Free EMR Newsletter Want to receive the latest news on EMR, Meaningful Use, ARRA and Healthcare IT sent straight to your email? Join thousands of healthcare pros who subscribe to EMR and EHR for FREE!

Farzad Mostashari Launches New Startup Company Aledade – A Physician-Led ACO in a Box

I know when I first heard that Farzad Mostashari landed at the Brookings Institution after leaving his position as National Coordinator, I couldn’t imagine it being Farzad’s long time home. However, it was a really smart short term landing spot that would give him the opportunity to prepare for his next adventure.

We just learned that Farzad is now entering the startup world with the launch of a new company called Aledade which partners with primary care doctors to form ACOs. In a blog post introducing the startup, Farzad said “The world of start-ups may not be the usual path for those leaving a senior federal post, but it’s the right decision.” I’m not sure the career path of former senior federal employees, but I think the startup world is going to fit Farzad really well. Plus, who would you rather have leading your ACO efforts than Farzad?

Maybe we should have been able to predict this move if we’d listened closely to Neil Versel’s interview with Farzad Mostashari at HIMSS. As Neil comments, “Always the champion of the little guy in healthcare, Mostashari also brought up the notion of physician-led ACOs, or, as he called it, the “Davids going up against the Goliaths.””

Aledade has received $4.5 million in investment from Venrock and the company is targeting four areas of the country: Delaware, Arkansas, Maryland and the metro New York area (not surprising considering Farzad’s past connection to NYC).

What’s also interesting is that Aledade is building their financial model on a performance model. They aren’t requiring any up-front cost to physicians and instead are opting to make money when the physicians realize savings. I’ll be really interested to see how this works out in practice. Many of the savings that ACOs have realized could be considered fuzzy math. Although, maybe Aledade will just take a percentage of the additional ACO payments the physician ACO receives.

I’ll be interested to see what technologies come out of Aledade. I can’t imagine them launching a full EHR and so they’ll have to integrate whatever they do with dozens of EHR companies. This will be a tremendous challenge. Will they build the technology in house or just partner with an outside vendor?

I’ve heard Farzad say that the move towards value based reimbursement was happening quicker than most of us realize and that the fee for service and value based reimbursement models can’t happen at the same time. The launch of Aledade is a great example that he’s not just paying lip service, but he’s fully committed to this change.

June 18, 2014 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 6000 articles with John having written over 3000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 14 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John launched two new companies: InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com, and is an advisor to docBeat. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and Google Plus. Healthcare Scene can be found on Google+ as well.

You might be an #HITNerd If…

You might be an #HITNerd If…

your wife being pregnant is exciting because you’ll get to talk EMR with her OB/GYN.

Find all our #HITNerd references on: EMR and EHR & EMR and HIPAA and check out the new #HITNerd t-shirts, hat, and phone cases.

NEW: Check out the #HITNerd store to purchase an #HITNerd t-shirt of cell phone case.

Note: Much like Jeff Foxworthy is a redneck. I’m well aware that I’m an #HITNerd.

March 9, 2014 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 6000 articles with John having written over 3000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 14 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John launched two new companies: InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com, and is an advisor to docBeat. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and Google Plus. Healthcare Scene can be found on Google+ as well.

You might be an #HITNerd If…

You might be an #HITNerd If…

you collect selfies of #HITsm and #hcsm peeps and Farzad Mostahari is your most collectible selfie.

Find all our #HITNerd references on: EMR and EHR & EMR and HIPAA and check out the new #HITNerd t-shirts, hat, and phone cases.

Note: Much like Jeff Foxworthy is a redneck. I’m well aware that I’m an #HITNerd.

February 23, 2014 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 6000 articles with John having written over 3000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 14 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John launched two new companies: InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com, and is an advisor to docBeat. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and Google Plus. Healthcare Scene can be found on Google+ as well.

Survey Takers Show No Love for EMRs

Just in time for Valentine’s Day … in case it hasn’t crossed your device or desk, Modern Economics – a self-described web community for health professionals – recently released the results of a survey that attempted to gauge physicians’ satisfaction with EHRs. Of the nearly 1,000 folks polled, nearly 70% concluded their investment in EHRs had not been worth it. Other stats included:

  • 67% are dissatisfied with system functionality
  • 65% indicated systems resulted in financial losses
  • 45% indicated patient care is worse
  • 69% indicated care coordination has not improved
  • 73% of largest practices would not purchase current system

These numbers certainly reflect what many in the industry have been saying for the last few years, but I find the statistics related to care incredibly high. My friends over at HISTalk.com reported that survey takers were “self-selected,” so I have to wonder if the entire field of respondents was skewed to the negative from the beginning.

