Sunday, May 19, 2013

SOAPware President Randall Oates, M.D. Among First NCQA Certified Patient-Centered Medical Home Content Experts

SOAPware President Randall Oates, M.D. Among First NCQA Certified Patient-Centered Medical Home Content Experts

This prestigious credential emphasizes SOAPware’s commitment to improving the quality of health care
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark., May 16, 2013 /PRNewswire/ – SOAPware Inc. is excited to announce that Randall Oates, M.D., SOAPware Founder and President, was named as one of the health care professionals from 29 states who was first to earn certification as NCQA Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) Content Experts™.
The first cadre of PCMH Certified Content Experts™ is regionally and professionally diverse: they are from 29 states and include physicians, nurses, allied health care providers, social workers, psychologists, medical technicians, hospital administrators and independent consultants.
The Certified Content Experts completed two rigorous PCMH education seminars and passed a comprehensive exam validating their knowledge of NCQA Recognition standards and guidelines, application procedures, survey processes and documentation requirements. The designation of NCQA PCMH Certified Content Expert is valid for two years and is renewable.
Dr. Oates’ certification represents a landmark achievement for himself and SOAPware Inc., as he believes the PCMH model is essential to survival in the future U.S. healthcare environment. He states: “The only approaches to achieving the Triple Aim of healthcare reform are those represented by PCMH and Patient Centered Specialty Practices (PCSP).”
About Patient-Centered Medical HomesMedical homes are the fastest growing delivery system innovation in recent years. Studies show they improve the quality of primary care, as well as patient and provider satisfaction with care. More practices have transformed into patient-centered medical homes by earning NCQA PCMH Recognition than by following any other medical home model, making NCQA’s program the most widely adopted in the country. Since 2008, PCMH Recognition has been NCQA’s fastest-growing evaluation program, with more 5,500 practices earning the NCQA designation as medical homes.
About SOAPwareSince its founding by a physician over two decades ago, SOAPware has been providing the healthcare community with the most affordable, robust, easy-to-use EHR solutions available on the market. Our ONC-ATCB Certified software is designed by medical providers and engineered in a real-world setting, making SOAPware the preferred EMR for nearly 30,000 professionals from over 70 specialties across the U.S. and around the world.

iScan Online and Health Security Solutions Help Ravenswood Family Health Center Achieve HIPAA Compliance

iScan Online and Health Security Solutions Help Ravenswood Family Health Center Achieve HIPAA Compliance

HIPAA Compliance Specialist Utilizes BYOD Security Scanning to Ensure Ravenswood Family Health Center's Compliance

 | Source: iScan Online, Inc.

DALLAS and CENTRAL, S.C., May 14, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- iScan Online, pioneers of BYOD security scanning and Health Security Solutions, leaders in helping Health Care Providers comply with HIPAA, HITECH and other regulations, today announced that they have partnered to bring advanced security scanning to health care provider Ravenswood Family Health Center. As a result Health Security Solutions has helped Ravenswood comply with HIPAA and HITECH regulations.
Ravenswood Family Health Center is a diverse health care provider with five office locations, 50 different health care providers and over 280 nodes on their network. They provide health care services in the Southeast San Mateo County area.
Health Security Solutions helps physicians and hospitals manage the complex administrative and technical infrastructure needs of health care organizations wishing to comply with HIPAA, HITECH and other security regulations. As part of that mission they provide security risk assessments, remote monitoring and management of the network, authentication and biometrics, eSecurity HIPAA training and awareness, network vulnerability scanning, and encryption solutions for endpoint devices and email. They are utilizing the iScan Online security scanning solution to empower a variety of these services.
"Knowing the IT infrastructure of Ravenswood, I knew we needed expert help if we were going to become HIPAA and HITECH compliant," said Alan Helbush of Where to Start, Inc., manager of IT at Ravenswood. "Using the iScan Online security scanning solution, Health Security Solutions was able to scan our network for vulnerabilities and ePHI quickly and painlessly as part of their full HIPPA compliance service."
"Many health care providers like Ravenswood Family Health Center face challenges in navigating the complex compliance requirements that HIPAA, HITECH and other regulations require," said Steve Spearman, CEO of Health Security Solutions. "Using tools like iScan Online's security scanner, Health Security Solutions is empowering these health care providers to comply with these important standards ensuring patient confidentially. Managed security service providers specializing in regulatory compliance offer the easiest path for many organizations to become compliant."
"iScan Online is proud to be partnering with Health Security Solutions and enabling them to fulfill their mission of helping health care providers comply with HIPAA and other regulations," said Billy Austin, President of iScan Online. "In today's increasingly mobile world with BYOD and other challenges, MSSPs such as Health Security Solutions need a new generation of scanning to provide visibility into their customer's security posture and regulatory profile."
iScanOnline, recent winner of the MSPWorld Cup Award™ 2013 from MSP Alliance, is pioneering BYOD and mobile device security scanning for vulnerabilities, configuration, compliance (PCI, HIPAA) and Data Discovery (PAN, PII, PHI). The company recently released its app for Android available in the Google Play Store in addition to support for Windows and Mac computers.
About iScan Online
iScan Online is pioneering the use of opportunistic BYOD security scanning on any device, anytime, anywhere. iScan Online scans for vulnerabilities, regulatory compliance and data discovery on Mac, Windows and Mobile devices. Based in Dallas, Texas, iScan Online is available via its website and through iScan Online partners. For more information and a free trial scan visit

