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Fundamental Shift Seen in Healthcare Acquisition and Affiliation Strategies

(June 22, 2014, Las Vegas) Acquisitions and affiliations are now being driven more by strategy than by financial need, according to new research released today at the Healthcare Financial Management Association’s (HFMA’s) 2014 National Institute in Las Vegas.

While traditional acquisitions—in which a weaker healthcare system is acquired by a stronger one—still occur, the trend is shifting toward mergers and acquisitions that take place between financial equals, according to the report. These are value-focused acquisition and affiliation strategies, geared toward improving the quality or cost-effectiveness of care, as opposed to dominating markets.

Affiliations that improve value for patients and other care purchasers are likely to be well received,” said HFMA president and CEO Joseph J. Fifer, FHFMA, CPA. “When a merger or acquisition happens for the right reasons, everybody wins.”

Interviews with consultants and provider organizations actively pursuing these strategies revealed several key drivers and defining characteristics of acquisition and affiliation activity in the healthcare provider marketplace today:

  • Key drivers include improving operational efficiencies, creating clinically integrated care delivery networks, and accessing sufficient populations for population health management.
  • Many acquiring organizations are not interested in adding acute inpatient capacity. As a result, the other assets a hospital-based system can bring may be equally or more important than the hospital itself.
  • Financially troubled hospitals are becoming less attractive acquisition targets.
  • For affiliation and acquisition purposes, the distinction between not-for-profit and for-profit status is lessening in importance, although religious affiliations of not-for-profit systems still pose roadblocks for some partnerships.
  • Some organizations are pursuing innovative models that are characterized by the parties involved as combinations rather than mergers.

The research findings are detailed in Acquisition and Affiliation Strategies, which was based on a series of interviews conducted by HFMA in early 2014. Innovative approaches developed by AllSpire Health Partners; Dignity Health; Froedtert Health and the Medical College of Wisconsin; and Minnesota-based Health Partners and Park Nicollet Health Services are among those profiled in the report. The report also addresses legal and regulatory issues and identifies key considerations for organizations that are considering value-focused strategies for affiliation and acquisition. To download the full report, visit hfma.org/valueproject.

About HFMA  
With more than 40,000 members, the Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA) is the nation’s premier membership organization for healthcare finance leaders. HFMA builds and supports coalitions with other healthcare associations and industry groups to achieve consensus on solutions for the challenges the U.S. healthcare system faces today. Working with a broad cross-section of stakeholders, HFMA identifies gaps throughout the healthcare delivery system and bridges them through the establishment and sharing of knowledge and best practices. We help healthcare stakeholders achieve optimal results by creating and providing education, analysis, and practical tools and solutions. Our mission is to lead the financial management of health care. hfma.org

 

June 22, 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 13 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.

Quintiles Announces Agreement to Acquire Encore Health Resources

Acquisition Will Bolster Quintiles’ Expertise in Health-Information Analytics Services and Create Foundation for Expanded Services Suite

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–As part of its continued efforts to strengthen and expand its service capabilities across the healthcare continuum, Quintiles today announced that it has signed an agreement to acquire Encore Health Resources (Encore). Encore is a leader in the health-information analytics and technology services industry focused on healthcare providers. Through its consulting services and solutions, Encore assists customers with a wide range of strategy, advisory, implementation, process-redesign, optimization, analytics and performance-improvement initiatives.

“Today’s announcement signifies the increasing importance of leveraging EHR and real-world information to inform our customers and improve their probability of success”

Founded in 2009, Encore has more than 300 employees located throughout North America, including approximately 250 consultants. Its primary business is focused on implementation and advisory services around electronic health records (EHR). The addition of these capabilities will enhance Quintiles’ EHR expertise, which is becoming increasingly important as biopharmaceutical customers, payers and providers focus on measuring outcomes based on real-world performance in terms of clinical effectiveness and value.

“Today’s announcement signifies the increasing importance of leveraging EHR and real-world information to inform our customers and improve their probability of success,” said Tom Pike, chief executive officer at Quintiles. “Encore has significant EHR expertise, strong relationships with many large U.S. provider networks and academic medical centers as well as experienced consultants, proven tools, and methodologies. It will be a key strategic addition for our business that will extend our services suite and allow us to work with Encore to strengthen its provider-focused solutions.”

Biopharmaceutical companies are increasingly interested in the “real-world” outcomes associated with their medicines to enable optimal market access. Encore’s expertise with hospitals and hospital information will help Quintiles extend its service offerings meaningfully for biopharmaceutical companies.

By joining Quintiles, Encore will be able to leverage Quintiles’ breadth and depth of capabilities as well as its global scale to accelerate Encore’s vision of enhancing clinical outcomes through data-driven performance improvement. Additionally, Encore can utilize the expertise of Quintiles’ 950 medical doctors, 900 Ph.D.’s, as well as its nurse educators and world-class biostatisticians to help hospitals and providers solve their most pressing population health challenges.

