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MGMA17 Day 1 – Drawing Inspiration from Consumer Experience

Posted on October 9, 2017 I Written By

Colin Hung is the co-founder of the #hcldr (healthcare leadership) tweetchat one of the most popular and active healthcare social media communities on Twitter. Colin speaks, tweets and blogs regularly about healthcare, technology, marketing and leadership. He is currently an independent marketing consultant working with leading healthIT companies. Colin is a member of #TheWalkingGallery. His Twitter handle is: @Colin_Hung.

Last night, attendees celebrated the opening of the Medical Group Management Association’s annual conference (MGMA17) in Anaheim CA with a block party that featured local food trucks instead of traditional food-stations. This welcome twist allowed attendees to sample small portions from several vendors.

The block party was a reflection of the exhibitor reception that happened earlier in the evening. With just 90 minutes, attendees could only sample a small portion of the 300 vendors that filled two halls in the Anaheim Convention Center. Despite that short amount of time, a key theme emerged – consumer experiences are serving as inspiration for HealthIT companies.

Ken Comée, CEO of CareCloud, summed it up this way: “Patients have high expectations from their healthcare providers now. They want the same level of service and convenience that they get from Amazon, Uber, OpenTable and banks.”

Prominently featured in the CareCloud booth was Breeze – a recently announced platform developed in partnership with First Data (see this blog post for more details). Comée had this to say about their new platform “If I had to compare Breeze to a consumer experience, I would have to say that it is most similar to checking in for a flight. Very few people check in for their flight in-person at the airport anymore. Almost everyone checks in at home on their computer or via their phone well ahead of their flight. You fill in all the relevant information online and you just show up to the airport and go where you need to go. There’s no paperwork you have to fill out, no need to arrive early…it’s just a smooth seamless experience. Armed with Breeze, our clients can now offer that same airline check-in experience with new as well as returning patients.”

A few booths over, David Rodriguez founder of NextPatient, talked about how OpenTable was one of the inspirations for their online appointment-booking platform. “In today’s world, when a person arrives at the website of a restaurant, they want to be able to see the times when they can make a reservation and they want to be able to click the time they want, fill in no more than 2 or 3 key pieces of information and lock it in. That’s what we offer physician practices – an elegant way to allow patients to click and book an appointment right from the practice’s own website without complex coding.”

Calibrater Health, a company that texts surveys to patients after a visit and creates “tickets” for any responses with a low NPS, was inspired by ZenDesk. Though not technically a consumer-facing application, ZenDesk does help companies forge and manage relationships with end-users by streamlining customer-service workflows, something Calibrater brings to its clients.

Patient engagement vendor, Relatient, drew inspiration from salon experiences. For many years it has been common practice in the salon and spa industries to send customers friendly reminders of their upcoming appointments via voice, text and email. Not only did these reminders reduce no-shows, but they also helped to improve customer loyalty. The Relatient solution brings those same benefits to healthcare organizations.

The night’s most thoughtful story of consumer inspiration came from Aaron Glauser, Senior Director of Product Marketing at AdvancedMD. “If I had to pick a consumer experience that inspires me and that we are closest to, it’d have to be Amazon. When you search Amazon for a product, a lot of matching entries come up – just like searching online for a doctor. You then narrow the search by looking at the star ratings and the reviews. Once you decide on a product, you click in and you decide how, when and where you want it delivered. That’s how patients want to book appointments. With AdvancedMD they can choose an open appointment time and they can even opt for a telemedicine appointment. That’s analogous to whether I want the physical book or the Kindle version on Amazon. Then as a user I get to choose how I want to pay for my Amazon purchase – which we can offer through AdvancedMD.”

Whether its Amazon, Zendesk, OpenTable, a salon or an airline that has served as inspiration. What was made clear on Day 1 of MGMA17’s exhibit hall is that consumer-experiences have become an important factor in the design of HealthIT solutions…and healthcare will be better for it.

Our Final 2017 #HIT100 List

Posted on July 28, 2017 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 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.

Much like social media, the #HIT100 is never without a few challenges, but I’m also happy to say that this year’s #HIT100 exhibited an extreme amount of gratitude and appreciation from and for thousands of people in the healthcare social media community.

