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January 12, 2011 News No Comments

Practices that spend more operating expenses on IT are better performing than their peers in terms of profitability and cost management. That conclusion comes from MGMA, based on the results of its annual Cost Survey report.

Take those findings and consider the results of this recent Practice Fusion-sponsored survey. Forty-one percent of small to mid-size practices report they are doing worse this year compared to last, though 26% say their practices are doing better. HIT purchases, anyone? The Practice Fusion-sponsored survey was based on Internet responses from a mere 100 physicians, so it’s a bit hard to gauge the relevance of the findings. However, these results ring true: physicians say their top worries are practice administration issues, insurance and reimbursements, and difficult patients.

ryan howard

Speaking of Practice Fusion, I attempted to send an e-mail blast for my interview with CEO Ryan Howard on Tuesday. I messed up, so if you got a worthless link, my apologies. In case you don’t know much about Practice Fusion, it is one of the free EMR alternatives on the market and Howard was very forthcoming with details of its unusual model. Worth a read, if I do say so myself.

meridianEMR says it has signed on 1,000 urology providers for its EHR. The company added 85 new providers in December, including 28 from Urology San Antonio.

SynerMed, a 7,000-provider member MSO in California, aligns with athenahealth to offer preferred EHR services to members at a negotiated discount.

janet willett

The Healthcare Billing & Management Association announces new officers and board members, including President Jackie Willett of Intermedix.

The California Health Information Partnership and Services Organization (CalHIPSO) says that it leads the county in REC enrollments with over 3,000 California primary care providers. CalHIPSO is tasked with assisting 6,187 primary care providers achieve Meaningful Use by 2014.

radiologic associates

Radiology Associates of Sacramento adds Merge iConnect, giving providers the ability to view current and historical images from any application that stores an image.

The US Supreme Court upholds an IRS ruling that requires medical residents to  pay Social Security taxes. Mayo Clinic argued that residents are students and are thus exempt from Social Security withholding. The court disagrees, finding that medical residents are full-time employees. Taxing 100,000 medical residents, who typically earn about $50K a year, will bring in about $700 million annually.

HHS is working on an interactive dashboard to track the performance of RECs and allow them to share best practices.

central fl pulmonary

The 15-physician Central Florida Pulmonary Group contracts with ChartLogic for its EHR Suite, including a patient portal and mobile application.

There’s a communication gap between primary care physicians and specialists, according to a Center for Studying Health System change study. Though almost 70% of primary care physicians claim they usually forward a patient’s history to consulting specialists, less than 35% report receiving the information. And, 81% of specialists say they almost always send back consult reports, but only 62% of the primary care docs receive them. Specialists using HIT were more likely to report receiving and sending consult reports, though curiously the same pattern wasn’t seen among primary care doctors. Kind of makes you wonder if insurance companies really don’t get some of those claims the first time.

call of duty

Seacoast Radiology (NH) issues a press release saying an office server containing personal patient data and billing information for 231, 000 patients was hacked last November. Turns out that the likely culprits were rogue gamers looking for bandwidth to play the military video game Call of Duty: Black Ops.


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