WellHealth Quality Care Launches Innovative Healthcare Operating System from par8o

Nevada’s First and Only Accountable Care Network Implements par8o to Improve the Member Experience, Decrease Patient Costs and Enhance Quality of Care in Nevada

Boston, MA, February 26, 2015par8o, Healthcare’s Operating System, today announced that WellHealth Quality Care (WellHealth), Nevada’s first accountable care network, has launched the company’s EMR-agnostic platform to provide a seamless transition-in-care process for all WellHealth members. par8o’s platform enables clinical coordination across the network in order to enhance the member experience, manage costs and deliver high-quality care. WellHealth is the latest of a growing number of organizations in Nevada to adopt par8o, with others including the largest employer in the state, MGM Resorts.

“WellHealth is dedicated to providing our members access to a highly-qualified network of physicians,” said Dr. K Warren Volker, Chairman, and CEO of WellHealth Quality Care. “Physicians must be able to exchange health information easily in order to provide the best care possible, and par8o enables them to do so easily and effectively.”

WellHealth is partnering with payer groups such as the Nevada Health CO-OP to bring Nevada residents an efficient healthcare delivery system. WellHealth provides all medical specialties, from primary care and pediatrics, to neurosurgery and obstetrics. By utilizing the par8o platform, WellHealth’s network physicians will have a simplified workflow, ensuring that patients have access to the right physician at the right time.

“WellHealth is leading the way in quality based, efficient, and patient-centric health care initiatives,” said Nicole Flora, MD, Chief Medical Officer at the Nevada Health CO-OP. “The WellHealth provider network is composed of the area’s finest medical professionals, and by using par8o’s platform it is delivering high-quality, coordinated care to patients across the state.”

par8o’s Healthcare Operating System empowers healthcare organizations to optimize their networks of providers and other resources to deliver quality care by applying one of the most powerful and proven principles in economics: Pareto Optimization. This approach and the EMR-agnostic technologies par8o has developed to deploy it, are well-suited to the complex, multi-constituency nature of healthcare because they achieve continuous efficiency improvements while balancing the needs of all parties.

“Innovative new healthcare models, like WellHealth, are gaining a foothold in the industry, but there remains a significant need to bridge technology gaps to connect patients appropriately to the services they need, when they need them,” said Adam Sharp, MD, co-founder, President and CMO of par8o. “par8o provides a smarter application of technology that promotes easy communication between referring and receiving physicians. Together, par8o and WellHealth are moving toward a streamlined patient experience that is quality-driven and strategically focused.”

About WellHealth Quality Care

WellHealth Quality Care is Nevada’s first multi-specialty Accountable Care Network. Based on the principle of providing the very best in patient care, our network of hand-selected providers includes some of the area’s finest medical professionals dedicated to providing five-star, coordinated, and accountable care.  Our integrated and quality-based network of collaborative physicians provides both patients and providers with a sophisticated, efficient and cost effective healthcare delivery system. For more information, visit WellHealthQC.com or call (702) 545-6116.

About Nevada Health CO-OP

The Nevada Health CO-OP is a not-for-profit health insurance alternative created under the Affordable Care Act administered by Nevadans for Nevadans. “Health Insurance Simplified” is the mission of the CO-OP. The not-for-profit is focused on creating a simple member-owned and operated health plan that works easily for patients, doctors, employers and the community. Headquartered in the heart of Las Vegas, the CO-OP serves the Nevada community directly with great understanding of the needs of the people, particularly among diverse populations and small businesses trying to find access and provide healthcare coverage. To learn more, please visit the CO-OP at www.nevadahealthcoop.org or call 702-823-COOP (2667).

About par8o

par8o is a venture-backed, EMR-agnostic platform that creates a common point for coordinating care delivery and plan design, a technology that connects providers, payers, and patients. par8o is a cloud-based healthcare operating system enabling all parties to improve care and optimize towards several clinical and business goals in parallel rather than to the detriment of one another. par8o helps clients succeed by applying Pareto Optimization, a powerful economic principle that succeeds because it is well suited to the complex, multi-constituency nature of healthcare. Simply put, par8o helps organizations match the right patient to the right resource at the right time, ensuring that patients successfully transition to the next step in their care. To learn more about par8o, please visit www.par8o.com.

