Interview with the Founder of – Improving the Lives of Underserved Patients

On this weekend of gratitude and thanks, I’m grateful that I was recently able to sit down and interview Melissa McCool, Founder of STI and the Mind Stile platform. STI is a set of accessible coping tools explained in a simple way so people can internalize the message, understand the concepts and immediately implement into daily life. In the interview, we talk about Melissa’s efforts to apply STI concepts to chronic care management (CCM) and how treating the most vulnerable populations in health care requires a unique approach.

This holiday weekend, take 30 minutes and learn about the efforts Melissa’s making to improve health care even for the most vulnerable health care populations.

Posted in Healthcare Leadership, Healthcare Scene, Hospital Healthcare IT | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on Interview with the Founder of – Improving the Lives of Underserved Patients

Meditech EHR Market Share

I recently got subscribed to the Navin, Haffty & Associates email newsletter. The title on their website claims they’re the “Largest and Most Respected MEDITECH consulting firm.” I’ll let you decide on those two counts, but they’re clearly all in as a consulting firm with MEDITECH. In their latest newsletter John Haffty, President of Navin, Haffty & Associates, shared some statistics on MEDITECH market share that I thought might be of interest to readers:

Statistically speaking, MEDITECH has over 2,400 clients. The number of MEDITECH clients by platform is outlined below:
Client/Server – 1,056
MAGIC – 848
6.x – 546

Over the past five years 285 clients have been added, 137 of which implemented 6.x. Clients often add their existing platform as they acquire hospitals and this has resulted in the addition of 22 MAGIC and 126 Client/Server sites. In addition, MEDITECH has signed 31 organizations for the new Ambulatory product. Of the 546 Ambulatory 6.x sites, 279 have chosen 6.1, with some already LIVE.

MEDITECH’s market share for hospitals by bed size demonstrates a strong industry presence:

23% – under 99 beds
36% – 100-199 beds
36% – 200-299 beds
27% – 300-399 beds
17% – 400+ beds

I’ve long argued that MEDITECH was still a sleeping giant in the EHR space. Epic and Cerner gets most of the headlines, but MEDITECH still has a massive market share. Of course, after CPSI’s acquisition of Healthland today, it looks like CPSI wants to play as well.

Posted in Hospital EHR, Hospital EHR Company, Hospital EHR Vendor, Hospital Electronic Health Record, Hospital Electronic Medical Record, Hospital EMR, Hospital EMR Company, Hospital EMR Vendor, Hospital Healthcare IT | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Meditech EHR Market Share

CPSI to Acquire Healthland for $250 Million and Announces Expansion of Its Senior Management Team

MOBILE, Ala.–Computer Programs and Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CPSI), a leading provider of healthcare information solutions to rural and community hospitals, today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Healthland Holding Inc. and its affiliates, Healthland Inc., American HealthTech, Inc. and Rycan Technologies, Inc. The acquisition will strengthen CPSI’s position in providing healthcare information solutions in the markets it serves and will provide new growth markets for the combined company. CPSI also announced the expansion of its senior management team to lead the Company going forward.

Healthland provides electronic health records (EHR) and clinical information management solutions to over 350 hospital customers. American HealthTech is a provider of clinical and financial solutions in the post-acute care space, serving over 3,300 skilled nursing facilities. Rycan offers SaaS-based revenue cycle management workflow and automation software to over 290 hospital customers.

Transaction Highlights:

  • Strengthens CPSI’s position in providing healthcare information systems to community healthcare organizations with approximately 1,200 combined hospital customers;
  • Introduces CPSI to the post-acute care market;
  • Expands the products and capabilities of TruBridge with the addition of Rycan and its suite of revenue cycle management software products; and
  • Immediately accretive to adjusted earnings per diluted share.

The combined company is projected to have annual revenues of approximately $300 million in 2015 and more than 1,900 employees. The transaction is expected to be more than 35% accretive to CPSI’s adjusted earnings per diluted share in 2016 and more than 50% accretive in 2017. Adjusted earnings, a non-GAAP financial measure, include a cash tax benefit from the acquisition and exclude share-based compensation expense, one-time transaction costs, and acquisition-related amortization and deferred revenue adjustments.

