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 Industry Watch

Industry Watch

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   April 2014


Fewer than one in 10 practices ready

Lockheed Martin

New January 2014 survey results from the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) indicate that overall readiness by physician practices for the ICD-10 compliance deadline of Oct. 1 is seriously lagging. Less than 10 percent of responding practices reported they had made significant progress when rating their overall readiness for ICD-10 implementation, up only slightly (from 4.7 percent) since June 2013, when MGMA previously conducted research to assess readiness levels. The new research includes responses from more than 570 medical groups where more than 21,000 physicians practice. It reveals:

  • More than 80 percent of respondents indicated that their project management (PM) software would require replacement or upgrading in order to accommodate ICD-10 diagnosis codes, up from 73.2 percent in June. 
  • Just 41 percent of respondents reported that their cost to upgrade or replace their PM system software will be covered by their vendor, with about 50 percent of respondents indicating that their vendor will cover the cost of their EHR replacement or upgrade. For those required to cover these software costs, they report an average cost of $11,500 per FTE physician for the PM upgrade or replacement and $12,885 for the EHR. This translates into a cost of $243,850 for a 10-physician practice for the ICD-10 software alone.
  • Only 8.2 percent stated that they have begun or completed testing with their EHR vendor, compared to 4.7 percent in June. 
  • In June, 70 percent of respondents stated they had not heard from their major health plans regarding the date on which ICD-10 testing would begin. Six months later, nearly 60 percent say they still have not heard from their health plans. Almost 60 percent stated in June that they had not heard from their clearinghouse regarding a testing date, and six months later nearly 50 percent indicate they still have not heard. Only 8.1 percent reported that they had started testing with their clearinghouse.

Source: MGMA




Sepsis detection born from battlefield tech

Lockheed Martin has discovered a way to identify sepsis, a potentially fatal blood condition that kills 258,000 people annually in the United States, between 14 to 16 hours earlier than physicians currently do. Named “Sia,” the solution uses analytical technology originally developed to detect launched missiles. “Lockheed Martin took insights from real-time streaming sensor data, detecting missiles at mach speeds, and reapplied those same techniques to real-time patient data,” says Melanie Lang, Lockheed Martin Business Development Lead, Information Systems & Global Solutions.

Sia’s analytic framework monitors changing signals from the body and provides alerts for anomaly detection. The same data analytic techniques used to diagnose sepsis (sometimes called blood poisoning by the general public) may also be able to predict heart attacks, the onset of diabetes and blood clots in the future. 

According to Lockheed Martin, what separates Sia from current automated sepsis detection methods is its high rate of detection and low rate of false diagnosis for the condition, which the Sepsis Alliance called in a recent study, “the most expensive condition treated in hospitals … accounting for over $20 billion in annual costs to the U.S. healthcare system.” The technology correctly alerted sepsis detection 90 percent of the time in an initial trial of 4,500 patients, while incorrectly labeling less than 1 percent of patients as potentially septic. This is a significant improvement from the Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (SIRS) method for detecting sepsis. SIRS only detects sepsis in patients 69 percent of the time and will incorrectly flag 65 percent of uninfected patients.

Source: Lockheed Martin




BridgeHead introduces new HIT technical courses

Bridgehead logo

Looking to up your knowledge quotient and technical skills in healthcare data management (HDM)? BridgeHead has you covered. The Woburn, MA-based company, which specializes in data and storage management, offers training on HDM foundation principles along with specialty courses organized around the types of healthcare applications that health IT professionals are responsible for managing, such as HIS/EMR, database, PACS and Microsoft applications. Recognized professionals will receive HDM Professional certificates suitable for use in social media profiles, as well as exclusive invitations to participate in the new HDM Professional group, which BridgeHead introduced on LinkedIn last September. Any health IT professional completing training with BridgeHead since January 2011 will be formally recognized into the program. Learn more at



Health Information Exchanges

Research Note: HIE adoption lags despite big investments

By Bryan Turnbough, Analyst for Medical Devices and Healthcare IT, IHS Technology

The United States had the largest market for health information exchange (HIE) in the world in 2013. Stimulus dollars allocated toward the advancement of the U.S. healthcare system through the HITECH Act and the government’s Meaningful Use initiative have aided the development of the HIE market in the United States. However, the adoption rate of HIE in the United States continues to lag behind countries in Scandinavia and Oceania.

Approximately $2 billion dollars have been set aside in order to develop the HIE infrastructure in the United States since 2009, and more than half of the money has been spent on HIE projects so far. The development of the healthcare IT infrastructure in the United States has not been uniform across different states and regions, and the costs of building and expanding HIE networks has become much more expensive when compared with other countries. Much of the funding is being devoted to electronic health records (EHRs) in the United States, because EHR infrastructure must be established before an HIE network is built.

The funding allocated for HIE development by the government is finite, and there have not been any announcements of additional funds for HIE beyond 2018. Although the global market is expected to exceed $1 billion by 2018, the global market could contract as a result of reduced funding from the U.S. government. Privately governed HIEs are also likely to represent a higher proportion of the market for HIEs if public funding for HIEs in the United States does not remain at elevated levels. An increase in private HIEs could actually reduce the adoption rate of the most mature HIE networks, because private HIEs tend to use analytics more for driving efficiencies in patient treatment and hospital management rather than population health management.





Big Data revolution

How can analytics help improve healthcare access and quality while driving down costs? The Deloitte Center for Health Solutions identifies six trends that are key to unlocking the power of healthcare analytics.




The Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine (SIIM) 2014 Annual Meeting, May 15-17, Long Beach, CA, is the only meeting dedicated solely to imaging informatics. Educational sessions, exhibit hall hours and networking opportunities provide dynamic interaction between practitioners and vendors.


America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) Institute 2014, June 11-13, Seattle, invites you to join thousands of health insurance decision makers to experience the industry’s premier educational event.

ANI: The 2014 HFMA National Institute, June 22-25, Las Vegas, presents financial management how-to solutions for pressing challenges like reform, value, clinical transformation, accountable care and revenue cycles.


The 2014 American Society for Healthcare Human Resources Administration (ASHHRA) 50th Annual Conference & Exposition, Sept. 27-30, Chicago, will feature more than 150 exhibitors and plenty of opportunities for networking and knowledge sharing on state-of-the-art services in healthcare HR. Come celebrate the golden anniversary of this event!

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