HMT: Doctors read tablets, healthcare information industry report, XPs end of life, and more
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Health Management Technology News
January 29, 2014
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In this issue:

Doctors are more likely to use tablets over smartphones to read medical publications

Berkery Noyes releases healthcare/pharma information and technology industry M&A report for full year 2013

Meet the Ex-Microsoft exec on a quest to save Obamacare

Microsoft is about to take Windows XP off life support


Doctors are more likely to use tablets over smartphones to read medical publications

More than one in four physicians uses a tablet to read articles from medical publications, according to the Sources & Interactions Study, September 2013: Medical/Surgical Edition.

About 51% of physicians say that they use a tablet device for professional purposes, according to current wave data from the study. The current wave data also found that 49% of doctors say they use a tablet for personal and professional purposes, 19% for personal use only and 2% only for professional purposes.

Overall, more doctors are using smartphones for professional purposes than tablets, but there are a small number of tasks that they are more likely to perform on a tablet. For example, 28% of all doctors use tablets to read articles from medical publications vs. 21% on a smartphone. Further, 16% of doctors use their tablets to access medically oriented webcasts/podcasts vs. 12% via a smartphone.

Read the full Kantar Media report here

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Berkery Noyes releases healthcare/pharma information and technology industry M&A report for full year 2013

Berkery Noyes, an independent mid-market investment bank, today released its full year 2013 mergers and acquisitions trend report for the Healthcare/Pharma Information and Technology Industry.

The report analyzes merger and acquisition activity for the industry during 2013 and compares it with data covering 2011 and 2012. This market includes information and technology companies servicing the pharmaceutical, healthcare payer, and healthcare provider spaces.

Total transaction volume decreased 16 percent on a yearly basis. However, when compared to 2011, volume saw a three percent uptick. Aggregate deal value rose two percent throughout the last 12 months, from $11.63 billion in 2012 to $11.81 billion in 2013. BC Partners’ acquisition of Springer Science & Business Media for $4.42 billion accounted for more than one-third of the industry’s aggregate value over the past year. In terms of valuations, the median revenue multiple moved slightly from 2.3x to 2.5x, while the median EBITDA multiple improved from 9.9x to 10.7x.

Healthcare IT as a percentage of the industry’s total deal volume stayed the same at almost 40 percent. As for deal activity in the space, Constellation Software was the segment’s most active acquirer with five transactions in 2013. Meanwhile, the largest Healthcare IT transaction was Experian’s acquisition of Passport Health Communications for $850 million, which occurred in the revenue cycle management subsector. Regarding other markets covered in the report, the segment with the largest year-to-year rise in volume was Pharma IT. The number of deals in the Pharma IT segment increased 45 percent, from 22 to 32 transactions.

Despite the overall industry’s downward movement in volume during 2013, the outlook for M&A remains positive. “Many healthcare IT companies are experiencing operating momentum as the industry adopts technologies at unprecedented rates,” said Jonathan Krieger, Managing Director at Berkery Noyes. “Software is becoming increasingly necessary to achieve operating efficiencies when dealing with a $3 trillion complex, rapidly evolving landscape with respect to regulatory requirements (ICD-10, MU2), new payment and delivery models (P4P and ACOs), and declining reimbursement rates.” Krieger continued, “Private, middle-market, tech-enabled companies are at the forefront of developing these emerging, niche technologies and are in high demand by strategic and financial acquirers.”

“In today’s hyper competitive HIT marketplace, companies with good scale, recurring revenue and high growth rates, whether they are revenue cycle management, point-of-care information solutions, or one of many other attractive niches, are receiving high interest from both private equity and strategic buyers,” added Tom O’Connor, Managing Director at Berkery Noyes. “Strategic buyers in particular are seeking to jumpstart anemic revenue growth by acquiring fast growing, recurring revenue niche solution providers. They are also determined to accelerate their own growth by making acquisitions in order to provider fuller product suites, which they can up-sell and cross-sell to their client base.”

