Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Misys, the IT software group, is spinning off its healthcare division and merging it with smaller US rival Allscripts to create a more powerful player in the growing market for electronic medical records.
The complex deal, which will see Mike Lawrie, Misys chief executive, become executive chairman of the enlarged group, is being paid for via a share placing of 43m shares to raise £75m.
ValueAct Capital, the US hedge fund and largest shareholder in Misys, will underwrite the 175p a share placing and will enlarge its holding from 19.4 per cent to 25.8 per cent on completion of the deal.
Misys will contribute $330m in cash to the enlarged group and will own 54.5 per cent on a fully diluted basis. Allscripts’ existing shareholders will receive a $330m special dividend following the completion of the deal. The enlarged US group will retain a Nasdaq listing.
Misys will retain control of its banking, Treasury and capital markets division, which will retain its London listing.
The London listed shares of Misys surged more than 18 per cent or 25¾p in lunchtime trading to 167½p as investors noted the significant premium payed by ValueAct to increase its shareholding in the group.
“There is a huge opportunity to capitalise on the fundamental shift taking place in the high growth, ambulatory healthcare sector where innovative technology can improve the delivery of care,” Mr Lawrie said in a statement to announce the deal.
“Combining our businesses will create a company better able to take advantage of this opportunity and to maximise value for both sets of shareholders.”
Glen Tullman, chief executive of Allscripts, said the clinical software sector was growing rapidly. “Merging two of the leading businesses within this sector will create a comprehensive platform of products and services that can better serve a wider range of customers and will capitalise on this opportunity.”
Both groups said the enlarged company would provide a range of software services to the healthcare industry in the US. The merger will create savings of $25m to $30m within three years.
The number of physicians using electronic health records in the US is growing. The federal government is expected to encourage its development and the market as a whole is expected to grow to about $5bn by 2015.
Allscripts is headquartered in Chicago and distributes medications to 40,000 physicians in the US and more than 700 hospitals.
Misys said as well as the share placing it had agreed a new $305m debt financing package to complete the deal, which is expected to increase earnings after its first full year.
The group said trading at its other divisions was ahead of expectations and it expected revenue for this year to be between £479m and £488m compared with £469.7m last year.
The demerger of the healthcare division is the latest upheaval for a company that has faced significant change in the last few years.
Less than two years ago Kevin Lomax, co-founder and significant shareholder of the software group, led an attempt to buy Misys which failed. The collapse of the auction led to the departure of Mr Lomax and the appointment of Mr Lawrie, a veteran of the IT industry, who joined from ValueAct.
Mr Lawrie said on Tuesday the agreement with Allscripts will “transform Misys into a growth company.”
The company said that it would drop dividend payments following this year’s payment at the end of the financial year in May.
ValueAct, which has gradually increased its ownership of Misys in the last two years, welcomed the agreement with Allscripts.
“I applaud Mike Lawrie’s turnround of Misys,” said Jeff Ubben, founder of ValueAct. “This is a major step in pursuit of Misys’ growth strategy.”
Source: Financial Times, London
Thursday, March 13, 2008
What's Easier - Choosing A Spouse Or An EMR?
I would have to say I was more certain about my spouse. I knew right away that she had all of the features I would ever need. No demo's needed. I didn't have to call other users to confirm things or compare demo notes,(I am so dead if she reads this).
The only downside is the implementation has taken well over ten years so far and there have been multiple upgrades that I have to keep figuring out how to use. Also, the damn user manual keeps on changing. Other than that, we are a fully integrated system and have produced three great superbills.
Lowell Kleinman, MD
OK; here we go. My wife doesn’t read this forum so I can post with impunity.
Return on investment:
The spouse is generally a good ROI, continuing to yield benefits long after the initial investment. Depending upon the spouse, however, the maintenance fees can be staggering. An EMR has a poor ROI.
The spouse is much more costly to terminate than an EMR. However, it’s fun playing the field once the dissolution of the relationship is complete from both the spouse and an EMR. (I must confess; I have had affairs/demos with competing EMRs while still using Medinotes).
Many EMRs allow access via a PDA. This is also a feature of spouses (unfortunately) via the same PDA/cell phone combo. Unfortunately, the spouse doesn’t lock up periodically disallowing contact. .
Ease of use
It’s much easier and enjoyable to push the buttons on a spouse than an EMR. Pushing the wrong button, however, means trouble for days. It simply can’t be resolved by a reboot.
Many EMRs are easily customizable. This is not the case with spouses.
