Matthew Holt

The Strange Tale of NextGen and NextGen

There’s a conference styling itself as mini-TED for health care in New York next week. It’s called NextGen Health. There is of course a major EMR called NextGen Healthcare (owned by publicly traded QSII). You might imagine that there’s scope for some confusion between the two brand names, and you’d be right. But the tale of what’s transpired about that confusion is quite the melodrama. Read on and have your Friday chuckle.

Nextgen Health the conference is run by Ari Teman who also runs the Nextgen Charities conference. After he started planning the Nextgen Health conference, the other (bigger, richer, with the EMR) Nextgen asked him to stop using the same name and–when he refused–sued him for trademark infringement. Ho hum you say, happens every day. True, but then this gets more fun.

Saturday of last week, I got an email that was basically a press release saying that the CEO of QSI (the Nextgen EMR company) had been arrested that day for sending an emissary to conduct some kind of raid or home invasion on Ari Teman’s house. I paid attention partly because it was wacky news for the usually doudy EMR business and partly because I’d met Ari Teman at a function in NY the previous Monday. He’d invited himself to breakfast with me the next day where he told me lots about himself and how great his conference was going to be, and eventually asked for my & Health 2.0’s help in marketing it. You may suspect that meeting people who think their new thing is the greatest ever is not that unusual in my line of work, and you’d be right. So I took some of this with a grain of salt, but the line-up looked good and he had people I respect involved and so I agreed to look at a marketing deal.

Then the “press release” arrived about the “arrests” of QSI’s CEO, chief counsel, bottlewasher, dog and more, following the “raid” on Ari’s house while he was at the Aetna meeting at which I’d met him and I was speaking. The “release” was actually mostly a self-promotional piece for Ari and the conference (well, mostly about Ari who you may not realize is a “Jewish Federations of North America’s Jewish Community Hero of the Year“).

I did what any self-respecting lazy blogger would do and sent it to a real HIT industry gossip queen/journalist (Inga@HISTalk) to run down the truth. And the truth was, no arrests, but pretty soon afterwards QSI (the NextGen EMR company) got a real temporary restraining order against Ari stopping him spreading the story of the “arrests”.

At this point several people & organizations involved with aspects of the conference including the a couple of respected NYC-based organizations and consultants pulled out. (And I, THCB and Health 2.0 did not, ahem, follow up on our vague joint marketing proposal).

Undaunted Ari pushed ahead and put out a press release saying that communications giant Edelman (via its well known digital health media personality Shwen Gwee) was now “enabling” 150 small companies to exhibit. I connected with Shwen who was pretty perplexed by this. He told me that Ari called him, asked him for help, and told him other organizations were supporting (when in fact they’d pulled out). Instead of sending Shwen more details as Shwen thought was the next step, Ari sent out the press release with Edelman’s name on it.

I remain more than a bit puzzled. Is this just all a big ruse to publicize a conference? Are the speakers (including famous tweeting mayor of Newark, NJ, Cory Booker) really showing up? Is the mHealth morning the next day going ahead without the people who organized it? Will the exhibit hall–at which apparently you can exhibit for the price of a ticket only–be teeming, or empty?

It’s certainly an unusual tale for the often colorless conference business, even if it’s not the way I’d usually do things. On the other hand, knowing as I do how hard it can be to run a successful conference, there’s a teeny piece of me secretly admiring Ari Teman for his chutzpah in doing absolutely whatever it takes to make his conference, at the least, newsworthy. I have to admit, it would almost be worth going along just to see what happens–and you can’t say that about many conferences.

And of course there’s a few people (including me) interested not just in the conference but in the April court date when the real truth about that restraining order, the home invasion, the trademark et al should come out!

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Categories: Matthew Holt, THCB, The Vault

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Jim ShapiroJonathan E.commentorMatthew HoltAri Recent comment authors
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Jim Shapiro
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Jim Shapiro

Ari Teman is little more than a self-promoting, untrustworthy scam artist. Most of the NYC Jewish community know this, and view him as a joke. His unprofessional conduct here and elsewhere bear this out. A good name is better than good oil. Someone didn’t get the memo.

Jonathan E.
Guest
Jonathan E.

