Saturday, August 30, 2008

Medical and Practice Management Suite Client/Server Receives CCHIT Certification

LSS Data Systems' Medical and Practice Management (MPM) Suite Client/Server 5.54 Receives 2007 CCHIT Certification

Software Complies with 100 Percent of Updated 2007 Certification Criteria

EDEN PRAIRIE, minn.-- July 02, 2008 --The Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology (CCHIT®) announced yesterday that LSS Data Systems' product Medical and Practice Management (MPM) Suite Client/Server 5.54 is CCHIT Certified®, and meets the Commission's ambulatory electronic health record (EHR) criteria for 2007. Ambulatory EHRs are designed for physician offices and clinics where most Americans get their healthcare. CCHIT - an independent, nonprofit organization - is the Recognized Certification Body in the United States for certifying health information technology products.

In the second year of the program's operation, the criteria and testing have been significantly enhanced. The Commission added 96 criteria to the 151 original requirements from last year. Medical and Practice Management (MPM) Suite Client/Server 5.54 has been tested and passed inspection of 100 percent of a set of updated criteria for functionality, interoperability and security.

"For 2007, the Commission raised the bar from the previous year's criteria. Ambulatory EHRs now must include electronic prescribing, demonstrate an ability to receive lab results, and show enhanced patient safety, quality, and security features," said Mark Leavitt, M.D., Ph.D., chair, CCHIT. "Investment in 2007 certified ambulatory EHRs gives providers even more powerful tools to improve quality, safety and efficiency while protecting the privacy of health information."

The CCHIT Certified mark - a "seal of approval" for EHR products - provides the first consensus-based, government-recognized benchmark for ambulatory EHR products. By looking to products with the CCHIT Certified seal, physicians and other providers can reduce their risk in selecting an EHR product, allowing them to focus their evaluation on the special needs of their practices.

"This certification illustrates our ongoing commitment to provide the highest quality software for our customers. CCHIT certification is definitely something our customers value," said Bill Schmidt, Vice President of Sales & Corporate Development at LSS Data Systems. "We are delighted with the achievement of this milestone. We take pride in the strength of our products and the foundation of our seamless integration with MEDITECH to create one electronic health record across the health care enterprise."

LSS customer Parkview Adventist Medical Center, based in Brunswick, ME, recently updated to MPM Client/Server Version 5.54. "We congratulate LSS for 2007 certification of the MPM Suite," said Bill McQuaid, Chief Information Officer at Parkview. "One of Parkview's main approaches to care involves utilizing state-of-the-art technology to provide the highest quality care. It is important to us to use products which we know meet and exceed industry benchmarks."

CCHIT's certification compliance criteria and its design for a certification inspection process have been thoroughly researched, taking into account the state of the art of EHRs and available standards, and comparing certification processes in other industries and other countries. The inspection process is based on real-life medical scenarios designed to test products rigorously against the clinical needs of providers and the quality and safety needs of healthcare consumers and payers. One script, for example, recreates a scenario of an elderly man with poorly controlled diabetes, hypertension and other chronic conditions in order to test EHR functions such as potential adverse drug reactions, disease management and treatment plans.

About LSS Data Systems

LSS Data Systems, a MEDITECH partner founded in 1982, develops clinical, financial and administrative solutions for medical practice groups, healthcare delivery systems and clinics across the United States and internationally. Together with MEDITECH, LSS has developed the Medical and Practice Management (MPM) Suite, a full-featured ambulatory care solution that integrates physician practices and clinics with MEDITECH's Health Care Information System. The MPM Suite includes an ambulatory Electronic Health Record with prescribing/ordering, physician documentation, scanning, scheduling, billing and financial management tools. For more information please visit www.lssdata.com.

About CCHIT

The Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology (CCHIT®) is an independent, nonprofit organization that has been named by the federal government as the Recognized Certification Body for health information technology. Its mission is to accelerate the adoption of health information technology by creating a credible, sustainable certification program. The certification requirements are based on widely accepted industry standards and involve the work of hundreds of expert volunteers and input from a variety of stakeholders throughout the health care industry. More information on CCHIT and CCHIT Certified® products is available at www.cchit.org.

