Home » News » Recent Articles:

Monday Morning Update 11/6/17

November 5, 2017 News 5 Comments

Top News

SNAGHTML801bb971

UPMC will spend $2 billion to build three new Pittsburgh specialty hospitals for heart and transplant, cancer, and vision restoration and rehabilitation.

UPMC calls the new facilities “digitally-based specialty hospitals.” Microsoft is also working on the project in an unstated capacity, with a goal of changing “what today is often a disjointed and needlessly complex experience for patients and clinicians.”

UPMC says it will reallocate existing beds to the new facilities. The Pittsburgh market has an excess of inpatient beds.

UPMC declared itself as “the global destination for outstanding healthcare” in its announcement, in which it also states its aspiration to become “the Amazon of healthcare.” The 39-hospital, 80,000-employee UPMC also predicts it will double in size within five years. Its annual revenue is $17 billion.


Reader Comments

image

From Jingle Pockets: “Re: the JP Morgan Healthcare Investor Conference in January in SF. What are the best digital health parties?” I’ve never been invited or attended that conference since it’s for JP Morgan clients only as I understand it, so I can’t help. However, I’m sure some readers have been there and might offer suggestions.

SNAGHTML802789eb 

From Skilly Litigator: “Re: Citrix. Do you think most hospitals are aware of the software pieces-parts on which they rely daily or do they believe vendor claims that they wrote everything in-house? Do contracts require the big vendors to disclose the third parties whose solution their products require? Do customers ask for specific details about their rights as a sub-licensee? At least one vendor had their reliance on previously undisclosed third-party components disclosed in a lawsuit relating to sublicensing agreements. What happens if the parties go their separate ways or if a once-removed sublicensor retires their product?” Most clients would be aware of expensive third-party components like Citrix, Cache, or drug databases, but probably less so of free and possibly invisible components. Vendor developers use a lot of tools that could be sunsetted, while products that run on servers (web or otherwise) assume that the components they require will be around forever. Perhaps readers would be interested in a webinar on the topic – I’m open to suggestions. I don’t want to be an alarmist if few problems have cropped up related to third-party software components, but maybe it’s a bigger exposure than I assume. I haven’t received confirmation that Citrix hiked their license fees significantly as one hospital executive reported here previously. 

image

From Graysky: “Re: Lucro. Consider asking Bruce to disclose ownership interests to your readers when he’s publishing Readers Write articles. Several of the Nashville hospital operators have direct equity in Lucro, which is nothing more than a way for these hospital operator executives to advertise vendors that they have a personal ownership interest in through Lucro. CHS and Lifepoint contribute to the Heritage Innovation Fund, which provides VC funding to many of the vendors that advertise on Lucro. Lucro has already raised a round of funding with Heritage.”

From Cherokee People: “Re: Columbus Regional Health Physicians (IN). Went live on Epic at most of its affiliated and owned physicians offices Wednesday. The hospital is a Cerner shop and has been for a few years now. I’m not aware of any practices affiliated with or owned by Columbus Regional Health that implemented Cerner’s ambulatory solutions.”


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

image

Poll respondents say GE Healthcare has taken the biggest ambulatory EHR fall, although the other vendors listed aren’t far behind.

New poll to your right or here: Have you ever donated money to a hospital or health system without being pressured and without expecting a personal benefit? Those of us with health system management experience know that feeling of dread when the calendar invitation arrives for the upbeat meeting in which we will be collectively pressured to donate to hospital projects or to the United Way, with the clear but carefully unstated hint that our strong-armed magnanimity could affect the “team player” portion of our performance reviews. I would rather flush money down the toilet literally than to give it to hospitals to flush figuratively, but that’s just jaded and cynical me.

Thanks to the following companies that recently supported HIStalk. Click a logo for more information.

image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
SNAGHTML798ebd66
image

 

image

We provided STEM activity kits for Ms. P’s elementary school class in Florida in funding her DonorsChoose teacher grant request. She convenes STEM creation periods 2-3 times per week in which the students choose which materials they want to use, concluding, “The creativity and collaboration going on at this time is priceless. I also love watching how they take each other’s ideas into consideration and work together to make the best end result possible.”


This Week in Health IT History

One year ago:

  • An MD Anderson Cancer Center internal report warns that the organization will lose $450 million in FY17, with the cost of its Epic implementation named as one of the four contributing factors.
  • McKesson lays off 60 employees of its Enterprise Information Solutions business.
  • Walgreens files a $140 million lawsuit against former partner Theranos.
  • Siemens announces that it will take its Healthineers division public.

Five years ago:

  • Hearst acquires Milliman Care Guidelines.
  • Kaiser Permanente promotes President and COO Bernard Tyson to chairman and CEO, replacing George Halvorson.
  • Allscripts CEO Glen Tullman confirms reports that the company is seeking strategic alternatives.

Ten years ago:

  • CCHIT announces the first six inpatient EHRs to earn its permanent or conditional certification: CPSI, Eclipsys, Epic, HMS, Prognosis Health, and Siemens Soarian.
  • A House bill supports independent health record trusts.
  • Cerner says KU hospital let Kansas City down by choosing Epic, leading the hospital CIO to counter that it was happy to pay more for Epic than Cerner because its doctors like it a lot better.
  • Cerner wins a nine-year contract to install PathNet in the VA.

Last Week’s Most Interesting News

  • Allscripts turns in decent quarterly results.
  • Documents filed with the state of Georgia indicate that Athenahealth will close its Atlanta support center and lay off 61 employees the week before Christmas.
  • Meditech announces a big quarterly product revenue jump even as earnings slid 31 percent.
  • Cerner blames its quarterly revenue and earnings expectation shortfall on big deals that didn’t close and less-than-expected performance from its IT outsourcing business.

Webinars

November 8 (Wednesday) 1:00 ET. “How Clinically Integrated Networks Can Overcome the Technical Challenges to Data-Sharing.” Sponsored by: Liaison Technologies. Presenters: Dominick Mack, MD, executive medical director, Georgia Health Information Technology Extension Center and Georgia Health Connect, director, National Center for Primary Care, and associate professor, Morehouse School of Medicine;  Gary Palgon, VP of  healthcare and life sciences solutions, Liaison Technologies. This webinar will describe how Georgia Heath Connect connects clinically integrated networks to hospitals and small and rural practices, helping providers in medically underserved communities meet MACRA requirements by providing technology, technology support, and education that accelerates regulatory compliance and improves outcomes.

November 15 (Wednesday) 1:00 ET. “How Hospitals and Practices Can Respond to Consumerism by Better Engaging Patients Through Price Transparency and Payment Options.” Sponsored by: Change Healthcare. Presenters: Kathy Moore, president, Moore Martini Medical; Linda Glidewell, VP of business development, consumer payment solutions, Change Healthcare. Healthcare consumerism and high-deductible health plans require providers to offer upfront estimates and payment options throughout all points of service. In his webinar, we’ll discuss consumerism as a critical area of opportunity in revenue cycle management and review numerous areas across the revenue cycle where your staff interacts with patients and leaves lasting impressions. From your first interaction with patients on the phone to discuss financial responsibility; to collecting payments at all points of service; to offering payment plans and various payment options — these are all areas that can be game-changing. With the right approach to consumerism, you can improve patient collections and optimize revenue from the start while also improving the overall patient experience.

Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre for information.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

image

From the Allscripts earnings call:

  • The company says it is approaching $2 billion in annual revenue, making it the second-largest publicly traded pure health IT vendor.
  • Allscripts will continue to support the former McKesson Star and HealthQuest revenue cycle solutions.
  • The company confirmed that it cut headcount among the former McKesson employees almost immediately after the acquisition and did the same within the Allscripts group in Q3. It also shut down an Allscripts office in Atlanta in consolidating employees into the former McKesson office in Alpharetta.
  • Allscripts plans to quickly integrate the former McKesson EIS into its operations, eliminating its separate identity within two quarters.
  • The move of Horizon Clinicals into discontinued operations will be complete by Q1 of next year. As McKesson had previously announced, Horizon support will end in March 2018, although the company suggests that outside companies may provide some level of customer support.
  • The company says it has not yet obtained customer feedback on McKesson’s laboratory information system but is interested in doing that.
  • Allscripts plans to GA its new, cloud-based ambulatory EHR next year, touting its strengths as usability, interoperability, mobility, and inclusion of embedded AI tools.

image

Politico reports that Patrick Soon-Shiong publicly bragged to investors about sales of NantHealth’s GPS Cancer genetic test to hospitals without telling them that some of the ordering doctors are or were on his payroll as consultants.


People

image

Medical second opinion vendor More Health hires Jeffrey Lasker, MD, MMM (Vision Healthcare Consulting) as chief physician officer.

image

Heather Haugen, PhD, MS (Xerox) joins Atos as chief science officer.

image

Press Ganey hires Jason Erdell (Change Healthcare) as president and chief client officer.


Announcements and Implementations

image

Southeastern Health (NC) will go live on Epic this month under its shared services agreement with Carolinas HealthCare.


Government and Politics

image

image

A former compliance team member of Epic customer WakeMed (NC) files a whistleblower False Claims Act lawsuit claiming that Epic defaults its software to bill both anesthesia base units and procure time in surgical cases, resulting in double billing that totals hundreds of millions of dollars across all Epic clients. Epic says the whistle-blower apparently doesn’t understand how claims software works and notes that the Department of Justice has already declined to get involved.

image

Four members of Congress who serve on the House Committee on Veterans Affairs introduce legislation that would compel VA Secretary David Shulkin to provide the committee with documents covering timelines and costs of its planned Cerner implementation.

New FDA guidance tells medical device vendors that it’s OK to share the information that those devices collect directly with the patients using them with seeking additional FDA marketing approval, as long as those manufacturers provide no further interpretation than they already offer to physicians. FDA also acknowledges that some devices don’t collect information in a patient-friendly or shareable format and suggests that manufacturers tell patients to contact their doctors with any questions.  


Other

image

Craig Joseph, MD notes the awkward signage required to tout Epic as an AMIA 2017 sponsor despite the absence of a company Twitter account.

Drug overdose deaths jumped 21 percent last year, a bigger increase than that of the previous four years combined. Gun-related deaths also took a turn upward from 9,600 to 11,000, with two-thirds of the total involving suicide. The biggest killers – cancer and heart disease – are on the decline, although drugs and guns more than offset those as the death rate actually increased.

image

An apparently intoxicated cardiologist in Russia takes sick leave after being captured on video rambling incoherently and trying unsuccessfully to enter his computer password.


Sponsor Updates

  • QuadraMed, a Harris Healthcare company, will exhibit at HealthAchieve November 6-7 in Toronto.
  • Salesforce will host its annual Dreamforce conference November 6-9 in San Francisco.
  • Surescripts will exhibit at the 2017 NextGen One User Group Meeting November 5-9 in Las Vegas.
  • Huron will exhibit at Salesforce’s Dreamforce event November 6-9 in San Francisco.

Blog Posts


Contacts

Mr. H, Lorre, Jenn, Dr. Jayne, Lt. Dan.
Get HIStalk updates. Send news or rumors.
Contact us.

125x125_2nd_Circle

News 11/3/17

November 2, 2017 News 9 Comments

Top News

image

Allscripts announces Q3 results: revenue up 15 percent, adjusted EPS $0.16 vs. $0.14, beating revenue expectations and meeting on earnings. Share price was unchanged in early after-hours trading.

The company raised its 2017 financial outlook. It also reiterated its expectation to spend $50 million in severance and transaction costs starting in Q4 related to its acquisition of McKesson’s Enterprise Information Solutions business.


Reader Comments

image

From Desperado: “Re: Verity Health (fka Daughters of Charity). As expected and reported on HIStalk, they are implementing Allscripts enterprise-wide. It will be interesting to see how the organization uses consultants, as the new owner Patrick Soon-Shiong is already rapidly cutting consultants.” Unverified. It was obvious that Verity was the client when Allscripts announced a new six-hospital Sunrise sale in August without naming its customer. Verity is rumored to have scrapped a year’s worth of product evaluations in being forced to choose non-frontrunner Allscripts as part of a deal between Soon-Shiong and Allscripts, which lost $150 million from buying since-devalued NantHealth shares as Soon-Shiong took a $100 million position in Allscripts stock that also went down. I’m sure Allscripts is happy to get a new Sunrise sale and the chance to earn back some of the losses that resulted from its ill-advised dealings with Soon-Shiong, but shotgun implementations by financially struggling health systems don’t always go well.

image

From Who Is Infoblocking: “Re: Sutter Health’s patient portal. Apparently early adopters of Epic’s portal have taken a big step backward when it comes to the ability of patients to download their health records, making it unreasonable for providers to attest unless the problem is addressed. See the attached error message, which appears nine times out of 10 when trying to download visit summaries. Not clear if this is a generic Epic issue or specific to the Sutter implementation.” Unverified, but odd if it sometimes works and sometimes doesn’t.

image

From This One Goes To 11: “Re: Athenahealth. Seems worried about a takeover of the company based on a recently filed 8-K.” Athenahealth’s October 23 change-in-control filing protects its top executives from acquisition-related termination by guaranteeing them a one-year severance, a 100 percent expected bonus payout, 12 to 18 months of continued medical and dental coverage based on position, immediately vested stock options, and a $10,000 outplacement grant.

image

From Albacore: “Re: Athenahealth. I’m surprised by its layoffs in Atlanta, which includes closure of its entire client service center, 61 jobs in total. Affected job titles as reported to the state are a far cry from sales and marketing. RazorInsights was headquartered near Atlanta. Wonder how many of these people are supporting the inpatient platform and if this is early recognition of Athena pulling back from the inpatient market?” Unverified. Scheduling a layoff to start one week before Christmas is pretty cold. 


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

I mentioned the excellent book “Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioral Economics” by newly minted Nobel winner Richard Thaler. Here’s an example of a brilliant observation from it. The CEOs of companies nearly universally seek high-risk but potentially high-reward startup acquisition deals, knowing that while most of the companies will fail, one or two will hit a home run and make the process profitable (the same theory venture capitalists apply). However, the decisions of which acquisitions to pursue rests in the hands of VPs, whose perception is that their personal upside to a successful acquisition is minimal (maybe a small bonus or promotion), while their downside risk is getting fired for choosing an unsuccessful one. That means CEOs will never know about deals that would interest them and potentially be in the best interest of the company and its shareholders. Thaler suggests that a single VP be held responsible for the overall performance of a package of acquisitions instead of being personally tied to just one. It is fascinating to me how corporate strategies and execution can be derailed by people whose biggest fear is being fired and who act accordingly. I’ve seen some ugly internal fights even in non-profit health systems, where mid-level executives destructively wage guerilla warfare against each other in trying to increase their influence or future job prospects. Patients were incidental to the infighting, of course. Organizational Behavior was one of my favorite MBA courses.

This week on HIStalk Practice: CMS Administrator Seema Verma announces “Meaningful Measures” effort. Performance Solutions launches orthopedic practice transformation service. Health2047 invests $12 million in new business. AMA President David Barbe, MD shares frustrations with his home state’s lack of a PDMP. Heal expedites house-call access to lactation consultants, PTs. Teladoc creates new executive role, reports on Q3. The Missouri State Medical Association works on members-only HIE. Impact Healthcare implements opioid addiction treatment app.


Webinars

November 8 (Wednesday) 1:00 ET. “How Clinically Integrated Networks Can Overcome the Technical Challenges to Data-Sharing.” Sponsored by: Liaison Technologies. Presenters: Dominick Mack, MD, executive medical director, Georgia Health Information Technology Extension Center and Georgia Health Connect, director, National Center for Primary Care, and associate professor, Morehouse School of Medicine;  Gary Palgon, VP of  healthcare and life sciences solutions, Liaison Technologies. This webinar will describe how Georgia Heath Connect connects clinically integrated networks to hospitals and small and rural practices, helping providers in medically underserved communities meet MACRA requirements by providing technology, technology support, and education that accelerates regulatory compliance and improves outcomes.

November 15 (Wednesday) 1:00 ET. “How Hospitals and Practices Can Respond to Consumerism by Better Engaging Patients Through Price Transparency and Payment Options.” Sponsored by: Change Healthcare. Presenters: Kathy Moore, president, Moore Martini Medical; Linda Glidewell, VP of business development, consumer payment solutions, Change Healthcare. Healthcare consumerism and high-deductible health plans require providers to offer upfront estimates and payment options throughout all points of service. In his webinar, we’ll discuss consumerism as a critical area of opportunity in revenue cycle management and review numerous areas across the revenue cycle where your staff interacts with patients and leaves lasting impressions. From your first interaction with patients on the phone to discuss financial responsibility; to collecting payments at all points of service; to offering payment plans and various payment options — these are all areas that can be game-changing. With the right approach to consumerism, you can improve patient collections and optimize revenue from the start while also improving the overall patient experience.

Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre for information.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

image

Arrhythmia diagnosis technology vendor IRhythm Technologies reports Q3 results: revenue up 49 percent, EPS –$0.28 vs. –$2.80, beating analyst expectations for both and raising revenue guidance. Shares are up 117 percent in the past year, valuing the company at just over $1 billion.

image

LabCorp makes an unspecified equity investment in MC10, which offers wearable sensors for clinical trials participants. The company had previously raised $72 million.

image

Leidos announces Q3 results: revenue up 34 percent, adjusted EPS $0.95 vs. $1.25, beating earnings expectations but falling short on revenue.

image

Philips predicts that its health technology focus will increase sales 4-6 percent in the next three years.

image

Apple reports Q4 results: revenue up 12 percent, adjusted EPS $2.07 vs. $1.67, beating analyst expectations for both with strong contributions from the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus. Shares rose nearly 5 percent in early after-hours trading as Apple closes in on becoming the first $1 trillion market cap company.


Sales

image

In Thailand, Bangpakok 9 International Hospital chooses Medicomp’s Quippe Basic for point-of-care electronic documentation. 

image

Cayuga Medical Center (NY) chooses Summit Healthcare’s Exchange platform to exchange CCDs, taking advantage of an integrated HISP, API extendibility, and a customization mapper to support future standards-based integration initiatives. 

image

Two former CPSI community hospital customers return in choosing Evident’s Thrive EHR – Seiling Municipal Hospital (OK) and El Campo Memorial Hospital (TX). Both hospitals have new operators who reversed previous decisions to move to the systems of unnamed CPSI competitors. Ironically, Athenahealth showcased Seiling in a splashy announcement just two weeks ago, with the hospital’s CEO bragging on how its system helped with the its financial turnaround and criticizing “our previous vendor” that has apparently shed the “previous” part of the title under a new management company.

image

In Australia, the Chris O’Brien Lifehouse cancer hospital will implement Meditech 6.x modules for oncology, pharmacy, materials management, and patient portal.

image

Edward-Elmhurst Health (IL) selects Outcome Health’s waiting room advertising system.


People

image

Clinical documentation system vendor ChartWise Medical Systems names Steven Mason (MedeAnalytics) as president and COO.

image

Oncology benefits management company Oncology Analytics hires Rick Dean (UnitedHealth Group) as CEO and board member. He replaces founder Marc Fishman, who will serve as executive chairman.


Announcements and Implementations

image

Clinical Computer Systems, Inc. completes integration of its Obix Perinatal Data System with Medhost at Cibola General Hospital (NM).

image

Healthwise launches shared decision-making programs orthopedics, cardiology, urology, primary care, and end-of-life, with the patient-expressed preferences saved back to the the patient record via HL7 connectivity.

image

Prescription affordability and adherence solutions vendor ConnectiveRx announces that it has worked with analytics vendor EagleForce Health to screen 12 million prescriptions in support of the federal anti-kickback statute, in which government health plan prescriptions are reviewed in real time to make sure that no pharma co-pay cards or patient savings cards are used.

image

Washington, DC rolls out PulsePoint Respond, a free phone app that 911 operators can use to notify CPR-trained users of nearby cardiac arrests. The app also displays the location of nearby automatic external defibrillators.

Google’s AI-focused startup incubator announces four companies for its first class, all of them working in health IT. The chosen startups get training, mentorship, equity-free support, and access to hardware and software.

  • Augmedix (Google Glass-power remote scribing)
  • BrainQ (brain wave analysis following neurological disorders)
  • Byteflies (wearable vital sign monitoring)
  • Cytovale (ED sepsis detection)

image

University of Miami Health System (FL) goes live on Epic and renames its hospital-based facilities to University of Miami Hospital and Clinics as it transitions to an academic teaching hospital. 


Government and Politics

image

The AHA and two other hospital lobbying groups sue CMS in trying to stop reduction in payments under the 340B Medicaid drug rebate program that was originally intended to help underfinanced hospitals procure drugs for indigent patients. Hospitals make a small fortune (and have raised pharma’s ire) since the law doesn’t require them to limit the use of discounted drugs use to indigent patients or to pass along their savings to consumers or insurers, directly boosting their bottom lines but reducing those of drug manufacturers. An earlier analysis found that a single oncologist could boost a hospital’s profits by $1 million in ordering the discounted chemo drugs for patients with commercial insurance.


Innovation and Research

A “liquid biopsy” blood test detects changes in a patient’s BRCA1 or BRCA2 breast cancer genes that require switching chemotherapy drugs, an application of precision medicine that allows tailoring drug therapy as tumors become resistant.

image

A study finds that the symptoms and exertion tolerance of non-emergency chest pain patients don’t improve after having a cardiac stent implanted. The study surprisingly involved performing phony stent implants on half the study patients, then compared the outcomes to those who received real stents. It will be interesting to see how this affects the hundreds of thousands of stents implanted each year, given that: (a) providers get paid richly for installing stents; (b) patients are always looking for a quick solution to their problems and have grown used to the idea that stents are a cure-all; and (c) doctors will likely be reluctant to reduce their stent use for fear of being sued for malpractice.


Other

The local paper profiles an Oregon-based union employee of Legacy Health who says her hospital-provided health insurance –issued by an insurer acquired by the health system for a reported $247 million — “hardly covers anything” in her lymphoma care. The paper notes that the hospital is taking the employee to collections even as it booked a $126 million profit last year and paid its CEO $2.3 million.

image

A McKinsey report on digitization of the banking industry likely has healthcare implications. New digital competitors like Amazon, Alibaba, and Google are threatening the bottom lines of banks, but those banks that embrace technology and improve their marketing and analytics will reap huge profits through upselling, optimizing their branch formats, enhancing sales productivity through tablet-based digital tools, industrializing operations with automation and artificial intelligence, and adopting APIs to allow working around legacy systems. McKinsey coins the “four horsemen of the e-pocalypse” to describe threats from digital players:

  • Disintermediation, as customers move to other technologies to borrow money, send money, or buy low-cost goods without using a debit card.
  • Unbundling, where non-bank companies like PayPal cherry pick profitable banking services that leave banks running money-losing services such as checking accounts.
  • Commoditization, where undifferentiated banks fail to create brand loyalty.
  • Invisibility, where customers can buy unbranded services without knowing or caring which bank provides them, with banks suffering from a loss in the customer relationship.

image

Alex Wubbels — the Salt Lake City hospital nurse who was manhandled by a since-fired city detective for following hospital policy in refusing to allow blood to be drawn from an unconscious patient — will receive a $500,000 payment even though she didn’t file a lawsuit. Salt Lake City and the University of Utah will each pay $250,000. Wubbels says she will use part of the money to help people obtain police body camera footage to prove their claims. She will also donate to the Utah Nurses Association and lead the ANA’s #EndNurseAbuse campaign.


Sponsor Updates

clip_image001

  • LogicStream Health employees pack food boxes for The Food Group.
  • Medicomp Systems showcases the capabilities of its Quippe Clinical Data Engine on its updated website.
  • Netsmart will work with nursing facility operator Cantex Continuing Care Network to develop a smart referral management solution.
  • LifeImage joins Google Cloud as a technology partner.
  • Imprivata is named Cerner’s 2017 Partner of the Year.
  • Two Meditech-using hospitals in Maryland earn HIMSS EMRAM Stage 7.
  • Sonifi Health will offer evidence-based health education from Healthwise to customers of its interactive patient engagement system.
  • EClinicalWorks will exhibit at the National Conference on Correctional Health Care November 4-8 in Chicago.
  • FormFast, Healthwise, and Kyruus will exhibit at Salesforce’s Dreamforce conference November 6-9 in San Francisco.
  • Imprivata will exhibit at HealthAchieve November 6-9 in Toronto.
  • Intelligent Medical Objects Chairman, Founder, and CEO Frank Naeymi-Rad receives AMIA’s Leadership Award.
  • Healthcare Growth Partners advises Ascend Learning in its acquisition of health simulation vendor Kognito.
  • Liaison Technologies embeds cloud-friendly ECS integration capabilities into its Alloy Edge solution.
  • MedData and Experian Health will exhibit at the HFMA Region 9 Annual Conference November 5-7 in New Orleans.
  • Medecision customer Christiana Care Health System earns the John M. Eisenberg Patient Safety and Quality Award.
  • Navicure will exhibit at the NextGen One Conference November 5-8 in Las Vegas.
  • Netsmart will exhibit at the American Public Health Association Annual Meeting & Expo November 4 in Atlanta.
  • NTT Data Services will present and exhibit at Salesforce’s Dreamforce conference November 6-8 in San Diego.
  • Clinical Computer Systems, developer of the Obix Perinatal Data System, will exhibit at the NOHIMSS Fall Conference November 10 in Cleveland.
  • PatientKeeper will exhibit at HealthAchieve November 6-7 in Toronto.

Blog Posts


Contacts

Mr. H, Lorre, Jenn, Dr. Jayne, Lt. Dan.
Get HIStalk updates. Send news or rumors.
Contact us.

125x125_2nd_Circle

News 11/1/17

October 31, 2017 News, Readers Write 2 Comments

Top News

image

CMS clarifies the information blocking requirement of MIPS for providers. Eligible providers must attest that they:

  • Haven’t disabled the interoperability capabilities of their EHR.
  • Have implemented their EHR without taking any actions to limit interoperability.
  • Quickly respond to requests from patients and other providers who ask for information retrieval or exchange.

CMS advises that no documentation is required to be submitted as part of the attestation. It also notes that while attesting providers aren’t expected to understand or enable the technical side of interoperability, it’s their job to let their implementers and EHR vendors know that they will be attesting and hold them accountable for enabling that capability.


Reader Comments

image

From Good-Time Charlie: “Re: Practice Fusion. I didn’t remember until your poll that they were even still around.” They are, but seemingly barely, well out of contention as an ambulatory EHR disruptor despite having raised $200 million from investors under that premise. ONC places Practice Fusion as the #9 most commonly used ambulatory EHR based on attestation data, which isn’t so good given that their product is free (and the products that follow them on ONC’s list aren’t really major-name EHR vendors). The company seemed unstoppable when doctors flocked to its product to collect $44,000 in Meaningful Use money in return for spending nothing, but the company’s business model was questionable, they were selling practice data in less-than-transparent ways (such as not naming who was buying it and for what purpose), its self-reported usage figures were head-scratching at times, and there was always the question of just how deeply practices engaged with the product since they had no skin in the game (no hardware cost, contract, training cost, etc.) The company fired founder and CEO Ryan Howard in mid-2015 right before a planned IPO, promoted a replacement with skimpy credentials for taking a company public, and largely fell off everyone’s radar.