Are You Choosing Privacy Over Healthcare?

Kameron Gifford, CPC

Medicine is practiced much different today than it was twenty years ago. The delivery of care has been altered and reshaped over and over again in an effort to continually comply with new regulations, changing technology, complicated reimbursement systems and increasing numbers of patients. 
The development of technology has allowed us a greater understanding of the human body and better tools to diagnosis, treat and prevent disease.  Revolutionary ideas such as employer sponsored health care and benefits for low income children have allowed us to extend health coverage to many more Americans. Standardized reimbursement codes have provided researchers the opportunity to study the prevalence of disease and track outcomes of treatment; and most recently we have seen alternative models of care aimed at improving outcomes (and costs) in high risk populations.
How has all of this innovation affected the consumer’s perception of health care and patient provider relationships? There is a growing population of insured Americans that choose not to access our healthcare system. There reason, whatever it may be, has become a barrier to them receiving primary and preventive services.
My aunt is one of these people. In the last twenty years she has sought medical attention only twice… both through the emergency for an acute injury. She will be 63 years old this year and has never had a mammogram or a colonoscopy; not even annual labs in over 25 years. Her decision was not pre-empted by her lack of access or knowledge. My aunt is an attorney who successfully fought to protect patient’s rights and increase accountability in the medical community. Her choice is founded in the dilution of the patient provider relationship and the non-existence of patient privacy. The decision to trade medical care for privacy is a personal one, one that no one can force her to change. She continues to pay her premiums, as she always has, so the deterrence of a tax penalty would not even apply. How do we engage these people?
I have to believe that there is an alternative system that can engage these individuals on their own terms. Perhaps, a one size fits all system shouldn’t be the only way.
I see a growing market developing for “patient directed” care. This idea is not new, but until recent advances in technology we were unable to assess a patient “remotely”. With this innovative technology we can now offer non-conventional solutions directly to the consumer. These disruptive tools will allow us to meet the individual needs of all consumers on their own terms.
If our ultimate goal in healthcare reform is to create a sustainable system, we must work with each individual population to create personal solutions.
So, how do we reach this population of patients that “distrust” the current system, and what type if any, would build enough trust to create access?
ERM is diligently working to create an integrated platform of primary care that can be delivered directly to the patient in a setting of their choice. This network of patient directed care will allow us to close gaps left by traditional systems; and provide “On Demand” care for less than $30 a visit.
On a recent visit, I had the opportunity to pitch this concept to my aunt just as I had hundreds before. But this time, her reaction was different…
After picking her up at the airport I noticed an infected mosquito bite on her left elbow. After the usual back and forth about her refusal to see a doctor, I asked if she would have been more willing with our new system. After determining the cost was $5 less than her copay and she was the gate keeper of her records – she was left without an excuse and to both of our surprise she said, Yes!”
The decision to seek, or not to seek, medical care is a private choice. Personal responsibility can’t be demanded or forced, even with punitive taxes. We must invest in whole system change that is flexible enough for every American. Awareness begins with education and education empowers healthier choices. Choices, after all is the ultimate behavior that we seek to improve if we are ever to create a valuable system.

3 Disruptive Technologies That Could Slash Health-Care Costs

Watch stocks you care about

The single, easiest way to keep track of all the stocks that matter...

Your own personalized stock watchlist! 

