Wednesday, December 30, 2009

CMS and ONC to Discuss Next Steps in EHR Programs Today

Today the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) will announce two regulations that lay a foundation for improving quality, efficiency, and safety through meaningful use of electronic health record (EHR) technology.

The regulations will help implement the EHR incentive programs enacted under the Health Information Technology for Clinical and Economic Health (HITECH) Act, which was part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Public comments on both regulations are encouraged.

Join today’s call; details are listed below:

--David Blumenthal, MD, MPP, national coordinator for health information technology
--Jonathan Blum, director, Center for Medicare Management
--Cindy Mann, director, Center for Medicaid and State Operations

Briefing for HITECH Partners and Stakeholders – Providers, HIT Industry Organizations

Today, Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2009, 5:15 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Eastern Time

Toll-Free Dial: (800) 837-1935
Conference ID: 49047605
Pass Code: HITECH

Saturday, December 26, 2009

HHS announces $60M Program to Fund Strategic Health IT Advanced Research Projects

David Blumenthal, M.D., Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, today announced plans to make available $60 million to support the development of Strategic Health IT Advanced Research Projects (SHARP). SHARP projects will conduct focused research in critical areas where breakthrough advances are needed to address existing barriers to the adoption and meaningful use of health information technology (health IT). The SHARP program identifies and works to address barriers to adoption in the following four areas:

Security of Health Information Technology research to address the challenges of developing security and risk mitigation policies and the technologies necessary to build and preserve the public trust as health IT systems become ubiquitous.
Patient-Centered Cognitive Support research to address the need to harness the power of health IT in a patient-focused manner and align the technology with the day-to-day practice of medicine to support clinicians as they care for patients.
Health care Application and Network Platform Architectures research to focus on the development of new and improved architectures that are necessary to achieve electronic exchange and use of health information in a secure, private, and accurate manner.
Secondary Use of Electronic Health Record Data research to identify strategies to enhance the use of health IT in improving the overall quality of health care, population health and clinical research while protecting patient privacy.
Each project will identify and implement a research agenda addressing the specific goals of the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH) and identify the barriers to adoption and meaningful use of heath IT that will be addressed in their research area. HHS expects to award qualified applicants cooperative agreements to support research efforts in these four project areas. Each agreement will last four years. Awardees will implement a collaborative, interdisciplinary program of research addressing short-term and long-term challenges in their focus area. Additionally, the projects are expected to develop and implement a cooperative program between researchers, health care providers, and other health IT sector stakeholders to incorporate research results into health IT practice and products.

Authorized by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), and part of the HITECH provisions of ARRA, the cooperative agreements are part of a series of grants to help strengthen and support the use of health information technology to improve the quality and efficiency of care provided to all Americans.

“Innovative research and approaches are required to overcome some of the foremost challenges we face in achieving our vision of a transformed health care system enabled through health IT,” said Dr. Blumenthal “The SHARP program will bring together some of the best and brightest minds in the nation to find breakthrough solutions and innovations that will eliminate barriers to adoption and, over time, increase the meaningful use of health IT to improve the health and care of all Americans.”

Applications are due on Jan. 25, 2010, with awards anticipated in March 2010.

Information about the SHARP program and the cooperative agreement applications can be found at and at

Friday, December 18, 2009

Basics and 2010 Updates for the Medicare Electronic Prescribing Incentive Program Teleconference

National Government Services, Inc. Provider Outreach & Education team has scheduled a teleconference for January 6, 2010.

Basics and 2010 Updates for the Medicare Electronic Prescribing Incentive Program Teleconference

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

1:30-3:00 p.m. ET

Join us for this teleconference to learn how simple it is to report under the Medicare Electronic Prescribing Incentive Program and possibly earn a two percent incentive payment for all your physician allowed charges furnished in 2010.

Registration for this session is required and open. Visit our Web site for details at Choose Part B (business type) and your state. Choose Part B in the Calendar of Events.

Thank you,
National Government Services, Inc.
Corporate Communications

Wednesday, December 02, 2009


The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) today announced the results for the 2008 Physician Quality Reporting Initiative (PQRI). More than 85,000 physicians and other eligible professionals who satisfactorily reported quality-related data to Medicare under the 2008 PQRI received incentive payments totaling more than $92 million, compared to $36 million in 2007.

The number of eligible professionals who earned an incentive payment increased by one-third from 2007, when 56,700 eligible professionals earned an incentive payment. In 2007, eligible professionals could only participate in the program during a 6-month reporting period. In 2008, the program expanded to allow reporting for either a 6-month or a 12-month period.


Sunday, November 29, 2009

Free PQRI Software from DOCSITE® and MSSNY

The Medical Society of the State of New York is happy to announce that it has qualified to receive seventy-five (75) free licenses of PQRI web-based software from DocSite® to distribute to our membership on a ‘first-come, first-served basis. The offer is available to all physician members but the following conditions are preferred and will be given a higher consideration: practices that are independent, small, rural and primary care.

In order to be eligible, you must also have a high speed internet connection; agree to participate by submitting a signed letter of attestation; submit 2009 data by 01/31/2010; agree to report your experiences over the coming months with the process including barriers or challenges; and report your successful completion in meeting the goals set forth by the reporting option you have selected.

Please visit and click on the PQRI Participation Letter link to download the letter. The letter must be completed and sent back to MSSNY per the instructions indicated. If you have any questions, please click on the DocSite PQRI FAQs-2009 link for Frequently Asked Questions about the program. All remaining questions should be directed to Ron Pucherelli, HIT Project Administrator at 518-465-8085 or to

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Guest Posting is now available

Got the urge to blog and promote your latest innovation to the delivery to healthcare or to mobile computing?

Let us know.
We have several specialized sites that have a strong following:

Android Phone Blog
Blackberry Medicine Blog
EHR PHR Patient Portal PCMH Blog
iPhone Medicine Blog
Smartphone Medical Blog

Submissions may be between 150 and 250 words. No more than three pictures.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

HHS Announces Plans to Make $80 Million Available to Support Health IT Workforce

Grants Will Support Community College Training Programs, Curriculum Development, Additional Programs to be Announced in Coming Weeks

Dr. David Blumenthal, HHS’ National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, today announced plans to make available $80 million in grants to help develop and strengthen the health information technology workforce. The grants that will be made available include $70 million for community college training programs and $10 million to develop educational materials to support these programs. Both programs will support the immediate need for skilled health information technology (health IT) professionals who will enable the broad adoption and use of health IT throughout the United States.

Any U.S. non-profit institution of higher learning currently engaged in providing training in health IT that is interested in drafting curriculum or establishing a consortium that includes community colleges may apply for the grants. Information about grant applications will be available shortly at

Friday, October 23, 2009


MSSNY Collaborates with New York eHealth Collaborative to Apply as RHITEC for counties outside NYC.

NYC DOH PCIP applies to be a RHITEC for the counties within NYC.

Click on the link below to complete a non-binding agreement to assist MSSNY and NYC DOH PCIP in their efforts. This is open to specialists and primary care physicians. SV

Support Agreement

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


Invitation for EHR Special Interest Group ARRA Webinar
Friday, October 23, 2009
11:00 am - 1:00 pm Eastern

This is an invitation on behalf of the HIMSS EHR SIG to invite you to an ARRA Webinar on Friday, October 23rd from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. eastern time. We will have a speaker from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services who will speak to the $30M that was just released for grants. In addition, we will have six vendors including Siemens, Eclipsys, Cerner, NextGen Healthcare, GE Healthcare, and eClinicalWorks who will discuss what they are doing within their respective organizations to respond to ARRA as well as how they are assisting their customers to do the same. All but one vendor, has confirmed as of today's date.

This will be an exciting webinar that will further the membership's ability to be responsive to this landmark legislation that was passed this year related to healthcare technology. Please mark your calendar's accordingly. Registration for this webinar is required. Please follow the directions below to register for this event.

Registration Information

1. Go to
2. Register for the meeting.

Once the host approves your request, you will receive a confirmation email with instructions for joining the meeting.

