KLAS announces its “Best in KLAS Software & Services 2020” winners. Highlights:
- Epic won top Overall Software Suite for the tenth straight year, scoring 85.9. It was #1 in large hospital EMR, ambulatory EMR in both the medium and large practice categories, practice management in large practices, patient accounting and management in large hospitals, patient portal, and application hosting.
- Epic also won Category Leader designation for EMR-based interoperability solutions, laboratory information system for large hospitals, medical oncology, and patient flow.
- Pivot Point Consulting was named top Overall IT Services Firm.
- Meditech topped the community hospital EHR category.
- Leading the ambulatory specialty EMR category was PCC, which scored 96.1.
- Sectra was the PACS leader.
- CPSI Evident Thrive Patient Management was the most-improved software product, while Cerner Practice Management took that honor in the physician practice segment.
- The long-term trend away from standalone ancillary systems is obviously complete, as KLAS didn’t even report on pharmacy or radiology information systems and the inpatient LIS category contained only Epic and the distant second-place finisher Sunquest. One of few exceptions was Medsphere Wellsoft, which beat both Epic and Cerner in the emergency department solutions category.
From Dark Crystal Ball: “Re: Practice Fusion. I searched HIStalk and you predicted this in 2007.” I had forgotten this, but I always enjoy re-reading my frenetic “Time Capsule” editorials, which are now themselves in a time capsule since it’s been many years since I wrote them (while working several jobs other than my health system one, thus the “frenetic” part). I said in the one you found from September 2007:
You’ve seen the faltering first steps of ad-powered physician systems, healthcare social networks, and online references. The approaches have been amateurish, but I guarantee somebody will figure out that the real money will be made by giving drug and medical device companies access to prescribers at the point of decision-making. Pay-per-click gets much more valuable when presented in context to free EMR content and patient-specific information. Say, do you really want to order Drug A? Why not try Drug B instead, especially since this patient has renal problems and we’re offering a special price? Click here for our convincing medical references. In fact, we’ll buy your whole office lunch if you’ll just click OK instead of Cancel.
From Vaporware?: “Re: DoD oversight report on Project Genesis. Takeaways: it provides no updates on previous failures in interoperability, fitness of purpose, and usability, all of which are presumably now part of final testing at Wave Travis. It also notes that patients are at risk because of Cerner’s failure to meet DoD cybersecurity requirements even three years after go-live. Summary: things are improving, like from an F- to F+, after all those billions have been spent.” The high-level summary report for 2019 doesn’t provide a lot of detail, but known cybersecurity shortcomings are obviously a focus.
From Curious: “Re: Cerner. Reddit users say Cerner will lay off employees in its offices in France, Spain, and Portugal in February.” I suggest taking Redditors with a grain of salt, but some of the unverified comments say:
- Outsourcing will replace some staff in those offices.
- Millennium has been taken off the market in France, Portugal, and Spain (that seems hard to believe, but I don’t know either way).
- GDPR may be driving company changes since data stored in non-EU countries (like the US) is a problem for European providers.
From Virtuous Visit: “Re: telehealth. You said before you hadn’t had a virtual visit. Still true?” Somewhat. I’ve reached out to my $70 per month concierge doctor a couple of times for minor, one-time problems, like my first-ever allergic reaction and a swollen toe. He has no incentive to make me come to his office needlessly since he isn’t billing separately, so in those cases, my situation’s description – from a text message sent to his cell phone with or without an attached photo – was enough for him to confidently send in a prescription and follow up afterward. I have few health needs otherwise, but it is empowering to be able to text him at any time on any day, to hear back immediately, and to have a prescription in the drugstore’s hand minutes later and mine not long after that. I trust him to tell me if I would be better off coming in, but most issues aren’t of the “laying on of hands” variety. It’s liberating but unfortunately rare in healthcare to be treated as a paying customer.
