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February 28, 2011 News 4 Comments

2-28-2011 4-15-08 PM

BayCare Health System (FL) partners with eClinicalWorks to provide EHR to BayCare’s 3,000 physicians. eClinicalWorks also announces that it has completed interfaces with over 1,000 hospitals, including bi-directional interfaces with hospitals running Meditech, Cerner, Siemens, Eclipsys, and McKesson.

2-28-2011 4-17-25 PM

eClinicalWorks partner GroupOne Health Source is selected by Lake Regional Medical Group (MO) to implement eClinicalWorks’ EMR for its 50 affiliated providers.

KLAS reports that the ambulatory EMR replacement market is thriving, with over a third of providers looking to replace their EMRs. In the 100+ physician market, 43% of practices are replacing legacy systems. Physicians are more likely to consider vendors they consider enduring and stable, with the most popular choices being Allscripts, eClinicalWorks, Epic, and NextGen.

The American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons partners with Gateway EDI to provide claims processing and RCM services to its members. In case you missed it, Trizetto just purchased Gateway EDI.

Louisiana’s Children’s Special Health Services Program contracts with RMK Holdings to provide billing and EMR for its nine clinics. Looks like RMK relies on software from Clinix.

WorkSmartMD announces that it will provide free EMR software to physician clients utilizing its medical billing and PM services.

Three-fourths of physicians believe EHRs can improve care, according to a Sermo/athenahealth survey. However, compared to a year ago, physicians are less likely to believe that the financial benefits outweigh the costs and that EHRs reduce efficiencies and decrease costs. And sadly, the majority of physicians believe the quality of medicine will decline over the next five years. Speaking of athenahealth, last week the company announced a strategic alliance with Microsoft to connect athenahealth’s services with Microsoft’s Amalga platform.

2-28-2011 4-21-49 PM

GE Healthcare announces an iPad version of its Centricity Advance and Centricity Practice solutions. GE says it will give away iPads to all providers purchasing Centricity Advance by March 31, and also give them free access to the Centricity Advance iPad EMR app when it becomes available.

Practice Fusion also releases a new iPad option that uses LogMeIn Ignition. The EMR is free, but the app will cost you $29.95. In my HIMSS updates, I mentioned trying to get a peek at the Practice Fusion software. It never happened because Practice Fusion had only one constantly busy demo station. I assume they underestimated how many people would want to check them out.

HITEC-LA selects Office Ally as a preferred EHR vendor. The HITEC-LA website specifically says it has not yet selected any preferred vendors, though the Office Ally press release includes this quote from HITEC-LA’s executive director: “We selected Office Ally as our first EHR vendor to announce since many of our small and solo member practices are looking for a product that not only helps them adopt EHRs and improves the quality of care that they deliver, but ultimately keeps their costs as low as possible.” It will be interesting to see if any of the not-so-low-cost vendors make HITEC-LA’s preferred EHR  list.

The 21-physician Texas Orthopedics, Sports and Rehabilitation Associations will implement Encoda’s revenue cycle automation tool.


Flashback, of sorts:  a physician in Bono, AR (population 1,600) opens a once-a-week Barter Clinic for patients unable to pay with insurance or cash. So far Dr. John House (who holds the clinic out of his house) has accepted canned produce, manual labor, live animals, and baked goods in exchange for medical care. Richer patients can pay $45 for a clinic visit on Barter Days. Dr. House also runs a traditional practice in a traditional office in Jonesboro, AR.

The regional Hayes Clinical Laboratory (FL) partners with MedLink to provide its physicians financial assistance in implementing MedLink’s iSuite EHR. Hayes will subsidize up to 85% of the cost of  iSuite .

Mankato Clinic, a 120-physician group in Minnesota, selects Jardogs FollowMyHealth universal health record to provide online access to its patients.

Sage will integrate HealthUnity’s HIE solution into its Intergy product. I saw a prototype at HIMSS and I think Sage has the right idea. The HIE data is embedded directly into Intergy so you don’t have to jump to a separate portal. Look for its official release later this year.

Physician EMR adoption is nearing 50%, according to a new report that also predicts 18-20% market growth over the next two years. However, the company also predicted 15% growth in both 2009 and 2010; actual growth was a mere 10% and 13.7%, respectively.

Associated Radiologists (WV) signs a long-term contract extension with Zotec Partners to provide billing software for its 17 physicians.

The American Academy of Dermatology and American Telemedicine Association send a letter to Donald Berwick urging CMS to make teledermatology a covered service under Medicare Part B.


Health insurer Highmark will put tablets and kiosks into the offices of 100 Pittsburgh physicians. During the trial, patients will be able to swipe their insurance cards on the device while in their physician’s office. They will then be able to communicate directly with Highmark before meeting with the physician. Sounds cool, I suppose, though I can’t imagine too many scenarios where I as the patient would need to talk to the insurance company in advance. Doesn’t the office staff handle all the verification ahead of time?

2-28-2011 4-31-59 PM

Allscripts had a series of announcements last week in conjunction with HIMSS, including the launch of an app store and referral network. The Application Store & Exchange (ASX) enables clients and other organizations to add to the company’s open product platform, while the Allscripts Referral Network facilitates electronic patient referrals within Allscripts’ client base of 180,000 physicians, 1,500 hospitals, and 10,000 post acute care organizations (link to demo above). Allscripts also demonstrated the native integration between Sunrise Clinical Manager and Allscripts Enterprise and Professional EHRs. Finally, UK Healthcare (KY) will deploy Allscripts EHR and PM for its 6,000 physicians, pharmacists, and other providers and integrate it with its existing Sunrise Enterprise EHR.

The Birmingham paper highlights the recent growth of local company SuccessEHS. The 16-year-old EMR company, formerly known as EHS, just moved to larger office space and has added 45 employees (220 total) in the last year. CEO W. Sanders “Sandy” Pittman says Meaningful Use is “really fueling our growth today.”

The GAO tells the CMS to address inconsistencies between the Meaningful Use and e-prescribing incentive payment programs. To reduce duplication and reporting burdens for participating providers, the GAO recommends that the CMS encourage participants in the e-prescribing program to adopt certified technology. GAO also says CMS should also reconcile areas where the two programs are similar but inconsistent.

CMS says that more than 21,000 providers initiated registration for Medicaid and Medicare EHR Incentive programs in January and so far four states have paid out over $20 million. In addition, as of February 11, more than 45,000 providers requested information or registration help from 62 RECs.


E-mail Inga.

Comments 4
  • Doesn’t anyone else think it odd that BayCare would recommend eClinical to its affiliated doctors, while spedifically rejecting it as a workable solution for its owned practices? I guess it’s easy to recommend something when you don’t have to deal directly with the resulting support complaints!

  • Not surprised. Mckesson did not do well in terms of physician acceptance. I have seen this with many hospital systems. Baycare has a good program in place and they are having good traction in the community.

    I have heard rumblings that health point the employed physician practice will probably switch out of Mckesson (practice partner )EMR

  • Office staff verify insurance prior to visit IF 1) the phone number they have to call is working and allows them to dial through the 7-10 prompts to get to where they need to be, 2) they have time to be on hold for 5 minutes while waiting for the person on the other end of the line to become available, or 3) the portal they go to isn’t down. Automated eligibility checking is a no-brainer and long overdue.

  • Since McKesson has purchased PRACTICE PARTNER the service has become really bad.

    Also, recent releases have generated nightmarish installation issues, poorly handled by practice partner support.


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