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Steward Health System Expands MEDITECH EHR Implementation

Eight Steward Health Care System hospitals will implement the web-based MEDITECH EHR as the health system expands to new states.

MEDITECH EHR Implementation

Source: Thinkstock

By Kate Monica

- Steward Health Care System recently announced eight of its hospitals in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Florida will implement MEDITECH Web EHR by 2018.

The health system has been a MEDITECH EHR user for 19 years. MEDITECH’s physician-designed web EHR has been gaining traction since its introduction and improving MEDITECHs reputation in the industry with its high level of usability.

"Steward is committed to providing world class care in a more coordinated, efficient manner in the communities where our patients live," said Steward Health Care System Chief Information Officer Julie Berry. "Expanding our MEDITECH EHR throughout the organization was a key component in moving us toward a more integrated healthcare delivery."

Steward is an integrated accountable care organization (ACO) and physician-led healthcare organization with 36 hospital campuses. The health system intends to use MEDITECH’s EHR to improve clinician workflows and clinical efficiency.

"It's exciting to be deploying solutions built for the web to aid in improving quality and population health, while continuing to drive costs down," Berry said. "Leveraging MEDITECH's innovative Web EHR to help navigate an ever-changing climate was a vital part of our decision to move forward with MEDITECH."

While Steward implemented MEDITECH’s latest web-based EHR platform, the health system stated it also previously found success with the health IT company’s legacy platforms.

While Steward is a loyal long-term client and satisfied user of MEDITECH’s legacy EHR platform, MEDITECH lost just over half of the legacy customers that made decisions to competitors in 2016 according to a KLAS report released in May of this year.

However, the web-based technology has helped the vendor better meet the needs of healthcare organizations. 

VA Fails to Award Cerner EHR Implementation Contract By Deadline

VA has finished writing up the Cerner EHR implementation contract but cannot finalize the deal until Congress transfers necessary funding into the appropriate accounts. VA intended to award the contract before December 1.

Midway through November, VA Secretary David Shulkin requested Congress redirect $728 million from its current budget to fund the implementation at the House Appropriations Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Subcommittee hearing on Wednesday.

VA needed Congress to reprogram $374 million in funds immediately before the federal agency could officially award Cerner the contract. However, Congress has not successfully transferred the requested funds since hearing VA’s request.

Officials have not revealed exactly what is holding up approval in Congress. FCW reports lawmakers are in a mad dash to pass an appropriations package or a continuing resolution to keep the government open past the December 8 funding deadline, in addition to other measures.

A VA source has confirmed the decision to award a contract to Cerner on a sole-source basis is not responsible for the delay.

In early fall, health IT company CliniComp sued VA for awarding the Cerner implementation contract without a competitive bidding process, but the case was dismissed.

Judge Lydia Lay Griggsby of the Court of Federal Claims ruled CliniComp lacked the experience with a contract as large as VA and therefore could not have credibly competed for the multi-billion dollar contract.

Shulkin was initially expected to sign the contract in October, but the CliniComp lawsuit temporarily delayed negotiations. Court documents unsealed after the CliniComp case was dismissed revealed the Cerner contract will likely top out at $10 billion.

Texas Health System Seeks Assistance After Rocky Cerner Implementation

The Ector County Hospital District board will discuss an agreement tonight with Cerner to see how the health IT company can resolve issues that arose after a rocky EHR implementation at Medical Center Health System (MCHS).

District 5 board member Don Hallmark told Odessa American that several Cerner representatives are expected to visit the hospital to assist with additional staff training and help the hospital catch up with billing.

The hospital’s Cerner EHR system — MCH1 — went live on April 1. By July, the hospital board had to approve a contract with Dixon Hughes Goodman to help the hospital with a reduction in its Discharged, Not Final Billed balance and provide oversight of billing resolution accounts after persistent problems.

In November, board members convened to discuss additional billing problems and rising tensions between management and hospital staff. A report by independent consultant Financial Resources Group (FRG) showed confusion and complications attributed to the Cerner implementation bogged down hospital administration and staff significantly.

According to Interim CFO Robert Abernathy, the December 5 discussion will address ways Cerner can provide assistance with the coding and billing balance. Cerner’s work for the hospital related to billing will be done remotely.  



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