People in the News

June 24, 2011
Uncommon Man — James Mongan Joins the Board Health policy expert James Mongan, M.D., has been named to the New York-based Commonwealth Fund board

Uncommon Man — James Mongan Joins the Board

Health policy expert James Mongan, M.D., has been named to the New York-based Commonwealth Fund board of directors.

Mongan is president and CEO of Partners HealthCare in Boston, a teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School and an integrated health system founded in 1994 by Brigham and Women's Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital. In addition to its two academic medical centers, the Partners system includes community and specialty hospitals, community health centers and a physician network, as well as home health and long-term-care services.

A professor of healthcare policy and a professor of social medicine at Harvard Medical School, Mongan also serves as chairman of the Commonwealth Fund's Commission on a High Performance Health System.

From 1996 to 2002, Mongan was president of the largest and oldest teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts General Hospital. Before his tenure at MGH, Mongan was executive director of the Truman Medical Center in Kansas City for 15 years.

Roll Out the Carpet for Robie

Matt Robie has been named executive director for Valley Baptist Health Plans (VBHP), Harlingen, Texas.

VBHP is an affiliate of Schaller Anderson, Incorporated (SAI) of Phoenix, which administers physical and behavioral healthcare for Medicaid, Medicare, commercial and employer self-funded plans. Robie was previously director of operations for Schaller Anderson Healthcare. Founded in 1997, VBHP is a locally owned and operated HMO with a network of more than 900 physicians, thousands of caregivers and seven hospitals in the Lower Rio Grande Valley.

From Chair to Chair

Rick Reeves of Mobile, Ala.-based CPSI is going from senior clinical manager to vice chair of the Chicago-based HIMSS Electronic Health Record Vendors' Association (EHRVA) Government Relations Work Group.

In his new position, Reeves will participate in the Health Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Government Round Table meetings as a liaison for the EHRVA and HIMSS. Reeves is a member of the Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology Inpatient Functionality Work Group.


Dennis O'Leary, president and CEO of the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, says he will retire from his position at the end of 2007.

Under his leadership, the Joint Commission has transformed its accreditation process to focus on organization performance in the provision of patient care. This transformation has set the stage for the introduction of care-related outcomes and process measures, as well as national patient safety goals, into the accreditation process.

Prior to joining the Joint Commission, O'Leary served as dean for Clinical Affairs at the George Washington University Medical Center in Washington, D.C., and vice president of the George Washington University Health Plan.

DM Experts Ponder Path Ahead

Disease management, as an industry, has come a long way, but not nearly as far as it needs to, according to experts presenting at the 3rd Annual Disease Management Colloquium held in Philadelphia in May.

Plenary presenters at the event, which was sponsored by the Department of Health Policy, Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, focused on two assessments of the industry. One, the healthcare delivery system as we know it is fundamentally flawed and needs reevaluation. Second, the disease management industry segment is little better.

“We are as unprepared in disease management as New Orleans was for Katrina,” says William Popik, M.D., president-elect of the Disease Management Association of America, Hartford, Conn., and former chief medical officer of Aetna Inc., also headquartered in Hartford.

Disease management has followed the classic definition of disruptive technology by flying under the radar, Popik said, but even today disease management revenues are small compared with other revenue streams. This may explain why it's as freely defined and structured as it is. However, “As consumers have increased financial responsibilities, they will have increased expectations — and this is a huge challenge,” he added.

Monitoring Markets on the Move

Demand for patient-monitoring systems in the United States is estimated to increase 5.4 percent annually to $9.1 billion in 2010, as advances in wireless and sensor technologies support fast-expanding product lines.

With the potential to improve therapeutic outcomes and care-delivery efficiencies, patient-monitoring procedures are also expected to increase across the healthcare market. Also growing is the market for self-monitoring devices for chronic-care patients, especially those with diabetes and heart disorders.

These and other trends are presented in “Patient Monitoring Systems,” a new study from The Freedonia Group, Inc., a Cleveland-based industry market research firm.

Also expected to increase as much as 7 percent annually through 2010 is demand for patient-monitoring accessories. Diabetic-monitoring supplies, electrodes and sensors and catheters will lead the growth, the study says. The group estimates the market for patient-monitoring equipment will increase 3 percent annually through 2010.

Taking AIIM the Second Time Around

Geisinger Health System of Danville, Pa., has received its second Best Practices Award from the Enterprise Content Management Association. Geisinger was previously recognized for its digital patient data asset-capturing system, powered by Austin, Texas-based Vignette.

“Vignette's Imaging and Workflow solution has enabled us to significantly streamline the process for handling patient data,” says Frank Richards, Geisinger Health System CIO. “The ability to manage patient information through its complete lifecycle — from inputting data into an electronic medical record to claims processing — allows us to remain HIPAA-compliant while providing the best possible care for our patients.”

Opening the Gate

Gateway EDI has received the Maryland Health Care Commission Certification (MHCC). Based on standards developed by the Electronic Health Network Accreditation Commission (EHNAC), the two-year certification is part of a Maryland law mandating that healthcare insurance companies accept electronic transactions from only accredited networks.

Snow Falls on Lumetra

L. Allison Snow, MHA, has joined Lumetra as vice president for quality and performance improvement.

In her new role, Snow will lead Lumetra's business unit responsible for providing strategic quality-improvement consulting to California's nursing homes, physician offices, hospitals, and home health agencies.

Prior to joining Lumetra — California's non-profit Medicare Quality Improvement Organization — Snow was the California regional director for clinical quality improvement and clinical process improvement at Tenet Healthcare. At Tenet, she was responsible for the strategic direction, development, implementation, and results for clinical, quality, utilization, and operational services and staff for 20 acute healthcare systems.

Snow's background includes experience as a biotechnology and healthcare consultant with Andersen, LLP and in various roles at VHA including, most recently, as vice president of performance improvement.

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