It's a 100% FREE Motley Fool service...
Take the $2.8 trillion spent last year in the U.S. on health care and add another 70% to the total. The resulting amount, nearly $4.8 trillion, is what the federal government says we will spend by 2021. 
However, there are some technologies available now or in the near future that could reduce those expenditures. Here are three disruptive health care technologies that show promise in slashing health-care costs over time.
1. Genetic diagnostic testingOverdiagnosis gets little attention, but it could add significantly to the nation's health-care costs. The term refers to scenarios where patients are diagnosed and treated for a disease that won't result in serious health issues.
For example, more than 240,000 men in the U.S. are diagnosed with prostate cancer annually. Half of these patients are classified as low risk, with only a 3% likelihood of the cancer progressing. However, 90% of low-risk patients receive treatments such as radical prostatectomy or radiation. These procedures increase costs and can result in further complications including incontinence and impotence.
Genetic diagnostic testing has the potential to help prevent much of this unnecessary spending. Genomic Health (NASDAQ: GHDX  ) is one of a handful of companies already developing these types of tests. The company markets genetic tests for breast, colon, and prostate cancer.  It also has other products in development to screen for lung cancer, melanoma, and renal cancer.
As one example of possible savings, consider Genomic Health's prostate cancer test -- which sells for slightly more tha $3,800. That's much less expensive than the tens of thousands of dollars for the treatment procedures for the disease. 
2. Point of care decision supportAlmost 14 years ago, the Institute of Medicine estimated that medical errors in the U.S. could cost $29 billion annually and result in as many as 98,000 deaths each year. Since then, additional studies have come up with varying numbers, but all agree on the enormous cost in lives and dollars resulting from medical errors.
Clinical decision support -- technology that helps physicians and other clinical professionals make better decisions -- has often been mentioned as a possible solution for reducing medical errors. However, despite increased availability of clinical decision support systems, a 2012 study conducted by Duke University found that use of these systems isn't widespread.
One reason behind the lack of high adoption rates could be that physicians haven't historically been able to access systems at the point of care -- where decisions are often made. However, that should change.
A survey last year by Vitera Healthcare found that 60% of health-care professionals ownApple (NASDAQ: AAPL  ) iPhones, with 45% using iPads. Around nine in 10 physicians expressed interest in using their mobile devices for reviewing and updating patient charts and ordering prescriptions -- ideal applications for clinical decision support. Apple has fostered a large ecosystem that now includes thousands of health-care applications, some of which already incorporate aspects of clinical decision support. In many ways, the company hasrevolutionized health care with its mobile devices.
Another potential factor that could partially explain lower adoption of clinical decision support is the quality of the support that the technology has provided in the past. IBM (NYSE: IBM  ) is one company intent on disruption for that front.  
Big Blue is now applying its Watson technology that became champion on the television game show Jeopardy! to the world of health care. Watson will use its natural language capabilities, hypothesis generation, and evidence-based learning to sift through patients' medical information and enormous volumes of clinical information available from clinical studies and journal articles to help physicians more accurately diagnose and recommend treatments.
3. TelemedicineWhere are the most expensive places to obtain health care? Hospitals and post-acute care facilities. Telemedicine offers the opportunity for patients to receive some types of clinical care at home, thereby lowering costs. Deloitte estimates that as much as $400 billion annually could be saved through effective application of in-home technologies.
Telemedicine has been around in various forms for decades, but the technology finally appears to be poised to take off. Nineteen states have passed laws requiring insurers to cover health services provided through remote technology. Efforts are also underway to advance federal legislation.
The niche has attracted interest from several big players, which is a good thing. For example, mobile communications giant Qualcomm (NASDAQ: QCOM  ) developed a platform for connecting medical devices at patients' homes to the cloud for external applications to use the data. This makes it easier for new applications to be developed that advance telemedicine functionality.
Research firm InMedica thinks that telemedicine could expand nearly 500% by 2017. If both Deloitte and InMedica are correct in their predictions, significant health-care savings should be possible.
Disruptions neededMaybe the day will soon come when you can take a genetic test in your own house with the results sent electronically to your doctor, who then pulls up her iPad to confer with Watson about the best treatment -- to be provided to you remotely at home, of course. With more Americans aging and likely requiring more health care, disruptions like these are definitely needed.
While a disruptive revolution could be coming for health care, an even broader revolution is already underway. The mobile revolution is still in its infancy, but with so many different companies it can be daunting to know how to profit in the space. Fortunately, The Motley Fool has released a free report on mobile named "The Next Trillion-Dollar Revolution" that tells you how. The report describes why this seismic shift will dwarf any other technology revolution seen before it and also names the company at the forefront of the trend. You can access this report today by clicking here -- it's free.

