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September 15, 2015 News 16 Comments

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Qualcomm acquires France-based medical device integration technology vendor Capsule Technologie, confirming the rumor from Boisterous Lad that I reported here on September 2 (he said it actually happened awhile back but wasn’t announced). Qualcomm will run Capsule as a wholly owned subsidiary under Qualcomm Life, which will extend its wireless connectivity into hospitals to create an ecosystem the company calls “the Internet of Medical Things.” 

Reader Comments


From Zaphod Beeblebrox: “Re: Cambridge University Hospitals Foundation Trust. So much for the accepted wisdom that nobody loses their job for selecting Epic.” The CEO and finance director of the Cambridge hospitals resign following big financial losses after their Epic rollout. The resignations may also be related to a quality report that will be published on September 22. Regulation Monitor announced on July 31 that it was investigating the trust’s financial problems, including its $300 million Epic project that went live last October amidst physician complaints and a 20 percent drop in ED performance. The now-resigned CEO admitted a few weeks ago that the trust experienced “more than teething problems” with unanticipated issues that included lab problems, while the medical staff council stated that the hospital is “less safe than before the introduction of Epic.”


From Tony D’Antonio: “Re: HealthLeaders Media. Being a health leader apparently doesn’t require knowing how to spell Epic.” They already show an affinity for misspelling in making up “HealthLeaders.” It’s a mistake no matter how you look at it – not only is “EPIC” flat-out wrong, they spell it correctly as “Epic” in other articles. At least be consistently incorrect.


Speaking of magazines, this one for pharmacists uncovers the well-kept secret that Epic is actually owned by HIMSS Analytics.

From Lance Link, SC: “Re: EHR survey. Epic is #1 again.” Maybe. The HIMSS-owned magazine’s much-hyped satisfaction survey (complete with cute “report cards” and the obligatory infographic that tries to milk as much mileage from the skimpy results as possible) used questionable methodology, polling an unspecified number of its self-selected reader “users” to gather just 400 responses from a wild variety of job titles in both inpatient and outpatient settings to score nine EHRs (that’s maybe 30-40 responses per company). They also dumped all products together under each vendor, so you have no idea which McKesson, Meditech, or Allscripts products each respondent was reviewing. I suppose it’s commendable that they tried to create some faux news instead of just passing off reworded press releases as insightful journalism. It doesn’t surprise me that Epic is first and GE Healthcare, McKesson, and the former Siemens are last, but basically everybody else tied with scores separated by just 0.4 points on a 10-point scale, meaning that if you believe the survey’s validity, users of all products are equally unsatisfied and an EHR selection committee should therefore just throw a dart at the list. KLAS has obvious flaws in its methodology, but I’d still trust it a lot more than anything put out by a magazine or Black Book. The challenge is that it’s time-consuming and expensive to conduct surveys that are statistically defensible — it’s easier to shout the results while mumbling the methodology.


Since examples of well-conducted surveys are rare, here’s what I want to know before I’m willing believe that a survey’s results reflect broad beliefs (which is why you do a survey in the first place):

  1. How did you choose your pool of potential survey respondents? Was random sampling of a known population used?
  2. How did you invite participation?
  3. What was your survey’s sample size and response rate?
  4. What were the characteristics of your survey’s non-respondents?
  5. What is the motivation of those who responded? (unsatisfied people are more likely to respond in most cases).
  6. What were the demographics of your respondents?
  7. How did you prevent ballot box stuffing?
  8. What did your survey instrument look like? Were your questions clear, unbiased, and appropriate for those surveyed? Did the sponsoring organization create bias (unintentional or otherwise) in the choice and wording of questions?
  9. Does your survey report include raw data that prove its conclusions? What type of statistical methods did you apply in analyzing the responses?
  10. Do your conclusions overreach the underlying data in trying to gain publicity with catchy headlines and graphics that aren’t supported? Do your published results state the limitations of the survey?


