HERtalk by Inga
From: JimmyJoe “Re: UW Warning on Cut and Paste. In my prior life I became increasingly concerned about the quality and safety ramifications of mindless cutting and pasting. The practice also causes progress notes to grow and grow (due to cut and paste and add), making the record increasingly unwieldy and less useful. I informally polled a number of people in my position and all of them were equally concerned. None of them had an answer other than policies around not doing it without paying attention. It is important to remember that cutting and pasting is not really an EHR function, it is a Windows function. What to do, what to do?” I don’t have an answer either but it’s good to know you can always blame Bill Gates, should an auditor raise concerns about cutting and pasting in your EHR.
From: Bama Bubba “Re: RFID tracked hospital workers. I wonder if RFID-tracked hospital workers feel like cattle, too. Personally, I never bought the ‘inventory tracking’ rationale (excuse) for tagging workers.” Two Houston-area school districts, hoping to monitor the whereabouts of their students, implement “the same technology used to track cattle.” Despite parental concerns about potential health risks, administrators are pleased attendance is up.
From: Weird News Andy “Re: Medicare fraud-biggest ever. Leads me to wonder. . . Medicare get hits with fraud ALL THE TIME. Do private firms get hit with fraud as often and we just don’t hear about it, or is there something about people looking out after their own money that makes them more vigilant?” WNA asks a compelling question, prompted by news of a $100 million Medicare fraud case. In reading details on this case, it sounds as if the art of cheating Medicare isn’t rocket science. Maybe it’s not as easy in the private sector.
When I first read details of this same Medicare fraud case, I thought it had the bones for the perfect modern day Godfather saga. Federal prosecutors have charged a band of 40+ Armenian-American gangsters for billing Medicare over $100 million in fraudulent claims (Medicare paid $35 million of them.) The enterprise has been led by Armen Kazarian, whose role is similar to a Mafia godfather. He came to the US in 1996 and was granted political asylum based on a fabricated story that involved his father being doused with gasoline and burned to death.The fraud operations started with the identity theft of doctors, including their medical license numbers. The accused group then stole the identity of Medicare patients. From there, gangsters created 118 fake clinics across 25 states and began churning out fake claims. In most cases, Medicare was happy to pay. The story includes plenty of infighting, threats of violence for not paying debts, and untraceable money transfers back to Armenia. The US attorney handling the case calls it the “single largest Medicare fraud ever perpetrated by a single criminal enterprise.”
Not a moment too soon: HHS awards TerraMedica a contract to assess fraud, waste, and abuse in Medicare claims using predictive modeling technology.
The St. Charles Health System (OR) selects Allscripts EHR and PM solutions for its employed and affiliated physicians. The Oregon Community Health Information Network’s (OCHIN) REC will provide implementation and training support for independent physicians. Allscripts, by the way, also announces its 2010 President’s and Circle of Excellence Hospital awards, which recognizes customers with documented strategies and superior outcomes using Allscripts technology.
eHealth Ontario awards CGI Group a $46.2 million contract to develop a new chronic disease management system. The solution will operate on AxSys Technology’s Excelicare platform. AxSys, by the way, also just secured contracts with North American Management California and MSO of Puerto Rico to develop HIEs running on the Excelicare platform.
The Denver paper highlights the University of Colorado Hospital’s migration to Epic. The hospital says data integration is one of the major benefits of the $67 million project, which is expected to be completed mid-2012.
Halfpenny Technologies, which recently secured $2.6 million in VC funding, appoints four new execs to its management team, including Mitch Fry as EVP of business development, Daniel O’Brien as CFO, Roger W. Newbury, Jr. as SVP of sales, and Jim Sheils as VP of sales. Individually the group has worked for such employers as Sunquest, Misys, TELCOR, Touchstone Health, United Healthcare Group, US Laboratory and Radiology, and dbMotion.
DB Technology and BridgeHead Software partner to offer a joint content and storage management solution. The combined solution leverages DB Technology’s document imaging component and BridgeHead’s data and storage management tools.
MEDecision earns accreditation from URAC for meeting URAC’s Vendor Disease Management, Vendor Case Management, and Health Content Provider standards.
Vocera Communications acquires voice technology vendors Clinical Health Communications (makers of OptiVox) and Integrated Voice Solutions (maker of VoiceCare.) Vocera also reports a 39% y/y growth for the third quarter.
Catholic Health Partners (OH) claims its saved over $8 million using Kronos’s time and attendance and productivity solutions. CHP attributes the savings to reduced agency and overtime use.
A reader tells me that Advocate Healthcare (IL) is now live on SAPPHIRE for patient registration and accounting in all nine of their facilities.
A class-action lawsuit filed in Arkansas accuses HealthPort of charging patients an illegal fee when requesting copies of their medical records. The lawsuit is not challenging the legality of HealthPort’s basic charge to retrieve/copy/send medical records. However, the lawsuit contends that the $1.71 sales tax imposed by HealthPort is illegal and in-state providers do charge sales tax for similar services.
St. Barnabas Medical Center (NJ) picks Merge’s AIMS, medication management, and patient portal solutions.
UMass Memorial Health Care announces plans to eliminate 350 jobs, or almost 2.6% of its workforce. The seven facility system expects to lay off 130 workers, freeze another 120 vacant jobs, and eliminate the equivalent of 100 jobs by reducing overtime and move employees from full to part time.
Hiring: the Cincinnati Business Courier reports that healthcare systems in tri-state area expect to add more than 100 people to help set up various EMR systems.
Verizon releases plans to expand its Medical Data Exchange platform beyond its core transcription exchange services; members will soon be able to share X-rays, lab results, and other digital records. Verizon will also begin offering IT consulting services for its Exchange members.
This week on HIStalk Practice: KLAS publishes a new report rating ambulatory EMRs by specialty; the Rhode Island Quality Institute picks several pre-qualified EHR and technology vendors for its REC; Ohio State Medical Association publishes a new social media toolkit for providers.
API Healthcare says it’s recently signed up more than 30 healthcare clients for its workforce management technology.
The Chesapeake Regional Information System for our Patients (CRISP) announces its statewide HIE is now live.
Pemiscot Memorial Health Systems (MO) selects Prognosis Health Information Systems’ ChartAccess EHR.
Despite taking some well-deserved vacation, Mr. H did manage to check in with me a couple times this week. Mrs. H apparently took this shot of him taking a moment to ensure the HIT world was still on track. Maybe he’ll post a few more pics when he posts the Monday Morning Update this weekend.