“We are excited to welcome Healthland into CPSI’s family of healthcare IT companies,” said Boyd Douglas, president and chief executive officer of CPSI. “Healthland’s history tracks a very similar course to that of CPSI, as we both have over 30 years of experience in the healthcare IT space, and we share a strong commitment to the improvement of community healthcare. The combination of these two long-standing companies creates in CPSI a broad product portfolio across the continuum of care. Together, we will service a client base of approximately 1,200 acute care facilities and more than 3,300 post-acute care facilities, including Healthland’s American HealthTech subsidiary. As the healthcare industry transitions to value-based reimbursement, our combined solutions will connect communities, patients and providers to facilitate more effective population health management, better patient engagement, and the advancement of quality and care coordination. In addition to an expanded client and solution base, the acquisition will also create synergies in our healthcare services offerings to address the acute and post-acute care markets’ demand for improved financial and operational performance. There is no doubt that the addition of Healthland, along with American HealthTech and Rycan, will not only improve CPSI’s offerings in the healthcare IT market, but will provide our combined company with greater opportunities for growth and significantly deepen our knowledge, resources and experience base. We are confident this combination will allow us to continue to be a leading innovator with greater benefits for our customers and the communities they serve, both now and in the years to come.”

Chris Bauleke, chief executive officer of Healthland, stated, “With the ongoing transformation in community healthcare, this combination will enable us to deliver solutions faster for our clients and better scale our development investment and customer support across the many communities we serve. Delivering meaningful solutions for our customers as they prepare for the transition into value-based payment models will continue to be a priority.”

Bauleke added, “Healthland’s acquisitions of American HealthTech, a provider of EHR solutions for post-acute care facilities, in 2013, and Rycan, a revenue cycle solutions company, in April 2015, provide immediate benefits to the markets and solutions that the combined company can leverage.”

Following the acquisition, support for Healthland’s core platforms, Classic and Centriq, will remain in place. Current implementations will continue, and CPSI plans to support and invest in the Centriq platform for at least the next seven years. The Healthland Classic platform will continue to be supported for a minimum of two years, as outlined by Healthland management at their recent Connect 15 User Conference.

Transaction Summary

The contemplated total aggregate consideration to be paid by CPSI is $250 million, payable approximately 65% in cash and 35% in CPSI common stock, subject to certain adjustments at and after closing, as provided for in the merger agreement. The completion of the transaction is subject to review under The Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976 and the satisfaction of other customary closing conditions, and is targeted to close in 2015.

To finance the transaction, CPSI will use cash available on its balance sheet, $150 million of funded debt from a new senior secured credit facility and shares of its common stock. CPSI and Regions Bank have executed a committed financing letter for the new senior secured credit facility that CPSI intends to enter into at the time of closing the transaction.

CPSI’s financial advisor in this transaction was Allen & Company LLC and Maynard, Cooper & Gale, P.C. and Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP served as legal counsel to CPSI. Shearman & Sterling LLP served as legal counsel to Healthland.

CPSI’s Management Team

CPSI also announced a series of changes that expand its management team, effective immediately. David Dye, in addition to continuing to serve as chairman of the board, has assumed the new role of chief growth officer of CPSI and will be focused on driving growth in all segments of CPSI’s business. Chris Fowler, president of TruBridge, will assume the additional role of chief operating officer of CPSI and will be responsible for managing the integration of Healthland and CPSI. Matt Chambless, currently Director of Financial Reporting, is assuming the role of chief financial officer of CPSI.

“Having David Dye focus his experience, industry knowledge and leadership on growth is an exciting opportunity for our company, particularly as we add the Healthland companies to our business,” added Douglas. “Chris Fowler is a proven leader in our company and the right person to lead our operations and the integration of Healthland and CPSI, and Matt Chambless has earned the confidence of our management team and our Board.”

“I am excited about my role as chief growth officer and the opportunity to work with our team to expand our customer base and offer additional products and services in the markets we serve,” noted Dye, who like Boyd Douglas has been with CPSI for over 25 years.