I came across an interesting tweet exchange about the survey results:

tweet4

tweet2

tweet1

tweet3

I’m no expert, but I definitely think the horse has left the barn, and that if a more impartial survey were done, we’d find more providers satisfied with EHRs and their impact on patient care.

In Blue Button news, I came across several articles this week announcing that leading pharmacies and retailers have joined the Blue Button movement. According to HealthIT.gov, these organizations are “committing to work over the next year towards standardizing patient prescription information to fuel the growth of private-sector applications and services that can add value to this basic health information.”

It’s encouraging to see businesses like Walgreens and Kroger – two places I shop at -  pledge to bring more awareness of health data to their customers. Perhaps my next post will shed light on how these businesses will accomplish their Blue Button goals.

February 13, 2014 I Written By

As Social Marketing Director at Billian, Jennifer Dennard is responsible for the continuing development and implementation of the company's social media strategies for Billian's HealthDATA and Porter Research. She is a regular contributor to a number of healthcare blogs and currently manages social marketing channels for the Health IT Leadership Summit and Technology Association of Georgia’s Health Society. You can find her on Twitter @JennDennard.

Farewell Farzad

As you know, each weekend we pull a few interesting tweets and usually provide commentary on each. This weekend we thought we’d just feature some tweets from Farzad Mostashari’s colleagues as Farzad leaves ONC. If you know of others, please share them in the comments. Also, check out Neil Versel’s interview with Farzad. Farzad will be missed.


Farzad is now Farzad_md on Twitter.

October 6, 2013 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 6000 articles with John having written over 3000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 14 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John launched two new companies: InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com, and is an advisor to docBeat. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and Google Plus. Healthcare Scene can be found on Google+ as well.

ONC Leadership, EMR Popularity and Better Cost Transparency

Farzad Leaves, HIT Grieves
While the term “legacy” might be a bit too weighty, many of those who work in healthcare IT are already singing the praises of Farzad Mostashari, M.D., who announced earlier this week that he will resign as head of the ONC in the fall once a successor is found. As I mentioned in a recent LinkedIn group discussion, it will be interesting to see what his next steps are. I, for one, found him to be a charismatic and convincing advocate for the benefits of healthcare IT. History will undoubtedly pronounce his achievements with the ONC as better and greater than current events do. I hope his successor has the same level of passion for improving patient care via HIT that he brought to the government table.

The goodbye letter he shared with his colleagues was not only compelling, as it outlined the amazing amount of progress the ONC made before and during his tenure, but it also was perhaps the classiest and motivational exit I’ve seen a professional make – especially one that has been wrung through the ringer of congressional hearings.

EMR Popularity Contests
A recent email arrived in my inbox calling for nominations for a list of top 100 EMR vendors. The list, categorized as an “exclusive ranking,” will “help physicians understand the market and make smarter purchasing decisions.” Are crowdsourced contests like these of any value to providers? I understand how they can serve as a marketing/publicity tool for the vendors mentioned, but do they truly offer potential purchasers accurate insight into this kind of technology? I suppose it depends on the write up given to each of the 100 companies. I would hope a user satisfaction rating would be given.

Software Analyzes Costs, Outcomes of Episodes of Care
As I try to keep up with all that is going on in the world of healthcare cost transparency, this press release from 3M piqued my interest. According to the company, its new software “defines over 500 episodes of patient care spanning inpatient and outpatient encounters as well as chronic and acute diseases. Unlike other analytic tools that focus on services related to a single disease, the software considers all of a patient’s conditions and treatments during a specified period when assigning episodes. By offering a patient-centric view into costs and outcomes, the software helps healthcare facilities analyze the effectiveness of care delivery, predict costs and refine patient treatment processes to improve outcomes.”

What I’d like to know is if, by “patient-centric,” they mean that this information can be made available to the patient at the time of prognosis, before treatment begins? To have that kind of information, and then to combine that with what my healthcare insurance will cover, would make for a much less financially frightening patient encounter.

