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January 31, 2013 News 9 Comments

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1-31-2013 5-38-58 PM

McKesson announces Q3 results: revenue up one percent, non-GAAP EPS $1.41 vs. $1.40, missing earnings expectations of $1.63 and guiding earnings slightly down for FY2013. Operating costs rose 10 percent, while technology solutions revenues were flat.

Reader Comments

1-31-2013 7-52-02 PM

From AphexTwin: “Re: Allscripts. Laid off five percent of its workforce (350 people) in testing and development roles. All remote development staff are being forced to relocate or be terminated.” An Allscripts spokesperson provided this response:

We internally announced the creation of R&D Centers of Excellence to enable us to better serve our clients, reduce complexity, and save costs. By making this move, we’re aligning with industry best practice and will be more agile in delivering results for our clients. Many team members will have the opportunity to relocate and some to work remotely. Unfortunately, there will be some team members whose positions will be adversely impacted, and they will be offered a severance package. In addition, we anticipate there will be Development jobs created in the North American locations with the majority of those in our Raleigh and Boston locations.

1-31-2013 7-59-22 PM

From The PACS Designer: “Re: iPad with Retina display. Apple keeps making the iPad more brilliant and powerful with the announcement of the iPad with Retina display. This new version also has 128GB of storage and a selling price of $799. The communications options now include both Wi-Fi and iPad with Wi-Fi+ Cellular as added features.”

HIStalk Announcements and Requests

1-31-2013 1-31-00 PM

Highlights from HIStalk Practice this week include: Epic, Allscripts, and eClinicalWorks accounted for 42 percent of all EP MU attestations through October, 2012. iPractice Group confirms that it has ceased operations. AMGA says it now represents 430 group practices and 130,000 FTE physicians. The HIStalk Practice Advisory Panel shares details of their practices’ social media policies and privacy and security measures. As always, thanks for reading.

On the Jobs Board: Director of Marketing, Epic Experienced Providers, Product Marketing Manager.

January, which isn’t quite over yet as I write this, will set an HIStalk record for the most monthly visits ever at 140,000, up 25 percent over January 2012.

1-31-2013 5-58-58 PM

Welcome to new HIStalk Platinum Sponsor VitalWare, a market leader in healthcare intelligence and regulatory compliance. The Yakima, WA company’s offerings include VitalView (ICD-10 planning and status between hospitals and vendors), VitalSigns (supports real-time retrospective coding to ICD-10 for starting efforts now to estimate impact on reimbursement and cash flow), VitalCoder (next-generation coding and revenue cycle resource), the just-announced CDM Navigator (charge master maintenance), and ICD-10 consulting and implementation. The company also offers VitalVendors, a vendor ICD-10 readiness rating system that’s part of the HIMSS ICD-10 Playbook. A guest post by Founder and CEO Kerry Martin provides a sobering update on the stage of vendor readiness for the October 1, 2014 ICD-10 compliance date. Thanks to VitalWare for supporting HIStalk, which thanks to its support will be fully ICD-10 ready.

Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

CommVault announces Q3 numbers: revenue up 24 percent, non-GAAP EPS $0.39 vs. 0.27.

Aetna announces Q4 numbers: revenue up 16 percent, EPS $0.56 vs. $1.02.

1-31-2013 7-53-01 PM

CPSI announces Q4 results: revenue up 14 percent, EPS $0.83 vs. $0.59, falling short of consensus estimates of $0.88. Shares are down nearly nine percent in after-hours trading.


1-31-2013 5-09-37 PM

Wenatchee Valley Medical Center (WA) and Central Washington Hospital select NextGate’s EMPI and provider registry systems.

Huron Valley Physicians Association (MI) chooses eClinicalWorks EHR for its 600 providers.


1-31-2013 5-11-06 PM

AHRQ Director Carolyn Clancy, MD announces plans to step down.

1-31-2013 5-20-26 PM

API Healthcare expands General Counsel Hayden Creque’s role to include vice president of human resources.

