Category: Healthcare Industry News

  • Stage 2 Helps Boost Hospitals' Reporting of Public Health Data

    Date: March 11th, 2015Source: iHealthBeatTopics: Meaningful Use, Public Health Reporting
    During 2014, eligible hospitals in Stage 2 of the Medicare meaningful use program significantly increased their electronic reporting of health data to public health agencies and registries, according to the latest data from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT. The data, presented at a Health IT Policy Committee meeting on Tuesday, show that 72% of eligible hospitals reporting to Stage 2 for fiscal year 2014 have reported on all three public health measures.
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  • Spotlight on Unnecessary Care Likely to Get Brighter

    Date: March 2nd, 2015Source: Hospitals & Health NetworksTopics: Value-Based Care
    Unnecessary care — usually associated with excess testing, surgical procedures or overprescribing — accounts for up to 25 percent of what's spent in health care according to the Institute of Medicine. That's more than $750 billion per year spent for services that do not improve outcomes. Some of this is done as a precaution: About $60 billion annually of unnecessary testing is spent to avoid liability. But what about the rest? Some would say no harm, no foul. After all, patients often request procedures and pills not knowing what might work best (this is called "preference-driven demand") and that drives costs up but, far and away, "supply-driven demand" is the major reason for spending for unnecessary services.
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  • FCC Passes Net Neutrality Rules; Health Industry Weighs Effects

    Date: March 2nd, 2015Source: iHealthBeatTopics: Health IT
    On Thursday, the Federal Communications Commission voted 3-2 to adopt rules that tighten oversight of mobile and fixed broadband providers to better protect net neutrality. Net neutrality is the idea that the Internet should be open and that all telecommunication companies should be required to treat all Internet traffic equally. Health care stakeholders appear split on whether the new rules will serve to help or harm the industry which is increasingly adopting health IT tools that rely on fast wireless connections.
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  • CMS Grants Eligible Professionals More Time for EHR Attestations

    Date: February 25th, 2015Source: iHealthBeatTopics: EHRs, Meaningful Use, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
    On Wednesday, CMS announced that it has extended the deadline for eligible professionals to attest to the Medicare meaningful use 2014 reporting period. The new deadline for eligible professionals is March 20, pushed back from the original Feb. 28 deadline.
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  • Doctors Say EHR Fees are Blocking Health Reform

    Date: February 23rd, 2015Source: PoliticoTopics: EHRs, Interoperability
    As they move to exchange patient information with hospitals and other health care partners, doctors are suffering sticker shock: The vendors of health care software, or electronic health records (EHR), want thousands of dollars to unlock the data so they can be shared. It may take an act of Congress to provide relief. The fees are thwarting the goals of the $30 billion federal push to get doctors and hospitals to digitize health records. The exorbitant prices to transmit and receive data, providers and IT specialists say, can amount to billions a year. And the EHR industry is increasingly reliant on this revenue.
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  • The 'Small Data' Revolution

    Date: February 18th, 2015Source: For the RecordTopics: EHRs
    Before focusing on Big Data—systems that rely on mass amounts of accurate data to intuit connections and causality without significant human programming—health care organizations must get their small data right. Ensuring that EHRs are accurately capturing data, storing it efficiently, and transporting it directly is a necessary precursor to an effective Big Data program.
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  • EHR Business Environment Must Change to Achieve Interoperability

    Date: February 4th, 2015Source: Health Data ManagementTopics: EHRs, Interoperability
    The main challenges for the nation’s health IT interoperability are not technical but business related. That’s the word from former National Coordinators for Health IT speaking in a panel session on Tuesday at ONC’s Annual Meeting in Washington. Farzad Mostashari, M.D., former National Coordinator for HIT and currently CEO of start-up Aledade which partners with independent primary care physicians, warned that business practices among some electronic health records vendors are inhibiting the sharing of health information by restricting information exchange with users of other EHR products.
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  • Patient-Centered Medical Home Reduces Cost, Raises Quality

    Date: February 2nd, 2015Source: HealthIT AnalyticsTopics: Medical Home Model
    The patient-centered medical home (PCMH) is an effective way to reduce healthcare spending while raising quality indicators, says the Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative (PCPCC) in a new report. The organization’s annual review of evidence of the impact of the PCMH shows that the model can produce widespread cost cutting, improvements in service utilization, higher patient satisfaction scores, and better access to care for patients in a number of independent studies.
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  • CMS Intends to Modify Requirements for Meaningful Use

