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June 14, 2015 News 2 Comments

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The VA will launch a three-hospital pilot of its self-developed Enterprise Health Management Platform, which allows clinicians to view non-VA patient information such as that stored in the DoD’s systems. The VA says the new system uses coded, discrete data that can be used for clinical decision support across all systems and to provide a “veteran-specific” rather than “local-specific” view. The VA developed the product using open source programming and will release a software development kit that will allow others to create add-on applications. Rollout of eHMP to the entire VA will continue through December 2017.

Reader Comments


From LearnHealthTech: “Re: 50 hospitals gouging uninsured patients. Any surprise that so many are in Florida under Governor Rick ‘why isn’t he in jail’ Scott?” I’m not surprised a bit, but not because of Rick Scott, who seems to have turned his previous wildly capitalistic healthcare opportunism into a zeal for financial responsibility and transparency, at least among Florida’s non-profit health systems. Florida has always been ground zero for healthcare fraud, with international criminals, known hucksters, and immoral providers flocking there as predictably as snowbirds with harsh accents and pale skin. My theory is that everybody there is from somewhere else, lured by an implied lack of responsibility in a vacation-like lifestyle and no state income tax, so there’s little social stigma associated with scandalous behavior, which in addition to brazen healthcare fraud includes transplanted Midwesterners wearing black dress socks with sandals and aging Canadian expats hitting the beach in tiny Speedos obscured by pendulous, sun-leathered stomachs sprouting a scorched forest of gray hairs.


From Imelda Roxas: “Re: Medical Center Health System, Odessa, TX. I saw this article saying they are replacing their McKesson Horizon system. The selected vendor is not named. Any idea of who it is?” I asked CIO Gary Barnes, who says they will implement Cerner in a $55 million, three-year project.

HIStalk Announcements and Requests


Most poll respondents think overall health IT vendor revenue will grow over the next five years. New poll to your right or here: how many smartphone-based, non-fitness health apps do you use at least weekly other than those required by work? I’m curious what they are, of course, so click Comments after voting to tell me.


Mrs. D says her New York second graders are enjoying the STEM science kits we provided via DonorsChoose donations, giving them exposure to group communication and project planning. I have matching funds available (courtesy of an anonymous vendor executive) to companies willing to donate $1,000 or more, which I will acknowledge on HIStalk as well.

Last Week’s Most Interesting News

  • The Senate’s HELP committee on Wednesday kicked off the first of a series of hearings that will review the Meaningful Use program, with the testimony of industry experts focusing mostly on interoperability.
  • Walgreens announces that it will roll out MDLive-powered virtual doctor visits to users of its app in 25 states by the end of 2015.
  • PHR vendor NoMoreClipboard announces that the information of its customers has been exposed to hackers.
  • Epic CEO Judy Faulkner signs The Giving Pledge in which she will donate 99 percent of her estimated $2.3 billion in assets to a charitable foundation.
  • Telemedicine provider American Well sues competitor Teladoc for patent infringement.
  • CSC agrees to pay $190 million to settle SEC fraud charges over falsifying financial results to hide losses from shareholders related to its participation in the UK’s defunct NPfIT program.
  • Hawaii announces that it will shut down its $130 million health insurance exchange because of low usage.


June 30 (Tuesday) 11:00 ET. “Value Based Reimbursement – Leveraging Data to Build a Successful Risk-based Strategy.” Sponsored by McKesson. Presenters: Michael Udwin, MD, executive director of physician engagement, McKesson; Jeb Dunkelberger, executive director of corporate partnerships, McKesson. Healthcare organizations are using empowered physician leadership and credible performance analysis to identify populations, stratify risk, drive physician engagement, and expose opportunities for optimized care. Attendees will learn best practices in laying a foundation for developing a successful risk-based strategy.

Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

Health Catalyst will expand its Salt Lake City, UT headquarters, planning to add 300 jobs over the next five years. The Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development is providing $700,000 in incentives.

