MGMA 2011- GE Healthcare, Mike Friguletto

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Eric Fishman MD, with EHRtv, and Howard Rollins MD, Health Care Consultant for EHR Scope, speaking with Mike Friguletto VP and GM of GE Healthcare.

Category: MGMA 2011
Date: December 12, 2011
Views:4,395 views

Dr. Eric Fishman: This is Eric Fishman for EHRTV and I am here with Dr. Howard Rollins and we are discussing GE Healthcare, GE Centricity with Mike Friguletto, Vice-President & General Manager for GE Healthcare IT and Mike, thank you very much for taking your time today at MGMA in beautiful downtown Las Vegas.

GE Centricity obviously tens of thousands of users. It has a tremendous footprint. You have got a large number of different specialties that are covered. What sets GE apart from the rest of the rather large group of products that are here?

Mike Friguletto: I think what sets us apart is that our product has been designed by physicians and it incorporates a lot of feedback from physicians in each edited release. So, we really believe that it is optimized for the workflow that care delivery organizations need to not only for today but for the future.

Dr. Eric Fishman: And you talk about product releases. There has been a number of product releases just recently and if you could discuss some of those maybe in a bit of detail.

Mike Friguletto: Sure. We just released Centricity Practice Solution Version 10 for our ambulatory physicians. It’s an integrated EMR and revenue cycle solution and we believe it’s the next step in what physicians are looking for because it has integrated clinical information from our M-Quick or medical quality improvement consortium data of 20 million of the identified patient records that they can mine in addition to their own quality data integrated right at the desktop and intuitive user interface and it’s a fully featured, fully integrated EMR and PM solution.

Dr. Eric Fishman: And when you think of GE, you think of a worldwide enterprise and when you think of enterprise, you think of hospitals and large IPAs but I understand GE scales down all the way to the small office as well.

Mike Friguletto: Absolutely. We scale from the smallest one-physician practice all the way to the IDN with extensions to the enterprise solution and we have got a number of customers who use that as well today.

Dr. Eric Fishman: How many products are there in that line from the largest to the smallest?

Mike Friguletto: We offer four primary products in the marketplace today. We offer Centricity Enterprise and Centricity Business for our largest customers and then we have Centricity EMR, Centricity Practice Solution which is an integrated PM and EMR and then we have Centricity Advanced for the very small practice which is a SAS-based solution.

Dr. Eric Fishman: Interesting that you call that an EMR. I used to think of this industry as the EMR industry and then in the era in the high-tech act they have EHR listed well over a hundred times in the letters; the acronym EMR is just completely gone and…

Mike Friguletto: I guess we are still using the old vernacular because this really is one and the same from our perspective.

Dr. Howard Rollins: Mike, we talk a lot about how healthcare, the process of delivering healthcare is impacted or enhanced by bringing technology into the solution. From a physician’s point of view, I would like to know how the patient himself or herself is impacted by Centricity?

Mike Friguletto: Well, with meaningful use, you have to engage with the patient in simple things like being able to hand out patient notes and if you look at our history of Centricity, you can see that we have always been looking to provide documentation and support for the providers to share with their patients. It’s now part of a regulated mandate as opposed to something that was always part of our solutions; but patient engagement goes beyond just the outcome of your practice. It’s also interacting with them on care plans for better wellness. It’s being able to communicate with them through different types of media, whether it’s through a website or a cell phone or mobile text access and being able to allow that patient to engage with the provider when they need, when they want to in a much more meaningful way than has ever been before.

Dr. Howard Rollins: Is efficiency improved allowing the doctor to have more patient contact?

Mike Friguletto: We have seen many of our providers get to the point where they are using these new technologies so that yes, they can help patients not come in to the practice when it’s an unnecessary visit or go to an MA or PA as opposed to seeing a doctor for some routine things. So, that way it does optimize the care delivery for the practice.

Dr. Eric Fishman: We discussed the footprint of GE – tens of thousands of physicians using it. Equally important is the size of GE itself. How do those resources help GE Centricity become a better product?

Mike Friguletto: Well, I think that it’s a function of the many customers that we serve, number 1, and because GE has such a large commitment to something we call Healthymagination which is to increase the quality of care, access, and improve overall healthcare around the globe, it’s a mandate that’s come from the Chairman of our company and it has allowed for innovation and investment that transcends all our various products within GE Healthcare, including our healthcare IT products.

Dr. Eric Fishman: Getting a little off track, I love your TV commercials about Healthymagination. Are those going to continue?