“Today is the beginning of an exciting new chapter for Encore,” said Dana Sellers, chief executive officer, Encore. “Encore was founded with a focus on driving value through data to improve performance and clinical outcomes. I believe that this focus and our vision for the future align well with Quintiles. We will be joining a global leader, and we look forward to working together to help deliver further advancements in healthcare.”

The transaction, which is subject to standard and customary closing conditions, is expected to close later this quarter. Upon completion of this transaction, Encore will join Quintiles’ Integrated Healthcare Services segment and be known as “Encore, A Quintiles Company.”

Financial terms of the transaction are not being disclosed. The acquisition is not expected to have a material impact on Quintiles’ 2014 earnings per share.

About Quintiles

Quintiles (NYSE: Q) is the world’s largest provider of biopharmaceutical development and commercial outsourcing services with a network of more than 29,000 employees conducting business in approximately 100 countries. We have helped develop or commercialize all of the top-50 best-selling drugs on the market. Quintiles applies the breadth and depth of our service offerings along with extensive therapeutic, scientific and analytics expertise to help our customers navigate an increasingly complex healthcare environment as they seek to improve efficiency and effectiveness in the delivery of better healthcare outcomes. To learn more about Quintiles, please visit www.quintiles.com.

May 12, 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 13 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.

EHRs, ePrescribe, and a Snow Storm

“I DON’T WANT TO THINK WHAT THE ALTERNATIVE WOULD BE.”

BIRMINGHAM, AL — February 14, 2014 — With much of the East Coast dealing with unusually disruptive winter weather, a story out of Alabama shows just how much technology can help patients and medical professionals —  after hundreds of them were caught by surprise when a snow storm hit the South late last month.

“When the snow started falling outside The Kirklin Clinic, we had no idea it would become as bad as it did,” said Wendy Tissier, director of Clinical Informatics at the University of Alabama at Birmingham Health System.

Many UAB staff, Tissier included, were among the thousands of people in Alabama unable to get home the night of the storm.  Staff stayed in the clinic overnight — some for multiple nights. More than 200 patients stayed as well.

Many patients and staff members were on prescriptions.  However, many thought they would be home that night and did not bring enough medication to outlast the storm. The UAB Health System uses Cerner technology in its hospitals and physician practices, which Tissier says made a big difference.

“Thankfully, we had electronic health records and a stocked pharmacy,” she said.  “We quickly looked up medications and dosages for our stranded patients and staff and were able to fill them for many in need.”

With the technology, patients were able to get needed medication in spite of the crippling storm.  “I don’t want to think what the alternative would be,” Tissier said.

Cerner Media Contact: Rebecca Gegg, (816) 982-7366  rebecca.gegg@cerner.com, Twitter: @CernerPhysician

University of Alabama- Birmingham Media Contact: Jim Bakken, (205) 934-3887,

mailto:jimb@uab.edu

 

February 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 13 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.

Encore Health Resources CoreANALYTICS Architecture Receives 2014 EHR Certification

HOUSTON – January 17, 2014Encore Health Resources announced today that its CoreANALYTICS® 1.0 architecture – a set of integrated analytical tools that help drive continuous health-system performance improvement – has been listed on the federal government’s Certified Health IT Product List website as compliant with the ONC 2014 Edition criteria as an EHR Module.  The CoreANALYTICS EHR certification formally occurred on November 27, 2013 by the Certification Commission for Health Information Technology (CCHIT®), an ONC-ACB, in accordance with the certification criteria adopted by the secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS).  The ONC 2014 Edition criteria support both Stages 1 and 2 meaningful use measures required to qualify eligible providers and hospitals for funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

CoreANALYTICS is a set of integrated analytical tools that, coupled with Encore services, helps to drive continuous health-system performance improvement through the application of “smart, skinny data,” or an Encore approach that focuses on capturing just the data required to solve specific problems.

“We believe this certification confirms that Encore’s CoreANALYTICS software tools are poised to assist health systems meet and exceed thresholds for the quality and performance measures required to qualify for U.S. Government EHR Meaningful-Use incentive payments and avoid associated penalties – as well as manage emerging, at-risk government and commercial payment models” said Sherie Giles, Partner for Research and Development, Encore Health Resources. “CoreANALYTICS comprises a uniquely comprehensive solution that transforms data generated by EHRs as well as financial and operational systems, into actionable intelligence for proactive management of patient populations, quality, and costs.  This helps providers navigate through and beyond challenges posed by the healthcare industry’s rapid shift from fee-for-service to fee-for value care-delivery and reimbursement models.”

