Matthew Holt

While my politics are well known to THCB readers, I rarely encourage people to do anything about it–especially in a state where I don’t get to vote, but today is different. Aneesh Chopra is running for Lt Gov in Virgina. He’s the former CTO of the US and a really good guy–who is running based on improving science and technology in a vital state, where the Republicans are literally into trans-vaginal ultrasounds & creationism. To my SF and LA-based friends, you can meet Aneesh at Cigar Bar & Grill on Mon 18th 5.30-7 in downtown SF and in in 1240 Shadow Hill Way, Beverly Hills on Tuesday 19th 7-9pm. This is a chance for the tech community to support one of its own, so I encourage you to go along and write a check. For more information or to RSVP please contact Caitlin Blair at Caitlin@chopraforva.com or (703) 468-1456, or I’m sure if you show up Aneesh will be happy to see you!–Matthew Holt

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Early this week Greg Masters and Pat Salber chatted with me for a fun convo about EMRs, NOLA, HIMSS, and alot more. It’s part of their overall series for the HIBCtv (Health Innovation Broadcast Network Consortium). And be warned they are giving me keys to the car for 90 minutes at HIMSS next Weds! You should be able to click on the player above to hear. If not click to this.

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This time the camera was turned on THCB’s Matthew Holt. Tim Cook of Healthcare IT Live! interviewed Matthew for the web show, which takes place weekly on Google+ Hangouts. Click for a list of the show’s upcoming guests.

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Lyle Berkowitz, MD, associate chief medical officer of innovation for Northwestern Memorial Hospital, and Chris McCarthy, MBA, an innovation specialist with Kaiser Permanente’s Innovation Consultancy, have just released a compilation of stories about various organizations’ HIT projects. The two coeditors of Innovation with Information Technologies in Healthcare talk about what they learned after gathering these examples from across the U.S.

 

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Health information and education company Healthline Networks launched the BodyMaps iPad application today. BodyMaps, which displays rotatable high-resolution 3D illustrations of human anatomical structures, was created with GE Healthymagination in partnership with Visible Productions. Here you’ll see Senior Director of Product Management at Healthline John Emerson demo the app on his iPad, and CEO West Shell talks about his own recent experience using BodyMaps at his orthopedic surgeon’s office.

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Kaiser Permanente is a different kind of health system, as we all know. It has been a major funder of the HBO Series Weight of the Nation — reviewed by Kristin Molven in a companion piece on THCB today. Matthew Holt interviewed Raymond Baxter who is Kaiser’s Senior Vice President of Community Benefit, Research and Health Policy about the role KP plays in community and policy issues, and what we know and what we should can and should do about obesity.

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After a lot of pre-publicity, Medstartr is here. Modeled after Kickstatr and other crowdfunding sites, Medstartr is the brainchild of Alex Fair who is not only the founder of FairCareMD but also the generalissimo of the Health 2.0 NYC chapter. Lots has already been written about crowdfunding and even crowdfunding in health care (see this Health 2.0 News article on LumoBack last week), so I thought we’d let Alex describe it in his own words.

Matthew: If I have a company looking to raise money how does Medstartr work? What share of the money do you take?

Alex: Crowdfunding is a little like talking to your in-laws about your healthcare startup. Give a great explanation that works for everyone who has a stake in your project’s success: Patients, doctors, institutions, Big Pharma, HHS, and any partner you want to work with. Then list the rewards they get for supporting your project. Everything from a heartfelt thank you note, to a tax-deductible contribution (through our Partner Cancer101), to a production ready version of your product or service when it is ready to licensing rights for distribution. Next, spread the word through the groups of people who will love your products. Not just the Health 2.0 crowd, but everyone whom your innovation helps. MedStartr helps people fund the innovations in care that people care about and gives them a say in what comes next.

Continue reading “Alex B. Fair talks Medstartr”

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The Supreme Court’s decision upholding the ACA is deliciously ironic. The “individual mandate”–an idea promoted for everyone in the 90s and for Massachusettians (?) in the 2000s by the arm of the Republican party known as the Heritage Foundation–was found to be legal. But not as a mandate, instead as a tax.

