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Monday Morning Update 7/22/13

July 21, 2013 News 4 Comments

7-21-2013 6-36-23 PM

Half of survey respondents say the ongoing DoD-VA EHR discussions haven’t changed their perception of those organizations, while a third day they’ve gone negative as a result. New poll to your right, as suggested by a reader: what’s your opinion of VC-backed companies? The answers are a little bit tricky to tease out the opinions of providers vs. vendors. As always, feel free to follow up your all-important vote by leaving a comment on the poll.

I have a lot of HIStalk Webinars scheduled and could use another person to serve as moderator. If you have healthcare IT Webinar presentation experience, have good speaking skills, and are available weekday afternoons Eastern time, tell me why I’d be stupid not to hire you.

7-21-2013 7-49-46 PM

Quality Systems hints in a comment buried in an SEC filing from last week that it may be considering selling itself. The filing describes the company’s acquiescence to dissident shareholder Clinton Group, whereby Quality Systems will bring on the three Clinton Group board nominees to avoid a threatened proxy fight. Clinton Group has successfully used the same threat with other companies.

7-21-2013 7-33-30 PM

Microsoft writes down $900 million after its Surface RT tablet flops and the company cuts the price of the 32 GB model from $499 to $349 hoping for potential buyers who have resisted only because of price.

7-21-2013 7-57-19 PM

Four college students in Uganda design a smartphone app that connects to a fingertip sensor to allow instant diagnosis of malaria without repeated needle sticks.

Vitera Healthcare Solutions names Jeremy Muench (McKesson) as SVP of client operations.

7-21-2013 8-38-28 PM

From athenahealth’s Q2 earnings call, following the announcement of poor results that sent the stock retreating:

  • Jonathan Bush proclaims that the company is “very much in the big show” with its Epocrates acquisition and enhancements to athenaClinicals.
  • The Ascension Health contract was highlighted.
  • Bush claimed that athenahealth is the only vendor that can financially guarantee its customers a smooth transition to ICD-10 and MU Stage 2.
  • The move to having recipients of information via athenaClinicals pay for its use rather than just licensing it to an organization is “a hard slog” and has extended the sales cycle and increased sales costs.
  • Both athenaCoordinator and athenaClinicals revenues are falling short.
  • Bush apologized for comments he had made previously about Epic, saying, “I made some unfavorable comments about Epic, which was a mistake. Epic is a fine company, one for which we have tremendous respect and we are proud to be working alongside of in terms of clinical integration. Soon, any Epic client should be able to connect with athenaNet with a very minor instruction and authentication process.”
  • $17 million of increased Q2 revenue came from Epocrates revenue and tenant rent from the Arsenal office complex the company purchased.
  • Sales and marketing expense jumped 50 percent in the quarter, while R&D cost was up 66 percent.
  • Bush said he thought Ascension went with athenahealth because it sees itself as a national clinical with doctors it doesn’t control.
  • Bush sees Epocrates as being enabled with secure provider-to-provider messaging and being given the capability to update non-athena systems with information. “If a doctor is on Epocrates and is chatting on and sharing patient information on athenaClinicals, even though the hospital they’re on maybe on Cerner or Epic, they would love to be able to order prescriptions and then say, ‘Now athena, you deal with updating my Cerner system because I don’t like logging into it or my Epic or my — pick your favorite A Flock of Seagulls system.’”
  • More athenaClinicals transactions are being automated, or as Bush says, “Now athenaClinicals with no fax server and no 1,000 people data entering clinical results in India is a very different profit profile than the one we have today.”
  • Demand for athenaClarity is so high outside of its Massachusetts origins that Bush says the company can’t keep up.

7-21-2013 8-27-11 PM

Mediware will announce Monday its acquisition of home infusion and specialty pharmacy systems vendor CPR+ of Westerville, OH.

The federal government, requesting dismissal of a data breach lawsuit involving a missing VA laptop, argues that no proof exists that anyone has seen the patient information it contained and no identify theft has occurred.

New Hampshire’s new $90 million Medicaid computer system, development of which was contracted to Xerox’s ACS, is causing payment problems due insufficient rules testing according to the CFO of Concord Hospital, which has a $5 million payment backlog. An orthopedics practice reimbursement specialist, noticing wild overpayments, asks for a billing manual and is told it is still being worked on. The HHS commissioner admits that payment of 40 percent of claims has been suspended pending further analysis.

7-21-2013 8-40-08 PM

ONC offers a 10-step plan for protecting PHI.

7-21-2013 8-29-34 PM

In England, East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust blames its just-installed GE Healthcare radiology information system for delayed appointments and results.

7-21-2013 8-41-20 PM

The Mount Sinai Medical Center (NY) announces that it will use technology from Real Time Medical to implement teleradiology services in several imaging clinics. I’m curious (and annoyed) as to why the company’s name appears everywhere as Real Time (two words) except in its logo, where it’s one word.

Inga does her best Weird News Andy impression by sending me a link to this story. A British vacationer returning from Peru thought she was imagining the scratching sounds inside her head until doctors found maggots living inside a hole in her ear canal, hatched from eggs depositing there by a fly.


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

More news: HIStalk Practice, HIStalk Connect.


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Currently there are "4 comments" on this Article:

  1. I think there are surprisingly more people than there should be who actually think that the general HIT audience cares what athenahealth is doing or, more importantly, what Jonathan Bush thinks or says. By this point in time, most of us see him as someone who is more interested in Jonathan than he is interested in the public good or the improvement of healthcare. He is clearly the most obnoxious, self-serving, and generally unimpressive player in the HIT marketplace. The fact that he continues to garner any press is a source of amusement and befuddlement for those of us who are actually doing something of substance.

  2. Those RT tablets will sell like hotcakes for $99, especially if people figure out a way to install Android or Ubuntu touch on them…

  3. Agree with Arkansas D..looks like J Bush finally finished the marketing 101 class. Slamming your competition does not make you better, and it is not the way to success. Let’s hope he doesn’t forget it.

  4. @ AR D and HIS Junkie: Thanks for the laugh this morning. I didn’t realize that HIT has forum trolls too! Can’t wait for your “substance” to materialize! Face palm.

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