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November 13, 2012 News 7 Comments

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11-13-2012 5-20-42 PM

ONC releases the draft of the proposed Stage 3 Meaningful Use rule.

Reader Comments

11-13-2012 12-52-14 PM

From Minnie Mouse: “Re: NextGen User Group meeting. Over 4,400 attendees have descended on five Disney resorts in Orlando.” The NextGen folks sent over a few pics and we are running a Twitter feed box with meeting updates. The company honored the winners of its innovation awards Monday evening, which included the Flemington, NJ-based Hunterdon Healthcare Partners (above) as Grand Champion. Attendees tweeted positive comments about the food, the presenters, and the enhancements being previewed.

From SideWays: “MyWay contract. Will Allscripts let MyWay users out of their contract if they choose not to migrate to Allscripts Professional?" We’ve asked Allscripts for clarification.

From Peter Potamus: “Re: Allscripts. John Gomez has been consulted by some PE companies asking for guidance and insight into MDRX, and possibly the idea of his returning as CEO. He is getting tremendous pressure to step up, take the helm, and reinvent the company as he did during his early tenure at Eclipsys. I wish he would take it on, but so far he has been resistant. In the Sunrise XA days, he galvanized the client base, rallied the employees, and delivered all he said he would, inventing the App Store, Helios, Objects Plus, and much more.” I’m going to keep my response guarded since Allscripts is publicly traded. I have reason to believe that one or more of the PE companies with an interest in bidding for Allscripts may have approached John for advice that may or may not have included discussion of a possible role if the acquisition moves forward. That’s hardly surprising – if I were a PE guy, l would be calling up departed executives such as John, Jay Deady, Phil Pead, Bill Davis, and maybe even John McConnell for an arm’s length opinion about what they think needs to change to make the company successful. They could also read the advice of the HIStalk Advisory Panel. Or yours, if you’d care to leave a comment – I have a lot of readers who are VCs, equities analysts, etc. so make me proud by showing them how insightful you are.

11-13-2012 6-13-43 PM

From Stock Doctor: “Re: cartoon. Thought this was amusing.” I like it.

11-13-2012 7-51-34 PM

From Country Lane: “Re: Geisinger. I’ve heard rumors that they will release a commercial product aimed at the ACO market.” Geisinger Consulting Group offers software-related services, but I don’t know if the health system is selling software directly. It doesn’t seem like their core competency, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t doing it.

From G.E. Smith and the SNL Band: “Re: GE Healthcare IT. Layoffs coming, the third large one this year. The Centricity Business line is rumored to be heavily impacted again. Software development for various imaging product lines will likely also be cut. Tragic for employees, unfortunate for customers. In any competitive industry, failure to innovate=death. In this case, GE Healthcare has chosen assisted suicide at the hands of Epic and other more agile competitors.” Unverified.

From Fly on a Wall: “Re: GE Healthcare IT. Rumor has it they’re dumping people (layoffs Wednesday) and capital to prepare for a potential acquisition of a large healthcare IT company that McKesson was rumored to be acquiring last week.” Unverified. The subjects of the McKesson rumor that appeared here were athenahealth and Greenway. Monday’s stock market action gave no hints that ATHN is in play (shares were down in a down market), but GWAY shares rose 2 percent on no news other than a management overview. That’s interesting, but probably means nothing.

11-13-2012 6-12-31 PM

From HITEsq: “Re: American Hospital Association. They’re very litigious, with dueling complaints filed in federal court with SSI Group. SSI Group seeks declaratory judgment that the UB-04 codes are not valid copyrights or that any protection ‘is extremely thin.’ AHA filed suit against SSI Group for copyright infringement.”

From Karl Marx Brothers: “Re: ONC. It would seem like a good time to look at the return on investment of ONC. In 2009, this office had a budget of $67 million. I am told that in FY 2012 the budget was over $2 billion. While I understand some increase was needed, this seems excessive in a time where a balanced budget is becoming increasingly important. Do we really need masses of beltway bandit consultants working on HIE interoperability issues, such as communicating lab results, that were solved 10 or more years ago?” According to FY2013 budget documents from February 2012 (the only documents I found), ONC requested 191 FTEs and $66.3 million for 2013, up $5 million from 2012.

From EpicBuzz: “Re: HCA. One HCA hospital went live on Epic earlier this year and now Epic is quietly assembling an implementation team to begin rolling out more facilities. Can they be successful with this huge win? As a former Epic employee, they already seemed stretched to meet customer needs – I was working 70+ hour weeks when I left. This large of a commitment will be a test of their strength for sure.” HCA hasn’t confirmed plans for further Epic rollouts beyond the pilot, or at least the several HCA people I asked said they didn’t know anything about it. Epic is the only vendor that has demonstrated an ability to rapidly ramp up without apparently loss of quality, but HCA has a couple of hundred hospitals and that would indeed provide the ultimate test of turning thousands of brand new liberal arts grads into healthcare IT experts via a short company training program. I don’t think the already-stretched Epic-certified talent bank can even begin to handle a multi-year HCA rollout if it happens, so that probably means a salary war to lure people over. That might throw some disarray into Epic’s carefully managed centralized contractual control over people seeking new opportunities without a waiting period. I don’t have enough fingers to count the percentage of US patient volume that Epic will have if indeed it does land the HCA whale. 

