The HIT Policy Committee suggests delaying Stage 2 Meaningful Use one year until 2014. Providers and vendors have told the panel, ONC, and CMS that they need the extra year to develop and implement the new technology since the final Stage 2 rule is not expected to be released until mid-2012. An added benefit of the date push-back: more providers might participate in the Stage 1 qualification process since they would have an additional year to qualify.
iPhones continue to dominate the physician market and 75% US physicians now own an iPhone, iPad, and/or iPod. A year after its introduction, 30% of physicians use an iPad and 28% plan to purchase one in the next six months.
Emdeon acquires EquiClaim, a provider of healthcare audit and recovery services, for about $41 million in cash.
Healthcare consulting company Arcadia Solutions announces that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the assets of Concordant, Inc. Concordant is a provider of consulting and implementation services for ambulatory practices.
AMA introduces a series of CME-accredited online tutorials to help physicians select and implement new HIT systems for their practice.
MedInformatix offers a lower-priced EHR option for one- to three-physician practices. It includes an EHR module, e-prescribing, a patient portal, and a Meaningful Use reporting module.
Nuesoft Technologies names the spring 2011 winners of its College Health Scholarship Program, awarding the five college and university health centers an in-kind donation of up to $5,000 towards the purchase of Nuesoft’s college health center or EMR. Grant recipients are American River College, Folsom Lake College, Winthrop University, Sacramento City College, and Consumnes River College.
3M introduces its Mobile Physician solution, which allows physicians to manage their daily schedule, review patient information, dictate progress notes, and log charges.
Phreesia rolls out an asthma control assessment tool as part of its automated check-in solution.
St. Jude Medical says its Merlin.net Patient Care Network is now fully integrated with GE Healthcare’s Centricity EMR, as well as Scottcare’s OneView CRM device management system. Merlin.net is an Internet-based repository of patient and implantable device data.
The estimated cost to transition to ICD ranges from $83,000 for a small (3-9 physicians) practice, to $285,000 for a mid-sized (10-99 physicians), and up to $2.7 million for a large (100+ physicians). These figures reflect training requirements and technology upgrades.
Nuesoft posts a video called Reworking Workflow to Maximize Revenue, which features advice from Nuetopia billing consultant Cara Buckhaulter.
A temporary employee uses a low-tech scheme to steal money from patients at a Connecticut clinic. Melba Witter told patients that she didn’t know how to operate the credit card machine. If patients wanted to pay by credit card, she photocopied the card and told patients the office manager would process the payment. Two weeks later, patients began calling to report the fraudulent charges. Witter has since been arrested and charged with 11 counts of third-degree identity theft, illegal use of a credit card, and sixth-degree larceny.
WebPT releases its WebPT Pediatric module for the WebPT EMR.
Pediatricians and family and practitioners with obstetrics have the highest collect rates of all specialties, according to a new report from the National Society of Certified Healthcare Business Consultants. Physicians in these specialties had higher collection rates (66%), but, earned less than providers in other specialties. The report also notes that overhead as a percentage of collected revenue ranges from 58% (family practice) to 38% (anesthesiologists).