Rush Medical Center in Chicago has selected e-mail encryption services from
The Department of Defense has contracted with Epocrates to offer physicians mobile access to the TRICARE
Baptist Healthcare System in Kentucky
has selected an emergency department information system from T-System.
The University of Kansas Hospital Authority
will implement an automated medication dispensing system from McKesson.
Central Texas Hospital will implement
EHR and revenue cycle management
software from eCareSoft.
Elmhurst Memorial Healthcare in Illinois
has selected a range of information
management systems from Merge
CMS Issues ACO Proposed Rule
In April the Centers for Medicare and
Medicaid Services (CMS) published a
notice of proposed rulemaking for the
accountable care organization (ACO)
program mandated by the Affordable Care Act. The program aims to
encourage providers to form ACOs to
work together to coordinate care for
Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries. The goal of an ACO is to deliver
seamless, high-quality care for Medicare beneficiaries.
ACOs must complete an application to participate in the program and
agree to accept responsibility for at
least 5,000 beneficiaries. If the application is approved, the ACO must
sign an agreement with CMS to participate in the program for three years.
Beneficiaries would not enroll in a
specific ACO. Instead the proposed
rule calls for Medicare to take a retro-
spective look at the beneficiary use of
services to determine whether a par-
ticular ACO should be credited with
improving care and reducing expen-
Providers participating in an ACO
must notify beneficiaries that they
are participating in the program and
that providers will be eligible for ad-
ditional Medicare payments for im-
proving the quality of care the benefi-
ciary receives. Beneficiaries may then
choose to receive services from the
provider or seek care from another
provider that is not part of the ACO.
Providers must also notify beneficiaries that their claims data may be
shared with the ACO and give the
Armstrong County Memorial Hospital in
Pennsylvania has selected a cardiovascular imaging and information
system from DR System.
Rural Wisconsin Healthcare Cooperative has
deployed a threat management system
HealthInfoNet, which operates Maine’s
HIE and the Maine Regional Extension
Center, has named athenahealth as a
preferred EHR vendor.
OnShift, a provider of staff scheduling
and shift management software, has
selected cloud-based financial and accounting software from Intacct.
Beth Israel Deaconess Physician Organization
and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
in Boston have renewed a contract
for managed care data management
services from Healthcare Data Services.
The Arkansas Department of Health has selected AT&T to design a mobile flu clinic
program to track vaccination records.
AmeriHealth Mercy Family of Companies, a
provider of Medicaid managed care
plans, will roll out integrated care management software from ZeOmega. ¢
Details Emerge on the Direct Project
Pilot projects testing the Direct Project
health information exchange protocol
remain on track, with project officials
estimating wide industry use of Direct
in 2012, according to a March National
eHealth Collaborative webinar. Officials also offered detail on how the
average healthcare provider would use
the exchange service.
Using Direct will not require providers implement special software or
hardware, said Arien Malec, the Direct
Project coordinator. Instead, the process for sending information is similar
to sending e-mail.
First a physician would contract with
a health information service provider
(HISP), such as a local HIE that has
decided to offer Direct as one of its
exchange services. The HISP would
assign the physician a Direct e-mail
To use Direct, the physician would
log into his or her HISP Direct gateway
via the Internet and use his or her Di-
rect e-mail address to send informa-
tion to another provider who also has a
Direct e-mail address. Information can
only be sent to other providers using
the Direct service.
Large healthcare organizations could
become HISPs themselves and facili-
tate Direct exchange both within their
organizations and with Direct-enabled
providers outside their network.
Several EHR vendors are develop-
ing products that come Direct-ready,
enabling providers to send structured
health information from their EHRs us-
ing Continuity of Care Document stan-
However, an EHR is not necessary
to use Direct, said Gary Christensen,
COO and CIO of Direct pilot site Rhode
Island Quality Institute. As long as pro-
viders have a computer and Internet
connection, they have the ability to use
Providers can locate HISPs through
the Direct Project Web site at http://
ONC also posted two sets of system
requirements and a draft compatibility
statement on how to use Direct standards and services on the project Web
site, http://wiki.directproject.org. ¢