The Cerner Health Conference starts Saturday in Kansas City, with more than 10,000 attendees expected.
From Tired CIO: “Re: McKesson Paragon. A recent invite was sent to the Paragon user community for a Webinar that will discuss ‘product line updates’ from company executives. This is a first, as far as I know. Also sent was an e-mail blast informing the clients that the support line for Paragon will be re-routed to the HPF division on Friday so that all Paragon employees can attend an off-site meeting (also a first.) It’s looking like there may be something in the works for Paragon.” Unverifed, but that makes a couple of recent rumblings along those lines.
From Joseph Prang: “Re: 5010 upgrades. Most of the 5010 work is being done by clearinghouses, but practice management system vendors are sending daily faxes and e-mails to their customers demanding that they upgrade to be 5010 compliant. Why would practices need to upgrade unless they are submitting directly to a payor or their clearinghouses are requiring 5010 claim input (which none are, as far as I know?) It should not matter. Practices are coughing up big bucks to get their upgrades in, but should be able to submit in Sanskrit if the clearinghouses do their job.” We talked to a couple of other in-the-know folks, who agreed.
From Blue Devil: “Re: Todayskick.com. Were you consulted prior to launch?” Brilliant. A site dedicated to showing off your shoes and shopping for new ones. Nope, I wasn’t consulted, which is likely why there appears to be a dearth of sexy pumps. I might have to go through my closet this weekend and upload my Alexander McQueen / Stuart Weitzman / Christian Louboutin collections.
From AtlantaHITGal: “Re: Jay Deady of Awarepoint has hired two employees away from McKesson in what looks like some sort of package deal since both resigned the same day this week. I know McKesson isn’t pleased, but I’m not sure they can do anything to stop the talent exodus that began two years ago.” I omitted the employee names since I didn’t verify their departure.
HIStalk Announcements and Requests
One more thing to ensure HIT well-roundedness: read HIStalk Practice. This week’s highlights include wine and acrobatics in the MGMA exhibit hall (look for the Medic and IDX booths in the video.) Private companies outshine public ones in the KLAS mid-year rankings of ambulatory EHRs. Navicure readies for ICD-10. Physicians believe that decision support tools and AI will prevent diagnostic errors. Rob Culbert advises on the the right way to subsidize employed physicians. Stay in the know by signing up for e-mail updates. Thanks for reading.
Listening: The Killers, grandiose pop that sometimes sounds like U2, sometimes 80s Britpop, sometimes Muse. The Las Vegas band is hardly obscure: they’ve sold millions of albums, won a slew of awards, and on Independence Day last year, played in a salute to the military on the White House lawn at the President’s invitation.
Inga thinks we should run more stuff about homecare, assisted living, and long term care IT. Neither of us knows too much about it. What do you think? Is there an audience for that and any experts who might help us out?
Jobs on the Job Board: Regional Director of Enterprise Sales, Product Director – Acute Revenue Cycle Solutions, Implementation Project Manager. On Healthcare IT Jobs: Pharmacy Informatics Analyst, Solution Sales Executive – Microsoft HSG, HL7 Interface Analyst, Epic Consultant Manager.
Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock
Navigant acquires Paragon Health, a practice management and consulting firm specializing in cardiovascular practices.
Practice management and billing software provider Kareo, Inc. closes a $10 million equity investment led by Greenspring Associates. Kareo, which has grown more than 100% per year for the past three years, will use the capital to expand its sales and marketing initiatives and to add at least 30 employees by the end of the year.
Wireless asset tracking vendor AeroScout acquires Sentient Health, which offers medical supply inventory management tools.
PeaceHealth signs agreement through GE Healthcare to upgrade to Streamline Health’s AccessAnyWare v5.1.
Advocate BroMenn Medical Center and Advocate Eureka Hospital (IL) select MediRevv to provide A/R management services.
Ventura County (CA) enters into a $32 million contract with Cerner to provide EHR to the county’s hospitals.
Children’s of Alabama selects iSirona’s device connectivity solution to deliver data from medical devices to its Allscripts EMR.
Aegis Health Group hires William Walker (Medkinetics) as VP of IT services.
