Category: Healthcare Industry News

  • Proposed CMS Rule Would Require Health Information Exchange for Long-Term Care

    Date: July 16th, 2015Source: Health IT AnalyticsTopics: HIE, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Long-Term Care, Transitions of Care
    A new proposed rule released this week in conjunction with the White House Conference on Aging would require long-term care (LTC) facilities and nursing homes to participate in health information exchange, CMS says. During a patient transfer or discharge, long-term care facilities would be required not only to document an event in the patient’s clinical record, but also to transmit that information to the receiving facility in order to promote continuity of care.
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  • CMS Details MACRA Quality Reporting, Payment Reform Proposals

    Date: July 15th, 2015Source: Health IT AnalyticsTopics: PQRS, MACRA, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Value-Based Care
    In the first update to the Medicare physician fee schedule (PFS) since the sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula was repealed in April, CMS has unveiled its proposed rule for implementing some of its major changes to the industry’s clinical quality reporting and value-based reimbursement frameworks. The updates, slated to take effect at the beginning of 2016, include modifications to the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS), EHR Incentive Programs, and Physician Value-Based Payment Modifier, among other things.
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  • Analytics Tip: Stop Cleaning Your Data

    Date: July 15th, 2015Source: Health Data ManagementTopics: Health IT, Population Health, Data Analytics
    Adopting a basic set of principles is the key to success with healthcare data analytics, according to John Showalter, M.D., chief health information officer at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. During a presentation at the Healthcare Analytics Symposium sponsored by Health Data Management, Showalter said the top two principles are: healthcare analytics is all about the individual patient, and don’t waste time and money cleaning your data before analyzing—just start using it.
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  • Three Ways Hospitals are Improving Behavioral Health Care

    Date: July 13th, 2015Source: TrusteeTopics: Behavioral Health, Emergency Services
    Years of deep cuts to mental health care services have left ill-equipped hospital emergency departments struggling to care for untreated patients. Three organizations confronted the problem head-on by integrating behavioral health into primary and specialty care, screening and supporting vulnerable families, and developing expansive partnerships with other organizations.
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  • EHRs and Patient Portals: Key Contract Considerations

    Date: July 10th, 2015Source: Physicians PracticeTopics: EHRs
    Most practices now use EHRs and slightly more than half use patient portals, but a significant percentage is still exploring their options when it comes to acquiring both technologies, according to our 2015 Technology Survey. If you are a manager or physician at one of these practices, doing your homework upfront may reduce the likelihood that you'll experience common post-implementation challenges, such as interoperability issues or work flow problems.
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  • See Which Hospitals Made the 2015 'Most Wired' List

    Date: July 10th, 2015Source: Healthcare IT NewsTopics: Health IT, Colorado Hospitals & Health Systems
    Out of more than 2,200 U.S. hospitals, only 338 made it to this year's Most Wired list, demonstrating some of the most advanced health IT use and adoption in the nation.
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  • Medicare Pushes Home Health to Adopt EHR, HIE

    Date: July 8th, 2015Source: Health Data ManagementTopics: HIE, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Home Health
    The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services wants home health agencies to accelerate their use of health information technology. The agency is issuing no mandates yet, but certainly is leaving the door open. CMS’ encouragement of electronic health records and health information exchange is in a proposed rule for the calendar year 2016 Medicare home health prospective payment system.
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  • Supreme Court Upholds Subsidies in King v. Burwell

    Date: June 25th, 2015Source: Modern Healthcare (free registration may be required to view)Topics: Healthcare Policy
    Insurance premium subsidies will continue to flow to Americans in all states under the Affordable Care Act, the U.S. Supreme Court decided 6-3 in King v. Burwell on Thursday. The justices sided with the Obama administration in the historic decision, saying the healthcare law allows Americans in all states—not just those that established their own exchanges—to receive the subsidies.
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  • Patient-Centered Medical Home Is a “Pragmatic” Shift in Care

    Date: June 23rd, 2015Source: Health IT AnalyticsTopics: EHRs, Care Coordination, Medical Home Model
    Becoming a patient-centered medical home takes a great deal of hard work and a steady commitment to continual practice improvement. To achieve the coveted Level III NCQA recognition, providers must operate at peak performance, leveraging health IT to bring coordinated, high-quality population health management to their communities. But the patient-centered medical home (PCMH) recognition brings more than bragging rights to successful organizations. As payers get serious about value-based reimbursement, providers that align themselves with emerging care delivery strategies may be in line for some financial success, as well.
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  • As Big Data Grows, the Need for AI Comes Into Focus

    Date: June 19th, 2015Source: Healthcare IT NewsTopics: Health IT, Population Health, Data Analytics
    No one questions that the era of big data is here, but Dr. Anthony Chang warns that the deluge of medical information is just beginning. "By 2020, there will be 200 times more data than any physician can absorb," said Chang, a practicing pediatric cardiologist. "And its doubling every two years." In his keynote address at the National Healthcare Innovation Summit in Chicago Wednesday morning, Chang said he worries that lives are being lost from the unrealized opportunity.
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  • Population Health: The Path Forward

