The company everyone loves to hate announced its panacea for the managed care industry. Microsoft unveiled it's Knowledge Driven Health Plans at the recent World Health Congress. The solution set, usually customized for managed care via partners, is comprised of the .NET framework, BizTalk Server, Windows Servers and Communications, SQL Server and of course MS Office.
Scuttlebutt among the cynical at the conference was that Microsoft was following its usual strategy of setting forth a borrowed vision, solution set, partner list and demonstration of momentum that makes its "leadership" position only natural. This is news to the payor IT leaders who own the market -- Amisys Synertech, EDS, DST Health, Perot Systems and TriZetto Group -- none of whom appeared in Microsoft's partnership press release.
But you can't argue with success, and no one has been more successful in technology than Microsoft. Their formal entry into the managed care market comes as Federal healthcare IT czar Dr. David Brailer resigns. Microsoft will help bring further attention and technology to help connect islands of information in healthcare. This is one of Brailer's chief concerns in his resignation speech, as reported in eWeek.
"Everybody's connected but nobody is sharing," says Brailer. "That's the natural consequence without federal intervention." Brailer's other big worry: Smaller healthcare providers will be left behind (see my Plight of the Small Doc post).
Those worries aside, Microsoft, other vendors and hospitals are still wondering about the Stark and anti-kickback legislation that has hindered health IT adoption. These laws prevent hospitals and vendors from donating technology or services to doctors. Congress proposed some exceptions, but the issue remains. Time will tell if Brailer's replacement has the cure.Tags: Brailer, EMR, Healthcare+PR, Managed+Care, Microsoft+Healthcare, Online+PR