Dell names Andrew W. Litt, MD (Litt Healthcare Ventures, NYU Langone Medical Center) chief medical officer for the company’s Healthcare and Life Sciences Services division.
Announcements and Implementations
Merge Healthcare introduces Merge Honeycomb, a cloud-base medical imaging sharing network that is open for use by anyone at no charge.
Iatric Systems earns Surescripts e-prescribing certification for its discharge instructions function that allows prescription routing to retail pharmacies in all states.
Medical Specialists, an Indiana medical practice, uses Shareable Ink and its Allscripts EHR to, in its words, “merge technology and personalized healthcare.”
Verizon Connected Healthcare Solutions and Duke University will collaborate on projects for mobile health and consumer healthcare education, with Verizon providing the infrastructure and Duke contributing people and intellectual property.
Government and Politics
Meaningful Use by the numbers:
- 88,399 physicians and hospitals had signed up for the Medicare program by the end of September; an additional 24,030 registered for the Medicaid program.
- As of September 30, CMS had paid more than $850 million in EHR incentives ($357 million for Medicare and $493 million for Medicaid.)
- Medicare incentive payments have been paid to 3,772 physicians and 158 hospitals.
The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) votes to endorse a plan to repeal the sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula for Medicare physician pay and replace it with one that keeps rates steady for primary care physicians over the next decade and cuts other physician services 5.9% for three years, then freezes those rates for seven years.
A UTMB report looks at the use of telemedicine and the use of mobile and wireless technologies in healthcare. It’s brief, but interesting. The site of its Center for Telehealth Research and Policy has good resources.
Computer Science Corporation (CSC) shareholders file a class action lawsuit against the company over its participation in the UK’s NPfIT project, alleging that CSC deliberately misled them with overly optimistic projections of its ability to deliver, its financial performance, and the viability of the Lorenzo software from subcontractor iSoft, claiming the company knew for years that it was “dysfunctional and undeliverable.”
Plastic surgery for men is on the rise, with facelifts up 14%. Rhinoplasty is the procedure of choice for men, though otoplasty and liposuction are popular as well. Anyone want to venture a guess what surgical procedure remains the top pick for women?
Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart. Stay hungry. Stay foolish.
I’ve enjoyed watching this excellent video of Steve Jobs delivering Stanford’s 2005 commencement address. It’s like Apple’s products: carefully designed, casually presented, and deceptively simple. The message of finding a job that matches what you love to do is powerful. On death: “I’ve looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself, ‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’ Whenever the answer has been ‘no’ for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something. Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life.”
Athenahealth Chairman and CEO Jonathan Bush writes a guest post for Forbes titled Hospitals Might Be Heading Into Trouble, where he likens the “buying binge” and excessive borrowing of hospitals acquiring physician practices to that of Fannie Mae in pushing people into houses they couldn’t afford. He predicts that (a) hospital systems will fail in numbers too big to be bailed out by investors or the government, or (b) hospitals will complete their vertically integrated monopolies and strong-arm higher patient volumes and prices. A snip:
In my ‘hospitals gobbling docs’ scenario, software is the bottleneck to profitability. The supposed enabler of the referrals that the above business model is predicated on, is not working to that end. Why would it be? Software is not a web-native connected system. It doesn’t update when the rules change. Software doesn’t even let you send patients from one hospitals to the next (unless one is owned by the other and using the same server – can you imagine? In this day and age?). In fact, outside of vertically integrated systems like Kaiser Permanente and Cleveland Clinic (and they are highly-specialized solutions) and a few others, you’d be hard-pressed to see any cases where software is greasing the referral wheels. In other words software is mucking up the model.
Weird News Andy channels Buster Keaton in his wordless wry commentary. It’s pretty common to see cemeteries adjoining hospitals in the South, leading to the inevitable knee-slapping quip by one’s father driving the family car, “People are dying to get out of one and into the other.”
