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September 9, 2013 News No Comments

9-9-2013 11-36-27 AM

I was drawn to this headline, which suggests that the implementation of a cloud-based integrated EHR/PM solution will save independent physicians from acquisition. The press release covers the results of a survey of CFOs, CIOs, administrators, and support staff from hospitals and physician practices and finds that the majority of practices believe their billing and collection systems/processes need upgrading. Almost half the practices report they are considering an upgrade to RCM software within the next six to 12 months, which is not surprising given the looming ICD-10 deadline. Also not surprising: most practices would prefer a single source vendor for their RCM/PM/EHR solution. I found this result a big more confounding:

88 percent of business managers fear that the ramifications of their outdated and/or auto-piloted RCM systems, particularly those not integrated to EHRs, will force their physician to sell out to a larger physician group or hospital within 12 months or face practice dissolution.

My guess is that practices realize they need to get an ICD-10-ready solution in place or else they won’t be able to get paid. Instead of offering reasons for this high level of fear, Black Book suggests that practices can save themselves from acquisition if  they migrate to a cloud-based solution. What about those practices that have a perfectly satisfactory non-cloud-based PM solution that simply requires an updated version in advance of ICD-10? I am not anti-new technology and maybe I am overlooking something, but the way this information is presented leaves me wondering what kind of funding Black Book may get from some of these cloud-based vendors.

9-9-2013 12-10-42 PM

NextGen Healthcare’s parent company Quality Systems acquires Mirth Corporation, which offers the Mirth Connect open source integration engine. The company says the acquisition will allow NextGen to better offer data exchange capabilities, including participation in HIEs. Strategically its appears similar to Allscripts’ dbMotion acquisition in that it provides the company with diversification beyond its core EHR products. NextGen likely hopes the Mirth offering will give the company an edge when competing for a health system’s ambulatory EHR/PM business.

Capario announces it is ready to begin ICD-10 testing with its submitter customers and vendor partners and is offering customers an online ICD-10 submitter testing tool at no charge.

Patients of Advocate Medical Group (IL) file a class-action lawsuit against the practice, charging the group did not do enough to protect their private data. The suit follows the July 15 theft of four unencrypted computers that contained information on more than four million patients.

9-9-2013 12-56-37 PM

In the same neck of the woods, a debt collection agency that had contracted with the University of Chicago Physicians Group notifies 1,400 patients that their PHI and financial information had been openly viewable on the collection agency’s website.

9-9-2013 1-18-34 PM

The AMA publishes a toolkit to help physicians navigate the HIPAA changes that go into effect September 23. While the 25-page document looks quite comprehensive, practices would probably found it handier a few months ago when most started ramping up for the changes.

Most physicians report being satisfied with their career choice, although 40 percent would choose a different career, given a chance to rethink their career path. I wonder how that compares to the general public, especially since physicians seem to switch careers less frequently  than teachers, EMR sales reps, or even attorneys.

Aprima Medical integrates NoteSwift into its EHR system.

9-9-2013 3-15-31 PM

Memorial Health Hermann Health System (TX) takes almost 600 providers live on eClinicalWorks EHR and adds an additional 200 user licenses.

The Rhode Island Quality Institute and BCBS Rhode Island will pay primary care practices up to $10,000 in incentives to use the state’s HIE.

9-9-2013 3-13-41 PM

WellStar Cobb Family Medical (GA) goes live on Epic across five of its offices as part of WellStar Health System’s $125 million EHR initiative.

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