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May 8, 2014 Headlines 8 Comments

Flatiron Health Raises $130 Million Series B Round Led by Google Ventures and Agrees to Acquire Leading Cloud-Based EMR Company Altos Solutions

Oncology analytics startup Flatiron Health raises a $130 million Series B round led by Google Ventures. The startup, which was founded by two 20-something ex-Googlers with no medical or health IT experience, is also announcing that it will immediately invest some of that new capital by acquiring Altos Solutions, another cloud-based Oncology analytics firm.

Castlight Health Announces First Quarter 2014 Results

Castlight Health reports its first quarter results since going public: total revenue was $8.4 million, up significantly over 2013 results, but EPS was -$0.72 vs. –$1.19, missing analyst expectations. Their stock price is down seventy percent since their March IPO.

New HHS data show quality improvements saved 15,000 lives and $4 billion in health spending

HHS reports that, since implementing the Affordable Care Act, reductions in falls, adverse drug events, and infections “have prevented nearly 15,000 deaths in hospitals, avoided 560,000 patient injuries, and approximately $4 billion in health spending over the same period." HHS also says readmission rates have dropped 1.5 percent.

19th Annual Sohn Investment Conference: David Einhorn

Hedge fund manager David Einhorn’s slides from the critical presentation he gave on athenaHealth are released. Athena’s stock prices have dropped 15 percent since his statements.

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Currently there are "8 comments" on this Article:

  1. Re: Epic Intern. ‘Turn a new college grad into an Epic person in three years’ – I’ve been at 6 Epic implementation sites over 7 years and can count on less than one hand the number of ‘Epic kids’ that have 3 or more years experience (on the implementation teams). In my experience the ‘kids’ they are sending out are less qualified and more poorly trained than even just a few years ago. It takes about 2.5 minutes to expose the limits of their knowledge and (unfortunately) new Epic clients actually take guidance from these un-informed and poorly prepared resources. Epic blows in with a herd of poorly prepared ‘kids’, leads the client to really bad configuration decisions, Epic leaves town before the full impact of those efforts has come to life. It’s a really interesting business model. Since the Epic employee ID is not stamped on the build (they are the ones whispering in the ear of the fte(s) doing the actual build) Epic has no liability and no traceable accountability. Give the client really bad or uninformed guidance, have the client do the actual work, Epic owns no responsibility or liability for the poor state of their advice. It’s like your crazy uncle telling you what to deduct on your tax return – in the end you pay all of the penalties.

    If you are implementing Epic please don’t check your ‘BS Meter’ at the door on the way into the room.

  2. The build liability (or lack of liability) model point raised above is a valid one. How will Epic get around this lack of liability when they launch their own consulting corp?

  3. Code Jockey –

    Why is this model so successful (sales and market share) and widely admired? Thought obscenely high priced, Epic has been adopted by many of the country’s largest and most prestigious health systems and provider groups?

    Is it sustainable? Does Judy ever get pushback when justifying this approach as a success strategy?

    Under what other circumstances, in which industry, do well-educated, experienced C-Suite execs overseeing $100M to $B organizations in complex markets take guidance from fresh out of college kids with no relevant industry or business background and experience? What am I missing?

  4. @Peppermint Patty- finance (I Banking industry hiring model is very similar to Epic’s), Silicon Valley (Zuck was how old?)…let’s not turn this into an age biased discussion. Congress is full of grey hairs and they seem to get a whole lot of nothing done.

  5. It’s really pretty simple:

    There were (and are) very few inpatient EHR vendors with references to “successful” implementations at the time that every health system CEO in America declared selecting and implementing an EHR in order to get HITECH money as a top priority. And at that time, Epic had the best references (and still does).

    Epic was (and is) the cream of the crap.

    That HITECH’s public investment into healthcare organizations and EHR vendors has resulted in such little real innovation in this market, especially in ways that either tangibly benefit patients or provide a clear platform for a national health infrastructure, speaks to key policy failings in HITECH’s conceptualization, strategy and execution. Or maybe HITECH really was just stimulus in the form of corporate welfare.


  6. Hiring exEpic people is a pretty hot commodity. Because their such losers? I think not (therefore I might not be).

    These guys are selected carefully, tested like crazy and then interviewed carefully. If you’ve ever been through that gauntlet you’ll know it is very real and very rigorous.

    They are often some of the most capable systems people in the room and although they depend on people inside the healthcare organization tearing apart their own workflows, understanding them and trying to figure out where they want to configure the system to adapt to themselves as compared to where they want to do it the way Epic preconfigures it, they somehow get the job done at scale. Is every one perfect, no, but they are pretty darn good.

    Most businesses in the Madison say they assume that if a person was qualified for Epic, they get automatically interviewed at their company.

  7. I think you are missing the point. It isn’t the age or the intelligence of the kids Epic sends out that creates the risk for the clients – it’s their lack of context and lack of understanding of the real world application of the product. The current crop of implementation kids seems incapable of providing answers without running to the ‘top secret, Epic only’ internal wiki for help – and they tend to grab the first solution that sounds close to what they need – with little to no consideration for the practical implications on the rest of the build.

    The kids are taught to not expose to the client how long they’ve actually been at Epic and how many sites they’ve actually been to all the way through a go-live. Clients won’t hire consultant contractors that cannot have verified proof of multi-site experience but open the doors to the Epic kids without even asking the question. If Epic sent them they must be ‘experts’ sort of thing.

    And last but not least – the entire implementation paradigm at Epic is do what is required to take the first two sites live (for a multi-site client) – there is nothing in their plan that addresses or lays the foundations for sites # 3 – 20 (or whatever the client total is). The criteria for build decisions is to get the contractually committed # of go-lives done, flip the client to the TSs and get the hell out of town. By the time the client realizes that their build and processes don’t support an on-going multi-year multi-site effort Epic has long since left the building. By definition I’ve never met someone at Epic who was involved in taking site #5 (or higher) live with a client. The kids just are clueless about the requirements of that level of implementation and so cannot possible provide guidance to the client that helps.

  8. Why is Epic sucessful with this model when others in the burn and churn model aren’t? Maybe Epics sucess is not owed to implementers, but the other roles thst the outside world is not familiar with?

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