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March 7, 2011 News No Comments

From Grey Fox: “Re: Dr. Jan Lee. NextGen’s former VP of KBM and content has left to join the Delaware Health Information Network as executive director.” The DHIN website says it “unanimously approved” the hiring of Dr. Lee, as well as Mark Jacobs as DHIN’s first CIO. Jacobs is the former director of technology services for WellSpan. Both will start in mid-March.

REC HITArkansas names ABEL Medical Software and eClinicalWorks as preferred EHR vendors, offering a pre-negotiated, vetted contracts and a negotiated base price. HIT Arkansas is in final negotiations with 10 other vendors including Allscripts, e-MDs, Ingenix, McKesson, and Sage.

Aprima reseller Doctors Administrative Solutions appoints Jennifer Shimek as COO. She is the former director of clinical services and managed care at HealthPoint Medical Group and former COO of the Florida Orthopaedic Institute.

A hopeful sign of the times: Practice Velocity, a provider of EMR and PM software for urgent care and and occupational medicine, is hiring 30 new employees across multiple departments. The company is headquartered in Belvidere, IL.

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Please join me in welcoming Healthwise as the newest HIStalk Practice Platinum sponsor. Healthwise is a 41-year-old company that develops health content and patient education solutions. Its products integrate with EMRs to provide patient education tools that relate to specific clinical encounters. The Healthwise solution can also be linked with PHRs and patient portals to provide patient education content. The Boise, ID-headquartered Healthwise is a non-profit, which I thought was pretty interesting. Show them how much you appreciate their support of HIStalk Practice by clicking on their ad and investigating their offerings. Mr. H and I thank Healthwise for their support!

I had a doctor’s appointment today and like I always do, I asked the staff what computer system they were using:

Me: What software do you run?

Girl at the front desk: e-MDs.

Me: Do you like it?

GATFD: It’s fine. It’s all I really know, actually.

Me: Do you have EMR, too?

GATFD: What’s that?

Me: Electronic medical records. Do the doctors put their charts into the computer?

GATFD: I don’t know.

Me: Do you have paper charts?

GATFD: No. Oh, I guess we do use electronic charts.

I was obviously amused that the EMR was so much of the practice’s workflow that GATFD didn’t even know what an EMR or “electronic medical records” were. She was fairly young ,so I bet she’s never even seen a mobile shelving cabinet.

Most Americans say they would use online tools to get lab results, request appointments, pay medical bills, and communicate with their doctor’s office. The same office I mention above did offer the ability to request appointments online. That choice sounded great to me until I read the disclaimer on their site that I might not get a response for 48 hours. I ended up picking up the phone and wading through the practice’s voicemail system until I talked to a live person. Moral of the story: patients will take advantage of all the cool technology that practices put in place, but only if it’s more efficient than the old fashioned way of doing things.

As physicians look for additional revenue opportunities, some practices are considering the sites such as Groupon, Living Social , or similar “one-day deal” programs to offer discounted prices for services that are normally not covered by insurance and are typically paid for in cash. An attorney cautions that the promos are not suitable for all services, particularly those covered by traditional or federally funded insurance. Attorney David Harlow warns that if a patient is covered by a federal payer and pays out of pocket for a service the payer might traditionally pay, the practice could be violating anti-kickback laws. In addition, private insurers always want to get the best possible deal and it’s possible that a physician’s agreement with an insurer requires that the doctor extend its “best price” to the carrier. In a worst-case scenario, the carrier could force the physician to accept the “deal” price for all the insurance company’s patients.

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Doctors Express of Woodbridge (VA) partners with Healthagen to provide consumers the iTriage smartphone app to search for medical information and local healthcare services. In looking at the Healthagen website, it appears that providers like Doctor Express pay to have their practice listed in the local healthcare services section. It’s the new yellow pages, I suppose.

ONC begins recruiting physician champions to help peers who might be struggling to implement EHR. Meaningful Use Vanguard participants work with their area RECs to assist fellow providers become meaningful EHR users. Delaware already has 221 MUV champions taking part in the initiative.

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The Westborough (MA) Board of Selectmen vote to approve a tax increment financing plan that would reduce the real estate tax burden for eClinicalWorks. In 2009, eCW agreed to stay in Westborough and expand its operations rather than move out of the area. eCW spent $4.6 million on the purchase of a 100,000 square foot building that is being renovated. The tax exemptions will decrease eCW’s real estate taxes between 10 and 50% over the next five years for a projected savings of almost $200,000. The article in the local paper also notes that prior to committing to the new Westborough location, eCW was considering a move to Atlanta or Tampa.

ASC management company APAC Partners selects SourceMedical’s Vision Enterprise and Vision EHR products for its ASC and physician practice clients.

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I’d like to welcome MED3OOO to HIStalk Practice as a Platinum sponsor. MED3OOO has been a longtime HIStalk sponsor, and I am thrilled they have decided to spread their love to HIStalk Practice. The company provides medical billing and EHR software for physician groups, provider networks, and EMS organizations. In addition to selling their own InteGreat EHR and a couple of Allscripts EHR solutions, MED3OOO offers billing and RCM services, ASP hosting, coding and compliance, data warehousing, decision support, and more. MED3OOO is one of a handful of companies that has already incorporated Medicomp’s new Quippe technology (into InteGreat) and I had a chance to ooh and ah over it at HIMSS (great technology.)Thanks, MED3OOO, for your support of HIStalk Practice!

CCHIT weighs in on proposed Stage 2 and 3 Meaningful Use objectives and measures and reports findings from a survey of stakeholders (36% providers, 29% EHR vendors, and 29% “others.”) One-third of respondents say the nine proposed measures for Stage Two are too aggressive. More than 50% of the providers and 40% of the rest express concern for the proposed requirement for electronic reporting of syndromic surveillance to public health agencies, since public health agencies lack sufficient infrastructure to analyze the data. Other areas of concern include drug formulary, HIE, and medication reconciliation. Despite objections, most of the respondents think the proposed Stage 2 objectives could be accomplished by 2012.


E-mail Inga.

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