Healthcare News November 27, 2012

  • OVERNIGHT HEALTH: IPAB on the table?

    House Republicans aren’t letting up in their insistence that parts of President Obama’s healthcare reform law need to be on the table during upcoming talks about the looming “fiscal cliff.”

    Majority Leader Eric Cantor said on Fox News that the law has to be on the chopping block, arguing that it’s “yet to be seen” whether Obama would agree to cuts in his signature domestic achievement. In fact, the White House has ruled out cuts to the Affordable Care Act.

    “If the president is serious about joining us and fixing the problem, he ought to be putting ObamaCare on the table,” Cantor said.

    He singled out the law’s Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), a cost-cutting panel tasked with slowing the growth in Medicare spending. The IPAB is a popular political target for Republicans, but repealing it would increase unsustainable Medicare spending and add to the deficit — making it an unlikely part of any agreement to cut the deficit.

    Courts get another crack at ACA: A federal appeals court can take another look at President Obama’s healthcare law, the Supreme Court said Monday. The justices said Liberty University can have a new hearing before the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, because the 4th Circuit tossed out the school’s lawsuit based on procedural grounds that the Supreme Court later said do not apply.

  • Study: Medicaid expansion is cheap for states

    Implementing the Medicaid expansion in President Obama’s healthcare law wouldn’t cost the states much money, according to a new report from the Kaiser Family Foundation.

    Republican governors are under enormous pressure not to expand their Medicaid programs, as conservatives look for any way to undermine the Affordable Care Act now that it has survived the Supreme Court as well as the 2012 election.

    Nearly every Republican governor has rejected the expansion, citing the additional costs to state governments that are still recovering from the recession. But according to the new Kaiser analysis, states’ additional costs would be small.

  • Supreme Court revives challenge to President Obama’s healthcare law

    The high court said a lower court can consider a challenge to the healthcare law’s individual mandate.

  • Huntington Memorial Hospital Selects iConnect(R) for Community-Wide Image Interoperability

    Solutions Provide Anywhere, Any Time Access to Images and Enterprise-Wide Image Archive

    CHICAGO, Nov. 19, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Merge Healthcare Incorporated (Nasdaq:MRGE), a leading provider of clinical systems and innovations that seek to transform healthcare, today announced that Huntington Memorial Hospital, a 625-bed, not-for-profit community-focused regional medical center, has selected Merge PACS™ and the entire iConnect® Enterprise Clinical Platform to image-enable both their hospital inpatient EHR as well as their community health information exchange, Huntington Health eConnect.

    “Our mission Right Care, Right Place, Right Time requires getting the right information in the right hands and on the right device including patient images,” explained Rebecca Armato, Executive Director, Physician and Interoperability Services at Huntington Hospital. “This is just another example of our continued investment to improve the health of our community and continues our vision of creating a connected, collaborative community of care by providing a consolidated, comprehensive view of patient care to their caregivers regardless of technology or EHR. Merge’s iConnect Enterprise Clinical Platform and Merge PACS solutions will act as the foundation for viewing images and will have a positive impact on patient care.”

    “The goal of our Imaging Department is to become a fully clinically integrated program with our community of providers. This system is one of the first of many steps that will help us to archive and we are very excited,” explained Donna Townsend, Executive Director Cardiovascular, Gastroenterology and Imaging Services, Huntington Hospital.

    “In addition, our enterprise-wide approach will ensure a seamless workflow and immediate access via a single viewer to all prior exams for our partners, The Hill Medical Corporation, where nineteen radiologists provide comprehensive outpatient radiology services in three state-of-the-art imaging centers,” Armato added.

    “Now that Meaningful Use Stage 2 rules include image-enabling the EHR as a menu set measure, leading organizations like Huntington Hospital are looking to quickly and easily image-enable their enterprises for compliance,” added Jeff Surges, CEO, Merge Healthcare. “Now the 2,000+ physicians and caregivers in the San Gabriel Valley who connect to Huntington Health eConnect will be able to access images regardless of EMR or technology they utilize.”

    Merge’s iConnect Enterprise Clinical Platform is the industry’s only comprehensive solution for collecting, archiving, viewing, sharing and exchanging any type of image, anywhere, any time. It includes iConnect® Access*, a zero-download DICOM image and XDS server, iConnect® Share, a gateway for image sharing across the enterprise and iConnect® Enterprise Archive, a vendor-neutral archive to create an enterprise imaging strategy. It works with existing applications, leveraging widely-used web and healthcare technology standards, to provide a vendor neutral interoperable environment.

    A recent InMedica study reported iConnect Enterprise Archive as the world’s #1 vendor-neutral archive. As the industry’s first true standalone vendor-neutral archive, it has been successfully integrated with over seventy-five PACS vendors and specialty workstations at over 350 sites across the United States. In over half of the implementations, Merge’s customers have integrated third-party PACS systems with iConnect Enterprise Archive.

    Merge PACS, a real-time picture archiving communication system, enhances clinical, operational and administrative functions with an approach that emphasizes workflow efficiency and customer satisfaction. Its modular design allows for easy integration with a broad range of third-party systems.

    *iConnect Access is not FDA-cleared for diagnostic use on mobile devices.

    About Merge Healthcare

    Merge is a leading provider of clinical systems and innovations that seek to transform healthcare.  Merge’s enterprise and cloud-based solutions for image intensive specialties provide access to any image, anywhere, any time. Merge also provides health stations, clinical trials software and other health data and analytics solutions that engage consumers in their personal health. With solutions that are used by providers and consumers and include more than 20 years of innovation, Merge is helping to reduce costs and improve the quality of healthcare worldwide. For more information, visit

    Related posts:

    1. Erie County Medical Center Selects iCONNECT(R) for Enterprise-Wide Image Interoperabilty
    2. Centracare Health System Selects Merge iConnect for Enterprise-Wide Image Interoperability
    3. Chicago’s Top Children’s Hospital Selects Merge Healthcare iConnect for Image Interoperability

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