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Secretary Sebelius Releases $27.8 Million in ARRA Funds for HIT

Posted on September 30, 2009 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

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.

“The increased use of health information technology is a key focus of our reform efforts because it will help to improve the safety and quality of health care generally while also cutting waste out of the system,” said Secretary Sebelius.

“These funds to expand and upgrade electronic health records systems will make a huge difference for health centers struggling to provide health care to the growing number of people in need,” said HRSA Administrator Mary Wakefield, Ph.D., R.N.

“Broad use of health information technology has the potential to improve health care quality, prevent medical errors, and increase the efficiency of care provision,” added David Blumenthal, National Coordinator for Health Information Technology. “This program supports the Department’s overall efforts to assist physicians and hospitals in adopting and becoming meaningful users of health information technology.”

Eighteen grants totaling more than $22.6 million will support EHR implementation. Grants totaling more than $2.6 million will help four grantees implement a variety of HIT innovations, including the creation of health information exchanges among different providers and the incorporation of HIT at dental delivery sites. Another five grants totaling over $2.5 million will help health centers devise plans to use existing EHRs to improve patient health outcomes.

Read more about the release of HIT grants and the list of grants that were given on the HHS website.

Apple EMR

Posted on September 16, 2009 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

News came out this week about a Dell EMR, which is really just a branded version of eCW and possibly some other EMR companies. However, no doubt Dell’s ability to sell software is going to be a nice marketing tool for the EMR companies with which they interact.

Neil Versel posted about some rumblings about Apple joining the EMR fray. There are some EMR vendors that are optimized for some of Apple’s devices. In fact, I’ve even seen some action towards some iPhone specific EMR companies. Also, I think it’s reasonable to think that Apple may come out with an Apple tablet soon and healthcare has always been a tablets favorite market.

Either way, it’s interesting to see all these big brands joining in with others already in the healthcare space. Are they chasing after the $36.3 billion in EMR stimulus money?

New CCHIT EHR Certifications Including Costs

Posted on September 15, 2009 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

There’s been a series of posts done on EMR and HIPAA that I think are worth highlighting on this site. They basically cover the status of where we’re at in understanding what will be defined as “certified EHR” in order to get the ARRA EHR stimulus money.

First, take a look a post talking about the HIT Policy committee meeting on EHR certification where they discussed and approved a number of items related to defining certified EHR.

After that initial meeting, CCHIT held a town hall meeting to present their new CCHIT Preliminary ARRA Certified EHR certification plan. Then, take a look at a bit of a comparison of the Preliminary ARRA Certified and CCHIT Certified that was presented at the same meeting.

Finally, no discussion of these EHR certifications is complete without taking a look at the costs for the new CCHIT EHR certifications. That link also discusses the new EHR certification bodies that are likely to be created and recognized by HHS to be able to certify EHR software in order to obtain the ARRA EHR stimulus money.

Role of Insurance Companies in EMR

Posted on September 8, 2009 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

I get quite a few emails on this blog from various people. Lots are asking questions. Others rip something I said. Others say thanks for writing. In fact, that connection is one of the best reasons to blog. Well, someone asked the following question and I thought I’d open it up for people on this blog to comment about what they’ve seen, heard, experienced, or think should be done by insurance companies to promote EMR. Here’s the question:

Is there any role for insurance companies in this whole EMR area? Afterall, if quality of care can be increases and costs reduced, how can insurance companies encourage or help pay for EMRs?

AMA Speaks Out on Obama Health Care

Posted on September 3, 2009 I Written By

I got the following email that I just couldn’t resist posting. I’m not sure who deserves credit for this, but I think that many will enjoy the perspective.

The American Medical Association has weighed in on the new Obama health care proposals.

The Allergists voted to scratch it, but the Dermatologists advised not to make any rash moves. The Gastroenterologists had sort of a gut feeling about it, but the Neurologists thought the Administration had a lot of nerve..

The Obstetricians felt they were all laboring under a misconception. Ophthalmologists considered the idea shortsighted. Pathologists yelled; “Over my dead body!” while the Pediatricians said, “Oh, Grow up!”

The Psychiatrists thought the whole idea was madness, while the Radiologists could see right through it. Surgeons decided to wash their hands of the whole thing. The Internists thought it was a bitter pill to swallow, and the Plastic Surgeons said, “This puts a whole new face on the matter….”

The Podiatrists thought it was a step forward, but the Urologists were pissed off at the whole idea. The Anesthesiologists thought the whole idea was a gas, and the Cardiologists didn’t have the heart to say no.

In the end, the Proctologists won out, leaving the entire decision up to the assholes in Washington.

Short EHR Review of Greenway Technologies

Posted on September 1, 2009 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Dr. Jeff recently posted a request for people to post their review of the EMR systems they’ve evaluated. I think the comments on that post were interesting to read. I found another such example on Scott Shreeve, MD’s blog where he does a short review of Greenway Technologies EMR. Here’s his review:

The traditional EHR vendors are getting more and more innovative with their marketing approach. Take note of the interesting email from a company that I actually respect for a solid product – Greenway Technologies (see below). I evaluated them very thoroughly in late 2008 and noted that they have a very solid, traditional system specifically tuned to the current quagmire in which physicians practice. They have a decent EMR, decent practice management, solid PHR, and an interesting twist on population management with their clinical research (glorified registry) functionality.

However, I couldn’t pull the trigger on them because they were tuned for the traditional. I didn’t see that they were leveraging the concept of the network, or their EHR as a platform, or that their UI technology was fluid or as modern as I wanted. I didn’t get a sense for the flexibility and freedom found in the notion of clinical groupware. And finally, I didn’t get the sense that they were going to take me to the next level. Please – don’t get me wrong,or attempt to outKLAS me, or bang on their numbers which are impressive. They are a solid player who will do well – but it wasn’t for me or the network of primary care clinics that I am wanting to build.

You should also go and read the rest of Scott’s post about Greenway Technologies creative EMR marketing techniques. I’ve seen the same thing happening as EMR vendors try and make sales.