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June 3, 2009 News No Comments

grant, md

While many experts hope that the patient-centered medical home model will solve the primary care physician shortage, Dr. Steven Grant is not as optimistic. He does not believe the proposed pay increases that insurance companies are offering are adequate. Also, the costs of implementing all that is required for a patient medical center home are high – particularly the cost of implementing EHRs.

Children are twice as likely to be underimmunized if parents and children encounter negative vaccination experiences such as poor staff attitudes, long wait times, difficulties making appointments, or feeling their physician didn’t listen to them. To promote compliance, Louisiana’s Medicaid program is now offering additional financial incentives to physicians if at least 90% of their patients younger than 24 months are current on their immunizations.

Allscipts adds SYNNEX as its latest MyWay distributor.

iMedica announces its participation in the American College of Physicians’ EHR Partners Program.The ACP program includes and EHR Comparison Tool, which allows members to review information on 23 CCHIT-certified EHRs and view comparisons of different products.

Medical Network, Inc., a Maine-based independent preferred provider organization, aligns with athenahealth to provide preferred access to athenahealth’s EHR and RCM services. The 4,000 member providers will receive special pricing for athenahealth’s newly CCHIT 2008-certified athenaClinicals and athenaCollector.


Our long-time HIStalk sponsor Vitalize Consulting Solutions is now an HIStalk Practice Gold Sponsor, which we appreciate. They were just named to the Healthcare Informatics Top 100, pretty impressive for a company that’s been around only eight years. They provide consulting services and expert assistance with all the major vendor packages. We interviewed CEO Bruce Cerullo in February – it’s a fun read. Thanks to Vitalize for support HIStalk and HIStalk Practice.

Are you concerned you might have “cell phone elbow’?” Orthopedic specialists are reporting an increase in the number of cases in this syndrome (technically called “cubital tunnel syndrome”) in which patients damage an arm nerve by bending their elbows tightly for too long. The result is tingling or numbness in your pinkie and ring fingers. The prescribed treatment: switch which hand you use to hold the phone.

A Florida medical billing specialist is arrested after being accused of stealing over $157,000 from her pediatrician employer. Her method seems pretty low-tech: she deposited 99 insurance checks into her bank account rather than the doctor’s. The office manager eventually noticed some improprieties and eventually the biller fessed up. Here’s a bit of irony: the accused woman also teaches a medical billing course at the local community college.

Doctors treating patients with multiple chronic conditions will likely be reimbursed fairly under pay-for-performance measures, according to a study by researchers at the Baylor College of Medicine and VA Medical Center in Houston.

Misys PLC moves its executive VP for global sales over to the Allscripts division to serve as chief operating officer. Eileen McPartland takes over for interim COO Lee Shapiro, who will continue his role as President.

relayhealth htp

If you are attending AHIP Institute 2009 this week in San Diego, be sure to visit HIStalkPractice sponsor RelayHealth. The RelayHealth folks are very supportive of both this blog and HIStalk and even created their own sign announcing their sponsorship. Stop by and tell them thanks for us.

An ER doc who goes by the name of WhiteCoat blogs anonymously  about his recently concluded malpractice trial. Some may question whether it’s ethical to share the details, but so far it’s a compelling read.

Across the country, more doctors are assisting patients with creative payment alternatives, particularly the unemployed and/or uninsured. Pro bono work is up, as are fee discounts and payment plans. A family physician in Florida is allowing chronically ill patients to pay a $75 per month fee that includes a dozen office visits a year plus some lab tests and vaccinations. He established the $75 rate because it was the same amount people spend on their monthly cable bill.

A survey concludes that 33% of all US physician offices don’t accept credit cards for payment, which is 5% higher than last year.  Researchers theorize that fewer doctors are accepting credit cards is because they want to protect their patients from high interest rates. Compared to other specialists, plastic surgeons are much more willing to take credit cards for payment, with 91%  accepting them.

Odd allegations in a Vioxx lawsuit trial in Australia: Merck paid nurses to dig through medical records without doctor approval to find 100 patients who were Vioxx candidates; Merck gave pharmacists copies of the Merck Manual to use as a bribe to convince Tylenol-taking patients into trying Vioxx; and the drug company handed out what looked like an Elsevier peer-reviewed journal called “Australasian Journal of Bone and Joint Medicine” that extolled the benefits of Vioxx, but it was really a phony journal consisting of a collection of favorable reprints.

E-mail Inga.







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