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June 9, 2015 News 15 Comments

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Video visit provider American Well sues competitor Teladoc for patent infringement, claiming that Teladoc continues to use American Well’s patented doctor-patient visit matching and queuing technology even after American Well turned down its request for a license.

Reader Comments


From Stickler: “Re: Epic. It is NOT an acronym. MEDITECH is an acronym. I have personally heard a CIO say he automatically deletes any vendor email that spells Epic as EPIC. Anyone who does it immediately loses any credibility they might have otherwise had – it shows they don’t know or don’t care and neither does a positive impression make.” Vendors let their marketing people run amok in peppering company names with bizarre extra capitalization, non-capitalization, conjoined words with capitalization in the middle, extraneous symbols, and other heinous and overly attention-seeking insults to the English language in trying to create a memorable company brand. The important distinction in Epic’s case is that they spell their own name correctly – it is clueless others who spell it EPIC. I agree with your CIO friend that I would hesitate to do business with a company claiming Epic expertise that doesn’t include knowing how to spell the company’s name. MEDITECH, by the way, is not an acronym, which is defined as an abbreviation made up of the first letters of several words that can be pronounced as a single word (IBM is not an acronym since it can’t be pronounced – it is instead an initialism, while NASA is an acronym). For that reason, Meditech’s name should not be capitalized even though the company does it – it’s an artificially, informally shortened version of the company’s real name, Medical Information Technology, Inc. The AP Stylebook for publications is clear that all-caps company names are not to be used unless the letters are individually pronounced, such as IBM or BMW, no matter how the company registered its legal name or trademarks.


From Richard Head: “Re: Leidos tweet. Is there a possible interpretation that could make this true?” I’ll challenge the Leidos and/or Cerner folks to provide details, especially since “healthcare facilities” seems like a pretty broad group given the large number of “healthcare facilities” in non-Cerner parts of the world such as China and Russia, for example.

From Bud Fox: “Re: DoD EHR bid. A private recruiting firm contracted by the DoD has been contacting my health system’s Epic analysts to recruit them for its EHR project, with starting salaries of over $100,000. Perhaps the DoD has already quietly selected Epic?” My sources say that no decision has been made and won’t be for at least another month. If there’s a frontrunner, DoD is keeping quiet about it even among the bidders.

From Dusty Wind: “Re: DoD EHR bid. Leidos will say or do anything to keep the business, which is supposedly contributes 20 percent of their revenue in maintaining CHCS.” Unverified, but Leidos wins under two scenarios – (a) DoD chooses Cerner, or (b) DoD decides to do nothing. Either way Leidos gets the lucrative operations and change orders business for many years. They will take significant revenue a hit if DoD chooses Epic or Allscripts.


From Point Taker: “Re: grammatical errors. And you worry about the small ones!” The Twitterverse loves this gaffe by a headline writer who confused “ambidextrous” with “amphibious,” with wags adding comments as “Faces Aquaman in next outing” and “He loves rain delays.”


None scheduled soon. Contact Lorre for information about webinar services.

We had a great turnout for Tuesday’s Medicity-sponsored webinar titled “Successful HIEs DO Exist: Best Practices for Care Coordination.” Participation was so extensive that we ran out of Q&A time, but we’ve sent the remaining questions to speakers Brian Ahier of Medicity and Dan Paoletti of Ohio Health Information Partnership and will provide their answers by email.

Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock


Cardiac biomarker lab company Health Diagnostic Laboratory files Chapter 11 bankruptcy two months after agreeing to pay $50 million to settle Department of Justice charges of giving kickbacks to doctors to order its tests.


Medsphere closes a $7.5 million venture-backed loan that the company will use for working capital.



Accountable Care Medical Group (FL) chooses HealthEC’s population health management solution.



Pratik Chakraborty (Wipro) joins home care data collection platform vendor CellTrak as VP of R&D.

Announcements and Implementations

Orion Health incorporates the image exchange system of eHealth Technologies into its HIE platform for the North Dakota Health Information Network.

EClinicalWorks will offer its users electronic prior authorization services from Surescripts.

Ochsner Health System (LA) launches Healthgrades-powered appointment scheduling that updates its Epic EHR.

