Category: Healthcare Industry News

  • CMS to Host Call on Medicare Payment Adjustments, PQRS

    Date: September 15th, 2015Source: EHR IntelligenceTopics: PQRS, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Provider Reimbursement
    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is preparing to update eligible professionals and group practices on its plans for 2017 Medicare payment adjustments in an upcoming Medicare Learning Network (MLN) Provider Call on September 24. The call will focus on the penalties for non-compliance levied against EPs and group practices for falling short of requirements for the Medicare EHR Incentive Program and Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS). CMS applies payment adjustments to Medicare EPs and group practices for their non-participation in these incentive programs during the previous reporting year.
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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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  • Rethinking Patient Engagement as “Systems of Engagement” Around Healthcare Consumers

    Date: September 9th, 2015Source: Healthcare InformaticsTopics: Health IT, Patient Engagement, Accountable Care, Health Plans
    As healthcare providers, health plans, and new entrants into the healthcare competitive marketplace, such as retail pharmacies and non-healthcare-based technology companies, all rush in to try to capture healthcare consumer mindspace at a time of great tumult and change in U.S. healthcare, what strategies must traditional providers—hospitals, medical groups, and integrated health systems—employ in order to thrive in the emerging healthcare landscape?
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  • ‘Innovate Or Die?’ Mission-Driven Home Health Providers Choose the Former

    Date: September 3rd, 2015Source: Health Affairs BlogTopics: Value-Based Care, Home Health, Accountable Care
    Home health providers are ready, willing, and able to build the skills and infrastructure necessary to succeed in a value-based purchasing environment. Mr. Marchica should be applauded for his recent post on this Blog that highlights the need for innovation in the home health sector. Yet the image he paints of an industry staunchly resistant to change conflicts with our experience working with our members at the Visiting Nurses Association of America (VNAA). Many mission-driven home health providers are discovering innovative ways to adapt and provide the highest quality care efficiently.
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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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  • “Doc Fix” to Change How Physicians Are Paid; Meaningful Use Continues to Play an Essential Role

    Date: August 25th, 2015Source: MD NewsTopics: Meaningful Use, PQRS, MACRA, Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS)
    As the sea change of government initiatives transforming healthcare continues, another high-impact piece of legislation became law this spring. President Obama signed the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS), which introduces an entirely new method of paying for healthcare services. Known as the “Doc Fix,” the law takes effect in 2019, but the path forward really begins in 2015. The new Medicare reimbursement system is based on the quality of clinical outcomes. It establishes a 0.5% reimbursement increase beginning in 2015 and running through 2019. Value-based payments also begin in 2019. The new program will combine three existing quality incentive programs, reshuffling them into four performance categories that will determine provider payments.
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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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  • How Big Data is Driving the Consumerization of Healthcare

    Date: August 14th, 2015Source: U.S. News & World ReportTopics: Mobile Health, Patient Engagement, Digital Health, Data Analytics
    Big data can help physicians understand patient behavior, which in turn impacts care delivery and their practice. Doctors in 2015 have a unique advantage in that their patients actively monitor their health with mobile apps, wearable devices and social media. People keep a closer eye on their workouts, caloric intake, sleep patterns and vitals than ever before, creating a resource that could only exist in the digital age. However, very few mobile and wearable apps can be accessed by both the doctor and patient. The healthcare industry's next step in mobility involves making that connection between physicians and patients so that each party benefits from the amount of available data.
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  • Denver-based Dispatch Health Hopes to be 'Uber for Healthcare'

    Date: August 12th, 2015Source: 7News Denver (KMGH)Topics: HIE, Mobile Health, Emergency Services
    A Denver-based company hopes to be the next "Uber for health care," providing a doctor on your doorstep instead of a costly trip to the hospital. For two years, Dispatch Health has worked with local fire departments when people call 911, but starting Monday, the company is expanding its services to a fleet of private vehicles staffed with doctors and nurse practitioners. Dispatch Health, previously known as True North Health Navigation, is a current CORHIO HIE participant. Their medical practitioners access the HIE from wireless enabled iPads.
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  • Physician Quality Reporting Adds Extra Compliance for Hospitals

    Date: August 10th, 2015Source: Healthcare Finance NewsTopics: PQRS, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Value-Based Care
    With new quality ratings programs making hospitals more on the hook than ever for their physicians' performance, experts say managers will have to think beyond the traditional hospital walls to avoid costly ratings. The Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) incentive payment adjustments begin in 2015, which means provider organizations are due to start reporting on specific quality measures. Through PQRS, providers can assess the quality of care and quantify how often they are meeting a particular quality metric. Using the CMS feedback report, they can also compare their performance against their peers.
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  • How to Tackle America’s Physician Shortage