I’m impressed by the number of people participating in the #HIT100. Symplur calculated that the #HIT100 hashtag generated 42 million impressions across 6195 tweets and 1852 participants (some just used the hashtag for discussion and not a nomination). Those are impressive numbers.

As I mentioned, I don’t intend to publish a ranked list of the #HIT100 as has been done in past years since I think ranking on the #HIT100 can be easily gamed and therefore ranking on the list has little meaning. However, I think a list of 100 social media accounts that many in the community recognize as valuable is something worth sharing. It’s a great way to discover new accounts, be reminded of accounts you haven’t seen in a while, and find new sources of information and insights into the industry. This year we had quite a few people I’d never seen before and what seems like a larger international group than previous years.

I’d hoped to find a way to publish the final 2017 #HIT100 list where it would list the top 100 accounts in random order that changed on every refresh. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the time available to really flesh this out. So, I’ve resorted to publishing the #HIT100 list in reverse ABC order (because the A’s always get first and so why not the Z’s this time?).

Over time I hope to publish other interesting insights and charts from the nominations including popular hashtags, other engagement stats, those only nominated by one person to the #HIT100, those who weren’t on previous #HIT100 lists, etc. For now, take a minute and browse through this impressive list of people who largely care about using technology to improve healthcare.

Finally, a big thank you to Joe Warbington (@JWarbington) from Qlik for providing a pretty amazing tool for me to analyze all the #HIT100 nominations and Dennis Dailey (@_hitshow) who suggested I work with them. I’d seen Qlik work on EHR data, but I didn’t realize it could so easily collect and analyze Twitter data as well. Thanks to them for providing the tool I could use to analyze all the nominations.

Data Disclaimer: We made an effort to ensure the data was as accurate as possible for this list. However, since we see this just as a fun activity of social discovery and appreciation, we didn’t go to great lengths to ensure the accuracy and won’t be publishing the “rank” on the list. In fact, we’re sure it’s not 100% accurate. If that’s an issue for you, we welcome you to pull the data from Twitter and do your own analysis. We welcome any and all to take the nominations and use them however they may. The beauty of the #HIT100 is that it’s all available to anyone to assess, slice, dice, interpret, and use however they see fit. If people publish 20 different #HIT100 lists, great. More discovery of new and interesting people for everyone involved. The following is our quick and dirty analysis of the nominations.

#HIT100 Twitter Accounts
@womenofteal
@wareFLO
@vishnu_saxena
@VinceKuraitis
@VictorHSW
@ukpenguin
@tweettiwoo
@Tony_PharmD
@TextraHealth
@techguy
@stacygoebel
@smithhazelann
@ShimCode
@ShereesePubHlth
@SeanSaid_
@sarahbennight
@rtoleti
@Resultant
@Respond_Rescue
@ReginaHolliday
@realHayman
@RBlount
@RasuShrestha
@R1chardatron
@PointonChris
@PharmacyPodcast
@PharmacyEdge1
@PatientVoices
@pat_health
@orpyxinc
@nrip
@nmanaloto
@nickisnpdx
@natarpr
@NaomiFried
@MMaxwellStroud
@mloxton
@mikebiselli
@MichelleRKearns
@Michael81082
@MelSmithJones
@melissaxxmccool
@Matt_R_Fisher
@markwattscra
@maria_quinlan
@marcus_baw
@MandiBPro
@lynnvos
@Lygeia
@LouiseGeraghty5
@lisadbudzinski
@klrogers5
@KenRayTaylor
@JWarbington
@justaskjul
@jotaelecruz
@JoinAPPA
@JohnNosta
@JoeBabaian
@Joan_JJ_Mc
@Jim_Rawson_MD
@JennDennard
@JBBC
@jaredpiano
@janicemccallum
@JamieJay2
@jameyedwards
@jamesfreed5
@innonurse
@healthythinker
@HealthData4All
@HealthcareWen
@gnayyar
@ginaman2
@GilmerHealthLaw
@GeriLynn
@ErinLAlbert
@endocrine_witch
@EMRAnswers
@ElinSilveous
@ebukstel
@DrTylerDalton
@drstclaire
@drnic1
@drlfarrell
@DmitriWall
@dirkstanley
@dflee30
@dchou1107
@dandunlop
@CTrappe
@Colin_Hung
@CoherenceMed
@CancerGeek
@burtrosen
@BunnyEllerin
@btrfly12
@Brian_Eastwood
@Brad_Justus
@billesslinger
@BGerleman
@BFMack
@BarbyIngle
@AllanVafi
@AinemCarroll
@ahier
@2healthguru
@_FaceSA

A big thank you to everyone who participated in the #HIT100 this year. Let’s keep sharing the good and showing appreciation for the people who influence our life for good.