"CCHIT®" and "CCHIT Certified®" are registered marks of the Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology.
Contacts

LSS Data Systems
Megan Salmela, 952-941-1000
msalmela@lssdata.com
or
CCHIT
Sue Reber, 503-703-0813
sreber@cchit.org

Friday, August 29, 2008

Cancer Institute Receives Grant to Study Long-term Health Effects of Traumatic Brain Injuries

John Wayne Cancer Institute Receives Grant to Study Long-term Health Effects of Traumatic Brain Injuries

Research Will Focus on Relationship of Concussion, Pituitary Hormonal Failure and Quality of Life in Retired National Football League Players

SANTA MONICA, Calif.-- July 02, 2008--The John Wayne Cancer Institute at Saint John's Health Center announced today that it has received a grant from the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment to study pituitary hormonal failure (hypopituitarism) in retired football players.

The research, which will be conducted in collaboration with the University of North Carolina's (UNC) Department of Exercise and Sport Science, and the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, will be directed by Daniel F. Kelly, MD, director of the Neuro-Endocrine Tumor Center at the John Wayne Cancer Institute, and Kevin M. Guskiewicz, PhD, chairman of the Department of Exercise and Sport Science at UNC.

In a cohort of retired National Football League (NFL) players, the study will examine the relationship between the number of concussions sustained in players' NFL careers, and their subsequent pituitary hormonal function and post-retirement quality of life. The investigators hypothesize that players sustaining multiple concussions are at increased risk of developing pituitary hormonal dysfunction which may in turn contribute to problems of obesity, fatigue, impaired metabolism, depression, sexual dysfunction and a general poor quality of life.

According to Dr. Kelly, the new study will focus on a relatively unexplored area of traumatic brain injury (TBI)-the potential correlation between recurrent concussions and pituitary hormonal dysfunction. More than 1.2 million Americans sustain a TBI annually, the majority of which are cerebral concussions. Repeat concussions have been shown to be a risk factor for neurodegenerative dementing disorders, including mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's Disease. However, little is known about the impact of single or multiple concussions on hormonal function and quality of life. Only in the sport of boxing, have a few small studies shown that boxers are at increased risk of developing pituitary failure. In contrast, it is well known that a single severe head injury can lead to pituitary damage and hormonal abnormalities in up to one third of individuals.

The pituitary is a small bean-shaped gland located immediately below the brain and behind the nasal cavity in the skull base; it is connected to the brain by the thin delicate vascular pituitary stalk. Weighing less than one gram, the pituitary is often called the "master gland" since it controls the secretion of the body's hormones. These essential substances when released by the pituitary into the blood stream have a broad range of effects on growth and development, sexuality and reproductive function, metabolism, the response to stress and overall quality of life.

"This research is long overdue," Dr. Kelly said. "Millions of young people and professional athletes participate in sports that put them at risk of concussion; not just football, but also hockey, rugby, soccer, baseball and basketball. We need to know more about how these so-called "minor head injuries" impact their lives in subsequent years, and in particular, whether multiple concussions can lead to pituitary hormonal failure and poor quality of life."

Using the database of the Center for the Study of Retired Athletes at University of North Carolina and in cooperation with the National Football League Players' Association, 90 study participants will be categorized based on the number of concussions they sustained during their NFL career. The retired players will then be assessed utilizing pituitary hormonal blood tests, body composition testing and neurobehavioral, quality of life and sexual function surveys. Retirees found to be deficient in any hormones such as thyroid, testosterone or growth hormone will be treated with physiological replacement doses of the appropriate hormone and will then have repeat quality of life testing. Hormonal testing assays will be conducted by the General Clinical Research Center at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center under the direction of Professor Christina Wang, an endocrinologist and a study co-investigator.

"The problem of sports-related concussions is increasingly recognized as a major contributor to long-term disability in many retired athletes," said Bob Klein, vice president at Saint John's Health Center and a ten-year NFL veteran with the Los Angeles Rams and San Diego Chargers. "However, the potential impact of concussions on quality of life is not well understood. This research will fill that gap in our knowledge. I have spoken with many of my former colleagues in the NFL, and they share my belief in the critical importance of this study."

The Neuro-Endocrine Tumor Center (www.neuro-endo.org) is housed at Saint John's Health Center and the John Wayne Cancer Institute in Santa Monica, California. The Center's focus of activities is the treatment of pituitary tumors, brain tumors, and other neuro-endocrine disorders including pituitary hormonal deficiencies.

The Center for the Study of Retired Athletes at the University of North Carolina works in close affiliation with the National Football League Players Association. Since 2001, the Center has been investigating a spectrum of physical and mental disabilities common to retired athletes. The research team will begin work in July 2008, with initial research results expected in 2010.

Since its founding in 1942 by the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth, Saint John's Health Center has been providing the patients and families of Santa Monica, West Los Angeles and ocean communities with compassionate, advanced medical care. Saint John's provides a spectrum of treatment and diagnostic services with distinguished areas of excellence in cancer care, cardiac care, orthopedics and women's health. Saint John's Health Center is also dedicated to bringing to the community the most innovative advances in technology and patient care available in a healing environment.

