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Dishonesty Ruins So Many Things

Posted on September 5, 2014 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 6000 articles with John having written over 3000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 13 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

I’m always struck by this simple concept: Dishonesty make so many things more difficult than they should be.

We see this all over healthcare. Look for example at patient privacy and security. If people were just honest and thoughtful with patient data, our privacy and security challenges would be so much simpler. Imagine how much time and heartache we’d save if people were just honest when it comes to privacy and security. Yes, I’m looking at the million of hackers that are trying to take people’s personal information. Imagine if we could focus all the money and time we spend securing applications and apply it to improving healthcare. What a difference that would make.

The same could be said for reimbursement. Our reimbursement system would look drastically different if people were just honest. Yes, I’m talking about the billions of dollars of Medicare and other insurance fraud that’s out there. What a sad expense on our current healthcare system as dishonest people try and make a quick buck. While that expense is large, the even larger cost to our healthcare system is the toll that fraud adds to the honest actors.

Look at our current model of reimbursement for healthcare. So much of our insane documentation efforts are tied to the fact that insurance companies are trying to combat fraud. They don’t and can’t trust providers billing levels and so they’ve created layer and layer of requirements that makes the healthcare documentation process miserable. If you don’t agree with me, then you aren’t someone that’s involved in healthcare reimbursement.

This expense gets passed on to the employer and patients as well. Have you ever tried to make sense of the bill or statement of benefits coming from your doctor or insurance company? It’s like trying to make sense of a new language. It doesn’t make sense since you as a patient don’t know that language. Are they screwing you over in what they’re billing you or not? You don’t know either way and good luck trying to find out the answer. The person on the other end of the phone likely isn’t sure either because it’s so complex.

I first learned this principle in the credit card world. Why on earth do we pay 3+% of every transaction we do on our credit card. The answer is simple. Credit card fraud (otherwise known as dishonesty) is rampant and why credit card transactions cost so much. Imagine a world where the doctor wasn’t giving 3% of their business to process a credit card transaction since the cost to change digital digits should be nothing.

Unfortunately, the reality is we do live in a world with a lot of dishonest people who try and game anything and everything. We have to pay attention to security and privacy with these dishonest people in mind. We have to deal with insane reimbursement requirements as these payers try and combat fraud. We have to deal with credit card fraud and pay for it in the process.

It’s unfortunate, because dishonesty almost always catches up with people. Even when we think it doesn’t, dishonesty pays its own toll on a person as they can never be comfortable. Having a clear, honest conscious is one of the most beautiful things in life.

What Can We Learn from Robin Williams

Posted on August 12, 2014 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 6000 articles with John having written over 3000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 13 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

“You treat a disease, you win, you lose. You treat a person, I’ll guarantee you’ll win.” – Robin Williams

One of the best quotes from the amazing movie Patch Adams. Maybe it was naive of me, but when I got my first job in healthcare I thought a lot about the movie Patch Adams. Besides being a great movie, it illustrated so well the impact great healthcare can have on people’s lives.

I realize that as an IT person I only have a tangential impact on patients, but that’s ok with me. I still know the impact I can have on many people’s lives and that’s exciting to me. Sitting in board rooms or IT offices, we could use more people thinking about the patient and not just the bottom line. I think that’s the message of Patch Adams that’s portrayed so well by Robin Williams.

Here’s another clip from one of my favorite Robin William’s movies: Read more..

Building Trusting Relationships

Posted on August 1, 2014 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 6000 articles with John having written over 3000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 13 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Tonight is my final night in Utah after spending the month of July here. As most of you know, I live in Las Vegas (technically Henderson for those stalking me at home), but my wife and I have started a tradition where we “move” somewhere each summer to avoid the heat and give our kids (4 for those counting) a new experience. I call it “moving” somewhere since I’m still working most of the time. Certainly one of the beauties of being a blogger is that I can work anywhere I have an internet connection. It’s basically the same. I imagine most of you who read this blog regularly didn’t even know.

While in Utah I’ve had a chance to do a number of work meetings. It’s really quite amazing how many healthcare IT companies call Utah home. Each day I’d think of another company that I could have gone and visited while I was here (sorry to those I didn’t see).

Seeing other companies in person is always enlightening. However, as I get ready to head home tomorrow I was struck by something even more powerful. Since Utah isn’t a hot bed of tourist travel like Hawaii was last year, it was super expensive to try and rent a place for a month in Utah. So, I turned to Facebook and asked if anyone knew of a place to stay in Utah for the month of July. The amazing power of social media turned up a number of options.

