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March 30, 2009 News No Comments

We are heading out to HIMSS this weekend, so if you would like us to check out any vendors on your behalf, let us know. The exhibit floor can be overwhelming, but we’re happy to squeeze in some field investigation time, especially if you are a physician looking for a new EMR or other office tools.


And if you are a physician, happy National Doctors’ Day. The AMA has set aside March 30th to call attention to the growing problem of physician shortages and its effect on patient care.

McKesson announces the availability of its Advanced Diagnostics Management solution to connect payors, clinical laboratories, and providers to help physicians order the most appropriate tests at the point of care. The solution leverages the RelayHealth network by allowing providers to access to lab test catalogs and health plan rules for eligibility, automatic pre-authorization, network coverage, and price estimation.


Columbus Hematology Oncology (MS) selects Oncology Partners to provide practice management consulting and medical billing services.

The founder of the walk-in clinic company that Walgreen’s bought and expanded to 700 clinics and wellness centers touts their convenience, nationally available EMRs, and $59 price for a doctor’s office visit with one day’s notice. He’s hinting at a major announcement Tuesday.

iMedica announces the availability of the its latest EHR/PM version, named Patient Relationship Manager 2009.

AT&T and Mednet Healthcare Technologies partner to help doctors and patients remotely monitor heart arrhythmia through personal mobile devices. Using Mednet’s HEARTRAK External Cardiac Ambulatory Telemetry solution, heart monitor data is transmitted via Bluetooth-enabled cell phones.

A Time editorial says EMRs are the Wrong Prescription. Quote: “In a digital system, doctors can’t simply write whatever they want: they generally must select from predetermined choices. That runs the risk of nudging them toward diagnostic decisions based on the computer’s choices. The structure of an EMR, in other words, can easily offer an open invitation to create hyped-up diagnoses and inflated bills.”

New York insurers are looking for 20 EMR-using PCPs to participate in a medical home project. They’ll pay start-up costs and cover the salary of a care manager.

The GAO gets IRB approval for a fake medical protocol involving pouring a liter of an unnamed product into a woman’s stomach after surgery to prove that it’s easy to fool IRBs. The independent IRB that approved it said it was “hoodwinked” but complained that the GAO violated federal laws. In another test, GAO successfully registered its own IRB with HHS despite listing its president as dog named Trooper.

Commissioners for Olympic Medical Center (WA) approve a $2.14 million contract with GE Healthcare to provide Centricity for its out-patient facilities.

Despite having paid contractors billions to create the DoD’s AHLTA military EMR system, it’s a fixer-upper, with the military rolling out a new plan to improve it and to make interoperable with the VA’s VistA.

For $5 a month, patients of Santa Cruz Medical Foundation (CA) can e-mail their physician for medical issues. Dr. Michael Conroy is a fan and says, “It saves patients’ time so they don’t have to wait on the phone.” Sign us up.

Regulatory filings reveal that Nancy-Ann DeParle earned at least $3.5 million in 2006 and 2007 from fees and the sale and awards of stock from healthcare firms. The business affairs of the new White House healthcare czar is leading some to criticize her potential conflicts, though others view her insider knowledge a plus.

St. Joseph Hospital (NH) selects GE Healthcare’s Centricity for its 70 employed physicians. Centricity will replace several other EMR systems across St. Joseph’s 19 locations.

ehr scope

EHR Scope has a new spring edition ready for download. It includes several articles on EHR selection and implementation and a free and comprehensive list of 323 different EMR/EHR solutions.

Kaiser Permanente substantially improves heart attack survival rates of patients participating in a pilot collaborative care program. KP found that when patients enrolled in the collaborative program within 90 days of a heart attack, they had an 88% better chance of not dying from cardiac-related causes. The pilot care program linked pharmacists, nurses, primary care physicians, and cardiologists using and an EHR and clinical care registry.

HHS is distributing $338 million to 1,128 FQHCs, using economic stimulus funds. The money will help create or retain 6,400 healthcare providers and expand care to additional 1.2 million patients over the next two years.

E-mail Inga.
E-mail Mr. HIStalk.

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