A Johns Hopkins-led study published in JAMA concludes that the major factors driving healthcare costs up are consolidation of hospitals and practices that increase pricing power, high drug and medical device costs, and heavy IT investment with questionable value. It notes that costs are not visible to doctors or patients, which prevents healthcare from functioning as an efficient market.
From Flash: “Re: AMIA. Perhaps the biggest news at AMIA so far is the non-news that CMS probably won’t delay Stage 2 MU. That’s essentially what the ONC’s Jodi Daniel said during a session Monday.” At this stage in the game, it would be more surprising if CMS did consider changes or delays.
DocuSign will present “Paperless Practices: Harnessing EHR Value by Improving Workflows with Electronic Data” on Tuesday, December 10 at 1:00 p.m. Eastern. “Audit Readiness: Three Simple Steps to Protect Patient Privacy”, presented by Iatric Systems, will be presented on Wednesday, December 11 at 2:00 Eastern. More information on both programs is on the Webinar page.
Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock
CareFusion will acquire respiratory care and anesthesiology medicine manufacturer Vital Signs from GE Healthcare for $500 million.
Acupera, developers of population healthcare and coordination workflow management technology, secures $2 million in bridge financing.
MDS Medical, Greenway Medical’s top-producing channel partner, acquires the assets of EHRsolutions, Greenway’s second largest reseller.
Carl Icahn, who owns 4.7 million shares of Apple and a 16.9 percent stake in Nuance Communications, tells participants at an investment summit that he will not push Apple to buy Nuance.
Truven Health Analytics provided this comment related to its recently released 10-Q forms that a reader commented about in the Monday Morning Update:
Truven Health Analytics has performed well in 2012 and through the first three quarters of 2013, with steady increases in revenue and robust margins for adjusted EBITDA. Reported losses are due to accounting changes stemming from our divesture from Thomson Reuters and one-time costs associated with the migration of our data center from Thomson Reuters onto a standalone platform, neither of which affects ongoing operating performance.
The 25-bed Van Buren County Hospital (IA) selects McKesson Radiology and McKesson Study Share.
MModal adds new customers for its MModal Fluency for Imaging product including Coastal Radiology (NC), Coosa Valley Medical Center (AL), Greensboro Radiology (NC), Maricopa Integrated Health System (AZ), and Radiology Associates (OR).
Avera Health selects Craneware InSight Medical Necessity for 28 of their 33 hospital organizations.
King Khaled Eye Specialist Hospital in Saudi Arabia will implement InterSystems TrakCare. The hospital, by the way, is part of a compound that includes six five-story apartment buildings, 22 villas, a community center, tennis courts, playgrounds, a cinema, a supermarket, and a mosque.
Ophthalmology Associates (WI) selects SRS EHR for its six providers.
Avera Health (SD) chooses Craneware’s InSight Medical Necessity.
The Georgia HIN names eHealth Services Group CEO Denise Hines executive director.
Recondo Technology appoints Lori Prestesater (McKesson Provider Technologies) chief growth officer.
Verisk Health promotes Nadine Hays from EVP of sales, marketing, and strategic partnerships to president, replacing Joel Portice who is leaving to pursue other interests.
Nuance extends the existing employment agreement with its CEO Paul Ricci through November 11, 2015 and agrees to pay him a base salary of $800,000 plus annual performance bonuses of up to $1.2 million.
MediTract, a provider of automated contract management solutions, names David F. “Buddy” Bacon (Meridian Surgical Partners) CEO.
Announcements and Implementations
eClinicalWorks will invest an additional $50 million over the next 12 months in addition to the $25 million it had already committed to enhance and expand population health solutions and patient engagement tools under its Health & Online Wellness business unit. Part of the funding will be used to hire an additional 100 software developers.
Southeaster Overread Services (NC) implements eRAD PACS with integrated speech recognition technology from MModal.
Parrish Medical Center (FL) expands its use of products from Strata Decision Technology with the implementation of StrataJazz Decision Support.
Florida Governor Rick Scott joins iSirona employees to announce the company’s plan to create 300 new jobs over the next three years at its Panama City headquarters.
HIMSS Analytics and The International Institute for Analytics announce the launch of a service that will allow hospitals to assess the maturity of their analytics capabilities and benchmark against peers.
The Boston Globe names Meditech as one of the Top Places to Work in Massachusetts.
iMDsoft integrates the Electronic Whiteboard from Intelligent Business Solutions into its MetaVision AIMS solution.
Government and Politics
House lawmakers introduce legislation that would create and expand physician reimbursement of telehealth services to active-duty service members, their dependents, retirees, and veterans.
Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) proposes a bill that would extend MU incentive payments to behavioral health providers, including psychiatric hospitals, substance abuse facilities, and psychologists. The legislation would also address EHR-related adverse drug reporting to patient safety organizations, clarify that EHRs are not subject to the Food, Drug and Cosmetics Act, and limit electronic discovery in EHRs.
Medicare will cut reimbursements by as much as 1.25 percent to 1,451 hospitals next year as a result of their performance in CMS’s value-based purchasing program. An additional 1,231 hospitals will see payments increase by as much as 1.25 percent based on their performance across quality indicators.
The American Academy of Ophthalmology unveils the IRIS Registry, the nation’s first eye disease and condition patient database. The registry is designed to interface with any EMR system and will handle data on more than 18 million patients by 2016.
Three young programmers create HealthSherpa.com, which one-ups Healthcare.gov by allowing consumers to quickly get insurance prices by entering only their ZIP code. It took them only three days to develop and test the site. I tried it and had insurance prices and details in less than five seconds.
Weird News Andy finds this story to be strange but true. Researchers find that patients with a wide range of red blood cell sizes are more likely to have depression.
- Greenway Medical releases Intergy v9.00, which includes a dashboard to track the progress of a practice’s transition to ICD-10 or MU attestation.
- The Drummond Group certifies Allscripts dbMotion 5.0 as an ONC-ACB 2014 compliant EHR Module.
- Lifepoint Informatics announces the details of its March 13, 2014 user conference in Orlando.
- National Decision Support Company, Montage Healthcare Solutions, and Nuance Communications collaborate to bring Imaging 3.0 tools to radiologists.
- Medical Staffing Network (FL) completes their companywide implementation of API Healthcare’s solution suite.
- Aspen Advisors raises $2,300 for Florida’s Health First health system during the company’s annual retreat in Ft. Lauderdale.
- The Detroit Free Press names CareTech Solutions the top workplace in the large-company category based on employee satisfaction.
- Surveys from Porter Research and Imprivata indicate that healthcare is beginning to trust cloud technology for the storage of PHI.
- Emdeon discusses the challenges and opportunities of CPOE under Stage 2.
- Sagacious Consultants launches Sagacious Connect to support hospitals extending their EMR software to independent practices and hospitals.
- T-System’s Tonda Terrell offers seven considerations for payer contracting in the healthcare reform-era. The company’s Elizabeth Morgenroth also provides communication tips for a successful ICD-10 implementation and conversion.
- Imprivata earns a spot on the Boston Globe’s Top Places to Work 2013 in the medium company category.