Category: Health IT & HIE News

  • Fed Advisers: Tie Financial Incentives to Data Exchange

    Date: November 16th, 2015Source: Health Data ManagementTopics: HIE, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Interoperability, Value-Based Care, Accountable Care
    A Health IT Policy Committee task force has made four recommendations targeting financial and business barriers that are holding back the interoperability of healthcare information. Paul Tang, M.D., chair of the interoperability task force, acknowledged that none of the recommendations are “likely to change the facts on the ground overnight.” But he argued that alignment of incentives for providers and vendors could foster business practices that result in routine interoperable data exchange.
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  • CMS Issues New FAQs About Meeting HIE, Patient Engagement Meaningful Use Requirements

    Date: November 11th, 2015Source: EHR IntelligenceTopics: HIE, Meaningful Use, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Patient Engagement
    QUESTION: For the Health Information Exchange objective for meaningful use in 2015 through 2017, may an eligible professional (EP), eligible hospital or critical access hospital (CAH) count a transition of care or referral in its numerator for the measure if they electronically create and send a summary of care document using their CEHRT to a third party organization that plays a role in determining the next provider of care and ultimately delivers the summary of care document? ANSWER: Yes. An EP, eligible hospital or CAH may count transmissions in this measure’s numerator when a third party organization is involved so long as: The summary of care document is created using certified EHR technology (CEHRT); The summary of care document is transmitted electronically by the EP, eligible hospital or CAH to the third party organization.
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  • Towards Healthcare Interoperability: What Must Be Done?

    Date: November 9th, 2015Source: The American Journal of Managed CareTopics: HIE, EHRs, Interoperability
    Healthcare information technology (IT) began like cellphone towers. At its inception, a patient's record in 1 EHR could not be copied to a different vendor's solution without significant work. In today's highly distributed American population, with 7.3 million people moving to a different state every year, we can no longer rely on a single health record. When I go to my doctor in Philadelphia, she needs to see my x-ray back from when I lived in Boston. A cancer patient's doctor needs to be able to get chemotherapy and radiation treatment records and load them into his or her own system to continue the therapeutic pathway. When a car crash victim is sent by helicopter across the state to a level 1 trauma center, even overnight express Fed Ex is too slow for a computed tomography scan to arrive on a DVD. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that the ability to exchange information emerges as the new holygrail for EHR providers. The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society defines interoperativity at 3 levels.
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  • Accountable Care Pushing Urgent Care to Boost IT Capabilities

    Date: November 6th, 2015Source: Health Data ManagementTopics: Health IT, Care Coordination, Accountable Care
    Urgent care is on the fast track for growth in the U.S., for reasons that are economic, as well as related to consumer cost and access to care. Urgent care makes sense in a system transitioning to value-based care. The niche is attracting attention from integrated delivery systems, hospitals and physician offices. Recent activity in the market underscores the growing role that provider organizations see for urgent care in building a cost-effective continuum of care.
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  • Why Interoperability Initiatives are Accelerating

    Date: November 1st, 2015Source: Health Data ManagementTopics: HIE, EHRs, Interoperability
    Industry efforts to achieve interoperability have exploded in recent weeks, as several initiatives are working toward ways to advance the exchange of healthcare information. Most recently, HL7 convened a strategy meeting in Chicago to bring together stakeholders to discuss gaps in interoperability efforts and ways to bridge those gaps. Earlier in October, a dozen major vendors of electronic health records systems agreed to a set of interoperability metrics in order to measure their progress. Other interoperability initiatives have been announced recently, some of them pairing diverse industry stakeholders.
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  • CMS Clarifies Meaningful Use Requirements for Public Health

    Date: October 22nd, 2015Source: EHR IntelligenceTopics: EHRs, Meaningful Use, Public Health Reporting
    After the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) modified the CMS EHR Incentive Programs for 2015-2017, several medical professionals expressed concern about being able to meet some of the revised requirements for the next reporting period. To address those concerns, CMS released a frequently asked questions list, and specifically addressed concerns regarding public health reporting.
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  • Meaningful Use Final Rules: 3 Things You Need to Know