    Date: January 29th, 2015Source: The CMS BlogTopics: EHRs, Meaningful Use, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced their intent to engage in rulemaking to update the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Programs beginning in 2015. These intended changes would help to reduce the reporting burden on providers, while supporting the long term goals of the program. CMS is reviewing proposals to realign hospital EHR reporting periods to the calendar year and shorten the EHR reporting period in 2015 to 90 days.
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  • Better, Smarter, Healthier: In historic announcement, HHS sets clear goals and timeline for shifting Medicare reimbursements from volume to value

    Date: January 26th, 2015Source: HHS.govTopics: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
    In a meeting with nearly two dozen leaders representing consumers, insurers, providers, and business leaders, Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell today announced measurable goals and a timeline to move the Medicare program, and the health care system at large, toward paying providers based on the quality, rather than the quantity of care they give patients.
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  • What is the Argonaut Project and Can it Make Exchanging Health Data Easier?

    Date: January 26th, 2015Source: InformationWeek HealthcareTopics: Health IT
    The Argonaut Project has a big, maybe even audacious ambition: to make health data-sharing easier by using Internet-based open messaging and documents standards instead of complex, healthcare-specific ones. The project's champion, John Halamka, is one of the best-known figures in health information technology. He's the CIO of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, a full professor at Harvard Medical School, the chairman of the New England Health Electronic Data Interchange Network (NEHEN), co-chair of the HIT Standards Committee, and a practicing emergency physician.
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  • Colorado Lawmakers Advance Bill to Spread Telehealth Across State

    Date: January 22nd, 2015Source: Denver PostTopics: Telehealth
    A bill that would boost telemedicine in Colorado by preventing health insurance plans from requiring in-person care to patients when it can be appropriately provided remotely progressed to the House floor on a unanimous committee vote Thursday. If passed, the bill would preclude health plans from requiring in-person care if consulting, monitoring and other care could be administered as effectively at a distance. It would prevent plans from reimbursing providers who deliver telehealth on a different basis than for in-person care. Health plans could not charge different deductibles, co-payments or co-insurance amounts or set different annual or lifetime dollar maximums.
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  • Study Shows Care Coordination Hampered by Inadequate Discharge Summaries

    Date: January 16th, 2015Source: HealthIT AnalyticsTopics: Care Coordination, Care Summaries
    Hospitals do not always provide complete, timely, and accurate discharge summaries to physicians in order to improve patient care coordination for those with heart failure, finds a new study from Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, a journal of the American Heart Association. The vast majority hospitals lack at least some of the seven basic Transitions of Care Consensus Conference elements that should be included in a discharge summary, and only one third of providers documented transmission of a patient discharge summary to his or her primary care physician.
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  • Study Shows Health Information Exchange Reduces Repeat Imaging Tests

    Date: January 15th, 2015Source: Weill Cornell Medical College NewsTopics: HIE, Duplicate Testing
    The use of health information exchange (HIE) to share reports on imaging tests, such as X-rays and MRIs, can help reduce the number of times patients undergo the exact same test, according to Weill Cornell Medical College researchers. Their study, published Jan. 14 in the American Journal of Managed Care, suggests HIE technology that gives healthcare providers immediate, electronic access to a patient's medical history may improve the quality of care while reducing unnecessary costs.
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  • KLAS Report Weighs In on Analytics

    Date: January 9th, 2015Source: Healthcare IT NewsTopics: Health IT
    The explosion of big data has created a big market for clinical and business intelligence – and means some big decisions for providers looking to make smart analytics purchases. A new report from KLAS weighs the merits of BI vendors large and small. KLAS researchers spoke with more than 400 providers about their experiences with analytics software. The report reveals which vendors provide the best client experience and which create the most value for providers. "Biggest is not always best," according to KLAS, which found the providers it surveyed reporting that vendors' size had little bearing on their performance.
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  • Maine HIE Rolls Out Real-Time Predictive Analytics

    Date: January 7th, 2015Source: Healthcare InformaticsTopics: HIE, Population Health
    One of the most successful health information exchanges (HIEs) in the United States just got a little better. In an era where some HIEs have struggled to remain sustainable, HealthInfoNet, the statewide health information exchange (HIE) in Maine, is doing just fine. It’s got 32 out of the state’s 36 hospitals and 326 ambulatory locations on board, sending data to it. It’s gotten long-term care, specialty, and behavioral health facilities and providers, along with a host of others, to view or submit data to the HIE. Over the years, it has introduced a number of value-added services for participants, including sending preventative care data to public health officials and a clinical data-facilitated patient event notification system.
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  • 257,000 Clinicians Face Meaningful Use Penalties in 2015

