Meditech posts Q1 results: revenue down 5.7%, EPS $0.97 vs. $0.08. The big bump in earnings was due to a $46 million year-over-year swing in unrealized marketable securities gains.
Product revenue dropped 21%, operating income was down 33%, and net cash earned from operations was down 44%.
From Dramatic Entrance: “Re: provider online reviews. This survey says patients find them critical when choosing.” This gives me an opportunity to illustrate how the headline of a survey’s results is often misleading or its methodology so shaky that the results mean little. For this particular one:
- The survey’s 839 respondents were self-selected, recruited by using a survey tool’s survey bank and thus likely not validated in any way.
- The survey question asked whether a positive online reputation is important, where a better question would have been, “How important was online reputation when you chose your most recent provider?” Never ask people what they think or believe when you could just as easily ask them what they actually do.
- Half of respondents said they have submitted negative provider feedback but were never contacted, but the question didn’t ask how they submitted their criticism (Yelp? The practice website’s contact form? Complained to the front desk person on the way out?)
- The survey lumped all providers together, everything from hospitals to dentists to doctors. That means the somewhat skimpy respondent count was then segmented further.
- The company that performed the survey sells reputation management services. They did not engage an independent survey organization that would have followed defensible methodology.
- Perhaps worst of all, lazy sites that are desperate for “news items” reworded the results into a pointless story with unrestrained headlines and no disclaimer about the obvious validity concerns.
From Ornery Cuss: “Re: health IT startups. Why do you let other sites offer more coverage?” My audience is mostly at the health system C-level, and as the lack of market success of most startups validates, those self-proclaimed disruptors don’t typically fare well trying to pass off half-baked outsider ideas to conservative health systems that are looking for solutions to real problems that offer quick return on investment. Sites that love writing about startups are usually run by people with minimal actual health IT experience who find their naiveté less of a hindrance when they write speculatively about companies nobody’s heard of. I’ll give those companies airtime once they’ve done something impressive enough to take up reader time, which right there excludes 90% of them. Otherwise, it’s like a major league baseball fan studiously following tee-ball games.
HIStalk Announcements and Requests
Listening: new from Interpol, Manhattan-based indie pop-rockers who have been at it since 1997 and who still sound great (think Joy Division). I was excited about hearing them for the first time, at least until I used the HIStalk search function to realize that I first recommended them in January 2009. At least I still do.
Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock
Philips announces poor Q1 revenue and earnings that strong growth in China could not offset. Its connected care group posted a 1% revenue drop, while its Personal Health businesses grew sales 5%. The company’s strongest segment was electric toothbrushes. The company said in the earnings call that “we are developing a much more end-to-end care orchestration environment that hospital and care providers are excited about,” but it is taking time to roll that out.
Computer Sciences Corp accuses India-based Tata Consultancy Services of stealing its source code to develop a competing life insurance administration application. Epic won a $420 million trade secrets award from Tata in 2016, claiming that company employees exploited their role as Kaiser consultants to download proprietary Epic materials to help them develop competing software.
The Kansas City business paper digs up some interesting Cerner SEC filings related to the involvement of activist investor and tiny shareholder Starboard Value, with which Cerner signed a legally binding cooperation agreement for reasons I can’t fathom other than Starboard’s swagger scared rookie Cerner CEO and board chair Brent Shafer into avoiding the kind of public battle that took out Athenahealth’s Jonathan Bush:
- Starboard Value made its run at Cerner two days after Shafer announced his new “operating model.”
- Two of Cerner’s four new board members were nominated by Starboard – former AliphCom President Melinda Mount (AliphCom was the original name of now-liquidated Jawbone) and former Cloudmark CEO George Reidel.
- Cerner agreed in writing to implement profit-boosting cost cuts and operating changes and to announce those plans via a press release.
- Cerner agreed to reimburse Starboard up to $275,000 for the legal fees the investor spent to force its way onto Cerner’s board.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Health Catalyst expects to raise up to $200 million in its IPO.
- Metro Health – University of Michigan Health chooses Glytec’s FDA-cleared EGlycemic Management System to standardize best practices in glycemic management.
- HealtHIE Nevada and the Nevada Hospital Association will implement Collective Medical to provide point-of-care insights to reduce avoidable admissions by supporting care collaboration and event notification across EDs, hospitals, post-acute care, behavioral health, and ambulatory settings.
- Catholic Charities of Baltimore will implement the SmartCare EHR from Streamline Healthcare Solutions.
OptimizeRx hires Stephen Silvestro (Wolters Kluwer) to the newly created position of chief commercial officer.
OurHealth names Brian Norris, RN, MBA as interim VP of IT.
Impact Advisors promotes Erin Svarvari to VP of operations.
Announcements and Implementations
A new KLAS report looks at hospital EHR market share and makes these points:
- Epic gained a net 121 hospitals in 2018, losing just one existing customer.
- Cerner’s net hospital gain was 100, mostly because of its VA deal that represented 167 hospitals, but it lost 65 Millennium accounts, nearly all of which moved to Epic.
- Nearly all large hospitals and multi-hospital systems that are choosing EHRs (which is not all that many these days) are choosing Epic, while Cerner is selling mostly to smaller hospitals.
- Meditech had a net loss of 18 hospitals, while Allscripts lost 28 while gaining only three.