From Dinky McQueen: “Re: GE’s rumored discussion about selling its healthcare IT business. Is it everything from Centricity on down, or just smaller, unaligned divisions such as the GE-Intel Care Innovations JV?” I haven’t heard specifics but would be interested. The health IT business includes the many products labeled as Centricity, workforce management (the old API Healthcare), Health Cloud, diagnostic-related software, and some analytics stuff. It’s hard sometimes to figure out where healthcare IT begins given the overlap with the company’s diagnostic business, which I assume won’t be dealt off. GE has built a poorly managed, unfocused portfolio of acquisitions that will be hard to sell off to a single buyer, which will probably elongate any process to make its unlamented healthcare IT exit.

image

From Just Saying: “Re: speech recognition. You mentioned years ago using speech recognition to write HIStalk. Do you still do that?” I don’t. Three or so times I bought the latest version of Dragon and got excited about how much easier it was to “write” HIStalk by talking instead of typing, but the sheen wore off due to Dragon’s heavy system usage, occasional mysterious errors that lost what I had dictated, and the time required for me to fix its mistakes (nearly always caused by my not articulating crisply enough). I’m thinking about trying again with LilySpeech, a cloud-based system that uses Google’s speech-to-text system. I don’t need voice-controlled system automation – I just want to dictate into a text box and paste the result into my editor or Gmail. I’ll give the 30-day free trial a shot.


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

image

I enjoyed reading a recent interview with freshly named economics Nobel winner Richard Thaler and was therefore happy to see his “Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioral Economics” pop up as a free Prime Reading Kindle book this week. I was engrossed and entertained by it, to the point that I ordered a softcover version (at full price) just so keep it handy and to be able to lend it out. This book and his earlier “Nudge” explain why humans don’t always follow rational economic thought, which of course has healthcare implications along with big-time business impact. I highly recommended the first book and will no doubt do the same for the second once I’ve read it. He’s a great explainer and pretty funny besides.

The only iOS device I have left is my iPad Mini, but even that is now a little closer to Android – I replaced the default iOS mail app with Gmail and like it much better, especially for deleting endless streams of spam without having to swipe emails individually and trying to recall the difference between “archive” and “move to trash.”


Webinars

November 8 (Wednesday) 1:00 ET. “How Clinically Integrated Networks Can Overcome the Technical Challenges to Data-Sharing.” Sponsored by: Liaison Technologies. Presenters: Dominick Mack, MD, executive medical director, Georgia Health Information Technology Extension Center and Georgia Health Connect, director, National Center for Primary Care, and associate professor, Morehouse School of Medicine;  Gary Palgon, VP of  healthcare and life sciences solutions, Liaison Technologies. This webinar will describe how Georgia Heath Connect connects clinically integrated networks to hospitals and small and rural practices, helping providers in medically underserved communities meet MACRA requirements by providing technology, technology support, and education that accelerates regulatory compliance and improves outcomes.

November 15 (Wednesday) 1:00 ET. “How Hospitals and Practices Can Respond to Consumerism by Better Engaging Patients Through Price Transparency and Payment Options.” Sponsored by: Change Healthcare. Presenters: Kathy Moore, president, Moore Martini Medical; Linda Glidewell, VP of business development, consumer payment solutions, Change Healthcare. Healthcare consumerism and high-deductible health plans require providers to offer upfront estimates and payment options throughout all points of service. In his webinar, we’ll discuss consumerism as a critical area of opportunity in revenue cycle management and review numerous areas across the revenue cycle where your staff interacts with patients and leaves lasting impressions. From your first interaction with patients on the phone to discuss financial responsibility; to collecting payments at all points of service; to offering payment plans and various payment options — these are all areas that can be game-changing. With the right approach to consumerism, you can improve patient collections and optimize revenue from the start while also improving the overall patient experience.

Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre for information.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

image

Meditech announces Q3 results: revenue up 9.8 percent, EPS $0.47 vs. $0.68. Product revenue jumped 50 percent, but a slight drop in services revenue and an 18 percent increase in operating expense drove earnings down 31 percent.

image

Roper Techologies (Sunquest, Strata Decision Technology, Atlas Medical, Data Innovations, CliniSys) announces Q3 results: revenue up 23 percent, adjusted EPS $2.36 vs. $1.96, meeting revenue expectations and beating on earnings.

image

Germany-based Ada Health, which offers consumers an AI-powered health chat app that also connects users to doctors, raises $47 million and announces plans to open a US office.


Sales

image

Hospital for Special Surgery (NY) will expand its use of Docent Health to provide customized, whole-person support that addresses each patient’s needs, fears, and concerns.

image

Orlando Health chooses Phynd to manage the information of 25,000 providers across nine hospitals.


People

image

Geoff Hogan (Imprivata) joins Diameter Health as chief commercial officer.

image image

Impact Advisors promotes VPs Paula Elliott and Bill Faust to leadership roles over its quality services and strategic implementation services practices, respectively.


Announcements and Implementations

image

Casenet’s TruCare is named Best Population Health Management Software Provider in a UK healthcare and pharmaceutical awards program.

image

HIMSS announces that Alphabet Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt will deliver the opening keynote at HIMSS18 in the “still seems weird” time slot of Monday, March 5 at 5:00 p.m. PT. Schmidt provided the very long keynote at HIMSS08 in Orlando, where he pitched since-failed Google offerings like Health and Flu Trends. 


Government and Politics

image

Politico reports that HHS privacy leader Deven McGraw, JD has left government service to join an unnamed Silicon Valley health technology startup.

Publicly traded, Cincinnati-based Chemed, which owns the country’s largest for-profit hospice chain, will pay $75 million to settle False Claims Act charges that it billed Medicare for services involving patients who were not terminally ill and paid its employees bonuses for recruiting new patients. Three whistleblowers will share in the payout. Trivia: Chemed’s other big holding is Roto-Rooter. 


Other

Vanderbilt University Medical Center (TN) will go live on Epic this week.

image

The April 1 Cerner go-live at Medical Center Health System (TX) led to billing delays that left it behind for the fiscal year ending September 30. A consultant’s report says that hospital executives blamed staff for lack of commitment and not paying attention during training, but most employees said that training was insufficient for doing their jobs. 

image

A study finds that 10 percent of Massachusetts residents who were revived from opioid overdoses with rescue drug Narcan died within a year, highlighting that only five percent of overdose survivors receive longer-term treatment drugs such as Suboxone.

Brilliant: a company in Japan gives non-smokers an extra six days of vacation, both as an incentive for smokers to quit and to give non-smokers the same amount of non-productive time enjoyed by smokers.

SNAGHTML64f3311d

Weird News Andy helpfully notes that maybe the patient should have considered flossing. Doctors examining a woman with a decades-long history of nosebleeds believed to be caused by rhinitis finally determine the cause – a fully grown tooth embedded in her nasal cavity. Dentists say “supernumerary teeth” can grow in odd spots on the face in the 4 percent of people affected, but having them erupt in the nasal cavity is extremely rare. 


Sponsor Updates

  • Meditech, which has 20 customer sites in Puerto Rico, donates money to United for Puerto Rico.
  • AdvancedMD will exhibit at APTA’s Private Practice Section event November 1-4 in Chicago.
  • HIS 2017 recognizes Agfa Healthcare in the IT Industry category – RIS and PACs during its annual awards ceremony.
  • AssessURHealth publishes a new white paper, “The Missing Piece: Holistic Care through Preventive Screenings.”
  • Bernoulli Health will exhibit at HealthAchieve November 6-7 in Toronto.
  • Besler Consulting will present at the Minnesota HFMA Regulatory Conference November 2 in Bloomington.
  • CSI Healthcare IT completes the first wave of Epic go-lives at Lovelace Health System (NM).
  • Clinical Architecture will exhibit at the AMIA 2017 Annual Symposium November 4-8 in Washington, DC.
  • CoverMyMeds, CTG, and Cumberland Consulting Group will exhibit at the CHIME Fall CIO Forum October 31-November 2.

Blog Posts


Contacts

Mr. H, Lorre, Jenn, Dr. Jayne, Lt. Dan.
Get HIStalk updates. Send news or rumors.
Contact us.

125x125_2nd_Circle

Monday Morning Update 10/30/17

October 28, 2017 News 4 Comments

Top News

image

From the Cerner earnings call following announcement of Q3 results that fell short of expectations for both revenue and earnings:

  • The company blames its bookings shortfall on “several large deals that were forecast for the quarter that did not come through,” with ITWorks complete outsourcing providing deals being a big contributor to the shortfall.
  • Cerner notes that the lack of Meaningful Use-driven customer urgency is making it harder to create reliable sales forecasts.
  • The company says it is seeing success against Epic as customers focus on return on investment and notes that new hospital EHR entrants “have over-promised and under-delivered.”
  • The company expects to sign its contract with the VA by the end of the year, in which Cerner will function as the prime contractor with subcontractor partners to be announced later.
  • President Zane Burke expects that the VA contract terms will involve a series of task orders that will provide percentage-of-completion payments over several years.

Cerner shares dropped 8.43 percent Friday after the earnings report.

image

Above is the five-year share price of CERN (dark blue, up 68 percent) vs. the Nasdaq (light blue, up 125 percent).


Reader Comments

image

From Snowman: “Re: Citrix. Hearing 40 percent increases in maintenance fees when renewing. That’s another $300,000 per year for our medium-sized facility. Does that make them a monopoly?” Unverified. Anyone else seeing big maintenance jumps? Citrix isn’t exactly a monopoly since alternative virtual desktops exist, but its product is deeply embedded into the infrastructure and software vendor contracts of most hospital IT shops. I would be interested to hear from hospital CIOs who switched successfully from Citrix to something else for their core healthcare-specific apps and whether they experienced support issues.

image

From IT Maven: “Re: University of Washington. UW Medicine has had three chief health system officers in less than a year. Does this have anything to do with their decision no to go with Epic?” I doubt Epic was a key consideration for an executive of that level. The new CHSO’s predecessor lasted less than a year before stepping down in a mutual decision, replaced by an interim that I assume the reader is counting as the third person to hold the job since November 2016.

image

From Master of Startup Puppets: “Re: Crunchbase series. I think HIStalk readers would enjoy it.” The series called “A Startup Takes Flight” is an interesting fictional case study that covers early-stage funding, venture capital deal terms, and what happens when a startup sells.

From Not A Client: “Re: Medi-Span data. Has been removed from RxNorm at the request of Wolters Kluwer. Not sure if this is newsworthy since I’ve seen nothing outside the NLM site.” The October 2 RxNorm release notes verify that Medi-Span data was removed from RxNorm at the company’s request. NLM has just announced that the September 2017 RxNorm release expanded the Medi-Span data set.

From The PACS Designer: “Re: LiFi Mobile. LEDs can act as transmitters of signal in wireless systems. LiFi is high speed, bi-directional networked and mobile communication of data using light. LiFi comprises of multiple light bulbs that form a wireless network, offering a substantially similar user experience to Wi-Fi except using the light spectrum.” It sounds interesting, but line-of-sight requirements, as well as possible interference from ambient light, would seem to limit usefulness.


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

image

Poll respondents are mostly skeptical that IBM Watson will make a healthcare splash.

New poll to your right or here: which ambulatory EHR vendor has fallen hardest from HIT front-runner status? I recognize that Allscripts and GE Healthcare aren’t just ambulatory EHR vendors, but their presence there earns them a poll spot.

For those with short memories or short healthcare IT careers, it’s time to relearn the oft-repeated lesson that big companies dip their toes into and out of the healthcare IT waters all the time with little loyalty to anyone except shareholders. McKesson bailed out this year and now GE  is apparently mulling its exit after wrecking a slew of acquisitions over many years. Siemens is long gone. Nothing good ever comes from conglomerates licking their chops at what they naively think is easy money and higher growth than their other verticals (see also: Misys and Sage). How hard could this healthcare thing be?


This Week in Health IT History

One year ago:

  • A poor McKesson earnings report sends shares down 23 percent, while competitors Allscripts and Cerner also post lackluster earnings.
  • A Politico article says that Epic and EClinicalWorks are impeding data-sharing with public and specialty registries.
  • CMS approves continuous 90-day reporting period for its EHR Incentive Program and eliminates specific objectives and measures.

Five years ago:

  • McKesson talks up its MedVentive and MED3OOO acquisitions in its earnings call, hints that the company might work with Athenahealth following its acquisition of PSS World Medical, and admits that some Horizon customers are passing on the chance to migrate to Paragon.
  • A Wells Fargo Securities analysis finds that the lowest-percentage hospital EHR attestation vendors are GE Healthcare, QuadraMed, NextGen, and McKesson.
  • CHIME President and CEO Rich Correll announces plans to move to a COO role.
  • SCI Solutions founder John Holton retires from the company.
  • Humana acquires Certify Data Systems.

Ten years ago:

  • CSC acquires First Consulting Group.
  • Perot Systems conducts massive layoffs.
  • ZDNet declares MIsys to be an open source health IT competitor to Medsphere.
  • ONC funds a significant grant to have definitions developed for the terms EHR, EMR, PHR, HIE, and RHIO.
  • Virtua Healthcare (NJ) says its $500 million, 368-bed new medical campus will use technology to transform healthcare.
  • Philips announces plans to sell its 70 percent stake in MedQuist. 

Last Week’s Most Interesting News

  • Cerner falls short of Wall Street expectations for both revenue and earnings in its quarterly report, sending shares down hard.
  • CVS is rumored to be in talks to acquire Aetna.
  • GE explores selling its healthcare IT business.
  • A second former executive of Cleveland Clinic Innovations is arrested for fraud involving spinoff Interactive Visual Health Records.

Webinars

November 8 (Wednesday) 1:00 ET. “How Clinically Integrated Networks Can Overcome the Technical Challenges to Data-Sharing.” Sponsored by: Liaison Technologies. Presenters: Dominick Mack, MD, executive medical director, Georgia Health Information Technology Extension Center and Georgia Health Connect, director, National Center for Primary Care, and associate professor, Morehouse School of Medicine;  Gary Palgon, VP of  healthcare and life sciences solutions, Liaison Technologies. This webinar will describe how Georgia Heath Connect connects clinically integrated networks to hospitals and small and rural practices, helping providers in medically underserved communities meet MACRA requirements by providing technology, technology support, and education that accelerates regulatory compliance and improves outcomes.

Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre for information.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

image

Quality Systems (NextGen) announces Q2 results: revenue up 4 percent, adjusted EPS $0.22 vs. $0.23, beating analyst expectations for both. From the earnings call:

  • The company says it was hit by turnover in its sales team as “a number of legacy sales resources and managers elected to move on,” with the resulting loss of client relationships hurting the close rate for larger deals. The company confirmed that 13 of 70 salespeople have left and have been replaced.
  • The company is still trying to salvage one unnamed large client that has threatened to defect.
  • NextGen is emulating Athenahealth in offering pricing based on a percentage of net collections.

image

Above is the five-year share price of QSII (dark blue, down 19 percent) vs. the Nasdaq (light blue, up 125 percent).

image

Tenet Health will lay off 1,300 employees.

image

A Healthcare Growth Partners report finds that health IT investment is continuing at a record pace even as M&A activity has stagnated. The quarter’s big M&A deals were the merger of Navicure and ZirMed, the sale of The Advisory Board Company’s healthcare business to Optum Health, and the sale of WebMD. The big investment theme was genomic medicine. The article notes that the industry must be assuming that total addressable market and M&A activity will increase to absorb the 46 percent annual growth rate in investment that has occurred since 2011.


Sales

Everest Rehabilitation Hospitals (TX) chooses Medhost for two hospitals to be constructed.


People

image

Aviacode CEO Keith Hagen takes on the additional role of board chair.


Announcements and Implementations

image

Medecision launches 10 care management apps for care, utilization, and disease management; network management; and care coordination.

image

T-System says 70 percent of its new contracts involve its hosted solutions for episode-based care, which includes hospital EDs, freestanding EDs, and urgent care centers.

image

Definitive Healthcare adds retail health clinics and assisted living facilities to its healthcare provider database.

image

Akili Interactive, Propeller Health, Voluntis, and WellDoc launch the Digital Therapeutics Alliance to support clinically validated solutions.  


Privacy and Security

image

Drug maker Merck says it lost $135 million in Q3 sales and spent $175 million in direct cost due to its Petya ransomware attack in June. The company said in the earnings call that its Q4 results will be similarly impacted, raising the cost of its ransomware attack to at least $620 million.


Other

image

A vascular surgeon testing the FDA-cleared Butterfly IQ ultrasound device for smartphones decides to scan his sore throat, the result of which reveals that he has a since-treated cancerous mass.

image

Microsoft ends production of its Kinect 3-D mapping and body movement sensor that in addition to is main purpose as an Xbox game controller was used in some healthcare applications, such as those for physical therapy, rehab, and health screening. Part of Kinect’s technology has been rolled into Microsoft’s Hololens.

image

Medical device executive David Mortara, PhD donates $25 million to the UCSF School of Nursing to fund a center that will study alarm fatigue and overly sensitive ECG machines that contribute to it. Mortara sold his diagnostic cardiology and patient monitoring device company to Hill-Rom for $330 million in cash in January 2017.

image

Actress and investor Eva Longoria helps introduce a virtual visit kiosk that will be offered to residents of an affordable workforce housing community in Texas.

image

An interesting article looks at the big business of scrubs, worn every day by the nearly one in five Americans employed in healthcare who generate $10 billion in annual sales, mostly to wearers who buy their own. The latest innovation beyond adding licensed cartoon characters and form-flattering designs: scrubs impregnated with antimicrobials to help reduce the spread of infection.

In Scotland, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society says community pharmacists don’t have access to the electronic medical records of patients as they were promised, requiring them to call an NHS hotline to obtain the information they need.

Thomas Health (WV) lays off 10 IT employees following consolidation of systems it didn’t name. The hospital announced plans last year to move from Cerner/Siemens Soarian and Meditech Magic to Meditech 6.1.

image

Weird News Andy is weirded out by this story covering the largely unregulated “tissue banks” that offer free cremation – sometimes in cahoots with funeral homes who invest in the companies — in return for donating organs to “advance medical studies.” It calls out Southern Nevada Donor Services, whose employee was caught using a garden hose in the parking lot of its warehouse to thaw a human torso, sending tissue and blood into a gutter. Most of the known “body brokers” are for-profit companies, one of which earned $12.5 million in three years. The companies were launched for as little as the $100,000 needed to buy a van and freezers, with some of the more frugal ones using a chainsaw instead of the much more expensive surgical saw to disassemble their donors into marketable components.

Vince takes us back to November 1987, when pre-adult Tiffany (who is now 46 years old) ruled the pop charts with “I Think We’re Alone Now” and a surprising health IT vendor’s ad bragged on being backed by a $5 billion company (which, like most big companies dabbling in healthcare, didn’t stick around long).


Sponsor Updates

  • Forward Health Group founder and CEO Michael Barbouche is named to Madison Magazine’s M List of health innovation leaders and will speak at a reception and dinner on November 9.
  • ZappRx will attend the CHEST conference October 28 – November 1 in Toronto and the North American Cystic Fibrosis Conference November 2-4 in Indianapolis. The company will also exhibit at the PFF Summit November 9-11 in Nashville.
  • Aprima will exhibit at the American College of Phlebology’s 2017 Annual Congress November 2-5 in Austin, TX.
  • Surescripts will exhibit at the Digital Quality Summit November 1-3 in Washington, DC.
  • T-System sees swelling demand for its hosted healthcare solutions.
  • TriNetX will exhibit at the AMIA Annual Symposium November 4-8 in Washington, DC.
  • Mazars USA elects Cody Cass, Julie Petit, and Kristen Walters partners.
  • The Boston Globe features ZappRx CEO Zoe Barry in a profile on women in technology.

Blog Posts


Contacts

Mr. H, Lorre, Jenn, Dr. Jayne, Lt. Dan.
Get HIStalk updates. Send news or rumors.
Contact us.

125x125_2nd_Circle

News 10/27/17

October 26, 2017 News No Comments

Top News

image

President Trump declares a public health emergency to address the country’s opioid crisis, drawing fire from critics for not allocating new funding to address the epidemic. Key takeaways:

  • Expanded access to telemedicine services.
  • Easier appointments of temporary HHS officials who will help redirect programs and resources.
  • Refocusing resources within HIV/AIDs programs to help give patients access to substance abuse treatment.
  • Issuing grants to help workers displaced from the workforce by the opioid crisis – a somewhat nebulous benefit subject to available funding.

HIStalk Announcements and Requests

This week on HIStalk Practice: Greenway announces corporate, software overhaul. Oklahoma physicians prepare for major business changes ahead of looming Medicaid cuts. AMA President-Elect argues for less spending on hospitals, and more on primary care. AMA continues to eschew digital health snake oil comments with launch of new forum. CoinMD looks to create a cryptocurrency-based healthcare membership network. Pennsylvania helps prescribers connect EHRs to PDMP. Delaware taps HMS to help it better integrate behavioral health and primary care. Drchrono develops urgent care-friendly health IT.


Webinars

November 8 (Wednesday) 1:00 ET. “How Clinically Integrated Networks Can Overcome the Technical Challenges to Data-Sharing.” Sponsored by: Liaison Technologies. Presenters: Dominick Mack, MD, executive medical director, Georgia Health Information Technology Extension Center and Georgia Health Connect, director, National Center for Primary Care, and associate professor, Morehouse School of Medicine;  Gary Palgon, VP of  healthcare and life sciences solutions, Liaison Technologies. This webinar will describe how Georgia Heath Connect connects clinically integrated networks to hospitals and small and rural practices, helping providers in medically underserved communities meet MACRA requirements by providing technology, technology support, and education that accelerates regulatory compliance and improves outcomes.

Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre for information.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

image

Cerner reports Q3 results: Revenue up 8 percent, adjusted EPS $0.61 vs. $0.59, with bookings down due to projects delayed to the fourth quarter. President Zane Burke is optimistic the company will achieve its projected 2017 earnings and revenue growth, adding that, “we continue to gain share in the Electronic Health Record replacement market and still have meaningful growth opportunities in revenue cycle and population health.”

image

Another one bites the dust: HIMSS acquires the rights to the Disruptive Women in Healthcare media company. I’m not sure how much disruption will occur now that it’s been gobbled up by HIMSS, which plans on incorporating its content into its own female-focused media efforts.

image

Tenet Healthcare (TX) decides not to put itself up for sale, though it will move forward with a strategic review of operations as it struggles to deal with $15 billion in debt. Sources believe the company has instead decided to focus on selecting a new, permanent CEO.

image

GE considers selling its healthcare IT and transportation businesses in an effort to meet a self-inflicted goal of divesting $20 billion in assets under the watchful eye of fairly new CEO (and former head of GE Healthcare) John Flannery.


People

image

John McLean (Best Doctors) joins Kyruus as CFO.

image

American Well hires Harry Kim (Samsung Health) as SVP of strategic partnerships.


Sales

image

Hackensack Meridian Health (NJ) and Riverside Medical Center (IL) will implement Omnicell medication management and safety solutions including the Epic-friendly XT Automated Dispensing Cabinet.

image

HCA’s HealthOne (CO) health system selects Philips Wellcentive’s cloud-based informatics platform.

image

To help improve sepsis outcomes, Mosaic Life Care selects Wolters Kluwer Health’s POC Advisor clinical surveillance and analytics software.

image

MultiCare Health System (WA) will spend $25 million on a staggered Epic implementation across its three Spokane facilities next year.

image

Navicent Health (GA) will implement Outcome Health’s patient education technology at its physician group locations.


Technology

image

NantHealth develops a companion medication adherence app for its Vitality GlowCap smart pill bottle.

image

ZeOmega announces Medicare Advantage-specific enhancements to its Jiva population health management platform.


Announcements and Implementations

image

Ozarks Medical Center (MO) implements emergency management communications technology from LiveProcess across its hospital, clinics, and home health providers.

image

With help from IDSolutions, Henry Ford Health System (MI) adds Vidyo’s virtual visit technology to its Epic workflow.

image

Pella Regional Health Center will go live on Meditech 6.15 November 1.

Partners HealthCare works with Validic to test out adding blood pressure monitoring data from patient home health devices to its EHR and provider workflows. The organizations plan to move forward with broader device integration and data gathering early next year.


Government and Politics

image

HHS opens up applications for its Opioid Code-a-Thon, which will be held December 6-7 in Washington, DC. Prizes of $10,000 each will be awarded for solutions that focus on opioid treatment, usage, and misuse prevention.


Innovation and Research

image

The UCSF Health Informatics team analyzes the movements of 85,000 hospitalized patients seen over three years by mapping EHR patient location and timestamp data. The information was then compared with hospital-acquired infection data in hopes of uncovering unknown transmission hotspots within the hospital. The team realized that patients who entered a particular CT scanner used in the ED were more than twice as likely to become infected with C. Diff than the baseline patient population. As a result, ED staff have been re-trained on how to properly sanitize the scanner.

image

A majority of hospital CMOs report that post-implementation tech support will be a driving factor in their health IT purchasing decisions next year, according to new research from Black Book. Fifty-three percent of survey-takers believe their current EHR vendor is providing sub-par support. Cerner, Allscripts, Meditech, and McKesson received top support marks, while Stoltenburg Consulting was cited as a top third-party support firm.


Other

image

Tesla team members install a solar array that has helped restore power to San Juan’s Hospital del Niño. Tesla founder Elon Musk has said the power project is the first of many that will help Puerto Rico recover from two September hurricanes that have left the island without vital resources.

image

San Diego city officials come under fire for the enlisting the pro bono services of PR firms as they sought to stop the hepatitis A outbreak among the city’s homeless. Critics were especially surprised when the PR reps began attending government planning meetings. “You bring in stakeholders who have an interest in the subject at hand,” said one, “but you don’t usually bring in PR people who can spin it afterwards.”


Sponsor Updates

  • MedData and Meditech will exhibit at the ACEP Scientific Assembly October 30-November 2 in Washington, DC.
  • Netsmart will exhibit at LeadingAge October 29 in New Orleans.
  • Nordic will lead focus groups at the CHIME Fall CIO Forum October 31-November 3 in San Antonio.
  • NTT Data Services achieves premier-level service provider status in VMware’s Cloud Provider Program.
  • Parallon Technology Solutions and PatientSafe Solutions will exhibit at the CHIME Fall CIO Forum October 31-November 3 in San Antonio.
  • Clinical Computer Systems, developer of the Obix Perinatal Data System, will exhibit at the Perinatal-Neonatal Symposium October 30 in Williamsburg, VA.
  • Experian Health will exhibit at the Delaware Healthcare Forum October 31 in Dover.
  • PatientPing hires Brad Shaw (Wayfair) as director of engineering.
  • PokitDok achieves HITRUST CSF Certified status.

Blog Posts


Contacts

Mr. H, Lorre, Jenn, Dr. Jayne, Lt. Dan.
Get HIStalk updates. Send news or rumors.
Contact us.

125x125_2nd_Circle

News 10/25/17

October 24, 2017 News No Comments

Top News

image

Imprivata acquires Caradigm’s identity and access management business for an unspecified amount. Caradigm, a GE Healthcare company, has been in the process of streamlining operations for several years now. It announced workforce reductions in April, and August 2016.


