Schwartz MSL had another significant presence at HIMSS in New Orleans this year. We had a record 15 clients exhibiting, who offer an array of solutions aimed at consumers (mHealth), payers/brokers (claims management software, analytics), hospitals and health systems (health information exchange, security), healthcare providers (electronic medical records, clinical decision support) and even employers (benefits management).
Although HIMSS is not a security-focused show, three security themes had strong resonance:
Securing protected health information (PHI) and keeping it compliant with the US Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
Interoperability and secure delivery of information across diverse healthcare networks.
Perhaps the biggest announcement at HIMSS13 was when five marquee Electronic Health Record vendors (Allscripts, athenahealth, Cerner, Greenway and McKesson, which collectively represent more than 40% of the hospital EHR market) launched the CommonWell Alliance to promote greater access to health data through improved interoperability. To quote the press release, the initiative is designed to create “a national and trusted health information exchange to break down information silos in healthcare (and) improve the quality and cost-effectiveness of care delivery.”
There was also a very popular “HIMSS Interoperability Showcase” which featured live demos and education sessions. Key panels, education sessions and exhibitions included:
“Introducing the Blue Button Plus” by Pierce Graham-Jones, West Health Innovator-in-Residence (HHS), and Ryan Panchadsaram, Presidential Innovation Fellow, Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT. Blue Button+ is a blueprint for the structured and secure transmission of personal health data on behalf of an individual consumer. It meets and builds on the view, download and transmit requirements in Meaningful Use Stage 2 for certified EHR technology.
“Extra-Sensitive PHI: Appropriate Sharing Using Data Segmentation for Privacy” by Scott Weinstein, JD, Presidential Management Fellow, Office of the Chief Privacy Officer , Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology. Discussed the types of healthcare data that require additional protection and special handling beyond HIPAA requirements, the applicability of Privacy Metadata as a means to enable electronic implementation of various disclosure policies, the common attributes of Privacy disclosure policies, and how standards can be used to electronically enforce a prohibition on redisclosure.
“Malice, Mistake and Misuse: Managing Privacy and Security in an Insecure World” a Lunch & Learn session sponsored by PwC
“Locking Down the Cloud for Healthcare: Security is Not a Myth” a Lunch & Learn session sponsored by FireHost
Getting a handle on the growing BYOD trend in hospitals and creating policies that ensure collaborative care that utilize smartphones and other devices does not compromise security.
Schwartz MSL client Imprivata demonstrated both Imprivata OneSign and Imprivata Cortext, a free HIPAA-compliant texting solution, and had nine hospital and health system customers on hand giving presentations.
Like the “Interoperability Showcase,” the dedicated “Mobile Health Knowledge Center” area was also a hit at HIMSS. Sessions and demos included:
“Mobility and BYOD: An Uneasy and Inevitable Relationship” sponsored by Gartner
“Leveraging Smartphones to Simplify Communication across Multiple Systems”
“Mobile and Wireless Technologies in the Hospital – Now & Soon”
“Tackling the ‘Achilles Heel’ of Mobile Medicine”
“Top Five Information Risk, Security, and Privacy Considerations for BYOD"
Since security is a major challenge for the healthcare industry, we’re likely to see more security firms attending HIMSS. There are many opportunities to foster thought leadership, including exhibiting, speaking, offering a Lunch and Learn session or participating in the HIMSS Interoperability Showcase. If you would like to learn more about planning for HIMSS14 in Orlando, please contact me at email@example.com or 781-684-0770.
Posted by Doug Russell on April 2, 2013 at 12:58 PM
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The biggest challenge for HIMSS 2013 attendees will be to break away from the Morial Convention Center to sample New Orleans’ many delights. We encourage you to sample New Orleans’ rich cultural experience. If you are a runner or walker, grab a map and sketch a route for a morning walk or run. Better yet, invite a client or prospect to join you. Here are a few suggestions:
Stroll through the French Quarter: The historic French Quarter is filled with shopping, dining, entertainment and fantastic architecture. Start your day with breakfast at Mother’s or Café Du Monde, grab a muffuletta sandwich at Central Grocery and end the day with traditional jazz while dining at Palm Court Jazz Café.
