Last Friday, EHR Scope’s Founder, Eric Fishman, M.D. had the chance to interview William Jesse, M.D., President and CEO of the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA). The topics covered a range of what will be happening at the MGMA Annual Conference, taking place this weekend in New Orleans.   The following  is a summary of the key issues at AC10, discussed by Dr. Fishman and Dr. Jessee.

On Monday’s Healthcare Reform Focus

The ONC’s David Blumenthal will be on hand to answer questions and go over the next stages of HIT reform.  This will definitely be one of the most significant sessions; certainly not one to miss. 

Of mention is the method of question and answer at the end of the presentation.  Apparently, instead of a microphone in the isle, questions will be taken via text message and subsequently filtered by staff for relevancy. (an interesting signal given the current issues involved with getting everyone on board with new technology utilization, and possibly even a little bit of subliminal suggestion, indicating that the written word can be transmitted from here to there securely.)

On the EHR Selection Panel Discussion

Also on Monday, Dr. Jesse will be part of a panel reviewing the pace of EHR adoption.  Other members include a representative of the CCHIT and MGMA’s own Cindy Dunn.  Specifically, the panel subject matter concerns ONC-ATCB meaningful use guidelines and incentive stimulus issues.  These topics will be discussed from the perspective of those applying for stimulus and implementing EHRs.  

Basically, this panel is attempting to answer this question:

 “How can one be absolutely certain they will get the stimulus incentives?”

The key here is removing distrustful or skeptical attitudes about meeting requirements, and driving home the fact that accordant reporting is required for at least half of next year and all of 2012.  Dr. Jessee agreed that the inflection point of ambulatory EHR adoption will begin next year.

Secondarily, the profitability elements of EHR implementation as well as proper use of EHR technology will be delved into.  Most of the Health Information Technology (HIT) and EHR heavy discussions are taking place on Monday and Tuesday. 

On Speech Recognition

Dr. Jessee also took some time to discuss speech recognition software.  Regarding this, some of the details mentioned are the barriers to adoption of these systems being mainly interface based.  As a projection, Dr. Jesse suggested that once these systems operate using speech on a command basis, as opposed to only voice to text, the utility of speech recognition technology will increase dramatically.  Or as to say, voice recognition is an asset to capturing information currently, but will be even more so in the future. Similarly, he expects handwriting recognition to improve as another alternative input methodology.

On What the Future Holds For Dr. Jessee

Dr. Jessee announced that he will be retiring as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Medical Group Management Association after 12 years of dedicated service.  He ensured us the transition will be performed in an orderly fashion and that his successor’s announcement would occur soon.

We can’t thank Dr. Jessee enough for this opportunity and look forward to seeing everyone in New Orleans.  For more information about the MGMA AC10 conference visit

About MGMA

MGMA is the premier membership association for professional administrators and leaders of medical group practices. Since 1926, MGMA has delivered networking, professional education and resources, and political advocacy for medical practice management. Today, MGMA’s 21,500 members lead 13,700 organizations nationwide in which some 275,000 physicians provide more than 40 percent of the healthcare services delivered in the United States.

MGMA’s mission is to continually improve the performance of medical group practice professionals and the organizations they represent. MGMA promotes the group practice model as the optimal framework for healthcare delivery, assisting group practices in providing efficient, safe, patient-focused and affordable care. MGMA is headquartered in Englewood, Colo., and maintains a government affairs office in Washington, D.C.