CPSI also announced that Chris Bauleke has agreed to stay on as president of Healthland. Douglas added, “Having Chris as part of our team will be very valuable as we work to integrate these two businesses and position the combined company for future growth. Chris is an experienced executive and has been instrumental in positioning Healthland to compete in a dynamic and growing market. We believe that we have the right team to lead our company into the future and take advantage of the additional opportunities to serve our current customers and expand our service offering. With the addition of the Healthland companies, we also believe it is the right time to expand our senior leadership team and promote some of our younger managers.”

Conference Call

CPSI will discuss the transaction in more detail during a conference call Wednesday, November 25, 2015, at 10:30 a.m. ET. The Company will also provide a slide presentation in connection with the conference call and webcast. A 30-day online replay will be available approximately one hour following the conclusion of the live webcast. To listen to the live webcast or access the replay, visit the Company’s website,

About Healthland

Healthland is a leading provider of integrated technology solutions to rural community and critical access hospitals. Software and services from Healthland, including electronic health records (EHRs), help customers share patient information across care settings to coordinate treatment, improve patient outcomes, and drive patient satisfaction. Healthland is the parent of Mississippi-based American HealthTech, one of the nation’s largest providers of financial and clinical technology solutions in post-acute care. Healthland is headquartered in Minneapolis, Minn., with offices in its founding rural community of Glenwood, Minn. More information is available at

About CPSI

CPSI is a leading provider of healthcare solutions for community hospitals. Founded in 1979, CPSI is the parent of two companies – Evident, LLC and TruBridge, LLC. Evident provides comprehensive EHR solutions for community hospitals. TruBridge focuses exclusively on providing business, consulting, and managed IT services to community healthcare organizations, regardless of their IT vendor. For more information, visit,, or

Posted in EHR, EHR Investment, EHR Vendors, Electronic Health Record, Electronic Medical Record, EMR, EMR Acquisitions, EMR Consolidation, EMR Vendors, Healthcare IT, Healthcare IT Acquisitions, Healthcare IT Funding, Healthcare IT Investment | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on CPSI to Acquire Healthland for $250 Million and Announces Expansion of Its Senior Management Team

Submit Applications for EHR Penalty Reconsiderations by November 30

In the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), Congress mandated that payment adjustments should be applied to Medicare eligible professionals, eligible hospitals, and critical access hospitals (CAH) that are not meaningful users of Certified Electronic Health Record (EHR) Technology under the Medicare EHR Incentive Program. Payment adjustments for eligible hospitals began on October 1, 2014.

2016 Payment Adjustments for Medicare Eligible Hospitals
Eligible hospitals receive the Medicare payment adjustment amount that is tied to a specific fiscal year. For fiscal year 2016, Medicare eligible hospitals that were not meaningful EHR users in 2014, and were not granted a hardship exception, were subject to a payment adjustment beginning October 1, 2015. This payment adjustment is applied as a reduction to the applicable percentage increase to the Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS) payment rate, thus reducing the update to the IPPS standardized amount for these hospitals.

2016 Reconsiderations Application Due November 30
For eligible hospitals who received a Medicare payment adjustment letter for 2016, and believe their hospital was subject to a payment adjustment in error, applications for payment adjustment reconsideration for fiscal year 2016 must be submitted electronically or postmarked by 11:59 PM EST on November 30.

The instructions and application for a payment adjustment reconsideration are available on the Payment Adjustments & Hardship Information page of the CMS website.

Posted in EHR, EHR Incentive, Electronic Health Record, Electronic Medical Record, EMR, HITECH, Meaningful Use | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on Submit Applications for EHR Penalty Reconsiderations by November 30

M*Modal Expands its Fluency for Imaging Reporting Suite to Improve Documentation Quality and Support the Move to Value-Based Care

Fluency for Imaging is the top-scoring front-end speech solution in the KLAS diagnostic sub-segment.

FRANKLIN, Tennessee, Nov. 24, 2015 – M*Modal, a leading provider of clinical documentation and Speech Understanding™ solutions, today announced that it will showcase improvements to its market-leading Fluency for Imaging™ reporting suite at RSNA 2015, booth #1729. M*Modal will demonstrate several new advancements that focus on improving the clinical quality of documentation and supporting the radiologist’s workflow as the industry moves towards value-based care.