Get in the mood for your visit by reading John Kennedy Toole’s masterpiece, A Confederacy of Dunces, or viewing A Streetcar Named Desire with Marlon Brando and Vivien Leigh. Those with an iron constitution and love of colorful nightlife may wish to replicate Anthony Bourdain’s itinerary in “The Layover: 36 Hours in New Orleans.”
Or, visit one of the more than 1,150 restaurants within the city limits. The renowned chefs of New Orleans are a passionate bunch. So go ahead and try a creole, Cajun or French signature dish during your stay.
Posted by Doug Russell on February 27, 2013 at 2:11 PM
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Today, with the HIMSS13 Annual Conference & Expo in New Orleans less than two weeks away, we thought we'd revisit that post, and expand upon it with a short list of some of the key industry analysts we've worked with in our healthcare IT practice. For those interested in information technology (IT) and management systems for the betterment of healthcare, these are some of the industry's leading influencers and thought leaders. They are worth getting to know.
(Click image to enlarge)
While the departure of Forrester's Elizabeth Boehm, Principal Analyst, Healthcare & Life Sciences last year was a significant move, others of note at that noted firm include:
Craig Le Clair, VP, Principal Analyst serving Enterprise Architecture Professionals, covers a range of topics including invoice management, medical health records, information management, customer communications management and financial compliance.
Ellen Carney, Senior Analyst serving eBusiness and Channel Strategy Professionals, focuses on the eBusiness strategies, technologies, adoption trends, and best practices of property and casualty, life, group, and health insurers globally.
Joanne Galimi, Managing Partner in Gartner's Consulting Organization. Covers healthcare and insurance.
Robert H. Booz, VP and Distinguished Analyst. Monitors business and technology trends in the health payer industry.
Thomas J. Handler, M.D., Research Director for the Healthcare Provider Analyst Group. Covers everything from telemedicine to EHR systems to clinical applications.
Wes Rishel, VP and Distinguished Analyst, Healthcare Provider Research Practice. Covers electronic medical records, interoperability, health information exchanges and the underlying technologies of healthcare IT, including application integration and standards. Follow Rishel on Twitter at @wrishel
Barry Runyon, VP, Healthcare Provider Research. Covers mobility, clinical and patient portals, vendor neutral archives, legacy decommissioning, remote hosting and cloud service delivery models, and enterprise awareness.
Vi Shaffer, Research VP and Global Industry Services Director for Healthcare Providers.
IDC Health Insights
Scott Lundstrom, Group Vice President, IDC Health Insight's research-based advisory and consulting offerings, covering payer, provider and life science segments.
If you have further questions, or want to learn more about industry analyst relations and the programs we offer, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Give us at call at (781) 684-0770 to arrange a meeting at the upcoming HIMSS show in New Orleans.
Posted by Doug Russell on February 20, 2013 at 4:07 PM
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The HIMSS13 Annual Conference & Exhibition is a must-attend event for any healthcare technology (HCIT) company. From March 3 – 7, 2013, key decision makers from the world’s leading innovators will meet in New Orleans to discuss hot topics, meet with colleagues and set the agenda for the year in HCIT.
There will be more than 200 sessions to choose from, allowing healthcare professionals to customize their own agenda to meet their individual needs. Topics taking the stage include: mobile health, clinical and business analytics, HIE, EHR best practices, care coordination, ICD-10, accountability for care and meaningful use. Keynotes include familiar faces from industry, politics and the media.
Planning early and maximizing your strategic communications program before, during and after the event is an absolute must. When it comes to public relations and media relations, there are more than 100 respected journalists and industry analysts on site. Schwartz MSL is helping its existing clients and can help other companies navigate the waters of media relations
This Schwartz MSL Road to HIMSS 2013 Guidebookis designed to help you navigate the PR and marketing opportunities at the show and offer insights on scheduling reporter meetings and what reporters are looking to cover. In addition, we include the names and Twitter handles of top influential reporters so you can follow them at the show. We even offer tips on fun things to do in New Orleans.
