Friday, June 30, 2006

Government report on personal health records from the National Committee on Vital and Health Statistics

By the way, CMS has just awarded a pilot contract to Capstone Government Solutions.

Government Report

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Study: Doctors' pay falling
Some experts say lower wages might drive brightest away from medical careers

We have little control over managed care fees or medical malpractice premiums.
We do have control over making the practice more efficient.
I encourage everyone to go to the local EHR shows, sign up for DOQ-IT, talk to friends who made the leap.

Automation can = decreased staff costs, decreased office hours and increased P4P bonuses. SV

"John Gibson has been a doctor for more than 20 years. He works 12 hours a day, or longer, and he hasn't gotten a pay raise in years.

"In real dollars, my in come is ... about the same as it was eight, nine years ago," said Gibson, a Nashville internist. "Adjust ed for inflation, my real income has definitely dropped."

Doctors may be well off compared with the bulk oftheir patients, but a new study says fees physicians get from the government and private insurers aren't keeping up with inflation.

Last week, the Center for Studying Health System Change said net incomes for physicians fell from an average of $180,930 in 1995 to $168,122 in 2003, a decline of about 7 percent, when adjusted for inflation.

The Tennessean

Monday, June 26, 2006

HHS Approves E-Prescribing Benchmark

HHS has approved the use of version 8.1 of the National Council for Prescription Drug Programs SCRIPT Standard for electronic prescribing under the Medicare drug benefit.
Richmond County Medical Society HIT Expo
June 24, 2006. Lecture details

The Richmond County Medical Society and the American College of Physicians co-sponsored a Health Information Technology Expo on June 24, 2006 which included presentations and hands on demonstrations by over a dozen vendors.

Dr John Maese was the first speaker and introduced the remaining speakers. Dr Maese reviewed the many issues involved for physicians interested in adding an Electronic Health Record to their practice.

Dr Alan Silver, from IPRO, presented DOQ-T, a government sponsored program which in addition to providing tips on the evaluation of Electronic Health Records, provides free tools and consulting services. Dr Silver also discussed P4P, or Pay for Performance programs. These programs whether sponsored by the government or commercial health plans provide physicians and hospitals with the opportunity to earn additional payments if certain benchmarks are met.

Dr Abha Agrawal presented addtional details on its composition and function.

Dr Salvatore Volpe presented his practice’s experiences with Electronic Health Records and other HIT products. Patients are given the opportunity to complete a Pre-Visit questionnaire at home or work via the internet or a wireless device in the waiting room. This information is then reviewed with the patient in the exam room. Dr Volpe offers each patient a printed copy of each office visit which includes the reason for the visit, the physical exam, the diagnoses and plan of action. Copies of patient summaries may be faxed to the hospital for review by the hospital staff if a patient is admitted. Patients and their caregivers will be given access to their medical summaries via a Physician-Patient Portal. For non-urgent matters, Dr Volpe reviewed online Virtual office visits. Dr Volpe invited attendees and vendors to join an online HIT forum for the free discussion of topics which would then available to all for future reference.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Richmond County 2006 Health Information Technology Expo

The EXPO went rather well today.

We also had a mini presentation on CCHIT.ORG by Dr Abha Agrawal.

We had an impressive number of vendors presenting their products and services.
Unoffically, I would guess that the representation of attendees was split almost evenly between primary care and specialists. In addition to Staten Island physicians, we had guests from Manhatten and Long Island.

The speakers' presentations were well received.
All the attendees and vendors were invited to join the HIT Forum and this News site and share their experiences and insights.

HIT Forum


Friday, June 23, 2006

Physicians Lose Ground in Real Income Between 1995 and 2003

By adding additional automation to medical practices, physicians stand a better chance of reducing the rate of decline in their incomes. Automation eventually leads to lower expenses which can either be used to increase one's income or reduce the length of one's work week.SV

"Primary Care Physicians Fare the Worst, Seeing Real Income Decline by 10.2 Percent.
WASHINGTON, DC—In sharp contrast to other professionals, physicians' net income from the practice of medicine declined about 7 percent between 1995 and 2003 after adjusting for inflation, according to a national study released today by the Center for Studying Health System Change (HSC)."

Center for Studying Health System Change

I believe practices with Electronic Health Records will be in the best position to pass any audits to may eventually follow.SV

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) today issued a notice proposing changes to the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) that will improve the accuracy of payments to physicians for the services they furnish to Medicare beneficiaries. The proposed notice includes substantial increases for “evaluation and management” services, that is, time and effort that physicians spend with patients in evaluating their condition, and advising and assisting them in managing their health. The changes reflect the recommendations of the Relative Value Update Committee (RUC) of the American Medical Association."

FDA to Overhaul of Safety Data Collection

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Food and Drug Administration plans to consolidate the systems it uses to collect safety reports about drugs and medical devices, an official said Wednesday.

Star Tribune

Food and Drug Administration adverse event reporting system:

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Physicians barred from using cursive to write prescriptions

Physicians, heal thy handwriting.

On June 7, a new law went into effect that could paralyze the penmanship-impaired. It says that if a prescription isn't hand-printed, typed or electronically generated, it can't be filled, Jeff Smith of the state Health Department explained.

Cursive is illegal.

Dr. Richard Goss, medical director of quality improvement at Harborview Medical Center, said he is in favor of the bill because his own handwriting is hard to read.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Zix Corporation and Per-Se Technologies Sign Multi-Year e-Health Services Agreement

Per-Se is using its Intelligent Network, the largest pharmacy transaction clearinghouse in the nation, to provide secure access to patient eligibility data, benefit plan drug formularies, and medication history information from health plans and third-party payers, including pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs). One of those PBMs is Prime Therapeutics, which is aligned with nine Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans. With access to Per-Se's network, ZixCorp will now be able to provide physician clients with PocketScript electronic prescribing services for these additional nine Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans.

