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CPSI to Acquire Healthland for $250 Million and Announces Expansion of Its Senior Management Team

MOBILE, Ala.–Computer Programs and Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CPSI), a leading provider of healthcare information solutions to rural and community hospitals, today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Healthland Holding Inc. and its affiliates, Healthland Inc., American HealthTech, Inc. and Rycan Technologies, Inc. The acquisition will strengthen CPSI’s position in providing healthcare information solutions in the markets it serves and will provide new growth markets for the combined company. CPSI also announced the expansion of its senior management team to lead the Company going forward.

Healthland provides electronic health records (EHR) and clinical information management solutions to over 350 hospital customers. American HealthTech is a provider of clinical and financial solutions in the post-acute care space, serving over 3,300 skilled nursing facilities. Rycan offers SaaS-based revenue cycle management workflow and automation software to over 290 hospital customers.

Transaction Highlights:

  • Strengthens CPSI’s position in providing healthcare information systems to community healthcare organizations with approximately 1,200 combined hospital customers;
  • Introduces CPSI to the post-acute care market;
  • Expands the products and capabilities of TruBridge with the addition of Rycan and its suite of revenue cycle management software products; and
  • Immediately accretive to adjusted earnings per diluted share.

The combined company is projected to have annual revenues of approximately $300 million in 2015 and more than 1,900 employees. The transaction is expected to be more than 35% accretive to CPSI’s adjusted earnings per diluted share in 2016 and more than 50% accretive in 2017. Adjusted earnings, a non-GAAP financial measure, include a cash tax benefit from the acquisition and exclude share-based compensation expense, one-time transaction costs, and acquisition-related amortization and deferred revenue adjustments.

“We are excited to welcome Healthland into CPSI’s family of healthcare IT companies,” said Boyd Douglas, president and chief executive officer of CPSI. “Healthland’s history tracks a very similar course to that of CPSI, as we both have over 30 years of experience in the healthcare IT space, and we share a strong commitment to the improvement of community healthcare. The combination of these two long-standing companies creates in CPSI a broad product portfolio across the continuum of care. Together, we will service a client base of approximately 1,200 acute care facilities and more than 3,300 post-acute care facilities, including Healthland’s American HealthTech subsidiary. As the healthcare industry transitions to value-based reimbursement, our combined solutions will connect communities, patients and providers to facilitate more effective population health management, better patient engagement, and the advancement of quality and care coordination. In addition to an expanded client and solution base, the acquisition will also create synergies in our healthcare services offerings to address the acute and post-acute care markets’ demand for improved financial and operational performance. There is no doubt that the addition of Healthland, along with American HealthTech and Rycan, will not only improve CPSI’s offerings in the healthcare IT market, but will provide our combined company with greater opportunities for growth and significantly deepen our knowledge, resources and experience base. We are confident this combination will allow us to continue to be a leading innovator with greater benefits for our customers and the communities they serve, both now and in the years to come.”

Chris Bauleke, chief executive officer of Healthland, stated, “With the ongoing transformation in community healthcare, this combination will enable us to deliver solutions faster for our clients and better scale our development investment and customer support across the many communities we serve. Delivering meaningful solutions for our customers as they prepare for the transition into value-based payment models will continue to be a priority.”

Bauleke added, “Healthland’s acquisitions of American HealthTech, a provider of EHR solutions for post-acute care facilities, in 2013, and Rycan, a revenue cycle solutions company, in April 2015, provide immediate benefits to the markets and solutions that the combined company can leverage.”

Following the acquisition, support for Healthland’s core platforms, Classic and Centriq, will remain in place. Current implementations will continue, and CPSI plans to support and invest in the Centriq platform for at least the next seven years. The Healthland Classic platform will continue to be supported for a minimum of two years, as outlined by Healthland management at their recent Connect 15 User Conference.

Transaction Summary

The contemplated total aggregate consideration to be paid by CPSI is $250 million, payable approximately 65% in cash and 35% in CPSI common stock, subject to certain adjustments at and after closing, as provided for in the merger agreement. The completion of the transaction is subject to review under The Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976 and the satisfaction of other customary closing conditions, and is targeted to close in 2015.

To finance the transaction, CPSI will use cash available on its balance sheet, $150 million of funded debt from a new senior secured credit facility and shares of its common stock. CPSI and Regions Bank have executed a committed financing letter for the new senior secured credit facility that CPSI intends to enter into at the time of closing the transaction.

CPSI’s financial advisor in this transaction was Allen & Company LLC and Maynard, Cooper & Gale, P.C. and Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP served as legal counsel to CPSI. Shearman & Sterling LLP served as legal counsel to Healthland.

CPSI’s Management Team

CPSI also announced a series of changes that expand its management team, effective immediately. David Dye, in addition to continuing to serve as chairman of the board, has assumed the new role of chief growth officer of CPSI and will be focused on driving growth in all segments of CPSI’s business. Chris Fowler, president of TruBridge, will assume the additional role of chief operating officer of CPSI and will be responsible for managing the integration of Healthland and CPSI. Matt Chambless, currently Director of Financial Reporting, is assuming the role of chief financial officer of CPSI.

