A newly signed California bill will require electronic medical records systems to maintain a record of changed or deleted information. The Confidentiality of Medical Information Act, which will become law on January 1, requires systems to log the user’s identity, the date and time of the change, and a record of the information that was changed or deleted.
From Sole Food: “Re: shoes. This conversation is from the Late Late Show last week. Craig Ferguson to Monica Potter: ‘Oh, nice shoes.’ Monica Potter: ‘Yeah, I heard you like shoes.’ Craig Ferguson: ‘No, I like women, and I know that women like shoes.’ So don’t let anyone give you a hard time about posting pics of women’s footwear.” I couldn’t agree more. Inga likes cute women’s shoes, I like how women look in cute shoes. HIStalkapalooza is a lot classier now that many of the ladies come dressed to the nines. Women like dressing up, men like seeing dressed-up women, everybody wins.
From The PACS Designer: “Re: Ethernet – Fibre Channel convergence. TPD is celebrating the 10th anniversary of the design of the first Windows/UNIX based PACS that relied on Ethernet, and a Fibre Channel RAID to permit downloading of 500MB image files in under 30 seconds. Now, 10 years later, you are going to be hearing more about the convergence of 10-Gbps Fast Ethernet, and Fibre Channel storage arrays using a new term ‘Data Center Bridging Exchange’ as it tries to become the new standard for data storage.”
Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock
Lexmark, the parent company of Perceptive Software, acquires Netherlands-based Pallas Athena for $50 million in cash. Pallas Athena, which is a provider of business process and document output management solutions, will become part of Perceptive.
TransUnion Healthcare, which offers revenue cycle tools, acquires Financial Healthcare Systems, the Denver-based vendor of the ClearQuote software that estimates out-of-pocket patient responsibility at the point of service.
BloodCenter of Wisconsin, Community Blood Center of Kansas City, and the US Department of Defense contract with Mediware for its InSight Performance Management platform for blood management.
DeVry University signs a five-year agreement with QuadraMed to incorporate its Quantim suite of HIM coding, compliance, and record management solutions into the school’s health sciences curriculum.
Eastern Connecticut Health Network selects MobileMD’s 4D HIE solution.
Riverside Health System (VA) selects the EMR-Link solution of Ignis Systems for lab and radiology order integration for over 200 physicians. The company differentiates its product as making all labs equal to physicians and their EMRs, which it says differs from the lab-funded, lab-centric integration model.
Sheridan Healthcare, the country’s largest anesthesia group with 1,200 providers and 100 hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers, chooses Shareable Ink as its standard documentation and charge capture tool.
CapitalCare Medical Group (NY) chooses ImplementHIT’s OptimizeHIT training platform to prepare its 110 providers for an Allscripts EHR upgrade.
Healthcare Information Xchange of New York (HIXNY) names Mark McKinney as CEO, replacing Dominick Bizzarro, who joined InterSystems earlier this year. McKinney is the former director of integrated services for SXC Health Solutions. HIXNY merged with the Adirondack Regional Community HIE earlier this month.
MED3OOO hires former Tenet Healthcare executive Jeffery E. Flocken as EVP of accountable care and hospital services.
Ingenious Med appoints Jim Keener as CTO. He was previously VP of development of Verisign.
Clinical decision support provider DiagnosisOne names Francis X. Campion, MD as VP of clinical affairs. He’s a member of the Department of Population Medicine at Harvard Medical School.
Announcements and Implementations
Meditech client Aspen Valley Hospital (CO) implements Summit Healthcare’s Downtime Reporting System to address business continuity.
Blue Shield of California will distribute $20 million in grants to 18 California hospitals, health systems, and physician groups to help them develop ACOs.
The University of North Carolina Hospitals implement the RF Assure Detection System for preventing and detecting retained surgical items in patients.
New York City’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) implements NextGate MatchMatrix Terminology Registry to standardize data shared by EHR systems.
Imprivata announces that six additional hospitals using McKesson solutions have implemented OneSign, Imprivata’s single sign-on solution.
Enterprise RTLS vendor Intelligent InSites integrates active RFID readers and tags from RF Code into its solutions.
Government and Politics
New York’s state development agency grants eHealth Global Technologies $750,000 in tax credits to support the company’s expansion. eHealth Global, a medical record retrieval and diagnostic image exchange service provider, will invest $3 million in the expansion and will increase its staff from 75 to 155 over the next five years.
CMS adds WellCentive as a qualified Registry provider for the 2011 PQRS program.
The VA will solicit bids for a WiFi-based real-time location system for tracking assets, employees, and patients its 152 hospitals, with an RFP to be issued by the end of the year.
Bill O’Toole of O’Toole Law Group has expanded his HITlaw article about EHR vendor certification into a white paper called EHR Certification Alert for Providers, summarized as: “The absolute heart of the issue is recognizing that in some cases multiple products that are marketed individually by a vendor are grouped together for testing and ultimately certified together and not separately.”
