HealthLeaders Media IT - December 11, 2007 | Vocabulary Lessons
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Vocabulary Lessons
Gary Baldwin, Technology Editor

It may be dwarfed by the massive HIMSS show, but the American Medical Informatics Association conducts a conference that offers plenty of insight into heath IT. I attended this year's event, held here in Chicago in mid-November, and came away inspired as always. AMIA is primarily attended by clinical informatics research specialists. These are the folks doing the heavy lifting of turning electronic data into usable format. Many of the topics are esoteric, such as "a rationale for parsimonious laboratory mapping by frequency." [Read More]
December 11, 2007
Editor's Picks
White House wants to tie Medicare fee fix to overhaul of information technology
This story, barely noticed in the mainstream press, may foreshadow one of the most significant developments in healthcare IT in years. The Hill reports that "The Bush administration has issued an eleventh-hour challenge to the physician lobby's efforts to prevent a pending 10 percent cut in their Medicare fees, in the form of a call for a mandate that doctors use new information technology standards." Physicians who do not adopt IT would receive lower Medicare funding than those who do. Coming on the heels of an earlier announcement that Medicare is going to reward physicians for adopting EMRs, this little gem sounds like the other shoe that just fell. The last thing physicians need is a government mandate to adopt IT. Can you imagine what a nightmare of enforcement this would be? [Read More]

Massachusetts seeks more use of electronic medical records
Massachusetts health officials say the state is in danger of losing its lead in implementing electronic medical records and needs to quickly decide how to pay for the new systems and what role government should play. The officials are scheduled to attend a conference, hosted by the Massachusetts Health Policy Forum, that will explore ways to apply lessons learned from the Massachusetts eHealth Collaborative. The collaborative received $50 million in early funding from the state's Blue Cross plan. Micky Tripathi, chief executive of the eHealth collaborative, said rolling out electronic medical records statewide could cost about $500 million over five years. This story is a bit of cold water on the faces of those with high hopes who worked on the Massachusetts initiative. I covered this project in the Feb. 2005 issue of HealthLeaders magazine. Back then, Blue Cross CIO Carl Ascenzo said the biggest burden on providers will be readjusting their work places to incorporate electronic data. "The energy needed to participate will be big," he told me. "Much bigger than our $50 million." Now we know how much bigger. [Read More]

Revolution Health buys stakes in two Web sites
Revolution Health Network has invested in two new Web sites, a move that continues its effort to challenge WebMD. Revolution said it acquired a site devoted to patients with chronic conditions, and invested in another which offers diet ideas, exercise plans and advice. This Washington Post article details the latest market maneuvers of Revolution Health, which has been funded by AOL co-founder Steve Case. How come I can't get the consumer-oriented healthcare dot-com implosion out of my mind when I read about this company? [Read More]

Tech Headlines
New efforts to remind patients to take pills
U.S. News & World Report/The Daily Herald - December 11, 2007

RHIOs aren't working, new report says
Healthcare IT News - December 11, 2007

Canada reactor woes delay medical tests
Seattle Post-Intelligencer - December 11, 2007
Events & Product News
YourCity.MD launches Web site nationwide

Medical companies form group to protect electronic health records

Supreme Court may prohibit lawsuits for FDA-approved devices
From HealthLeaders Magazine
HealthLeaders November 200720 People Who Make Healthcare Better
Who is finding innovative solutions to healthcare's myriad problems? Who is showing courage in the face of daunting challenges? In short, who is genuinely making a difference? The HealthLeaders 20 offers a snapshot of people in the industry who have made healthcare better. [Read More]
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    PHRs Fulfill Consumer Needs: The personal health record can fill a big information gap for consumers, says contributor Jodi Amendola. [Read More]
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