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From MGMA 10/24/11

October 24, 2011 News No Comments

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If you saw Elvis, then you must in in Las Vegas. Dueling Elvises (Elvi?) were on hand to entertain the MGMA crowds on the opening day. Personally, I thought the younger Elvis was way hotter than the more senior and rotund version. Young Elvis gave me his card, saying, “If you ever need an Elvis, I can hook you up.” Since HIMSS is heading to Vegas in February, I intend to keep his contact info, since one really doesn’t know when you might need an Elvis

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MGMA made a big push this year to get the crowds in the exhibit hall on the first day. There was very little competition in terms of educational speakers and the first 1,000 folks to enter the hall got “special” gifts. I must have been #1,001 because I got nada. The hall opened at 1:00 and free drinks and appetizers were on hand beginning at 3:00. Bribery apparently worked, as the traffic did appear heavier to me than in years past. Cirque du Soleil acrobats were also floating about, including this magician. They were fun and entertaining, even though I found the masks a bit creepy.

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Plenty of magicians, money-grab booths, and massages were available to attract attendees into booths. My favorite entertainer was the chef at Zirmed, who was mixing up some bruschetta and juggling tomatoes, while also giving a spiel on Zirmed’s “recipe for success.” Now that’s talent.

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I also enjoyed the balloon maker at the IDS booth (that’s an octopus above.) Creating balloon animals is also an enviable talent.

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Sage is donating $5 to a cancer research organization for anyone who signs on their wall. And, Gateway is giving $5 to the Susan B. Komen for every card they swipe.  Thank you Sage and Gateway.

Another good cause: United Healthcare has markers, crayons, stickers, and all those other fun things you enjoyed in kindergarten and is encouraging attendees to create cards for service men and women. I made a little Christmas card that I thought was quite cheery.

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Today’s shoe winner: these little alligator skin beauties worn by a doctor. Angela with CTG was a close second in her knee-high black patent leather boots (I’m sorry I didn’t get a picture.)

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I mentioned that Sunday afternoon the exhibitors didn’t have much competition from the standard education sessions. However MGMA did offer 20 minute education sessions in  the Healthcare Innovations Pavilion, which was set up at the far end of the exhibit hall. They appeared to be pretty well attended.  I had intended to sit through a couple but by the time I found the Pavilion (did I mention it was at the far end of the hall?) I had already missed the sessions that most interested me.

I saw a good number of sponsors were displaying their “Power HIStalk” signs, including e-MDs, NextGen, Accusis, Culbert, and Gateway. If you see one of our signs (which are autographed by me, Mr. H, and Dr. Jayne), please join me in thanking the vendor for supporting HIStalk.

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Speaking of sponsors, last year Mr. H bought me a monogramed lab coat to wear to our sponsors’ luncheon at HIMSS. I am now kind of wishing he had gotten me this sparkly silver coat instead. It also came in gold, which I think would look lovely on my BFF, Dr. Jayne.

Every HIT vendor was pitching its Meaningful Use certified status. Even the transcription companies were touting how their offerings could help practices achieve Meaningful Use.

In terms of technology, the best new offering I checked out came from Patient Point. The company has a care coordination platform that integrates clinical data from health plans, pharmacy benefit managers, and PM and EMR systems. The data can be used to create customized care plans, coordinate care, identify gaps in care, and monitor quality measures. The company also offers a point of service kiosk and online portal. It may not be the stuff the average practice is quite ready for, but as more organizations move towards PCMHs and ACOs, I can see increased demand for many of the tools they are introducing. Good stuff.

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The opening reception was well-attended, which is not unexpected when the drinks are free and the food is good. The food choices were diverse, from sushi to pasta to chocolate-covered strawberries.

My picks for Tuesday: Farzad Mostashari leads a session on Meaningful Use and at least one of the many sessions on transitioning to 5010 and ICD-10. I have multiple party choices for this evening (thanks for the many invites) so I’ll be pacing myself (that’s my plan anyway.)

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And finally, lest anyone forget, Vegas is always a excellent place to observe great fashion. As you can see, a girl can never go wrong wearing garter stockings with short shorts.

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E-mail Inga.

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