11-13-2012 7-54-51 PM
Photo: Michael Henninger/Post-Gazette

From Grizzled Veteran: “Re: UPMC. How is this possible?” UPMC reports Q1 revenue of $2.5 billion, up $39 million, but the real eye-opener is its $300 million net revenue swing from –$120 million a year ago to $180 million. Kaiser Permanente also turned in good quarterly numbers, with $12.7 billion in revenue vs. $11.9 billion and operating income of $561 million vs. $320 million. KP’s net non-operating income got a huge pop from investments, swinging from a $365 million loss last year to a positive $242 million in Q3.

From MadisonHIT: “Re: Dean in Madison. I’ve heard indirectly that they are laying people off and blaming Obamacare because 100 doctors are leaving because ACA doesn’t let them place patients first. Supposedly this is a nationwide occurrence since the election. Anyone hearing anything similar?” I haven’t heard that, but I’m all ears.

HIStalk Announcements and Requests

I’m running “Morning Headlines” early each weekday on HIStalk, a quick summary of the handful of most important news items you should know about. You won’t get an e-mail blast – just go right to the site. If you’re in a hurry or need a quick smartphone HIT news check while eating breakfast at your hotel, this is the place.

Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

11-13-2012 7-47-56 PM

A Reuters report quotes unnamed sources who say that three private equity companies placed bids last Friday to acquire Allscripts: Carlyle Group, Blackstone Group, and TPG Capital. The sources said that Allscripts is asking for a premium to the current share price and a deal isn’t guaranteed for that reason. It also said that Bain Capital declined to bid because of unreasonable price expectations and company management turmoil. Shares closed Tuesday at $12.32.

11-13-2012 3-55-50 PM

EarlySense Ltd., a maker of patient monitoring sensors, completes a $15 million Series E financing round.

11-13-2012 5-06-35 PM

Emdeon reports Q3 loss of $15.2 million, which represents a 341 percent decline over a year ago. Revenue was up 5.3 percent to $297 million. Emdeon attributes the loss to increased interest expenses and costs associated with the company’s acquisition by Blackstone a year ago.

InterSystems opens an office in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia to support its TrakCare EMR system.

QualComm Life announces availability of its cloud-based health device connectivity solution in Europe.


11-13-2012 3-57-14 PM

Lake Health (OH) selects Accelarad’s SeeMyRadiology.com imaging management and storage solution.

11-13-2012 3-58-22 PM

Orlando Health contracts with Phytel for its Atmosphere population management suite, including the Outreach, Insight, Coordinate, and Transition products.

11-13-2012 3-59-31 PM

Erie County Medical Center (NY) selects Merge Healthcare’s iConnect Enterprise Archive and iConnect Access for real-time access to images and information from Meditech.

Medina Regional Hospital (TX), Red River Regional Hospital (TX), Ward Memorial Hospital (TX), and First Street Hospital (TX) choose Healthland Centriq, adding to the company’s total of more than 70 rural Texas hospital customers.

Central Washington Hospital (WA) selects patient privacy monitoring tools from FairWarning.


11-13-2012 1-14-58 PM  11-13-2012 1-13-39 PM

Zynx Health announces that President and CEO Scott Weingarten, MD (left) has resigned to return to Cedars-Sinai Health System. He will be replaced by First Databank President Greg Dorn, MD (right), who will run both of the Hearst organizations.

11-13-2012 5-08-45 PM

Awarepoint names Vanguard Health Systems Vice Chairman Keith B. Pitts to its board of directors.

11-13-2012 3-50-41 PM

Apprio names H. Allen Dobbs, MD (HHS) CMIO.

Announcements and Implementations

McKesson renames Horizon Surgical Manager to McKesson Surgical Manager to convey that the product is not specifically tied to the Horizon product line.

FDA issues Cerner 510(k) pre-market clearance for its Cerner FetaLink+ mobile fetal monitoring solution for the iPad and iPhone.

Piedmont Healthcare and WellStar Health System (GA) create the Georgia Health Collaborative, a partnership which includes 10 hospitals and over 700 physicians. The organizations will remain independent, but will partner to share best practices and create innovations and cost reductions through economies of scale.

Intelerad will offer Nuance’s PowerScribe 360 voice-enabled reporting radiology system to customers of its imaging solutions.