The best option turned out to be a lady I’d met in Italy (although she’s from Utah) about 14 years ago. I believe I’d only seen her once since about 13 years ago. Long story short, she was going to California and would be happy to have us stay in her place. It’s worked out great for her (she made money on her house that would have otherwise been empty) and us.

What’s this have to do with healthcare IT? Maybe nothing. However, beyond the power of social media I mentioned above, there’s also something really interesting and powerful about building trusting relationships.

When I think about the people I’ve met in the four years I’ve been blogging about EHR and Healthcare IT full time (the blog officially started 9.5 years ago), I’m starting to see how so many of those relationships are paying off in ways I’d never have expected. Maybe it was just drinks at a HIMSS event or a Twitter exchange with someone interesting. Now think about the thousands of people I’ve met at events or interacted with on social media. It creates a powerful network effect that’s hard to fathom.

I would just offer one piece of advice that I try to live by (and sometimes fail despite the effort). Build true relationships with a give before you get approach. Don’t make every relationship you have transactional. Instead, give freely to many people with no expectation of a specific return from a specific person. This is not altruistic giving. You fully expect that all this giving will provide you a return, but not in a pure transactional sense. You have no idea how and who will provide the return, but you will reap the benefits of all the giving. (Note: I learned this concept from Brad Feld, and it’s great.)

I guess the morale of the story is to build great relationships with people and you’ll be amazed at the results.

Happy Memorial Day!

Posted on May 26, 2014 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 6000 articles with John having written over 3000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 13 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Every Memorial Day my memories are brought back to family and freedom. I’ve written before about my brother who is in the Air Force. I’m so grateful for his and so many other military people’s sacrifice so that we can have the freedoms we enjoy. It’s sad to think that in some countries a blog like this couldn’t exist. Agree with me or not, it’s so important that we can all have different views and share them publicly. Plus, the best thing about bringing people together with differing views is that this type of discussion and collaboration usually breeds respect. We may still not agree, but at least we can learn to respect the other person’s view.

I know there’s a lot of news lately about the VA waitlist. I haven’t dug into all the details, so I can’t really comment on it either way. Although, if it helps us to make sure that the Veterans who serve the country get the healthcare they deserve, then I guess I’ll be happy with that result.

Regardless of how you celebrate today and why you celebrate, I hope you’ve had a wonderful day and could enjoy some time with family and friends.

New Reality TV Show to Follow ONC Leadership

Posted on April 1, 2014 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 6000 articles with John having written over 3000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 13 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

The past six months have been really amazing here at Healthcare Scene. In October, we acquired Healthcare IT Central and associated health IT career resources and next week we’ll be hosting the first ever Health IT Marketing and PR Conference. While these are two major milestones for Healthcare Scene, we’re not stopping there. We have ambitious plans to really bring healthcare IT to the masses.

What many people who read this site don’t know is that along with my healthcare IT blog network, I also have a reality TV blog network that covers TV shows like Dancing with the Stars, So You Think You Can Dance, and America’s Got Talent to name a few. Considering my passion for both healthcare IT and reality TV, I figured it would only be a matter of time until those two passions would be brought together.

I’m really excited to announce that I’ll be the Executive Producer of a new Health IT reality TV show that covers the inner workings of healthcare IT from the perspective of those working at ONC. Where possible, cameras will be following around the ONC leadership providing people an insight into things like meaningful use, RECs, ACOs, and ICD-10. The working name for the show is, “Under the Covers with ONC.” We start taping next week.

I want to applaud new ONC head, Karen DeSalvo, for really taking health IT to the next level with this show. It’s about time those people working so hard on something as important as health IT finally get some recognition. What better way to do this than to do a reality TV show?

Imagine how exciting it will be to see video of Karen DeSalvo tweeting “Call into the #HIT Standards Committee’s virtual meeting here: 1-877-705-6006.” Imagine how you’d feel watching the TV show if you were on the same call. You could say you were there. I wish we’d been filming when Karen DeSalvo Retweeted, “Hey, Tweeps, thanks for reading our workforce blog post. We have had more than 1090 readers so far!” Can you imagine the excitement of the moment? Now we’ll be able to share those type of moments with everyone.

Doug Fridsma, Chief Science Officer at ONC, commented on the show, “I can’t wait for people to finally see me get down and roll around with those healthcare standards. Who wouldn’t want to watch me work through the S&I framework?”

