Category Archives: healthcare IT

Investment in Healthcare Startups Has Skyrocketed –Outsiders Beating Insiders to the Punch

Earlier this week, Greylock Partners, one of the principal investors behind Facebook and LinkedIn, put together a $1.2 million round to fund First Opinion – a simple service that provides a way for patients to text message their doctors anytime. What’s interesting here is that deals like First Opinion exemplify a noteworthy trend, because as reported in Tech Crunch this week, ever since the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), investment in healthcare startups has skyrocketed. According to CrunchBase metrics, when the ACA was signed into law back in 2010, there were only 17 true seed round and/or early stage [...]

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ObamaCare: Is the President “Acting Unilaterally” Or is He the Only One Acting?

Thomas Finn - August 16, 2013 8:15 AM | Categories: government policy, healthcare IT, Healthcare Providers

You’ve got to hand it to him, the President isn’t shy about “acting unilaterally” when it concerns his healthcare agenda and moving it forward. But if you’re the only one making any moves, then “acting unilaterally” is tough not to do  –right? Regardless, when it feels like one side just does what it wants and the other does nothing but complain about it, it makes for entertaining press. Thanks to the Kaiser Health News for compiling the following news coverage. Politico: How To Destroy Obamacare From Within As a Sept. 30 budget deadline approaches, many in the Republican Party are pushing to [...]

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Robotic Surgeries Up 25% Since 2011 — Hysterectomies Remain A Leading Procedure

Last year more than 400,000 robotic surgeries were performed in the United States – an increase of about 25% from 2011. In the same time frame, about 600,000 hysterectomies were performed. Regardless of whether you believe the hype, the use of robotic surgery specifically for hysterectomies has grown dramatically in recent years as it has shown to involve less scarring, less pain, less blood loss, fewer complications, shorter hospital stays and a faster recovery than traditional open surgery. At least, that’s what the advertisements say. Dr. James Breeden, president of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, doesn’t agree. He [...]

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Gartner’s “Magic Quadrant” — A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

Long considered a market laggard, demand for strategic sourcing solutions in the healthcare sector has been anything but soft of late. With GPOs working hard to add value and differentiate, regional purchasing coalitions springing up like weeds, and major systems learning to fish for themselves, it’s not an accident that the strategic sourcing tool vendors are having record years. Gartner’s research team spent the better part of the last three years evaluating the strategic sourcing marketplace. Obviously, ranking vendors by “Completeness of Vision” and “Ability to Execute” (see Quadrant below) means sitting through hundreds of demos and interviewing just as [...]

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McKesson Adds “Supply Formulary Analytics” to its Sourcing Suite

McKesson recently announced an enhancement to its cloud-based sourcing solution. Being billed as a “first,” this latest improvement to McKesson’s Strategic Supply Sourcing suite, called Insight, provides real time visibility into what McKesson refers to as its “supply formulary.” The Insight solution takes McKesson’s current solution’s ability to identify substitutes a big step forward by using artificial intelligence to present comparison data on vendors, product families and cost centers so that savings opportunities can be better promoted and “leakage” can be highlighted when it’s happening  –when requisitions are being made. Call it “supply formulary analytics.” “Insight will enable us to [...]

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Procurement is A Team Sport, But Measuring Individual Performance Remains Key

Throughout the industry, procurement, sourcing and supply chain management software and services spending continues to grow at an astonishing rate — up by more than 30%. The profession(s) continues to advance by most every measure. And while executive “dashboards” of all types continue to proliferate and keep the C-Suite’s appetite for performance metrics fully satiated, has the procurement profession reached a point where it can be trusted to define those metrics and/or measure the value of its own performance? As procurement becomes increasingly responsible for non-traditional areas of spend, its organizational importance will continue to soar. But cost control is [...]

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Driving the Evolution of Supplier Engagement: The Advisory Board

At the end of the day, it’s all about buyers and sellers wanting to uncover and commit to arrangements that are better than the ones they currently have. But what’s better? Is it a longer term deal, a performance-based agreement with significant upfront commitments by the buyer and/or the seller, a promise to purchase a new product that the seller wants introduced in exchange for a discount on one that is already being purchased? The list of possibilities is as endless and varied as business conditions allow. Of course, negotiating deals that are recognized as mutually beneficial and create value [...]

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MedAssets Shares Up — A GPO We Can Invest In Is a Good Thing –Right?

MedAssets (MDAS) shares rose nearly 2.5% in the last few days. Various analysts have given the stock a “buy” rating and one has suggested a target price of $23 per share, still leaving plenty of headroom (more than 16%) for would-be investors. What’s driving the gains? Healthcare reform, naturally. Like the other major GPOs, MedAssets is focused on helping its customers increase their profitability, but unlike the others, MedAssets is a publicly traded, for-profit enterprise, so we get to track its ebb and flow on a daily basis, and we can buy stock in it. About 10 years ago, I [...]