What healthcare IT/EMR news interested you the most this week? Let me know via the comments below.

August 8, 2013 I Written By

As Social Marketing Director at Billian, Jennifer Dennard is responsible for the continuing development and implementation of the company's social media strategies for Billian's HealthDATA and Porter Research. She is a regular contributor to a number of healthcare blogs and currently manages social marketing channels for the Health IT Leadership Summit and Technology Association of Georgia’s Health Society. You can find her on Twitter @JennDennard.

Farzad Mostashari to Leave ONC

The bow tie era of ONC is coming to an end. Farzad just confirmed on Twitter that he will be leaving ONC. There are no details yet on when he’ll leave or where he’s going.

Farzad has been tweeting a number of responses to people with his thoughts on leaving ONC.


I once heard Farzad talk about wanting to help the healthcare providers who were taking care of his parents, but there was a divide that made it hard for him to help. That’s why he was so passionate about having patients as part of the care process.


I wonder what’s next for Farzad. I’m sure many healthcare companies would love to have him.


The shoes can be filled, but the bow tie cannot.


I imagine this is the best part of the job of National Coordinator. Definitely are under appreciated. I think I can name 2 other people in ONC and I live this stuff every day.

Then, Farzad also retweeted this tweet which shows what a great sense of humor he has:

Farzad has been a great public servant. He’s mixed an enthusiastic passion for the future of healthcare IT with a pragmatic understanding of the challenges we face. Many have called him a health IT cheerleader, and he’s done that well. However, his deeper vision of what matters is going to be far more value to healthcare IT than any cheerleading he’s done.

Update: Here are some of the various statements that people are making about Farzad’s departure:
CHIME Statement
HIMSS Statement

August 6, 2013 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 6000 articles with John having written over 3000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 14 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John launched two new companies: InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com, and is an advisor to docBeat. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and Google Plus. Healthcare Scene can be found on Google+ as well.

The Week of the EMR Celebrity

What a strange week in healthcare IT it’s been, particularly where EMRs are concerned. First came breaking news that Kim Kardashian’s privacy potentially had been breached (insert ironic arch of eyebrow) by Cedars-Sinai employees who had inappropriately accessed patients’ private medical records last month. Then came much more noble press via NPR, which has devoted a series on All Things Considered this week to profiling the world of EMRs:

I had to shush my husband – clap a hand over his mouth, actually – when the NPR interview with Farzad Mostashari came on. “I’ve met that guy!” I told my husband. “He’s a celebrity in our industry, but for all the right reasons!” It was almost invigorating, especially after reading Kardashian headlines, to hear him discuss the many points we’ve all been debating and/or covering for the last few years. He was just as much a compelling cheerleader for the adoption of EMRs and the impact they are likely to have on patient safety as he had been when he bounded across the stage at HIMSS a few years ago.

Which brings us to the middle of the week, when CMS released its latest set of data touting the latest round of EMR success:

  • More than 50% of eligible health care professionals and 80% of eligible hospitals have begun using electronic health record systems since the meaningful use program launched in 2011
  • Shared more than 4.6 million EHR copies with patients;
  • Sent more than 13 million appointment, test and check-up reminders;
  • Checked medication interactions more than 40 million times; and
  • Sent more than 190 million electronic prescriptions

I’m beginning to think that CMS and federal agencies like the ONC are really getting the hang of this media game. I’m sure it’s no coincidence that NPR ran its stories the same week CMS released its latest success story. I just wonder how the general public is digesting this information. With 80% of hospitals now on EMRs, it’s a safe bet that the majority of patients in this country (even Kim Kardashian) have information stored away in one. Are they beginning to realize the benefits this technology brings to their care? Or are most patients still uneasy with the lack of eye contact from their doctors, who are now glued to a computer screen?

Do the CMS numbers tell the whole truth? Has patient safety increased to the detriment of patient satisfaction with bedside manner? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

July 18, 2013 I Written By

As Social Marketing Director at Billian, Jennifer Dennard is responsible for the continuing development and implementation of the company's social media strategies for Billian's HealthDATA and Porter Research. She is a regular contributor to a number of healthcare blogs and currently manages social marketing channels for the Health IT Leadership Summit and Technology Association of Georgia’s Health Society. You can find her on Twitter @JennDennard.