Announcements and Implementations

The VA completes integration and testing between VistA and Authentidate’s Electronic House Call and Interactive Voice Response telehealth systems.

1-31-2013 5-12-14 PM

The 24-bed Melissa Memorial Hospital (CO) completes implementation of its EMR.

1-31-2013 5-14-12 PM

Piedmont Newnan Hospital (GA) goes live this week on Epic.

Welch Allyn will distribute the EarlySense proactive patient care solutions to US hospitals.

1-31-2013 3-28-53 PM

Good Samaritan Hospital (NY) goes live on Epic March 9.

1-31-2013 3-30-19 PM

The University of California at Irvine uses the dbMotion interoperability platform to connect with  the Orange County Partnership RHIO.

Quantum Health integrates the Healthwise Care Management Solution into its Patient Information Virtual Integration Tool to provide real-time healthcare education to its members.

Stellaris Health Network (NY) goes live on PatientKeeper Charge Capture at five of its clinical practices group.


Government and Politics

The VA enhances Blue Button to give patients access to their Continuity of Care Document and the VA’s OpenNotes provider documentation.

Innovation and Research

1-31-2013 7-31-36 PM

A University of Washington graduate student develops FoneAstra, an Android phone app that monitors the pasteurization of donated breast milk. It’s being tested in South Africa. Other versions are used to ensure that vaccines remain refrigerated in developing countries.


1-31-2013 7-54-51 PM

Lt. Dan summarizes what the BlackBerry10 announcement means for mHealth and healthcare on HIStalk Connect.

University of Missouri-Kansas City’s Innovation Center will launch the partially federally funded Digital Sandbox KC IT accelerator on Friday, with officials from Cerner and other businesses on hand.


Fifty-seven percent of Canada’s primary care physicians are using EMRs, which is almost double 2006’s adoption rate. Almost half routinely e-prescribe compared to 11 percent six years ago.

KLAS and EHI, a UK-based HIT research firm, partner to improve transparency and performance measures for the UK health technology market and to cross-market their research products.

Michael Dell’s family foundation donates $50 million to build Dell Medical School in Austin, TX.

The Minnesota Supreme Court rules that calling a doctor “a real tool” on a doctor rating site is protected speech.

1-31-2013 6-54-01 PM

Here’s an example of how technologically backward healthcare is. A body shop in Canada has been receiving faxed medical information for three years because its fax number is one digit different from that of the local health center. Says the body show owner, “In this day and age, why are they still using fax machines? It seems odd to me.”

I’m fascinated that this happens regularly in India. Twelve angry relatives of a teen who died after a bicycle accident trash the ICU and beat doctors and security guards. Medical residents then go on strike to demand better security and the arrest of the family members, which requires patients to be diverted and surgeries to be cancelled when only 20 doctors remain to care for 300 inpatients.

WNA thinks a hospital parody video makes him wonder whether ACO stands for Abridged Care Organization. Fox Business News says the video “mocks how health reform can make more money for doctors and hospitals” by showing staff blocking the admissions department door, handing out stacks of cash, and giving free laptops to employees. I didn’t see it that way – it looked like fun way to get the ACO idea across to otherwise learning-indifferent employees. The hospital says the video was a contest winner. Fox claims the video was “leaked,” which apparently means “posted to YouTube under the hospital’s name and still there but copied to Fox’s servers and covered with self-promoting graphics to make it look like the result of crack investigative reporting.”