    Date: August 10th, 2015Source: FORTUNE MagazineTopics: Value-Based Care, Healthcare Policy, Primary Care
    Since the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was enacted in 2010, 16.4 million Americans have entered the healthcare system. This record number of insured individuals applies tremendous pressure on an already stretched system, but it also creates opportunities for innovation. The population of newly insured patients includes many who are living close to the poverty line. The rate of low-wealth Americans who are now insured increased by 13% while a Gallup poll found that low-wealth Americans were more likely to struggle with chronic conditions such as diabetes, obesity, depression, and high blood pressure.
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  • ED Physician Work Group Outlines Recommendations for National HIE

    Date: August 10th, 2015Source: iHealthBeatTopics: HIE, Emergency Services, Patient Care
    Health data exchange can provide more complete patient records to emergency physicians, but changes are needed to enable a national health information exchange, according to a paper published in the Annals of Emergency Medicine, FierceHealthIT reports. The paper included suggestions by an American College of Emergency Physicians work group (Hall, FierceHealthIT, 8/7).
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  • Web-based mHealth Tools Can Drive Patient Engagement, Care Satisfaction

    Date: August 10th, 2015Source: FierceMobile HealthcareTopics: Mobile Health, Patient Engagement
    Access to online educational content specific to medical issues and Web-based tools that enhance communication between patients and providers can help users gain a deeper understanding of care and boost patient satisfaction, reveals a new Brigham and Women's Hospital study. The use of an online patient-centered toolkit (PCTK) also facilitates patient involvement and input into the plan of care, states the study published in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association.
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  • Report: Radiology Has The Greatest Need for Image Sharing

    Date: August 3rd, 2015Source: HIT ConsultantTopics: HIE, Health IT, Radiology, Image Sharing
    Ninety-six percent of providers identified radiology on their list of departments that had the greatest need for image sharing, according to new report by peer60, a smart data software company. The report findings are based on a survey of more than 500 healthcare organizations, the report confirms while radiology departments have the greatest need for image sharing today, there is a growing need to exchange this information across departments and facilities as coordination of care is “now a critical component in the effective practice of medicine.”
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  • Cerner's Military EHR Contract Expected to Speed March to Interoperability

    Date: August 1st, 2015Source: Modern Healthcare (registration may be required to view)Topics: Military Health, Interoperability
    The U.S. military's giant electronic health-record contract announced last week with a consortium including EHR vendor Cerner Corp. likely will have a major impact on advancing interoperability in health information technology across the entire U.S. healthcare system, experts say. The military's goal is to use its new system to achieve health IT interoperability with thousands of civilian healthcare partners. That's because 60% to 70% of the care provided to the 9.6 million Military Health System beneficiaries—active duty military personnel, retirees and their families—is delivered by providers in the private sector.
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  • Maximizing Your EHR: 5 Strategies

    Date: July 30th, 2015Source: Physicians PracticeTopics: EHRs, Physician Workflow
    The way in which physicians interact with data as it pertains to patient care has clearly identified the EHR as a critical tool. The statistics speak for themselves — approximately 78 percent of all office-based physicians had an EHR in place as of 2013, according to a 2014 study in Health Affairs. However, this doesn't mean that physicians are satisfied with the EHRs they have; recent studies, including a 2014 report in JAMA Internal Medicine, have shown that even experienced EHR users find decreases in productivity. It becomes critical, then, to find ways to maximize the use of existing EHRs in an effort to improve efficacy for patient care and reduce end-user frustration.
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  • How to Develop Better Care Coordination: Four Steps

    Date: July 29th, 2015Source: Physicians PracticeTopics: HIE, Care Coordination, Medical Home Model, Accountable Care
    With the Affordable Care Act's focus on improving health and managing costs, industry leaders are giving the coordination-of-care their full attention. The ability to seamlessly share information between primary care physicians and specialists is critical to successfully accomplishing this objective.
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  • Dept. of Defense Awards Cerner, Leidos, Accenture EHR Contract

    Date: July 29th, 2015Source: Healthcare IT NewsTopics: Military Health
    The US Department of Defense handed down the largest and most-anticipated electronic health record system contract in history late Wednesday. And the winner is (drumroll, please) … Cerner, Leidos and Accenture. The contract's initial piece, valued at $4.3 billion, calls for the team to provide "an electronic health record off-the-shelf solution, integration activities and deployment across the Military Health System," a DoD spokesperson told Healthcare IT News.
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  • Information Blocking Discussed in July 23 Senate Hearing

    Date: July 24th, 2015Source: Health Data ManagementTopics: EHRs, Interoperability, Healthcare Policy, Information Blocking
    Information blocking—both by providers and vendors—is preventing the sharing of patients’ electronic health records and dashing any hope of realizing true EHR interoperability, according to witnesses who testified during a Senate health committee hearing on Thursday, July 23.
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  • 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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