Monday, October 12, 2009

NaviNet offers State Governments free Health Information Exchange and has been chosen by Horizon BCBSNJ for its web portal

August 24 2009. NaviNet (formerly NaviMedix), America’s largest real-time healthcare communications network, today announced the NaviNet Health Information Exchange (HIE), a solution that combines the NaviNet Provider Network of more than 770,000 providers nationwide, and NaviNet technology and services. The NaviNet HIE is now available to all state governments and U.S. territories at no cost, enabling more efficient implementation and expansion of local health data exchange. Adoption of NaviNet HIE minimizes technology investment requirements, providing states and territories a rapid and cost-effective way to offer their own branded health information exchange to electronically connect physicians, hospitals, insurers and existing HIEs in their regions. NaviNet is already used by two out of every three U.S. healthcare providers, and leading national, commercial and Blues health plans, resulting in significant costs savings to the industry.

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – October 12, 2009 – NaviNet, America’s largest real-time health care communications network, and New Jersey’s largest health insurer, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey (Horizon BCBSNJ), announced today an agreement in which Horizon BCBSNJ will use NaviNet’s multi-payer, Web-based portal as its exclusive secure information exchange with providers. With NaviNet, providers will be able to reduce paperwork, simplify the administrative process and reduce expenses by electronically exchanging patient information, claims data and benefit information with Horizon BCBSNJ.



Thursday, October 08, 2009

Electronic Medical Record Survey Results: Medscape Exclusive Readers' Choice: Advice on Choosing an EMR

More than 3700 readers responded to the survey. The EMRs that readers evaluated included Allscripts, Epic, Misys (now Allscripts), Centricity, e-MDs, eClinicalWorks, Practice Partner, Sage, Greenway, Amazing Charts, and others.


The ACP has just added the COPD Portal which joins the Diabetes Portal and Cardiology guidelines on the ACP Clinical Information site. It also includes information for patients to read. Check it out. SV

Because COPD is an often overlooked public health issue, ACP has created the COPD Portal to provide you with high quality, evidence-based clinical information and resources to help you care for your patients. This free Website provides concise answers to specific clinical and practice-management questions about COPD, and also features a patient education section to aid the patient in managing the disease and its complications. The ACP COPD Portal is updated weekly and includes searchable content from MKSAP, Annals of Internal Medicine, ACP Internist, ACP Journal Club, and ACP’s Physicians’ Information and Education Resource (PIER). The Clinician Resources area of the Portal is organized into three categories: quality, practice issues, and clinical topics. The quality and practice issues categories include information about:

Chronic Care Models
Patient Registry Tutorials
Electronic Medical Records
Patient Education
The clinical topics section includes:

Prevention and Screening
Acute Exacerbations
Smoking Cessation
Stable and End-Stage COPD

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

USA e-Prescribing physician counts exceeded 100,000 in 2009 as per SureScripts

The number is sure to increase faster as Government and Private payers provide financial inducements to use the system. SV

Submit PQRI Data Through NCQA Recognition Programs

NCQA Diabetes and Back Pain Recognition Programs Approved by Medicare Physician Quality Reporting Initiative for 2009
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) accepted two popular NCQA Recognition Programs for measures group reporting for the purposes of the Physician Quality Reporting Initiative (PQRI). Physicians, chiropractors and nurse practitioners who have earned Recognition from NCQA through the Diabetes (DRP) and Back Pain Recognition (BPRP) Programs now have the opportunity to enjoy an extra benefit: they may opt to have NCQA submit their clinical quality data to Medicare for use in the PQRI.

Providers participating in Medicare's PQRI program receive financial rewards for collecting and reporting practice data about the quality of their care. In 2008, that reward was equal to 1.5 percent of each Medicare FFS Part B claim; in 2009 it rose to 2 percent.

Data for the 2009 PQRI registry can be submitted to NCQA through January 31, 2010. All of the received data will be submitted to CMS by NCQA in March of 2010.

Participation through NCQA's PQRI registry is open to all interested providers. Ways to join:
1. For DRP & BPRP Recognized providers: Clinicians, who are already recognized by NCQA, would have to submit their qualifying data from the 2009 reporting period to receive PQRI incentive payments. In addition, each clinician must provide NCQA with a written authorization that his/her data can be shared with CMS. 30 patients rather than the 25 necessary for Recognition are required in the submittal, and data must be submitted on at least 2 Medicare Fee for Service patients. The submission fee is $150 (per clinician) for resubmitting data for PQRI.

2. For providers currently applying for or considering applying for NCQA's DRP or BPRP program: Eligible providers should submit to NCQA their Recognition Program application along with a written authorization from each clinician that his/her data can be shared with CMS. 30 patients rather than the 25 necessary for Recognition are required in the submittal, and data must be submitted on at least 2 Medicare Fee for Service patients. NCQA is providing clinicians with this opportunity to qualify for the 2009 PQRI registry as an added feature to the Recognition process.

"Physicians and others who participate in PQRI through NCQA Recognition enjoy the two-fold benefit of being recognized for superb care, as well as being rewarded by Medicare for reporting clinical data," said NCQA President Margaret E. O'Kane.

For more information, including instructions and frequently asked questions, visit NCQA Web site at

About NCQA
National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to improving health care quality. NCQA accredits and certifies a wide range of health care organizations and recognizes physicians in key clinical areas. NCQA's HEDIS is the most widely used performance measurement tool in health care. NCQA is committed to providing health care quality information through the Web, media and data licensing agreements in order to help consumers, employers and others make more informed health care choices. For more information, visit

1100 13th Street NW, Suite 1000, Washington, DC 20005
Telephone: 202/955-3500 | Fax: 202/955-3599
Customer Support: 888/275-7585

Thursday, October 01, 2009

NYSHealth Hosts "A Conversation With Rachel Block"

Building a robust Health Information Technology system can bring a great number of benefits, including lower costs, greater efficiency, and better health outcomes. However, the obstacles to creating such a system are also great: the technology is expensive; it comes with a number of privacy issues; and perhaps most daunting, a lack of standards for Health IT means that records from one provider may not synch with records from another.

With the national health reform debate generating momentum for expanding Health IT, on September 24, 2009, NYSHealth invited Rachel Block, Deputy Commissioner for Health IT Transformation for New York State, to lead a discussion about the State's current efforts to encourage wide-scale adoption of these technologies. Please click here to read more about the event and to view Rachel Block's presentationNY.
Patient Centered Medical Home Presentations now available

Based upon the feedback received on this past year's presentations, we are now accepting requests to schedule additional presentations in the NY-NJ-CT Tri-State area.
The current lecture team includes a NCQA PCMH Level 3 physician and an HIT consultant with NCQA experience.

Please send your requests to

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

NYS HEAL 10 Awards

Nearly $60 million of the funding, through HEAL NY Phase 10, will go to community-based health information technology (IT) projects to build a more streamlined approach to sharing patient information. These projects will lead to significant savings in health care in the coming years. Unnecessary paperwork and redundancies throughout the system will be removed, and doctors and nurses will have better access to information of patients who transfers from one medical center to another.

These reforms are based on the Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) model, which health care professionals believe to be the most effective in treating a patient – by establishing a partnership among doctors, nurses, patients and their families to ensure that patients have the support they need to participate in their own care.

Big local winners:

North Shore/LIJ

HEAL NY Phase 10, 11, 12 by Region
HHS Secretary Sebelius Releases $27.8 Million in HIT Recovery Act Funds

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius today announced awards totaling $27.8 million to health center-controlled networks and large multi-site health centers to implement electronic health records (EHR) and other health information technology (HIT) innovations. The funds are part of the $2 billion allotted to HHS’ Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) to expand health care services to low-income and uninsured individuals through its health center program.


Monday, September 28, 2009

NYC DOHMH PCIP:Electronic Health Records: Free Open House

On Thursday, October 15, 2009 the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene is hosting the first PCIP Open House, where providers can meet the PCIP team and hear how to switch from paper records to secure Electronic Health Records. Presentations will cover how to use an EHR to improve patient care, meet federal incentive payment requirements, and protect sensitive patient data.

If you are already using eClinicalWorks, you can earn $500 in eCW credit by referring a colleague to the program. Feel free to pass along the flyer to any interested physicians.

