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April 15, 2014 News 8 Comments

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FDA left unanswered questions about its FDASIA report, such as how to submit the comments the report solicits. The agency announces a free, three-day public workshop May 13-15 at NIST in Gaithersburg, MD that will also be presented via webcast. Comments on the FDASIA report can be left here.

Reader Comments

From Lois Lane: “Re: short label names for ICD-9, CPT, and MS-DRGs. Any source for these other than an EMR vendor?” If anyone knows, please leave a comment.


From Guillermo del Grande: “Re: signs that whoever is talking about Epic doesn’t know what they’re talking about.” GDG’s list:

  1. “Model the Model”
  2. “EPIC”
  3. They think NVTs are actually meaningful.
  4. They ask where they can buy Epic stock.
  5. They wonder why Epic doesn’t hire doctors and nurses to help improve their product.
  6. They don’t know that the god-awful screen they are looking at is customizable.
  7. They think Epic was born as a billing product.
  8. They don’t know real people work there, just implementers.
  9. They actually think there’s no internal politics at Epic.
  10. They think Epic’s the only software running a MUMPS descendant.

From Bill Kilgore: “Re: VerbalCare. I think you might like these guys. Very cool product.” Inpatients get an VerbalCare icon-driven tablet instead of the 1950s-era call button, allowing them to choose the icon describing their need instead of just pushing a call button or trying to communicate through a drive-through quality speaker-microphone. Employees can receive and acknowledge requests on their smartphones or from a central console. The interactions are also tracked for later analysis. VerbalCare offers a commitment-free pilot. Everything looks good except they spelled HIPAA as “HIPPA” on their site, which is almost unforgivable. You should at least correctly spell the name of the requirement with which you are claiming compliance.

HIStalk Announcements and Requests


Ms. Dayton, a Teach for America teacher in Arizona, sent pictures and her thanks to HIStalk readers for supporting her magnet school sixth graders by providing them with math stations. She explains, “You have truly transformed my classroom. My students now look forward to math and enjoy the time spent playing the wonderful games that you donated. On a daily basis I hear from my students, ‘Ms. Dayton, can we play the games today?’ or ‘Ms. Dayton, can we skip writing and do math all day?’ I hear these things because of you!”

Upcoming Webinars

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.

May 1 (Thursday) 1:00 p.m. ET. Think Beyond EDW: Using Your Data to Transform, Part 2 – Build-Measure-Learn to Get Value from Healthcare Data. Sponsored by Premier. Presenters: Alejandro Reti, MD, senior director of population health, Premier; and Alex Easton, senior director of enterprise solutions, Premier. Once you deploy an enterprise data warehouse, you need to arrive at value as quickly as possible. Learn ways to be operationally and technically agile with integrated data, including strategies for improving population health.

Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock


Truven Health Analytics acquires Simpler Consulting, a provider of Lean enterprise transformation services to healthcare, government, and other commercial organizations.


Struggling BlackBerry invests in Patrick Soon-Shiong’s NantHealth. The companies are jointly developing a smartphone optimized for viewing diagnostic images, scheduled for a late 2014 release.


Vocera opens an innovation center in Bangalore, India.


4-15-2014 11-28-31 AM

Lahey Health (MA) selects Phytel’s population health and engagement platform in support of its ACO.

Dialysis Clinic, Inc. will implement Sandlot Connect and Sandlot Dimensions from Sandlot Solutions for care coordination and analytics.


Shenandoah Medical Center (IA) will deploy Allscripts Sunrise solutions for its 78 beds.

The 260-provider Phoebe Physician Group (GA) selects athenahealth for EHR/PM and care coordination.


Citizens Medical Center (TX) will implement T-System’s EV emergency department information system and Care Continuity patient transition management solution.


4-15-2014 11-32-14 AM

Explorys appoints Tom Chickerella (Vanguard Health) COO.

4-15-2014 1-11-16 PM 4-15-2014 1-12-15 PM

Precyse promotes Christopher A. Powell from president to CEO, replacing company founder Jeffrey S. Levitt, who will assume the role of executive chairman of the board.

4-15-2014 12-41-48 PM image 

ESD promotes John Alexander to testing practice director and hires Mia Erickson (Epic) as Epic practice director.


CHIME names George McCulloch (Vanderbilt University Medical Center) as EVP of membership and professional development.

image image

Edifecs names Dave Arkley (Parallels, Inc.) CFO and Michiel Walsteijn (Oracle) EVP of international business.


Health Data Specialists promotes Angie Kaiser, RN to clinical informatics officer.


