Health IT Newser

flying cadeuciiHHS Clarification:
DeSalvo Will Retain Leadership of ONC

Five days after announcing that National Coordinator Karen DeSalvo’s appointment as Acting Assistant Secretary of Health, the ONC clarified that DeSalvo would still be the leader of the ONC; she would also continue to chair the HIT Policy Committee, lead the development and finalization of the Interoperability Roadmap, and remain involved in MU policymaking.

HHS said that when DeSalvo’s new appointment was originally announced, DeSalvo’s bio had mistakenly indicated that she had “previously” held the role of National Coordinator.

HIT NEWSER’S TAKE: Did HHS simply do a poor job communicating or did someone recognize a little too late that DeSalvo’s removal might heighten concerns about the ongoing turnover among ONC leadership?


The Certification Commission for Health Information Technology (CCHIT) announced it was shutting down its operations November 14. CCHIT was created in 2004 to provide certification services for HIT products and to educate providers and IT developers; in January CCHIT announced it would no longer provide testing and certification services for the MU program. In a press release CCHIT Executive Director Alisa Ray said that “the slowing of the pace of ONC 2014 Edition certification and the unreliable timing of future federal health IT program requirements made program and business planning for new services uncertain.”

HIT NEWSER’S TAKE: Coupled with the recent turmoil at the ONC (leadership changes, underwhelming Stage 2 MU attestations numbers), one can’t help but wonder what it all means for long-term viability of the MU program and whether the industry remains committed to its objectives.

From MGMA: Practices Unhappy with Quality Reporting Programs          

More than 83% of practices don’t believe that current Medicare physician quality reporting programs enhance their physicians’ ability to provide high-quality care, according to an MGMA survey. Practices overwhelmingly say that the reporting programs have a negative impact on practice resources, reduce staff morale, and take away from patient care.

Show Me the Money

  • Merge Healthcare reports Q3 revenues of $54M, down 5.7% from a year ago, and EPS of $0.05 vs. $0.02.
  • McKesson announces a 36% jump in Q2 revenues to $44.8 billion and EPS of $2.79 vs $2.30. However, revenues from the Technology Solutions segment fell 5.6% from a year ago to $770 million due to a decline in McKesson’s Horizon hospitals software business.
  • PDR Network merges with LDM Group, a provider of behavior-based patient and consumer health information. The new entity will combine drug information from PDR with patient/consumer information from LDM and will be led by former LDM CEO Mark Heinold.
  • Q3 results from MedAssets: revenues up 5.6% to $175.7 million with adjusted EPS of $0.34 vs. $0.31.
  • New Zealand-based Orion Health reveals plans for a $119 million IPO.
  • Phreesia raises a $30 million Series E investment led by LLR Partners.

New Blood

  • Experian promotes Scott Bagwell from SVP of sales and marketing to president of Experian Health.
  • The Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange (WEDI) names new co-chairs for its Security and Privacy Workgroup: Optum’s Peter Dumont; Deloitte Consulting’s Erik Pupo; WellPoint’s Deidre Rodriguez; and ABILITY Network’s Richard Wagner.
  • HIMSS names Steve Pavlick, the former director of legislative affairs for Northrop Grumman, to its government relations group as manager of congressional affairs.

6 replies »

  1. By by $ee$hit. Truly an organization spawned by HIM$$ to give legitamacy to EHRs to benefit the members of the parent. That it was run by LIEber makes it all the more interesting that it was evicted from its exclusive Wackers address in Chi Town. Calvin Jablonski wrote all about this sham at the WSJ health blog, circa Madoff fraud reports.

  2. Meaningful Use is probably done, effectively. Particularly if the GOP re-takes Senate control. 95% of the money is out the door. No ONC Leadership, no appetite for more spending, or more regulation even now.

  3. HHS leadership does not have a clue. Sounds like political face saving to me.

    The Assistant Secretary of Health and the National Coordinator for Health IT are two full time jobs. Neither are going to get the attention that they need.

    Meaningful Use is at a critical time and really needs a strong focused leader. I am sorry to say it’s not a part-time job. Did HHS leadership think that we would not notice this major error in judgement?