This is nuts. Will the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services get off its collective can and drop that stage 2 meaningful use rule, already? Murphy’s Law says it’s hitting the wires right as this post is being penned, thereby rendering it obsolete before the “publish” button flashes. But rumors flying around say that it will be out on Friday, which has been HHS’s modus operandi.
If it isn’t, we have a lot less to talk about at HIMSS 2012, that’s for sure. However, there is this small matter of ICD-10 compliance that hangs in the balance as acting CMS administrator Marilyn Tavenner said earlier this week that the government health insurer would bend to the American Medical Association’s request to delay ICD-10 implementation.
Another hot topic that many vendors – and a few actual health care providers — are pushing is wireless patient monitoring devices that collect data and publish it to the Web or, better yet, an EHR. As part of that grand experiment, I’m facing off with fellow blogger Brian Ahier in a Twitter-based contest sponsored by PracticeFusion and Fitbit.
While the final details are still being ironed out, the gist is this: Whoever takes the most steps between Brian and me, as measured by our respective Fitbits (these little things also measures other stats like sleep activity, calorie burn and stair climbing), before 5pm on Tuesday wins. The winner gets a charitable donation in his name, and the loser, apparently, will get showered with trash-talking tweets.
Of course, as a health IT reporter, I’m most interested in two aspects of the contest: One is evaluating the Web and smartphone integration the Fitbit offers; as a consumer device that actually has to sell itself to the average patient I’m guessing the Fitbit’s more polished, better designed and intuitive than many of the hardware devices vendors will be showing me in the exhibit floor. But that’s just a guess.
The other? Kicking Ahier’s butt in this contest. Fitbit is even giving a bonus to the first one that hits 30,000 steps. Last year at HIMSS in Orlando, I maxed out at 22,000, and I stayed in a hotel a mile away from the convention center and walked both ways. We’ll see if the bonus is attainable. Considering the number of interviews and other obligations I’ve lined up for Tuesday, there’s a chance.
If you’re going to HIMSS, you can win a Fitbit yourself. Get in on the fun and guess which of us will take more steps on Tuesday. Tweet your response to “Who will win the Fitbit challenge? Don or Brian?” using hashtags #fitbit, #HIMSS12 and @PracticeFusion and they’ll draw a winner among the correct responses on Tuesday. There will be more chances to win a Fitbit on the other days, too; keep up on contest rules here.