But will she be sing­ing about telemedicine?

Modern Healthcare - - Front Page -

Out­liers thought it had a scoop: Un­der the cover of dark­ness (or at least with­out a news re­lease) the Health­care In­for­ma­tion and Man­age­ment Sys­tems So­ci­ety of­fi­cially changes its name to HIMSS. Just in terms of the space saved it was a block­buster: 48 letters vs. five. We can say a lot in the space saved by those 43 letters. In fact, we just did in that last sen­tence.

Re­porters ev­ery­where were thrilled at the thought they no longer would have to go back and check whether the “H” stands for “health” or “health­care” or dou­ble-check where the “and” is sup­posed to go. But alas, it is not to be. Sigh. Seems Out­liers was con­fused by an in­ter­nal pol­icy at HIMSS that has the group now just us­ing the acro­nym “among friends.”

“If peo­ple know who we are, we’re not us­ing it. When peo­ple don’t know who we are, we spell it out,” says Joyce Lof­strom, a HIMSS spokes­woman.

But how do they know who knows who they are? Only HIMSS knows.

Telemedicine’s new cham­pion

Telemedicine has a new and un­ex­pected cheer­leader. Jen­nifer Lopez, plat­inum-sell­ing record­ing artist, ac­tress and soon-to-be judge on “Amer­i­can Idol,” has made telemedicine—which uses health in­for­ma­tion technology and telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions net­works to pro­vide health­care ser­vices to un­der­served pop­u­la­tions—a cen­tral com­po­nent of her new char­ity, the Mari­bel Foun­da­tion.

Ear­lier this year, Lopez and her sis­ter Lynda ap­proached of­fi­cials at Chil­dren’s Hos­pi­tal Los An­ge­les, hop­ing to col­lab­o­rate to im­prove health­care ac­cess for women and chil­dren, a spokes­woman for the hos­pi­tal said. Chil­dren’s Hos­pi­tal, which al­ready was de­vel­op­ing a telemedicine pro­gram, had worked with Lopez on other projects and agreed to team up again, the spokes­woman added.

Al­though the project still is in its early stages, the Lopez sis­ters re­cently trav­eled to Uni­ver­sity Pe­di­atric Hos­pi­tal in Puerto Rico for the un­veil­ing.

“To see how this one hos­pi­tal can ben­e­fit from this pro­gram is so ful­fill­ing and just the be­gin­ning of the vi­sion and dream that my sis­ter Lynda and I have had for try­ing to pro­vide the best med­i­cal care for chil­dren ev­ery­where,” Jen­nifer Lopez said in a state­ment.

They also ap­peared on a June episode of “Larry King Live” to pro­mote the char­ity, named for hus­band Marc An­thony’s sis­ter, who died of a brain tu­mor.

“Sim­ply stated, this technology al­lows pa­tients lo­cated all over the world to re­ceive ac­cess to care by the physi­cians at one of Amer­ica’s top pe­di­atric hos­pi­tals,” the Mari­bel Foun­da­tion says on its web­site.

No word yet on whether J-Lo will use the technology to treat pa­tients to any re­mote per­for­mances.


“It is ex­tremely chill­ing if, af­ter spend­ing a huge sum of money, time and ef­fort to get a drug through FDA ap­proval, you’ll then have to go through it all again to see if CMS will pay for it. Fir­ing a shot across the bow like this is not the way to have an in­tel­li­gent and mean­ing­ful dis­cus­sion about how we start to ad­dress the com­plex is­sue of drug costs.”

—Allen Lichter, head of the Amer­i­can So­ci­ety of Clin­i­cal On­col­ogy, in the Washington Post, on CMS’ “na­tional cov­er­age anal­y­sis” of Provenge, a vac­cine against prostate can­cer that costs $93,000 per pa­tient but ex­tends pa­tients’ lives by about four months. “If you saw a used paper tis­sue ly­ing on a wait­ing ta­ble, you wouldn’t pick it up, would you? But when a mag­a­zine or news­pa­per is be­ing held for a pe­riod of time, peo­ple may be cough­ing, may be sneez­ing.”

—Jim Ruderman, chief of staff at Women’s Col­lege Hos­pi­tal, Toronto, on the hos­pi­tal’s de­ci­sion to re­move read­ing ma­te­ri­als

from wait­ing ar­eas to help con­trol the spread of in­fec­tion. “Providers will be en­cour­aged to con­tinue see­ing Med­i­caid pa­tients in hopes that they will even­tu­ally be paid.”

—The South Carolina Depart­ment of Health and Hu­man Ser­vices in a plan it sub­mit­ted to the state bud­get of­fice stat­ing it would stop pay­ing doc­tors on March 4 un­less plans are ap­proved to

cover a $228 mil­lion deficit.

Lopez, shown per­form­ing with her hus­band, Marc An­thony, ear­lier this year, named the foun­da­tion for her late sis­ter-in-law.

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