Tag: PM/EHR

With athenahealth’s Founder and CEO Jonathan Bush Out of the Picture, What’s Next?

athenahealth CEO stepping down, speculation about whats next for the EHR company | DAS Health
Image from MedCity News

With athenahealth founder and CEO Jonathan Bush out of the picture, after having stepped down from the healthcare company he founded and led for 21 years, speculation about what’s next is rampant.

Bush stepped down on June 6, culminating months long-pressure from activist investing firm Elliott Partners and recent accounts of sexual misconduct involving women.

Bush resigning increases the probability that athenahealth will be bought, David Larsen, an analyst at Leerink Partners, wrote in a note to clients the same day Bush exited.

“The board will be more focused on maximizing shareholder return,” Larsen said.

For its part, Elliott said it welcomed the news that the company would consider a sale, although a statement issued by athenahealth said it could also opt to stay independent. Another option? A merger.

“We have long believed that athenahealth is a great company, and we look forward to participating as a bidder in the company’s strategic exploration process,” the investment firm said in a statement.

Elliott’s May 7 proposal would value athenahealth at $6.46 billion. Other large investors have also supported the company exploring a sale.

Piper Jaffray analyst Sean Wieland said athenahealth is still in a strong position, and expects any sale to be more than the $160 per share that Elliott has proposed.

“I think there’s better growth days ahead for the space as a whole, and in particular that there’s better growth days for athena,” Wieland stated in his memo. “They’re a disruptive software company in an industry ripe for disruption.”

Bush built athenahealth, based in Watertown, Massachusetts, by taking on what he called “the back-office scutwork” that relieved small hospitals and doctors to do what they do best – take care of patients.

As athenahealth considers its options and embarks on the search for a new CEO, former GE CEO and athenahealth chairman Jeff Immelt, has been appointed executive chairman.

“To ensure athenahealth maximizes shareholder value and is best positioned to realize the full potential of its premier healthcare technology platform, the board has authorized a thorough evaluation of strategic alternatives, including a potential sale or merger or continuing as an independent company under new leadership,” Immelt said in a statement. “We approach this process with an open mind and a commitment to continuing to strengthen the company.”

Piper Jaffrey’s Wieland speculates on which companies might be best suited to acquire athenahealth.

He suggested that as a vertical SaaS company, potential buyers are many. They include mega software companies such as Microsoft, Oracle or Salesforce. He noted that financial buyers are also keen on the company’s recurring revenue and strong ability to drive incremental margins.

“We believe there will be no shortage of bidders and with a $160 bid per share from Elliott Management on the table, $160 is the downside here,” Wieland added. “We are raising our price target to $179.”

DoD calls Cerner EHR ‘not operationally suitable’

The Department of Defense, along with EHR vendor Cerner and contractor Leidos, held a call with reporters late Friday in response to a report finding that MHS Genesis implementation is not effective and slamming the massive modernization work’s survivability as well as recommending DoD delay the project.

MHS Genesis “is not operationally suitable because of poor system usability, insufficient training and help desk support,” according to the Initial Operational Test and Evaluation.

What’s more, Robert Behler, the Director of Operational Test and Evaluation, recommended in the IOT&E report that DoD “delay further fielding until the Joint Interoperability Test Command completes the IOT&E and the Program Management Office corrects any outstanding deficiencies.”

Behler pointed to a lack of workplace functionality needed to document and manage patient care as examples, and noted that clinicians using MHS Genesis only completed 56 percent of the 197 tasks used to measure performance.

“Poorly designed user roles and workflows resulted in an increase in the time required for healthcare providers to complete daily tasks,” according to the report.

In some instances, EHR issues caused providers to work overtime or see fewer patients. In other cases, users actually questioned that accuracy of the data exchanged between external systems and MHS Genesis — which could have put patient lives at risk.

“Users generated 22 high severity incident reports that the testers attributed to inoperability, including interoperability of medical and peripheral devices,” according to the report. Users ranked usability at 37 out of 100 on the system usability scale.

“Survivability is undetermined because cybersecurity testing is ongoing,” Behler added.

