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Health Management Technology News
November 27, 2013

In this issue:

Insurers Cut Doctors' Fees in New Health-Care Plans

Richard Wolf USA and MAQUET launch OR integration sales partnership on track in spite of another outage, officials say

Madera Community Hospital To Implement Pavisse(TM) Incident Management Software

Insurers Cut Doctors' Fees in New Health-Care Plans: Move Sparks Worries Plans Will Attract Fewer Doctors

Insurers are slashing payments to medical practices in many of the plans they sell through the new health-law marketplaces—sparking worries that Americans signing up for coverage will have fewer doctors to choose from if low fees spark an exodus from the plans.

UnitedHealth Group Inc. sent some New York City physicians contract amendments as recently as this month setting rates well below what doctors normally see from private insurance, including less than $40 for a typical office visit and about $20 for reading a mammogram, according to confidential documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.

"We have heard from a lot of physicians the rates [insurers] are offering them are very low, and physicians are questioning whether they are going to participate," said Sam Unterricht, a Brooklyn ophthalmologist and president of the Medical Society of the State of New York.

Some of United's rates fall close to what the state Medicaid program for low-income people pays for the same services. The fees for some office visits are less than half of what doctors in the city say they receive for treating people covered by employer-sponsored insurance. Six doctors elsewhere in New York reported lower rates from a range of insurers, including United, but declined to specify rates citing confidentiality agreements.

"Our goal is to provide exchange members with a robust choice of providers," said a statement issued by United. The insurer added that it would "offer physicians the choice of participating at rates that are above Medicaid and comparable to historical rates." Few New Yorkers have historically purchased coverage on the individual market, and doctors say their rates for most employer-sponsored plans are much higher. The company initially notified doctors of new rates in April. Anthem unit in Connecticut offered Steven Levine, an ear nose and throat specialist in Trumbull, rates for exchange plans he said "were not what a reasonable person would consider acceptable." He says he declined the contract.

Read the entire Wall Street Journal article.

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Richard Wolf USA and MAQUET launch OR integration sales partnership

VERNON HILLS, Ill., Nov. 25, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Richard Wolf Medical Instruments Corporation (RWMIC) and MAQUET have formally launched a non-exclusive sales partnership in the United States. This partnership allows both companies to offer complete, high-quality OR integration solutions in the endoscopy market.

Both Richard Wolf and MAQUET command considerable market share in their respective areas of expertise. Richard Wolf is one of the world's foremost manufacturers of endoscopic systems, providing best-in-class integrated solutions for minimally invasive surgery for all major surgical disciplines. MAQUET offers a full range of products for the OR from tables, lights and ceiling supply units to intraoperative media management.

The modern OR is a highly technical environment consisting of many complex devices that must seamlessly work together to allow the OR staff to perform safe, high-quality surgery. Furthermore, ORs are part of the larger hospital IT landscape where exchanging data in and out of hospital networks, such as clinical information and picture archiving, is of increasing importance. The Richard Wolf and MAQUET partnership address these challenges by providing an integrated system that makes device management and information routing user friendly and efficient.

The launch of this partnership introduces the integration of Richard Wolf's endoscopy video platform, including the device control solution CORE control, into MAQUET's TEGRIS system for OR integration. This combined solution will significantly improve intraoperative efficiency by streamlining device control and overall OR management thus potentially decreasing procedure time and providing a safer setting by allowing the OR staff to focus on their primary tasks.

Read the entire press release.

Return to the table of contents > on track in spite of another outage, officials say experienced an "unscheduled outage" for about an hour Monday morning, an Obama administration official confirmed Monday, but the administration maintains that the federal website, which serves as the portal for the Obamacare marketplaces in 36 states, will work for the “vast majority” of users by next week.

“We continue to be on track to meeting the goals that we established for ourselves and established for the website on Nov. 30,” White House deputy press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters. He called the website a “work in progress.”

Julie Bataille, a spokeswoman for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), told reporters in a separate briefing that "the system will not work perfectly on Dec. 1" but should be able to handle as many as 50,000 users at a time and more than 800,000 visits a day.

Read the entire CBS News article.

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Madera Community Hospital To Implement Pavisse(TM) Incident Management Software

SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 25, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- RGP Healthcare(TM), a division of Resources Global Professionals (NASDAQ: RECN) and developer of incident management software Pavisse(TM), today announced that Madera Community Hospital has selected Pavisse to enhance patient safety and track, manage and analyze incidents.

Madera Community Hospital (MCH) is a not-for-profit community hospital based in the Central Valley of California. MCH will implement Pavisse to further promote a culture of safety, as well as improve the efficiency of work processes for quality and risk management.

Prior to Pavisse, MCH used an internally-built incident reporting system. Although effective as a means of gathering incident information, MCH's needs eventually exceeded the system's capabilities, prompting the search for a more robust tool. Pavisse was selected based on ease of use and flexibility.

"Madera Community Hospital views the relationship with RGP Healthcare as collaborative and a beneficial step in improving our ability to deliver quality care to the patients we serve," said Lisa Essex, Director of Quality and Risk Management for MCH. "Our collaboration with RGP Healthcare and the implementation of Pavisse is another positive step in keeping with the hospital's dedication to provide quality healthcare services to Madera and the surrounding communities."

Said RGP Healthcare President Radgia Cook: "We are delighted to partner with MCH, which has demonstrated an ongoing commitment to the communities it serves and to improving patient safety. Pavisse's end-to-end ability to integrate and streamline the incident management process will play a pivotal role in helping MCH achieve its goals for delivering high quality and efficient patient care.”

Read the entire press release.

Return to the table of contents >


Health Management Technology wishes you and your families a wonderful safe and healthy Thanksgiving Holiday. We’ll be back with more news on Monday, December 2nd.

Visit to preview the just released December issue of HMT.


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