Health reform needs a healthy respect for civil discourse

I recently took part in a “civil discourse,” an unusual occurrence in this era of media pundit-orchestrated shouting matches.
Unlike a debate with winners and losers, a civil discourse begins with the premise that, when there are different points of view on a topic, it is better to understand those with whom we disagree than to turn off the sound.
By listening and asking probing questions, we come to understand how such a smart person could possibly disagree with us.
Set in an architectural masterpiece – Frank Lloyd Wright’s Beth Sholom synagogue in Elkins Park, Pa. — this conversation on “The Role of Government in Health Care” was moderated by well-respected public television commentator Chris Satullo.
No surprise to anyone who knows me, I represented the liberal perspective — i.e., supportive of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and convinced that its goals are achievable — and Stuart M. Butler, PhD, of the Center for Policy Innovation at the venerable Heritage Foundation in Washington represented the conservative viewpoint.
Although the topic is emotionally charged and politically polarizing, the most striking thing was how many things we agreed on!
Irrespective of our political persuasions, we agreed that healthcare should be affordable, adequate, and equitable.
My conservative counterpart and I also agreed that the healthcare system needs treatment for multiple “diagnoses” – waste (e.g., overtreatment, failure to coordinate care, complex billing processes), misaligned incentives, and an appalling lack of transparency.
Perhaps the most compelling point of agreement was around helping people make more rational decisions around end-of-life care.
The laser-like focus of our disagreement was how the healthcare system should be organized to achieve our mutual objectives.
Dr. Butler views entitlements — Medicare and Medicaid — and other aspects of government involvement as the root of the problem and looks to the marketplace for solutions (e.g., individual government-issued vouchers for healthcare purchases).
The theory is that empowered patients and households with more skin in the game will choose more responsibly and seek value in the dollars they spend on healthcare.
The difficulties are those of getting the market to be adequately transparently organized and transparent, and of helping patients navigate such a system through good information, and well trained and compensated intermediaries, for example.
In my view, the business of healthcare is what has run amok — only the government has the clout to compel the healthcare industry to give patients more accessible, equitable, high quality, transparent care.
Although we still have a long way to go in reducing waste and addressing a medical error rate that, in any other industry, would not be tolerated, positive change is happening as a direct result of the payment reforms (e.g., bundled payments) and new models of care (e.g., medical homes) that are integral to the ACA.
The difficulty I see with my position is that the government makes assumptions and acts on them without benefit of evidence.
So, what did I take away from this “respectful disagreement”?
My views haven’t changed – nor, I imagine, were the views of the over 500 people who attended the program – but that was never the intent.
I did come away with an understanding of how much common ground Dr. Butler and I shared on this hot topic and a healthy respect for civil discourse.
David B. Nash is founding dean, Jefferson School of Population Health, Thomas Jefferson University and blogs at Nash on Health Policy and Focus on Health Policy.

Examining the Lack of Transparency and Consumer Driven Market Forces in U.S. Health Care

House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on Energy Policy, Health Care and Entitlements

April 25, 2013
by John C. Goodman, Ph.D., President and CEO Kellye Wright Fellow
Mr. Chairman and members of the Committee, thank you for the opportunity to testify on this important topic. I am John Goodman, president of the National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA). A nonprofit, nonpartisan public policy research organization, the NCPA is dedicated to developing and promoting private alternatives to government regulation and control, and solving problems by relying on the strength of the competitive, entrepreneurial private sector. I welcome the opportunity to share my views and look forward to your questions.
The principle problems in health care are well known. The cost is too high; the quality is too low; and access to care is too difficult. The reason for these problems should also be well known: We have replaced the patients with third-party payers (insurance companies, employers, and government) as the principal buyers of care.
The party that pays for care is different from the party that is supposed to benefit. Unfortunately, the interests of the two parties are not always the same.

How Data And Technology Will Write Us A Prescription For Better Health

We’re at the cusp of a revolution in personal health, fueled by personal monitoring and better analytics. In the future, will health care be as simple as taking your car for a tune-up?

Visiting a doctor and visiting a car mechanic have certain aspects in common. For each, we are expected to come in for regular check-ups (our annual physical and our 50,000 mile tune-up) and when we notice that things aren’t operating properly (sore throat, shaking from the engine). Another commonality is that in the past few years, a slew of products have been created to give ordinary citizens real-time information on the inner workings of each of those complex systems.


