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E-CareManagement News

March 28, 2002

GE BUYS E-HEALTH CAPABILITIES AT YARD SALE PRICES

Hardly anyone seems to have noticed, but General Electric has just completed its purchase of MedicaLogic (formerly Medscape), an eHealth medical record company.

"It's a strategically important acquisition for us, said Greg Lucier, President and CEO of GE Medical Systems Information Technologies. "Our expansion into the ambulatory setting is a `first' for GE, and because more patients experience care in this setting than any other in healthcare, it's really an opportunity for us to make a major transformation in the healthcare industry."

So? What is General Electric up to?

Let's connect the dots.

...remember that readers of Fortune Magazine voted GE the #1 most admired company in the US? Again! This company knows how to execute. 

Remember former CEO Jack Welch's adage that GE should not participate in a market unless it can be the number 1 or 2 company? 

...draw your own conclusions.

Is the purchase of MedicaLogic a good move for GE? YES!!

  • What timing! They waited until the hype about eHealth has passed, yet are early enough to reap the long-term rewards.

  • It positions GE for the future. Over the past 50 years the center of the health care universe has revolved around the hospital and physician's office. The arrival of telehealth, wireless, and handheld technologies point to an imminent shift. The center of the health care universe is about to become the patient's home, or even "wherever the patient happens to be."

  • It is highly complementary to GE's emphasis on developing health care work flow automation software across the continuum of care.

  • It rounds out GE's abilities to compete more directly in the health care information technology and personal health record markets.

  • What a bargain! 

  • In short, it continues to position GE as the closest thing yet to a gorilla in health care!

  • Read More: 

    "Why is GE Buying MedicaLogic?"
    technology in practice, March 2002

    GE Press Release

    CONFERENCE -- DISEASE MANAGEMENT CONTRACTING & PARTNERSHIPS

    A Must-Attend Networking Event!

    DISEASE MANAGEMENT CONTRACTING & PARTNERSHIPS
    May 23-24, 2002 -- Omni Parker House -- Boston, Massachusetts 
    A two-day event focusing on optimizing disease management clinical and economic outcomes through strategic partnerships and alliances. The Original Symposium that unites health plans, employers, providers, unions and state Medicaid programs.

    Featuring, hands-on case studies of best practice industry achievements. 
    REGISTER NOW for 25% DISCOUNT! Contact Maria Cianflone Phone: 312.780.0700 ext.175 mcianflone@acius.net

    CGE&Y REPORTS ON TOP 10 BUSINESS ISSUES AND PAYOR WEB SITE EVOLUTION

    "Health Care's Top Ten Business Issues for 2002"
    Cap Gemini Ernst & Young (CGE&Y), February 2002
    (free registration required)

    The Top 10 issues:

    1) Disaster preparedness -- ensuring business continuity after 9/11

    2) Controlling health costs -- sharing the burden

    3) Redefining "not-for-profit" -- surviving in a soft economy

    4) HIPAA compliance delivers ROI -- finding the silver lining in the red tape

    5) IT outsourcing - a strategic asset

    6) Privacy and electronic medical records -- protecting patient rights in the new age of information

    7) Outcomes management -- the next generation of disease management
    ...Many of the "old world" techniques of disease management -- utilization review, referral management, case management, and network design and contracting, for example -- have not yielded the predicted results. ...health providers and patients are finding new ways to work together to improve health outcomes through outcomes-focused medical management. This approach focuses on reducing not only administrative costs but on the actual cost of delivering care.

    8) Drug production and the FDA -- ensuring the integrity of the manufacturing process

    9) Drug companies take a consumer-first approach -- using CRM techniques for a competitive edge

    10) Medical error reduction -- automating for patient safety

     

    "How Health Plans are Using the Internet to Reach Customers: A Survey of Payor Web Sites"
    Cap Gemini Ernst & Young, March 2002

    Key Themes:

    1) Strategically, payors view their Web sites as a core part of their business.

    2) Payors have increased their online capabilities and level of interaction.

    3) Payors are using their Web sites to enhance administrative efficiency, rather than develop new markets.

    4) Most payors have not integrated their online and legacy systems, and as a result have yet to achieve significant savings from eCommerce.

    5) HIPAA compliance is viewed as a longer-term Web initiative.