    Date: December 18th, 2014Source: Becker's Health IT & CIO ReviewTopics: EHRs, Meaningful Use
    Starting next month, approximately 257,000 eligible professionals will face Medicare payment adjustments for failing to meet requirements of the meaningful use EHR incentive program. Eligible professionals dealt the penalties will receive 1% less in Medicare payments than they would normally receive, and approximately 28,000 eligible professionals will receive 2% less for failing to comply with both meaningful use and the Electronic Prescribing Incentive Program.
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  • Colorado to Receive $65 Million Health Care Innovation Grant

    Date: December 16th, 2014Source: Denver PostTopics: Primary Care, Behavioral Health
    Colorado will receive $65 million of federal funds to help bring mental health treatment into primary-care doctors' offices, part of a plan to make sure more Coloradans receive mental health treatment when they need it. Gov. John Hickenlooper on Tuesday announced the grant, designed to reward state innovation, after months of work by a team of experts examining ways to improve coordination between mental health care and other medical care. Colorado will spend the money during the next four years.
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  • Congress Directs ONC to Decertify EHRs Blocking Information Sharing

    Date: December 16th, 2014Source: Health Data ManagementTopics: EHRs, Meaningful Use
    The fiscal year 2015 Omnibus Appropriations bill passed by Congress includes legislative language directing the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) to decertify electronic health record (EHR) products that are effectively blocking the sharing of health information. “ONC should use its authority to certify only those products that clearly meet current meaningful use program standards and that do not block health information exchange,” states the bill. ONC should take steps to decertify products that proactively block the sharing of information because those practices frustrate congressional intent, devalue taxpayer investments, and make CEHRT less valuable and more burdensome for eligible hospitals and eligible providers to use.”
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  • Population Health Management Requires Moving Beyond the EHR

    Date: December 3rd, 2014Source: HealthIT AnalyticsTopics: EHRs, Population Health
    Translating the broad principles of population health management into truly individualized wellness for each and every patient will require a much heavier reliance on healthcare data and analytics than the typical EHR can provide, claims a new JASON report commissioned by HHS. Providers must develop the capacity to perform advanced data analytics by drawing together multiple sources of clinical, social, genetic, and economic data that produces a rich and robust portrait of how the individual interacts with his or her environment to pursue good health outside of the physician office’s walls.
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  • CMS' Proposed Rule Changes to ACO Program Lower Financial Risks, Bolster Use of Health IT

    Date: December 2nd, 2014Source: iHealthBeatTopics: Health IT, Accountable Care
    On Monday, CMS released a proposed rule that includes provisions designed to increase health IT use among Medicare Shared Savings Program participants. The health IT provisions are part of proposed changes to MSSP that are designed to lower the initial risk of creating an accountable care organization and increase participation in the program. Specifically, CMS has proposed delaying penalties for some MSSP participants for three years. In addition, the proposal would require ACOs to describe how they plan to "encourage and promote" the use of health IT tools to improve care coordination.
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  • Patients Willing to Share Their EHR Info for Research

    Date: November 24th, 2014Source: Healthcare IT NewsTopics: Patient Engagement
    A poll released this past week from Truven Health Analytics and NPR shows that more than two-thirds, or 68%, of Americans are willing to share their health information with researchers. "While privacy concerns have been an issue in the past, as (EHRs) continue to become more prevalent, it appears that Americans are becoming increasingly comfortable sharing this type of information with employers, providers and health plans," said Michael Taylor, MD, chief medical officer at Truven Health Analytics.
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  • Three Tips to Reboot, and Not Replace, Your EHR

    Date: November 14th, 2014Source: Physicians PracticeTopics: EHRs, Physician Workflow
    Sometimes it's only after you say "I do" that you realize the relationship wasn't meant to be. When this happens with your EHR software, you may not have to go through a messy divorce. If you're unhappy with your system, you may feel that you'll just have to ride it out until your contract is up, or if the problem is really bad, eat the investment and buy something you like better. You may be surprised to learn that in most cases you have room to negotiate.
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  • Study: Physicians' Clinical Notes Improved in Quality After EHR Implementation

    Date: November 3rd, 2014Source: Clinical Innovation + TechnologyTopics: EHRs, Care Coordination, Physician Workflow
    Physicians' clinical notes improved in quality after EHR implementation, according to an article published in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association (JAMIA).
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  • Why Thorough EHR Adoption Must Precede Population Health

    Date: November 3rd, 2014Source: EHR IntelligenceTopics: EHRs, Population Health, Value-Based Care
    While the healthcare industry is certainly moving away from volume to value and working to manage the health of patient populations, it does not have sufficient depth of EHR adoption to support next-generation care delivery. Proponents and developers of population health and analytics tools may be putting the proverbial cart before the horse.
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