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Study: Medicaid Acceptance by Healthcare Providers Drops in 2015

Drop in acceptance occurs as payment rates decline for Medicaid primary care physicians in many states

Sunnyvale, CAGiven the size of the Medicaid program and its importance to America’s low-income population, HealthPocket examined government records on Medicaid acceptance for a broad cross-section of healthcare providers. HealthPocket’s review of over one million records found that in 2015 only 34% of the healthcare providers examined were listed as accepting Medicaid insurance. The 2015 results represent a 21% decrease from the listings of Medicaid acceptance as compared to 2013 data for the same categories of healthcare providers.

Since both the 2013 and 2015 analyses relied upon the same government data source and provider categories, the marked decline in Medicaid acceptance is significant. In particular, the data calls into question whether the temporary two-year increase in Medicaid payments to primary care physicians effected any lasting improvements to Medicaid acceptance.

Healthcare provider reluctance to accept Medicaid has numerous reasons, most notably the level of reimbursement from Medicaid for healthcare services. Medicaid typically pays 61% of what Medicare pays for the same outpatient physician services. Medicare itself typically pays 80% of what commercial health insurers pay. Consequently, in comparison to commercial health insurance from private insurance companies, Medicaid payments represent a reduction on a reduction.

“HealthPocket has stressed many times that health insurance is only as good as the doctors and hospitals that accept it,” said Kev Coleman, Head of Research & Data at HealthPocket, “In the case of Medicaid, there is an overwhelming number of healthcare providers who do not accept the insurance which, in turn, undermines the value of the insurance provided.”

The results of HealthPocket’s study can be reviewed in the article “Medicaid Acceptance By Healthcare Providers Falls in 2015.”

HealthPocket.com is a free website that compares and ranks all health insurance plans, helping individuals, families, and small businesses to make their best health plan decisions. HealthPocket publishes health insurance market analyses and other consumer advocacy research. HealthPocket’s research is nonpartisan and uses only objective data from government, non-profit, and private sources that carry no conditions that might restrict the site from serving as an unbiased resource. HealthPocket, Inc. is independently managed and based in Sunnyvale, California. Learn more at www.HealthPocket.com.

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Healthcare IT Marketing and PR Conference (HITMC) Discount for Healthcare Scene Community

Healthcare Scene - Healthcare IT Marketing and PR Conference

We’d like as many in the Healthcare Scene community to be able to attend the Healthcare IT Marketing and PR Conference (HITMC). So, as you can see above, we’re offering a $300 discount off the registration price for Healthcare Scene readers. All you have to do is use the promo code: HITrocks

Thanks for reading and all your support!

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Greythorn Seeks to Relieve Foot Pain at HIMSS15

FEBRUARY 25, 2015 (SEATTLE)—According to research from the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA), 77% of Americans experience foot pain, and half of adults surveyed say the pain has limited their activities. Conferences like HIMSS require an extensive amount of walking—and consequently, thousands of attendees must choose to suffer or limit their involvement. That is why Greythorn will be providing a limited number of complimentary foot massages each day at booth #7739.

Greythorn, a specialty technology recruitment company specializing in health IT, will be utilizing a Shiatsu foot massager to provide pain relief to HIMSS attendees. Those who use it will be provided with hygienic foot covers.

“The people who attend HIMSS are making huge strides in improving the state of healthcare in the United States,” explained Ben Weber, Managing Director of Greythorn. “As they seek ways to better care for our citizens, we wanted to provide them with care, as well.”

An increasing number of studies suggest that massage can offer long-term health benefits, but it’s no surprise that even a short foot rub can be relaxing. Stephanie Wallace, the Eastern Regional Manager, Healthcare IT Practice for Greythorn, agrees:

“People like to joke that I get a ‘vacation’ when I travel for work—but at HIMSS this year, I may actually get to put my feet up for a few minutes!”

Greythorn’s massage station will be available during exhibit hall open hours.

About Greythorn
Greythorn is a specialist technology and healthcare IT recruitment consultancy placing skilled professionals in full-time and contract roles. Established in 1976, Greythorn operates in the Americas, Australia, Brazil, Ireland, Singapore, and the UK.

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New EHR Attestation Deadline for Medicare Eligible Professionals: March 20, 2015

Eligible professionals now have until 11:59 pm ET on March 20, 2015, to attest to meaningful use for the Medicare Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Program 2014 reporting year.

