Six Republican senators release a report criticizing the HITECH EMR push, saying EMRs are increasing healthcare spending instead of reducing it and that Medicare doesn’t have a plan to ensure interoperability, increasing the chances that $35 billion in taxpayer money will be wasted. It accuses the administration of using money spent as a benchmark of success rather than specific goals, says that Meaningful Use self-attestation means providers may not be using technology as intended, and accuses CMS and ONC as having lax security policies and procedures that jeopardize the security of patient data. It also concludes that post-HITECH penalties will affect small providers disproportionately and that reporting requirements are creating provider compliance burdens.
From Katherine the PCP: “Re: athenahealth. I’ve been live for two weeks now as part of a health system rollout and I am happy as a clam. The folks from athena were wonderful and worked very well with Clinovations, who were there for the extra help. Athenahealth is everything I expected and more. I did not have to make even one call to their call center. Happy to be paperless!” This was from long-time HIStalk physician reader who I know, so this was not a questionable anonymous comment.
An international HIStalk sighting: an unidentified reader sent over this photo wearing an “I Could Be Mr. H” beauty queen sash taken in London. We’ll be getting more photos from other cities as the sash’s owner enjoys global travel, I’m told. If you’re heading to interesting places this summer, snap your own picture featuring a recognizable location and something HIStalk related (an iPad image of the web page, a printed logo, etc.) and I’ll run it here.
Welcome to new HIStalk Platinum Sponsor Care Team Connect. The Chicago-area company was launched in 2008 to help chronically ill patients receive better and less expensive care, offering a technology platform that coordinates care among hospitals, community providers, and patients and their families. CTC Gateway is a Web-based platform that makes it easier to distribute patient data to support shared risk payment models via payment reconciliation, file management, attribution list delivery, outcomes reporting, population stratification, and communication and transparent reporting among provider partners. CTC Navigator provides a rules-engine driven checklist process to ensure that target patient populations receive the right care with efficient use of resources. Clients include Integrated Health Partners, Vanguard Health Systems, Ellis Medicine, and MemorialCare Health System, along with its integration into the Michigan Health Information Network to provide real-time updates and alerts for 25,000 patients. Thanks to Care Team Connect for supporting HIStalk.
Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock
Baltimore-based care coordination platform vendor Ankota raises $2 million to increase headcount. The CTO is a former GE Healthcare CIO and the chief medical office is a Hopkins population health specialist.
Fulton County Hospital (AR) selects Healthland Centriq EHR for its 25-bed critical access facility.
INTEGRIS Health (OK) signs with TeraMedica for its Evercore Clinical Enterprise Suite.
The iHealthTrust HIE (TX) selects iMedicor to provide secure communication services via the iMedicor SocialHIE platform.
Amy Garcia (American Nurses Association) joins Cerner Clairvia as chief nursing officer for the company’s workforce and capacity management business unit.
Healthcare VC firm Aberdare Ventures hires Mohit Kaushal (West Health) as a partner.
AliveCor, the developer of a mobile-based ECG monitor for the iPhone, names Daniel J. Sullivan (SuperDimension, Inc.) president and CEO.
James Muir is promoted to VP of revenue cycle management sales at NextGen.
Harvard Vanguard internist Alan Brush, MD, who joined the organization in 1975 and has headed its internal medicine EMR design committee since 2000, wins the Harvard Vanguard Lifetime Achievement Award.
Lester Wold, MD (Mayo Clinic) joins VitalHealth Software as CMO.
Health Evolution Partners appoints Kevin McNamara (McNamara Family Ventures) as an operating partner.
DataMotion, a health information service provider, hires Andrew Nieto (Allscripts) to oversee the company’s DataMotion Direct secure e-mail service.
Announcements and Implementations
Pioneer Community Hospital (GA) implements McKesson EMR as part of the $27 million EHR initiative of Pioneer Health Services.
Saint Joseph Hospital (IL) uses polling software and interactive keypads as part of its EMR training program, embedding questions for audience feedback into its PowerPoint presentations.
The Cherry County Hospital (NE) goes live this month on Meditech’s nursing and therapy documentation and will implement CPOE and eMAR in June.
Mount Sinai announces the go-live of Epic at Mount Sinai Queens, which marks the second major phase of the health system’s $120 million rollout.
Rogue Regional Medical Center (OR) went live on Epic last last week, while Providence Medical Center (OR) makes the switch April 27.
Home health services provider AccentCare begins a phased implementation of the Homecare Homebase solution.
GE Healthcare announces several new customer-focused initiatives including recognition of facilities using GE HIT products to boost productivity in significant ways; road shows featuring Centricity Imaging Solutions; and, an expanded channel partner program to support ambulatory practices.
Palomar Health (CA) pilots a clinical messaging infrastructure to enable secure HIE using the Direct Project’s secure messaging protocols and the HPDPlus specifications for online physician directories.
CajunCodeFest 2.0 will be held April 24-26 at University of Louisiana at Lafayette, with teams of self-organization participants building healthcare prototypes over a 27-hour period in competing for a $25,000 grand prize. Social activities include a crawfish boil, a Cajun band, and the concurrent Festival International de Louisiane.
