Ladies and Gentlereaders,
I am proud to announce that I have a new gig. I am writing a monthly supplement to the weekly Part B News called Physician Office Technology Report. It’s published by Decision Health of Rockville, Md.
The title pretty much speaks for itself, and the audience is primarily physician practice managers, similar to my last full-time job at a publication that shall remain nameless because I don’t want them to have the publicity.
So yeah, there was a good reason why I was in Philadelphia last week for the Medical Group Management Association‘s annual conference and yet another reason why my blogging has been rather spotty of late.
The first issue of the Part B News Physician Office Technology Report came out this week. Look for it the first week of each month.
Speaking of conferences I’m covering, I will be at the American Medical Informatics Association confab here in Chicago next week. The last time I saw Don Detmer’s crew was in Australia for MedInfo in August. Let’s see, 17 hours of flying vs. 25 minutes on the bus. Discuss.
The AMIA meeting at the Sheraton overlaps with the AHIP Business Forum, which is at the Renaissance Chicago about five blocks away, so it’s unlikely I’ll spend much time with the health insurers.
I did go to the AHIP annual meeting in Las Vegas in June (much warmer than Chicago in November, or, for that matter, Chicago in October 1871), but I’m not sure how much I’d get out of next week’s meeting.
A poll question in an AHIP “SmartBrief” last week asked which of the following trends was most significant in 2007:
1. CMS ruling not to reimburse costs for preventable errors.
2. Expansion of walk-in clinics in retail health settings.
3. Efforts to provide more insurance options for young people.
4. Obesity epidemic continuing.
Notice that health IT didn’t register. It’s not a top-tier issue on the national healthcare scene at the moment, a point further driven home at another event I dropped in on last week: the 25th anniversary celebration for Health Affairs. There, representatives from nine or 10 presidential campaigns participated in a roundtable discussion of healthcare issues.
The way it sounded to me was: “Access. Cost. Access. Cost. Medicare reform. Access. Cost. Health savings accounts. Access. Cost. Access Cost.” John McCain’s representative did mention health IT and, at the very end, Barack Obama’s guy alluded to quality. And you wonder why national HIT legislation hasn’t gone anywhere?
Want another sign that physicians are lagging on the IT front? I’m going to scrape the very bottom of the barrel for some evidence contained in a spam e-mail. Yeah, I know.
Someone trying to sell physician mailing lists said there were 788,974 total licensed physicians in the U.S. That sounds about right. This particular outfit claimed to have e-mail addresses for 17,042 of them. That works out to about 2 percent. Even if you consider only the 600,000 or so practicing docs, you’re only taking about 3 percent.
OK, enough with the spam. Here’s a public service for some people I’ve worked with, either directly or indirectly: Job listings.
First, blogger Matthew Holt is looking for 2-3 unpaid interns for the next health 2.0 conference, scheduled for San Diego next March. He’s based in San Francisco, and I assume most of the work is too. (Maybe I shouldn’t mention that the current issue of another pub I contribute to, Inside Healthcare Computing, has a commentary headlined “Our Take: Health 2.0 Is Really Advertising 2.0.”)
Also, E-Health Media in the UK, publisher of E-Health Insider, is putting on a healthcare IT careers forum in London on Nov. 30.
If you go to the latter, bring me back some British pounds. They’re worth about $2.11 as of this writing. Heck, I’d settle for Canadian or Aussie dollars, euros, yen, whatever.