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April 8, 2014 News 6 Comments

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Minneapolis-based Medicare billing technology vendor Ability Network (formerly VIsionShare) will receive a $550 million strategic investment from Summit Partners. The company characterizes the investment as a recapitalization rather than an outright sale. CEO Mark Briggs has spent time with Carefx, NaviNet, and QuadraMed.

Reader Comments


From Smartfood99: “Re: Meditech. First it was a 400+ hospital in NJ, now an even larger academic hospital in GA. Does Epic not control this space any more?” Phoebe Putney Hospital (GA) will upgrade from Meditech Client/Server to Meditech 6.1, with the 691-bed hospital choosing that system because of its integration and lower cost of ownership. It would be fun to talk to someone there to find out what Epic and Cerner put on the table.


From Chris: “Re: OneReach Health. What do you hear about them?” Chris is a hospital guy and not a company shill, so I took a look. The Denver-based company offers Web-based VoIP phone solutions: inbound IVR-powered call management, text messaging, appointment confirmation, reminders, smart inbound call routing based on previous calls, and integration with EHRs. They were in the Startup Showcase at the HIMSS conference. That’s all I know.  

From Reluctant Epic User: “Re: eating your own dog food. I don’t see us doing that in my own IT shop. On the desktop side, we give our users a poorly configured, un-optimized desktop image and strip them of administrative rights so the machine that they have to use each day is so locked down it becomes unusable. Outside of the IT shop, the majority of us get our healthcare elsewhere, too.  IT users should be forced to use the same desktop image as everyone else. I would be curious to hear if others are attempting any sort of dogfooding.” I’ve often railed against IT shops that lock down PCs without regard to individual user expertise, solely to reduce  support desk calls, with IT and usually the finance departments being exempt. Readers are welcome to chime in – do IT department users get treated the same as the rank and file whose technology they oversee? 

From For Real: “Re: [PM / EHR /secure email vendor name omitted]. Word is they are finished. Layoffs and not paying vendors. No loss to the industry.” Shares dropped 23 percent Tuesday to $0.01, valuing the company at $6.5 million. For the last fiscal year, it reported revenue of $106,000 and a net loss of $7.2 million. As a comment on a stock message board questions, “Why does this thing even trade?” I omitted its name because it’s publicly traded, although at a penny a share nobody probably cares much.

From Dim-Sum: “Re: Defense Department EHR. DHMSM is rounding out their final RFI, but the DoD is wondering, ‘Did we ask the right questions?’ Vendors are scratching their heads wondering what am they are signing up for, and where is the ‘assumptions’ section? Do COTS vendors really want to sift through almost synchronized-archaic pre-Aramaic scribe data from CHCS – CHCS II, and AHLTA? Do they know the agony of making AHLTA data useful? Could the incumbent purveyor of AHLTA actually spell ONTOLOGY?  You are going to have to embrace the pain of migration and conversion. If you think that is bad, wait until you meet ‘Mr. MODS’ (Military Operational Deployment System) designed by a firm that cannot spell HealthKare. Rumor has it that the DoD wants to consolidate the solutions from Air Force, Army and Navy. As the SIs finalize their wooing of COTS vendors, we wonder will CSC announce that they are partnering with an outfit from Overland Park, KS? Will Leidos keep searching for a tenable partner or are they running on the fear that they may lose the re-compete? I guess Accenture and Leidos are not sure if they want to go to the prom together? Will IBM convince the DoD that once in for all a hardware company can install ‘Badger State’ software? Could anyone have predicted that the incumbent would have bowed out after a few phone calls to HCA Healthcare references? Where did McKesson go? Did the Allscripts Eclipsys ever come to fruition? Is it true that the Greek Goddess of Wisdom, Warfare, Divine Intelligence, and Service Oriented Architecture actually find their acute companion in Malvern, PA? And what about the VistA cult? Expect the RFP to drop Q4 2014 and your dreams should resonate on Q3/Q4 2015 when the prize will be rewarded to the team that approaches DHMSM from a practical, methodical, and sound technological foundation (as well as a sense of humor.)”


