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October 1, 2013 News 16 Comments

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10-1-2013 11-09-42 AM
10-1-2013 3-30-46 PM

10-1-2013 4-21-38 PM

All but four of 184 ONC staffers are furloughed as a result of the October 1 government shutdown, along with about 40,000 (52 percent) HHS employees. ONC has also put on hold its Standards and Interoperability work, privacy and security policy activities, clinical quality measure development, and maintenance of the Certified Health IT Product List. Tweeting is apparently considered a non-essential service.

Reader Comments

10-1-2013 4-48-54 PM

From Ole: “Re: David Muntz. He won’t be returning to Baylor Scott & White. Matt Chambers is the new CIO, reporting to COO Bob Pryor. Both are from Scott  White. Vic Richey is the newly appointed CIO for the Baylor (Northern) division.” Verified from the LinkedIn profile of Matt Chambers (above).

10-1-2013 4-50-16 PM

From HIT Pundit: “Re: Leidos, the former maxIT-Vitalize. Major changes in leadership. The website confirms that people are gone.”

From Clafouti: “Re: Dr. Jane’s comments about Greenway. It was not only biased toward sponsors (which I understand to a point) it was verbatim of what Tee says in his speeches. Next time you claim to be independent, don’t quote the CEO and call it your own words.” Dr. Jayne has never met Tee or heard him speak. She wrote that post a year or so ago and decided it wasn’t appropriate to run at the time, but the Greenway acquisition made it more timely.

HIStalk Announcements and Requests

10-1-2013 3-48-00 PM

Welcome to new HIStalk Platinum Sponsor pMD. You may note and appreciate, as did I given the dearth of it in healthcare IT, pMD’s appreciation for whimsy. The San Francisco company lets doctors record charges in seven seconds on a mobile device, or as one hospitalist says, “If you can hold a beer, then you can use pMD”  (many testimonials are here). Users report an increase in Medicare payments for post-discharge follow-up appointments and improved care coordination driven by its handoff tools. Native apps are provided for Android, iPhone, BlackBerry, and iPad and support is provided 24×7 by actual employees. Thanks to pMD for supporting HIStalk.

A YouTube cruise turned up this video describing pMD’s mobile charge capture solution.

Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

10-1-2013 4-51-58 PM

Evolent Health, which offers a population health and risk management platform, secures $100 million in Series B funding led by The Advisory Board Company and UPMC Healthcare, bringing the company’s total funding to $124.5 million.

10-1-2013 4-53-21 PM


Baylor Health Care System (TX) and Scott & White Healthcare (TX) complete their merger and form Baylor Scott & White Health, the state’s largest not-for-profit health system with $8.3 billion in assets.

Tenet Healthcare closes on its $4.3 billion acquisition of Vanguard Health Systems.

10-1-2013 4-54-54 PM

Healthrageous, a Center for Connected Health spinoff that offered patient engagement tools, sells off its assets to an unnamed “leading healthcare companies.” Even the website is gone.


Knoxville Comprehensive Breast Center (TN) will implement Sectra breast imaging PACS and RIS.

10-1-2013 4-56-00 PM

Adirondack Health (NY), Baylor Health Care System (TX), Mission Health (NC), North Shore Long Island Jewish Medical Center (NY), and University of Chicago Medical Center (IL) select Vocera’s Care Experience Suite.



10-2-2013 5-42-31 AM   10-1-2013 1-49-14 PM

Emdeon appoints Neil E. de Crescenzo (Oracle – on left) president and CEO, replacing George I. Lazenby, IV (right), who will become a senior advisor for Emdeon’s majority investor, Blackstone Capital Partners.

10-1-2013 3-00-40 PM

McKesson names James A. Beer (Symantec) EVP/CFO.

10-1-2013 1-51-22 PM

Johanna Epstein (Mount Sinai Doctors Faculty Practice) joins Culbert Healthcare as VP of strategy and executive leadership services.

