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July 11, 2011 News 1 Comment

From Micki Tripathi “Re: Massachusetts E-Health Project. Thought you might find this interesting.” Micki is the president and CEO of the MA e-Health Collaborative (MAeHC) and a noted HIStalk Practice contributor. He forwarded a link to an AHRQ-funded study on the physician use of clinical registries before and after the implementation of EHR. The study found that physicians who participated in MAeHC’s EHR implementation initiative increased their ability to generate registries for lab results and medication use. The authors conclude that Massachusetts’ 4-year, $50 million HIT program may be a viable model to improve the quality of care.

7-11-2011 2-40-38 PM

MGMA names Susan Turney, MD its president and CEO, succeeding the retiring William F. Jessee, MD. Turney, who is an internist, has served as CEO of the Wisconsin Medical Society since 2004 and founded and chaired the Wisconsin Statewide HIE.  I’m planning to attend MGMA’s annual conference (late October in Las Vegas) and I look forward to hearing more about Turney. I must admit I’ll miss Dr. Jessee, who I have always found to be very insightful and articulate.

In case you are feeling Meaningful Use-challenged, CMS is offering a teleconference for providers July 14th to walk through the basics of the program. The call will cover eligibility, calculating incentives, attesting, and Q&A.


Greenway Medical reports that of the 40 RECs with established operations, more than 80% include Greenway’s PrimeSUITE EHR as a solution of choice.

Allscripts business partner CHMB pays $2 million cash for the assets of Davis & Associates, a provider of medical billing and technology to physician practices.

Telepsychiatry is not catching on as fast as other telemedicine offerings and money may be the reason. Insurance companies, including Medicare and Medicaid, typically pay less for Web-based mental health counseling than in-person therapy, meaning patients must pay more out-of-pocket. And, some carriers do not offer any reimburse for telepsychiatry services. Craziness.

Physicians in private practice are twice as likely to practice defensive medicine than their federally-employed peers. Unlike physicians in private practice, the Federal Tort Claims Act protects government-contracted physicians against personal financial liability. Makes you wonder how much healthcare spending could be trimmed if private physicians were better protected against lawsuits and didn’t feel compelled to order all those CYA-type services.

7-11-2011 5-57-49 PM

Health IT Services Group announces that over 1,000 nephrologists now use its Acumen nEHR.

Practices with less than 20 physicians on average use about 20% of the care processes that are considered required for medical homes, including care coordination, electronic disease registries, e-prescribing, and online communication with patients. In general, the smaller the practice, the less likely it is to have implemented HIT processes. I noticed, however, that the data for this Health Affairs-published study was compiled between July 2007 and March 2009. Perhaps it’s overly optimistic to assume that today a much larger percentage of small and medium-sized practices are embracing HIT processes.

Fun facts you can share with folks around the water cooler and look really smart (or nerdy):

  • The Medicare EHR incentive program has paid over $94 million in incentives through June 30th
  • Over $166 million in Medicaid EHR incentives have been paid through June 30th
  • There are over 68,000 active registrations of EPs and hospitals for the Medicare and Medicaid EHR programs.

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E-mail Inga.

Comments 1
  • how has all of the changes at west penn alleghany healthsystem in pittsburgh been overlooked. Highmark came in recently to take them over. Many have been fired – as they should be.

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