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Fundings and Acquisitions Around the Medical Technology World in May

Posted on May 29, 2012 I Written By

Katie Clark is originally from Colorado and currently lives in Utah with her husband and son. She writes primarily for Smart Phone Health Care, but contributes to several Health Care Scene blogs, including EMR Thoughts, EMR and EHR, and EMR and HIPAA. She enjoys learning about Health IT and mHealth, and finding ways to improve her own health along the way.

ACQUISITIONS:

Alliance Health Networks, who currently serves 1.5 million registered users, announced on May 15th plans to acquire Medify. Alliance is one of the country’s leading social network companies involved in the healthcare industry, and by combing with Medify, who specializes in data-driven treatment information, patients and caregivers will have access to “the industry’s most comprehensive social engagement platform.”

Stead Bruwell, CEO of Alliance Health discussed the benefits that are expected to come with this acquisition:

As social networks continue to transform industries and change the way people live, Alliance Health remains focused on empowering people to successfully navigate their personal health journey, free and independent of the healthcare system. The acquisition of Medify brings us two critical elements — powerful data analytics technologies and an extremely accomplished team — which reinforce our status as the industry’s most robust social engagement platform. Combined, we will be in the best position to help consumers make smart health care decisions by providing a unique combination of relevant knowledge and tools for every drug, treatment, and condition.

Quality Systems, Inc., announced on May 16th, that the company acquired the Poseidon Group. The acquisition closed on May 1st. Quality Systems went forward with this acquisition to help with the growth of its offering, NextGen Inpatient Solutions. NextGen offers to small hospitals a variety of healthcare IT services. With this acquisition, NextGen will able to “extend its suite of solutions and footprint across hospitals by leveraging the Poseidon Group’s Emergency Department Information System and integrating the solution into NextGen Healthcare’s current product offerings.”

Steve Pucket, executive vice president of NextGen Healthcare Inpatient Solutions,  said concerning the acquisition:

This acquisition provides our clients additional value by extending our hospital suite portfolio advanced solutions to the Emergency Department. This product, along with our surgical services suite, will help support our rapid growth upward into the community hospital market. It will also provide existing Poseidon clients with access to our complete portfolio of hospital products and services. We believe this acquisition will further strengthen our capabilities, expand our client base and position NextGen Healthcare Inpatient Solutions for continued growth, as we work to meet the needs of hospitals and their patients.

High-ranking officials from the Poseidon Group, Carr Scott and W. Kyle Taylor, will both have senior roles at NextGen Healthcare, while Jeff Oyler, Poseidon Group’s President and founder, will assume a position with healthcare technology transformation.

FUNDINGS:

$1.6 million has been raised for Enforcer eCoaching, a health coaching start-up founded by Dr. Michael Roizen and Dr. Mehmet Oz, also known together as “You Docs”. This amount came from 15 different investors, which made a big dent in the $3 million goal that Enforcer is aiming for.

There isn’t much known about Enforcer eCoaching, as it has no website and Marty Butler, President and chief operating officer, made no comments on funding. However, the premise of the company is “a series of email-based, daily interactive wellness coaching programs designed to help people prevent and/or reverse diseases attributed to excessive weight and use of tobacco products,” according to an article on MedCity News. Enforcer also offers four programs; tobacco cessation, weight loss, weight loss to manage diabetes and weight loss to manage hypertension. It is mainly being aimed toward employers in order to “help companies improve the health, vitality and satisfaction of employees and reduce employers’ healthcare costs.”

Proteus Biomedical is hoping to raise $50 million for “Raisin”, an “intelligent medicine suite of technology” created by the company, according to Mobi Health News. They have raised around $17.5 million in a recent round of funding. Proteus hasn’t been seen raising money in a few years, since Novartis, a company which piloted Raisin, invested $24 million in 2010.

The technology suite, “Raisin” includes “an ingestible biomedical sensor, a wearable, peel-and-stick patch, and a companion smartphone app.” According to another article on Mobi Health News, the “Raisin technology runs on an electric charge generated by the patient’s stomach acid,” and “the charge is detected through the patient’s body by a sensing patch on the patient’s skin.” Then, the time and date that the pill was taken is recorded by the patch, as well as other vitals such as heart rate and activity. This information is in turn sent to the app on the patient’s smart phone as well as the internet where others can review and analyze it.

The Raisin system has debuted in the UK and there are plans for it go live commercially in countries across Europe in the near future.

Fans of Simplee, a website similar to Mint.com for tracking medical expenses, will be pleased to hear that the company has finished Series A round of funding, bringing in $6 million. The Social+Capital Partnership led the round and investors in the company, Greylock Partners Israel, were involved.

While Simplee currently offers bill tracking and payments, this round of funding will allow the company to add plan recommendations, care recommendations, and eventually launch a mobile app. CEO Tom Shoval announced that a feature that detects and flags billing areas will be added soon as well. Other features that are already available in Simplee are tracking a person’s insurance company’s database and updating the customer’s profile when a new bill becomes available, lists how much both the customer and insurance company has to pay, and allows payments to be made directly through the site. It was launched a year ago and claims that the average Simplee bill pay user spends about $1,000 on bills by using the website, iwth more than 65% of users using the website regularly.

Plenty of EHR Solutions on Hand at HFMA Show

Posted on July 6, 2011 I Written By

As Social Marketing Director at Billian, Jennifer Dennard is responsible for the continuing development and implementation of the company's social media strategies for Billian's HealthDATA and Porter Research. She is a regular contributor to a number of healthcare blogs and currently manages social marketing channels for the Health IT Leadership Summit and Technology Association of Georgia’s Health Society. You can find her on Twitter @JennDennard.