Cerner will co-market a video analysis-powered musculoskeletal health screening tool from Kansas City-area startup DARI that Cerner is using in its Motion Health employee program to reduce the employer cost of mobility problems.



Nordic Consulting promotes Abby Polich to VP of affiliate solutions.

Announcements and Implementations

Aventura announces Sympatica, which will present clinicians with real-time, context-aware information from predictive analytics and performance management applications along with their EHR content. The application integration solution, which will be released in Q3 2015, has already been chosen by three healthcare organizations that includes Wise Regional Health System (TX), which will use it to present users with context-aware patient care checklists and reminders. The company will provide APIs for partner integration.


A Peer60 healthcare data security report finds that 95 percent of hospitals place data security as either their highest-priority project (29 percent) or as one of a few major priorities (66 percent). Budget limitations and lack of employee compliance are the biggest security barriers. The top provider priority is securing mobile devices, with smaller hospitals also focusing on intrusion protection.

Billian’s HealthData offers an Essentials licensing tier of its market intelligence database that includes key hospital and health system executives.

Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta goes live with Clockwise.MD in its urgent care centers, allowing patients to reserve their spot in line and receive wait time updates.

Government and Politics


GAO testimony criticizes high-risk federal IT project cost overruns, schedule delays, and questionable achievements, calling out ineffective management and lack of follow-up on the GAO’s recommendations. Among the massively expensive and ultimately cancelled projects mentioned are the DoD’s CoreFLS  and the VA’s scheduling system replacement, which cost at least $750 million. The GAO also notes that the VA and DoD have failed to modernize and integrate their EHRs over many year and questions the likelihood that their new focus on integrating their separate systems will succeed. The federal government spends $80 billion per year on IT.

Privacy and Security


The Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services announces that the medical information of 6,600 Medicaid recipients was exposed when data from an internal software application was accidentally opened up to the Internet.

Symantec reports that hackers are spreading malware by sending emails about MERS outbreaks in South Korea that contain an attachment named “MERS_List of hospital and infected patients.docx.exe.” that launches a Trojan. The company reports that malware creators often use current news headlines, including last year’s Ebola scare, to get email recipients to open attachments.



Harvard Medical School’s Center for Biomedical Informatics will convene a free, two-day program titled “Precision Medicine 2015: Patient Driven” June 24-25 at the medical school’s campus in Boston. Presenters include the center’s Zak Kohane and Ken Mandl, 23andMe co-founder Linda Avey, and Cloudera founder Jeff Hammerbacher.


The American Medical Association passes a proposal from its resident and fellow members that calls for the AMA to create ethical and professional guidelines for media doctors such as Dr. Oz, whose evidence-lacking snake oil claims reach millions of TV viewers who aren’t aware of his paid endorser status and his wildly off-center positions on scientific topics. The AMA will also issue guidelines disciplining unethical media doctors through existing channels such as state licensing boards and medical societies.

Weird News Andy says it was, “Tats, not cancer.” Surgeons remove a woman’s uterus, cervix, Fallopian tubes, and pelvic lymph notes after a PET scan showed spreading of her cervical cancer, only to find that the bright spots on the image were caused by migration of ink from her many tattoos rather than the radioactive tracer that would have indicated lymphatic metastasis. The surgeons had planned to remove the organs anyway; the woman is recovering and cancer free.