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

image

Welcome to new HIStalk Platinum Sponsor WiserTogether. The Washington, DC-based company’s treatment guidance platform improves outcomes and satisfaction while lowering cost. People and populations use its Return to Health solution to select the most appropriate and effective personalized treatment option in sharing decision-making with their provider. Condition, symptom, and demographic information is assessed against clinical efficacy and guideline content, treatment costs, provider ratings data, and time-to-recovery guidelines to present treatment options labeled as Poor, Good, and Best. Nearly 90 percent of users choose effective treatments, reducing the use of ineffective tests and treatments by 25 percent in creating a 400-900 percent ROI. The company just announced enhancements that include analytics and reporting that allows healthcare organizations to understand how patients make treatment decisions and which options they are likely to choose. Thanks to WiserTogether for supporting HIStalk.

I came across this video describing how patients can use WiserTogether’s Return to Health tool to find evidence-based treatments that are cost effective.


Webinars

Here is the recording from today’s webinar with ZappRx on improving care and saving time with streamlined specialty drug prescribing.

October 25 (Wednesday) 1:00 ET. “Delivering the Healthcare Pricing Transparency that Consumers are Demanding.” Sponsored by: Health Catalyst. Presenter: Gene Thompson, director, Health City Cayman Islands. Health systems are unlike every other major consumer category in not providing upfront pricing information. Learn how one health system has developed predictable, transparent bundled pricing for most major specialties. Attendees will gain insight into the importance of their quality measures and their use of actual daily procedure costing rather than allocated costs. They will also learn about the strategic risk of other market participants competing with single bundled pricing. The organization’s director will expand how its years-long process is enabling healthcare delivery reform.

October 26 (Thursday) 2:00 ET. “Is your EHR limiting your success in value-based care?” Sponsored by: Philips Wellcentive. Presenters: Lindsey Bates, market director of compliance, Philips Wellcentive; Greg Fulton, industry and public policy lead, Philips Wellcentive. No single technology solution will solve every problem, so ensuring you select the ones most aligned to meet your strategic goals can be the difference between thriving or merely surviving. From quality reporting to analytics to measures building, developing a comprehensive healthcare strategy that will support your journey in population health and value-base care programs is the foundation of success. Join Philips Wellcentive for our upcoming interactive webinar, where we’ll help you evolve ahead of the industry, setting the right strategic goals and getting the most out of your technology solutions.

November 8 (Wednesday) 1:00 ET. “How Clinically Integrated Networks Can Overcome the Technical Challenges to Data-Sharing.” Sponsored by: Liaison Technologies. Presenters: Dominick Mack, MD, executive medical director, Georgia Health Information Technology Extension Center and Georgia Health Connect, director, National Center for Primary Care, and associate professor, Morehouse School of Medicine;  Gary Palgon, VP of  healthcare and life sciences solutions, Liaison Technologies. This webinar will describe how Georgia Heath Connect connects clinically integrated networks to hospitals and small and rural practices, helping providers in medically underserved communities meet MACRA requirements by providing technology, technology support, and education that accelerates regulatory compliance and improves outcomes.

Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre for information.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

Select Medical Holdings will combine its Concentra occupational and urgent care company with California-based Dignity Health’s US HealthWorks subsidiary as part of an expanding partnership that includes the joint development of a 60-bed hospital and operation of 12 outpatient clinics in Las Vegas.

image

Life insurance company John Hancock dangles $25 Apple Watches to lure customers into its Vitality health and wellness program. Members who exercise regularly for two years will avoid having to pay off the typically $300 device in installments.

image

Nuance points the legal finger at MModal, alleging in a lawsuit that MModal products violate patents pertaining to transcription, speech recognition, and computer-assisted physician documentation technology. The lawsuit comes four months after Nuance suffered a malware attack on its cloud-based services that led to a $15 million loss in Q3.

image

Newton, MA-based Devoted Health raises $62 million, bringing its total to $69 since launching earlier this year. Company founders Ed and Todd Park (brothers of Athenahealth fame, among other illustrious health IT roles) plan to offer concierge-style Medicare Advantage plans beginning in 2019 that will incorporate house calls and virtual visits.

image

Amazon receives 238 bids from 54 states, provinces, and territories all vying to attract the company’s second headquarters. Amazon plans to invest $5 billion in the new facility, which will employ 50,000. Given its recent interest in health IT, it will be interesting to see if “Amazon HQ2” lands in a health IT-heavy town. As one would expect, city officials have dangled tax breaks and other incentives in front of the world’s largest online retailer. Outside of Atlanta, City of Stonecrest Mayor Jason Lary has promised to develop the city of Amazon and appoint Jeff Bezos as its lifelong mayor. 

Reuters reports that Siemens has enlisted three banks to lead the organization of an early-summer IPO for its Healthineers unit.


Announcements and Implementations

image

Regional Health (SD) goes live on Epic over the weekend.

image

Swedish Bellevue Primary Care (WA) becomes the fourth Swedish location to roll out Versus Technology’s real-time locating system.

image

Definitive Healthcare adds retail clinics and assisted living facilities to its market research database of providers.

image

Thibodaux Regional Medical Center (LA) implements electronic signatures and forms technology from Access.


People

image

Tom Visotsky (HCS) joins Kno2 as VP of vertical market sales.

image

Cancer informatics company Inspirata names Josh Mann (Mann Consulting & Ventures) VP of its Cancer Information Data Trust Program.

image

Vikram Natarajan (Medfusion) joins SPH Analytics as SVP of development and IT.

image image

Tenet Healthcare names Executive Chairman Ronald Rittenmeyer interim CEO. He takes over from Trevor Fetter, who announced his resignation in August after a two decade career at the Dallas-based health system. Tenet has been exploring strategic options recently, including the potential sale of parts of the company, and has been in the public eye over disagreements with investors over strategy, takeover rumors, and board-level resignations.


Technology

image

Medecision debuts new care management apps related to population analytics, EHRs, financial performance, risk scoring, and care coordination. The company will launch apps for care engagement and operational efficiencies later this year.


Government and Politics

Ft. Lewis, WA-based Madigan Army Medical Center goes live on Cerner, the fourth major installation of the DoD’s MHS Genesis program. The center is the largest of the program’s inpatient facility implementations, and the final one in the Pacific Northwest. I like that they’ve gotten a patient to host their tutorial videos, the first of which is accompanied by an 80’s-era soundtrack that will have you reminiscing about Jazzercise and GI Joe quicker than you can say “New Coke.”

A federal court dismisses CliniComp’s August lawsuit against the VA, which alleged that the administration had improperly issued Cerner a no-bid contract for a VistA replacement. CliniComp CEO Chris Haudenschild has vowed to appeal, adding that the company “simply wants the chance to prove that it can do the job cheaper, faster, and better.” The company’s systems are used in several VA hospitals.


Innovation and Research

The COPD Foundation, Geisinger (PA), GSK, and Jvion embark on a project that will identify COPD patients at risk of hospitalization and/or readmissions. Funded by GSK, the two-phased project will pair the foundation and Geisinger’s clinical expertise with Jvion’s AI-based patient risk stratification technology.

Black Book survey-takers rank Navicure as the top RCM technology vendor, with Experian, Patientco, Change Healthcare, InstaMed, and NThrive also scoring high for end-user satisfaction.


Other 

image

The New Yorker digs into the pharma moguls of the Sackler family (apparently known more for their philanthropy than to the development of OxyContin) and their ties to the rise of pharmaceutical advertising, which some physicians feel account for the lion’s share of today’s opioid epidemic.

image

This is a breach of a different kind: Saline Memorial Hospital staff receive an unexpected (and no doubt unruly) visitor when a deer crashes into its courtyard, prompting Arkansas Game and Fish to come and remove the animal.


Sponsor Updates

  • Besler Consulting releases a new podcast, “Reducing Medicare spending through electronic health information exchange.”
  • Carevive wins the 2017 Cerner Emerging Partner of the Year Award.
  • Centrak will exhibit at LeadingAge October 29-November 1 in New Orleans.
  • CoverMyMeds will exhibit at the CBI Electronic Benefit Verification and Prior Authorization Summit October 24-25 in San Francisco.
  • Dimensional Insight will exhibit at the Hospital Quality Institute November 1-3 in Monterey, CA.
  • EClinicalWorks will exhibit at the Connected Health Conference October 26-27 in Boston.
  • FormFast, HealthCast, Impact Advisors, InterSystems, and Intelligent Medical Objects will exhibit at the CHIME CIO Fall Forum October 31-November 3 in San Antonio.
  • Healthwise will exhibit at the HealthTrio 2017 Users Group Conference October 25-27 in Tucson.
  • Optimum Healthcare IT publishes a new case study, “Epic Help Desk and Call Center Support at The Guthrie Clinic.”
  • Iatric Systems will exhibit at the HCCA Regional Conference October 27 in Chicago.
  • AdvancedMD, Clinical Architecture, and CompuGroup Medical join CommonWell.
  • Nordic releases a new podcast, “How to communicate effectively during your EHR transition.”

Blog Posts


Contacts

Mr. H, Lorre, Jenn, Dr. Jayne, Lt. Dan.
Get HIStalk updates. Send news or rumors.
Contact us.

125x125_2nd_Circle

Monday Morning Update 10/23/17

October 21, 2017 News 9 Comments

Top News

SNAGHTML313a88f6

Athenahealth shares jumped over 8 percent Friday following Thursday’s announcement of mixed financial results, layoffs, office closures, and a cost reduction plan.

image

From Friday’s Athenahealth earnings call:

  • Jonathan Bush says that the company’s slowing growth rate is due to “lackluster market conditions in the post-Meaningful Use era” as overall buying activity has dropped off. It hopes to generate 15 percent revenue growth for 2018.
  • The company blames its revenue expectations miss on having one fewer working day in Q3 as well as hurricane-related usage decreases. It also notes that visits per provider are dropping.
  • Workforce reductions of 9 percent of the company’s total headcount will be completed by the end of 2017, with the goal of removing management layers and increasing employee engagement. The company “right-sized” sales and marketing and “rationalized” general and administrative support.
  • Bush says “We’re sharpening our focus, taking action to operate in a significantly more efficient way, and move faster on our highest-value strategic objectives.”
  • The company will close its San Francisco and Princeton, NJ offices, rent out office space freed up by the layoffs, and sell its Challenger 300 jet.
  • The company is still recruiting an independent board chair, CFO, and president.
  • Athenahealth has 56 small hospitals live and has retained 95 percent of the hospitals brought live on AthenaNet since entering the market three years ago.
  • Bush credits the pressure brought by an activist investor for causing the management team to “look at the company through different eyes” and for “helping us find our way.”
  • Population health and Epocrates are not keeping up with the core business growth.
  • The company expects to connect with 100 percent of Epic’s installed based and 45 percent of Cerner’s this year.
  • Bush said hospitals say, “I hope somebody buys Epic or whatever it is after me so I don’t have to be the last guy who went and put half a billion dollars into enterprise software in 2017.”

HIStalk Announcements and Requests

image

Two-thirds of poll respondents say not having a national patient identifier is a pretty big problem.

New poll to your right or here: How much impact will IBM Watson have on healthcare?

image image

Ms. B reports that her North Carolina middle schoolers “couldn’t keep their hands off” the science activity tubs we provided in funding her DonorsChoose teacher grant request.


This Week in Health IT History

One year ago:

  • McKesson says it will take a $290 million write-down of its Enterprise Information Systems business as it continues to seek a buyer for the division that includes Paragon.
  • Vocera acquires Extension Healthcare.
  • Jonathan Bush admits in the Athenahealth earnings call that followed a revenue miss that shifts in the market mean the company cannot maintain 30 percent bookings growth.

Five years ago:

  • An OIG report finds that the VA paid $6 million for 400,000 PC encryption licenses but has installed them on only 65,000 devices.
  • Apple announces the iPad Mini.
  • Allscripts sues Aprima for using the MyWay name in advertising aimed at getting those customers to switch to Aprima.
  • Athenahealth confirms that is negotiating with Harvard University to purchase the 11-building Arsenal on the Charles complex in Watertown, MA.

Ten years ago:

  • Misys creates an open source division to which it contributes its Connect software.
  • Misys announces MyWay, a hosted EHR it licensed from iMedica.
  • Medsphere CEO Mike Doyle predicts that the company will be the largest healthcare IT vendor.
  • Microsoft and HIMSS announce an overseas expansion of the MS-HUG conference.

Last Week’s Most Interesting News

  • Athenahealth announces big layoffs and planned expense reductions in response to pressure from an activist investor.
  • CVS and Epic will implement Epic’s Healthy Planet software to give prescribers point-of-care formulary and pricing information.
  • President Trump signs two executive orders to further destabilize the ACA, declaring that Obamacare no longer exists.
  • A state audit finds that University of Utah violated state procurement laws in its dealings with Patrick Soon-Shiong’s Nant companies.

Webinars

October 24 (Tuesday) 1:00 ET. “Improve Care and Save Clinician Time by Streamlining Specialty Drug Prescribing.” Sponsored by: ZappRx. Presenter: Jeremy Feldman, MD, director, pulmonary hypertension and advanced lung disease program and medical director of research, Arizona Pulmonary Specialists. Clinicians spend an average of 20 minutes to prescribe a single specialty drug and untold extra hours each month completing prior authorization (PA) paperwork to get patients the medications they need. This webinar will describe how Arizona Pulmonary Specialists automated the inefficient specialty drug ordering process to improve patient care while saving its clinicians time.

October 25 (Wednesday) 1:00 ET. “Delivering the Healthcare Pricing Transparency that Consumers are Demanding.” Sponsored by: Health Catalyst. Presenter: Gene Thompson, director, Health City Cayman Islands. Health systems are unlike every other major consumer category in not providing upfront pricing information. Learn how one health system has developed predictable, transparent bundled pricing for most major specialties. Attendees will gain insight into the importance of their quality measures and their use of actual daily procedure costing rather than allocated costs. They will also learn about the strategic risk of other market participants competing with single bundled pricing. The organization’s director will expand how its years-long process is enabling healthcare delivery reform.

October 26 (Thursday) 2:00 ET. “Is your EHR limiting your success in value-based care?” Sponsored by: Philips Wellcentive. Presenters: Lindsey Bates, market director of compliance, Philips Wellcentive; Greg Fulton, industry and public policy lead, Philips Wellcentive. No single technology solution will solve every problem, so ensuring you select the ones most aligned to meet your strategic goals can be the difference between thriving or merely surviving. From quality reporting to analytics to measures building, developing a comprehensive healthcare strategy that will support your journey in population health and value-base care programs is the foundation of success. Join Philips Wellcentive for our upcoming interactive webinar, where we’ll help you evolve ahead of the industry, setting the right strategic goals and getting the most out of your technology solutions.

November 8 (Wednesday) 1:00 ET. “How Clinically Integrated Networks Can Overcome the Technical Challenges to Data-Sharing.” Sponsored by: Liaison Technologies. Presenters: Dominick Mack, MD, executive medical director, Georgia Health Information Technology Extension Center and Georgia Health Connect, director, National Center for Primary Care, and associate professor, Morehouse School of Medicine;  Gary Palgon, VP of  healthcare and life sciences solutions, Liaison Technologies. This webinar will describe how Georgia Heath Connect connects clinically integrated networks to hospitals and small and rural practices, helping providers in medically underserved communities meet MACRA requirements by providing technology, technology support, and education that accelerates regulatory compliance and improves outcomes.

Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre for information.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

image

Global health research network operator TriNetX will expand its Cambridge, MA office space as its headcount has expanded from 20 to 75. The new 20,000 square foot space will also include a network operations center.

Harris Healthcare acquires practice management software vendor Clinix Medical Information Systems.


Sales

image

Population health management services provider HMC HealthWorks will implement Medecision Aerial applications that include analytics, financial performance dashboards, care management, evidence-based clinical programs, and personal health record.

SNAGHTML3142d867

In Dubai, UAE, Latifa Hospital for Women and Children chooses Vocera’s intelligent communication technology.


Decisions

  • Fort Madison Community Hospital (IA) will replace Greenway’s ambulatory EHR with Meditech in 2018.
  • Women’s Healthcare Associates (OR) will switch from GE Healthcare to Epic’s ambulatory EHR in May 2018.
  • Palmetto Health (SC) will replace McKesson Star with Cerner revenue cycle management in October 2018.

These provider-reported updates are supplied by Definitive Healthcare, which offers a free trial of its powerful intelligence on hospitals, physicians, and healthcare providers.


Announcements and Implementations

ZeOmega launches a Jiva certification program for third-party consultants


Government and Politics

image image

Wisam Rizk, former CTO of Cleveland Clinic Innovations spinoff Interactive Visual Health Records, is arrested for defrauding the clinic of $2.8 million. The charges came nine days after former Cleveland Clinic Innovations Executive Director Gary Fingerhut pleaded guilty and agreed to serve federal prison time for accepting $469,000 from Rizk in return for lying to the FBI during their fraud investigation. Prosecutors say Rizk created a shell company that he hired to develop IVHR’s medical charting product at an inflated price, then contracted with an offshore company to do the actual work and pocketed the difference.


Privacy and Security

image

Computer systems of FirstHealth of the Carolinas (NC) have been offline for several days following a ransomware attack that it attributes to “a new form of the WannaCry virus.”

image

An interesting research project finds that anyone willing to pay $1,000 for online ads can track a mobile phone user’s movements, their precise location in near real time, and the apps they use, as long as they can obtain that person’s mobile advertising ID by examining their phone or eavesdropping on their wireless connection. The target doesn’t even need to click the ads – just having the ads displayed on their device records the information. Advertisers are already receiving this information, of course.


Other

image

Anesthesiologist and Georgia state representative Betty Price, MD – who is married to fired HHS Secretary Tom Price – asks a state public health official in a public meeting if it would be legal to prevent the spread of HIV by quarantining people who have it. She flaunts clinical expertise in noting that dead HIV sufferers can’t spread it: “It’s almost frightening the number of people who are living that are … carriers with the potential to spread. Whereas in the past, they died more readily, and then at that point, they’re not posing a risk. So we’ve got a huge population posing a risk if they’re not in treatment.”


Sponsor Updates

  • Liaison Technologies makes its Alloy platform available in Europe.
  • MedData will exhibit at the Ohio AAP 2017 Annual Meeting October 27 in Columbus.
  • Colquitt Regional recognizes the benefits of Meditech’s EHR in a new video.
  • Navicure and Surescripts will exhibit at the Centricity Healthcare User Group Fall 2017 October 26-28 in New Orleans.
  • Madison Magazine recognizes Nordic President of Managed Services Vivek Swaminathan as an innovative leader.
  • Experian Health will exhibit at the HFMA First Illinois Fall Summit October 24-25 in Oakbrook Terrace.
  • Patientco CEO Bird Blitch aims to make the company a “Best Place to Work in Atlanta.”
  • T-System will exhibit at the 2017 Urgent Care Fall Conference October 26-28 in Anaheim, CA.
  • ZirMed will exhibit at the 2017 MedTrade Fall Conference October 23-26 in Atlanta.

Blog Posts


Contacts

Mr. H, Lorre, Jenn, Dr. Jayne, Lt. Dan.
Get HIStalk updates. Send news or rumors.
Contact us.

125x125_2nd_Circle

News 10/20/17

October 19, 2017 News 2 Comments

Top News

SNAGHTML2893c430

Athenahealth announces Q3 results: revenue up 10 percent, adjusted EPS $0.56 vs. $0.60, beating earnings expectations but falling short on revenue.

The company announced that it will lay off 9 percent of its workforce in cutting a reported 450 jobs. Boston newspapers cited sources who said they saw security officers escorting people out of the company’s Watertown, MA offices Thursday morning.

Athenahealth is undertaking a strategic review, pressured by an activist investor, expecting to generate up to $115 million of annual pre-tax savings by the end of 2018.

As part of the cost-cutting program, Athenahealth will close its offices in San Francisco, CA and Princeton, NJ, both of which house employees of Epocrates, the drug information app company that Athenahealth acquired for $293 million in January 2013.

Anonymous people posted on an Internet layoff discussion board that the company is selling its jet as well as the 387-acre Point Lookout resort in Maine that it bought for $7.7 million in 2011 as a training and entertainment venue.

ATHN shares dropped 4 percent during Thursday’s trading and were down another 4 percent in early after-hours trading.


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

SNAGHTML28e5f10d

image

NYC Health + Hospitals took exception to my mentioning a recent article in the New York Post headline above, with its complaints below. I’m sympathetic since I don’t usually run one-sided lawsuit recaps, especially of the “he said, said” variety, but several readers had sent this link over with obvious interest and I saw it popping up in a lot of places, so I simply recapped the Post story.

  • “The lawsuit had nothing to do with sexual harassment.” That’s true and I’ve corrected my wording. I said in considerable detail that the lawsuit was related to wrongful termination, but I worded the part poorly where I referred to sexual harassment – the Post article focused on that, but the lawsuit itself didn’t.
  • “The former IT director was never deposed.” The Post story said he was and quoted what it said was his sworn testimony directly, so I had no reason to doubt that.
  • “The actual lawsuit alleging wrongful contract termination was dismissed.” That wasn’t mentioned in the Post article, which references an “ongoing gender discrimination case” that doesn’t make it clear whether she filed one lawsuit or two. I don’t have access to court records unless I can turn something up by Google searching for something that isn’t behind a paywall, which I didn’t in this case. I did turn up the OIG report item not mentioned in the Post article that was mostly favorable to the health system and summarized that, which the Post article did not.
  • “You make it appear as though it is your original reporting, which would be WRONG, WRONG, WRONG.” I linked to the Post article like I do all news item I cite, so I can’t imagine anyone thinking I was writing from a New York courtroom instead of my stereotypical blogger’s spare bedroom.

Listening: The Tragically Hip, thoughtfully rocking with an intact lineup as the pride of Canada since 1994 until this week, when front man Gord Downie died of brain cancer at 53. Reaction to his death has overtaken the Toronto newspaper, but an article written last year about what turned out to be the band’s final tour is the most poignant. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau delivered a tear-filled tribute to Downie, declaring, “We are less as a country without Gord Downie.”

Amazon’s continuous rollout of features amazes me. Last night I received a text message indicating that my package had been delivered, complete with a driver-taken photo of the item sitting on my doorstep. I’m not sure why I need it other than that it answers the question of whether the delivery went to the mailbox or to the doormat, but it’s cool.

This week on HIStalk Practice: EHR-related medical malpractice claims continue to increase. PatientPop ramps up Google-related physician marketing capabilities. Health Affairs offers context around OIG’s ACO analysis. Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services goes with Epic. Walgreens brings 300 jobs to staff its new technology center of excellence. Medsphere acquires Stockell Healthcare Systems. Texas Medical Association begins doling out disaster relief funds to wiped-out practices. PRM Pro Jim Higgins offers practical solutions for physician tech-integration challenges.


Webinars

October 24 (Tuesday) 1:00 ET. “Improve Care and Save Clinician Time by Streamlining Specialty Drug Prescribing.” Sponsored by: ZappRx. Presenter: Jeremy Feldman, MD, director, pulmonary hypertension and advanced lung disease program and medical director of research, Arizona Pulmonary Specialists. Clinicians spend an average of 20 minutes to prescribe a single specialty drug and untold extra hours each month completing prior authorization (PA) paperwork to get patients the medications they need. This webinar will describe how Arizona Pulmonary Specialists automated the inefficient specialty drug ordering process to improve patient care while saving its clinicians time.

October 25 (Wednesday) 1:00 ET. “Delivering the Healthcare Pricing Transparency that Consumers are Demanding.” Sponsored by: Health Catalyst. Presenter: Gene Thompson, director, Health City Cayman Islands. Health systems are unlike every other major consumer category in not providing upfront pricing information. Learn how one health system has developed predictable, transparent bundled pricing for most major specialties. Attendees will gain insight into the importance of their quality measures and their use of actual daily procedure costing rather than allocated costs. They will also learn about the strategic risk of other market participants competing with single bundled pricing. The organization’s director will expand how its years-long process is enabling healthcare delivery reform.

October 26 (Thursday) 2:00 ET. “Is your EHR limiting your success in value-based care?” Sponsored by: Philips Wellcentive. Presenters: Lindsey Bates, market director of compliance, Philips Wellcentive; Greg Fulton, industry and public policy lead, Philips Wellcentive. No single technology solution will solve every problem, so ensuring you select the ones most aligned to meet your strategic goals can be the difference between thriving or merely surviving. From quality reporting to analytics to measures building, developing a comprehensive healthcare strategy that will support your journey in population health and value-base care programs is the foundation of success. Join Philips Wellcentive for our upcoming interactive webinar, where we’ll help you evolve ahead of the industry, setting the right strategic goals and getting the most out of your technology solutions.

November 8 (Wednesday) 1:00 ET. “How Clinically Integrated Networks Can Overcome the Technical Challenges to Data-Sharing.” Sponsored by: Liaison Technologies. Presenters: Dominick Mack, MD, executive medical director, Georgia Health Information Technology Extension Center and Georgia Health Connect, director, National Center for Primary Care, and associate professor, Morehouse School of Medicine;  Gary Palgon, VP of  healthcare and life sciences solutions, Liaison Technologies. This webinar will describe how Georgia Heath Connect connects clinically integrated networks to hospitals and small and rural practices, helping providers in medically underserved communities meet MACRA requirements by providing technology, technology support, and education that accelerates regulatory compliance and improves outcomes.

Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre for information.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

image

Medsphere acquires its long-time revenue cycle implementation partner Stockell Health Systems, which will retain its name as a division of Medsphere.

image

Population health management system vendor BaseHealth receives an $8.5 million investment in a Series C funding round, increasing its total to $18 million. 

image

Medical image virtual reality software vendor EchoPixel raises $8.5 million in a Series A funding round, increasing its total to $14.5 million. I declared it the coolest product I saw (and played around with) at HIMSS16.


Sales

image

Community Health Network (IN) will implement Stanson Health’s clinical decision support and analytics.

image

Liberty Regional Medical Center (GA) and Veterans Memorial Hospital (IA) will replace an unnamed vendor (a reader with HIMSS Analytics access says it is Athenahealth) to return to the Evident Thrive EHR of CPSI. CPSI will also gain two McKesson/Allscripts Paragon customers as Thrive EHR users – Jenkins County Medical Center (GA) and Monroe Regional Hospital (MS).

image

Holy Name Medical Center (NJ) will use CareCloud’s EHR/PM in its 35 ambulatory medical practices. The hospital’s inpatient systems were mostly developed in-house, which is an outlier in this day and age.


People

image

Infor promotes Dann Lemerand to VP of strategy and product management of its CX Suite customer.

SNAGHTML27375759 

Kansas state representative Erin Davis joins Cerner as senior government strategist, raising questions about possible conflicts of interest that the company dismisses with the explanation that she will be involved with government sales only in the Northwest.

image

Secure health information exchange and claims attachment system vendor Vyne hires Robert Patrick (Carestream Dental) to the newly created position of president of its dental division. He will report to Lindy Benton, who remains president and CEO of Vyne.

image

John Mangano (Digitas Health) joins Healthgrades as SVP of business intelligence.


Announcements and Implementations

image

Lexmark announces GA of Downtime Assistant for Healthcare, which refreshes the hard drives of the company’s multi-function printers with EHR-generated reports, forms, and checklists that are needed for patient care when the EHR is down.

SNAGHTML274550cd

Treatment guidance solution vendor WiserTogether adds reporting and analytics to its Return to Health product, giving healthcare organizations insight into patient behavior that can be used to create pathways.

image

Intel launches its Health Application Platform platform that is integrated with a stable, secure Android edge device from Flex to connect consumer health monitoring devices to support remote care delivery.

