A Medical Device Daily

Several healthcare technologies companies have launched an alliance aimed at educating 500,000 U.S. doctors about opportunities aligned with the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009. The Electronic Health Record (EHR) Stimulus Alliance, spearheaded by Allscripts (Chicago), includes Cisco (San Jose, California), Citrix (Fort Lauderdale, Florida), Intel (Santa Clara, California), Intuit (Mountain View, California), Microsoft (Redmond, Washington), and Nuance (Burlington, Massachusetts). It aims to deliver hundreds of virtual and physical education programs for physicians across the country.

Allscripts said that, by connecting physicians, hospitals, pharmacies, payers, public health organizations and other stakeholders across healthcare, information technologies such as the EHR can improve the management of chronic health conditions that account for about 75% of U.S. healthcare costs, and enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of U.S. healthcare.

The EHR Stimulus Alliance marks the first nationwide campaign by a broad coalition of healthcare and technology companies to help physicians explore opportunities associated with the ARRA, according to Allscripts. Alliance members are sponsoring The EHR Stimulus Tour, a significant education program with hundreds of planned virtual and physical events for physicians in the U.S.

"Encouraging every physician to use electronic health records is essential to achieving President Obama's goal of a safer, higher quality healthcare system at a price we can afford," said Glen Tullman, CEO Allscripts. "The EHR Stimulus Alliance marks a major step forward in helping more physicians to understand their options for entering the electronic healthcare highway."

Signed into law on Feb. 17, the ARRA provides physicians a maximum of between $44,000 and $64,000 in incentives for adopting and demonstrating "meaningful use" of an EHR beginning in fiscal 2011.

In other agreement news:

• MedeAnalytics (Emeryville, California), a healthcare performance analytics company, reported an agreement with Aveta (Fort Lee, New Jersey) to provide comprehensive analytics for two of its Puerto Rico-based Medicare Advantage Plans, Medicare y Mucho Más (MMM) and PMC Medicare Choice (PMC). According to Aveta, both are leaders in this segment and in total serve 182,000 members throughout Puerto Rico. MMM and PMC will implement MedeAnalytics' on-demand analytics suite of solutions throughout their health plans, including Medical Management, Network Management and Operations Management Analytics.

• Tornier (Edina, Minnesota) reported an agreement to exclusively license the ArthroTunneler Arthroscopic Transosseous Bone Tunneling System from T.A.G. Medical Products (Gaaton, Israel). T.A.G. makes surgical devices with extensive experience in arthroscopic sports medicine products. Tornier recently entered the sports medicine market with its line of Piton and Insite soft tissue anchors and its Conexa Reconstructive Tissue Matrix.

The ArthroTunneler, co-developed with Sumant "Butch" Krishnan, MD, is a sterile, single-use device that enables surgeons to arthroscopically place precise intersecting tunnels in bone to facilitate all-arthroscopic transosseous rotator cuff repair with no implants or anchors. A select group of evaluating surgeons has successfully performed over 300 rotator cuff repair surgeries using the ArthroTunneler since January 2008, according to the company. Tornier said it believes the ArthroTunneler is the first commercial device designed specifically for arthroscopic transosseous rotator cuff repair.