From FDASIA Work Group Member: “Re: FDASIA report. I’m not sure it’s fair to describe the work group members as pro-vendor. Much of the discussion was about increased regulation in certain domains, but unfortunately due to time limits, that didn’t make it into the report because we couldn’t come to agreement on what that would look like. I would have guessed the FDA would have regulated more given our discussion, but they also have to consider how practical enforcement would be as well as politics.”

From Epic Consultant: “Re: Epic post-live problems. I have worked with four relatively large places with consistent themes of failures in physician productivity, poor revenue cycle performance, and inability to manage patient navigation. It’s not news that later adopters are having issues given the sheer number of installed clients, but for every vendor that got to be Epic’s size, there was a rise in post-live problems where productivity never made it back to the baseline. I’m not sure if this is a general trend.” Readers are welcome to describe their experience.


From Graham Grieve: “Re: CDA security issues. Readers might be interested.” HL7-provided style sheets that display C-CDA documents have made 2014 Certified EHRs vulnerable to attacks from maliciously composed documents, according to ONC’s SMART project. If you are a vendor of a Web-based EHR, you should pay attention.

HIStalk Announcements and Requests


Welcome to new HIStalk Platinum Sponsor Validic. The Durham, NC-based company offers the healthcare industry’s premier technology platform for connecting health systems, providers, drug companies, payers, and health systems to 80 mHealth apps and devices (in-home monitoring, wearables, and apps) all with one easy connection. Its mobile ecosystem delivers standardized, FDA Class I MDDS, HIPAA-compliant consumer health data covering 30 million lives. Customers use it for monitoring patient engagement, monitoring patients remotely, collecting clinical trials data, and monitoring medication and preventive wellness adherence. Thanks to Validic for supporting HIStalk.

I learned something from this recent YouTube video about Validic that I found: Mark Cuban is an investor and talked up the company at SXSW a few weeks ago.

A tweet from an attendee of a healthcare marketing conference says that a survey by Agency Ten22 found that HIStalk is the most-read blog of hospital C-suite readers. Thanks if you are one of them.

Listening: new from Austin, TX-based Ume, a female-led melodic, guitar-heavy rock band (they sound a bit like Metric) that should be wildly popular but isn’t.

Upcoming Webinars

April 9 (Wednesday) 1:00 p.m. ET. Think Beyond EDW: Using Your Data to Transform, Part 1 – Avoiding Analysis Paralysis. Sponsored by Premier. Presenters: Kristy Drollinger, senior director of population health analytics, Fairview Health Services; J.D. Whitlock, corporate director of clinical and business intelligence, Catholic Health Partners; Sean Cassidy, general manager of information technology services emerging business unit, Premier, Inc. Are you ready to invest in an integrated data platform? Do you have a strategy to make the information accessible and actionable? How will enterprise data warehousing transform care delivery? There’s more to data analytics than simply deploying an EDW. Learn what goes into becoming an information-driven enterprise in the first webinar in this series.

April 9 (Wednesday) 1:00 p.m. ET. The Path to Shared Savings With Population Health Management Applications. Sponsored by Health Catalyst. Presenters: Eric Just, vice president of technology, Health Catalyst; and Kathleen Merkley, clinical engagement executive, Health Catalyst. The presenters will look under the hood at several advanced applications built on a Late-Binding Catalyst data warehouse, showing how to identify care variability, define populations, report key indicators, apply flexible risk stratification models, and measure process metrics.

April 16 (Wednesday) 11:00 a.m. ET. Panel Discussion: Documents, EMRs, and Healthcare Processes. Sponsored by Levi, Ray & Shoup. Presenters: Charles Harris, senior technical lead, Duke University Health System; Ron Peel, technical advisor, LRS; and John Howerter, SVP of enterprise output management, LRS. IT department in hospitals implementing EMRs often overlook the role of document-driven workflows. Prescriptions, specimen labels, and discharge orders, and other critical documents must be reliably delivered with minimal impact on IT and clinical staff. This panel discussion will discuss the evolving use of documents in the “paperless/less-paper” environment.

Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock


Wellframe, developer of a mobile care delivery and management platform, secures $1.5 million in seed funding from multiple investors, including Jonathan Bush (athenahealth), Russ Nash (Accenture), and Carl Byers (Fidelity Biosciences).

