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CLASSIFIED: Valida Primary Care – Investors in Primary Care Practices

The healthcare marketplace is changing dramatically – at Valida Primary Care we believe these changes create significant and exciting opportunities for primary care practices.
We are a group of healthcare executives and investors with years of experience growing and improving provider organizations.  Currently, we are seeking mid to large size primary care practices in New England in which to make majority equity investments. To learn more about Valida Primary Care visit. www.validapc.comInterested in reaching a national monthly audience of 75,000 healthcare-obsessed readers? Drop us a line
We'll get back to you with rates and options. Want to impress your boss
and amaze your friends? Consider becoming a THCB corporate supporter. 

Building Health into the Delivery System, Take Two

The following is a guest post from Rushika Fernandopulle, MD, MPP, Co-Founder of Renaissance Health. This is part of a continuing series of blog entries cross-posted here, on the Center for Information Therapy Blog, and the Health Affairs Blog, the conference’s Media Partner in advance of the first-ever “Health 2.0 Meets Information Therapy” Conference in Boston on April 22-23.

Rushika provides another physician perspective on the same question answered by John Halamka this week,
“How do we build Health 2.0 into the delivery system?” Both Rushika and
John will participate in a debate on this topic in Boston.

I am an internist who has been working for the last 5 years to
design, build, and test radically new models of delivering primary care
to improve experience, outcomes, and affordability of care. I currently
serve as Medical Director of one of our redesigned practices in
Atlantic City, NJ.  Yesterday afternoon, Mr. Santos, a 53 year old
Hispanic doorman at a local hotel, came in to see me quite visibly
distraught. His prior primary care doctor had without asking him or
discussing the issue checked a PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) as part
of his “routine” blood tests and the results were mildly positive
(6.5). He was told, “Your screen for Prostate cancer was positive, you
need to see a urologist right away to have it taken care of.” All he
heard, of course, was “cancer” and “positive” in the same sentence.
Before Mr. Santos had time to even form the first of the dozens of
questions he had, the doctor had already strode out the door. Over the
next few weeks, Mr. Santos went online to read about PSA and prostate
cancer (which yielded over 6 million pages on Google), and started
talking to his friends at work about the issue. What he surmised, quite
correctly, is that the way forward for him was not at all clear, and
that instead of finding answers he only had more (but better)
questions. What really was his chance of having Prostate Cancer? If he
did what really were the benefits of catching it so early? Were the
risks of the biopsies worth this benefit? What were his other choices?

Continue reading…

Op-Ed: No Need for Alarm Over Need for Foreign Nurses

Recent news coverage (“Amid Nation’s Recession,
More Than 200,000 Nursing Jobs Go Unfilled,” Reuters, March 8th) validly
and vividly calls attention to a nursing shortage in the U.S. healthcare system that
“threatens the quality of patient care even as tens of thousands of
people are turned away from nursing schools, according to experts.”

That article adds, “The shortage has drawn the
attention of President Barack Obama. During a White House meeting on Thursday
to promote his promised healthcare system overhaul, Obama expressed alarm over
the notion that the United States
might have to import trained foreign nurses because so many U.S. nursing jobs are
unfilled.”

Importing internationally-trained nurses is no cause for
alarm.  The fact is, at least in the short term, the U.S.does have to
import these nurses, and plenty more of them, if we are to meet our rapidly
growing healthcare needs.  Don’t understand why?  Consider the
following:

Continue reading…

Psilos Seeks $450 Million Health Care Fund, Defying Crunch

April 7 (Bloomberg) — Psilos Group, a New York venture-
capital firm focused on health-care technology and services,
plans to raise a $450 million fund, its largest ever, an
investor in Psilos’s most recent fund said.

The firm told some investors of its plans to gauge their
interest in a new fund, said Tom Reilly, managing member at
Fernwood Investment Management LLC in Quincy, Massachusetts. He
and his clients have invested with Psilos before.

Psilos’s investments include companies that drive
information technology into health care, an area promoted by
President Barack Obama, Chief Executive Officer Al Waxman said.
Its fundraising may also benefit from a wave of health-care
mergers, as companies seek combinations to contain costs amid
increasing pressure for lower medical expenses, said D. Brooks
Zug, senior managing director at HarbourVest Partners.

“The one area in private equity that has done really well
recently is health care,” said Zug, whose Boston-based firm
invests in venture funds on behalf of institutions. “It’s the
one area with a merger market that’s active. And you’ve got
Obama’s health plan. Those are two reasons to think it might be
a place to put some of your money.”

Continue reading…

Dennis Quaid Overlooks Too Much

Anyone who cares about patient safety has to be grateful to Dennis Quaid
for the way he and his wife Kimberly reacted to the near-death from a
medication error of their twin baby girls. Using his celebrity and his
contacts as an award-winning actor, Quaid launched a crusade to stop
similar errors from ever happening again. He has appeared on 60 minutes , testified before Congress and, Sunday, came to HIMSS to tell his story once again.

At HIMSS, Quaid was amusing (“I am not a doctor [and] I have never
played a doctor on television or in the movies”) and moving, as he
detailed how two massive heparin overdoses turned his newborn twins’
blood to the consistency of water and left them bleeding inside and
out. He was also generous and humble, repeatedly thanking the HIMSS
membership for the work they did in developing the technology that can
prevent inevitable human error from causing harm.

Continue reading…

“Mr. Obama, Tear Down These (Hospital) Walls”

I like readmissions. Well, that didn’t come out quite right, did it?

Robert_wachter

What I mean is that I like focusing on readmissions as a potentially actionable quality measure. I believe that it’s possible to prevent many readmissions, thereby improving quality and lowering costs. And compared to mortality (the other hot outcome measure), the need for case-mix adjustment is a bit less critical, and there is no such thing as “a good readmission.”