When asked directly about the IOT&E report, Stacy Cummings, DoD’s Program Executive Officer for the Defense Healthcare Management Systems, agreed with the recommendation to refine workflow roles and views and added that DoD needs to elevate its training strategy moving forward.

Cummings also said the Pentagon worked with HIMSS Analytics to conduct an independent measure of the progress and effectiveness of MHS Genesis.

HIMSS Analytics, in fact, scored DoD inpatient and outpatient EHRs at 2 out of 7 prior to implementing Cerner and at Stage 5 on the Electronic Medical Record Adoption Model scale post-implementation.

Indeed, the project has already experienced a two-month delay so Cerner and DoD officials could evaluate the initial pilot test sites and Behler wrote in the letter that officials postponed the IOT&E report at the fourth pilot site “to remediate significant problems at the first three sites.”

Last month Washington Senator Patty Murray (D) called out the DoD for a backlog of issues including inaccurate prescriptions, misdirected referrals, long wait times to solve known problems, technical issues opening the program and others that she said raise “serious concerns about putting patient lives at risk.”

 

ONC and CMS Seek to Understand Clinician Tech Burden

ONC and CMS seek to understand clinician tech burden | DAS Health

Clinicians complain about logging into electronic health records dozens of times a day. They complain about clunky navigation and undue documentation requirements that keep them from engaging with patients. They and others will air their grievances this week during a meeting hosted by the CMS and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology.

Under the 21st Century Cures Act, the two agencies are required to document the burden that comes from clinical practice and EHRs and recommend how to reduce that burden. To meet that requirement, they’re holding a “reducing clinician burden meeting” on Feb. 22 in Washington that participants can join in person or by phone.

“We’re trying to understand the origin of the burden,” said Dr. John Fleming, deputy assistant secretary for health technology reform at the ONC and one of the facilitators of this week’s meeting. “Even though EHRs are what doctors yell at and sometimes throw things at, they’re not really the underlying cause of the problem.”

RELATED: Is your PM/EHR system right for you? Do you get the right support for your software? See how DAS’ PM/EHR solutions are different.

Some of the problem comes from regulations that have “stacked up” over the years, Fleming said. Physicians spend a good chunk of their days working in EHRs, with ambulatory physicians dedicating more than a third of their time with patients on EHR and desk work tasks, according to a recent study.

The expectation was that technology would make things better, but in some cases, clinicians are overwhelmed by so-called “note bloat.”

At the meeting, ONC and CMS officials hope to learn about providers’ priorities for decreasing the burden. “We hope to achieve some level of understanding by crowdsourcing in our program what are the key problems and what are the key solutions,” Fleming said.

Representatives from the American Medical Association and the American Health Information Management Association say they look forward to hearing others’ thoughts at the meeting. “We plan to stress the unique needs of small practices,” AMA President Dr. David Barbe said.

Aprima PM Customization Training Class 1.22.2019

In this training class you will learn the Practice Management Customization side of the Aprima Software.

This class will give you the knowledge and skills to be able to customize the Practice Management portions of your Aprima database.

Recommended attendees:

  • – Practice super users
  • – Practice administrators

 

View the course syllabus to see learning objectives.

Complete the form below to sign up for this event.







Aprima Clinical Customization Training 1.16.2019

In this class you will learn the Clinical Customization side of the Aprima Software. This class mainly focuses on the roles Practice Super Users and Providers.

This class will give you the knowledge and skills to be able to customize the Practice Management portions of your Aprima database.

Recommended attendees:

  • – Practice super users
  • – Practice administrators

 

View the course syllabus to see learning objectives.

Complete the form below to sign up for this event.







Aprima PM End User Training 1.11.2019

In this training class you will learn the PM End User side of the Aprima Software. This class mainly focuses on the roles Front Office Staff and Providers.

This class will give you the knowledge and skills to be able to customize the Practice Management portions of your Aprima database.

Recommended attendees:

  • – Practice super users
  • – Nurses
  • – Front office staff

 

View the course syllabus to see learning objectives.

Complete the form below to sign up for this event.








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