First up, a big congrats to Online Care provider American Well, who were awarded Gold in the “Innovative Services: Health, Wellness & Safety” category at the annual Edison Awards gala in New York City. Presented by the Discovery Channel, the Edison Awards recognizes innovation and excellence in the development, marketing and launch of new products and services. Gold winners in other categories include Apple’s iPad and the Chevy Volt electric car. Not bad company!
Kudos are also in order for WellDoc, who were named a Silver finalist for the 2011 SABRE awards, presented by The Holmes Report, the leading publication for the PR industry. The campaign “WellDoc and mHealth are Here to Stay” was submitted by the Schwartz team for this prestigious national awards competition, which will be presented on May 10 at New York’s Cipriani 42nd Street.
Schwartz had another successful HIMSS show, which attracted roughly 31,000 healthcare IT professionals to Orlando. Highlights included the launch of a Schwartz YouTube channel featuring on-site interviews, daily show recaps and spotlight videos on many of our attending clients, including NaviNet, Phytel, DiagnosisOne and Omincell.
With literally hundreds of EMR vendors in the HCIT space - and more emerging each year - it’s tough for marketers and public relations pros to differentiate a company’s Electronic Medical Record (EMR) offering from any of the others. But some do, including Schwartz client NaviNet. The healthcare communications company launched an EMR and Practice Management (PM) solution in late 2010 and Schwartz used HIMSS as a venue to brief nearly a dozen reporters on NaviNet EMR, NaviNet PM and other mobile clinical product offerings. Steve Campbell of EMR Daily News wrote a great piece titled “Is NaviNet Poised to Become a Player in the EMR Space?,” concluding that “Having 50% of the physicians in the country already using and trusting NaviNet to interact with insurance companies on a daily basis will certainly simplify the process of introducing these new products and services.”
DiagnosisOne used HIMSS to demo their suite of products, including order sets, clinical decision support, analytics, and public health reporting. Check out CEO Mansoor Khan’s byline on tying compensation to physician performance in Executive Insight magazine and the company’s new white paper “Clinical IT requirements for ACOs: Enabling Effective Patient & Population Management.” The topic is especially timely as new ACO rules were recently announced. DiagnosisOne is delighted CMS has gotten many things right in the rules. See what Mansoor has to say about them and what’s ahead for ACOS in the company’s blog.
Omnicell, Inc., leading provider of medication and supply chain management solutions to healthcare facilities, demonstrated its interoperable, standards-based solutions at the HIMSS11 Interoperability Showcase. This was the first time automated dispensing cabinets was featured in the pharmacy domain area of the Showcase.
The GE Healthcare team also had another successful year at HIMSS, briefing 40+ media outlets and securing more than 60 articles featuring GE Healthcare innovations. The Schwartz team hosted a “tweetup” at the show, encouraging use of the “GEtweetup” hashtag, which resulted in 61 tweets reaching more than 128,000 followers. The team also used HIMSS to launch two mobile applications, securing on-message coverage tied to the larger industry discussion about the adoption of mobile apps and their benefits to physicians and patients. Coverage appeared in Healthcare Informatics, EMR and EHR, Executive Insight, and FierceHealthIT among many others.
Finally, Schwartz welcomed iNTERFACEWARE, a provider of software that allows companies to easily manage the exchange of electronic healthcare data, and Circadence, which develops solutions that improve the performance of company computer networks as new Healthcare IT clients. We look forward to bringing you more updates on our Healthcare IT practice!
Yesterday, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and CMS Administrator Don Berwick held a much anticipated con call to announce proposed rules on the formation of Accountable Care Organizations, or ACOs. Sometimes referred to as the “unicorn” of health reform (everybody’s heard of it, nobody’s seen one), ACOs refer to a new model for healthcare organizations that creates integrated networks of physicians and hospitals that will each be its own enterprise, sharing responsibility for caring for a population of patients. The goal is to provide coordinated care that will result in improved quality of care, better outcomes and cost savings. According to the HHS, ACOs could save Medicare up to $960 million in its first three years.