GetWellNetwork’s GetConnected 2013 meeting is underway in San Diego, with more than 500 patient engagement leaders in attendance.
Government and Politics
Not surprisingly, the HIMSS EHR Association issues a statement indicating it does not support the EHR user fee included in the President’s proposed 2014 budget.
Innovation and Research
A study published in JAMA Internal Medicine finds that physicians ordered 8.6 percent fewer tests when shown test costs during order entry. Cost per patient day fell 9.6 percent.
Life post-Allscripts for Glen Tullman includes building a $5 million glassblowing studio for his son, serving as executive chairman for a chain of tea cafes, running his solar panel business, operating a healthcare app venture capital fund, and starting a company that sells tablet PCs to Chicago schools. Some quotes about his Allscripts experience:
I would have moved faster in integrating Eclipsys. And I would have pushed more aggressively into interoperability, connectivity and care-coordination areas … I think it was the right time to go off and focus on what I do best, which is the innovation part of building great new companies. That’s my interest. It’s hard to do that in a multibillion-dollar, publicly traded company focused on quarter-to-quarter earnings.
Detroit Medical Center (MI) will lay off 300 employees, or 2 percent of its workforce, in response to the sequester-driven 2 percent Medicare payment reduction. It will also cut executive salaries.
Cerner gets a National Enquirer mention for providing key evidence in the prosecution of Charles Cullen, the Somerset Medical Center (NJ) who killed at least 40 and possibly as many as 400 patients by drug injection. A fellow nurse who was familiar with Cerner worked with investigators to determine that Cullen was looking up patients not under his care to target them for murder, leading to his arrest. Cullen’s story is described in a new book, The Good Nurse: A True Story of Medicine, Madness and Murder.
GigaOM profiles California-based MDRevolution, a cardiologist-founded technology-heavy medical practice that combines cardiology, nutrition, and genetics to create affordable, customized healthcare. Patients use fitness trackers, app-enabled monitoring devices, and genetic assessment tools. The practice accepts insurance and charges an extra $25-$75 per month for access. The founder says its self-developed patient engagement software will drive the discovery of new treatment insights. The practice uses physicians minimally as managers rather than clinicians and says new locations may eliminate physicians entirely and replace them with nurse practitioners.
In England, a hospital physician is profiled for running a series of NHS Hack Days where volunteers (“Geeks Who Love the NHS”) work on disruptive digital health projects.
Also in England, an IT trade group says NHS’s information architecture encourages siloing and urges it to move toward open standards and the approaches that worked for e-commerce providers. The Department of Health has asked the trade group to make recommendations for achieving a paperless NHS.
A New York Times article profiles tele-ICU systems such as the Philips eICU, concluding that vendor-support studies show dramatic benefits, but other studies find little difference in outcomes. Several hospitals that launched remote ICU monitoring services with extensive publicity have since pulled the plug, including New York-Presbyterian, Kaleida, and at least three other hospital systems that installed systems in 2004 and 2005. Kaleida said the tele-ICU was a nice marketing tool, but they saw no significant improvement in mortality and complication rates and decided to redeploy the personnel back to the bedside.
- Captain Stephen Harden, chairman and CEO of LifeWings Partners, shares how aviation uses technology to avoid fatal errors at this week’s Surgical Information Systems National Conference in Atlanta.
- Illene Moore, MD of Dearborn Advisors lists the traps to avoid when optimizing EHR use.
- SuccessEHS integrates its EHR/PM solution with four Welch Allyn medical diagnostic devices.
- Sunquest Information Systems President Richard Atkin keynotes at the MedTech Nordic Investing & Partnering 2013 event September 3 in Helsinki, Finland. SIS CTO Eric Nilson posts the second of his three-part series on quality reporting for anesthesia.
- Brian Hodges, Informatica’s SVP of worldwide professional services, discusses risk-sharing and its impact on buying decisions.
- Kennedy Consulting Research & Advisory includes Aspen Advisors, Beacon Partners, Cumberland Consulting, Deloitte, GE Healthcare, and Impact Advisors in a report on firms in the healthcare payer, provider, and government consulting sectors.
- The Advisory Board Company, Heritage Provider Network, and the Bipartisan Policy Center launch the Care Transformation Prize Series, a national contest to encourage healthcare organizations to identify roadblocks to implementing new care models.
- Truven Health Analytics announces its report on the 15 top health systems, which were selected based on highest survival rates and fewest complications.
- QlikView offers a series of BI technology summits in several cities in coming months.
- EDCO Health Information Solutions and HealthPort collaborate to provide improved and expedited management of PHI.
- MedHOK’s 360Measures V 2.55 earns P4P software certification based on testing on the Integrated Healthcare Association’s California P4P measures, NCQA, and HEDIS.
- The Indianapolis Star names First Databank as a Top Workplace in 2013 based on employee feedback.
- GE Healthcare hosts its 2013 Centricity Live USER Conference this week in Washington, DC and announces GE Chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt as one of the keynote speakers.