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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

HIMSS 2012 Day 2

Things are heating up nicely...

Post Day 2 photo update and commentary.

Two extremely astute, accomplished women. They had to stress at the outset that "we will not be addressing the Stage 2 Final Rule today."

Latest buzz is that the news will come tomorrow. We shall see. I don't anticipate a lot of surprises.

Their presentation was mired a bit by some muddled audio (a chronic problem at these events, IMO), and the fact that Ms. Kahn's deck would not pull up. I would not have wanted to be the house A/V guy pulled in to fix that, pronto.

Below, a motivic Medicaid riff on that by-now totemic "Bend-The-Cost-Curve" arrow.

Above, a lot of the Q&A turned into a Stage 1 FAQ gripe session (not that there are no grounds). Below, the "competition," LOL.

Random shots below...

Below, OK, I chafe at the "No-Photography-inside-the-Exhibit-Hall" restriction, which is where all of the dramatic visual action is. I will abide it nonetheless, notwithstanding that people with smart (and not-so-smart) phones were firing away everywhere you turned.

Below, hey, I was outside the hall. I told the security guard, "OK, you need to look away for a moment."

No recession inside those walls.

Tired, man, I'm going home.

I gotta catch up here in a bit on my topical thoughts and some reporting regarding all the cool people and organizations I've met thus far. I saw a demo of an ONC-CHPL certified inpatient system this afternoon (Prognosis) that made me reflect on just how little I know about the complex hospital workflow side of things.

Got a bunch of business cards to sort through. Stay tuned...



Are meaningful use bonuses enough to drive EMR adoption?
A policy report says no, and explains what needs to happen to ensure that health information technology nears its potential.
By PAMELA LEWIS DOLAN, amednews staff. Posted Feb. 22, 2012.

If a health system made up of accountable, coordinated, patient-centered care is to be achieved in the U.S., the existing information technology infrastructure is not enough to get the country there, according to a report by the Bipartisan Policy Center.

The center's Task Force on Delivery System Reform and Health IT found that although meaningful use and the technological gains made because of it are a strong foundation to a reformed health care system, changes are needed in the way physicians and patients view information sharing and exchange -- and in the way the government and payers align incentives...

the existing information technology infrastructure is not enough"

Well, yeah, that's Weeds' 101, recall? If you've read my prior posts on "Down in the Weeds'"

The full Bipartisan Policy Center Report is linked here

Health information technology (IT) plays a critical role in supporting new models of care and payment that are designed to achieve health care’s triple aim: improve health, improve the experience of care for patients and families, and reduce the cost of care. Despite the introduction of IT to nearly every other aspect of modern life, the U.S. health care system remains largely paper-based. Greater use of health IT enjoys bipartisan support.

The authorization of up to $30 billion to support health IT under the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act of 2009 has spurred significant private sector investment to further increase the use of health IT. Most of these funds are for the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Programs, known informally as “Meaningful Use,” that reward clinicians and hospitals when they use EHRs in specific meaningful ways to improve care.

Studying the common attributes of the nation’s highest performing health care organizations can help shape public policy and investment decisions regarding health IT...
With respect to that last sentence, yeah, study Thedacare (see "On the Mend") and the Mayo organization in particular. Mayo is cited once in the Appendix. Thedacare is not cited at all.
...As we approach the three-year anniversary of HITECH, it is clear that the health care landscape is changing. Today, coordinated, accountable and patient-centered models of care delivery – previously implemented by only a handful of organizations – are poised for more widespread adoption to promote much-needed improvements in the cost and quality of health care. Initiatives launched by the federal government, numerous states, providers and private sector payers – operating both at the national and regional levels – have driven this shift in approach.

Key questions explored by the task force include the following: are the massive investments brought about by HITECH on the right trajectory to support new models of care and the triple aim? How do current health IT capabilities in the U.S. health care system compare with what is needed? What are the barriers to widespread adoption of these capabilities? What actions need to be taken to improve the cost and quality of health care through the use of health IT?

I could spend all day sitting here addressing those four questions instead of going to HIMSS Day 3. My quick takes?
  1. Yes, but minimally so;
  2. "Capabilities" are increasingly good. Effective deployment is another matter;
  3. The reimbursement paradigm (and everything it implies) is the biggie;
  4. Read "Medicine in Denial" and "On The Mend" for starters.
Related morning news, from DOTmed:

HIMSS 2012: Staffing trumps financing as IT barrier
February 22, 2012
by Brendon Nafziger , DOTmed News Associate Editor

Health care organizations with IT projects are looking for a few good men and women, according to a new survey of hospital IT experts.

Unlike in its last health IT leadership survey, a dearth of qualified staff trumped financing as the number one barrier to implementing health IT reforms, HIMSS said Wednesday at its annual meeting in Las Vegas...


Nevada closing the technology gap in healthcare
Jim Traficant Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2012 | 2 a.m.

You might not know it, but Nevada is on the cutting-edge of healthcare in America. Last year, a consortium of Nevada healthcare providers announced it would launch a statewide health information exchange (HIE) that will allow hospitals and physicians to share patient data in real time. When the HIE goes live Nevada will join other states, such as Colorado, Oregon, and Florida, in helping to transform healthcare for the 21st Century.

But how will the HIE help you as a patient?

...If you can sit in the doctor’s office and trade emails with your cousin in Tibet, then why are you filling out the same paperwork you’ve filled out dozens, if not hundreds, of times before? If your smart phone can receive a video of your niece taken seconds earlier in New York, then why does the doctor need to take yet another X-ray because your last doctor forgot to send the originals?

Believe it or not, doctors are asking these questions too. Indeed, thousands will be on hand this week in Las Vegas for the annual Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) 2012 Conference. With more than 35,000 healthcare professionals demonstrating and learning about the latest in healthcare technology, HIMSS12 will likely be the largest to date. It’s a sign of the expanding interest in and need for a more robust, interconnected U.S. healthcare industry...

Nevada HIE? Yes, that would be us.

More to come. See you at HIMSS12. Maybe we'll hear about the Stage 2 Final Rule today.

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