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Allscripts (MDRX) Management Shakeup Spreading: Is Glen Tullman Next?

Posted on May 1, 2012 I Written By

Anne Zieger is veteran healthcare consultant and analyst with 20 years of industry experience. Zieger formerly served as editor-in-chief of FierceHealthcare.com and her commentaries have appeared in dozens of international business publications, including Forbes, Business Week and Information Week. She has also contributed content to hundreds of healthcare and health IT organizations, including several Fortune 500 companies. Contact her at @ziegerhealth on Twitter or visit her site at Zieger Healthcare.

And Caesar’s spirit, raging for revenge,
With Ate by his side come hot from hell,
Shall in these confines with a monarch’s voice
Cry “Havoc!” and let slip the dogs of war,
Julius Caesar, Act 3, Scene 1

If ever there was havoc in the boardroom of a health IT company, this is it. Over the last several days, chairman Phil Pead (bio still up for now), CFO William Davis and three board members unceremoniously and promptly departed the management team at Allscripts Healthcare (MDRX), a company which, it’s hard to argue, otherwise seems to have been on a reasonable course for the past year or so.

By the way, this seems to have been as much an Eclipsys purge as a board purge, as all of the departing members were with the company, which Allscripts acquired in September 2010 with “a vision for a Connected Community of Health.”

Within a few days, the Board announced that it had elected board member Dennis Chookaszian as Chairman. No word yet on which unlucky CFO will be hired to face the fires of investor displeasure over the stock’s performance (see below).

It’s bad enough when a chairman and three board members split — allegedly in support of now-ex chairman Phil Pead — but when your CFO leaves, a girl’s gotta wonder whether financial improprieties will turn up later. Now, let’s be clear, I’m not suggesting that there are ANY financial issues that I know of myself, directly, but it’s never a nice thing to see Mr. CFO shove off so quickly.

What we do know is that Allscripts was slapped with a suit in 2009 alleging the company broke federal securities laws when it went live with the latest version of its EMR. Current CEO Glen Tullman and now departed CFO William Davis were named as defendents. The  accusations in the 2009 suit seem to boil down to that Allscripts failed to let customers know that it couldn’t afford to install its Touchworks 11 software properly on customer sites.

It gets even better

And now, even more fun. Perhaps to contribute to the gladiatorial atmosphere, one of Allscripts’ largest shareholders demanded Monday April 30 that its chief executive Glen Tullman resign.  (If I were Tullman I’d say “the heck with that,” gather a group of investors and buy the darned thing out from under them. Mr. Tullman, go for it!)

Anyway, it seems that HealthCor Management LP, which owns about 5 percent of Allscripts outstanding shares, thinks execs have done a bad job building the value of the stock. The fund said the stock  is “being valued well below any reasonable acquisition price,” at its Friday close of $10.30.  Other investors seem to agree with HealthCor, as the stock went  up 7.73 percent to $11.10 at the close of trading on Monday April 30.

To make sure nobody panics, the company has hurriedly announced a $200 million stock repurchase  plan, adding to a plan announced a year ago which still contains $148 million for repurchase. That should do something to keep the stock from careening down a greased slide.

Why, oh why?

Now, to the real question. Why the big shakeup in the boardroom at a time when EMR/EHR companies are extremely vulnerable to market shifts and missteps? I can’t say I’ve found any concrete reason in my research, other than storied “differences of opinion over the direction of the company.”

The financials, while they could probably be much stronger, aren’t exactly pathetic. We’ve got a 5.1 percent profit margin, quarterly revenue growth year over year of 25.5 percent and a P/E (ttm, intraday) of 28.52.  The only obvious disappointment is the big drop in share price, which fell nearly 50 percent over the last 52 weeks of trading.

