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January 27, 2015 News 8 Comments

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HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell announces an ambitious plan to tie 30 percent of Medicare provider payments to alternative payment models by 2016 and 50 percent by 2018, and also to link 85 percent of Medicare fee-for-service payments to quality and value by 2016. The announcement was received positively, although with guarded enthusiasm due to the lack of details and the mixed results of early adopters.

Reader Comments


From Nihilist: “Re: BJC. Rumor is that the Epic install will be run out of a yet-unnamed holding company as a partnership with Washington University School of Medicine, which employees the academic hospital faculty. That’s why no job postings have appeared.” Unverified.

Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock


Huron Consulting will acquire Pensacola, FL-based, healthcare leadership consulting firm Studer Group for $325 million. The 235-employee company was founded by former hospital CEO and author Quint Studer in 1999 and was reported to have had 2013 revenue of $67 million.

China-based Alibaba Group, one of the world’s most valuable technology companies, partners with a medical software company to develop cloud-based services for physician practice, payment systems, e-prescribing, and drug tracking.

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Roper Industries reports Q4 results: revenue up 7 percent, adjusted EPS $1.85 vs. $1.65, falling short on revenue expectations but beating on earnings. Chairman, President, and CEO Brian Jellison says the company will be making at least one more Q1 acquisition that relates to its Sunquest business. He adds that Roper paid $140 million for Strata Decision Technologies, which has $30 million in annual revenue, but Roper gets an immediate $40 million in tax benefit because the company was operating as a limited liability corporation.


Eastern Idaho IPA chooses Valence Health’s vElect contract administration system to allow physicians to compare fee schedules to Medicare benchmarks in selecting and declining payer contracts.


Two hospitals in Dubai will use Oneview Healthcare’s interactive patient engagement and clinical workflow system.  


University Medical Center Health System (TX) extends its agreement with Cerner.

MedConnect chooses clinical interface terminology from Intelligent Medical Objects for its EHR.



Biotechnology company Biogen Idec hires Naomi Fried, PhD (Boston Children’s Hospital) as VP of medical information, innovation, and external partnerships. She was Kaiser Permanente’s VP of innovation and advanced technology from 2006 to 2009.

Announcements and Implementations


Georgia’s GRAChie HIE – founded by Cerner, GRHealth, and Navicent Health — reports increased numbers of data sources and system usage.


The DEA approves EHNAC as the sole certifier of applications for electronic prescribing of controlled substances.

The Anesthesia Quality Institute recognizes Shareable Ink’s newly released ShareQuality mobile quality capture product as Quality Clinical Data Registry ready, allowing practices to use CMS’s preferred reporting mechanism.

CoverMyMeds announces that its electronic prior authorization system has been integrated with Epic.


Decisio Health earns FDA marketing approval for its EHR-powered bedside clinical decision support and triage dashboard that was beta-tested by Memorial Hermann Hospital (TX).  

The Apple Watch will begin shipping in April.

Government and Politics

An HHS OIG report says CMS should coordinate its multiple quality improvement programs to reduce duplication of effort and to make it easier to attribute results, adding that CMS awarded Quality Improvement Organizations a new $4 billion contract just after spending $500 million to roll out two other programs.  

Privacy and Security

St. Peter’s Health Partners (NY) warns that a manager’s stolen, unencrypted cell phone contained emails with patient scheduling information for its physician practices. I think I read that iOS 8 encrypts everything on the iPhone by defauult.

Innovation and Research


Samsung engineers create a smartphone-powered early warning stroke detection headset that analyze brain waves, expressing hope that the sensors may also be useful for other brain-related conditions. The engineers add that while the prototype model is a headset, the rubber-like sensors could be attached to less-obtrusive eyeglass temples.


Logitech announces a $500 portable videoconferencing solution for medium-sized rooms, which might be interesting for remote teams and IT meetings. ConferenceCam Connect works on any device that has a USB port and includes both battery and AC power.


Weird News Andy says it’s like deja vu all over again. A doctor describes his patients’ constant deja vu as being trapped in a time loop. “As he walked in, he got a feeling of deja vu. Then he had deja vu of the deja vu. He couldn’t think of anything else.”


Western Missouri Medical Center’s COO gives its Meditech-to-Cerner conversion a B+ grade, saying that continuity, integration, and data collection improved markedly, but getting data from Meditech was hard. They say they “never new when upgrades are coming” with Meditech.

Weird News Andy says it’s like deja vu all over again. A doctor describes his patients’ constant deja vu as being trapped in a time loop. “As he walked in, he got a feeling of deja vu. Then he had deja vu of the deja vu. He couldn’t think of anything else.”

Sponsor Updates

  • Nordic suggests five areas that should be part of a 2015 health IT plan.
  • Beacon Partners explains Business Intelligence Competency Centers and how to implement them.
  • PatientSafe Solutions CNIO Cheryl Parker, PhD, RN publishes “Smartphone-Based Mobility for Nurses.”
  • Besler Consulting participates today in the HFMA Florida Chapter Mid-Winter Conference and the Tri-State Winter Institute in Mississippi from January 28-30.
  • Caresync CEO Travis Bond asks, “What’s it Really Going to Take to Have Personalized Medicine?” in the latest company blog.
  • Brian Mitchell of CommVault, asks if “2015 is the Year of Data Dystopia?”
  • Clockwise.MD is nominated as a finalist in the inaugural Georgia’s Top Startup Awards.
  • AirStrip’s Alan Portela writes about “The Healthcare Dinner Party” at the company’s Mobile Health Matters blog.
  • Craneware lists the “Top Five Reasons for Denials” in a new blog post.
  • Awarepoint posts a new article, “The ROI in RTLS for Hospital Asset Management.”
  • Divurgent writes about “The ABCs of Ambulatory EMR Training and Acceptance.”
  • Clinical Architecture’s Charlie Harp writes about “The Road to Precision Medicine” in a new company blog.
  • Jaffer Traish of Culbert Healthcare Solutions writes about data sharing.


Mr. H, Lorre, Jennifer, Dr. Jayne, Dr. Gregg, Lt. Dan.

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Currently there are "8 comments" on this Article:

  1. So Cerner NOT getting fired from a customer has become newsworthy… University Medical Center Health System (TX) renews Cerner contract.

  2. Not sure if the repeat posting of the deja vu article was intentional or not, but either way it made me laugh.

  3. And speaking of deja vu…. Project Managers unfamiliar with the clinical environment of the software and the informatic needs of that targeted user community aren’t advised. Going live merely emphasizes deficiencies that always existed, weren’t acknowledged in project planning and certainly weren’t addressed within the project scope.

  4. Heck, I’ve been getting deja vu from HISTalk for years. Every time I read it, it’s a big hospital putting in Epic.

  5. On the post about Western Missouri, please correct to reflect that the report read:
    ” Implementation of the new electronic health records at Western Missouri Medical Center received a “C+ or B-” grade from Chief Operating Officer Mike Gasparini in a report to the hospital board of trustees Friday.” – your post provided a higher grade than actually referrenced

  6. Re: the Western Mo blurb. I don’t understand the comment about not knowing when upgrades were coming from Meditech. They are optional and require a significant amount of advanced scheduling. IT has to be involved in the process so it sounds more like an IT communication issue than a Meditech communication issue.

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