Donna Scott (McKesson Health Solutions) joins USA Mobility as SVP of marketing.

MHealth Games names investor Keith Collins, MD as its board chair. He was at one time CIO of the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

Medicomp appoints Michael Cantwell, MD (National Library of Medicine) to its MEDCIN terminology team.

Healthcare technology services provider CitiusTech names Gary Reiner and Cory Eaves (both of its recent investor General Atlantic) to its board.

Announcements and Implementations

4-15-2014 11-38-14 AM

Kids First Pediatrics Group (GA) integrates PatientPay’s electronic billing and payment solution with its Greenway PrimeSUITE practice management system.

Memorial Community Hospital & Health System clinics (NE) will transition to Epic starting June 25.

The HEALTHeLINK clinical information exchange launches an automated syndromic surveillance state reporting service.


North-Shore-LIJ (NY) rolls out the Allscripts FollowMyHealth patient portal for its Plainview and Forest Hills hospital patients.


Geisinger Health Plan (PA) implements Caradigm Care Management for population health.

Government and Politics

4-15-2014 11-58-28 AM

CMS introduces a Code-a-Palooza Challenge to encourage developers to create apps that use the new Medicare payment data to help consumers improve their healthcare decision-making.

4-15-2014 1-46-19 PM

CMS, which has been strangely quiet about the implementation delay for ICD-10, finally acknowledges the legislation but notes only that it “is examining the implications of the ICD-10 provision and will provide guidance to providers and stakeholders soon.” Meanwhile, CMS still lists October 1, 2014 as the date ICD-9 will be replaced by ICD-10.


ONC invites voting for ideas submitted in its Digital Privacy Notice Challenge, which include games, responsive templates, a Web widget, and an NPP generator.

Innovation and Research

Meaningful Use of EHRs was not found to be correlated with performance on clinical quality measures in a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine. The  research compared quality scores of 540 physicians affiliated with Brigham and Women’s Hospital who achieved MU with those of 318 physicians who did not. Critics note several factors making the validity and applicability of the study difficult to evaluate, including the fact that MU quality metrics are so specific that they exclude many patients with particular conditions.


4-15-2014 9-16-13 AM

inga_small Google files a patent for a contact lens system that would include a built-in camera and could potentially be used as an alterative to Google Glass. That’s technology I could embrace since I don’t see myself as one of those nerdy hipster-types that Dr. Jayne and I continually made fun of as we walked the HIMSS exhibit floor.

Awarepoint introduces an RFID tag that monitors room humidity.



The Coalition for ICD-10, an industry advocacy group whose members include CHIME, AHA, and AHIMA, calls on HHS to establish October 1, 2015 as the new ICD-10 implementation date.

The Oklahoman looks at the soon-to-be-launched Oklahoma City-based Coordinated Care Oklahoma HIE and the more established Tulsa-based MyHealth Access Network and considers the impact of having two competing networks in the state. It’s a scenario that will undoubtedly be repeated numerous times in coming months as funding disappears for older HIEs and newer organizations emerge.

An InstaMed report on trends in healthcare payments finds that patient payments to providers jumped 72 percent from 2011 to 2013, with the average amount increasing from $110.86 to $133.15.

Attorneys specializing in representing whistleblowers in healthcare pounce on the newly published Medicare data to search for evidence of fraud.


Travelers who pass through Madison, WI’s Dane Country Regional Airport (MSN) can now enjoy free Wi-Fi courtesy of Nordic.


The SMART project at Boston Children’s Hospital, which has been pretty quiet since its big “EMRs should work like smartphone apps” announcement four or so years ago, names a 14-member advisory board to promote its mission.

inga_small I paid a visit to my neighborhood ER over the weekend. Despite being the patient, I couldn’t help but check out their use of IT systems. It’s a boutique ER attached to a surgery center about two miles from my house. I was the only patient at the time (good to know that all my neighbors had better things to do on a Saturday night.) In terms of IT, what surprised me the most was the lack of it, at least at the point of care. They must have some sort of EMR because they printed out all my information from a visit last year, but everyone who treated me used pen and paper to note my vitals and whatnot. At discharge they handed me a generic patient education sheet with aftercare instructions, but no details on what meds they gave me (I recall one was a narcotic) and no medication information sheet warning me about possible side effects. They advised me to follow up with my regular doctor, but I’m now realizing that in my narcotic-induced haze I didn’t ask anything about the results of the tests from my blood draw. I’m sure if I had gone to the ER at the big chain hospital another 10 minutes away I would have left with more complete information, but I chose (and probably would again) the more convenient ER that otherwise provided good care. For all the great stories we constantly share about the amazing strides in automating healthcare, I’m sure there are just as many anecdotes that serve as a reminder that we are not “there” yet.

