What did everyone at HIMSS have in COMMON… WELL…THE PATIENT

I am on the plane on my way back to Los Angeles after a week in New Orleans for the HIMSS Conference (www.himssconference.org). It was an extraordinary week for MMRGlobal as one of the “Most Wanted” to see at the show.  In some cases, being most wanted was driven by an interest in understanding what visitors to our booth had read about the Company’s patents and other intellectual property, but mostly because nearly every hospital administrator and Chief Technology Officer had Personal Health Records and interoperability on their shopping list going into Stage 2 of Meaningful Use.

And if it wasn’t a hospital in the booth looking for a PHR, they were a vendor also looking to purchase services to improve patient engagement, or to purchase the companies that provide the services that create patient engagement.  One thing for sure, it was by far our biggest HIMSS yet, and everybody seems to be interested in buying, selling, acquiring or investing in anyone that offers tools for the patient, especially if it involves a PHR.

The week started with the food in New Orleans and ended with one more order of barbeque shrimp.  However, the real focus of the week was anything but the food.  It was about the ONC Coordinator, Dr. Farzad Mostashari, one of the most important men in my world,  who in his keynote speech addressed the ‘human toll’ of a broken healthcare system, and how the way to fix it was though promoting interoperability and increasing transparency and access to data for patients, also known as a Personal Health Record.  He went on to proclaim an agenda of no more excuses about patients not being able to get a copy of their medical records because of HIPAA. All I could hear at that point of his presentation was the theme “Our Day Has Come…” or something like that.

Dr. Mostashari went on, suggesting that to get us there, stimulus monies would go up to fund interoperability and offset any competitive disadvantage from sharing patient data.  It was kind of like watching Kevin Costner in “Field Of Dreams,” when he was told by the “voice,” “If You Build It They Will Come.”  And it looks like ONC will help build it and pay for it.

I have gotten dozens of calls from shareholders asking about the show and I could not have done a better job of telling them what it meant to their company than to explain that the United States government’s agenda of patient engagement is just beginning, and that patient engagement is what MMR is about. And to borrow from the “Music Man,“ with a capital T and that rhymes with P and that stands for PHR.
Then on March 4, the first day of exhibits at the show, patents dominated the headlines, leading to a story entitled Patent Wars Heat Up and Cool Down at #HIMSS13. McKesson Corporation and Epic had announced a settlement of their longstanding, massive patent infringement case. Based on that announcement, the spotlight of the media shined on us and the recent press surrounding MMR’s extensive health IT patent portfolio and its possible relevance to the market. Our patent portfolio includes seven U.S. patents, as well as patents in 12 additional countries of commercial interest issued pending and applied for, including Australia, Singapore, New Zealand, Mexico, Japan, Canada, Hong Kong, South Korea, Israel, and European nations.  The article explains the MMR patents, integrated into our existing products and services which include Personal Health Records, Patient Portals and other Electronic Medical Record systems.

That may explain why, as I sat on the plane with dozens of CIO’s and Administrators from hospitals in California, who were also catching the last non-stop Delta flight out of New Orleans, I felt like I could fly without the jet. It took 8 years of sweat equity and more than $20 million for MMR to get to where it is today. It took both the Bush and Obama Administrations. It took government mandates, $20 billon in stimulus (so far, with more to come), and a massive worldwide push to make patients aware of the importance of joining the movement of managing their personal health.  And then it took the invention of Meaningful Use.

Also on March 4th, at 11 AM, my world got rocked when five of the biggest Health IT vendors, representing an estimated 41% of the entire EMR market, announced the CommonWell™ Health Alliance. For the first time, it was like the day I figured out how prepaid phone cards could sell through mass merchandisers, turning a $5,000 investment into a billion dollar market cap company, before I resigned as CEO.

Cerner, McKesson, Allscripts, athenahealth, Greenway Medical Technologies and RelayHealth announced they were joining together for a single purpose of improving the quality of care delivery while working to lower costs for care providers, patients and the industry as a whole.  The good news, and the validation of 8 long years, is that it starts with MMR’s primary customer, “the patient,” who triggers the ability of achieving data liquidity between systems, based on “Patient Authorizations.”

Nearly every presentation MMR has made over the past several years includes a depiction of how silos in healthcare keep providers from talking to one another. So when John Hammergren, Chairman and CEO, McKesson Corporation, said,  “A national and trusted health information exchange will break down the information silos in health care and should dramatically improve the quality and cost effectiveness of care delivery,” the comment validated my beliefs in MMR and confirmed to me that our focus since inception on inventing and protecting technology surrounding PHRs was to take the right path from the beginning.

