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December 13, 2012 News 7 Comments

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12-13-2012 6-46-09 PM

Allscripts files suit against NYC Health & Hospitals along with Epic Systems over the $303 million contract HHC awarded to Epic in late September. The complaint says the award is “arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, and lacks a rational basis” because it claims Epic’s proposed cost is $535 million more than that of the Allscripts proposal. HHC says it will defend its decision and added, “Allscripts’ claim that it underbid Epic by more than half a billion dollars is absurd and strikes us as an ill-fated attempt to reassure investors and inflate its sagging stock price. Unfortunately, as our multi-year review has revealed, Allscripts lacks a truly integrated EMR solution and has repeatedly lost business to Epic and other vendors as a result.” MDRX shares closed Thursday at $10.80, down 2.44 percent and indeed sagging at less than half their February price.

Reader Comments

From Bain Marie: “Re: Allscripts sore loser lawsuit against New York HHC. They had to deal with Hurricane Sandy and now will spend a fortune to defend themselves against Glen’s bizarre public accusation that its prospect would pay almost anything to avoid buying its product. Would you say this is the dumbest move in HIT history?” It’s certainly in the top handful, and probably the undisputed #1 in the “desperation” category (HBOC’s frenzy to mate with McKesson was even more desperate, but Allscripts wins on style points for suing a non-profit hospital.) I won’t editorialize further since Allscripts employees, shareholders, prospects, customers, and potential acquirers (if indeed any are still interested) are probably already amply embarrassed by this latest in a string of bad company decisions that always send competitors running gleefully to the scanner to make sure prospects get copies. That’s my opinion. If you work for a hospital, especially one with Allscripts connections, I’d like to hear yours. If you work for Allscripts, I’d be even more interested.

12-13-2012 7-30-50 PM

From Nasty Parts: “Re: Mike Lovett. Promoted to replace Scott Decker at NextGen.” Unverified. His LinkedIn profile shows a new job of SVP/QSI Division Leader – Ambulatory Division.

From  Kaiser Surgeon: “Re: video by KP ambulatory surgery staff at Fremont Ambulatory Surgery Department. They are well known for high-volume cataract surgery on our Kaiser patients. They do seem to have an esprit de corps.” I’m always a sucker for hospital music videos like this one.

12-13-2012 8-26-46 PM

From Former Stanley Tool: “Re: Healthcare Informatics Associates. Stanley Healthcare Solutions is shutting it down.” Unverified, but searching LinkedIn finds at least one former employee who is freshly entering the job market.

HIStalk Announcements and Requests

inga_small If you have been busy holiday shopping and missed reading HIStalk Practice this week, here are some highlights. Two-thirds of EPs will apply or have applied for MU incentives. ONC says that more office-based physicians are using EHRs that have higher-level functionality to meet MU objectives. ED use declines when patients have access to after-hours service from their primary care provider. HHS offers tools to protect PHI on mobile devices. Physicians spend more time on health content-specific websites than any other health sites, though more are also visiting EHR portals. Epocrates releases a native app for iPads and iPad minis. Dr. Gregg pronounces the consumer the heir to throne of healthcare. I made the “nice” list again this year, but the only gift I need is a few more e-mail sign-ups on HIStalk Practice. Thanks for reading. (P.S. If you are a shoe distributor, own a wine shop, or are a male admirer who likes to give expensive jewelry, please disregard the “only gift I need” statement.)

12-13-2012 7-54-55 PM

Welcome to new HIStalk Platinum sponsor RazorInsights. I’m guessing the Kennesaw, GA-based company found HIStalk because I’ve run several non-anonymous hospital reader comments about the company’s ONE Enterprise HIS for rural, critical access, and community hospitals. It offers a single-database, certified, cloud-based hospital EHR. Every one of the company’s live hospital clients have earned Meaningful Use payments. Customers enjoy one database, one simple user interface, and capabilities that include a master patient registry, patient encounter management, nursing documentation, CPOE, and physician offline orders. It’s available in multiple editions that include clinicals only, clinicals plus financials, clinicals plus ambulatory, and the Enterprise Edition including all of those. Customers can go live in as little as 90 days, enjoying cost-effective training services and around-the-clock support. People always bemoan the lack of new companies and new, scratch-built technologies in the inpatient EHR business, so here’s one for you. The company’s management has plenty of industry experience, including folks with pharmacy and nursing degrees along with vendor experience. To learn more, sign up for a live product webinar on their site or check them out at the HIMSS conference in a few weeks. Thanks to RazorInsights for supporting HIStalk.

