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October 22, 2015 News 3 Comments

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Quality Systems sells its NextGen Healthcare hospital systems business to QuadraMed, which is part of Canada-based Constellation Software’s N. Harris Computer Corporation. QSI formed its hospital business by acquiring Opus Healthcare Solutions in 2010, ViaTrack Systems in 2011, and the Poseidon Group in 2012. It appears that NextGen will keep its Mirth interoperability product (the announcement didn’t say, but while the hospital solutions web pages are gone, the Mirth ones remain).

Meanwhile, Quality Systems reports Q2 results: revenue up 4 percent, adjusted EPS $0.21 vs. $0.13, beating Wall Street estimates for both.

Reader Comments

From The PACS Designer: “Re: HHD vs. SSD. The need for 500GB or 1TB hard drives for computers will start to diminish with the growth of cloud services. One option that could accelerate the replacement of HHDs is solid state drives (SSD). As the price of SSDs declines they become more attractive to manufacturers who will then shun the HHDs in favor of a 256GB SSD-4GB DRAM system. Western Digital’s acquisition of SanDisk seems to validate the SSD concept of lowering the purchasing costs of systems.”


From So Cal Surf Legend: “Re: Antelope Valley Hospital, Lancaster, CA. Has selected Cerner. Official announcement coming soon.” Unverified, but Cerner was their vendor of choice a few months back. It’s a 420-bed hospital.

HIStalk Announcements and Requests


HIStalkapalooza sponsorships are looking good, meaning I probably won’t have to write a personal (and thus NSF) check for many dozens of thousands of dollars to personally cover the cost. The remaining sponsorship slot is the top-level one I call “Rock Star CEO” that includes:

  • 100 invitations.
  • A private lounge (capacity 100) with its own bar and food plus two VIP boxes for entertaining prospects, partners, and company executives.
  • The company CEO introduces the band, gets four all-access passes, and enjoys a meet-and-greet with the band back stage after their performance.
  • An on-stage banner.
  • Special recognition from the stage.

Contact Lorre if you enjoy the HIStalkapalooza vibe and want to play a key (and visible) role in producing it for the fun and influential attendees. She would be happy to consider any special needs our Rock Star CEO might have, right down to removing the brown M&Ms.


An anonymous reader donated $50 to my DonorsChoose project, to which I added double matching funds from my anonymous vendor executive and The NEA Foundation to fund a grant for Mrs. Smock’s elementary school class in Buena Park, CA that provides an Apple TV and external hard drive so that students can gain confidence and presentation skills by sharing their ideas with their classmates. Meanwhile, Mrs. Rice sent photos of her Washington third and fourth graders doing programming projects on the laptops we provided, noting particularly an increase in programming interest by the female students.


Early bird registration for the HIMSS conference ($765 for members) ends December 14, just in case you (like I) haven’t signed up yet. I was interested to see in the registration policies that attendee emails aren’t shared with exhibitors, so nobody should get promotional emails, instead having their snail mailbox filled with the usual junk that keeps coming weeks after the conference has concluded. The last policy acknowledges agreement of a condition involving photographic images that isn’t actually listed, so apparently you can take all the pictures you want, not that the old policy stopped anyone anyway. The cheapest hotel still available is Linq at $90. I’m pretty much dreading the conference, especially with the screwy Monday through Friday schedule driven by the overriding desire of casinos and hotels to fleece the weekend tourists.



My Twitter feed has been barraged this week with uninteresting cheerleading updates from Dell’s technology conference. I admit that I don’t think of Dell as a significant, committed healthcare player despite its previous acquisition of companies like Perot Systems and InSite One, any more than I think of other big hardware vendors like IBM and HP as anything more than low-margin vendors dabbling in higher-margin services du jour. I’m interested in whether I’m in the minority and thus created this special poll: how much healthcare influence does Dell have? You can explain what I’m missing in the poll’s comments.

