Health IT Business News Wrap-up – October 7, 2012

This Week’s Health IT Business News

For the second straight week in a row we lead with news of speech and imaging giant Nuance acquiring yet another company. On Monday Nuance announced they had acquired clinical documentation and compliance company J.A. Thomas and Associates (JATA). This news comes on the heels of Nuance’s recent Quantim acquisition.  According to the press releases issued the integration of  JATA and Quantim “will deliver the industry’s onlyend-to-end, Web-based CDI and coding solution – leading to the creation of more complete patient records that include the coding needed to ensure accurate reimbursement, while also addressing ICD-10 challenges.”

Also for the second straight week in a row came news of another McKesson acquistion. Last week we reported on the announcement that McKesson will acquire MedVentive, a population and risk management solutions provider. This week news broke that an agreement as been reached of McKesson’s acquisition of  MED3OOO, a national healthcare management and technology services company. Based in Pittsburgh MED3OOO employs 2,800 employees and has been recognized by Inc. magazine on its Top 5,000 List for the last five years as one of the fastest growing companies in the nation. Both companies expect the sale to be complete in the next several months.

HIMSS made news this week with the announcement of their acquisition of business intelligence and consulting company CapSite. The acquisition expands HIMSS product offerings in healthcare analytics. In the press release issued HIMSS President and CEO Stephen Lieber is quoted as saying “The investment in CapSite follows our overall strategy forHIMSS Analytics to provide the best market intelligence on the hardware, software and services selected by chief information officers and other users of information technology. We will maintain the CapSite office in Burlington, Vt. with CapSite employees joining the HIMSS roster as part of the HIMSS Analytics team.”

In other news related to HIMSS, the organization responded quickly to the news Thursday of four Republican congressmen sending a letter to Kathleen Sebelius calling for the immediate halting of EHR incentive payments. HIMSS shot back the day after in a press release opposing the call for any suspension saying “HIMSS supports the concept of graduated complexity of meaningful use; this stepped approach recognizes evolutionary maturity of adoption and implementation of health IT – all of which serves as the foundation for healthcare transformation.  Significant progress has been made; widespread interoperability is within reach.”

Business news out of my own home town of Phoenix broke this week with the announcement of WebPT partnering with CollaborateMD to integrate their web-based EHR software with a web-based medical billing software. “We have been enthusiastically waiting to announce our partnership with WebPT, because it marks the start of offering our mutual customers the most efficient and affordable EHR plus billing solution available today,” commented Douglas Kegler, founder and CEO, CollaborateMD. “WebPT fully understands the needs of the therapist, and we see them as the leader in the rehab field.” Read the full press release.

We noted in last week’s column reporting Allscripts is on the hunt for a buyer. A number of news outlets picked up the story from Bloomberg and speculation continues. As rumors continue to swirl the response from Allscripts to an inquiry from HealthcareIT News was clear: “For competitive reasons, we don’t discuss rumors or speculation,” Ariana Nikitas, Allscripts’ director of public relations.

In product development news this week wireless giant Verizon announced the unveiling of a comprehensive cloud and data center infrastructure portfolio specifically designed to help the health care industry meet HIPAA requirements for safeguarding electronic protected health information. The new portfolio gives Verizon clients in the health care, insurance, pharmaceutical and supporting industries a full range of public and private cloud services that meet applicable physical, administrative and technical security controls under HIPAA. Read the full press release.

Emdeon and PDX announced this week a joint initiative to deliver patient medication history in real time. The initiative supports patient medication reconciliation. According to the press release “medication history will be delivered in real-time from PDX’s Electronic Pharmacy Record (EPR) to Emdeon Clinical Exchange and then to authorized requesting hospitals, healthcare providers, health information exchanges (HIEs), skilled nursing facilities and ambulatory and acute inpatient settings.”

Finally, in personnel news this week George Halvorson, chairman/CEO of Kaiser Permanente, announced he will retire in December of 2013. Halvorson has held the position since 2002. Christopher Gatti, former COO at ColdLight Solutions, has been named CEO at Nuvon, a developer of interoperability and connectivity tools for EHR systems.