Apple and GE release a software development kit for GE’s Predix Internet of Things platform that will allow developers to create industrial IoT apps for the iPhone and iPad. GE will also promote Macs for its 330,000-employee workforce, which would surely be the largest corporate deployment of Macs ever if they actually swap them all out.


Government and Politics

image

A state audit finds that University of Utah violated procurement laws in accepting a $12 million donation from Patrick Soon-Shiong that required the university to spend most of that money buying genetic sequencing tests from Soon-Shiong’s Nant companies. Auditors said the university let Soon-Shiong create specifications that assured a no-bid contract, also noting that competing companies could have provided the same genetic sequencing services for one-third the price.

image

The FBI arrests “Dr. Dave,” a Fort Worth personal trainer who registered as a CMS provider under 19 phony names in fraudulently billing $25 million to insurance companies. 


Privacy and Security

Iliuliuk Family and Health Services (AK) acknowledges that it was hit by ransomware that “temporarily blocked” access to its systems in August, but doesn’t say if it paid the demanded ransom.


Innovation and Research

JDRF announces an initiative to encourage innovation and family involvement in open-protocol artificial pancreas systems, where it will provide funding and regulatory advice to bring do-it-yourself and reverse engineered diabetes management technology projects to market.

Other

image

A JAMA editorial questions whether an oversupply of ICU beds has caused overutilization, noting that 1 percent of the entire United States gross domestic product is spent on ICU care, representing half of all US hospital expenses.

In England, a BBC review finds that the registered organ donor wishes of one-third of newly deceased people are not respected because of family objections. The law recognizes only the legal consent of the donor, but NHS says family objections – usually involving the time the process requires — are always upheld, denying hundreds of people the organ transplants they need. A 17-year-old registered donor says, “What’s the point of signing up if I could be overruled anyway?”

image

A Kaiser Health News report finds that 90 percent of Indiana’s nursing homes have been leased or sold to hospitals that are using a Medicaid loophole to earn a 30 percent higher payment, which in the case of leased facilities is shared with the city or county government owner. Advocates say that rural hospitals use the profit to remain solvent, while critics argue that hospital operators keep residents longer and the federal government is paying more for quality that hasn’t improved. Indiana Medicaid spends two-thirds of its long-term care budget on nursing homes vs. the US average of less than half, but as a state, Indiana is ranked among the worst for nursing home quality. A hospital CEO acknowledges that it makes money from putting more patients into its nursing homes, explaining, “Welcome to healthcare. It’s a complex and confusing environment where we have all different competing incentives.”

image

A local paper’s review of Vermont’s history as a health IT hub gives a nod to Rich Tarrant and Robert Hoehl’s Burlington Data Processing — later renamed to IDX Systems and then sold to GE Healthcare in 2006 for $1.2 billion – whose profits allowed some employees to fund new startups. Companies mentioned include Ona, ThinkMD, OhMD, Galen Healthcare Solutions, and Physician’s Computer Company.

This is hard to believe: an inmate with the porn-like name Dustin Lance sues the county jail for $5 million, claiming staff ignored his pleas for medical help after he swallowed a pill given to him by another inmate that caused him to have a painful erection that lasted 91 hours.


Sponsor Updates

  • Optimum Healthcare IT publishes an infographic titled “Rules of Thumb, Benefits, and Dangers of EHR Alerts.”
  • EClinicalWorks will exhibit at the 2017 TAHP Managed Care Conference & Trade Show October 23-24 in Houston.
  • FormFast will exhibit at the 2017 Fall HCP Hospital & Healthcare IT Conference October 18-19 in Chicago.
  • MModal is named 2017’s s health IT innovation leader by the Pittsburgh Technology Council.
  • Healthwise will exhibit at the HealthTrio 2017 Users Group Conference October 25-27 in Tucson.
  • Greg Walton of Next Wave Health Advisors, a Huntzinger Management Company, becomes a Life Fellow Member of HIMSS.
  • Iatric Systems will exhibit at the Midwest Fall Technology Conference October 22-24 in Indianapolis.
  • Surgical Products nominates Image Stream Medical’s MedPresence solution for the 2017 Excellence in Surgical Products Awards.
  • Impact Advisors VP Lydon Neumann becomes a CHIME Foundation Certified Healthcare Executive.
  • Imprivata collaborates with Welch Allyn to enhance security for medical devices
  • InterSystems will exhibit at RSNA 2017 October 26-November 1 in Chicago.
  • Kyruus will present at the Healthcare Internet Conference October 23-25 in Austin.

Blog Posts


Contacts

Mr. H, Lorre, Jenn, Dr. Jayne, Lt. Dan.
Get HIStalk updates. Send news or rumors.
Contact us.

125x125_2nd_Circle

News 10/18/17

October 17, 2017 News 9 Comments

Top News

image

Senators Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Patty Murray (D-WA) release their bipartisan plan to stabilize the health insurance exchanges in the short term. It quickly earned President Trump’s blessing “to get us over this immediate hump.”

Reported terms of the plan, announcement of which without specific draft language sent healthcare stocks flying on Tuesday, include:

  • Payment of the ACA cost-sharing reductions that the President just ordered to be stopped would be reinstated for two years.
  • $100 million of ACA sign-up assistance would be restored.
  • The waiver process for states that want to customize ACA rules would be simplified.
  • The availability of high-deductible, less-expensive policies would be expanded to all ACA enrollees, not just those under 30 years of age.

image

Vocal ACA supporter Andy Slavitt, former CMS acting administrator, is a fan of the Murray-Alexander proposal (even though he frets that it won’t get passed or that Senate Republicans won’t stop their quest to repeal the ACA entirely) since it would:

  • Preserve the ACA.
  • Reverse some of the White House’s ACA “sabotage.”
  • Provide new affordable plan options that, while not for everyone, are still better than no insurance.
  • Bring healthier people into the market.
  • Give states the flexibility they have been demanding while protecting lower income and sicker populations.

Reader Comments

image

From Lingua Frank: “Re: grammatical errors. I recently heard a cyberscurity expert talking about ‘security tenants,’ which I assume was supposed to be ‘tenets.’ An HIT project manager described dividing a project into ‘epics’ instead of ‘epochs.’” I was about to rail about colleges that graduate students who are poor writers, but I realized that the real culprit is a culture that accepts poor grammar and writing, as well as sloppy presenters and writers who indignantly insist that we stop grammar Nazi-ing them and instead serve as their auto-correct by proxy. Facebook has taught me to immediately stop reading posts from people I don’t know personally that feature misspelled words or hideously bad grammar since I have to assume that the person is equally lazy in their logic and execution. We all make mistakes, but only some of us care enough to fix them. I’m not as militant about mistakes like these two examples since it’s easy to misuse similar-sounding words especially when you hear them more often than you read them, and if you don’t know the difference between the words, no amount of spell-check will help.

image

From Peony: “Re: Allscripts. The press release mangles the name of their new customer, Catholic Medical Center.” Indeed it does, but at least only after listing the name correctly six times. “Care Medical Center” is actually a pretty good name.


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

image

I was curious about the five-year share price performance of some of the publicly traded health IT vendors. Buying Cerner or Athenahealth would have earned you a five-year return of around 85 percent, while Allscripts and Quality Systems were dead money and buying CPSI would have lost you 40 percent over five years. With 20-20 hindsight, you would have passed on these and instead bought index funds for the S&P 500 (up 78 percent) or the Nasdaq (up 120 percent), both of which provided great returns without the white-knuckle share price rollercoaster thrills along the way. Click the chart above to enlarge.

Listening: new from Mostly Autumn, an English progressive rock band (Pink Floyd-ish at times) formed in 1995 mostly known for near-constant touring, not signing with a big record label, and having a considerable turnover of personnel that has necessarily changed their sound over time. YouTube made a good related suggestion in 4th Labyrinth, which in addition to playing decent pop-tinged prog rock, has one of the most mesmerizing bass players you’ll ever see in Claudia McKenzie (they do a nice cover of “Locomotive Breath.”)


Webinars

October 19 (Thursday) noon ET. “Understanding Enterprise Health Clouds with Forrester:  What can they do for you, and how do you choose the right one?” Sponsored by: Salesforce. Presenters: Joshua Newman, MD, chief medical officer, Salesforce; Kate McCarthy, senior analyst, Forrester. McCarthy will demystify industry solutions while offering insights from her recent Forrester report on enterprise health clouds. Newman and customers from leading healthcare organizations will share insights on how they drive efficiencies, manage patient and member journeys, and connect the entire healthcare ecosystem on the Salesforce platform.

October 24 (Tuesday) 1:00 ET. “Improve Care and Save Clinician Time by Streamlining Specialty Drug Prescribing.” Sponsored by: ZappRx. Presenter: Jeremy Feldman, MD, director, pulmonary hypertension and advanced lung disease program and medical director of research, Arizona Pulmonary Specialists. Clinicians spend an average of 20 minutes to prescribe a single specialty drug and untold extra hours each month completing prior authorization (PA) paperwork to get patients the medications they need. This webinar will describe how Arizona Pulmonary Specialists automated the inefficient specialty drug ordering process to improve patient care while saving its clinicians time.

October 25 (Wednesday) 1:00 ET. “Delivering the Healthcare Pricing Transparency that Consumers are Demanding.” Sponsored by: Health Catalyst. Presenter: Gene Thompson, director, Health City Cayman Islands. Health systems are unlike every other major consumer category in not providing upfront pricing information. Learn how one health system has developed predictable, transparent bundled pricing for most major specialties. Attendees will gain insight into the importance of their quality measures and their use of actual daily procedure costing rather than allocated costs. They will also learn about the strategic risk of other market participants competing with single bundled pricing. The organization’s director will expand how its years-long process is enabling healthcare delivery reform.

October 26 (Thursday) 2:00 ET. “Is your EHR limiting your success in value-based care?” Sponsored by: Philips Wellcentive. Presenters: Lindsey Bates, market director of compliance, Philips Wellcentive; Greg Fulton, industry and public policy lead, Philips Wellcentive. No single technology solution will solve every problem, so ensuring you select the ones most aligned to meet your strategic goals can be the difference between thriving or merely surviving. From quality reporting to analytics to measures building, developing a comprehensive healthcare strategy that will support your journey in population health and value-base care programs is the foundation of success. Join Philips Wellcentive for our upcoming interactive webinar, where we’ll help you evolve ahead of the industry, setting the right strategic goals and getting the most out of your technology solutions.

November 8 (Wednesday) 1:00 ET. “How Clinically Integrated Networks Can Overcome the Technical Challenges to Data-Sharing.” Sponsored by: Liaison Technologies. Presenters: Dominick Mack, MD, executive medical director, Georgia Health Information Technology Extension Center and Georgia Health Connect, director, National Center for Primary Care, and associate professor, Morehouse School of Medicine;  Gary Palgon, VP of  healthcare and life sciences solutions, Liaison Technologies. This webinar will describe how Georgia Heath Connect connects clinically integrated networks to hospitals and small and rural practices, helping providers in medically underserved communities meet MACRA requirements by providing technology, technology support, and education that accelerates regulatory compliance and improves outcomes.

Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre for information.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

image

CNBC reports that Apple was recently considering acquiring its on-site medical clinic operator Crossover Health or national primary care clinic One Medical, although the sources did not indicate whether Apple’s interest was in running health clinics (which would be huge mistake and one that Apple is too smart to make) or partnering with them in an unstated technology role. The article describes Crossover Health  as a startup, which might stretch the term since the venture-backed company was founded in 2006 by Medsphere co-founder Scott Shreeve, MD after Medsphere bizarrely fired and sued him and his Medsphere co-founder brother Steve for publicly releasing source code, an odd move for an open source software vendor. Crossover Health has raised $114 million, runs four locations in Silicon Valley and one in New York City, and Scott remains as CEO, which I think takes it beyond the “startup” label.

image

Non-profit accelerator BioEnterprise Corp.will take over management of Cleveland’s county-owned, money-losing Global Center for Health Innovation. The building, which is attached to a convention center, changed its name from the less-sexy Medical Mart before it opened to a collective yawn in 2013. HIMSS signed on early as the anchor tenant.

SNAGHTML1e681cd9

Eye Care Leaders, which sells EHR/PM for ophthalmologists and optometrists, acquires competitor IMedicWare.


Sales

image

Adventist Health System will implement Glytec’s EGlycemic Management System at 39 of its hospitals.

image

Three hospitals in Belgium choose Cerner Millennium, although the company already announced University Hospital of Antwerp early this year.

CVS – whose MinuteClinic and specialty care management programs use Epic — will implement Epic’s Healthy Planet population health and analytics platform to give prescribers point-of-care information about drug formulary status, suggest lower-cost alternatives, and perform electronic prior authorization. The integration will also send a patient’s non-prescription drug purchases made via digital store front to their record in Epic’s EHR .

image

China-based Internet technology vendor Tencent – whose messaging apps are used by two-thirds of China’s population – will offer its users evidence-based consumer healthcare information from Healthwise that it calls “the best health information in the world.” 

image

Catholic Medical Center (NH) will implement Allscripts CareInMotion for population health management.


Announcements and Implementations

image

The American Medical Association launches its Integrated Health Model Initiative that will attempt to create a physician-developed holistic common data model around topics such as function, state, and goal to apply medical knowledge and improve interoperability. Initial communities are hypertension management, diabetes prevention, asthma functional status and patient goals, and defining wellness. Collaborators include AAFP, the American Heart Associaation, AMIA, Apertiva, BioReference Laboratories, CareCloud, Cerner, Clinical Architecture, IBM, Intermountain Healthcare, PCORI, PCPI, Prometheus Research, and SNOMED International. The announcement contained a lot of vague, lofty statements, so what AMA will actually do is not obvious.

image

Bernoulli Health will expand into Canada to offer its device integration, continuous monitoring, and clinical surveillance solution.

image

Healthgrades publishes its 2018 analysis of the top quality US hospitals and its “Report to the Nation.” It finds that if all hospitals performed as well as its five-star hospitals, 220,000 lives would be saved each year. Also released is the company’s National Health Index that lists the country’s 25 healthiest cities, with Minneapolis-St. Paul, Denver, Sacramento, Cincinnati, and Portland, OR taking the top five spots.

image

Voalte and Lightning Bolt Solutions will integrate their respective caregiver communications and hospital physician scheduling systems.


Government and Politics

image

President Trump declares in a Monday cabinet meeting that the term Obamacare is obsolete, explaining, “Obamacare is finished. It’s dead. It’s gone. It’s no longer. You shouldn’t even mention it. It’s gone. There is no such thing as Obamacare any more.” I’ll take all wagers that the President himself will tweet that term within a few weeks in trying to blame someone else for the inevitable “Trumpcare” meltdown.

Meanwhile, UnitedHealth Group says it’s excited about selling short-term medical plans again per the President’s executive order that extends their maximum coverage period from three months to one year. Investors loved the company’s reaction, which probably means prospective customers should be wary given the history of those policies excluding of pre-existing conditions (even if the insured person doesn’t know about them) and generating consumer complaints and lawsuits.

image

Politico reports that Seema Verma and Scott Gottlieb have fallen off President Trump’s short list to replace Tom Price as HHS secretary, with the frontrunner now being Alex Azar, a former HHS deputy secretary (basically HHS’s COO) who ran drug maker Lilly’s US operations until he left the company in January.

Three New York City doctors are sentenced to two years in prison for accepting cash, strip club tabs, and sex acts in exchange for referring patient blood samples to a private New Jersey lab company. Fifty people have been convicted so far, 36 of them doctors, for a bribery scheme run by Biodiagnostic Laboratory Services that improperly steered $100 million in Medicare and insurance payments to the company.


Privacy and Security

image

Chase Brexton Health Care (MD) notifies 17,000 patients that four of its employees fell for a phishing scam by filling out a phony email survey that gave hackers access to their email accounts. The hacker re-routed the paychecks of those employees to their own bank account. In terms of exposed PHI, the FQHC said the employee email accounts contained a lot of it that triggered the breach notice, but didn’t explain further.


Other

image

Venture capitalist Vinod Khosla famously said years ago that computers would replace doctors, which I thought was arrogant, clueless blather until I read this new interview with him that goes beyond the sound bite in elaborating on his thought process. Snips:

  • [On why he said we need algorithms rather than doctors] “I tore my ACL skiing … I did an MRI and I took it to three different docs and they recommended three different things. I said, this is stupid. There’s one right answer. When I talked to them about probability, they didn’t understand probability, and these are really good docs.”
  • “NNT (number needed to treat) is an incredibly important number that few doctors are aware of … If (medicine) was a science, for any given patient, you’d always have the same answer no matter who you ask, even if it is a probability distribution of outcomes. My goal became to change the practice of medicine, which is pretty damn good, into the science of medicine.”
  • “We don’t even measure the stuff that doctors can’t directly understand. We’re starting to run into this a little bit because in genomics, you might get 1,000 data points and no doctor can look at 1,000 data points. So in the past, we didn’t measure anything humans couldn’t consume, which meant they can at best look at a few numbers. We should have thousands of numbers per patient, per episode.”
  • “Anything that’s computing-based is near zero cost eventually. Which is why we spend way more compute cycles on a two-cent ad on Google than $10,000 medical decisions like, do you need a meniscus repair? … Let’s say you’re dealing with something serious like colon cancer. Does he know what each of the thousands of mutations could be? No, he doesn’t. So when he’s sitting down with the patient and saying, ‘You’ve got this cancer mutation,’ does he remember the 5,000 papers published in oncology journals recently? No, he doesn’t. He can’t.”
  • “There’s a company in Israel called Zebra Medical Vision (note: Khosla is an investor in the company)… In India today, they are offering reading any image for a dollar. Now that’s impactful. There aren’t enough radiologists in India … you have the analysis done almost immediately, if you are connected, for a dollar .. we will see better results than a radiologist and way faster. Higher quality, faster, and dirt cheap. The radiologist couldn’t do a phone call for a dollar. What else do you need?”
  • “There’s no reason an oncologist should be a human being. The right kind of oncologist isn’t the research oncologist. They know the most, but the guys who know how to take care of a patient are the community oncologists in Fresno or Stockton. They cannot always read all these journals, but they care for patients … They can be assisted with a virtual tumor board or an AI oncologist.”
  • “Watson could do AI. IBM has the scientific talent to do AI, but they chose to package Watson and market it for what it wasn’t. I think they can do much more, but the early efforts have been less than successful because they over marketed its capabilities.”

image

A federal judge invalidates the expired patent of drug maker Allergan for dry-eye treatment drug Restasis, allowing the sale of generic products despite Allergan’s attempt to protect its patent by transferring it to an Native American tribe to shield it from administrative review. Allergan offered the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe $13.5 million upfront and $15 million per year as long as the tribe used its sovereign immunity to keep the patent intact, a tactic the judge slammed as a “scheme to evade their legal responsibility.”

Bloomberg reviews the history of short-term medical plans that would become legal to sell again under President Trump’s executive order, recalling that those policies generated a lot of patient lawsuits for refusing to cover the cost of pre-existing conditions. A woman bought a short-term policy to cover her between jobs, was diagnosed with breast cancer, and was left on the hook for the $400,000 treatment cost when the insurer refused to pay even though she wasn’t aware that she had cancer until after she signed up. An attorney of a patient whose insurer refused to pay for treatment of his newly diagnosed throat cancer said more insurance choices isn’t necessarily a good thing: “With insurance it, doesn’t work that way. You’ve got to put everyone in the same pot.” Everyone could save a fortune by buying barebones insurance (or none at all, for that matter) if only they had a functional crystal ball, but until that happens, health systems should assume they’ll be eating a lot more cost as patients who can’t afford the patient portion of their low-coverage insurance will still show up demanding care. My biggest frustrations in the insurance debate are: (a) lack of political will to look at provider and pharma costs means every solution is just another form of cost-shifting and rationing; and (b) politicians seem clueless about how insurance and charity care works in declaring that nobody should be forced to buy insurance they don’t need, raising the question of how they know they won’t need it or who pays for the care they will demand if they guess wrong.

image

I ran a sample quote for United Healthcare’s short-term medical insurance, assuming a 40-year-old, non-smoking resident of Chicago under today’s underwriting policies. The company’s best Golden Rule-issued plan would cost $94 per month and would carry a $10,000 deductible, 60/40 co-insurance, 20 percent co-pay, and a $10,000 out-of-pocket maximum. The maximum lifetime coverage is $2 million. All payments, including ED and hospital, require the insured to pay the $10,000 deductible. No prescription benefit is included, nor is any out-of-network coverage at all (I would probably buy relatively inexpensive travel insurance with medical coverage while traveling on business or on vacation). Pre-existing conditions aren’t covered at all, defined as those for which the insured sought diagnosis or care in the previous 24 months or if the insured had symptoms for which “an ordinarily prudent person” would have sought care in the previous 12 months (at least you know upfront if that’s you). The price is great, you get United’s much-lower negotiated prices instead of paying provider list prices for cash, and people who can absorb the financial risk will be OK as long as they don’t get a new diagnosis of a chronic disease. Those with any existing or newly diagnosed chronic medical problems or who have less than $10,000 in liquid assets might not fare as well unless the ACA plans remain available so they can jump back in the next enrollment period (which isn’t really the way insurance is supposed to work).

EHR consultant Loretta Gallagher sues NYC Health + Hospitals, with a former IT director testifying that AVP Al Garofalo polled peers at a holiday party about which female consultant they would like to have sex with. The plaintiff sued NYC H+H last year, claiming her company was fired after she was refused to falsify a monthly Epic progress report as the CMIO ordered, although the health system’s OIG recommended her termination in 2015 after finding that her aunt – an HHC employee – improperly arranged to hire her and other family members.

image

Pretty funny.


Sponsor Updates

  • Black Book names MModal the leading vendor in transcription technology solutions and services as well as a top industry disruptors and challenger.
  • Spok welcomes 150 customers to its Connect 17 annual conference in New Orleans.
  • Diameter Health posts a podcast titled “Quality Measures Past, Present, and Future.
  • Meditech’s 6.1 and Client/Server EHR platform and portal earn Infoway’s certification for meeting standards in Canada. 
  • Ability Network announces the top-performing home health agencies in its annual HomeCare Elite program.
  • Agfa Healthcare releases “Enterprise Imaging crosses The Tipping Point – Episode 1.”
  • Aprima will exhibit at the Academy of Integrative Pain Management Annual Meeting October 19-21 in San Diego.
  • Besler Consulting will present at the MAPAM Annual Fall Conference October 23 in South Yarmouth, MA.
  • CarePort will exhibit at the Florida Association of ACOs annual conference October 19-20 in Orlando.
  • Clinical Architecture joins the AMA’s new Integrated Health Model Initiative.
  • The Jacksonville Business Journal recognizes CSI Healthcare IT CEO Rafe Sanson as a 2017 Ultimate CEO.
  • Direct Consulting Associates and Dimensional Insight will exhibit at the HIMSS Midwest Fall Conference October 22-24 in Indianapolis.

Blog Posts


Contacts

Mr. H, Lorre, Jenn, Dr. Jayne, Lt. Dan.
Get HIStalk updates. Send news or rumors.
Contact us.

125x125_2nd_Circle

Monday Morning Update 10/16/17

October 15, 2017 News 2 Comments

Top News

image

President Trump continues the dismantling of his predecessor’s programs without Congressional involvement by signing an executive order that would prohibit HHS from paying legally required (but also legally challenged) premium-lowering payments to insurers.

A CBO report from August predicted that such an order would increase premiums 20 percent immediately and increase the federal deficit by $194 billion over ten years, but would not significantly increase the number of people without insurance.

The immediate effect on the open enrollment period that starts in just over two weeks will vary by insurer and state. Some insurers built the expected action into their new premium prices, others advised insurers to assume the payments would be made in setting their prices, and the timing of the executive order makes it unlikely that insurers can get re-filed rates approved before enrollment begins, raising the possibility that they will pull out of the market.

Eighteen states have sued the White House over the executive order.

HHS Acting Secretary Eric Hargan and CMS Administrator Seema Verma release a statement supporting the order and criticizing the laws they swore to uphold, saying that “Obamacare is bad policy” and that cost-sharing reduction payments were authorized in an unlawful “unconstitutional executive action” (which is arguably true and the subject of the legal challenge).


Reader Comments

image

From Faith-Based Hill: “Re: Outcome Health. Overstating claims and fudging numbers will get you hundreds of millions in investment that you can use to buy time to hopefully turn things around. Too often the poor schmucks who try to build legitimate, ethical business get no such boost. The VC/PE world is ripe for such perverse incentives. A $5.5B valuation for putting TVs in doctors’ offices so Rx companies can prey on (cough, cough) I mean advertise to patients? How is this innovative? How is this going to actually benefit patients, lower costs, and (as their name ironically suggests) really improve outcomes? Sorry for ranting, but these Theranos-esque shysters make EHR vendors look like friggin’ Mother Teresa by comparison.” I’ll be interested to see how Outcome Health, as a privately held company, proceeds and how investors and customers react. Companies usually fire a few mid-level executive serving as scapegoats (giving them big go-away money and an ironclad NDA to prevent them from saying what really happened); apologize; and claim that the public penance marks a new chapter in the newly reinvented company’s inevitable destiny. The worst thing about Outcome’s business model of promoting drugs to patients at their vulnerable moments is that it works – doctors naively think they are immune from pharma propaganda and irrational patient pressure, but prescribing data proves otherwise. The most important “outcome” is boosting pharma’s bottom line. It’s distasteful to be reminded constantly that healthcare is like all other industries in being driven almost exclusively by profits, which was inevitable going back to the 1960s, when Medicare made the potential economic scale interesting to investors.

image

From Desperado: “Re: Cerner. Next CEO is … Zane Burke.” Unverified, but hardly shocking if true. CERN shares appeared (from my quick graph look) to have hit an all-time high after a nice run-up last, week, closing Friday at $73.57 as the company’s market cap approaches $25 billion. I’m happy that Burke at least earned an advanced degree (MBA) since so many healthcare executives rose through the sales ranks where graduate education is seen as a waste of time.

From ImageEnabler: “Re: Philips. Now requiring customers migrating away from their iSite PACS solution to use their third-party migration vendor of choice. Who owns the data again?” Unverified.

From Dr. Trump: “Re: ACA. Will Trump’s repeal of the health insurance subsidies and encouraging cheap individual health plans benefit Oscar Health, Joshua Kushner’s startup?” I expect so. The struggling Oscar was on the wrong side of Trump’s ACA wrath when he was elected since the company sold ACA plans, but it announced in April that it would start selling the kind of individual plans that will probably gain business from the executive order.


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

image

Incumbent HHS Secretary “None of the above” remains the favored candidate of poll respondents, although readers expressed tepid enthusiasm for having HUD Secretary Ben Carson swap chairs.

New poll to your right or here: what is the clinical and healthcare business impact of not having a national patient identifier?


This Week in Health IT History

One year ago:

  • Allscripts acquires CarePort.
  • AHIMA announces its plans to offer a health informatics certificate.
  • The Internet goes dark in many parts of the country when hackers hit DNS routing company Dyn.

Five years ago:

  • Wolters Kluwer announces that it will acquire Health Language.
  • NYC H+H’s board minutes explain why it chose Epic to replace QuadraMed CPR, a decision that led Allscripts to sue the health system for giving Epic the bid in what it claimed was improper procurement.
  • Google shares drop sharply when its financial printing firm releases the company’s SEC Form 8K in the middle of the day instead of after hours.
  • An IOM report finds that a health system co-managed by the DoD and VA s is spending an extra $700,000 per year for pharmacists to enter prescription data, required because their separate EHRs cannot create a sequential prescription number.