161 William St. 6th Floor
Google Map

If you or any colleagues would like to attend, simply RSVP to

For more info, see the full invitation.
North Shore-LI Investing $400M to Connect Physicians with HIT powered by Allscripts

GREAT NECK, NY -- The North Shore-LIJ Health System announced today it is subsidizing up to 85 percent of the cost of implementing and operating an Electronic Health Records (EHR) system in the offices of its more than 7,000 affiliated physicians in New York City and Long Island – part of a $400 million investment to strengthen the quality of care throughout the region by automating inpatient and outpatient records in all medical settings, including 13 hospitals. In implementing the largest EHR program in the New York metropolitan area and one of the largest in the nation, North Shore-LIJ will provide physicians with individual subsidies of up to $40,000 over five years.

To market the service to North Shore-LIJ’s vast network of physicians, Allscripts is working with Henry Schein Inc., (NASDAQ: HSIC), the largest distributor of healthcare products and services to office-based practitioners. While all physicians are eligible to enroll in the EHR, initial priority will be given to primary care physicians and specialists treating chronic diseases affecting large segments of the population.




Thursday, August 20, 2009

Biden announces $1.2 Billion Grants to assist hosptials and physicians implement EHRs in 2010

The regional health extension centers could help fast track practices that have not yet implemented EHRs so as to qualify for the 2011 ARRA grants. SV

The grants made available today include:

* Grants totaling $598 million to establish approximately 70 Health Information Technology Regional Extension Centers, which will provide hospitals and clinicians with hands-on technical assistance in the selection, acquisition, implementation, and meaningful use of certified electronic health record systems.
* Grants totaling $564 million to States and Qualified State Designated Entities (SDEs) to support the development of mechanisms for information sharing within an emerging nationwide system of networks.

The Extension Center grants will be awarded on a rolling basis, with the first awards being issued in fiscal year 2010. Grants to States will be made in fiscal year 2010. Those interested in applying for these grants may visit for more information.

Health Information Technology Extension Program

State Health Information Exchange Cooperative Programb

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Stethoscopes, Scalpels, and Electronic Health Records (EHRs) – Required Tools of the Trade

September 25, 2009

Conference Agenda

Registration Link

7:15 – 8:00 AM Registration

8:00 – 8:30 AM
Opening Welcome
Introduction by George Hickman, FHIMSS, CPHIMS, EVP & CIO, Albany Medical Center
Julie Brucker, Director of HIM, Seton Health; President, NYHIMA
Sal Volpe, MD, Private Practice, Staten Island, NY; President, NY HIMSS

8:30 – 9:30 AM
Session 1: Life with an EHR – Physician Practice Perspective
Clinician Adoption Best Practice Uses and Lessons Learned

Fred Venditti, MD, Vice Dean for Clinical Affairs, Albany Medical Center
Mary Ellen Ehlers, MD, Albany Medical Center

Introduction by Chris Harris, VP IS, Albany Medical Center; Past President, NY HIMSS

9:30 – 10:30 AM
Session 2: Life with an EHR – Hospital Perspective
Issues with Legal Health Record and Privacy Security

Nancy Binder, Director of HIM, Ellis Hospital
Donna Barnard, Director of HIM, Strong Memorial
Sharon Goettel, Director of HIM, St. Joseph’s Hospital
Kris Kusche, ISSO, AVP of IS, Albany Medical Center

Introduction by Vera Rulon, President, AHIMA and member NYHIMA

10:30 – 10:45 AM Break

10:45 – Noon
Session 3: EHR Implementation Lessons Learned
If I Had The Chance To Do It Over Again

Panel Presentation:
Michael Piplani, MD, Bethlehem Family Practice
John Collins, MD Chief Medical Officer, North East Health

Moderated by Eileen Clinton, Program Coordinator, MSSNY

Noon – 12:15 PM Working Lunch

12:15 – 1:15 PM
Session 4: Medical Home
Is It Impossible To Achieve?

Sal Volpe, MD; Private Practice, Staten Island, NY; President, NY HIMSS

Introduction by Ronald Pucherelli, CPHIT, HIT Project Administrator, MSSNY

1:15 – 2:15 PM
Session 5: The Influence of Environmental Factors
ARRA, Stark, Vendor Capabilities, NYDOH and New Technologies and Trends

John Blair, MD, Chairman & CEO, MedAllies; Board member, HIMSS National
Barry Chaiken, MD, Chief Medical Officer, DocsNetwork, Ltd.; Chair, HIMSS National

Introduction by George Hickman, FHIMSS, CPHIMS, EVP & CIO, Albany Medical Center

2:15 – 2:30 PM Break

2:30 – 3:30 PM
Session 6: SHIN-NY Buses, Connected Enterprises, Symantec Interoperability and Other Adventures for the Courageous

Rachel Block, Deputy Commissioner for HIT, NYS DOH
Micky Tripathi, MD, President & CEO, MAeHC

Introduced by John Blair, MD Chairman & CEO, MedAllies; Board member, HIMSS National

3:30 – 3:45 PM
Closing Remarks and Thanks

Introduction by George Hickman, FHIMSS, CPHIMS, EVP & CIO, Albany Medical Center

4:30 – 5:30 PM Networking Hour – Recovery Room (Hilton Garden Inn Sports Bar)

Monday, August 17, 2009

Kentucky eHealth Office:soon open for business

Kentucky joins many other states that have chosen to consolidate activities. SV

Office will serve as single point of contact on Kentucky’s health information technology efforts

FRANKFORT, Ky. – To coincide with the national priority of implementation of health information technology (HIT), Governor Steve Beshear announced today the creation of the Governor’s Office of Electronic Health Information within the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS).

The Kentucky E-Health Network Board, which is administratively attached to the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, will also serve as an integral resource to the Office as it moves forward.


Saturday, August 15, 2009

Connected Care Telehealth network: UHC CISCO

One of the country's largest health insurance companies has joined with one of America's best known telecommunication manufacturers to improve access to care. SV

UnitedHealth Group [NYSE: UNH] and Cisco [NASDAQ: CSCO] announced they are partnering to build the first national telehealth network, which will give patients access to physicians and specialists when in-person visits are not possible. The new “Connected Care” program combines audio and video technology and health resources to greatly expand physicians‟ reach into rural, urban and other underserved areas. UnitedHealth Group has committed tens of millions of dollars toward the new initiative.

UnitedHealth Group‟s national care provider network, including 590,000 physicians and care professionals and more than 4,900 hospitals, combined with Cisco‟s industry-leading video conferencing and other collaborative network technologies, will help connect patients more easily with primary care physicians, specialists and hospitals. Connected Care will make clinics available in the workplace, as well as in rural and retail locations. In-home visits using similar technology will also be introduced to truly bring care to the patient.

Connected Care America
HIMSS New York Chapter - NY Mini-HIMSS Event

Date: 10/2/2009

Location: The Digital Sandbox
55 Broad St
New York, NY 10004


We have invited nationally recognized speakers to discuss the following topics:

- Mobile Computing
- Implementation and Project Delivery
- Governance and Policy
- Service Bureaus and Support

In addition to providing an educational and networking event, we will be offering a night on the town: two tickets to a Broadway show and dinner. You need to register in advance to have qualify for the drawing!

Note: The CPHIMS exam will also be available to attendees of this event. Complete and return the registration form if you are interested in taking the exam.

This is merely a save-the-date reminder and more information will be available soon. Feel free to visit the New York Chapter Website.

HIMSS NYS event information
HIMSS NYS event registration
CPHIMS registration

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The best new software for your PDA/Smartphone

Here is a short review of software to help make practicing medicine a little easier.

Includes a review of device characteristics:

Android,Apple,BlackBerry,Palm,Symbian,Windows, memory issues, input methods, WiFi, 3G and EHR integration.

Includes products from:

AAP,AAFP,ACP,Epocrates,Johns Hopkins, Merck,Skyscape, UpToDate. SV

Medical Economics Article

Modern Medicine Podcast

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Electronic laboratory reminder system assists with Lipid management

A recent study by Kaiser found that automated systems can be useful. SV

American Journal of Managed Care

Thursday, August 06, 2009

AMA Physicians Forum Teleconference

Get the inside scoop on health legislation

Reserve your spot for the AMA Physicians Forum today!
AMA Physicians Forum
6 p.m. EST
Thursday, Aug. 6
Featuring AMA leadership

The American Medical Association (AMA) invites you to participate in the AMA Physicians Forum, featuring an exclusive conference call with Immediate Past President Nancy H. Nielsen, MD, PhD.

