AAP NCE 2008 Days 2-3

The time has come to create some kind of social calendar for PCC at the NCE.  It’s almost like going to your own wedding – you see people you’d love to spend some real time with across the room and the best you can do is give a wave.  This was easily our busiest event, yet.

Perhaps my funniest connection – and I’ll pick on him, because I’m sure he doesn’t read this blog – was walking in the bridge-tunnel from the mall to the hotel with my brain focusing on what to get my wife for her birthday.  I suddenly realized that I very much recognized the voice of the person next to me but hadn’t noticed him, though we’d been walking together for 25 yards or more.  There was Dr. Lewis First, probably fresh off a presentation, on the cell phone.  I could only give him the shoulder tap and wave (to his relief, I suspect).

Before I get to my editorial, I will give one tip of the cap to a certain group of nameless SOAPM members whose livers must be attempting to recover from the long weekend.  In particular, I am thankful for the coding lessons – I’ll have to blog about the new modifier I learned about.  I’d also like to thank Linda Walsh, whom I hope enjoyed her first Persian meal.

Now, for the soapbox.  Or should I call it the SOAPMbox?

I’ve done the annual (and semi-annual) AAP events for almost twenty years.  Vendors have come and gone , but I’ve never seen it like this.  The sharks are circling the boat like it’s the middle of Jaws and the music is loud.  Yes, I realize this sounds spiteful, but where have all these folks been the last 5 or 10 years?  Why weren’t they there when COCIT was crying out for supporting funds?  How come none of them can muster a Friends of Children Fund donation?  Even with the ridiculous price tag, none of them could pony up to keep the “Pediatric Office Of The Future” going?  [Some of these vendors’ revenue can be measured in the billions; many in the hundreds of millions.]  Maybe I’m just whining, but where did this sudden interest in pediatrics come from?

Obviously, imo, it’s the CCHIT money.  Just like chum over the back of the boat, these sharks are circling in.  And when the meal is gone, they will disappear again…just like they do every couple of years.

Yes, there are a few vendors there who have a decided interest in pediatrics – JMJ, OP, ChartCare.  And us, of course.  After that, it plummets (maybe I forgot someone – I’ll gladly admit so if it can be pointed out). A couple years ago, PCC hired a marketing guy who went around the meeting and asked each of the vendors about their pediatric specificity.  I won’t identify anyone here, as that wouldn’t be fair, but you might be shocked at the sort of things they say.  “Pediatricians aren’t any different from anyone else…they just say they are.”  “We just put ‘Pediatric’ on our literature.  Software is the same wherever you go.”  “Those companies who say they are pediatric specific – they’re fibbing.  No one is, no one really cares.”  I loooooved that one.

Enough complaining.

A very interesting development – STEPSTools – got unveiled.  I missed the event, as I was at the Buzzy Award, butI am really excited about this concept.  I’ll discuss it no more without the guidance of those behind it.  But keep your ears and eyes open for it.

I must have connected with at least three people who said, “Oh, we’ve got to have PCC come speak at XYZ!” or “I need to talk to you about data for ABC!” (Yeah, I’m talking to you Dr. Francis!)  I think the most interesting discussions are going to be about the development of the Medical Home and getting paid for CDM.  Fortunately, SOAPM has folks like Dr. Diasio and Lynn Cramer who are pushing the envelope for us all.

I’m babbling at this point.  Some real goodies tomorrow – a great piece about The Lynn Cramer and her Obesity program.

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