Past #HIT100 Lists:
2016 #HIT100
2015 #HIT100
2014 #HIT100
2013 #HIT100
2012 #HIT100
2011 #HIT100

Voting for the 2017 #HIT100 Starts Now!

Posted on July 4, 2017 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 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.

It’s the fourth of July and that has traditionally been the start of the #HIT100 nominations. The first #HIT100 was started by Michael Planchart, the person behind the Twitter handle formerly known as @theEHRGuy (he gave custodian of the Twitter account to someone else and Michael seems to have gone anonymous for some reason), as a great way to celebrate the Fourth of July holiday and turned out to be a fun way to get to know many of the various healthcare social media influencers throughout the summer. Even with Michael now off social media, we hope we can carry on the tradition that Michael started by continuing to encourage people to participate in the nominations for the #HIT100.

If you missed past versions, the #HIT100 is a way for you to recognize your peers, friends, and heroes who have been contributing to the #HealthIT, #HITsm, #hcsm, #HITchicks, #hcldr, #HITMC and other related communities through their tweets, blogs, books, etc. Your nomination is a small reward for their efforts and all of the nominations in aggregate make for an amazing list of people working to improve healthcare.

In order to make the nominations meaningful, we ask that all nominations include the person being nominated, the #HIT100 hashtag, and a short phrase or hashtag identifying why you’re nominating that person. You don’t have to explain why you’re nominating someone, but if you don’t do it then it generally lacks meaning and looks like you’re just trying to game the nomination process. Take the time and make your nominations something that provides value to the person you’re nominating.

Also, if you really want to go the extra mile, Michael has asked people to do what they can to support the challenges the Venezuelan people face right now where many people are starving and can’t get medications. I really like Michael’s idea of doing even more with our #HIT100 nominations. So, even if you don’t connect with his Venezuelan request, think about ways you can better help those in healthcare who need it the most.

Here’s an example nomination: “I nominate @MandiBPro to the #HIT100 list because she’s a sincere advocate for the patient and doing what’s right in healthcare.”

We’ll be using the following rules for how we’ll be counting nominations (others in the community are welcome to use their own methods):
1. Twitter accounts must have existed prior to today.
2. The nomination process is completely socially biased, but we’ll filter obvious abuse where reasonable (Did the Nigerian Princess with no followers really nominate you?).
3. RTs will be counted if they include the required elements.
4. Thank you RTs by the person being nominated will not be counted, but we do encourage sincere gratitude being expressed to those who nominate you. If you remove the nomination from your tweet you’ll have more room to show thanks without cluttering the stream.
5. There will only be one round of voting.
6. Please do not include the #HITsm or other hashtags unless they apply to the person(s) being nominated. Let’s be conscious of unnecessarily adding tweets to everyone’s stream.
7. Nominations will be counted at the sole discretion of the hosts and anyone else is welcome to chop up, analyze, the nominations however they see fit as well. This is for fun anyway, so don’t stress it.
8. Last but not least, you must have lots of fun!

I’m looking forward to seeing all the nominations. Plus, we’ll publish a list of the top 100 nominations and a number of other lists that come out of the nominations as well.

Legal Disclaimer: By submitting a nomination, you agree that any statements are your own opinion otherwise you would not have written or tweeted the message. All statements, whether funny or not, are your own information and thoughts. Funny tweets add no weight to your vote, but if you make us laugh we’ll love you for it. All other generic disclaimers apply, we just couldn’t take up any more words to state them.
Legally disclaimer originally offered by @Matt_R_Fisher and reused here for your entertainment.

Past #HIT100 Lists:
2016 #HIT100
2015 #HIT100
2014 #HIT100
2013 #HIT100
2012 #HIT100
2011 #HIT100

Voting for the #HIT99 Starts Now!

