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September 30, 2009 News 2 Comments

From: Grizzled Veteran “Re: SSA EHR bid. Social Security Administration on Friday cancelled the Solicitaion for Bid for the EHR system previously mentioned…good move on their part. Inga, you must have put too much heat on them!!” Don’t know about that last part, but, the latest update on SSA website says that the bid for solicitation was canceled the end of last week. The SSA had been seeking bidders for an EHR for its employee health clinics. I sent a note to someone at SSA, asking for more details, but never heard back. I wonder how much it cost taxpayers to have a 68-page RFP created, all for naught?

According to this article forwarded by Weird News Andy, less than half of medical students understand the health care system. A national survey by University of Michigan researchers find that 40-50% of graduating medical students did not feel adequately prepared when it comes to understanding health economics, the health care system, managing a practice, or medical record-keeping. I wonder how those percentages compare to the general population’s understanding of healthcare.

Here’s an interesting piece on the increased use of computer-assisted coding systems, especially in physician offices. Current options are either imbedded into the EMR or PM system, or available in a stand-alone mode.


In an NPR interview, MED-PAC commissioner Arnold Milstein, MD, MPH suggests Medicare data could be used  by patients to find good doctors, to evaluate whether physicians are following clinical guidelines, and to determine physician payment rewards. I suppose as Medicare expands its quality reporting initiatives, it will have better data for analysis, and more than just a bunch of ICD-9 and CPT codes. Still seems like there is plenty of room for inaccuracy without access to a full medical record. But what do I know: Dr. Milstein has a degree in economics from Harvard, co-founded Leapfrog, and altogether has a pretty impressive resume.

The Purchasing & Assistance Collaborative for Electronic Health Records (PACeHR) selects e-MDs and Noteworthy Medical Systems as technology partners to provide EHRs to small and medium-sized group practices in Arizona. Healthcare providers will be eligible to subscribe to one of partners’ web-based EHR/PM applications.

Aprima Medical Software (iMedica) announces a reseller and hosting partnership with MetnetwoRx.

RelayHealth says that both Hill Physicians Medical Group (CA) and Montefiore Medical Center (NY) have improved care collaboration, patient satisfaction, and specialty treatment prioritization using RelayHealth’s referral management service. The product, which was co-developed with Hill Physicians, facilitates secure health information exchange between primary care providers and specialists.

NextGen signs up five new organizations for its NextGen CHS (community health solution) product. The software provides a central data repository to allow the secure exchange of patient health data.

ehr primarylab primaryerx primary1

EHR usage by US primary care doctors is considerably lower than a number of countries, according to this report by the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation. A greater percentage of physicians in countries like Finland, Denmark, and Sweden are using EHRs, including creating lab orders electronically and using e-prescribing.

A team of Boston researchers find that by using EMR data, they were able to identify likely victims of domestic abuse an average of two years before a diagnosis was actually made. The study was based on six years of hospital admissions and ER data and looked at patient histories to identify risk factors.

Practice Fusion is the latest EHR company to offer a guarantee that physician users will qualify for Meaningful Use. The company is developing enhancements based on the preliminary DHS matrix and will make the enhancements available across its SaaS-based network.  The website does not give any real details how the guarantee will work; I mean, how does a “guarantee” work when the software is free?

Allscripts announces first quarter numbers, which includes non-GAAP revenue of $167.5 million compared to $164.7 million last year. The non-GAAP revenue numbers take into account the 2008 and 2009 revenue numbers of both Allscripts and Misys Healthcare. GAAP revenue was $164.9 million versus $92.8 last year and earnings were $.15/share. The company exceeded Wall Street estimates of $.14 cents/share earnings. During Allscripts’ investor call, the company indicated its recent deal with North Shore-Long Island Jewish was worth just over $10 million, but had a potential value of more than $75 million, depending on how many physicians sign on. On Wednesday, shares of Allscripts hit their highest price in nearly two years, gaining $.78 (4%) to $20.17. Earlier in the day shares were as high as $20.61.

Allscript also shares news of an agreement with Baptist Memorial Health Center (TN) to automate its 65 employed and 3,100 affiliated physicians. And, at West Penn Allegheny Health System, Allscripts is named the preferred provide of clinical IT solutions across its network of hospitals and owned physician practices. West Penn will expand its use of the Allscripts EHR from 165 doctors to 645, plus add the Allscripts EDIS at its Alle-Kiski Medical Center facility.


E-mail Inga.

Comments 2
  • Thanks for linking to that ITIF report- at least from my brief scan, seems like one of the better ones on the int’l picture of HIT.

  • Regarding the piece on increasing use of computer-assisted coding, I agree we will be seeing more sophistication with this technology. The ideal ‘sophisticated’ coding technology solution will not only perform CAC but automate as much of the coding workflow process as possible. The approach that Precyse Solutions is taking is ideal. They start by automating the workflow – routing, auto assignment, and automating the physician query process and wrap this around a CAC application for inpatient coding. This type of solution maximizes the performance of the people AND the process for coding. This is the technology that we should expect to see in the industry.

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