Apple’s always-in-June developers’ conference announcements: (a) the Apple Music streaming service that will even eventually run on Android devices; (b) iOS 9; (c) OS X 10.11 El Capitan; (d) support for native Apple Watch apps; (e) a smarter Siri; and (f) public transit directions in Maps. 

Government and Politics


The Senate’s HELP committee will review AMIA’s just-published “EHR 2020” report in a Wednesday morning session available as a live video stream. Witnesses include incoming AMIA chair Tom Payne, MD, Carolinas HealthCare SVP/CIO Craig Richardville, Christine Bechtel, and Cerner CEO Neal Patterson.


The Madison, WI VA hospital encourages patients to spend an hour telling a trained volunteer their life story, which is written up, edited by the patient, and then added to their electronic chart. Army veteran Jennifer Sluga (above), who served in Kosovo, describes the “My Life, My Story” program, which is expanding to other VA hospitals but unfortunately not to hospitals in general:

“Even if you do get asked about your story, you get tired of telling it over and over. You hold back information. With this interview, I get it out and it’s in the record. I don’t have to talk about the hard stuff if I don’t want to. I don’t have to be strong and put on the soldier face. I know it’s there for the provider to read. There are a lot of younger providers who don’t have the life experience to know what it means. You might be sitting across from an 89-year-old veteran but you don’t know what experiences he has under his belt. If you have his story in the record, you might realize that he isn’t just an old man, but a hero. Anything you can do to make a veteran feel special is worth it. Interviewing them and writing their stories does that.”

Privacy and Security

In England, the NHS’s information center admits that the information of 700,000 patients may have been shared without their permission because technical and workload requirements left the department unable to record opt-out preferences.

Innovation and Research


The 28 members of the Greater Dayton Area Hospital Association (OH) launch Ascend Innovations, a business to commercialize healthcare technology from hospitals, the Air Force Research Laboratory, and other sources that combine “Dayton’s biggest industries – defense and healthcare.” 


In England, the CIO of a veterans’ support organization says it could provide better service to its clients if it had access to their NHS healthcare records, but it can’t afford the integration and auditing costs involved. He also notes the barrier of outside groups like his being unable to update the NHS records.

Independence Blue Cross applies algorithms to its databases to assign health coaches to coordinate services for high-risk patients, reporting a 40-50 percent reduction in expected CHF admissions. A Harvard law professor questions whether patients should have the right to opt out, but the insurer says their information is used only in its role of improving their care and that should be perfectly fine.


A study finds that long-term care hospitals seem to time patient discharges for maximum Medicare payment rather than clinical needs.

Industry groups want pathologists to follow standard case review protocols before sending results to referring doctors, hoping to reduce the 10 to 25 percent of cases where experts don’t agree that a growth is either benign or malignant. A possible solution is digital pathology that allows pathologists to share scanned images and to apply biomarker algorithms, although FDA won’t approve it for primary or secondary diagnosis until it’s convinced that the quality of the digital image is as good as that of the original tissue slide.


A study finds that 50 US hospitals are charging uninsured patients more than 10 times the actual cost of their care vs. the 3.4 times national hospital average, with all but one of those 50 being for-profit hospitals. Researchers say it isn’t just uninsured patients who are getting gouged – it’s also those being treated out of network, using workers’ compensation, and being reimbursed by their auto insurance carrier, adding, “They are price-gouging because they can. They are marking up the prices because no one is telling them they can’t.” Community Health Systems owns 25 of the hospitals, while HCA has 14. The hospital owners predictably disagree with the findings, saying they offer discounts and charity care and need the money to keep their safety net hospitals open.


Weird News Andy says of this patient who performed “Yesterday” by the Beatles during his brain tumor removal surgery, “All his troubles seemed so far away.”

