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May 20, 2014 News 2 Comments

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CMS and ONC publish a proposed rule that would slow down the Meaningful Use program by extending Stage 2 through 2016 (starting Stage 3 in 2017) and allowing providers to attest for FY2014 using a 2011-certified EHR. National Coordinator Karen DeSalvo, MD seemed to express concern that EHR vendors would not have their products certified under the 2014 criteria in time, referring to users would would miss the dates “through no fault of their own,” while the bill referred to “availability and timing of product installation, deployment of new processes and workflows, and employee training.” Public comment on the proposed bill will be open for 60 days. The proposed change follows CMS’s acknowledgment that almost no providers have attested for Stage 2 so far. CMS had also previously defined a easily claimed, one-year hardship exception for providers unable to meet Meaningful Use dates.

Reader Comments


From Hogan: “Re: Centura. Their selection of Epic hurts Meditech since they are a large percentage of Meditech’s Stage 7 hospitals. In England, InterSystems was named vendor of choice against Epic and Meditech in a three-trust procurement called SmartCare. Epic won the clinical vote, but lost on price. It’s interesting that outside the US, Epic and InterSystems compete.”

From Topaz: “Re: health equipment innovators. I live in the Netherlands and a colleague is looking for help for his 16-year-old daughter Doreen, who is paralyzed. It is hard to get equipment in Dutch healthcare. Are companies in America looking for people to test their developments?” I created an online contact form for anyone who wants to get in touch.


From Arborio MD: “Re: Health Datapalooza. I am so happy that Mr. H decided to go this year so we can all enjoy vicariously the platitudes from Vinod Khosla, who believes that 80 percent of doctors can be replaced by technology, and 20-cups-a-day coffee drinkers who in their garages and basements hope to disrupt healthcare and become millionaires overnight in the process. The sad part is that even respectable HIT leaders like Ed Park recognize the big schism between the promise of Big Data in healthcare and the reality. Last year athenahealth sent 40 people, while AMA – whose president, Dr. Ardis Dee Hoven, has not even heard of this conference — sent only one. I wonder how many docs toiling down in the trenches are even aware that a bunch of geeks are about to eat their lunch?”

HIStalk Announcements and Requests


Welcome to new HIStalk Platinum Sponsor Healthcare Data Solutions. The healthcare-only Irvine, CA-based company offers databases of providers (physicians, dentists, PAs, NPs, pharmacies, hospitals, and EHR users); email lists and services;  and real-time physician verification for open payments, state license verification, and DEA/NPI validation. Customer testimonials on the company’s site vouch for its “great pricing,” “most dependable data,” and “data models [that] are a perfect fit.” EHR vendors use the company’s physician database for marketing and to determine if the provider has implemented an EHR. The company offers white papers, webinars, and database layouts on its site. Clients include MD Anderson, UC Irvine Health, Cedars-Sinai, NextGen,, and Philips. Thanks to Healthcare Data Solutions for supporting HIStalk.

Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

”Grey’s Anatomy” actor Patrick Dempsey invests an unspecified amount in startup CrowdMed, which crowdsources diagnoses using volunteer clinicians called “Medical Detectives.” PR from someone who used to play a doctor on TV may not be all that appealing to the real experts whose free labor fuels the business model.


Cleveland Clinic forms a joint venture with telemedicine kiosk vendor HealthSpot and will integrate its product with the clinic’s Epic system.  



Vanderbilt University Medical Center chooses Allscripts EPSi for financial planning.

American Samoa Medical Center will implement Medsphere’s OpenVista EHR.


Atlantic Health System (NJ) selects TeraMedica’s Evercore Clinical Enterprise Suite for vendor-neutral archive storage of both DICOM and non-DICOM data.

Delaware Health Information Network will implement Halfpenny Technologies’ intelligent integration technology hub.


Advocate Health Care chooses identity and access management systems from Courion.


Avita Health System (OH) will implement NextGen Healthcare’s EHR, practice management, patient portal, population health EHR Connect, and ED solutions at its two hospitals.



Karen Chapman (Northrop Grumman) joins Medicomp Systems as senior product manager.


Phoenix Health Systems names Jim Griffith (Siemens Medical Solutions Health Services Division) as EVP/COO.

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Vocera announces that CFO William Zerella will resign on June 6 to become CFO of an unnamed pre-IPO consumer wearables company. Vocera also announced that Bob Zollars has transitioned from executive chairman to chairman of the board.  


Terry Cameron (Emdeon) joins Recondo Technology as president and COO.

Announcements and Implementations

Beacon Partners will implement and offer advisory services to providers deploying Caradigm’s Risk Management and Care Management population health management products.


Philips releases eCareManager 4.0 that includes acute care, part of its Hospital to Home telehealth program.

MyMedicalRecords adds three more patents to sue EHR vendors over: EHRs in clinical trials, online sharing of medical records, and legal records including power of attorney and wills. As you might expect, the announcement promises litigation rather than innovation: “MMR’s goal is to leverage its products and services and patents and other intellectual property to create working relationships with more companies in the biotechnology field so that patients and shareholders ultimately benefit.”

Pharmacy systems vendor PioneerRX will replace its existing drug database with Elsevier’s Gold Standard Drug Database.

Greater Regional Medical Center (IA) goes live on PeriGen’s PeriCALM.

