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Health Management Technology News
February 6, 2014

In this issue:

 Thoma Bravo acquires GHX

 First assessment of national telemedicine service finds efforts appear to expand access to acute medical care

 Connance partners with Huron Healthcare for revenue cycle predictive analytics

 ICD-10 follies: Practices still far from ready

 Bozeman Deaconess selects Merge Healthcare's vendor-neutral archive and interoperability solutions

Thoma Bravo acquires GHX

Thoma Bravo, LLC, a leading private equity investment firm, and Global Healthcare Exchange, LLC (GHX), a privately-held provider of connected, intelligent healthcare supply chains, have entered into a definitive agreement for the acquisition of GHX by an affiliate of Thoma Bravo. Financial details were not disclosed. The current GHX senior management team will continue to manage the company.

"GHX maintains a strong position in North America and Europe with solutions that span the breadth of the healthcare supply chain. GHX will continue to diligently serve the needs of its customers through collaboration and strong partnership," said Bruce Johnson, CEO and president of GHX. "Thoma Bravo's support and expertise in the software and healthcare IT industries will allow us to further capitalize on our "The GHX acquisition is consistent with our strategy of investing in companies that are clear leaders with significant recurring revenue streams," said Orlando Bravo, a managing partner at Thoma Bravo.

"GHX is ahead of the innovation curve with its efficiency solutions, and the growth opportunities for the company are significant as healthcare organizations look to streamline and automate their operations."

GHX is headquartered in Louisville, CO, with employees in the United States, Canada and Europe. GHX is known for its electronic trading exchange and supply chain solutions for med-surg. In 2013, the company launched its implantable devices supply chain solution to address inefficiencies and a lack of automation in the operating room.

"The management team at GHX has built a strong supply chain solutions company that is an industry leader with a proven track record," added Seth Boro, a managing partner at Thoma Bravo. "GHX, with its mission to reduce the cost of healthcare, is uniquely positioned to continue leading the industry with its med-surg solutions and now with its new implantable devices supply chain solutions. We intend to build off of that reputation and help them accelerate their growth."

Read the full Business Wire press release here

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First assessment of national telemedicine service finds efforts appear to expand access to acute medical care

People who are younger, more affluent and do not have established health care relationships are more likely to use a telemedicine program that allows patients to get medical help -- including prescriptions -- by talking to a doctor over the telephone, according to a new RAND Corporation study.

Patients who used the service suffered from a wide assortment of acute medical problems such as respiratory illnesses and skin problems, and researchers found little evidence of misdiagnosis or treatment failure among those who used the service.

The findings, published in the February edition of the journal Health Affairs, are from the first assessment of a telemedicine program offered to a large, diverse group of patients across the United States.

"Telemedicine services such as the one we studied that directly links physicians and patients via telephone or Internet have the potential to expand access to care and lower costs," said Lori Uscher-Pines, lead author of the study and a policy researcher at RAND, a nonprofit research organization. "However, little is known about how these services are being used and whether they provide good quality care. Our study provides a first step to better understand this growing health care trend."

Interest has grown in telemedicine programs because of the shortage of primary care physicians, which will likely worsen as more Americans acquire medical coverage under the Affordable Care Act. Telemedicine is one of the alternatives touted as a way to better provide primary health care without greatly expanding the number of doctors.

Read the full article here

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Connance partners with Huron Healthcare for revenue cycle predictive analytics

Connance, Inc. and Huron Healthcare, a division of Huron Consulting Group, today announced a multi-year agreement in which Connance’s predictive analytic technologies are now part of Huron Healthcare’s Revenue Cycle solutions. The alliance will offer revenue cycle solution workflows that incorporate advanced analytics to drive more effective, efficient, and patient friendly solutions for clients.

“Coupling Connance’s predictive analytics and technology with Huron Healthcare’s deep revenue cycle expertise provides significant financial, operational, and patient service improvements for clients. We are also pleased to work with Connance to identify new, innovative analytics and technologies to meet the rapidly changing needs of our healthcare clients,” said Ronnie Dail, Huron Healthcare Managing Director and Revenue Cycle solutions leader.

This effort is focused on patient liability revenue, including uninsured patients and patients with payment responsibility after insurance. The opening of health exchanges as part of the Affordable Care Act and the continued adoption of high-deductible plans by employers are leading to rapid escalation in the number of patients with significant payment responsibility. This growth means a substantial and critical share of a healthcare provider’s revenue is now paid directly by the patients. Patient receivables are the most expensive to work and take the longest time to resolve, with the cost to collect being two to three times that of other healthcare revenue.

Read the full press release here

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ICD-10 follies: Practices still far from ready

Fewer than one in 10 physician practices (9.4%) believe they've made "significant progress" in preparing for the upcoming transition to the ICD-10 coding system, a January survey of more than 570 medical groups found.

That number from the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) survey is up only slightly from a June 2013 survey, also from the MGMA, which found that 4.7% of practices had made progress in preparing.

Roughly four out of five practices said they were either "somewhat ready" (40.9%) or have yet to start implementation (38.4%), according to the survey, which included practices employing a total of more than 21,000 physicians. Another 11.3% responded that they had "approximately half completed" their preparations.

"The critical coordination that must take place between practices and their software vendor, clearinghouse, and health plan partners is simply not happening at the pace required for a seamless implementation," MGMA President Susan Turney, MD, said in a statement. "Very simply, ICD-10 is behind schedule."

The MGMA survey is the latest example of how the transition to ICD-10 -- short for International Classification of Diseases, version 10 -- could be rocky for physician practices.

Data presented at the American College of Physicians annual meeting last year showed nearly 65% of clinical documentation doesn't contain enough information for coders to use for billing under ICD-10.

Read the full med page today article here

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Bozeman Deaconess selects Merge Healthcare's vendor-neutral archive and interoperability solutions

Merge Healthcare Incorporated, today announced that Bozeman Deaconess Hospital, a not-for-profit, Level III trauma organization in Montana, has chosen Merge for its vendor-neutral archive (VNA) and interoperability solutions. The partnership will enable Bozeman Deaconess to deliver real-time clinical data, enable seamless integration across clinics within its hospital networks and enhance clinical decision-making to improve overall patient care.

"As the industry continues to shift and rely more heavily on information technology for critical data exchange, we're addressing these changes head on by implementing solutions that enable instantaneous information sharing," said Kelly Syvertson, PACS Administrator at Bozeman Deaconess. "Our continued relationship with Merge will enable our providers to have access to enterprise-wide solutions in order to quickly and seamlessly share critical patient information, enhance communications with our referring providers and improve quality outcomes."

After working with Merge to complete an assessment and pinpoint areas of improvement, Bozeman has expanded their portfolio to include iConnect Enterprise Archive, Merge's VNA, to enhance pre-existing relationships, connect seamlessly with outside resources and remove the excess data they have stored to create room for necessary patient information. In addition, Bozeman expanded their use of Merge's iConnect Access, a platform that combines universal viewing and image sharing into a single enterprise solution, to enable providers to transport, view and exchange critical patient data from any browser-based device. Bozeman Deaconess currently leverages Merge PACS to store and access images throughout the organization, as well as Merge OrthoPACS to manage and view orthopedic images.

Read the full Merge press release here

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