“Having David Dye focus his experience, industry knowledge and leadership on growth is an exciting opportunity for our company, particularly as we add the Healthland companies to our business,” added Douglas. “Chris Fowler is a proven leader in our company and the right person to lead our operations and the integration of Healthland and CPSI, and Matt Chambless has earned the confidence of our management team and our Board.”

“I am excited about my role as chief growth officer and the opportunity to work with our team to expand our customer base and offer additional products and services in the markets we serve,” noted Dye, who like Boyd Douglas has been with CPSI for over 25 years.

CPSI also announced that Chris Bauleke has agreed to stay on as president of Healthland. Douglas added, “Having Chris as part of our team will be very valuable as we work to integrate these two businesses and position the combined company for future growth. Chris is an experienced executive and has been instrumental in positioning Healthland to compete in a dynamic and growing market. We believe that we have the right team to lead our company into the future and take advantage of the additional opportunities to serve our current customers and expand our service offering. With the addition of the Healthland companies, we also believe it is the right time to expand our senior leadership team and promote some of our younger managers.”

Conference Call

CPSI will discuss the transaction in more detail during a conference call Wednesday, November 25, 2015, at 10:30 a.m. ET. The Company will also provide a slide presentation in connection with the conference call and webcast. A 30-day online replay will be available approximately one hour following the conclusion of the live webcast. To listen to the live webcast or access the replay, visit the Company’s website,

About Healthland

Healthland is a leading provider of integrated technology solutions to rural community and critical access hospitals. Software and services from Healthland, including electronic health records (EHRs), help customers share patient information across care settings to coordinate treatment, improve patient outcomes, and drive patient satisfaction. Healthland is the parent of Mississippi-based American HealthTech, one of the nation’s largest providers of financial and clinical technology solutions in post-acute care. Healthland is headquartered in Minneapolis, Minn., with offices in its founding rural community of Glenwood, Minn. More information is available at

About CPSI

CPSI is a leading provider of healthcare solutions for community hospitals. Founded in 1979, CPSI is the parent of two companies – Evident, LLC and TruBridge, LLC. Evident provides comprehensive EHR solutions for community hospitals. TruBridge focuses exclusively on providing business, consulting, and managed IT services to community healthcare organizations, regardless of their IT vendor. For more information, visit,, or

November 25, 2015 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of and John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

M*Modal Expands its Fluency for Imaging Reporting Suite to Improve Documentation Quality and Support the Move to Value-Based Care

Fluency for Imaging is the top-scoring front-end speech solution in the KLAS diagnostic sub-segment.

FRANKLIN, Tennessee, Nov. 24, 2015 – M*Modal, a leading provider of clinical documentation and Speech Understanding™ solutions, today announced that it will showcase improvements to its market-leading Fluency for Imaging™ reporting suite at RSNA 2015, booth #1729. M*Modal will demonstrate several new advancements that focus on improving the clinical quality of documentation and supporting the radiologist’s workflow as the industry moves towards value-based care.

To support the dual goals of payment modernization and improvement in clinical quality, M*Modal now offers an integrated solution to provide operational, clinical and financial metrics in real-time that will benefit the entire imaging enterprise. M*Modal’s new analytics offering, M*Modal ScoutTM, is integrated within Fluency for Imaging to optimize efficiency anduser experience.

M*Modal’s proven Computer-Assisted Physician Documentation (CAPD) functionality continues to help radiologists improve the quality and completeness of the report as they document the interpretation. The M*Modal closed-loop clinical documentation system delivers automated, evidence-based and true real-time feedback on, for example:

  • Critical findings with an integrated, automated Critical Test Result Management (CTRM) workflow
  • ICD-10 related specificity including acuity
  • Laterality and gender mismatches
  • Documentation completeness and best practices to support the ACR Imaging 3.0TMinitiative

The M*Modal software is continually updated with the latest documentation guidelines as more use cases are added to support radiologists in their reporting workflow.

Additionally, M*Modal is introducing the seventh generation of its cloud-based Speech Understanding engine which delivers superior out-of-the-gate speech recognition accuracy and performance.

“M*Modal’s voice recognition accuracy is outstanding, which allows me to read with continued focus.  In addition, the Computer-Assisted Physician Documentation (CAPD) real-time feedback has saved me many times from right/left mistakes and calmed my fears of ICD-10 documentation specificity,” said Dr. Arif S. Kidwai, M.D., MBA, President, St. Johns Radiology Associates, serving Flagler Hospital.

“We are excited to demonstrate new, innovative improvements to our market-leading solutions. M*Modal Imaging Solutions take into account every click, step and second because we know radiologists do. Our goal is to not only improve radiologists’ efficiency but also to provide them the right, summarized information so that they can make better decisions faster to improve patient outcomes,” said Scott MacKenzie, CEO of M*Modal.