From NotMe: “Re: Healthcare Tech Outlook. My company was also approached to be short-listed for some ranking and they tried to sell us a sponsorship. If you look up SiliconIndia’s profile on Glassdoor.com, you’ll see that many of their employees don’t have good things to say about them, including comments about ‘fake rankings.’ Yikes.”

HIStalk Announcements and Requests

A couple of generous readers have contributed to my DonorsChoose.org project, using a method devised by the DonorsChoose folks that provides them with a tax-deductible receipt. I put their donations to work immediately.

Reluctant Epic User donated $200, which was matched by my anonymous vendor executive to provide Ms. A’s Miami third grade class with five Android tablets, cases, and an electronic flash card app for her STEM and reading centers. Ms. A emailed to say, “The tools that you have funded will enable my students the opportunity to get their hands on technology and get in an even playing field with their higher income peers. In addition, students will be able to better their math and reading skills by having a tablet center where they get on helpful online math and reading programs that will enable them to become proficient readers and mathematicians. The children will LOVE this!”

Lady Pharmacist’s $100 donation was matched by both the anonymous executive and the doubled amount was matched again by The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation to provide an iPad Mini, case, and headphones for a first grade class in Atlanta.


Meanwhile, Ms. O from Fort Walton Beach, FL sent photos of her second graders using the math card centers we bought them, saying they work in small groups to work through math questions and to identify the strategies they used.

I dreamed last night that in an irreverent gesture similar to that of Howard Stern fans who scream “Baba Booey” during competing live broadcasts, HIStalk readers would post a comment simply saying “ONHART” (Old News, HIStalk Already Ran This) when news sites run less-current items or ideas that they may or may not have found by reading here.


September 22 (Tuesday) noon ET. “Just Step on the Scale: Measure Ongoing EHR Success and Focus Improvements Using Simple but Predictive Adoption Metrics.” Sponsored by The Breakaway Group. Presenters:  Heather Haugen, PhD, CEO and managing director, The Breakaway Group; Gene Thomas, VP/CIO, Memorial Hospital at Gulfport. Simple performance metrics such as those measuring end-user proficiency and clinical leadership engagement can accurately assess EHR adoption. This presentation will describe how Memorial Hospital at Gulfport used an EHR adoption assessment to quickly target priorities in gaining value from its large Cerner implementation, with real-life results proving the need for a disciplined approach to set and measure key success factors. Commit to taking that scary first step and step onto the scale, knowing that it will get measurably better every day.

September 22 (Tuesday) 5 p.m. ET. “Laying the Groundwork for an Effective CDS Strategy: Prepare for CMS’s Mandate for Advanced Imaging, Reduce Costs, and  Improve Care.” Sponsored by Stanson Health. Presenters: Scott Weingarten, MD, MPH, SVP and chief clinical transformation officer, Cedars-Sinai; Anne Wellington, VP of informatics, Stanson Health. Medicare will soon penalize physicians in specific settings who do not certify that they consulted "appropriate use" criteria before ordering advanced imaging services such as CT, MRI, nuclear medicine, and PET. This webinar will provide an overview of how this critical payment change is evolving, how it will likely be expanded, and how to begin preparations now. A key part of the CMS proposal is clinical decision support, which will help meet the new requirements while immediately unlocking EHR return on investment. Cedars-Sinai will discuss how they decreased inappropriate utilization of diagnostic tests and treatments, including imaging.


The Breakaway Group created a cool intro to their September 22 webinar above. They mention HIStalk at 1:12, which always catches me off guard. The acting is pretty good, especially the guy playing the CMO.

Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock


Two India-based technology executives create a $500 million fund that will acquire US digital health companies priced from $50 to $200 million. One of the founders explains, “The US healthcare industry is undergoing radical transformation with the Affordable Care Act. Evolving thought and business models have little semblance to present mechanisms. Over the next five years, SNSK aspires to be an engine of accelerating digital solutions that would make patient care more accountable, efficient, predictable, and effective.”


Persivia, formerly known as Alere Analytics until Alere sold the company back to its founders, acquires Burlington, MA-based quality reporting and analytics vendor IHM Services Company. Persivia, whose headcount increases to 50 with the acquisition, will release its first post-acquisition product next month.


