Epic founder and CEO Judy Faulkner announces plans to give away 99% of her estimated $2.3 billion wealth to charity. Faulkner joins 136 other individuals and families in the Giving Pledge, which was launched by Warren Buffett and Bill and Melinda Gates to encourage billionaires to give the majority of their wealth to philanthropic causes.
What’s not to like about that? Good to know that if Epic wins the $11 billion bid for the VA’s EHR system, some of the government’s money will eventually trickle back down to charity.
Are EHRs creating disparity in care?
A study from Weill Cornell Medical College looks at “systematic differences” between physicians who participated in the Meaningful Use program and those who did not, noting that the differences “could lead to disparities in care.”
The researchers suggest that providers participating in the MU program may provide higher quality care to their patients as physicians using paper records “have less reliable documentation and weaker communication” between providers and won’t benefit from EHR-enabled quality improvements.
I suspect that physicians relying on paper records would balk at the suggestion that the care they provide is inferior to their more digitally-equipped peers. However, it’s hard not believe that the overall care process would be enhanced if all providers could electronically share critical patient information.
News Flash: Government is wasteful in its spending
Mayo Clinic announces it will replace its existing Cerner and GE systems with Epic’s EHR and RCM system.
The prestigious Mayo Clinic name and clinical reputation make the win especially sweet for Epic, which is in the running for the DoD’s $11 billion EHR contract. Analysts estimate that Mayo will pay Epic “hundreds of millions” over the next several years.
Google Glass Confusion
Earlier this month Google announced the end of its Glass Explorer program and sales of its existing version of Glass. Many mainstream publications carried “Glass is Dead” headlines, which is certain attention-grabbing, though not entirely true.
Individual consumers had the option to pay $1,500 to purchase Google Glass through the now-defunct Glass Explorer program. Enterprise businesses, such as HIT vendors Augmedix and Pristine, are still able to buy the existing version of Glass through Google’s Glass at Work program. In other words, if you’re interested in using Google Glass in a healthcare setting, that option is still available through a Glass at Work partner.
Meanwhile, Google says it is working future versions of its Glass product – though no one is saying when the next release will be.Continue reading…
HHS Clarification: DeSalvo Will Retain Leadership of ONC
Five days after announcing that National Coordinator Karen DeSalvo’s appointment as Acting Assistant Secretary of Health, the ONC clarified that DeSalvo would still be the leader of the ONC; she would also continue to chair the HIT Policy Committee, lead the development and finalization of the Interoperability Roadmap, and remain involved in MU policymaking.
HHS said that when DeSalvo’s new appointment was originally announced, DeSalvo’s bio had mistakenly indicated that she had “previously” held the role of National Coordinator.
HIT NEWSER’S TAKE: Did HHS simply do a poor job communicating or did someone recognize a little too late that DeSalvo’s removal might heighten concerns about the ongoing turnover among ONC leadership?
No More CCHIT
The Certification Commission for Health Information Technology (CCHIT) announced it was shutting down its operations November 14. CCHIT was created in 2004 to provide certification services for HIT products and to educate providers and IT developers; in January CCHIT announced it would no longer provide testing and certification services for the MU program. In a press release CCHIT Executive Director Alisa Ray said that “the slowing of the pace of ONC 2014 Edition certification and the unreliable timing of future federal health IT program requirements made program and business planning for new services uncertain.”
HIT NEWSER’S TAKE: Coupled with the recent turmoil at the ONC (leadership changes, underwhelming Stage 2 MU attestations numbers), one can’t help but wonder what it all means for long-term viability of the MU program and whether the industry remains committed to its objectives.