Galaxy Health Network will offer its 400,000-member physician network iMedicor’s SocialHIE, a NHIN Direct-powered secure messaging service that the company calls “the social network for healthcare professionals.”

Steward Health Care System (MA) expands its use of Craneware’s Chargemaster Corporate Toolkit and InSight Audit across 10 hospitals.

Over 1,000 physicians across 422 practices have joined Michigan Health Connect and are using Medicity’s iNexx Referrals app.

The Upper Peninsula HIE goes live on ICA’s CareAlign CareExchange interoperability platform.

An article in the Sarasota newspaper profiles Voalte, including its $6 million in recent funding, the planned tripling of its headcount and physical space, and hints of major new sales in 2013. It says the smartphone hospital communications system vendor is doing $10 million in business annually. Sarasota Memorial Hospital nurses are sending 600,000 text messages and 6,000 telephone calls through the system each month.

11-13-2012 6-21-49 PM

Visage Imaging’s mobile viewing app has been enhanced to support the iPhone 5/iOS 6. It’s available in the Apple App Store.

Government and Politics

HHS announces the first class of the HHS External Innovation Fellows, who will spend the next six to 12 months building systems and infrastructure to solve such issues as the acceleration of clinical quality measures for the Affordable Care Act, building technology to withstand natural disasters, and devising electronic tracking and transport systems for the national transplant system. 

Innovation and Research

11-13-2012 8-20-34 PM

A Detroit TV station covers research commercialization at University of Michigan, including a profile of real-time patient monitoring software vendor AlertWatch. AlertWatch, used by UM Hospitals and awaiting FDA marketing approval, was developed by a UM doctor who also invented the pulse oximeter.


The president of New York’s public hospital system says it will cost more than $300 million to repair damages from Hurricane Sandy. Full restoration of the hard-hit Coney Island and Bellevue Hospitals will take two to three months.

Here’s a time lapse video of the audience filing in for Monday’s opening session at NextGen UGM 2012 in Orlando.

11-13-2012 9-04-34 PM

London-based Future Lab Group launches the FlipPad, a medical grade, ruggedized case for the iPad that’s being piloted in several NHS hospitals.

11-13-2012 8-15-46 PM

Bart Harmon MD, chief medical officer for Harris Healthcare Solutions and former Military Health System CMIO, writes a Forbes Veterans Day editorial on the use of healthcare IT to deliver care “both in the field and when they return home.”

In Greece, several hospitals lose their connection to the outside world when protesting students break into the data center and disable servers.

Employees and patients of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital create a video dubbed to Flo Rida’s “Good Feeling.”

Steve Sinofsky, the president of Microsoft’s Windows division and one-time CEO heir apparent, is leaving the company just a few weeks after the launch of Windows 8.

11-13-2012 8-44-49 PM

Guaranteed doctor blood pressure raiser: Lawsuit Settlement Funding Company hires a marketing company to help it find medical malpractice victims. The company offers malpractice plaintiffs quick-approve loans of up to $250,000 as an advance against their potential court winnings.

The son of a woman who died after knee surgery at a Massachusetts hospital files a HIPAA complaint, saying that rounding students visited her room without the family’s permission. He also tries to file homicide charges against the hospital and doctors, but police said it’s a civil matter. The son’s song tribute to Fenway Park is played before Red Sox home games, while his mother starred in the song’s video along with William Shatner just before she died.

11-13-2012 8-49-34 PM

One Medical expands to Boston, offering concierge medicine for $199 per year whose consumer-friendly experience includes online appointments and e-mail contact with physicians. Unlike most organizations of that type, they accept insurance.

11-13-2012 3-17-10 PM

inga_small A Chinese man sues his former wife after she gives birth to an “incredibly ugly baby.” He initially accused the mother of having an affair since the baby did not resemble either of them, but later found that his wife’s beauty was due to the $100,000 in plastic surgery she had prior to their marriage. The judge ordered the woman to pay her ex $120,000 for tricking him into marrying her. I hope she hits up the plastic surgeon for a loan in exchange for all the free publicity.