Posted on July 6, 2015 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 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.

A few of my healthcare social media friends were talking about why there was no #HIT100 this year and suggested that in true social media fashion someone should pick it up and run with it and I was nominated. I’m always happy to run with a good idea. Especially when @ShimCode offered to take care of the hard work. We also wanted to respect that we didn’t start the #HIT100 and so we created our modified version called the #HIT99. In open source we’d call that a fork of the original project. Hopefully we can still have the same spirit of fun and healthcare social media discovery that was embodied by the original #HIT100 (See last year’s unofficial list).

The first #HIT100 was started by @theEHRGuy as a great way to celebrate the Fourth of July holiday and turned out to be a fun way to get to know many of the various healthcare social media influencers throughout the summer. This summer we hope we can do the same with the #HIT99.

If you missed past versions, the #HIT99 is a way for you to recognize your peers, friends, and heroes who have been contributing to the #HealthIT, #HITsm, #hcsm, #HITchicks, #hcldr, and other related communities through their tweets, blogs, books, etc. Your nomination is a small reward for their efforts and all of the nominations in aggregate make for an amazing list of people working to improve healthcare. Plus, we’re looking at having a great #HIT99 celebration/meetup at 2016 HIMSS in Las Vegas as well.

In order to make the nominations more meaningful, we ask that all nominations include the person being nominated, the #HIT99 hashtag, and a short phrase or hashtag identifying why you’re nominating that person. Explaining “Why” is not required, but you’ll receive bonus points from the person you’re nominating and the rest of the community for doing so.

Here’s an example nomination: “I nominate @HITConfGuy to the #HIT99 list, because he makes it easy for me to filter through the mass of tweets during HIMSS.”

We’ll be using the following rules for counting nominations:
1. Twitter accounts must have existed prior to today.
2. The nomination process is completely socially biased, but we’ll filter obvious abuse where reasonable (Did the Chilean Princess with no followers really nominate you?).
3. RTs will be counted if they include the required elements.
4. Thank you RTs by the person being nominated will not be counted, but we do encourage sincere gratitude being expressed to those who nominate you. If you remove the nomination from your tweet you’ll have more room to show thanks without cluttering the stream.
5. There will only be one round of voting.
6. Please do not include the #HITsm or other hashtags unless they apply to the person(s) being nominated. Let’s be conscious of unnecessarily adding tweets to everyone’s stream.
7. Nominations will be counted at the sole discretion of the hosts (This is for fun anyway, so don’t stress it.)
8. Last but not least, you must have lots of fun!

I’m looking forward to seeing all the nominations and the final list of 99 healthcare social media influencers. Plus, I can’t wait for all the tweets joking that they’re part of the 99.

Legal Disclaimer: By submitting a nomination, you agree that any statements are your own opinion otherwise you would not have written or tweeted the message. All statements, whether funny or not, are your own information and thoughts. Funny tweets add no weight to your vote, but if you make us laugh we’ll love you for it. All other generic disclaimers apply, we just couldn’t take up any more words to state them.
Thanks @Matt_R_Fisher

Past #HIT100 Lists:
2014 #HIT100
2013 #HIT100
2012 #HIT100
2011 #HIT100

Communication With Providers, Patient Alert Fatigue, and #HealthIT — #HITsm Chat Highlights

Posted on April 6, 2013 I Written By

Katie Clark is originally from Colorado and currently lives in Utah with her husband and son. She writes primarily for Smart Phone Health Care, but contributes to several Health Care Scene blogs, including EMR Thoughts, EMR and EHR, and EMR and HIPAA. She enjoys learning about Health IT and mHealth, and finding ways to improve her own health along the way.

#HITsm T1: How do you WANT to communicate with your healthcare provider? How does it differ from what’s available?

 

#HITsm T2: How can we avoid patient alert fatigue as we move toward engaged care and #mHealth acceptance?

 

#HITsm T3: Will the shortage of qualified #healthIT professionals to fill openings force a delay in meeting Meaningful Use requirements?

 

#HITsm T4: Open Forum> What #healthIT topic has interested you most this week?

