Python X12 Medical Billing Library

As the originator of FreeB I am usually up on whats happening in the open source medical billing world. Imagine my surprise when I found out that someone has put out a really excellent X12 parsing and validating tool! John Holland has written and excellent python library called pyx12. Of course I wish he had released it under the GPL but it is still an excellent F/OSS application!

Fred Trotter
Project Manager ClearHealth
Does anybody know of any other interesting X12/HL7 F/OSS projects?

Palm Blows It

In what may be the biggest what-were-they-thinking story of the decade, Palm ships a product with operating system software by its competitor, Microsoft. A Forbes article sums it up: ‘…When Palm announced today that its new smartphone would run an operating system from Microsoft, it was the equivalent of Coca-Cola agreeing to fill its bottles with Pepsi…’ The tragedy of this story is not the usual Microsoft crushing a competitor with its monopoly, but how Palm, a company with a great product, has managed to destroy itself slowly over the years.

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Gone Fishin’ Hurricane Rita Blog

Live from Houston, Texas this is hurricane Rita! The staff at Linux Medical News World Headquarters is almost all evacuated. However, the highways are loaded with people so we’re lingering a bit. NOAA has way cool satellite and strike probability maps updated as they happen so I’m freed from the talking heads a little and can see things for myself. An 18-wheeler of plywood was sold out from a local hardware store in about an hour so it is duct tape, sandbags and hope for LMNWHQ. LMN will probably soldier on no matter what as the server is in Chicago or somewhere. I’ll update this with replies to this post as things occur. Good luck everyone!

Breaking News: CMS Releases Beta VOE

September 19th, 2005 CMS released an ‘evaluation version’ of the highly anticipated Vista Office EHR (VOE) according to this CMS website press release. Highlights of the press release are that apparently CMS is going to evaluate how implementations are working at a limited number of beta test sites, then consider standards for ‘certification criteria and process’ through WorldVistA. More information, including system requirements and what makes a beta test site can be found at There does not appear to be a place in which anyone can download the software and I read this to mean there probably won’t be one unless you qualify as a beta test site or qualified vendor. Click Read More for the full text of the CMS announcement.

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VistA Office EHR Delay Continues

Delay of the widely anticipated release of VistA Office EHR that was expected to happen August 1st continues. Modern physician (intrusive registration required) has an article on the subject: ‘…The CMS, in partnership with the Veterans Affairs Department, announced in the summer of 2004 that it would adapt for use in physician offices the Veterans Health Information Systems and Technology Architecture, a clinical information system that runs in nearly all 1,300 healthcare sites in the Veterans Health Administration.

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Bill to ‘Centralize’ VA IT

iHealthBeat has an article: that states: ‘Rep. Steve Buyer (R-Ind.), chair of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, at a hearing on Wednesday said he will introduce legislation that would give the VA’s CIO control of resources, budget and personnel, Government Health IT reports. The move to reform the VA’s IT operations and centralize it within the CIO’s office will affect the VA’s entire IT budget, including HealtheVet and the VA’s electronic health records system (Hasson, Government Health IT, 9/14)…’

RAND: Over $100 Billion for EMR Network

iHealthBeat has an article detailing the results of a RAND corp. study that says a EMR network will cost over $100 billion over 15 years: ‘…Implementation of a nationwide electronic health records network would take about 15 years and cost hospitals about $98 billion and physicians about $17 billion, according to a study by Richard Hillestad and colleagues at RAND, the AP/Las Vegas Sun reports (Neergaard, AP/Las Vegas Sun, 9/14).

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