Care management software developer Bjond raises $3.25 million in Series A funding.


Allscripts CEO Paul Black made 22 percent less income in 2013 than in 2012 because he didn’t earn a bonus, giving him $7.1 million in compensation for the year. CFO Richard Poulton’s total compensation was $3.9 million.


Antelope Valley ACO (CA) selects eClinicalWorks Care Coordination Medical Record for population health management.

The Defense Logistics Agency awards GE Healthcare’s Datex Ohmeda division a $19.8 million contract for patient monitoring systems and services.



Trace Devanny joins Nuance Communications as president of the company’s healthcare division after spending 30 months as chairman and CEO of TriZetto, leaving that company a month after it relocated its headquarters to Colorado.

4-8-2014 9-42-25 AM

EDCO Health Information Solutions promotes Andy Williams from director of field operations to VP of business quality and process improvement.

4-8-2014 11-51-58 AM

Huron Consulting Group hires Rob Schreiner, MD (Kaiser Permanente Georgia) as managing director of its healthcare practice.

4-8-2014 12-09-00 PM

Cumberland Consulting Group names Amy VanDeCar (Compliance Implementation Services) senior principal of its life sciences practice.


Freeman Health System (MO) names Thomas Glodek, MD (The Physician Advisory Services Group LLC) as CMIO.

Announcements and Implementations

4-7-2014 3-55-54 PM

Quest Diagnostics launches the MyQuest by Care 360 portal to provide patients direct access to their lab test reports. The release coincides with a federal rule going into effect this week that allows patients to view test results without physician approval.

Nine health systems and medical groups will adopt the OpenNotes movement in making clinician notes available to their patients Washington and Oregon, including Kaiser Permanente Northwest, which starting providing its information to members on Tuesday.

The Canadian Intellectual Property Office awards EDCO Health Information Systems a patent for its Solarity medical record scanning and indexing technology.

Government and Politics

4-8-2014 10-47-48 AM

CMS paid 367,228 eligible professionals $168 million under the PQRS program in 2012 and $335 million to 227,447 EPs under the e-Rx incentive program. Payments under the PQRS program decreased 35 percent from the previous year with EPs earning an average of $457. Under the eRx program, incentive payments jumped 18 percent and the average incentive payment was $1,474 per provider.

CMS releases Bonnie, a tool for testing implementation of electronic clinical quality measures (eCQMs) in EHRs. CMS also posts updated specifications for the Eligible Hospital eCQMs under Stage 2 MU.


4-8-2014 1-08-10 PM

Lexicode, Anthelio, and KForce earn the top overall performance scores in a KLAS report on outsourced coding. Two-thirds of providers say they plan to keep or expand their current service.

4-8-2014 1-19-38 PM

A Computerworld IT salary survey finds that application development is the most sought-after skill in the IT world, followed by help desk and IT support. In 2013, IT salaries grew 2.1 percent and bonuses increased less than one percent. 


I love this list of things to look for before trusting the conclusions of an article or survey. Pay attention to these and you’ll ignore nearly every loudly trumpeted study or survey that earn simplistic headlines from sites too lazy to read beyond the executive summary:

  • The headline may hype a conclusion that the research doesn’t deliver.
  • The authors work for vendors or otherwise stand to benefit.
  • It may conclude that A caused B rather than the actual fact that A was correlated to B without necessarily causing it.
  • The sample size may have been too small, or even more importantly, may not have been carefully chosen as a proxy for the group it claims to represent.
  • The authors focus on one aspect of a study and ignore the less-favorable findings.
  • The publisher doesn’t have high review standards.

A low-income clinic requests that commissioners of  Durham County, NC give it $1 million to pay for an Epic implementation, with Duke University Health System offering to pick up the remaining tab of the $2 million project. Commissioners were surprised that the money was requested immediately in preparation for an implementation and go-live in three months.


Voters soundly defeat a $9 million property tax levy that would have allowed 40-bed St. Bernard Parish Hospital (LA) to replace its dysfunctional billing system and to implement electronic medical records. 

Crain’s New York Business reports that for former CEO of Barnabas Health (NJ) was paid $22 million when he retired in 2012, while the CEO of Atlantic Health made $10 million in the same year.

