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August 9, 2010 News 3 Comments

From Paging Dr. F: “Re: paging. Do doctors still use pagers? Or do smart phones give them all the functionality they need?” That’s a great question and I am curious to hear readers’ input on this. I’ve read estimates suggesting 65% to 90% of physicians have smart phones, which in my mind make pagers obsolete. Or, do pagers offer some sort of unique functionality of which I’m not aware?

Central Illinois Hematology Oncology Center selects Rabbit Healthcare Systems for its integrated EHR, LIS, and PM solution.

american board medical specialties

The American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) wants its 750,000 certified physicians to be tech-savvy, so it is incorporating Meaningful Use into its Maintenance of Certification program. Though HIT knowledge will not be a requirement for re-certification, ABMS want physicians to use new self-assessment tools to evaluate how well they incorporate evidence-based medicine into their practices and how effectively they use technology for data collection, decision support, and reporting.

hill physicians

Hill Physicians Medical Group (CA) adds 120 doctors from Physicians Integrated Medical Group. The CEO of Physicians Integrated Medical Group suggests the move was necessary to provide high-quality and comprehensive support for physicians and patients.

You have to be large enough to provide sophisticated technology and infrastructure, while remaining focused on the needs of individual patients and the independent medical practice.

Hill Physicians, by the way, offers NextGen EMR and PM to its 3,000 physicians.


A federal jury convicts Randeep Mann on seven counts related to the February 2009 car bomb attack on the head of the medical board of Arkansas. He originally faced medical board disciplinary action for multiple issues and now could receive life in prison.

In honor of National Health Center Week, Sage Healthcare employees are volunteering at several clinics, including Health Linc (IN) and New Hanover Health Center (NC). At HealthLinc, Sage employees will host a back-to-school fair and carnival that’s giving free sports physicals and immunizations. At New Hanover, the volunteers will scan paper records into the clinic’s electronic system (could it be a Sage EMR?)


SRS announces that Sandhills Pediatrics (SC) has selected its hybrid EMR for its 14-provider practice. I thought the practice name sounded familiar and realized I interviewed Dr. Chrisoph Diasio about a year ago. It’s actually worth a read (or re-read) if you are so inclined, as Dr. Diasio shares some great insights on his EMR use, coding, documentation, and ARRA. His best line: “ARRA funding is the ultimate vaporware.”  I’m curious if he still holds this view. (Follow up note: a reader shared that Dr. Diasio is actually with a different Sandhills Pediatrics in North Carolina, not South Carolina.  Also an SRS client. Sorry for the mistake. Regardless, Dr. Diasio offered plenty of spicy words in his interview.)

Allscripts completes its ACE conference in Las Vegas, which was attended by Mr. H and 3,500 others. Over on HIStalk, Mr. H shares the lowdown, including an observation that the crowd seemed more concerned with reimbursement than HITECH. He shared this additional thought with me today:

I smelled fear from some of the small practices. They are counting every penny. Some of the mid-sized ones said their older doctors are probably just going to retire, which they also said would probably boost EMR usage since the older docs are the holdouts. They sweat every Allscripts charge for upgrade help and even the Stimulus Pack was a sore spot for Enterprise users since Allscripts is charging for it under some circumstances. It’s funny since hospital people never seem to fuss about infinitely higher prices, so it was refreshing to see customers pushing back on their vendor a little.

Mr. H later added that attendees did more chatting about Meaningful Use in the exhibit area, but more along the lines of whether or not the government would actually pay anything. Apparently there’s widespread distrust that they’ll find ways to avoid paying, which is not unusual with healthcare payments.

kent alexander

Speaking of Allscripts, the company names former Emory University General Counsel Kent Alexander as its new EVP and general counsel.

athenahealth and Humana team up to subsidize the cost of athenaClinicals for 100 physician practices representing 1,000 physicians. Humana will cover 85% of implementation costs, representing about $4,000, plus pay doctors as much as 20% for meeting certain performance standards.

Meanwhile, Highmark, Inc. says they’ll increase reimbursements $3 to $9 per claim, depending on physicians meeting quality benchmarks. Benchmarks include such things as having EMRs and e-prescribing capabilities.

New: a version of Ingenix’s CareTracker PM/EHR with functionality for Federally Qualified Health Centers. Ingenix is also extending interest-free financing and Meaningful Use guarantees.

Physician offices add 1,100 jobs in July, representing a mere 0.1% growth.

EMR usage in community care centers is on the rise. Eighty-four percent of members in the Association of Community Cancer Centers reported EMR use in 2009, compared to 64% in 2008.

NextGen selects eduTrax as a preferred medical coding and educational content provider and will offer 38 educational courses for NextGen customers.


HHS honors Text4baby with its HHS Innovates award for providing its free mobile educational service for pregnant mothers and mothers of newborns

Newly proposed legislation extends medical technology incentives to mental health providers who demonstrate meaningful use of EHRs and e-prescribing. Crazy (no pun intended) that psychologists and clinical social works were not included as eligible providers in the original legislation.


E-mail Inga.

Comments 3
  • Re: Dr. Diasio.

    His Sandhills is in NORTH Carolina. The SRS press release is for one in SOUTH Carolina. Same practice names, neighboring states.

    I can assure you, however, that he very much feels the same about ARRA.

  • Text4baby is on TPD’s List of iPhone Apps at the following link:



  • Most everyone I know still carries a pager if they take call and have to be available. The pagers operate on a low frequency that penetrates well into big buildings; cell phones fail in lots of places.

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