Friday, February 26, 2010

The Other Story at HIMSS

By Mark Brousseau

While Electronic Health Records (EHR) and the impact of the recent definition of the meaningful use requirements will be hot topics at next week's HIMSS Conference in Atlanta, HERAE CEO Jim Ribelin thinks a program underwritten by the new HIMSS Medical Banking Project bears watching.

The project, called Designing the Healthcare Financial Network of the Future, is "right on target," Ribelin says. "The program will assemble key stakeholders to discuss what a strong financial network for healthcare could look like. A future that doesn’t siphon 20 cents of every healthcare dollar spent, and works to advance the balance between responsible financial management and clinical needs of patients," Ribelin says. The program's objective is to determine how the healthcare system can enhance value, reduce costs, and empower the shift from simple disease management to improved health for consumers, while at the same time creating better business models for the healthcare providers.

"EHRs are receiving a lot of attention, but the payment system, where a lot of new processes are in place with standards and systems defined such as bank ACH transactions, HIPAA 835s and ERA files, provides a real opportunity for significant change. A chance to create a network that will reduce costs and create efficiencies without negative impact on patient care,” says Ribelin. “Fix the healthcare payment system, create a strong financial healthcare network and the industry would see a savings of resources without sacrificing quality healthcare.”

What do you think?

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