From Jimmy Doogan: “Re: McKesson InSight conference September 20-23. Will HIStalk be covering? The tone will be interesting, as I would say the MPT part of the company hunkers down to milk their existing customers.” I wish I had the time to attend conferences, but it’s hard getting time off from the hospital. I’d be keenly interested in reports from everybody’s favorite convention city (Pittsburgh) if someone wants to volunteer be the official HIStalk mole. A key MCK metric will be the number of attendees, since those Horizon sites already announced as moving to Epic or other systems probably won’t bother sending folks to InSight. They will get some offset, though, from the increasing number of users of Paragon and other systems. Key questions I’d like to see answered: (a) how viable is Horizon Clinicals as go-forward strategy for both MCK and its customers; (b) how is the company positioning itself to compete against competitors (notably Epic and Allscripts) that have tied the inpatient and ambulatory sides of the house together; (c) what is the status of Horizon Enterprise Revenue Management as reported by real-life users; and (d) given that most of the MCK products are still mid-performing silos of legacy acquisitions, are they willing to invest in actually building products appropriate for the reality of healthcare reform, or will they just run a prevent defense in trying to keep the maintenance and services revenue stream going as long as possible (or sell the whole MPT package off, if you believe the occasional rumors.)
From Ingram Connor: “Re: The Advisory Board Company. Dave Garets is quietly putting together a dream team of industry heavyweights. Mike Davis, Jim Adams, Jim Klein, Ernie Hood, Peter Kilbridge, Ken Kleinberg, Doug Thompson, and Daphne Lawrence.” I also heard (and I think it’s OK for me to say) that Dale Sanders, CIO of Cayman Islands Health Services Authority, will be joining ABCO this week, although continuing as a senior advisor to the Caymans.
From Sir Lord Baltimore: “Re: low check number on EHR incentive payment. Incentives are paid the same way an eligible professional receives his or her Medicare or Medicaid reimbursement. Many receive payments electronically, so they also receive the incentive payment electronically.” Makes perfect sense – thanks. I’d still think that as much as ONC and HHS congratulate themselves publicly on how well they’re spending taxpayer dollars that they’d provide specific HITECH payment numbers if those numbers are in fact impressive.
From The PACS Designer: “Re: eMix for image sharing. TPD is all for promoting the sharing of patient image files, and now eMix is available to enhance patient image file sharing. The service is road map to a Meaningful Use application, provided courtesy of DR Systems.”
From Snidely: “Re: Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital. I’ve heard they’re being forced to adopt Epic since Stanford uses it and Epic is ‘interoperable’ only if everybody else is on Epic. This is the Epic Octopus, where once they get into a system, everybody has to switch to it if they want to talk to each other. That makes Epic much more expensive than the initial quote if you want your systems to communicate.” Unverified. If true, I assume that means Cerner, installed just four years ago and the subject of several Packard articles touting its patient safety features, gets the boot.
Most hospital respondents say their boards make at least a token effort to seem analytical before approving IT projects put before them. New poll to your right, with the idea triggered by Inga’s interview of Jonathan Bush: how comprehensively will HHS audit providers who get HITECH checks by the honor system of attestation?
I don’t know what you were doing back in the innocent summer days of July 2006, but I was writing this week’s Time Capsule editorial, CCHIT’s First Certification List is Unsatisfying, where I said, “I think the federal government will encourage the use of certified EMR products by sweetening reimbursement or making it a requirement for government-related purchases.”
HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will kick off the Consumer Health IT Summit Monday afternoon (September 12) at 1:00 Eastern (the announcement says EST – doesn’t it bug you when people incorrectly say EST instead of EDT instead of just sticking with the always-appropriate ET?) Anyway, Farzad Mostashari of ONC will also be on hand. You can watch via live webcast. Bring your own lunch.
The Kickstarter project for the GAUCHOS open source EMR for volunteer clinicians won’t likely make its $84,000 fundraising goal with only $4,700 raised and five days to go, meaning they’ll get nothing since Kickstarter is all or none. The project continues, however.
Weird News Andy breaches the surface of this subject: a billing contractor for Stanford University is blamed for posting the medical information of 20,000 of its ED patients on a website. Someone posted the Excel worksheet on a tutor-hiring site for students, asking for help with creating a bar graph from the patient information. The worksheet sat there for a year, visible to anyone. The billing company, Multi-Specialty Collection Services LLC, seems to have gone into seclusion since its Web page has apparently been taken down and the owner isn’t returning media calls.
Gerber Alley: The Final Chapter, courtesy of Vince. I’m picturing some Nancy Sinatra-style go-go boots out of frame in the attractive young lady’s picture on Slide 5 (now someone’s grandmother, I’d guess.)
US Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) tells the Massachusetts Historical Commission to get off Meditech’s back and let it build offices in Freetown, MA, saying he was “unpleasantly surprised” by the group’s demand that Meditech conduct a year-long archaeological study before starting construction. Meditech said they’d take their 800 jobs elsewhere. A local newspaper editorializes: “From their lofty perch in points north, members of the commission — who, on the topic of dirt, sure do know how to muck up a good situation — are strikingly out of touch with the workaday world of the SouthCoast, which holds the dubious distinction of consistently ranking among the state’s highest areas for unemployment.“
It’s a mess at Parkland Memorial Hospital (TX), as the Justice Department launches an investigation and CMS announces termination of the hospital’s Medicare agreement on September 30, although Parkland can keep those privileges by accepting help from outside consultants (gee, wonder which option they’ll choose?) The hospital already announced plans last week to replace President and CEO Ron Anderson, whose held that job for almost 30 years, saying it will create a new job for him next year. To outsiders, Parkland is mostly known — at least by mature audiences — as the place where JFK and Lee Harvey Oswald died nearly 50 years ago (followed by Jack Ruby a few years later).
An employee of Methodist Hospital (TX) is charged with using patient information to take out short-term loans in their names, buying herself a $125K Maserati, a BMW convertible, and some nice Gucci clothes.
Bizarre: a UK factory electrician is nearly killed when a compressed air line goes up his shorts and into his rectum, inflating him like a balloon. “There was air fizzing around inside my back passage and stomach. It was so weird,” he observes. It was reportedly a co-worker’s prank.