CIGNA HealthCare will expand its four-state pilot program nationally in 2008 to provide increased access to secure online messaging that enables “virtual house calls” with physicians. These services include reimbursable webVisit consultations that use an online, structured interview format to communicate member symptoms to the physician, who can respond online, by phone, or if necessary, request an in-office visit. “Virtual house calls” benefit members by offering a more convenient and affordable way to contact physicians for non-urgent, routine health issues. CIGNA HealthCare is offering the expanded RelayHealth program to employers with self-insured health plans. In addition to webVisit consultations, a broad suite of physician efficiency services will be available.
The National Alliance for Health Information Technology is organizing two public forums to gather comments in a push to encourage widespread industry participation in a project in which the Office of the National Coordinator will define key health information technology terms. The public forums will play a vital role in the process of developing consensus-based definitions for electronic health record, electronic medical record, personal health record, health information exchange and regional health information network. The first public forum will be held in Washington, D.C., on January 16, 2008, from 9:00 am – 12:00 p.m., Eastern Time, at Washington Hospital, National Rehabilitation Center Auditorium. More information about the forum as well as the registration form for participants can be found at http://definitions.nahit.org/forums.php. There is no registration fee associated with this event.
Allscripts released HealthMatics ED 6.0, an updated edition of HealthMatics 5.0. HealthMatics 6.0 showcases six key features that will continue to help Emergency Departments (ED) improve the bottom line through automated and streamlined care processes. Among the updated features of HealthMatics 6.0 are Pre-Arrival Patient Documentation, which allows care providers to capture documentation of care provided to inbound EMS patients that can then be merged directly into the patient record for arrival to the ED, and the ED Operations Monitor, which allows for real-time monitoring of key performance indicators, such as door-to-triage time, as well as the elapsed time of a patient’s arrival to other levels of care and treatment.
ActiveHealth Management is offering real-time personalized clinical alerts to users of the ActivePHR program, ActiveHealth's intelligent and interactive personal health record (PHR). ActivePHR is powered by CareEngine System, ActiveHealth's patented, evidence-based clinical decision support technology that immediately processes new member-entered data an informs members about actionable opportunities to improve their health. ActivePHR provides members with an evolving, comprehensive picture of their health. It comes prepopulated with data generated from members’ experiences with the health system. Each time members visit a doctor, fill a prescription or get a lab test, information is automatically added to their PHR.
Royal Philips Electronics and Respironics Inc. announced a definitive merger agreement pursuant to which Philips will commence a tender offer to acquire all of the outstanding shares of Respironics for USD 66 per share, or a total purchase price of approximately EUR 3.6 billion (USD 5.1 billion) to be paid in cash upon completion. This transaction will place Philips in the fast-growing home healthcare market by adding new product categories in obstructive sleep apnea and home respiratory care to its existing businesses in this field. In addition, this acquisition will be highly complementary to Philips’ patient monitoring businesses in the hospital setting. The board of directors of Respironics has unanimously approved the transaction and recommends the offer to their shareholders. The tender offer is expected to commence by January 8, 2008 and is not subject to any financing contingency.
Aetna and RelayHealth announced that Aetna has significantly expanded the reach of its online communications services. Members and physicians, now including physicians in more than 30 medical specialty categories, participating in most of Aetna’s medical plans nationwide, will have access to RelayHealth’s webVisit consultations. These clinically structured online interviews offer patients a convenient, affordable and efficient way to report non-urgent symptoms. Physicians, in turn, can deliver timely, informed responses. This marks the latest development in Aetna’s plans to broaden the accessibility of reimbursable online consultations and other secure messaging services through RelayHealth’s intelligent network. These services include appointment requests, referrals, lab and test results, and prescriptions and medication refills.
Eclipsys Corp. has sold its Clinical Practice Model Resource Center (CPM Resource Center, or CPMRC) business to Elsevier as part of its strategy to expand and enhance content integration in Sunrise Knowledge-Based Charting and its other Sunrise Clinical Manager integrated solutions. Headquartered in Grand Rapids, Michigan, CPM Resource Center is a provider of evidence-based clinical content and professional services designed to help transform healthcare. The transaction is effective immediately. Elsevier, based in The Netherlands, is a world-leading publisher of scientific, technical and health information products and services. The sale to Elsevier enables Eclipsys to focus on expanding the integration of multiple sources of different kinds of content into its solutions, while letting publishers such as Elsevier leverage their expertise in researching, maintaining and distributing the content.
TeraMedica Healthcare Technology will enter into a hardware reseller agreement with Dell Inc. TeraMedica's Evercore solution, integrated with the Dell Healthcare Hardware Technology portfolio of products, allows physicians and patients alike, to instantly access medical images such as X-rays and MRI scans or Cardiology exams, as well as other types of clinical digital content such as electronic reports, from one pane of glass. This joint solution allows caregivers and patients timely access to relevant patient information, ultimately helping improve patient safety and care while increasing efficiency and reducing costs.
A provider of application-specific CAD for MRI, Confirma has expanded its partnership with GE Healthcare to offer Confirma service to GE Healthcare customers with CADstream. Under the new agreement, Confirma will offer program consultation, experienced applications training, customizable educational courses, and marketing and reimbursement consultation to GE Healthcare customers with CADstream, the standard in CAD for breast MRI. Under the agreement, GE Healthcare will continue to distribute CADstream to its MRI customers while Confirma will install, train and support CADstream. Currently, over 200 CADstream systems have been installed at GE Healthcare customer sites worldwide.
Spring Medical Systems announced the launch of the SpringCharts Certified Interface Partner program (CIP). SpringCharts CIP is designed to deliver complete medical office technology solutions comprised of an integrated best-of-breed electronic health record (EHR) and practice management system (PMS). These tightly integrated and cost-effective EHR/PMS solutions provide better functionality than all-in-one EHR/PMS systems, which typically include one strong product and a weaker add-on. To deliver SpringCharts CIP solutions, Spring Medical Systems is forming strategic partnerships with proven practice management software developers such as Nuesoft Technologies. Through these agreements, Spring Medical Systems’ EHR application, SpringCharts, will be integrated with high quality PMS systems backed by companies known for providing superior customer support and services.
DR Systems’ Unity PACS has been recognized as the leading PACS vendor by the KLAS rating service in its 2007 Community Hospital PACS Report. The company was rated ahead of all other PACS providers including GE Medical Systems, McKesson, Siemens, Carestream and Philips. KLAS also rated DR Systems as the highest scoring vendor across all healthcare informatics categories in the 2006 "Top 20: 2006 Best in KLAS report." For the second year in a row, DR Systems was rated the “PACS Category Leader” in the KLAS “Top 20: 2007 Mid-Year Report.” For more information about KLAS or any of the KLAS reports mentioned, visit the KLAS website at http://www.healthcomputing.com.