Industry news: Athenahealth, Medical Records Institute & Professional Risk Associates, Philips

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Athenahealth announced that its web-based athenaNet practice management system now includes new physician quality measures and coding rules for its entire national client base as part of the Tax Relief and Health Care Act of 2006. Under the new law, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has established the Physician Quality Reporting Initiative. Providers who successfully report quality measure data on claims for services between July 1 and December 31, 2007, will be eligible for a single consolidated incentive payment in mid 2008, equivalent of 1.5 percent of total allowed charges.

Medical Records Institute and Professional Risk Associates are conducting a joint survey on the usage of electronic medical records by physicians. The survey seeks to discover the extent of adoption of EMRs by physicians and the functions provided by EMR systems which are most easily incorporated into the daily practice of medicine. The organizations want to determine if they feel pressured from government, payers, and patients to adopt an EMR. Additionally, the survey aims to determine whether there is widespread belief that use of an EMR will make practices more, or less, vulnerable to malpractice cases. To access the survey, visit or Survey results will be available this summer free of charge.

Also, Medical Records Institute announced the availability of its TEPR 2007 Awards program. The Awards program covers the following categories: document imaging; mobile applications for healthcare; standalone e-prescribing systems; personal health records; and hot products.

The deadline for submissions is April 6, 2007. Independent judges will determine the companies achieving top scores. These companies will then present their solutions at the TEPR 2007 conference in May in Dallas, where honors will be awarded. Details for participation can be found on MRI's website

The National Digital Medical Archive (NDMA) highlighted its NDMA Direct at the PACS 2007 Conference in San Antonio, Texas last week. The product allows users to view and interact with full-fidelity DICOM data across the enterprise regardless of platform or location, while maintaining the integrity and security of the permanent record. The company emphasized its FDA-cleared streaming-technology use on mobile devices, which provides quick access, in 2D, 3D, and multimedia formats, along with related reports, on workstations, thin clients, standard PCs and wireless PDAs.

Sumter Regional Hospital in Americus, Ga., was badly damaged by a tornado that struck the area in early March. Disaster recovery is currently underway. Philips Medical Systems has come forward to provide disaster relief through the donation of diagnostic and monitoring equipment. The company also has worked with the hospital staff to locate prefabricated buildings to swiftly help house all the donated equipment, which includes a mobile CT scanner, an ultrasound unit, a mobile C-arm, and patient monitors, which helped the hospital image area residents injured by the tornado.