10-1-2013 10-28-26 AM

PeriGen hires Rebecca Cypher (Madigan Army Medical Center) as chief nursing officer.

eHealth Ontario appoints its chairman Ray Hession to serve as interim CEO following the departure of Greg Reed, who quit six months into the job and left with a $406,250 severance package.

10-1-2013 1-53-10 PM

SRS names Peter Bennfors (Asset Control) CFO.

10-1-2013 4-04-17 PM

Infina Connect names Mark Hefner (Allscripts) as CEO.

MedData appoints appoints Stephen Ghiglieri (NeurogesX) CFO and Dustin Whisenhunt (Prognosis) VP of client services and sales.

Amy Amick (MModal) joins MedAssets as president of the company’s RCM segment.


Announcements and Implementations

The 25-bed Cobre Valley Regional Medical Center (AZ) goes live on Meditech 6.0.

The New York Giants converts the medical records of its players to eClinicalWorks.

10-1-2013 11-16-19 AM

Saint Luke’s Health System (MO) goes live on Covisint’s cloud engagement platform.

Family Service of Madison (WI) implements Forward Health Group’s PopulationManager to identify and monitor progress in patients with substance use disorders and depression.

Summit Healthcare adds Summit Care Exchange to its interoperability suite, allowing hospitals to exchange PDQ and XDS messages in sending continuity of care documents to external entities.

AirStrip announces the launch of AirStrip ONE Cardiology for Windows 8.1.

Health Catalyst receives the highest grade in the clinical analytics market in a Chilmark Research report.


A Xerox survey (conducted online, and therefore with shaky statistical certainty)finds that more than two-thirds of American adults don’t believe their physicians gave them a good explanation about the switch to EMRs. Most are also concerned with the security of their records and less than a third want their records to be digital. However, 62 percent believe that EHRs will reduce healthcare costs and 73 percent think they’ll get better service from practices that use EHRs. In case it wasn’t already obvious, Americans are confused.

10-1-2013 5-00-02 PM

Cerner expects more than 10,000 attendees at its 25th annual conference in Kansas City that runs October 6-9.

John at EMR & EHR Videos will conduct a Google+ Hangout with Kareo CMIO Tom Giannulli, MD, MS on Thursday, October 3 at 1:00 Eastern.

An MGMA survey finds that medical practice IT spending has risen from $15,211 in 2008 to $19,439 in 2012.

10-1-2013 9-23-52 AM

10-1-2013 9-25-13 AM

10-1-2013 9-26-59 AM

inga_small I don’t know why this bothers me so much, but I continue to be annoyed by articles in the main stream press that suggest EMRs are a requirement of the Affordable Care Act. I’ve even noticed recently a few vendors have made this statement in their marketing materials. As a reminder: ARRA (specifically the HITECH ACT) was the legislation that included the requirement for EMR adoption and provided the groundwork for incentives and penalties. Maybe some of the confusion stems from the fact that the ACA includes provisions for the secure exchange of electronic health information. Regardless, I have read so many articles that tie ACA to EMR and Meaningful Use that I had to do some fact checking just to be sure I hadn’t incorrectly rewritten history.

10-1-2013 9-38-46 AM

inga_small While I am ranting, I am self-insured, so I decided it might be worth my while to investigate available options on the Health Insurance Marketplace. I first attempted to get on the site at 8:00 a.m. EST and despite multiple attempts, I’ve yet to be able to create an account (the security questions never appear). Several hours later, I’ve still not gotten a response from anyone using the online chat feature. I realize it is only Day 1, but so far I have to call the online process a failure.

10-1-2013 1-39-59 PM

inga_small On a much happier note, my veterinarian sent me an email to inform me that I can now set up a PHR for my pets. It took about three minutes to register and now I can see health histories online. I’m not really sure why I need online health records for pets, but it’s still cool to say it’s there.