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (MA) launches a pilot project in which it will share clinician notes with psychiatric patients,

Weird News Andy calls this article “New Organs from Old,” suggesting its use for giving a diabetic patient a new pancreas or a CIO a new liver. Stem cell scientists rebuild a functional mouse thymus by reversing age-relating shrinking.

Sponsor Updates

  • Summit Healthcare and S&P Consultants partner to provide an enterprise-wide Cerner downtime solution.
  • e-MDs adds PDR Brief to its EHR, giving users enhanced drug information and alerts from PDR Network.
  • Borgess Health (MI) reports a $9 million increase in appropriate revenue within a year of implementing the Nuance Compliant Documentation Management Program.
  • Health Data Specialists will attend the Cerner Pacific West Regional Users Group meeting in San Diego, CA on April 22-24 and will also attend the 2014 Texas Regional HIMSS Conference on April 22-23 in Dallas, TX.
  • Cornerstone Advisors will offer two presentations at the 2014 Texas Regional HIMSS Conference on April 22-23 in Dallas, TX.
  • The American Board of Internal Medicine uses Truven Health Treatment Pathways 3.0 to help identify wasteful healthcare as part of its Choosing Wisely initiative.
  • Levi, Ray & Shoup introduces Independent Document Bundling, a document automation solution to automate the retrieval and merging of documents in different formats from various sources.
  • Navicure posts its April and May events calendar.
  • BlueTree Network co-founder Ted Gurman offers tips for making the most of the ICD-10 delay in a company blog post.
  • Acadiana Center for Orthopedic and Occupational Medicine (LA) shares details of the benefits it has realized since implementing Greenway’s Intergy EHR and Practice Analytics.
  • RazorInsights releases its April conference schedule.
  • Deloitte seeks applications for its 20th annual ranking of the Technology Fast 500.
  • Wolters Kluwer Health releases Lippincott Advisor App for Android and Apple smartphone and tablets.
  • Perceptive Software launches its hybrid cloud foundation Perceptive Evolution at this week’s Inspire 2014 in Las Vegas.
  • Bottomline Technologies announces the general availability of its Healthcare 5.1 platform, which includes enhanced functionality for eCapture, eSignature, and On-Demand forms.


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. Epic didn’t even bid on Phoebe Putney Hospital

    When does a Meditech site upgrading to a new version of Meditech constitute an embarrassment for either Epic or Cerner?

    Stop using Mr H’s blog as your amateur marketing web site!

  2. Everyone including our IT shop, finance and executives have their computers locked down. We do have a small exception list for a handful of folks that have a seperate account they use to support the organization. The two reasons are to secure the environment and so everyone in IT has the same experience as the people we support.

  3. For those that believe IT staff should be subject to the same PC lockown policies as the rest of the organization (which I subscribe to), do you also take adavntage of the Hospital kitchens to cater your office luncheons, parties, etc.?

  4. In response to Epic Insider a little defensive aren’t you? Probably spending too much time in the cold and darkness of Deep Space!
    Believe the main Phoebe Putney Medical Center is a current McKesson Horizon site and not a MEDITECH C/S site. The other hospitals in the health system do utilize MEDITECH. Epic may not have bid on this site but regardless, combined with the recent New Jersey win, that makes two significant wins for MEDITECH. Further substantiates they are a player in the market to be reckoned with. Don’t be a hater!

  5. Having worked for awhile in a facility where the IT Epic staff was locked down for application security, its a very, very bad idea. Nobody learns the integration points, and small wars constantly erupt. Sounds great to a newbie security person- seasoned security people were brought in, were aghast, but the newbies had the rank. They kept further locking things down, IT staff would come in the morning and spend all day trying to get their security back. Couple weeks later, it would happen all over again. Finally the newbies contract expired, don’t think she’s allowed to work in healthcare anymore.

  6. Epic Insider did not respond with accurate information. Phoebe Putney did evaluate Epic pricing. While some of the satellite facilities of the organization are on MEDITECH C/S the 700 bed flagship hospital is using McKesson Horizon. Thus the Hospital is not just upgrading to a new version of MEDITECH.

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