ONC chooses ANSI for a three-year term as the Approved Accreditor (ONC-AA) of its Permanent Certification Program (ONC-ACB) that will replace the ONC-ATCB designation in 2012.
From Cabrito: “Re: Meditech. I hear that customers upgrading to 6.0 are required to buy all hardware from Dell, pay Dell an enormous implementation fee, and pay ongoing fees to Dell for maintenance. If they choose not to do so, they have to pay Meditech to certify the hardware. This smells of the East Coast good ol’ boys club. Does 6.0 really require hardware that’s all that different from Dell or any other vendor?” I passed your inquiry along to Meditech and invited them to respond. The company’s response was, “No comment.” That made me think of the old Magic days, when you had to buy specifically programmed (and much more expensive) display terminals because it wouldn’t run on anything else. I would hope that’s not the case here.
From William Hanson MD: “Re: my book, Smart Medicine. Thanks for calling it out. I am indeed the CMIO at Penn now. I’m an avid reader of your blogs. Keep up the good work. Thanks, Bill.” I see Amazon has added “Look Inside” for the book and it’s an engaging read – Bill is a really good writer.
From the medical consumer’s standpoint, a generation of patients who grew up with Google, eBay, and Wikipedia will soon have access to comparably comprehensive, current information about medicine and its practitioners. They’ll be able to find best-performing doctors and hospitals in the same way they can now shop for best-buy electronics and credit card rates. The successful practitioner and medical systems of the future will be the ones that adapt best to the new patient, who was raised on universal information and immediate gratification.
From IT Director: “Re: HIStalk. Your site was instrumental these last few years to help me sort out the different HIS vendors and to see where the industry is now and where it is going. Our C-level has been mystified that I knew so much about the industry, largely thanks to you and Inga. HIStalk has a HUGE impact — don’t change a thing. Happy shoe wishes to Inga.” Thank you.
From Saul Revere: “Re: Paul Egerman, founder of eScription. Pretty strong language in claiming Republications are ‘incapable of simple arithmetic’ and ‘I have more money than I could possibly imagine.’ The problem is that his own math is perilously stupid — to plug the current projected deficit over the next five years by taxing those with more than $200K income, tax collections would have to triple.” The conservative site’s article makes a point that I somewhat believe: if a person or group wants everybody’s taxes raised to support some pet cause, why aren’t they voluntarily supporting that cause themselves by sending in their own extra checks to the Treasury? Still, these are liberals with huge incomes, so at least their proposal would hit their own personal bottom line. And Paul’s right: his windfalls from selling IDX to GE and eScription to Nuance have certainly given him all the money he’ll ever need and then some. He says the Bush-era tax cuts saved him over $10 million and he didn’t trickle any of it down, as was the case with most of the mega-millionaires joining him in the proposal. I don’t dislike their idea, but the problem is that politicians from both parties have pushed the country so far into the red that even the few billion dollars it would generate won’t help much, as you noted. I also see that Googling “Paul Egerman” still brings up my 2005 interview with him (one of my favorites) as #1 of 83,600 hits. I asked him about his Democratic politics back then and he gave a good answer (although in the interest of full disclosure, Paul sought me out at HIMSS years ago as Mr. H and he won me over with his friendly manner and by picking up the breakfast tab):
I grew up in a single parent home. We didn’t have a lot of money. In fact, it was before there was welfare, and I got my healthcare at a county hospital. Our family got by as a result of a lot of help from a lot of people, and I’m very fortunate that I’m to be a member of what I call the Winner’s Circle right now. It was a wonderful ride and I’m very fortunate that I’m able to do well. The reason that I have "blue state" political beliefs is that I personally know that I couldn’t have made it without the help of the government and lot of people. I think the Winner’s Circle should be expanded and other people should have that same opportunity that I had. I respect other people’s opinions and I keep politics separate from my business, but my involvement in politics is only because I’m interested in good government.
A representative from Dell e-mailed that the reader’s comment from Monday stating that Kootenai Medical Center’s Meditech system is hosted by Inland Northwest Health Services was incorrect. She says Dell is hosting that hospital on its MSite Meditech hosting solution, which has brought several hospitals live and has 40 more contracted.
