Healthcare News January 21, 2012

  • Medical lobby keeps up ‘doc fix’ push

    Medical groups are keeping up the pressure on Congress to find a long-term solution to Medicares payment formula for doctors.

    The American Medical Group Association said in a letter Friday that Congress’s near-constant cycle of short-term doc fix bills is a strain on doctors as well as the Medicare program, and the group pressed Congress to find a longer-term solution. The latest temporary patch is set to expire March 1, at which point doctors would see a nearly 30 percent cut in the Medicare payments.

    The American Medical Association, the nations largest physicians lobby, has said its finished lobbying on short-term payment patches and is focused solely on a permanent replacement to Medicares formula.

  • Health plans ordered to cover birth control without co-pays

    Congressional Republicans slammed the Obama administration’s decision as an assault on religious freedom.

  • House Democrats renew call for medical device probes amid debate on user fees

    Democrats on the Energy and Commerce Committee on Friday renewed their call for a congressional probe into two healthcare products amid partisan squabbling over the federal approval process for medical devices.

    The panel Democrats first requested hearings on the “Lap-Band” weight loss device and urogynecologic surgical mesh in October. They say the two products have developed “serious defects” after being implanted in patients.

    The larger goal of the hearings, however, is to shed light on concerns Democrats and patient advocates have with the safety of the federal approval process for medical devices. 

  • Curaspan Health Group Grows Customer Base by Nearly 30 Percent

    News from Curaspan this morning, the company’s customer base grew 26% in 2010…they now work with more than 4,100 providers across the US.  Curaspan is a healthcare IT vendor focused on improving patient transitions from one level of care to the next (e.g. hospital to post-acute care).

    Curaspan helped set the standard for the secure electronic exchange of clinical information more than a decade ago.  The connectivity they provide to hospitals and post-acute care providers is also a core competency for ACO’s and other emerging models of care – and with landmark reform legislation before the Supreme Court and Medicare reimbursement rates set to be tied to a hospital’s “quality of care,” 2012 promises to be a big year as well.

    New hospital customers include: Bayhealth Medical Center in Dover, Del.; Civista Medical Center in La Plata, Md.; Cullman Regional Medical Center in Cullman, Ala.; Heartland Health in St. Joseph, Mo.; Health Quest in LaGrangeville, N.Y.; IASIS Healthcare in Franklin, Tenn.; Norton Healthcare in Louisville, Ky.; Overlake Hospital Medical Center in Bellevue, Wash.; Samaritan Medical Center in Watertown, N.Y.; and University of New Mexico Hospitals in Albuquerque, N.M.

    New post acute provider customers include: Critical Care Systems, a wholly owned subsidiary of Accredo Health Group in Memphis; Avante Group in Hollywood, Fla.; LaVie Care Centers in Tampa, Fla.; National HealthCare Corporation in Murfreesboro, Tenn.; Select Specialty Hospitals in Mechanicsburg, Penn.; and Skilled Healthcare in Foothill Ranch, Calif.

    Expands National Footprint of SaaS Applications, Increases Staff to Meet Demand

    NEWTON, Mass. — January 19, 2012 — Curaspan Health Group®, the industry leader in building secure electronic patient-transition networks for hospitals, post-acute providers and payers to optimize patient care, is starting the new year with strong momentum from 2011. With more than 4,100 customers in 40 states plus the District of Columbia, the company’s customer base grew by 26 percent last year, according to Curaspan president and CEO Thomas R. Ferry.

    “Providers increasingly recognize the need for technology that can break down the walls that exist between different departments, internally as well as externally,” said Ferry. “Our Synchronized Patient Management™ portfolio of applications enables them to take a holistic approach to patient care with everyone on the same platform, working together to drive toward the same outcomes.”

    Curaspan debuted DischargeCentral® last year, a major upgrade to eDischarge™ which revolutionized discharge planning more than 10 years ago. Built on a flexible new platform, DischargeCentral extends the capabilities of the discharge-planning software-as-a-service (SaaS) application for use in every level of care.

    In addition to DischargeCentral for discharge planning, the Curaspan Synchronized Patient Management portfolio of applications includes RideCentral® for non-emergent transport ordering and dispatch and ReferralCentral® for referral management. Users experience unparalleled performance to transition patients efficiently from one level of care to another; in 2011, application uptime was 99.996 percent.

    “Connectivity and good care transitions are fundamental to who we are and how we provide quality care, and Curaspan has helped support our success,” said Joe DiResta, director of business planning at SunBridge Healthcare, one of the nation’s largest nursing-home companies, headquartered in Irvine, Calif. “With ReferralCentral enabling the secure and timely transmission of patient data, we operate more efficiently and deepen our relationships with referring facilities.”

    New Curaspan post-acute clients include Critical Care Systems, a wholly owned subsidiary of Accredo Health Group in Memphis; Avante Group in Hollywood, Fla.; LaVie Care Centers in Tampa, Fla.; National HealthCare Corporation in Murfreesboro, Tenn.; Select Specialty Hospitals in Mechanicsburg, Penn.; and Skilled Healthcare in Foothill Ranch, Calif.

    “Curaspan provides a platform that allows for good clinical handoffs,” said Dawn Kowalski, operations manager at Riverside Health System in Newport News, Va. “This is a win-win for both the referring and receiving facilities and for the ultimate goal of excellent transitional care for our patients.” (See the Riverside case study.)

    Among new Curaspan hospital clients are Bayhealth Medical Center in Dover, Del.; Civista Medical Center in La Plata, Md.; Cullman Regional Medical Center in Cullman, Ala.; Heartland Health in St. Joseph, Mo.; Health Quest in LaGrangeville, N.Y.; IASIS Healthcare in Franklin, Tenn.; Norton Healthcare in Louisville, Ky.; Overlake Hospital Medical Center in Bellevue, Wash.; Samaritan Medical Center in Watertown, N.Y.; and University of New Mexico Hospitals in Albuquerque, N.M.

    To meet demand for its portfolio of applications and advisory services that help cut readmissions and LOS while increasing productivity, Curaspan grew its staff by 60 percent in 2011 and continues to recruit top-notch talent.

    Founded in 1999, Curaspan set the standard for the secure transmission of clinical data about patients moving from one level of care to another. Among its customers are Johns Hopkins Health System, NewYork Presbyterian Hospital, Saint Thomas Health Services (part of Ascension Health), Vanguard Health Systems, Amedisys Home Health Services, American Medical Response, Gentiva Health Services, Golden LivingCenters and Life Care Centers of America.

    About Curaspan Health Group

    Curaspan Health Group builds secure electronic patient-transition networks for hospitals, post-acute providers and payers to optimize patient care. Curaspan software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications empower users with real-time, predictive decision-making data that enables all participants to continuously monitor care, improve communication and ensure compliance. This informatics exchange is integrated with the proprietary Curaspan Provider Data Bank™, the industry’s most comprehensive and up-to-date system of actionable patient-transition intelligence, and is complemented by the clinical process expertise of credentialed advisors. The Health Care Advisory Board and KLAS repeatedly have recognized Curaspan for its industry-leading software. Curaspan is headquartered in Newton, Mass. For more information please visit Curaspan.com.

    Related posts:

    1. Curaspan Health Group Taps Tom MacDougall as First Chief Technology Officer
    2. IHE Connectathon Registration Grows with Demand for Health IT Interoperability Testings
    3. meridianEMR Welcomes its Largest Customer

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