Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Ingenix acquires coding company

HISTalk reports that Ingenix is acquiring A-Life Medical. I have speculated on the grand strategy behind Ingenix's acquisition spree (see for example, this, this, this, or this) and it's getting more clear now: Ingenix wants to have a presence in multiple touchpoints in the healthcare IT value chain. They are assembling data collection and analytical components that used together will provide a powerful analytics-driven (outcomes driven?) healthcare delivery model.

This has been a busy week at work with our planning projects in full swing. I'm looking forward to AHIMA later this week and I plan to resuming a more predictable posting schedule after that. Much to report on based on what I've learnt in these past few weeks!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Blumenthal Vs. O'Neil

ONCHIT chief David Blumenthal and former Treasury Secretary, Paul O'Neill debated EMRs and national standards: see related story from Mass Device.

I'm back from several field visits this week to hospitals in North Carolina. I'll summarize observations in a future post; and then from Sept 26 through Sept 29th, I'm back on the road for AHIMA. I look forward to further conversations with healthcare executives and I'll report findings soon thereafter.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Meaningful Use for 90% hospitals in the next two years

The Wall Street Journal today reports that 28% hospitals expect to qualify for incentives in 2011 and 62% in 2012. This is consistent with my expectation from a few weeks ago that Meaningful Use will be item #1 on the agenda for healthcare IT. The Gold Rush is about to begin, even though questions remain on whether true adoption can be achieved in this time frame.

I'm visiting a number of hospital CIOs this week (and posting will be light as a result) but I'll report back on first-hand impressions from the field.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Eric Dishman on taking health care off the mainframe

Eric Dishman has a wonderful TED Talk on moving our healthcare system "off the mainframe." This talk was part of TED MED 2009. Mr. Dishman makes a compelling case for why we need a shift in mentality away from crisis-driven (or event-driven) institutional healthcare model to a more proactive personal-driven model of care.

Don't miss it! (you may need to click the direct link above: RSS readers may not show the video below)

Friday, September 3, 2010

Healthcare Costs and the American Dream

The New America Blog has a story on rising healthcare costs: Good news: increases are more modest compared to previous years; bad news: cost increases are now almost entirely being passed on to consumers.

I was speaking to a friend recently who works for a major life insurance company. That company has recently moved to a high-deductible plan, meaning employees are now responsible for several thousand dollars of medical expenses before any insurance kicks in. For younger healthier people, skipping healthcare is an option but for young families or older employees this is effectively a 5%+ pay cut.

I'm not one to argue against patients taking more responsibility, and consequently more costs, for their health and well being. However, the issue here is less about individual responsibility and more about the social contract we have with our employers. The contract that if we do our jobs well and if we work hard there are certain measures of security that accrue. See this article from the Financial Times from a few weeks ago on the crisis in Middle America.

How does one reverse this decline?