Ten years ago:

  • Medsphere settles its $50 million trade secrets and contract breach lawsuit brought against founding brothers Scott and Steve Shreeve.
  • Eclipsys announces plans to move its headquarters from Boca Raton, FL to Atlanta.
  • A Misys report concludes that doctors don’t use EMRs because they are expensive and hard to use.

Last Week’s Most Interesting News

  • A Wall Street Journal report says that waiting room digital advertising company Outcome Health misled investors about its advertising performance as fresh investment sent its valuation soaring to $5 billion.
  • President Trump signed an executive order that allows people to sidestep exchanges to buy less-expensive but less-comprehensive policies, a move that threatens to further destabilize ACA insurer risk pools.
  • Express Scripts announces plans to acquire EviCore Healthcare for $3.6 billion.

Webinars

October 19 (Thursday) noon ET. “Understanding Enterprise Health Clouds with Forrester:  What can they do for you, and how do you choose the right one?” Sponsored by: Salesforce. Presenters: Joshua Newman, MD, chief medical officer, Salesforce; Kate McCarthy, senior analyst, Forrester. McCarthy will demystify industry solutions while offering insights from her recent Forrester report on enterprise health clouds. Newman and customers from leading healthcare organizations will share insights on how they drive efficiencies, manage patient and member journeys, and connect the entire healthcare ecosystem on the Salesforce platform.

October 24 (Tuesday) 1:00 ET. “Improve Care and Save Clinician Time by Streamlining Specialty Drug Prescribing.” Sponsored by: ZappRx. Presenter: Jeremy Feldman, MD, director, pulmonary hypertension and advanced lung disease program and medical director of research, Arizona Pulmonary Specialists. Clinicians spend an average of 20 minutes to prescribe a single specialty drug and untold extra hours each month completing prior authorization (PA) paperwork to get patients the medications they need. This webinar will describe how Arizona Pulmonary Specialists automated the inefficient specialty drug ordering process to improve patient care while saving its clinicians time.

October 25 (Wednesday) 1:00 ET. “Delivering the Healthcare Pricing Transparency that Consumers are Demanding.” Sponsored by: Health Catalyst. Presenter: Gene Thompson, director, Health City Cayman Islands. Health systems are unlike every other major consumer category in not providing upfront pricing information. Learn how one health system has developed predictable, transparent bundled pricing for most major specialties. Attendees will gain insight into the importance of their quality measures and their use of actual daily procedure costing rather than allocated costs. They will also learn about the strategic risk of other market participants competing with single bundled pricing. The organization’s director will expand how its years-long process is enabling healthcare delivery reform.

October 26 (Thursday) 2:00 ET. “Is your EHR limiting your success in value-based care?” Sponsored by: Philips Wellcentive. Presenters: Lindsey Bates, market director of compliance, Philips Wellcentive; Greg Fulton, industry and public policy lead, Philips Wellcentive. No single technology solution will solve every problem, so ensuring you select the ones most aligned to meet your strategic goals can be the difference between thriving or merely surviving. From quality reporting to analytics to measures building, developing a comprehensive healthcare strategy that will support your journey in population health and value-base care programs is the foundation of success. Join Philips Wellcentive for our upcoming interactive webinar, where we’ll help you evolve ahead of the industry, setting the right strategic goals and getting the most out of your technology solutions.

November 8 (Wednesday) 1:00 ET. “How Clinically Integrated Networks Can Overcome the Technical Challenges to Data-Sharing.” Sponsored by: Liaison Technologies. Presenters: Dominick Mack, MD, executive medical director, Georgia Health Information Technology Extension Center and Georgia Health Connect, director, National Center for Primary Care, and associate professor, Morehouse School of Medicine;  Gary Palgon, VP of  healthcare and life sciences solutions, Liaison Technologies. This webinar will describe how Georgia Heath Connect connects clinically integrated networks to hospitals and small and rural practices, helping providers in medically underserved communities meet MACRA requirements by providing technology, technology support, and education that accelerates regulatory compliance and improves outcomes.

Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre for information.


Sales

Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services (MI) chooses Epic.


People

image

Former CMS Acting Administrator Andy Slavitt joins growth equity firm General Atlantic as special advisor, focusing on healthcare investments in underserved populations. HIStalk readers are cited in General Atlantic’s announcement for voting Slavitt as their “Healthcare IT Industry Figure of the Year” for 2016.


Announcements and Implementations

image

Hospital operator Mercy’s IT organization and device maker Medtronic will work together to capture de-identified data from heart failure patients to analyze their response to cardiac resynchronization therapy. Medtronic, based in Ireland after a controversial 2015 move of its US headquarters to Dublin to dodge US taxes, sells an implantable device that offers that therapy.


Government and Politics

Two senators write to President Trump to inquire why he declared on August 10, 2017 that “the opioid crisis is an emergency and I’m saying officially right now it is an emergency” without following through on the legal rather than the rhetorical declaration that is required to take federal action.


Privacy and Security

A Microsoft executive says that the government of North Korea was responsible for using stolen NSA tools to create the WannaCry malware that hit hospitals hard earlier this year.


Other

image

A 28-year-old New York man and self-described “serial data tracker” says his two-year-old Apple Watch saved his life by alerting him that his heart rate had jumped, which turned out to be a symptom of a pulmonary embolism that was successfully treated.

An 85-year-old New Hampshire pediatrician says the state is shutting her practice down for not using an EHR and therefore not checking the state’s doctor-shopper database before prescribing, although she fails to note that she willfully signed an agreement to close the practice after an investigation into poor documentation and questionable decision-making. The Poland-trained doctor claims that New London Hospital, with which she is affiliated, is trying to steal her patients. She doesn’t believe in technology:

I cannot practice medicine because the system practices with electronics. The computer is giving the diagnosis and telling them what medicine to prescribe. They practice medicine, and I practice medical art. They manage the patient, and I treat the patient … It’s fine if you are with the system. If you are not, you are an enemy of the system.”

Patients in England report that their doctors are ridiculing and threatening patients who research their issues on the Internet before a visit.

image

CNN finds that drug companies are making hundreds of millions of dollars each year – much of it paid by Medicare – on Nuedexta, intended for treating a relatively rare condition that causes laughing and crying in multiple sclerosis patients, but being aggressively marketed by salespeople for dementia patients in nursing homes. Its manufacturer has also paid many millions to doctors in honoraria and consulting fees, with doctors who have received those payments being responsible for nearly half of the Medicare claims paid for the drug. Nuedexta, which costs over $9,000 per year, contains two ancient, dirt-cheap drugs – dextromethorphan (in over-the-counter cough syrups) and quinidine sulfate (a bark-derived heart drug that’s so old that nobody can remember when it was first used). The unfortunately not-rare condition it causes rather than cures is excessive pharma laughing all the way to the bank.

A visitor is stabbed to death in his son’s hospital room at Johns Hopkins Hospital (MD), with police investigating a domestic issue trying to determine whether it was murder or suicide.

image

In India, a bystander captures on video a hospital dumping its medical waste into a river.

Weird News Andy is singing “Sole Man” while failing to identify a good ICD-10 code after reading this story. A man in England goes into cardiac arrest after swallowing a six-inch Dover sole, saved by a first responder who was able to remove the fish after six tries. The man claimed that the fish spontaneously leaped from the water into his mouth, but a friend told the first responder that the intrepid angler was fooling around by putting the just-caught fish over his mouth, only to be rendered speechless when it wriggled down his throat.


Sponsor Updates

  • Harris Healthcare will exhibit at AHAAM’s Annual National Institute Conference October 18-22 in Nashville.
  • Vocera will exhibit at the ANIA DFW Clinical Informatics Academy October 18 in Grand Prairie, TX.
  • Black Book ranks ZeOmega number one for care management workflow applications, and includes it on its list of Top 50 Disruptive Health IT Companies.

Blog Posts


Contacts

Mr. H, Lorre, Jenn, Dr. Jayne, Lt. Dan.
Get HIStalk updates. Send news or rumors.
Contact us.

125x125_2nd_Circle

News 10/13/17

October 12, 2017 News 7 Comments

Top News

SNAGHTML4760349

A Wall Street Journal report says that Chicago-based waiting room digital advertising company Outcome Health overcharged drug company advertisers by intentionally claiming an inflated number of screens in use, manipulating third-party ad performance analyses, and creating phony ad campaign screen shots.

The company, formerly known as ContextMedia Health, has placed three employees on paid leave pending an investigation.

A former executive who confronted co-founder and CEO Rishi Shah about questionable business practices lasted only two weeks, joining the seven executives who have left the company so far this year.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel helped dedicate a 29-story building that was renamed Outcome Tower in late September, the same day the company finalized plans to lay off 76 of its 600 employees.

Drug companies had previously obtained refunds from the company after their reps noticed that claimed devices in medical practices weren’t actually there. Outcome has also been accused of altering prescribing data from QuintilesIMS to make its campaigns look more successful, which earned Outcome a scolding from IMS.

image

Outcome Health’s last fund-raise valued it at $5 billion, making co-founders Rishi Shah and Shradha Agarwal, aged 31 and 32, respectively, paper billionaires.


Reader Comments

From Kyle vs. Givenchy: “Re: Athenahealth. Per the KLAS report, 13 of 28 Athenahealth customers have delayed or cancelled go-lives, not the 20 claimed. Seven of eight reported pharmacy-related issues, while end users are less enthusiastic than executives.” Unverified. I don’t see KLAS reports since they quit sending them to me, so I’ll take your word for what it found.

From Jake Asp: “Re: telemedicine. I didn’t see this news item mentioned.” I rarely mention telemedicine news because it has nearly zero to do with health IT. Talking to a doctor over a video connection is no different than calling them up on the telephone and that’s not going to get health IT geeks excited. I’m puzzled by health IT sites fawn over virtual visit news or proposed telehealth regulatory changes, maybe because those topics are easy for inexperienced people to write about. I go off-topic only (sometimes wildly) when I read something that I think will interest my peers and even then it’s only a tiny blurb rather than a padded-out article.


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

image

Welcome to new HIStalk Platinum Sponsor Change Healthcare. The new, Nashville-based, 15,000-employee Change Healthcare — one of the largest independent technology companies in the US — includes most of the former McKesson Technology Solutions as well as the former Emdeon, which was renamed Change Healthcare when Emdeon acquired that company in September 2015. The company serves payers (Intelligent Healthcare Network for financial and administrative transaction processing); providers (eligibility, claims, productivity, imaging, clinical workflow, and value-based care); and consumers (True View Health Shopping Platform). The company just announced healthcare’s first enterprise blockchain solution. Thanks to Change Healthcare for supporting HIStalk.

Listening: new from the amazing Michigan-based hip-hop artist NF (born Nathan Feuerstein), whose hard-hitting yet non-explicit lyrics allow focusing on the anger and self-doubt he describes rather than the usual vapid, misogynistic swagger. The 26-year-old wrote about his mother’s drug overdose death in “How Could You Leave Us?”: “I don’t get it mom, don’t you want to watch your babies grow?; I guess that pills are more important, all you have to say is no; But you won’t do it, will you? You gon’ keep popping ’til those pills kill you; I know you gone but I can still feel you.” His long tour that starts in January includes a lot of stops in health IT centers like Nashville, Atlanta, Raleigh, Boston, Madison, and Kansas City. I’m also enjoying questionably named but inarguably talented Wales-based hard rockers Catfish and the Bottlemen.

This week on HIStalk Practice: Lightbeam Health Solutions will provide population health management solutions to American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians. In the Consultant’s Corner, Brad Boyd offers tips to help practice administrators proactively address physician burnout. Azalea Health merges with Prognosis Innovation Healthcare. Vermont physicians face criticism as medical marijuana clinics attempt to take off. ZDoggMD brings the house down at MGMA. Follow-up study shows PCP antibiotic overprescribing habits could benefit from “nudges.” Hope Orthopedics of Oregon kicks off patient-reported outcomes program. Formativ Health helps independent MDs in Pennsylvania transition to value-based care.


Webinars

October 19 (Thursday) noon ET. “Understanding Enterprise Health Clouds with Forrester:  What can they do for you, and how do you choose the right one?” Sponsored by: Salesforce. Presenters: Joshua Newman, MD, chief medical officer, Salesforce; Kate McCarthy, senior analyst, Forrester. McCarthy will demystify industry solutions while offering insights from her recent Forrester report on enterprise health clouds. Newman and customers from leading healthcare organizations will share insights on how they drive efficiencies, manage patient and member journeys, and connect the entire healthcare ecosystem on the Salesforce platform.

October 24 (Tuesday) 1:00 ET. “Improve Care and Save Clinician Time by Streamlining Specialty Drug Prescribing.” Sponsored by: ZappRx. Presenter: Jeremy Feldman, MD, director, pulmonary hypertension and advanced lung disease program and medical director of research, Arizona Pulmonary Specialists. Clinicians spend an average of 20 minutes to prescribe a single specialty drug and untold extra hours each month completing prior authorization (PA) paperwork to get patients the medications they need. This webinar will describe how Arizona Pulmonary Specialists automated the inefficient specialty drug ordering process to improve patient care while saving its clinicians time.

October 25 (Wednesday) 1:00 ET. “Delivering the Healthcare Pricing Transparency that Consumers are Demanding.” Sponsored by: Health Catalyst. Presenter: Gene Thompson, director, Health City Cayman Islands. Health systems are unlike every other major consumer category in not providing upfront pricing information. Learn how one health system has developed predictable, transparent bundled pricing for most major specialties. Attendees will gain insight into the importance of their quality measures and their use of actual daily procedure costing rather than allocated costs. They will also learn about the strategic risk of other market participants competing with single bundled pricing. The organization’s director will expand how its years-long process is enabling healthcare delivery reform.

October 26 (Thursday) 2:00 ET. “Is your EHR limiting your success in value-based care?” Sponsored by: Philips Wellcentive. Presenters: Lindsey Bates, market director of compliance, Philips Wellcentive; Greg Fulton, industry and public policy lead, Philips Wellcentive. No single technology solution will solve every problem, so ensuring you select the ones most aligned to meet your strategic goals can be the difference between thriving or merely surviving. From quality reporting to analytics to measures building, developing a comprehensive healthcare strategy that will support your journey in population health and value-base care programs is the foundation of success. Join Philips Wellcentive for our upcoming interactive webinar, where we’ll help you evolve ahead of the industry, setting the right strategic goals and getting the most out of your technology solutions.

November 8 (Wednesday) 1:00 ET. “How Clinically Integrated Networks Can Overcome the Technical Challenges to Data-Sharing.” Sponsored by: Liaison Technologies. Presenters: Dominick Mack, MD, executive medical director, Georgia Health Information Technology Extension Center and Georgia Health Connect, director, National Center for Primary Care, and associate professor, Morehouse School of Medicine;  Gary Palgon, VP of  healthcare and life sciences solutions, Liaison Technologies. This webinar will describe how Georgia Heath Connect connects clinically integrated networks to hospitals and small and rural practices, helping providers in medically underserved communities meet MACRA requirements by providing technology, technology support, and education that accelerates regulatory compliance and improves outcomes.

Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre for information.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

image

Atlanta-based ambulatory EHR/PM vendor Azalea Health acquires community hospital EHR vendor Prognosis Innovation Healthcare, which was known as Prognosis Health Information Systems until it was renamed in 2014 by its new private equity owners. I interviewed Ramsey Evans, then CEO of Prognosis, way back in September 2010. He left the company in 2013 to return to Keais Records Retrieval as CFO and board chair – the Houston-based company offers electronic medical records retrieval for attorneys.

image

Consumer health benefits and wellness technology vendor Welltok acquires Tea Leaves Health, which offers consumer and physician relationship management systems. Ziff Davis, which bought 60-employee, Atlanta-based Tea Leaves for $30 million in 2015, sold it to Welltok for $83 million. Ziff Davis is owned by Internet company J2 Global, which also owns Everyday Health (MedPage Today, KevinMD.com and MayoClinic.org). ZD said in February 2017 that Tea Leaves might never make a profit.

SNAGHTML3938615

The private equity owner of revenue cycle technology vendor Practice Insight sells the business to an unnamed buyer.

image

Wellness app vendor StayWell, a subsidiary of drug maker Merck, acquires MedHelp’s health engagement platform. Meanwhile, health shopping site operator Vitals buys MedHelp’s online health communities business.


Sales

image

North Carolina Hospital Association chooses PatientPing to offer statewide, real-time care coordination.


Announcements and Implementations

image

Cerner tells its user group attendees that it will continue to offer free CommonWell services through 2020.

SNAGHTML36aea74

Flirtey, which uses drones to deliver emergency medical supplies, will send automated external defibrillators in response to 911 cardiac arrest calls received by northern Nevada emergency medical provider REMSA. 

image

Summit Healthcare chooses system integrator Speedum Technologies Health Solutions to resell its integration platform, scripting tool, and downtime reporting system.

image

EClinicalWorks will partner with clinical data registry and analytics vendor FIGmd to offer its EHR users connectivity to specialty registries.


Government and Politics

image

President Trump takes another step to kill the Affordable Care Act by signing an executive order that will make it easier for small businesses and perhaps even individuals to band together to buy health insurance across state lines (which is already legal but rarely done since it’s hard for insurers to create networks in new states and such sales require state-by-state approval). The order will also again allow the sale of short-term policies that don’t cover pre-existing conditions, which the ACA halted. Critics worry that cheap but low-quality plans will draw healthy people away from ACA plans, driving up premiums as sicker people are left without alternatives. Health systems will be watching the change in their patient bases closely. ACA expert Charles Gaba’s expert analysis is sobering and is a reminder that “slicing up the risk pool does absolutely nothing to lower the total cost of healthcare.” HHS will be responsible for setting definitions in drafting the legislation, which will likely take several months if the order survives the inevitable legal challenges.


Privacy and Security

image

A security researcher finds that the website of Equifax – fresh off its massive breach that exposed the information of 146 million people – was hacked this week, with visitors being tricked into installing an adware-pushing app posing as an update to Adobe Flash.


Other

image

Paul Purcell, administrator of STEP Pediatrics (TX), reports that Memorial Hermann some doctors are going back to paper after a nine-day performance problem caused by an EClinicalWorks upgrade.

image

An interesting review by Pew Charitable Trusts finds that a remarkable number of Americans use life-sustaining technologies in their homes and are thus vulnerable to storm-related power outages. HHS mined its Medicare claims database to create a map of people who had received government-provided medical equipment to help health officials locate them in an emergency.

In a PR move that always strikes me as a self-serving form of cost-shifting, at least one Las Vegas hospital and two ambulance services announce that they will not charge victims of the recent mass shooting for the services they received. Other patients whose circumstances were judged as less meaningful will have to cover the cost of the non-profit largesse, which would ring truer if the organizations just did it without crowing.

A Harvard Business Review article by two Bain & Company’s healthcare partners cites surveys suggesting that doctors understand that the cost of drugs and clinical care are too high, but that nobody’s inviting them to the table to figure out how to control costs, improve performance, or move to new reimbursement models.

image

Analysis finds that dialysis operator DaVita makes more than half its profit from patients who receive charity help to pay their insurance premiums, with 13 percent of its patients receiving help from the American Kidney Fund to which DaVita makes tax-free donations. The company benefits because private insurance pays more than Medicare or Medicaid, with charity-funded insured patients contributing $540 million to the company’s annual profit.

The hospitals in Ontario’s largest network are reviewing five million electronic patient records after a patient-reported error leads them to discover a few incorrect records.

image

Count me in for a comprehensive $3,300 report on the “HER” market, as it’s referred to 25 times in the announcement without the sharp-eyed editors noticing their mistake. Adding to my interest is that the company’s address from which a wide variety of crappy reports emanate is — like the addresses of some of its 25 associated publishers — a house in a residential neighborhood. The report description is loaded with fractured English as a second language, but I’ll focus on “till,” best used as a synonym for “cash register” or as a verb referring to “plow” rather than a sloppy substitute for “until.”

Ross Martin, MD and his The American College of Medical Informatimusicology debuts his new song “DigituRN” at the Tri-State Health Informatics Summit this week. The term refers to transforming the nursing profession through informatics and digital innovation.  

Weird News Andy likes that several animation studios worked with the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation for free to create short videos explaining procedures and conditions to children, a project they call Imaginary Friend Society.


Sponsor Updates

  • MedData and Experian Health will exhibit at the TAHFA & HFMA South Texas Fall Symposium October 15-17 in San Antonio.
  • Meditech will host the 2017 Physician and CIO Forum October 18-19 in Foxborough, MA.
  • Navicure will exhibit at the Raintree User Conference October 16-18 in San Antonio.
  • Health Catalyst is named as the 17th fastest-growing company in Utah, with sales growing 1,700 percent in five years.
  • National Decision Support Co. and Parallon Technology Solutions will exhibit at the Meditech 2017 Physician and CIO Forum October 18-19 in Foxborough, MA.
  • Netsmart will exhibit at the National Association for Home Care and Hospice Conference October 15 in Long Beach, CA.
  • Clinical Computer Systems, developer of the Obix Perinatal Data System, will exhibit at the Washington State AWHONN Conference October 15-17 in Lake Chelan, WA.

Blog Posts


Contacts

Mr. H, Lorre, Jenn, Dr. Jayne, Lt. Dan.
Get HIStalk updates. Send news or rumors.
Contact us.

125x125_2nd_Circle

News 10/11/17

October 10, 2017 News 4 Comments

Top News

image

Pharmacy benefits manager Express Scripts will acquire care management vendor EviCore Healthcare for $3.6 billion.

Private equity firm General Atlantic formed EviCore in 2014 in merging its acquisitions CareCore (acquired in January 2014 for an undisclosed price) and MedSolutions (acquired in November 2014 for a reported $1 billion). The company renamed itself to EviCore in June 2015. 

EviCore was rumored to be seeking a buyer in May 2017 in hoping for a valuation of more than $4 billion, but was simultaneously planning an IPO in case no acceptable offers were made.

EviCore Chairman and CEO John Arlotta has worked for General Atlantic and was previously president of Express Scripts competitor Caremark RX (now CVS Caremark).


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

Every October Lorre offers a deal for new HIStalk sponsors – sign up now and get the rest of 2017 free. Contact her if you want in before the usual pre-HIMSS rush that, shockingly, will be here before we know it.

image

I wanted to buy a baby monitor for some relatives who are new parents and ran across this IP-based camera that was so cool I had to get myself one afterward. The TenVis HD camera features two-way audio, rotation, night vision with 32-foot range, a micro SD card slot for recording, optional emailing of a snapshot or a telephone alert when it detects movement, and an app that allows viewing real-time video from anywhere. That’s a lot of technology in a $40 device. Setup was nearly instantaneous over WiFi, although I had to throttle back my router to 2.4 GHz for configuration and then switch it back to 5 GHz afterward because of some quirk. I don’t need to monitor babies, but it’s fun to check out what’s happening in the living room from anywhere in the house or anywhere in the world, while other Amazon reviewers love it for keeping an eye on elderly parents or driving their dogs crazy by talking to them from afar. My gift recipients report an added benefit that I hadn’t thought of – they’ve given the far-away grandparents access so they can take a wistful look at the little one whenever they want.


Webinars

October 17 (Tuesday) noon ET. “Improve Care and Save Clinician Time by Streamlining Specialty Drug Prescribing.” Sponsored by: ZappRx. Presenter: Jeremy Feldman, MD, director, pulmonary hypertension and advanced lung disease program and medical director of research, Arizona Pulmonary Specialists. Clinicians spend an average of 20 minutes to prescribe a single specialty drug and untold extra hours each month completing prior authorization (PA) paperwork to get patients the medications they need. This webinar will describe how Arizona Pulmonary Specialists automated the inefficient specialty drug ordering process to improve patient care while saving its clinicians time.

October 19 (Thursday) noon ET. “Understanding Enterprise Health Clouds with Forrester:  What can they do for you, and how do you choose the right one?” Sponsored by: Salesforce. Presenters: Joshua Newman, MD, chief medical officer, Salesforce; Kate McCarthy, senior analyst, Forrester. McCarthy will demystify industry solutions while offering insights from her recent Forrester report on enterprise health clouds. Newman and customers from leading healthcare organizations will share insights on how they drive efficiencies, manage patient and member journeys, and connect the entire healthcare ecosystem on the Salesforce platform.

October 26 (Thursday) 2:00 ET. “Is your EHR limiting your success in value-based care?” Sponsored by: Philips Wellcentive. Presenters: Lindsey Bates, market director of compliance, Philips Wellcentive; Greg Fulton, industry and public policy lead, Philips Wellcentive. No single technology solution will solve every problem, so ensuring you select the ones most aligned to meet your strategic goals can be the difference between thriving or merely surviving. From quality reporting to analytics to measures building, developing a comprehensive healthcare strategy that will support your journey in population health and value-base care programs is the foundation of success. Join Philips Wellcentive for our upcoming interactive webinar, where we’ll help you evolve ahead of the industry, setting the right strategic goals and getting the most out of your technology solutions.

November 8 (Wednesday) 1:00 ET. “How Clinically Integrated Networks Can Overcome the Technical Challenges to Data-Sharing.” Sponsored by: Liaison Technologies. Presenters: Dominick Mack, MD, executive medical director, Georgia Health Information Technology Extension Center and Georgia Health Connect, director, National Center for Primary Care, and associate professor, Morehouse School of Medicine;  Gary Palgon, VP of  healthcare and life sciences solutions, Liaison Technologies. This webinar will describe how Georgia Heath Connect connects clinically integrated networks to hospitals and small and rural practices, helping providers in medically underserved communities meet MACRA requirements by providing technology, technology support, and education that accelerates regulatory compliance and improves outcomes.

Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre for information.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

image

Telahealth technology vendor Avizia acquires Seattle-based virtual clinic operator Carena.

image

Pittsburgh-based AI vendor Petuum — which  is developing  products for several industries including an EHR-powered disease and treatment module — receives a $93 million investment, increasing its total to $108 million. Two of the three founders earned PhDs from Carnegie Mellon University in computer science and machine learning, respectively.


Sales

image

Aetna selects Stanson Health to automate its clinical prior authorization process by integrating with provider EHRs to collect both discrete and free-text information.

SNAGHTML22892d20

Southwestern Health Resources (TX) chooses Phynd’s provider management system that will integrate with its Epic and credentialing systems, managing 50,000 providers in 31 hospitals.


People

image

Chris Mathia (Hyland) joins Innara Health as EVP of sales.


Announcements and Implementations

image

Clinical Architecture releases version 2.0 of its Symedical enterprise terminology management platform.

image

EClinicalWorks announces that its EHR now supports the OpenNotes initiative in allowing clinicians to share visit notes with patients via its patient portal.

image

Nokia will cease development of its $45,000, 360-degree Ozo virtual reality camera for filmmakers, saying that the VR market is developing more slowly than the company expected. Nokia will focus on digital health, enabled by its June 2016 acquisition of France-based consumer medical gadget vendor Withings for $191 million.

image

HIMSS Analytics launches a mobile version of its Logic database, giving health IT salespeople access to information about provider organizations and their technology-related activities.

image

Switzerland-based Ascom releases Digistat Vitals, which allows bedside EHR entry of vital signs and clinical scores in eliminating double entry and paper transcription.

image

PatientKeeper announces a hosted version of its physician charge capture solution.


