VistA-Office EHR Software Arrives as Beta Version


After nearly two months of delay, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on Monday released the much-anticipated VistA-Office EHR, electronic health records software for physician offices based on an enterprise system developed by the Department of Veterans Affairs. But there is a catch.

The software made available this week is considered beta version 1.0. CMS will select a small number of physician practices -- likely between 10 and 20 -- to work with vendors to evaluate the system and develop a version that is compatible with future certification standards.

Establishing standards for EHR certification is among the first responsibilities of the American Health Information Community, recently chartered by the Department of Health and Human Services. (See http://www.bio-itworld.com/hitw/enews/new/06-14-2005_607.html.)

The Windows-based program is a scaled-back version of the Veterans Health Information Systems and Technology Architecture (VistA) EHR system long used in VA hospitals and clinics. In addition to EHR capability, the beta release contains some e-prescribing functions, but CMS says that additional vendor work is necessary before a physician can bypass a fax or printer and send signed electronic scripts directly to pharmacy systems.

VistA-Office does not contain payer formularies, though it does include medications tracked by the Doctor's Office Quality-Information Technology (DOQ-IT) program, plus about 100 other popular drugs. It does check for drug-drug interactions.

CMS is compiling a list of vendors that have met criteria to provide VistA-Office EHR installation and support. To date, only four vendors are on the qualified list -- Document Storage System, Executive Software Systems, Medsphere Systems, and VOE Solutions -- but CMS says that a fifth will be added soon at http://www.worldvista.org/vvso/qlist. Other details are contained in a 10-page, question-and-answer document posted at http://www.cms.hhs.gov/quality/VistAQsAs2.pdf. Interested practices should contact any of the vendors or visit http://www.vista-office.org/. The vendors will propose to CMS which sites should be chosen for the test.

Contrary to some published reports, the software is not free. CMS will charge about $36 to prepare and ship a copy of VistA-Office on CD. Users also will have to license the Caché database program from software developer InterSystems.

For an office with seven users, Caché costs about $1,600 in one-time licensing fees, as well as an estimated $900 per year for support services and $240 annually for software updates, according to CMS.Users also must license Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) code sets from the American Medical Association.
Click here to log in.

0 Comments

Add Comment

Text Only 2000 character limit

Page 1 of 1

White Papers & Special Reports

SGI and Intel
HPDA for Personalized Medicine
Sponsored by SGI and Intel


Sinequa
Turning Data Into Insight: Cognitive Search & Powerful Analytics for Life Sciences
Sponsored by Sinequa


Intel
Transforming Large Scale Genomics and Collaborative Research
Sponsored by Intel


Life Science Webcasts & Podcasts

medidata_podcast_Sites and Sponsors: Mending Bridges over Troubled Waters  
Sites and Sponsors: Mending Bridges over Troubled Waters
Sponsored by Medidata Solutions Worldwide

This podcast brings together two industry leaders to focus on the issues that divide sponsors and sites. On the one hand sites and sponsors unite in advancing better health care through a common passion for developing better drugs. Yet some issues divide them and bridges need to be built or mended to advance the highest levels of cooperation, coordination and success in clinical trials. Listen as the key issues are debated from the site and the sponsor side and new methods and technology are advanced that offer near-term and lasting solutions.

• Common ground in reaching agreement on a budget

• Improving the pace of agreement on budgets and contracts

• Processes for payment to sites on a timely basis

Listen Now  

More Podcasts

Job Openings

For reprints and/or copyright permission, please contact Angela Parsons, 781.972.5467.