Join us at 6 p.m. EST Thursday, Aug. 6, to get inside information about health system reform straight from Washington, D.C. — and get your questions answered. This is a private conference call for a limited number of physicians in your area. If you are unable to join us, your spot will be given to a physician on the waiting list.

We look forward to your participation!

To participate in the AMA Physicians Forum:

* Reserve your spot

On Thursday dial in to the call using the number and code below:

* Dial (877) 269-7289
* Enter ID code 13149
State Guide for HITECH

Preparing to Implement HITECH: A State Guide for Electronic Health Information Exchange is now available. It provides a fine overview for states that have not initiated HIT plans or for states that want to bring there plans in better alignment with the Federal view. SV

NGA 2009 Report from the State Alliance for e-Health Report

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

AMA Vision for Health System Reform

Protects the sacred relationship between patients and their physicians, without interference by insurance companies or the government

Provides affordable health insurance for all through a choice of plans and eliminates denials for pre-existing conditions

Promotes quality, prevention and wellness initiatives

Repeals the Medicare physician payment system that harms seniors’ access to care

Eases the crushing weight of medical liability and insurance company bureaucracy

Share your opinions with the AMA, we can effect change via a meaningful dialogue. SV

AMA reform

Monday, July 27, 2009

HITSP Approves New Specifications in Line with ARRA (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009)

As the various groups coordinate their activities, we should progress accelerate. SV

The Healthcare Information Technology Standards Panel (HITSP) is pleased to announce that it has approved the following specifications at its July 8, 2009, panel meeting in Arlington, Virginia:

* HITSP/IS107 – Electronic Health Record (EHR)-Centric Interoperability Specification
* HITSP/TN904 – Exchange Architecture & Harmonization Framework Technical Note
* HITSP/TN903 – Data Architecture Technical Note
* HITSP/SC108- SC116 – Service Collaborations


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Medfusion and Medem iHealth portal = iHealth Medfusion

This will create a 28,000 physician network., 8,000 from iHealth plus 20,000 from Medfusion. Perhaps another "plug-in" for the AMA Covisint platform? SV

Medfusion's solutions include interactive online patient-provider communications for:

* Pre-registration
* Appointment requests
* Remote or onsite check in
* Online bill payment
* Secure messaging

* Prescription renewal
* Online consultations
* Personal health records
* Fully-functional web sites
* Physician-to-physician referrals

Medfusion press release

Medfusion information request

Medfusion demo

Sunday, July 19, 2009

AMA ALLSCRIPTS free e-Prescribing offer

The AMA is definitely in the game! SV

Allscripts announced July 14, 2009 that it is working with the American Medical Association (AMA) to offer to physicians nationwide an AMA-branded electronic prescribing tool based on Allscripts award-winning e-prescribing technology. It will be the only AMA-branded electronic prescribing solution available at no cost to subscribers of a new online solution being developed by the AMA. The collaboration is an effort to help practicing physicians adopt and implement health information technology for improved patient safety and enhanced practice efficiency.

The AMA-branded Allscripts electronic prescribing solution requires no download, minimal training and can be accessed from any Web-enabled device. The solution quickly generates secure electronic prescriptions and delivers them computer-to-computer or via electronic fax to all U.S. pharmacies via the national e-prescribing communications network operated by Surescripts. All prescriptions are instantly checked for potentially harmful interactions with a patient’s other medications using a real-time complete medication database, as well as real-time notification of insurance formulary status from leading payers, plans and pharmacy benefit managers. Clinicians also can use the solution to search and find targeted health-related information for themselves or patients using a custom search engine provided exclusively for Allscripts by Google.

HHS CMS Meaningful Use Matrix

Just released. SV


Saturday, July 18, 2009

World Congress event August 3-5 2009

The 7th Annual Health Care Quality & Payment Reform Congress convenes action-oriented executives dedicated to advancing the Nation's quality agenda through system-wide health care reform. Data-driven case studies and forward-thinking strategies combine to address the obstacles and opportunities impacting the five key pillars that support and define high-quality health care, including Performance Measurement and Reimbursement, Patient Safety, Care Management, Transparency and Efficiency. As the only quality event featuring perspectives from 80+ of today's most prominent speakers, the 2009 Congress leads the nation in developing solutions that achieve and reward for quality improvements across all industry sectors.

World Congress
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Rewards Physicians 27 Million Details

BCBSMA was kind enough to provide details on the program. The incentive program is one of the most generous I've seen to date. SV

PCPIP Background:

1.) The PCP Incentive Program was among the first of its kind in the nation. It was introduced in 2000 in order to:
· Collaborate with our Providers to improve systems and processes that prevent medical errors and improve quality of care
· Support our Providers with data that assists them in practicing more effective and efficient care
· Increase the amount of provider reimbursement that is linked to incentives (Quality/Safety, Technology Adoption, Satisfaction, Reporting/Transparency)
· Evolve the payment methodology over time so that providers are paid differently for providing safe, effective and efficient care.

2.) Measures used in 2007 fall in three categories:
· Quality Outcomes, which includes such measures as mammography, diabetes management, and reporting outcomes for chronic conditions (for practitioners who care for adults), and well visits, BMI tracking (for practitioners who care for children)
· Efficiency, which looks at generic prescribing and laboratory utilization
· Electronic Technology, which measures use of electronic medical records and e-prescribing.

3.) Through the PCP Incentive program, we have shown increased HEDIS rates (the Industry standard for measuring health plan performance) on targeted measures, enhanced technology adoption (making Massachusetts the top e-prescribing state nationwide for the last 3 years), and providing funding that has enabled PCPs to make additional investments in their practices.

4.) The PCP incentive program is run on a calendar year; each year there are a number of measures with a potential incentive amount, expressed as a per member per month figure. PCPs receive reports mid-year to let them know how they are doing and to provide data so that they can improve their performance on relevant measures. Once the performance year ends, we calculate their results on each measure and provide them with an end-of-year report that communicates the per member per month amount they earned. They receive their payments in two halves, with the final payment being in December of the year FOLLOWING the performance period based. The results are being publicly announced now.

5.) In 2007, all PCP Incentive Program participants were eligible to earn incentives of $4.00 per member per month (PMPM). Providers whose results fall in the top 10% of all PCP Incentive Program participants were eligible to earn an additional $1.00 PMPM, enabling top performing providers to earn up to $5.00 PMPM. These physicians were also recognized through our Excellence in Primary Care award program.

6.) There were 3,194 PCP participants that received payments:
- 752 Pediatricians
- 741 Family Practioners
- 1701 Internal Medicine

7.) 636 PCPs were recognized with Excellence in Primary Care certificates

Sunday, July 12, 2009

AMA ARRA HIT Webcasts and Webinars

The AMA is putting our dues dollars to work by creating and hosting educational sites and events.

See the links below for details.SV

Health Information Technology (Health IT) Resources and Activities

Stimulus 103: Real World Perspectives July 14 2009 registration

Saturday, July 11, 2009

45,000 Physicians Qualify for Medicaid IT ARRA Stimulus Funds

It is important to note that not just the percentage Medicaid patients is used to qualify but any patient who is in financial need is included. SV

WASHINGTON and NEW YORK – About 45,000 office-based physicians, including nearly all physicians who practice at federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) and half of office-based pediatricians, may be eligible for up to $63,750 over six years to improve and maintain their health information technology (HIT) systems because of their participation in Medicaid, according to a new analysis by GW researchers funded through the Geiger Gibson/RCHN Community Health Foundation Research Collaborative.

Beginning in 2011, office-based physicians whose patient mix includes at least 30 percent Medicaid beneficiaries are eligible for up to $63,750 over six years, as long as they are able to demonstrate “meaningful use” of HIT. A lower 20 percent threshold can be used in the case of pediatricians. Physicians who predominantly practice at FQHCs and other settings can qualify if 30 percent of their patient base is characterized as “needy,” including those covered by Medicaid, those who receive uncompensated care and patients who are charged income-related sliding scale fees. GW researchers estimate about 15 percent of all the office-based physicians in the nation would qualify for the Medicaid HIT incentives, including nearly 99 percent of FQHC physicians. If all qualifying physicians apply for the Medicaid incentives and receive the maximum level of payments, the federal government would invest more than $2.8 billion in HIT.