10-1-2013 10-00-15 AM

inga_small Someone please assure me that none of my tax dollars were used to fund this study that developed BAPS (Belief About Penis Size Scale).

The family of newborn delivered at 24 weeks gestation creates a video thanking Fletcher Allen Health Care. I’m trying to preserve the feel-good moment by not thinking about the healthcare resources consumed by a 98-day NICU stay and the fact that similar babies are intentionally aborted at that same 24-week mark.

Here’s an Intermountain video describing its Cerner selection.

Sponsor Updates

10-1-2013 4-06-10 PM

  • ESD sponsored Sunday’s Northwest Ohio Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, with participating employees raising $1,500 in donations.
  • Medseek partners with Vitals to help healthcare organizations connect consumers with providers and facilities.
  • The Web Marketing Association recognizes CareTech Solutions with an Information Services Standards of Excellence Award and presents 2013 WebAwards to 10 CareTech customers.
  • NCQA awards GE Healthcare’s Centricity Practice 11 Solution PCMH pre-certification status.
  • Gartner places Perceptive Software in the Leaders Quadrant for enterprise content management solutions.
  • INHS reports that its use of IBM server and storage technology has improved its delivery of cloud-based EHR services to physicians and medical facilities.
  • Predixion Software launches an OEM program aimed at embedding its predictive analytics solutions into BI and analytics programs.
  • Beacon Partners hosts an October 17 webinar on using data to optimize clinical and financial systems.
  • Summit Healthcare adds Summit Care Exchange to its interoperability suite and introduces enhancements to its current Express Connect and Provider Exchange products.
  • Divurgent will participate in the CHIME13 Fall Forum October 8-11 in Scottsdale, AZ.
  • Hospitals that have implemented ProVation Order Sets by Wolters Kluwer Health report clinical benefits and ROI in as little as 13 months.
  • Seamless Medical Systems posts a case study highlighting how a geriatrics practice streamlined patient workflow, reduced operational costs, and improved the patient experience though its use of SNAP Practice.
  • Wellsoft will exhibit at the 2013 ACEP Scientific Assembly October 14-16 in Seattle.
  • Dave Himes, IS group director for Billian’s HealthDATA, delivers a Letterman-style list of top ten CRM integration tips.


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

More news: HIStalk Practice, HIStalk Connect.


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Currently there are "16 comments" on this Article:

  1. I had the same experience today on the healthcare.gov web site, hoping to compare my self-paid health insurance with what’s available on the new exchange. I know that ACA funding is not impacted by the shut-down, but do you think that some of those HHS staffers were considered “non-essential” and furloughed?? I’ll reveal my political leanings by expressing my suspicion that the politicians who are using ACA to stall a budget resolution had some inkling that the new program would flounder in the first days because of the shut-down.

  2. I love getting the news a day ahead of schedule. Can you include the powerball numbers or some baseball scores in the next update?

  3. Inga,
    Actually, the HITECH act doesn’t require EHR software either. A mandate would mean you can’t practice medicine if you don’t have an EHR. This is not the case. Many will still see patients with no EHR. I wrote this piece on the EHR mandate which I think you’ll enjoy: http://www.emrandhipaa.com/emr-and-hipaa/2012/04/16/no-emr-mandate-in-hitech-or-aca-meaningful-use-monday/ There’s certainly incentives and sticks that make it feel like a mandate for many, but EHR is not a mandate.

    I do agree that many confuse the HITECH and ACA.

  4. Way to go Evolent Health! For those of you who don’t know, they are the coolest people around. Great place over there. Very nice! Good for them!

  5. Really? A failure after one day? Give me a break. Aren’t you being a little unreasonable, and you apparently don’t even need the insurance? How about giving an opportunity to those who really need it????

  6. Thank you for the NICI video. It’s really is why many of us chose the profession and have stayed in it for a long time. Me, for 37+ years and counting. It’s all for the Patient.

