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August 23, 2010 News 1 Comment

From Ronnie James Dio: “Re: AAFP comment. What exactly does Waldren mean when he says, ‘Eligible professionals in the Medicare program must bear a heavier burden of full meaningful use compliance in their first payment year to receive the incentive payments’?”  Dio is referring to Steven Waldren’s comments on the final Meaningful Use rules. Dr. Waldren graciously agreed to clarify and I have attached his response to the original HIStalk Practice post.

From Not Clueless: “Accountable Care Organizations. I saw that you were going to be talking about Accountable Care Organizations with someone. To prep for your meeting, you may want to watch this video. Actually, it probably won’t help with your meeting, but it is pretty funny, although in a sad reality kind of way.”  Very funny! The clip features a health system CEO asking a help desk how to form one of those Accountable Care Organizations he read about in Modern Healthcare magazine. Last week I did have an opportunity to talk with Chet Speed, VP of  Public Policy for AMGA, and hopefully the interview will post later this week. Meanwhile, I’ll just say there’s probably more confusion than clarity surrounding the whole ACO concept.

Speaking of ACOs, critics are already speaking out against such networks, claiming they would create monopolies and thus would be more expensive than today’s models. Case in point: an ophthalmologist raises concerns over organizations that bring together large numbers of physicians in a single community to provide “total patient care.” He charges that such set-ups actually reduce or eliminate local competition. “The only way to decrease costs that truly works is increasing competition, but for some reason in health care, we’re supposed to believe that competition drives up costs.’’ I must say I am concerned he could be right.

nyu lagonne

New York Epilepsy and Neurology connects to NYU Langone Medical Center’s Epic system, the first private practice to do so. NYU Langone is offering subsidized access to the Epic system for the 700 affiliated private physicians.

Researchers with the Boston University School of Medicine find that their use of an EMR tracking system reduced diagnostic resolution times for abnormal Pap tests. After controlling for certain abnormalities, resolution times decreased from 108 days prior to implementing an EHR tracking system to 86 days after implementation.

ingenix ad

I’d like to welcome Ingenix aboard as our newest HIStalk Practice sponsor. Ingenix has been a long-time supporter of HIStalk and we appreciate their spilling the love over to HIStalk Practice. Ingenix has made HIT headlines as of late for its purchase of Picis and Axolotl. However, the company has a host of other healthcare IT solutions for hospitals, pharma, payers, and physicians. CareTracker is the company’s integrated financial and clinical solution for physician practices. Other ambulatory care offerings from Ingenix include an RCM solution, EDI services, coding compliance tools, and consulting services. Thanks to Ingenix for supporting HIStalk Practice and our readers.

Preferred Health Partners (NY) and Staten Island Physician Practice each receive $100,000 in incentive payments from the Primary Care Information Project. Both practices leveraged their NextGen Health Quality Measures Reporting Modules and Ambulatory EHRs to document improvements in core quality health measures.


DrChrono.com releases a new version of its iPad EMR Platform, which now includes electronic prescribing and the ability to store and display scanned documents and lab reports.

Health care attorney J. Ryan Williams cautions physicians not to jump on the first hospital-subsidized EHR option that comes their way. Instead providers should develop their own Meaningful Use plans and consider hiring a consultant to test the various systems being offered by affiliated hospitals.

Several receptionists at a busy “surgery” in Brighton, England quit after suffering months for verbal abuse from irate patients. Apparently the doctor’s office is understaffed and patients are irate over not being able to get appointments. From one receptionist: “We get sworn at, get called jumped-up receptionists, and even threatened that someone will come down to the centre and sort us out.” Sad, of course, but why do things always sound so much cooler when the Brits say it?


E-mail Inga.

Comments 1
  • Re: ACO’s as a “bad” monopoly while “competition” is “good”. If you are a patient who has something really wrong healthwise but it is a little hard to figure out, good luck with trying to resolve your problem in a market with “high competition”. You are missing the point, medicine is by definition meant to be collaborative not in competition. What the opthalmologist might really be concerned about is loss of income rather than improved patient care. This is a tired argument that really is anathema to what an ACO is all about.

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