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News 3/20/08

March 20, 2009 News 6 Comments

HERtalk by Inga

From: Telephone Man. “Re: New iPhone OS. Yesterday Apple released iPhone OS 3.0. In the presentation at minute 43:35 Apple introduces J & J Life Scan, a Glucose monitoring device application. I would expect a flurry of healthcare iPhone applications (*cough,cough*) to come out over the next few months, now that iPhone 3.0 has been seeded.”  Agreed. In addition to the introduction of new applications, users like me will appreciate the little things such as the ability to cut and paste between applications, attach photos in text messages, and view email in landscape mode. Apple did not announce a release date.

From: John Boy. “I wanted to let you know how much I appreciate all the work you guys do in keeping us informed of all the happenings in healthcare. You’re like a reach arm for all of us out here and I can’t imagine how much time you put into it. I look at it every day to see what’s happening.”  Thanks. It does take some time, which is why I am not too surprised Mr. H (or perhaps Mrs. H) selected an Internet-less vacation destination.

Speaking of Mr. H, he’ll be back with the Monday Morning update sometime this weekend.

If you are interested in hearing what 12 of the leading EHR vendors are saying about the passage of HITECH, visit HIStalkPractice or click on one of the links to your right.  The two latest questions: “How is your company defining “meaningful use” of an EHR and how will ensure your customers can reach that level?” and “Providers will be required to implement ‘certified’ software to participate. Who should perform the certification and what criteria should they use?”

President Obama appoints David Blumenthal national coordinator of HIT.  Blumenthal is a Harvard medical professor and director of the Institute for Health Policy at MA General Hospital.

A Center for Connected Health study concludes that online diabetes management programs may improve the quality of care delivered.

Cumberland Valley Medical Services selects Advantedge Healthcare Solutions to provide medical billing and practice management services for its 23 employed anesthesiologists and CRNAs.

A study commissioned by the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association concludes that as e-prescribing rates rise, savings will more than pay for the $19 billion in economic stimulus adoption incentives. The report claims that if current e-prescribing rates were to double, it would result in a $22 billion reduction in drug and medical costs over the next 10 years.

Medsphere Systems invites 16 HIT consulting companies to participate in its new Medsphere University training and certification program. MaxIT is the Medsphere’s first “certified partner.”

Two studies by CSC conclude that financial incentives contribute to the overall HIT adoption rates. The analysis examined CPOE adoption rates among Massachusetts hospitals, the use of e-prescribing, and the use of EHR among ambulatory physicians. Adoption rates for these activities were significantly higher among Massachusetts providers than the rest of the country. The report attributes the success to the number of financial incentives available to providers.

Former Eclipsys sales executive Greg Lusch joins scanning technology vendor IBML as business development director for the healthcare market.

MedAptus raises $6 million in financing, led by Boston Millennia Partners. MedAptus intends to expand its Intelligent Charge Capture software offerings.

Google selects MIE’s WebChart Enterprise EHR for its two onsite employee health clinics.

Authentication and access management vendor Imprivata announces that Box Butte General Hospital (NE) has implemented the OneSign Platform.

The mayor of Monroe, LA is pleased by CPSI’s decision to open a new call center in his town. CPSI’s expansion is expected to create 100 new jobs over the next three years.

BCBS of South Carolina selects Med-Vantage’s HealthSmart Enhanced Provider Directory and Measures Exchange solutions to improve improve consumer transparency.

State lawmakers in Hawaii introduce a bill to build a statewide HIE that would be managed by a state coordinator.

Cardiovascular Specialty Services of North Texas (CSANT) contracts with Greenway Medical Technologies to deploy Greenway’s PrimeSuite and PrimeEnterprise EHR/PM solutions. CSANT is a 50 physician, 18-location specialty group.

MMR Information Systems partners with The Latino Coalition to offers MyMedicalRecords PHR in both English and Spanish. Felicitaciones!

McKesson Specialty Care Solutions introduces a fully integrated e-prescribing solution for oncologists and other specialty physicians to participate in Medicare’s E-RX incentive program. Using RelayHealth’s eScript, providers will be able to electronically file medication renewals and refills directly from McKesson’s Lynx Mobile solution.

Medical transcription service provider MxSecure successfully completes a document management software interface at Roanoke Neurological Associates (VA). The interface allows transcribed documents to be imported into the practice’s Allscripts document management system.

RCM vendor Medical Data Systems promotes Gene Schneider to chief operating officer.

Frost & Sullivan presents GE Healthcare the award for Growth Strategy Leadership of the Year, in recognition of the growth of its imaging informatics business since acquiring Dynamic Imaging.

Massachusetts General Hospital and North Shore Medical Center contract with BridgeForward Software to help with HL7/EMPI integration for a new ambulatory care center. Radiologists from both hospitals will use BridgeForward’s Viaduct platform to integrate reports from Massachusetts General’s RIS to North Shore’s PACS.

FQHC HealthNet in Indiana receives a $2.5 million grant to equip its 110 providers with the eClinicalworks PM/EMR solution.

Email Inga.

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Currently there are "6 comments" on this Article:

  1. Re: David Blumenthal for National Coordinator-

    Given that he is in Obama’s top health policy coterie (he was one of his primary health policy advisors during the campaign), his appointment shows how serious Obama is about health IT.

