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Monday Morning Update 10/28/13

October 26, 2013 News 10 Comments

10-26-2013 4-13-54 PM

From FL IT Guy: “Re: HMA. CIO Ken Chatfield and two other IT VPs were separated Thursday night. I don’t know the details.” Unverified, but Ken’s bio has vanished from the for-profit hospital company’s leadership page. He took the job in 2010. HMA replaced its board a month ago and is reconsidering its planned $3.9 billion sale to Community Health Systems.

10-26-2013 2-16-06 PM

From Levon Helmet: “Re: interface engine selection. Consultant John Traeger put together a really great guide that includes a grading system. He presented to our user group conference and said he put the guide together because people are using dated questions on their RFPs that often lead to the wrong selection.”

From The PACS Designer: “Re: SAP and the cloud. TPD is very familiar with SAP AG and their database solutions from previous development experiences in healthcare. What is surprising for a stodgy company that SAP is the success they’ve had moving customers to the cloud. It wasn’t that long ago that they announced their desire to sell cloud solutions and they’ve already achieved over $1 billion in Hana cloud business.”

From Twitterpated: “Re: US CTO Todd Park. Hasn’t tweeted since the week before Healthcare.gov went live.” Todd’s last tweet was September 25. I don’t know if that means anything, but his tweets were somewhat regular at 5-10 per month before then, so his month-long absence is unusual. A Reuters article says that like most White House officials, nobody’s saying what is role was in developing Healthcare.gov and the White House has declined to make him available for interviews. A couple of influential Republican members of Congress seem to have him in their sights. Bizarre conservative columnist Michelle Malkin wonders, “What Happened to All of Obama’s Technology Czars?” in ripping the administration along with former US CIO Vivek Kundra, his replacement Steven VanRoekel, former US CTO Aneesh Chopra, David Blumenthal, Farzad Mostashari, and Todd Park. Where were all the critics when BearingPoint’s $500 million CoreFLS nearly shut down the Bay Pines VA hospital in Florida and was trashed after returning zero value to taxpayers? Affecting live patients seems to be more important than limiting sales of insurance policies.

10-26-2013 12-57-42 PM

It’s a toss-up for survey respondents trying to decide if private equity firms are a positive or negative industry influence. My opinion: sometimes the purely business decisions PE firms make aren’t pleasant for employees and sometimes even customers, but they’re trying to save companies in trouble or at least make them return more value to improve their chances of survival. Employees can find new jobs more easily than customers can choose new vendors, unfortunately. New poll to your right: would you buy hospital applications from a company that doesn’t have much hospital experience?

HIStalk Webinars

Two really good upcoming HIStalk Webinars will feature industry-leading CIOs speaking on interesting topics. I saw the rehearsal sessions for both and they are worth your time.

Marc Probst, VP/CIO of Intermountain Healthcare, will present “Fostering Innovation Through Appropriate Government Regulation” on Thursday, November 14 at 1:00 p.m. Eastern. I enjoyed learning about Intermountain and its informatics history as well as Marc’s thoughts about the government’s influence in setting standards and the need for innovation in healthcare. Marc’s presentation is sponsored by Sunquest Information Systems, which commissioned the initial version of this talk for one of its recent executive forums. 

Ed Marx, SVP/CIO of Texas Health Resources, offers “The Lost Art of Mentoring” on Thursday, November 21 at 2:00 Eastern. You know Ed from his “CIO Unplugged” writings on HIStalk, His mentoring posts resonated with many readers and Ed graciously agreed when I asked him if he would provide expanded thoughts on that topic. He will explain how mentoring saved his life, saved his marriage, and transformed his career. You’ve read Ed’s words on the page and now you can hear them live.

I started this Webinar series in the hopes that leaders like Marc and Ed would step forward to bring a new type of inspiring education to a wide audience. Not everybody speaks at conferences or attends them, and this is a way to put new ideas and new voices in front of HIStalk readers. It’s free, paperless, and  greener than flying in planes across the country to watch the same presentation on a screen in a big room. Let me know If you have non-commercial ideas to share on any topic (technology, care delivery, business, informatics, self-improvement, etc.) that would interest my audience. We’ll help by reviewing your presentation, taking you through a rehearsal, providing the online platform, moderating your session, making the recorded Webinar and slide PDFs available afterward, and of course hopefully assembling an appreciative audience. You’ll get exposure and a resume credential if you want those things, but mostly you’ll get the satisfaction of having given something back to the industry. A lot of people who are new to healthcare IT could benefit from your experience and wisdom.

