US Government asks for help testing Office VistA

US Goverment asks for assistance in testing a version of VistA for use in Physician offices. I just received this link off the HardHats mail list:
Modern Physician.

The article asks for Physicians to help test a vesion of VistA destined for the office.

They ask the user to log into the site, set up a patient profile & run through some scripts. It also states results and feedback will be used to improve the application.

PEPFAR Software Inventory Report Evaluates Open Source Software

Open source software, including OpenEMR, is evaluated in the
President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (“PEPFAR”) Software Inventory Report for use with HIV and AIDS. PEPFAR “FY 2005 budget requests $2.8 billion for fighting AIDS globally, which more than triples the investment since 2001.” PEPFAR is a “five-year, $15 billion initiative to turn the tide in the global effort to combat the HIV/AIDS pandemic.” Read On for more details.

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US Health and Human Services – Request for Comment on EMR

Office of the National Coordinator Health Information Technology (ONCHIT)
was established on April 27, 2004 by Executive Order #13335 issued by President Bush. ONCHIT establishes the position of National Health Information Technology Coordinator within the Department of Health & Human Services. Click here to view the Executive Order.

“On November 15, the Office of the National Coordinator Health Information Technology (ONCHIT) released a Request for Information (RFI)
that seeks public comment regarding how widespread interoperability of health information technologies and health information exchange can be achieved through a National Health Information Network (NHIN).

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Medical Billers Network Scam? Possible Money Back

Editor: Read On for a possible way of getting your money back. This is not an endorsement of any of this by Linux Medical News, further Linux Medical News does not have any other information, recommendations or opinions about any of this. A little background: we first published an article entitled: Medical Billers Network Scam? in response to un-solicited negative comments that users began posting to Linux Medical News about MedicalBillersNetwork. A large number of people posted similar experiences alleging fraud by MBN. This is all off the main topic of this news site which is Free and Open Source software in medicine but, oh well. I will be unlikely to post about this subject on the main page again. I “joined” (to the tune of $249.00) Medical Billers Network only last week. I was allowed access to the first five socalled lesson modules, but only briefly. Although they recommended you not print the material, I did. It is the only information I received to study. Shortly after I downloaded the lesson modules, they were no longer available to me. Numerous calls to both the support office and “James”, the guy who signed me up, resulted in absolutely no action taken to allow accessibility of those lessons that I paid for with money I did not really have. I sent them an email saying that if I cannot access the lesson information, I cannot study for the test. It has been several days and I still cannot access the early lessons (module 1 through 5 and “James” informed me that I am not ready to advance further in the lessons. My only consolation is the fact that although I did lose the money, at least I figured out that it was a scam before I went through hours and hours of study and fooling around trying to call nonexistent sources for a job in medical billing. It may not do any good, but I am calling an attorney to look into the feasibility of filing a class action lawsuit against these scam artists.
To all of those people out there, like myself, who were scammed by Medical Billers Network, there is a way you can get your money back IF you gave them your bank account number for an automatic, electronic withdrawal of funds from your bank. I spent more than two hours in my bank this morning, and when I left, it was a pretty good feeling to know the money will be redeposited in my checking account within the next ten days. I went to the bank thinking that my only recourse was to advise the bank that I had given my bank account number to criminals who most probably will use it to steal even more than they already have. I was shocked when the lady told me that the bank will recover the money from Cambridge Institute of Technology and redeposit it in my account. I hesitate to give out the name of the bank because they are still working on my case. The first step was to close my old account (one that I have had for more than twenty years) and reopen it with a new account number Both my car and life insurance are automatically withdrawn, so I had to call them and advise them of my new account number at the bank. There was no need for an attorney, and no fees of any kind. I spoke with the Assistant Vice President of one of the largest banks in Texas and she was extremely helpful and a decent caring person. So, if you paid for your “medical billing training” with your bank card, try going through your bank and just maybe they will be able to effect a refund. My bank did and I am so grateful to them. Like everyone else, I just did not have the money to lose to crooks, liars and cheaters. Give it a try, and good luck to you all.

Connecting For Health -Paper

Connecting For Health publishes
Financial, Legal and Organizational Approaches to Achieving Electronic Connectivity in Healthcare.
It comes down as an 88 page pdf including a 2 page Executive Summary.
The goal is to understand the barriers and identify starting points for physician’s practices to adopt IT.

The paper provides lots of interesting ideas, quantitative analysis, and common sense recommendations (big picture) to get IT into small and medium size practices. While Open Source is not mentioned by name, consideration was given to different futures including widespread interoperability and limited interoperability, “Proprietary Care” (pg 17.)

Thanks to The Informatics Review

New Certification Group in Town

A new organization has been formed to certify HIT software. Full information here. Anyone else interested in applying to be a member/co-chair?

Got this from my CARING list.
The Certification Commision for HEalthcare Information Technology has been founded. Looks like the first meeting was in September. Next Meeting in November. Interesting mix on the board.

The are setting up working groups. for various bits of functionality including the certification WG.

NHS Awards Microsoft �500m Contract Despite OSS

ZDnet is reporting that the UK’s National Health Service has awarded Microsoft a �500m contract: ‘The nine-year contract, which includes breakpoints at three-year intervals, does not preclude the future use of open-source software, according to the DoH. “The option to use open-source software in the future remains and continues to be evaluated,” stated the DoH…The contract flies in the face of the report released last week by the Office of Government Commerce (OGC), the government’s procurement watchdog, which described Linux as a viable desktop alternative for the majority of government users. A spokesman from the OGC was unable to comment in time for this article…