Patient Safety, Interoperability, and Resolutions: #HITsm Chat Highlights

Posted on January 12, 2013 I Written By

Katie Clark is originally from Colorado and currently lives in Utah with her husband and son. She writes primarily for Smart Phone Health Care, but contributes to several Health Care Scene blogs, including EMR Thoughts, EMR and EHR, and EMR and HIPAA. She enjoys learning about Health IT and mHealth, and finding ways to improve her own health along the way.

Topic One: The ONC wants public comment on its #healthIT patient safety action plan. What oversight is needed to improve patient safety?

Topic Two: Why don’t we share our clinical info/data? Are you your own #HIE?

Topic Three: What is your definition of healthcare interoperability? How will you know when it becomes reality? 

Topic Four: Resolution check: If you are working at making changes to start 2013, what technology is helping the most?

Topic Five: Free for all: What #healthIT issue captured your interest this week?

Yes, Healthcare IT Adoption Is Expensive AND Painful!

Posted on December 4, 2012 I Written By

Mandi Bishop is a hardcore health data geek with a Master's in English and a passion for big data analytics, which she brings to her role as Dell Health’s Analytics Solutions Lead. She fell in love with her PCjr at 9 when she learned to program in BASIC. Individual accountability zealot, patient engagement advocate, innovation lover and ceaseless dreamer. Relentless in pursuit of answers to the question: "How do we GET there from here?" More byte-sized commentary on Twitter: @MandiBPro.

<Mandi’s Rant>

Few topics infuriate me as much as the notion that national standards-based implementation and adoption of healthcare IT should be cheap and easy. Haven’t we all heard the adage, “You can only have things done two of three ways: fast, cheap, or well”? Considering that the “thing” we’re trying to do is revolutionize the healthcare industry, the effects of which may be felt in each and every one of our lives at some point, don’t you want to include “well” as the bare minimum of what is required? After all, this is YOUR electronic health record, YOUR data, YOUR treatment plan and effectiveness measurements. So, what’s the other way we want this “thing” done: fast or cheap?

We’re talking about an industry that takes an average of 17 YEARS to put significant medical discoveries into routine patient care practice. (Numerous sources confirm this: The Healthcare Singularity and the Age of Semantic Medicine Translating Research into Public Health Action, etc.)

17 years is an entire generation of doctors. Doogie Howser could have been born, graduated med school, and begun to practice medicince by the time any insights from his birth were applied to practice. Suffice it to say, “fast” is not a way that healthcare is used to doing a “thing”.

Let’s contrast that with the information technology industry’s acceptance of iterative development releases and planned obsolescence for enterprise AND consumer assets. The big boys (Oracle, IBM, etc.) generally cease support of older products between 7-10 years after their introduction. Your company’s AS/400 server hardware may be 15 years old, but the O/S is the latest release, and all the data on the legacy server is preserved with the latest in backup packages over a wire-speed network connection. How long have you had your laptop? How frequently have you updated your Facebook app this year?

If someone tried to sell you a 17 year-old 480DX PC with a 9600 baud modem, 5″ floppy disk, 64MB RAM, running Windows 3.11 using the argument that, although much newer, faster, cheaper, more effective technology is available it is not yet PROVEN, would you buy it?

So, healthcare – an industry which moves at the speed of 17 years of Doogie Howser medical student maturity, and technology – an industry reinvented with the introduction of the iPhone in June of 2007, are at a crossroads for how to accomplish this “thing”: developing, implementing, and widely adopting national standards-based healthcare IT within mandated timelines that fall well within the next 10 years.

It must be done “fast”, relative to the usual pace of healthcare change.

And it must be done “well”, because it is OUR health at stake.

Suffice it to say, it will not be “cheap”. And my momma always told me that nothing worth doing is easy.

We have to stop whining about how costly and hard it is to turn this ship, and start working with the ONC on how to make healthcare IT better, faster, and ultimately more meaningful to all stakeholders involved in its use.

</Mandi’s Rant>

Will EMR Adoption Bankrupt Medicare?