Lightshed Healthcare Technologies, which offers Clockwise.MD, closes a $1 million investment round.


Baptist Health System (AL) chooses Merge Hemo.


Middlesex Hospital (CT) chooses Access electronic patient forms.



Insurer and technology vendor Cambia Health Solutions hires Laurent Rotival (GE Healthcare) as SVP of strategic technology and corporate information officer.

Announcements and Implementations

The HealthLinc FQHC (IN) goes live with Forward Health Group’s PopulationManager and The Guideline Advantage.

PeriGen, UCSF, and Kaiser Permanente North California launch a research project that will look at preventable birth-related brain injuries in newborns by studying the occurrence of neonatal encephalopathy as it relates to unusual uterine contractions and fetal heart rate.

In the Netherlands, Philips, Radboud University Medical Center, and Salesforce introduce a prototype mobile patient app and online community for type 1 diabetics. The app is based on the HealthSuite digital platform that was announced by Philips and Salesforce in June 2014.

Government and Politics

The New York Times highlights the rollout of ICD-10, noting that coders have become a hot commodity and hospitals and practices are getting lines of credit with expectations of insurance company payment delays. One hospital HIM director says ICD-10 coding will take 35 percent longer.

A jury convicts a Houston psychiatrist of defrauding Medicare of $158 million over six years by submitting false claims through Riverside General Hospital’s partial hospitalization program, whose patients not only weren’t hospitalized, they often received no treatment at all. The psychiatrist was also charged with falsifying medical records. Twelve people have already received prison sentences or are awaiting sentencing. I’m always encouraged that Medicare scammers get caught, but discouraged at how long it takes to sentence them and the fact that the majority of the fraud iceberg remains invisible.


An HHS OIG report of how CMS managed the rollout of Healthcare.gov finds that CMS didn’t follow federal requirements for managing its contractors, which allowed the companies to miss dates, bill for additional costs, and earn contracts despite poor past performance. Terremark Federal Group was supposed to provide a system security plan by early July 2011 but didn’t submit it until July 2013. Unauthorized CMS employees also tacked on additional work without the approval or knowledge of the contracting officer. The report examined only the 20 most critical Healthcare.gov contracts that were worth a combined $605 million. CMS did not dispute any of the OIG’s findings or recommendations.

Privacy and Security

A first-half 2015 breach report finds that the world’s largest was the nearly 80-million record Anthem cyberattack, which by itself accounted for a third of the total records exposed in the first half of the year. Medical Informatics Engineering was #8 on the list with 3.9 million records exposed.



The Los Angeles Fire Department finds itself in the middle of a privacy debate when its officers mistakenly tell accident bystanders that they can’t take photos or videos because that would be a HIPAA violation. The department clarifies to its officers that anyone can photograph or record fire department personnel at work as long as they are on public property or their own private property, reminding them that citizens and journalists aren’t bound by HIPAA. The fire department tells its employees to ask people not to interfere with its work and to protect the patient’s privacy by holding up sheets or other visual barriers when possible. I’m all for not claiming HIPAA applies when it really doesn’t, but the fact that idiots with cell phones or “if it bleeds, it leads” TV cameras will obstruct rescue work to take pictures of the victim is a sad state of affairs reminiscent of the movie “Nightcrawler,” with the worst part being that the aforementioned idiots are merely providing the gore supply for the even bigger idiots who demand it.

Innovation and Research

A small study of pneumonia patients questions whether hospital readmissions are usually caused by quality issues and casts doubt that commercial software such as 3M’s can accurately determine the preventable ones that trigger financial penalties. The authors say health systems are spending a lot of time questionably in trying to create “readmission risk” measures instead of focusing on broader health system quality care measures.



The local TV station covers the switch of 25-bed critical access hospital Aspirus Iron River Hospital and Clinics (MI) from Healthland to Epic. Eight-hospital Aspirus acquired the former Northstar Health System last year.