From Cloying Aftertaste: “Re: HIPAA covered entities. You aren’t one if you don’t bill electronically.” Correct. My concierge doctor, for example, is not bound by HIPAA since he doesn’t bill electronically using HHS standard formats. People sometimes forget that aspect of HIPAA, probably because most providers send electronic billing transactions. Or they think that HIPAA offers general privacy protection for healthcare data, which it most certainly does not.
HIStalk Announcements and Requests
Two-thirds of poll respondents suspect that Epic is motivated by its own interests and not those of patients in opposing HHS’s proposed interoperability rules.
New poll to your right or here: Which of the following would you check before allowing an app to access your health system-stored patient information?
Welcome to new HIStalk Platinum Sponsor CareSignal. The St. Louis-based company’s platform amplifies proactive care by engaging high-risk patients, providing real-time care team alerts and patient health status reporting via automated, evidence-based text messages or phone calls. Care managers can improve outcomes for any patient, and the platform offers 20 condition-specific interventions for conditions such as diabetes, asthma, and depression. Case studies describe how clinicians use the platform to reduce COPD hospitalizations by 62% while maintaining 80-90% patient engagement and a large, self-insured employer whose employees reported a 28% drop in PHQ-9 depression questionnaire scores in 11 months. Use cases for its automated, personalized support include chronic condition management, behavioral health, maternal health, discharge support, screening reminders, and complementary support. Ten peer-reviewed journal articles have described positive outcomes. Partners include Mercy, BJC HealthCare, and OSF HealthCare. Thanks to CareSignal for supporting HIStalk.
Last chance for HIStalk sponsors – tell me about your HIMSS activities and I’ll include you in my guide.
Listening: new from Canadian rockers Theory of a Deadman. Also: neo-soul from France-based singer Praa, who has both the sound and the look to become a star. I can listen to these while not watching the Super Bowl, the interest in which escapes me given my lack of appreciation for staring at someone else playing games, aka jock porn.
Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock
Meditech files its annual report. Highlights:
- Total revenue was up 1% year over year.
- Net income increased by 226%, with much of the increase driven by an $89 million gain from the sale of an office building.
- Product revenue decreased by 2%, but service revenue increased slightly.
- Neil Pappalardo owns 45% of the company’s shares. He also is the sole trustee of the company’s profit sharing trust, so he controls 63% of the voting rights.
Healthcare staffing firm AMN Healthcare will pay $475 million to acquire video-based hospital interpreter provider Stratus Video, which reports $34 million of EBITDA on $119 million in revenue. I didn’t realize that the medical translation business was that significant, but laws don’t give providers a choice.
Announcements and Implementations
Intelligent Medical Objects adds coronavirus-related terminology to its content, including 15 new diagnosis descriptions that are mapped to ICD-10-CM and SNOMET CT codes for billing, reporting, triggering clinical decision support rules, and tracking cases.
Privacy and Security
Meadville Medical Center (PA) says an unauthorized party used a hospital employee’s Meditech log-in to access its HR and payroll systems several times.
A New York Times article describes the increasing number of prescription mistakes that result from chain drugstores holding their pharmacists accountable for high productivity metrics and forcing them to work the drive-through window, give flu shots, and answer phones. Among the issues:
- The stores routinely ignore the prescriber’s dispensing quantity and instead issue a 90-day supply, even for people who are at risk of suicide.
- Employees are instructed to push patients – in person or via outbound phone calls — into signing up for automatic refills, switching to 90-day supplies, and allowing the pharmacy to contact the prescriber automatically when the prescription expires or refills are exhausted.
- Doctors are being bombarded by drugstores that use automated systems to call them for refills where none were specified, even for inappropriate medications such as short-term dermatology drugs, forcing them to look up each patient’s record and increasing the chances of mistakes. Doctors report that patients didn’t approve such contact 90% of the time.
