Is it the thin air or the impending stimulus dollars that's making people so happy?

Aug. 16, 2011
Denver is a great city — I’ve become a big fan in the past few days. This city is designed to enable people to walk or bike from place to place, and

Denver is a great city — I’ve become a big fan in the past few days. This city is designed to enable people to walk or bike from place to place, and is filled with great restaurants and friendly people.

But the vendors at MGMA seem just a little too happy. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for optimism, but the “Get out your umbrellas — it’s going to rain money!” vibe I get from some of the exhibitors is a bit much. Providers, wisely, are a little more cautious, and seem to be taking all pitches and promises with a giant grain of salt.

Anyway, here are some of the interesting things I’ve heard today:

· Both NextGen and Allscripts are jumping on board the smartphone train. NextGen is working on a mobile application, as they’ve seen “a huge uptick in interest,” and Allscripts, which already has an iPhone application, is launching a BlackBerry solution in a few weeks that will enable e-prescribing as well as EMR access.

· Allscripts recently made big waves with $400 million contract to implement EHRs at North Shore-LIJ Health System and its community providers. As part of the deal, the 14-hospital system is subsidizing up to 85% of EHR costs for 1,200 ambulatory providers and 7,000 affiliated physicians, it says. The company is sending a team of employees to New York as part of an outreach effort to educate potential users, according to Stephanie Kowalski, who says it hopes to have 400 practices up and running in three years.

· Tom Cooke of Eclipsys says the contract could have huge implications for Stark (“it’s fueling the fires that some people thought were out”), and says the tactic Allscripts is using in reaching out to the community could pay off quite well.

· Eclipsys, says Cooke, is putting serious energy into the medical home, an idea that some experts believe is poised for significant growth in the years ahead. But, as he points out, when it comes to the medical home concept, providers “don’t dip their toes into the pool, they dive right in, because it changes the paradigm of how you get paid.”

And that, as well all know, is the name of the game.

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