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July 25, 2012 News 3 Comments

7-25-2012 2-19-59 PM

From Old timer “Dr. Michael Stearns. Thought you might be interested in this press release.” Old Timer forwarded me a copy of a press release prepared on behalf of former e-MDs president and CEO Michael Stearns, who was abruptly fired earlier this month. Not unlike e-MDs’ press release announcing Stearns’ departure, Sterns’ statement is short on specifics and does not provide any additional insight into the nature of the allegations, nor whether a lawsuit may be in the works. An excerpt:

“Very little additional information has been shared, but e-MDs claims they received allegations limited in scope to potential violations of company policy. We know with certainty that any such allegations were only partially investigated. My replacement, Dr. David Winn, founder, board president, and majority owner of e-MDs, was immediately reinstated as CEO. I am disappointed that e-MDs took the unusual step of publishing what amounts to unsubstantiated allegations that have not been subject to due process, in particular given the potential harm false claims may have on an individual’s family and on their reputation. Yet, despite this unfortunate turn of events, I am proud of what we accomplished during my tenure at e-MDs and I wish their staff and customers well in the future.”

From Numbers skeptic “Re: attestation numbers. Attestation numbers by EMR continue to look anemic. It might be interesting to show a graph of the number who have attested, divided by the number who use the EMR. For example, eClinical and Practice Fusion each boast well over 50k users; that makes the number who have used the program to successfully attest woefully small.” While the graph you are suggesting might be an interesting data point, I don’t think it would give much insight into whether or not a product is Meaningful Use-friendly. Note that the CMS data does not include attestation data for the 41,000 EPs who have qualified under state Medicaid programs. A provider with a heavy Medicaid population probably has less disposable income and is more likely to select a lower-priced EHR solution, such as Practice Fusion or eClinicalWorks. Also keep in mind that many providers are not necessarily interested in attesting for MU, even though they want a functional EHR. For example, an orthopedic surgeon may want a basic EHR but believes a $44,000 bonus is inadequate incentive for changing practice workflow, if it were required to meet MU requirements. He/she may elect to go with a low-cost solution, or, may implement an EHR better suited for orthopedic-specific workflow. I love to crunch numbers but developing reasonable conclusions can sometimes be tricky.

7-25-2012 2-26-12 PM

The 30-physician EyeCare Associates (AL) consolidates 19 PM systems with the deployment of EMRlogic Systems’ activEHR PM solution.

Doctors Access, a PM company and division of iPractice Group, partners with CareCloud to offer its 500 users access to CareCloud’s Doctors Access Pro PM software.

Practice Fusion names Riyad Omar general counsel (NewsRight) and Patrick Dugan (Bloodhound) VP of corporate development.

The American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) announces that CMS will include ABIM’s Maintenance of Certification program in its 2012 PQRS Maintenance of Certification Program Incentive, meaning ABIM board certified physicians can earn an additional .5% bonus payment beyond the standard PQRS incentive.

7-25-2012 3-34-13 PM

The ONC’s HealthIT.gov Website publishes information to help providers calculate the cost of purchasing an EHR. Key considerations include the cost of hardware, software, implementation, training, and ongoing fees. Based on input from RECs, the ONC estimates the total cost of ownership over five years for an-office EHR is $48,000, compared to $58,000 for a SaaS option.

The AMA launches the Cutting-Edge Contracting Group, an online community to help physicians evaluate and negotiate payment options and contracts with managed care organizations.

Inga large

E-mail Inga.

Comments 3
  • RE: “Dr. Michael Stearns.” I have known Michael Stearns for several years. The man is not only bright, but also a class act. My relationship with Mike has been both professionally and personally. I can honestly say that I have never seen him exhibit any signs of impropriety. Further, I commend the manner in which he has handled these allegations. I trust the truth will come out in time. I only hope that the recklessness of Winn does not ruin the morale or career of such a fine man.

  • Inga,
    I understand your point, but I still think the data discussed above would be useful. Sure, some people attest for Medicaid and some don’t want to attest at all. The comparison I suggest would be valid and of interest to those considering EMR’s who DO want to attest for Medicare. This is a response to the industry hype; all of these companies touted doc’s ability to get $44k from Medicare “with the help of our EMR”. It is instructive to know that only a very small percentage were successful in doing so with most EMR’s.

  • You should try and get an interview with Dr. Winn. He’s one of the first people I met when diving into the EMR world. He’s outspoken with strong opinions. A bit like Jonathan Bush, but a little less flamboyant.

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