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Monday Morning Update 8/13/07

August 11, 2007 News No Comments

From Michael Vronsky: “Re: Holy Spirit Hospital. How about a follow up with Holy Spirit Hospital? I think you’d be pleasantly surprised what their CIO (Edith Hunter) and others have to say nine months later.” This was a replacement of Soarian with Eclipsys. I’ll ask Inga to look them up and report back.

I got e-mails from a couple of journalists who were nice enough to let me know that they use HIStalk as a source of story ideas and opinions. That came after a reader accused the HIT publications of stealing ideas from HIStalk. My server records show other incoming domains from HIT magazines, but at least these had the class to tell me. Should I call the others out publicly?

Burt Finkelstein, formerly of Cardinal Health and Johns Hopkins, joins VisualMED as Senior Pharmacist.

NextGen gets a mention in the Pawtucket (RI) newspaper when Blackstone Valley Community Health Center goes live, claiming to be the first place in the state with all electronic records. Most of the state government seemed to be on hand to see a demo (must be an election year).

EMR/PHR vendor Ethidium Health Systems announces its acquisition of the VLink health information exchange product from Vaceris.

McKesson spent $560K on federal lobbyists in the first half of this year.

The White Stone Group announces an upgrade to its TRACE communication tracking system for eligibility and benefits that allows capturing images of entire web pages, documents, and e-mails. TRACE can now fax those images directly to payors or physician offices to handle payment disputes. Payor changed their website since the service was rendered? You’ve got a picture as proof.

I’ll put out this week’s Brev+IT shortly. If you’re quick on your trigger finger on Saturday afternoon, it’s not too late to sign up to your right and get your copy. Otherwise, I’ll just tease you about how great it was next week. Hmm, what were the five most important HIT news events this week?

Marty Belscher joins Emerson Hospital of Concord, MA as VP/CIO. He comes from FCG. Seeing his Ed.D. credential made me remember that he worked on an engagement for me once. Seemed like a good guy.

WorldVistA EHR is CCHIT-certified, but still not ready for release. The issue: drafting a user agreement that allows them to modify the software as open source while avoiding nullification of its CCHIT certification. They’re also working out royalties for use of CPT and Zip codes. Somebody must be using it since CCHIT doesn’t certify products that aren’t GA and running.

Parkland Hospital (TX) is using background-checking software to catch patients who lie about their address or income to get free care to which they aren’t entitled. The system flagged 12,000 cases of potential fraud, they’re going after several hundred, and more than a dozen people have pleaded guilty and paid up. Oddly enough, most of those first prosecuted are small business owners from Middle Eastern countries, several of them related, who falsely claimed to live in Dallas County to get county charity care. One guy who owns nine Subway franchises and drives a Mercedes told the hospital he made $8 an hour as a sandwich maker. He paid his $47,000 bill in cash when caught. The criminals mostly seem indignant or indifferent since healthcare services, as we all know, are steadfastly viewed as free by those who can’t or won’t pay.

Another company no one’s heard of is offering free physician EMRs that will supposedly be supported by ad revenue. Actually, I’m probably the only one who’s never heard of them since the product is CCHIT certified. It’s apparently run by individuals too shy to list their names on the web page (why are companies so secretive about who’s in charge?) Here’s a free 60-second strategic consulting session from Mr. HIStalk: ad supported EMRs can work, but not by running crappy Google AdSense text ads like Practice Fusion is trying to do. You need to have a strong marketing arm that can develop ad packages specific to practitioners, like some of those Australian EMR companies have done. To really work, you’d have to throw ethics to the wind and jam the ads right into the care process: popping up medication commercials based on patient diagnosis, suggesting a competitor’s alternative when e-prescribing, or integrating permission-based marketing for patients. Companies would pay for that because it would work and many doctors are crass enough to go for it.

Consulting firm RTI tells ONCHIT that EMRs need more safeguards against fradulent billing.

Lawson Software’s CEO says software-as-a-service won’t live up to its hype.

Oracle says it’s too hard to figure out a pricing model for software running on virtual servers, so it will just keep collecting your money as usual, thanks.

Wisconsin Health Information Exchange has expanded its Executive Director role to full time and is seeking candidates. And, if you like the heat (geographical, not job-related), Qatar Hospital is looking for an executive director of health information systems.

Rumors and ideas? E-mail me.

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Reader Comments

  • FLPoggio: What this piece totally ignores is that you and the provider (roofer) dealt directly with each other. Now what if you ha...
  • AC: That's not an apt comparison. Imagine instead if while the roofer was doing his thing, another random roofer dropped by ...
  • HIT Girl: I've worked in EHR design & support for the last 14 years or so, and when I was hospitalized in I think 2007 I got m...
  • Joy Goodspeed: So funny about the physician card. I wrote my 3rd HL7 Lab and microbiology interface in my 20-year career this past yea...
  • Anonymous: Did you just compare Healthcare to roofing business ? Imagine a surgeon operating with a body cut open, should they take...

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