But will she be singing about telemedicine?
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.