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Siemens releases new IT solutions for health care reform

by Nancy Ryerson, Staff Writer | January 18, 2013
David Hamilton, senior vice president
of enterprise services at Siemens Healthcare.
Hospitals concerned about meeting health care reform initiatives can now get by with a little help from their friends at Siemens Healthcare. On January 17, the company released new Strategic Consulting solutions to accompany its hospital information system software, that are designed to assist health care organizations rein in costs, offer higher quality care and avoid CMS penalties.

"The plate that our customers have has never been more full," David Hamilton, senior vice president of enterprise services at Siemens Healthcare, told DOTmed News. The new "solution sets" help customers meet objectives like Value Based Purchasing programs and reduction of Preventable Re-admission, and reduction of Healthcare Acquired Conditions, two health care reform goals.

The solutions help customers measure where they're doing well and where they need to make adjustments in order to meet requirements and avoid penalties. For example, the Siemens Value Based Purchasing (VBP) Solution directs hospitals to what changes are needed in order to establish performance metrics that have a direct impact on CMS payments.

"For many customers, especially the not-for-profit ones, whose fortunes swing on often less than plus or minus 5 percent of their bottom line, the penalties that can take away 5 to 10 percent of reimbursement can really tip the scale," said Hamilton.

The technology can also help facilities track progress in preventable readmissions and healthcare-acquired conditions. The service shows outcome improvement, identification of conditions present on admission and industry benchmarks based on CMS guidelines.

Hamilton noted that while health care reform has drawn a firmer line between what qualifies as high quality care and what does not, creating extra challenges, strict guidelines also allow facilities to more easily measure progress.

"Clearly, everyone wants to be anything other than the A student and present quality care to their patients and their community," Hamilton said. "These types of tools and insight help to show customers where they need to be."

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