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December 17, 2013 News 6 Comments

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The 2014 defense authorization bill, which has been endorsed by both the House and Senate, requires the DoD and VA to develop by the end of January “a detailed plan for the oversight and execution of the interoperable electronic health records with an integrated display of data, or a single electronic health record.” If the agencies miss the deadline they risk losing their ability to spend more than 25 percent of the estimated $344 million in funding needed for the project and will be required to notify military and veterans committees before dispensing any project funds in excess of $5 million. The system deployment deadline is end of 2016.

Reader Comments

12-17-2013 1-11-40 PM

inga From Lion: “Re: LinkedIn. OK, I’m curious. What is the deal with your profile picture?” There’s no faster way to peg yourself as a HIStalk Newbie than by asking Mr. H why a healthcare-related website features a smoking doctor or why I have hot shoes on my LinkedIn profile. I shared with Lion that I used to have the Inga avatar on my profile, but the LinkedIn police took it down, saying only photos were acceptable. I feel like such a renegade every time I see the sexy shoe photo on LinkedIn, though I’m now thinking it’s time to feature a new pair. Stay tuned.  

12-17-2013 6-32-42 PM

From Leaving T-System: “Re: big changes at T-System last Friday. Sunny Sanyal will leave the company in January, now looking for new CEO. Mikael Ohman, COO will be working on special projects only. Jim Mullen, SVP Sales is leaving to join Allscripts. Mark Horner is now SVP & GM over RevCycle+, already updated his LinkedIn page.” Varian Medical Systems has already announced that Sunny Sanyal will be taking over as SVP and president of its Imaging Components businesses as of February 7, 2014.  We appreciate T-System’s response to our inquiries:

It is with mixed emotions that we can confirm those changes are accurate. Sunny made the decision based on a personal need to work closer to his family and spend more time with his wife and three children. Sunny was very well-liked and respected at T-System and we will truly miss him. Sunny will remain as the CEO of T-System until the end of January. On a positive note, we have some additional, exciting changes that we would like to share with HIStalk readers. John Trzeciak, a long-standing board member and principal at Francisco Partners, will help with the transition and step in as the interim CEO of T-System while we search for a replacement. John has an extensive background in leading healthcare organizations and helping companies manage leadership transitions, and is already engaged in the T-System business through his role on the board. We are excited to announce that Tom Dunn has been named as Executive VP of sales and marketing. Tom had tremendous success as the sales and marketing VP at QuadraMed, helping the company achieve double-digit growth. We anticipate that he will drive further alignment of our new revenue cycle and documentation solutions. Jim is leaving to pursue new opportunities and we’re grateful for his contributions. Additionally, Mark Horner was promoted to senior VP and GM of our revenue cycle solutions while Steve Armond, T-System CFO, was promoted with additional responsibilities that include operations for client services and performance solutions.

12-17-2013 9-41-01 PM

From Dr. L: “Re: technology tip. I appreciated your review of the Asus MeMo Pad and the tip to find it on sale at Office Depot! I checked immediately and snagged the last one at my local store. I’m in a similar situation with an aging device, and it’s helpful to follow someone you trust to wade through the plentiful options. I was considering one of the new iPad Minis, but I agree the Asus delivers a lot of value and doesn’t feel like I’m skimping. You’d have a lot of grateful followers if you included a regular Personal Technology section on your blog. I recall a comment several years ago about your strategy to use your iPod Touch on WiFi instead of an iPhone, and I adopted that idea, too. Many thanks to you and your team for all you do each week. You’re the highlight of my day!” I appreciate those nice words and I’m still loving the Asus, especially for $120 (try playing this movie on it to appreciate the HD display.) I don’t buy a whole lot of technology, but I usually get excited about it when I do, because I’m a nerd, obviously, and a bargain hunter besides. It would be fun to have readers weigh in on their latest purchases and the deals they’ve found.

HIStalk Announcements and Requests

12-17-2013 6-48-04 PM

Welcome to new HIStalk Platinum Sponsor Lincor. The 10-year-old Nashville-based company’s patient engagement technology portfolio includes PatientLINC (touch-screen, in-room access to clinical information for caregivers and  patient tools, communication services, and entertainment such as on-demand video and games); ClinicalLINC (secure bedside EMR access via wall-mounted terminals);  MediaLINC (in-room patient access to educational materials and entertainment); and MobileLINC (patient access to medical information, educational materials, and entertainment on their mobile devices). All of these increase patient satisfaction and improve outcomes, helping hospitals meet Medicare-funded requirements for patient satisfaction, readmissions, and Meaningful Use. The company’s systems are used by 120 hospitals and 25,000 beds all over the world, and the world headquarters have been moved from Cork, Ireland to Nashville. Just this week the company announced another funding round, this time of $3 million, to expand in the US and EMEA. Thanks to Lincor for supporting HIStalk.

My YouTube cruise turned up this new and well-done video overview of Lincor’s LINC technology.

Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

12-17-2013 6-33-29 AM

HealthTech Holdings, which includes the HMS, Patient Logic, and Medhost brands, changes its name to Medhost and names Craig Herrod president. He previously served as president and CEO of the Medhost division.

Juniper Networks will acquire WANDL, a provider of software solutions for multi-layer networks, for $60 million. 


At Home Healthcare (TX) selects Procura Homecare software as its home and community care platform.

The Louisiana Senior Care Coalition chooses eClinicalWorks Care Coordination Medical Record as its population health management solution for advancing ACO objectives.

12-17-2013 6-22-19 PM

The VA St. Louis Health Care System will implement LiveData PeriOp Manager and integrate it with its existing VistA EHR.

Hospital Sisters Health System (IL) chooses Passport to provide RCM solutions and services to its 14 hospitals and network of affiliated facilities.

Intermountain Healthcare (UT) selects Elsevier ClinicalKey to provide electronic medical reference and knowledge-based information to its clinicians and medical libraries.


12-17-2013 10-48-26 AM

Medfusion names Vern Davenport (MModal) president and an equity partner.

12-17-2013 9-28-06 AM

Jack Redding (Mount Sinai Medical Center) joins Halfpenny Technologies as SVP of sales and marketing.

Oncologist Susan Desmond-Hellman, MD, MPH (UCSF) is named CEO of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. One of her key policy recommendations to the National Academy of Sciences was creation of a knowledge network that would allow sharing patient data across research and clinical practice to tailor treatments to individual patients.

T-System appoints Tom Dunn (QuadraMed) EVP of sales and marketing.

12-17-2013 5-50-58 PM

inga Kathleen Sebelius announces the appointment of former Microsoft executive Kurt DelBene as senior advisor to lead and manage the Healthcare.gov project. DelBene was president of the Microsoft Office division, leading me to wonder if he’ll be typing many of his own memos in Word and if the memos will ever include the term “EHR.” Wouldn’t it be great if he were able to lobby his former employer to fix that annoying EHR/HER auto-correct issue?

Announcements and Implementations

HIMSS and HHS are recruiting for an “Innovator in Residence” to serve a two-year term to develop and implement a nationwide patient data matching strategy.

12-17-2013 6-18-02 PM

Susquehanna Health (PA) implements Summit Provider Exchange technology to provide bidirectional integration between its hospitals and physician practices running NextGen EMR.

Bay Area Medical Center (WI), which recently signed a letter of intent to partner with Aurora Health Care (WI), begins implementation of Epic, the platform already in place at Aurora.

The Illinois HIE and Missouri Health Connection will share clinical patient data.

12-17-2013 12-10-00 PM

Essentia Health-Virginia (MN) goes live on Epic.

Polk County Human Services (WI) adopts Forward Health Group’s PopulationManager to track and analyze the progress of patients with substance abuse disorders.

Palomar Health (CA) goes live with AirStrip ONE for remote EKG access, co-developed by the organizations based on Palomar’s MIAA (Medical Information Anytime Anywhere) platform that AirStrip acquired in mid-2012.

12-17-2013 7-50-09 PM

Oncology EMR vendor Altos Solutions and outcomes and analytics vendor COTA announce a partnership to sell value-based cancer care systems in the US.

In the UK, the Department of Health opens bidding to choose a new outsourcing provider for its Oracle HR management system, planning to replace McKesson after 13 years. The contract is valued at up to $730 million over six years.

12-17-2013 8-21-36 PM

UPMC’s Children’s Hospital (PA) will make its physicians available for second opinions to members of MDLIVE, which offers secure online access to physicians.

In England, NHS’s clinical research group uses QlikView to review clinical data quality and find unusual patterns.

Government and Politics

12-17-2013 6-19-56 PM

Medicare publishes a list of the 97 best and 85 worst hospitals for hip and knee replacements based on post-surgery complications and readmissions.

inga Congressmen Erik Paulsen (R-MN) and Jim Matheson (D-UT) propose legislation that would mandate the use of clinical decision support software by physicians receiving Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement when they order diagnostic imaging tests. The goal is to provide doctors with immediate feedback and recommendations for the appropriate tests to order. Sounds like a great idea that would likely create a few administrative nightmares.

Big pharma wants an independent investigation of the FDA’s computer security after a database containing clinical trial results and drug marketing plans submitted by drug companies was hacked last month. The drug companies are afraid their confidential information could end up in the hands of a competitor. FDA says the attacked system didn’t contain such information.


12-17-2013 9-05-13 PM

ReferralMD Founder and CEO Jonathan Govette, like others, says that EMRs will become unbundled the same way that a myriad of Craigslist features turned into much better individual platforms started by others. Above is how he sees that happening (click the image to enlarge). Tip from @ForwardHealthGP.

HIMSS will hold an mHealth Summit Middle East in Abu Dhabi in May 2014.

12-17-2013 9-54-13 PM

StartUp Health and AARP release a report on digital health in consumers over 50. Like much of what’s packaged as mHealth, it’s mostly aimed at investors rather than consumers.