Since 1981, the John Wayne name has been committed by the Wayne family to groundbreaking cancer research in memory of the much-loved actor who died of cancer. The John Wayne Cancer Institute has received worldwide acclaim for advances in understanding the disease, focusing on melanoma (skin cancer), breast, prostate, colon, pancreatic, lung and liver cancer, as well as lymphoma and leukemia. With its unique ability to rapidly turn scientific breakthroughs into innovative approaches to treatment and early detection, JWCI provides immediate hope to cancer patients from around the globe.
Contacts

Saint John's Health Center
Greg Harrison, 310/829-8010
858/472-5560 (cell)
gregory.harrison@stjohns.org

Monday, August 25, 2008

Mesothelioma Survival Rates Among Patients Taking New Treatment

LegalView Recounts the Results of a Recent Mesothelioma Study That Reported High Survival Rates Among Patients Taking New Treatment

LegalView reported the results of an Italian study to its mesothelioma blog readers; the results detailed a positive outcome and increased survival rate for elderly pleural mesothelioma victims. The study, recently published in a British medical journal, used a combination of two medicinal treatments commonly prescribed separately.

Denver, CO, August 16, 2008 -- LegalView, the most comprehensive legal resource available on the Web, recounted the results of an Italian study to its mesothelioma information blog readers. The study attempted to increase the survival rate of elderly pleural mesothelioma patients by combining two medications: Alimta (pemtrexed) and Paraplatin (carboplatin). The results of the study were released in a June issue of the British Journal of Cancer and the conclusions detailed the highly-effective treatments, which increased the survival rate among pleural mesothelioma patients 65 years of age or older.

Mesothelioma is an incurable cancer that is often attributed to the inhalation of asbestos fibers and dust containing tremolite. Asbestos is a known carcinogen, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which is responsible for regulating the cleanup of the hazardous material. Asbestos was often prized for its ability to remain fire-resistant, while being produced cheaply, and served as a key ingredient in many products including insulation that was implemented into homes, apartment complexes, universities, schools, business offices and hospitals around the country. Individuals who suffer from mesothelioma cancer are advised to speak with a knowledgeable mesothelioma attorney in order to better educate themselves on the possibility for developing a mesothelioma lawsuit. Due to the extremely costly medical bills associated with increasing survival rate among mesothelioma cancer victims, developing litigation may result in monetary compensation to assist with those medical bills.

LegalView not only offers resources on the most recent mesothelioma news and clinical trials, but also offers information on a variety of other legal issues afflicting millions of Americans. Most recently, LegalView updated several of its pharmaceutical drug information portals with news on updates and recalls; some of the portals include Viapro, Ketek and the Zimmer Durom cup.

The development of the Viapro information portal occurred after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a press release on the recall of the drug because of contamination of a harmful chemical known as thiomethisosildenafil. The male sexual-enhancement prescription drug, manufactured by EG Labs, is used to treat erectile dysfunction (ED). The undeclared ingredient may be harmful to patients especially when interacting with nitrates found in other prescription drugs. The Viapro recall occurred because the drug may cause dangerously low levels of blood pressure among patients also taking nitroglycerin for diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol or heart disease.

Ketek, which is an antibiotic used to treat upper respiratory infections such as pneumonia, bronchitis and sinusitis, had its warning labels increased recently due to the threat of liver disease among patients consuming the drug. To learn more about the Ketek side effects, visit
http://ketek.legalview.com/.

Also among the recently updated information portals is that of the Zimmer Durom cup. Zimmer Holdings has ceased production of its Durom cup because of complaints that the hip socket was failing among many patients. Although the company has ceased production of the hip socket, pending internal investigations into the potential failure, the hip socket has already been used in over 12,000 hip replacement procedures since its introduction to the market in 2006. Patients who may be at risk for the Durom cup failure should seek medical attention immediately to ensure no further damage occurs.

About LegalView:
LegalView.com is a public service brought to you by Legal WebTV Network, LLC, a Limited Liability Corporation created by a group of the nation's most highly respected law firms: Anapol Schwartz; Brent Coon and Associates; Burg Simpson; Cohen, Placitella and Roth; James F. Humphreys and Associates; Lopez McHugh; and Thornton and Naumes. For more information on the accomplishments and track records of LegalView.com's superior sponsoring law firms and to get in touch with LegalView attorneys, visit LegalView at www.LegalView.com/.