This was one of the funniest comment threads I have read in my entire life. Thank you.

commentor
Guest
commentor

I am confused what is this article about? Someone at Nextgen being unethical. Is that a surprise? Is that a surprise within the tech industry in general that seems to attract sociopaths? I had my resume floated all over that place because of my GPA and graduate research on privacy of electronic health information by some HR person who worked at some agency and now acts as if he was a doctor although mostly everyone seemed unprofessional and was treated poorly by everyone. Not the type of people you would expect working in health care at all. I had phone… Read more »

Ari
Guest
Tom
Guest

Thanks for the link Ari, but in the immortal words of Mick Dundee “that’s not a testimonial, THIS is a testimonial http://www.nghealthcaresummit.com/video/sponsor-testimonials/

Ari
Guest

Wow, a regional VP and four other people nobody’s heard of! Yeah, you totally beat the head of the Mayo Clinic Center for Innovation. Whooo!

Is that the music Yanni uses to go to sleep?

I have to go stick my finger in a socket just to get my heart to restart your video was that boring. What version of iMovie did you make that crap in?

Please stop. Just stop doing what you’re doing. It’s bad for everyone. It sucks. It really really sucks.

Matthew Holt
Guest

Tom, having run several of these conferences by now, you must be very disappointed not to be sued by QSI. surely Ari can at least help you in that regard!

Tom
Guest

Hats off to you all for contributing to such a hugely entertaining thread, my commute flew by!
For fear of muddying the water further with yet another “NextGen” healthcare event I’d like to bring up http://www.nghealthcaresummit.com. Although I can’t promise comedians or anti-Semitism I can guarantee top HCO represented at a corporate level.

All law suits are welcome

Ari
Guest

Funny how I don’t know a “Frank B”. Certainly one with spelling issues. How about you grow a pair and put your full name? Yet, strangely here comes the Jewish thing again.

Frank
Guest
Frank

This guy Ari should call himself a clown, not a comedian. Every time I’ve seen him, he’s trying to run some scam to bilk people out of money for one of his “charities”. He’s a nasty, petty man who doesn’t care about anyone but himself. I don’t know how many times I’ve seen him attack other people without provocation and them cry that he’s the victim because he’s running a charity, he’s a clean commedian, he’s Jewish or some other BS. I’m Jewish, and this guy is a total disgrace. I hope he is exposed for the fraud he is.… Read more »

Disappointed exhibitor
Guest
Disappointed exhibitor

What a sham. Barely 200 people showed up for the first day . Ari and his volunteers needed to herd people into their seats like cattle so the photographers could get shots of a seemingly “full” theater. The exhibit space and organization was a joke–most exhibitors packed up and left after lunch. Several of the presentions were quite good (Mayo and MIT) while others were totally out of left field. By the end of the first day there were fewer than 80 people in the room–not sure about the second day–I simply couldn’t justify the time.

Ari
Guest

Another anonymous poster! What a blog. I’m sorry you felt that paying $100 and getting: a free booth (that cost $160 to print), a $650 ticket, and access to “barely” 200 people including leaders of top companies was “a sham”. Most of the exhibitors were there on Day 2 AND at the end of Day 1, so that’s a false claim by an anonymous poster. Yes, we did herd people out of the hallway, true, because the hallway was right outside the theater and if you made noise it’d disrupt the show. Plus, we did want you to experience those… Read more »

Jeff Livingston, MD
Guest

Highly entertaining reading for a Friday. Thanks to both of you for making me smile.

Ari
Guest

Thanks Jeff! Come to 12gurus:Health next year.

Ari
Guest

Why I’m Fighting So Damn Hard There are plenty of innovation-in-healthcare and “health IT” conferences. The problem for most patients however, isn’t that we’re not in 2050, it’s that we’re not in 2012. On a good day, we’re in 1950. Maybe 1850. Let’s survey the scene. Healthcare is the only industry still transferring notes on pen and paper. The person taking your orders at McDonalds has a touch-screen. The teenager at Old Navy has a wireless headset. Heck, every teenager has a wireless, touch screen headset! It’s 2012! Hospitals have a 1-in-5 shot of causing a preventable error. Twenty percent… Read more »

Ari
Guest

Wow – that’d mark the first time Health 2.0 had input from medical professionals instead of people pushing devices or pharma. A reminder to all that this blog post is sponsored by GE, imagination at work!

Thanks again for the backhanded compliment! Your true colors burst through like a ray of sunshine.

And Matt invites people to breakfast and then doesn’t take the bill. Jackass. Lois, to her credit, picked it up. Maybe I need to help Matthew with his page views, poor guy.

Anandh
Guest
Anandh

“I’m with Teman on this one. He’s a good kid who’s putting on a GREAT conference — Holt has never given us such a lineup — and he’s fighting against the system. It’s time we grew a pair and stood by him.”

Marc
Guest
Marc

All this did was make me more interested than I already was! Cant wait for what Im calling the “Teman” experience… Should be a fun ride!