Contracting News

DVA, DoD to launch interoperable health records
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) (Washington, D.C.) and U.S. Military Health System (Department of Defense) (DoD) (Washington, D.C.) announced plans to launch interoperable health records in order to streamline information sharing between the two departments. Part of a health information sharing project launched in 2000, the DVA and DoD already exchange a vast amount of medical data, including lab results and medication history through their Bi-Directional Health Information Exchange. Upcoming plans outlined in the 2009-2011 strategic plan, issued by the VA/Defense Joint Executive Council, include continued sharing of more inpatient electronic data, including clinical notes from physicians in a test environment, by June 2009, with deployment of the inpatient clinical note system by Sept. 30, 2009.

MOE adds to library
Norcross, Ga.-based MDSI’s Max Online Education (MOE) has been recently updated, and now consists of eight Educational modules. MOE was launched in February 2008 and designed to educate companies in the healthcare distribution industry about the market place, including defining key terms and players and to describe the effect healthcare trends have on the Supply Chain.

Novation Names Hatcher President and CEO
Irving, Texas-based Novation named Jody Hatcher president and chief executive officer (CEO). Hatcher has served as Novation’s interim president since Oct. 16, 2008.

Prior to assuming this new role, Hatcher was senior vice president at Novation, responsible for strategic sourcing, research, strategic planning, comparative analysis, custom services, business development, alliance linkages, information technology, operational improvement and marketing. Hatcher, who has nearly 20 years’ experience working on behalf of VHA and UHC members, has been a visible figure within the healthcare industry, highlighting the important value that group purchasing organizations (GPO) provide hospitals.

“Over the years, Jody has enabled Novation to step out as the industry leader. He was instrumental in the development of the NOVAPLUS private label brand, which has consistently delivered savings up to 14 percent to members of VHA,” said VHA president and CEO Curt Nonomaque. “In addition, Jody’s engaging style keeps him attuned to the needs and perspectives of hospitals and suppliers alike.”

Irene Thompson, president and CEO of UHC, said, “Academic medical centers pose unique challenges regarding capital and technology needs, and with Jody’s leadership, Novation consistently delivers supply chain solutions that provide service and flexibility for UHC members.”

VHA, Mary Washington Hospital collaborate on MRSA prevention
Mary Washington Hospital (Fredericksburg, Va.), a leader in preventing and managing hospital acquired MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), and VHA Inc. (Irving, Texas) launched a collaborative effort to list the steps proven to be the most effective and efficient methods of preventing hospital acquired MRSA. A clinical team from VHA and the hospital will collaborate to develop a blueprint that maps out each step in the care process. Once the blueprint is developed, VHA will distribute the information to 1,400 VHA member hospitals nationwide and encourage them to incorporate the practices.

Behavioral Centers of America to open a new hospital
Behavioral Centers of America (Nashville, Tenn.) will soon open the new BCA Permian Basin Hospital, which will have 64 beds and provide acute inpatient care, mostly for seven-to-10 days. The new facility is expected to start treating adult crisis stabilization cases by March 1, 2009, and geriatric cases by the first week in April. The new facility is located at 3300 S. FM 1788, Midland, Texas, where Desert Springs Medical Center formerly operated. Behavioral Centers spent nearly $2 million for the renovation of the building. In 2007, Desert Springs Medical Center was sold by Psychiatric Solutions Inc. (Franklin, Tenn.).

HHS releases final rule on patient-safety organizations
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) (Washington, D.C.) released a final rule governing the creation and operations of patient-safety organizations. Effective Jan. 19, 2009, organizations must certify that they are in compliance with the guidelines under the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) (Rockville, Md.), the agency that will oversee the program. There are currently 15 organizations in compliance with AHRQ’s interim rule, which was established in October 2008. To continue operations, they will have to ensure they are in compliance with the latest rule.

Barrow, Lang to present at AHRMM 2009 conference
Karen Barrow, senior VP of business development at Amerinet Inc. (St. Louis, Mo.), and Mary Beth Lang, senior VP of business intelligence and president at Diagnostix, a subsidiary of Amerinet, are scheduled to speak at the AHRMM Association for Healthcare Resource & Materials Management (Chicago, Ill.) 2009 Annual Conference and Exhibition to be held July 19-22 in Tampa, Fla. They will discuss the ever-increasing focus on data integrity, supply cost and reimbursement issues and the added pressure on materials managers to attain, maintain and sustain quality data throughout the healthcare environment. Materials managers will learn how they can implement controls and processes to standardize the supply chain, and how these measures can translate into data to improve physician relations and tie high-quality reporting to reimbursements, supply cost reductions and the organization’s future direction.

Provista appoints Schwarzinger as director of sales for Midwest states
Irving, Texas-based Provista, LLC, added Cory Schwarzinger to its team to serve as director of sales, Midwest; Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Michigan. He will focus on existing customers, strategic distributors and supplier relations as well as new customers.

“We are very pleased to welcome Cory to Provista and look forward to the contributions his experience will bring,” said Joe Gilfillan, senior director, sales.

Schwarzinger most recently was an account executive for Cardionet where he was the 2006 National Sales Representative of the Year. Prior to that, he served as a Surgical Equipment Sales Specialist for Mobile Instruments, covering Colorado. A graduate of Bowling Green State University, he holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration – marketing specialization. He is an active member of Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity and was on the Dean’s List five times.

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