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Industry Watch

April 17, 2007
by root
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No Naps for Nightingale as it plans to acquire VantageMed

Looking to extend its footprint, Markham, Ontario-headquartered Nightingale Informatix Corporation plans to acquire Rancho Cordova, Calif.-based billing and practice management company, VantageMed Corporation.

Nightingale's products and services include an Internet-based EHR, EMR and practice management solution. Under the terms of the agreement, Nightingale would get all outstanding shares of VantageMed. VantageMed shareholders would, in turn receive 75 cents per share, valuing the transaction at approximately $13 million.

VantageMed has approximately 6,000 customer sites in the United States, representing more than 18,000 healthcare providers.

Advantedge Healthcare Snaps Up PBMS

Warren, N.J.-based Advantedge Healthcare Solutions (AHS), a provider of medical billing services to physician groups, has acquired Professional Billing & Management Services Inc. (PBMS), an anesthesia billing company located in Chambersburg, Pa.

Founded in 1999 by Stephen Sullivan, Sr., AHS operates as a business process outsourcer providing revenue cycle management services. According to the company, AHS employs proprietary, on-demand, Web-based technology and continuous business process improvement methods to increase the operating efficiencies of medical billing and to improve results for its physician customers.

In April and November 2006, AHS received a $20 million commitment from Founders Equity Inc., a New York-based private equity firm, and Wayne, Pa.-based Safeguard Scientifics Inc., a provider of capital to growth-stage technology and life sciences companies. As a result of this financing, AHS stated that it is fulfilling its objectives to accelerate organic growth and pursue strategic acquisitions.

GE Healthcare and Awarix Team Up

GE Healthcare headquartered in Waukesha, Wis., and Awarix, a Birmingham, Ala.-based enterprise patient care visibility system provider, recently announced a partnership to jointly market a technology and service solution for healthcare facilities. According to GE and Awarwix, the solution will help to address challenging patient care issues by tapping into each company's solutions and collective capabilities.

The Enterprise Visual Workflow Solution combines Awarix's patient care visibility technology with GE's Enterprise Location Management System (IntelliMotion) and Patient Throughput Process Improvement Consulting Services. According to both companies, combined efforts have resulted in the development of a comprehensive visual controls and process change management solution, helping organizations improve patient safety, increase patient, staff and physician satisfaction, and improve overall patient flow.

Methodist Medical Finds Claims Cure

Methodist Medical Group, a Peoria, Ill.-based health system, has signed with Atlanta-based Navicure for claims management.

Through the agreement, Navicure's claims management solution will be used by all 26 multi-specialty physician practices in the Methodist Medical Group network. These practices employ more than 100 providers.

According to the company, Navicure's functionality enables claims to be tracked in any stage of processing and the cause of denials readily analyzed. The company's reporting solution looks to ensure that providers can eliminate billing errors, identify payment trends and improve operational efficiency.

Companies Combine to Compile Data on Technology Adoption

Chicago, Ill.-based HIMSS Analytics recently announced plans to extend products and service offerings to the Canadian healthcare IT market. HIMSS Analytics has also formed strategic partnerships with two Canadian organizations Branham Group Inc., and Courtyard Group, to facilitate the success of their new initiatives in Canada.

HIMSS Analytics plans to collect IT-related information for Canadian hospitals. This data will be similar to what has been collected on U.S. hospitals and now populates the HIMSS Analytics Database (derived from the Dorenfest IHDS+ Database). Technology adoption in Canadian healthcare organizations will be tracked by collecting information on hospital demographics, utilization and deployment of IT products and services and buying trends in software and hardware applications. This data will also be used to compare Canadian hospitals amongst themselves, and to also compare them to U.S. hospitals using the HIMSS Analytics' EMR Adoption Model, a tool that objectively measures an institution's progress toward electronic patient record implementation.

Mobile Clinical Gets the Royal Touch

Royal Philips Electronics, headquartered in Amsterdam, Netherlands, recently announced its plan to design, manufacture and ship a Mobile Clinical Assistant (MCA) to enable nurses and physicians to improve bedside patient care by using an integrated, wireless device to connect to patient information stored in electronic medical records. The MCA falls under the category of mobile point-of-care devices, and is designed with input from clinicians and through clinical workflow studies, interviews and ethnography research conducted by Intel Corporation.

The Philips MCA includes a 10.4-inch XGA touch-screen, RFID and barcode scanning, Bluetooth, wireless LAN connectivity and a digital camera. According to Royal Phillips, the portable device is designed to help reduce medication errors, validate blood transfusions, and monitor wound healing.

AccuRoute Aids Secure Document Routing

Andover Mass.-based Omtool, Ltd recently announced an agreement under which AccuRoute, Omtool's document routing solution, will be offered by HP with its multi-function printers to customers in document-intensive industries, including legal, financial services and healthcare vertical markets. Due to the increasing demand by customers for distributed document capture, Omtool has been working to deliver the AccuRoute solution with HP MFPs.

The need for secure document routing is important for companies with compliance-related initiatives and corporate imperatives such as disaster recovery, secure communications, document retention, accessibility and corporate transparency. According to Omtool, companies will have the opportunity to manage these risks with the combination of Omtool's AccuRoute and enterprise printing options from HP.

Misys Healthcare Systems and MedAptus Partner Up

Raleigh, N.C.-based Misys Healthcare Systems and Boston-based MedAptus, a provider of point-of-care solutions to healthcare organizations, recently announced that the companies have worked together to integrate MedAptus' Electronic Charge Capture with Misys EMR, Misys Vision, Misys Tiger, and the Misys ambulatory solution suite. This partnership will provide physicians and their administrative teams with market leading mobile solutions and integrated professional charge capture capabilities.

According to both companies, the integrated Misys/MedAptus solution will benefit users by providing enhanced reimbursement, improved compliance with billing regulation, and decreased administrative burden.

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