This week on HIStalk Connect: KLAS analyzes interoperability across EHR vendors, naming the best technologies and vendors from a provider perspective. Jawbone wins an injunction against several key Fitbit employees in its suit alleging trade secret theft. Rock Health reports on consumer engagement, outlining which digital health categories are attracting the most attention. Theranos closes out its week of public feuding with the Wall Street Journal with a blog post confirming accusations that has stopped using its finger-stick lab test technology for the time being.

This week on HIStalk Practice: Healthcare.gov bashing ramps up. Virtual tools could be the panacea PCPs have been looking for. Hello Health CEO Nat Findlay explains what physicians need to know about getting paid for CPT 99490. Teladoc celebrates 1 millionth visit. American College of Cardiology members take their EHR usability woes to Washington, DC.  Kenneth Iwuji, RN explains what med students really think about healthcare IT. Practice managers weigh in on how the rise in high-deductible health plans has fueled their technology spend. Hologram house calls become a reality.


None in the next few days. Contact Lorre for webinar services. Past webinars are on our HIStalk webinars YouTube channel.

Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock


PatientSafe Solutions acquires Vree Health, which offers patient engagement and care management tools. It was owned by drug company Merck.


Post-acute EHR vendor Netsmart acquires behavioral EHR provider Lavender & Wyatt Systems.


Athenahealth reports Q3 results: revenue up 24 percent, adjusted EPS $0.36 vs. $0.27, beating both revenue and earnings estimates. Share price jumped 8 percent in after-hours trading following the announcement.


Microsoft reports Q1 results: revenue down 12 percent, adjusted EPS $0.67 vs. $0.65, beating earnings estimates and sending shares up sharply after the market’s close Thursday. 


The Milwaukee business paper covers the launch of Waukesha-based Intellivisit, which offers virtual diagnosis, triage, and appointment scheduling.


Behavioral Center of Michigan and Samaritan Behavioral Center (MI) will implement Medsphere’s OpenVista.


Jellico Community Hospital (TN) will implement Medhost’s clinical and financial applications.



Micky Tripathi, PhD (Massachusetts eHealth Collaborative) joins the board of The Sequoia Project.


Ed Caldwell (MediTract) joins CarePayment as chief revenue officer.

Announcements and Implementations

DrFirst announces myBenefitCheck, which offers prescribers real-time “what will this prescription cost this patient” advice that uses the patient’s drug benefit insurance coverage to display their out-of-pocket cost. It integrates with 300 EHRs via the company’s e-prescribing system.


TransUnion Healthcare’s eScan solution is named the #1 product in collections outsourcing and AR debt by Black Book.


The Delaware Health Information Network forms a joint program with ISpecimen that will allow researchers to search the de-identified medical information of patients whose lab samples are being stored by DHIN members. The researchers then request the samples that look potentially useful and the hospital ships them to the researcher. It’s an interesting funding source for DHIN, which will then discount its fees for participating members. ISpeciment founder and CEO Christopher Ianelli, MD, PhD was a managing director for investment bank Leerink Swann and co-founded Health Insight Technologies, which was renamed Humedica and then acquired by UnitedHealth group for an undisclosed but assuredly large amount.


Healthgrades research finds that one in six Americans received care in a one-star rated hospital, observing that had they chosen a five-star hospital instead, they would have had a 71 percent less chance of dying and a 65 percent risk reduction for complications. It also observes that hospitals may excel only in specific areas, such as the 14 Chicago hospitals that earned a five-star rating for heart attack treatment but had a one-star rating for total knee replacement, hopefully helping consumers understand the “focused factory” concept similar to the idea that you don’t order the steak at a seafood restaurant just because it’s on the menu.


T-System posts a conceptual video that will be presented to the ACEP Scientific Assembly next week that describes how cars equipped with GM’s OnStar system could send details of an accident to a T-System-equipped ED before the patient arrives. The OnStar system can predict severity of injury using vehicle, crash dynamics, and occupant information.

Imprivata Cortext is named in a KLAS secure messaging report as the most-considered product for physician-to-nurse communications.