10-26-2013 4-43-36 PM 10-26-2013 4-44-25 PM 10-26-2013 4-45-45 PM

The General Accounting Office appoints three new members to the Health IT Policy Committee: David Kotz, PhD (computer science professor, Dartmouth College); Devin Mann, MD, MS (assistant professor of medicine, Boston University School of Medicine); and Troy Seagondollar, MSN, RN (regional nursing technology liaison, Kaiser Permanente). They will fill positions as a privacy and security expert, researcher, and labor union member, respectively.

10-26-2013 1-54-41 PM

Anthelio Healthcare Solutions names Ken Roderman (Beacon Health Partners) as VP of sales.

HIStalk sponsors earning a spot on “100 Best Places to Work in Healthcare for 2013” are Aspen Advisors, CTG Health Solutions, The Advisory Board Company, iSirona, Health Catalyst, Santa Rosa Consulting, Divurgent, Innovative Healthcare Solutions, Encore Health Resources, Cumberland Consulting Group, Sagacious Consultants, Impact Advisors, Cornerstone Advisors Group, Imprivata, Iatric Systems, ESD, and Hayes Management Consulting.

10-26-2013 2-29-54 PM

10-26-2013 2-30-41 PM

St. Rita’s Hospital (OH) says it’s the pilot for Epic’s MyChart Bedside, a tablet-based app that gives patients and family members access to their health information, lab results, care plan, care team information with photos, and educational material.

10-26-2013 2-33-47 PM

HIT seed funder Rock Health perhaps unintentionally emphasizes the generational and cultural gap that exists between its youthful West Coast team and us experienced non-hipsters who work in hospital IT by quoting an R. Kelly song in a tweet pitching some kind of hackathon.

Bruce Friedman of Lab Soft News points out the potential conflict of interest in hiring QSSI as a major contractor for Healthcare.gov. “It’s owned by UnitedHealth Group which also owns United Healthcare … the general software contractor now for Healthcare.gov is owned by the holding company that also owns the largest health insurance company in the country, UnitedHealthcare. Does the fact that UnitedHealthcare seems to be not participating the healthcare exchange, as most other private insurance companies are doing, change the equation? For me, the answer is no.”

10-26-2013 3-57-36 PM

One person is really happy about Healthcare.gov – the entrepreneur who bought the domain Healthcare.com for $2 million seven years ago and who now runs a vaguely governmental-looking advertising site to get people to request insurance quotes. Clueless Web users have requested 100,000 insurance quotes there so far this month alone. The same guy also owns Healthcare.net and Healthcare.org, the latter of which went from zero visits to 60,000 on October 1 alone. He had originally planned to create a WebMD-like site, saying, “We are not healthcare guys, we are online marketers. But we knew that health care accounted for more than 26 percent of the U.S. GDP.” He says the feds made some dumb mistakes, like requiring visitors to register before searching for quotes. His site is probably giving more quotes than the one the feds put up, so maybe they should make him part of the tech surge. He might be the most brilliant domain squatter since Whitehouse.com was set up as a porn site until the government shut it down in 2004, depriving the electorate of the opportunity to see a whips-and-chains bearing Hillary Clinton leading Bill around by a dog collar right above the porn links.

10-26-2013 3-36-49 PM

Venture capitalist Michael Greeley has left Boston-based Flybridge Capital Partners, which he co-founded in 2001, to join VC firm Foundation Medical Partners. He holds board a board seat at Valence Health. Current HIT investments by Foundation Medical Partners include Explorys (healthcare big data), Predilytics (healthcare analytics), and Rise Health (population health registries). FMP’s previous HIT-related  investments include Humedica and Valence Health. Greeley says early-stage need to be experts in specific sectors, especially in healthcare, and he wants to work with the IT side.

Vince continues his HIS-tory of McKesson some some fascinating background on Peoria-based HBO (before they moved to Atlanta and became HBOC) that includes some first-hand reports as well as personal photos from HBO’s #14 employee, Dan Mowery. This is a labor of love for Vince, so if you enjoy his HIS-tory posts as much as I do, I’m sure he would appreciate it if you’d leave a comment to say so.