Read the full Berkery Noyes report here

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Meet the Ex-Microsoft exec on a quest to save Obamacare

Kurt DelBene’s office is on the sixth floor of the fortress-like Department of Health and Human Services, overlooking the Capitol reflecting pool. With little but a desk, a laptop, and monitor, it looks barren, like someone just moved out.

But DelBene, a longtime Microsoft executive, moved in six weeks ago. He came from the other Washington, after President Barack Obama named him HealthCare.gov’s new fix-it guy — the successor to “tech-surge czar” Jeff Zients. DelBene is here to shore up the famously flawed Obamacare website, not decorate an office. The most telling evidence of DelBene’s arrival hangs on the wall to the right of his workstation: A large whiteboard, covered with scribbled notes about databases, security features, website capacity, and the like. It’s a big list of lists.

“I’m a list guy. I like to make lists of everything. It’s a great thought process for me if I can write the list over and over again,” says the 53-year-old DelBene in his first detailed interview since taking the job. “The process…is therapeutic.”

It’s a strategy that has served DelBene well in the past, as he rejiggered Microsoft Office from a desktop application into an online service. He’s taking a similar approach here as he helps define the next stage in the reinvention of HealthCare.gov, after its disastrous debut rocked the Obama presidency. In a sense, his move east is symbolic of government’s growing need to reach beyond the Beltway for the sort of technical expertise honed over years in the private sector. HealthCare.gov proved it: Consumers expect websites to work, and they get mad when they don’t.

Among the tasks high on the list: upping the capacity of the website, improving security, and fixing the back end of a system still having trouble sealing enrollees’ deals with insurers. His job is about triage, curing the sickest parts first. And like any good triage doc, he’s meticulous, purposeful, and pragmatic — plus he likes to move fast. The job may last just six months.

“He creates a very high sense of urgency. In the tech industry, speed is of the essence, and sometimes we all collectively need to stop and prioritize as opposed to trying to solve every problem at once,” says Jeff Teper, Microsoft’s corporate vice president for Office servers and services, who worked under DelBene at Microsoft in Redmond, Washington. “It wasn’t that he was micromanaging us — that was just not his style, but he was leading with a commitment to attention to detail and excellence.”

Underlings say DelBene has ensured the team always has a clear strategy — something critics say was sorely lacking in the initial buildup to HealthCare.gov’s October 1 launch. As early as May 2010, members of the National Economic Council had urged the White House to bring on an adviser with management, insurance, and tech know-how to help build the website. Instead, the policy wonks took over, an ill-fated decision that resulted in a botched website.

DelBene isn’t a healthcare guy, but his business and tech savvy run deep. A former consultant at McKinsey & Co., he joined Microsoft in 1992 and rose to Office division chief, helping it grow from less than $5 billion in revenue to more than $22 billion. His lists kept his team of executives and 6,000 engineers focused, accountable and on track to deliver products used by millions. He led the software giant’s shift to the cloud, a massive overhaul for a company traditionally focused on desktop software. “That’s something that took a huge amount of push to make happen,” says Tara Roth, Microsoft’s corporate vice president for Office Test. “It changed everything.”

Read the full Wired article here

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Microsoft is about to take Windows XP off life support

On April 8, Windows XP's life is coming to an end. On that day, Microsoft will stop issuing security updates to the 12-year-old operating system, and it will end nearly all technical support as well.

You wouldn't think that killing off an operating system that debuted in the first year of the Bush administration would ruffle too many feathers. But an amazing 29% of computers across the globe are still running Windows XP, according to NetMarketShare. That makes it the world's second most widely used operating system, just behind Windows 7.

Microsoft's (MSFT, Fortune 500) plan to end support for XP doesn't mean that a third of the world's PCs will just stop functioning on April 8. But there are some very real consequences of continuing to use the operating system.

After April 8, Windows XP computers will be more susceptible to malware and viruses beginning, since Microsoft will no longer address major holes in the software. Although antivirus software will continue to fend off some malicious attacks, Microsoft's security updates provide an essential line of defense.

Read the full CNN Money article here

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