Some people have expressed concern that we won’t be covering their favorite government health IT project. To those people I say, go and create your own reality TV show. If I can do it, you can too. You may start by reaching out to Kathleen Sebelius who is supportive of this project but noted, “Good things the cameras weren’t rolling when we heard that Congress had slipped another ICD-10 delay into the SGR bill.” I think secretly, Sebelius is just jealous that Obama didn’t invite her to take part in his Between Two Ferns interview.

We reached out to Farzad Mostashari, Former ONC National Coordinator, to get his thoughts on the new ONC reality TV show. He replied, “I’ve been preaching for years that my hard working colleagues at ONC deserved more credit for the work they do. I just hope the show doesn’t get caught up in the petty discussions over whether it should have been blue button or purple button and instead focuses on things of substance like whether ICD-10, MU, etc are the ‘perfect storm’ of regulation or if it was more like a perfect earthquake.” I think we can all agree that it’s unfortunate we didn’t get this in place while Farzad was coordinator. His bow tie would have looked so great on camera.

We’ll be holding a special screening of the TV show at Health Datapalooza in June. I can already feel the energy and excitement of that screening with so many HIT Nerds present to see health IT reality TV. We’ll have a special area at the event where you can take a selfie with all your favorite ONC health IT heroes. Just get in line early. I’m pretty sure the Farzad line is going to be long. Can you imagine how many retweets you’d get if you got a selfie with two ONC Coordinators at once? I can’t wait to see you there.

UPDATE: For those who didn’t notice, this was an April Fool’s joke. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.

9 Million EMR and HIPAA Pageviews – Happy Valentine’s Day!

Posted on February 14, 2014 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 6000 articles with John having written over 3000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 13 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

I hope you’ll indulge me for a moment as I get a bit nostalgic. Yesterday, EMR and HIPAA just passed the 9 million pageview mark. Happy Valentine’s Day indeed! When I look at that number, I really can’t quite process what it means. When I first started blogging, I would track and celebrate my blogging traffic milestones pretty regularly. I don’t do it much anymore, but 9 million seemed worth of a few moments to reminisce.

On May 5, 2006, I celebrated reaching 30,000 EMR visitors. I described myself as thrilled, and I assure you that I was incredibly thrilled that so many people were reading my blog. How ironic that I said, “It’s amazing to me that I have gone from 0 to 30,000 so fast.” Maybe that’s why I’m utterly amazed to think that what initially took me 5 months of blogging, I now do in a week. The last line of the post really strikes me, “Who would have thought I’d love EMR so much?” That still rings true 8 years and thousands of MR posts later. I do love EMR.

I still feel the same gratitude for readers that I expressed in that post as well. I really can’t think about it too much without getting a little choked up. I often tell people that I don’t consider what I do work, because I love it so much. Hearing from readers who’ve found my blog posts valuable is a wonderful feeling that I hope to have for the rest of my life.

I’m also lucky to work with such amazing, talented, and wonderful writers. Everyone always asks me how I manage 15 blogs. My answer is always simple: “I have a lot of help from a lot of great writers.” I consider all of my writers not only my colleagues, but my friends. If you want to know why I love HIMSS so much, it’s because I get to be with and learn from my fellow bloggers and readers.

I’m excited to see where Healthcare Scene will go next. It’s been incredibly fun and exciting for me to integrate Healthcare IT Central into the Healthcare Scene network. Working with Gwen on that has been a wonderful experience and I’m lucky to have someone so great on my team. I’ve been inspired by the support everyone’s given me as I’ve organized the inaugural Health IT Marketing and PR Conference. I can’t wait to see everyone in Las Vegas.

Finally, thank you to some really amazing advertisers who have supported the work we do here for many years. I never thought I’d be a blogger when I grew up. I never thought I’d be a full time blogger, but I sure glad I am. I really appreciate all the advertisers who’ve made it possible. I hope we can continue to deliver great results for them.

Now for some fun EMR and HIPAA stats for those still reading:

  • 9,008,190 pageviews
  • 4,768 daily email subscribers
  • 1,926 blog posts
  • 8,875 comments
  • 11 bloggers (not counting some amazing guest bloggers)

Now, on to the next 9 million!

Merry Christmas!

Posted on December 25, 2013 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 6000 articles with John having written over 3000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 13 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

In case you missed it, you can read my post on Holiday Greetings and Merry Christmas. With that in mind, I thought I’d share a few pictures from my Christmas. If you don’t care for family pictures, then you’re welcome to delete this email, close your browser, etc and we’ll be back to our regularly scheduled EMR and HIPAA programming tomorrow.

