From Healthcare Outsider: “Re: making decisions. I’m in corporate IT, but a recurring theme appears where healthcare IT leadership seems unable or unwilling to take meaningful actions that would benefit their organizations. They can’t seem to make decisions, and in a corporate world, leaders who don’t act on revenue opportunities or cost savings don’t last long. Is it asking too much for healthcare IT to make responsible decisions to avoid wasting money?” An interesting question that I will pose to readers – leave a comment with your thoughts about whether hospital IT leaders really are missing bottom-line opportunities simply because they can’t make a decision.
From The PACS Designer: “Re: iPad cancer app. UBM Medica LTD has just released Version 1.5 of their Cancer Management Handbook for the iPad. Now clinicians can get all of the great content from this popular reference tool as well as the latest care updates on their iPad. TPD will add this app to TPD’s List upon the next update release.”
More than two-thirds of poll respondents don’t like the idea of ONC charging vendors a fee to support its certification programs. New poll to your right, triggered by Bill Rieger’s recent Collective Action post about TEDMED: Should conferences focusing on health IT innovation de-emphasize the involvement of hospitals and physicians because they are part of the problem? There’s a “comments’ link on the poll once you have voted, so feel free to defend your argument.
Rural and community hospital systems vendor CPSI announces Q1 results: revenue up 11 percent, EPS $0.63 vs. $0.51. Chairman David Dye said in the earnings call that, “Several of our competitors are clearly struggling with failed EHR system implementations. As a result, the number of new prospects and contracts that our competitor replacement is increasing.” The company also says that it has been writing contracts that allow customers to defer paying maintenance and support until they achieve Meaningful Use and that is impacting revenue.
Texas Health Resources is featured in a subscription-only Wall Street Journal article about “exercise meeting rooms” where employees can meet while using stationary bikes or treadmills. CIO Ed Marx is quoted. He tells me that they also have a meditation room as well as a stand-only meeting room that encourages ending on time.
New Mexico State Senator Tim Keller urges UNM Hospital to reconsider its decision to eliminate 57 transcriptionist jobs in outsourcing the transcription function to Nuance at an annual savings of $500,000. Nuance has offered jobs to the transcriptionists, but at what the employees claim is a 20 percent pay cut, reduced benefits, and a requirement of an unrealistic 99 percent accuracy rate. Keller says shipping the jobs out of New Mexico will reduce state income tax collections.
Hackers break into the Automated Clearing House account of seven-bed Cascade Medical Center (WA), diverting more than $1 million to 96 banks. The hospital, whose operating budget is $13 million, recently announced plans to seek affiliation, saying that the Affordable Care Act will require deliver care to more patients without increasing funding and that three of ACA’s cost-savings programs (results-based payments, EHRs, and ACOs) all require major investments.
Providence Health & Services announces plans to lay off 150 billing and medical records employees whose jobs it says will no longer be necessary when it moves to Epic. The system originally notified 687 employees in 2011 that their jobs would be secure for only 18 months, but most of those employees have already transferred to other jobs or quit.
A former patient registrar sues Integris Grove Hospital for violating her religious beliefs by requiring her to register patients using the identity-confirming PatientSecure palm vein biometric system. She told her supervisor the hospital is lying about the information it collects and that the system resembles Bible’s “mark of the beast” because only the right hands of patients are scanned. Integris says using the system is a job requirement but offered her a transfer to another facility, which she declined saying it wasn’t worth the one-hour commute.
Members of a Congressional panel hear testimony about physician misinterpretation of HIPAA requirements. Rep. Phil Gingrey, MD (R-GA) and others said they wonder if doctors don’t hide behind HIPAA to avoid answering awkward family questions or in their urgency to move on to the next patient, whole Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) said doctors aren’t HIPAA experts and simply remember colleagues “who have been grabbed by the law and not let loose until every one of their personal resources have been exhausted.” Also testifying was the widow of an Iowa high school football coach who was killed by a mentally ill man with a recent history of violence and animosity toward the victim who had been released from a hospital without notification to his parents or law enforcement officials because of HIPAA requirements. OCR later clarified that providers can disclose mental health information to families and law enforcement officials if such disclosure might be expected to prevent harm.
Weird News Andy says this woman was taking us for a ride. A TV investigative report finds that a 51-year-old South Carolina woman summoned EMS ambulances at least 100 times in the past seven years with vague 911 medical complaints just to get a free ride to downtown Charleston, where she would sign out AMA and then run errands. Upon being arrested, the woman said the rides, billed at $425 plus mileage, were part of her Medicaid benefits. Taxpayers are on the hook for at least $400,000.
A woman who failed a pre-employment drug screen sues her would-be employer, the hospital that administered the test, under the Americans With Disabilities Act. She says her “shy bladder” syndrome leaves her unable to urinate in public restrooms unless she runs the faucet, but the hospital forced her to provide her sample in a sink-less room.
Vince continues this week with his HIS-tory of GE Healthcare.
- Sunquest Laboratory version 7.0.1003 earns 2014 ONC HIT certification as an EHR module.
- Mount States Health Alliance (TN) completes implementation of Perioperative Management by Surgical Information Systems.
- Aventura is named one of the “Top 10 Coolest Startups” by startup group Built In Denver.
- Mercy Four Rivers Division selects Forward Health Group’s PopulationManager for a population health initiative with The Guideline Advantage.