The HIMSS war has begun, where the wide-eyed newbies huddle together in chattery excitement while the grizzled veterans with far-away stares trudge off to fight the latest of too many ugly battles.
Jenn, Dr. Jayne, and I will post as we have time and anything interesting to report. Experience has jaded me so that I don’t get wrapped up, as many people do, into cramming events into every waking hour. I’ll choose drifting peacefully with the health IT current instead of swimming hard upstream.
From School Me: “Re: KLAS report on interoperability. It is painfully thin on actual details and is almost reckless in painting a misleading picture. Epic and ECW are routinely censured by industry associations, investigators, and the like for data blocking and KLAS gives them the highest scores for interoperability? It’s probably not a coincidence that this report landed one business day before HIMSS starts — I’ll bet you a Bellagio buffet that Epic has that report on 20-foot signs in its booth this week.”
From Skeptical: “Re: KLAS report on interoperability. I wonder if it’s an FTC violation that KLAS doesn’t disclose the financial relationships with the vendors they’re rating? Plus, wouldn’t it be valuable for CIOs to know how much each ranked vendor pays KLAS?” That’s always the question with KLAS. I suggest that KLAS implement a star system to indicate their relative income level from each vendor. They don’t have to tell us the exact figure ,but it would be nice to know when reading a report about Epic and Greenway that they’ve earned 10 KLAS payment ranking stars vs. two, respectively, although that gives vendors incentive to pay less instead of more.
From Gettin’ Jiggy: “Re: Allscripts. Elation, CareCloud, and Athenahealth will win business as the company starts charging for Practice Fusion without plans to enhance it. We still don’t know what will happen with the Care Otter product that’s being developed within a siloed organization that has shunned help from more experienced Allscripts resources. If it flies, they will surely sunset some of their reliable, stable EHRs, although client-server systems – especially for small practices – need to die. The company’s big product gap is not having a cloud-based PM product, which is needed to stem their customer losses over the past few years.” Allscripts has two problems with Practice Fusion: (a) most practices implemented it only because it was a free way to cash in on Meaningful Use money, and (b) whatever percentage of its users who are willing to pay for an EHR won’t necessarily find Allscripts products more attractive than the ample alternatives. I’m not sure any level of enhancement would help since the Practice Fusion customer base didn’t seem to care about functionality gaps enough to replace it. I also don’t know how Allscripts will mobilize a sales force to reach out to Practice Fusion customers before they start looking or digging back out the manila file folders. I’ve had one visit to a Practice Fusion-using practice and they only lightly used the online portal part – it was all paper forms otherwise even though they look like a “customer” to the company.
Allscripts CEO Paul Black pens an editorial criticizing the just-released KLAS report on plug-and-play interoperability, which noted that Allscripts doesn’t participate in the highly-used Carequality or the lightly-used CommonWell. He says KLAS should have considered other available interoperability options such as point-to-point interfaces, HIEs, and APIs. Cerner is also apparently unhappy with the report, which said its CommonWell-centric approach has limited the connectivity options of customers until the CommonWell-Carequality connection opens up access to Epic-using sites.
VA Secretary David Shulkin convinced reporters last week that he had squelched VA insiders who were conspiring with White House officials to get him fired, but new reports suggest otherwise. VA OIG previously said Shulkin took a family Wimbledon vacation at taxpayer expense and an upcoming report will say he used his security detail to run personal errands. The Daily Beast cites several sources who said Shulkin is now “extremely paranoid” in posting an armed guard outside his office, cutting off access to his floor by those VA staffers he suspects of being disloyal, and attempting to fire several political appointees who were saved by White House intervention. He’s on the HIMSS agenda for Friday if he makes it that long.
CHIME CEO Russ Branzell will receive a Baldrige Leadership Excellence Award for his work in cybersecurity.
Every year I write several times right before the HIMSS conference that companies are unwise in holding off their announcements for this week, when they are sure to be missed in the mayHIMSS, yet most still do.
This tip is courtesy of my Lyft driver last night. If you rideshare to or from the Sands, use the Venetian’s pickup and drop-off area since it’s a lot easier for drivers to get in and out. I used it last night and was impressed that the Venetian places a uniformed guy there to keep things moving and to remind people to choose the Venetian pickup option instead of the other two locations that Lyft also shows from that spot.
Today will be the coolest of this Las Vegas week, with a high of 63 that runs up to 77 by Thursday. It got chilly quickly last night, making me glad I’d worn a long-sleeved shirt but sorry I didn’t bring a jacket.
Today we will set up our tiny booth and maybe check out the afternoon keynote and opening reception. More to come.