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July 12, 2012 News 10 Comments

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7-12-2012 10-36-00 PM

University of Virginia settles its $47 million breach of contract lawsuit against GE Healthcare over what it claims was a botched IDX implementation going back to 1999 (the suit wasn’t filed until 2009.) UVA wanted a refund of the $20 million it paid IDX (later acquired by GE Healthcare), but GE said UVA violated the contract by neglecting its own responsibilities related to project staffing and workflow analysis. UVA signed an Epic contract, then terminated its agreement with GEHC. Terms of the settlement were not disclosed.

Reader Comments

7-12-2012 8-18-02 PM

From HITEsq: “Re: Allscripts and Cerner. Both sued by RLIS for patent infringement. Based solely on the complaint, it appears that RLIS tried its hand at the EMR industry in the late 1990s and failed.” I’ve never heard of the company, but they did file the lawsuits.

From Lindy: “Re: MD Anderson. They got tired of trying to build their own EMR over the past eight years when everyone around them is up on Epic or Cerner. Their new president probably forced a fresh look at the huge costs and minimal results from their internal software development effort.” Unverified, and I assume speculative based on the wording provided. If it’s true, I would add one comment – the vendor pickings were slim back when MDA first started developing ClinicStation. Then-CIO Lynn Vogel wrote on HIStalk about their development work in January 2009.

7-12-2012 10-38-37 PM

From Newport: “Re: Capsule. Acquired by JMI Equity. The press release makes it sound like this was simply an investment, but it is an outright acquisition of 100% of the shares.” Capsule announces a strategic investment from JMI Equity and the appointment of Gene Cattarina as CEO, replacing Arnaud Houette (who will remain on the company’s board). Cattarina’s background includes executive roles at Impulse Monitoring, Lynx Medical, E&C Medical Intelligence, Landacorp, Medicode, and TDS Healthcare Systems. Some of JMI’s other healthcare IT holdings are Navicure (revenue cycle management),  Courion (identity management), and PointClickCare (EHR for long-term care.)

From Ross: “Re: reading suggestions. I’m a relative newcomer to HIStalk and to the industry in general. I’m interested in reading suggestions to deepen my understanding of the field. I’d love to know what readers are reading, even if it’s not about healthcare.” Leave a comment if you’d care to pass along suggestions to Ross.

HIStalk Announcements and Requests

I’m back from vacation, sort of. Even though I posted several times that Inga and I would be out this week in a rare but unavoidable simultaneous absence, a few folks kept e-mailing the same requests every day, apparently either unwilling to believe that we aren’t hard wired to e-mail 24×7 or thinking that a lack of immediate action on our part meant we were being unresponsive and thus in need of a more forceful request (I really dislike that about post-iPhone electronic communication – expectations for e-mail are what they used to be for instant messaging, where a delay of more than a few hours is perceived as being irresponsible.) I figured I might as well forget the rest of vacation, come home early, and get back to work. I was annoyed enough that I cancelled a new sponsor who was e-mailing me daily wanting one thing or another immediately, even though I replied every time that I was on vacation and would get to it when I got back. For everybody else, I will most likely spend the weekend catching up before going back to work at the hospital on Monday. At least I got to take a short break, working only a few hours early in the week while enjoying time away with Mrs. HIStalk.


Parkland Hospital (TX) selects M*Modal Fluency for Coding(TM) in preparation for ICD-10.

Memphis Obstetrics & Gynecological Association (TN) chooses MED3OOO’s InteGreat EHR for its 24 providers.

South Hills Radiology Associates (PA) will implement McKesson Revenue Management Solutions for its 13-physician practice.

Jacobs Engineering Group announces a $20 billion contract award it won to provide a variety of IT support services to NIH and other federal agencies.

Announcements and Implementations

INTEGRIS Health (OK) deploys Amalga from Caradigm.

Quintiles and Allscripts partner to develop solutions improving processes for clinical and post-approval drug research.

Ten-bed Guadalupe County Hospital (NM) goes live on Medsphere OpenVista.


7-12-2012 7-55-57 PM

Here’s the latest cartoon from Imprivata.

KLAS announces a new enterprise imaging report, finding that the top two strategies are vendor-neutral archive and PACS enterprise archive solutions. Those surveyed mentioned GE and Philips most often as strategic enterprise imaging partners, while Agfa and Merge are mentioned most often for the VNA-centric strategy.