Health Data Hacking, Population Health Help, and Childhood Obesity — Around Healthcare Scene

EMR and HIPAA

Health Data Hacking Likely To Increase

One aspect of EMRs and medical technology many people — physicians and patients alike — are nervous about, are security breeches. Unfortunately, it seems as if this fear is justified, and will continue to be for the time being. Redspin, an IT security firm, gathered data about security and data incidents since 2009, and it has only increased since then. Some of the other findings are rather frightening as well.

Can The Benefits of Hospitals Acquiring Practices Be Achieved By Other Means?

There is a current trend of hospitals acquiring practices. Is there any way for groups of physicians to achieve these results other ways? This post goes into the details of this situation, and different loopholes involved.

Hospital EMR and EHR

Mostashari Asks EHR Vendors to Do What’s “Moral and Right”

Farzad Mostashari, ONC National Coordinator, recently made comments at the Health IT Policy Committee. He didn’t cut any corners when it came to talking about what he is seeing in the EMR world, and encouraged EHR vendors to do the moral and right thing. This post highlights some of his statements.

ACOs Need Population Health Help From EMRs

EMRs, in large part, don’t assist with ACOs and population health help. This is unfortunate, because they definitely need the help. In the future, EMR vendors need to be aware of this, and tweek their EMRs to offer tools to help.

Meaningful Health IT News

My HIMSS Will Be All About Quality And Patient Safety

Because of his experiences in 2012, Neil Versel has a new focus for 2013. He is now dedicated to “bringing news about efforts to improve patient safety and reduce medical errors.” Read this post for more about his goals, and how you can get involved.

Smart Phone HC

Health IT Positively Affects Childhood Obesity

Childhood obesity is on the rise, and the big question is — how can we prevent it? While many experts may be quick to weigh in on the situation, a recent study published in Pediatrics has suggested that Health IT may prove to have a positive affect on the problem. There are many companies and websites working to create ways for children to get involved and proactive about their health, and this post highlights a few of them.

February 17, 2013 I Written By

Katie Clark is originally from Colorado and currently lives in Utah with her husband and son. She writes primarily for Smart Phone Health Care, but contributes to several Health Care Scene blogs, including EMR Thoughts, EMR and EHR, and EMR and HIPAA. She enjoys learning about Health IT and mHealth, and finding ways to improve her own health along the way.

ONC Encourages Emergence Of E-Patients

Throughout the Meaningful Use rollout, there’s been discussion of how to best use all of these new health IT toys to get patients more engaged in their care.  But as far as I know, the following is the first time ONC has officially launched an initiative to cultivate the emergence of health IT-smart e-patients.

In a new article in Health Affairs, ONC national coordinator for  health IT Farzad Mostashari has shared plans to use health IT to reach patients and encourage their involvement with their care. The ONC is already working with 17 Beacon communities to test ideas such as text-messaging for diabetes risk assessment, but the idea now is to expand things to much higher level.

ONC now hopes to encourage patients to participate in e-patient activities such as secure e-mail messaging with doctors, use of EMRs that patients can add to and transmit, as well as use of mobile health apps for chronic disease monitoring and wellness promotion, reports Politico.com.

I’m excited to see ONC jump on this bandwagon enthusiastically. While there is an e-patient movement afoot, and a growing list of doctors interested in “participatory medicine,” it’s unlikely that the run-of-the-mill patient with few self-advocacy or technical skills would get involved on their own.

And the truth is, if ONC truly wants to build a nation of engaged patients, Meaningful Use requirements are too modest by far. Sure, there’s new requirements afoot that will make it easier for patients to e-mail doctors and transmit their health information, and that’s fine. But the truth is that few patients will take advantage of these features without a great degree of encouragement.

As something of an e-patient myself, I’m eager to see the movement blossom, as I believe it’s good for both the clinician and ordinary citizens receiving medical care. Let’s see how much effort Dr. Mostashari and his team put into cultivating patient engagement.

February 15, 2013 I Written By

Anne Zieger is veteran healthcare consultant and analyst with 20 years of industry experience. Zieger formerly served as editor-in-chief of FierceHealthcare.com and her commentaries have appeared in dozens of international business publications, including Forbes, Business Week and Information Week. She has also contributed content to hundreds of healthcare and health IT organizations, including several Fortune 500 companies. Contact her at @annezieger on Twitter.