Neal Patterson, Co-Founder, Chairman, CEO and President of Cerner Corporation, stated, “Consumers not only have a right to their data, but also have the ability to mobilize it in the pursuit of better health. The Alliance is designed in part to Help providers deliver a history of recent patient care encounters, and, with appropriate authorization, patient data across multiple providers and episodes of care.”

That’s what MMR is all about, we provide Personal Health Records to any patient, anywhere they are in the world, from any healthcare professional, regardless of technology, with or without an EMR, plus a whole lot more. MMR is designed to provide Personal Heath Records from a lifetime of encounters regardless of where they originate or what format they currently appear in.

And the drumbeat went on, with CEOs from Allscripts, athenahealth, Greenway and RelayHealth echoing the fight for the rights of the patient and the betterment of care. http://tinyurl.com/9wmbyee

However, not all were singing the praises of Commonwell. Epic Founder and Chief Executive Officer Judy Faulkner, stated, “We did not know about it. We were not invited.”  Epic Executive Vice President Carl Dvorak, commented, “Despite the claims made by the members of the CommonWell Health Alliance, nobody asked Epic to join the group.”  He continued, “I would really sincerely hope they (meaning CommonWell), put their energy behind true national standards.”

In or out of CommonWell, clearly, Epic is demonstrating they also care about patients and interoperability based on their existing personal health record offerings.

ONC Chief Dr. Mostashari was also asked his thoughts on the Commonwell – Epic controversy surrounding the announcements and comments.  He was quoted as saying, “We have to zoom out a little bit and not get into the he-said she-said. [CommonWell] is incontrovertible evidence that interoperability and exchange is now a key market differentiator and vendors large and small are committed — five years ago that was not true. There is not a vendor in the country that can be blind to the need for interoperability. I welcome any market-based approach.”

The mood at the closing of the show seemed to indicate that most everyone, including the CEOs of Commonwell and Epic agreed that … we all have one thing in common-the patient,  and that the patient has a right to their medical records.

In an industry where agreement and standardization are more than challenging, let’s hope that the CEOs mentioned in this blog can all agree that MMR’s “patient facing” products and services are for the good of all patients.  It’s just one more thing that I am working hard to create agreement on.

 

Robert H. “Bob” Lorsch,  CEO,  MMRGlobal
4401 Wilshire Blvd., 2nd Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90010
Tel. 310-476-7002, Fax 206-374-6136
Follow me on Twitter at BobLorschTweets

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In Order to Keep Life Exciting, You Must Take a Few Risks to Reap the Rewards

Being CEO of a company is anything but boring.  Who would have thought that each $2,000 invested as founders’ capital into a publicly traded company which I co-founded and ran, would someday be worth ten million dollars in only three years, as it did.  It proves the adage that good things are worth waiting for, and it looks like a similar story awaits at MMRGlobal.  Who would have thought that MMR would evolve into a Company owning a portfolio of Health IT and Biotech assets valued at as much as a billion dollars, not including the value of patents in twelve additional countries http://michaelbass.com/PDF/Patent_Valuation.pdf .

For those who have been there and supported the Company since the beginning in 2005, thank you.  As we head into the 2013 Super Bowl weekend the one thing not to bet against is the future of Health IT and MMR’s role in it.

What keeps my life exciting is that MyMedicalRecords has only just begun. That’s because the Meaningful Use requirements that mandate patients receive online access to their Personal Health Information takes effect in 2014.

MMR is a company that took a big risk fostering ideas that were hatched before their time.  And there are advantages to being the early first mover.  We benefited with great inventions that resulted in 7 US patents, plus continuation patents and pending patents, and more patents in countries around the world, with nearly 400 U.S claims, and hundreds more internationally.  In fact, MMR has additional patents issued, pending and applied for in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Mexico, Canada, Europe, Israel, Japan and South Korea. If MMR were in a Master Charge commercial, its intellectual property would be described as PRICELESS!

Working with legal counsel, we have spent the past year pursuing license agreements and strategic relationships for the use of MMR’s Health IT patents and other Intellectual Property.  The industry is recognizing the value of our IP and the Company has already entered into licensing and strategic business relationships.

We believe our patents increase the bar, making it difficult for hospitals, physician groups, healthcare professionals and vendors of  Personal Health Records and patient portals to sell their products and services without infringing on MMR’s IP.

And while MMR owns a significant portfolio of health information technology IP, the Company also owns biotech assets, samples and patents created at a cost of more than $100 million and which are already the subject of a $13 million license agreement with a major biotech company.

Meanwhile, the next 30 days promise to be one of the most exciting periods in MMR’s history.  On February 10th I am scheduled to attend a series of major customer meetings in Pennsylvania and MMR is hosting a dinner for carriers and payers representing more than 100 million lives.