CSC begins laying off employees involved with the failed NPfIT project in the UK.

7-12-2012 10-44-59 PM

The local TV station covers the $70 million implementation of Epic (which they inexplicably spell EPIC) at Lee Memorial Health System (FL). It’s the typical TV piece, light on research and heavy on anecdotal chat, but aimed appropriately for laypeople with marginal interest.

7-12-2012 10-45-42 PM

FDA’s Jeffrey Shuren MD, JD, in an NPR interview, says some apps that behave as medical devices (like those that turn a smartphone into an EKG machine) need FDA’s review before marketing, but the agency has no interest in overseeing apps related to lifestyle, wellness, and management of personal medical conditions.

7-12-2012 10-47-55 PM

Weird News Andy finds this news cool, but scary (and asks, “First Amendment, anybody?”) The Department of Homeland Security has developed a laser-based scanner that can analyze people at the molecular level from up to 164 feet away, detecting everything from illegal substances to high adrenaline levels. It’s the last paragraph of the article that gets WNA’s attention: “Although the technology could be used by ‘Big Brother,’ Genia Photonics states that the device could be far more beneficial being used for medical purposes to check for cancer in real time, lipids detection, and patient monitoring.”

Sponsor Updates

  • Imprivata receives a patent for its “biometric authentication for remote initiation of actions and services.”
  • TeleTracking announces enhancements to its capacity management software to help hospitals manage length of stay and increased transfer center volume.
  • AlliedHIE (PA) and ICA announce the go-live of Allied-DIRECT allowing AlliedHIE to recruit providers to join the statewide DIRECT grant program established by PA eHealth Collaborative.
  • The Salvation Army and MedAssets partner to provide healthier choices in food and nutritional items at a better cost through MedAssets buying contracts.
  • OTTR will host a July 18 webinar demonstrating its soon-to-be released OTTR Mobile.
  • Merge Healthcare will offer OrthoPACS, its new image management and digital templating solution for orthopedics, as a subscription model.
  • A military-specific version of the Vocera Communications System earns the Department of Defense’s Joint Interoperability Test Command certification.

EPtalk by Dr. Jayne


NCQA offers a seminar on facilitating PCMH recognition. It will be held on August 21 and 22, with a session on PCMH Best Practices and Lessons Learned to follow. I guess that’s like a stiff drink with a chaser. I’m not sure I could handle three full days of PCMH, especially with the steep price.

The Institute of Medicine reports that as baby boomers age, the nation is unprepared to deliver mental health services to that population. I would argue that based on the decline of primary care and the challenges of Meaningful Use as well as the continued problem with Medicare payments, we’re pretty much going to be unprepared to deliver a lot more services than just mental health.

Wisconsin-based Asthmapolis receives FDA approval for its asthma inhaler sensor. The prescription device captures timestamp data on asthma attacks and transmits it to the company. Patients can use mobile and web software to track asthma symptoms and triggers. Additional features include text messaging for medication reminders.


IT staffers beware: a recent study links sitting more than three hours each day to a shorter life span. I wonder if they controlled for various different types of sitting? I think sitting in meetings viewing endless badly-done PowerPoint presentations will take much more off one’s life expectancy than sitting on the beach with an umbrella-bearing cocktail.

Hallucinogenic club drug ketamine (known as Special K) is being tested as a potential treatment for depression. Ketamine is used as a horse tranquilizer and as a sedative for pediatric patients. In adults, it can give them disturbing hallucinations. One scientist comments, “If not used carefully, we could end up curing depression with schizophrenia.” Anyone want to volunteer for that clinical trial?

According to a recent report, fear of errors in computer-aided E&M coding may lead physicians to code visits manually. The CEO of the American Medical Association is pushing for testing of coding recommendations during EHR certification. How about this: we convince CMS to institute a fair system for compensating physicians instead of giving them games to play with two different coding schemes and a nauseating array of arcane rules and aggressive auditors.