As Dr. Berwick explained, “An ACO will be rewarded for providing better care and investing in bettering the health and lives of patients. ACOs are not just a new way to pay for care. They are a new model for the organization and delivery of care. [ACOs] are designed to lift the burden of fragmented and disconnected care from patients, while improving the partnership among patients, doctors, hospitals and other providers of care in making health care decisions.”
Still open to a 60-day public review cycle and possible change, the rules go into effect in January 2012, and are aimed at partnerships of primary care doctors, specialists and hospitals providing care to 5,000 or more Medicare beneficiaries over a period of three or more years. (In theory, ACOs could be a model for the entire healthcare system). A brisk 429-page read, the proposed rules outline 65 quality measures (pgs. 174-194) that ACOs must meet in five key quality “domains”: • Patient/caregiver care experiences • Care coordination • Patient safety • Preventative health • At-risk population/frail elderly health
They also outline how financial incentives would work. ACOs would be bonused on meeting government-set quality goals and financial savings (against a calculation of how much a Medicare patient should “cost”) while also sharing in the risk if they do not meet targets. Berwick summarizes that there will be two “shared responsibility” options for ACOs: “In the first model, ACOs earlier in their evolution can elect to assume a smaller share of upside gains but no risk of loss for 2 years and then transition in year 3 to accepting risk. In the second model, organizations that are willing to take on both upside gains and downside risk can qualify for a higher proportion of shared savings from the start.”
Many Schwartz Communications clients stand to benefit from the successful adoption of the ACO model and are eagerly awaiting further details. These are companies that have promising IT-based solutions for population health management, clinical decision support, care coordination, preventative health and wellness, chronic care management, health information exchange and analytics – all areas that are at the heart of the ACO concept. They represent a microcosm of the healthcare IT industry at large. However things turn out with ACOs, one thing is clear, transforming healthcare to be more patient-centered, cost-efficient, coordinated and based on outcomes (versus procedures) will be a great step in the right direction toward meaningful reform.
For the music fan, there’s B.B. King’s Orlando, House of Blues Orlando and Hard Rock Live (Orlando’s “Coliseum of Rock” features upcoming shows by Gipsy Kings, Scissor Sisters, Tom Jones, Earth, Wind & Fire and Jeff Beck).
For those looking for spectacle, there's Cirque du Soleil’s La Nouba....Or, just a few blocks north of the Convention Center (and HIMSS 2011), those pining for Boston’s arctic chill will feel right at home at ICEBAR, which is constructed out of “50 tons of carved ice.” It’s housed right next to Fire Lounge, home of the “Martini flight.” For upscale cocktails, try the Bösendorfer Lounge and for those seeking a bit of culture, there’s the Orlando Museum of Art – and, with a day trip to St. Petersburg, the Salvador Dali Museum.
Lots more on things to do in Orlando and opportunities to get discounted tickets here.
And, while you’re at HIMSS, stop by and visit Schwartz Communications at booth #3319 at the Orange County Convention Center!
One of our clients, Eliza Corporation, is spreading the word about sharing end of life wishes with loved ones through the non-profit Engage With Grace. They are doing this through their annual Thanksgiving weekend blog rally.
Below is the text. We suggest you post it starting on Wednesday evening, November 24 and leave it up through the entire weekend (consider it a much-deserved break from blogging for a couple days). Please share this with friends who might be willing to participate, too.
Secondly, we are hoping that you will consider donating your Facebook and/or Twitter status to the rally (we're using "Much to be thankful for - including the opportunity to have our end-of-life wishes honored through engagewithgrace.org. #EWG") but of course use whatever suits your style best. The hashtag #EWG will help track the rally.
For three years running now, many of us bloggers have participated in what we’ve called a “blog rally” to promote Engage With Grace – a movement aimed at making sure all of us understand, communicate, and have honored our end-of-life wishes.
The rally is timed to coincide with a weekend when most of us are with the very people with whom we should be having these unbelievably important conversations – our closest friends and family.
At the heart of Engage With Grace are five questions designed to get the conversation about end-of-life started. Click here to view them. They’re not easy questions, but they are important – and believe it or not, most people find they actually enjoy discussing their answers with loved ones.The key is having the conversation before it’s too late.