To see the M*Modal Imaging Solutions suite at work, please visit booth #1729 at the RSNAAnnual Meeting from Nov. 29 to  Dec. 3 at the McCormick Place Convention Center in Chicago, Illinois.

About M*Modal

M*Modal is a leading healthcare technology provider of advanced clinical documentation solutions, enabling hospitals and physicians to enrich the content of patient electronic health records (EHR) for improved healthcare and comprehensive billing integrity. As one of the largest clinical transcription service providers in the U.S., with a global network of medical editors, M*Modal also provides advanced cloud-based Speech Understanding™ technology and data analytics that enable physicians and clinicians to include the context of their patient narratives into electronic health records in a single step, further enhancing their productivity and the cost-saving efficiency and quality of patient care at the point of care. For more information, please visit, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

November 24, 2015 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of and John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Providers to adopt IT Outsourcing solutions in 2016 as more hospitals and physician practices Slide Deeper into Financial Uncertainty, Black Book survey

As the healthcare delivery industry deals with technology updates and implementations from ICD-10, EHR issues, physician alignment, big data, interoperability, value-based reimbursement reforms, decision support, revenue cycle, and patient marketplace shifts, hospital leaders embark on the major restructuring of hospital technology priorities and staffing alternatives for survival.


Black Book™ surveyed 1,030 hospital CIOs and IT leaders, as well as 243 CFOs and financial executives, to contribute their perceptions on technology solutions and outsourcing services options between July and October 2015. 266 hospital and inpatient organizations were represented in the survey in total. Additionally the business managers of 1,395 outpatient, alternative care, and physician practices also submitted ballots, nearly two thirds owned by hospital networks.

“Most hospital leaders see no choice but to evaluate and leverage next generation information and financial systems as an outsourced service in order to keep their organizations solvent and advancing technologically,” said Doug Brown, Managing Partner of Black Book Market Research.

“The reimbursement and population health challenges ahead to get paid, may require several new applications, and the frank reality is that outdated, understaffed and failing current solutions will close a marginally performing hospitals for good.”

Black Book underscores, that the healthcare industry is no stranger to IT outsourcing.  Contractors have provided care and service coverage clinically from radiology to therapies, and administrative work such as billing, collections and transcription for decades.

With pressure mounting from several directions, Black Book found that 73% of all surveyed hospitals and health systems over 300 beds are now looking outside for technology solutions from applications development to complex infrastructure services, with a much wider lens.  81% of provider organizations under 300 beds have also placed complex IT outsourcing in their priorities in the new year.

606 former and current users of IT outsourcing solutions provided feedback on the reasons why there is a new confidence in partnering with an outside contractors now, lessons learned since the early 2000s.

83% of the respondents agreed on the top ten lessons in failed hospital IT contracting engagements:

Outsourced IT services that should have stayed within the organization

Selected the incorrect vendor for the job

Neglected to realize the full costs of outsourcing

Permitted the outsourced service to get out of control

Disregarded employee and/or community concerns about outsourcing/offshoring

Wrote ineffective statements of work for the services outsourced

Failed to strategize an exit procedure before terminating the outsourcing contract

Unrealistic expectations

Lack of best practices for hospital IT outsourcing established

Did not monitor the performance of the contracted outsourcer

The return-on-investment and immediate access to trained staff and needed technology are the primary motivators for outsourcing today. 90% of hospital organizations in Q3 2015 state they are at or near an immediate (3 months or less) return on their investment for IT outsourcing.  Satisfaction with outsourcing vendors is also at an all-time high with 84% expressing their relationship is exceeding expectations.

Black Book notes that the last time healthcare provider industry saw a boon like this in IT outsourcing was in the late 1990’s. Back then, leading cost reduction consultants frequently recommended broad-based IT outsourcing to hospital organizations, but these contracts sharply declined after 2004.

“Population health, analytics, revenue cycle management, EHR and HIE initiatives have accelerated IT expenses again, much faster than anticipated as have market conditions and changes in hospital revenue that are severely strained margins,” said Brown. “This pressure on bottom lines has again raised IT outsourcing as a panacea for cost control, but it is also a way to access needed software solutions and expertise in running these applications.”

There is also little disagreement between CIOs and CFOs on how to best proceed with the exploration of IT outsourcing.

86% of CFOs and 91% of CIOs are willing to reshape their organization with the most effective combination of hospital staff and outsourced service providers in 2016 according to the survey results.

Learning from past experience, far fewer hospital executives will rely on the vendor to make the business case to outsource or not.

“Hospitals, from the board down are examining the costs and benefits and owning the responsibility to make sure hospital staff and outsourced services mesh well,” said Brown.

68% of CIOs endorse software development such as mobile solutions; big data support, predictive analytics and claims management are turning to their EHRs for possible add-ons and systems enhancements.

Black Book™ also announced the top performing IT outsourced services vendors as ranked by customer satisfaction on eighteen hospital and physician organizational client experience based key performance indicators.