Sponsor Updates

  • ESD joins ANIA as a Gold Level member.
  • dbMotion hosts a February 7 seminar in Dallas on connecting communities through clinical integration.
  • Laura DeBusk from White Plume Technologies will co-present an ICD-10 session at the Becker’s Hospital Review Fourth Annual Meeting in Chicago in May.
  • 2012 highlights for Aspen Advisors include the addition of 26 clients and the development and deployment of a population HIT planning methodology, a data governance maturity model, and an EHR value realization maturity model.
  • DynaMed showcases how Memorial Hermann Healthcare System (TX) utilizes technology to allow physicians to practice evidence-based medicine in a journal article.
  • Emdat Mobile usage has quadrupled from January 2012 with the rapid adoption of smartphones.
  • Lucca Consulting Group posts new client, consultant, and trainer testimonials on it website.
  • Macadamian CEO Frederic Boulanger says he is impressed with the new BlackBerry 10 and the company has developed 10 apps for it.
  • Truven Health Analytics announces that staff members Eboney White and Jillian Thomas have been presented with the unique credential of Accredited Health Care Fraud Investigator.
  • CareTech Solutions added five Service Desk clients in 2012 and experienced a 75 percent uptick in the use of its help desk services overall.

EPtalk by Dr. Jayne

Earlier this month, Virginia Senator Stephen J. Martin introduced SB 1275, “Medical data in an electronic or digital format; limitations on use, storage, sharing, & processing.” As a medical informaticist, all I can ask is what was he thinking? It would prohibit anyone who stores medical data in an electronic or digital format from participating in the Nationwide Health Information Network; performing analysis or statistical processing on medical records for purposes of diagnosis or treatment, including population health management; processing medical data within Virginia where a majority of the patients do not live in Virginia; and storing data on more than 10,000 patients in a single database, It also prevents providers who refuse to implement EHRs from being penalized and prohibits Virginia from authorizing or operating a health information exchange. I’d be interested to hear from anyone in Virginia who can tell us more about what’s really behind this besides anti-ARRA posturing. It’s been sent to committee where it will likely die, but still makes for good cocktail party conversation (at least among HIT folks).

It’s about time: Medicare will look at the facility fees charged by ambulatory medical practices. Many feel that these hospital-owned practices are driving up the cost of health are with this billing practice. Many of the groups in my area are now doing this. It’s not only annoying, but also feels dishonest.

Lots of buzz this week about the HIPAA update and the impending September compliance date. Looking forward to reading hundreds of pages of fun during my free time, whenever that is.

Although I thankfully don’t have any direct reports, before our recent hiring freeze I was often asked to interview potential employees for other managers. I’m going to keep this list of bizarre interview questions tucked away for when administration figures out we’re dangerously short-handed on some of our teams.


Bad news for Inga: an increasing number of young women are having issues with their feet that require surgery. Some blame is being placed on genetics, but the phenomenon is at least partially attributed to high heels and pointy-toed shoes. She’s always telling me I’m too conservative in the shoe department, so maybe for HIStalkapalooza I’ll be more inspired this year.



Mr. H, Inga, Dr. Jayne, Dr. Gregg, Lt. Dan, Dr. Travis.

More news: HIStalk Practice, HIStalk Connect.

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Currently there are "9 comments" on this Article:

  1. RE the “news” item from The PACS Designer: “Re: iPad with Retina display. Apple keeps making the iPad more brilliant and powerful with the announcement of the iPad with Retina display. This new version also has 128GB of storage and a selling price of $799. The communications options now include both Wi-Fi and iPad with Wi-Fi+ Cellular as added features.”

    The only news in what they announced is the availability of 128 GB of storage (the previous max was 64 GB). The Retina display has been available on the iPad since March 2012, the WiFi+Cellular option has been available since the very first iPad (although 4G Cellular didn’t appear until March 2012).

    The extra 64 GB is almost pure profit for Apple. They have tremendous buying power for flash memory and leverage with memory manufacturers due to the huge manufacturing volumes for the iPads, iPods, and iPhones. Apple’s cost for flash has been recently estimated at $0.55/GB (see http://news.cnet.com/8301-13579_3-57566484-37/apples-128gb-ipad-heres-how-much-the-bump-really-costs/).

  2. In response to the VA Bill 1275 – Medical data in an electronic or digital format; limitations on use, storage, sharing, & processing…

    Here’s an excerpt from the senator’s reply to my alarmed inquiry about it…

    “Thank you for sharing your concern regarding SB 1275.I introduced it “by request” to allow a citizen to give voice before the committee. He was able to do so before the bill was defeated.”

