3M will acquire MModal’s technology business – most notably AI-powered physician documentation technology — for $1 billion.
MModal’s transcription, scribing, and coding services are not part of the deal. 3M will remain an MModal partner in that business, which generates $200 million in annual revenue.
3M’s health IT offerings under 3M Health Information Systems include clinical documentation risk assessment systems.
The sale is just under the entire price paid for MModal by private equity firm One Equity Partners – JP Morgan Chase’s private equity arm — in 2012. The vendor filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2014, reporting assets of $626 million and liabilities of $852 million along with declining sales, but emerged from Chapter 11 later the same year.
The acquisition price represents 10 times annual adjusted EBITDA.
3M will bring over 750 Pittsburgh-based employees of MModal.
From CMIO: “Re: Greenway Health. Our salesperson told me that development of Prime Suite is ending other than for compliance issues. He is telling customers to move to a different EHR. It apparently has something to do with the MIPS issues you reported they are having.” Not true, according to Greenway, which provided this response:
We are actively communicating with our customers regarding MIPS reporting capabilities. It is important to note that Greenway Health is not ending development for Prime Suite and is not forcing customers to move to another EHR. Customers can remain on Prime Suite and take advantage of future upgrades, as well as consider other Greenway solutions and services that drive practice success. We are continuously partnering with our customers to determine the path forward that best meets their needs.
Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock
Tablet-based EHR vendor DrChrono raises $10 million in funding.
GE shares rise on the news that the struggling company will continue with plans to spin off its healthcare business through an IPO that will likely take place next year.
A paywalled piece in STAT looks at the shaky ground IBM Watson is experiencing in several hospitals in China. The company announced in 2016 that 21 facilities would adopt the cognitive computing technology for oncology as part of a multi-year arrangement with Hangzhou CognitiveCare.
Collective Medical hires Steven Goldschmidt (MatrixCare) as VP of business development, post-acute care.
Mark Dunnagan (NC HealthConnex) joins Smartlink Health Solutions as VP of health informatics.
Tabula Rasa HealthCare names Kevin Boesen, PharmD (formerly CEO of $131 million Tabula Rasa acquisition SinfoníaRx) as chief sales officer. Boesen, who studied improv at Second City in Chicago, launched a popular skit-based video series with his brother about the pharmacy profession while both were professors at the University of Arizona.
Cancer informatics company Inspirata hires Greg Tennant (DrFirst) as chief strategy and marketing officer. Inspirata acquired Caradigm from GE Healthcare in June.
ClearData appoints Michael Donohue (Axial Exchange) chief marketing officer and Dean Fredenburgh (AWS) chief revenue officer.
Greenway Health hires Susan Kohler (Centene) as chief compliance officer and Patrice Nedelec (SCC Soft Computer) as VP of quality assurance and regulatory affairs.
- Orlando Health will implement Epic, joining several of the largest Allscripts Sunrise customers that have done the same.
- Ten-state Adventist Health System selects Vyne Medical’s Trace communications management software.
- In Michigan, the Genesys Physicians Hospital Organization will implement Allscripts subsidiary 2bPrecise’s Genomic EHR Monitor.
- Ohio’s Hospice will deploy Netsmart’s EHR at its eight facilities.
Announcements and Implementations
Kids Rock Cancer-Maryville University goes live on FormFast as part of its music therapy programs for pediatric cancer centers.
Geisinger (PA) adds ProviderMatch for Consumers from Kyruus to its website, giving patients the ability to find best-fit physicians and schedule appointments.
Carefluence announces GA of its FHIR-enabled server and tools on AWS.
Walgreens pharmacies and Verily will work together to develop solutions for patients with chronic conditions, initially focusing on medication management and a virtual solution for type 2 diabetes patients.
Government and Politics
The VA is considering terminating its $624 million Epic-Leidos patient scheduling system pilot project and buying a similar system from Cerner.
CMS issues an RFI asking for feedback on whether or not the consulting practices of hospital accreditation agencies like The Joint Commission pose a conflict of interest.
The New York Times visits Epic with these observations (and some great campus photos):
- It calls CEO Judy Faulkner “a septuagenarian coding savant” and a “billionaire recluse.”