The ONC HIT Certification Program certifies that EHR Modules meet one or more – but not all – of the 2014 Edition criteria approved by the Secretary of Health & Human Services (HHS) for either eligible provider or hospital technology.

“CCHIT congratulates companies successfully achieving EHR technology certification,” said Alisa Ray, executive director, CCHIT.  “These companies are now able to make their products available to providers wishing to adopt health IT to demonstrate meaningful use and earn federal incentives.”

CoreANALYTICS 1.0’s certification number is CC-2014-100098-1.  ONC HIT certification conferred by CCHIT does not represent an endorsement of the certified EHR technology by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.

CoreANALYTICS 1.0’s modular certification qualifies the technology as capable of supporting achievement of meaningful use for the Medicare and Medicaid EHR incentive programs. The technology is also differentiated by its analytics engine – included in the certification — which enriches information through proven data derivation and measure calculations, successfully demonstrated compliance criteria for Clinical Quality Measures (CQM) and Utilization Measures (Core/Menu Set).

CoreANALYTICS 1.0 met the following certification criteria and clinical quality measures: § 170.314(c)(1), capture and export; 170.314(c)(2), incorporate and calculate; § 170.314(c)(3), electronic submission; § 170.314(g)(2), automated measure calculation; and § 170.314(g)(4) quality management system.  It also met the following clinical quality measures:  CMS55v2, CMS71v3, CMS72v2, CMS73v2, CMS91v3, CMS102v2, CMS104v2, CMS105v2, CMS107v2, CMS108v2, CMS109v2, CMS110v2, CMS111v2, CMS114v2 and CMS190v2.

Additional costs incurred may include:  Software License Agreement; Implementation fees per source system, including install, training, and source system connectivity; any client costs necessary to bring hardware to recommended configuration.

About Encore Health Resources

Encore Health Resources is one of the most successful consulting firms in the health information technology (HIT) industry.  Founded in 2009 and led by Encore CEO Dana Sellers and President Tom Niehaus, the company provides consulting services and solutions that assist its expanding client base with a wide range of HIT strategy, advisory, implementation, process-redesign, and optimization initiatives.  Encore focuses on capturing the right data at the right time, establishing analytical capabilities that meet the evolving information and reporting needs of healthcare providers to document and improve clinical and operational performance. For more information, please visit http://encorehealthresources.com/.

About CCHIT

The Certification Commission for Health Information Technology (CCHIT®) is an independent, 501©3 nonprofit organization with the public mission of accelerating the adoption of robust, interoperable health information technology.  The Commission has been certifying electronic health record technology since 2006 and is authorized by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) as a certification body (ONC-ACB).  CCHIT is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) as a certification body for the ONC HIT Certification Program for electronic health record (EHR) technology and accredited by the National Voluntary Laboratory Accreditation Program (NVLAP) of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) as an accredited Testing Laboratory (ATL) to test EHRS.  More Information on CCHIT and its programs is available at http://cchit.org.

January 16, 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 13 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.

CHIME Partners with Next Wave Connect to Foster Online Engagement Among Healthcare Professionals

SCOTTSDALE, AZ—October 10, 2013—The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) has signed a letter of intent to partner with Next Wave Connect, Inc. Next Wave CONNECT is the first healthcare industry-specific enterprise social networking application to connect healthcare professionals and peers from across healthcare organizations, providing participants with a place to collaboratively solve the industry’s toughest challenges. The letter of intent was finalized during the CHIME13 Fall CIO Forum in Scottsdale, Ariz.

CONNECT offers a cloud-based collaborative environment that includes professional facilitation and support services for members via a network of Community Managers and Community Advisors.  CONNECT’s Advisory Council Experts (ACEs) are well-known, experienced, and accomplished healthcare professionals who will assist members as they work together to crowd-source solutions and best-practices.

In keeping with CHIME’s goal to advance the role of CIOs and other senior healthcare IT leaders through education, collaboration and advocacy in support of improved health and healthcare in our communities, CONNECT is a social platform that will enable CHIME members, CHIME Foundation representatives, and other relevant stakeholders to engage with each other in meaningful discussions in real-time.

“CHIME is excited to begin working with Next Wave Connect,” says CHIME President and CEO Russell P. Branzell, FCHIME, CHCIO. “With a mutual interest in guiding the healthcare industry forward, CHIME and Next Wave Connect intend to transform the way leaders collaborate and problem-solve together using the tools of social media.”

“CONNECT takes the possibilities of online engagement to a higher level,” says Next Wave Connect CEO Drex DeFord, FCHIME, CHCIO.  “CHIME is precisely the type of forward thinking organization to help bring the health IT industry together to solve real and meaningful issues and challenges.”