Contact Information
LegalView
Katie Kelley
720-771-3246
press-releases@legalview.com
www.legalview.com

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Revolutionary HIV Testing Bill Passes

Bill to 'Revolutionize' HIV Testing Passes California Legislature Unanimously

AB 2899 (Portantino, D-Pasadena), Sponsored by AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), Overhauls Counseling Model for HIV Testing Programs; Bill Eliminates Outdated 'One Size Fits All' Approach for More Prudent Public Health Approach

SACRAMENTO, Calif.-- August 12, 2008 --AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the operator of the largest non-government HIV testing program in California, today praised the California Legislature for its passage this week of Assembly Bill 2899 (Portantino, D-Pasadena).

"AB 2899 will revolutionize the way we do HIV testing in California, and we strongly urge the Governor to sign this bill," said Michael Weinstein, President of AIDS Healthcare Foundation. "Today, in government-funded programs, extensive education and counseling is required for every person regardless of how many times they might have been tested. Treating the young person, who is testing for the first time the same as a person in their forties or fifties who has been tested dozens of times doesn't make sense. This important reform will allow AHF, the largest HIV tester in California, to do three times as many tests per hour as we do now. The unanimous approval of the legislature for this common sense approach to HIV testing is very encouraging."

The bill, known as the Sexually Transmitted Diseases and HIV/AIDS Counseling Reform Bill, unanimously cleared both chambers of the Legislature this week-clearing the California Assembly (64-0) earlier today after clearing the Senate in a 36 to 0 vote yesterday.

"This bill brings the requirements for HIV counseling in line with where we are today in our knowledge and understanding of HIV/AIDS and other STDs, and it will allow us to focus our counseling efforts where they are most needed-to those at high risk and those who may test positive," said Joey Terrill, Acting Director of Public Affairs for AIDS Healthcare Foundation, co-sponsor of the bill. "The California Legislature has recognized the importance of this prudent public health legislation with its unanimous passage in both chambers. When this bill is chaptered into law, it will allow the Department of Public Health and the State Office of AIDS far more flexibility in its counseling regulations to best serve and reflect the needs of communities throughout California."

AB 2899 codifies the changes that testing organizations need to conform their practices to current needs and to facilitate the swift introduction of newer counseling models by the Office of AIDS.

About AHF

AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) is the nation's largest non-profit HIV/AIDS healthcare provider. AHF currently provides medical care and/or services to more than 80,000 individuals in 20 countries worldwide in the US, Africa, Latin America/Caribbean and Asia. Additional information is available at www.aidshealth.org
Contacts

AIDS Healthcare Foundation
Ged Kenslea, 323-860-5225
Mobile: 323-791-5523
gedk@aidshealth.org
or
Lori Yeghiayan, 323-860-5227
Mobile: 323-377-4312
lori.yeghiayan@aidshealth.org

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Families Informed About Insurance Coverage With Medical Reimbursement Resource

Medical Reimbursement Resource LLC of Houston Helps Families Stay Informed, Choose Right Insurance Coverage

Company Educates Consumers of Medicare Part C Advantage Plan Enrollment Period Deadline - March 31, 2008

Houston, TX  -  March 12 -- Medical Reimbursement Resource (MRR) LLC, a leading patient advocacy company in Houston, advises the Medicare community of March 31st Medicare Part C enrollment deadline and helps educate consumers on the best health insurance choices for their situation.

MRR professionals explain that the Medicare program is a federal program that helps senior citizens and other qualifying individuals pay for health care. Divided into parts, A, B, C, and D, Part C is an alternative to Parts A and B. Under Part C, private health
insurance companies can contract with the federal government to offer Medicare benefits through their own policies.

"Medicare Part C Advantage Plans are not for everyone. Generally the choice of providers is more limited than with traditional Medicare Parts A & B. Individuals with
special health problems and working with physicians that are important to them are recommended to remain on Medicare Parts A and B," said MRR owner Jane Lehto.

"However, it's great to have another insurance option available for Medicare beneficiaries. This is where Medicare Part C comes in," Lehto added.

Lehto and her staff help clients
choose the right insurance coverage and receive all benefits to which they are entitled under their particular policy. With over 40 plans from which to choose in Texas, it is an often difficult process through which to navigate for the unknowing consumer.

Lehto further explained that the type of candidates qualifying for the Medicare Part C, particularly the Medicare Part C Advantage Plus plan, would be those in
fragile health and on fixed incomes. The relatively new plans include either HMO's or PPO's and come with modest premiums. A vast number of physicians and hospitals participate in the plans.