From HIS Junkie: “Re: webinar. ONC is now competing with HIMSS, charging $100 for a webinar on HIT trends that other firms charge $1,000 for. I guess ONC is doing all they can to reduce the federal deficit. Maybe they should stick to fixing the mess that has been created with all the convoluted new MU regs.” The webinar is through National eHealth Collaborative. Most of their NeHC University offerings are free, but a few cost $100. If I ever leave my day job and free up some time, the first thing I’ll do is run some webinars and industry news and trends analysis. I have endless ideas, but zero time.
From Lula: “Re: AHIMA. I didn’t see that you ran the news about Alan Dowling.” I totally forgot since we had already run a solid rumor a week ago that the top AHIMA brass had quit and former CEO Rose Dunn had been brought back in some capacity. That turned out to be correct, as I expected: AHIMA CEO Alan Dowling exits after a little more than a year, along with COO Sandra Fuller. The “some capacity” for Rose Dunn is interim CEO. We heard some rumblings that the new folks had tried to implement some good ideas but stepped on toes in the process. Alan has impeccable credentials: master’s degrees in computer science and healthcare management engineering, an MIT PhD in health management and information systems, consulting experience with E&Y, and 35 years in the Air Force with a rank of colonel. Association work is probably quite a bit different than running a company, so maybe it just wasn’t a good personality fit.
HIStalk Announcements and Requests
This week on HIStalk Practice: new FAQs from CMS. The Louisiana Care Quality Forum REC designates Greenway’s PrimeSUITE EHR as a supported EHR product. Industry experts tell a Congressional committee that financial and regulatory barriers make EMR adoption difficult for small practices. IPAs could be coming back in vogue, thanks to the emerging ACO model. Take a tour of the HIStalk Practice site and make my day by signing up for the e-mail updates.
Listening: new from Black Lips, fiercely independent, ragged Atlanta-based garage punk (think 1965 Rolling Stones with some Pixies and Dandy Warhols elements added). I wouldn’t want to be in the presence of either the band or their die-hard fans since I have a feeling both are seriously psycho, but the new CD is outstanding.
I mentioned that Mike Cemeno had been promoted from interim CIO to CIO at Waterbury Hospital (CT). That wasn’t the case: while the hospital’s newsletter introduced him with the CIO title, there was a line further down in the article noting that Mike and the executives featured with him were hired as interim management, which I missed. He and I have swapped some chatty e-mails — he hasn’t decided to apply and hasn’t been offered the job.
Modern Healthcare is running its 100 Most Influential People in Healthcare poll. I keep hoping I’ll at least be nominated one of these days (especially given that Nancy-Ann DeParle is on the list and nobody’s heard of her since she took the supposedly high-profile White House health reform job), but until then, I found some familiar, HIStalk-friendly names that might be worth one of your five votes: Jonathan Bush (athenahealth CEO), John Halamka (CareGroup CIO), James “Kipp” Lassetter (Medicity founder), Ed Marx (Texas Health Resources SVP/CIO and HIStalk contributor), Deborah Peel MD (Patient Privacy Rights founder), Peter Pronovost (Johns Hopkins professor), Sunny Sanyal (T-System CEO), and Glen Tullman (Allscripts CEO). I’m sure I missed other friends of HIStalk in my quick skim down the list, but I’ll add them as I notice. I figure a tiny bit of Ed Marx’s influence can be attributed to his regular and well-received HIStalk posts, so Inga and I will bask in his reflected glory if he wins.
Thanks to Elsevier Clinical Decision Support for sponsoring HIStalk at the Gold level. The company is behind some well-known clinical content brands (Clinical Pharmacology, Mosby’s, OnFormulary, CPM Guidelines, and First Consult) and also offers Pinpoint Quality (clinical performance data analysis), Pinpoint Review (clinical surveillance), Clinical Measures (intervention and error documentation), Risk Navigator Clinical (predictive analytics), Risk Navigator Performance (provider care patterns for improved clinical and financial outcomes), Risk Navigator Provider (helps physicians analyze real-time patient information for care and communications), and quite a few more systems. The common thread is point-of-care technology and content that improves quality, safety, and cost-effectiveness. Thanks to Elsevier Clinical Decision Support for helping keep the HIStalk keyboards clacking.
