Webinar: Beacon Communities Reshaping Landscape for HIT and Population Health

Tuesday, Oct. 26, 1-2 p.m. Eastern Time — Presented by the Care Continuum Alliance

Federally supported “Beacon Communities” are at work now defining how health information technology will support accountable, evidence-based care in communities – especially for care of chronic conditions. Backed by $235 million in federal grants, 15 communities across the country are serving as Beacon Community pilots for eventual wide-scale, performance-based use of technology to improve our health care delivery system.

The goal of the webinar is to address

  • The fundamental nature and vision of the Beacon Community Program
  • How the Beacon Program will influence nationwide delivery system reform and be a guide-path toward developing community infrastructures
  • Other implications for the future of healthcare delivery

Why You Need to Know About Beacon Communities

“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?

Digital Medical Office of the Future Conference. Las Vegas, Sept. 9-10


Healthcare providers face critical choices in selecting and implementing Electronic Health Records (EHRs). In addition, physicians and hospitals will need to develop the capacity to exchange clinical information in order to meet Meaningful Use requirements. This program will offer detailed and practical information on EHR selection and implementation, as well as strategies for creating a sustainable health information exchange (HIE). The program also features sessions on legal/regulatory issues, clinical platforms and applications as well as strategies for optimizing workflow in order to accelerate clinical transformation.

Distinguished Speakers Include:

Steve Adams, Executive Vice President, Collaborative Care, Alere & President, Clinical Groupware Collaborative
Mark R. Anderson, FHIMSS, CPHIMS, CEO & Healthcare IT Futurist, AC Group, Inc.
Beverly Bell, RN, MHA, CPHIMS, FHIMSS, Partner, Clinical Implementation Practice Director, CSC Healthcare Group
Soma Bulusu, MS, CIO, Marin General Hospital
Proteus Duxbury, Managing Consultant, PA Consulting Group
Andrew Ganti, MSIE, Principal, Workflow IT Solutions
Kennedy Ganti, MD, Virtua Lumberton Family Physicians & Chair, New Jersey Health Information Technology Commission
Arthur Gasch, Founder, Medical Strategic Planning, Inc. & Author of Successfully Choosing Your EMR: 15 Crucial Decisions (Wiley Press)
David C. Kibbe, MD MBA, Senior Advisor, American Academy of Family Physicians & Principal, The Kibbe Group LLC
Vince Kuraitis, JD, MBA, Principal, Better Health Technologies, LLC
Arien Malec, Coordinator, NHIN Direct, Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology
Debbie Newman, MBA, CPHIMS, Director of Process Improvement, Licking Memorial Health Systems
Gordon Norman, MD, MBA, EVP & Chief Innovation Officer, Alere
Keith Parker, Regional Extension Center, Nevada
Deborah Smith, PhD, Chief Strategic Planning and Quality Officer, Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium
Carlos Vigil, DO, Internal Medicine Physician & CEO, United Hospitalist Group

Platinum Sponsor: Ingenix
Silver Sponsors: AC Group, Inc., Medical Strategic Planning, Inc., NextGen Healthcare
Bronze Sponsors: Cerner Ambulatory, EHS


For additional information, please contact TCBI:
Ph: 310-265-2570               Email: info@tcbi.org

HITECH Health IT Legislation: Opportunities for the DMAA Community

Dr. Don Storey and I spoke at the at The Forum 09 conference in San Diego earlier this week. The DMAA publication “The Continuum” had an excellent writeup of our enthusiastically received presentation. 

Here’s a copy of our PowerPoint slides…

View more presentations from vincek.

and here’s DMAA’s writeup:

Helping physicians and hospitals meet the “meaningful use” criteria for federal support for health information technology under recently passed legislation represents a keen opportunity for the population health management industry, presenters at this session said yesterday.

Vince Kuraitis, JD, MBA, of Better Health Technologies, LLC, and Don Storey, MD, of RMD Networks, presented a look at the evolution of HIT and the electronic medical records systems from a strongly proprietary model with little interoperability to new model of integrated, modular applications from various vendors sharing common languages and platforms.

Meeting Announcement: “Introduction to the Clinical Groupware Collaborative”

by Steve Adams, CEO, RMD Networks and Acting President, Clinical Groupware Collaborative  


I’m writing to extend a warm personal invitation to learn more about the Clinical Groupware Collaborative (CGC).  To-date, purely through word-of-mouth over 40 companies have expressed interest in the CGC, and we expect that you’ll be hearing a lot more about us over the coming months.

Our meeting will take place next Tuesday, September 22, 6 PM in conjunction with The Forum 09, the annual meeting of DMAA: The Care Continuum Alliance.  More details are provided at the bottom of this post.

I’ll address a few questions that might be on your mind.

Q. What is Clinical Groupware? 

Medicare Health Support: 8 Takeaways on Building Better Bridges

by Thomas Wilson, PhD, DrPH and Vince Kuraitis


What’s the right metaphor for Medicare Health Support (MHS), CMS’ major experiment with disease management for Medicare beneficiaries?  We prefer to look it as a bridge failure that presents an opportunity to improve future engineering and design.

