Healthcare providers participating in the health alliance Better Health Greater Cleveland believe the use of EMRs has helped improve the quality of care for patients with chronic conditions. The organization reports that patients who received care at sites with EMRs tended to improve at a faster rate than those using paper records. One physician exec says:
Electronic health record systems provide tools for physicians to increase the likelihood that their patients receive the right care at the right time. In addition, clinical practice leaders can use these tools to identify changes they can make in their medical offices to do a better job.
St. Cloud Medical Group (MN) contracts with Greenway Medical Technology for EHR and practice management. The 55-provider group will implement Greenway’s PrimeSuite software, as well as online portal PrimePatient and remote clinic PrimeMobile.
Physicians’ Alliance of America selects iMedicor’s secure messaging as its recommended communications systems for members. The 20,000 network members will be eligible for a 25% discount off the regular $20/month subscription rate.
Score one for doing things the old-fashioned way. A physician with Robert Wood Johnson University Medical Group finds that patient no-show rates were lower if an actual person made an appointment reminder call, versus an automated machine reminder. However, no show rates were even higher when no phone calls were made, suggesting an automated call is better than no call at all.
Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals launches a free mobile app for hemophilia A that helps patients track and record hemophilia factor VIII infusions. Another cool smart phone app: MIT Media Lab develops a smart-phone based eye exam tool designed to make exams more affordable in developing countries.
The incident of real-time claims adjudication and processing could improve with wider adoption of EMR. If physicians are able to enter clinical data at the point of care using an EMR, data could be immediately forwarded to insurance companies. One Harvard economics professor believes that administrative costs could be reduced $125 to $150 billion within five years with real-time adjudication. Sounds good. Unfortunately, too few practices find point of care charting a viable option.
RealMed introduces two new RCM products, REALCLEAN and REALASSURE. REALCLEAN (love the name) provides claims editing tools and REALSSURE helps manage the patient collection process.
Beginning July 1st, Indiana providers leaving health records illegally unsecured will be subject to fines. Additionally, state’s attorney general’s office will have the right to obtain and secure the abandoned records.
gloStream introduces a new sales promotion that targets the EMR replacement market. gloStream will give practices a $7,500 in practice management software for “free” if they upgrade from a competing EMR. I couldn’t say if that’s a great deal or not, but, it does point to the fact that the EMR replacement market is growing.
The AMA advocates for insurance payment for all non-face-to-face electronic visits. The AMA House of Delegates says that insurers need to recognize that telemedicine “is going to be a true form of health care delivery, not just a convenience.”
Medical billing service ECCO Health selects Kareo as its billing software solution.
Pulse Systems unveils a number of new products at its recent Knowledge Forum, including a patient web portal, Mobile MD for iPhone, a self-service kiosk solution, and solutions for use with iPads.
Primary care providers saw a 3% increase in their 2009 compensation, though OB/Gyns experienced a 1% decline, according to an MGMA survey. Dermatologists earned the largest compensation increase, bringing in an additional 12% over the previous year.