Speaking of Elsevier, they’re accepting nominations for Mosby’s Nursing Superheroes, launched last month during Nurses Week. Four winners will be announced in October.
On the Jobs Page: Meditech CPOE Consultant, Sales Executive – Medical Device Experience, Regional Sales Executive – NYC, Associate Regional Sales Executive. On Healthcare IT Jobs: Epic Lead Analyst, Ambulatory Clinical Analyst I, Director, Product Management, Clinical Healthcare IT Project Manager.
Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock
Streamline Health reports a net loss of $281,000 ($.03/share) for the first quarter. That compares to a net loss of $1.18 million a year ago. Revenue was up 17% to $4.14 million.
A judge in Australia rules that iSoft will have to pay CSC $2 million US if the struggling company decides to sell to a different suitor. Former iSoft chairman Gary Cohen, who has said he wants to buy iSoft himself, says he is pleased with the judge’s decision.
LHP Hospital Group (TX) contracts with Conifer Health Solutions to provide patient access and business office services.
Wishard Health Services (IN) selects MedTouch to design, build, and integrate the health system’s patient portal and RelayHealth into a site. Patients can request appointments, view lab results, communicate with physicians, and access patient education content.
Former AHIMA CEO Linda Kloss joins the Precyse Advisory Council.
CliniComp completes a two-year installation of Essentris-EMR at 59 Military Health System inpatient treatment facilities worldwide.
Government and Politics
HHS and ONC introduce the Investing in Innovations (i2) Initiative to spur innovations in HIT. As part of the rollout, CMS awards Health 2.0 and the Capital Consulting Corporation $5 million to fund projects supporting innovations and to encourage HIT development using mechanisms like prizes and challenges.
The VA chooses Systems Made Simple and Technatomy Corporation to provide software development, support, and documentation for several projects of its EVEAH program (Enhance the Veteran Experience and Access to Healthcare).
Innovation and Research
Above is an interview with Orlando Portale, chief innovation and technology officer of Palomar Pomerado Health (CA), whose self-developed mobile patient information app was named one of 12 finalists in the I Awards for innovation in wireless and mobile healthcare. It’s an impressive app, judging from the screen shots above.
WebPAX is awarded a patent for technology that allows a Web browser to display medical images stored in multiple geographic locations. The image management company holds several other patents that allow viewing diagnostic-quality images in a Web browser with full PACS capabilities. The Durham, NC company says its solution requires no client software, runs on any browser on either PCs or Macs, and is storing 180 million images online with 1,400 physician users. The technology is also used for clinical trials and physician training. I assume it was either developed for or used by Duke given the duhs.duke.edu address in the screen shot above.
A report says that 76% of Fortune 50 companies are in healthcare or have health divisions. The same study predicts the health market will account for nearly nearly one-fifth of the GDP by 2019 and (optimistically) forecasts that 58% of small physician practices will roll out EHRs over the next two years. Perhaps more realistic: the mobile health market will grow from $1.4 billion in 2008 to $12.7 billion by 2014.
Weird News Andy can find no words to describe this story from England: a patient high on drugs and alcohol goes to the hospital ED for treatment. Employees decide he’s just drunk, so they leave him a corridor to sleep it off, with nurses stepping over him frequently. Ten hours later, a nurse finally checks on him and finds him dead. Security cameras captured video of employees dragging his uncovered body away like a sack of fertilizer.
Nineteen people in western Pennsylvania are charged with high-tech oxycodone trafficking: they obtained doctor names, DEA numbers and license numbers from a Web site; created a computer prescription template; and put their own cell phone numbers on the prescription form so they could verify the prescriptions when pharmacies called.