I always head over to YouTube when introducing a new company just to see what’s out there, so here’s an introductory video from RazorInsights. You’ll get a hint about the company’s name early in the video, although you might have to Google the reference like I did.

It’s an odd time of year to be swamped at the hospital and at HIStalk, but that’s the case. I work on HIStalk until at least 10 every night and I’m back in the same chair by 5 the next morning before I head out to work. I try to respond to requests quickly, but it often doesn’t happen, and re-sending the e-mail or expressing indignation doesn’t change my time constraints one bit. I usually catch up over the weekend, though.

Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

Cerner will repurchase up to $170 million of its common stock.

Global Record Systems acquires the eCastEMR platform and service business from eCast Corporation.

Streamline Health Solutions reports Q3 results: revenue up 51 percent, EPS –$0.11 vs. $0.03.

12-13-2012 5-57-40 PM

LocalMed, a patient self-scheduling software company that won $3,500 in seed capital from the LSU Student Incubator, will establish its headquarters in Baton Rouge, LA and plans to hire 52 employees by 2016.


Sales Battle Mountain General Hospital (NV) selects ChartAccess EHR and FinancialAccess from Prognosis HIS .

HealthInfoNet, the HIE for Maine, signs a three-year agreement with Arcadia Solutions for its Analytics and Quality Data Warehouse platform for clinical data warehousing. Aracadia will also test the linkage of the HIE’s clinical data with claims data from the state’s All-Payer Claims Database.


12-13-2012 5-59-40 PM

The Brooklyn Hospital Center (NY) names Bill Moran (Dell) SVP and CIO.

12-13-2012 6-00-17 PM

Lisa Rawlins (Broward Health) joins SRG Technology as director of health care.

12-13-2012 9-13-18 PM

Norman Joseph Woodland, who co-invented the bar code as a graduate student in 1951, has died at 91.

Announcements and Implementations

Joslin Diabetes Center (MA) will use de-identified clinical data from Humedica for education and research activities.

Government and Politics

ONC launches a mobile device security initiative that provides white papers and articles to help providers understand how to protect patient information on mobile devices. The site is a product of HHS’s March 2012 Mobile Device Roundtable along with tips and information contributed during its 30-day comment period. Included is a video titled Worried About Using a Mobile Health Device for Work? Here’s What to Do!


AT&T unveils a prototype of Asthma Triggers, a wireless sensor that sends air quality data to mobile devices.


The Leapfrog Group, criticized by hospitals to which it assigned below-average patient safety grades last month, announces a partnership with Johns Hopkins Medicine to fine-tune its scoring methodology, also vowing that, “the Hospital Safety Score is here to stay.”

More than half of HIT professionals report a budget increase for information security, according to a HIMSS survey. Other key findings:

  • Most hospitals are conducting risk analyses, with 71 percent performing an analysis at least annually
  • One in five respondents say their organization experienced a security breach in the last year
  • More than half the organizations spend three percent or less of their IT budget on securing patient data
  • Two-thirds report that their organization conducted an audit of their IT security plan.

12-13-2012 9-06-44 PM

Paper medical records belonging to a recently raided and closed unlicensed pain management clinic in Florida are found in the dumpster of a nearby Dollar Store. Also found in the trash: used syringes and uncashed checks made out to a contracted pain doctor who was apparently being paid $1,500 per day to crank out oxycodone prescriptions.

Tampa General Hospital’s bond ratings agency calls out the hospital’s “compressed profitability” as being due to Epic implementation costs, lower inpatient utilization, and state Medicaid cuts.


12-13-2012 8-34-32 PM

Weird News Andy continues his armchair medical reviews with this article, in which Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia injects a disabled form of HIV into a six-year-old whose leukemia was expected to kill her within two days, hoping to stimulate her immune system enough to allow her to receive a bone marrow transplant. Six months after the infusion, the T-cells are still working and she’s in remission.

