Health IT Business News Wrap-up – November 18, 2012

This Week’s Health IT Business News

Interoperability. Some have it, everyone wants it. The topic was front and center on Capitol Hill this past Wednesday where the Subcommittee on Technology and Innovation of the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology held a hearing entitled “Is ‘Meaningful Use’ Delivering Meaningful Results?: An Examination of Health  Information Technology Standards and Interoperability”. Read Brian Ahier’s recap and thoughts on this hearing. No surprise Interoperability made a number of business news items this week.

We lead, however, with mergers and acquisitions and start with a news report from Reuters that three private equity firms, the Carlyle Group, Blackstone Group and TPG Capital, are all bidding for Allscripts. According to Reuters, “these buyout firms submitted second-round offers on Friday, a day after Allscripts reported weak quarterly earnings and following meetings with the company’s management last month.” Sources of this information asked not to be named. Allscripts has a market value of around $2 billion. Read the Reuters article here.

In other mergers and acquisitions news HealthPort announced its merger with Discovery Health Records Solutions, a release of information company. As a combined company under the HealthPort name, Discovery’s healthcare provider customers, including clinics, group practices and hospitals nationwide, will gain access to HealthPort’s enhanced and comprehensive medical record request fulfillment services. Healthiest You, a provider of cloud-based digital wellness tools and HealthNowMD, a telehealth provider, announced their merger this week.  Read the press release here. And defense and intelligence IT firm CACI has acquired Emergint, a provider of health IT services for federal and state agencies. The acquisition is expected to be completed by December 1, 2012.

In EHR vendor news this week we lead with the announcement of a partnership between NextGen and Surescripts. NextGen Healthcare will connect to the Surescripts Network for Clinical Interoperability™. The connectivity will allow NextGen users to securely send and receive clinical information across physician practices, hospitals, health centers and other healthcare entities nationwide.

Greenway Medical released the results of their National Health IT ‘Trends and Transformations’ Survey. The goal of the research was to “to pinpoint the views of U.S. health professionals and consumers toward changes in healthcare delivery and information technology.”  The 31-page research report is available on the Greenway website.

You don’t have to look at the calendar to know it’s year-end. Top Lists are starting to roll out including Deloitte’s Technology Fast 500™ list.  Congratulations to athenahealth for making the list in the Internet category.  “Being recognized on Deloitte’s Technology Fast 500 list among some of the fastest growing leaders in technology is an affirmation of the progress we’ve made here at athenahealth,” said Jonathan Bush, athenahealth CEO and Chairman. Check out the complete list of this year’s winners.

Practice Fusion announced this week its acceleration of lab connectivity for doctors, now connected to 162 clinical laboratories nationwide.This number has doubled since the company released its lab API in May.  According to the press release,”this API enables rapid deployment of new laboratory connections that would ordinarily take weeks or months to establish, and enables a more robust digital platform for the transmission of health information.”

In other news this week iMedcor and Galaxy Health Network announced they have entered into an agreement.  Galaxy Health Network will offer iMedicor’s Social Health Information Exchange (iMedicor SocialHIE) to their provider network comprising more than 400,000 physicians, 2700 medical centers and 47,000 ancillary care facilities. iMedicor SocialHIE, which features secure messaging services within a social/professional networking architecture, will give providers in the Galaxy network “the most advanced Interoperable technology platform to facilitate the successful migration of health records and communications from a paper-to-digital environment in accordance with Federal standards.” The iMedicor SocialHIE/Galaxy platform is scheduled to launch in January 2013. Read the press release here.

The Upper Peninsula Health Care Network (UPHCN), the parent organization for Upper Peninsula Health Information Exchange (UPHIE), and ICA, a leading provider of interoperability technology, announced this week that UPHIE has gone live in record time with ICA’s CareAlign® exchange platform. The HIE will cover one-third of the state of Michigan, serving approximately 300,000 people. UPHIE finalized a contract with ICA in August. Read the press release here.

And the Health Information Xchange of New York, known as HIXNY, announced this week it will introduce a patient portal next year. Mark McKinney, CEO of HIXNY, said creating a way for people to access their own medical records, and upload information into them, is one of the organization’s top priorities for 2013.  “Such a portal would help providers meet the federal government’s Stage 2 requirement for “meaningful use” for health information technology.”

In personnel news this week Gilman Louie, a partner at venture capitalist firm Alsop Louie Partners, has been appointed to the board of directors at the Markle Foundation. H. Allen Dobbs, former CMO at HHS, has been named CMIO at Apprio, a provider of technology tools for the health, defense and homeland security markets. Apprio also made Deloitte’s 2012 Technology Fast 500™ list.  And Kelley Shudy, former group Sr. VP of channel and community operations at Allscripts, has been named VP of sales for Net Health Systems.