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A stimulus for the webinar industry

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, a.k.a. the economic stimulus legislation, just became law, and already the webinars had started.

The eHealth Initiative held the first session in its webinar series Tuesday at 3 p.m. EST. That was perhaps an hour after President Obama signed the bill during a ceremony in Denver. eHI will repeat the overview session today at 10:30 a.m. EST and hold new online sessions on Thursday, Friday, next Monday and on Feb. 25 and 27. It’s free for eHI members and $150 for the entire series for non-members.

HIMSS at least waited for the ink to dry before starting its own webinar series. The first session, an overview, is set for Wednesday at 2 p.m. CST. (That’s 3 p.m. for those of you on the east coast who were unaware the United States had multiple time zones and noon for those of you on the west coast with similar misconceptions.) Additional events are planned for Feb. 23, March 4, 11 and 18. Each session costs $79.

HIMSS also announced plans for 10 related educational sessions at the HIMSS Annual Conference in April, right here in the Central time zone.

I’m sure others have educational programs in the works to sort through the massive legislation that will pump $19 billion of borrowed federal money into the health IT industry. Unfortunately, the legislation failed to outlaw the word “webinar.” I’ll have to call my congressman about that one. Oh wait, that was Rahm Emanuel, who’s now the White House chief of staff, so I guess I don’t have a voice in Congress at the moment. I’ll have to see if the Webster’s people can’t ban “webinar” from the English language.

At least we get a special election and not a gubernatorial appointment to fill Emanuel’s seat, the Illinois 5th District, previously held by Rod Blagojevich and, before that, Dan Rostenkowski.

February 17, 2009 I Written By

I'm a freelance healthcare journalist, specializing in health IT, mobile health, healthcare quality, hospital/physician practice management and healthcare finance.

HHS gets seat on National Economic Council

Among a series of executive orders and other presidential documents not announced by the White House is a Feb. 5 order from President Obama adding the secretary of Health and Human Services and four others to the National Economic Council.

Politico reported Tuesday night that the Obama administration failed to tell the press or post on the White House Web site about several actions the new president took in his first few weeks in office. The orders and other notices came to light only through a careful review of the arcane pages of the Federal Register.

A Feb. 5 order that appeared in the Federal Register on Feb. 11 expanded the National Economic Council by five members, adding: the HHS secretary; White House senior advisor Valerie Jarrett; “climate czar” and former EPA Administrator Carol Browner; the White House chief technology officer; and the administrator of the Small Business Administration.

For the record, Obama has nominated Karen Gordon Mills to head the SBA and Vivek Kundra reportedly will be picked for the Office of E-Government and Information Technology. Of course, we do not know who the permanent HHS secretary will be, thanks to Tom Daschle’s little tax problem. Someone out there must be in line to dole out the $19 billion in health IT cash authorized by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

I Written By

I'm a freelance healthcare journalist, specializing in health IT, mobile health, healthcare quality, hospital/physician practice management and healthcare finance.

Inside the books of HIMSS

The lengthy post on Monday about the Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology included a discussion about whether CCHIT and the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society are perhaps too closely aligned. That got me thinking: I recall seeing a report last year that gave a peek inside the books of HIMSS for fiscal year 2006.

That report appeared in the Jan. 21, 2008, issue of Inside Healthcare Computing, the most insightful health IT publication nobody knows about. It’s only available via paid subscription, and either in 8.5″ x 11″ newsletter format or PDF equivalent, so the daily health IT news aggregation services that so many people rely on rarely if ever refer to it.

However, I’m an occasional contributor, so I was able to get the permission of editor and publisher Cathe Schwartz to reprint the article. HIMSS boss Steve Lieber even consented to an interview for the story. You won’t find any discussion about CCHIT there, but you will enjoy the story. You probably will learn a thing or two from it.

Perhaps Inside Healthcare Computing will earn a paid subscriber or two from this post. That potentially would mean more work for me. I thank you in advance. :)

I Written By

I'm a freelance healthcare journalist, specializing in health IT, mobile health, healthcare quality, hospital/physician practice management and healthcare finance.