- Employees are required to attend 2.5 hour monthly staff meetings that it compares to “a megachurch experience.”
- Employees are encouraged to keep the company’s wealth local by living within 45 minutes of campus and buying from area merchants instead of Amazon.
- All employees have private offices, every conference room is required to have windows, and stairs are mandatory for socialization even though the climbing requirement limits building height to three stories.
- The 75-year-old Faulkner, who the reporter describes as shy and distracted, told her that she will never retire.
- The majority shareholders – mostly Faulkner’s future heirs and Epic employees – have been instructed to always vote to keep Epic private, and when they have to choose a new CEO, to pick an Epic software developer.
- Faulkner says she focuses on software and customer relations, adding that, “I look at our financial information maybe for a minute a month.”
- Each employee gets a company-paid, month-long sabbatical every five years, with Epic footing the bill for two people.
A Forbes expose on London-based videoconferencing app vendor Babylon Health finds that despite having raised $85 million and convinced NHS to eventually use its chatbot-powered consumer diagnostic app, the latter software wasn’t tested anywhere else and didn’t work. The article notes:
- Doctors who audited the system found that the chatbot gave the wrong diagnosis 10-15 percent of time.
- The company ran afoul of advertising regulators who found that the “independent study” that validated its triage feature was actually internal testing involving professional actors posting as patients by following company-provided scripts.
- Babylona claimed that its chatbot scored higher on medical exams than human doctors, but didn’t mention that the software was required to answer only 15 of 50 questions and was allowed to submit three answers to each question.
- The company claims to be unaware of analyses suggesting that its users seek ED care at a higher rate than those who call England’s 111 advice line.
- Babylon’s focus on “building fast” and “reaching escape velocity” caused it to downplay the concerns of its employee doctors while treating its data scientists like rock stars.
- The company will need to apply its technology to more patient records and to measure its outcomes to be successful.
Chipotle started requiring employees to sign arbitration agreements as a condition of employment in 2014, a practice affirmed as legal by a Supreme Court case involving Epic. Now Chipotle is being overwhelmed by the number of pay-related arbitration cases that have been brought against it by former employees – each involving a cost of $30,000 to $50,000 – and has tried to convince a judge to stop accepting the filings. He said no. Chipotle hasn’t been paying its share of the arbitration filing fee and is fretting that each case must be heard in the individual county in which the employee worked (and Chipotle has 2,400 locations all over the country).
- EPSi releases v18.3 with several functional and performance improvements.
- PatientKeeper reports that it has deployed its EHR optimization software at 24 sites over the last year, representing 1,900 end users.
- Loyale Healthcare extends wishes for peace on Earth, goodwill to patients, and prosperity for providers in 2019.
- Imprivata develops EPCS Ready, an online resource for providers preparing to meet federal Electronic Prescribing for Controlled Substances requirements.
- The Chartis Group publishes a new report, “Managing Medicare to Break Even: Better Patient Outcomes at Lower Costs.”
- PMD expands access to its free, HIPAA-compliant, text messaging service for care teams.
- Intelligent Medical Objects congratulates winners of the AMIA PitchIT! competition.
- PM360 magazine selects ConnectiveRx’s BrandHub portal as one of the most innovative services of 2018.
- A study in the World Journal of Diabetes validates the TriNetX platform’s ability to use real-world data to generate real-world evidence to replicate results from randomized clinical trials.
- An Integrated EHR to Advance Chiropractic Education and Practice (EClinicalWorks)
- 5 Ways to Think Beyond the Switchboard (Spok)
- Overcoming Provider Objections to Delegating Refill Requests (Healthfinch)
- 2018 Healthcare IT Year in Review (Optimum Healthcare IT)
- Seeking Solutions: The Opioid Crisis (Huntzinger Management Group)
- Why Hackers Accessing Your Network is the Top Risk for 2019 (Iatric Systems)
- Imat Solutions Helps Health Payers to Become Data-Driven Organizations (Imat Solutions)
- From Digital Flyer to Virtual Lobby: The Evolution of the Hospital Website (Influence Health)