Government and Politics

A study finds that the FDA‘s requirement that direct-to-consumer drug advertisements list side effects paradoxically increases sales of potentially dangerous drugs. The “argument dilution effect” leads consumers to assume that the mandatory long list of possible side effects – some of them included because of frequency of occurrence rather than severity – misleads them into thinking a drug isn’t likely to harm them.

image

A former Missouri nursing home company CEO is sentenced to 41 months in prison and ordered to pay $667,000 in restitution for using Medicaid payments to pay for strippers, casinos, and country clubs as residents of his facilities were given clear broth as meals and did not receive their meds because the company failed to pay its pharmacy provider.


Privacy and Security

image

Security researchers find an unsecured Amazon Web Services S3 file containing the medical information of 150,000 people, apparently patients of anticoagulant monitoring company Patient Home Monitoring Corporation.

image

In a related item, another security firm finds four unsecured, Accenture-owned AWS S3 buckets holding customer decryption keys, passwords, and certificates. Ironically, the exposed information includes software for Accenture Cloud Platform, the company’s enterprise cloud offering.


Technology

A Wall Street Journal review of scientific studies confirms my suspicion that smartphones make their users stupider. Not only do phones distract people from real-world tasks (the average phone user whips theirs out 80 times per day), keeping a phone “nearby and in sight” diminishes the ability to learn, reason, and solve problems even as users suffer from “delusions of intelligence” in confusing what they actually know vs. what they can look up on their phones. The article notes,

It isn’t just our reasoning that takes a hit when phones are around. Social skills and relationships seem to suffer as well. Because smartphones serve as constant reminders of all the friends we could be chatting with electronically, they pull at our minds when we’re talking with people in person, leaving our conversations shallower and less satisfying … The evidence that our phones can get inside our heads so forcefully is unsettling. It suggests that our thoughts and feelings, far from being sequestered in our skulls, can be skewed by external forces we’re not even aware of … A quarter-century ago, when we first started going online, we took it on faith that the web would make us smarter: More information would breed sharper thinking. We now know it isn’t that simple. The way a media device is designed and used exerts at least as much influence over our minds as does the information that the device unlocks.

image

In England, the local paper covers the use by King George Hospital of Vitalpac, an iPad-based vital signs documentation system from System C Healthcare that has reduced hourly rounding time by 75 percent. McKesson bought England-based System C for $140 million in 2011, then sold it to private equity form Symphony Technology Group in 2014 as McKesson began its health IT exit.


Other

image

Two Northern California hospitals – Santa Rosa Memorial and Queen of the Valley Medical Center — evacuate patients after Wine Country wildfires spread to 100,000 acres, burning down 1,500 buildings and killing a least 11 people. If there’s such a thing as wine futures, now would be a great time to load up.

A. James Bender, MD, medical director for clinical informatics at Virginia Mason (WA) and his Virginia Mason Center for Health Care Solutions co-author write in Harvard Business Review that the EHR is increasing innovation, with these examples:

  • Alerting clinicians about possible omissions in care based on evidence.
  • Adding transparency to patient and family engagement with ICU electronic patient scoreboards to prevent blood clots.
  • Providing intelligence, such as auto-ordering of labs when specific drugs are ordered.
  • Blocking orders for high-cost imaging studies that are not supported by evidence.

image

The local paper reports that three-hospital Maui Health System (HI) has experienced a few technology problems in the first 100 days of turning over operation of the to Kaiser Permanente. Community-based doctors say they don’t automatically receive faxed information about the hospital visits of their patients like they used to, causing billing delays.

image

The Salt Lake City, UT police chief fires the detective who handcuffed an ED nurse who refused to allow him to draw a blood sample from a patient without obtaining a warrant as hospital policy requires.

image

The work of Richard Thaler, who just won the economics Nobel  prize, has healthcare implications. His specialty is behavioral economics, which studies why people act irrationally when it comes to money, why they fail to stick with their plans, and how they choose whether to act selfishly or selflessly. He says people segregate money in mental accounts and it’s easier for them to spend someone else’s money. He also urges organizations and government to nudge people to help them make good decisions, which would make his observations on the US healthcare system interesting. He said previously that employer healthcare insurance sites are too complicated, such as displaying deductibles as a full-year sum while pricing premiums by the paycheck. One of his significant contributions involved 2006 federal retirement savings plan changes that encouraged employers to make participation opt-out rather than opt-in, which doubled participation, although he’s disappointed that companies encourage under-contribution by setting the default contribution at the minimum amount instead of escalating it over time.

image image

A woman in Japan posts Instagram-worthy photos of the hospital meals she was served following the birth of her child, making it obvious that they do things differently there. 


Sponsor Updates

  • Colquitt Regional Medical Center (GA) describes the benefits it has seen from its summer 2016 go-live on Meditech 6.1.
  • Fortified Health Security President Dan Dodson will present “Out of the Dark: Seeing and Securing Network-Connected Medical Devices” at the Raleigh Health IT Summit on October 20.
  • Aprima will exhibit at the American Academy of Home Care Medicine Annual Meeting October 13-14 in Rosemont, IL.
  • Besler Consulting will present at the SC HFMA Fall Institute October 12 in Greenville.
  • Black Book publishes the results of its annual outsourced coding and HIM market client experience surveys.
  • CoverMyMeds partners with Pelotonia to raise over $100,000 for cancer research.
  • CTG will exhibit at the Northwest Arkansas Technology Summit October 17 in Rogers.
  • Direct Consulting Associates, Imprivata, and InterSystems will exhibit at the Health Connect Partners Hospital & Healthcare IT Conference October 18-20 in Chicago.
  • Dimensional Insight will exhibit at the HFMA Region 2 meeting October 18 in Verona, NY.
  • FormFast will exhibit at the ASHRM Annual Conference & Exhibition October 15-18 in Seattle.
  • Healthwise will exhibit at Philips Connect2Care October 16-18 in Los Angeles.

Blog Posts


Contacts

Mr. H, Lorre, Jenn, Dr. Jayne, Lt. Dan.
Get HIStalk updates. Send news or rumors.
Contact us.

125x125_2nd_Circle

Monday Morning Update 10/9/17

October 8, 2017 News 6 Comments

Top News

image

EClinicalWorks says at its annual user conference in Grapevine, TX that it had Q3 revenue of $130 million. The company notes that its EHR is the second-most widely used in the US.

image

ECW’s migration statistics for 2017 to date show that the EHRs it most often replaces are those of Greenway (by far), Allscripts, and Athenahealth.

EClinicalWorks also announces December 2017 availability of an interoperability development platform that allows developers to connect to ECW’s API-enabled EHR.

Also announced: a voice-powered Virtual Assistant called Eva, Healow Virtual Room for telemedicine, and v11 of the company’s core product.


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

image

Two-thirds of poll respondents think customers that are featured in a vendor’s product sale announcement should be required to indicate whether they hold a financial interest in that vendor. The “required” part of that assertion is the problem, of course, since the obvious remaining issue is, “Required by whom?” Still, the idea that a provider’s purchase of a product wasn’t made using purely objective criteria is troubling to some since the announcement may influence others, especially in health IT-land where “I’ll have what he’s having” purchasing behavior is not uncommon.

New poll to your right or here: who among the rumored candidates would you like to see appointed HHS secretary? I can’t say I’m enthused about any of them except at least they aren’t Tom Price.

image

Welcome to new HIStalk Gold Sponsor CenTrak. The Newtown, PA-based company’s real-time location system has been installed in 850 healthcare facilities, with its Clinical Grade-Visibility providing certainty-based location accuracy; rapid location and condition updates; easy installation without requiring patient rooms to be closed; and an open location platform that can be integrated with EHRs, nurse call, and other systems. Its app is available for both iOS and Android devices. CenTrak is KLAS’s 2017 Category Leader for Real-Time Location Systems, receiving the highest performance score among ranked RTLS vendors. The company offers a free Enterprise Location Services Handbook and an RTLS RFP template. Thanks to CenTrak for supporting HIStalk. 

I found this video describing how CenTrak is used at Our Lady of Lourdes Regional Medical Center (LA).

Thanks to the following companies that have recently supported HIStalk. Click a logo for more information.

image
image
image
image
SNAGHTML117e0579
image
image
image
image

Listening: the amazing alt-acoustic Jamestown Story, which I’ve mentioned before since it’s a project of independent singer-songwriter Dane Schmidt, whose dad Mark is a consultant with Navin, Haffty & Associates. Mark reports that his other son Jordan is one of the top songwriters in country music and has three songs on the charts right now. I’m also listening to former Porcupine Tree singer and guitarist Steven Wilson, justifiably recommended by a reader who also suggests Wilson’s older work with the tragically underappreciated Porcupine Tree as a “modern Pink Floyd.” I’m tracking Porcupine Tree while I’m writing HIStalk today and it is stunningly perfect, even in live recordings. Video from Wilson’s live 2013 performance gives me prog chills, to the point that I just now bought tickets for his US tour that starts in April, where I’ll be silently thanking the reader who showed great insight in recommending Wilson’s music.


This Week in Health IT History

One year ago:

  • Theranos announces that it will close all of its clinical labs and lay off half of its employees in pivoting from running labs to commercializing its MiniLab testing system.
  • ICU monitoring technology vendor Sotera Wireless files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
  • Xerox, preparing to split itself into two publicly traded companies, chooses Conduent as the name of the business process services segment.
  • HHS publishes the final MACRA rule.

Five years ago:

  • Allscripts offers MyWay EHR customers a free upgrade to Professional as it begins the product’s retirement.
  • Allscripts files a protest against New York City’s hospital system for choosing Epic.
  • The developer of Nashville Medical Mart shuts down the project for lack of leasing interest.

Ten years ago:

  • Misys Healthcare re-forms under new private equity owner Vista Equity Partners and returns to its old name of Sunquest Information Systems, with Richard Atkin as president and CEO.
  • Microsoft’s healthcare head predicts that the company’s HealthVault personal health record and Azyxxi data aggregation platform will generate a billion dollars in annual revenue.
  • Word leaks out that Epic is developing its own PHR called Lucy.
  • Sage fires its North American executives as the company’s US performance continues to lag.

Last Week’s Most Interesting News

  • France-based IT consulting firm Atos acquires three US EHR-focused consulting companies.
  • The US Supreme Court hears arguments on the legality of Epic’s requirement that employees agree to arbitration rather than lawsuits to settle employment issues.
  • Several names are floated as possible replacements for fired HHS Secretary Tom Price.
  • A Wisconsin court reduces the $940 million awarded to Epic in its intellectual project lawsuit against Tata Consultancy to $420 million.
  • Canada’s Alberta Health chooses Epic.

Webinars

October 17 (Tuesday) noon ET. “Improve Care and Save Clinician Time by Streamlining Specialty Drug Prescribing.” Sponsored by: ZappRx. Presenter: Jeremy Feldman, MD, director, pulmonary hypertension and advanced lung disease program and medical director of research, Arizona Pulmonary Specialists. Clinicians who treat pulmonary arterial hypertension can spend an average of 20 minutes to prescribe a single specialty drug and untold extra hours each month completing prior authorization (PA) paperwork to get patients the medications they need. This webinar will describe how Arizona Pulmonary Specialists automated the inefficient specialty drug ordering process to improve patient care while saving its clinicians time.

October 19 (Thursday) noon ET. “Understanding Enterprise Health Clouds with Forrester:  What can they do for you, and how do you choose the right one?” Sponsored by: Salesforce. Presenters: Joshua Newman, MD, chief medical officer, Salesforce; Kate McCarthy, senior analyst, Forrester. McCarthy will demystify industry solutions while offering insights from her recent Forrester report on enterprise health clouds. Newman and customers from leading healthcare organizations will share insights on how they drive efficiencies, manage patient and member journeys, and connect the entire healthcare ecosystem on the Salesforce platform.

October 26 (Thursday) 2:00 ET. “Is your EHR limiting your success in value-based care?” Sponsored by: Philips Wellcentive. Presenters: Lindsey Bates, market director of compliance, Philips Wellcentive; Greg Fulton, industry and public policy lead, Philips Wellcentive. No single technology solution will solve every problem, so ensuring you select the ones most aligned to meet your strategic goals can be the difference between thriving or merely surviving. From quality reporting to analytics to measures building, developing a comprehensive healthcare strategy that will support your journey in population health and value-base care programs is the foundation of success. Join Philips Wellcentive for our upcoming interactive webinar, where we’ll help you evolve ahead of the industry, setting the right strategic goals and getting the most out of your technology solutions.

November 8 (Wednesday) 1:00 ET. “How Clinically Integrated Networks Can Overcome the Technical Challenges to Data-Sharing.” Sponsored by: Liaison Technologies. Presenters: Dominick Mack, MD, executive medical director, Georgia Health Information Technology Extension Center and Georgia Health Connect, director, National Center for Primary Care, and associate professor, Morehouse School of Medicine;  Gary Palgon, VP of  healthcare and life sciences solutions, Liaison Technologies. This webinar will describe how Georgia Heath Connect connects clinically integrated networks to hospitals and small and rural practices, helping providers in medically underserved communities meet MACRA requirements by providing technology, technology support, and education that accelerates regulatory compliance and improves outcomes.

Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre for informat


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

image

Medecision acquires 58 client contracts of AxisPoint Health’s retired CCMS and Vital software platforms, making it the largest independent provider of care management applications in the country. AxisPoint Health has retained its services business. 

image

A fascinating profile of the richest man in Florida — an immigrant from Hungary who made his many billions from the electronic stock brokerage he created — contains his deceptively simple business strategy: “My strategy has always been to try to focus in on a product or service where you can create a dollar of value for 20 cents and sell it for 40 cents. The only way to do that is to use technology that has not been used before in producing that product or service. If I can create that dollar, then I’m already ahead 20 cents of earnings, and I’m going to keep way way way ahead.” Thomas Peterffy said when he introduced hand-held computers to Wall Street trading floors in the 1980s, “I think the way a CEO runs his company is a reflection of his background. Business is a collection of processes, and my job is to automate those processes so that they can be done with the greatest amount of efficiency.” Some other quotes that may be applicable to healthcare IT:

  • “Some traders still think that a computer could not trade as well as they can.”
  • “I always preferred computer programmers because I knew how to talk to them. I never knew how to talk to salesmen because I never believed them.”
  • “I moved to a commodity trading firm and my job was to figure out how to price options. That was a very, very interesting job because in those days people were trading options by the seat of their pants because nobody understood the mathematics. And after a very long period of ruminating and running simulations on my computer, I eventually came up with a model that is very similar to what today is known as the Black-Scholes formula. Given the fact that I was the only one at the time who had that formula, I saved my money. I bought a seat at the American Stock Exchange and I became a market maker.”
  • “Given that the market is very complex and our strategy is to give our customers an advantage over the customers of other brokers, we cannot do that with just a simple system, so unfortunately the system has to be complex. The only way we can do that is to provide a facility just like your Apple iPhone. People who only use it to make phone calls and send texts don’t know about all the other things that it can do … As to onboarding, that’s been a hassle forever … The regulators tell us that we have to know our customer rules. We have to know many things about our customers to make sure that they will not do certain trades, because even though we don’t give any recommendations, we are liable. We have to make sure that they do not do trades that they are not fit for. I don’t really know how to judge that.”

Decisions

  • Palmetto Health (SC) will switch from McKesson Star to Cerner revenue cycle management in October 2018.
  • Cape Fear Valley Health System (NC) will replace Cerner revenue cycle management with that of an undecided company.

These provider-reported updates are supplied by Definitive Healthcare, which offers a free trial of its powerful intelligence on hospitals, physicians, and healthcare providers.


People

Health Catalyst promotes Patrick Nelli to CFO. He replaces Dan Strong who, unlike his replacement, has experience taking companies public.


Announcements and Implementations

image

PatientKeeper announces Charge-Note Reconciliation, which automates the reconciliation of clinical notes and inpatient charges to find the 15-20 percent of typically unsubmitted professional charges. It’s available immediately in the company’s charge capture solution.


Other

image

NPR covers the three-fourths of Puerto Rico hospitals that are still running on emergency power and no air conditioning. An Arecibo hospital’s cardiac unit registered 112 degrees, requiring patients to be moved by HHS’s Disaster Medical Assistance Team to air-conditioned tents. 

image

Eric Topol, MD posted this about patients owning their data.

image

A terminal cancer patient expresses frustration with feel-good healthcare marketing that spreads false hope of miraculous recoveries with endless pink ribbons and catchwords like “thrive” and “smile out,” with the implication that people like herself who are dying maybe just aren’t being positive enough. Experts say that hospitals market themselves against their competitors by tugging at emotions, while drug companies are prohibited by FDA from running “this is where miracles happen” type messages that aren’t backed by rigorous studies or outcomes results.

image

Arizona funeral homes are left unable to bury their customers due to problems with the state’s new death certificate processing system that went live October 2. Bodies can’t be buried or cremated until doctors have acknowledged the cause of death and many doctors didn’t sign up for the new system, requiring some funeral homes to go back to paper.

image

In England, West Suffolk Hospital stops using discharge letters after doctors complain that they contain errors in medication doses, a problem the hospital blames on a Cerner software bug. One doctor says a patient collapsed after following the incorrect dose listed in the letter.

image

image

Congratulations to the 10 people (out of 252) who scored a perfect 100 percent in Dean Sittig’s informatics terminology quiz. The mean score was 68 percent, with the most-missed terms being “structural alignment” and “syncytium.” Biomedical informatics professor Dean just published “Clinical Informatics Literacy: 5,000 Concepts That Every Informatician Should Know.”

image

Bizarre in mass hysteria, sad current events sort of way, especially if you thought you were the only one sick of the fall “pumpkin everywhere” craze. A Baltimore high school is evacuated, dozens of students are triaged by Hazmat teams, and five students and adults are hospitalized for breathing problems after reports of a strange smell. Firefighters discovered the cause in a classroom – someone had plugged in a pumpkin spice air freshener.

image

In England, a hospital’s power goes off during electrical system testing, leaving the delivery suite in darkness just as midwives are cutting the new mom’s umbilical cord. Her mother whips out her smartphone and turns on its light to allow the delivery to be completed. The new mom reports, “There was just no dignity because I had people pointing their phones at me. It was so surreal. I was thinking, what is my mum doing? Is she filming this?”


Sponsor Updates

  • LifeImage and National Decision Support Co., Experian Health, the SSI Group, Summit Healthcare, Surescripts, and ZirMed will exhibit at the Cerner Health Conference October 9-12 in Kansas City, MO.
  • LogicStream Health will host a reception during the Cerner Health Conference October 10 from 5:30-7:30 at Cleaver & Cork in Kansas City, MO.
  • Meditech releases a video on its Sepsis Management Toolkit featuring Capital Region Medical Center Clinical Analyst Marlene Stiefermann, RN.
  • Navicure will exhibit at the US Women’s Health Alliance October 12-14 in San Antonio.
  • Clinical Computer Systems, developer of the Obix Perinatal Data System, will exhibit at the National Association of Neonatal Nurses October 11-13 in Providence, RI.
  • Harris Healthcare and Versus Technology will exhibit at the ANCC Magnet Conference October 11-13 in Houston.
  • Qpid Health will host “Artificial Intelligence (and More) in Healthcare” at its offices in Boston October 11.
  • Consulting Magazine includes Huron in the top 10 of its 2017 list of best firms to work for.
  • ZeOmega will exhibit at the California Association of Health Plans Annual Conference October 9-11 in Huntington Beach.

Blog Posts


Contacts

Mr. H, Lorre, Jenn, Dr. Jayne, Lt. Dan.
Get HIStalk updates. Send news or rumors.
Contact us.

125x125_2nd_Circle

News 10/6/17

October 5, 2017 News 2 Comments

Top News

image
image

France-based IT consulting firm Atos acquires three US healthcare consulting firms that focus on EHRs: Pursuit Healthcare Advisors, Conduent’s Healthcare Provider Consulting, and Conduent’s Breakaway Group.

The acquisition gives Atos 400 new consultants. The company expects its healthcare revenue to increase to $1.2 billion.

Atos acquired Anthelio Healthcare Solutions a year ago for $275 million in cash.


Reader Comments

image

From Kyle Armbrester: “Re: Givenchy’s rumor report from Tuesday. The statement that ‘about 20 hospitals are cancelling scheduled go-lives’ is false. It’s unfortunate that a few, CPSI in particular, persist in seeding and spreading misinformation about Athenahealth and our in-market momentum and success. Some facts: Earlier this year, KLAS reported that only three vendors achieved net gains in the hospital space—Cerner, Epic, and Athenahealth. Our clients are realizing improved financial and clinical results; four out of five of executives who we work with are seeing real positive impact on bottom lines (KLAS). We have plenty who would love to do a Q&A for HIStalk. We are building true partnerships across the community hospital space which are directly attributed to addressing the needs of an underserved segment. We offer low up-front costs, no maintenance fees, and aligned incentives. It’s our cloud-based, results-oriented platform model that gives us our edge and sets us apart from traditional software players that now seem to be kicking-up some in-market desperate and unsavory behavior. Givenchy, would love to talk further.” Kyle is chief product officer at Athenahealth. Givenchy also named three specific (but still unverified) hospitals that have returned to CPSI, not including Jackson Medical Center (AL), which a CPSI-issued press release says went back to Evident Thrive after its collections dropped 75 percent after a few months running Athenahealth. I’m happy to talk to folks from hospitals that have either gone live on Athenahealth in the past 6-12 months or that have returned to CPSI after trying Athenahealth, which is about as fair and direct as I can make it.

From Cheap Seater: “Re: cavorting on the UGM stage. What about so-called journalists who make the mistake of letting vendors court them at user meetings and conferences?” I think that happens only rarely since most of those folks don’t have a lot of influence to be worth courting, but I do picture most industry writers as introverted, inexperienced with frontline healthcare or IT, and easily swayed by token vendor executive attention, so I agree that their reporting might be suspect at times. It’s like reading an online review from Yelp or elsewhere – be wary of starry-eyed accounts that don’t contain at least one negative observation. I like staying anonymous because that removes even the possibility of vendors trying to apply schmooze in return for positive commentary. It’s like fake news – the problem isn’t that it exists, it’s that Facebook users aren’t smart enough to recognize it or are so anxious to validate their beliefs that they suspend whatever objectivity they once had.

image

From Lazy Crazy AZ Days of Summer: “Re: Banner Health. Went big bang in replacing Epic at the former University of Arizona Health Network on October 1. A colleague says ED lab turnaround is six hours and they had to divert patients.” I reached out to Banner, whose PR contact said the hospital was briefly on diversion for some ED patients, but remained open for trauma and walk-ins. They are now off diversion.


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

image

Welcome to new HIStalk Platinum Sponsor CarePort. The Boston-based company – acquired by Allscripts a year ago – offers a care coordination platform that bridges acute and post-acute EHRs, providing visibility into the care that patients receive across post-acute settings so that all providers and payers can efficiently and effectively coordinate patient care. Starting at discharge, CarePort Guide enables patients to choose the best next level of care based post-acute quality scores, services, and geography. Post-discharge, CarePort Connect helps the care team to track patients as they move through the continuum by pulling real-time data from acute and post-acute EHRs. Finally, CarePort Insight aggregates data across providers to deliver the insights needed to manage a high-performing post-acute network. A spokesperson from customer Cleveland Clinic says, “We are giving patients all the information they need to make an informed decision that best suits their needs and preferences.” Co-founder and CEO Lissy Hu – who earned her MD and MBA degrees from Harvard – previously worked on a Medicare demonstration project involving transitions in care for complex patients. Thanks to CarePort for supporting HIStalk. 

Listening: a new live album from The Magpie Salute, which carries some Black Crowes DNA in offering straight-ahead rock. They’ll play in Madison next week and Kansas City the week after.

Music I won’t listen to: young female singers who start every vocal phrase with a dramatically loud intake of breath even though it’s obvious they’re using vocal improvement software that could have removed even trendy extraneous bodily noises. You would not enjoy hearing most of those musically enhanced warblers on “MTV Unplugged,” which is probably why that program went away.

I know little about guns (even though I have a satisfyingly hefty .357 Magnum revolver that I used to love shooting at the range) and was curious about the inexpensive and entirely legal “bump stock” used by the Las Vegas shooter to turn a semi-automatic rifle into a poor man’s machine gun, turning up this video that illustrates a product that is either ingenious or terrifying depending on which end of it you expect to be on. I was amused only by the portion showing the product’s schematic in which the gun is throbbing in a phallic-like manner in time with heavy metal music that suggests a stereotypically swaggering target audience (notwithstanding this unfortunately accented female customer). The device is likely to be banned quickly because it’s made by a small family business (it shut down all competitors via copycat lawsuits) rather than a big gun manufacturer. The company owner should go out rich, though, since sales have gone off the charts since the massacre.

This week on HIStalk Practice: California IPAs merge as they expand Epic utilization. DuPage Medical Group fills physician pipeline with new resident incentive program. WebPT acquires Strive Labs. CareCloud launches patient intake, payment system. Practices outpacehospitals on healthcare pricing transparency. Former US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, MD highlights loneliness epidemic. EHR investment makes up good chunk of Q3 digital health funding. MGMA President and CEO Halee Fischer-Wright, MD previews upcoming annual conference, addresses role companies outside of healthcare will play in EHR development. HIStalk’s Must-See Exhibitors Guide for MGMA 2017 goes live.


Webinars

October 17 (Tuesday) noon ET. “Improve Care and Save Clinician Time by Streamlining Specialty Drug Prescribing.” Sponsored by: ZappRx. Presenter: Jeremy Feldman, MD, director, pulmonary hypertension and advanced lung disease program and medical director of research, Arizona Pulmonary Specialists. Clinicians who treat pulmonary arterial hypertension can spend an average of 20 minutes to prescribe a single specialty drug and untold extra hours each month completing prior authorization (PA) paperwork to get patients the medications they need. This webinar will describe how Arizona Pulmonary Specialists automated the inefficient specialty drug ordering process to improve patient care while saving its clinicians time.

October 19 (Thursday) noon ET. “Understanding Enterprise Health Clouds with Forrester:  What can they do for you, and how do you choose the right one?” Sponsored by: Salesforce. Presenters: Joshua Newman, MD, chief medical officer, Salesforce; Kate McCarthy, senior analyst, Forrester. McCarthy will demystify industry solutions while offering insights from her recent Forrester report on enterprise health clouds. Newman and customers from leading healthcare organizations will share insights on how they drive efficiencies, manage patient and member journeys, and connect the entire healthcare ecosystem on the Salesforce platform.

October 26 (Thursday) 2:00 ET. “Is your EHR limiting your success in value-based care?” Sponsored by: Philips Wellcentive. Presenters: Lindsey Bates, market director of compliance, Philips Wellcentive; Greg Fulton, industry and public policy lead, Philips Wellcentive. No single technology solution will solve every problem, so ensuring you select the ones most aligned to meet your strategic goals can be the difference between thriving or merely surviving. From quality reporting to analytics to measures building, developing a comprehensive healthcare strategy that will support your journey in population health and value-base care programs is the foundation of success. Join Philips Wellcentive for our upcoming interactive webinar, where we’ll help you evolve ahead of the industry, setting the right strategic goals and getting the most out of your technology solutions.

