Category: Healthcare Industry News

  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Interoperability Paramount for Advances, Leaders Argue

    Date: October 29th, 2014Source: HIEWatchTopics: Interoperability
    The topic at the Cleveland Clinic's annual summit was healthcare innovation, and what's impeding it, what more is needed to foster it and the innovation milestones taking place today. So what do industry leaders consider to be the biggest impediments to healthcare innovation? Lack of interoperability among clinical systems, said a handful of panelists speaking at the 2014 Medical Innovation Summit, convening here Oct. 27-29.
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  • Health Care's Age of Enlightenment

    Date: October 21st, 2014Source: ForbesTopics: Value-Based Care, Accountable Care
    The Age of Enlightenment brought us crucial inventions and discoveries in many areas including the circulation of blood, optics, scientific classification, calculus, the microscope, gravity and more while serving as inspiration for the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution. With good reason, it was called a revolution of thought. It is self-evident that we are in the early days of health care’s Age of Enlightenment that will be just as dramatic in terms of its long-term impact. Bold new ideas in health care delivery freed from tradition and dogma are resulting in dramatically better outcomes. These ideas both catalyze and are enabled by new technology. Over time, themes emerged in the Age of Enlightenment, as they will in healthcare.
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  • Turning data into insight: Event-based notifications drive improved outcomes

    Date: October 10th, 2014Source: Healthcare IT NewsTopics: Care Coordination, Patient Event Notifications
    In order to improve health care quality in a meaningful way, physicians must be empowered to make informed clinical decisions. This includes being promptly notified of changes to a patient’s health status and any new “care events.” A care event could include the patient receiving care from a specialist, being seen in an emergency department or admitted to a hospital and then discharged to home or to another facility.
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  • FTC, ONC Put Health IT Vendors on Notice

    Date: October 10th, 2014Source: Healthcare IT NewsTopics: EHRs, Health IT
    The Federal Trade Commission has some news for health IT vendors whose zeal for competitive marketshare outweighs their willingness to share data: they're watching, and will step in where necessary. "We are working with ONC staff to identify potential competition issues relating to health IT platforms and standards, market concentration, conduct by market participants, and the ability of health IT purchasers to make informed buying decisions," wrote FTC officials in a blog post this week. Healthy competition "is central to improving health care quality and outcomes, reducing costs, and improving the consumer experience."
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  • Annual Data Exchange Survey Findings Show Steady HIE Growth

    Date: October 10th, 2014Source: eHealth InitiativeTopics: HIE
    eHealth Initiative presented its findings from their 11th annual survey of health data exchange on October 8, 2014. The four key findings from the survey reveal (1) cost and technical challenges are key barriers to interoperability; (2) regulatory policies appear to have prompted increased use of core health information exchange (HIE) services such as Direct, care summary exchange, and transitions of care; (3) advanced initiatives are supporting new payment and advanced care delivery models; and (4) sustainable organizations have replaced federal funding with revenue from fees and membership dues.
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  • Report: Most Physicians Say EHR Vendors Offer Poor Interoperability

    Date: October 9th, 2014Source: iHealthBeatTopics: EHRs, Interoperability
    A majority of providers said their electronic health record vendors are not interoperable with other vendors' EHR systems, according to a new report from KLAS Research. For the report, researchers surveyed 220 provider organizations about EHR interoperability.
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  • CMS Gives New Opportunity to Request MU Hardship Exceptions

    Date: October 7th, 2014Source: Healthcare IT NewsTopics: EHRs, Meaningful Use, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
    The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is reopening the period during which providers can apply for an EHR hardship exception and avoid Medicare reimbursement penalties for failure to attest for meaningful use in 2014. Now, the new deadline for applying for a hardship exception is 11:59 p.m. EST on November 30, 2014 for both eligible professionals and eligible hospitals.
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  • ACOs Held Back by Poor Interoperability

    Date: September 25th, 2014Source: Healthcare IT NewsTopics: Interoperability, Accountable Care
    Most accountable care organizations (ACOs) have health information technology in place to improve quality and lower costs, but many say difficulties with data exchange are keeping them from reaching their potential. Of the 62 ACOs polled by Premier healthcare alliance this past summer, 88 percent report "significant obstacles" in integrating data from disparate sources. Also, 83 percent say they have a hard time fitting analytics tools into their workflow. As ACOs grow, gathering data from more and different care settings, these challenges become more accute, according to Premier.
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  • Population Health Essentials for Physicians