For less than $100, anyone with a smartphone can monitor and record all the functions of their car’s engine. The idea, of course, is that with information like this, we can be better drivers and better caretakers of our vehicles. For not so much more, we can also begin to track our bodies’ processes.
Though our bodies don’t have OBD-II ports like our cars, we do have other outputs. For example, a consumer device called BodyMedia uses accelerometers, thermometers and a sensor to track our galvanic skin response to help users track calories burned, distance walked (or run), and a host of other information. Another company, FitBit has a number of devices that use both an accelerometer and an altimeter to help track weight, activity, and even sleep.

Both companies, among others, help people track basic data that define the contours of our bodies’ functions. Some people, however, need to monitor specific data, such as blood sugar levels, white and red blood cell count, the oxygen levels in our blood, and other health information that can help manage conditions such as diabetes or certain organ functions.
And of course, we can measure the same things we’ve been keeping track of for more than a century: our weight and height (which we now use to calculate our BMI), our age, gender, and temperature. We also have access to sight and hearing tests on phones now.
So whether we visit our mechanic or our doctor, we can now give very detailed answers to that first question “what brings you in today?”


Of course, gathering information into databases and presenting it as a spreadsheet is helpful for very few people. Far more informative are graphics or dashboards, and even better are visualizations formatted for mobile devices. This is another similarity between car- and body-monitoring apps. Whether using bar graphs, pie charts, or moving graphics resembling tachometers, dashboards and visualizations are powerful representations that help people monitor and then respond to changing metrics.
Another possibility is to remove raw numbers entirely and simply focus on goals. Instead of showing calories consumed or number of minutes spent in exercise, some companies are simply telling people “it’s 1:00 PM and you’ve walked only 20% of your goal today,” or “It’s only 1:00 PM and you’ve already walked 120% of your goal today!” For many people, this is a more effective way to help them change their behavior.
Changing behavior to improve our health is, after all, the desired outcome. The goal is to live a healthier life and data can help us do that. The difference between a sedentary day at the office and an active day outside may be more than a thousand calories. Yet, in that sedentary day, do we think to eat a thousand fewer calories? If the data were presented to us, we could adjust either our intake or our output--and now more people are able to see that data in real time.
Further, many applications gamify healthy living, giving badges for healthy choices and setting up friendly competitions among groups of people to meet their health goals. Employers, too, can offer incentives (like cash) for establishing good eating and exercise habits. Bit by bit, and byte by byte, it adds up to healthier individuals and a healthier nation.


There are three ways in which people’s having access to their own health data plays a critical part in the health care transformation. Here again, it’s useful to think of think of how access to our cars’ data changes our relationship to mechanics. Here are three examples of how increasing individuals’ access to their own data can change health care:
1: Reducing costs through data transparency.
Data opens a door to transparency that helps consumers understand in advance what they need and better anticipate the costs of care. To go back to the car example, if someone knows they need a new oxygen sensor, they don’t have to pay for a diagnostic first to figure out what the problem is; they can simply call a few garages and ask “how much do you charge to replace an oxygen sensor.” Likewise, patients should be able to call their health care providers and see how much they’ll be charged for the care they need. This has recently started happening, as the government has forced hospitals to reveal some of their prices, but there is still a long way to go.
2: Reducing costs and increasing effectiveness through streamlining health care delivery.
Data enables us to do more diagnostics ourselves and, thus, when we visit our doctor we now have the ability to give them very detailed information. For example, with a $20 kit (and a smartphone), we’ll be able to say “here are all the numbers for my levels of glucose, bilirubin, proteins, specific gravity, ketones, leukocytes, nitrites, urobilinogen, and hematuria.” This knowledge of our own personal health helps streamline the process for health care providers, lowering costs. Diagnosing problems earlier also means treating them more quickly, which reduces costs.
3: Reducing costs and increasing effectiveness through coordinated health care activities.
If the private companies who are developing devices include a way to anonymize the data, and the people who use the devices allow their anonymized data to be shared with government agencies, like the CDC and HHS, it will allow for a profound shift in real-time health preparedness. Already the CDC has partnered with private companies to help people prepare for flu epidemics. If open government could meet big health data, and if everyone who was tracking their own health allowed for non-identifying information to enter into large public databases, this public health data could be used to reduce illness, decrease health care costs and improve individual and community health.
If more individuals begin to track and record their own health data, not only are they likely to improve their own health, but they will all contribute to a health care system that delivers higher quality care at a lower cost. Health care can be more personalized to each individual, and can focus more on maintaining wellness rather than on treating sickness. The implications for telemedicine and for data-driven health care are also significant. And with more devices and applications entering the market each quarter, the trend lines are encouraging.