This past year has done so much to support our mission to get more and more people talking about their end-of-life wishes. We’ve heard stories with happy endings … and stories with endings that could’ve (and should’ve) been better. We’ve stared down political opposition. We’ve supported each other’s efforts.
And we’ve helped make this a topic of national importance — as underscored by this recent piece on CNN.
So in the spirit of the upcoming Thanksgiving weekend, we’d like to highlight some things for which we’re grateful.
Thank you to Atul Gawande for writing such a fiercely intelligent and compelling piece on “letting go”– it is a work of art, and a must read.
Thank you to whomever perpetuated the myth of “death panels” for putting a fine point on all the things we don’t stand for, and in the process, shining a light on the right we all have to live our lives with intent – right through to the end.
Thank you to TEDMED for letting us share our story and our vision.
And of course, thank you to everyone who has taken this topic so seriously, and to all who have done so much to spread the word, including sharing The One Slide.
We share our thanks with you, and we ask that you share this slide with your family, friends, and followers. Know the answers for yourself, know the answers for your loved ones, and appoint an advocate who can make sure those wishes get honored – it’s something we think you’ll be thankful for when it matters most.
Here’s to a holiday filled with joy – and as we engage in conversation with the ones we love, we engage with grace.
To learn more please go to www.engagewithgrace.org. This post was written by Alexandra Drane and the Engage With Grace team.
Here at Schwartz Communications, we're seeing a few more "green shoots" of recovery: Companies in the healthcare IT sector are scoring a mini surge in VC funding after what seems like a protracted ice age. There's also been an uptick in mergers and acquisitions (AllScripts - Eclipsys is just one example).
Of that, $157 million was funneled towards U.S. medical software and information services companies: a 91% improvement over the Q2 2009. Clinical decision support software ($77 million), health administration software ($37 million), medical software and information services ($15 million), drug discovery/bioinformatics software ($15 million) and medical imaging software ($13 million) led the pack. There were fewer sector deals overall, but larger amounts of capital raised. Increased interest in health information exchanges (HIE), accountable care organizations (ACOs) and new healthcare payment models represent the result of these investments.
Interestingly, many of these healthcare IT deals were early stage investments with a consumer focus - a growing area of our Healthcare IT practice. The recently released final rules on Meaningful Use, which in turn drives the allocation of ARRA stimulus money, is also helping drive this trend. We're hoping it's a trend that picks up steam!
The eagerly anticipated HITECH Act's final rule on "meaningful use" of Electronic Health Records (EHRs) was announced yesterday by HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. It clarifies how doctors and hospitals can qualify for federal aid when they adopt EHRs. At stake: Up to $27 billion in incentives over the next ten years - $44,000 max per clinician under Medicare and $63,750 per clinician from Medicaid. Hospitals also stand to receive millions from "meaningful" EHR implementations.
Lack of definition on meaningful use had stalled many EHR implementations, especially at smaller hospitals, while leaving vendors in a painful wait-and-see position. Last January, many vendors, healthcare organizations and physicians groups like the MGMA contributed their suggestions to a definition during the public comment period, hoping to influence a ruling that didn't position them out of the stimulus-fueled market.
Yesterday's announcement outlined a definition by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on minimum requirements that providers must meet through their use of certified EHR technology to qualify for stimulus dollars. Listed are a "core" group of requirements - like e-prescribing - that must be met, plus an a la carte "menu" of procedures from which providers may choose. This approach is meant to have teeth, but also give providers flexibility to pursue their individual needs. While certainly lowering barriers to federal dollars (and market barriers to vendors), some point out that this also dilutes quality. Many, however, are relieved – and thankful for the public comment period – as the initial “all or nothing” approach, as first outlined, meant that many organizations would likely have not even tried to qualify, fearing they couldn't possibly meet the stringent criteria needed to get funding.
In addition to the final rule on meaningful use, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office of the National Coordinator of Health Information Technology (ONC) also issued a rule identifying the standards, implementation specifications and certification criteria for EHR technology. But, as ZDNet Healthcare points out, "the companies which will do the certifying have yet to be chosen, after which vendors will have to line up to assure customers of stimulus cash." Assuming their technology is certified, many healthcare IT vendors now have the opportunity to help physicians improve the various processes outlined in the a la carte menu.
