Complimentary Webinar — An Impending Marriage: Electronic Health Records (EHRs) and Care Management Software


Webinar Title: An Impending Marriage: Electronic Health Records (EHRs) and Care Management Software

The presentation will be geared at practicing clinical case managers in health plans, hospitals, disease management companies, and similar organizations:

  • Describe market forces driving integration of EHRs and care management software. 
  • Review care management software survey data and stimulus funding for EHR adoption. 
  • Describe a 3 stage framework for the evolution of EHRs and care management software. 
  • Characterize benefits to patients and impacts on care manager responsibilities.

The event is sponsored by HealthSciences Institute and the PartnersinImprovement Alliance.


Friday, February 4, 2011
11:30 am Eastern Time
10:30 am Central Time
9:30 am Mountain Time
8:30 am Pacific Time

Your Presenters:

Vince Kuraitis JD, MBA
Better Health Technologies, LLC

Garry Carneal, JD, MA
Schooner Healthcare Services

More Information and Registration:  Click here.

MGH Medicare Disease/Care Management Demo Shows Home Run Results!

Medicare has (finally) recently released a report showing home run results for a disease/care management demonstration project!

Evaluation of Medicare Care Management for High Cost Beneficiaries (CMHCB) Demonstration: Massachusetts General Hospital and Massachusetts General Physicians Organization (MGH)

Remind Me Again About the CMHCB Medicare Demo…

The CMHCB started in 2005. My recollection is that the demo requirements were extremely similar to the Medicare Health Support (MHS) project, with a few exceptions: 1) Applicants had to include direct care providers (delivery systems, physicians) in their program design, 2) patient populations were significantly smaller than MHS.  Please comment on anything I’m missing.

I’ve included an addendum at the bottom providing more info about this little known and not widely discussed Medicare demo.

…and what was the MGH CMP project for the CMHCB?

The State-of-the-Art of Care Management Software: Disconnected


Care management software is intended to help patients make critical connections across the health care delivery system.  Today it’s used primarily by 3rd party care managers who are typically either employed directed or indirectly by payers. While not surprising, the state-of-the-art of care management software is that it continues to function as disconnected islands of information.

The  2010 Health Information Technology Survey (available at no charge) provides an insightful yet sobering snapshot of care management software. The study was sponsored by TCS Healthcare Technologies, the Case Management Society of America, and the American Board of Quality Assurance and Utilization Review Physicians.

The study consists of answers from 670 respondents who chose to fill out to a web based survey; most respondents are direct care managers. 

The results are further broken down by subcategories of care management:  case management, disease management, utilization management, nurse triage, independent review organization, pharmacy benefits management, and behavioral health.  Variability among these subcategories should be considered directional given that the respondents are self-selected. The study doesn’t portend to be methodological rigorous, yet it’s a tremendously useful glimpse into the realities of care managers and the software they use.

Here are some key conclusions (mine) based on findings shown in Table 5A.  The numbers reflect the percentage of care manager respondents who indicated that their software provided specific capabilities.

“Disease Management” RIP

The Care Continuum Alliance has mercifully and wisely rebranded it’s name and eliminated the initials “DMAA”. See its press release: Care Continuum Alliance Launches New Brand for Population Health Improvement. (As a reminder, DMAA originally stood for Disease Management Association of America.)

I for one say “hurrah, and good riddance”.

Where Did the Term “Disease Management” (DM) Trip Up?

Megatrend Spotting: Health Plan Role of Having “Best Data About YOUR Medical Conditions” is Up for Grabs

Who has the most comprehensive data about YOUR clinical conditions?

For most people, the answer today is “your health plan”, but it’s not at all clear that health plans will continue to have this role in the future.

As physicians and hospitals adopt EHRs, it’s foreseeable that clinical data about patients will be far more available and accessible.

Will patient data become:

  • A jockeying point for control and business advantage between health plans and care providers,
  • A collaborative opportunity to optimize clinical care and care coordination, or
  • Both?

Overview: Here Come Stages 2 and 3 of HITECH!


