Healthcare News July 21, 2012

  • Coburn questions Obama rule giving firefighters health coverage

    Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) is questioning the Obama administration’s authority to immediately provide federal firefighters with health insurance.

    In a letter Friday, Coburn asked the Office of Personal Management (OPM) to defend the decision with a legal analysis and several cost assessments.

    “Routine questions about the impact of the regulation currently remain unanswered,” Coburn wrote to OPM Director John Berry. He added that the firefighters “are to be commended for their service.”

  • Grassley warns agencies after FDA documents made public

    Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) warned six federal agencies that their documents might have been made public by a contractor linked to a ongoing Food and Drug Administration (FDA) scandal.

    Grassley asked the agencies for the details of their contracts with Quality Associates, a document-handling group that recently posted sensitive FDA files online that shed light on a controversial employee-monitoring project.

    “Federal agencies have a responsibility to handle documents carefully,” Grassley said in a statement.

  • Healthcare Providers Frame Enterprise Imaging Strategies


    Today KLAS is announcing a new report that examines the ways healthcare providers are approaching their enterprise imaging strategies.

    A few highlights from the research are:
    – Vendor-neutral archive (VNA) and PACS enterprise archive solutions are emerging as the top two preferred strategies.
    – GE and Philips are the vendors mentioned most often overall in the study as strategic enterprise imaging partners.
    – Agfa and Merge are the most often cited vendors for a VNA-centric strategy.
    – Acuo, Carestream, Cerner, Dell, DR Systems, EMC, McKesson, ScImage, Sectra, Siemens, and TeraMedica findings are also included in the study.

    Vendor-neutral archive and PACS enterprise archive solutions are emerging as the top two preferred blueprints

    OREM, Utah – July 12, 2012 – Most healthcare providers are in the early stages of forming an enterprise imaging strategy, which will enable getting the right image to the right place at the right time, according to a new KLAS study, Enterprise Imaging 2012: Provider’s Strategies and Insights. Although providers feel that no single vendor can deliver all of the pieces needed for their enterprise imaging strategy, most are considering one of two main approaches: a vendor-neutral archive (VNA) centric approach or a PACS enterprise archive solution.

    GE and Philips are the vendors mentioned most often overall in the study as strategic enterprise imaging partners. All interviewed GE and Philips customers consider their vendor to be part of their go-forward imaging strategy, especially those going for a PACS enterprise archive centric strategy. Fuji, though not mentioned as often as the other two, seems to have a strong PACS enterprise archive offering as well.

    Agfa and Merge are the most often cited vendors for a VNA-centric strategy. Agfa customers using the IMPAX Data Center (IDC) are dedicated to making it work, despite early indications that their lukewarm PACS experience will bleed over to the IDC experience. Merge has many of the needed pieces, but providers are still waiting for integration. Merge customers are looking forward to what they will be able to do with Merge’s iConnect platform.

    Acuo and TeraMedica are the primary non-PACS players in the VNA space. In most cases, early trends suggest that TeraMedica customers are pleased with the value of the system and hint toward favorable enterprise DICOM management. Several clients are also starting to leverage TeraMedica’s ability to store other clinical content in its native format.

    Acuo clients say their vendor’s core strength is in image distribution and data migration. Their increasing number of vendor partnerships and growing mindshare in the VNA space suggest that Acuo is a viable archive option for those who do not want to rely solely on a PACS archive.

    “Image storage is a necessity, no matter what option is chosen,” said Ben Brown, imaging research director and author of the report. “As providers start to bring in more studies and the studies themselves increase in size, the need for storage will increase. In addition, as a provider explained, images will need to be managed as well as stored.”

    Of the providers interviewed by KLAS, twenty-seven percent indicate that a VNA would be central to their enterprise imaging strategy, which is selected more often by hospitals with more than 500 beds. Twenty-five percent of providers identify a PACS-centric archive strategy as the direction they plan to go. A PACS-centric archive was more popular among providers in facilities with fewer than 500 beds.

    Findings about Carestream, Cerner, Dell, DR Systems, EMC, McKesson, ScImage, Sectra, and Siemens are also included in the report.

    Other topics covered in the enterprise imaging perception research include imaging in the cloud, image enabling the EMR, and storage options. To learn more about the enterprise imaging market, the Enterprise Imaging 2012: Provider’s Strategies and Insights report is available to healthcare providers online for a significant discount. To purchase the report online, providers and vendors can visit www.KLASresearch.com/KLASreports. Providers can share their enterprise imaging experiences with KLAS by completing an evaluation online at www.KLASresearch.com/eval.

    About KLAS

    KLAS is a research firm specializing in monitoring and reporting the performance of healthcare vendors. KLAS’ mission is to improve healthcare delivery by independently measuring vendor performance for the benefit of our healthcare provider partners, consultants, investors, and vendors. Working together with executives from over 4,500 hospitals and 2,500 clinics, KLAS delivers timely reports, trends, and statistics, which provide a solid overview of vendor performance in the industry. KLAS measures performance of software, professional services, and medical equipment vendors. For more information, go to www.KLASresearch.com, email marketing@KLASresearch.com, or call 1-800-920-4109 to speak with a KLAS representative. Follow KLAS on Twitter at www.twitter.com/KLASresearch.

    Related posts:

    1. Mercy Selects Merge Healthcare’s iConnect(R) VNA as Foundation of Enterprise-Wide Imaging Strategy
    2. Lutheran HealthCare Selects Merge Healthcare for Enterprise-Wide Imaging Platform
    3. Merge Healthcare Demonstrates Enterprise Imaging and Solutions for Meaningful Use at RSNA

  • GOP resolution: Healthcare law violates Constitution for not originating in the House

    Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) and 10 other House Republicans introduced a resolution Thursday arguing that the 2010 healthcare law violates the Constitution because it is a revenue measure that did not originate in the House.

    The resolution, H.Res. 735, plays off the June 28 Supreme Court ruling that said the individual mandate to by health insurance cannot be justified under the Commerce Clause, but is “within Congress’s power to tax.”

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