Category: Healthcare Industry News

  • The CFO's Guide to Healthcare Quality: Key Metrics to Track & Trends to Follow

    Date: November 13th, 2015Source: Becker's Hospital CFOTopics: Value-Based Care, Accountable Care, Quality Improvement
    Hospital and health system CFOs check numerous metrics on a daily basis and, as reimbursement becomes more closely linked to health outcomes, finance chiefs are examining quality metrics as a part of their daily routines. The arenas of cost and quality have become more connected in recent years through various Affordable Care Act initiatives and due to the increasing use of bundled payments and formation of accountable care organizations.
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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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  • Precision Medicine, Big Data Analytics Intersect for Better Care

    Date: October 19th, 2015Source: HealthIT AnalyticsTopics: Health IT, Patient Care, Data Analytics, Precision Medicine
    When it comes to healthcare big data analytics, finding the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow isn’t exactly an easy task. Even the process of identifying if there is a pot of gold – and how to plot a course towards the rainbow before planning out the best way to follow it – can be monumentally difficult for organizations mired down in EHR optimization projects, meaningful use, payment reforms, and budding population health management programs.
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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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  • Considering MACRA’s Effect on Future Meaningful Use Changes

    Date: October 12th, 2015Source: RevCycle IntelligenceTopics: EHRs, Meaningful Use, MACRA, Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS), Healthcare Policy
    The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has confirmed a 60-day period of public commentary regarding the Stage 3 Electronic Health Record (EHR) incentive program and the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (H.R. 2, MACRA). New requirements throughout the next two years have been outlined. Up for debate is how MACRA may influence upcoming Meaningful Use changes. “This final rule with comment period synchronizes reporting under the EHR Incentive Programs to end the separate stages of meaningful use, which we believe will prepare Medicare EPs for the transition to MIPS,” the final rule states. The regulation aims to help flip the reimbursement switch from volume to value.
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  • CMS Tries Out Telehealth Payment Model at Nursing Facilities

    Date: October 9th, 2015Source: Healthcare IT NewsTopics: SNF, Value-Based Care, Long-Term Care, Telehealth
    A federal partnership with seven health systems is testing whether a new payment model that supports telemedicine can be used to reduce hospitalizations of long-term residents in nursing homes. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is launching the second phase of this three-year project, which tests whether "high-intensity treatment services" can reduce avoidable hospitalizations, lower Medicare and Medicaid spending and improve the residents' quality of care.
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  • Adjusting to Value-Based Care as an Independent Practice

    Date: October 9th, 2015Source: Physicians PracticeTopics: PQRS, Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS), Value-Based Care, Provider Reimbursement, Accountable Care, Quality Improvement
    With growing pressure for independent practices to team up for accountable care and looming value-based reimbursement, many practices nationwide are uncertain of how to move ahead toward success for their practice and their patients. "At the end of the day, [value-based care] is coming,” said Gerard Filicko, senior vice president of clinical services at inHEALTH. "This is the new environment that physicians have to be prepared for, regardless of what you think of the government or Obamacare."
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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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  • 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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  • Study: U.S. Spends More on Healthcare Than Other High-income Countries But Has Worse Outcomes

    Date: October 8th, 2015Source: The Commonwealth FundTopics: Population Health, Value-Based Care, Healthcare Policy, Quality Improvement
    New analysis from the Commonwealth Fund draws upon data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and other cross-national analyses to compare healthcare spending, supply, utilization, prices, and health outcomes across 13 high-income countries: Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States. These data predate the major insurance provisions of the Affordable Care Act. In 2013, the U.S. spent far more on healthcare than these other countries. Despite spending more on healthcare, Americans had poor health outcomes, including shorter life expectancy and greater prevalence of chronic conditions.
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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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • HHS Awards $685M in Funding for Healthcare Transformation Initiatives

    Date: September 30th, 2015Source: Healthcare InformaticsTopics: HIE, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Transformation Support Services, Population Health, Behavioral Health, Quality Improvement
    Continuing its investment in The Transforming Clinical Practice Initiative, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has awarded $685 million to 39 national and regional healthcare networks and supporting organizations to help give clinicians the necessary tools and support to improve care, increase patients’ access to information, and reduce costs. The Transforming Clinical Practice Initiative is one of the largest federal investments designed to support doctors and other clinicians in all 50 states through collaborative and peer-based learning networks.
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  • 10 Provisions Up for Discussion in MIPS Regulation

    Date: September 30th, 2015Source: Health IT InteroperabilityTopics: MACRA, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS), Health IT, Value-Based Care, Healthcare Policy
    A request for information (RFI) to be published in the Federal Register on Oct. 1 seeks public and stakeholder comment on implementation of the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) under the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (PFS). The RFI gives insight into the range of specifications the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is considering in the forthcoming regulation. The changes in ways physicians will be paid cover a broad spectrum as set forth in the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA), which replaces the sustainable growth rate methodology for PFS updates with MIPS for eligible professionals (EPs). MIPS becomes effective with EP payments for items and services furnished on or after Jan. 1, 2019.
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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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  • Post-Acute Care Transformation Taking Hold in SNFs

    Date: September 28th, 2015Source: HealthLeaders MediaTopics: SNF, Value-Based Care, Hospital Readmissions, Long-Term Care, Accountable Care
    Transformational change has reached a critical mass in the post-acute sector in general and at skilled nursing facilities in particular, a pair of experts in the field says. "The skilled nursing facility industry has migrated from an industry that was based on residential services to an industry that is based on healthcare services," says Philip Glassanos, vice president for business development at Norwell, MA-based Welch Healthcare & Retirement Group. An ever-increasing number of SNFs nationwide are embracing the shift from fee-for-service medicine to delivering quality care at the lowest possible cost, says Kris Mastrangelo, MBA, president and CEO of Harmony Healthcare International, a post-acute care consultancy based in Topsfield, MA.
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  • MACRA: New Opportunities For Medicare Providers Through Innovative Payment Systems

    Date: September 28th, 2015Source: Health Affairs BlogTopics: PQRS, MACRA, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS), Value-Based Care, Healthcare Policy
    Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released a Request for Information (RFI) to seek public comment related to new provisions in the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA): Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS), Alternative Payment Models (APMs), and a physician-focused payment model (PFPMs).
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