The Health IT industry is abuzz with a recent Wall Street Journal op-ed by Professor Stephen Soumerai of Harvard Medical School and Professor Ross Koppel of the University of Pennsylvania.   The opinion piece, “A Major Glitch for Digitized Health Care Records” (subscription required), transforms a timid literature review on the value of information technology for medication management into the final word on IT’s ability to deliver savings in healthcare. The authors not only make sweeping pronouncements about the much-discussed ability of Electronic Health Records (EHR) to contain costs but go on to make equally questionable claims such as that the Meaningful Use program will cost $1 trillion – a figure they attribute to “installation, training and maintenance costs.” They also contend that the effort to share patient records between organizations has already been proven a failure, even as the industry [...]

How can healthcare organizations that were built on volume adapt to the arrival of a value-based reimbursement system?  To help answer that question, we’re continuing our four-part series of posts based on a new white paper by Allscripts Chief Medical Officers Doug Gentile, MD and Toby Samo, MD exploring the unique perspectives of pioneering Accountable Care Organizations. In this fourth and final part of the series, Drs. Gentile and Samo explore how ACO’s manage their relationship with patients, and conclude with some parting advice from the pioneers.  To read the white paper in its entirety, go to www.allscripts.com/ACOwhitepaper.    Patients   Key Takeaways:   Invest in the sickest Ensure social media informs physicians first Patient Mobility Improves Customer Service  For many, the Achilles’ heel of the ACO concept is consumer involvement. Healthcare is the only industry in which the consumer has an indirect [...]

Just in case you missed Sunday’s New York Times article, “Hospitals Aren’t Waiting for Verdict on Health Care Law,” be sure to read how 701-bed Maimonides Medical Center in New York City is preparing for the Supreme Court’s verdict on President Obama’s health reform law.  As the Times put it, “like hospitals across the country, Maimonides is not waiting for the verdict. Win, lose or draw in court, administrators said, the policies driving the federal health care law are already embedded in big cuts and new payment formulas that hospitals ignore at their peril. And even if the law is repealed after the next election, the economic pressure to care differently for more people at lower cost is irreversible.” Buried within the Times article is a revealing set of facts.  Maimonides (which uses Allscripts Sunrise Clinical Manager EHR, the Allscripts ED [...]

Many observers, including the analyst firm IDC Health Insights, have noted the critical role of care management software in accountable care organizations (ACOs). For a closer look at how one health system has used care management technology to create the foundation for an ACO, we recently read this excellent peer-reviewed article (requires download fee or subscription to Professional Case Management) by Linda Stutz, BSN, MBA, Senior Director for Case Management at Banner Health. In the article (“Case Management as a Foundation for an Accountable Care Organization”), Stutz describes how Banner, one of the largest, nonprofit health care systems in the country, implemented “a Case Management Model that demonstrates a strong return on investment for the hospitals in the system and creates the foundation for success under health care reform.” Just what ROI did Banner produce under the new model? An 8-percent [...]

    We recently interviewed Michael Dowling, President and Chief Executive Officer of North Shore-LIJ Health System.  Based in Great Neck, NY with facilities across the New York City region, North Shore-LIJ is the nation’s third largest non-profit secular healthcare system with 14 hospitals and 9,000 physicians. The health system is a winner of the National Quality Forum’s National Quality Healthcare Award. Dowling, a long-time advocate of healthcare information technology, was the 2011 HIMSS/Modern Healthcare CEO IT Leader of the Year.  Here are a few quick highlights from the interview.  To hear the entire podcast, please click on the link at the bottom of this post. What is the biggest challenge facing healthcare leaders today? “I think it’s the necessity to completely transform how we do business. The future is going to require a lot more accountability, both to the public and to the actual [...]

No matter where the Supreme Court lands on the Obama Administration’s health insurance mandate, there’s no question that the transformation underway in healthcare today will continue. One of the most striking changes in the last few years – consolidation and transformation within the hospital market – is the subject of a recent study by Moody’s Investors Service. As reported by the New York Times’ Reed Abelson, Moody’s says the arrival of value-based reimbursement will accelerate techtonic shifts already underway in the hospital market. Big hospital groups are getting even bigger as smaller, stand-alone hospitals and groups seek financially strong partners. Along the way, some hospitals are joining forces with former adversaries, health insurers and for-profit companies. Abelson calls out two notable examples of these trends: North Shore-LIJ health system in New York, and Pittsburg-based West Penn Alleghany Health System.   Both [...]