    Date: October 16th, 2015Source: Managed Healthcare ExecutiveTopics: EHRs, Meaningful Use, Health IT, Healthcare Policy
    On October 6, 2015, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) released Meaningful Use (MU)-Stage 2 modifications and Stage 3 final rules. The final rules will simplify requirements and add new flexibilities for providers to make electronic health information available when and where it matters most and for healthcare providers and consumers to be able to readily, safely, and securely exchange that information, according to CMS.
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  • AAFP Says It's Time for Action on Interoperability

    Date: October 14th, 2015Source: FierceHealthITTopics: HIE, Interoperability, Healthcare Policy
    It's time for action on interoperability, Robert Wergin, M.D., board chair of the American Academy of Family Physicians, says in a letter responding to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT's interoperability roadmap. On Oct. 6, the ONC published a final version of the 10-year plan. However, in a letter to National Coordinator Karen DeSalvo, Wergin says AAFP members do "not sense the necessary level of urgency to achieve this important goal and call on ONC to further accelerate this work." He adds that the national health IT ecosystem needs "to undergo more rapid transformation than has been the case to date."
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  • Senators Propose Bill to Rate EHR Systems

    Date: October 8th, 2015Source: Becker's Health IT & CIO ReviewTopics: EHRs, Health IT, Interoperability, Healthcare Policy, Information Blocking
    Newly introduced legislation seeks to create a rating system for EHR products to promote transparency around them and ensure they are functioning as promised. Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.), MD, and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), introduced the bill earlier this week. They named the legislation the "Transparent Ratings on Usability and Security to Transform Information Technology Act of 2015," or TRUST IT Act.
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  • OIG Issues Information Blocking Alert Around Anti-Kickback Statute

    Date: October 8th, 2015Source: Healthcare IT NewsTopics: HIE, EHRs, Healthcare Policy, Information Blocking
    In case you forgot, allow a new OIG alert to remind you: Healthcare providers and EHR vendors who engage in information blocking might get in serious trouble with federal anti-kickback laws. This week, HHS Office of Inspector General released a policy reminder for industry stakeholders that information blocking can violate anti-kickback statute and in some cases does not fall in the realm of safe harbor conditions. For hospitals or healthcare providers who furnish electronic health record software to a physician practice that may act as a potential or current referral source, for instance, this may violate the statute.
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  • Senate Seeks More Interoperability, Openness for Certified EHRs

    Date: October 8th, 2015Source: Health IT AnalyticsTopics: EHRs, Health IT, Interoperability, Healthcare Policy, Information Blocking
    With the infamous specter of information blocking now hanging over industry efforts to improve the interoperability of electronic health records, Senators Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) are attempting to take a bi-partisan approach to fostering transparency and strengthening the data exchange capabilities of certified EHR technology (CEHRT). A new bill, called the Transparent Ratings on Usability and Security to Transform Information Technology (TRUST IT) Act of 2015, plans to establish a health IT ratings system that would make it simpler for healthcare organizations to understand the interoperability capabilities and other features of future EHR products.
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  • Stage 2 Reporting Burden Shaved in Half

    Date: October 7th, 2015Source: Health Data ManagementTopics: EHRs, Meaningful Use
    Providers participating in the electronic health records Meaningful Use program during the next couple years will have far fewer objectives and measures to report under final rulemaking modifications to Stages 1 and 2.
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  • HHS Dials Back Reporting in Meaningful Use Stage 3

    Date: October 6th, 2015Source: MedCity NewsTopics: EHRs, Meaningful Use, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Health IT
    Responding to waves of public backlash, the Department of Health and Human Services is easing compliance and reporting requirements in Stage 3 of the Meaningful Use incentive program for electronic health records. HHS officials late Tuesday released the long-awaited Stage 3 rules, as well as modifications to the current Stage 2. HHS also is pushing back the start of Stage 3 yet another year, to Jan. 1, 2018. All providers will follow the calendar year.
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  • CMS Drops Final Stage 2 and Stage 3 Meaningful Use Rules

