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Readers Write 8/11/09

August 10, 2009 Readers Write 2 Comments

Submit your article of up to 500 words in length, subject to editing for clarity and brevity (please note: I run only original articles that have not appeared on any Web site or in any publication and I can’t use anything that looks like a commercial pitch). I’ll use a phony name for you unless you tell me otherwise. Thanks for sharing!

Well, it appears that the only readers writing this week are Gregg Alexander (from HIStalk Practice) and me. Technically, we’re readers too, but it would be nice to have some company up here on the good old Internets. Who’d like to contribute? Anyone? Anyone at all?


BrevIT Revisited
By Mr. HIStalk

Ah, the late, lamented BrevIT newsletter I used to write every Saturday, giddy and dog tired after many hours of writing HIStalk throughout most of the same day. BrevIT was sometimes insightful, often educational, and usually funny (the headlines, anyway). I’m really proud of having done it from mid-2007 to mid-2008, but it took a lot of time and, like most e-mail newsletters, most recipients weren’t reading it even though it had a loyal core following.

I miss it, and if I ever figure out how to do this full time, I’ll bring it back in some form. Or, maybe I’ll roll it into HIStalk in some fashion (I’m open to ideas).

Here’s the index of issues in case you want to read some old ones (odds being that you probably never read it when I was e-mailing them out). Below are some of the headlines I liked as I read back over the old issues. You can probably guess the stories.

  • Cerner Announces Millennium for Xbox
  • Cerner Slashes Payroll, Stock Price By Dis-Association
  • Study: Government’s HIT Initiatives About as Ineffective as Government In General
  • RHIO Failure News Slow to Reach Maine, Apparently, as HIE Launches
  • Wal-Mart Starts PHR Rollout Quickly After Omnimedix Rollback Special
  • Dumped in Dubuque: McKesson Horizons 79
  • Hydroelectric Power: VA Facilities Close Due to Data Center Flooding
  • Non-World Wide Web: Internet Outage Cuts Off Asia, Middle East
  • QuadraMed Curries Little Employee Favor by Offshoring
  • Revolution Health Brags That It Has More Freeloader Readers Than WebMD
  • Microsoft Bobs in Rough Healthcare Applications Seas
  • Allscripts, Eclipsys, WebMD Shares Trampled in Investor Stampede
  • Wal-Mart Has a Blue Vested Interest in eClinicalWorks
  • HIMSS Fills Orlando with Non-Mouse Ear Wearing Tourists
  • Cerner’s Legacy: Taking Yet Another Epic Beating
  • Is That Your iPhone In Your Pocket Or Are You Just Glad To See Me, Doctor?
  • Looking Up Britney’s Dress Was Free, But 13 Play Dearly for Ogling Her EMR
  • Ohio Dots the I in its Standards for Practice-Friendly EMR Contracts
  • Cerner Looks to Inhaler to Cure Its Heavy Breathing for Earnings Growth
  • Allscripts and Misys Consummate Desperate Lust; Shareholders Hose Them Down
  • Data-Selling EMR Vendor Insists on Privacy – For Itself, Not Patients
  • McKesson Goes to the Head of the Class (Action)
  • Philips Needs Milk of Magnesia After Eating Tomcat
  • Survey: Old People Don’t Want to Pay for Health I.T. or Any Damned Thing Else
  • Admitted John’s Sidekick Makes it Rain for RHIOs
  • UCLA Belatedly Admits Fawcett Leak
  • Tricky Dictaphone: Nuance Announces Plan to Acquire eScription
  • GE: Imagine Our Stock Didn’t Really Just Tank
  • TriZetto Processes Its Biggest Transaction: Selling Itself to Private Equity
  • Article: PHRs Are Great, Except for the Untrustworthy Companies Offering Them
  • Tick, Stock: Cerner Beats Estimates
  • UCSF: So Many Ways to Compromise Patient Privacy, So Little Time
  • Allscripts Proves Analysts Wrong with Unimpressive Profits
  • HTP Improves its Own Revenue Cycle with McKesson’s Money
  • Dollar Menu Choice – One McDonald’s Burger or Three MRGE Shares
  • Can You Cure Me Now? Researchers Turn Cell Phones Into Imaging Systems
  • Vivalog Vegas: McKesson Rolls Dice on Radiology Case-Sharing Site
  • Emageon the Possibilities of a Hostile Board Takeover
  • Rardin’ to Go: Merge Healthcare Dumps Suits, Troops, Loot
  • California: Doctor Shopping is the One Type of Drug Abuse We Won’t Tolerate
  • Leapfrog’s Leaps Not as Giant With One Foot in Mouth
  • Eclipsys Announces Good Numbers, Not Just Improved Excuses
  • Where’s the Strangest Place athenahealth Made Whoopie? That Would Be H.E. Butt, Bob
  • German Re-Engineering: Siemens Corporate Layoffs Whack Hundreds in PA
  • MyWay or the Highway? iMedica Gives Misys the Answer: B
  • Perot Makes Giant Acquisition Sucking Sound


