AMA and AT&T Combine Care Management Platforms to Improve Collaboration Among Caregivers Nationwide

| February 22, 2012

Perhaps in the end this "strategic alliance" aka acquisition of AMA's physician portal by AT&T could be a good thing but commercial ventures by the AMA in the past of this sort have not ended well.  Not sure this impacts pathology to a great degree, perhaps laboratory medicine in the general sense but AMA, in my opinion has not done terribly much on behalf of pathologists or the greater public health and why a majority of physicians are not members of the AMA. Time will tell if this "alliance" between two widely recognized brands will benefit patients and providers and offer a more robust and flexible health information exchange platform.  Meaningful use incentives while important for primary care providers, again, do not impact pathology or laboratories, both in terms of incentives or penalties.  This thanks to recent efforts by CAP to amend meaningful use penalties. This of course would not have come about if the original legislation excluded laboratories and pathologists from the reporting requirements recognizing that while we manage a huge amount of data often times the outcome assessment cannot be complete without missing corresponding clinical information collected by the clinical provider at the point of service of clinical services.  In any event, pathologists are now neither eligible for incentives and won't be penalized for not being able to do it.  Meanwhile, physician organizations can focus on working with communication companies to faciliate transfer of lab order and results so non-laboratory providers can be compensated for "meaningful use".

How about some "incentives" for reporting accurate timely data that is used to meet meaningful use?

AMA Press Release:

Strategic Alliance Helps Thousands of Physicians Modernize Practices

Chicago and Dallas – In a union of two iconic American brands, the American Medical Association (AMA) and AT&T* have formed a strategic alliance that will enable hundreds of thousands of physicians, physician organizations and medical societies nationwide to connect and collaborate with hospitals, payers and patients to help enhance patient care and reduce costs.

The organizations will integrate AMA's AMAGINE™ physician community portal for physicians with AT&T Healthcare Community Online, creating an advanced collaborative care and Healthcare Information Exchange (HIE) platform. By combining the platforms, both powered by Covisint, physicians will have more tools at their fingertips to modernize the management of their practices. 

AMA and AT&T will advance the adoption of health information technology (health IT) across the healthcare ecosystem by enabling customers that use the platforms – physicians, hospitals, payers and patients – to access health IT applications and exchange highly-secure clinical and administrative data. The alliance will create one seamless solution that will enable highly-secure, virtually anywhere, anytime access to advanced applications, aggregated clinical information and data analytics that enable the coordination and management of patient care and population health. 


The relationship will expand the functions and capabilities of the AMAGINE physician community portal that was created to help physicians easily integrate health IT into the management of their practices through a single source with affordable choices. AT&T Healthcare Community Online provides the foundation for a fully clinically integrated system across the entire care team and helps improve collaboration, reduce paperwork and potential errors, and ultimately improve the quality of patient care.


Together, the combined platform will:

  • Increase caregiver collaboration by connecting AMAGINE customers with AT&T Healthcare Community Online customers
  • Provide access to AT&T's patient care and clinical integration solutions that help bring evidence-based information to the point of care
  • Enable access to important applications such as clinical decision support, e-prescribing, care management and electronic medical records
  • Improve workflow efficiency and streamline processes associated with physician orders and referrals, lab orders and results, medications and discharge planning
  • Help physicians to take further advantage of "meaningful use” incentives

"This alliance with AT&T makes the combined product offering that much stronger and more beneficial to physicians,” said Robert Musacchio, Senior Vice President of Business Operations for the American Medical Association. "With the AMA's extensive knowledge of physician and patient needs, and AT&T's proven track record delivering technology solutions to clients, we expect that physicians and their patients will be able to enjoy the benefits of advanced health IT sooner and with more dramatic results.” 

AT&T will own and operate the combined platform as AT&T Healthcare Community Online and lead efforts to evolve technology solutions and bridge clinical and information needs across patients, physicians, hospitals and ancillary organizations. AMA will remain actively engaged and will collaborate with AT&T on business strategies to expand availability and accessibility of health IT for physicians and practices.

"If caregivers across the country aren't connected, they can't collaborate effectively as a team. By joining forces with the nation's largest physician organization, we're providing a seamless solution to meet the "last mile' of connectivity across the entire healthcare ecosystem,” said Randall Porter, Assistant Vice President, AT&T ForHealth, AT&T Business Solutions.

Both organizations will be discussing the alliance at booth #3829 at HIMSS12 in Las Vegas from Feb. 20 – Feb. 24, 2012.


For more information contact:

Robert J. Mills
American Medical Association

Wendi Fuller
AT&T Corporate Communications 


Category: Pathology News

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