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Oh really?

There’s a new venture in Buffalo, N.Y., billing itself as the “first national, electronic healthcare transaction network in the United States.”

The press release for the HealthTransaction Network says: “The initiative, under development for sixteen months since its announcement, is aimed at uninsured or underinsured individuals, who can’t afford coverage for even primary medical care. The goal is to enable them to get wellness services so they can prevent more serious conditions.”

OK, it’s a noble concept, but is it really national? The announcement makes it seem like it’s confined to Western New York state.

“The long-awaited program, started by electronic-transaction entrepreneur Joseph Wolfson, came to life last week with the launch of low-cost basic services at community health-care facilities, a new technologically advanced identification card, and an electronic transaction network to facilitate transactions between consumers and healthcare providers,” the release says. Again, these are some good ideas that can help transform care and save money for everyone involved. But a truly national network for electronic health transactions? It couldn’t be that simple, could it?

February 18, 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.

CCHIT critic identified

(Updated, 4:50 p.m. CST) The lengthy criticism leveled at the Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology just got a little lengthier, and we finally know the name of the critic.

A “Calvin Jablonski” just added a comment to my post about CCHIT from earlier in the week. This seems like the same person who posted under the name “CJ” on the Wall Street Journal Health Blog last week, a comment subsequently reprinted here and on the Health Care Renewal Blog—there might be others, too—that brought a response from CCHIT Marketing Director Sue Reber on all the same blogs.

I searched the name “Calvin Jablonski” and could only find his posts about CCHIT, not any information on his background or interest in this topic. I believe, based on my statistics monitor for this site, that the comment came from IP address 65.218.162.# (the # indicates a number that I’m not privy to), on the network of marketing firm Euro RSCG 4 Impact in Norcross, Ga.

Today, Jablonski hammered away at alleged links between CCHIT and the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society:

Ms Reber why don’t you admit the defunct status of CCHIT?
Its been verified… Why don’t you admit CCHIT has concealed its defunct status?

Why do you deny which is obviously the truth and which as been verified? CCHIT is a defunct 501 c 3 tax exempt non-profit that has been dissolved for over a year.

Why don’t you admit CCHIT was spwaned by none other than Steve Lieber, CEO of HIMSS.org, another 501 c organization that hasn’t paid a dime in taxes but has made over $100million dollars in profits?

Why don’ty you admit CCHIT and HIMSS has presented an advocacy positon of not asking for millions, but now, BILLION of dollars that will fall down the same tax-dodging rat hole if funded according Liebers’ plan?

Why don’t you admit the non profit scheme cooked up by HIMSS.org is full of “artificial transactions” designed to operate as a business filter that allows both organizations to fly below the level of taxable income on IRS radar?

Why don’t you admit CCHIT has continued to take checks from vendors during the period it has effectively been dissolved?

Why don’t you admit there is a revolving door for staff members between CCHIT, HIMSS and the EHRA?

Calvin

Jablonski’s anti-CCHIT campaign actually started before the WSJ comment. “Calvin Jablonski, 501(c)(6) expert” commented on the Chilmark Research blog about the economic stimulus legislation on Feb. 1. You’ll note that he has some company in his criticisms. From the same string of comments, “rockyostrand” says:

Caution, Achtung, Cuidado,

Non-profit trade associations like HIMSS are waiting in the wings and closets at beltway bandit locations all over Maryland, Virginia and D.C. with their hands and cash buckets out waiting for the ink to dry.

Get ready for that giant sucking sound to make the tax dodging 501 (C) 6 “C- Suite” a lot richer.

Don’t you think its time to get the CCHIT and HITSP people out of the mix? its clear at this point they are after the checkbook , the other stuff about HIT is just the game they are playing to get at it. The thing about CCHIT- its an outgrowth of HIMSS and started at 230 E. Ohio St in Chicago, literally a HIMSS subsidiary spinoff residing residing under the same roof. Try looking into the CEO of CCHIT. You will find he is the CMO of HIMSS- gee what small world… YEESSS , Mark Leavitt, possible relation to Mike Leavitt, HHS Secretary.
Rocky Ostrand

That’s awfully close to Jablonski’s original critique—and clearly wrong in claiming that CCHIT Chairman Mark Leavitt, M.D., Ph.D., still is CMO of HIMSS (he went on leave from that position when CCHIT started, but he’s since officially split from HIMSS) and that he might be related to former HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt. Mike Leavitt is a devout Mormon from Utah. Mark Leavitt is a Chicago native of Jewish descent.

On the most recent set of allegations, I believe CCHIT has never hid the fact that it was created by HIMSS, the National Alliance for Health Information Technology and the American Health Information Management Association. Whether Steve Lieber personally spawned CCHIT, I don’t know and don’t think is relevant.

The questions about the involuntary dissolution of CCHIT as a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation under Illinois law are valid ones. The questions about possible conflicts of interest involving CCHIT and other organizations are valid ones. The charge of a “scheme” full of “artificial transactions” is a serious one, but I don’t see any evidence to support it.

One more thing I’ve discovered since the original post: CCHIT’s previous office before moving to 200 S. Wacker Dr. in Chicago was at 233 N. Michigan Ave., the same location as AHIMA, not the 230 E. Ohio St. building where HIMSS is based.

You can bet this is not the last we’ll hear on this subject. I can’t wait to see if CCHIT has another “town hall” at this year’s HIMSS conference. That ought to be fun.

I Written By

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