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News 1/27/11

January 26, 2011 News 2 Comments

From: Maybe Confused “Re: Certified EHRs. I understand that to qualify for Stage One Meaningful Use you only have to use five of 10 objectives on a menu set. Does that mean my EHR can be certified for just those five components? Or do all 10 objectives need to be certified? Confused.” I did a bit of digging and found a similar question on ONC’s FAQ section. Bottom line: you must possess EHR technology that meets ALL certification criteria, whether you use all of them or not. That could be a single EHR product with complete certification, or, multiple products with modular certification to cover all requirements. And, I agree; it’s quite confusing.

First we learn that EHRs may not improve care. Now researchers say that pay for performance programs have no effect on patient outcomes. A study out of the UK finds that paying doctors financial rewards to meet targets for improving patient care made no discernable difference to the health or treatment of people with high blood pressure. One researcher concludes that the government and private insurers “are likely wasting many billions on policies that assume that all you have to do is pay doctors to improve quality of medical care.”

medios

Baptist Health South Florida selects IOS Health Systems’ Medios EHR for its Physician EHR Donation Program. I believe “Physician EHR Donation Program” is just a clever name for the hospital’s initiative to subsidy EHR for their affiliated physicians. Medios will also provide a connection to the hospital’s Siemens Net Access System.

Citing tight economic conditions, the ONC extends the amount of time it will cover most of the costs for RECs from two to four years. With the original four-year grant program, RECs would have been responsible for only 10% of costs during the first two years and ONC would pay 90%. In the final two years, that ratio would have switched. The ONC now plans to pay of 90% of costs for four years.

PrimeCare (FL) selects Doctors Administrative Solutions (DAS) as its EHR vendor of choice. PrimeCare will implement DAS’s personalized version of Aprima Medical Software EHR in 12 of its owned practices.

EMR vendor gloStream offers practices a full refund on software and services if physicians aren’t back up to their usual full patient load within 15 days of the implementation completion. As Mr. H mentioned in HIStalk yesterday, the offer sounds great but be sure to read the fine print.

nuemd

Nuesoft Technologies updates its brand with a new set of logos and updated color schemes. They are looking for feedback here.

Healthcare Administrative Partners hires two new managers for its billing, coding, and medical practice management consulting business. Former Advisory Board product manager Yukki Lam will serve as a practice manager; former NextGen and Siemens Healthcare analyst Carol Smith will take over as Director of Data Analysis.

office ally

Office Ally says over 340,000 providers now use one or more of its products, following a 36% increase in users in 2010.

Need a free web-based patient appointment reminder tool? HealthCollaborate releases a free module to that sends automated appointment reminders via email or text messaging. In looking at their website I didn’t see any sort of “catch” for the service, but did note the company offers a number of other services for a fee.

The publisher of The Wall Street Journal files suit in US district court, seeking to overturn a thirty-two-year-old court order barring public access to a confidential Medicare database. Publisher Dow Jones & Co. says access to the database is essential to rooting out fraud and abuse in the Medicare program. The AMA has long argued to keep the records secret, saying that to disclose how much money individual doctors collect would violate their privacy. Health-care advocates, law-enforcement officials and others argue that access to the data would expose instances of fraud, ease evaluations of the quality and cost of care, and help ensure the government is doing everything it can to protect taxpayer funds. I say it’s public funds and taxpayers deserve to know how the money is being spent.

inga

E-mail Inga.

Comments 2
  • “First we learn that EHRs may not improve care. Now researchers say that pay for performance programs have no effect on patient outcomes. A study out of the UK finds that paying doctors financial rewards to meet targets for improving patient care made no discernable difference to the health or treatment of people with high blood pressure. One researcher concludes that the government and private insurers “are likely wasting many billions on policies that assume that all you have to do is pay doctors to improve quality of medical care.”

    So…what’s the solution? The current state of medicine in the US is unsustainable. Preventable errors are killing or maiming patients daily. We’ll never get to a sustainable system unless the quality of care improves. Costs will continue to sky rocket and more and more patients will be left without access to appropriate care.

    And how is HIT NOT part of any solution that’s put forth? Maybe I’m missing something here. The fact that I can’t get records from a doctor across town without them being delivered in some analog fashion is just plain stupid when I have a system and he has a system. How is that not improving transitions or coordination of care? How is that improving care to the patient since how his/her docs are actually communicating at an atomic level? I look at these studies with a jaded eye. Least we simply stop using or innovating around these systems because some PhD or MD with too much time on their hands decides to study a “n” of 12 and make a broad assumption that these systems have no value in clinical medicine.
    Poppycock and bolderdash, I say. Let them write all the studies they want. It improves MY practice. That’s about all I care about. And the incentive payments are nice while they last.

  • It will improve care, across populations; although, I certainly hope that doctors provide excellent care to every patient they see and, with the coming large elderly population, they are going to be seeing a lot more people. It will be save physicians money once it has been implemented completely. I have been to practices that pay people to simply FIND CHARTS!

    However, doctors have to put as much energy into LEARING and USING the system as they do complaining. A lot more pre-project planning would go a long way, but I’d take willingness to learn and use what has been purchased.

    Yes, they ‘have to do it’, but that’s because the majority of them have made no effort to incorporate change into their offices, unless it had to be done by the front office and billing staff. I also love their judgements the ‘it doesn’t work’, which I find amusing since they spend so little time actually paying attention to training and practicing using the system before making this assessment.

    HIT does work and will work. The amount of pain involved could be lessened, but sometimes it just seems to be the only way for it to happen. There’s nothing that make my day better than a, “hey, that’s pretty cool” comment.

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