Dell swept the end-to-end complex IT outsourcing solution category, as well as top client experience rankings in provider security solutions, population health support, applications management and infrastructure functions.

Also high scores in the complex IT outsourcing service line for hospitals and physician groups were IBM, Allscripts, HP, McKesson, Accenture, CSC, Unisys and Cognizant.

More Black Book survey results can be viewed at

About Black Book ™

Black Book Rankings, a division of Black Book Market Research LLC, provides healthcare IT users, media, investors, analysts, quality minded vendors, and prospective software system buyers, pharmaceutical manufacturers, and other interested sectors of the clinical technology industry with comprehensive comparison data of the industry’s top respected and competitively performing technology vendors. The largest user opinion poll of its kind in healthcare IT, Black Book™ collects over 450,000 viewpoints on information technology and outsourced services vendor performance annually. Black Book was founded in 2000, is internationally recognized for over 15 years of customer satisfaction polling, particularly in technology, services, outsourcing and offshoring industries.

Black Book™, its founders, management and/or staff do not own or hold any financial interest in any of the vendors covered and encompassed in this survey, and Black Book reports the results of the collected satisfaction and client experience rankings in publication and to media prior to vendor notification of rating results.

Follow Black Book on Twitter at For methodology, auditing, resources, comprehensive research and ranking data, see

November 23, 2015 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of and John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

ikaSystems to become subsidiary company of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan

BOSTON—Nov. 19, 2015—ikaSystems, the premier provider of enterprise, cloud-based business process and automation solutions for payers, today announced it signed an agreement to become an independent subsidiary of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.

The new relationship will position ikaSystems for further growth in solution expansion, new capabilities, and new services across all lines of business. ikaSystems’ existing management team will continue to lead the Boston-area company.

“We see this new relationship as validation of our success and the potential of our platform to help payers transform themselves for the future,” said ikaSystems CEO, Joe Marabito. “As an independent subsidiary, we will have the freedom and resources to serve our customers in all segments of the payer market with even more capacity and rigor.”

“Over the past several years, ikaSystems has proven its ability to deliver flexible and innovative solutions that create meaningful differentiation and has enabled BCBSM and others navigate a challenging environment in health care,” said Mark Bartlett, BCBSM executive vice president, chief financial officer and president of emerging markets. “As we contemplated services to help health payers thrive, we knew that ikaSystems presented an outstanding opportunity to start with a world-class foundation.”

Serving payers since 1999, ikaSystems’ solutions deliver flexibility and high levels of service. ikaSystems customers are located across the United States and include payers of all types and sizes, from small provider-owned plans to the largest insurers. Together, they represent about 28 million covered lives across all lines of business—commercial, Medicaid, Medicare—and include traditional insurers, managed Medicaid plans, Medicare Advantage plans, PBMs, and delegated risk providers.

About ikaSystems

ikaSystems delivers business automation and process solutions that transform how health plans conduct commercial, Medicare, Medicaid, Exchange, and ACO business. Our solutions automate key processes for sales, marketing, regulatory compliance, claims administration, customer service, quality management, and revenue optimization—all on an integrated, Web-based platform that’s fast and scalable. Partner with us, and take a bold step forward: one that can lower costs, increase agility, and improve constituent satisfaction for all your lines of business. For more information visit us at

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit mutual insurance company, is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

Oppenheimer & Co. Inc. acted as exclusive financial advisor to ikaSystems.

November 19, 2015 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of and John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

EHR Interoperability Breakthrough Powers Referrals, Care Coordination and Clinically Integrated Networks

Infina Connect announces universal electronic exchange of clinical documents, greatly reducing the need for costly interfaces and private HIE’s to support value based care.

CARY, NC, November 19, 2015 – Infina Connect, the leading provider of SaaS referral coordination solutions, today announced the release of ICC Direct, a significant breakthrough in standards-based interoperability and care coordination that lets a patient’s healthcare providers easily share clinical records with other providers and team members, no matter where they work or which electronic health record (EHR) they use.

ICC Direct – a new capability built into Infina Connect’s Intelligent Care Coordinator (ICC) – leverages the secure messaging capability built into all 2014 edition Certified EHRs, access to the Surescripts Clinical Direct Messaging solution via the nation’s largest health information network, and universal delivery capability to accomplish this breakthrough.  With ICC Direct, healthcare providers are able to automate the creation of new ICC referrals from any certified EHR and electronically exchange documents with any provider anywhere, including Meaningful Use Stage Two- compliant exchange of Consolidated CDA (C-CDA) documents such as Continuity of Care Documents (CCD’s).  More importantly, ICC Direct connects the relevant clinical information from the EHR directly to the referral workflow in ICC, making it easier for providers using ICC to provide effective closed loop care coordination.

“We’ve been using ICC for many years to close the loop on patient care,” said Kelly Crisp, Director of Health Information & Technology, Raleigh Medical Group, a 29-provider internal medicine and gastroenterology group with 4 main and 11 satellite locations in the Raleigh, NC area.  “Now with ICC Direct, our referral process is even more efficient with little to no workflow integration changes, and we can easily meet the 10 percent electronic transmission requirement for Meaningful Use Stage Two.”