Qualcomm’s Capsule subsidiary earns FDA 510(k) clearance of its SmartLinx Vitals Plus patient monitoring system.

Cedars-Sinai becomes the zillionth health system to get involved with a health accelerator, which would seem to be late in the game except for the fact that those that preceded them appear to have accomplished basically nothing anyway. It would be interesting to survey all of those eager startups who are seeing firsthand just how monolithic, indecisive, and change-resistant big health systems accelerator operators are.

A CoverMyMeds study finds that 70 percent of EHR vendors are committed to offering electronic prior authorization, up from 54 percent in March 2015.

Park Place International announces an expanded set of high availability solutions for Meditech and 100 other healthcare applications via its OpSus Healthcare Cloud and Microsoft Failover Clustering Services.

Privacy and Security

A Germany-based cybersecurity company says that 27 percent of all website malware attacks targeted healthcare-related sites so far in 2015.



An unfocused article in left-leaning magazine Mother Jones blames left-leaning Judy Faulkner and Epic for lack of interoperability, blasting a blitzkrieg of marginally related facts that seem overly focused on how much money Epic makes and how elaborate its campus is. It observes that HITECH didn’t address interoperability. The reporter misses the fact that EHR vendors deliver what customers demand and few turf-protecting health systems are interested in sharing information with their competitors even if their EHR already supports that capability. The reporter concludes the piece by expressing his frustration that his multiple providers don’t share his information, conveniently not bothering to ask those providers why that’s the case. He also complains about the lack of information sharing by his hospital (George Washington University Hospital), which he fails to note uses Cerner, which he lauds elsewhere in the article for its interoperability as evidenced by the DoD deal and joining CommonWell. Lastly, he misses the point that providers weren’t required to buy anything from Epic, Cerner,or anyone else to collect HITECH bribes – they only had to use them in the prescribed manner. It’s valid that HITECH was mostly a waste of taxpayer money and that interoperability is nearly non-existent, but the market forces that created that situation aren’t nearly as simple as he describes.


The Albuquerque newspaper digs into the tax records of Presbyterian Healthcare Services to find that three of its highest-paid contractors are connected to its EHR. The health system paid Epic $14.5 million, T-Systems North America $9.9 million, and Leidos Health $9 million. Presbyterian has spent over $200 million on Epic. It has $1.5 billion in annual revenue and paid its CIO $429K last year.


Jamie Stockton of Wells Fargo Securities sent over their latest analysis of MU Stage 2 attestation. Epic led the hospital numbers with 97 percent of eligible hospitals attesting, while the lowest-performing vendors (in the 50 percent range) are Medhost, Allscripts, and Healthland. Epic and Athenahealth lead the MU Stage 2 physician attestations at just over 70 percent, while users of systems from Allscripts, NextGen, Greenway, Cerner, McKesson, and GE Healthcare have an extremely low attestation rate. All of this may be more of an indictment of the MU process than whose system they’re on. 

Siemens Soarian user SoutheastHealth (MO) will move to Cerner Millennium, although they will stick with Soarian billing.

Prescription compounding firm Imprimis Pharmaceuticals will sell a generic version of Daraprim – the old rare-disease drug whose new owner increased the price 5,000 percent to $750 per dose – for $1 per custom-made capsule. The San Diego-based company says it will start making cheap versions of other one-source generics whose price has skyrocketed, exploiting the fact that compounding pharmacies are not required to submit their products through lengthy and expensive FDA approval. Shares of Imprimis are traded on the Nasdaq, where the company has a market cap of $57 million.

Cherokee Nation’s health services are live on Cerner.


A child at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children (PA) is given a tenfold overdose of cancer chemotherapy due to a manual dose calculation performed from instructions on a custom roadmap that contained a typographic error.

Weird News Andy codes this story as W20.8XXA, as a man napping under a tree in a San Francisco park is struck on the head by a falling 16-pound pine cone. He’s suing the US Department of the Interior and the park for $5 million, which his attorney says he will need for long-term care.