The BBC covers Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center’s use of an unnamed patient assessment “super computer” that BBC unfortunately concludes makes it “an especially frightening application” in that it can “predict death.” Brits seem to obsess with the idea that both computers and clinicians can fairly accurately determine the odds of survival given clinical information, so BBC couldn’t resist taking a potentially interesting story into tabloid territory.

Granted the name North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System was unwieldy, but its upcoming new name, Northwell Health, seems a bit trendy and generic. I expect more of the marketing-driven name changes, which have followed predictable cycles over the years — “Yourtown Hospital” became “Yourtown Medical Center,” then “Yourtown Regional Medical Center,” then “Yourtown Health System,” and finally “Yourtown Health” in a quest to change perception while leaving reality untouched. Now we’re in the “meaningless marketing names that just sound cool” phase as the mishmash of hospitals, practices, clinics, and related businesses defies an all-encompassing nomenclature that has any basis in reality.


Speaking of marketing people run amok with made-up words that require lame explanations, Kryptiq “rebrands” itself as Enli Health Intelligence. The CEO says the old name didn’t capture the direction of the company (unlike IBM, Microsoft, Apple, Exxon, General Electric, and a zillion other companies who let their deeds rather than their obviously dated names do the talking for them) and it spent a lot of energy on market research and “ethnographic field work” to make up the name Enli (short for “enlightened,” so they say). The marketing hired guns convinced the company that after “getting to know their purpose and values,” the Kryptiq name “was limiting their ability to connect more with their constituency.” I automatically assume that a company willing to spend a fortune to change its name (or to use the word “rebrand” in any official communication) must be trying to distance itself from the stench of past failure. “HIStalk” is an outdated name since the term Hospital Information Systems (the “HIS” in “HIStalk”) was appropriate in 2003 when I started writing it but isn’t used much these days, but I think I would be ill advised to let New Coke-type marketing geniuses convince me that I should “rebrand” it to something trendy to “connect more with my constituency” (who would, I suspect, react with eye-rolling annoyance rather than enthusiasm).


I criticized the text-heavy, endlessly scroll Meditech website last time I looked. The company let me know they’ve redesigned it and I have to say it’s very nicely done, with high-quality graphics, obvious and logical links, video, and a footer that contains links to all the less-mainstream content such as the executive team page and events list. Companies probably don’t think their website is all that important, but here’s what I look for when I’m deciding to either use or ignore a company’s press release:

  • Can I tell quickly what the company’s business involves without having to decipher buzzwords?
  • Is a list of available products easily accessible and plainly stated so I can tell what the products actually do and who might use them?
  • Can I easily find the address of the headquarters location and regional offices?
  • Is the executive page clearly marked so I can find out who runs the company?
  • Is company news regularly and quickly updated so that any press release that might go out on the national wires is also on the company’s site immediately, preferably linked from the home page?
  • Does the front page give me an easy way to see the most recently added information?
  • Is a search box provided so I find information without having to navigate?
  • Are contacts listed for sales, media, and customer support, preferably with a more accessible method than an on-screen contact form that goes to some undisclosed recipient’s inbox?
  • Are links provided to the company’s Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube pages?

Thank goodness Uber used its mammoth war chest to squelch the protectionist Las Vegas cab driver union and their high-powered lobbyists well ahead of the HIMSS conference – Uber restarts operations in Las Vegas, giving tourists an option that they will likely exercise in great numbers. Nothing annoys me more than previously smug, now-outdated people and organizations who try to survive via intimidation and political maneuvering instead of letting the market choose what it wants. On the other hand, Uber calls the city “Vegas,” which drives me crazy (they don’t say “Angeles” or “Cruces” just to save one syllable).

Dignity Health announces plans for a year-long, $220 million “facelift” that includes refurbished patient rooms, elevator artwork, mobile device charging stations, improved signage with a wayfinding app, free WiFi, and family seating with communal spaces. I don’t know about you, but my #1 criterion for choosing a healthcare provider to keep me alive is tasteful elevator artwork.