Cash for Clunkers?
By Gregg Alexander

“Cash for Clunkers”? Hot diggity dog! What a great new idea to adapt into the whole new ARRA/HITECH EHR adoption drive!

I mean, think about it…we’re trying to drive users to EHR adoption, right? We’re hoping to encourage “meaningful use” which could sort of be interpreted as improved mileage, yes? We want every new EHR driver using a system which will participate and share safely on the health information sharing multilane highway, no? And, ultimately, we’d like to see all those non-CCHIT-certified, non-government-approved EHR clunkers off the road, eh?

So, if you read or watch any news lately, you know the auto-selling industry has had a landslide success with the government’s “big bucks for your trash trade-in program” formally known as the Car Allowance Rebate System or CARS. (Cute, huh?) Intended to run until November, the billion dollar budget appears to have been blown in only one week. Talk about end user adoption!!!

Such blazing success should not go unimitated. You want an EHR in every provider pot? Let’s take a lesson and forget the whole 44K reimbursement nonsense. Here’s the new deal:

  • First, we pick a catchy name like “Every Human Receives Something” or EHRs
  • Next, we choose a cute-ish informal moniker, say, “Moolah for Medicine”
  • Third, we decide upon a set of high mileage models worthy of reimbursement … of course, CCHIT-certified systems will likely be the de facto choice.
  • Finally, we offer cold, hard, trade-in cabbage to all clunkers out there — those notoriously antiquated non-CCHIT systems and, obviously, anyone still driving the prehistoric pen-and-paper monstrosities.

If $4,500 for a running, drivable, used car inspires sufficient adoption of new, high-mileage models to burn through a billion bucks in one week, I’ll betcha an upfront $44K to turn in old, gas-guzzling EHR junkers or paper-based jalopies for sleek, new, energy efficient health record roadsters will tear through 19 billion greenbacks in two, three days, tops.

Dr. Gregg Alexander is a grunt-in-the-trenches pediatrician and geek. His personal manifesto home page…er..blog…yeh, that’s it, his blog – and he – can be reached through http://madisonpediatric.com or doc@madisonpediatric.com.

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Currently there are "2 comments" on this Article:

  1. Gregg Alexander,
    I love the comparison and it is interesting. However, I think your comparison is a bit off.

    What I think should happen is we’ll have a cash for clunkers where people using old dilapidated CCHIT Certified EHR trade it in for usable non CCHIT certified EHR. Then, we’d see some real EHR adoption.

  2. Kind of interesting how all 3 Allscripts headlines speak of investor woes. Is that the new sign of a successful CEO? Can consistently disappoint their owners and keep their jobs.

    I would love for someone with the resources to sum up all that Allscripts has paid for the purchases the company has made in Glen’s tenure and figure out how much organic value he has created or destroyed.

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