Geiger Gibson/RCHN report

Sunday, July 05, 2009

RelayHealth H1N1 Swine Flu Tool Kit interview and presentation

(Click on the image above to make it more legible)

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing RelayHealth's Steve Silverstein, M.D., Vice President and Chief Clinical Architect, and Jim Bodenbender, Business Unit President.

A four physician team was pulled together to create the Webvisit and review the patient education material. The team whose backgrounds include: Infectious Disease, Public Health, Emergency Room Medicine and Internal Medicine monitor the CDC and the World Organization on a regular basis. Physician clients were notified by email and "snail mail" of the new Webvisit and patient education materials.

The webvisit gives the physicians the option of triaging the patients at home and prescribe medications and provide educational material as clinically indicated. This of course fits into the new Medical Home model of providing care outside the office if necessary. A growing number of health plans acknowledge the value of webvisits and can be billed directly.

In addition, RelayHealth capabilities include the ability to distribute laboratory and radiology results, transcriptions, discharge summaries and other report types to ambulatory physicians. These results and documentation can be sent electronically into the physician's EHR or can be accessed via an online results manager application. All results are actionable for colleague communication and patient access.

RelayHealth has an expanding relationship with LabCorp in the transmission of results to a number of Northern California healthcare systems. The clinical results are electronically sent to ambulatory physicians’ EHR or available in an online results management application.

RelayHealth has the ability to send clinical data generated from webVisits or electronic prescriptions to an ambulatory physician’s EHR electronically that support the CCD (Continuity of Care Document) standard.


Thursday, July 02, 2009

NHIN Connect Gateway available

The federal government has made available the open source universal on-ramp used by federal agencies to connect to the NHIN. This should help accelerate formation and use of NHIN. SV

The NHIN Gateway implements the core NHIN services enabling such functions as locating patients at other health organizations within the NHIN, requesting and receiving documents associated with the patient, and recording these transactions for subsequent auditing by patients and others. Other features include authenticating network participants, formulating and evaluating authorizations for the release of medical information, and honoring consumer preferences for sharing their information.

ACP at White House Primary Care Round Table

Tune in by mac,pc,smartphone, iphone, gaming console. SV

J. Fred Ralston, Jr, MD, FACP, ACP President-elect from Tennesse, and Bob Doherty, Senior Vice President will be representing ACP today at a White House hosted primary care roundtable, scheduled for 2:00 p.m. Eastern. Present at the roundtable will be Nancy Ann Deparle, Director of the White House Office of Health Reform, and their Office of Health Reform. It will be broadcast live, via streaming video at
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Rewards Physicians 27 Million

Cudos to BCBS MA for making rewarding primary care doctors.
It will be interesting to see if this helps increase the number of PCPs in the state. SV

BOSTON — June 30, 2009 — Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts (BCBSMA) today announced it’s awarded physicians in Massachusetts an estimated $27 million for their quality and efficiency as part of the 2007 Primary Care Physician Incentive Program (PCP Incentive Program). Additionally, 636 in-network physicians ranking in the top 10% of the program have been awarded with Certificates of Excellence.


Tuesday, June 30, 2009

AMA and Microsoft Collaboration to Enhance Patient-Physician Communication

It will be interesting to see how Medem's PHR fits into this equation. Healthvault could potentially provide Medem with connectivity to devices, EHRs and RHIOs. SV

June 11, 2009

CHICAGO – The American Medical Association (AMA) announced today it is working with Microsoft to better connect patients with their physicians. Patients and their physicians will be able to exchange vital health care information by connecting through Microsoft's HealthVault, a platform developed by Microsoft to store and maintain health and fitness information. Through this collaboration physicians will be able to access self reported patient health information at the point of care, while enabling patients to access vital information that has been entered through the physician’s office.

AMA e-Prescribing Learning Center is now available

This is a good site for reviewing the topic of e-Prescribing, determining the value and choosing a vendor. SV

There are five sections:





Users' experiences

Monday, June 29, 2009


I know its a little off topic, but this release emphasizes the need for re-engineering the current system. SV

Date: June 26, 2009
For Release: Immediately
Contact: HHS Press Office
202) 690-6343

Headline: Secretary Sebelius Releases New State by State Reports
Highlighting Urgent Need for Health Reform

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius today released a series of new reports
on the health care status quo that highlight the urgent need for health
reform across the nation. The new reports are available at and include information on health care cost and
quality in all fifty states.

"In states across the country, health care costs are going up and
families are struggling to get the quality care they need and deserve,"
Secretary Sebelius said. "We cannot wait to pass reform that protects
what works about health care and fixes what's broken."

Each report includes data regarding the health care status quo such as:

* Percent increase in family premiums since 2000.
* The hidden tax individuals and families pay as a result of
subsidizing care for the uninsured.
* Percent of state residents without insurance.
* Overall quality ratings for health care in each state.
* The impact of failing to adequately invest in preventative
measures that could prevent disease and illness.

"The American people have been calling for reform, and they should not
have to wait any longer," added Sebelius. "Health reform will assure
quality affordable health care for all Americans, lower costs, and give
more Americans the choices they deserve. The time for reform is now."


Note: All HHS press releases, fact sheets and other press materials are
available at

Saturday, June 27, 2009



Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Question: When will the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) publish regulations to define certified Electronic Health Records and “meaningful use?”

Answer: CMS intends to publish a proposed rule in late 2009 to define meaningful use of certified Electronic Health Records (EHR) technology and establish criteria for the incentives programs. We are working extensively with the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology(ONC) to identify the proposed criteria.

Question: What is CMS’ overall time frame for actions and activities related to the incentive program?

Answer: Although further details will be developed, CMS can provide the following timeline based on the current implementation plan:


Coordinate with ONC to develop policies such as the definition of meaningful use
Develop proposed rules to allow public input to the incentive program policies
Plan systems and other requirements needed to support the incentives programs
Plan national outreach program

Conduct outreach to eligible professionals and providers and to State Medicaid Agencies
Develop systems to support the payment of incentives
Develop final rules to establish policies needed to pay incentives
Develop systems to monitor and evaluate incentive payments

No sooner than October 2010
Start to pay hospital incentives for Medicare and monitor payments

No sooner than January 2011
Start to pay eligible professionals for Medicare and monitor payments
Begin and monitor Medicaid incentive payments to eligible professionals and hospitals

2011 - 2016
Continue paying hospital incentives for Medicare and monitor payments

2011 – 2016
Continue paying eligible professionals incentives for Medicare and monitor payments

2011 - 2021
Continue paying Medicaid incentives to eligible professionals and hospitals and monitor payments

2015 and thereafter
Initiate payment reductions to Medicare hospitals and eligible professionals that fail to adopt EHRs

Question: When will the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) begin to pay incentives to eligible professionals and hospitals for using certified Electronic Health Records ( EHRs)?

Answer: By statute, the earliest dates that CMS will be able to pay an incentive under Medicare is October 1, 2010, for hospitals and January 1, 2011, for eligible professionals.

The statute does not define a date for the Medicaid incentives program. Given the range of regulatory and planning activities that must precede States being able to make provider incentive payments, as well as the importance of coordinating Medicaid and Medicare payments to prevent duplication, CMS does not expect that States will be able to make such payments until 2011.

Work is underway to define the meaningful EHR user criteria, as well as the requirements for applying for and receiving the EHR payment incentives, CMS expects to issue a proposed rule in late 2009.

Question: If an eligible professional uses a certified Electronic Health Record (EHR) in a meaningful way in accordance with the adopted regulations, and meets the requirements established by CMS, could that professional receive both the Medicare EHR payment incentive as well as the Medicaid EHR payment incentive?

Answer: No, an eligible professional may only receive an EHR payment under either Medicare or Medicaid. CMS expects to more fully address the issue of duplicative payments under Medicare and Medicaid through rulemaking.

Question: If I already have an Electronic Health Record (EHR) that has been certified by the Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology (CCHIT), will I have to buy a new system if the government mandates that only EHRs that meet a higher certification level are considered certified EHRs?

Answer: Decisions about EHR standards, implementation specifications and certification criteria have not been made yet, and are under development. Policies will be proposed in the regulation to be published in late 2009.

Question: What is the maximum incentive an eligible professional can earn for using an Electronic Health Record under Medicaid?

Answer: The statute does not define fixed amounts for the incentive payments, only ceilings that cannot be exceeded. CMS expects that the actual payment amounts will be more fully addressed through notice and comment rulemaking.

