- HIStalk - https://histalk2.com -

News 10/2/15

Top News




ICD-10 goes live with few announced problems, with October 1 marking the beginning of the second, shorter countdown until claims have been submitted and processed. At least we will finally be free of reporters who think they’re being clever in entertaining us with allegedly fun, obscure ICD-10 codes. Above is a photo Cerner tweeted out of its ICD-10 war room, another of Practice Fusion’s support team, and the command center at Ministry Health.

Did anyone have a physician office visit scheduled for Thursday? How did it go?

Reader Comments


From Puerile Excuses: “Re: State of Mississippi RFP. All vendors were required to attend an all-hands call this week or else they would be excluded from the bidding. Despite several rounds of roll calls, nobody from Accenture or Oracle spoke up to verify their attendance. It was a pretty big call to miss given that this is a multi-million dollar award over several years. It will be interesting to see if they talk their way back into the race.”

HIStalk Announcements and Requests


Mrs. Hicks from California reports that the math manipulatives provided by our DonorsChoose project were a big hit, saying her elementary school students wanted to start using them right away and are benefiting from hands-on, high-impact activities.


Mr. Weightman’s Indiana students have already received the 25 sets of headphones we funded just three days ago, using them to tune out noise as they’re working on math and reading skills.


Mrs. Kennedy shared photos of her Virginia elementary school students using the sidewalk chalk and learning games we provided for summer school.

I filed an Office for Civil Rights complaint in early July after my MU-attesting, Epic-using Stage 7 EMRAM hospital refused to give me an electronic copy of my medical records, saying they don’t provide electronic versions to anyone other than doctors. I still haven’t heard back from OCR nearly three months later.

A usage gripe: “breaches” happen when a hacker gets your data, an army breaks through a fortified wall, or a whale surfaces. “Breeches” are what you wear during equestrianism, the part of the cannon that the shell goes through, or in describing babies who are born butt-first. 

This week on HIStalk Practice: The Primary Health Care Performance Initiative launches to enhance data quality and sharing globally. Conflicting surveys show that physician spending is up on technology purchases, yet choosing and implementing new technology is of low priority. AAFP delegates discuss EHR irritation, physician burnout at annual congress. HHS awards $685 million to regional and national health networks as part of its Transforming Clinical Practice Initiative. Pennsylvania eHealth Partnership Authority Executive Director Alix Goss stresses the importance of HIE to physician practice success. Physicians vent their frustrations at AMA/Massachusetts Medical Society event.

This week on HIStalk Connect: Two Washington, DC-based hospitals are sued for charging patients hundreds of dollars for access to electronic copies of their medical records. Researchers in England find multiple clinical and data security issues with apps included in the NHS Health App Library. Mount Sinai reports initial results from its Apple ResearchKit-based national asthma study. Online consumer health startup HealthTap unveils a new app aimed at the employee wellness market.


October 7 (Wednesday) 1:00 ET. “Develop Your Analysts and They’ll Pay for Themselves.” Sponsored by Health Catalyst. Presenters: Peter Monaco, senior business intelligence developer, Health Catalyst; Russ Stahli, VP, Health Catalyst. It takes years for analysts to develop the skills they need to build reports and dashboards that turn data into valuable insights. This webinar will describe how to cultivate those analytical skills, including technical prowess and adaptive leadership. Leaders will learn how to develop a culture that fosters improvement, how to encourage analysts to develop the right skills, and ways to remove the barriers that stand in their way.

Contact Lorre for webinar services. Past webinars are on our HIStalk webinars YouTube channel.

Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock


EClinicalWorks buys a third office building in Westboro, MA for $21 million, planning to double its headquarters headcount to 2,000 as its annual revenue approaches $400 million. The company will spend another $30 million to renovate the interior.


Premier subsidiary Premier Healthcare Solutions acquires InFlowHealth, which offers physician practice improvement software, for consideration valued at up to $35 million.


PerfectServe raises $21 million in a new financing round.


MedAssets announces a restructuring plan that includes an 180-employee layoff, closing one office, and reducing professional service and vendor fees. It estimates a pre-tax restructuring expense of $11 million, almost all of it in workforce reduction costs, between now and the end of the year.


Mayo Clinic-backed Better, which offers a technology-enabled personal health assistant services for $50 per month for a family, announces that it will shut down on October 30. The company had raised $5 million in a single April 2014 round.