About Next Wave Connect

Next Wave Connect is a wholly-owned social networking application company of Next Wave Health, based in Houston, Texas. Next Wave Connect (CONNECT) is the first healthcare industry-specific, smart social networking application, connecting healthcare professionals and peers—of all types, from across healthcare organizations—giving them a place to collaboratively solve the industry’s most challenging problems. For more information, visit www.nextwaveconnect.com.

About CHIME

The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) is an executive organization dedicated to serving chief information officers and other senior healthcare IT leaders. With more than 1,400 CIO members and over 95 healthcare IT vendors and professional services firms, CHIME provides a highly interactive, trusted environment enabling senior professional and industry leaders to collaborate; exchange best practices; address professional development needs; and advocate the effective use of information management to improve the health and healthcare in the communities they serve. For more information, please visit www.cio-chime.org.

October 10, 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 13 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.

First 8 Health IT Vendors Receive Certification Under New Program Launched by IHE USA and ICSA Labs

Pilot Program Aimed at Addressing Interoperability of Many Software and IT Systems in Healthcare Industry

CHICAGO, Ill. — A healthcare certification program — launched early this year to help address one of the industry’s most challenging issues, the incompatibility of many software and IT systems – has certified the first group of health IT products.  Under the pilot program, a joint initiative of IHE USA andICSA Labs, the products met rigorous testing requirements for security and interoperability.

The certified products are offered by eight health-IT vendors: Baxter Healthcare Corporation, B. Braun Medical Inc., CareFusion Corporation, Corepoint Health, Greenway Medical Technologies Inc., Hospira Inc., InterSystems Corporation and Masimo Corporation.

Products were tested and certified to meet requirements in the IHE Patient Care Device or IHE IT infrastructure domains (more info here) – which specify capabilities related to medical device interoperability, clinical-document sharing, patient identification, audit logging and security.

The certification by IHE USA, a nonprofit organization formed in 2010 to drive adoption of standards of interoperability in healthcare, also builds on specifications of the federal Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT.  As a result, the certification gives purchasers of health IT products independent third-party verification that products are suitable for health data exchange and function as intended.  In this way, healthcare professionals can have timely and secure access to health information, leading to improved overall patient safety.

The certification program was announced at the 2013 IHE North American Connectathon in January. The initiative stemmed from a growing concern among healthcare IT organizations that today’s software, medical devices and IT systems are often incompatible, making the secure sharing of health data a complicated and expensive endeavor.

“Products that are certified for IHE USA interoperability bring tremendous value to the entire healthcare ecosystem,” said Joyce Sensmeier, president of IHE USA and vice president of informatics at HIMSS.  “As an industry, we need to set a high bar if we are to rise to the challenge of transforming our healthcare system.  For the health IT vendors that have achieved IHE USA certification, this means their integration capabilities go beyond minimum federal requirements to deliver more robust, high-quality, standards-based products.”

The IHE USA Certification Program aims to expand beyond traditional electronic health record systems to include domains such as patient-care devices, lab, radiology, cardiology, dentistry and eye care.

“IHE USA Certified products benefit purchasers, system developers and, ultimately, patients,” said Amit Trivedi, healthcare program manager at ICSA Labs. “There is a dizzying array of products and systems to choose from, and IHE USA Certification by ICSA Labs can be a differentiating factor to make a more informed decision when selecting the right health IT product to implement.”

The certification program will expand by utilizing virtual testing events this fall, leading up to the 2014 IHE North American Connectathon to be held Jan. 27-31 in Chicago.

For more information on certification and IHE USA Certified products, visit www.icsalabs.com/ihe.

About IHE USA

IHE USA is a not-for-profit organization established in 2010 that operates as a deployment committee of IHE International®. The mission of IHE USA is to drive adoption of standards-based interoperability to improve patient care through innovation, standards profiling, testing, education and collaboration. IHE USA improves the efficiency and effectiveness of healthcare delivery by supporting the deployment of standards-based electronic health record systems, facilitating the exchange of health information among care providers, both within the enterprise and across care settings, and enabling local, regional and nationwide health information networks in the United States, all in a manner consistent with participation in IHE International, Inc. Visit www.iheusa.org for more information.

About ICSA Labs

ICSA Labs, an independent division of Verizon, offers third-party testing and certification of security and health IT products, as well as network-connected devices, to measure product compliance, reliability and performance for many of the world’s top security vendors.  ICSA Labs is an ISO/IEC 17025:2005 accredited, and a 9001:2008 registered organization. ICSA Labs is an NVLAP Accredited Health IT Testing Lab and ANSI-accredited, ONC-Authorized Certification Body for the Office of the National Coordinator’s Health IT Certification program. Visit www.icsalabs.com for more information.

