From DCIntern: “Re: Stage 3 Meaningful Use. Expect ONC to recommend a delay during National Health IT Week.” Unverified.
From Fly on the Wall: “Re: [vendor name omitted]. Having glitches nationally and worldwide in its medication reconciliation programming, causing patient discharge medication lists to be in error. A safety letter was issued on August 1.” I’ve asked the company to confirm, but in fairness I’m leaving their name off until I hear back. A copy of the safety letter would be nice to have.
I needed updated copies of Microsoft Office and wasn’t too thrilled at the price or the limit of installing it on only one PC (it was three PCs in previous versions), so I was happy to have stumbled onto Office 365. The Premium version (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote, Access, and Publisher, all in 2013 version) runs $99.99 year for up to five PCs or Macs and also five mobile devices. I don’t like renting software instead of owning but was about to bite the bullet when I strayed onto Office 365 University. Students, faculty, and staff of approved education institutions (like my hospital) can get a four-year, two-PC subscription that includes 20GB of SkyDrive storage for $79.99, which I did –$20 per year is just fine with me. Installation was slick, fast, and in the background. The new software versions work great, but I haven’t been able to figure out how to use the cloud features, especially with Outlook. It would be a really slick package if Microsoft offered an easy guide on how to use all the file-sharing features it touts. I admit that I didn’t spend much time trying to figure it out, but so far I’m using it just like the old CD version.
Three-fourths of poll respondents don’t see HIMSS as a major player in the debate about healthcare quality and cost. New poll to your right: do you follow the “Most Wired Hospital” type awards? The poll accepts comments once you’ve voted if you would care to elaborate.
Stock picking TV celebrity Jim Cramer, whose lips were perpetually planted on Glen Tullman’s posterior until Cramer finally advised dumping Allscripts shares way too late, is now enamored with Jonathan Bush and athenahealth. Cramer is entertaining, but watching him can be expensive if you take his stock advice. Bush says hospitals are in a decline and struggling ones are being bought up by sharp for-profit operators whose efficiency allows them to make a profit. Cramer says athenahealth “is solving a lot of the healthcare problems in this country.”
Financially struggling MaineHealth will shut down its nine-hospital tele-ICU program that loses $500K annually. One hospital says it pays $150K each year to participate, but, “While the service is fantastic for our patients, it’s not reimbursable … The consequence of this will be that some patients that may have stayed in the local community may have to travel further for care that we won’t be able to offer. MaineHealth signed a splashy deal with VISICU (now Philips) in 2005, with the health system’s president saying then, “The savings in lives and ultimately in dollars make it an important investment. It’s the kind of service that is possible only because we have forward-thinking clinical and administrative leadership.”
The previously insignificant number of physician practices that don’t accept Medicare is growing, according to a Wall Street Journal report that says 9,500 doctors opted out in 2012.
In England, a study of Internet searches for takeout food that originated from a hospital IP address finds that those searches quadrupled in one year.
An Iowa nursing home fires two employees for taking inappropriate photos of a resident and posting them on an unnamed social media site.
A former Health Management Associates hospital CFO files a whistleblower lawsuit claiming that the for-profit HMA and Tenet hospital chains paid kickbacks to two Georgia clinics in return for sending pregnant illegal aliens to their hospitals so they could bill Medicaid for emergency services. The clinics, which advertised, “We care about your health, not your immigration status,” were paid kickbacks disguised as translation service fees, according to the lawsuit. Illegals aren’t eligible for Medicaid, but emergency services, including childbirth, are covered.
Vince covers the HIS-tory of Siemens, Part 3 this week.