Healthcare News February 29, 2012

  • OVERNIGHT HEALTH: IPAB repeal, Step 1

    House Republicans launch their effort to repeal the healthcare reform law’s cost-cutting board on Wednesday with a markup in the Energy and Commerce Health subcommittee. The bipartisan bill — 17 Democrats have co-sponsored it — is expected to sail through, with even ranking member Frank Pallone Jr. (D-N.J.) planning to vote in favor, according to CQ HealthBeat.

    House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan opened up Tuesday’s hearing on Medicare’s solvency with an attack on the Independent Payment Advisory Board, or IPAB (Healthwatch has more on that here). And Ways and Means Health Chairman Wally Herger (R-Calif.) announced he’s holding a hearing on the IPAB next Tuesday.

    “One of Congress’ most important responsibilities is to oversee the Medicare program and protect its beneficiaries,” Herger said in announcing the hearing. “When Democrats created this panel, they chose to empower unelected bureaucrats at the expense of patients and their doctors. IPAB robs Medicare beneficiaries of their voice and stifles their Constitutionally-mandated representation. Our seniors and those with disabilities deserve more than nameless political appointees who will deny care if they decide it costs too much. This hearing will allow the Subcommittee to fully understand the impact this ill-conceived rationing board will have on Medicare beneficiaries and their health care providers.”

    Meanwhile, House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) defended the board in his regular press conference, but said there is disagreement among Democrats about whether it serves a “positive purpose.”

    “The IPAB has obviously been focused on by the Republicans,” Hoyer said. “The irony is they are trying to scare people that the IPAB will take away some of their benefits. Obviously there are protections, as you know, in the Affordable Care Act on that issue. But the interesting thing is that the people who are trying to raise the specter of the IPAB are the very ones who are promoting programs to take away benefits from Medicare recipients. So I think it is a somewhat schizophrenic approach on this issue by my Republicans friends.”

  • Shareable Ink Partners With Leading EHR Vendors to Accelerate Physician Adoption

    Healthcare Practices Can Now Achieve Meaningful Use with Pen and Paper

    Nashville, TN (February 27, 2012) – Shareable Ink®, an enterprise cloud computing company that transforms paper documentation to structured data, today announced three new partnerships with leading EHR vendors that will further the company’s reach in delivering a reliable, portable and easy to implement electronic data capture solution that works with existing physician workflows. The agreements with Greenway Medical Technologies, Inc., NextEMR, VoiceHIT, and an existing partnership with Allscripts, signal the demand within the physician practice marketplace for a flexible technology that can be used in any care setting to help compliance with Meaningful Use (MU) requirements.

    Providers and patients utilize Shareable Ink to document in their customary fashion, using natural input tools, such as digital pens and iPads, without compromising productivity.  Clinical and business rules embedded into familiar forms deliver immediate feedback and help to ensure forms are complete and compliant.  The data is instantaneously transferred into the EHR, as if typed in via keyboard.

    Greenway Medical Technologies provides innovative EHR, ambulatory healthcare and clinical research business solutions and services to more than 33,000 healthcare providers nationwide. nextEMR® is a revolutionary new, easy to use, centralized and entirely web-based EMR and Practice Management (PM) solution for healthcare practices of any size and configuration. VoiceHIT’s Better Day EHR is a web-based software platform that uses predictive modeling, and third-party applications and devices to leverage the power of data to prompt action, facilitate collaboration and proactively manage health. With 180,000 physician users, Allscripts provides innovative solutions that empower all stakeholders across the healthcare continuum to deliver world-class outcomes.

    “Each partnership represents a different opportunity to have a greater impact on EHR adoption, particularly when many physicians know they need an EHR but are hesitant to deploy a new technology within an established, well-running practice workflow,” said Stephen S. Hau, President and CEO, Shareable Ink. “Shareable Ink represents a pragmatic approach to electronic health records that delivers structured and actionable data at any point in the patient encounter – from patient forms in the waiting room to clinician data capture – with no change in workflow for providers.”

    About Shareable Ink

    Shareable Ink helps healthcare organizations of all sizes transition to electronic health records without disruption to workflow or burdensome IT projects. Its enterprise cloud-based platform incorporates natural input tools, including iPads and digital pen and paper technology featuring Anoto functionality. The resulting structured and clinically-encoded output populates the EHR with discrete data, as if typed in directly. Built-in analytics give hospitals and practices insight into their operations — from a clinical, quality and efficiency standpoint — all previously inaccessible from traditional paper records. For additional information, visit

    Related posts:

    1. Shareable Ink and Waiting Room Solutions Partner to Provide Physicians With The Easiest Path to Achieving Meaningful Use
    2. Physician Health Partners, CO-REC Helping Physicians Demonstrate Meaningful Use of Electronic Health Records

  • Obama administration credits health reform law for record-setting $375M fraud bust

    The Obama administration announced Tuesday that federal law enforcement officials have arrested a Texas doctor and the owners of five home health agencies on charges they defrauded Medicare and Medicaid by a record-setting $375 million over five years.

    The administration credits a joint initiative created in 2009 between the departments of Justice and Health and Human Services for the indictment. 

    Officials also said they were able to suspend another 78 home health agencies associated with the physician “based on credible allegations of fraud against them” thanks to provisions of President Obama’s healthcare reform law.

  • Parties clash over scope of Blunt amendment

    Senate Democrats said Tuesday that up to 20 million women could lose access to healthcare services under an amendment from Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), but Republicans argue that the proposal would change very little about the healthcare system.

    Blunt’s amendment, which could see a vote in the Senate this week, would let employers opt out of federal benefit mandates that violate their religious or moral beliefs.

    It would apply to all of the requirements created by President Obama’s healthcare reform law, but it’s coming up for a vote now because of the controversy around a specific new mandate requiring employers to cover contraception in their employees’ insurance plans without a co-pay.

    Citing figures from the Health and Human Services Department, Senate Democrats said Tuesday that 20 million women have already gotten some form of preventive medicine because of the healthcare law and could lose that coverage under Blunt’s proposal.

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