Health IT Business News Recap – February 3, 2013

Health IT Business News Wrap-upThis Week’s Health IT Business News

The holidays are over and today marks one of the year’s milestone events as the Ravens and the 49ers square off in an unprecedented Super Bowl: the head coaches of the two teams are brothers. Before you know it we’ll be celebrating July 4th, Halloween and the holidays. What, I wonder, will be the outlook be for the health IT business industry in 2013?  Mercom Capital’s Annual Healthcare IT Funding and M&A report shows health IT venture capital hit $1.2 billion in 2012, a huge leap from the $480 million the previous year. Will we see more mergers this year, especially among the bigger EHR vendors?  And will the EHR bubble burst this year? Read our own Jim Tate’s thoughts on that question.

Mergers, Acquisitions and Investment

Will 2013 signal the year Big Data becomes, well, bigger? It sure looks that way. News comes this week of UnitedHealth Group’s acquisitions of clinical data analytics firm Humedica.  According to a report by Modern Healthcare “the deal represents more than the insurance giant simply buying yet another health information technology company, something it has done with regularity in recent years. It was a major shot in the ongoing battle by payers for healthcare data supremacy.” The story quotes first National Coordinator Dr. David Brailer:

The fight over the control of data will be a very large struggle,” predicted Dr. David Brailer, chairman and founder of Health Evolution Partners, a San Francisco-based private equity firm specializing in healthcare investments, and the first head of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology at HHS.

Sign up for free web access to read the full Modern Healthcare story. Also check out this guest post from Sarianne Gruber, Big Data for Healthcare: Why are we collecting all this data?

Contracts Awarded

M*Modal announced that the University of Virginia (UVA) Health System will deploy M*Modal speech-enabled products its EHR systems. Using M*Modal’s cloud-based Natural Language Understanding™ speech engine, UVA medical staff and informatics professionals will capture clinical narratives.

Product Development and Announcements

RGP Healthcare, the healthcare unit of Resources Global Professionals (NASDAQ: RECN), announced the launch of Pavisse,™ an integrated incident management solution  for hospitals to manage patient privacy, safety and other HIPAA compliance-realted issues. The product is designed to track and improve compliance with patient safety regulations, HIPAA requirements and other regulations, as well as improve a hospital’s Leapfrog score.

The EHR for Apple MacPractice announced it will integrate RT-MediBus Ambulatory EHR with the MacPractice PMS. The joint solution will give MacPractice PMS users access to the cloud-based RT-MediBus EHR system on a subscription basis.

Connectivity solutions vendor ELLKAY and EHR provider SOAPware have partnered to integrate practice management systems and the SOAPware EHR. ELLKAY offers integration and conversion services. The two companies will work together to implement the ELLKAY connectivity bridge for SOAPware clients, allowing the SOAPware EHR to function with almost any existing PM system.


EHR vendor athenahealth (NASDAQ: ATHN) has been named has been named one of America’s Top Workplaces by WorkplaceDynamics. The company was ranked #45 nationwide among 872 organizations with more than 1,000 employees.National Top Workplaces list was determined  by feedback gathered through an employee survey. The survey was conducted by WorkplaceDynamics in conjunction with 30 leading regional newspapers.

Joyce Sensmeier, VP of informatics at HIMSS has been appointed to the advisory board of standards development organization HL7. Carolyn Clancy has announced that she will step down as director of the AHRQ. Somu Vadali, former director of product at Akamai Technologies, is now VP of product management for Healthrageous, a provider of personalized digital health management tools.