In addition to gaining the visibility into patient information that is necessary to effectively manage populations, ICC Direct’s simplified access to contextually relevant clinical information represents a key differentiator for health systems and ACO’s interested in improving outcomes and expanding their provider networks.

Providers nationwide have been struggling to share information electronically due to technology systems that are unable to easily communicate with each other, with the top barriers cited as cost, vendor support and technical difficulty.  The transition to value-based contracts has led healthcare organizations to invest in expensive interfaces, integrations, and private HIE’s to exchange information as patients transition across care settings and providers.  ICC Direct greatly reduces the need for these costly and time-consuming investments, enabling all providers to share information electronically and seamlessly coordinate care across care settings for about what it costs to fax.  As a result, ICC Direct eliminates the top interoperability barriers to population health management and the success of value-based healthcare.

“The primary reason providers need to communicate with each other is because they have a patient in common,” said Mark Hefner, CEO of Infina Connect.  “We set out to enable providers to coordinate referrals and transitions of care in a highly effective and efficient manner.  Along the way, it became clear that solving the interoperability problem was the next logical step, and that’s what ICC Direct does – more effectively and affordably than any other solution on the market today.”

Referring providers using ICC Direct can also easily meet the “10 percent electronic transmission” requirement of Meaningful Use Stage Two, Objective 15, Measure 2, even if the consulting provider is unable to receive Direct messages.  Many providers have had difficulty meeting this requirement.  Adherence to Meaningful Use is required for providers to receive incentives, participate in population health contracts, and avoid payment penalties.

About Infina Connect

Infina Connect is the leading provider of SaaS referral coordination solutions, and the first to be adopted by a majority of providers across a major metropolitan area.  Infina Connect enables providers to optimize placement of referrals within high value networks and electronically perform closed loop referrals to coordinate patient care, improve patient health and maximize revenue.  Infina’s electronic exchange of clinical documents also enables providers to comply with the electronic document exchange requirements of Meaningful Use Stage Two (Objective 15) and the CMS Chronic Care Management program.  For more information, visit

I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of and John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Blood test results vary from drop to drop in fingerprick tests

Rice study: Six to nine drops of blood may be needed for consistent measurements

HOUSTON – (Nov. 18, 2015) – When it comes to needles and drawing blood, most patients agree that bigger is not better. But in the first study of its kind, Rice University bioengineers have found results from a single drop of blood are highly variable, and as many as six to nine drops must be combined to achieve consistent results.

The study, which appears online this week in the American Journal of Clinical Pathology, examines the variation between blood drops drawn from a single fingerprick. The results suggest that health care professionals must take care to avoid skewed results as they design new protocols and technologies that rely on fingerprick blood.

“We began looking at this after we got some surprising results from our controls in an earlier study,” said lead investigator Rebecca Richards-Kortum, Rice’s Malcolm Gillis University Professor and director of Rice 360°: Institute for Global Health Technologies. “Students in my lab are developing novel, low-cost platforms for anemia, platelet and white blood cell testing in low-resource settings, and one of my students, Meaghan Bond, noticed there was wide variation in some of the benchmark tests that she was performing on hospital-grade blood analyzers.”

The benchmark controls are used to gauge the accuracy of test results from the new technology under study, so the variation among the control data was a sign that something was amiss. What wasn’t immediately clear was whether the readings resulted from a problem with the current experiments or actual variations in the amount of hemoglobin, platelets and white blood cells (WBC) in the different drops of blood.

Richards-Kortum and Bond designed a simple protocol to test whether there was actual variation, and if so, how much. They drew six successive 20-microliter droplets of blood from 11 donors. As an additional test to determine whether minimum droplet size might also affect the results, they drew 10 successive 10-microliter droplets from seven additional donors.

All droplets were drawn from the same fingerprick, and the researchers followed best practices in obtaining the droplets; the first drop was wiped away to remove contamination from disinfectants, and the finger was not squeezed or “milked,” which can lead to inaccurate results. For experimental controls, they use venipuncture, the standard of care in most hospitals, to draw tubes of blood from an arm vein.

Each 20-microliter droplet was analyzed with a hospital-grade blood analyzer for hemoglobin concentration, total WBC count, platelet count and three-part WBC differential, a test that measures the ratio of different types of white blood cells, including lymphocytes and granulocytes. Each 10-microliter droplet was tested for hemoglobin concentration with a popular point-of-care blood analyzer used in many clinics and blood centers.

“A growing number of clinically important tests are performed using fingerprick blood, and this is especially true in low-resource settings,” Bond said. “It is important to understand how variations in fingerprick blood collection protocols can affect point-of-care test accuracy as well as how results might vary between different kinds of point-of-care tests that use fingerprick blood from the same patient.”

Bond and Richards-Kortum found that hemoglobin content, platelet count and WBC count each varied significantly from drop to drop.