Weird News Andy is more tolerant than I of people who are paid to write who nonetheless do it poorly, but he draws the line at this article, which he says contains one of the worst-written sentences ever in “They are a very rare form of ovarian cyst, which are common in women” (the cysts? ovaries?) He also ponders how the writer knew the doctor was smiling behind his surgical mask, which hides his expression.
- Netsmart will exhibit at the LeadingAge Minnesota Annual Institute and Expo February 5-7 in St. Paul.
- Clinical Computer Systems, developer of the Obix Perinatal Data System, will exhibit at the Foundation of SMFM 40th Annual Meeting February 3 in Grapevine, TX.
- PharmaCord will leverage the Surescripts health information network to enhance its patient services technology.Redox releases a new podcast, “Pharmacy of the Future with Alto’s Mattieu Gamache-Asselin.”
- Abu Dhabi Health Services Company SEHA will implement Vocera’s clinical communication and workflow software at the new Sheikh Shakhbout Medical City.
- CIOs: Focus IT Investments on Revenue Enhancement and Demand (Phynd)
- HL7: What it is and why it’s important to understand (Spok)
- A More Attractive Choice: Retaining Your Patients! (EClinicalWorks)
- Start the Year Off Right with Healthy Living Practices (Lightbeam Health Solutions)
- Disruption and the “Retailization” of Healthcare (Loyale Healthcare)
- Creating a Data-Driven Research Ecosystem with Patients at the Center (Health Catalyst)
- Coronavirus: How to Mitigate Impact on Your Hospital (Mobile Heartbeat)
- Physical Therapy Private Practice Marketing – 5-Step Website Checkup (MWTherapy)
- 5 medical claims clearinghouse must-haves (Waystar)
- Let’s Talk Addiction: Combating the Stigma and Advancing Strategy Through Technology (Netsmart)
- 4 Ways Precision Medicine Impacts Patient Care (Definitive Healthcare)
- Five Proven Ways for Health Systems to Foster a Data-Centric Culture (Omni-HealthData)
- Is this the year of the patient-centric business model for healthcare? (OpenText)
- Appropriate Use Criteria Preparedness – Considerations Beyond Technical Setup (CereCore)
- Best practices to future-proof your patient identity platform (Experian Health)
- Could 2020 Be the Year for Telehealth? (PatientBond)
- Promoting Interoperability and Change at the Annual ONC Meeting: Day 1 and Day 2 (PatientPing)
- The Price Transparency Rule & What It Means for You (Patientco)
- CIOs: Focus IT Investments on Revenue Enhancement and Demand (Phynd)
- Top 5 Tips for Maximizing Epic Community Connect Partnerships (Pivot Point Consulting)
- Key Strategies: When and How to Modify Your System (ROI Healthcare Solutions)
- Mistaken Identity Today: Cookies, Privacy and the Olympics (SailPoint Technologies)
- The Link Between Trust, Interoperability and Better Patient Outcomes (Surescripts)
- Stopping the Noise Ending the Chaos, Improving Patient Safety (Vocera)
- How Many and How Often: When to Send Patient Appointment Reminders (WebPT)
- Three Programs Improving Health Outcomes for Underserved Communities Named as 202 Hearst Health Prize Finalists (Zynx Health)
HIStalk Sponsors Earning “Best in KLAS” Awards
- Arcadia (value-based care managed services)
- Chartis Group (clinical optimization)
- Dimensional Insight (business intelligence and analytics)
- Elsevier(care plans and order sets)
- Experian Health (revenue cycle, contract management)
- HCTec (outsourced coding)
- Impact Advisors (HIT implementation leadership, large)
- InterSystems (interoperability platforms)a
- Meditech (acute care EMR, patient accounting and patient management)
- Nuance (quality management)
- PCare (interactive patient systems)
- Pivot Point Consulting (overall IT services firm)
- Relatient (patient outreach)
- Strata Decision Technology (business decision support)
- Waystar (claims and clearinghouse)
- Wolters Kluwer(clinical decision support, point-of-care clinical reference)