Government and Politics


The VA opens an investigation of the Gainesville, FL VA hospital after discovering that employees were keeping follow-up appointment schedules on paper instead of on the electronic system that made results visible to VA management.

House Oversight Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) chews out the CMS official in charge of fraud prevention for falling several months behind on delivering a report that will document the effectiveness of CMS’s fraud prevention software.


The CEO of Massena Memorial Hospital (NY) blames Meditech’s LSS software, which he says “created some kind of strange numbers off the report,” for incorrect financial reports. He adds, “We’ve been experiencing over the last couple of months some significant issues with our LSS software system that was recently installed in a number of our physician offices.” 


The AMA’s American Medical News shuts down after 55 years due to a 67 percent drop in annual revenue caused by declining circulation and ad revenue. The publication transitioned poorly to an online format and was hit hard by declining drug company advertising.


In Australia, a review panel suggests that the personally controlled health record (PCEHR) be renamed to My Health Record, that participation be changed from opt-in to opt-out to increase enrollment from the current single-digit percentages, that physician usability be improved, and that doctors be paid incentives tied to meaningful use metrics and their contribution of patient data to the common record. The panel also recommends that the National eHealth Transition Authority be dissolved and its oversight role transferred to a group called Australian Commission for Electronic Health that would include clinicians and software vendors.

The City of New York temporarily halts its 911 communications project, which was supposed to take five years and cost $1.3 billion, now at the 10-year mark with estimated costs at over $2 billion.


A Commonwealth Fund survey finds that EHR adoption by federally qualified centers more than doubled from 2009 to 2013, with 93 percent of them running an EHR and 75 percent meeting MU requirements. Most of them do CPOE, clinical documentation, and lab results, but only about half say their providers have access to clinical decision support beyond canned drug warnings. The FQHCs say their biggest EHR-related problems are undertrained staff and loss of productivity.

A former nurse at Houston Methodist Hospital (TX) files suit against the hospital and hopes to turn it into a class action, claiming that the hospital’s time tracking system deducts 30 minutes for lunch even when the employee’s duties preclude stepping away.

In England, the CEO of a hospital is criticized for describing hospital patient care errors in her tweets. She has only 200 followers and uses her account mostly to praise employees and promote hospital events, but had some such as, “Signed patient letter enclosing incident investigation report following medication error openness+learning essential feedback= improvement.”


A care coordination “virtual health village” and single, real-time electronic health record for students of two Pennsylvania school districts has enrolled only 4,000 of 32,000 students, a quarter of the expected number. Health officials planned to make enrollment opt-out until attorneys from the school districts told them that HIPAA requires opt-in, meaning students have to request access. The schools used $850,000 in grant money to hire an outside vendor to create the exchange and connect it to the EHRs of local hospitals.

Weird News Andy calls this story “Wide-Eyed Wonder.” Texas doctors are working on an app that detects “white eye,” the opposite of the red-eye reflection effect that is normal when someone takes a flash picture. A white reflection is abnormal and indicate the possible presence of several eye problems, including a rare eye tumor.

Sponsor Updates

  • InstaMed releases its “2013 Trends in Healthcare Payments Annual Report” as a video.
  • CompuGroup Medical’s three EHRs earn ONC 2014 certification as Complete Ambulatory EHRs.
  • McKesson Total Payment achieves a CMMI Level 3 appraisal rating.
  • Arcadia Healthcare Solutions offers a white paper on pay-for-performance strategies.
  • Extension Healthcare is participating in an elite platinum sponsor two-year initiative of the National Coalition for Alarm Management Safety.
  • MissionPoint Health Partners (TN) and Hospital Corporation of America’s South Atlantic Division (SC/GA/FL) are awarded the 2014 Crimson Physician Partnership Award during The Advisory Board Company’s national Crimson summit in Orlando.
  • EBSCO Health’s Patient Education Reference receives certification as an EHR Module for inpatient and ambulatory settings.
  • Ingenious Med is named a Pacesetter by The Atlanta Business Chronicle.
  • Sagacious Consultants launches Sagacious Go-Live Success for hospitals and clinics at the go-live juncture with Epic.
  • Covisint launches its Certified Service Partner Program.
  • NantHealth SVP and iSirona founder Dave Dyell is named a finalist for Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award.
  • RazorInsights will incorporate TruCode’s Encoder Essentials into its ONE Enterprise HIS solution offering an integrated encoding solution with its HIS.
  • Walnut Hill Medical Center (TX) opens its doors with 75 Voalte smartphones following its iHospital initiative.
  • Valence Health launches Valence Partner Network to offer complementary solutions to its client base.


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

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Currently there are "2 comments" on this Article:

  1. Do any doctors reading use CrowdMed? Some of the discussion on some of the cases is fascinating and seemingly relevant to an untrained eye, but I wonder about the actual usage since I’ve
    “solved” one case and “I’m in the 95th percentile of case solvers.” But, as a tech person I’d like to note that I’m only qualified to give diagnoses on patients from the “zztest” family. Curious if you use it or encourage your med students or residents to use it.

  2. Not all that surprising that MyMedicalRecords has become a patent troll. They always were a flaky company. Recall doing research on them several yrs ago re their PHR only to find it was nothing more than a fax server with storage. How they have managed to stay in business this long is a complete mystery to me.

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