    I heard him speak at the 2008 AMIA conference and he seemed fairly well-informed. He’s not strictly an “informatics” or “health IT” guy, which is probably a good thing-His perspective is more global health policy, which (I hope) means that he’ll set HIT policy with broader health goals in mind.

  2. Grassroots HealthCare can reduce costs. I just returned from donating two wheelchairs, a walker, and a next to bed commode to a church facility. I will guess Medicare paid a good price for these items,. The church where I took them seemed to be packed to the rafters. When will the new world of IT connect us, so we can stop the waste? Oh, sorry, I forgot, the waste is what drives the economy.

  3. It still amazes/disgusts me that ePrescribing rates are still moving along at a relatively slow clip even with the money that the Feds put forth. Unlike EMRs where physicians raise many valid points (e.g., productivity loss, support/training, high upfront and significant continuing capital costs, negative ROI for physicians, e.g.), these issues largely don’t hold any water for ePrescribing solutions.

    Basically for several hundred bucks a year (or less) per physician and a relatively small amount of time spent learning the application, a physician could ensure that their patients are less likely to experience several types of errors (e.g., transcription error), improved convenience in many cases, and potentially cheaper cost if the formulary information suggests a generic equivalent is available.

    Now with the federal money on the table for a slight bump in Medicare payments for using/verifying a ePrescribing solution, most practices don’t even have to solely incur the cost. Basically it just takes the time to vet a few solutions, pick an application, and become familiar enough with the application to be able to effectively use it at the end of a patient visit. I have heard physicians still complain about the time involved in these last steps.

    Well, they are part of being a small business man. Numerous other small businesses have to often invest their own personnel time (and money) in order to remain competitive enough to satisfy their customers. If doctors want to remain small businessmen, then there are some things they have to be willing to do especially when it largely is costing them nothing out of pocket and a maximum time investment of 15-20 hours max.

  4. Re: It still amazes/disgusts me that ePrescribing rates are still moving along at a relatively slow clip even with the money that the Feds put forth by Lazlo Hollyfeld

    I agree! Some physicians will come up with the darnedest reasons not to change anything. But for those who are willing to move into this century, be sure to check with your PO (Physician Organization) to see if they provide incentives and perhaps even cover the entire cost of license, training, and support.

  5. I’m surprised Lazlo is so offhandingly optimistic about e-prescribing… he is usually more pragmatic.
    I agree there are benefits of course- but if a doctor still works in a non-EMR, paper environment – then adding in e-prescibing is actually quite time-consuming on a regular basis – let’s not dismiss that it takes extra time to open up the program, find the patient, review the meds, hit everything to print or send things electronically… all with minimal benefit to the physician. I don’t know any small business owners who would invest time and money in a service that does not have some ROI to them… of course, if patients demanded it and there was a shortage of patients.. then maybe – but we aren’t seeing either of those things in the trenches. In other words- I think docs will get much more ROI if/when they automate their whole office… doing it piece by piece may sound easy because it is incremental, but actually the half and half world is a big pain as many already know.

  6. Reply to Regular Doc on a couple of points:

    – Not that I am “optimistic” about ePrescribing per se. There are still several significant issues that need to be addressed yet to actually make it work as it is being promulgated from ordering to delivery. This will likely take a few more years since it involves several different parties and numerous state/federal agencies.

    Unlike other areas other in Health IT though, most of the challenges about extracting, translating, and submitting this data between the various parties have already been overcome. One of the few areas in Health IT that you can say that currently. Makes more sense to me to intrinsically build on a foundation that already has some of the “devil in the details” work already done.

    – I understand that there that is not necessarily an “ROI” for physicians for integrating an ePrescribing solution due to some of the time issues you and I both mentioned.

    With the money being put forth on the table by the Feds, it is really just a time calculation and this significantly reduces the potential negative “ROI” for a physician. We aren’t talking about taking a hit of $20-25k or more a year to a practice’s bottom line here.

    – As for “ROI” to a physician, are we at the point that everything that a physician does has to make them more money or they won’t bother adopting it even if it has some clear safety, quality, and convenience benefits to their end users (e.g. patients)?

    I hope not but the cynic in me says that you likely do need to use sticks along with carrots here to get an overwhelming majority of physicians on board eventually.

    – Not every service or IT adoption adopted by a small business necessary returns them a positive “ROI.” Sometimes it is just a matter of having to keep up with the competitors.

    – As for patients ‘demanding’ ePrescribing, it is hard for them to demand it when I am willing to bet most of the general public has no/low awareness of it. Additionally, there are several other factors why (e.g., low primary care provider access) ePrescribing is unlikely to a be meaningful differentiator on how a patient chooses a doctor.

    Still, a couple of surveys I have seen in the past year indicate that while most docs think they do a good job of educating their patientd on safety and cost-issues related to drugs, patients indicate otherwise and the results are quite significantly different. ePrescribing isn’t the sole answer to addressing this gap but it could possibly help to address several areas.

    – Your last point is what I am really interested in right now. Now that we have decided that “light speed is too slow” and “Yes, we’re gonna have to go right to ludicrous speed” with the Health IT stimulus bill is it is easier for a practice to adopt IT solutions in a piecemeal, incremental fashion or just automate everything at once including all front and back-end functions. I have seen/heard evidence to support both methods.

    More clarity/evidence around these points though would be a very beneficial thing though and has largely been completely missing from the discussion so far.







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