“Some of the differences were surprising,” Bond said. “For example, in some donors, the hemoglobin concentration changed by more than two grams per deciliter in the span of two successive drops of blood.”

Bond and Richards-Kortum found that averaging the results of the droplet tests could produce results that were on par with venous blood tests, but tests on six to nine drops blood were needed to achieve consistent results.

“Fingerprick blood tests can be accurate and they are an important tool for health care providers, particularly in point-of-care and low-resource settings,” Bond said. “Our results show that people need to take care to administer fingerprick tests in a way that produces accurate results because accuracy in these tests is increasingly important for diagnosing conditions like anemia, infections and sickle-cell anemia, malaria, HIV and other diseases.”

The research was supported by the National Science Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Grand Challenges in Global Health Initiative.

November 18, 2015 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of and John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

KLAS Finds Global EMR Adoption Rates Continue to Grow

New report looks at providers using regional and multiregional vendors

OREM, Utah – Nov. 17, 2015 – A newly published report by KLAS entitled “Global EMR Performance 2015” finds that providers around the global continue to adopt EMR technology at a rapid rate. Two vendors, Cerner and InterSystems, stand out as the top-performing fully rated multiregional vendors. Provider surveys and commentary show that Cerner performs very well in Europe and the Middle East, while InterSystems performs well in Asia/Oceania and the Middle East.

The report, which highlights vendor performance by region, shows that Epic performs best in large organizations across the globe, with providers citing strong implementations, functionality and support. In some parts of the world, vendors’ statewide contracts are hampering provider/vendor relationships. KLAS found that providers are eager to leverage all of an EMR’s functionality but are often unable to due to limiting contracts.

“Global EMR adoption rates vary by region depending on available resources, government contracts and a number of other factors, and that has a direct impact on vendor performance,” said Jeremy Goff, KLAS research director. “As we continue to monitor the market and talk to providers, we find that multiregional vendors perform well in some regions, but none clearly outperforms their competition everywhere.”

International EHR Vendor Performance Comparison

Click to See Full Size Image

About KLAS

KLAS is a research and insights firm on a global mission to improve healthcare delivery by amplifying the provider’s voice. Working with thousands of healthcare professionals and clinicians, KLAS gathers data and insights on software, services and medical equipment to deliver timely reports, trends and statistical overviews. The research directly represents the provider voice and acts as a catalyst for improving vendor performance. Follow KLAS on Twitter at or visit us online at

November 17, 2015 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of and John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

AMIA Urges CMS to Rethink Informatics Policies as New Models of Care Emerge

Outcomes-oriented payment policy should enable more outcomes-oriented informatics policy

(BETHESDA, MD) — In comments submitted to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the nation’s leading data scientists in healthcare urged federal officials to use new payment policies to reassess how providers are required to use informatics tools, and rethink how quality is measured in a digital world. Officials from the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) said new and novel ways to deliver care will rely on dynamic uses of information technology (IT) and other informatics tools, so government policies dictating the use of IT should be flexible and evolve as more experience is gained with new care models.

CMS issued a request for information (RFI) in October asking for stakeholder input on how best to implement a range of policies required by the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) of 2015 (PL 114-10). The Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) and Alternative Payment Models (APMs) established by MACRA will replace the current Fee-For-Service payment model for Medicare by 2017 and 2019, respectively. This system of reimbursement will rely heavily on electronically-specified clinical quality measures (eCQMs) to pay physicians based on how well their patients recover, rather than the number of services delivered. In comments, AMIA said it supported this move to value-based reimbursement, but voiced concern with the industry’s ability to generate accurate and complete eCQMs, and urged more focus on outcomes-oriented quality measurement.

“AMIA supports the overall direction of moving to an outcomes-based payment system, predicated on demonstrating value for payment,” the organization said in comments. “As we transition away from fee-for-service payment, so too must we move away from the quality measurement paradigm underlying that system. Despite earnest efforts, quality measurement has not become ‘a by-product of care delivered,’ as envisioned, and we are concerned the current mode is insufficient to enable this.”

To improve the current approach, AMIA urged officials to devote more resources to testing both the accuracy of the measure calculation, as well as the feasibility of the data collection requirements, and pilot all new eCQMs before their release for use. CMS should also establish a regular cadence of updates/revisions to eCQMs, ensuring adequate time is allowed for implementation of revisions by both the vendor and provider. Further, AMIA suggested these policies create new opportunities to develop better outcome measures, rather than relying on current process measures.

Additional questions posed by the RFI sought input on how officials should implement policies that require the use of certified EHR technology, and whether new certification criteria are needed to help providers succeed within new payment models. AMIA recommended federal officials avoid overly prescriptive requirements to determine how providers use informatics tools within APMs, but rather focus on the outcomes sought by the use of such tools.

“Ours is a dynamic environment of innovation and invention,” said Blackford Middleton, MD, MPH, MSc, FACMI and current AMIA Board Chair.  “AMIA sees policy development for MIPS and APMs as not just an opportunity to change our payment system, but as an opportunity to revisit policies meant to spur adoption and guide use of health IT.”