CMS extended the deadline to allow providers extra time to submit their meaningful use data. CMS continues to urge providers to begin attesting for 2014 as soon as they can.

This extension also allows eligible professionals, who have not already used their one “switch”, to switch programs (from Medicare to Medicaid, or vice versa) for the 2014 payment year until 11:59 pm ET on March 20, 2015. After that time, eligible professionals will no longer be able to switch programs.

Medicare eligible professionals must attest to meaningful use every year to receive an incentive and avoid a payment adjustment. Providers who successfully attest for the 2014 program year will:

Note: The Medicare extension does not affect deadlines for the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program. Additionally, the EHR reporting option for PQRS has been extended until March 20, 2015. Please be on the lookout for a separate listserv with information regarding the PQRS program extension.

How to Attest
Submit your data to the Registration and Attestation System, which includes 2014 Certified EHR Technology (CEHRT) Flexibility Rule options.

Tips for speed:

  • Attest during non-peak hours, such as evenings and weekends
  • Start now to:
    • Check that your information is up to date
    • Begin entering your 2014 data

To learn more, see the Educational Resources on the CMS EHR Incentive Programs website.

Posted in EHR, EHR Incentive, Electronic Health Record, Electronic Medical Record, EMR, Healthcare IT, HITECH, Meaningful Use | Tagged , , | Comments Off

Hand of a Superhero – 3D Printing and Wearables


This story has been going around all over social media, but it’s too good not to share. If you read the New York Times story and don’t get close to tears, I’ll be surprised. Prosthesis for children are such a great application of 3D printing. Plus, it’s great to see so many of the 3D printing designs out in the public domain and available to anyone for free.

Here’s a video look at how the prosthesis works:

Also, here’s a video where they literally build the 3D printed prosthesis.

The most amazing part of this prosthesis to me is the cable “tendons” that are attached to the wrist muscle to flex the hand. Seeing solutions like this help remind me that sometimes we’re trying to hard to find the perfect solution. Instead of trying to be the end all be all solution that restores everything to perfection, sometimes we need to approach the problem with a simple but effective solution.

The mix of new technologies applied in unique ways never cease to amaze me.

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Department of Defense (DOD) and Open Source EHR

I was intrigued by a report by the Center for New American Security that was covered in this article on HealthcareDive. In the report, they make a good case for why the Department of Defense (DOD) should select an open source EHR solution as opposed to a commercial solution. Here’s an excerpt from the article:

“I think the commercial systems are very good at what they do,” Ondra said. However, “they are not ideally designed for efficiency and enhancement of care delivery, and I think the DOD can do better with an open source system both in the near-term, and more importantly in the long-term, because of the type of innovation and creativity that can more quickly come into these systems.”

Reports like this make a pretty good case for open source. Plus, I love that it also pointed out that commercial EHR vendors were built on the back of the fee for service model which doesn’t matter to the DOD. It was also interesting to think about the DOD’s selection of an open source EHR system as an investment in other hospitals since the money they spend on an open source EHR could help to catalyze the ongoing development of a free open source EHR solution.

While these arguments make a lot of sense, it seems that the DOD has decided not to go with an open source EHR solution and instead is opting for a commercial alternative. In this article (Thanks Paul) the DOD has narrowed the list of contenders for the $11 Billion DOD EHR contract (DHMSM) to just: CSC/HP/Allscripts, Leidos/Accenture/Cerner, and IBM/Epic who “fall within the competitive range.” They reported that PwC/Google/GDIT/DSS/Medsphere and Intersystems did not fall within the competitive range.

I’ll be interested to hear Medsphere’s take on this since every report I’ve ever read has Medsphere and their open source Vista solution as much less expensive than the commercial alternatives (Epic, Cerner, Eclipsys). So, I can’t imagine that the Medsphere bid was so much more than the others. Unless the consultants are charging through the nose for it. Or maybe the open source Vista option wasn’t “in the competitive range” because it was too cheap. Wouldn’t that be hilarious to consider. Hopefully the government isn’t that stupid, but…

I don’t claim to have any clue on how these $11 billion government contract bids work. I’m just a casual observer from the sideline. It seems like 3 companies remain in the ring. I guess the Google juice wasn’t enough for the PwC/Medsphere bid.