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GetWellNetwork and its “Get Involved Now” non-profit that addresses the needs of pediatric, high-risk pregnancy, and leukemia and lymphoma patients and families sponsored a “2015 Day at the Beach Special Surfers” event at La Jolla Shores in San Diego, CA. Employees provided surfing lessons for special needs kids and families and staffed a cookout for all.

Sponsor Updates

  • Aventura publishes a white paper, “Strategies for Driving the Use of Speech Recognition in Healthcare,” that describes its Aventura for Speech Recognition workflow optimization solution.
  • AirWatch will host AirWatch Connect Atlanta September 21-24.
  • Bernoulli/Cardiopulmonary Corp. is listed as a leader in the KLAS Alarm Management 2014 report.
  • Billian’s HealthDATA will host “Update: The Road to Health Data Equity” September 22 in Boston.
  • CitiusTech will exhibit at the BCBS Information Management Symposium September 20-23 in Amelia Island, FL.
  • Inc. features CoverMyMeds in a profile of productive cities for innovative entrepreneurs.
  • Direct Consulting Associates will exhibit at the Ohio MGMA Fall Conference September 18 in Akron.
  • Wellcentive will exhibit at NAACOS Fall Conference October 8-9 in Washington, DC.
  • Elsevier will resell HCPro’s HIPAA and corporate compliance libraries.
  • Impact Advisors is named one of Consulting Magazine’s “Best Small Firms to Work For.”
  • EClinicalWorks will exhibit at the 2015 APHCA Annual Conference & Tradeshow September 22-24 in Orange Beach, AL.
  • FormFast showcases workflow automation for McKesson hospitals at InSight Conference 2015.
  • HealthMedx will exhibit at the North Carolina Association Long-Term Care Facilities Convention & Trade Show through September 16 in Greensboro.
  • Healthwise will exhibit at the World Congress Patient Engagement Summit September 17-18 in Boston.
  • Iatric Systems will exhibit at the CIOhealth event September 24 in Boston.
  • Ingenious Med will exhibit at Spark! Healthcare Innovation and Technology Showcase September 23 in Austin.
  • Liaison Technologies will exhibit at the CIO Visions Leadership Summit September 20-22 in Baltimore.
  • LiveProcess will exhibit at the Indiana Healthcare Emergency Preparedness Symposium September 17-18 in Indianapolis.

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Currently there are "16 comments" on this Article:

  1. “Nothing annoys me more than previously smug, now-outdated people and organizations who try to survive via intimidation and political maneuvering instead of letting the market choose what it wants.” I don’t think you meant to describe our beloved, dysfunctional Healthcare industry, but you summed it up perfectly for me after spending 20 years in this business. One day, a credible news organization will create an exposé that highlights how the American taxpayer has been ripped off as we move to single vendor and single payer. The amount of money spent converting to electronic records, only to have them stolen in the next cyber attack is nauseating. It would be more rewarding for vendors to donate their HIMSS 2016 budgets to DonorsChoose.org rather than to continue to play this silly game. I’ve gotten more joy reading those teachers’ emails than any of these industry updates or your diatribes about punctuation/capitalization.

  2. Uber is live in Las Vegas, but it’s worth noting that Uber isn’t currently picking up at the airport or at strip hotels: http://www.vegasstartups.com/2015/09/15/uber-is-back-in-vegas-nvlovesuber/ They’ll drop off at the airport or at strip hotels. However, if you walk a block away like we did in Chicago, then you can get an Uber to pick you up. We’ll see if that changes before HIMSS. My guess is it won’t, but we might get lucky with the airport.

  3. RE: Keith McItkin, PhD.

    If a CEO and finance director are forced to resign due to big financial losses caused by a technology transformation then I assume it is the board deciding the difference between “teething problems” and “Wow, this was a mistake.”

  4. Re comment about Epic costing jobs. My comments are as a disinterested observer of the Epic saga as it takes over the world, since I do not compete with them, nor have to interface to them. While your statement that few people may lose their jobs selecting Epic (like the old phrase about selecting IBM went), it seems to me that I note two key trends from industry articles:

    1) Few if any Epic projects come in near budget, many with massive cost overruns, and 2) most senior IT people, from the CIO down one level seem to “depart” prior to completion of the implementation. I do have direct experience that Epic DOES soak up all IT project time, so if you are selling into other departments that require IT to implement, your sale is on hold until Epic is done.

