While at AHIMA 2012, I had a chance to sit down with Dr. Nick van Terheyden, CMIO of Nuance Communications, to learn a little bit more about the recent Nuance acquisitions of Quantim (HIM division of QuadraMed) and J.A. Thomas & Associates. I asked Dr. Nick to describe how these acquisitions will fit into Nuances portfolio in the following video.
A number of themes have been prevalent at this year’s AHIMA show, taking place this week in Salt Lake City. Healthcare information management professionals have a number of big priorities – the transition to ICD-10 being the most prevalent, at least from what I’ve seen on the show floor so far. Recruitment is a close second. With a number of colleges and healthcare systems present as exhibitors, it’s obvious there is a need for trained HIM professionals. In speaking with folks from the Region D Health IT Workforce Development Program, part of the Community College Consortia Program, which hopes to train more than 10,500 healthcare IT professionals by the end of this year, it is evident that there are resources out there to train folks, and they are willing to get the word out about it.
AHIMA has recognized this need for job creation. It announced at the show on Monday that it has created the HIM Jobs for America Initiative, and has entered into a public-private partnership with the Department of Health and Human Services and North Shore Medical Labs.
In announcing the initiative, Bill Rudman, vice president, educational visioning at AHIMA and executive director of the AHIMA Foundation, explained that “AHIMA wants to build a partnership with business, academia and the federal government to create the estimated 40,000 jobs required to properly build and maintain a national electronic health records initiative.”
As part of the initiative, AHIMA will provide six hours of free healthcare IT training to healthcare professionals in underserved communities, first focusing on physicians in small practices in North Carolina, Mississippi and Alabama. The program will provide 100 participants with EHR licenses for one year. North Shore will donate electronic health record software and services via Nortec Software, a provider of EHR technology, as well as medical billing and transcription services.
As I mentioned above, the transition to IDC-10 has been THE big theme in the exhibit hall. I’ve noticed solution after solution exhibited at booth after booth created to help physicians make the transition. As John Lynn mentioned in an earlier post, some companies are taking a light-hearted approach in marketing their ICD-10 solutions. Take QuadraMed, for example, which kept attendees happy Sunday night during the evening reception with special ICD-9 and ICD-10 cocktails. Or, as John mentioned last week, Conifer Health, which has quickly run out of its ICD-10 stickers.
All kidding aside, the transition to ICD-10 and the impact the new codes will have on patient care is no joke. Paula Lawlor, RHIA, President of Clinical Revenue Cycle Services HIM at Conifer, spoke with me briefly about what Conifer is doing in the area health information management and clinical revenue cycle services:
I’ll be walking the show floor today, and hope to have a wrap-up of EMR-related technologies for next week’s post.
I don’t know about you, but I’m not exactly sure what an Accountable Care Organization is. In fact, I’m betting nobody is — there’s a bunch of harrumphing and throat clearing out there, but I haven’t seen any crystal-clear descriptions out there. Shall we say that ACOs are more honored in the breach than in the observance and leave it at that?
Now, we come to the puzzling part of this piece. If nobody’s managed to define an ACO clearly, how can any particular EMR be a better ACO tool than another? We’ll have to ask KLAS about this one, since they’re the ones that discovered this “fact.”
Today, KLAS announced that it had interviewed 197 providers at 187 organizations to see how ACOs are forming up. A third of the respondents said that they were pursuing a formal Medicare ACO designation, and the majority were felt ACOs were the future, KLAS reported.
Sure, considering that ACOs are just risk-taking organizations with a capitated feel, some people already have a sense of what to expect. But throw an EMR into the mix and we’re in new territory — hopefully good territory, but new nonetheless.
So, tell me how providers know that Epic and Cerner are the most ACO-ready? Apparently, respondents believe that Cerner already has many of the IT pieces needed to run ACOs; moreover, they say Cerner is working closely with providers interested in the ACO model.
Survey takers also gave a nod to Epic, which they see as being close to ready (though behind in analyics and ability to share data with non-Epic users).
Wait a minute — let me get this straight. Respondents know Cerner has the right pieces, even though the ACO doesn’t exist yet? They like Epic, even though it doesn’t share data outside of its walled garden? KLAS is kidding, right?
At this point, I’ll be kind and say that Epic and Cerner users are a bit brainwashed, which I too might be if I’d spent the kind of money those folks have on an EMR.
But the voice in my suggests that KLAS might have had its finger on the scales just a little bit. I will not publicly state that Allscripts, CPSI, GE Healthcare, McKesson, MEDITECH, QuadraMed and Siemens scored worse because they didn’t pay for play…but something sure isn’t right here.
A new user poll suggests that vendor support is more important than ever to providers searching for EHRs. New research from the Black Book Rankings concludes that late adopters of EHRs are especially concerned about finding vendors who will support their products through implementation.
Researchers surveyed roughly 30,000 medical records professionals, hospital execs and medical practice administrators, asking them how vendors rated on 18 performance indicators useful in comparing customer experience.
The study found that:
* CPSI, Healthland Clinicals and HMS were rated as offering the best customer experience for hospitals under 100 beds
* Cerner, Dell and Quadramed got top rankings for community hospitals of 101-249 beds
* Dell, Epic and Siemens were rated best among major medical centers of 250+ beds and academic medical centers
EHR vendors, are you ready to do a lot of handholding? If not, it seems you may get edged out by EHR developers who are. Consider yourself warned.