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Health Management Technology News
  March 12, 2014
In this issue:

► HMT’s living case study: Mississippi Diabetes Telehealth Network

► TeleTracking growth spurs management hires

► Cheaper surgery sends Lowe’s flying to Cleveland Clinic

► NCPA reacts to Medicare announcement on Part D proposed rule

► Healthcare information technology deals: The heat is on

HMT’s living case study: Mississippi Diabetes Telehealth Network

With the aim to loosen diabetes’ foothold on the state, Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant announced his office’s partnership with the University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC), North Sunflower Medical Center (NSMC), GE Healthcare, Intel-GE Care Innovations and C Spire Wireless to create the Mississippi Diabetes Telehealth Network, a first of its kind nationally. This unique partnership between business, government and academics will offer Mississippi’s diabetic citizens more consistent and timely access to clinicians through the use of telehealth technology in their homes.

HMT plans to cover the progress of this innovative project as it develops over the next eighteen months. Our hope is to create a living case study that shows the philosophies, processes, partnerships and progress of the project as it unfolds.

Read our introduction to this project here ► 

Read our first update of the project here ► 

Return to the table of contents ► 

TeleTracking growth spurs management hires

Following another year of strong growth, TeleTracking Technologies  has named Diane Watson as Chief Operating Officer, Joseph Tetzlaff as Chief Technology Officer and Keith Young as Senior Vice President of Human Resources, company president Michael Gallup announced today.

The new executives share backgrounds with healthcare and information technology firms that have transitioned from entrepreneurial startups to large, thriving businesses, a path TeleTracking is now travelling.

"2013 was another great year for TeleTracking as we continued on our growth path and increased our hospital base significantly," Gallup said.

"With this type of momentum it was necessary to find world-class talent to continue our transition from an entrepreneurial success to an innovative growth company," he added.  "We continue to see a strong market for our products and services as hospital systems look to manage their flow and operations from a single platform."

As COO, Ms. Watson brings information technology management and consulting experience from roles at MEDRAD, Bayer Healthcare and most recently new startup Tilt, in Raleigh, NC. Mr. Tetzlaff has held CIO and CTO positions at several United Health Group subsidiaries, and most recently was CIO at inVentiv Health, Inc. – Clinical.  Mr. Young joins TeleTracking from MEDRAD (now Bayer Healthcare), where he helped the entrepreneurial medical device maker grow into a two-time recipient of the Malcolm Baldrige Award.

Read the full press release here ► 

Return to the table of contents ► 

Cheaper surgery sends Lowe’s flying to Cleveland Clinic

In the changing world of health care, patients are finding that the best care may be several hundred miles away.

When Travis Bumbaugh needed heart surgery, the Pennsylvania general contractor chose the cheapest option in the Lowe’s Cos. (LOW) health plan. He flew to Cleveland, to one of the top-rated heart hospitals in the nation.

By bundling all costs for the surgery under one negotiated price and offering expertise that lowers the odds of complications, the Cleveland Clinic gave Bumbaugh and his employer a better deal than the hospital close to his home. In some cases, hospitals will drop their prices as much as 40 percent to guarantee a steady stream of patients they wouldn’t have otherwise, said Terry White, president of the BridgeHealth Medical Inc., a Denver-based benefit manager.

To encourage employees, Lowe’s covers the full cost of surgery, as well as travel and lodging for the worker and a relative. The company health plan won’t cover thousands of dollars of unbundled costs at local hospitals.

“It’s a win-win-win” for patients, employers and the hospital, said Michael McMillan, ClevelandClinic’s executive director of market and network services. “The patient has no out-of-pocket responsibility, employers have a better long-term financial result and we get patients.”

U.S. employers are seeking innovative ways to trim health expenses as costs rise and the government mandates broader coverage for employees under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Medical centers, meanwhile, get an extra burst of patients at a time when hospitals nationwide are struggling with sluggish volumes in a tough economy and cutting jobs. Last year, the Cleveland Clinic closed several hundred open positions and gave 700 workers early retirement, citing pressures of health-care reform.

Read the full Bloomberg article here ► 

Return to the table of contents ► 

NCPA reacts to Medicare announcement on Part D proposed rule

National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) CEO B. Douglas Hoey, RPh, MBA issued the following statement today in response to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) decision to postpone implementation of key parts of a proposed regulation for Part D prescription drug plans:

"We are deeply disappointed in CMS' decision not to move forward at this time with the pharmacy choice provision included in its proposed rule. CMS has heard repeatedly from community pharmacists and patients regarding the inadequacies of 'preferred pharmacy' drug plans. They have been deceptively marketed and are confusing to patients.

"In many rural communities, independent community pharmacies are the only pharmacy provider and they are often excluded from preferred pharmacy arrangements-financially penalizing these seniors or forcing them to travel 20 miles or more to reach a preferred pharmacy. In addition, many underserved populations rely on the personalized service of independent pharmacies and going to a 'preferred' pharmacy is a burden.”

Read the full National Journal article here ► 

Return to the table of contents ► 

Healthcare information technology deals: The heat is on

The $500 million asking price for information technology company Ability Network Inc.  is an indication of how hot it’s getting in the health-care market.

Bain Capital Ventures and Lemhi Ventures are seeking to get as much as a half-billion for the health-care information technology company, people familiar with the situation told LBO Wire last week. Bain Capital Ventures, Lemhi and Ability Network didn’t comment on the deal.

The price translates to nearly 17 times the $30 million in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization the Minneapolis company posted last year, one of these people said.  The valuation multiple for health-care information technology deals is typically in the 10 to 12 times EBITDA range, according to industry participants. Ability – which has a Web-based network that connects hospitals, clinics and other care providers to Medicare and other payers – is seeking to boost its earnings to $42 million this year through new product offerings and an add-on deal it did in March 2013, according to this person.

Read the full Wall Street Journal article here ► 

Return to the table of contents ► 


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