My day job as Social Marketing Director for Billian’s HealthDATA and Porter Research took me last week to the exhibit halls of the Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA) 2011 ANI Healthcare Finance Conference in Orlando. It was my first trip to the annual show, and to its venue, the Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center.

Unlike my previous tradeshow experience in Orlando, at the fun yet overwhelming HIMSS, I found the HFMA event to be extremely manageable in terms of schedule, show-floor size and booth scale. Almost everyone I ran into – whether it was at our booth, at someone else’s booth, at lunch or on the shuttle – was very approachable and seemed happy to take a few minutes out of their day to speak with me, even though, as a fellow exhibitor, I wasn’t exactly their target prospect. Perhaps it was my blue exhibitor ribbon that brought out the few bad apples in the bunch – those sales reps that either refused to get off the phone when they saw me approach or those that refused to crack a smile. My only other complaint was that exhibitors were denied entry to the majority of the educational sessions.

The Blues Brothers made an appearance at the HFMA 2011 ANI Healthcare Finance Conference.

As it was my first time being in the thick of the healthcare finance world, I took the opportunity to chat with as many show-floor folks as I could. I learned a lot about how integral healthcare finance and information technology are to each other, and to bringing the overall costs of providing healthcare services down, so that providers can – hopefully – extend these savings on to the patient in the form of more accessible and coordinated care, and better clinical outcomes.

I kept my eyes and ears open for solutions relating to electronic medical/health records, and came across quite a few that piqued my interest. I found I have a soft spot for anything related to patient portals and mobile solutions. Here, in no particular order, are a few snippets of what those exhibiting companies had to offer:

Healthcare Management Systems Inc. (HMS)
– offers ambulatory EHR and practice management services
“HMS is uniquely positioned to provide community hospitals with an EHR in a much shorter timeframe. With ONC-ATCB certification for inpatient EHR, EDIS and Ambulatory EHR, HMS will ensure that you meet the health IT standards mandated by ARRA and reap the financial benefits that follow.”

I’d be lying if I didn’t disclose that half the reason I went to their booth was to grab one of their very cool, green water bottles.

Origin Healthcare Solutions
– offers integrated practice management software and EHR solutions
“Streamlines office redundancies and makes users more efficient.”

Walking into their booth made me realize why exhibitors spend a bit more for that cushy carpet – and I was in flats, mind you.

Patient Point
– offers a technology platform that aggregates and integrates in real-time with health plan data, pharmacy benefit management data, practice management and EMR systems
“Our patient-facing portal and mobile apps enable patients to securely communicate with their care team and report progress of their ongoing conditions. Patients have the choice to opt in for secure messaging via email, phone or text messaging, which enables us to close the loop effectively on patient compliance and care coordination.”

As a social media enthusiast, I wonder if patient portal solutions like these will one day find a way to securely (and privately) integrate with Facebook or Twitter. Heck, even location-based social networks like Foursquare could be used. I’m sure us patients could be incentivized to “check in” early to our appointment.

The White Stone Group
– offers the Trace Communication System
“The only system of its kind that captures any healthcare exchange – voice, fax, or electronic – for fast processing and easy retrieval.”

Based on the Trace literature and its graphics, I kept looking for the phrase EMR to pop up, but it was nowhere to be found. It seems like it could fall into this category, especially as “All communication records are consolidated in one central location for quick and easy retrieval.” If anyone knows different, please enlighten me. The fact that they cite Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, which is right in my backyard, as a case study also piqued my interest. The study relates that “Trace was used to overturn $2 million in denials and prevent an estimated $4 million in denials. Productivity improvements saved 107 staff hours per month and allowed for reallocation of five FTEs.”

* Editor’s Note: Erin McCarty, Director of Marketing at The White Stone Group, Inc., was kind enough to clarify the Trace system’s relationship to the EMR: “Trace is a platform that captures communication (voice, fax & electronic), indexes the records by patient and stores them for web-based retrieval. It is primarily used to capture revenue cycle communication that occurs with payers, patients and physicians. Trace does not replace the EMR, which is documenting the patient’s clinical data. Rather, it complements the EMR by capturing communication that helps hospitals receive accurate reimbursement for care provided. Common uses include recording authorization calls to payers, out-of-pocket discussions with patients, capturing faxed physician orders, visits to payer web sites, etc.”

Healthland
– offers a certified EHR to rural hospitals
“In addition to our ONC-ATCB 2011/2012 certified EHR software, we also offer clients comprehensive services, support, training and financing to help them receive incentive dollars, and ultimately, provide the high-quality patient care their communities expect.”

I also noticed in their brochure that they offer a white paper on “10 Must-Haves to a Successful EHR Implementation.”

Phreesia

– offers an electronic patient check-in solution
“With patient payments making up $1 out of every $4 of medical practice revenue, it’s no wonder 10,000 clinicians use Phreesia as their electronic patient check-in solution.”

Patient portals and electronic check-ins were popular at the show. Phreesia’s solution stood out to me for its bright orange color. While not directly tied to EMRs, I wonder if these sorts of technologies will become interoperable with them, especially as doctors and payers begin to work more closely together in the name of more coordinated care.”

Athenahealth
– offers integrated physician billing, practice management and EHR services

Their white paper on “The HITECH Act and Your Practice: Eight Tips for Successful EHR Adoption” caught my eye. It got me wondering how they were able to whittle it down from Healthland’s 10.

A number of other companies were on hand with EHR solutions, including:
MedQuist
Healthcare Anytime
Sandlot Solutions
PatientWorks