Following are additional impressions from HIMSS 2010, Atlanta contributed by Schwartz Communications colleagues Dave Close, Nigel Smith, Dana Conti, Mercedes Fereck…
• Bloggers vs. reporters: There is hardly a difference in the healthcare IT market. Prominent bloggers like HISTalk attract big readerships - large enough to host their own party and awards ceremony on the same night as Healthcare Informatics’ Innovators Awards Event. At a client’s press briefing, bloggers sat next to top tier outlets like Modern Healthcare, providing their own perspective and reporting on the news. Take Anthony Guerra for instance. He is the former editor of Healthcare Informatics, who is now leveraging his CIO contacts to write stories on his new site healthsystemCIO.com
• Booth Gimmicks Abound: From the aforementioned DeLorean, to a specially constructed basketball court featuring former Harlem Globetrotters to Tiki-themed lairs and Vespa giveaways, HIMSS once again featured some pretty memorable booths. I can certainly appreciate the scenery, but it seems somewhat "Mad Men" retro and a bit silly to see companies still hire beautiful young women to draw traffic into the booths. Every spokes-model in the southeast must have been at the GWC. How do you stand for seven hours on six-inch heels?
• Wither the CIO? There weren’t as many hospital CIO types roaming the show floor as in years’ past. Many we spoke with said the CIO was an “endangered species” at HIMSS and most who did attend were there as a guest of a vendor. So, HIMSS this year was mostly vendors talking to vendors, with the most likely business outcome being strategic partnerships down the road, or planting seeds for a future merger or acquisition.
• Testing The Waters: This year at HIMSS, Schwartz met with a number of general technology vendors who were there to “test the waters” of the healthcare vertical market and/or to gather information on healthcare IT certification.
Once again this year, Schwartz was the lone PR firm with a booth at the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) conference, which was attended by 9 of our clients and wrapped up yesterday. They were there along with some 30,000 other healthcare IT professionals, all eager to hear the latest on "Meaningful Use," Electronic Health Records, HITECH, ARRA and how to secure federal stimulus dollars. Hundreds of vendors exhibited in two huge exhibition halls, ensuring my pedometer registered up to 8,000 show floor steps per day. Good thing, considering the spectacularly unhealthy fare offered at the food stalls throughout the Georgia World Congress Center.
Following are a few observations about the show, including contributions from Schwartz VPs Dana Conti and Dave Close, who attended HIMSS along with 5 other colleagues:
• It seems that every six months, the number of media outlets shooting video on the conference floor doubles. Publications like DotMed and Healthcare IT News tape interviews during the day and edit stories at night. And you thought you had a long day at the booth?
• The land grab for HIE contracts is on. Everyone from major players like GE to niche HIE vendors are highlighting their ability to support the next healthcare technology infrastructure...and reporters wanted to hear from anyone with an HIE pitch.
• So many EHRs. It seems like everyone is developing or offering an EHR with the story that it’s a logical extension of what they do – whatever it is they do. We met a fascinating guy from South America who developed an EHR for racehorses. He was at HIMSS to find opportunities to sell if for human patients. Why not? He’ll have to change the parameters for the size of a urine sample, though.
• Some version of the phrase “meaningful use” was in the signage or literature in almost every booth. Last year everyone was waiting for the definition. This year there is a definition and it’s moved very quickly into the marketing spiels of hundreds of companies.
• Perhaps the most appropriate visual metaphor to healthcare IT today was in the booth that had a “Back to the Future” DeLorean. One of the engineers had built the thing and it’s an amazing facsimile of the real movie car. He said it has 200,000 miles on it and he drives it to the shows. An old, obsolete car covered with all sorts of futuristic technology bolted all over it to make it do new things. At HIMSS you saw so much fantastic technology – EMRs, PACs, PHRs, HIEs, analytics…all sorts of new tech to make the old, clunky healthcare system faster and better. But I can’t help thinking that until there is some type of structural reform, it’s still 21st century tech bolted onto a creaky, obsolete system.