Similarly, the spouse and EMR demos often look great. Once you’ve made the purchase, however, and have hands-on experience over time, the imperfections really start to show. You can sometimes get a fully functional demo of an EMR, but this is much more difficult with a spouse.
EMRs often require larger hard drives with each new release which in this day of cheap hard drives, is easily accomplished. Despite what the Enzyte commercial says, it’s much more difficult to get a larger hard drive to accommodate a spouse.
In addition to increasing hardware requirements with each release, the size of the software also increases. Ditto the spouse (though the software never asks you how it looks in a particular outfit).
You can often acquire a spouse without a vendor. This is more difficult with an EMR. After you demo an EMR which looks horrible, be weary of the vendor who tells you, “but it has a great personality.” You can acquire both, however, now on the internet.
EMRs can cause headaches and crashing of the hard drive. Spouses have headaches and often don’t even allow the hard drive to spin up.
Hope no-one is offended; it’s all in good fun.
If you interested reading all of it.
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Aetna officials on Wednesday announced plans to offer a new online search tool that will give members no-cost access at to medical information, information on local physicians who can address their needs and cost information based on their medical histories and coverage levels, the San Francisco Chronicle reports (Colliver, San Francisco Chronicle, 3/12).
Aetna developed the service, called SmartSource, in partnership with Healthline Networks, a medical database software developer. The insurer is using information about members' medical claims and diagnostic tests, as well as the topics they have searched for, to tailor SmartSource searches.Aetna will offer the service to employers that purchase health insurance through the company. The insurer hopes to use the program to attract and retain business from companies with concerns about health care costs (Freudenheim, New York Times, 3/12).
About 30,000 Aetna employees have tested the service, and the company plans to expand the service to about two million members by the end of 2008 as part of a pilot program before making it available to all 16.8 million members (San Francisco Chronicle, 3/12).
One of the biggest challenges associated with connecting online research to personal health data is the reluctance by patients to share health information that might be used inappropriately or affect job opportunities and insurance premiums, according to the Times.
Meg McCabe, vice president for online programs at Aetna, said that the new service is secure and that the company will not use any information related to the service to increase or reduce premiums or reject membership applications (New York Times, 3/12).
Aetna officials added that they would not sell or share information or target ads at consumers based on their search history.
In addition, because Aetna is a health insurer, it is required to comply with federal health privacy laws that do not apply to companies like Microsoft and Google, according to Greg Sterling, an analyst at Sterling Market Intelligence (San Francisco Chronicle, 3/12).
Monday, March 3, 2008
Google CEO Details Online Personal Health Record Service
At the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society's annual conference on Thursday, Google CEO Eric Schmidt detailed a new online personal health record service, called Google Health, the AP/San Jose Mercury News reports (Reed, AP/San Jose Mercury News, 2/28). According to the Wall Street Journal, the Web site, which will compete with similar sites operated by Microsoft and Revolution Health Group, "could boost the nation's fledgling efforts to adopt electronic medical records" (Lawton/Worthen, Wall Street Journal, 2/28).The system will store patients' health records online and allow users to import records from different health provider systems. Google Health also will let users search for doctors and find health care information from Google Scholar, discussion groups and other sources (Mills, CNET News' "News Blog," 2/28). In addition, third-party developers will develop direct-to-consumer services, such as medication tables or immunization reminders (AP/San Jose Mercury News, 2/28).
Some health care professionals have raised concerns about the use of PHRs to sell advertisements and the possibility that the federal medical privacy rule issued after the enactment of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act does not cover records stored online (Wall Street Journal, 2/28).Schmidt said that Google would not share any information with outside entities without the patient's consent. "Our model is that the owner of the data has control over who can see it," he said, adding, "And trust for Google is the most important currency on the Internet."Schmidt also noted that the company will not use advertising to support Google Health and that it is relying on increased Web traffic to make the site profitable. Schmidt compared the new service to Google News, which is not ad-supported.Google is currently testing the PHR service with 1,370 volunteers at the Cleveland Clinic. Schmidt did not specify when the service would be available to the public but said the company was working to release it soon (AP/San Jose Mercury News, 2/28).
Google said that future partners on the project would include hospitals, pharmacies, insurers and other health care stakeholders, including:
American Heart Association;
American Medical Association;
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center (CNET News' "News Blog," 2/28);
Duane Reade (AP/San Jose Mercury News, 2/28);
Lucile Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford University;
University of California-San Francisco;
Wal-Mart Stores (CNET News' "News Blog," 2/28).
Source : iHealthbeat.