About Verizon

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, Nasdaq: VZ), headquartered in New York, is a global leader in delivering broadband and other wireless and wireline communications services to consumer, business, government and wholesale customers.  Verizon Wireless operates America’s most reliable wireless network, with nearly 99 million retail connections nationwide.  Verizon also provides converged communications, information and entertainment services over America’s most advanced fiber-optic network, and delivers integrated business solutions to customers in more than 150 countries, including all of the Fortune 500.  A Dow 30 company with nearly $116 billion in 2012 revenues, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of 181,900.  For more information, visit about.verizon.com.

July 16, 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 13 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.

Coder Academy Launched to Train and Place Healthcare Professionals for ICD-10

New Partnership between TrustHCS, Career Step and HIM Connections Educates All Levels

July 1, 2013, Springfield MOTrustHCS announced the launch of a new coder academy designed to prepare coding professionals of various levels and new, novice entrants to the field. The TrustHCS Academy brings the strength of three companies together to meet the nationwide increase in coding demand associated with ICD-10.  TrustHCS coding educators prepare new students and seasoned coding professionals to enter the field and by increasing their knowledge and related ICD-10 skills.  Career Step delivers proven, on-line curriculum, and HIM Connections places trained and certified students—a critical component of the program’s launch.  The announcement was made by Torrey Barnhouse, President, TrustHCS.

“The healthcare industry has endured a persistent 30% deficit in coding staffing,” mentions Barnhouse.    Results of a recent industry study co-sponsored by the AHIMA Foundation and TrustHCS, indicate this gap will continue to increase by an additional 23% as a result of ICD-10 implementation. “Our Academy helps to meet this demand,” he concludes.

Career Step’s proven on-line content is the backbone of the TrustHCS Academy.  The Career Step curriculum boasts an 86% first-attempt pass rate for those sitting for the Certified Coding Specialist (CCS) certification.  This is in comparison to an industry average 67% first time pass rate for the certification.

In addition, HIM Connections helps with student job placement.  The TrustHCS Academy will work closely with HIM Connections to connect academy graduates with industry needs.  HIM Connections contracts with numerous Human Resource and Health Information Management (HIM) Directors across the United States for staffing needs specific to medical record coding and HIM.

The first cohort of TrustHCS Academy students have already signed up to tackle the curriculum.  This group includes the general public with no coding or HIM background and coding professionals with various backgrounds and levels of coding knowledge.

About TrustHCS

TrustHCS is a health information management (HIM) services and revenue cycle consultancy firm for healthcare providers. TrustHCS protects the revenue integrity of health providers through affordable, on-demand remote coding, coding compliance, audit, cancer registry and educational services. TrustHCS is an early adopter of learning partnerships for ICD-10 and offers a unique, cost-effective set of educational modalities for hospitals, clinics and physician practices nationwide, TrustHCS ensures correct clinical coding, delivers effective coding compliance programs, conducts audits and supports cancer registries. For more information, visit www.trusthcs.com.

About Career Step

Career Step, a premier healthcare education company offering career-focused education and corporate training, has trained nearly 90,000 students, has 160 partnerships with colleges and universities nationwide, and provides training for several of the most respected healthcare employers in the nation. Career Step is committed to improving lives and advancing the business goals of its clients and partners through its curriculum and services. The company’s training programs are currently focused in healthcare, administration and technology.  More information can be found at www.careerstep.com or 1-800-246-7836.

About HIM Connections

HIM Connections is a results-driven staffing and recruitment firm specializing in HIM. The company quickly locates qualified, credentialed and experienced HIM professionals to fill hospitals’ HIM staffing needs; short-term or long-term. The company saves time for their customers by presenting fully-vetted candidates, building relationships with passive candidates, and offering flexible service options for staffing and recruitment of HIM professionals. For more information, visit www.himconnections.com.

July 5, 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 13 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.

CHIME Calls for Stage 2 Extension in Letter to Senators

CIO organization underscores progress of EHR adoption, highlights importance of standards in Stage 2 

ANN ARBOR, MI, May 6, 2013 – Following a request for feedback from Senators in Washington on the status of health IT adoption, the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) issued a response declaring that a one-year extension of Meaningful Use Stage 2 would “maximize the opportunity of program success.”

The organization of healthcare CIOs said the additional 12-months for meeting Stage 2 “will give providers the opportunity to optimize their EHR technology and achieve the benefits of Stage 1 and Stage 2; it will give vendors the time needed to prepare, develop and deliver needed technology to correspond with Stage 3; and it will give policymakers time to assess and evaluate programmatic trends needed to craft thoughtful Stage 3 rules.”

In calling for an extension to Stage 2, CHIME defended much of the federal incentive program’s progress to date, arguing that fundamental shifts in health IT adoption and EHR product capabilities have been made possible through the policy of Meaningful Use.

