AAH calls IBM, but its e-CMN still just a gleam

Wednesday, April 30, 2003

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — AAHomecare is hiring a division of IBM to act as a consultant in the development of its e-CMN initiative. IBM’s first task will be to review the work that’s been done so far, according to Asela Cuervo, senior vice president of government relations at AAHomecare.

To date, under the auspices of an AAHomecare-designated task force, information technology leaders at Apria and Rotech have written a white paper that would blueprint an e-CMN’s back-end. IBM will also look at some further e-CMN development work that Rotech CIO Albert Prast has developed.

“It’s a program, essentially, that would run an e-CMN program,” said Cuervo.

AAHomecare has yet to lay out a timetable for development of its e-CMN. At the AAHomecare Leadership Conference in February, Prast called publicly for the formation of “a body within this group to govern” the project.

The lack of any discernable light at the end of AAHomecare’s tunnel is frustrating some who believe the technology and the political will to move forward has arrived. Some believe that AAHomecare’s interest in e-CMNs is hobbling providers who might otherwise migrate to entrepreneurs with products on the table.

“If they are going to do something, they should let people know how soon they are going to do it,” said Gene Fry, vice president of business development at eClickMD. “If they are not, they need to say, we are not interested in pursuing our own version of this and let it open up for other people.”

Although eClickMD has beta-tested its e-CMN product with at least one HME provider, the company has yet to go live.

Trac Medical is reporting that it’s now working with 11 HME companies. Three of those companies are now submitting e-CMNs to doctors. Trac says it has credentialed 650 physicians to date and that 70% have processed e-CMNs.

Trac charges customers $4 per completed e-CMN. Larger volume customers pay less.

“We charge based on signing event,” said Randi Neal, Trac’s vice president of operations. “If for some reason, it has to go back and forth a hundred times, you still only play the one charge.”

EClickMD’s eCMN’s are coming to market at about $2-$3 per e-CMN, said Dennis Nasto at ZDMed Corp. in San Diego, a sales and marketing company that is shopping eClick’s solution to HME providers. HME