And in a somewhat ironic twist, it seems that Allscripts is touting some variant of the software Eclipsys had (Touchworks) when it first ran into SEC trouble.  Allscripts may not like the guys behind the technology, but it likes the technology for sure. (Actually, I’m eager to learn more what Allscripts is doing there — drop us a note on our contact us page if you have more information.)

P.S.
  In the view of your friend and mine Mr. HISTalk, “No matter what explanations are provided, the casual observer might conclude that Glen (Tullman) staged a coup that cost the company four board members and its CFO at the worst possible time.” What do you think?

Interview with Glen Tullman, CEO of Allscripts

Posted on March 17, 2010 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com 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 InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Matthew Holt of the healthcare blog always does a nice job with his interviews. This is a pretty interesting one with Glen Tullman, CEO of Allscripts. Like it or not, Allscripts is going to play a big part in the EMR/EHR space. So, it’s worth listening to Glen to hear what he has to say about the industry.

One part that I found especially interesting was when he calls out Epic for not working on EMR interoperability. What’s interesting is that Glen really did look sincere in his desire for Allscripts to be inter operable. The problem is that I haven’t seen enough action in implementing those solutions.

Lots of other goodies in the video as well. Nice work Matthew.

Allscripts EMR Profits

Posted on January 20, 2010 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com 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 InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

I found this about a week ago and found it really really interesting. Here’s the numbers for the EMR behemoth Allscripts per HIT News:

The company [Allscripts] made $15.8 million in net income for the quarter, turning around a $6 million loss for the same period last year. Non-GAAP net income increased 45 percent, from $16.6 million a year ago to $24 million this year.

The sad part is that Allscripts went through a nice round of layoffs last year. I can’t find the number right now, but I remember it was pretty significant. Too bad they had to fire so many people while turning such a large profit. Seems like an opportunistic cut to me. I wonder how well Allscripts support was with all the cuts.

Another quote from the same article:

“We believe that 2010 will be the ‘Year of the EHR’ in which we expect to see significant acceleration in the adoption and utilization of healthcare information technology to improve quality and reduce cost,” said Glen Tullman, Allscripts CEO. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime market opportunity, driven by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.”

There’s no doubt that Glen Tullman is salivating over the $18 billion of EMR stimulus money that’s on the table. He probably should be since Allscripts is likely to make a killing off of the stimulus money.

I think all of this is also a very good sign for smaller EMR vendors as well. I expect a number of EMR vendors to scale to 500 or so installs and sell off for a very nice return in the next few years. I guess we’ll see if Glen’s right about this being the “Year of the EHR.”

North Shore-LIJ Health System Invests $400 Million To Connect Physicians

Posted on October 1, 2009 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com 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 InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

This is an interesting press release about connecting 7,000 physicians and 13 hospitals EHR systems together. Although, the most glaring part is the $400 million it will take to make it happen. Here’s the press release:

“The North Shore-LIJ Health System announced today it is subsidizing up to 85 percent of the cost of implementing and operating an Electronic Health Records (EHR) system in the offices of its more than 7,000 affiliated physicians in New York City and Long Island — part of a $400 million investment to strengthen the quality of care throughout the region by automating inpatient and outpatient records in all medical settings, including 13 hospitals. In implementing the largest EHR program in the New York metropolitan area and one of the largest in the nation, North Shore-LIJ will provide physicians with individual subsidies of up to $40,000 over five years.”

Michael J. Dowling, president and chief executive officer (CEO) of the North Shore-LIJ Health System said “We’re not going to measure our return-on-investment (ROI) in terms of dollars and cents; our ROI will be based on our ability to improve patient outcomes.”

“Glen Tullman, CEO of Allscripts, noted that providing physicians with real-time care guidelines via the EHR increases the probability of achieving fundamental improvements in the quality of patient care.”

John Bosco, North Shore-LIJ’s chief information officer said “the Allscripts’ EHR will connect to a separate inpatient clinical information system from Eclipsys Corporation that North Shore-LIJ is deploying at its hospitals and other facilities.”