Healthcare IT coordinator David Blumenthal e-mails a letter promoting EHR as a critical element for healthcare transformation and urging support for the ONC’s work. “As a primary care physician for over 30 years, I spent the first twenty shuffling papers in search of missing studies and frequently hoping, during middle-of-the-night emergencies, that I knew enough about patients’ medical histories to make good decisions. All that changed when I began to have access to patients’ electronic medical records. It made me a much better doctor. I would never go back, and neither would the vast majority of American physicians who have made the leap into the electronic age.”
Over 2,500 GE Healthcare employees from the Milwaukee area are volunteering to help paint, clean, organize, and provide landscaping for local schools. This is the 15th year GE has participated in this single-day volunteer event.
Iowa physician Dr. Jim Selenke offers this sound advice for physicians installing EHRs: become your own technical specialist. “Any physician who has used a computer and is patient and willing to watch and listen to instructions can easily maintain a system.”
Marshfield Clinic (WI) receives a $13.8 million Medicare bonus after demonstrating significant savings in a CMS Medicare demonstration project. Marshfield showed it was able to improve quality of care at a lower cost than other other regional providers. The clinic’s medical director claims EHR was one ingredient necessary for success.
MD-IT, a provider of medical documentation software and services, acquires the medical transcription unit of Moretti Group. MD-IT now has 12 offices across the country and serves 6,000 physicians nationwide.
Former A4/Allscripts executive David Bond gets out of healthcare to develop a social networking site for teen athletes, earning kudos from former boss John McConnell (who did the same, now running his string of high-end golf courses).
Practice management and RCM provider Avisena announces a 148% increase in quarterly profits, compared to the same period last year.
Caritas Christi Health Care (MA) sells off its physician-office laboratory business to Quest Diagnostics. The deal includes an agreement to link Caritas’ EHR to a shared information exchange so physician practices can access Quest-processed test results.
United Healthcare and the state of Colorado introduce a new telehealth program to help physicians connect to rural and underserved areas.The Connected Care program anticipates facilitating 4,800 specialist visits per year, using a combination of audio and video technology.
MDeverywhere plans to market provider credentialing services, coding audits, and related consulting services from DoctorsManagement.
Tenet Healthcare contracts with physician rating service DrScore.com to provide patient feedback on 185 of its doctors. Dr.Score will collect and analyze online data from patients across three physician networks. Tenet may bring on an additional 185 doctors in the fall.
PM/EMR provider Sajix announces its own “STIMULUS INCENTIVE” program for existing HIT providers and physicians. The company provides few details in their press release, other than to say it provides an “incentive” to the doctors replacing current PM/EMR products with Sajix’s products. However, since the company uses all caps when referring to the program, you have to assume it’s a great deal.
HealthGrades claims it’s the #1 doctor-ratings Web site by an “enormous” margin. The site receives more than seven million individual visits each month and currently includes more than 900,000 patient surveys of doctors.
3M introduces an electronic stethoscope that uses Bluetooth technology to wirelessly transfer body sounds to software for further analysis.
The AMA offers tips for reducing the expense of accepting credit and debit cards. Physicians are encouraged to shop rates, negotiate lower rates, and pay attention to added fees. With typical rates around 2% to 5%, practices can keep costs at the low end by having processors bid for their business.
Americans are living longer than ever, according to the CDC. In 2007, the average American lived to 77.9 years, up from 77.7 the year before. Women still live longer than men (80.4 years versus 75.3 years for men) but the gap is narrowing (7.9 years for difference is 1979 but only 5.1 years today.)
NextGen Healthcare reports that over the last few months 12 community health centers have selected NextGen’s EHR and PM solution.