Pfizer starts the first clinical drug study to be conducted over the Internet, with patient contact performed via Internet questionnaires, video, and Web pages instead of home visits.
- Lehigh Valley Health Network (PA) will use T-System’s DigitalShare documentation system to support its on-scene emergency healthcare during this weekend’s 5-Hour Energy 500 event at Pocono Raceway.
- Siemens partners with Surgical Information Systems to offer the SIS Anesthesia solution to the enterprise healthcare clients of Siemens.
- Healthcare Informatics ranks MED3OOO 47th on its HCI 100 list of top HIT companies by revenue. Orion comes in at 64 and Capario earns the number 87 spot.
- Medicity is awarded a second patent on its Novo Grid technology for clinical information exchange.
- Tucson Medical Center and OptumInsight (Ingenix) announce plans to create a sustainable health community based on the ACO model.
- Central DuPage Hospital (IL) contracts with iSirona for its medical device connectivity solution.
- Sage hosts a June 28th webinar on Meaningful Use success, featuring two physicians who have already received incentive checks. Register here.
- KLAS ranks Encore Health Resources as one of the top two overall performers in the HIT advisory services segment.
- Nuesoft posts a video on FDA regulation of EHRs.
EPtalk by Dr. Jayne
Government Health IT reports that the Association of Academic Health Centers finds the HIPAA Privacy Rule’s disclosure requirements to be “excessive and burdensome” and requests an exemption for researchers.
Statistic of the week: fewer physicians filed address changes last year, possibly reflecting the impact of the economy on physician decisions to relocate or retire. American Medical News notes economic pressures and the state of the housing market as possible factors. Interestingly, plastic surgeons had the lowest move rate, approximately half that of family physicians. Although I do love medical data and working with it, sometimes working with statistics makes me crazy. It would be more interesting if they did it like baseball: left-hander Dr. Jones is 14 for 15 on successful colon biopsies with the Olympus scope, 15 for 15 with the Pentax. You could even have baseball-like trading cards for your favorite attending physicians.
Sometimes I get a little burned out on reading about healthcare legislation, specifically Medicare/Medicaid regulations, reimbursement, Meaningful Use, etc. Although it’s a key part of my job, it just gets a bit depressing. I decided to find out what other health-related activities our lawmakers are pursuing when they’re not trying to tell the IT department how to do our jobs. Here goes:
For my Southern friends, North Carolina lawmakers are debating the Youth Skin Cancer Prevention Act that would require minors to get a physician’s prescription for indoor tanning. It’s coming down to cancer prevention vs. parental rights. Since the pools are now open, what I’ve seen of the outdoor tanning habits of teenagers is extremely concerning. Makes me thankful that my “too much time at the computer” paleness will hopefully keep the wrinkles at bay.
Speaking of wrinkles, New Jersey may require a statement of medical necessity for Botox injections received by patients under age 18. Teens are seeking the injections in an attempt to prevent wrinkles. The issue “took on a new urgency” after reports of the so-called Botox Mom who injected her eight-year-old. Botox is a godsend for certain medical conditions; however, the cosmetic version is a big-time money maker. I’d like to see a requirement that anyone who wants to use Botox for wrinkle prevention has to demonstrate their commitment by slathering on SPF 50 every day (see above).
Not to be outdone by their neighbor, New York is considering a dress code aimed at reducing hospital-acquired infections. Neckties, jewelry, and watches would be banned under a “bare below the elbow” dress code. Although the evidence doesn’t seem to support their approach, I definitely worry about people who are less than great at handwashing because they are worried about getting their cuffs or watch wet. Personally, I’d like to see someone take aim at white coats — I’ve seen some nasty ones out there lately. Makes me want to keep coupons for the 99-cent dry cleaners in my pocket to hand out.
Finally, legislation with an IT twist. Florida’s new law to prevent physicians from asking about gun ownership in certain situations (HB 155) gets a new enemy: The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence. A lawsuit was filed this week that states the inability to ask about guns in the home prevents physicians from educating patients. IT staffers beware: even if the physician’s question is relevant to the patient’s care or safety, the law prevents the response from being entered into a database.