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June 15, 2009 News 4 Comments

Allscripts and Henry Schein enter a strategic partnership to market Allscripts Professional EHR. Under the exclusive agreement, Henry Schein will utilize its national medical sales force to market the solution nationwide. Henry Schein will also refer other Allscripts solutions on a non-exclusive basis.

maine

Maine Governor John Baldacci signs a bill requiring health insurance providers to cover telemedicine services, including those provided via interactive audio, video, and other electronic media.

A Delaware man walks out of his doctor’s appointment, taking the doctor’s computer with him. A few hours later police arrest the patient after finding the computer in his basement. No word on whether or not patient paid his bill.

GE Capital announces a $100 million commitment to extend no-interest loans to providers and hospitals purchasing GE’s Centricity EHR. The program allows providers to defer payment until receiving government stimulus money, likely in 2012.

Several consultants point to EMR adoption as one of the keys to keeping a practice solvent through the recession. Though the up front expense is high and implementation can be overwhelming, EMRs are required to create the quality reports necessary for P4P. Perhaps, but plenty of doctors will still remained convinced that the costs outweigh the benefits.

VirtualHealth Technologies finalizes an agreement with Silk Information Systems to provide web-based EHR, RCM, and billing solutions with no up-front costs to its base of 1,500 medical practices, through VirtualHealth’s subsidiary Medical Office Software.

In Virginia, large medical groups continue to increase in size, as more doctors give up their independent practices. The trend is not unique to the area, nor are some of the reasons for joining bigger groups: more stability, less responsibility for day-to-day business operations and thus fewer hours. Lower overhead as costs for such things as billing, EMRs, and administrative functions are also a draw. Opponents of the trend fear quality may suffer.

An Indiana ophthalmologist and his wife are found dead at their practice, victims of an apparent murder/suicide. Dr. Philip Gabriele and wife Marcella were indicted last week on federal charges of health care fraud, wire fraud, and criminal conspiracy. The indictment claims the doctor falsely and fraudulently diagnosed cataracts in patients and performed unnecessary cataract surgeries. False claims were then submitted to Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurance carriers. The Gabrieles denied the charges and were suppose to turn themselves in the day they were found dead. No winners in this story.

President Obama addresses the AMA Monday, stressing the need for reform. Some of the speech covered old ground: the need for a comprehensive upgrade to EMRs, more focus on preventative health, and emphasis on cutting costs. Obama stressed he was against caps on malpractice awards (likely not popular with the physician crowd) and discussed his proposed “Health Insurance Exchange” program for the uninsured or for those that don’t like their current coverage.

Sixty-one percent of American adults now look online for health information, compared to 25% in 2000.

A physician shares her thoughts on how social media can expand the physician/patient relationship, as well as help patients and physicians widen illness support networks. A good read if you are already a social media-savvy doctor, or, one wondering if it is worth the investment in time and energy.

elkin

The Mayo Foundation for Medical Research and Education and former employee Dr. Peter Elkin are in the midst of a legal battle, with each suing the other party. At the heart of the issue is ownership rights and royalties for natural language software developed by the physician while in Mayo’s employ. The story involves a web of companies, including LingoLogix (a company we profiled on HIStalk) and Cerner (who later bought LingoLogix and has now filed its own lawsuit.)

Next year we hope to make this conference. Last week 350 medical experts and computer game professionals came together for the fifth annual Games for Health Conference. Highlights included games specifically focused on improving cognitive health and the use of gaming to change behavior. It’s just a matter of time before doctors begin handing out prescriptions for Halo 3 and Call of Duty.

Comments 4
  • Rumor has it that iMedica is going to change it’s name in the near future.

  • Is it me or does it seem like Allscripts is leaning more and more to relying on resellers? Or, are the resellers just making noise? Or maybe more successful?

  • In the dozens of practices I’ve seen merge into larger groups, I have never ONCE seen an instance of “lower overhead,” particularly when you factor in the time spent with the merger.

    Only the poorest-run practices who have never negotiated on their own see real margin from merging, imo, and those are the last practices you want in your group.

  • Doesn’t Henry Schein already have an EMR product for the 1 -25 doctor practices? Or was MicroMD just practice management? If it is also an EMR, what prompted this move and what happens to those customers?

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