We’ve spent the past year creating the MU (meaningful use) requirements for Stage 1 of the HITECH act.  As shown by the diagram above, Stage 1 focuses on Data Capture and Sharing. Now it’s time to begin to focus on Stage 2 (Advanced Clinical Processes) and Stage 3 (Improved Outcomes).

The current generation of EMRs (electronic medical records) were designed primarily to assist care providers with clinical documentation, billing, and maximizing revenues. They were not designed to enable care coordination and optimize population health.  

This essay is the first in a new, ongoing series that will highlight:

  • Design and metrics for Stages 2 and 3 of the HITECH act
  • Companies and care providers developing and using applications targeting Stage 2 and 3 MU objectives

This first essay will provide an overview of what we’ve seen in Stage 1 and what we might expect in Stages 2 and 3.


The Emerging Market in Health Care Innovation
Tilman Ehrbeck, Nicolaus Henke, and Thomas Kibasi
McKinsey Quarterly May 2010
McKinsey conducted research in partnership with the World Economic Forum to study the most promising novel forms of health care delivery and, in particular, to understand how these innovations changed its economics.

The Delineation of Home Healthcare: The Natural Evolution of a Healthy Industry
Wyatt Matas & Associates (investment bankers), April 2010
This whitepaper discusses the opportunity for home healthcare to become the center of chronic care disease management and identifies a particular business model that some more advanced companies are implementing.

EHR Software Market Share Analysis
Chris Thorman
Software Advice; May 14, 2010
A substantive analysis of a tricky market – physician EHRs.

Disease Management: Does it Work?
Jill Bernstein, Deborah Chollet, and G. Gregory Peterson
Mathematica Issue Brief; May 17, 2010
Mathematica revisits a debate that’s raged for over a decade:

  • Not yet consensus that DM works
  • Relatively effective disease management programs have some characteristics in common:
    • They use individualized case management.
    • They contact patients in person, not just by phone.
    • They focus on hospital discharges as key opportunities to improve health outcomes.
    • They encourage patients to use effective treatments by reducing cost-sharing for these treatments.

Is HITECH Working? #6: HITECH and Health Reform Objectives are Synergistic

by Vince Kuraitis JD, MBA and David C. Kibbe MD, MBA


….or to be more specific, HITECH is synergistic with payment reform that could come from the recently passed national health care reform legislation — the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).

We’ll keep this post fairly short and try to avoid many of the more divisive aspects of this topic. The need for healthcare payment reform is well understood on both sides of the aisle:

Realizing the full potential of health IT depends in no small measure on changing the health care system’s overall payment incentives so that providers benefit from improving the quality and efficiency of the services they provide. Only then will they be motivated to take full advantage of the power of electronic health records. Dr. David Blumenthal,  New England Journal of Medicine, April 9, 2009

CMS Shelves Medicare Medical Home Demonstration

I just received an email from CMS announcing the latest official word on the Medicare Medical Home Demonstration (MMHD):

10/26/2009 – In Washington, the efforts to reform health care and health insurance include proposed legislative language that would have an impact on the Medicare Medical Home Demonstration as described in section 204 of the Tax Relief and Health Care Act of 2006 and amended by section 133 of the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act of 2008. Specifically, section 1302 of House Bill 3200 contains a provision to repeal this demonstration and replace it with an independent practitioner-based medical home pilot described further in the bill. In addition, the House bill includes a second medical home pilot to evaluate community-based medical home models.

At this time, CMS believes it would be impractical to pursue clearance of the Medicare Medical Home Demonstration, which has been under review at the Office of Management and Budget, given the pending legislation that would repeal it and replace it with a similar pilot. CMS is moving forward with an Administration-initiated demonstration announced by Secretary Sebelius on September 16, 2009, whereby Medicare would partner with existing multi-payer medical home pilots to improve the delivery of care. This demonstration, titled the Multi-Payer Advanced Primary Care Practice Demonstration, would be implemented in 2010.

What does this mean? As one who has followed the MMHD closely, here are some of my top-of-mind reactions: