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September 15, 2014 News No Comments

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IT, consulting, and outsourcing services firm Cognizant agrees to acquire TriZetto, a developer and licensor of IT services for healthcare providers and payers, for $2.7 billion in cash. The deal will create a combined company with over $3 billion in revenue from its healthcare operations. Cognizant posted a total revenue of $8.8 billion in 2013.

HIStalk Practice Announcements and Requests


HIStalk sponsors, don’t miss out on the chance to be a part of our annual MGMA “Must-See Exhibitors Guide.” Fill out this brief form by September 30 to ensure a spot in the digital guide. I’ll also include contact information for companies not exhibiting but looking to schedule one-on-one meetings. I’ll be reporting from the exhibit hall, plus as many great after-show networking events as I can squeeze in. Hopefully, I’ll also find time to sneak away to marvel at the most decadent chocolate fountain on the Strip.


September 18 (Thursday) 1:00 p.m. ET.  DHMSM 101: The Hopes, Politics, and Players of the DoD’s $11 Billion EHR Project. Presented by HIStalk. Presenters: Dim-Sum, an anonymous expert in government healthcare IT, military veteran, and unwavering patriot; Mr. HIStalk. The Department of Defense’s selection of a commercially available EHR will drastically change the winning bidders, the health and welfare of service members all over the world, and possibly the entire healthcare IT industry. The presentation will include an overview of the military health environment; the military’s history of using contractors to develop its systems vs. its new direction in buying an off-the-shelf system; its population health management challenges in caring for nearly 10 million patients all over the world, some of them on the battlefield; and a review of the big players that are bidding. This presentation will be geared toward a general audience and will be freely sprinkled with humor and wry cynicism developed in years of working in two often illogical industries that hate change.

September 25 (Thursday) 1:00 ET. Using BI Maturity Models to Tap the Power of Analytics. Presented by Siemens Healthcare. Presenters: James Gaston, senior director of maturity models, HIMSS Analytics; Christopher Bocchino, principal consultant, Siemens Healthcare. Business intelligence capabilities are becoming critical for healthcare organizations as ACOs and population health management initiatives evolve in the new healthcare marketplace. The presenters will explain how BI maturity models can help optimize clinical, financial, and operational decisions, and how organizations can measure and mature their analytics capabilities.

September 26 (Friday) 1:00 ET. Data Governance – Why You Can’t Put It Off. Presented by Encore, A Quintiles Company. Presenters: Steve Morgan, MD, SVP for IT and data analytics and CMIO, Carilion Clinic; Randy Thomas, associate partner, Encore, A Quintiles Company. In this second webinar in the “It’s All About the Data” series, the presenters will review the pressing need for data governance and smart strategies for implementing it using strained resources.

Announcements and Implementations


Pacific Medical Data Solutions launches a comprehensive revenue cycle management service to help physicians streamline front and back office billing practices, and medical coding.


New Jersey Physicians ACO selects the eClinicalWorks Care Coordination Medical Record for population health management. Founding ACO member Vinod Sancheti, MD noted that the eCW solution was chosen in part for its strong track record with primary care-focused ACOs.


Amazing Charts parent company Pri-Med releases the InLight EHR, featuring a Watson-like technology that enables the EHR to learn from its users, and then organize and offer information in a manner that best suits physician workflow.



NextServices and Quantta partner to offer new mobile and Web enterprise solutions for multispecialty groups, ambulatory surgery centers, and hospitals; data-oriented apps for remote healthcare delivery; and integration of Quantta’s analytics services into NextServices’ enki EHR.

Government and Politics


The App Association and a consortium of startups including CareSync, AngelMD, and AirStrip send a letter to Representative Tom Marino (R-PA) expressing frustration with HHS over the lack of developer-friendly online resources related to HIPAA privacy rules. Some developers are apparently relying on government information last updated in 2006, well before the release of the iPhone and other mobile devices. The group also asked that HHS provide better guidance on how health data can be stored in the cloud.