On the 11th and 12th I attend meetings in Washington DC with representatives from Congress to discuss the use and effectiveness of more than $10 billion in paid out stimulus monies and other opportunities to improve care and reduce costs in preparation for future hearings. While there, I also plan on meeting with affinity groups representing seniors, emergency preparedness and other existing association clients of MMR.

Then, it’s two days in New York, where the Company will be telling its story to institutional investors and entertainment conglomerates interested in incorporating interactive health with broadcast and online programming.

Then back to Los Angeles to prepare for HIMSS 2013, which starts March 3rd in New Orleans to more than 40,000 projected attendees and is featuring a keynote address by President Clinton http://www.himssconference.org/.  I am proud to be part of a company that participates in the future of healthcare today.  Although it’s too late to bet on the Super Bowl, it’s not too late to bet on the Future of Health IT.

 

Robert H. “Bob” Lorsch,  CEO,  MMRGlobal
4401 Wilshire Blvd., 2nd Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90010
www.mmrglobal.com
Follow me on Twitter @BobLorschTweets

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We Have Given Up Our Whole Life To Be The Person We Are Now. Was It Worth It?

In my case, Yes!

Tomorrow is the first day of the rest of our lives, and to say mine is exciting is an understatement.  Today, we are in the final day of the HIMSS Conference. It’s 2AM and I finished the day spending a few minutes with Wil Yu, from the National Coordinators office of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Everyone from medicine, government and technology is here.  The convention floor reminds me of the first COMDEX convention when I represented Microsoft and Roland Hanson and he and I launched the “Mouse.”(http://www.thehmccompany.com/rowland.html)  Roland is now a member of the MMRGlobal Board of Advisors.  Click here to view article.

There is no question of the importance of Health IT on the world stage when the two highest ranking officials in health care, The Honorable Kathleen Sebelius, United States Secretary of Health and Human Services and David Blumenthal, MD, MPP, National Coordinator for the Health Information Technology Department of Health and Human Services, join together to make the closing keynote remarks at HIMSS.

As I get ready for the third and final day of the show, I will go straight from the show to the airport for a flight to Boston. Then tomorrow, I will host at least thirty-five institutional investors at our second Investor Roadshow.

Until I leave the show, I will also continue to use every available moment meeting with investment bankers and other strategic partners about numerous opportunities, including Dell, Microsoft, multiple wireline and wireless carriers, and many others, and Google, of course.

The first two days of our HIMSS adventure has been nothing short of phenomenal and absolutely packed (www.himssconference.org).  Our booth is directly across the hall from Google Health. As a result, we are seeing everybody who is anybody.  In fact, visit www.mmrglobaltoday.com and see pictures of the action for yourself.

Ralph, AJ, Joy, Eric and Muhammad are working the trade show floor with support from Rich Lagani, Sunil, Kira and I, demonstrating MMRPro and our Personal Health Records products and services.  Kira is even helping manage the traffic flow in the booth. And if you have not seen it, the new MMRPro video is getting great reviews. Shorter and more comprehensive than before, you can watch it at www.mmrprovideos.com The Kodak team of Jim, Rich, Jody, Megan and Bryan are also demonstrating  Pro and the latest in MMRPro advanced high speed scanning capability. If you were a fly buzzing around our HIMSS booth you would be blown away by “the action.”

Meanwhile Rich Lagani is spending his time meeting with health insurers and financial institutions who are interested in  us based on the Company’s existing relationship with Chartis. These business development opportunities take time; however, they can lead to gigantic results.

Sunil has walked at least 100 miles meeting with every possible strategic partner CTO at the show, from Microsoft to McKesson, to Apple, to Intel and Lucent, to name a very, very, very few.  Combining MMR and Kodak’s leading edge technology as a back end in support of all these major players in health IT helps insure that our advertising slogan, “The Future of Your Health at Work Today,” stays “at Work” tomorrow.

Sunil, Ralph, Rich and I have also all been meeting with middleware providers who already support thousands of hospitals looking for a robust PHR.  This is a very big opportunity.  All of these developers and providers represent opportunities for MMR to offer its Personal Health Record to fulfill “meaningful use,” as is required for Personal Health Records, into their existing hospital clients where they control the future of that hospital’s care.

Attendees are feeling the heat from the mandate to offer Personal Health Records by 2014. And the lines around strategic opportunities are getting brighter.  4medica, provider of the industry’s leading cloud software-as-a-service (SaaS) lab results and clinical integration platform, announced at the show that they are providing 27,000 providers with access to more than 30 million unique electronic lab samples and patient records.

Visitors this year are here to buy, not just look. In fact, Spalding Surgical showed up and bought a second MMRPro system, and based on that, another surgery center bought one right at the show.

Oleg Bess, 4 Medica CEO, was my neighbor at www.LorschLand.com for ten years.  Who knows what a good neighbor policy could bring to these two emerging growth companies.

So was it worth the read?

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