November 8 (Wednesday) 1:00 ET. “How Clinically Integrated Networks Can Overcome the Technical Challenges to Data-Sharing.” Sponsored by: Liaison Technologies. Presenters: Dominick Mack, MD, executive medical director, Georgia Health Information Technology Extension Center and Georgia Health Connect, director, National Center for Primary Care, and associate professor, Morehouse School of Medicine;  Gary Palgon, VP of  healthcare and life sciences solutions, Liaison Technologies. This webinar will describe how Georgia Heath Connect connects clinically integrated networks to hospitals and small and rural practices, helping providers in medically underserved communities meet MACRA requirements by providing technology, technology support, and education that accelerates regulatory compliance and improves outcomes.

Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre for information on webinar services.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

image

ECG artificial intelligence analysis vendor Cardiologs raises $6.4 million in a Series A round, increasing its total to $10 million. The company’s ECG analysis platform earned FDA clearance in July 2017. Cardiologists upload a digital ECG from a Holter monitor, smart watch, or personal monitoring device and the system reviews the often-long recordings to alert the doctor if it finds one of 10 types of cardiac events, most of them related to atrial fibrillation.


Sales

image

The board of Hiawatha Hospital Association (KS) approves the replacement of Allscripts/McKesson Paragon with Athenahealth.

Seven Hills Foundation (MA) chooses Netsmart as the care coordination and population health management provider for the Massachusetts Care Coordination Network.


People

image

James Murray, MS (CVS/Minute Clinic) joins Culbert Healthcare Solutions as CIO.


Announcements and Implementations

image

IVantage Health Analytics, part of The Chartis Group, launches Performance Manager, which allows health systems to benchmark performance, identify opportunities for improvement, manage initiatives, and share best practices in a peer-to-peer community.


Government and Politics

image

Stat reports that IBM is using its lobbying clout to shield its Watson system from medical scrutiny. A former IBM executive (Janet Marchibroda) helped draft legislation that removed some kinds of health software from the FDA’s oversight; IBM hosted an event to introduce Watson to high-powered members of Congress; and the company has deployed lobbyists to argue that Watson should be exempt from medical device law. It’s an interesting piece, but it seems obvious that IBM Watson Health, like most other clinical decision support or medical knowledge systems, does not fall under FDA regulation because it is not a closed-loop system since the clinician is free to accept or reject the advice it offers. The real scrutiny should come from Watson’s customers and I’ve seen little positive commentary in that regard.

image

An Oracle executive applauds the federal government’s move to the cloud, its data security efforts, and IT service consolidation in a letter to the White House’s American Technology Council and Jared Kushner, but makes these observations:

  • The federal government should emulate the best practices of Fortune 50 customers rather than Silicon Valley vendors that often fail even though they know how to deploy products at scale.
  • The government should focus on procurement and program management, not IT development, a lesson long since learned by large companies. It says that the most important CIO skills are choosing commercial products, implementing them efficiently, and maintaining those systems to prevent cyberattack.
  • The federal government should focus on open data instead of open source software development in recognizing that nothing requires the federal government to give citizens systems it builds or buys for free.
  • The most important driver of cost and complexity is customization, with code written by 18F, USDS, and other agencies creating a support tail that drives unbudgeted costs.
  • The government should modernize its processes across agencies since government-specific processes drive IT cost overruns.
  • The government is using technology preferences and vendor-favoring standards instead of competition, which “places the government at substantial risk of failing to acquire the best, most secure and cost effective technology, even if those de facto standards are proposed by well-meaning government employee who ‘came from the private sector.’”

Privacy and Security

image

Brilliant satire – as usual – from The Onion. Substitute “hospital employee” for “mom.”


Innovation and Research

The NIH issues a $2.3 million grant to the chief epidemiologist at Maryland’s VA system to study why physicians overuse lab tests in believing they are more useful than evidence suggests.


Technology

image

Major League Baseball – which prohibits the use of Internet-capable devices in the dugout during games because of concerns about stealing or relaying signs — launches an investigation as to why a Diamondbacks coach was captured in a photo taken during a Wednesday wild-card game wearing a smart watch.


Other

image

Western Australia’s coroner blames Fiona Stanley Hospital’s lack of follow-up for the death of a 41-year-old patient who died of septic shock on March 2015 after being ordered a contraindicated drug. The patient had inflammatory bowel disease and was prescribed mercaptopurine after clinicians failed to notice a red-flag lab result on his electronic chart. The coroner noted that the hospital now watches patients who are ordered the drug more closely and has developed new requirements for reporting abnormal results, but also recommends that the hospital install better patient tracking systems and send lab results to the physicians overseeing treatment.

image

The chief cardiologist of Willis-Knighton Hospital System (LA) resigns as part of a no-confidence vote in the hospital’s CEO, who has run the hospital for a record 52 years. Critics say he has been too slow in making changes and refuses to upgrade the hospital’s computer systems. The system wasn’t mentioned, but Googling suggests that the hospital has run Meditech and Siemens/Cerner Soarian in the past.

A Utah neurology clinic that was previously sued for unpaid wages and investor fraud leaves patients without access to their MRI results when it shuts down without notice. The owner blames the clinic’s closure on an electrical surge that damaged its computers, but says he sent its electronic records to Salt Lake Regional Medical Center (UT), which was able to recover those of a patient quoted in the newspaper article.

image

A jury finds that a hospital’s collection agency isn’t meeting legal notification requirements when it sends a collection letter via a secure PDF email link since, unlike reliable postal mail,  there’s no strong likelihood hat the intended recipient will read the letter. The collection company’s own software proved that the intended recipient did not open the letter. The judge summarized, “She was required to open an email and then click through over the Internet to an unknown web browser inviting her to then open a ‘Secure Package’ … modern consumer practices are not conducted this way. Although a consumer may regularly open e-mails from persons and companies she knows and to which she has given her email address for communications (like a recognized email from the utility company or the bank one does business with), there is no evidence that Ms. Lavallee should have recognized as safe an email from Med-1 Solutions.”

image

This is fascinating: one of 12 companies that were awarded medical marijuana growing permits by Pennsylvania’s Department of Health in June is offering the never-used permit and its 47,000 square foot cultivation facility for sale at $20 million. The company, run by a former candidate for governor, wants to obtain an even more lucrative clinical research (CR) license that would allow it to investigate the medical benefits of marijuana in partnering with a teaching hospital, which would also let it open another growing facility and to operate six storefront dispensaries. Six of the eight Pennsylvania CR permit holders have already signed research agreements with medical schools —  Penn, Drexel, Thomas Jefferson, Temple, UPMC, and Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine. The company’s chief medical officer is the recently retired president of MedStar’s medical group.


Sponsor Updates

  • Influence Health announces its 2017 EHealth Excellence Award winners.
  • The Chartis Group publishes a white paper titled “Solving the IT Investment Paradox.”
  • Black Book names Nuance as the leading vendor for end-to-end healthcare coding, clinical documentation improvement, transcription, and speech recognition technology.
  • McLaren Flint (MI) implements an RTLS-smart pump interface between Versus and B. Braun, allowing clinicians to see on a real-time floor plan where pumps are located and whether they are actively infusing to improve re-distribution. 
  • A Health 2.0 conference demo shows how FDB’s Meducation solution, previously available only to providers, can now be viewed and shared by a patient-controlled app.
  • EClinicalWorks will exhibit at the Louisiana Primary Care Continuing Education Conference October 10-12 in Lake Charles.
  • FormFast and Iatric Systems will exhibit at AHIMA October 7-11 in Los Angeles.
  • Healthwise, Image Stream Medical, and Imprivata, and Intelligent Medical Objects will exhibit at the Cerner Health Conference October 9-12 in Kansas City, MO.
  • Influence Health announces its 2017 EHealth Excellence Award Winners.
  • ConnectiveRx will exhibit at the IPatientCare’s national user conference October 6-7 in New York City.

Blog Posts


Contacts

Mr. H, Lorre, Jenn, Dr. Jayne, Lt. Dan.
Get HIStalk updates. Send news or rumors.
Contact us.

125x125_2nd_Circle

News 10/4/17

October 3, 2017 News 4 Comments

Top News

Image result for epic arbitration

The Supreme Court in it its first day of the new 2017 term hears opening arguments over companies that require employees to sign away their right to sue them over employment issues and force them into arbitration instead. Epic was one of three companies whose attorneys argued their positions Monday.

Liberal justices expressed concern that allowing such agreements rolls back employee rights by decades and discourages expensive individual employee lawsuits, while the court’s conservative members opined that mandatory arbitration clauses are legal and that employees can as a group hire the same attorney to reduce litigation cost.

The Obama White House had initially asked the Court to hear the case in support of the NLRA, but the new administration now sides with the employers as represented in the proceedings by its Deputy Solicitor General.

The main issue is whether arbitration agreements are legal under the Nation Labor Relations Act, which gives employees the right to take collection action. The attorney representing the companies argues that the NLRA guarantees the right of employees to have a forum convened, but once that has happened, employers can present defenses that include previously signed arbitration agreements, an argument to which one justice took exception in interpreting NLRA as covering all workplace issues.

A decision in favor of the employees would invalidate the employment agreements of up to 60 million Americans. Two courts have ruled that Epic’s arbitration clauses are illegal, while another ruled that they are legal.

The court will render its decision later in the term.


Reader Comments

image

From Stella Overdrive: “Re: Allscripts. Black Book’s survey finds that 96 percent of McKesson Paragon customers are optimistic that Allscripts will improve their satisfaction, but it reads like an Allscripts commercial. Similar studies by Reaction and KLAS found high levels of skepticism among Paragon customers, with KLAS reporting that only 29 percent were favorable and Reaction saying that the acquisition would actually be a deterrent to attracting new customers. Do you know if Allscripts underwrote the Black Book study, and if so, was there appropriate disclosure? Seems like it might have been commissioned as damage control given negative market reaction to the acquisition.” A Black Book spokesperson says the company did not break from its strong stance against allowing vendors to participate or influence the survey  process – no company or payment was involved in the Paragon user survey. I read the more detailed survey notes and came up with these points:

  • The survey response rate was 23 percent, with 280 respondents representing 66 facilities. I don’t know how many hospitals are running Paragon to know if that’s a significant percentage of sites.
  • Black Book wisely focused on hospital decision-makers rather than end users.
  • The survey found that none of the respondents have developed new plans to replace Paragon, although that’s not surprising since the acquisition was announced only a few weeks ago.
  • The report says that 96 percent of boards are “confidently optimistic” (I would have expected “cautiously optimistic”) that Allscripts will do a better job than McKesson, which might not be a high bar to clear. There’s also the question of how knowledgeable board members would be on IT topics.
  • Two-thirds of the hospitals say they don’t have the money to replace Paragon in the next two years and will instead focus on revenue cycle management, population health management, and analytics. That’s probably the most important finding of the survey. 
  • Eight-one percent of IT leaders representing 58 facilities say they are receptive to the Allscripts takeover.

image

From Gideon: “Re: Allscripts. Layoffs in the former McKesson’s professional services area on the day the merger was finalized – PMs, tech, and interface resources. The words used in the termination letter were, ‘’Unfortunately, the new organization structure doesn’t include your position.’” Unverified, but reported by several readers. Layoffs by either company are, unfortunately, hardly newsworthy, and certainly an acquiring company will nearly always – immediately or eventually – start trimming costs involving any assumed redundancy to help pay for the acquisition’s cost.

image

From Givenchy: “Re: Athenahealth. Hospitals are retreating. Following the failed implementation at Jackson Medical (AL), about 20 hospitals are cancelling scheduled go-lives. At least three have returned to their previous systems after collection and cash flow issues and clinician dissatisfaction. Veterans Memorial Hospital (Waukon, IA), Kimball Health Services (Kimball, NE), and Appleton Municipal Hospital (Appleton, MN) have returned to CPSI owned-products.” Unverified. 

image

From Publius Tullius: “Re: KLAS at Epic’s UGM. In the ‘photo is worth 1,000 words’ category, KLAS’s VP in wizard garb. I can’t think of worse optics for two organizations that are already intrinsically linked amidst concerns of bias. People in the industry joke that KLAS is Epic’s marketing arm and this doesn’t help.”

image

From Corny Collins: “Re: NYC H+H. NYC tax dollars hard at work as officials played dress-up with Epic employees at UGM.” I disagree. Their attendance (I’ve blurred their ID since it felt creepy otherwise) is reasonable and taxpayer accountability doesn’t require frostiness with their vendor. I agree, however, that healthcare people attend a lot of questionable conferences and thereby increase patient costs questionably, although a vendor’s user group meeting when you are spending hundreds of million dollars to implement their product doesn’t spring to mind as an obvious excess. Those of us with health system experience struggle with appeasing valuable employees whose self-worth is defined by running around like a big shot at conferences of questionable ROI, but the employer has to set the parameters and assess the value they receive in return for the cost and out-of-office time. A better target is the HIMSS conference, where people who clearly have no good reason to attend dutifully pack the exhibit hall because they like the attention and networking and can convince their employer to foot the bill. Meanwhile, NYC H+C may need some wizardry as it says it’s down to 18 days of cash on hand.

From Journomaniac: “Re: HIStalk. You must have had partnership or acquisition interest that you haven’t mentioned but should in the interest of full disclosure since you criticize other sites.” Three health IT sites (that I recall – maybe there were more over the years that I’ve forgotten — have approached me unsolicited wanting me to partner with them, sell out to them, or go to work for them. All three said they would render HIStalk obsolete because of their superior technology, deeper corporate pockets, or more insightful approach, thus leaving me no choice but to throw in with them. I dismissed their inquiries quickly because I like working alone in a way I can be proud of. All three of those sites have folded up their health IT tents while I’m still here doing what I’ve been doing since 2003. That’s all I have to disclose. I’d rather quit than let someone else tell me what to do.

image

From Abraxas: “Re: VistA. The Indian Health Service uses the VA’s product at no charge. With the VA’s move to Cerner, they haven’t been told whether they will continue to get free access and they have no budget for a replacement EMR. I wonder what will happen to other VistA users once Cerner replaces it in the VA?” I would expect VistA to become an orphan product now that the VA’s attention has been diverted to the Cerner shiny, no-bid object, leaving VistA’s other users without access to the VA’s expensive development. VistA is used by hospitals all over the world as a free public domain product, although some of those are supported by third-party companies like Medsphere and WorldVistA. I invite those with more knowledge about VistA than I have to weigh in on its future outside the VA. Above is part of a 2015 slide I found from the VistA Software Alliance listing VistA’s users.


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

image

Welcome to new HIStalk Platinum Sponsor ChartLogic, a division of Medsphere. The Salt Lake City, UT-based company, founded in 1994, offers a complete ambulatory EHR solution (EHR, PM, RCM, ERX, patient portal). Providers can create a complete patient note in less than 90 seconds, supported by intelligent voice commands, specialty-specific content (vocabularies, templates, flowsheets, and macros) and a single-page layout. Its practice management system includes a preference-based appointment scheduler, eligibility checking, an automated Collection Center, and quick claims entry and one-click payment posting that reduces claims rejections to less than 5 percent. The company’s browser-agnostic patient portal offers appointment scheduling, mobile intake forms, SMS patient reminders, and online payments to improve patient engagement and experience. ChartLogic also offers services for billing, revenue cycle management, and managed IT and service desk. The Department of Defense recognized the company a few weeks ago for its support of the National Guard and Reserve, a program led by ChartLogic EVP and former Army Ranger Chris Langehaug. Thanks to ChartLogic for supporting HIStalk. 

I found this ChartLogic EHR overview on YouTube.


Webinars

October 17 (Tuesday) noon ET. “Improve Care and Save Clinician Time by Streamlining Specialty Drug Prescribing.” Sponsored by: ZappRx. Presenter: Jeremy Feldman, MD, director, pulmonary hypertension and advanced lung disease program and medical director of research, Arizona Pulmonary Specialists. Clinicians who treat pulmonary arterial hypertension can spend an average of 20 minutes to prescribe a single specialty drug and untold extra hours each month completing prior authorization (PA) paperwork to get patients the medications they need. This webinar will describe how Arizona Pulmonary Specialists automated the inefficient specialty drug ordering process to improve patient care while saving its clinicians time.

October 19 (Thursday) noon ET. “Understanding Enterprise Health Clouds with Forrester:  What can they do for you, and how do you choose the right one?” Sponsored by: Salesforce. Presenters: Joshua Newman, MD, chief medical officer, Salesforce; Kate McCarthy, senior analyst, Forrester. McCarthy will demystify industry solutions while offering insights from her recent Forrester report on enterprise health clouds. Newman and customers from leading healthcare organizations will share insights on how they drive efficiencies, manage patient and member journeys, and connect the entire healthcare ecosystem on the Salesforce platform.

October 26 (Thursday) 2:00 ET. “Is your EHR limiting your success in value-based care?” Sponsored by: Philips Wellcentive. Presenters: Lindsey Bates, market director of compliance, Philips Wellcentive; Greg Fulton, industry and public policy lead, Philips Wellcentive. No single technology solution will solve every problem, so ensuring you select the ones most aligned to meet your strategic goals can be the difference between thriving or merely surviving. From quality reporting to analytics to measures building, developing a comprehensive healthcare strategy that will support your journey in population health and value-base care programs is the foundation of success. Join Philips Wellcentive for our upcoming interactive webinar, where we’ll help you evolve ahead of the industry, setting the right strategic goals and getting the most out of your technology solutions.

November 8 (Wednesday) 1:00 ET. “How Clinically Integrated Networks Can Overcome the Technical Challenges to Data-Sharing.” Sponsored by: Liaison Technologies. Presenters: Dominick Mack, MD, executive medical director, Georgia Health Information Technology Extension Center and Georgia Health Connect, director, National Center for Primary Care, and associate professor, Morehouse School of Medicine;  Gary Palgon, VP of  healthcare and life sciences solutions, Liaison Technologies. This webinar will describe how Georgia Heath Connect connects clinically integrated networks to hospitals and small and rural practices, helping providers in medically underserved communities meet MACRA requirements by providing technology, technology support, and education that accelerates regulatory compliance and improves outcomes.

Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre for information on webinar services.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

image

First responder software vendor ESO Solutions acquires the Firehouse emergency management software business of Conduent Government Solutions.

image

Kiio — whose platform screens for low back pain, joint replacement, and rehabilitation and offers exercise guidance — raises $1 million from Wisconsin-based not-for-profit insurer WEA Trust.


Sales

image

Olmsted Medical Center (MN) chooses Epic to replace the former McKesson (I think they were on Series, but I’m not positive). UPDATE: readers say Olmsted was using Cerner CommunityWorks for inpatient, with which it has reached HIMSS EMRAM Stage 6, and McKesson for ambulatory despite undated information I saw mentioning that it was running McKesson Series and McKesson-acquired MED3OOO.


People

image

Robert Barras (The Advisory Board Company) rejoins CTG as VP of healthcare sales.

image

Seattle Children’s (WA) hires Zafar Chaudry, MD, MSC, MIS, MBA (Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust)  as SVP/CIO.

image image

Senior living community software vendor Caremerge (Merge Healthcare) hires Nancy Koenig as CEO. She replaces founder Asif Khan, who remains as board chair.

image

Larry Wolf (Strategic Health Network) joins MatrixCare as chief transformation officer.

image

MedeAnalytics hires Tyler Downs (TriZetto) as CTO.

image

Julie Mann (Optum Analytics) joins Holon Solutions as SVP of sales.

image

ViTel Net hires Richard Bakalar, MD (KPMG) as VP/chief strategy officer.


Announcements and Implementations

image

A new Reaction report on telemedicine finds that physicians overwhelmingly support the use of telemedicine to replace the 20-30 percent of visits that don’t require physical examination. A surprising two-thirds of respondents either contract as a telemedicine provider or have considered such moonlighting. Hospitals are mostly using telemedicine for population management or follow-up care rather than for primary care visits as only 14 percent say such services have boosted their revenue. The biggest telemedicine platform vendor by far is “homegrown.”

image

Sidewalk Labs, an urban innovation group within Google parent Alphabet, announces Cityblock, which will offer residents of low-income communities who are covered by Medicare or Medicaid a care team that provides doctors, coaches, technology tools, and a health plan. The service will launch next year.

image

HIMSS Analytics adds the former CapSite vendor contracts database to its Logic platform, renaming it Logic Source.

image

EClinicalWorks adds a self-service option for customers to connect with CommonWell and Carequality.

A Black Book survey finds that while hospitals and medical practices are increasing their IT outsourcing and like the prospect of increased efficiency at a lower cost, their satisfaction with outsourcing companies is decreasing. Most of that dissatisfaction involved IT managers who are forced to manage an inexperienced health IT outsourcing vendor. The top-scoring EHR vendors were Cerner, Meditech, and Allscripts.

A small Dimensional Insight hospital CIO/CMIO survey concludes that less than half of hospitals have implemented enterprise-wide data governance, causing problems with data integrity and access.

Infor launches Cloverleaf Consolidator for data aggregation and exchange in a multi-EHR environment.

JAMA will launch a broad-topic, open access journal in early 2018. 

image

Fujitsu announces a new palm vein biometrics sensor for its PalmSecure F-Pro Suite authentication solution.


Government and Politics

image

HIMSS asks Congress to:

  • Elevate the HHS chief information security officer role to be equivalent to its CIO and make that position responsible for creating a cybersecurity plan.
  • Pass the CONNECT act that would remove geographic restrictions for telemedicine.
  • Increase funding for rural healthcare broadband coverage discounts and adopt CDC electronic information flow for case reporting, lab reporting, disease surveillance, and death reporting.

Technology

A home care provider in Australia launches a “holographic doctor” in which physicians can participate in a home nurse consultation via mixed reality technology that uses Microsoft HoloLens. Both doctor and patient wear a virtual reality headset that allows them to see each other in real time along with the patient’s healthcare data.


Other

A Health Affairs article finds that hospital interoperability didn’t improve much from 2014 to 2015 as less than 20 percent of them reporting that they “often” use outside patient information to make clinical decisions.

image

A hospital in Scotland cancels surgeries after going back to paper following flooding of its basement data center.

image

Ohio National Guard Captain Michael Barnes develops a veteran suicide prevention program as part of his coursework at The Ohio State University to attain a master’s degree in nursing.


Sponsor Updates

image

  • Employees of The Chartis Group held a community service event at its annual retreat in New Orleans, supporting Boys Town, Covenant House, Raintree, Salvation Army, and YMCA.
  • A Spok case study describes the use of Care Connect by Union Hospital of Cecil County (MD) to reduce communication breakdown.
  • Casenet will exhibit at the Change Healthcare Inspire Conference in Philadelphia this week.
  • Ability Network is named a finalist in the Tekne Awards that recognizes technology innovation in Minnesota.
  • Nordic posts a podcast titled “How do I plan for a successful EHR go-live?”
  • AdvancedMD will exhibit at the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery October 5-8 in Chicago.
  • Aprima will exhibit at the American Osteopathic Association Conference & Exhibition October 7-9 in Philadelphia.
  • Datica publishes a new report, “Public and Private Cloud Computing within Healthcare.”
  • Besler Consulting will exhibit at AHIMA October 7-11 in Los Angeles.
  • Carevive and Crossings Healthcare Solutions will exhibit at the Cerner Health Conference October 9-12 in Kansas City, MO.
  • CoverMyMeds will exhibit at the American Association of Medical Assistants Annual Conference October 6-9 in Cincinnati.
  • The Nashville Business Journal includes Cumberland Consulting Group on its Fast 50 list for the third consecutive year.

Blog Posts


Contacts

Mr. H, Lorre, Jenn, Dr. Jayne, Lt. Dan.
Get HIStalk updates. Send news or rumors.
Contact us.

125x125_2nd_Circle

Monday Morning Update 10/2/17

October 1, 2017 News 3 Comments

Top News

image

President Trump fires HHS Secretary Tom Price – not for his questionably legal stock trades, for serving as a political lapdog in trying but failing to torpedo the laws he swore to uphold, or even for squandering hundreds of taxpayer dollars on unnecessary charter and military flights — but rather for embarrassing the President in the press coverage about the flights, admitting his wrongdoing, and offering only partial taxpayer reimbursement.

The only regret the former Tea Party member expressed in his resignation letter is that he “created a distraction.”

Price also didn’t mention the $19 million Republicans spent to keep his former seat in the most expensive House race in history. A Republican PAC executive director obviously wasn’t thrilled with Price’s short stay in Washington: “While it was certainly fun destroying [Democratic nominee] Jon Ossoff and attacking Nancy Pelosi for three months, I am hopeful Dr. Price will use his newfound fame and leisure time to jet around the country and help make up for some of the $7 million we spent on the Georgia special election.”

image

Appointed as interim HHS secretary is Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health Don Wright, MD, MPH, an HHS long-timer who replaced Karen DeSalvo, MD, MPH in the January 2017 administration change. The permanent replacement will almost assuredly, like Price, have credentials that are more political than clinical.

Politico’s list of rumored candidates includes some current and former members of Congress, Dr. Oz, CMS Administrator Seema Verma, Florida Governor Rick Scott, the VA’s David Shulkin, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, former Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal, HUD Secretary Ben Carson, and Don Wright himself.


Reader Comments

From The Basics: “Re: SSN. Yesterday I visited my local hospital to review a bill. I was shocked to see my whole Social Security number on an employee’s computer screen. She said she didn’t know why it was there since she doesn’t use it. It only takes one dishonest person to steal the identity of patients.”


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

image

A bunch of us have had our information exposed in Equifax’s breach, although nearly as many of poll respondents have lost interest reading about the breach du jour. Some respondents expressed optimism that “the big one” may force companies to get their security act together, while several others said they’ve placed an indefinite freeze on their credit accounts with the belief that the hassle of unfreezing them as needed is still better than cleaning up the post-breach mess.

New poll to your right or here: should a vendor’s newly announced customer be required to attest that they hold no financial interest in the company?


This Week in Health IT History

One year ago:

  • PeriGen acquires Hill-Rom’s WatchChild fetal monitoring system.
  • The local paper spotlights the refusal of the Texas Department of State Health Services to release pregnancy and maternal death statistics to reporters interested in why death rates doubled in one year.
  • PE firm Warburg Pincus announces plans to acquire Intelligent Medical Objects.
  • Former President Bill Clinton, stumping for his wife’s presidential campaign, calls the Affordable Care Act “the craziest thing in the world” because of risk pool limitations.

Five years ago:

  • The UK’s Department of Health admits that its contract with CSC requires it to turn custom-developed NHS software back to the company after NPfIT was shut down.
  • McKesson announces that it will acquire MED3OOO.
  • HIMSS acquires CapSite.
  • Patrick Soon-Shiong’s NantHealth announces that the company will work on personalized medicine with Blue Shield of California and St. John’s Health Center. 

Ten years ago:

  • A KLAS report on how well clinical systems work for nurses gives all vendors a grade of ‘D’ or below.
  • Quovadx acquires Healthvision.
  • Microsoft announces its HealthVault PHR.
  • MD Anderson redesigns its ClinicStation EMR and CIO Lynn Vogel joins Partners (John Glaser) Vanderbilt (Bill Stead), and Marshfield Clinic (Justin Starren) in an AMIA conference session on homegrown development.
  • CMS awards AHIMA a $10 million contract to evaluate the possible change from ICD-9 to ICD-10.