New Zealand announces it will invest US$2.5 million in a nationwide initiative to encourage patient portal adoption amongst physician practices. The portals, currently used by 35,000 New Zealanders, are part of that country’s eHealth vision that aims to introduce e-prescribing, care plans, and a clinical data repository of patient information in 2014. For perspective, New Zealand is home to 4 million residents, while the U.S. is home to over 317 million.


National Health IT Week enters its second day of festivities. The ONC Consumer Health IT Summit kicked things off in Washington, D.C., yesterday, highlighting such themes as the Blue Button initiative, and policies and programs fostering patient and consumer engagement. You can view the official agenda for the rest of the week here.


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Alan Santos is promoted to CEO of Pyramid Healthcare Solutions, and Manoj Malhotra (Salient Business Solutions) is appointed chairman of the company’s board.


James Prowant (Lehigh Valley Physician Group) joins the Mount Nittany Physician Group (PA) as COO.


Andrew Ferrier is appointed chairman of Orion Health.


Media outlets report that Lana Moriarty (HRSA) joins ONC as acting director for consumer e-health. Apparently one of her first duties as a digital consumer healthcare advocate was to create a Twitter account, just in time for National Health IT Week festivities. ONC continues to look for a permanent director. Check out this job listing to see if you qualify.

Research and Innovation


Tute Genomics launches MyGene, a cloud-based  patient results portal that enables healthcare organizations to share validated clinical genetics findings directly with patients. The technology may help primary care physicians overcome their hesitancy to incorporate genetics services into their care routines, among other barriers to adoption noted in new research. They include insufficient knowledge and competence related to genetic medicine, lack of knowledge about genetic risk assessment, concern for patient anxiety, a lack of access to genetics, and a lack of time. I have to assume that physicians already having trouble coming to grips with EHRs may not jump on the genomics portal bandwagon.


Global Kinetics Corp. receives FDA clearance for its wearable that helps detect Parkinson’s disease symptoms. The wrist-worn Personal KinetiGraph also offers medication reminders, and creates automated reports that neurologists and other caregivers can use to identify signs of neurological disorders.


The 2014 Survey of America’s Physicians finds that 85 percent of physicians surveyed have adopted EHRs, up from 69 percent in 2012. However, 46 percent indicate the technology has detracted from their efficiency, and just 24 percent say it has improved their efficiency. The survey findings tie into the American Medical Association’s call for an overhaul of the EHR, particularly as it relates to usability and higher-quality patient care. I’d love to hear how these results correlate with the experience of HIStalk Practice readers who are working “in the trenches,” as Dr. Gregg likes to say. Let me know if you’re interested in sharing your take with our audience.



Azalea Health donates its EHR software, services, and training to a dozen rural school clinics in Coffee County, Georgia. The donation is part of its commitment to the Rural School-Based Telehealth Center Initiative.


Pediatrician Charles McCormick, MD makes an interesting comparison between EHRs and the No Child Left Behind program:

“The use of templates is what makes an EMR so much like the public school use of No Child Left Behind, where children were taught to memorize information that would later appear on a test rather than teaching children how to think independently. As a physician, I do not want my thinking to be limited in any possible way by a template that I need to fill out in order to create a note. Every patient is different, and not a single one of us fits into the same box. We are, unfortunately, dumbing down medical care providers just like we dumbed down our teachers.”


Central Utah Clinic notifies 31,677 patients that one of its servers was “compromised” by unauthorized intruders in June. The server held some patient information, and a subset of written imaging and radiology reports dating back to 2010 and earlier. There has so far been no indication that patient information was stolen.


Doximity partners with U.S. News & World Report to offer the online Residency Navigator tool to help fourth-year medical students objectively assess residency programs. The tool ranks top programs based on physician survey results, and sub-specialization and board-pass rates, among other data points.

Sponsor Updates

  • PerfectServe will discuss methods for improving healthcare at four leading industry events this fall.


Mr. H, Lorre, Jennifer, Dr. Jayne, Dr. Gregg, Lt. Dan, Dr. Travis

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