- Market share in hospitals of 500+ beds is mostly Epic, with 58% vs. Cerner’s 27%.
- Meditech Expanse is selling well and customers are upgrading, but its users are mostly small hospitals, quite a few of which are being acquired by large systems that then convert Meditech to their corporate standard of Epic or Cerner.
- Allscripts is losing Sunrise and Paragon customers to other vendors as few choose to replace their Allscripts-acquired legacy products with Sunrise.
- Athenahealth has stopped hospital sales at least temporarily, while EClinicalWorks sold no new hospital contracts in 2018 and the hospital product has not yet reached beta testing.
Imprivata launches IAM Cloud Platform, a cloud-based identity and access management platform that is powered by Microsoft Azure Active Directory. The initial release includes Healthcare Seamless SSO single sign-on.
Meditech launches a professional services division, expanding its implementation offerings to include spearheading quality initiatives, physician consulting, performing interoperability assessments, and lending expertise to analytics and population health projects.
Verisk will analyze EHR data collected by Human API for life insurer risk scoring and benchmarking.
Paychecks at 34,000-employee Hackensack Meridian Health are incorrect for the second consecutive pay period due to what it says are problems related to its Oracle PeopleSoft payroll implementation. One employee’s paycheck was for 19 cents, while others have reported that errors caused them problems in qualifying for a mortgage and avoiding bank overdraft charges.
Bob Wachter makes an interesting observation – a doctor told him that he enjoys the companionship and collegiality of working with a scribe just as much as he enjoys their help with documenting patient care. I had never really considered that a typical practice or clinic doctor interacts only superficially with employees and even that might be awkward because of the perceived rank and authority issue. This reflects on what Dr. Jayne just wrote about in hospitals ending the old-school “medical staff dinners” where everybody got together with their peers for decent food, socializing, and hospital updates, building trust all around (as we say in IT, a lot of people like our employees but hate our department). I’ll also add my own observation – frontline doctors are an easy target for drug company reps who are trained to push emotional buttons (fake friendship, fake mutual interests, fake romantic interest) to generate more prescriptions. In fact, I’ll add observation #2 – doctors (especially procedure specialists like surgeons) often behave bizarrely and childishly when attending hospital-convened meetings because they live their work lives in a fluorescent caves where they are expected to issue curt orders while never really learning professional niceties, while hospitalists and other non-procedure docs who have to get along with patients and families are not much different from the rest of us in skillfully riding the conference room chairs. I bet I could sit here and cobble together a burnout remediation strategy around these factors.
Business Insider tries DNTL, a New York City “walk-in dental bar” that offers online appointments, IPad form completion, a massage exam chair, and a TV in the treatment room. Its services are covered by dental insurance. Maybe the important takeaway here is that consumers value convenience and atmosphere topmost when they consider a service – such as teeth cleanings or even dental procedures — to be a commodity where outcomes are assumed to be similar everywhere (whether that’s actually the case is irrelevant). Contrast that with the average clinic or doctor’s office, where patients wait in uncomfortable waiting rooms to be seen later than scheduled, nobody really cares if they are comfortable or anxious, treatment is mostly episodic and impersonal, and it’s like cattle being prodded through an abattoir on the frustrating round-trip journey from and back to the sidewalk (hopefully in no worse shape).
In China, police haul a thoracic surgeon away in handcuffs after he refuses to see a patient whose husband had jumped the line, then tells officers he can’t leave to make a statement because he has patients waiting. In a slight medical irony, the surgeon — perhaps aided by knowing where to punch when a scuffle ensued – broke the husband’s rib.
Weird News Andy codes this story as W61.92 and expresses relief that the birds that were involved weren’t sick because that would have been “ill eagle.” A woman who is taking photos of a sky full of eagles is hit by a pair of them who were engaged in the mating ritual called “cartwheeling,” whereupon they drop from the sky, and in this particular case, into her lap. The happy couple flew away unharmed, but the accidental falconer required bandages and a tetanus shot.
- AdvancedMD will exhibit at ACOG May 3-6 in Nashville.
- Mumms Software will integrate DrFirst’s e-prescribing and medication management software with its hospice EHR.
- CoverMyMeds will exhibit at the NCPDP Annual Conference May 6-8 in Scottsdale, AZ.
- CTG will exhibit at the KACHE event May 2-3 in Garden City, KS.
- Diameter Health will present at the Annual DoD/VA & Government HIT Summit May 8-9 in Alexandria, VA.
- DrFirst structures a new $17 million commercial financing facility with SunTrust.
- Wolters Kluwer accelerates healthcare data mapping with artificial intelligence to bridge data silos.
- New Survey: Only 1 in 5 Healthcare Orgs Use Analytics for Population Health (Dimensional Insight)
- TEFCA in a Nutshell – Part 2 (Impact Advisors)
- Vendor Agnostic Solutions Give Hospitals Options (Access)
- 5 Key Questions Every Practice Owner Should Ask (AdvancedMD)
- How the Avaya Global Talent Exchange Program is Transformative in More Than One Way (Avaya)
- Preparing for value in a volume world (Bluetree)
- What clinicians can learn from commercial aviation (Bernoulli Health)
- 5 Storage and Data Management Trends to Watch (Burwood Group)
- Working Together Emerged as Theme at This Year’s ACMA Conference (CarePort Health)