Saint Francis Hospital (NY) says its Meditech implementation forced it into bankruptcy with $50 million in debt, but adds that it was the hospital’s own poor financial implementation and not Meditech that cost it “tens of millions of dollars” of uncollectible revenue. The hospital will sell itself once it exits bankruptcy.

A group of New York City parents files suit against the city and the Department of Education, claiming that disruptive 6- and 7-year-olds are being sent by ambulance to area EDs in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act solely because the schools can’t handle them. According to one mom, “It has caused a financial and emotional strain for me and my entire family. I feel that they sent my son to the emergency room as an excuse to not do their job. If my child acts up at home I cannot send my son to the hospital emergency room.”

12-17-2013 10-39-45 PM

A California newspaper profiles 20-employee, Sebastopol-based E-Health Records, which develops EHRs primarily for use in developing nations. It runs on Android-powered tablets over Amazon cloud services.  

inga A former HHS investigator shares tips for preparing and responding to a fraud and breach investigation. The investigator says one of the biggest mistakes an organization can make during an on-site visit is to make the investigator wait. I’m guessing he’s never had to be on hold forever while trying to follow up on a Medicare claim. Now that’s waiting.

12-17-2013 7-46-39 PM

Weird News Andy summarizes this story as, “Makes it easy to put on socks.” Doctors in China reattach a man’s severed hand to his ankle for a month while he regains strength for hand surgery. I’m not entirely buying it – the story sounds suspicious and the picture looks a bit Photoshoppy.

WNA also notes this non-weird story, which describes November’s US hospital admissions as the lowest in a decade, with the survey sample of 98 hospitals reporting that admissions were down more than four percent.

Sponsor Updates

  • LRS releases the Mobile Connector for VPSX software, which allows users to print documents from any mobile device to any VPSX-defined output destination.
  • Athenahealth will integrate Merge Healthcare’s iConnect Network into its athenaClinicals EHR to allow users to receive and view exam results and diagnostic-quality images.
  • Wolters Kluwer Heath integrates its Health Language Provider Friendly Terminology with Epic EHR for mid-size to large practices and for hospitals.
  • Greenway Medical adds Digital Assent, a provider of patient satisfaction survey solutions, to its online Marketplace of value-added partners.
  • McKesson Episode Management releases 22 new episodes based on the PROMETHEUS Payment Evidence Informed Case Rate definitions, making it the first automated bundled payment solution to support the latest PROMETHEUS model.
  • InstaMed has grown to 1,000 providers and has processed over $30 billion in healthcare payments in 2013.
  • Razornsights employees celebrate the company’s Founder’s Day by building shoebox gifts in support of Operation Christmas Child.
  • Minnesota’s Office of the Commission of Health certifies Sandlot Solutions a health data intermediary, authorizing the company to provide HIE services in the state.
  • Maryland hires Optum/QSSI to provide project management and operational support for the Maryland Health Connection website.
  • A Nashville paper spotlights Lincor Solutions and the launch of its patient engagement technology for hospitals and health systems.
  • Health Catalyst board member and former Intermountain CIO Larry Grandia wins the 2013 Utah Governor’s Medal in Science and Technology.
  • Fujifilm demonstrated its Synapse products and the showed the MU Stage 2 capabilities of its Synapse RIS at RSNA
  • T-System authors a case study featuring its facility coding customer Memorial University Medical Center (GA), which boosted its ED revenues 20 percent through its coding initiative. 


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

More news: HIStalk Practice, HIStalk Connect.


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Currently there are "6 comments" on this Article:

  1. Funny reference to the EHR/HER autocorrect. I just recently finally got to my wit’s end and removed it from my autocorrect list. Fixed until my next PC replacement..

  2. I have to say that I feel that the shoe and leg picture on a publication that is purported to be professional is in very poor taste. Just an observation. Take it as you wish…

  3. Your pic of new T-Systems EVP of Sales Tom Dunn is wrong. TD is much more cherub!

    [From Mr H] Photos are always above the item that reference them, so that’s Kurt DelBene’s photo. Tom is apparently graphically challenged since his LinkedIn photo is tiny instead of thumbnailed as it should be and his Facebook photo has been mangled by resizing to the point it’s unusable, so I had to run his new job without his pic (which I really dislike doing).

  4. RE: itpro

    “I have to say that I feel that the shoe and leg picture on a publication that is purported to be professional is in very poor taste. Just an observation. Take it as you wish…”

    I would like to believe your comment is a joke. Are you kidding?

    I’m guessing you also:

    1.) Don’t allow TV in the house
    2.) Apply strict internet restrictions to prevent your kids from being “exposed”
    3.) Have no self-awareness or common sense

    Sex is all over. This avatar should be the least of your worries.


  5. Hi Inga … I am stunned that LinkedIn won’t allow for your classy avatar when they do a) support “no” picture at all and better yet b) promote anonymous stalking! I keep returning to the same question: Why do they care?

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