An Associated Press review finds that Medicare often suspends bogus providers, but then quickly reinstates their payments even after their prosecution. The review found that appeal hearings often have nobody in attendance from CMS or their contractors, leading to a rubber stamp reinstatement of billing privileges. The article says pay-first policies (“pay and chase”) have made fraud so easy and lightly penalized that drug dealers and mobsters have given up their previous scams in favor of Medicare fraud. Disjointed government processes are blamed: contractors don’t share information, provider ID revocation doesn’t automatically initiate criminal proceedings, Medicare’s lawyers don’t show up at hearings, and nobody’s collecting surety bonds required of medical equipment providers when they skip town.
Innovation and Research
A good Business Insider article lists eight healthcare startups that are “shaking up” the industry. Among them: ZocDoc (online doctor appointments), Cake Health (medical expense tracking), Avado (doctor-patient relationship management software), and Sharecare (consumer Q&A with medical experts).
Dell ends its 10-year storage reseller agreement with EMC. The move was not a surprise, given Dell’s multiple acquisitions of data-storage technology over the last three years.
HP and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital (CA) announce a real-time patient status system that uses EMR data to represent patient status, rather than traditional handwritten notes on whiteboards. During a trial period, researchers found that the Patient-Centered Dashboard prompted a change in care in one out of three patients.
HealthGrades reports that Washington DC, New York City, and Kansas City are the top communities on a per capita basis in which consumers look for healthcare providers online.
Orion Health says it could hire up to 200 employees New Zealand following its acquisition of the former Microsoft Amalga HIS hospital information system.
At least 255 communities are attempting to support health information exchanges, but only 12% of them are self-sustaining. That’s still 33% better than 2010 estimates.
The 2010 Annual HIMSS Conference is recognized as “The Show with the Most Innovative Practices” at the Trade Show Executive Gold 100 Awards & Summit. HIMSS10 also ranked 33 on the Gold 100 list.
The Commonwealth Fund releases its annual National Scorecard on US Health System Performance. Some highlights (or perhaps lowlights):
- Despite big gains in EMR usage among primary care providers, the US lags far behind leading countries in EMR adoption.
- Although the US is showing promising improvements on several key indicators, quality of care remains uneven, with evidence of many inefficiencies and inequities in care.
- Other advanced countries are outpacing the US in providing timely access to primary care, in reducing premature mortality, and in extending health life expectancy. At the same time, these other countries are spending considerably less on healthcare and administration.
Readers have occasionally speculated about the EMR status of Lehigh Valley Health Network (PA), with a couple of them saying LVHN has chosen Epic. Not true, according to SVP/CIO Harry Lukens, who was kind to provide an update. LVHN, a GE Healthcare customer, is looking at GEHC, Allscripts, Cerner, and Epic. Scripted demos for all interested staff have begun, with those of GEHC and Epic completed (with similar combined scores of functionality and comments.) Harry says LVHN is planning to eliminate one vendor in November and another in January after site visits, then come to a final decision by March, although he’s philosophical in expecting the unexpected: “Keep in mind I also planned on attending the World Series to watch the Phillies play, which is my way of saying ‘stuff happens,’ a simple observation that planning is filled with things that happen for no reason.”
Central Vermont Medical Center and Fletcher Allen Health Care create a corporate affiliation that will allow them to share centralized services, among them Fletcher Allen’s Epic system.
Weird News Andy says, “I can see right through their plan,” as three Delaware Valley hospitals report the theft of scrap X-ray film, apparently by silver-seeking thieves posing as employees of a company hired by the hospitals to recycle their old film. And in a story WNA finds simultaneously weird and sad, a 47-year-old man appears on Howard Stern’s satellite radio show hoping to generate donations toward the $1 million he needs to pay for corrective surgery for his elephantiasis-swollen scrotum, which weighs 100 pounds.
- Texas Regional Medical Center enhances its medication barcoding initiative with the implementation of the Access Intelligent Forms pharmacy labeling solution.
- Southeast Alabama Medical Center reports that its deployment of ProVation Order Sets has yielded cumulative benefits of $1.7 million.
- McKesson launches Episode Management, which automates bundled payments for episodes of care.
- Mac McMillian, CEO of CyngerisTek, will participate in a telebriefing on HIPAA privacy and security audits, hosted by Law Seminars International.
- T-System CMIO Robert Hitchcock, MD, addresses critical issues in EDs in a podcast entitled Hospital Emergency Departments in Crises.
- Carefx Corporation releases a white paper entitled Patient Portals – The Pathway to Patient Engagement and an Enhanced Patient Experience.
- Hayes Management Consulting issues a white paper and Webinar on achieving Meaningful Use.
- Crittenden Regional Hospital (AR) meets Stage 1 MU utilizing the EHR and consulting services of Healthcare Management Systems,
- Merge Healthcare’s RIS v7.0 receives Complete EHR certification for MU.