I appreciate the number of readers who were able to identify the photo of Harney Peak (also known as Black Elk Peak or Saint Elmo Peak) and especially those readers who didn’t cheat and load the link associated with the photo. The structure in question is a fire lookout tower – correctly identified by several other readers even if they didn’t know the specific location. Two readers tried to identify it as a fire tower near El Centro, CA which tells me there must be one pretty similar. Another thought it looked like an 18th century European signal tower, and having seen a few of those, I tend to agree. Our winner is Richard S., who gets the bragging rights.



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

More news: HIStalk Practice, HIStalk Mobile.

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Currently there are "10 comments" on this Article:

  1. I think it is more of a fourth amendment issue than a first amendment issue. Law enforcement has had similar legal problems with using infrared scanners to find marijuana grow houses.

    That said, it would be interesting to see such a device go through clinical trials to establish accuracy.

  2. Not right about the vacation, Mr. H. Sorry to hear of the frustration. Here’s an Rx for next vacation:

    #1,000 (one thousand)
    Sig: 1 P.O. q 5 minutes PRN desire to check email

    It’s safe, completely habit-forming, and produces only one known side effect – the desire to check your spouse instead of email. WARNING: side effect may be permament.

    (I can send refills if you need more!)

    Hope you had at least some fun while away.

    [From Mr. H] I thought I could just ignore the non-critical e-mails (which was basically all of them, at least using my criteria) but then folks who didn’t get a response within a half-day started resending Inga the e-mails they had sent me, and resending me the e-mails they had sent Inga. Some of the obvious non-readers included such instructions as, “Tell us who else in your company we can contact” or in one case, “Please forward to your sales team.” For two folks writing HIStalk around full-time jobs, that was pretty funny.

  3. For Ross: Paul Starr’s The Social Transformation of American Medicine. ISBN 0-465-07934-2. It is the subtitle that tells it all: “The rise of a sovereign profession and the making of a vast industry”. You can find it used on Amazon.

    It came out several years ago but it is about the best history of the medical market I can think of. He has a new one out that is quite good too.

  4. If anyone harrassed you about lack of email response while you were on vacation tell them to get a life ! This is a great service you provide as your part time hobby/job and I’d hate to see you get frustrated and shut HIStalk down because it quickly became more trouble than it is worth- the rest of us appreciate what you do and recognize you deserve a break. Keep it up-you provide a VALUABLE service.

  5. RE WNA and Genia Photonics: reading the devastating story of Rory Staunton in the NYT, maybe a device pointing at the door of the Emergency Room to have one last check of patients before they leave could save a life or two when human assessment and evaluation fail…also just wondering if the GP device could be wired into whatever HIS they have at the hospital in NYC to override the human decision that someone is good to go…when we get technology that can prevent really tragic events like this, I’m thinking the First Amendment gets set aside. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/12/nyregion/in-rory-stauntons-fight-for-his-life-signs-that-went-unheeded.html?_r=1&ref=health

    To those who bugged you so mercilessly on your attempted vacation, good manners prevent me from telling them where they can go and what they can do once they get there. Bless you for your graciousness in the face of insolent idiots.

  6. @Some Guy

    Yeah, I understand, in theory, the science behind the thing, but are we sure it isn’t like those bomb-detecting magic wands that the DoD bought? The part that got me from the article was “It also could be used on multiple people at a time, eliminating random searches at airports.” That’s awfully suspicious, if you ask me.

  7. Let’s none of forget that back in 1997-98 MDAnderson was one of the 4 original Cerner Millenium Development sites. Can’t remember what part of Millenium they were on point for development of with Cerner. But they shoved Cerner out in 1999 when Mitch Morris was CIO when Cerner needed 4 $300k+ servers just to run the Oracle database.

    So I would say that they were a victim of the Cerner HYPE machine and then they went into their self development shell because of that.

  8. In re Dr. Jayne’s reporting that mental health services systems for boomers will be unprepared in the not too distant future–mental health service delivery is currently inadequate for any population in the US. Ergo some folks still try to take vacations to escape the madness.

  9. I love seeing quotes of the cost for Epic/Cerner/big EMR implementation in the sub-$100M range, it just shows that everybody gets to pick and choose what a “cost” is. With 1420 beds at 4 sites, that was probably just the amount of the Epic quote (license and implementation fees, plus some hardware and software). “Those 150 additional staff? We’ll just move our people over to fill in, so that’s not additional cost.” On the bright side, I guess it means that executives are still thirsty for Kool-aid!

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