    I can’t imagine which citizen would request this but hopefully the Bill is officially dead.

  3. I don’t think that the layoffs of Allscripts testing and development are going to hurt the product line that much. Our experience has shown that they let their customers do the bulk of their testing (and troubleshooting). I won’t comment on development.

  4. @Lacey-
    Boy, isn’t that the truth. I didn’t know that we had to pay to beta test their software, but I guess that is what our maintenace fees are going towards – it sure itsn’t for development of product. And I’ll comment on that – there virtually is none. Been on the Professional product for close to a year and the basic functionality that it lacks is unreal.

    v12 and 12.1 of Allscripts Professional are a hot mess – clients are calling it a “disaster” (among other things) on their private client site (wish I would been able to get access to that before I signed the contract). Abound with bugs that should have never made it out of beta and development acts like everything is fine – they just keep churning out the hot fixes and service packs like gravy.

  5. @Lacey and Disgusted…trust me when I say that it’s not going to get any better with 450 people affected. This mostly involves the Sunrise suite. The entire office of Designers/Developers/QA/Documentation in Malvern,PA is getting decimated–that’s the Eclipsys side of the house…ClinDoc, Amb, ED, SHM, Pharmacy, and Mobility. It’s a terrible shame because these are some of the brightest, most dedicated people I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with. Historically, these offices have been ignored, short-staffed and over-worked and, quite frankly, it’s a testament to their strong work ethics that the product suite has been successful at all. It’s been accomlished on the backs of the folks in that office. I get that you’re disgusted with your applications–ironically, Pro is NOT a Malvern product–but behind your callous comments live people with families to support who now have to find new work in a terrible economy. Let’s be clear: This isn’t about creating “Centers of Excellence”…this is about showing wall-street that they are “doing something”. Time will tell if this “something” is successful or not. My money is on that it will be a bigger disaster than it already is.

  6. Allscripts for the past several years has been a top vendors in terms of Meaningful Use success. Second to only Epic (Kaiser). There is something to be said about Allscripts EMRs in terms of ease of use and robustness. So many vendors cant even get their doctors to MU. And the end of the day the final SCORE BOARD is how many client shave successfully attested. It’s the only non-biased ranking out there. Anyone disagree?

    Allscripts dominated the ambulatory market for almost all of the 2000s. It’s low margin business, profitable, but low margin. It takes a very large base to provide the ongoing revenue to build a company and invest in R&D. Allscripts had the luxury of havign the biggest base out there. Many companies that have popped up over the past several years will fail to exist due to strict certification guidelines, but more so not enough of a base to keep its R&D viable. As Cerner and Epic start implementing 1 doc practices they too will experience the same margin experience.

    That being said enterprise sales are the fastest grow transactions–most of them surrounding connectivity and population management (e.g., HIE, Care Management, Business Intelligence, Population Management, etc.). No other company out there comes close to the breadth of products Allscripts has. Their footprint gives them a foundation unlike any other vendor out there–it became even more relevant with the arrival of value based care and ‘connected communities’.

    100s of communities have selected the Allscripts Community Records, some of them being the most advanced and largest health systems in the world.

    Their EPSi module was ranked #1 in KLAS and bolts directly onto EPIC.

    Their care management/director module is one of the hottest out there.

    Sunrise Clinical and Financial both have experienced net new wins in the past 3 months

    Humedica and Allscripts are one of the ‘sexier’ population management tools out there.

    I think they have something like 800 million in revenue per year just in maintenance/hosting contracts. Now they have an operations centric CEO who can hunker down. If they’re not poised for the HIT transformation underway then what vendor is?

  7. The Malvern Office is Sunrise, Sunrise is the Malvern Office. It will be interesting to see how Allscripts will manage Sunrise products without them… 90% of them are not moving to Raleigh or elsewhere. People with the most knowledge are leaving. Some have already left. And if you think training Ralegh people in a matter of months is feasible? Think again.

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