Sponsor Updates

  • PeriGen will introduce its PeriCALM CheckList OB solution at the AWHONN conference June 13-17 in Long Beach, CA.
  • A Forward Health Group video features the use of its PopulationManager by ARC Community Services to address substance abuse in women.
  • Wellsoft will exhibit at the National Freestanding Emergency Center Conference June 17-18 in Dallas.
  • Health Catalyst’s Dan Burton, Steve Barlow, and Tom Burton are named “EY Entrepreneur of the Year” in the technology category of the Utah region.
  • Accreon client OntarioMD is recognized with the CHIA Innovation Award at the eHealth 15 conference.
  • AirWatch shares its reaction to the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference announcements in a new blog.
  • CareSync highlights National Cancer Survivors Day.
  • ChartMaxx exhibits at NYHIMA through June 10 in Syracuse, NY.
  • E-MDs customer Orlando Heart Specialists (FL) is chosen as one of five sites to pilot the American College of Cardiology SMARTCare ischemic heart disease treatment options program.
  • CommVault advances to preferred solution partner with Cisco.
  • Aventura is named as a 2015 Red Herring Top 100 North America Tech Startup.
  • CoverMyMeds will exhibit at the Next Generation Payers Summit June 10-12 in Miami.
  • Richard Helppie of Santa Rosa Holdings and Sandlot Solutions is interviewed for an article titled “The missing link in interopability: what patients want.”
  • CTG posts a new podcast featuring patient advocates in its #TalkHITwithCTG series.
  • Bottomline Technologies will exhibit at ACE June 17-19 in Austin, TX.
  • Divurgent receives the Small Business Award from the US Chamber of Commerce.
  • Burwood Group is named to the 2015 CRN Solution Provider 500 list.
  • CitiusTech will exhibit at DIA 2015 June 14-18 in Washington, DC.


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

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Currently there are "15 comments" on this Article:

  1. 40% of the worlds healthcare facilities use Cerner’s EHR – that is totally amazing!!!

    Or, on the other hand, maybe an extraordinary lie.

    Cerner and / or Leidos – what evidence do you have to substantiate?

    This would be an extraordinary accomplishment if true.

    Is it?

  2. As snopes.com had pointed out, the grammatical mistake could have been an intentional tribute to Yogi Berra who apparently said the following: “He hits from both sides of the plate. He’s amphibious.”

  3. Re: Richard Head – Its all relative when you think about Cerner’s reach. Remember, they just acquired Siemens not too long ago so now Siemens is considered “Cerner”. Previously, before Siemens merger, Cerner was in the US, Chile, Argentina, most of the Caribbean, UK, Scotland, France, Germany, Spain, Egypt, UAE, Australia, Singapore, Romania, Norway, Sweden and have been in discussions with China for some time (Re CHC 2013 i believe they had the Chinese Health Minister in attendance). Now, you have to add all of the Siemens global installations as well, so i could be reasonable to claim 40%, Also, important to keep in mind, they would count any client that has any of the 68+ Cerner Solutions. So, for example, there are dozens of Epic sites that use Cerner’s PathNet for Lab, instead of Beaker, so technically, Cerner can claim them as “Clients”.

    Re: Bud Fox – I have seen this as well, recruiters reaching out to Epic resources for the DOD. I think there is no doubt that the DOD is really a 2 horse race: Cerner vs Epic. But again, its all relative. We need to keep in mind that from a pure resource perspective, Cerner is more than 2x the size of Epic (Cerner currently has about 20K associates) and Cerner traditionally supplies the majority if not all of the consulting resources to implement their EHR. On the flip side, Epic has primarily relied on the consulting firms to supply the majority of the implementation teams (please correct me if I am off base). So, i think it is safe to assume that the Epic consulting firms need to start recruiting hard and building their resource pipeline because once the decision is made, things will move fast and those Epic firms without solid and deep resources will be left out of the sub-contracting business. For Cerner, they will most likely repurpose their inhouse consulting teams to the DoD and work with their consulting partners to back-fill current and future non DOD implementations, so their need for resources right now are not as great.

    Now call me crazy, but I could see the following happening as well: Consider the push for Interoperability….What if the DoD did this: Cerner for Inpatient and Epic for Ambulatory?? Make the two biggest players work together….

  4. “Re: DoD EHR bid. A private recruiting firm contracted by the DoD has been contacting my health system’s Epic analysts to recruit them for its EHR project, with starting salaries of over $100,000. Perhaps the DoD has already quietly selected Epic?”

    If I was an Epic analyst or consultant I would be wary of recruiters until the decision has been made.

  5. To the CIO that dismisses vendors that spell Epic in all caps, that seems a bit petty considering you likely spent $150M-$1.2B for your new EMR and don’t have another dime or bandwidth to fill the gaps. The joke is on you. Get off your high horse.

  6. RE: Cerner/Leidos Claim

    Lets remember that there are many healthcare facilities in the developing world serving populations which are much larger than those in the US.

