From RTLS Battle: “Re: Awarepoint. Word is the company outdueled Merge to buy PCTS, a workflow software vendor in Charlotte, NC, with former Allscripts VP Jay Deady (Awarepoint CEO) beating out another former Allscripts VP Jeff Surges (Merge CEO). Deal to be announced next week. Wonder if they’ll split deep dish pizza in Chicago any time soon?” Unverified. PCTS offers the Amelior product line that includes ED and OR asset and patient tracking, hand hygiene systems, and temperature monitoring. They are a business partner of Awarepoint.
From The PACS Designer: “Re: net collaboration. InformationWeek has compiled a list of the 15 Top Collaboration Apps that promote working together using the Internet. With all that is going on with Meaningful Use, this compilation of collaboration tools is good for institutions who want to progress to the next level of efficiency, which is meaningful structure.” Most of the apps listed involve some flavor of project management in what would have been called a hosted Intranet a few years ago (I guess that’s not a commonly used word these days). I notice that Cerner is listed as a user of Jive Engage (a social media monitoring tool) for its “social network experience,” since the whole point of social media is to sell stuff, of course.
From Katrina: “Re: Healthcare Informatics Executive Summit. I work for a vendor and registered, but was told I needed to either come up with $7,000 of program sponsorship or bow out, which I did. I’m warning other potential attendees about the small print stipulation.” The keynote speakers that Healthcare Informatics won’t allow you see for your $1,095 registration fee are Farzad Mostashari of ONC and Carolyn Clancy of AHRQ, both paid with your tax dollars, so that’s a bit insulting. Maybe you could just register as yourself at XYZ Consulting, pay with your credit card, and put it on an expense report. That brings up another gripe: the registration form requires entry of your job title and employer. Why should someone paying their own registration fee have to provide that information? If my employer isn’t willing to pay for my attendance, why should they (and the conference organizer) enjoy the benefit of having their name on my badge?
From KS: “Re: Epic. Consultant advertisements are popping up at MSN airport. They, of course, also spell it EPIC. Wonder what they think EPIC stands for?” Maybe they’re just shouting the name because they’re so excited about the money they’ll rake in if they can just find some consultants.
From Tango Charlie: “Re: Epic. Duke will announce next week and Wake Forest is suppose to go Judy, too.” Unverified. Duke is going with at least Epic ambulatory, it seems (and as history has shown, hospitals don’t often stop there). Wake Forest (above) was on the list of hospitals attending Epic training for unnamed modules a couple of weeks ago that a reader sent my way.
Nearly two-thirds of respondents like the idea of biometrically verifying the identity of those claiming Medicare and Medicaid healthcare benefits. New poll to your right: how is the federal government doing against Medicare / Medicaid fraud?
My Time Capsule editorial from 2006: RHIOS Are Taking Away Resources From Better Projects. A snip: “Do you like insurance companies enough to let them control patient information?”
Three free press release tips for you PR and vendor types: (1) always put out press releases in PDF format rather than .DOC, for about a thousand reasons that I hope I don’t have to explain to people who supposedly are experts at media; (b) never put a press release out on a national wire service but not simultaneously on the company’s own site – isn’t that kind of the point? and (c) if you’re going to mention a hospital, include the city and state it’s in. I could add dozens more, but these came up today.
Above is the latest history (is that an oxymoron?) from Vince Ciotti.
Shares in for-profit hospital operator Community Health Systems drop 14% in after-hours trading Friday after the company announces it has been subpoenaed by HHS in conjunction with an investigation of its Medicare and Medicaid billing. Rival Tenet Healthcare, which in December rejected an acquisition offer by CHS, accused CHS of billing fraud in a lawsuit it filed against CHS. HHS wants to review CHS’s ED practices and the algorithms in its Pro-MED ED physician documentation software, which may test that company’s claim that it “Meets and exceeds all CMS Physician Evaluation and Management Documentation Guidelines, ‘maximizing’ reimbursement” depending on how CHS set it up.
CMS is threatening to stop payments to University of Chicago Medical Center after finding that conditions there pose an immediate threat to patient safety. A prominent patient died after a medical error involving a dialysis catheter-caused embolism. Not to be cynical, but oversight organizations react a lot more forcefully when patient harm involves someone wealthy, famous, or the subject of splashy media stories. I’ve worked in hospitals involved in high-profile medical error cases and it was obvious that organizations such as Joint Commission, state hospital inspectors, and HHS don’t like having the hospitals they oversee embarrass them in the press, so their reaction is sometimes overly hostile and critical. I would question the effectiveness of any watchdog group that pronounces conditions dire only after they read about them in the newspaper.
