A Medical Device Daily

MedAssets (Atlanta) reported that University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC; Pittsburgh) is expanding on their relationship to include supply chain and revenue cycle solutions to improve UPMC's cash from existing operations.

UPMC's annual supply spend is about $1 billion, of which $400 million is currently on-contract.

Specific UPMC facilities have been utilizing MedAssets Net Revenue Systems' revenue cycle management technology including chargemaster maintenance, charge capture audit, and rate modeling tools; other UPMC facilities within the system are moving to the MedAssets tool suite, it said.

"By utilizing MedAssets' enterprise wide technology platform, including revenue cycle and supply chain tools, UPMC anticipates improved financial and operational performance," said Rob DeMichiei, CFO of UPMC. "These improvements will enhance our ability to continuously advance the level of care provided to the communities we serve."

UPMC is an integrated healthcare and financing system. In other award news:

• AT&T has won a three-year contract to provide a secure networking solution for Image Management Systems and Support (IMSS; Ft. Lauderdale, Florida), specializing in medical imaging systems integration. The agreement expands an existing relationship with AT&T for voice and data services. Terms were not disclosed.

IMSS provides healthcare institutions an online environment in which to store and share digital medical images and reports, improving, it said, "medical experts' abilities to consult on diagnoses or recommended treatments, regardless of location or time of day." IMSS has been serving healthcare institutions, primarily in the Southeast, and said it is "finalizing plans for facilities in Shanghai, China."

AT&T will deploy an Internet Protocol Virtual Private Network (IP VPN) and host the IMSS Web servers in its Arizona Internet Data Center (IDC), ensuring around-the-clock access to data stored there and providing business continuity capabilities. AT&T owns and operates 26 IDCs around the world.

"The ability to view, consult and respond to X-rays, computed radiography, computed tomography, MRIs, ultrasound and medical transcription is a tremendous boon to healthcare professionals," said Joseph Porges a founder of IMSS. "AT&T won our business because of the reliability of AT&T's network and data centers, as well as the sales and customer support."

• KineMed (Emeryville, California), a drug development and diagnostics company, said that the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) branch of the National Institutes of Health (NIH; both Bethesda, Maryland) has awarded it a Phase I SBIR grant to develop applications of a KineMarker assay for myelin disorders.

The company's KineMarkers are in vivo, stable isotope kinetic biomarkers that measure the flux of molecules through complex and therapeutically relevant biological pathways. As part of KineMed's neurobiology initiative, KineMed researchers have developed a biomarker that measures the synthesis of myelin, the outer covering of nerve cells that is destroyed in multiple sclerosis and other neurodegenerative diseases.

David Fineman, president and CEO of KineMed, said, "KineMed's proprietary assay technologies reveal new understandings of pathogenesis, and we look forward to developing both a preclinical and clinical kinetic biomarker test in multiple sclerosis and other disorders of demyelination which may enhance the efficiency of drug development and also guide clinical decision making and alternate treatment strategies. This new grant is in addition to over $5 million dollars previously awarded in the areas of prostate cancer, osteoarthritis, toxicology, and chronic lymphocytic leukemia."

• DMS Imaging (Minneapolis), a member of the DMS Health Group, reported signing sa three-year agreement with VHA (Irving, Texas), which serves more than 2,200 healthcare organizations nationwide. DMS Imaging will provide VHA members with mobile shared services imaging and interim rentals of mobile imaging products. The agreement includes MRI, computed tomography (CT), positron emission tomography (PET), PET/CT, nuclear medicine and ultrasound services.

DMS Interim Solutions places rental MRI, PET, CT and PET/CT systems during times of construction, scheduling backlog or other situations during which a temporary imaging system is needed.

DMS MedSource Partners provides an option for on-site permanently installed diagnostic imaging equipment.