    Date: September 18th, 2014Source: Physicians PracticeTopics: Population Health
    Net U.S. healthcare spending exceeded $2.9 trillion in 2013, or over $9,000 per person. CMS has projected that net healthcare spending will increase by 5.6 percent in 2014 to $3.3 trillion. At 17.9 percent of the U.S. Gross Domestic Product this nation spends far more on healthcare than any other country in the world in terms of dollars, percentage of GDP, and per capita spending. Yet, it ranks "dead last" in quality, outcomes, access, and a number of other metrics at a per capita cost of about twice as much when compared to 10 other First World countries according to Forbes.
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  • AMA Unveils Framework Outlining Priorities To Improve EHR Usability

    Date: September 17th, 2014Source: iHealthBeatTopics: EHRs, Physician Workflow
    The American Medical Association recently released a framework outlining eight priorities for making electronic health records easier for providers to use. AMA developed its framework of priority areas alongside an external advisory committee made up of industry stakeholders, including physicians, researchers and health IT executives. According to AMA, the framework builds on a recent study the group conducted with the RAND Corporation that found ineffective and complex EHR systems contribute to high levels of job dissatisfaction among physicians.
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  • Tedium Now, But Big Benefits Later: Moving to EHRs may be frustrating, but will pay dividends in the long run

    Date: September 17th, 2014Source: US News & World ReportTopics: EHRs, Physician Workflow
    As Kimberly Leonard points out in her article (“Doctors Say Electronic Records Waste Time"), doctors are frustrated with the time it takes to use electronic health records. This is only natural. Moving from paper to digital communication is a different way of communicating and takes time to become proficient. If we think about electronic health records as a way for doctors to communicate more effectively rather than merely as a way to digitize a paper chart, then their value is greatly enhanced. Such records are just the first step in unleashing the power of health information technology.
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  • New Rules for Achieving Meaningful Use in 2014

    Date: September 4th, 2014Source: HITECH AnswersTopics: EHRs, Meaningful Use
    We’ve been waiting for it to drop since late July and it finally hit the floor just as the three-day end of summer weekend was kicking off. The new CMS final ruling that was published on August 29, 2014 allows an end run around some of the challenges of receiving an EHR incentive in 2014. Don’t have 2014 Edition software? No problem, just use the old tattered and worn version from last year. Having trouble hitting the Stage 2 marks? No problem, just back pedal to Stage 1 and all is well. Now there are a few details in the fine print that should not be overlooked, and do not provide a poultice for every meaningful use (MU) ache and pain, but sometimes you can’t get what you want.
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  • 5 Megatrends With the Potential to Transform U.S. Health Care

    Date: September 4th, 2014Source: ForbesTopics: Health IT, Healthcare Policy
    Recently, Cisco chairman and CEO John Chambers told me that U.S. health care is at a tipping point. A positive one, he hopes, but the truth is no one knows for sure which direction the system will tip. At the close of our interview, I asked Chambers what health care topic he’d like me to cover in the future. He asked me to answer two questions. And they happen to be the two questions weighing most heavily on the minds of just about every U.S. health policy expert.
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  • New CMS Guidance on Stage 2 Measures

    Date: August 28th, 2014Source: Health Data ManagementTopics: EHRs, Meaningful Use, Patient Engagement
    How does a physician treating many patients without broadband access meet patient engagement measures under the electronic health records meaningful use program? CMS has issued three new frequently asked questions on meaningful use including the issue of low bandwidth accessibility.
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  • How EPs Can Storm Ahead on Meaningful Use

    Date: August 22nd, 2014Source: Medical Practice InsiderTopics: EHRs, Meaningful Use
    Eligible providers (EPs) shouldn't wait for their EHR vendor to guide them through the next stage in the Meaningful Use process. With the right approach — not getting too hung up on technology issues — EPs can move ahead on their own. "People think meaningful use is a technical matter, but it's really not. It's much more about workflow and process than it is about technology," said Derek Kosiorek, principal at MGMA Healthcare Consulting. "If we remove the word 'technology' from the equation, it makes it a lot easier to understand what needs to be done and when it needs to be done."
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