Last Week’s Most Interesting News

  • Epic opens the first group of App Orchard products to public access.
  • A VA OIG report finds that the DoD is not sharing attempted suicide information with the VA despite a 2014 federal mandate.
  • The American College of Radiology and SIIM hold a session and a conference, respectively, on use of artificial intelligence in medical imaging.
  • Senate Republicans fail to bring the Graham-Cassidy bill to a vote.
  • FDA chooses the digital health software vendors that will participate in its software precertification program.

Webinars

October 17 (Tuesday) noon ET. “Improve Care and Save Clinician Time by Streamlining Specialty Drug Prescribing.” Sponsored by: ZappRx. Presenter: Jeremy Feldman, MD, director, pulmonary hypertension and advanced lung disease program and medical director of research, Arizona Pulmonary Specialists. Clinicians who treat pulmonary arterial hypertension can spend an average of 20 minutes to prescribe a single specialty drug and untold extra hours each month completing prior authorization (PA) paperwork to get patients the medications they need. This webinar will describe how Arizona Pulmonary Specialists automated the inefficient specialty drug ordering process to improve patient care while saving its clinicians time.

October 19 (Thursday) noon ET. “Understanding Enterprise Health Clouds with Forrester: What can they do for you, and how do you choose the right one?” Sponsored by: Salesforce. Presenters: Joshua Newman, MD, chief medical officer, Salesforce; Kate McCarthy, senior analyst, Forrester. McCarthy will demystify industry solutions while offering insights from her recent Forrester report on enterprise health clouds. Newman and customers from leading healthcare organizations will share insights on how they drive efficiencies, manage patient and member journeys, and connect the entire healthcare ecosystem on the Salesforce platform.

November 8 (Wednesday) 1:00 ET. “How Clinically Integrated Networks Can Overcome the Technical Challenges to Data-Sharing.” Sponsored by: Liaison Technologies. Presenters: Dominick Mack, MD, executive medical director, Georgia Health Information Technology Extension Center and Georgia Health Connect, director, National Center for Primary Care, and associate professor, Morehouse School of Medicine;  Gary Palgon, VP of  healthcare and life sciences solutions, Liaison Technologies. This webinar will describe how Georgia Heath Connect connects clinically integrated networks to hospitals and small and rural practices, helping providers in medically underserved communities meet MACRA requirements by providing technology, technology support, and education that accelerates regulatory compliance and improves outcomes.

Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre for information on webinar services.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

image

Medication risk management technology vendor Tabula Rasa HealthCare acquires University of Arizona medication therapy management spinoff SinfoniaRx for $35 million in cash.

image

A Wisconsin court reduces the $940 million awarded to Epic in its intellectual property lawsuit against Tata Consultancy Services to $420 million. The original judgment violated Wisconsin law, which limits punitive damages to twice the compensatory damages, causing Epic to suggest a lower figure of $720 million. Epic says Tata employees working as Kaiser Permanente consultants stole thousands of company documents to help Tata create a competing system, but Tata says its lawyers believe the award can be set aside completely on appeal since Tata did not benefit from the information.


Sales

image

In Canada, Alberta Health Services signs a $368 million contract to implement Epic. It will replace 1,300 systems that it claims will cover most of the project’s overall $1.2 billion cost, although the province’s auditor is skeptical.

image

Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare (TN) will implement the PatientTouch communication and clinical workflow platform from PatientSafe Solutions.


Decisions

  • Mammoth Hospital (CA) will go live on Cerner Millennium in October 2017.
  • Osceola Medical Center (WI) will switch from Evident to Athenahealth in January 2018.
  • Jersey Shore Hospital (NJ) will replace Meditech with Epic in April 2018.
  • Memorial Hospital (IL) will switch from Evident to Epic in November 2017.
  • St. Francis Memorial (NE) Hospital will replace McKesson with Cerner in 2018.

These provider-reported updates are supplied by Definitive Healthcare, which offers a free trial of its powerful intelligence on hospitals, physicians, and healthcare.


People

image

Don Woodlock (GE Healthcare) joins InterSystems as VP of HealthShare.

image

OurHealth hires Brian Norris, MBA, RN (Aledade) as VP of analytics.


Announcements and Implementations

Black Book names its 50 health IT disrupters and challengers.

UMass Memorial Health Care was scheduled to go live on its $700 million Epic project this past weekend, replacing Siemes/Cerner Soarian. 


Government and Politics

The VA gives Congress the required notice that it plans to sign a no-bid contract with Cerner within the next 30 days. Secretary David Shulkin also announces that the VA will end work on 240 of its 299 open software projects, many of them floundering, to shift resources to the Cerner implementation. Shulkin urged private sector employees to join the VA’s Cerner implementation “because we need the A team on this.”

image

Meanwhile, the VA’s Shulkin has his own Tom Price-like problems to deal with as the Washington Post discovers that a taxpayer-paid trip to Europe included, in addition to discussions with officials in Denmark and England initiated by the VA, attendance at the Wimbledon championship and a cruise on the Thames that also included his wife, four other travelers, and six-person security detail. He took the trip, about half of which didn’t involve government business, less than two weeks after demanding that VA executives approve only essential travel.

The US Supreme Court will hear arguments Monday in a federal labor case that involves Epic and two other companies, a key issue being Epic’s requirement that employees sign away their rights to sue the company over labor issues and instead submit to arbitration.


Other

image

Performer Cher sues Patrick Soon-Shiong for stock sale fraud, claiming that a drug company convinced her to sell back her shares cheaply and then sold the company for a higher per-share price to Soon-Shiong’s NantCell. The suit says Soon-Shiong paid $15 million for the company that is now worth $1 billion.

SNAGHTMLfefef9f

Temple University Health System (PA) attributes its $23 million budget shortfall primarily on the implementation of Epic, mostly due to high-than-expected staffing costs and its impact on operations improvement goals.

image

The president of Erlanger Health System (TN) says its 67 percent drop in net income from operations in the fiscal year is mostly due to its Epic implementation costs, as the health system paid Epic $33 million this year. However, revenue exceeded budget, also due to Epic.

image image

Dean Sittig, PhD, biomedical informatics and bioengineering professor at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, just published a new book on informatics terms. Not sure if you need it? Take this 10-question multiple choice informatics terminology quiz that Dean created at my suggestion, check your score at the end, and then let Dean help you do better if needed. 

Here’s Vince’s latest 30-year look-back on the health IT industry, which addresses the DoD’s 1987 EHR bid and the birth of HL7.

image

Weird News Andy calls this DWI – driving while immature. Rady Children’s Hospital rolls out (no pun intended) little cars that peds patients can “drive” (they’re actually controlled remotely) to the OR to help them relax before their procedure. The kids – like their surgeons with their larger equivalents – can choose from among a BMW, Mercedes, or Lamborghini.


Sponsor Updates

  • QuadraMed, a Harris Healthcare company, and T-System will exhibit at AHIMA October 7-11 in Los Angeles.
  • Salesforce announces $50 million donation and 1 million volunteer hours to further computer science education.
  • The SSI Group will exhibit at the NJ HFMA Annual Institute October 4 in Atlantic City.
  • Surescripts will exhibit at the EClinicalWorks 2017 National Conference October 6-9 in Grapevine, TX.
  • Versus Technology will exhibit at MD Expo October 5-7 in Orlando.
  • Boston Magazine includes ZappRx CEO Zoe Barry on its list of Bright Young Things.
  • ZeOmega will exhibit at Change Healthcare’s Inspire Change Healthcare Solutions Conference October 2-5 in Philadelphia.
  • Lightbeam Health Solutions and Experian Health will exhibit at the NAACOS Fall Conference October 4-6 in Washington, DC.
  • Logicworks earns PCI DSS Level 1 Certification for the sixth straight year.
  • Navicure will exhibit at the EClinicalWorks National Conference October 6-9 in Grapevine, TX.
  • Netsmart will exhibit at the CBHC Annual Behavioral Health Conference October 4 in Breckenridge, CO.
  • Clinical Computer Systems, developer of the Obix Perinatal Data system, will exhibit at the University of Iowa Health Care Children’s & Women’s Services Fall Nursing Conference October 2-3 in Coralville.
  • PatientSafe Solutions will exhibit at the 2017 IntegraTe 2017 South Florida HIMSS event October 4 in Davie, FL.
  • The Metro Atlanta Chamber selects Patientco as one of seven companies to join its first cohort of Backed by ATL businesses.
  • PokitDok will present at Health 2.0 October 3 in Santa Clara, CA.

Blog Posts


Contacts

Mr. H, Lorre, Jenn, Dr. Jayne, Lt. Dan.
Get HIStalk updates. Send news or rumors.
Contact us.

125x125_2nd_Circle

News 9/29/17

September 28, 2017 News 8 Comments

Top News

SNAGHTML341758a

Epic announces at UGM go-live of its App Orchard, offering software from:

  • American Joint Committee on Cancer (cancer staging forms)
  • Aunt Bertha (connecting patients to social services)
  • Cedars-Sinai Health System (personal device data flowsheets)
  • DocASAP (patient scheduling)
  • Doctella (patient education)
  • HealthDecision (shared decision-making)
  • Healthfinch (patient visit planning, prescription refill processing)
  • ImageMoverMD (EHR image integration)
  • Impathiq (chest pain protocols)
  • Northwestern University (patient outcomes monitoring)
  • Parachute Health (durable medical equipment ordering)
  • PeraHealth (at-risk patient identification)
  • StayWell (patient education)
  • Tissue Analytics (wound documentation)

Epic actually rolled out the App Orchard site early this year, but this is the first public access to the apps it contains.

image

Epic’s 1.5-day App Orchard Conference will be held November 9-10 at its Verona, WI campus.


Reader Comments

From Kim Wisconsin: “Re: Epic UGM. Clients watched KLAS VP Taylor Davis and Judy Faulkner prance together in wizard costumes on stage. Needless spending on top of what it cost Epic to attain Best in KLAS?” Unverified. Epic’s UGM involves a lot of voluntary whimsy and I’m OK with that, but I’m always skeptical of KLAS’s objectivity and having one of its executive participate in a vendor’s user group meeting skit does little to allay my concerns. Imagine a Consumer Reports editor cavorting on stage at a Ford PR event, although that’s unfair since KLAS is light-years away from the objectivity and science behind Consumer Reports despite the inevitable industry comparisons. Still, customers of both Epic and KLAS make their own informed decisions, so they know what they’re buying and it’s nobody else’s business.

From George St. Short: “Re: executive attributes. What is your observation about strengths and weaknesses and how it affects companies?” That’s a broad topic, but I will summarize thusly. Most of us know our strengths. We don’t, however, know our weaknesses, and that’s where we stumble. Just ask the people you work with to list what you’re bad at. Try to improve, get someone else to handle that function, or both.

image

From The PACS Designer: “Re: digital pathology. The era of digital pathology is upon us and can be seen through this digital pathology sample. You will see the digital pathology records in your EHR when vendors begin to add them to their EHR systems in the years to come.”

From OnlyForGiggles: “Re: national EHR procurement in Singapore. It’s been four years in the running and Allscripts and Epic are the finalists. Cerner didn’t even bother showing up at this month’s HIMSS Asia. Accenture is running the procurement with Oracle as a partner and only Allscripts runs Oracle. The Ministry of Health CIO is a former Accenture partner and has now installed himself also as CEO of the IT arm of the Ministry of Health. He is partial to awarding contracts to his former employer, so both companies would do well to sidle up to Accenture. We see this kind of drama in the US and UK and Singapore, alas, is no exception.”

image

From The Mechanic: “Re: Athenahealth. One of its 35-bed inpatient sites is already leaving them and returning to CPSI.” Jackson Medical Center (AL) says collections dropped 75 percent after they implemented Athenahealth, so they’ve gone back to the Thrive EHR solution offered by CPSI subsidiary Evident in what they call a fairly easy transition. 

From Super Bee: “Re: EClinicalWorks. Cold call emails cite an ‘AmericanEHR’ survey that finds EHR tops at many categories. It would be more impactful if they actually provided the study, but in addition, ECW isn’t on any of that site’s Top 10 lists.” That site doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence with outdated information and no recent news items. It was developed by the American College of Physicians to sell reports and to charge EHR vendors to create profiles on its site or to run ads. Its top five EHRs by user satisfaction are CattailsMD (which I thought was long gone or at least renamed, but maybe not), Praxis, Waiting Room Solutions, ABELMed, and Sevocity.

image

From Beefy Goodness: “Re: ONC’s inpatient EHR certification stats. Epic has overtaken Cerner for the #1 spot in data updated through July.” The chart is above, although it also list hospitals using Siemens Medical Solutions that might be reasonably added to Cerner’s total to keep it on top. Epic is the only vendor that has customers using 2015 certified technology. Also note that while the data source was updated in July 2017, the graphic depicts only participation through the 2016 program year.

image

From Spacemen Collection: “Re: Sunquest. President Matt Hawkins is leaving, to be replaced by Mike Epplen, who has been president of fellow Roper acquisitions Data Innovations and Atlas Medical.” Unverified, although the non-anonymous source is solid. UPDATE: Hawkins will become CEO of the combined Navicure-ZirMed when that merger is completed in early November.

From Frank Sumatra: “Re: MyWay. Physicians are telling me that Allscripts will shut off the hosted version within five weeks, but can’t get them their data for 12 weeks. Practices will also have to pay $5,000.” Unverified. I invited the Allscripts media contact to comment but haven’t heard back. MyWay was retired several years ago as I recall to avoid adding ICD-10 support, so practices have had five years to seek an alternative. MyWay is disproportionately represented among the many embarrassing points in the company’s history (search HIStalk for a fond look back).


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

image

Welcome to new HIStalk Platinum Sponsor Vocera. The San Jose, CA-based company offers the leading platform for clinical communication and workflow, with 1,400 hospital and health system customers around the world using smartphone-based secure texting or making hands-free calls using the Vocera Badge. Vocera interoperates with 120 clinical systems to reduce alarm fatigue, reduces staff response time, and improves patient care, safety, and experience. Vocera ensures that critical information reaches the right person at the right time on the right device, or as Halifax Health VP/CIO Tom Stafford says, “There is no other communication solution I’m aware of that can send a notification as closely and instantly to a nurse than the Vocera system.” Hospitals use the system to increase ED and OR throughput, prioritize clinical alerts, optimize patient placement, improve collaboration, strengthen patient communication, and reduce care team burnout. Halifax Health just implemented a real-time sepsis surveillance program by integrating Wolters Kluwer Health’s POC Advisor with its Vocera technology to quickly alert clinicians of a potential sepsis case, while Dayton Children’s Hospital (OH) connects pediatric patients to nurses by connecting Hill-Rom’s nurse call system with :Star Trek”-like Vocera badges to alert them when the child presses buttons for “pain” or “potty.” Gartner’s Hype Cycle report names Vocera as an example of a technology vendor with offerings in several categories of the real-time health system. Thanks to Vocera for supporting HIStalk.

I found this new YouTube video that describes Halifax Health’s use of Vocera in its ED.

This week on HIStalk Practice: Volunteers in Medicine Clinic Executive Director Raymond Cox, MD discusses the role data access plays in caring for the underserved. PeakMed Direct Primary Care founder and CMO Mark Tomasulo, DO shares his thoughts on the ways attempts at health insurance reform are driving the DPC business model. Deadline extended: HIStalk sponsors, submit your MGMA details for inclusion in our annual must-see vendor’s guide over at HIStalk Practice.


Webinars

October 17 (Tuesday) noon ET. “Improve Care and Save Clinician Time by Streamlining Specialty Drug Prescribing.” Sponsored by: ZappRX. Presenter: Jeremy Feldman, MD, director, pulmonary hypertension and advanced lung disease program and medical director of research, Arizona Pulmonary Specialists. Physicians who treat pulmonary arterial hypertension can spend an average of 20 minutes to prescribe a single specialty drug and untold extra hours each month completing prior authorization (PA) paperwork to get patients the medications they need. This webinar will describe how Arizona Pulmonary Associates automated the inefficient specialty drug ordering process to improve patient care while saving its clinicians time.

October 19 (Thursday) noon ET. “Understanding Enterprise Health Clouds with Forrester: What can they do for you, and how do you choose the right one?” Sponsored by: Salesforce. Presenters: Joshua Newman, MD, chief medical officer, Salesforce; Kate McCarthy, senior analyst, Forrester. McCarthy will demystify industry solutions while offering insights from her recent Forrester report on enterprise health clouds. Newman and customers from leading healthcare organizations will share insights on how they drive efficiencies, manage patient and member journeys, and connect the entire healthcare ecosystem on the Salesforce platform.

November 8 (Wednesday) 1:00 ET. “How Clinically Integrated Networks Can Overcome the Technical Challenges to Data-Sharing.” Sponsored by: Liaison Technologies. Presenters: Dominick Mack, MD, executive medical director, Georgia Health Information Technology Extension Center and Georgia Health Connect, director, National Center for Primary Care, and associate professor, Morehouse School of Medicine;  Gary Palgon, VP of  healthcare and life sciences solutions, Liaison Technologies. This webinar will describe how Georgia Heath Connect connects clinically integrated networks to hospitals and small and rural practices, helping providers in medically underserved communities meet MACRA requirements by providing technology, technology support, and education that accelerates regulatory compliance and improves outcomes.

Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre for information on webinar services.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

image

Leerink Transformation Partners forms its first healthcare IT growth equity fund with $313 million in assets under management, led by managing partners Todd Cozzens (Marquette Medical, Picis, Optum) and Jared Kesselheim, MD, MBA, both previously with Sequoia Capital and Bain Capital Ventures. The fund’s initial investments are Outcome Health, Scientist.com, Vera Whole Health, PatientPing, Health Catalyst, and Kyruus. 

IBM, which has laid off a significant part of its US workforce, now employs more people in India than in the USA, supporting the theory that low-cost overseas labor moves up the food chain from hardware assemblers to knowledge workers. 


Sales

image

Emory Healthcare (GA) chooses Kyruus’s provider data management and patient access solutions.

image

South Africa’s Areta Health will implement Medsphere’s subscription-licensed, cloud-hosted healthcare IT solutions in its Specialist Day Hospital system.


People

image

UW Medicine (WA) hires Joy Grosser (University Hospitals) as CIO. She had been CIO of University Hospitals for just over a year.

image

Ed Gaudet (Iboss Cybersecurity) joins Censio as CEO.

image

CheckedUp hires Jim Decker (AMD Group) as VP.

image

Seattle Children’s (WA) promotes Eric Tham, MD, MS to VP and associate CIO over research IT, clinical applications, and analytics.


Announcements and Implementations

SNAGHTML2e61ff2

The American College of Radiology’s newly formed Data Science Institute hosts its first meeting in its Reston, VA headquarters, convening an international group of artificial intelligence experts, device vendors, and physicians to discuss the use of algorithms in clinical workflows. ACR DSI is building consensus around a vendor-neutral framework to apply AI to patient care that will include developing imaging use cases, setting interoperability standards, testing algorithms, and addressing regulatory issues. 

image

Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine holds its second conference on using machine intelligence in medical imaging (SIIM C-MIMI) at Johns Hopkins Medicine, with keynotes offered by presenters from Google Cloud and the FDA.

image

Allscripts will integrate medical reference and patient education information from Merck Manuals into its EHRs via an HL7-compliant Infobutton.

image

Nuance releases Dragon Medical Virtual Assistant, which applies voice biometrics and text-to-speech via a smart speaker conversational user interface to automate high-value EHR clinical workflows.

image

Lightbeam Health Solutions will integrate AI technology from DocSynk into its population health management platform to improve identification and targeting of patient groups.

image

Ability Network announces the Ability Insight Medicare revenue cycle analytics and benchmarking application for SNFs, home health agencies, and other LTPAC organizations.

image

Talent management solutions vendor HealthcareSource launches a healthcare job search site that is integrated with its Position Manager applicant tracking system. The company’s CEO is industry long-timer J.P. Fingado (API Healthcare, Cerner, Dynamic Healthcare Technologies). HealthcareSource says it has 3,000 healthcare customers of its Quality Talent Suite.

Healthcare Growth Partners posts the first in a six-part series on due diligence in health IT transactions, this installment covering accounting and tax considerations.


Government and Politics

image

The Department of Justice charges several executives of for-profit hospital operator Tenet Healthcare with Medicaid fraud, claiming that some of its Atlanta-based facilities paid $12 million in kickbacks to a medical clinic that serves pregnant women who are in the US illegally, steering them to Tenet hospitals for their deliveries that were then billed to Medicaid for $400 million.

image

A report on veteran suicide by the VA OIG finds that despite federal mandates going back to 2014, the Department of Defense still does not share attempted suicide information from its DOD Suicide Event Report system with the VA. The report also notes that 11 percent of the patients identified by the VA as being high risk for suicide did not have a suicide prevention safety plan in their EHR record and that the VA’s use of EHR suicide risk flags could be improved. A previous report found that veterans have a 21 percent higher suicide risk compared to civilians, with 20 of them killing themselves each day, 30 percent of those after recent VA visits.

SNAGHTML4a28218

Former HHS CIO Frank Baitman says he doesn’t understand why Healthcare.gov needs to go offline for 12 hours every Sunday (including the first day of open enrollment period) as announced by HHS. The system was down less than 1 percent in previous years vs. a scheduled 6.6 percent this year, triggering several letters from senators to CMS Administrator Seema Verma questioning whether the impetus is political rather than technical. The open enrollment period has already been reduced from 12 weeks to six and outreach programs for signups have been cut almost entirely.

image

HHS Secretary Tom Price apologizes for the $400,000 worth of chartered plane flights he has taken – some for questionable purposes and five in a single week —  in the past few months in potential violations of federal travel laws, declaring that he won’t take any more charters and that “taxpayers won’t pay a dime for my seat on those planes.” He will repay the $52,000 portion represented by his own seat, but taxpayers remain on the hook for the additional $350,000 Price spent to bring HHS employees along for the ride. Meanwhile, a Politico investigation finds that fiscal hawk Price and his wife also took global trips on military aircraft that raises his total since May to more than $1 million, but HHS says Price reimbursed the government for his wife’s travel. Price, his wife, and eight HHS employees took a private jet from Berlin to Geneva at a cost of $16,000 for the flight offered by several commercial airlines for between $60 and $260. Price railed about Democrats flying charters when he was a Congressman, citing “fiscal irresponsibility run amok in Congress.”


Technology

SNAGHTML47d195f

Fujitsu develops a wearable, hands-free speech translation device that can identify the voices of two speakers and translate their speech into the other’s language. The company claims 95 percent accuracy in a typical hospital setting. It was developed to help hospitals in Japan converse with their patients who don’t speak Japanese.


Other

SNAGHTML32951ab

From Epic’s user group meeting:

  • CEO Judy Faulkner talks up Epic’s new Share Everywhere, which allows any provider (even those who don’t use an EHR) to view a patient’s records via C-CDA.
  • Faulkner advocates eliminated the term “electronic medical record” in favor of the “comprehensive medical record,” which of course why the term “electronic health record” was created to describe systems that manage information extending beyond the four walls (at least for that term’s first five minutes of life, after which overzealous and often crappy EHR vendors misappropriated the term to describe their unchanged systems to sound sexier).
  • Epic demonstrated the use of consumer technology such as Google Home and Amazon Echo that can allow patients to connect to MyChart to request prescription refills.
  • The company announced Payment Guardian for reimbursement.
  • Epic is working on using artificial intelligence to assist clinician users, with Epic being noted this week in Microsoft’s Ignite Vision keynote speech by CEO Satya Nadella as an AI-first healthcare leader.

image

CVS joins the opioid abuse fight in a puzzling manner, limiting new opiate patients who are covered by insurance to a seven-day prescription supply, limiting the number of doses its pharmacists will dispense based on product strength, and declining to dispense extended-release opiates until immediate-release products have been tried. It’s interesting that a drugstore chain – which has limited access to a patient’s medical history – feels it needs to override physician prescriptions, although certainly state medical boards, pharmacy boards, and other overseers haven’t made much of a dent in questionable opiate prescribing.

image

This might be a good early warning. Doctors performing a bronchoscopy on a long-term smoker find that his lung mass isn’t cancer, but instead is an easily removed plastic play set traffic cone he swallowed as a child, which caused no symptoms until 40 years later.


Sponsor Updates

  • Boston Software System publishes “Simplifying Legacy System Decommissioning.”
  • Parallon Technology Solutions publishes a white paper for CIOs and chief medical officers titled “Upgrading to Integrated Meditech 6.16.”
  • Robert Lord, co-founder and president of Protenus, is chosen as a New America Cybersecurity Policy Fellow, where he will focus on defining the program’s next-generation healthcare cybersecurity efforts.
  • Datica CEO Travis Good, MD will moderate a panel event at the Health 2.0 conference next week titled “What does the success of digital health look like?”
  • Lightbeam Health Solutions publishes a case study describing Princeton HealthCare System’s 15 percent reduction in inpatient admissions after implementing the company’s population health management platform.
  • The Chartis Group publishes a white paper titled “The Shift to Value: Understanding Market Dynamics to Inform Your Strategic Course.”
  • Meditech AVP Cathy Turner, MBA, RN will serve on a panel at Northeastern University’s Nurse Innovation and Entrepreneurship Summit this week.
  • EClinicalWorks will exhibit at Health 2.0 October 1-4 in Santa Clara, CA.
  • Iatric Systems will exhibit at the HCCA Regional Conference September 29 in Indianapolis.
  • Boston Voyager profiles Image Stream Medical CEO Eddie Mitchell.
  • InterSystems will exhibit at the CompuGroup Medical User Conference October 3-5 in Las Vegas.
  • Intelligent Medical Objects Senior Software Engineer Yunwei Wang becomes the first to successfully complete the Health Level Seven International inaugural HL7 Proficiency Exam.
  • Kyruus will exhibit at the Boston Bar Association’s Life Sciences Conference October 3 in Cambridge, MA.

Blog Posts


Contacts

Mr. H, Lorre, Jenn, Dr. Jayne, Lt. Dan.
Get HIStalk updates. Send news or rumors.
Contact us.

125x125_2nd_Circle

Subscribe to Updates

Search


Loading

Text Ads


Report News and Rumors

No title

Anonymous online form
E-mail
Rumor line: 801.HIT.NEWS

Tweets

Archives

Founding Sponsors


 

Platinum Sponsors


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gold Sponsors


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reader Comments

  • Sam Lawrence: Except in this case, coding = medical billing, not development. Though the same warning may be true...
  • BeenThere: Partners will find the savings from their cuts of coders as fools gold. There are a lot of hidden costs running an outs...
  • JC: If there is not there can be. VistA has a reference lab interface that can create the manifests/labeling and such as we...
  • Tom Cornwell: Great stuff from Dr. Jayne as usual. One small typo, last sentence of second-to-last paragraph: should be 'who's' not 'w...
  • HIT Observer: What I find most interesting here, is people defending their common practices rather than truly taking this as invaluabl...
  • Bob: There's no incentive for the provider to spend time doing a price comparison for the patient. Nor is it a good use of th...
  • Peppermint Patty: Veteran - can you clarify what was "fake "? Was something made up (definition of fake) or did you disagree with Vapo...
  • Pat Wolfram: Such a refreshing article. Thanks -- there really can be a simpler version of an acute HIT implementation. But I do ...
  • Woodstock Generation: Bravo to HIStalk's Weekender recaps and other news/opinions. I read it first thing on Monday mornings..................
  • Veteran: #fakenews...

Sponsor Quick Links