Press Release
Zix Corporation Selected by OhioHealth for Email Encryption

Ohio-Based Health System to Secure over 7,000 Users with ZixCorp's Email Encryption Services

ZixCorp will enforce OhioHealth's email security policies to ensure secure handling of confidential information for up to 7,000 users. The service includes a pre-configured lexicon that automatically detects and encrypts protected health information (PHI). ZixCorp will also provide custom branding and encrypted messaging functionality to the organization's Web site.

Press Release
Athenahealth launches groundbreaking PayerView website

The PayerView rankings analyze claim performance data from more than 7,000 providers using athenahealth's athenaNet database, and ranks national and regional health insurers according to specific measures of financial and administrative performance and medical policy complexity. The rankings look at payers' performance based on a number of categories, which combine to provide an overall "ease of doing business with" index illustrating insurers' ability to efficiently and appropriately pay claims. For example, the rankings show that Medicaid plans are typically among the worst-performing in areas such as days in accounts receivable (DAR) and first pass pay rate (FPP). There is also a great deal of variability among payers, with some regional payers ranking higher than national payers.

PayerView Website
Proposing a medical database

Painting a picture of an ailing health care system, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton told a symposium in Woodbury yesterday that making all medical records paperless would be one way to fix the system by reducing inefficiency, redundancy and even medical mistakes.

The Democratic senator, keynote speaker and moderator of the health care symposium sponsored by HSBC Bank told the 375 health care providers, business people and consumers at the Crest Hollow Country Club that Long Islanders, with their higher cost of living, pay even higher health care costs than the national average.

ACP Supports the President's Request of $169 Million for Health Information Technology in His Fiscal Year 2007 Budget Request

In a June 12 letter sent to members of the House committee on appropriations, ACP pointed out that the funds are part of the administration's 2007 budget. Of that amount, $116 million would go to the office of the national coordinator for HIT, which was established in 2004.

Full text of letter is online
Finally a chance for national EHR standards

After hearing a progress report on CCHIT's work at the American Health Information Community's (AHIC) meeting on May 16,2006 the Community recommended that the Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology (CCHIT) criteria for ambulatory Electronic Health Records (EHR) be accepted by U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Mike Leavitt.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Wisconsin, Michigan companies collaborate on Electronic Health Records

Madison, Wis. - The complex goal of integrating patient medical information securely and seamlessly across multiple sites of care is moving closer to reality in the Midwest.

A recent partnership between Symphony Corp., headquartered in Madison, and the Michigan-based CareEvolution seeks to implement a novel clinical information-sharing model in the region within a year.


Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Patients’ files a click away

Clinics share records for better care
By Michael Schroeder
The Journal Gazette

When a patient recently shared her medical history with Dr. Amy Dawson, she neglected to tell Dawson that a few years ago she had breast cancer.

“She was a great historian,” said Dawson, medical director for Matthew 25 Health and Dental Clinic, who was surprised by the omission, given the patient’s otherwise thorough description of her health history.

The Journal Gazette
HMO offers online access

Local members of Kaiser Permanente will be able to access their health information online.

The HMO says patients must first create an account at to take advantage of the service, called Your Health Record.

The Denver Business Journal

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Healthcare Information Technology Forum is now available!

There is a place for everyone to share their experiences on EHRs,PHRs,RHIOs,lectures,symposia and more.

We even have a special section for our friends in New York.
More sections will be added upon request.

Just click on the link.

HIT Forum

Monday, June 12, 2006

RelayHealth has been acquired by McKesson Corporation

You are probably already familiar with McKesson – the nation’s largest provider of health information and care management solutions.

RelayHealth will become the centerpiece of McKesson’s new Personal Health Solutions organization. This group will be dedicated to the development, delivery and adoption of a suite of personal health management products and services. These interactive technologies will give consumers secure, electronic access to healthcare providers, personal health records, and healthcare financial management tools. RelayHealth’s CEO, Dr. Giovanni Colella will president and general manager of this new organization.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

EHRs Could Aid Follow-Up Cancer Care

Buffalo researchers have reported progress in a novel project to help physicians and insurers prevent women from failing to obtain follow-up mammograms or biopsies.
By linking electronic medical records between doctors and health insurers, it's possible to identify nearly every woman who does not receive appropriate follow-up treatment and set up a notification system to ensure they obtain the needed care, said Dr. Stephen B. Edge, who presented the findings at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology in Atlanta.

Buffalo News
Brownback bill would centralize medical records

U.S. Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., introduced the Independent Health Record Bank Act on Tuesday, and a companion bill is expected to be introduced later this week in the U.S. House.

The Senate bill, which doesn't yet have a number, was previewed during Brownback's April 14 visit to Cerner Corp. (Nasdaq: CERN) in North Kansas City. Health care information companies like Cerner could profit from the bill by providing necessary technology for the independent record banks.

The Independent Record Bank Act provides legal and regulatory guidelines for establishing the banks by nonprofit cooperative institutions similar to member-owned credit unions.

Kansas City Business Journal - 2:23 PM CDT Wednesday
House Subcommittee Passes Amended Health IT Bill

The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health on Thursday approved by voice vote a bill (HR 4157) that would promote the use of health care IT.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Health Information Technology Expo
Staten Island NY June 24 2006

Co-sponsored by the Richmond County Medical Society and the ACP

Morning session includes lectures on the DOQ-IT program and Pay for Performance.
Afternoon session includes hands on demonstrations with the vendors including:

Medical Billing Consultants
MK Technical
Motion Computing
Quest Diagnostics

Call 718.442.7267 to make reservations
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