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Costco begins selling EMRs

Physicians with memberships at Costco discount warehouse stores can now pick up some technology for the office. Costco has partnered with Etransmedia Technology to sell Allscripts MyWay EHR and practice management systems at Costco stores nationally. The store hopes physicians looking to collect incentive money for meaningful use of electronic medical records will take advantage of the deal. Costco executive members can implement the integrated EMR/practice management system for $499 a month. For non-executive members, the price is $599 a month. The pricing is based on a 60-month contract, according to, a website Etransmedia launched to promote the deal. The Allscripts MyWay system offered by Costco is an integrated, Web-based EMR and practice management solution that includes e-prescribing, electronic claims and a patient portal. The monthly fee includes maintenance, support and hosting as well as online training. Allscripts advertises the EMR and PM systems sep ...

Comparative effectiveness research grants attract strong interest

The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute has received more than 20 applications for each pilot project grant it is offering to groups that help the organization develop priorities and methods for researching the effectiveness of medical care. PCORI received 856 requests for its Pilot Project Grant Program, its first major funding opportunity. The institute will select approximately 40 awardees by the end of March, each of whom will receive a share of $26 million in pilot grant funding over two years. PCORI was created by the national health system reform law to study the comparative effectiveness of different medical treatments, devices and drugs in treating the same medical conditions. Such research has faced opposition from critics who are concerned the government and private insurance companies will use its conclusions to favor treatments that benefit a majority of people with a disease or condition, while putting sub-populations at a disadvantage. The institute's l ...

CMS innovation center launched 12 projects in first year

The CMS Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation developed a dozen new initiatives to reform the health care system during its first year of operation. The Commonwealth Fund, a progressive think tank with offices in New York and Washington, published a report highlighting the center's work over the last year. The report described 12 initiatives, including alternative payment model programs that established patient-centered medical homes, accountable care organizations and mentor-ship programs. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services launched the innovation center in November 2010. The health system reform law provided $10 billion over 10 years to support the center's mission of testing payment and service delivery models that aim to reduce spending while maintaining or increasing quality of care. The innovation center has started to change the way people think about the health care system, said Stuart Guterman, co-author of the study and vice president of payment and s ...