Deals, Deployments, and Short News -- Sept. 9, 2008

September 9, 2008 | Valley Baptist Health System has selected Concuity’s ClearContracts Payer Compliance suite to more accurately calculate payments from managed care and government payers; more easily negotiate contract terms and analyze and track the results of managed care agreements; better hold payers accountable to the terms of agreements; and appeal and collect underpaid and denied claims. Valley Baptist Health System is one of the largest not-for-profit health systems in South Texas with more than 800 beds. The health care system delivers premium and award-winning health care services through its two hospitals, Valley Baptist Medical Center-Harlingen and Valley Baptist Medical Center-Brownsville.

Athenahealth has announced that on September 5th the company completed its acquisition of the assets of Crest Line Technologies, LLC (d.b.a. As originally announced on August 4th, consideration for the acquisition was $7.7 million in cash, a portion of which will be paid over time based on the achievement of certain milestones. Like athenahealth’s electronic medical record (EMR), practice management and billing services, the services are on-demand, are centrally-hosted and enable automated and live call or e-mail communication services between patients and physician practices. Running off a web-based patient portal platform, these services allow physician practices to better communicate with patients regarding appointment reminders, test results, drug recalls, collections, prescription refills and other compliance driven initiatives. Designed as a service rather than as software functionality, the services augment medical practices' patient communications to improve practice revenue as well as patient care, satisfaction and compliance.

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) recently issued U.S. Patent no. 7,449,808, for key elements of eGenomics’ proprietary warning system for hospital infection control. The system “fingerprints” infection-causing bacteria using automated DNA sequencing, stores the resulting DNA sequences in a central database and analyzes the results using proprietary algorithms. The platform allows hospital infection control teams to monitor in “real time” the spread of specific harmful pathogens. The eGenomics ‘mapping’ system differentiates clusters of related strains in order to identify a source or transmission vector. Importantly, the system can identify when strains are not related, effectively telling a hospital when they are and when they are not experiencing internal transmission problems.

Merge Healthcare has launched its Managed Services initiative. The first service of the initiative is Merge Off Site Disaster Recovery which provides HIPAA compliant back up of radiology images and information. This service provides hospitals and imaging centers with a business continuity solution in the event of system failure, unplanned downtime or natural disaster. Merge’s Off Site Disaster Recovery service includes 24/7 system monitoring via Merge's proprietary ViewCheck software. Merge’s tiered offering provides on-demand access and unlimited online retrieval of archived studies, an audit trail of all studies from the customer site to Merge’s Data Center and on site recovery services.

Executive Changes: TriZetto Group has announced that Tony Bellomo has been promoted and appointed president of TriZetto. With the completion of TriZetto’s acquisition by Apax Partners, president and chief operating officer Kathleen Earley is leaving to pursue new opportunities. Bellomo’s appointment will be effective Oct. 1, 2008, and Kathleen Earley will remain until then to facilitate the transition.

AMIA’s Board of Directors announced the appointment of Edward Shortliffe, MD, PhD, MACP, FACMI as its incoming President CEO. He will assume the role full-time in July 2009. Shortliffe succeeds Don Detmer, who led AMIA since 2004, fostering excellence, growth, and innovation in the profession and the association.

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