News & Updates

Insurers continue to look more towards wellness solutions as a means to reduce health costs. Independence Blue Cross, a Pennsylvania-based health insurer announced at a recent Insurance & Technology Executive Summit in Arizona that IBC will partner with Healthrageous. Healthrageous offers a wellness platform that uses wireless-enabled devices and applications to power fitness challenges. IBC has launched a pilot program with its own employees, and will continue to test the service before offering it to its health plan members.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services released its telehealth reimbursement policies within its Medicare Physician Fee Schedule changes for Calendar Year 2012. CMS is expanding the list of services that can be offered through telehealth to include smoking cessation.

At its annual Practice Fusion Connect Conference last week, the company demonstrated its electronic health record for the iPad. Practice Fusion provides a free EHR service, and the iPad application will also be free when it’s released next year. Practice Fusion follows DrChrono and GE among EHR vendors introducing iPad-based products.

Vitals.com, one of the major players (with Healthgrades) that lets patients to find and rate doctors and book appointments online, will expand its offering. MDX Medical Inc (Vital’s holding company), announced that the company secured $12 million. They told us earlier that athenahealth was both an investor and had integrated with their site.

Private equity firm Vista Equity Partners has acquired Sage Healthcare Division from the Sage Group. The new company, called Vitera Healthcare Solutions, will continue providing EHRs, practice management and revenue cycle management products for ambulatory clinics. Vitera products are used by 20% of all U.S. community health centers, processing more than 33 million transactions and 1.8 million e-prescriptions monthly and serving 400,000 health care professionals across the country.

Siemens Healthcare aims to expand its health care offerings with the acquisition of MobileMD, Inc., a provider of cloud health information exchange services. The system is used by more than 11 hospitals and 2,000 physician practices. Siemens Healthcare already offers medical imaging, laboratory diagnostics, medical information technology and hearing aids.

The EHR/HIE Interoperability Workgroup recently proposed a set of specifications to standardize connections between healthcare providers. The workgroup is an organization of vendors focused on eliminating technical barriers to sharing medical data. The group aims to define a single set of specifications to increase the adoption of EHRs and HIE services.

The Institute of Medicine recently published a report, “Health IT and Patient Safety: Building Safer Systems for Better Care.” The Department of Health and Human Services asked the IOM to recommend ways the government and private sector can make patient care safer using health IT. In the report, the IOM recommends improving transparency in the reporting of health IT safety incidents and enhancing monitoring of health IT products.

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