    Date: June 16th, 2015Source: Healthcare InformaticsTopics: Health IT, Population Health, Long-Term Care, Accountable Care
    What does the future hold for the population health management concept? The present moment in U.S. healthcare is filled with both challenge and opportunity in this absolutely critical area of endeavor. On the one hand, the population health idea has taken off as it has never before. It is embedded in virtually all the main policy initiatives coming out of all the major public and private purchasers and payers of healthcare, whether in some of the mandates coming out of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), or embedded in the value-based purchasing (VBP) initiatives coming out of the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for the Medicare program, or from nearly any of the major VBP programs sponsored by virtually all of the major U.S. health plans.
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  • Medicare ACO Regulations Look to Accelerate HIE

    Date: June 10th, 2015Source: HIE WatchTopics: HIE, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Accountable Care
    The final rule for the Medicare Shared Savings Program is out, aiming to help craft the next generation of Medicare ACOs. CMS' MSSP final rule is aimed at enhancing primary care services and offering more flexibility in order to increase participation. The agency wants to improve the program in a number of areas, including through a new ACO track based on some of the successful features of the Pioneer ACO Model; streamlining data sharing between CMS and ACOs to help ACOs more easily access data secure patient data; refining policies for resetting ACO benchmarks enable incentives for improving patient care and generating cost savings.
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  • Lawmakers Introduce Bill to Extend MU to Behavioral Health Providers

    Date: June 9th, 2015Source: FierceEMRTopics: Meaningful Use, Healthcare Policy, Behavioral Health
    Reps. Tim Murphy (R-Pa.) and Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas) have reintroduced a bill that would, among other things, add behavioral health providers to the Meaningful Use program. The bill, Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act, H.R. 2646, is a revamped and softer version than its 2013 predecessor. It would expand the Meaningful Use program to clinical psychologists and licensed social workers, as well as to mental health treatment centers, substance abuse treatment facilities and psychiatric hospitals. It also would extend the timelines accordingly by five years for these new entrants to the program.
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  • Up to 70% of Small Physician Practices May Switch EHRs

    Date: June 8th, 2015Source: Health IT InteroperabilityTopics: EHRs, Interoperability, Accountable Care
    In a pair of new industry surveys, Black Book Rankings examines why cloud-based, integrated, interoperable clinical and practice management technologies are in such high demand among providers angling for a leg up on meaningful use requirements, population health management, and shifting opportunities for value-based reimbursement. “The majority (70%) of smaller and solo practice physicians have still not settled on a technology suite or set of products that delivers to their expectations on meaningful use, clinician usability, and coordinated billing and claims, hence, the relentlessly moving EHR marketplace,” said Doug Brown, Managing Partner of Black Book.
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  • FDA-Approved Digital Health Solutions Saving Billions in Healthcare Costs

    Date: June 4th, 2015Source: Accenture NewsroomTopics: Mobile Health, Patient Engagement
    FDA-regulated digital health solutions are expected to save the U.S. healthcare system more than $100 billion over the next four years, according to new research from Accenture. “A digital disruption is playing out in healthcare, as witnessed by the emergence of new business models and technology that will change the nature of patient interactions, alter consumer expectations and ultimately improve health outcomes,” said Rick Ratliff, managing director of digital health solutions, Accenture. Accenture estimates that FDA-approved digital health solutions – an internet-connected device or software created for detection or treatment of a medical indication – achieved $6 billion in cost savings in 2014, primarily driven by medication adherence, behavior modifications and fewer emergency room visits. The company expects that figure to rise to $50 billion in 2018.
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  • Health Information Exchange Reduced Radiology Exams by 47%

    Date: May 28th, 2015Source: EHR IntelligenceTopics: HIE, Radiology, Duplicate Testing
    Brookings Institution fellow Niam Yaraghi looked at a health information exchange platform among two emergency departments in western New York and considered the effects of accessing patient data through the health information exchange (HIE). The results from the Brookings Institution research shows that using a HIE led to a 25% decrease in the number of laboratory tests conducted as well as 26% drop in the amount of radiology examinations. When looking at the second emergency care department, Yaraghi found that the number of radiology exams fell by a total of 47% after the implementation of the HIE platform.
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  • Five Ways Mobile is Moving Mountains in Patient Engagement

    Date: May 27th, 2015Source: Becker's Health IT & CIO ReviewTopics: Mobile Health, Patient Engagement, Telehealth
    From EMRs to wearables, transformative technologies are reshaping the way healthcare is delivered today. And mobile devices are a critical cog in the modern healthcare machine: 90% of Americans now own a mobile device, and they spend an average of 43 minutes per month on those devices, compared with just 22 minutes at an average doctor's visit. Mobile devices make information instantly available to far more people, integrating them with our daily lives more than traditional desktop computers ever did. In fact, for the first time, people are searching for information more on mobile devices than on laptops or desktops, according to Google. With nearly all the information in the world just clicks away, more patients – especially those with chronic conditions – are lobbying for on-demand access to their personal medical information.
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  • Information Blocking: A New Term and the Promise of a New Era in Electronic Health Information Sharing