AMIA President and CEO Douglas Fridsma, MD, PhD, FACP, FACMI continued, “In much the same way that fee-for-service era policies skewed incentives and provider behavior, overly prescriptive documentation and ‘use’ requirements of the same era have influenced how health IT is developed, implemented and leveraged to improve care.  We must evolve both sets of policies if we are going to succeed in this new paradigm.”

Click here to read AMIA’s full comments to the CMS RFI regarding implementation of MIPS and promotion of APMs.


AMIA, the leading professional association for informatics professionals, is the center of action for 5,000 informatics professionals from more than 65 countries. As the voice of the nation’s top biomedical and health informatics professionals, AMIA and its members play a leading role in assessing the effect of health innovations on health policy, and advancing the field of informatics. AMIA actively supports five domains in informatics: translational bioinformatics, clinical research informatics, clinical informatics, consumer health informatics, and public health informatics.

November 16, 2015 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of and John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

AEGIS Announces Touchstone for HL7 FHIR Interoperability Testing

ROCKVILLE, Md., Nov. 12, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ —, Inc. (AEGIS), a leader in health information exchange standards implementation and the creator of the AEGIS Developers Integration Lab (DIL) introduces the Touchstone Project – a next generation cloud-based Testing Platform which applies Conformance and Interoperability testing in a Test-Driven-Development (TDD) integrated ecosystem.  As organizations new to the Health Level Seven® (HL7®) Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR®) specification begin to explore and evaluate this new HL7® standard and start projects with a goal of being an early adopter, AEGIS’ Touchstone Test Platform will guide those implementations towards a high degree of conformance and interoperability in a continuous model.

AEGIS unveiled the Touchstone Project joining a distinguished group of Health IT industry leaders at the HL7® International 29thAnnual Plenary & Working Group Meetings in Atlanta, GA October 5-9, 2015.  The HL7® event was kicked off with the largest ever audience for the HL7® FHIR® Connectathon in which more than 120 attendees participated.

Health Intersections Pty Ltd. Principal, Grahame Greives, often referred to as the Father of FHIR® commented: “The most recent HL7 FHIR Connectathon 10 – which coincided with HL7 Plenary event in Atlanta GA – advanced the focus around Testing and the Quality of FHIR Implementations. AEGIS was a key contributor, providing a Cloud based Solution which allowed developers to Test their FHIR Implementations. Many participants made use of this to follow Test-Driven-Development (TDD) methodology, and we appreciated how this led to more interoperable solutions.”

Orion Health’s David Hay kicked off the HL7® Connectathon by introducing the FHIR® Tracks such as Track 1 – Patient (lead by David Hay), Track 2 – Terminology Services (Robert Hausam), along with many other implementation tracks coming online.  During the HL7® FHIR® Connectathon, the AEGIS Touchstone Test Platform saw more than 17 Organizations register and test their FHIR®Implementations including Health Intersections, Furore, Mirth, Apelon, McKesson, CentriHealth and Mayo Clinic with more joining each day.

After its initial month of FHIR Testing, Touchstone has seen more than 185 unique test executions and counting.  Those organizations currently testing HL7® FHIR® against the AEGIS Touchstone Test Platform are encouraged to publish their HL7® FHIR Conformance Testing results for the public to witness.

Mario Hyland, Senior Vice President of AEGIS said: “AEGIS is proud to pilot this initiative with HL7® International and to bring its member organizations a unique benefit offering HL7®-FHIR® specific testing to ensure continuous conformance and interoperability through the AEGIS DIL, the Touchstone Project, and AEGIS’ own WildFHIR FHIR implementation, an HL7® FHIR® initiative.  AEGIS was impressed with those HL7® FHIR® Connectathon participants who elected to engage in testing with Touchstone. EHR vendors and other Health IT product vendors benefited from leveraging TDD to quickly see that testing against a common Test Platform helps to ensure HL7® FHIR® is built from the ground up being Interoperable.”

Angela Ciminnisi, Director of Product Management for Mirth noted: “Participating in the HL7® FHIR® Connectathon demonstrates our long lasting support of Healthcare initiatives which seek to deliver Interoperable solutions.  The Mirth Connect product continues to advance and the inclusion of HL7® FHIR® technologies is a natural progression of our Product and Platform.  During the HL7® FHIR® Connectathon we were pleased to participate with AEGIS and their Touchstone Test Platform.  We were able to quickly leverage a TDD methodology and during the two-day Connectathon identify a number of FHIR® conformance issues, resolve the issues and retest immediately.”

Charles Jaffe, MD PhD and CEO of HL7® stated: “Iterative testing remains at the heart of agile development. Valid conformance is critical to both the developers and to the end-user community. Iterative testing drives quality and patient safety, and supports innovation. A successful testing program also provides FHIR development teams at HL7 with the essential infrastructure that is critical for all of our stakeholders.”