A Rhode Island physician will be in line Monday morning when CMS opens the virtual doors for Phase 1 of the Medicare ARRA incentives. Douglas Foreman DO, a family practice physician who uses the Ingenix CareTracker EHR and its Meaningful Use dashboard, says he has met the 15 Core requirements and seven of the 10 Menu Set items (of which five are required to qualify for the incentives).
UCSF says it’s turning on Epic outpatient, with a price tag of $160 million vs. the originally estimated $60 million due to an expansion of the project’s scope (there’s more to the story I can’t see since I don’t subscribe to the San Francisco business paper).
My new favorite iPad app: the just-released Bing search (the irony of a Google-competing Microsoft app written exclusively for an Apple device duly noted). Not only is it stunning to look at, you touch the microphone icon and can immediately speak your search terms with good accuracy.
The Florid-based developer of the Electronic Medical Assistant software for dermatologists gets a $4 million investment from the British company that owns the Speedo swimsuit product line. Modernizing Medicine was founded by a dermatologist and the co-founder of the Blackboard online learning system used by colleges. The EMA software costs $6,000 upfront and $650 per month. One of its users says he can create 30 notes in 25 minutes.
The military’s TRICARE system team announces that its Blue Button functionality has been expanded to allow users to download include lab results, patient history, and visit history.
A post on Geek.com nominates this as one of the most inopportune times for a Windows update. It’s a picture of a woman’s hospital monitor during labor taken by the dad-to-be, a computer science professor. Perhaps the hospital’s biomed folks should take a look at the device since enabling automatic Windows updates on an FDA-regulated system doesn’t seem like a good idea.
Michael Kirsch, MD, is a pretty funny writer (he even looks a tiny bit like Jeff Foxworthy). His list of Apps I Want includes: “Medical Coding App. This turns your iPhone into a high voltage device, similar to the Invisible Fences that are used to restrain pets to a given area. Tap the App and then place the iPhone in your front pocket. After seeing a patient, if you code higher than you should on your EMR, you will get a light shock. The intensity will increase until you have expressed remorse, atoned and coded properly. I expect that Medicare will provide incentives for using this technology in the coming years.”
A $5 million malpractice judgment against a Canadian hospital is thrown out when the hospital’s lawyers notice that 321 of the 368 paragraphs of the Supreme Court justice’s ruling were copied directly from the closing arguments of the plaintiff’s attorney. There appears to be some legal debate as to whether the judge crossed some unspecified line or whether that simply means the plaintiff’s legal team did the job they’re paid to do – create sound, well-referenced arguments that, if they win, must have had significant influence on the verdict.
Bizarre: the Texas patient who received the first US face transplant obtains a restraining order and files suit against a British tabloid that insists he sold them his story rights for $2. The man, who lost his eyes in the accident that necessitated the surgery, admits that he signed a document from the company, which told him they wanted to write a human interest story to be run in a women’s magazine. The tabloid has created TV programs that include “Is This China’s Fattest Kid” and “Legless Dancer TV Hit.” Maybe the biggest question is why a face transplant warrants tabloid coverage. How big of a page-turner could it be, especially when Charlie Sheen is out there spreading his Adonis DNA?
The OR of River Park Hospital (TN) goes live on Shareable Ink after a two-week project (kickoff meeting to go-live). They plan to expand its use.
Former iSoft CEO Gary Cohen files proceedings to delay the $188 million sale of the company to CSC, saying the company is required to give his family investment group four weeks’ notice before selling it. He previously said he was considering making his own offer to buy the company.
NPR runs a fun piece criticizing ACOs that includes four ACO jokes: (a) I don’t know how to define an ACO, but I know it when I see it; (b) We have tried ACOs already — they were called HMOs; (c) The three greatest mythical creatures are the abominable snowman, the Loch Ness monster, and ACOs; and (d) the true meaning of ACO is Awesome Consulting Opportunities.
Rochester RHIO says it’s the first HIE to allow patients to upload their advance directives and healthcare proxies so they can be viewed in an emergency.
Everybody’s fighting to protect their healthcare profits, it seems. Case in point: for-profit ambulance companies are fighting with the powerful firefighter’s union over who gets to provide those ultra-expensive (and often Medicare-paid) ambulance rides when people call 911 for whatever conditions they personally deem worth spending someone else’s money on. It would be interesting to study the outcomes of ambulance-transported patients to determine how often their medical needs justified it.
In the UK, designated early adopter Pennine Care Foundation Trust pulls out of NPfIT after years of delays in adding mental health capabilities to iSoft’s Lorenzo.