Our January Health TechNet meeting focused on a very important change in public and private sector reimbursement surrounding "never events," as well as the effects of the New Administration and on Capitol Hill on Healthcare technology.
The meeting featured the presentations of Darlene Vrotsos, Chief Nursing Officer of Virginia Hospital Center and Greg Killian, Global Business & Marketing Manager of Siemens Healthcare - Imaging & IT. The speakers provided us with information on how providers are coping with the challenges of the new CMS policy in effect whereby hospitals are not paid where certain serious medical errors occurr, following a practice already underway by private payors such as Wellpoint, Cigna, and United. They also discussed the new announcement made early this week by DHHS about another program to diminish hospital acquired infections that it estimates cost the economy $20 billion per year.
They both agreed that while there is certainly a consensus that these conditions can and should be significantly reduced, the administration of such policies present many administrative challenges and problems, and they are very dependant on the quality of data and coding by physicians and other providers.
The transition at DHHS and on Capitol Hill, including the use of stimulus funding for electronic medical records was also discussed.