    Since we only hear about the failures and firings without knowing about ALL Epic installs – just like we only hear about airplane accidents and not about safe landings – my observations may be flawed. I’d like to know: 1) What percent of Epic contracts implement for within 10 percent of the original budget? and 2) In what percent of Epic implementations is the CIO still there 12 months after go-live (or even makes it to go-live)? and 3) are the answers to 1 and 2 above similar to other vendors?

    Can we get a study?

  5. You should absolutely change the name of your website. Perhaps you could hold a naming contest. This is a great way to “engage” your readers to ask for their suggestions, and then to follow up with a survey. Just think of all the clicks, which of course we could market to advertisers. Once the name is changed, we should press release the announcement. We could say that the new name is more closely aligned to the strategic mission of the hyperconvergence of information aggregation in the Web 2.1 digital landscape. We should also mention HIPPA, just for the street cred.

    Here are a couple of my suggestions for new names:

    HIStalk! (mild mannered, intelligent, conveys excitement, but polls very low)
    HERtalk (Health Electronic Record, the old name did not appeal to half the population)
    Xyzzax (pharmaceutical companies have proven that the more Xs, Ys, and Zs in a name increase the effectiveness)

    Unfortunately, due to the cost of the rebranding, we will need to put all development and improvements on hold for the next quarter. We will invest those dollars into new signage for all buildings, and begin a marketing blitz to make everyone aware of the new name. The IT staff can help to get new business cards and letterhead, and rebrand all of the forms and signage in use.

    The shareholders will love it!

    Give me a call, I would be happy to help (at my normal fee of course)

  6. @Epicalista

    Reading the article posted in the headlines, not here, it points out that the IT budget was 0.1% over, given their numbers. The loss is being blamed on lost revenue, not cost overruns.

  7. Of course, this is not the first time someone has lost their job on the tail of an Epic implementation–although normally it is the CIO and IT leadership that is packing their offices. The real questions is when do the MDs and physician leaders that clamor for Epic (for reasons I doubt they really understand) lose their jobs? They won’t. It is easy to want the bright and shiny object when you have no accountability (outside of the CMIO) to the project, cost, budget considerations, etc.

    I think all of these health systems and hospitals out to market would be wise to look at cost conscious option vs. following the physician herd mentality that comes up Epic. Better late than never.

  8. EHR Surveys…Seems everyone agrees that these surveys are all ‘self serving’, and driven by market hype and money, even KLAS gets tagged repeatedly.

    So here’s a new reverse survey tool that just dropped in our laps. All from the boys and girls in DC. ONC has opened a complaint line. Under the FOIA HIS Talk should all be able to see who gets the most complaints and why. Since ONC is not on the take from vendors (I hope not!), we should all be able to accept the ONC data as pure as the driven snow. End of debate.

  9. The negative news on Epic reminds me so much of the GM bankruptcy. Ford got some negative press in the few months prior, but it was GM that went bankrupt. The EHR business is a tough business as almost everyone in the market has purchased a solution and has a vendor. The only remaining business is in the “replacement market”. Slick sales people, shallow promises, and poor performance don’t win in the replacement market. Companies that deliver win.

    My bet is that Allscripts and other small EHR vendors will be filling for Chapter 11 in the next 18 months as the EHR market deteriorates more as the market wains from reduced IT investment as MU and ICD 10 upgrades come to an end.

    Let’s review the facts of this potentially happening.

