Are HIT mergers risky?; VA awards Shipcom Wireless contract for supply chain management;

News From Around the Web

> Some analysts suspect that the market for electronic health records may be getting saturated, on the heels of news that Greenway Medical Technologies acquired Vista Equity Partners for $644 million. A Wall Street Journal Market Watch post points out that "there could be pitfalls with the merger and risk involved with merging two different healthcare information technology platforms, as well as create uncertainty in transportable, or ambulatory, medical records." Article

> The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs this week awarded Shipcom Wireless of Houston a four-year contract with a maximum value of $275 million to help manage the supply chain in its 152 hospitals in wards, operating or emergency rooms, Nextgov reports. The VA's current supply chain system "is outdated, underutilized and often accomplished manually," the department said, according to the article. Article

Provider News

> While many consider recent healthcare job growth a reflection of the industry's strength, a new article in Harvard Business Review suggests otherwise, arguing it actually reflects a lack of efficiency in the industry. "The early signs are worrisome," Robert Kocher, M.D., a partner with the Cambridge-based investment firm Venrock, wrote in the blog post. "With healthcare viewed as a jobs source and jobs being added faster than demand is growing, we appear to be on a path toward more workers and lower salaries, not necessarily more productivity, unless something changes dramatically." Article

> While a prominent professor at the University of Aberdeen said single rooms in hospitals for all patients are necessary to prevent and contain hospital-related infections, a hospital consultant argued that their positive effects are unproven. "Single rooms increase patients' privacy, dignity, and confidentiality [and] they give patients more control over their immediate environment," Hugh Pennington, emeritus professor of bacteriology, wrote in the British Medical Journal. In addition, a recent Canadian study indicated that switching from multibed units to single rooms correlated with a reduction in infections and shorter stays, Pennington wrote. Article

Health Finance News

> A study issued by a right-of-center think tank makes a case for Ohio opting out of the Medicaid expansion as part of the Affordable Care Act and instead encouraging poor residents to purchase subsidized insurance through the state's insurance exchange.The report, issued by the National Center for Policy Analysis, concluded that Ohio's economy would benefit from such an approach, since providers would get higher payments from the commercial insurers competing in the exchange, rather than from Medicaid, according to the Toledo Blade. Article

And Finally... This male was literally acting like an animal. Article

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Welcome to this week's Chutes & Ladders, our roundup of hirings, firings and retirings throughout the industry.