Posted in Hospital EHR, Hospital EHR Company, Hospital EHR Vendor, Hospital Electronic Health Record, Hospital Electronic Medical Record, Hospital EMR, Hospital EMR Company, Hospital EMR Vendor, Hospital Healthcare IT | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

SRS Launches “Essentials”—An Alternative Non-MU EHR For Specialists and Those New To EHR

SRS Essentials Makes EHR Transition Easy, Lets Physicians Focus on Patients

MONTVALE, NJ – February 25, 2015 – SRSsoft, the recognized leader in flexible and easy-to-use productivity-enhancing EHR and HIT solutions for specialists and other high-performance physicians, today announced the launch of SRS Essentials. The new product offers an alternative to traditional government-driven EHR solutions and helps specialists reap the benefits of digitization without having to change the way they practice medicine. In addition to providing all the speed, efficiency, and financial benefits of a digital office, SRS Essentials offers growth options for practices to evolve the scope and utilization of their EHR at their own pace, on their own terms. Should medical practices find themselves requiring the next level of EHR solution, SRS Essentials can seamlessly transition them without the usual daunting effort and the frustration of downtime.

Many specialists have delayed EHR implementation—they are concerned about the longevity of currently available EHRs, they don’t want technology interfering with the way they practice medicine, or they have chosen not to participate in government incentive programs. Others are frustrated by the complexity of their current EHRs and find the negative impact on productivity unacceptable. With SRS Essentials, these highly focused practices can be prepared for ongoing success in the rapidly changing healthcare industry while enjoying immediate benefits:

  • Efficient and easy-to-use electronic chart and workflow capabilities
  • Flexible documentation options
  • Electronic messaging and tasking
  • Maintenance-free hosted platform
  • Outstanding US-based service, support, and training

SRS understands the demanding needs of specialist workflows, and SRS Essentials streamlines business processes so physicians can focus on patients. Many practices recover their investment by the efficiencies gained from converting from paper to electronic charts. Benefits include: automated patient intake, prescribing, ICD-10 code search, and much more.

“Just as there is no ‘one doctor fits all,’ there is no ‘one size fits all’ EHR solution. That’s why we created SRS Essentials,” said Scott Ciccarelli, SRS CEO. “SRS Essentials may be the only EHR solution a particular high-performance practice might ever need, yet it is customizable and ready to transition to full EHR capabilities when and if desired.”

Find out more about SRS Essentials and the award-winning SRS support team here.

About SRS
SRS is the recognized leader in flexible and easy-to-use productivity-enhancing EHR and HIT solutions for specialists and other high-performance physicians. With 20 years of industry experience, unmatched implementation success, extensive industry and meaningful use expertise, and top-rated US-based customer service and support, it is no wonder that SRS has more happy clients than any other EHR. Offered via the Unified Desktop™, the robust SRS EHR, PM, Integrated PACS, Patient Portal, and Transcription increase speed and efficiency, boost revenue, free physicians’ time, and enhance patient care and satisfaction. To see why SRS is the trusted partner of so many prominent specialists and high-performance physicians, visit srssoft.com, e-mail info@srssoft.com, fax 201.802.1301, or call 800.288.8369.

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NYC Regional Electronic Adoption Center for Health Expands Relationship with SA Ignite for Meaningful Use Program Management Solution

Organization to Extend Cloud-Based Software to 500 Additional Eligible Providers

CHICAGO – February 24, 2015SA Ignite, Inc., a provider of a cloud-based software solution that automates, accelerates, and simplifies the Meaningful Use (MU) program processes for eligible healthcare providers, today announced it has expanded its relationship with The NYC Regional Electronic Adoption Center for Health (NYC REACH) to offer its solution, MU ASSISTANT®, to 500 additional providers.

NYC REACH is a collaboration between the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s Primary Care Information Project (PCIP) and the Fund for Public Health in New York, Inc., tasked with helping physicians to adopt technology and practices that measurably improve the health of New Yorkers. NYC REACH originally piloted programs with SA Ignite in 2012 and 2013, respectively, to assist providers at Murray Hill Medical Group, PC and Brownsville Multi-Service FamilyHealth Center with their electronic health record (EHR) initiatives and to facilitate efficiencies in the administrative burden of their meaningful use (MU) program management. Following the program’s initial success, it has been expanded to additional organizations and providers.