    If China and India were both using Cerner in all facilities in their countries then Cerner would have a much more legitimate claim to 40% of the worlds facilities.

  7. Guys – Remember, this is a marketing ploy on the 40% of facilities use Cerner Millennium. Here is the kicker, the used the word “Use” on “Installed” or “Implemented”…..Its all relative….So, say a reference lab in China uses Cerner’s PathNet and all the major hospitals send their lab samples to that reference lab for processing..Technically, it is a correct claim to say that Chinese Hospitals “USE” Cerner because technically they do when they send their samples to the reference lab. Again, its not out of the question…Remember you can make statistics say what you want them to say, as long as you are creative about it…Would you rather see 99% Fat Free, or 1% Fat, its the same thing. They never claim that 40% of healthcare facilities have Cerner Installed or Implemented, just that 40% use them….There are a lot of ways to use the system, directly or indirectly….

  8. Just last night (6-9) received a call from an Agency indicating they are trying to build 7 (seven) teams with 100+ Consultants on each team for the DoD rollout….. Also nothing official yet but Epic is quietly ramping up hiring of new employees. The new employee target is well over 1,000 by Sept 30. All signs point to Epic winning or as case might be, having all ready won the bid for the DoD contract.

  9. “Re: DoD EHR bid. A private recruiting firm contracted by the DoD has been contacting my health system’s Epic analysts to recruit them for its EHR project, with starting salaries of over $100,000. Perhaps the DoD has already quietly selected Epic?”

    Sounds like the Epic analysts for this health system are looking for a raise, and using the rumors of the DoD to their advantage. Bravo, well played.

  10. @Cerner/Epic

    Epic doesn’t recommend/have consultants staff the majority of the install. Due to the nature of Epic’s implementations typically being much more broad-reaching compared to a Cerner/Allscripts/Athena install, it requires more people for 24-36 months to install & rollout. The customer actually provides the majority of the staff, particularly for those who will have ongoing maintenance roles. Consultants tend to fill temporary roles (i.e. training, project management, etc…) that won’t have a long-term role in the organization. The consulting agencies are trying to find as many people as possible to fill those roles, needing ~6 months lead time to get them through security clearance.

    Cerner on IP & Epic on OP? Ha! That’s the worse idea ever and really would show a complete lack of understanding of the benefits one provides vs. the other. If that happens, we should all just give up on the government driving any really beneficial change.

  11. Not that my CIO “friend” needs defending, but I’ll respond to @Webster: First, your assumption implies out of the gate something that isn’t true, and implicit in his or her statement. Business was bad, budgets were crunched, or Epic was new to him or her. Wrong on all counts. Anyone that teaches basic resume writing will tell you that you have ONE shot to make a first impression. Well, Mr. Webster, what if you were growing a very large system and had literally hundreds of emails to sift through? What would earn you a reply?Grammar counts and spelling counts. Nothing else to go on if you’re one of thousands of no-name vendors trying to get a foot in the door. I assure you that the CIO only made that comment because he or she was in a position to do so.

  12. Cerner and possibly Leidos here have no basis to declare “40% + of the worlds healthcare facilities use Cerner’s EHR.”

    Cerner’s EHR is a defined term here. They didn’t say “software”, “products” or “services”. They said “EHR”.

    Cerner or Leidos – please show your math!

  13. C/E, there’s no “marketing gimmick” that can turn a lab system into an EHR.

    The real cleverness though is sticking the word “interoperability” on the top of it, as if any meaningful % of those facilities were connected to each other.

  14. Re: Leidos tweet: The attempts to defend this as “marketing” fail to note that it refers specifically to “Cerner’s EHR system”, not to Cerner’s products in general. If this is indeed what is expected from marketing, then maybe Epic has a point when they say they don’t do “marketing”.

  15. God, I’m glad we don’t do work with that CIO, Cio, or C.I.O or how ever the style book says it should be written. Most of these people are so full of themselves as well as most of the people that comment on this site. No wonder why healthcare I.T. is light years behind other industries.
    On another note, I’m glad the DOD is going to waste billions on Epic/EPIC, Cerner, Dairyland, etc. by over paying consultants…just going to drive the rates up for the rest of us. And yes, I’ve been contacted by 6 firms that claim they have the DOD contract. Thanks, but I’ll keep working at non-government owned sites.

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