See you in Geneva, and a new name for my top gig

I don’t think I ever actually posted this here, but I have decided to go to the first World of Health IT conference in Geneva next week. I think I have enough work to cover the considerable expense, and even if I don’t, the trip’s booked and the airfare is nonrefundable, so I might as well get on the plane. (And if you want to offer me an assignment, I’m listening.)

If you are planning on making the trip yourself, drop me a line or post a comment at the bottom of this entry. I’m interested in seeing how many people they draw from outside of Europe.

Meanwhile, my most frequent freelance client has changed names. Effective this week, Health-IT World is now known as Digital HealthCare & Productivity, though the Web page apparently has not changed. I’ve updated the link in the right-hand column of this blog to reflect the new name. For the reasoning behind the move, click here.

Also, my phone seems to be working properly for the first time in a month, now that the number transfer to the new phone company is done. Sorry for any inconvenience the problems may have caused anyone.

And if you came here looking for real news, here’s some: Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-R.I.) introduced legislation on Friday that would create a fund to reward physicians for using patient-controlled personal health records. The bill, called the Personalized Health Information Act (H.R. 6289), would authorize the federal government to fund incentives for Medicare beneficiaries from the Medicare trust fund and look for other payers to make voluntary contributions on behalf of privately insured patients.

Payments would start at $2 per patient, according to an e-mail from Kennedy’s office. The full text of the legislation had not been posted as of this evening, but visit in a few days and enter the bill number.

The glacial pace of considering healthcare bills notwithstanding, I’d like to know people’s thoughts on this approach to incentivizing physicians. Post your comments below.