    1. Allscripts has a current ratio of 1.04. The current ratio is Current Assets / Current Liabilities. This means that they only have 4% more assets than current debt. A 4 or 5% decline will make business difficult for them.
    2. Allscripts has ~$600 MM in debt and ~$70 MM in current liabilities. A revolving credit facility, in the face of an Allscripts decline, will pull Allscripts ability to take on more debt. NantHealth might consider a takeover or a bail-out, but it will be just as painful as Chapter 11.
    3. Allscripts is not winning large new inpatient business as there are no “new” customers left.
    4. Allscripts has a large product portfolio. The shear size of their product portfolio makes developing differentiated features difficult. With multiple ambulatory solutions (Allscripts Pro, Enterprise and Sunrise Ambulatory), makes just maintaining the software difficult little own extending it to be best of class.
    5. Allscripts was even late in paying their bill to Histalk.

    Implications of an Allscripts Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

    1. Many of their EHRs may be discontinued forcing their customers to make investments elsewhere.
    2. Support will decline on the run-up to the bankruptcy. Challenges in support have been a re-occurring theme over the years with Allscripts both domestically and abroad.
    3. Employees will suffer significant stress as the uncertainty of their jobs begins to impact their performance further accelerating the decline.
    4. Allscripts FollowMyHealth customers will learn that putting data into the cloud and into a PHR isn’t the wisest of decisions. The FollowMyHealth Portal with a significant number of patient’s health records will go up for auction (as well as the rest of Allscripts) and the site that contains your health systems brand and logo could be shutdown or the service altered with respect to those patients. What happens to that patient’s health records? It stays with the newly acquired business unless the patient (not the health system) decides to do something about it.
    5. Even if someone acquires Allscripts in Chapter 11 existing solutions may be accelerated to end-of-life to reduce costs.

    NOTE: I do not have any financial positions short or long in Allscripts or other leading EHR vendors nor have any plans for such positions in the future.

  10. FLPoggio: Sure, as long as you can take their data and correct for skew from large sites, disproportionate market share of a few vendors, and statistically normalize all of it. Probably all easier said than done.

  11. The GM vs. Ford analogy is interesting and relevant. My opinion is that it also draws the wrong conclusions. Ford and GM were both stories of once fast, nimble innovators that each fell into a period of stagnation and entitlement to their markets, and the inevitable slowness and arrogance towards their customers that can follow once there were fewer options left to them. That one went bankrupt while the other merely had bad press because of these fundamental problems is inconsequential. They both went from a period of creating and shaping an industry through superior practices to perennially delivering less than their potential while the market consolidated. Customers were underserved by both of them while they built various monuments to themselves. Monuments can be lavish executive pay, palacial offices, outsize union perks…. all kinds of things that are unrelated to actual product development. Whether the companies survive, are bankrupted, or go out of business, it’s nothing to be proud of when you disgruntle your customers and leave a big door open to someone who can remember how to do what you used to do, but chose to forget.

  12. Allscript bankrupt?? I don’t think so…as bad as the numbers may be for MDRX in the EHR/HIS world there has always been a bigger fool. And the name of todays fool is Nanth Health.

  13. RE: Anonymous – You make a valid point that comparing Allscripts to GM is giving Allscripts too much credit. They have never performed as well as GM in its prime.

    You do bring up a valid question about “lavish executive pay”.

    Paul Black receives a total compensation of $10.5MM annually to be the CEO of Allscripts ($1.5MM in salary and $9MM in stock awards). What did shareholders get in return since he took over in Dec 2012?

    Net Income By Year of Paul Black’s reign as CEO of Allscripts

    2013 – Loss of $104 MM
    2014 – Loss of $66 MM

    You could say he’s improving… the problem is Allscripts only lost $1.15 MM in 2012 and EARNED $73MM.

    What does $10.5 MM buy you these days? A loss of $170 MM.

    Also $10.5MM is just 2015. He earned another $9MM at the end of 2012 (see here: http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20130409/NEWS03/130409776/allscripts-ceo-earned-9-million-in-waning-days-of-2012). Potentially a $1MM salary in 2013 with potential for 150% signing bonus. My research didn’t turn up 2014. So more than $20MM buys you $170+MM in loses (they’re still losing money in 2015).

    You might want add to the bigger fool contest “Allscript’s Board of Directors” maybe they could duke it out with NantHealth.

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