Sponsor Updates

11-13-2012 6-06-25 PM

  • Transplant solutions vendor OTTR Chronic Care Solutions exhibited at last week’s National Marrow Donor Program conference in Minneapolis. That’s Joy Nock above.
  • Five care management solutions providers featured in a recent market report use consumer health education tools from Healthwise.
  • Versus offers a Webinar  that highlights the use of Versus RTLS by Northwest Michigan Surgery Center.
  • MedHOK enhances its care management, quality, and compliance system by incorporating HTML5.
  • Informatica introduces Cloud Winter 2013, which includes enhancements in master data management and end-user integration.
  • Prognosis Health Information Systems will integrate Health Language’s provider-friendly terminology and Language Engine into its EHR suite.
  • Frost & Sullivan recognizes Humedica for its innovative approach to clinical data analytics and the value it provides to clients.
  • Emdeon exhibits its Edge payment solution suite and offers educational sessions during this week’s National Health Care Anti-Fraud Association conference in Anaheim, CA.
  • T-System’s VP of Revenue Cycle Management Compliance Greer Contreras discusses the value of relevant clinical documentation to ensure proper reimbursement in a guest article. 
  • UK HealthCare (KY) licenses Vendor Selection, Systems Implementation, and Program Management Methodologies from Fulcrum Methods.
  • Merge Healthcare updates its Merge Eye Care PACS to support video and the DICOM OPT standard.
  • The Nashville Chamber of Commerce and Entrepreneur Center recognizes Cumberland Consulting and Emdeon with 2012 NEXT awards for their significant growth in revenue and employees.
  • BridgeHead Software’s file archiving data and storage management systems for PACS is successfully tested by Fujifilm.
  • The Huntzinger Management Group streamlines its services offering to include RCM offerings from both its Advisory Services and Managed Services segments.
  • CareTech Solutions introduces CareWorks, an out-of-the-box content management system for smaller hospitals.
  • Brad Levin and Malte Westerhoff, PhD of Visage Imaging were featured in an Imaging Biz article called “The High-performance, High Speed Enterprise Viewer.”
  • Worcester Business Journal awards eClinicalWorks top honors for its employee rewards and recognition.


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

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Currently there are "7 comments" on this Article:

  1. OMG, John Gomez was the beginning of the downfall of ECLP and then MDRX. He had a lot of people snookered, We called him the Bernie Madoff of the industry. Bringing him back would guarantee certain death for the company. His communication with execs outside of his department was non existent and often hostile.
    Contrary to what Peter Potamus says, he delivered almost none of the systems he promised, which is why there is such a mess today.

  2. John Gomez back to run Allscripts. Interesting, and it should never happen. He created the demise of Sunrise through bad product planning, left the company, came back and tried to correct his mistakes. It hasn’t worked. He ignored the need for an integrated solution and dismissed the need for a revenue cycle solution. His communication skills are non-existent. He made infrequent visits to customers and often cancelled at the last minute on important meetings. His track record of non-successful product development, poor financial results, customer dis-satisfaction and low employee morale – this should be enough to dissuade PE firms to steer clear of John Gomez.

  3. RE: AHA lawsuit. Good on the SSI Group for fighting the AHA on this. Taking a page from the playbook of those noble patent trolls, the AHA is going after anyone using Revenue Codes in their application for “licensing fees.” I’ve heard of at least half a dozen companies who have settled already, rather than fight an expensive legal battle.

    Don’t sleep on this one, folks. If they are successful shaking them down, then the floodgates will open and every company with products showing any elements from the UB-04 will be in their crosshairs. Rumor has it this all started when the AHA hired an attorney who used to work at the AMA (who makes most of their money licensing their proprietary yet government-mandated CPT codes).

  4. “I am told that in FY 2012 the budget was over $2 billion. While I understand some increase was needed, this seems excessive in a time where a balanced budget is becoming increasingly important.”

    While I dislike wasteful spending, I have to say that this comment is a waste of time if you are genuinely worried about the federal government’s deficit. Federal spending in 2011 (including Social Security and Medicare) was $3.598 trillion. That includes $835 billion for Medicare and Medicaid (23%), $725B for Social Security (20%), and $700B for Defense (19.4%). The ONC budget of $2B is 0.06% of the federal budget, or 0.15% of the $1.296 trillion deficit. There is no amount of cuts to ONC that will meaningfully contribute to a balanced budget. Even the $7.7B in Meaningful Use EHR payments is only 0.214% of the federal budget.

    This also ignores the revenue side of the equation – after all, one half of balancing the budget is revenue.

    There are certainly criticisms that can be leveled against ONC, but “it’s breaking the federal budget” is not a convincing one. Focusing on $2B programs is a waste of legislators’ time if we actually want to fix the problem. Fix the real problem, then we can take all the time we want to scrutinize 0.06% of the budget.

    Source of $ figures: http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/attachments/01-31-2012_Outlook.pdf

  5. For a minute I thought I was coo-coo in my opinion of Gomez and his tenure with Eclipsys, but then I read the other comments above. Our expreience as a customer was with the first XA releases – what a mess!! Anybody else remember the Eclipsys User group meeting (I think it was in Philly) when he spoke and the auditorium was standing room only with furious customers??

  6. Prognosis is dumping people left and right. Layoffs in batches and then every other day. These folks have no idea on how to run a company. Laying off people, people quitting – top management. Laying off good employees without severance or paying them their earned vacation time.

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