Mike Friguletto: Absolutely. I think we find that they are very educational not only for our potential customers that we want to attract to GE but also the consumers. I think that the EMR ad helped consumers understand what an EMR really is and not be afraid of the technology when they see their care provider.

Dr. Eric Fishman: So, Mike, if you don’t mind, I would like to play a little acronym game. I will mention an acronym, tell me what it means and tell me what you think about it.

Mike Friguletto: Okay.

Dr. Eric Fishman: So, let’s start with ACO.

Mike Friguletto: ACO. So, ACO – Accountable Care Organization. First, from an industry perspective, what we see with accountable care is a transformation because you are now looking at not only the patient’s experience coming in to see a physician but you are trying to give them and the patient a well-rounded understanding of their care delivery over many years of that patient’s life. So, it changes the economic model, it changes the care model and from GE perspective, what we are investing in is how do we facilitate bundle payments, for example, how do we bring all the care information back to the primary care provider or to the hospital so they can manage the care both from a financial perspective as well as a clinical perspective and we are investing in Centricity Business 5.0 in order to incorporate some of those concepts of bundle payments and we already have a managed care solution in part of Centricity Business 5.0, I think we can optimize for this new model.

Dr. Eric Fishman: And I see ACO as related to the PCMH and do you want to elaborate on that relationship.

Mike Friguletto: Well, I think PCMH is sort of a subset of ACO and it’s geared for the primary care provider and we already have physicians today using our Centricity Practice Solutions such as CPS version 10 that they can certify for level 3 and go out and work with their payers on optimizing their pay programs as a result.

Dr. Eric Fishman: Let’s go for another one, something that lots of physicians are looking forward to with some anticipation – ICD-10.

Mike Friguletto: Yes. So, ICD-10 of course is the next level of diagnosis codes. It’s going to be a very complicated change for providers. We see that we had not only to map the basic functionality of ICD-9 to ICD-10 but we have to translate that back into how they capture discrete data of each of their care encounters to map to the accurate codes and I believe that that’s going to be quite a significant learning process for providers and probably need at least a year I think to get organizations ready for that October 2013 mandate.

Dr. Howard Rollins: Do you think you are going to be ready at that time?

Mike Friguletto: Our goal is to be ready this year; I’m sorry 2012 so that we give organizations a year to update their software and to train their physicians on what’s going to be required.

Dr. Eric Fishman: Let’s do one more – PHI.

Mike Friguletto: We take it very seriously within our products. We also understand that we need to be able to exchange data between providers. We need to be able to give patients their data in a secure manner so they can consume it back when they go home after their visits and security is an important concept because not only do we want to ensure the integrity of the data but we want to ensure the free exchange of the data because otherwise you are not going to get optimized care delivery unless you are able to do that in a secure manner.

Dr. Eric Fishman: What methodologies is GE using to – I mean, the penalties are so severe for breaches of that security obligation – what particular steps is GE Healthcare doing to prevent any such breaches?

Mike Friguletto: Well, we are certainly building various layers of security within the application to control access and Meaningful Use required some changes to the protocols by which we secure the data and then there is encryption that also needs to be layered into the application itself so that it can’t be easily hacked; and as we move to the cloud, an important concept here is to make sure that there is no easy way to get to that cloud-based data because you are going to find that more and more organizations are participating in cloud-based strategies to manage all this patient data. It’s amazing how far we have come over the years from floppy disks storing a patient’s record to one of my customers having several terabytes to store all their patient charts. It just tells you the scale is going to continue to increase and so that’s why security becomes more important.

Dr. Eric Fishman: Speaking about encryption, there is some new file level security issues where if you have a medical record that- We’ve all done it or atleast I’ve done it- You try to e-mail a document to somebody and you use the auto-type and it ends up in somebody else’s hands and this new technology that will allow e-mails of that nature to be not opened at the recipient’s level. Are you using any technology of that nature?

Mike Friguletto: We do have secure messaging functionality today for provider to provider exchange. So, that you only are e-mailing to trusted individuals that you can designate particularly for referrals which is a very important step. So, we do have technology today that providers can subscribe to.

Dr. Eric Fishman: Well, Mike, we’ve covered a lot of items. Anything else you want to add about GE Centricity at this time?

Mike Friguletto: I just think this its exciting time to be in the industry and we are very committed to the continued evolution of our products for our customers.

Dr. Eric Fishman: Mike, I appreciate it very much.

Mike Friguletto: Thank you.

Dr. Eric Fishman: This is Dr. Eric Fishman discussing GE Centricity with Mike Friguletto, Vice-President & General Manager of GE Healthcare.

Thank you.

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