Konica Minolta acquires Viztek, which offers digital software and hardware imaging solutions.



Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (PA) chooses PeraHealth’s real-time clinical deterioration surveillance software.



A DC-area innovation site profiles Maria Horton, a former Walter Reed ICU nurse and CIO who is founder, president, and CEO of federal security contractor EmeSec. 


Aetna hires Gary Loveman, PhD (Caesars Entertainment) as EVP/president of its Healthagen consumer technology business. His primary accomplishment for the struggling Caesars was keeping the company afloat after it took on $22 billion in debt in a leveraged buyout, laying off 12,000 people and earning himself $90 million in share appreciation as the company’s largest business unit filed bankruptcy this past January.


Data management system vendor Flywheel hires Imad Nijim (Lexmark Healthcare) as COO.

Announcements and Implementations

LiveProcess announces its ED Coordinator collaboration solution, which allows ED managers to align resources based on demand to accelerate patient flow.


Princess Margaret Hospital (Bahamas) goes live on Surgical Information Systems.

Leidos and Virginia Tech will collaborate on student-conducted research on the big data challenges of EHRs, with Leidos funding a graduate fellowship in advanced information systems.


Southcoast Health (MA) goes live on Epic.

Six HIMSS chapters will host the Midwest Fall Technology Conference in Detroit October 25-27. Some of the HIStalk sponsors who are sponsoring the event include Airwatch by VMware, Merge Healthcare, Xerox, Caradigm, Orion Health, Leidos Health, Burwood Group, PDS, Fujitsu, and CoverMyMeds.

Government and Politics

Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN), chairman of the Senate’s HELP committee, gives the administration five reasons that Meaningful Use Stage 3 should be delayed:

  1. Few providers have qualified for Stage 2 and Stage 3 will make it even harder.
  2. Medicare assigns penalties and bonuses based on MU compliance.
  3. Big hospitals are saying the industry needs more time.
  4. A new GAO report found that MU is standing in the way of EHRs talking to each other.
  5. The final MU3 rule should reflect the still-incomplete interoperability work between the committee and the administration.


The White House notes the five-year anniversary of Blue Button, also noting that the next step is widespread implementation of APIs to allow consumers to collect their information from multiple sources into whatever app they want to use.

An HHS OIG report finds that the state of Oklahoma overpaid nearly $900,000 in Meaningful Use payments because it didn’t understand the required timeframes. It also inappropriately received $128,000 in federal reimbursement because it submitted duplicated payments.


UNC Hospitals (NC) quadruples its operating income to $115 million for the year, for which it gives some credit to its Epic implementation.

Forbes names its list of the 400 riches Americans, which includes #35 Patrick Soon-Shiong (NantHealth, $12.9 billion), #121 Elizabeth Holmes (Theranos, $4.5 billion), and #256 Judy Faulkner (Epic, $2.6 billion).

An East Texas judge shuts down the country’s most prolific patent troll by denying its 168 lawsuits for a patent that covers “storage and labeling information,” with 87 of those lawsuits filed in a single April week in an attempt to beat the deadline for tighter filing rules. However, the same Texas lawyer that created eDekka (whose only business is filing patent lawsuits) also represents the country’s #2 and #3 most prolific patent trolls.

Cleveland Clinic Florida offers $49 online doctor video visits.


AAFP President Wanda Filer, MD, MBA, who started her term Thursday, says of EHRs,

I’m now on the fourth EHR of my career. One was such a dismal product that we simply walked away from it. Physicians have heard a lot of good sales pitches, and we’ve seen a lot of people who weren’t involved in clinical care leading us to the health IT "promised land." This has been a difficult journey for many of us, but the Academy is working with stakeholders to turn this situation around and help ensure that EHRs help, rather than hinder, physicians in practice.

The IT team of Centura Health (CO) will play Epic in a fundraising basketball game on October 20, complete with cheerleaders, music, and a concession stand whose sales will be donated to DonorsChoose.


A Florida man is arrested for posing as a doctor in interviewing a woman for a nursing assistant position, which included touching her breasts and attempting to demonstrate (on her) the correct way to take a rectal temperature.

Sponsor Updates

Blog Posts


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

More news: HIStalk Practice, HIStalk Connect.

Get HIStalk updates.
Contact us or send news tips online.