    Date: October 6th, 2015Source: Healthcare IT NewsTopics: EHRs, Meaningful Use, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Health IT
    It's final. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and ONC have released final rules for the EHR Incentive Programs, which they say will ease reporting requirements for providers and allow for 90-day reporting periods. They also announced major news on Stage 3 of the program. The 2015 rule builds on 2011 and 2014 and is reflective of input from industry stakeholders, according to Karen DeSalvo, MD, national coordinator for health IT and acting assistant secretary for Health at HHS. The final rules, as CMS and ONC officials announced late Tuesday, "make significant changes in current requirements." Chief among them are easing the reporting requirements for providers, said Patrick Conway, MD, of CMS, in a media call Tuesday afternoon. The rules also allow for a 90-day reporting period for providers in 2015, and new providers in 2016 and 2017.
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  • In the Trenches on Population Health: Medical Group Leaders Move Forward

    Date: October 2nd, 2015Source: Healthcare InformaticsTopics: EHRs, Health IT, Population Health, Data Analytics
    Amid all the broad, policy-oriented discussions, and the very broadly strategic discussions, about population health management, these days, what has it actually been like to execute on the population health promise, at the large multidisciplinary medical group level? In a word, challenging. Medical group leaders are clear on the fact that they’re trying to do something that essentially has never been attempted before in the U.S. healthcare system, and that is to transform the processes of care delivery. What are the common denominators? In interviews with Healthcare Informatics, the leaders of pioneering medical groups, while pursuing a wide variety of strategies, are finding common challenges and opportunities in wading into the deep end of the pool in several key, overlapping areas.
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  • Can Big Data Analytics, Data Governance Restore Joy to Medicine?

    Date: September 29th, 2015Source: Health IT AnalyticsTopics: Health IT, Physician Workflow, Data Analytics
    Physicians who are struggling to muster up the enthusiasm to continue the practice of medicine may not feel like adding a mountain of big data to the mix will do much to help them recapture the joy of patient care. After all, burdensome reporting programs, an inundation of quality metrics, and increased documentation requirements are some of the primary reasons why clinicians are so disgruntled in the first place. But as the healthcare system evolves into a value-based, data-driven care continuum, big data analytics is poised to become the solution to physician dissatisfaction, not its cause. If providers can make meaningful changes to their information governance programs in the present, they will be positioning themselves for success in the very near future.
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  • Survey Finds Patients Prefer More Digital Healthcare

    Date: September 28th, 2015Source: CMIOTopics: HIE, Health IT, Patient Engagement
    Patients are aware of the gaps in information sharing that make it challenging for them to manage their health, according to results from Surescripts' Connected Care and the Patient Experience survey. “Dangerous voids in health information sharing can easily be solved through the use of digital communications and technology. This survey proves patients take notice and are ready for a change,” said Tom Skelton, Surescripts CEO. “As an industry, we need to come together to connect the nation’s healthcare system -- to enhance the patient experience while improving quality and lowering the cost of care.”
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  • Report: More Than 80% of Docs Now Use EHRs

    Date: September 18th, 2015Source: Healthcare IT NewsTopics: EHRs, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Health IT
    More than eight in 10 doctors across the country, or 83%, have adopted electronic healthcare record (EHR) systems, according to a new report from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC). Counting only certified EHR adoption, however, that rate goes down to 74%. Also, 51% of doctors are using only basic EHR functionalities, according to ONC.
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  • Deloitte Survey: Hospitals & Health Systems Look to Healthcare Analytics But Lack Strategy