We’ve now had the time to read, reread, and reread again the very recent report from Research Triangle Institute (RTI) — Evaluation of Phase I of the Medicare Health Support Pilot Program Under Traditional Fee-for-Service Medicare: 18-Month Interim Analysis .  Here’s a listing of our 8 key takeaway points:

  1. There’s Sufficient Evidence to Conclude "MHS Didn’t Work As Expected"
  2. Some Quality Measures in MHS Improved, Yet Outcomes Didn’t. Why?
  3. MHS Suffered Execution Nightmares
  4. Ronald Reagan Was Right — “Trust, But Verify”
  5. MHS Has Implications for the Medicare Medical Home Demo (MMHD)
  6. Be Wary of Claims from Pre-Post Studies
  7. Differences Between Medicare and Commercial DM are Dramatic
  8. The Guaranteed Savings Model is a Two Edged Sword

Let’s examine these at these one at a time.

CMS Releases 2nd Report on Medicare Health Support

by Vince Kuraitis and Thomas Wilson, PhD, DrPH

CMS has just released the 2nd Report to Congress evaluating the Medicare Health Support (MHS) program. MHS is Medicare’s most visible and significant demo focusing on chronic disease management.

We’ve been poring over the report and will provide more detailed analysis and implications later this week. This 2nd Report to Congress covers 18 months of data on this 3 year project. It provides far more details and substantiation than RTI’s first report, which only covered 6 months data.

However, there’s nothing in here to change our January 2008 conclusion:  The rumors of MHS’s death have NOT been greatly exaggerated.

Here are the five key findings:

Disruption in the Neighborhood? The PCs Build the Medical Home.

Gladys4 There’s a new house being built in the vacant lot across the street.  It’s the medical home, and it is going to be occupied by several primary care physician families (PCs).

From what’s been said, the PCs are nice folks and will make good neighbors.  They’re friendly, many are Episcopalian, they like white picket fences, and they have barbeques on Sunday afternoons. The neighborhood they’re coming from is not as well off nor as pristine — they’re said to be suffering from urban flight.

The current neighborhood residents are generally quite well off.  They include the Employers, the Hospitals, the Health Plans, the Specialists, and the Disease Management clan.

The long-timers in the neighborhood are aware that parts of the world are not so well off and suffer from spiraling health care costs, inconsistent quality, and frustrated patients who don’t get coordinated care — but they don’t rock the boat too much because the system has generally been good to them.

Here’s the scene: this afternoon the Employers sponsored a pot-luck dinner to welcome the PCs to the neighborhood.  It was a festive event. The party’s over and everyone has gone back to their own houses.

What do the neighbors say about the PCs when they get back to the comfort of their own homes? Let’s listen in on a few discussions.

Attend the Best DM/Population Health Conference of the Year!

The Forum 08, Sept. 7-8, Hollywood, Fla. Integrated Care Summit, Sept. 8-10, Hollywood, Fla.

In a little less than three weeks, DMAA: The Care Continuum Alliance will open its 10th annual meeting , in Hollywood, Fla. – a notable milestone for an organization that has evolved with its membership over the past decade.

I’ll be there, presenting with Dr. Victor Villagra on the "March toward Data Interoperability" and the outlook for disease management.

The content this year promises to be among the best yet, with a new track on the medical home and a keynote on population health and the medical home by American Academy of Family Physicians leader Bruce Bagley, MD, and Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative Chair Paul Grundy, MD.

Other tracks include innovations in care, HIT, engagement and behavior change and public-sector programs. You’ll also get an outlook on the November elections and the implications for health care reform from former U.S. Sen. John Breaux, political analyst Charlie Cook and health policy expert Ken Thorpe, PhD.

The Forum site has all the details and information on discounts still available for members of DMAA and partner organizations, including the Case Management Society of America, the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors and others.

The Medical Home: Pull the RUC Out

This third and final post in the series addresses questions about the future of the Patient Centered Medical Home (PCHM):

  • What’s problematic about using the RUC methodology with the PCMH?
  • What’s the optimal level for a PCMH care management fee?
  • Should primary care leaders pull the RUC out? How?

What’s Problematic About Using the RUC Methodology with the PCMH?

There are at least two reasons for not having the RUC methodology seen anywhere in the same county country as the PCMH. First, the RUC methodology doesn’t account for technology and services needed for optimal care management. Second, the RUC methodology is conceptually flawed.

1) The RUC methodology doesn’t account for technology and services needed for optimal care management. Here’s what the RUC recommended methodology for the PCMH pays for:

Table of contents for the series--The Medical Home: End of the Honeymoon

  1. The Medical Home: Confusion Over Care Management Fees
  2. The Medical Home Hits the RUC
  3. The Medical Home: Pull the RUC Out
  4. Extra: Will $87 Per Hour Rescue Primary Care?