Sponsor Updates

12-13-2012 9-58-49 PM

  • Mercy Regional Health Center (KS) expands its use of the Access Intelligent Forms Suite into its human resources department.
  • Vitera Healthcare announces the general release of Live Chat, which provides customers with immediate online access to Vitera customer support.
  • Surgical Information Systems enhances its perioperative information systems to provide interoperability with Siemens Soarian Clinicals.
  • Agilum Healthcare Intelligence publishes a white paper that includes strategies to help small and mid-sized hospitals overcome common obstacles to obtaining useful business intelligence.
  • Levi, Ray & Shoup sponsors this week’s Next Generation Healthcare Summit in San Antonio.
  • Emdeon discusses the benefits of utilizing check reader devices at the point of service in a newsletter article.
  • Adirondack Radiology Associates (NY) shares how it has increased coder productivity and reduced denials since implementing the Optum Computer-Assisted Coding solution. 
  • API Healthcare’s Deborah Moore shares thoughts on the use of HIT to increase quality of care and patient satisfaction in a blog post.
  • Informatica offers predictions on where technology is heading in 2013.
  • Fourteen CareTech Solutions customers win a total of 20 eHealthcare Leadership Awards for their CareTech-designed websites.
  • RSource, a provider of receivables management recovery solutions, and Streamline Health Solutions will cross-market each other’s services within their client bases.
  • Winthrop Resources Corporation will offer equipment financing and advice to customers of MPC, an IT asset lifecycle management company.
  • The British Columbia Ministry of Health selects McKesson as the vendor of choice for its radiologist peer review initiative.
  • First Databank and JAC Pharmacy sponsor the Improving Patient Safety award at the NHS Isle of Wight Awards 2012.
  • NextGen Healthcare will offer Aviacode’s cloud-delivered medical coding services to its customers.

EPtalk by Dr. Jayne

Finally, a data breach that doesn’t involve a lost or stolen laptop.  Dr. Travis tweeted about the breach at Carolinas HealthCare where an “unauthorized electronic intruder” (is there such a thing as an authorized intruder?) obtained access to a provider’s inbound and outgoing e-mails. Although there is no evidence that the information has been misused, impacted patients are being offered free credit monitoring services.

Should a hacker gain access to my work e-mail account, have fun reading all the incessant whining and complaining from physicians who hate EHR, the implementation process, the group’s compensation model, required CME, coding/compliance audits, and a host of other things. It just might scare you straight and make you never want to hack again.


Physician social networking site Doximity issues a call for fellows who will “gain insight into the power of entrepreneurship and technology in healthcare, engage with physician thought-leaders from across the country, and leave your mark on healthcare.” Applicants must be licensed physicians (MD or DO) and the time commitment is two hours per week. I can’t imagine it would be anywhere near as fun as writing for HIStalk, but if you’re looking for something interesting to do with your free time, it might be worth a shot. Applications are due December 31.

Inga has started getting invites for the HIMSS social scene, and as a good BFF should, she is sharing them with me. I’m definitely counting down to New Orleans (in fact, tried out some new shoes today that I hope will be both sassy and comfortable in the exhibit hall) and to seeing the HIStalk crew. I’m in the process of finding the perfect date for HIStalkapalooza. With any luck, he’ll be wearing a bow tie.


I asked last week for stories about the best (or worst) office holiday party ideas. Reader Rabbit takes the prize with his submission:

My wife’s practice is having their office party at a local brewery’s tap room, also known for great food. One of the doc’s hubby runs their hop farm, which also does farm-to-table stuff. Oh, wait:

  • It is on a Saturday at 10:30 a.m.
  • There is no drinking. The legal department says it can’t support drinking during any “sanctioned” event, even if off site and even if I pay for my own and don’t work for them.
  • It is a pot luck where the docs cook main courses. Which means this guy (pointing at myself) has to wake up and start cooking Cornish game hens or smoked brisket at 5 a.m. in order to have the meal ready. Even if I went the boring turkey route, I need to rise before the sun to cook on a Saturday. The rest of the staff don’t bring anything, but sit around and judge that the doctors (and their wonderful spouses) can’t cook.
  • It is still a "Christmas Party" and we are expected to dress “festive,” which means I must don gay apparel that supports a religion I don’t follow.
  • No kids. Good luck finding a 10 a.m. babysitter in a college town on a Saturday that is reliable and sober.
  • There is also a three- hour-long White Elephant that ends the afternoon with us getting some sort of broken scented candle or a wine bottle sack/holder that looks like St. Nick.

Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la — my foot.

Oh, and I promise to take a picture of me standing in the corner seething wearing my favorite Santa sweater. Happy Holidays!

I must say I’m looking forward to the sweater pics. I definitely have some wardrobe that could hold its own in any holiday sweater contest.



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

More news: HIStalk Practice, HIStalk Connect.

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Currently there are "7 comments" on this Article:

  1. There must be an ulterior motive, as Glen wouldn’t do something that stupid. My guess is that if a large New York investment firm were to acquire Allscripts, it’s possible local political pressure could be applied. This could be an attempt to delay.

  2. Leapfrog states: “the Hospital Safety Score is here to stay.”

    But, will anyone truly believe it when the Cleveland Clinic is at the bottom of the class.

    Bet your bottom dollar that the Hopkins will move to the top of the class.

  3. Congratulations to Epic for winning best-of-KLAS for nearly everything this year. I guess. Problem is, my next door neighbor is the billing manager of a small GI practice in a region that is being gobbled up in a multi-hospital Epic implementation, so I hear her side of the story and it’s definitely not pretty. Her experiences with Epic would probably cause those KLAS scores to plummet, if KLAS listened to office staff anyway. Here are a few tidbits:
    • Although they went live in June, their revenue cycle is still in disarray. Claims remain unsent and Epic statements are so unsatisfactory the practice has no option but to outsource the billing to an Epic affiliate (at an additional cost).
    • Training was minimal and most of their common office workflows were not included. One trainer crossed out most of the sections in the training manual.
    • Workflow assessment pre-Go Live was not performed.
    • Several implementers have come and gone. The current lot is covering 16 offices and can’t remember basic details of this practice’s operations, despite multiple meetings, emails, and phone calls. An issue log is not being maintained.
    • Often the response to a problem is “Oh, that’s Cadence” or “Oh, that’s Ambulatory”. In other words, Epic support may know one silo of the Epic solution, but if the issue is cross-domain, they have no ability to assist the customer.
    • Her Epic team seems completely uninformed about imminent changes in Medicare billing, so the practice has no idea whether their system will be correctly configured on January 1.
    • Their budget for paper has skyrocketed because of multiple-page Epic print-outs.
    No doubt, the Epic campaign in our region is an amazing logistical operation. The sad thing is, after 6 months my neighbor can only say one good thing about having Epic: “when one of our patients is discharged from the hospital, we can see the discharge date in our system”. But, couldn’t we get the same result, and more, with a functioning HIE and a multiplicity of good systems that are agile, customizable, and designed to support the workflow of a small practice like this one?

  4. BigNurse’s comments are more the norm, than the exception….Epic’s KLAS success are easy to explain….the people in the trenches that actually have to work with and support the applications, aren’t the people who complete surveys. The folks who complete the surveys are the same lemmings who takled their board into throwing away $700 million (in Duke’s case for example). Think about that for a second….you talk your executive/finance committee into throwing away 3/4 of a billion dollars….you think you’re going to rate that vendor poorly, or do you want it viewed as the best decision ever?….The state of healthcare IT is depressing..no interoperability, no studies showing EHR(s) actually improve clinical outcomes….the Feds should cut MU in the Fiscal Cliff negotations, as it’s nothing more than corporate welfare for already disgusgingly wealthy Hospital Health Systems, and companies, like Epic….

  5. BIgNurse & PZ…
    As I recall from a long ago post about KLAS, anybody who uses a vendor system can go to the KLAS website and rate their vendor. Then KLAS will contact them to confirm. I suggest users try that and Epic’s rating should fall..significantly. I suggest you try it and let us know if that is the case or if KLAS only talks to the vendors designated users.

  6. I dont buy these KLAS rankings. The fact that Epic and Athena won just about every category give me the sense that these rankings can be rigged. KLAS just lost some credibility with me……

  7. The KLAS reports usually have a break-out that shows physician, tech, c-level, and whatever from their data sample. You can see it on their website and I have seen in a couple reports I’ve looked at.

    I recently spoke to one of their employees who said last year they interviewed 4,500+ director and above level and 7,000 end user to manager levels, if I remember correctly. She said they target all users and are required to keep an even number of above director and end user evaluations, or something like that. Someone can correct me if those are off.

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