Question: What is the maximum Electronic Health Record(EHR) incentive an eligible professional can earn under Medicare?

Answer: Eligible professionals(EPs), who adopt Electronic Health Records as early as 2011 or 2012 may be eligible for up to $44,000 in Medicare incentive payments spread out over five years (increased by 10 percent for EPs who predominantly furnish services in a health professional shortage area).

Question: What if my Electronic Health Record (EHR) system costs much more than the incentive the government will pay? May I request additional funds?

Answer: The Recovery Act does not provide for incentive payments under Medicare or Medicaid beyond the limits established by the legislation, regardless of the cost of the EHR system chosen by eligible professionals or hospitals. With regard to Medicaid, the purpose of the 100 percent FFP provider incentive payments to certain eligible Medicaid providers is to encourage the adoption and meaningful use of certified EHR technology. While the incentive payments are expected to be used for certified EHR technology and support services, including maintenance and training necessary for the adoption and operation of such technology, the incentive payments are not direct reimbursement for such activities, but rather are intended to serve as an incentive for eligible professionals and hospitals to adopt and meaningfully use certified EHR technology

Question: What is the earliest date the payment adjustments will start to be imposed for eligible professionals and hospitals that are not meaningful Electronic Health Record (EHR) users under the HITECH provisions of the Recovery Act?

Answer: The HITECH provisions of the Recovery Act establish 2015 as the first year that payment adjustments will start to be imposed on Medicare eligible professionals and hospitals that are not meaningful EHR users. There are no payment adjustments associated with the Medicaid provisions under Section 4201.

Question: How will eligible providers and hospitals apply for incentives if they are using certified Electronic Health Records (EHRs) in accordance with the standards established by Health and Human Services (HHS) under the HITECH portion of the Recovery Act?

Answer: The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will publish a rule establishing the criteria which eligible professionals and hospitals must meet in order to qualify for the EHR incentive payments, including defining meaningful EHR users. The rule will also explain how to apply for those incentives.

Question: How will the public know who has received incentive payments under the Recovery Act?

Answer: CMS will post the names of those receiving Medicare incentives online. The list will include the elements identified in the Recovery Act: name, business addresses, and business phone number of all Medicare eligible professionals and hospitals who received incentive payments under the Recovery Act. There is no such requirement for CMS to publish the names of those receiving Medicaid incentive payments under Section 4201 though States may opt do so.

Question: What will be done to help prepare providers to take advantage of the incentive payments for the meaningful use of an Electronic Health Record (EHR)?

Answer: A set of supportive programs will be announced after CMS publishes a proposed rule in late 2009, that is, regarding a definition of meaningful use of certified EHR technology and criteria for the incentives programs. These programs are intended to educate and support providers, enable health information exchange, and build the workforce that will be needed for success. Information about these supportive efforts will be communicated to eligible providers through many channels.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

CCHIT concise criteria for 2009 and ARRA

Here are the 2009 ambulatory and inpatient EHR specificiations that will ensure that the EHRs meet the federally qualified criteria. SV


Friday, June 19, 2009

President Obama AMA speech transcript


Monday, June 15, 2009

GE Stimulus Simplicity: EHR: certification and interest free loans

The guarantee of meeting Federal Certification standards and interest free loans should greatly exspedite adoption. SV

GE Launches Program to Doctors, Hospitals to Accelerate EMR Adoption; First $100 Million of healthymagination Commitment
Offers Healthcare Providers Interest-free Funding for Immediate Access to Electronic Medical Records, Commits to Stimulus Warranty

Electronic Medical Records Can Help Improve Patient Outcomes, Reduce Medical Errors and Costs

Fairfield, CONN. – June 15, 2009 – GE (NYSE: GE) today announced, as part of its healthymagination initiative to increase access to technology and reduce cost, the launch of a new program, Stimulus Simplicity, which offers doctors and hospitals an easier path to electronic medical records (EMR) adoption. This program is a joint offering of GE Healthcare and GE Capital and contains two core elements – a commitment to ensure the EMRs are certified (a precursor to federal stimulus reimbursement eligibility) and an interest-free loan with deferred payments. The program addresses some of the biggest barriers to EMR adoption faced by healthcare providers, uncertainty around future standards and interim funding to cover the capital investment.

GE’s Stimulus Simplicity program helps physician offices and hospitals that invest in GE’s electronic medical records (EMR) products, GE Centricity® EMR and Centricity Enterprise solutions, maximize the potential benefits of the increased focus on EMR under President Obama’s stimulus funding bill. The financing enables healthcare providers to accelerate adoption of EMRs and further their efforts to reduce cost and improve patient care through greater access to valuable information at the point of care. GE’s financial services business, GE Capital, will provide the financing with GE Healthcare providing its EMR product certification warranty.

David A. Dorr, MD MS at the New York Academy of Medicine

David A. Dorr, MD MS will speak Thursday, June 18, 5-7 pm at the New York Academy of Medicine. He will speak on Collaborative, Coordinated Care in Chronic Disease. His clinical and research interest is in care management, coordination of care, collaborative care, chronic disease management, quality, and electronic clinical information systems to support these areas. His current projects include Expanding Guidelines to Collaborative Care Agents (funded by the National Library of Medicine); the Care Management Plus project (funded by The John A. Hartford Foundation—see; and participation in The John A. Hartford Geriatric Teams in Practice dissemination with Intermountain Healthcare in Salt Lake City. He also works with RADAR (Research on Adverse Drug events And Reports) to improve patient safety and with the CHIACC (Creating HealtheVet Informatics Applications for Collaborative Care) group at the VA.

In conjunction with the meeting in New York City at The New York Academy of Medicine, Fifth Ave. at 103rd St. ,there will be remote access via telephone and WebEx.

RSVP is REQUIRED. Please email to by 5 pm Tuesday June 16 and NOTE if you will join in person, by phone, and/or by WebEx. By return email, you will receive information for joining the meeting remotely.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Medicare E-Prescribing Incentive Program Guide

To assist providers who plan to participate in the Medicare E-Prescribing Incentive Program, CMS recently issued an instruction sheet explaining how to report the e-prescribing measure on CMS-1500 claim forms. In general, the G-code for the reporting measure must be listed as a separate line-item on the same claim form as the CPT code, for the same beneficiary, same prescriber and same date of service. The G-code should include a line-item charge of 000.

In addition, members interested in receiving the 2% incentive payment for the 2009 reporting period should begin e-prescribing as soon as possible. In order to be a successful e-prescriber, the provider must report an e-prescribing G-code in at least 50% of applicable cases. A provider who begins e-prescribing too late in the reporting period may be less likely to qualify for the 50% minimum requirement.

Additional information can be found at:

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


Seeks input on new concepts for certifying EHR technologies

CHICAGO – June 9, 2009 – The Certification Commission today announced a series of two Town Call web conferences on June 16 and 17 to gather stakeholder input on new paths to certification of electronic health record (EHR) technologies, with the goal of supporting more rapid, widespread adoption and meaningful use under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA).

“ARRA has turbocharged the drive for health IT adoption and meaningful use,” said Mark Leavitt, M.D., Ph.D., Commission chair. “Certification -- an explicit requirement of that law -- must become more robust and more flexible at the same time, to allow these powerful incentives to deliver the desired result: improved health and healthcare. We will share our new ideas and invite feedback from the health community.”

Areas to be explored during the Town Calls include the crosswalk from certification to meaningful use, enhancements to current programs, and new and updated programs to make certification more accessible to a wider variety of EHR technologies, including modular, self-developed, and open source applications.

The first Town Call, “New Paths to Certification: Dialog with the Open Source Community”, on June 16 at 1:00 PM Eastern will focus on concerns regarding certification of applications licensed under open source models. During the Web conference, Mark Leavitt, M.D., Ph.D., Commission chair, and Dennis Wilson, the Commission’s technology director, will discuss the new concepts from the perspective of technology developers.

The second Town Call, “New Paths to Certification”, on June 17 at 11:00 AM Eastern is intended for a general audience, and will explore all of the new programs and their intended goals. During both events, participants will be invited to submit questions and comments online. Registration is required for the free Town Calls at

The Certification Commission is actively adapting its certification programs and timelines to conform to the new requirements of ARRA as the definition of meaningful use emerges. Instead of immediately launching a 2009-10 certification program, the Commission submitted its new released 09 criteria to the Health Information Technology Standards Committee for review and, anticipating a draft definition of meaningful use by June 16 and draft standards and certification criteria by August 26, will work to quickly resolve any gaps and begin accepting applications for newly designed certification programs as quickly as possible after that.