Posted on November 27, 2012 I Written By

Mandi Bishop is a hardcore health data geek with a Master's in English and a passion for big data analytics, which she brings to her role as Dell Health’s Analytics Solutions Lead. She fell in love with her PCjr at 9 when she learned to program in BASIC. Individual accountability zealot, patient engagement advocate, innovation lover and ceaseless dreamer. Relentless in pursuit of answers to the question: "How do we GET there from here?" More byte-sized commentary on Twitter: @MandiBPro.

Much hullaballoo is made over the 47% increase in Medicare payments from 2006-2010, which some seem eager to attribute to the adoption of EMR. The outcry is understandable; a 47% increase is a big dang deal, and taxpayers should be concerned. But haven’t we all heard that statistics lie?

“Hospitals received $1 billion more in Medicare reimbursements in 2010 than they did five years earlier, at least in part by changing the billing codes they assign to patients in emergency rooms,” cited the New York Times based on analysis of Medicare data from American Hospital Directory. Indeed, billing codes have changed from 2006-2010, in accordance with the HCPCS (Health Care Procedure Coding System) reform of CPT (Current Procedural Terminology) application and inclusion guidelines, cited here: HCPCS Reform from CMS. Healthcare industry growth and care advances drove an increase from 50 – 300 new CPT code annual applications between 1994-2004, leading to sweeping change in the review and adoption process starting in 2005 – including elimination of market data requirements for drugs.

Think about that for a second. If Pharma no longer has to submit 6 months of marketing data prior to applying for an official billing code, how many new CPT codes – and resultant billing opportunities – do you think have been generated by drugs alone since that HCPCS process change adoption in 2005? Which leads me to my next correlating fact: the most significant Medicare Part D prescription drug provisions did not start until 2006.

Let’s put two and two together: Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage (2006) + change in HCPCS billing code request process to speed drugs to market adoption (2005) = significant increase in Medicare reimbursements. To use the NYT analyst language, “in part”, administration of those drugs occurs in an emergency room. And who might be in the ER on a regular basis? I’ll give you a hint: “I’ve fallen, and I can’t get up!”

Perhaps the most profound contributor to this Medicare reimbursement increase is a recent dramatic rise in the Medicare-eligible population. Per the National Institute on Aging’s 65+ in the United States: 2005, the 65+ population is expected to double in size between 2005 and 2030 – by which point, 20% of the US will be of eligible age. The over-85 age group, as of 2005, was the fastest-growing population segment. Elderly people who are prone to chronic conditions as well as acute care events just might lead to higher Medicare reimbursements.

Of course, there are myriad contributing factors. Some industry analysts attribute the rise in Medicare claims cost to fraud, citing that the workflow efficiencies that the EMR technology provide allow for easy skimming. Activities such as “cloning”, or copying and pasting procedures from one patient to the next with minimal keystrokes within the EMR software, might contribute to false claim filing for procedures that were never performed. While the nefarious practice of Medicare fraud long predates EMR, the opportunity to scale one’s fraudulent operations to statistically relevant proportions increases significantly with automation. And as my mother always told me, it only takes one bad apple to spoil the bushel.

But how many bad apples would it take to spoil a multi-billion dollar bushel to the tune of a 47% cost increase? According to the NYT article, “The most aggressive billing — by just 1,700 of the more than 440,000 doctors in the country — cost Medicare as much as $100 million in 2010 alone,” and the increase in billing activity for each of those 1700 occurred post-EMR adoption. After all, “hospitals that received government incentives to adopt electronic records showed a 47 percent rise in Medicare payments…compared with a 32 percent rise in hospitals that have not received any government incentives.”

Wait, did that statistic just indicate a significant increase in Medicare reimbursements, across the board? So the differential between those providers who have received government incentives for EMR adoption, and those who have not, is 15%. The representative facilities and providers responded to the “aggressive billing” accusation by indicating that they had 1) more accurate billing mechanisms, 2) higher patient need for billable services. I’ll buy that. Sure, it’s likely that there is Medicare fraud happening, but that’s not new – it’s unfortunate that there will always be ways to game the system, whether manual or electronic. But is the increase in “fraud” pre and post-EMR adoption statistically relevant?

Considering the complex variables involved, I’ll chalk up the 15% increase to the combination of more specific billing practices, Medicare Part D drug provisions, an aging population and the health issues which accompany it, and not vilify the technology which facilitates further advances. Let the EMR adoption expansion continue!