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News 3/27/12

March 26, 2012 News 1 Comment

3-26-2012 5-46-47 PM

The 38-provider St. Cloud Orthopedic (MN) selects SRS EHR.

3-26-2012 5-48-19 PM

A Maine public radio station profiles EMR adoption by solo physicians, including internal medicine physician Dr. James Raker. Raker adopted an EHR last year to “keep up with the industry” but feels they are more time-consuming than paper and do “nothing” to help patients. Raker also notes that an EHR conversion can be a daunting task for a solo physician and is one reason many are electing to join larger groups or seeking early retirement. Family physician Dr. Paul Wooden adds that EHRs make it challenging to give patients the attention they deserve and make visits less personal. Despite those negatives, Wooden finds EHRs helpful:

“They excel in terms of data capture, of making records available, keeping track of medication lists, allergy lists. They have the ability to check a patient’s allergy list based upon medicines that are prescribing, so that’s a real benefit.”

American Medical News provides some tips for physicians and small practices to ensure that a lost mobile device does not result in a data breach. The suggestions are targeted to providers who don’t have the benefit of a health system or large practice to manage their device security and include:

  • Selecting a device that offers encryption tools or security apps
  • Using a passcode lock
  • Adding remote wipe capabilities
  • Enacting required login to any applications that carry personal information.

3-26-2012 5-49-08 PM

Former Carefx Chairman and CEO Andrew Hurd is appointed president and CEO of Epocrates. Hurd takes over for Peter Brandt, who will step down as interim president and CEO and assume the role of vice chairman of the board of directors.

3-26-2012 4-54-23 PM

Through the end of February, the EHR Incentive program paid EPs and hospitals almost $3.9 billion. Here’s how that breaks down for EPs:

  • Medicare payments of over $636 million to 35,341 EPs, including 31,650 MDs or osteopaths.
  • $511 million from state Medicaid programs to 24,443 EPs.
  • Total payments to EPs: almost $1.2 billion.

February, by the way, was the biggest month ever for EP incentive payments: $326 million to 17,285 EPs.

3-26-2012 5-50-22 PM

TRA Medical Imaging (WA) contracts with Zotec Partners to manage the billing operations for its 52 physicians.

CMS informs physicians who were not deemed “successful electronic prescribers” in 2011 that they may contact the agency’s QualityNet Help Desk, should they have questions about this year’s 1% Medicare payment adjustments that will be imposed for failing to meet 2011 e-prescribing requirements. Though the e-prescribing incentive program does not have a formal appeals or review process, CMS has agreed to review concerns to identify any unusual or extenuating circumstances that may warrant further consideration.

3-26-2012 5-43-06 PM

US Representative Nancy Pelosi participates in a ribbon-cutting ceremony for Practice Fusion, which recently moved into a new building after completing a $1 million renovation. Pelosi  said that the rapidly growing Practice Fusion exemplifies the kind of innovation that lawmakers had in mind when they passed the Affordable Care Act. Am I the only one who doesn’t quite get the connection between the Accountable Care Act (not ARRA) and Practice Fusion’s growth?

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E-mail Inga.

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Comments 1
  • Isn’t it odd how certain EHR companies seem to flaunt their connections with politicians? I’ve always thought that dangerous. US Rep Pelosi with PracticeFusion and the Pres with Mr. Tullman from Allscripts. Just strikes me as not good business practice to mix business and politics – especially healthcare business.

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