Sponsor Updates

  • Experian Health will exhibit at the Healthcare IT Transformation Assembly October 25-27 in Miami.
  • PDS IT will exhibit at the Midwest 2015 Fall Technology Conference October 25-27 in Detroit.
  • The SSI Group and Streamline Health will exhibit at The Summit of the Southeast October 28-30 in Nashville.
  • Surgical Information Systems will exhibit at Anesthesiology 2015 October 24-28 in San Diego.
  • Iatric Systems, Leidos Health, Nordic, and Obix will exhibit at the Midwest 2015 Fall Technology Conference October 25-27 in Detroit.
  • Extension Healthcare will receive the Greater Fort Wayne Business Weekly 2015 Innovation Award in the technology category for its alarm safety and event response platform.
  • The local paper interviews retiring Healthwise founder and CEO Don Kemper and his wife, SVP Molly Mettler.
  • InterSystems is recognized for the second year in a row as a leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for operational database management systems.
  • Intelligent Medical Objects will exhibit at Netsmart’s Connections 2015 user group meeting October 25-28 in National Harbor, MD.
  • LiveProcess will exhibit at the 2015 Vermont Healthcare and EMS Preparedness Conference October 22-25 in Jay.
  • MedData will exhibit at the ACEP Scientific Assembly October 26-28 in Boston.
  • Phynd Technologies http://welcome.phynd.com/eBookoffers a new e-book, “The Benefits of a Unified Provider Management Platform.”
  • Navicure will exhibit at MedTrade Fall Conference October 27-29 in Atlanta.
  • Netsmart will exhibit at the Ohio Council Annual Conference October 22 in Columbus.
  • Orion Health hosts the 2015 North American Healthcare Collaborative October 26-28 in Scottsdale, AZ.

Blog Posts


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

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Currently there are "3 comments" on this Article:

  1. Re: HHD vs. SSD

    The market is readily adopting this. Many healthcare customers were already amenable to sacrificing GB’s for speed since the goal was to have as much as possible on shared storage anyway. Web based applications are accelerating the trend to be sure. 128GB and 256GB SSD’s are quickly becoming the standard even for price conscious customers.

  2. That’s a lot of PHI on that screenshot of the chemo overdose. The HIPAA monster would not be pleased.

    [From Mr H] Like most monsters, the HIPAA one is a figment of overactive imaginations. The family released the documents to the press, none of whom (including me) are covered entities, the only organizations to which HIPAA applies.

  3. In regards to the error at St. Christopher’s, the accompanying photo is in violation of HIPAA and should probably be removed.

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Reader Comments

  • Susan Hassell: You can't simply pile on more work and expect employees to not be stressed. How about not reducing FTEs until you implem...
  • Cindy Gagnon: Excellent article -- I 100% agree. Thank you for consistently articulating the realities of the healthcare informatics ...
  • Randy Bak: Re: Biden's remarks-- I've been letting slide all this talk of patient "data" and access to it, feeling it isn't worth t...
  • Brian Too: It's eerie to hear a healthcare vendor story about Lake Mary, FL. We used to get McKesson support for our Series produc...
  • Janice Willingham: As a recent new reader of this excellent site and former IT worker now on the quasi tech side of the "business side" of ...
  • Another Dave: Orwellian Aeron chair: If sitting is the new smoking, I sure this exercise motivator will have some real health benefit...
  • Art_Vandelay: The instability of the Operating and Capital budgets from year-to-year. Understanding where dollars are sourced, how, fr...
  • SoCal grunt: I for one did select Meditech. The people were welcoming and seemed to be the only ones insterested in having a discussi...
  • Annon: 100% agree, this is vaporware, they are not doing anything remotely close to interoperability. Not the only ones though,...
  • Brian Too: Wait... I thought that any voids in the brain automatically filled up with cerebro-spinal fluid? Wouldn't an air void c...

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