HL7® and AEGIS have recognized that FHIR has the potential to address one of Gartner 2015 Top Strategic Technologies specifically “Scalable Interoperability”, with additional positive references included in Gartner Research Notes written to address the need for Robust Testing within the Healthcare Industry.

About, Inc. (AEGIS), Inc. is a CMMI Maturity Level 3 rated, ISO 9001:2008 certified small business and premier provider of industry based standards implementation, Healthcare Solutions, and Information Technology consulting services to Federal Civilian, Defense and Commercial sector clients. Our services, delivered by practitioners averaging more than 15 years of experience, include Project Management, Software Functional and Performance Testing, Application Design/Development, Independent Verification and Validation (IV&V), and Organizational Performance/Process Improvement. Our domains of expertise include health IT, standards development and interoperability, regulatory compliance, finance, human resources, and logistics. AEGIS is recognized as a global community leader in innovation of Health IT interoperability, testing, analytics, and informatics.  For more information, please

About HL7®

Founded in 1987, Health Level Seven International is the global authority for healthcare information interoperability and standards with affiliates established in more than 30 countries. HL7® is a non-profit, ANSI accredited standards development organization dedicated to providing a comprehensive framework and related standards for the exchange, integration, sharing, and retrieval of electronic health information that supports clinical practice and the management, delivery and evaluation of health services. HL7®‘s more than 1,500 members represent approximately 500 corporate members, which include more than 90 percent of the information systems vendors serving healthcare. HL7® collaborates with other standards developers and provider, payer, philanthropic and government agencies at the highest levels to ensure the development of comprehensive and reliable standards and successful interoperability efforts.

November 12, 2015 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of and John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Patient IO to Expand Care Coordination Platform with Investment from athenahealth

 Company Joins athenahealth’s “More Disruption Please” Accelerator Program 

November 10, 2015, Austin, Texas  – Patient IO, the only care coordination solution that can be integrated with virtually any healthcare software system, today announced a strategic investment by athenahealth® to expand Patient IO’s platform through athenahealth’s More Disruption Please (MDP) program. Today, healthcare organizations depend on Patient IO to coordinate care for tens of thousands of patients. athenahealth’s investment will be used to grow Patient IO’s platform and drive adoption across athenahealth’s growing network of more than 72,000 healthcare providers.

Patient IO helps healthcare organizations coordinate care and engage with patients in-between visits, enabling more efficient, personalized care management and improved patient outcomes. By providing tools that empower patients to take a more active role in their care and treatment, Patient IO has become a go-to solution for managing chronic illness, reducing readmissions and reducing unnecessary doctor visits.

“Patient IO’s API-first architecture is built for integration. Its best-in-breed technology, combined with the team’s proven track record, made this a great investment and partnership for us,” said Kyle Armbrester, athenahealth’s Chief Product Officer.  “Integrating the Patient IO platform with athenaNet® will accelerate our product roadmap and enable us to better meet our clients’ patient engagement, chronic care management, and population health needs. We’re thrilled to welcome Patient IO to the MDP portfolio.”

“Patient IO already plays a critical role in helping healthcare organizations transition into value-based care by giving them engagement tools that make patients chief players in their own care,” said Jason Bornhorst, CEO of Patient IO.  “Providers can track patient adherence in-between visits and have patient-reported outcomes piped into their existing EHR. It’s all about streamlining the process of care, and this investment helps us expand our solution across the athenahealth network.”

For patients, Patient IO’s patent-pending technology turns a care plan into simple daily tasks, making it easy for patients to follow treatment-specific instructions, securely message with their care team, and read educational content on their smartphone or desktop. Patients can also sync connected wearables and devices with Patient IO to complete tasks automatically and provide additional insights for their provider.

Patient IO has shown considerable growth since raising $1.5M in a seed round led by Mercury Fund, with participation from Techstars Ventures, RPM Ventures & Geekdom Fund. Patient IO will use this new funding to expand product development. As part of the investment, Patient IO will be joining athenahealth’s MDP Accelerator program, which recently launched its third location in Austin, TX.

About Patient IO

Patient IO is the first and only care coordination solution that can be integrated with virtually any healthcare software system, including EHRs and population health management programs. Headquartered in Austin, TX, Patient IO’s mission is to help healthcare organizations transition into value-based care by helping them coordinate care between patient visits.

To learn more, please visit:

About athenahealth’s ‘More Disruption Please’ Program

Through the ‘More Disruption Please’ program, athenahealth is accelerating high-value innovation via the cloud, offering new services to help providers thrive in the face of industry change and pressure.  MDP partners with innovators, entrepreneurs, companies, and individuals who are passionate about disrupting established approaches in healthcare that simply aren’t working, aren’t good enough, or aren’t advancing the industry. All MDP accelerator investments receive seed funding, access to free office space, mentorship, and access to athenahealth’s growing network of 72,000 providers. To learn more about athenahealth’s MDP program and partnership opportunities please visit

November 10, 2015 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of and John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.