  7. Re: Problems w Health Insur Marketplace.
    I think the feds should follow their own requirements for ONC Certification – that is the Insurance Marketplace software must first be tested by the ONC Test labs, just like vendor software. In all the vendor tests I have participated in it is clear that if the software is unstable, has poor response, or UI problems, it is failed post haste and not allowed to be sold as a MU usable product till fixed.

    So based on Inga’s experience and many others I’ve read – the HI Marketplace system is not ready for prime time and s/b pulled back. Yes all software has minor glitches but from what I am reading you can’t even get to it. Clearly the feds were so pumped politically to get this out they didn’t even think about what a tsunami they were creating. No planning on the roll out, like maybe opening up a few states at a time…

    But as usual Washington has two separate sets of rules – one for the belt way, the other for main street. If you don’t agree, then answer this: With the gvt shutdown, why are paychecks canceled for the rank and file and not Congress and its staff??

  8. I tried to get tickets for a popular Broadway musical on the Kennedy Center website the morning they became available. Guess what? The site crashed. Overwhelming volume will do that despite the advanced state of our computer technology. No one really needed to sign up today. The sign up period will go on for awhile. Relax.

  9. That isn’t a picture of Neil de Crescenzo, so I hope it’s George Lazenby ( definitely does not look like the fellow who played James Bond).

    [From Inga] The original picture was Lazenby. I added a second one of de Crescenzo. Sorry for the confusion!

  10. Does anyone think that Airstrip realizes that they names their new cardiology application after the fascist version of England & the US in 1984?

  11. Your politics are showing. A comment about late term abortion and the “failure” of online ACA signup all in a single day. Give us a break. I susbscribe to HISTALK to read informative news articles. Not to weed through your political and moral opinions. Can we just try to stick to the facts and not flavor it with left or right wing judgements?

  12. To CAS…

    A software failure such as the one described for the online ACA has nothing to do with politics.
    When will you realize that a govt. sponsored web site crashing during the first minutes of use is not a left or right judgement – but just very poor design, substandard code and absolutely NO testing.

    Exactly like my EHR vendor product ….

  13. I subscribe to HISTalk for informative news articles, good gossip, and crass comments – all of which are appreciated.
    If you want news without political or moral opinions – tune in to Public Television.
    All of the “Prime Time” media have their own agenda and no longer make much of an effort to hide it.
    Kudos to Mr. HISTALK !

  14. And I get annoyed at ‘users’ that complain and call a system a failure when everything is not perfect the first day the system goes live. Do you act that way when you go live with new healthcare systems where you work?

    When I have an infection and the doc prescribes and antibiotic, I don’t call it a failure if I’m not feeling better the first day.

    Patience, grasshopper!

  15. CAS
    This is not a news site like HDM or many others and reading it is a voluntary activity. You are free to stop reading at any time or, even better, to start your own blog and make it as independent/unbiased as you like – I don’t understand why people feel the need to censor things that they don’t like.

    Public Television is extremely biased (Radio even more so)

  16. Inga —

    Agreed on the mis-understanding of the policies, acts, regulations, etc.etc.

    I am daily having to correct people, and when I do they often just role their eyes at me like I am just lost in the details. I encounter people who speak to “government dollars from Obamacare” as free money that can be used for anything IT. Little do they know that A) The ACA related funding are in the form of grants with the objective to improve the system. There is no bank just wating for faciltiies to present an invoice. B) The so called “incentives” are just that. Most facilities expenses increased substantially if they went down the meaningful use road and are running underbudget and behind schedule. And yes, as you point out, the were part of the ARA in 2009, not the ACA in 2010.

    Regardless of the “details”, I am facinated by the vendors and related employees who all want a piece of the healthcare pie, but don’t take the time to either understand the facts or respect the process. The latest fad is vendors promising to improve HCAHPS scores. Some don’t even understand the timetable and transition to true Readmissions, but it is the red shiney ball of the moment.

    Unfortunately, it gives competent, dedicated vendors a bad name.

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