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Healthcare Consumerism –Will it Finally Lead to Pricing Transparency?

If cost and risk in healthcare is shifting from employers and health plans to individuals, could it be that we’re now entering an age of “healthcare consumerism?” Sounds reasonable. But can it really be possible in a marketplace that continues to lack transparency? We continue to report on the various web services that deliver an efficient means to learn the costs of procedures, the related services and medications. And they keep getting better. The best of the best aren’t just sophisticated search utilities anymore. They are providing comparative measures of quality, access and outcomes. In fact, the newest applications are [...]

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Truven Health Analytics Develops ACO Solution for Medicare Shared Savings

Truven Health today announced the release of a new solution to help Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP) participants implement and manage their Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs). It’s called the Truven Health Unify ACO Solution and it is designed to help organizations connect to and harmonize disparate data for use in performance measurement and decision support as they transition to ACO revenue models. “We have designed this solution to help get the ACO up and running quickly to meet the requirements of the Affordable Care Act, while also laying a foundation that can grow in functionality as the organization decides to [...]

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Physician-Driven Change Management

The online healthcare marketplace continues to automate –very nicely–  especially at the transaction level. MedAssets’ partnership with Ariba should push the volumes through its trading exchange into orbit, GHX continues to grow and dominate its niche, and SCM solution providers (the tool vendors and consultancies) are actually making excellent headway convincing both their aligned and unaligned hospital customers that the “the virtual GPO” model might be a better mousetrap, at least for certain categories of spend; that throwing it all in with an established business exchange is not always justified and that taking back certain responsibilities that were previously outsourced [...]

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Parallon Acquires The Outsource Group to Enhance RSM Capabilities

Tennessee-based Parallon, a major provider of business and operational services to the healthcare industry, today announced that it has agreed to acquire The Outsource Group, a nice-sized national player in the healthcare revenue cycle management space. Following up on last year’s acquisition of Martin Fletcher, a leading staffing and recruiting firm that was bought to enhance the company’s workforce management solution range, buying The Outsource Group is all about building on the company’s revenue cycle management capabilities. I thought it might be helpful to remind everyone that beyond its revenue cycle and workforce management solutions, Parallon provides supply chain services, [...]

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ITG Releases Hospital Executive Survey Results –Soft Market Drives SCM Investment

ITG Market Research, a division of ITG (NYSE: ITG), today released the results of a survey showing that most US hospital executives believe that the US economy will expand in 2013, but they are not convinced this growth will translate into improved business conditions for hospitals. “Our Hospital Executive Confidence Index showed its greatest improvement in three years, buoyed by recent positive economic news.  Even in the latter half of 2012, we were capturing a lot of negative sentiment among hospital executives, but the proportion expecting economic conditions to deteriorate in 2013 has fallen by over 50% this quarter.  It [...]

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Sourcing Optimization in Healthcare –It’s Alive!

What follows is an edited version of a two-part series originally posted in SpendMatters, written by CombineNet’s former CTO, Dr. Jason Brown. I’ve made some edits that I know my friend Jason wouldn’t mind, trying to provide a little more healthcare context. Far too many sourcing professionals still don’t “get” the business case supporting sourcing optimization –and not because they’ve had a bad experience  Chances are, they haven’t had one. Why? Well, for starters, optimization requires clean data –not a common commodity in healthcare. But vendors capable of delivering optimization-powered strategic sourcing solutions are prepared to fix this problem to [...]

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Big Data At Its Best: PremierConnect Driving Next Wave For Members

Adventist Health System (Altamonte Springs, Fla.), Adventist Health (Roseville, Ca.), Adventist Healthcare, Gaithersburg, Md.) and Kettering Health Network (Dayton, Oh.) have pooled their $1.5 billion in demand to save money and improve care delivery. These same members had already saved $5.4 million since forming the initiative two years ago –on top of the more than $200 million combined in quality and cost improvement savings they achieved as Premier members over the same period. Obviously, there is nothing new about Premier members forming regional and national SCM collaboratives, but the success of Premier’s PremierConnect information sharing platform is driving these same [...]

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Best of the Healthcare Supply Chain Honored with GHXcellence Awards

Yesterday, GHX today announced the winners of its 13th Annual GHXcellence Awards. The winners were announced yesterday and are being honored at this year’s GHX Healthcare Supply Chain Summit, currently in progress in Las Vegas. New for this year, GHX honored an individual supply chain leader for work in improving the business of healthcare with its GHXcellence Leadership Award. In early 2013, GHX called on its community to submit nominations for the award and then invited the entire healthcare industry to vote for the winner. This year’s winner is: GHXcellence Leadership Award: Réginé Honoré Villain, corporate director of Supply Chain [...]

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