Cerner announced it will acquire Siemens Health Services, the healthcare IT unit of Siemens, for $1.3 billion. The acquisition – which was rumored on HIStalk last month – is expected to close in the first quarter of 2015, with the combined company consisting of 20,000 employees, 18,000 client facilities, and $4.5 billion in annual revenue. Our very own Lydon Neumann was quoted extensively about the deal in a story in Healthcare Informatics!
Impact Advisors’ Thoughts: There is certainly no shortage of intriguing questions about this deal, especially down the road as the two companies become more integrated. In the near term, we will be interested to see what happens with the hospitals – and there are a number of them – who are still on Invision, Siemens’ legacy inpatient EHR. Will these clients see the acquisition as an opportunity to move to the Cerner product suite (which some of them were likely already considering)? Or will concerns about effectively integrating the two companies actually accelerate a switch to Epic or Meditech (which some of them were likely also already considering)?
As expected, HHS published a final rule officially establishing October 1, 2015 as the new deadline for transitioning to ICD-10 code sets. The final rule also requires the use of ICD-9 code sets until that time, through September 30, 2015. Given the tight timeline – and the fact that the law requiring the change was rather unexpected – HHS did not publish a proposed rule or solicit public comment on the new ICD-10 date. By law, HHS has the authority to “waive normal rulemaking requirements if it finds that notice and comment procedures are impractical, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest.”
Impact Advisors’ Thoughts: No surprises in the final rule; in fact, many probably assumed it had already been published.