C Sue Reber

Marketing Director, CCHIT

Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology

503.288.5876 office | 503.703.0813 cell | 503.287.4613 fax

Learn more about CCHIT

Learn more about EHR Decisions

Thursday, June 04, 2009

IBM promotes Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH):Outlines New Model for Healthcare

Patient Centered Medical Home Can Change the Way Care is Delivered

ARMONK, N.Y. - 28 May 2009: IBM today announced the findings of a major healthcare study that underscores the critical need for a new model of care called the Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH). The new study, “Patient Centered Medical Home: What, Why and How?,” ( identifies the PCMH as a viable foundation for the reform of today’s unsustainable healthcare system because it is committed to primary-care based, coordinated, proactive, preventive, acute, chronic, long-term and end-of-life care.

Rising health care costs continue to be a burden on families, businesses and the entire economy and are projected to increase even further. According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, national healthcare expenditures – already the highest in the world – are expected to grow an average of 6.2 percent per year from 2008 to 2018 and outpace GDP growth. Moreover, it will consume 20.3 percent of GDP by 2018.
CCHIT Certified 08 Ambulatory EHR

The list of CCHIT Certified Ambulatory EHRs certified under the 08 criteria continues to grow:

Abraxas EMR 4.1* |
Agastha PM & EMR 1.2 |
Allscripts Enterprise 11.1.6* |
Allscripts Professional EHR, Version 8.2 |
Amazing Charts 5* |
ASG-Medappz iSuite, Version 4 |
athenaClinicals 9.15.1 |
Cerner Millennium Powerchart/PowerWorks EMR 2007.19* |
ChartMaker® Clinical version 3.1 |
Criterions 1.0.0 |
CureMD EHR 10* |
eClinicalWorks 8.0 |
Eclipsys PeakPractice 1093 |
Electronic Patient Charts, Version 20 |
e-MDs Solution Series, Version 6.3 |
Elysium 9* |
e-Medsys - Electronic Health Record (EHR) 5.2 |
EpicCare Ambulatory EMR Spring 2008 |
EZChart |
ezEMRxPrivate 7.00* |
GlaceEMR 3.0 |
gloEMR 5.0 |
Intelligent Medical Software (IMS) 12 |
iSuite, Version 4 |
Lytec MD 2009 |
MEDENT 18.1 |
Medflow EMR Version 7.1* |
Medical and Practice Management (MPM) Suite Client/Server 5.6 |
MedicsDocAssistant Version 4.0.1 |
MedInformatix, Version 7.0 |
Medisoft Clinical 15 |
MedLink TotalOffice 3.1 |
MedPlexus EHR |
MedPointe 9 |
MicroMD EMR 7.0 * |
MTBC EMR 4.0 |
NetPractice EHR 7.0* |
NextGen EMR 5.5.27 |
Office Practicum 8.1 |
OIS EMR 4.1* |
Practice Partner 9.3 |
PrimeSuite 2008 |
Pulse Patient Relationship Management 4.1 |
Sage Intergy EHR v5.5 |
Sevocity Version 08* |
SILK 4.2 |
SmartClinic 16 * |
STIX EHR Release 9.1* |
SuiteMed Intelligent Medical Software 12 |
UroChart EHR v3.0* |
Xpert EMR 2.0*

* Pre-market conditional certification

CCHIT 2009-2010 Criteria Published; Timelines Changed

CCHIT final materials from the 09 development cycle and a new Concise Guide to CCHIT Criteria are now available. The new guide maps the criteria to the requirements of an ARRA-qualified EHR and highlights the 09 changes.

CCHIT is transitioning its timelines to adapt to the new requirements of ARRA as well as the still-emerging work of ONC and its committees. Instead of immediately launching 09 certification programs, CCHIT submitted the criteria to the HIT Standards Committee for review, and we anticipate some degree of feedback by August 26, 2009. CCHIT will begin accepting applications for 2009-2010 programs as soon as possible after receiving feedback and resolving any gaps.

UnitedHealth Group's OptumHealth, American Well Join Forces to Provide First Nationwide Service Offering Consumers 24/7 Online Access to Physicians

Consumers and employers now have another variable in determining which health plan to choose: online access to their healthcare providers. It will be interesting to see how the online visit would be incorporated into EHRs and PHRs other than as a text blob. While coverage for the visit is currently covered by a division of AIG, I would recommend providers contact their current medical malpractice carrier to review the state regulations as well as their primary policy.SV

Two Innovative Technologies, Powered by Real-time Information, Allow Individuals to Reach Doctors When Needed, and Doctors to Deliver Better-Informed Care

SAN DIEGO (June 3, 2009) — OptumHealth Inc. today announced that it is collaborating with American Well Corp. to offer the first nationwide service allowing individuals immediate access to physicians and clinicians via two-way video, secure chat, the phone or a corporation’s health care portal. The announcement was made during this year’s annual America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) conference in San Diego.

OptumHealth and American Well plan to leverage two proprietary technologies: OptumHealth’s eSync PlatformSM, which synchronizes health information to deliver prioritized, clinically appropriate and personalized health care information; and American Well’s Online Care platform, which enables real-time conversations between individuals and physicians. Together, the technologies will allow consumers on a state-by-state basis to talk with a local health care professional in a secure environment any time, anywhere; and physicians to expand their practices and care for their patients beyond a traditional office setting. The service will be available to employers, their employees and individual consumers.


Wednesday, June 03, 2009

CMS HIPAA Call: The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will host a national education conference call to address Medicare’s FFS implementation of HIPAA Version 5010.

This call is being conducted for all Medicare fee-for-service providers. The call will give a general overview of Medicare’s transition to HIPAA Version 5010 and address some of the exceptions and situations you may encounter as the new version is implemented. A presentation will be given and Subject Matter Experts will be available to answer questions specific to Medicare. A PowerPoint presentation will be posted on the CMS 5010 Web page prior to the call. The CMS 5010 Web address is

Conference call details:

Date: June 9, 2009

Conference Title:

Medicare audio conference call: HIPAA Version 5010 – What you need to know!

Time: 2:30 – 4:00 p.m. ET

In order to receive the call-in information, you must register for the call. It is important to note that if you are planning to sit in with a group, only one person needs to register to receive the call-in data. This registration is solely to reserve a phone line, NOT to allow participation. If you cannot attend the call, there will be an audio version available for downloading on the 5010 Web page.

Registration will close at 2:30 p.m. ET on June 8, 2009, or when available space has been filled. No exceptions will be made, so please be sure to register prior to this time.

1. To register for the call participants need to go to:
2. Fill in all required data.
3. Verify your time zone is displayed correctly the drop down box.
4. Click "Register".
5. You will be taken to the “Thank you for registering” page and will receive a confirmation email shortly thereafter.

Note: Please print and save this page, in the event that your server blocks the confirmation emails. If you do not receive the confirmation email, please check your spam/junk mail filter as it may have been directed there.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

CalRHIO, UnitedHealthcare Medical Information Exchange

Bravo. This is a good start. Not included at this time are the Medicare HMO patient data. Let's see more companies come on board.
The information: medication history, laboratory results,and clinical data from claims will be made available to hospital emergency room departments. SV

UnitedHealthcare announced on May 20, 2009 that it will participate in CalRHIO, California’s statewide electronic health information exchange (HIE), making it the first national health plan in the country to agree to pay for statewide HIE services.


Tuesday, May 19, 2009



Join us for this year’s Spring Conference where the importance of working together is the focus. Hospitals, physicians and the entire management team need to find solutions to work together not only in the clinical setting, but also through IT.
This year’s speakers will guide you to attaining this goal through a series of informative interactive presentations and displays by our vendors/sponsors.
Our Keynote speaker, Simon Samaha, M.D., was appointed president and chief executive officer of Summit Medical Group in 2009. Previously, Samaha was senior executive vice president and chief medical officer at Cooper University Hospital, Camden, N.J. Samaha received his medical degree from St. Joseph University in Lebanon. He received his MBA from New York University Stern School of Business and his master’s in science in information systems from Drexel University. Samaha was named in Modern Healthcare’s 2001 list of Up and Comers and is board-certified in internal medicine.