To support the dual goals of payment modernization and improvement in clinical quality, M*Modal now offers an integrated solution to provide operational, clinical and financial metrics in real-time that will benefit the entire imaging enterprise. M*Modal’s new analytics offering, M*Modal ScoutTM, is integrated within Fluency for Imaging to optimize efficiency anduser experience.

M*Modal’s proven Computer-Assisted Physician Documentation (CAPD) functionality continues to help radiologists improve the quality and completeness of the report as they document the interpretation. The M*Modal closed-loop clinical documentation system delivers automated, evidence-based and true real-time feedback on, for example:

  • Critical findings with an integrated, automated Critical Test Result Management (CTRM) workflow
  • ICD-10 related specificity including acuity
  • Laterality and gender mismatches
  • Documentation completeness and best practices to support the ACR Imaging 3.0TMinitiative

The M*Modal software is continually updated with the latest documentation guidelines as more use cases are added to support radiologists in their reporting workflow.

Additionally, M*Modal is introducing the seventh generation of its cloud-based Speech Understanding engine which delivers superior out-of-the-gate speech recognition accuracy and performance.

“M*Modal’s voice recognition accuracy is outstanding, which allows me to read with continued focus.  In addition, the Computer-Assisted Physician Documentation (CAPD) real-time feedback has saved me many times from right/left mistakes and calmed my fears of ICD-10 documentation specificity,” said Dr. Arif S. Kidwai, M.D., MBA, President, St. Johns Radiology Associates, serving Flagler Hospital.

“We are excited to demonstrate new, innovative improvements to our market-leading solutions. M*Modal Imaging Solutions take into account every click, step and second because we know radiologists do. Our goal is to not only improve radiologists’ efficiency but also to provide them the right, summarized information so that they can make better decisions faster to improve patient outcomes,” said Scott MacKenzie, CEO of M*Modal.

To see the M*Modal Imaging Solutions suite at work, please visit booth #1729 at the RSNAAnnual Meeting from Nov. 29 to  Dec. 3 at the McCormick Place Convention Center in Chicago, Illinois.

About M*Modal

M*Modal is a leading healthcare technology provider of advanced clinical documentation solutions, enabling hospitals and physicians to enrich the content of patient electronic health records (EHR) for improved healthcare and comprehensive billing integrity. As one of the largest clinical transcription service providers in the U.S., with a global network of medical editors, M*Modal also provides advanced cloud-based Speech Understanding™ technology and data analytics that enable physicians and clinicians to include the context of their patient narratives into electronic health records in a single step, further enhancing their productivity and the cost-saving efficiency and quality of patient care at the point of care. For more information, please visit, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

Posted in Digital Health, Healthcare, Healthcare IT, Medical Imaging, Medical Transcription, mHealth, Mobile Health, Radiology | Tagged , , | Comments Off on M*Modal Expands its Fluency for Imaging Reporting Suite to Improve Documentation Quality and Support the Move to Value-Based Care

Running Health Care IT As A Business

The world is increasingly becoming a global village and the relevance of information technology is becoming more profound each passing day. Technology has impacted virtually every facet of human life; from, healthcare to communication, sports, business, finance, and transportation. In fact technology has been massively useful in making life easier and more bearable for human beings. As a result of this massive spread of IT all over the place, companies and business entities providing IT related services are becoming popular.

Traditionally, a Chief Executive officer (CEO) runs most organizations. They function as head of management in the organization. They set strategic directions and provide leadership to their employees even as they work together to fulfill organizational goals. The Chief Information Officer (CIO) is normally the head of the IT department of the organization. Their job functions includes; setting business technology strategic directions and providing leadership to the staffs and personnel of the IT unit of an organization. CIOs are key part of any business that utilizes technology.

Since CEO’s are heads of a whole organization and CIO’S are heads of the Information Technology units of an organization, it therefore follows that running Information Technology as a sole business entity would therefore entail the CIO to function as the CEO i.e. the overall head. Even in organizations with CEO and CIO positions, there’s already some form of similarity between the roles performed by the CIO and the CEO. For example, to be an effective CIO, an individual is required to have strong organizational skills, also at times; they are involved in the selection and recruitment of personnel and staffs for the organization and in some organizations, the CIO together with the CEO are members of the executive committee.

