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July 30, 2010 News 1 Comment

Global technology and service company Cegedim buys EMR/PM vendor Pulse Systems. Cegedim is a Paris-based company that publishes medical, paramedical, and pharmacy management software in Europe and sees the Pulse transaction as an entry to the US market. Pulse says it will remain independently operated and plans to increase its employee count from 100 to 350 over the next couple of years.

Something to ponder: how meaningful are the Meaningful Use guidelines for ophthalmologists, surgeons, and other specialists that have little need to capture data on either the core or alternate measures? The core measures include blood pressure management, tobacco use, and weight screening; the alternate measures include influenza vaccine and childhood immunizations. These specialty providers have the option to report “zero” as the measurements if the quality measure doesn’t apply.  Doesn’t quite seem fair that the primary care doctors must capture and report on more measures, yet the stimulus dollars they earn are the same as the specialists.


The CMIO for the 800-physician Marshfield Clinic (WI) says the practice has the right technology in place to meet Stage 1 Meaningful Use measures. The challenge remains the operational challenge to get all physicians on board. Example: orthopedic specialists don’t see the value of recording smoking habits (see above). Marshfield uses a homegrown EMR (CattailsMD), which the CMIO says will require “fairly extensive reworking” to meet Phase 2 Meaningful Use requirements.

The AMA releases a statement claiming that no EHR on the market today does all the steps required for physicians to successfully meet Stage 1 Meaningful Use criteria. The AMA also objects to the tight timeline for adoption and the high overall number of measures that physicians are required to meet. Of course, did anyone believe the AMA would fully support the final ruling?

st john

St. John Providence Health System (MI) will offer eClinicalWorks’ EHR to its 3,000 employed and affiliated physicians. St John will host the eCW application as a SaaS model and connect providers to the health system’s inpatient Cerner system.

Banner Health moves three of its Colorado practices to NextGen’s EMR.

Arnot Health (NY) will provide the e-MDs practice EHR to its 150-provider medical group, integrating it with Arnot Ogden Medical Center’s inpatient EMR, QuadraMed CPR.

St. Clair Hospital (PA) offers a solution to provide EHR to its 550 physicians with admitting privileges. Participating physicians will use GE Healthcare’s eHealth Information Exchange technology to access patient data from various sites of care.


SOAPware introduces SOAPware Clinical Suite, which includes a practice management system component.

MBA Medical Business Associates expands its services offerings to include the MyWay EMR system. MBA hosts MyWay for its medical billing clients.

Regular readers may have noted that HIStalk Practice didn’t follow the normal posting schedule this week. My apologies if I messed up anyone’s need for an ambulatory HIT fix or if any news junkies find today’s post less than “fresh.” I likely have missed more juicy items than I found, but I promise to get back on track next week.

Physician offices added about 3,600 jobs in the first half of the year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In the first half of 2009, however, the industry added 8,000 jobs. Analysts predict hiring to pick up now that Congress passed a Medicare pay increase and health reform.

Ninety percent of doctors are affiliated with at least one hospital. The average physician is affiliated with 1.7 hospitals.

Baton Rouge Radiology Group signs a licensing agreement with Virtual Radiologic Corp. for its eRad Enterprise Connect 3.0 suite. The 25-radiologist group will use the application to unify disparate technologies such as work lists, image views, and reports.

CMS says it will be ready to start handing out incentive checks as early as May 2011. Physicians (and hospitals) hoping to receive funds for the meaningful use of their EHR can begin registering for the program in January.


Clever advertising: a Texas doctor who was not permitted to post traditional signs for his home-based practice buys this old Cadillac ambulance and uses it as a landmark for patients. Very fun.


E-mail Inga.

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