Interoperability Convergence: Physician, Facility and Hospital Alignment
Register online at NJHIMSS.ORG with a credit card or make checks payable to NJHIMSS
Fee: $75.00 for HIMSS, ACHENJ, MSNJ and ONENJ Members
$30.00 for NJHIMSS membership
$125.00 for non-members Send fee* and form to:

HIMSS NEW JERSEY CHAPTER 760 Alexander Road, PO Box 1 Princeton, NJ 08543
* Fee includes continental breakfast, lunch and course materials
HIMSS NYS :Telemedicine Seminar

Education, Networking and Fun

Prepare for setting up your Patient Centered Medical Home:
See how the VNS has incorporated Telemedicine to assist physicians in the management of patients.

Date: Friday, June 26th
Location: NYC Battery Gardens, inside Battery Park opposite 17 State Street(map)
Time: 6:00 PM- 10:00 PM
Cost: Members $50, Non Member $150 Students $50 What’s included: Open bar, full sit down dinner, networking and educational sessions

Click here to Register

Free Information Technology Fair

DATE: MAY 19, 2009

TIME: 3:00 P.M. TO 6:00 P.M.

PLACE: Dyker Beach Golf Club
Seventh Avenue & 86th Street
Brooklyn, New York 11228

Excellent opportunity to see for yourself Electronic Medical Records and e-Prescribing Systems

Important information will be provided to help you collect thousands of dollars every year from various governmental programs to promote EMR & E-RX initiatives. (Collect $$ per each ELECTRONIC prescription written with additional 2% of your annual collection. More than $40,000 for IMPLEMENTING EMR.)

Cocktails and dinner lecture to follow this event. (Free for members of the MSCK or if you join at the event. Non-member free IT Expo - dinner/lecture fee $100.00 per person).

To register, please complete this form, e-mail to,
or fax to (718) 745-5833, or call (718) 745-5800.
[ ] Fair [ ] Fair & Dinner/Lecture
Name (please print)

Number of attendees

Telephone Fax


For more information, contact Niraj N. Acharya, M.D. Chair, IT Committee, MSCK at
AMA ARRA Webinar Series

Health Information Technology (HIT) Resources and Activities
Free ARRA webinar series
Are you ready to maximize American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) opportunities in your practice? This webinar series is designed to support physician practices as they prepare for a new health care environment. As new information becomes available, experts and health care leaders representing diverse sectors will review key components of ARRA and offer insights on the impact to the physician community. Plus, hear from practices using EHR systems and how they made the transition.


Friday, May 08, 2009

Eclipsys H1N1 Swine Flu Tool Kit interview and presentation

I had the pleasure to talk to Rick Mansour, M.D. - CMIO - Eclipsys.
The tool was essentially created within 24 hours of conception.
The tool is modifiable by the end user and can be adapted for other scenarios.
In an altruistic gesture, it is available as free download from a library of "kits", may of which are "donated" by other users. SV

The solution prompts triage caregivers to assess patients for the presence of acute respiratory disease and accompanying risk factors. If positive conditions are indicated, laboratory orders for influenza screening (including H1N1 Flu-specific orders) are then triggered. Meanwhile the patient is placed on a watch list, followed by the creation of patient education and preventive treatment instructions. In addition, the toolkit allows for the export of data to the CDC.

H1N1 Toolkit Presentation

Thursday, May 07, 2009

GE Launches ‘Healthymagination’; Will Commit $6 Billion to Enable Better Health Focusing on Cost, Access and Quality

WASHINGTON--07 May 2009-- GE announced today that it will spend $3 billion over the next six years on healthcare innovation that will help deliver better care to more people at lower cost. In addition, the company will commit $2 billion of financing and $1 billion in related GE technology and content to drive healthcare information technology and health in rural and underserved areas. These investments are the foundation of GE’s healthymagination initiative, which is built on the global commitments of reducing costs, improving quality and expanding access for millions of people.

Under healthymagination, by 2015 GE will:

Invest $3 billion in research and development to launch at least 100 innovations that lower cost, increase access and improve quality by 15 percent. GE will also apply its expertise in services and its suite of performance improvement tools for impact in these areas. These actions will strengthen GE Healthcare’s business model.
Work with partners to focus innovations on four critical needs to start: accelerating healthcare information technology; target high-tech products to more affordable price points; broaden access to the underserved; and support consumer-driven health.
Expand its employee health efforts by creating new wellness and healthy worksite programs while keeping cost increases below the rate of inflation.
Increase the “value gap” between its health spend and GE Healthcare’s earnings to drive new value for GE shareholders.
Engage and report on its progress. GE will engage experts and leaders on policy and programs and create a GE Health Advisory Board, which will include former U.S. senators Bill Frist and Tom Daschle and other global healthcare leaders.



Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Eclipsys Offers H1N1 Virus EHR tool

Here is an example of the ability of EHRs to promote best practices to solve problems.
Please let us know of any other vendors that have done the same. SV

Proactive Client Offering Based on CDC Recommendations; Customized Clinical Workflow Protocols Designed to Expedite Identification and Quarantine of Infected Patients


Sunday, April 26, 2009

2009 Electronic Prescribing Incentive Program Updates

Two New Electronic Prescribing Section Pages Now Available

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is pleased to announce that two (2) new section pages have been created on the 2009 Electronic Prescribing (E-Prescribing) Incentive Program webpage on the CMS website.

E-Prescribing Measure Section page - This page contains several resources including: Measure Specifications; new Claims-Based Reporting Principles and a Sample E-Prescribing Claim. To access these resources, visit on the CMS website.

Educational Resources Section Page – This page contains MLN Matters articles; E-Prescribing Incentive Program fact sheets; a link to Medicare’s Practical Guide to the E-Prescribing Incentive Program, and information on how to receive continuing education credit related to the E-Prescribing Incentive Program. To access these resources and information, visit on the CMS website.

New and updated information will continually be added, so please visit the E-Prescribing Incentive Program web page at on the CMS website on a frequent basis.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Three Million People Now Using Kaiser Permanente’s Personal Health Record

My Health Manager is Most Widely Used PHR, Offers Convenience and Health Management Tools
OAKLAND, Calif. — Kaiser Permanente announced today that more than 3 million members are using My Health Manager, the personal health record available on The growing number of active users — now more than one-third of Kaiser Permanente’s 8.6 million members — demonstrates that consumers find the organization’s personal health record an effective, easy and convenient way to manage their care. This announcement comes during the annual Health 2.0 — 1x® conference in Boston, where leaders from Kaiser Permanente and other providers are collaborating to find the best ways to empower and engage patients in their own care.

Available to Kaiser Permanente adult members, My Health Manager allows members to securely access their personal health records from home, as well as e-mail their physicians, order prescriptions, make, change and cancel appointments for themselves or for family members, and even view lab results — all on the Web, and at no extra charge. Each month, more than 600,000 secure e-mail messages are sent to Kaiser Permanente doctors and clinicians, and more than 1.6 million lab test results are viewed online, making them two of the more popular features on My Health Manager.


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

AMA and DrFirst partnership: ePrescribing

DrFirst appears to be the first of many soon to come "plug and play" offerings via the Covisint platform. Can a Google Health and/or Microsoft HealtVault PHR be far behind? SV

April 22, 2009, Rockville, MD -- DrFirst announced today that it is working with the American Medical Association to offer its ePrescribing services to physicians through a new online platform being developed by the AMA. The collaboration represents a major turning point in healthcare technology adoption. The collaboration is expected to reduce current confusion around ePrescribing while increasing the percentage of physicians using it.

“As the largest and most respected professional physician association in the United States, the AMA represents a broad base of physicians in the country, therefore this collaboration has the potential to quickly penetrate the market and significantly improve patient safety,” said Peter N. Kaufman, MD chief medical officer at DrFirst. “We strongly believe the implementation of this portal will result in the widespread adoption and diffusion of ePrescribing across the nation to the mainstream physician.”

DrFirst is the first company to announce that it is offering its services through the new AMA online platform. The platform, which is currently in beta testing, is aimed at providing physicians access to information, products, services and resources that can facilitate medical practice and ease adoption of evolving health information technologies. The AMA aims to launch its new platform in early 2010.