Category: Healthcare Industry News

  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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