Industry leaders push e-ordering into healthcare

December 4, 2009
Diagnostic Imaging, Diagnostic Imaging Vol 31 No 12, Volume 31, Issue 12

An alliance of healthcare providers, technology companies, and diagnostic imaging organizations have joined forces to form the Imaging e-Ordering Coalition to prove to the federal government e-ordering is a better alternative to radiology benefit managers.

An alliance of healthcare providers, technology companies, and diagnostic imaging organizations have joined forces to form the Imaging e-Ordering Coalition to prove to the federal government e-ordering is a better alternative to radiology benefit managers.

E-ordering, also known as computer physician order entry and decision support, is an alternative to cumbersome radiology benefit managers (RBMs). E-ordering can save time and money, and the coalition came together to educate policy makers about its benefits.

“The objective is to be the industry voice both to the federal government-to policy makers, to payers, to providers-and to patient advocate groups to say this is a better solution for everybody,” said Scott Coswill, coalition chair. “Clinical decision support is the way you want to go. We're out there; we're available and this is the wave of the future.”

The coalition, which consists of the American College of Radiology, Center for Diagnostic Imaging (CDI), GE Healthcare, Medicalis, Merge Healthcare, and Nuance Communications, seeks to:

• Promote existing health information technology legislative concepts to inform policy makers on the value of e-ordering to enable the appropriate use of imaging.

• Ask lawmakers to include e-ordering in the development of healthcare system efficiency incentives.

• Act as a resource for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on its Medicare Imaging Demonstration Project, established by Congress in Section 135(b) of the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act of 2008 (MIPPA).

• Work with policy makers to have the coalition's e-ordering proposal for CMS scored to validate long-term value and savings for the healthcare industry.

• Work with stakeholders to establish standards to accelerate e-ordering as a meaningful and valuable application with electronic medical records (EMRs).

The government earmarked $10 million in the MIPPA bill for a CMS Medicare and Medicaid pilot project it hopes to have off the ground in January 2010, which will involve clinical decision support.

“Now the federal government wants the proof in the pudding,” Coswill said. “Now we're going to start being a part of these demos and we've got to start showing them this is a better option.” -RM