Put aside for a minute the dreadful political contortions required to get this quasi-universal health insurance bill past Congress in the first place. Put aside the fact that the supposedly non-political Supreme Court hands down decisions time after time that are a pure reflection of the exceedingly public extreme political views of its justices. Put aside for a minute the fact that the ACA has undeniably kickstarted a round of changes in the health care delivery and insurance system that at least has the potential to lower costs and improve care, and that the luncay of politics meant we nearly lost that momentum.

Instead focus on what the Supremes have done. They’ve cut through decades of rhetoric about how we pay for health insurance and clarified it thus: we pay for health care via taxes–whether they are private taxes on employers and employees (and now individuals) or public ones on citizens.

Continue reading “Heritage & Roberts decree, all the world be taxed”

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I know that secretly you’re all bored of this Supreme Court nonsense, and want to get back to the real business of health care, which is often the ongoing war between regional insurers and regional health systems. And the war in Pittsburgh between Highmark and UPMC has been as fierce as anywhere. But it’s been lacking in the kind of juice that makes for a good Friday afternoon scandal. Until now.

Last Sunday Highmark CEO Ken Melani got arrested. (This is a real arrest not one of the fake kind featured in last Friday’s funny). Melani’s mistress  was some 25 years younger than him and had been working for him at Highmark. That then progressed to her moving in with him. But after an argument with Melani last Sunday she went back to her husband’s place. Melani went around there and apparently accused her of only wanting him for his money –he was on about $4.5m a year–and ended up in a fist fight with her husband. Apparently his mistress wasn’t leaving him for good and wasn’t intending to get back with her husband, but one policeman apparently heard Melani say that he’d have killed both of them if the police hadn’t stopped him.  Either way it’s juicy stuff for health care.

Highmark  is in the process of buying  the only non-UPMC chain in Pittsburgh, West Penn Allegheny, and is still trying to get to a contract with UPMC that keeps it playing in the town–which UPMC of course dominates. Melani is now on unpaid leave and presumably not coming back any time soon, while as of today Highmark Chairman Robert Baum has taken the reins.

This may end up meaning nothing in the ongoing UPMC/Highmark battle, but I do sit here musing that the only way this would have been better for the Friday Funny is if the mistress in question had been UPMC’s CEO Jeffrey Romoff’s wife–who herself is some 30 years younger than Romoff and happens to be wife number 4. But as the Rolling Stones say, you can’t get everything you want!

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There’s a conference styling itself as mini-TED for health care in New York next week. It’s called NextGen Health. There is of course a major EMR called NextGen Healthcare (owned by publicly traded QSII). You might imagine that there’s scope for some confusion between the two brand names, and you’d be right. But the tale of what’s transpired about that confusion is quite the melodrama. Read on and have your Friday chuckle.

Nextgen Health the conference is run by Ari Teman who also runs the Nextgen Charities conference. After he started planning the Nextgen Health conference, the other (bigger, richer, with the EMR) Nextgen asked him to stop using the same name and–when he refused–sued him for trademark infringement. Ho hum you say, happens every day. True, but then this gets more fun.

Saturday of last week, I got an email that was basically a press release saying that the CEO of QSI (the Nextgen EMR company) had been arrested that day for sending an emissary to conduct some kind of raid or home invasion on Ari Teman’s house. I paid attention partly because it was wacky news for the usually doudy EMR business and partly because I’d met Ari Teman at a function in NY the previous Monday. He’d invited himself to breakfast with me the next day where he told me lots about himself and how great his conference was going to be, and eventually asked for my & Health 2.0′s help in marketing it. You may suspect that meeting people who think their new thing is the greatest ever is not that unusual in my line of work, and you’d be right. So I took some of this with a grain of salt, but the line-up looked good and he had people I respect involved and so I agreed to look at a marketing deal.

Then the “press release” arrived about the “arrests” of QSI’s CEO, chief counsel, bottlewasher, dog and more, following the “raid” on Ari’s house while he was at the Aetna meeting at which I’d met him and I was speaking. The “release” was actually mostly a self-promotional piece for Ari and the conference (well, mostly about Ari who you may not realize is a “Jewish Federations of North America’s Jewish Community Hero of the Year“).

I did what any self-respecting lazy blogger would do and sent it to a real HIT industry gossip queen/journalist (Inga@HISTalk) to run down the truth. Continue reading “The Strange Tale of NextGen and NextGen”

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