Health IT Business News Wrap-up – August 26, 2012

This Week’s Health IT Business News

You can be forgiven in thinking that the only big news this week was the one-two-three punch of the release of final rules for Stage 2 Meaningful Use, Stage 2 Standards and Certification and the delay of ICD-10. In fact, it was a pretty big week in Health IT business headlines.

We lead off with InformationWeekHeathcare reporting on Allscripts announcement of their agreement with Microsoft to expand Allscripts’ application developer program. The two giants are working together to encourage software firms to create applications for Allscripts in the new Windows 8 operating system. Noting that “much of our open platform is built using Microsoft technology,” Allscripts CEO Glen Tullman told InformationWeek Healthcare, “We want to be in synch with Microsoft as they announce Windows 8 and invest a very substantial amount to get it used and integrated in the developer community. We’re riding some of that wave, because we want all our developers to take advantage of that.”

News this week involving other business giants include the announcement that Walgreens will deploy the WellHealth EHR, built upon Greenway Medical’s EHR platform. The EHR solution is currently in more than 200 Walgreens stores, with chainwide rollout to its nearly 8,000 locations planned to be completed by the end of summer 2013. WellHealth EHR will deliver to Walgreens pharmacy staff a single patient view capturing immunization and health testing history in their prescription profile.

Speaking of EHRs, Medscape (WebMD) released the results of their EHR Report 2012: Physicians Rank Top EHRs. Over 21,000 physicians across 25 specialites participated in the survey that ranks EHRs, how EHRs affect their practice, the impact on the patient-doctor relationship and satisfaction with their vendors. Check out the results here.

In acquisition news this week HealthcareITnews reported  on Aetna’s acquisition of Coventry Health Care. The acquisition is projected to add nearly 4 million medical members and 1.5 million Medicare Part D members to Aetna’s membership and created new opportunities for Aetna’s health IT businesses.

Also reported by Healthcare IT News this week – Business is Booming in the World of HIT Start Ups. The article is an interview with Cynthia Coker, found of and principal at N2M Advisory and looks at areas ripe for HIT start ups. These areas include improved patient care through use of tablets, mobile applications, the cloud, EMR, imaging, pathology, scheduling, billing, and general PM applications.

In health information exchange news this week AlliedHIE announced it is sponsoring a symposium called “The DIRECT Revolution: Why Healthcare Is Going DIRECT and How Not to Get Left Behind.” The workshop will discuss the DIRECT communication innovation in healthcare, which is the first step toward creating a health information exchange (HIE) environment. Through DIRECT messaging technology, providers are able to connect with each other and with patients via secure email communication.

And GovHealthIT reported two Ohio physician practices successfully tested sending immunization data to the state health department from their EHRs. The exchange was made through HealthBridge and the Greater Dayton Area Health Information Network. The Dayton exchange is a member of HealthBridge, which leads the Greater Cincinnati Beacon Collaboration, one of 17 health IT model communities funded by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT.

Finally, in personnel changes this week Patrick Lukacs, former VP of software services at PracticeMax, has been named Senior VP of Operations for the company.  Mike Coyne, the former CEO at Verisk Health, has been named President of QuantiaMD, a free online networking community for physicians. Scott Decker, President of NextGen Healthcare, will resign from the company effective Sept. 7. Shawn DeWane, former Senior VP of sales and marketing at Emdat, has been named EVP of business development at Hayes Management Consulting.