Healthcare information technology vendor IDX Systems Corp. ended two days of intense speculation about the health of the company by saying late Thursday that Larry Krassner, president and general manager of the Carecast integrated clinical-financial software division, was placed on leave due to his own health concerns.
"Today, Mr. Krassner authorized IDX to disclose that he was recently hospitalized for a medical condition. Mr. Krassner remains of a leave of absence at this time," an IDX press release says.
Sources had told Modern Physician earlier this week that Krassner actually was suspended Monday for administrative reasons. Late Tuesday evening, IDX confirmed that Krassner was on paid leave, but did not indicate why.
"We did not release details of Mr. Krassner's leave in consideration of employee privacy. We could not reach Mr. Krassner to obtain his authorization earlier. As the press release states--we received authorization yesterday," IDX spokesperson Margo Happer says in a Friday e-mail sent to Modern Physician.
Earlier this week, Happer said company management had instructed employees not to try to communicate with Krassner.
In the Friday e-mail, Happer writes, "We told employees not to contact Mr. Krassner as a policy precaution to avoid confusing the lines of communication."
Shares of the Burlington, Vt.-based company have plummeted this week due to the uncertainty, but the decline accelerated Thursday after an analyst for WR Hambrecht & Co. downgraded the stock after learning that Intermountain Health Care, a 22-hospital integrated delivery system in Salt Lake City, canceled an electronic medical records contract with IDX said to be worth more than $10 million.
After closing at $17.45 Monday, IDX stock fell three days in a row, ending Thursday at $14.41. Very heavy trading on the Nasdaq sent the stock down 12.7% on Thursday alone, following the Hambrecht report.
However, IDX had regained about 25 cents by mid-afternoon Friday.