Health IT Business News Wrap-up – November 11, 2012

This Week’s Health IT Business News

Nothing like a national election to impact the markets.  Stocks selling off Wednesday and Thursday pushed the week as a whole down 2%, shifting attention from the election results to potential consequences of a looming “fiscal cliff”. Still, there was plenty of positive news this week to report in the health IT sector including news of the EHR Incentive Program payments breaking the $8 billion mark. CMS has reported that $8.36 billion has been paid out to 165,800 eligible professionals and eligible hospitals through the end of October. Final figures from CMS will be released in the next couple of weeks.

In mergers and acquisition news this week came the announcement of Humana buying HIE vendor Certify. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. This move marks the third in a series of HIE acquisitions by big payers following Aetna’s acquisition of Medicity and UnitiedHealth Group’s acquisition of Axolotl.

McKesson has announced it intends to acquire Emendo, a company offering patient predictive capacity planning tools for health care providers. The move is designed to help McKesson customers reduce costs and improve patient experience, key tenants of McKesson’s Better Health 2020™ healthcare IT strategy.

HealthPort announced this week its merger with Discovery Health Records Solutions, a release of information company based in Georgia. As a combined company under the HealthPort name, Discovery’s provider customers will gain access to HealthPort’s medical record request fulfillment services. HealthPort will also offer Discovery customers access to its technology and systems to meet compliance, data security, and health information management challenges.

Cerner announced Thursday an agreement to acquire behavioral EHR company Anasazi Software. As reported by Behavioral Healthcare, Anasazi Software CEO Michael Morris commented that “all of the impacts of the deal are going to be positive. We will be a business unit of Cerner, called Cerner Anasazi, we will keep our management team together, and the entirety of Anasazi operations will remain intact and continue to operate out of Phoenix.”

Speaking of Cerner, certification news came this week that Greenway’s PrimeSUITE EHR Solution has been certified for Cerner Interoperability. “This certification is a tremendous step forward in achieving data liquidity between the health information systems of Greenway and Cerner customers,” said Greenway® President and Chief Executive Officer Tee Green. “Enterprises that implement both solutions realize seamless data exchange throughout their community of health, enabling them to meet regulatory, payer and industry goals of ensuring that all health information gets delivered where it’s needed, when it’s needed, to drive care coordination and improved outcomes.”

ICA, a leading provider of interoperability technology enabling health information exchange, announced this week that it is providing Direct capabilities to clients in six states through the CareAlign® Direct messaging solution, a secure communications tool that allows healthcare organizations to utilize the Direct protocol and meet Meaningful Use requirements. Read more.

At the 5th annual eHealth Initiative meeting in the UK, GE Healthcare announced the launch of their new Centricity Clinical Archive, a vendor neutral archiving solution designed to unify imaging, documents, and other patient data across entire hospital systems.  The suite of products, based on interoperability standards, delivers a “360-degree go-live experience”, providing implementation, service, and management through a single support team.

Allscripts and Aprima Medical Software announced a mutually agreeable settlement in the lawsuit brought on October 19, 2012 by Allscripts. In that lawsuit, Allscripts alleged that some of Aprima’s advertising copy violated various state and federal laws. Under the settlement terms, Aprima has modified some of the advertising copy associated with its Aprima Rescue Plan for those who currently use the Allscripts MyWay™ product, and who may be looking to replace that product in light of Allscripts’ October 3 announcement about its future.

The mHealth Alliance, Thomson Reuters FoundationBaker & McKenzie, and Merck announced that they are partnering on a new project to increase the understanding of privacy and security policies that relate to the use of mobile technologies in healthcare. According to a 2011 World Health Organization report, governments cite issues related to data privacy and security and the protection of individual health information as two of the top barriers to the expansion of mHealth. Read the press release.

Finally, in personnel news this week John K. Evans has been appointed President and CEO at Vermont Information Technology Leaders, Inc. VITL is a non-profit organization that operates the statewide health information exchange, a secure network that enables health care organizations to exchange clinical and administrative health data needed at the point of care, for clinical decision support and to manage population health.