A Medical Device Daily

MedQuist (Mount Laurel, New Jersey) said it has signed an agreement for remote medical records coding with VHA Texas (Irving, Texas), a private, supply chain management services cooperative serving 19 healthcare organizations and their affiliates in Texas.

MedQuist will supply VHA Texas with coding services and CodeRunner application service provider technology.

VHA Texas members can augment their coding staff by using MedQuist’s remote coding resources, securely delivered via MedQuist’s CodeRunner workflow system, or support their own employed coders remotely, the companies said.

CodeRunner services provides coding support for both inpatient and outpatient settings, including ambulatory surgery, Emergency Department, ancillary and clinic services, the company noted. According to MedQuist, VHA Texas members can use its credentialed coding professionals remotely to outsource all or part of their coding, provide prompt turnaround times that can enhance the revenue cycle, and develop customized audits and assessments and produce written analyses.

VHA Texas is a regional healthcare system of VHA, a nationwide network of community-owned healthcare organizations and their affiliated physicians. VHA provides information, products and services to help member organizations improve performance in community health, clinical effectiveness and operational efficiency.

MedQuist is a provider of clinical documentation workflow solutions in support of the electronic health record. It provides electronic medical transcription, health information and document management products and services, including digital dictation, speech recognition, Web-based transcription, electronic signature, medical coding, mobile dictation devices, and outsourcing services.

In other agreement news: Benitec Limited (Melbourne, Australia) said it has signed an agreement with CalbaTech (Irvine, California) to provide stem cell storage services for U.S. HIV patients who may use the healthy adult stem cells in future therapy.

Benitec said it has collaborated with City of Hope, a biomedical research and treatment center, in the development of a possible HIV therapeutic. This investigational HIV therapeutic creates the possibility that an adult stem cell-based therapeutic may be able to take the place of anti-retroviral medication, the company said. Early banking of adult stem cells by HIV sufferers may be very prudent if a stem cell therapy is approved by the FDA after the conclusion of clinical trials, Benitec noted.

Benitec’s agreement with CalbaTech would provide, in the short term, that Benitec would receive fees for stem cell storage performed by CalbaTech’s subsidiary, TherapyStem. CalbaTech said it believes that, in the future, as this potential therapeutic develops, TherapyStem will be able to treat the cells that have been banked by HIV patients and send those treated cells to a patient’s treating physician for re-injection. CalbaTech would pay Benitec a fee for using the protocols developed for the treatment of the stem cells.

TherapyStem has created a patent-pending process to harvest stem cells from HIV-infected individuals to be cryopreserved for future transplantation into a client for medical purposes. All other stem cell collection services exclude the collection, processing and storage of blood from individuals with HIV. As the business of TherapyStem develops, the company also believes that it will be able to collect, process and store stem cells from umbilical cords that have come from a mother that has HIV. Those cords are currently excluded from collection by cord blood companies.

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