“While we share some of your concerns with the current state of interoperability, we strongly believe that EHR incentive payments under the policy of Meaningful Use have been essential in moving the nation’s healthcare system into the 21st Century,” the CHIME letter said.  “Through the EHR Incentive Payments program, CMS and ONC have begun to mitigate a fractured and incompatible state for EHRs.”

The response comes amid concerns levied by six Senators that the current direction of the HITECH program is flawed. The white paper released on April 16, “REBOOT: Re-examining the Strategies Needed to Successfully Adopt Health IT,” outlines several concerns including increased health care costs, lack of momentum toward interoperability, patient privacy, and long-term program sustainability.

“Your report highlights a number of fair and responsible criticisms of the program and it echoes many of the concerns CHIME has voiced over the last three years,” the letter said.  “But given the nation’s increased adoption of EHRs, the increased investments in interoperable solutions and the early-stage transformations encountered every day by our members, we remain convinced that the trajectory set by Meaningful Use is the correct one.

“CHIME believes the industry’s guiding principle should be to maximize the opportunity of program success and monitor the timelines needed to do that.  For this reason, we formally and strongly recommend a one-year extension to Stage 2 before progressing to Stage 3 of Meaningful Use,” the organization concluded.

CHIME also called upon Congress to request an update from ONC on what technologies, architectures and strategies exist to mitigate patient matching errors; seek feedback from the public via congressional hearing or other formal commenting mechanism; and determine how current work at the S&I Framework could be leveraged to address the foundational challenge of patient data-matching.

Responding to a section of the white paper on audits and program integrity, CHIME said CIOs understand the desire to ensure that incentive payments are going to those who have qualified to receive them, but this intent must not result in unreasonable auditing efforts that are poorly structured, inconsistent or lack uniform criteria.  “We ask that Congress ensure CMS audits are efficient and effective without overburdening providers,” the letter stated.

To read the full Senate response, visit the Public Policy section of the CHIME website.

About CHIME
The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) is an executive organization dedicated to serving chief information officers and other senior healthcare IT leaders. With more than 1,400 CIO members and over 95 healthcare IT vendors and professional services firms, CHIME provides a highly interactive, trusted environment enabling senior professional and industry leaders to collaborate; exchange best practices; address professional development needs; and advocate the effective use of information management to improve the health and healthcare in the communities they serve. For more information, please visit www.cio-chime.org.

Contact:
Stephanie Fraser
Director of Communications
734-665-0000
sfraser@cio-chime.org

May 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 13 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.

Cerner, McKesson, Allscripts, athenahealth, Greenway and RelayHealth Announce Ground Breaking Alliance to Enable Integrated Health Care

First-of-its-kind effort to transform quality and cost effectiveness by enabling data liquidity across systems, settings and episodes of care

New Orleans, March 4, 2013 – Top health care information technology (HIT) companies Cerner, McKesson, Allscripts, athenahealth, Greenway Medical Technologies® and RelayHealth announced today the launch of the CommonWell Health Alliance™, planned to be an independent not-for-profit organization that will support universal, trusted access to health care data through seamless interoperability. This historic effort is aimed at improving the quality of care delivery while working to lower costs for care providers, patients and the industry as a whole.

The Alliance intends to be a collaborative effort of suppliers who are focused on achieving data liquidity between systems, in compliance with patient authorizations. The Alliance will define, promote and certify a national infrastructure with common platforms and policies. It also will ensure that HIT products displaying the Alliance seal are certified to work on the national infrastructure.

“Today’s announcement represents an inflection point in health care, with key industry leaders coming together to support the delivery of a national health information exchange,” said John Hammergren, chairman and CEO, McKesson Corp. “The formation of this alliance takes health care a step closer to broad industry interoperability. A national and trusted health information exchange will break down the information silos in health care and should dramatically improve the quality and cost effectiveness of care delivery. Creating data liquidity between all HIT developers is fundamental to improving patient care, enhancing the vitality of the health care industry, and strengthening the long-term health of our nation.”

“We believe the industry needs to step up to the challenges of interoperability,” noted Neal Patterson, co-founder, chairman, CEO and president, Cerner. “If we can rise to the challenge as an industry, we have a chance to deliver a golden era of health care. It is a system where consumers not only have a right to their data, but also have the ability to mobilize it in the pursuit of better health. This alliance is about setting aside the admittedly tough politics of this issue to do what is right for the health care consumer. We at Cerner are proud to play a leadership role in this exciting effort.”