    Date: May 20th, 2015Source: Health Affairs BlogTopics: HIE, Interoperability, Information Blocking
    With the breakneck pace at which new health information technology reports and regulations are released, the recent report from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (“ONC”) — on health information blocking — may have failed to hit the radar. But it should have. When it comes to sharing electronic patient health information, public good should trump private gain. While it may seem like an obvious statement, it represents a tectonic shift in the narrative surrounding health information exchange (“HIE” – the electronic sharing of patient data across unaffiliated provider organizations).
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  • 10 Things to Know About Medicare's New Payment Programs

    Date: May 14th, 2015Source: Medical Practice InsiderTopics: MACRA, Provider Reimbursement, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS)
    Physicians who treat Medicare beneficiaries no longer need to worry about practice-threatening reimbursement cuts tied to governmental economic measures, as was the case for 13 years under the recently repealed SGR-based payment system. The Medicare Access and Children's Health Insurance Reauthorization Act (MACRA), which became law on April 16, sets forth in statute the immediate and future pathways to physician payment. Although the legislation may at first seem a bit intimidating in its scope, the key payment details break down as follows...
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  • Life After SGR: Medical Home Concept Looms Larger

    Date: May 1st, 2015Source: MedPage TodayTopics: Provider Reimbursement, Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS), Medical Home Model
    "If you are not in a patient-centered medical home (PCMH) now, you should be thinking about one." That was Robert B. Doherty's advice for physicians practicing in the post-SGR world. Doherty, who is senior vice president of government affairs and public policy at the American College of Physicians, shared his views during an ACP press briefing here. Doherty's support of the PCMH is not surprising since the ACP has championed the concept for decades and succeeded in having it included in the Balanced Budget Act of 1997, the same bill that gave medicine the sustainable growth rate (SGR). But what long seemed a good concept is now poised to put money in physicians' pockets in the post-SGR era. The reason for that is that the legislation that repealed SGR -- the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act -- grants a sort of "most favored nation" status to PCMH.
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  • Senators Announce Working Group To Address EHR Adoption Issues

    Date: April 30th, 2015Source: iHealthBeatTopics: EHRs, Interoperability, Healthcare Policy
    On Wednesday, Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.) announced the formation and official launch of a bipartisan working group that will seek to identify ways to improve the state of electronic health records. According to the announcement, the group will work to find five or six ways to correct the "failed promise" of EHRs.
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  • How to prepare for bundled payments

    Date: April 16th, 2015Source: Medical Practice InsiderTopics: Value-Based Care, Provider Reimbursement
    Bundled payments for episodic care, once the domain of hospitals and large-scale providers, increasingly factor in the reimbursement of small physician practices. Just ask John Meigs, MD, speaker of the Congress of Delegates for the American Academy of Family Physicians. This alternative payment program posed a documentation dilemma for his small family practice in Centreville, Ala.
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  • SGR Repeal is a “Game-Changer” for Health IT

    Date: April 15th, 2015Source: Healthcare InformaticsTopics: Healthcare Policy, Meaningful Use, PQRS, MACRA, Provider Reimbursement
    Industry stakeholders are overwhelmingly praising Congress for passing the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act, which repealed the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula for reimbursing physicians under Medicare.
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  • The Tangle of Coordinated Healthcare

    Date: April 13th, 2015Source: The New York TimesTopics: Care Coordination
    Who coordinates the coordinators? More specifically, who coordinates the proliferating number of health care helpers variously known as case managers, care managers, care coordinators, patient navigators or facilitators, health coaches or even — here’s a new one — “pathfinders”? Rachel Schwartz, a licensed clinical social worker for close to 20 years, came face to face with this quandary earlier this month. Employed by a home care agency in Virginia, she visited a woman in her late 70s who had recently come home from the hospital. The patient, who lives with her husband and daughter, has diabetes and dementia. Ms. Schwartz, during the scant one to three social work visits that Medicare will cover, planned to help her sign up for community services like Meals on Wheels. “We’re trying to keep people at home and out of hospitals,” she said. But the woman also had a care manager through her Medicare Advantage program, her daughter reported, handing over a business card. Not wanting to duplicate those efforts, Ms. Schwartz left the care manager a message, then later texted a former colleague who worked for the same program. Did she know this care manager? They should collaborate. No, the colleague didn’t know her. She might not be a field case manager, she texted back; she might be a telephonic manager.
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  • CMS Proposes Significant Changes to Meaningful Use Stages 1 and 2

    Date: April 12th, 2015Source: Health Data ManagementTopics: Patient Engagement, EHRs, Meaningful Use, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
    The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services late in the day on April 10 came out with yet another proposed rule to make modifications that will ease compliance with Stages 1 and 2 of the electronic health records meaningful use program. The rule changes the reporting periods to attest for meaningful use, substantially scales back several Stage 2 measure thresholds, and eliminates the need to report multiple measures as conducting these measures has essentially become common practice.
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