    Date: September 16th, 2015Source: EHR IntelligenceTopics: Population Health, Value-Based Care, Accountable Care, Data Analytics
    Despite significant interest in leveraging healthcare analytics, few healthcare organizations have the necessary strategy for blending financial, operational, clinical, and other data effectively, according to a recent Deloitte Center for Health Solutions survey. Comprising responses from CIOs, CMIOs, and senior leaders from 50 health systems, the survey also finds healthcare data analytics adoption and spending falling short of industry predictions despite support for leveraging these emerging technologies for value-based care.
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  • Oncology Group Asks Congress to Bolster EHR Interoperability & Eliminate Info Blocking

    Date: September 16th, 2015Source: iHealthBeatTopics: HIE, EHRs, Interoperability, Healthcare Policy, Information Blocking
    On Tuesday, the American Society for Clinical Oncology released a position statement urging Congress to pass legislation that would strengthen interoperability of electronic health records, Modern Healthcare reports. The statement was released during a Capitol Hill briefing on big data. In the statement, ASCO noted that to achieve a fully interoperable health IT system "all health IT initiatives that utilize big data must have the ability to electronically share clinical information between practitioners."
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  • Social, Behavioral Data Must Be Included in EHRs, Nurses Say

    Date: September 14th, 2015Source: Health IT AnalyticsTopics: EHRs, Population Health, Primary Care, Behavioral Health
    Electronic health records (EHRs) are incomplete and potentially insufficient for use in population health management programs when they are missing social and behavioral data, states the American Academy of Nursing in a new policy brief and call to action. Without collecting data on patient behaviors and the impacts of socioeconomic circumstances on clinical health, providers are operating with an incomplete picture of the challenges patients face outside of the organization’s purview.
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  • ONC Launches Online Complaint Form for Providers to Report EHR Issues, Data Blocking

    Date: September 11th, 2015Source: EHR IntelligenceTopics: HIE, EHRs, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Health IT, Interoperability, Healthcare Policy, Information Blocking
    The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) has launched a new tool for reporting complaints about certified EHR technology (CEHRT) and health IT. "ONC launched [the form] to address these concerns and be the single point of entry for you to report problems or complaints about your health IT product," said Acting Deputy National Coordinator Jon White, MD. "The new reporting mechanism will help us here at ONC better triage, track, route and respond to your health IT concerns or challenges." ONC has laid out five instances where providers should contact the federal agency, including "health information blocking."
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  • Primary Care Providers View Health IT Use in Positive Light

    Date: August 27th, 2015Source: EHR IntelligenceTopics: EHRs, Health IT
    Primary care providers view health IT use as a welcome addition to delivering high-quality, but remain skeptical of the benefits of accountable care organizations (ACOs) in the provisioning of high-quality, according to new research published by the Commonwealth Fund in collaboration with the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Of the more than 1,600 physicians surveyed, exactly half (50%) view the impact if increased use of health IT as positive, compared to 28 percent who deemed its impact to be negative.
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  • Four People You Need For an Easy EHR Transition

    Date: August 25th, 2015Source: Healthcare IT NewsTopics: EHRs, Meaningful Use, Physician Workflow
    Facing a new electronic health record (EHR) implementation is like facing the boogeyman of the health IT world. Transition to a new system can be a nightmare. There's staff resistance, technical difficulties, disrupted workflow and a steep learning curve. But as technology advances, transition from one EHR system to the next is sometimes a necessity. A 2014 survey showed 67% of physicians do not like the functionality of their current EHR systems. But an effective EHR is key to increasing efficiency and reducing costs. For many hospitals, health systems and practices, it may be time to switch to a better system.
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  • A New Model to Track Growing Patient and Consumer Engagement Adoption

    Date: August 18th, 2015Source: Healthcare InformaticsTopics: Health IT, Patient Engagement
    In July, leaders at Scottsdale Institute (SI) announced the creation of the SI Patient/Consumer Engagement Adoption Model™. The SI Patient/Consumer Engagement Adoption Model “is an assessment tool and adoption model to help U.S. healthcare systems measure effectiveness in engaging patients and consumers in managing their own health and wellness." SI said they developed the model in response to the growing demand and necessity for patients and consumers to participate in their own care.
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