As NYC REACH assists providers in transitioning from volume- to value-based care, the organization utilizes health IT to drive outcomes and reduce disparities. Alvin Lin, Senior Director of Strategy, PCIP felt that to be more successful in this endeavor, NYC REACH needed a more efficient means by which to access the relevant data within each EHR (Electronic Health Record), monitor providers’ progress and submit MU attestations. MU ASSISTANT was the ideal solution to allow for a quick and easy view into where providers were excelling and where they needed support in meeting government requirements.

Before SA Ignite, MU attestation was a cumbersome process. With multiple sign-ins needed and mountains of data to cull from disparate sources, our MU managers had a difficult time tracking provider status and determining where intervention was needed. Now, MU ASSISTANT provides a one-stop shop for us to facilitate the registration, monitoring and attestation process through a user-friendly automated system, alleviating the administrative burden, and ultimately helping more providers qualify for MU incentive dollars. Also, since MU ASSISTANT is vendor-agnostic, contains a built-in rules engine that’s updated as regulations change and includes historical provider information integrated from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) database, the product can play a crucial role in the event of an EHR switch, providers changing government MU subsidy programs, or an audit.

“NYC REACH is doing great things for the physicians of New York City. We understand and completely align with their vision of utilizing health IT to create efficiencies in pay-for-performance programs such as MU,” said Tom S. Lee, Ph.D., CEO, founder and board member of SA Ignite. “We are excited to continue our groundbreaking partnership and look forward to sharing lessons and best practices with other Regional Extension Centers throughout the country.”

About NYC REACH

The NYC Regional Electronic Adoption Center for Health (NYC REACH) is a collaboration between the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s Primary Care Information Project (PCIP) and the Fund for Public Health in New York, Inc. to support healthcare providers in New York City as they adopt and use health IT. Our mission is to improve the health of New Yorkers by targeting primary care settings and facilitating the use of electronic health records and other technologies to raise care quality, reduce health disparities, and facilitate care coordination. We aim to help offset the transition cost and burden as much as possible through training and education. For more information, visit www.nycreach.org.

About SA Ignite, Inc.

SA Ignite is the leading source for healthcare provider pay-for-performance automation. The company’s proven EHR-agnostic, cloud-based solutions and services simplify and automate the processes associated with pay-for-performance programs. SA Ignite’s flagship offering is MU ASSISTANT®, the leading enterprise platform for automating meaningful use processes for eligible providers. SA Ignite currently serves 60+ customers across more than 10 EHR brands, and has helped more than 8,000 eligible providers to garner $80M+ in Medicare and Medicaid incentives. For more information, visit: www.saignite.com.

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Cerner Offers Voluntary Separation Packages

The Kansas City Star is reporting that Cerner is offering employers whose combination of years of service and age total 65 have been offered voluntary separation packages. Here’s an excerpt from the article:

Cerner spokesman Dan Smith said the one-time offer reflects the “deep bench of complementary talent” because of the Siemens acquisition and doesn’t affect Cerner’s continued hiring or its future growth plans.

“This is a truly voluntary program for all of our U.S. associates,” Smith said. “There is no pre-determined outcome and no number to hit. It provides eligible associates who might be ready to make a change the chance to decide to stay or pursue a different option and get benefits not normally associated with voluntary departures.”

With any large acquisition like the one Cerner did of Siemens, there has to be a lot of duplicate functions and they have to look at how to trim back the number of employees. So, this shouldn’t come as any surprise. In fact, I think the fact that they’re currently doing a voluntary separation package might mean that they aren’t looking to slim down the company as much as you’d think. Some investors might think that’s a bad plan since every company the size or Cerner or Siemens (let alone the combined company) could likely fire 10% of the workforce and improve their company’s profitability. Although, it could also be a sign of how much growth Cerner is experiencing.

Personally, I’ll be watching to see if they announce some other layoffs. It will be a surprise to me if they don’t announce some involuntary layoffs. Either way, this is a normal part of an acquisition like this.

It does make me wonder how many of these older professionals that accept the voluntary separation packages will end up at the wide variety of EHR consulting companies out there. You have to think that would be a pretty sweet deal for them.

Posted in Hospital EHR, Hospital EHR Company, Hospital EHR Vendor, Hospital Electronic Health Record, Hospital Electronic Medical Record, Hospital EMR, Hospital EMR Company, Hospital Healthcare IT | Tagged , , | Comments Off