Friday, April 14, 2006


These two posts today are in reverse order. Part II deals more with local issues and the previous post with national events. Newt Gingrich articulates well the plan which I conceive to be in alignment with our own local Inland Empire RHIO effort.
His comments can be watched at the following link

Mr Gingrich has the unique ability to articulate what must be done locally by local resources according to each region's needs. Many of these regions are well along with their own efforts.

Plans are underway for the next RHIO meeting which has been postponed until late May due to important meetings and events that will influence the deliberations of our next RHIO advisory committee meeting.

In May the CMA will hold a meeting led by Jack Lewin M.D. in Indian Wells which will discuss amongst other issues, Health Information Technology,state representatives are slated to be in attendance as well.

A line of communication has been opened between Inland Empire RHIO and Cindy Ehnes, the Director of Managed Care for the State of California. Mrs. Ehnes has been assigned the task of liason for the state with private HIT inititatives. A number of plans are under review, and the state is asking what it can do to encourage local initiatives. From other sources, there are rumors that if CALRHIOs efforts fail,the state
would step in to act as the central leadership. It appears that the state does not as yet have a cohesive plan, nor is there active legislation pending to provide funding as has occured in some other states.

Ms Ehnes opined that foundations, such as the CMA Foundation which has received funds from a number of class actions suits from payors should share in funding of RHIOs. Somewhere in the middle of our conversation, mention was made of "capitation" being involved in incentivizing state participation
in funding RHIOs. Also, somewhere in the conversation the idea of pay for performance and outcome studies also was mentioned.

Personally I do not feel that P4P, nor outcome sudies should be the driving economic engine of RHIO or EMR utilization. If the State of California wants CMA to use funds from payors that resulted from legal actions to recover monies illegally extracted from physicians originally, it reveals how little the state understands the plight of most physicians providers. The mention of capitation brings chills to my mind, and introduces more chaos to the attempt at developing HIT. CMA, I am sure will take a careful look at that proposition.

The comments and opinions are solely those of the writer, not CALRHIO, nor IERHIO.

Gary Levin M.D.


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