    RAND ASKS IMPORTANT QUESTIONS ABOUT HEALTH CARE CONSUMERISM -- "IS ANYONE ACTUALLY PAYING ATTENTION?"

    "Report Cards for Health Care -- Is Anyone Checking Them?"
    RAND Health, March 2002

    This issue brief discusses:

  • How information for report cards is gathered and organized; 

  • Who uses them and who does not; 

  • Why people don't use report cards; and 

  • What might be done to make them more user friendly?

  • TELEHEALTH EVALUATION -- "SHOW ME THE EVIDENCE"

    "Research on Telehealth and Chronic Medical Conditions: Critical Review, Key Issues, and Future Directions "
    Rehabilitation Psychology, February 2002

    Conclusions: The number of controlled trials examining telecommunication-based interventions for those with chronic disabilities remains small. Future research should endeavor to increase sample size, use conceptually meaningful control groups, focus on cost utility, and investigate which types of telecommunication-based interventions provide the best match with specific populations.

    THEME ISSUE - TRUSTING HEALTH INFORMATION ON THE INTERNET

    British Medical Journal; March 9, 2002 

    Articles and editorials address a range of topics:

  • Unvalidated tools to rate web health information are proliferating

  • Internet users say and do different things about quality 

  • Popular breast cancer websites not necessarily of higher quality 

  • Apparently credible websites may be inaccurate 

  • Quality of health information on the internet has improved 

  • Consumers should be encouraged to search critically 

  • Internet law is muddling along

  • UPDATES ON MEDICARE PILOT PROJECTS IN DISEASE MANAGEMENT

    "Medicare -- Disease Management for the Masses"
    Health Leaders, March 2002

    "Demonstration Project for Disease Management for Severely Chronically Ill Medicare Beneficiaries"
    Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)

    "CMS Seeks A Few Brave Firms to Test Treacherous Waters"
    Modern Healthcare; March 4, 2002

    MANAGING HEALTH COSTS REMAINS A TOP EMPLOYER PRIORITY

    "Health Costs Top Benefits Specialists' Concerns -- Again!"
    Deloitte & Touche
    Human Capital I.Q., March 2002

    For the third year in a row, controlling health care costs is the top concern of employee benefits specialists.

     

    New Rules for Managing Health Costs: Highlights from the Seventh Annual WBGH/Watson Wyatt Survey

    There are four key findings from this year's survey:
    1) Health care has become a total business issue. ...It is also forcing company management at the highest levels to come to grips with the fact that the very survival of their firms is at stake

    2) No single solution will fix the problem. ...companies are adopting a wide variety of leading-edge strategies, including consumerism, purchasing disease management programs separate from a health plan and use of clinical risk adjustment in plan selection and pricing. They are also increasingly bringing the business discipline of using Return on Investment (ROI) analysis to drive decisions.

    3) Employers need to get employees more involved in their health care needs and costs.

    4) To successfully manage costs, companies need to apply the same business discipline they apply in their core business functions.

    ARTICLES QUOTING BHT PRINCIPALS

    "Making Disease Management Work: Selecting Appropriate Illnesses to Cover and Encouraging Participation Can Boost ROI"
    HR Magazine, January 2002

    "Aligning Forces: Evolution of Disease Management for the 21st Century"
    Minnesota Physician, January 2002

    "Technology Enhances DM Tools"
    HR Magazine, January 2002

    IMPORTANT PERSPECTIVES FROM CHCS

    "Are Incentives Effective in Improving the Performance of Managed Care Plans?"
    Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS), March 2002 

    "Overcoming Financial Barriers to Improving Asthma Care for Children"
    Center for Health Care Strategies, March 2002

    Disclosure -- No clients were mentioned this issue.



    E-CareManagement News is an e-newsletter that tracks a major change in health care and managed care—the paradigm shift from “managing cost” to “managing care”.  This e-newsletter is brought to you by Better Health Technologies, LLC (http://www.bhtinfo.com).  BHT provides consulting and business development services relating to disease management, demand management, and patient health information technologies.

    You may copy, reprint or forward this newsletter to friends, colleagues or customers, as long as the use is not for resale or profit and the following copyright notice is included intact. Copyright © 2002, Better Health Technologies, LLC. All rights reserved.


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