Running Information Technology as a sole business entity is different in size and scope from existing as a unit within the organization. For a CIO to function well in the position of the CEO, he needs to adopt some mindsets and mentality that would make him perform equally well or even better than a CEO.

There is an age old belief that CIO’s are introverts. This myth has been around for several years now, it stems from the belief that for you to be a coder, you don’t need teamwork and that you become a coder because you like working by yourself. Of course, this myth has been discredited time and time again but it may still be true in some cases, for a CIO to successfully transition into the post of a CEO he needs to be cordial, cheerful and expressive, not in an extreme way but at least in a way that he can communicate his goals and projections effectively to the staff.

It has been argued as well that CIO’s, as a result of being a mere departmental head, may not possess the right human characteristics and dynamism that is needed especially in a growing business organization. For example, they may not have the right people skills and capabilities needed to be overall head because in a business you need to be loved by the staff. Then for CIO’s to function as CEO effectively and efficiently they need to work more on their people skills as it could directly influence the success or otherwise of their positions as CEO. Above all, CIO’s role consist of the following:

  1. Manage the P&L of the department
  2. Running IT as a business
  3. Mentoring the team and identifying talent
  4. Influence decisions and be apart of the organization strategy

It is necessary for the future CIOs and aspiring CIO to starting thinking like a CEO of the department in order to be successful in the role.

If you’d like to receive future health care C-Level executive posts by David in your inbox, you can subscribe to future Health Care CXO Scene posts here.

Posted in CXO Scene, Healthcare CIO, Healthcare Leadership, Hospital CIO, Hospital Healthcare IT | Tagged , | Comments Off on Running Health Care IT As A Business

Providers to adopt IT Outsourcing solutions in 2016 as more hospitals and physician practices Slide Deeper into Financial Uncertainty, Black Book survey

As the healthcare delivery industry deals with technology updates and implementations from ICD-10, EHR issues, physician alignment, big data, interoperability, value-based reimbursement reforms, decision support, revenue cycle, and patient marketplace shifts, hospital leaders embark on the major restructuring of hospital technology priorities and staffing alternatives for survival.


Black Book™ surveyed 1,030 hospital CIOs and IT leaders, as well as 243 CFOs and financial executives, to contribute their perceptions on technology solutions and outsourcing services options between July and October 2015. 266 hospital and inpatient organizations were represented in the survey in total. Additionally the business managers of 1,395 outpatient, alternative care, and physician practices also submitted ballots, nearly two thirds owned by hospital networks.

“Most hospital leaders see no choice but to evaluate and leverage next generation information and financial systems as an outsourced service in order to keep their organizations solvent and advancing technologically,” said Doug Brown, Managing Partner of Black Book Market Research.

“The reimbursement and population health challenges ahead to get paid, may require several new applications, and the frank reality is that outdated, understaffed and failing current solutions will close a marginally performing hospitals for good.”

Black Book underscores, that the healthcare industry is no stranger to IT outsourcing.  Contractors have provided care and service coverage clinically from radiology to therapies, and administrative work such as billing, collections and transcription for decades.

With pressure mounting from several directions, Black Book found that 73% of all surveyed hospitals and health systems over 300 beds are now looking outside for technology solutions from applications development to complex infrastructure services, with a much wider lens.  81% of provider organizations under 300 beds have also placed complex IT outsourcing in their priorities in the new year.

606 former and current users of IT outsourcing solutions provided feedback on the reasons why there is a new confidence in partnering with an outside contractors now, lessons learned since the early 2000s.

