atlanta-based medical transcription and speech editing vendor Transcend Services. The move is aimed at expanding Nuance’s customer base in the small- to mid-size hospital market. We’ll have to see if employees still embrace the “It’s better here” motto after the dust settles.

In other acquisition news, CareFusion will PHACTS LLC. CareFusion hopes that by adding PHACTS to its existing Pyxis products, pharmacies can better manage inventory, manage drug shortages, and of course improve the bottom line.

IBM has named nine members of the Watson Advisory Board to “focus on medical industry trends, clinical imperatives, regulatory considerations, privacy concerns, and patient and clinician expectations around the Watson technology and how it can be incorporated into clinician workflows.” Seven of the nine are physicians, including family doc Douglas Henley MD who is CEO of the American Academy of Family Physicians. I learned at HIMSS that family docs can be a lot of fun so I’m excited to see him on the Board.


ONC is seeking public comment on how health care providers and health systems user mobile devices to access, store, and transmit health information. Laptops, PDAs, smartphones, and tablet computers were specifically called out but storage devices were excluded. Comments are being accepted through Friday, March 30th.

CMS will be releasing new online billing statements intended to help seniors find bogus charges. The “consumer-friendly format” goes live Saturday on Medicare’s secure web site. Features include larger type and explanations of medical services in plain language. Revised paper statements are coming next year. I cruised the site looking for samples but couldn’t find any, so I’ll use my next best research source: grandma. I definitely want to see one before patients bring them to me to discuss. Apparently the site also allows beneficiaries to check claims status and use an online appeals form. It also includes the Blue Button.


HIMSS released its online photo gallery in case you want to purchase photos of your favorite ONC, CMS, and HIT crushes. Although it’s not from the official HIMSS site, I’ve been told this pic depicts the response of a certain someone when informed that he missed the chance to dance with the ladies of HIStalk at HIStalkapalooza.


No, that’s not a sample of the tattoos that Inga and I had done while we were in Las Vegas – but one of my favorite readers did send an article about the growing phenomenon of medical tattoos. It’s low tech but does make a point for patients with health conditions or who want to make sure first responders understand an individual’s wishes for resuscitation. The tattoo chosen by the reader in question: “afraid of needles.”

Have a question about voice recognition, clinical decision support, or just want to share what you’d choose as your medical tattoo? Email me.



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

More news: HIStalk Practice, HIStalk Mobile.

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Currently there are "4 comments" on this Article:

  1. Well then but, in all due respects to F. Mostashavitz, he makes very long points of typical academic vapid criticism defending the works of the ONC, BUT, he misses one big point.

    The biggest point, my golly gosh, the devices he defends cause over orders troubles pointed out in the study and then but, worse troubles of death and injury because they are, you know then, poorly usable and not assured of being safe and efficacious by anyone.

    But then, the vendor says they are safe or improve safety on their websites, and ONC says they are safe, but they have no any proof of that. Oh what a transformation to increase costs and well you know then, maybe increase deaths overall.

    When ONC gets meaningful premarket proofs of safety and aftermarket surveillance and reviews of the outages and well then, the deaths and other injuries from hospitals’ mayhems, he could go to bully pulpit to criticize excellent researchers, and these researchers of Health Affairs article are.

    The ONC just wants to shout down the truth, as they did and HIMSS and CCHIT did for many years.

    Well then but, where are the mortality facts and overall outcomes, and deaths reports when systems crash and even when they are working? My golly gosh, we know the unexpected deaths happen commonly with CPOE, but to ONC, well you know, these are anecdotes.

  2. Dr Mostashari is living in a dream world if he thinks his regulatory efforts have had a practical result so far in reducing costs–including unnecessary or redundant ordering.
    Want fewer unnecessary tests? Shift the cost-savings based incentive to the patient. Ain’t gonna happen.
    The record needs to get better. But the idea that central regulation is going to effect less expensive care is silly.

  3. Like many government agencies they measure their success by whether or not they have spent the money – not necessarily whether or not they’ve obtained the intended outcome.

    They are very proud to have spent 3.8B dollars on stimulus. And they are proud of it.

    What they are not talking much about is the 2B dollars they’ve spent on failing programs for HIEs in states, the Beacons and RECs who are struggling and the community college program which hands out certificates but to people that will struggle with HIT implementations.

    The HIEs will likely begin to fade as healthcare companies grow in their frustration with lack of execution and go it alone. RECs have no sustainability plan – there is no private money left to fund them once government money runs out. You hear them now talking about how they’ll get cash from healthcare organizations but you hear the healthcare organizations saying they don’t provide value.

    Beacons sounded good in concept, but now they are merging with RECs in an effort to force money out of the system to survive.

  4. Why is Mostashari so defensive?

    Would it not be better for all if he wrote on how to improve upon the intrinsic defects of the EHR devices, including frequent breakdowns, user unfriendliness, interface failures, tolerance of absurdity, tolerance of duplicate medications, toelrance of misidentifications, that doctors are forced to use but impede their work and work flow? And what about detailing the deaths, injuries and near misses from the devices he espouses? I stay awake wondering.

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