Health IT: Apps; Competitive Contracts; Electronic Medical RecordsThe Wall Street Journal: "Indian technology companies are eyeing a coming wave of U.S. spending to digitize health care records. But sensitivity over outsourcing and resistance by American hospitals to sending medical information overseas could thwart efforts to win big contracts." Next year, the U.S. government will dispense billions to "health-care providers who adopt electronic medical records." Doctors are also facing "a federal mandate to upgrade software as the U.S. switches to a new system of insurance billing codes." The prospect of $50 billion in U.S. health-related tech spending over the next two years has Indian software outsourcing companies vying for contracts with major U.S. tech vendors "including IBM Corp., Xerox Corp., Dell Inc. and Accenture Ltd.," as U.S. relations with India's tech outsourcing industry become increasingly tense due to protections (Sharma and Worthen, 11/1).
The (Newark, N.J.) Star-Ledger: "With new technology created by Quest Diagnostics of Madison, health-conscious consumers now can use their BlackBerrys and iPhones to help manage doctor's appointments, medicines and medical conditions, such as cholesterol levels. The ability of the Android and other smartphones to do the same thing isn't far behind." With Quest's "Gazelle," users can "keep a variety of vital information, such as allergies and health insurance providers, at their fingertips," as well as receive lab results "with color-coded alerts and patient-friendly terms." Quest's CEO said privacy and security of data were a priority in developing the software. The target market "includes people with diabetes and other chronic conditions, frequent travelers and mothers of young children who are keeping track of vaccines and other treatments" (Todd, 11/2).
Healthcare IT News: "The San Francisco Department of Public Health is launching a two-year EHR roll-out to its employed physicians, in order to help them meet meaningful use requirements." The project "will include equipping its 800 doctors with electronic medical record and practice management systems from Westborough, Mass.-based eClinicalWorks," officials said. "The eClinicalWorks implementation will occur in community and hospital-based primary care and specialty clinics over the next couple years, and will transition the provision of medical care to a platform consistent with the compliance standards for ARRA meaningful use specifications" (Merrill, 11/1).
NewsBuzz: The Wisconsin Department of Health Services announced last week that a new nonprofit with broad private sector representation would administer "a stimulus-funded network for medical records." The nonprofit, called the Wisconsin State Health Information Network, is being founded by a local hospital association, medical society, an alliance of health care providers, and another nonprofit. "A state plan released earlier this year estimates the network will cost $76 million in its first decade. The state is only getting $9.4 million in stimulus funding, meaning the state, health care providers or both will need to pitch in to sustain it" (11/1).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.