Sponsor Updates

  • Medicity recaps its HIStalk webinar, “Successful HIEs DO Exist: Best Practices for Care Coordination.”
  • Brad Levine of Visage Imaging is interviewed about imaging industry trends during SIIM 2015, including the movement to make radiology processes and technologies more relevant to referring physicians.
  • Versus Technology offers “How Your Hospital can Easily Track Nurse-to-Patient Ratios.”
  • Cumberland Consulting Group reports that since its June 2014 acquisition of Cipe Consulting Group, 16 new and 10 existing clients have used the services of its specialist consultants, the company now supports the applications of all leading vendors, and its recruiters have expanded their network to 2,500 contacts for responding quickly to customer requests for specific skill sets.
  • Summit Healthcare honors non-profit Hands on Nashville at the International Muse conference.
  • SyTrue will exhibit at the Healthcare Innovation Conference on NexGen Data, Analytics, and Technology-Enabled Services June 16 in Palo Alto, CA.
  • Verisk Health will offer analytics education to members of the Association for Community-Affiliated Plans.
  • SyTrue publishes use cases for its Smart Data Platform including conversion of physician narrative into structured data, real-time transformation of clinical documentation into diagnosis and procedure codes, conversion of radiology information into evidence-based insight, and translating pathology terminology and codes to improve billing accuracy.
  • T-System offers “Nurse Debate: The Value of Electronic Alerts in ED Documentation.”
  • PMD blogs about “Hotel Room Hacking” to push client-requested updates through while on the road.
  • Greenway Health chooses Talksoft as Partner of the Month for June 2015.
  • VisionWare will exhibit at the Big Data & Healthcare Analytics Forum June 18-19 in New York City.
  • TeleTracking will exhibit at the Digital Health and Care Congress 2015 June 16-17 in London.
  • TransUnion offers “Uncompensated Care: Hospitals’ Billion-Dollar Challenge.”
  • Validic will exhibit at Connected Healthcare USA June 18-19 in San Diego.
  • Verisk Health offers “Improving Medical Cost Containment with Pre-Payment Claim Review.”
  • Nearly 100 PatientKeeper employees donate time, goods, and money to Massachusetts charity Cradles to Crayons on the company’s volunteerism day.
  • PerfectServe client Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center (CA) is featured on the American Medical Group Association’s premiere of online news program High Performing Health.
  • VitalWare’s VitalCoder receives HFMA peer review designation.
  • Voalte previews its Mobile Communication Strategy eBook.
  • Huron Consulting sponsors Loyola University Medical Center’s Health, Hope, and Heroes 5K Run/Walk June 14 in Maywood, IL.
  • Close to 450 WeiserMazars employees volunteer at over 30 community organizations in four states for its first annual “Days of Service.”
  • Zynx Health offers “Let’s Keep Nurse Recognition Going!”
  • Leidos Health VP/ Health Information Privacy and Security Officer Sean Murphy will speak on a panel cybersecurity at the iHT2 Summit June 16-17 in Washington, DC.
  • MEA/NEA offers an article series taking a closer look at HIPAA.
  • JAG Products will offer its ClinicTracker users revenue cycle products from Navicure.
  • Sandlot Solutions will exhibit at the Minnesota e-Health Summit June 16-17 in St. Louis Park.
  • Netsmart announces its support for the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act, which aims to bring Meaningful Use parity for behavioral health and addiction treatment providers.
  • The New York eHealth Collaborative will exhibit at the NY MiniHIMSS Conference June 17 in New York City.
  • Nordic Consulting focuses on intervention in the latest episode of The HIT Breakdown podcast series.
  • Oneview Healthcare recaps its experience at the Cleveland Clinic’s Patient Experience & Empathy Summit.
  • Orion Health’s David Hay talks with Radio New Zealand about FHIR’s impact on population health.
  • Patientco offers, “3 Reasons Why Insourcing the Patient Revenue Cycle is Easier Than Ever.”
  • Phynd offers an “Introduction to Phynd’s Single Provider Profiles.”
  • Qpid Health offers “Human-Digestible Documentation Tops AMIA EHR 2020 Task Force Recommendations.”


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

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Currently there are "2 comments" on this Article:

  1. RE: The Symantec report of MERS outbreak notifications containing a Trojan.
    The irony of it all; irrational fear of an actual infectious disease is used to propagate a virtual infection.

  2. Re: Medical Center Health System, Odessa, TX – Chalk this one up to McKesson’s mishandling of sunsetting Horizon. With a history of poor Horizon upgrades and no defined strategy to convert the systems – from Oracle to SQL no less – every one of these customers are in play.

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