A six-year-old boy is treated by a hospital ED for a broken wrist. Three months later, the boy suffers permanent brain damage after being beaten by his mother’s boyfriend, who walks away with two misdemeanor charges and probation. The boy’s father sues the boyfriend and the hospital, claiming the ED doctors should have suspected child abuse from the broken wrist, requiring them to contact authorities. The boyfriend ignores the suit and the hospital prevails in two courts, but another court reverses the decision. This time, the jury finds the hospital negligent and orders it to pay the family $25 million.
- Rockcastle Regional Hospital and Respiratory Care Center (KY) shares clinical data with the Kentucky HIE using the Healthcare Management Systems Connex interoperability platform.
- Nuesoft Technology names Cornerstone University and Colorado College the Fall 2011 winners of its College Health Scholarship program.
- Merge Healthcare releases an eBook entitled Meaningful Use Guide for Radiology.
- Metropolitan Medical Services partners with iMDsoft to offer the MetaVision Anesthesia Information Management System.
- ZirMed and HEALTHCAREfirst announce a partnership to offer an RCM solution to home health and hospice care agencies.
- nVOQ and Health Language Inc. will collaborate to deliver the voice recognition solution Say It for Health Care.
- HITEC-LA selects NextGen Healthcare as a preferred vendor.
- Wellsoft receives the highest marks for EDIS solutions in the recent KLAS EDIS report.
- JHIM highlights three hospitals using T-SystemEV to attain Meaningful Use in the ED.
- EDIMS will participate in the ACEP 2011 Scientific Assembly October 15-18 in San Francisco.
- New Zealand-headquartered Orion Health celebrates the opening of its Paris office with an event at the New Zealand Ambassador’s residence in Paris.
EPtalk by Dr. Jayne
I’m waiting anxiously to hear what the Institute of Medicine has to say tomorrow regarding essential health benefits. As part of the Affordable Care Act, insurers will be required to cover these essential benefits across 10 categories that include professional services, drugs, hospital care, and laboratory services.
The Washington Post feature Wonkblog covered this in an easy-to-read article. I need to be more careful, though, because I was reading this piece while multitasking (aka “not paying attention”) during a Big Meeting and apparently had some facial leakage that might have been perceived as smirking.
My favorite quote is from Tekisha Dwan Everette, director of federal affairs for the American Diabetes Association: “You have to be cognizant that you can’t narrowly include every miniscule coverage option or the whole thing will implode on itself.” I love her use of “implode” and think it’s a perfect descriptor for what we’ll be seeing over the next few years. A close second from National Health Council Vice President Marc Boutin: “As we moved through some of the actuarial analysis, we found that covering everything really isn’t affordable.” Duh. Did they really need to ask an actuary about that, or just a middle school algebra student?
I wonder how many patients will lobby for coverage of the new gray hair prevention pill under development by cosmetic giant L’Oreal? Patients will have to start taking it daily at least 10 years before their hair starts turning gray and then continue taking it for life. I wish I had known about this before I crossed the line into IT administration. I hope they include a Magic 8-Ball to help predict when patients might go gray.
Although many states have already started issuing Meaningful Use checks, providers in the Beehive State can start applying for their piece of the pie starting Monday. For those of you who have forgotten those state nicknames you learned in fifth grade, let me Google that for you: Utah.
Quirky FDA approval: A gel called LeGoo has been approved to temporarily plug small blood vessels during bypass surgeries. It typically dissolves after about 15 minutes, but can be eliminated earlier with application of a cold pack. The FDA wisely warns physicians not to use it on vessels that deliver blood to the brain. Duh #2 of the day.
A new book The Web-Savvy Patient instructs patients facing a medical crisis how to best use the Internet to be an informed patient. Tips include how to tell the difference between good information and poor or vendor-sponsored information. It encourages readers to populate a Personal Health Record to centralize their health information.
Inga scooped me earlier this week with photos from the eClinicalWorks National Users Conference. Although my contacts weren’t as fast with their smart phones, they did deliver the goods. According to my roving reporter, the highlight of the exhibit hall was the Harlem Globetrotters guy and the basketball setup at the Emdeon booth. I know some other meetings are coming up this fall – and I hope to see more submissions from readers. Extra consideration will be given to photos that feature excellent cocktails, costumes, celebrities, or general mayhem. Cerner, AMIA, and NextGen attendees, I’m counting on you!