Elements of the Alliance’s national infrastructure will be tested in a local pilot within the next year. Early components will include the following core services:

  • Cross-entity patient linking and matching services: Help developers and providers link and match patients as they transition through care facilities, regardless of the underlying software system
  • Patient consent and data access management: Foster HIPAA-compliant and simple patient-centered management of data sharing consents and authorizations
  • Patient record locator and directed query services: Help providers deliver a history of recent patient care encounters, and, with appropriate authorization, patient data across multiple providers and episodes of care

“The formation of the CommonWell Health Alliance will be a significant step forward toward the electronic exchange of health information to support clinicians and patients,” said Janet Marchibroda, director of the Health Innovation Initiative at the Bipartisan Policy Center. “The founding members of the Alliance are focused on exactly the right foundational areas, and it’s terrific to see industry leaders stepping up to solve the problem of interoperability on behalf of providers and patients everywhere.”

“Allscripts’ vision has been to create a true Connected Community of Health. We believe open platforms are required to realize that vision and make the improvements our health care delivery system needs to dramatically improve outcomes while reducing cost,” said Paul Black, president and CEO, Allscripts. “This alliance provides a framework that will enable patient identification and record-sharing for providers across the nation. This is good for care providers, for patients and for the country. We are proud to be a founding member and to help lead this important effort.”

“Greenway has anticipated this evolution to a smarter health care system based on open collaboration and data flow,” said Tee Green, president and CEO, Greenway. “We’ve been telling caregivers the marketplace can provide it and sustain it, and they are right to expect it. Consumers are no different, and a patient-enabled approach to data access will foster a deeper and more efficient patient-provider relationship. Allowing data to flow more freely fits the needs of a mobile society just as providers are taking on more financial risk in coordinating care. We are committed to the Alliance goals and our ongoing participation as this initiative grows.”

“We’ve built athenahealth on the vision that health care needs an information backbone that facilitates and incents true health information exchange. However, the promise of the free flow of health information and the reality of it today are worlds apart,” said Jonathan Bush, CEO and chairman, athenahealth, Inc. “We support the CommonWell Health Alliance because we believe that being open matters, especially when it comes to patient care. CommonWell’s efforts to bring major developers together to pilot patient linking and matching across IT systems and care settings is an important step in the right direction. We look forward to helping lead these efforts as a founding member of the Alliance.”

Members of the Alliance are committed to collaborating with all HIT developers to realize the vision of integrated health care and encourage other HIT companies to join the CommonWell Health Alliance by visiting www.commonwellalliance.org. The founding members of the Alliance will be holding a press conference on March 4, 2013 from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. CT at the HIMSS 2013 Annual Conference and Exhibition in New Orleans. The event will also be livestreamed atwww.webcasts.com/March4PressEvent. Please visit www.commonwellalliance.org for additional details.

About CommonWell Health Alliance

CommonWell Health Alliance is anticipated to be an independent not-for-profit trade association of HIT companies that will work together to create universal access to patient health care data. The Alliance will be open to all health information technology developers that are committed to making patient’s data available to themselves and providers regardless of where care occurs. Alliance members will support the belief that provider access to this data must be built-in to health information technologies at a reasonable cost for use by a broad range of health care providers and the patients they serve.

The founding members of CommonWell Health Alliance invite all HIT suppliers to join us in working together to provide seamless, trusted access to health information, in support of better, more cost-effective care for our patients and communities.

To learn more about the CommonWell Health Alliance, please visit www.commonwellalliance.org.

About Cerner

Cerner Corp. (NASDAQ: CERN) is contributing to the systemic change of health and care delivery. For more than 30 years Cerner has been executing its vision to make health care safer and more efficient. We started with the foundation of digitizing paper processes and now offer the most comprehensive array of information software, professional services, medical device integration, remote hosting and employer health and wellness services. Cerner systems are used by everyone from individual consumers, to single-doctor practices, hospitals, employers and entire countries. Taking what we’ve learned over more than three decades, Cerner is building on the knowledge that is in the system to support evidence-based clinical decisions, prevent medical errors and empower patients in their care.

Cerner® solutions are licensed by approximately 10,000 facilities around the world, including more than 2,700 hospitals; 4,150 physician practices; 45,000 physicians; 550 ambulatory facilities, such as laboratories, ambulatory centers, behavioral health centers, cardiac facilities, radiology clinics and surgery centers; 800 home health facilities; 40 employer sites and 1,750 retail pharmacies.

About McKesson

McKesson Corporation (NYSE: MCK), currently ranked 14th on the FORTUNE 500, is a healthcare services and information technology company dedicated to making the business of healthcare run better. We partner with payers, hospitals, physician offices, pharmacies, pharmaceutical companies and others across the spectrum of care to build healthier organizations that deliver better care to patients in every setting. McKesson helps its customers improve their financial, operational, and clinical performance with solutions that include pharmaceutical and medical-surgical supply management, healthcare information technology, and business and clinical services. For more information, visit us at www.mckesson.com.