83% of the respondents agreed on the top ten lessons in failed hospital IT contracting engagements:

Outsourced IT services that should have stayed within the organization

Selected the incorrect vendor for the job

Neglected to realize the full costs of outsourcing

Permitted the outsourced service to get out of control

Disregarded employee and/or community concerns about outsourcing/offshoring

Wrote ineffective statements of work for the services outsourced

Failed to strategize an exit procedure before terminating the outsourcing contract

Unrealistic expectations

Lack of best practices for hospital IT outsourcing established

Did not monitor the performance of the contracted outsourcer

The return-on-investment and immediate access to trained staff and needed technology are the primary motivators for outsourcing today. 90% of hospital organizations in Q3 2015 state they are at or near an immediate (3 months or less) return on their investment for IT outsourcing.  Satisfaction with outsourcing vendors is also at an all-time high with 84% expressing their relationship is exceeding expectations.

Black Book notes that the last time healthcare provider industry saw a boon like this in IT outsourcing was in the late 1990’s. Back then, leading cost reduction consultants frequently recommended broad-based IT outsourcing to hospital organizations, but these contracts sharply declined after 2004.

“Population health, analytics, revenue cycle management, EHR and HIE initiatives have accelerated IT expenses again, much faster than anticipated as have market conditions and changes in hospital revenue that are severely strained margins,” said Brown. “This pressure on bottom lines has again raised IT outsourcing as a panacea for cost control, but it is also a way to access needed software solutions and expertise in running these applications.”

There is also little disagreement between CIOs and CFOs on how to best proceed with the exploration of IT outsourcing.

86% of CFOs and 91% of CIOs are willing to reshape their organization with the most effective combination of hospital staff and outsourced service providers in 2016 according to the survey results.

Learning from past experience, far fewer hospital executives will rely on the vendor to make the business case to outsource or not.

“Hospitals, from the board down are examining the costs and benefits and owning the responsibility to make sure hospital staff and outsourced services mesh well,” said Brown.

68% of CIOs endorse software development such as mobile solutions; big data support, predictive analytics and claims management are turning to their EHRs for possible add-ons and systems enhancements.

Black Book™ also announced the top performing IT outsourced services vendors as ranked by customer satisfaction on eighteen hospital and physician organizational client experience based key performance indicators.

Dell swept the end-to-end complex IT outsourcing solution category, as well as top client experience rankings in provider security solutions, population health support, applications management and infrastructure functions.

Also high scores in the complex IT outsourcing service line for hospitals and physician groups were IBM, Allscripts, HP, McKesson, Accenture, CSC, Unisys and Cognizant.

More Black Book survey results can be viewed at

About Black Book ™

Black Book Rankings, a division of Black Book Market Research LLC, provides healthcare IT users, media, investors, analysts, quality minded vendors, and prospective software system buyers, pharmaceutical manufacturers, and other interested sectors of the clinical technology industry with comprehensive comparison data of the industry’s top respected and competitively performing technology vendors. The largest user opinion poll of its kind in healthcare IT, Black Book™ collects over 450,000 viewpoints on information technology and outsourced services vendor performance annually. Black Book was founded in 2000, is internationally recognized for over 15 years of customer satisfaction polling, particularly in technology, services, outsourcing and offshoring industries.

Black Book™, its founders, management and/or staff do not own or hold any financial interest in any of the vendors covered and encompassed in this survey, and Black Book reports the results of the collected satisfaction and client experience rankings in publication and to media prior to vendor notification of rating results.

Follow Black Book on Twitter at For methodology, auditing, resources, comprehensive research and ranking data, see

Posted in Healthcare, Healthcare IT | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on Providers to adopt IT Outsourcing solutions in 2016 as more hospitals and physician practices Slide Deeper into Financial Uncertainty, Black Book survey

mHealth Apps May Create Next-Gen Interoperability Problems

According to a recent study by IMS Health, there were 165,000 mHealth apps available on the Google Play and iTunes app stores as of September. Of course, not all of these apps are equally popular — in fact, 40% had been downloaded less than 5,000 times — but that still leaves almost 100,000 apps attracting at least some consumer attention.

On the whole, I’m excited by these statistics. While there’s way too many health apps to consider at present, the spike in apps is a necessary part of the mobile healthcare market’s evolution. Over the next few years, clear leaders will emerge to address key mHealth functions, such as chronic care and medication management, diet and lifestyle support and health data tracking. Apps offering limited interactivity will fall off the map, those connected to biosensors will rise, IMS Health predicts.