I also like DRGs. Paying hospitals a fixed fee for a given diagnosis has created the only corner of sustainable capitation in our healthcare system, one that is otherwise awash in inappropriate expenditures driven by the dominant fee-for-service payment structure.

But the DRG system created a big black hole, and it is time to fill it. It’s called the post-discharge period. And one large part of the detritus emerging from that hole is readmissions.Continue reading…

National HIT Symposium at MIT, June 29 – July 2, 2009

OVERVIEW

The recently-enacted American Recovery and Reinvestment Act will
provide more than $35 billion in funding for health information
technology. The health care reform debate in the Congress seems to be
coming to a head this summer. In this context, health care leaders are
grappling with how new emerging policies will impact their
organizations and how to assure that their organizations are
well-positioned to access the significant stimulus funding now emerging
from the federal government.

The HIT
Symposium, conducted at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in
Cambridge, MA, is a must-attend event, that will help leaders from
every sector of health care, including those representing consumers,
employers, payers, providers, and vendors, gain timely intelligence and
practical insights on how to benefit from the health IT programs and
provisions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Participants
will hear from the policy leaders responsible for many of the programs
within the federal government, as well as nationally recognized experts
on topics such as privacy, financing, standards, and technical
assistance. In addition, practical insights on how to effectively
access funds from grant programs, and how to support effective health
IT adoption will be shared by veterans in the field. The final day of
the Symposium will be devoted to the role of health IT in health care
reform, which promises to be a hot topic as Congress deliberates health
care reform legislation in the next two months.

The
Health Information Technology Symposium at the Massachusetts Institute
of Technology is the only in-depth executive education event on health
information technology in the United States. It is a must-attend event
for anyone who is responsible for leading and developing programs
responsive to the health IT provisions in the American Recovery and
Reinvestment Act. Register today!

WHO SHOULD ATTEND

  • Clinicians
  • Hospitals and Other Healthcare Providers
  • Health Plans
  • Employers and Healthcare Purchasers
  • State, Regional and Community-Based Health Information Organizations
  • Public Health
  • Pharma, Biotechnology and Devices
  • Healthcare IT Consultants, Suppliers and Vendors
  • State and Federal Policy Makers
  • Health Services Researchers
  • Academics
  • Two options for attendance include:
  • Traditional Onsite AttendanceSimply register, travel to the conference city and attend in person.Pros: subject matter immersion; professional networking opportunities; faculty interaction

    Live and Archived Internet AttendanceWatch the conference in live streaming video over the Internet and at your convenience
    at any time 24/7 for the six months following the event.  The archived conference includes speaker videos and coordinated PowerPoint presentations.Pros:
    Live digital feed and 24/7 Internet access for next six months;
    Accessible in office, at home or anywhere worldwide with Internet
    access; Avoid travel expense and hassle; No time away from the office

    • A Hybrid Conference, Internet Event and Professional Certification Training Tool
    • The Leading Forum on Preparing for Federal Stimulus HIT Funding and Successfully Implementing EHR Programs
    • Sponsored by the eHealth Initiative and the MIT Center for Digital Business of the Sloan Business School
    • Onsite at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA
    • Symposium Hotel: Marriott Boston Cambridge
    • June 29 – July 2, 2009
    • Online In Your Own Office or Home live via the Internet with 24/7 Access for Six Months

    To learn more and to register go to: www.HITSymposium.com

    The Hive Mind

    Halamka

    Over the past few years, I've radically redesigned my approach to
    learning. In the past, I memorized information. Now, I need to be a
    knowledge navigator, not a repository of facts. I've delegated the
    management of facts to the "Hive Mind" of the internet. With Web 2.0,
    we're all publishers and authors. Every one of us can be instantly
    connected to the best experts, the most up to date news, and an exobyte
    multimedia repository. However, much of the internet has no editor, so
    the Hive Mind information is probably only 80% factual – the challenge
    is that you do not know which 80%.

    Here are few examples of my recent use of the Hive Mind as my auxiliary brain.

    I
    was listening to a 1970's oldies station and heard a few bars of a
    song. I did not remember the song name, album or artist. I did remember
    the words "Logical", "Cynical", "Magical". Entering these into a search
    engine, I immediately retrieved Supertramp's Logical Song lyrics. With
    the Hive Mind, I can now flush all the fragments of song lyrics from my
    brain without fear.

    Continue reading…

    Health 2.0 NYC Chapter, has meeting, needs a place!

    Health 2.0’s NYC chapter is having a meeting this Thursday 4/2–-around 50 people are due to attend and it’s set to be a great session.

    There is one minor problem though. Due to a last minute cancellation by the existing conference room sponsor the meeting needs a new venue. Please contact eugeneATnyhto.org if you can fit ~40-50 people for tomorrow evening from 6.30pm on.

    (Eugene does have a back up, but it’s not ideal! And no this is not an April Fool’s joke)

    Classified: 2009 DiabetesMine Design Challenge

    Passionate about Diabetes and product design? Whether you're an enterprising patient or parent, a startup company, a design student, an independent developer or engineer, or a pharma R&D pro. Sponsored by the California Healthcare Foundation. (CHCF).  Prizes include $10,000 in cash (1st prize),  $5,000 (2nd), consultations with health and wellness exerts at the global design and innovation firm IDEO.  Submissions are accepted in the form of a 2-minute video to be uploaded to the DiabetesMine YouTube channel, or a 2-3 page written "elevator pitch" plus supporting graphics, also to be uploaded online.  The deadline for entries is Friday, May 1st, 2009, at 11:59 pm Pacific time. Winners will be announced on Monday, May 18th, 2009. www.diabetesmine.com/designcontest