"And effective this past January is the option for those switching from Medicare Parts A and B to return to their plans for whatever reason during the enrollment period from November 15 through December 31, 2008," said Lehto.

MRR also assists
patients and their families with problem health insurance claims and medical bills, benefit issues, along with insurance choices and a myriad of issues that the consumer faces in today's challenging and complex insurance world. To learn more about Medical Reimbursement Resource LLC, call 1-713-526-0955 or log onto www.mrrmedical.com today.

Press Contact: Philip O'Hara
Company Name: Medical Reimbursement Resource LLC 
Texas Phone: 713-526-0955
Website:
www.mrrmedical.com

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Predicted Increase in Female Mesothelioma Victims

LegalView Informs Mesothelioma Blog Readers of a Predicted Increase in Female Mesothelioma Victims

LegalView updated readers to an alarming prediction by researchers who said the number of female mesothelioma victims may increase within the next few years. Researchers said that asbestos in hair dryers that were previously unregulated may be the cause.

Denver, CO - July 21, 2008 -- LegalView, the most comprehensive legal resource on the Web, reported on its mesothelioma information blog a potential increase of mesothelioma cancer victims within the next few years, particularly among women, according to researchers. In 1979, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) released information regarding 26 companies and manufacturers of hand-held hair dryers that had been made with asbestos. While the 26 companies had voluntarily taken action to correct the asbestos-containing hair dryers, individuals who had used the tainted hair dryers may be at risk for developing mesothelioma and should consider contacting a mesothelioma lawyer for information on the development of a potential mesothelioma lawsuit.

Mesothelioma is a deadly form of lung cancer that is caused through the inhalation of asbestos fibers. While asbestos was largely used in the construction industry, commonly within insulation, it has also been used in other products including hair dryers. While the hair dryers were corrected and became asbestos-free nearly 30 years ago it is common for mesothelioma to remain dormant for years and even decades, which is why researchers are concerned with a new group of individuals becoming afflicted by mesothelioma and symptoms becoming prevalent now. Researchers are also particularly concerned for women because women allegedly use hair dryers more than men. To learn more about developing litigation, contact a mesothelioma law firm or mesothelioma attorney to better understand the potential for developing an asbestos-related lawsuit and receiving monetary compensation for the costly bills usually associated with a mesothelioma cancer diagnosis.

In addition to information on mesothelioma, LegalView also offers details on a plethora of other legal issues afflicting millions of Americans each year. For example, readers can learn about the latest fluoroquinolones black box warning labeling. Fluoroquinolones are a group of antibiotics that have become increasingly at risk for severe side effects. Of the fluoroquinolones group, the most commonly prescribed drugs are Levaquin and Cipro. Levaquin, also known as levofloxacin, is manufactured by Ortho-McNeil and treats bacterial infections, specifically treating infections such as skin infections, chronic bacterial prostates, urinary tract infections, pneumonia, bronchitis and acute pyelonephritis caused by Escherichia coli (E. coli). The drug, which was released in 1996, has been the center of numerous clinical trials and studies because of the possible Levaquin side effects, which can include the most serious - Achilles tendon rupture - as well as jaundice, seizures, hallucinations, abdominal tenderness and limb numbness.

Similar to Levaquin is Cipro (ciprofloxacin) from Bayer A.G., which was approved for market use in 2000 and is used to treat bacterial infections similar to those treated by Levaquin. The Cipro risks are the same as Levaquin, which is an increased risk of tendonitis. Additionally, Cipro has other side effects that may also be harmful to patients. Some of the side effects include seizure, difficulty breathing, depression, suicidal thoughts, blacking out and hallucinations.

LegalView also has information on other controversial prescription drugs including Avandia. Avandia is a type 2 diabetes drug that has recently been linked to severe risks among patients. The Avandia dangers may include an increased risk of heart failure as well as a higher risk of developing early onset osteoporosis. Patients who may have developed either of these side effects while taking Avandia should speak with an experienced pharmaceutical lawyer to better understand the potential for developing a potential Avandia lawsuit.

About LegalView:
LegalView.com is a public service brought to you by Legal WebTV Network, LLC, a Limited Liability Corporation created by a group of the nation's most highly respected law firms: Anapol Schwartz; Brent Coon and Associates; Burg Simpson; Cohen, Placitella and Roth; James F. Humphreys and Associates; Lopez McHugh; and Thornton and Naumes. For more information on the accomplishments and track records of LegalView.com's superior sponsoring law firms and to get in touch with LegalView attorneys, visit LegalView at www.LegalView.com/.