That being said, I am concerned about how data is being managed within these apps. With providers already facing huge interoperability issues, the last thing the industry needs is the emergence of a new set of data silos. But unless something happens to guide mHealth app developers, that may be just what happens.

To be fair, health IT leaders aren’t exactly sitting around waiting for commercial app developers to share their data. While products like HealthKit exist to integrate such data, and some institutions are giving it a try, my sense is that mHealth data management isn’t a top priority for healthcare leaders just yet.

No, the talk I’ve overheard in the hallways is more geared to supporting internally-developed apps. For example, seeing to it that a diabetes management app integrates not only a patient’s self-reported blood sugar levels, but also related labs and recommended self-care appointments is enough of a challenge on its own. What’s more, with few doctors actually “prescribing” outside apps as part of their clinical routine, providers have little reason to worry about what commercial app developers do with their data.

But eventually, as top commercial health apps become more robust, the picture will change. Healthcare organizations will have compelling reasons to integrate data from outside apps, particularly if doctors begin viewing them as useful. But if providers and outside app developers aren’t adhering to shared data standards, that may not be possible.

Now, I’m not here to suggest that commercial mHealth developers are ignoring the problem of interoperability with providers. (Besides, with 165,000 apps on the market, I couldn’t say so with any authority, anyway.) I am arguing, however, that it’s already well past time for health IT leaders to begin scoping out the mobile health marketplace, and figuring out what can be done to help with data interoperability. Some sit-downs with top app developers would definitely make sense.

What I do know — as do those reading this blog — is that creating a fresh set of health data silos would be destructive. Creating and managing useful mobile health apps, as well as the data they generate, is likely to be important to next-generation health IT leaders. And avoiding the creation of a fresh set of silos may still be possible. It’s time to tackle this issue before it’s too late.

Posted in health information exchange, Healthcare Integration, Healthcare Leadership, Hospital EHR, Hospital Electronic Health Record, Hospital Electronic Medical Record, Hospital EMR, Mobile Technology | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off on mHealth Apps May Create Next-Gen Interoperability Problems

ikaSystems to become subsidiary company of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan

BOSTON—Nov. 19, 2015—ikaSystems, the premier provider of enterprise, cloud-based business process and automation solutions for payers, today announced it signed an agreement to become an independent subsidiary of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.

The new relationship will position ikaSystems for further growth in solution expansion, new capabilities, and new services across all lines of business. ikaSystems’ existing management team will continue to lead the Boston-area company.

“We see this new relationship as validation of our success and the potential of our platform to help payers transform themselves for the future,” said ikaSystems CEO, Joe Marabito. “As an independent subsidiary, we will have the freedom and resources to serve our customers in all segments of the payer market with even more capacity and rigor.”

“Over the past several years, ikaSystems has proven its ability to deliver flexible and innovative solutions that create meaningful differentiation and has enabled BCBSM and others navigate a challenging environment in health care,” said Mark Bartlett, BCBSM executive vice president, chief financial officer and president of emerging markets. “As we contemplated services to help health payers thrive, we knew that ikaSystems presented an outstanding opportunity to start with a world-class foundation.”

Serving payers since 1999, ikaSystems’ solutions deliver flexibility and high levels of service. ikaSystems customers are located across the United States and include payers of all types and sizes, from small provider-owned plans to the largest insurers. Together, they represent about 28 million covered lives across all lines of business—commercial, Medicaid, Medicare—and include traditional insurers, managed Medicaid plans, Medicare Advantage plans, PBMs, and delegated risk providers.

About ikaSystems

ikaSystems delivers business automation and process solutions that transform how health plans conduct commercial, Medicare, Medicaid, Exchange, and ACO business. Our solutions automate key processes for sales, marketing, regulatory compliance, claims administration, customer service, quality management, and revenue optimization—all on an integrated, Web-based platform that’s fast and scalable. Partner with us, and take a bold step forward: one that can lower costs, increase agility, and improve constituent satisfaction for all your lines of business. For more information visit us at

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit mutual insurance company, is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

Oppenheimer & Co. Inc. acted as exclusive financial advisor to ikaSystems.