Sponsor Updates


  • Talksoft Corporation makes its appointment reminder app Talksoft Connect available for Android devices.
  • Columbus CEO magazine profiles CoverMyMeds in an article highlighting characteristics of top workplaces.
  • The AHA exclusively endorses MEDHOST PatientFlow HD patient flow management solution.
  • LifeIMAGE celebrates the growth of its network, which connects 533 hospitals and has exchanged 1.1 billion images over the last five years. 
  • Health Catalyst releases a free eBook that explores common approaches to data warehousing in healthcare.
  • AdvancedMD introduces the 1.5 version of its iPad app.
  • A NueMD ICD-10 survey conducted prior to the official delay shows that the majority healthcare professionals participating wanted the ICD-10 transition to be pushed back or canceled.
  • The Boston Business Journal ranks Nuance number two on its list of  top publicly traded Massachusetts software companies based on its $5.2 billion market capitalization.
  • Kareo CMIO Tom Giannulli will discuss the role of technology in improving patient care at UBM Medica’s Practice Rx conference May 2-4 in Newport Beach, CA.
  • Madhavi Kasinadhuni, consultant for The Advisory Board, explains the importance of measuring care episodes and not just individual encounters when identifying missed revenues.


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 "8 comments" on this Article:

  1. RE: Lois Lane.

    For one of the best free mapping tools on the Internet, please visit http://www.icd9data.com/.

    If you are working with ICD-10 or converting ICD-9 to ICD-10 then you can also visit http://www.icd10data.com/. MS-DRGs are included in this great online lookup tool.

    Don’t forget to use the “search” functionality for any diagnostic term such as “fever” to locate a clinically equivalent code. See http://www.icd10data.com/Search.aspx?search=fever&codebook=ICD10CM

    Stay Thirsty My Friend

  2. Inga, Sad that you needed to make fun of those wearing Google Glass at HIMSS. Somebody with different tastes than you does not necessitate being made fun of. Do others make fun of your unique choices in footwear?

    [From Inga:] Why of course! All the time!

  3. The epic information is amusing but item 7 is a bit dicey. I sat in a benefits engine (billing backbone) class in 2007 which specifically said that epic was started as a billing system. I believe the except below better explains what many people mean by saying it started as a billing system, in regards to its early growth was due to billing not clinical workflows.

    Throughout the 1980’s the company largely focused on billing and inventory tracking systems. Systems such as Cadence Enterprise Scheduling, a program application for improving the efficiency of scheduling patient appointments was released in 1983, and Resolute Professional Billing, a program which connected patient scheduling and billing, released in 1987, quickly became some of the industry’s top scheduling and billing applications [9, 10]. Then, in 1992, Epic released the first Windows-based EMR called EpicCare [2]. After just five years, the popularity and interest in EpicCare grew substantially resulting in more than 15 million dollar profit for Epic [9].

  4. Re: GDG’s Epic List

    Pretty good stuff but I think 8 is questionable. Sure, there may be internal politics but it’s on a completely different scale compared to hospital organizations. It’s like comparing air pollution in Shanghai to LA.

  5. The internal politics at Epic is as nasty as it gets-but the practioners are very good at keeping it quiet and disguising it. I saw entire teams disappear quietly.

  6. I would have been even more harsh than Inga in her description of the glass “explorers” (lul) at HIMSS. There’s a performancey (yes, made up word) aspect of people walking around with the device on that takes secondhand embarassment to a new level.

  7. RE: Lois Lane – ICD-9-CM, MS-DRG

    For a free, open source terminology server that supports ICD-9-CM and MS-DRG, take a look at HDD Access at http://www.hddaccess.com – it’s published by 3M, with support from DoD and VA. It includes many publicly available terminologies, and you can extend it to support your local (or standard) terminologies.


    Full disclosure: I’m the research and design lead of HDD Access.

  8. to: Senthil N

    I use HDD and I find it quite useful. Senthil N? … didn’t the government REQUIRE that 3M make it public use?

    While it would “like” to be the rosetta stone of healthcare context mapping, it is probably the closest you’ll come

    it also claims to: “Move Syntactic Interoperability to the level of Semantic Interoperability and enables Meaningful Use” … not my words

    2 thumbs up … I give it a 8, but you can’t dance to it

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