I thought this captured our Christmas the best. It’s kind of become a tradition for us on Christmas Eve to take a crazy picture. The best part is that we didn’t event coordinate it. We just said go crazy and this was what came out. Love it!
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We also went to ride the Polar Express train in Williams, AZ, about an hour from the Grand Canyon. It was my first time going to the Grand Canyon. How spectacular! The polar express was awesome too. The highlight for me was dancing to Jingle Bell Rock on the train with my daughter.
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Then, here’s our official Christmas picture. Yeah, now I’m just showing off my cute kids and wife. Sorry. I couldn’t help myself.

Back to the grind tomorrow. Lots to think about as we end this year. More on that to come.

Giving Thanks

Posted on November 28, 2013 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 6000 articles with John having written over 3000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 13 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Last week I did a #HITThanks post as part of the move to show some gratitude for all the great things that are happening in healthcare IT. Jennifer Dennard also followed up with her post talking about being thankful for Patient Portals. However, the thing I’m most thankful for are all the readers and supporters of this site. I sometimes find myself shaking with joy as I think how lucky I am that I make a living as a blogger. None of this would be possible if it weren’t for all of you. So, a big heartfelt thank you to all of you.

I’m also really thankful to be embarking on the new journey after adding Healthcare IT Central to the Healthcare Scene family. It’s a really exciting time for me to see the bond between the two websites grow. I think we’re in for a really special ride and I’m grateful that I have the opportunity to see it first hand.

I hope everyone has a great day today. I know I’ll be enjoying some time with family, amazing food, and football.

Happy Fourth of July

Posted on July 4, 2013 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 6000 articles with John having written over 3000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 13 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

I know not all those that read this site are in the US, but I and many readers do. So, to those of you who are celebrating this day like me, Happy Fourth of July. Mine unfortunately started out with rain which cancelled our traditional Fourth of July hike to one of my favorite places in the world. Although, I must admit that the idea of doing this somewhat difficult hike is getting harder to consider as I get older. It was definitely mixed emotions when it was cancelled since my family has been doing the hike since my mom was a little girl. So, I like to carry on traditions.

In fact, the same is true with my blogs. I’m a creature of habit and I love traditions. You’ve probably seen this in what I write. There’s something really valuable about having traditions. The first couple years don’t have as much meaning, but 5 and 10 years it’s always fun to look back. Of course, I’m also not against getting rid of traditions that don’t serve a purpose. You keep doing it as long as you enjoy it. Otherwise, you cut it out and create new traditions.

I was having a conversation a couple days ago about the work I do. As most mother’s do, she was complimenting me on how smart and talented I am. No wonder I love her so much. Although, after the compliment she said, “I’m really glad you’re working in healthcare and not some other industry.” She was glad that I was in an industry that could provide real value to those who use it (which is everyone). Hopefully that I do indeed have an impact for good on healthcare. That’s definitely my goal and has been since I started working in the industry.

In fact, I think we should all be grateful that we’re able to work in an industry that can literally save lives. That can’t be said for a lot of industries. So, I feel really blessed to be able to work in healthcare. Plus, I love that I live in a country where there are such things as freedom of press. I don’t have to worry that some government entity will be angry if I post my thoughts and opinions. That’s a beautiful thing and something I often take for granted.

Plus, each of these holidays I’m always aware of all the wonderful healthcare professionals who are spending their holiday at work. My heart goes out to you and your family for the sacrifices you make for those who will be in need of your care today. I hope that all goes well with the fireworks and I won’t need your services today.

Regardless of where you are today, let’s all take a moment to be grateful we work in healthcare and can impact many people’s lives for good.

Memorial Day Tribute

Posted on May 27, 2013 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 6000 articles with John having written over 3000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 13 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Today I took my two older kids (9 and 6) to the store with me to pick up a few things for Memorial Day. When we walked into the store an older couple was sitting at the door collecting donations for veterans. I have a soft spot in my heart for veterans and the couple was so cute that on the way out I gave my kids some money to give to the couple. Plus, I figured it was a great lesson for my children and they loved it.

In fact, my daughter loved it so much so that she darted out of the store to make the donation. When I got there the lady was asking my children if they knew where the money was going. My son (9) replied that it was to a charity. The lady responded, “Yes, it was kind of a charity, but one for veterans. Do you know what a veteran is?” My son responded, “People in the military.” The lady then asked, “What do veterans do?”

At this point I’m on the edge wondering how my son might reply. He then responded, “The fight for Freedom.” I’m sure I was beaming after that response. I was really proud of him.

So on this Memorial Day I’m happy to honor and remember those veterans who fight for our freedom.