Posted in Healthcare, Healthcare IT, Healthcare IT Acquisitions | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on ikaSystems to become subsidiary company of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan

EHR Interoperability Breakthrough Powers Referrals, Care Coordination and Clinically Integrated Networks

Infina Connect announces universal electronic exchange of clinical documents, greatly reducing the need for costly interfaces and private HIE’s to support value based care.

CARY, NC, November 19, 2015 – Infina Connect, the leading provider of SaaS referral coordination solutions, today announced the release of ICC Direct, a significant breakthrough in standards-based interoperability and care coordination that lets a patient’s healthcare providers easily share clinical records with other providers and team members, no matter where they work or which electronic health record (EHR) they use.

ICC Direct – a new capability built into Infina Connect’s Intelligent Care Coordinator (ICC) – leverages the secure messaging capability built into all 2014 edition Certified EHRs, access to the Surescripts Clinical Direct Messaging solution via the nation’s largest health information network, and universal delivery capability to accomplish this breakthrough.  With ICC Direct, healthcare providers are able to automate the creation of new ICC referrals from any certified EHR and electronically exchange documents with any provider anywhere, including Meaningful Use Stage Two- compliant exchange of Consolidated CDA (C-CDA) documents such as Continuity of Care Documents (CCD’s).  More importantly, ICC Direct connects the relevant clinical information from the EHR directly to the referral workflow in ICC, making it easier for providers using ICC to provide effective closed loop care coordination.

“We’ve been using ICC for many years to close the loop on patient care,” said Kelly Crisp, Director of Health Information & Technology, Raleigh Medical Group, a 29-provider internal medicine and gastroenterology group with 4 main and 11 satellite locations in the Raleigh, NC area.  “Now with ICC Direct, our referral process is even more efficient with little to no workflow integration changes, and we can easily meet the 10 percent electronic transmission requirement for Meaningful Use Stage Two.”

In addition to gaining the visibility into patient information that is necessary to effectively manage populations, ICC Direct’s simplified access to contextually relevant clinical information represents a key differentiator for health systems and ACO’s interested in improving outcomes and expanding their provider networks.

Providers nationwide have been struggling to share information electronically due to technology systems that are unable to easily communicate with each other, with the top barriers cited as cost, vendor support and technical difficulty.  The transition to value-based contracts has led healthcare organizations to invest in expensive interfaces, integrations, and private HIE’s to exchange information as patients transition across care settings and providers.  ICC Direct greatly reduces the need for these costly and time-consuming investments, enabling all providers to share information electronically and seamlessly coordinate care across care settings for about what it costs to fax.  As a result, ICC Direct eliminates the top interoperability barriers to population health management and the success of value-based healthcare.

“The primary reason providers need to communicate with each other is because they have a patient in common,” said Mark Hefner, CEO of Infina Connect.  “We set out to enable providers to coordinate referrals and transitions of care in a highly effective and efficient manner.  Along the way, it became clear that solving the interoperability problem was the next logical step, and that’s what ICC Direct does – more effectively and affordably than any other solution on the market today.”

Referring providers using ICC Direct can also easily meet the “10 percent electronic transmission” requirement of Meaningful Use Stage Two, Objective 15, Measure 2, even if the consulting provider is unable to receive Direct messages.  Many providers have had difficulty meeting this requirement.  Adherence to Meaningful Use is required for providers to receive incentives, participate in population health contracts, and avoid payment penalties.

About Infina Connect

Infina Connect is the leading provider of SaaS referral coordination solutions, and the first to be adopted by a majority of providers across a major metropolitan area.  Infina Connect enables providers to optimize placement of referrals within high value networks and electronically perform closed loop referrals to coordinate patient care, improve patient health and maximize revenue.  Infina’s electronic exchange of clinical documents also enables providers to comply with the electronic document exchange requirements of Meaningful Use Stage Two (Objective 15) and the CMS Chronic Care Management program.  For more information, visit

Posted in EHR, Electronic Health Record, Electronic Medical Record, EMR, Healthcare, Healthcare Interoperability, Healthcare IT, Meaningful Use Stage 2 | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off on EHR Interoperability Breakthrough Powers Referrals, Care Coordination and Clinically Integrated Networks