About Allscripts
Allscripts (NASDAQ: MDRX) delivers the insights that healthcare providers require to generate world-class outcomes. The company’s Electronic Health Record, practice management and other clinical, revenue cycle, connectivity and information solutions create a Connected Community of Health™ for physicians, hospitals and post-acute organizations.  To learn more about Allscripts, please visit www.allscripts.comTwitterYouTube and It Takes A Community: The Allscripts Blog.

About athenahealth
athenahealth, Inc. is a leading provider of cloud-based Best in KLAS electronic health record (EHR), practice management, and care coordination services to medical groups and health systems. athenahealth’s mission is to be the most trusted service to medical care givers, helping them do well by doing the right thing. For more information, please visit www.athenahealth.com or call 888-652-8200.

About Greenway Medical Technologies

Greenway Medical Technologies, Inc. (NYSE: GWAY) delivers innovative software and business service solutions for healthcare providers through its PrimeSUITE® platform. As a certified and fully integrated electronic health record, practice management and interoperability solution, Greenway PrimeSUITE helps improve care coordination, quality and cost-efficiency as part of a smarter, sustainable healthcare system. Thousands of care providers across primary care and more than 30 specialties and sub-specialties use cloud-based or on-premise Greenway® solutions in healthcare enterprises, physician practices and clinics nationwide. www.greenwaymedical.com

About RelayHealth

RelayHealth, McKesson’s connectivity business, enables the trusted exchange of clinical, financial and administrative information between patients, providers, payers, pharmacies, pharmaceutical manufacturers and government agencies. RelayHealth processes nearly 16 billion healthcare transactions annually by integrating the delivery of high-quality care and improving the financial outcomes for its customers. For more information, call 888.743.8735, or visit our Web site atwww.RelayHealth.com. Follow us on Twitter (@RelayHealth) or visit the RelayHealth Facebook page.

March 4, 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 13 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.

Arnot Health Selects Merge for Cardiac Imaging and Informatics Solution

Integrated Solution Delivers Streamlined Enterprise-Wide Cardiology Workflow

 

CHICAGO, Feb. 12, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Merge Healthcare Incorporated (Nasdaq:MRGE), a leading provider of clinical systems and innovations that seek to transform healthcare, today announced that Arnot Ogden Medical Center, a member of Arnot Health, will implement Merge’s complete cardiology solution suite to capture, manage and display multi-modality cardiac images, and hemodynamics and ECG data across its enterprise.

“Arnot Health serves as a hub for all of the rural communities in our service area, so we needed a solution that would eliminate the manual transfer of studies from mobile services,” explained Rich Hoffman, Vice President of Operations, Arnot Ogden Medical Center. “We believe that Merge CardioTM will help us deliver substantial workflow efficiencies to optimize physicians’ time while Merge HemoTM will provide a streamlined environment for managing and reporting on all cath lab procedures to enhance our quality control.”

“As a cardiologist, I need to have access to a patient’s complete cardiology record to ensure I make the most informed medical decisions,” said Nishith Admin, M.D. “With Merge’s solutions, I will now be able to see cardiology images, data and reports wherever I am. Having this type of access is immensely beneficial.”

“We are pleased that Arnot Ogden has selected Merge solutions for their cardiology imaging and workflow needs,” said Jeff Surges, CEO, Merge Healthcare. “By implementing our entire cardiology suite, they have solutions that will increase image access and exchange, deliver significant workflow efficiencies, all while decreasing overall costs.”

The Merge Cardiology suite includes Merge Cardio, an enterprise-level image and information system that provides a single point of entry to the patient’s complete cardio record spanning  all cardiac modalities and Merge Hemo, which automates the cath lab process into an electronic patient record with a simplified touch-screen interface and automated reporting. Merge Hemo was recently named the “Category Leader” in the “2012 Best in KLAS Awards: Software & Services” report for Cardiology Hemodynamics rankings for the second consecutive year.

About Merge

Merge is a leading provider of clinical systems and innovations that seek to transform healthcare.  Merge’s enterprise and cloud-based solutions for image intensive specialties provide access to any image, anywhere, any time. Merge also provides health stations, clinical trials software and other health data and analytics solutions that engage consumers in their personal health. With solutions that are used by providers and consumers and include more than 20 years of innovation, Merge is helping to reduce costs and improve the quality of healthcare worldwide. For more information, visit merge.com.

The Merge Healthcare logo is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=10757

Cautionary Notice Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

The matters discussed in this news release may include forward-looking statements, which could involve a number of risks and uncertainties. When used in this press release, the words “will,” “believes,” “intends,” “anticipates,” “expects” and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Actual results could differ materially from those expressed in, or implied by, such forward-looking statements. Except as expressly required by the federal securities laws, the Company undertakes no obligation to update such factors or to publicly announce the results of any of the forward-looking statements.

February 14, 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 13 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.