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

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Currently there are "10 comments" on this Article:

  1. Aneesh Chopra, David Blumenthal,Kundra ,and Farzad Mostashari knew when to leave like folks at the VA too. We have become hostages of our own technologies if you will. IT infrastructures are almost more complex than what we can deal with and when you hear that also reflected from Dr. Halamka, well he’s the man. I wrote a short while back that consumers and the government are getting a real hard cold lesson today on the complexities of IT infrastructures and it’s not like the old days when all was still silos. Yes I miss those days too and partially why I don’t code anymore. Poor Sebelius has not figured out when to leave like the rest did so she could have some dignity left. It’s kind of sad as she’s propped up with “canned” and “rehearsed” answers and she should stop doing those I think as they hurt her more than help. The CNN video with Gupta actually got to be very irritating listening to the same or very similar canned response with throwing stats, same ones out there over and over, it’s the old sales tactic of “throw numbers at them”, been around for years. I used to do that when I was in sales (grin).


    The QSSI thing is interesting as if you look them up on the SEC United Healthcare listing, you fine this: SEC subsidiary listing-United HC QSSI contractor “QSSI Technologies India Private Limited” Domicile=India Here’s the SEC page link.


    So who knows, maybe the fixes and the project was outsourced to India? The SEC page will floor you a bit as we have all watched all the mergers and acquisitions but when you see them all together, well it has an impact for sure. They were all so secret about the technologies being used and I want to know why the turnkey platforms from Oracle and Microsoft have never been mentioned? Sure even with, you have to write some platforms apps but sure beat bottom up coding an entire project and with Oracle the Fusion middle ware is there and CGI did buy the Oracle ID and Access manager and we only heard about that portion as folks were having issues with it. I asked a few questions about and maybe there were reason not to use more Oracle technologies or reason not to use the turnkey platforms, but for nobody even to mention both of them? Kind of odd since they were there and added a little Daily Show with my questions:) This is sad but back in 2009 when she was nominated everyone wanted to club me for not being supportive but I sad in a few years Health IT would eat her up and other IT Intense agencies like the SEC have same problem as figureheads can’t do the job like they used to, just too much and very high expectations.


  2. In my 26 year career, I have never been treated as poorly as I was during my interactions with the IT leadership at HMA. They were incredibly rude and unnecessarily arrogant. Not shedding a tear tonight.

  3. @histalk “Where were all the critics when BearingPoint’s $500 million CoreFLS nearly shut down the Bay Pines VA hospital in Florida and was trashed after returning zero value to taxpayers? Affecting live patients seems to be more important than limiting sales of insurance policies.”

    I haven’t a clue as to whose opinion this is. Malkin’s or yours? Did you cover the Bay Pines VA fiasco?

  4. Barbara, please take the advice you’ve been given several times already. The stream of consciousness, grammar challenged style you employ in your writing doesn’t reflect well on you.

  5. @todd_park Obama’s IT brain trust let him down. Why? Both he and Sebelius have more faith in IT solving the country’s problems than is justified, considering the number of extensive IT dysfunctions in recent years, from NASDAQ, to airline reservations, to hospital EHR crashes, to Facebook opening, etc.

    No heads have rolled yet. They all have excuses. This is typical of the IT industry, that rolls out programs, apps, software and asks the public to report glitches, rather than getting it right the first time.

    Obama and Sebelius do not have sufficient skepticism and they trust the IT architects too much. Naive! I agreee that she was particularly monotonous abd scripted in her interview w @Gupta. She needs to go.

    Does the cost of the healthcare.gov fiasco go in to the bucket of health care costs so that now, it will be a higher percentage of GNP?

  6. “…Bizarre conservative columnist Michelle Malkin…” , Why “Bizarre” ? Just because you don’t agree with her opinions? What’s “bizarre” is the ACA website. Rather than trying to marginalize other points of view, perhaps you cheerleaders for health IT ought to pay a little more attentiont to alternative ideas for a change.

  7. There are plenty of conservative voices worth listening to. Malkin isn’t one of them. She’s all sound and fury, signifying nothing.

  8. Speaking as someone who deals more in the world of West coast startups than mainstream HIT (although with feet in both camps) I’d like to point out that I didn’t get Rock Health’s reference to R. Kelly but faux-non-hipster Mr H did!

  9. There has to be a better picture to use of Ed Marx. He looks like a thug in that photo. Mentor? He looks like he would beat you up if you didn’t perform. LOL

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