Category: Healthcare Industry News

  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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 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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  • 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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  • In a Pressurized Policy Environment, Health Care Leaders Seek Clarity

    Date: August 20th, 2014Source: Healthcare InformaticsTopics: HIE, Health IT, Value-Based Care, Accountable Care
    It would be hard to dispute that the health IT industry is in the thick of an exciting journey that will transform the U.S. healthcare system. As we shift from a fee-for-service-based payment system to one that rewards value-based care, plenty of initiatives are on healthcare organizations’ plates, such as meaningful use, ICD-10, value-based purchasing, bundled payments, data privacy regulations, and accountable care organizations (ACOs). These programs, efforts, and mandates all are part of the voyage to the “new” healthcare, one that began a few decades ago but was reinforced with President Obama’s Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act in 2009, which authorized tens of billions of dollars in federal subsidies to doctors and hospitals for the meaningful use of electronic health records (EHRs).
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  • Health Groups Emphasize Interoperability To Enhance Patient Care

    Date: August 19th, 2014Source: iHealthBeatTopics: EHRs, Interoperability
    Several health care organizations have sent letters to Sens. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) highlighting the importance of health care data transparency and interoperability, EHR Intelligence reports. The letters came in response to a June request from Wyden and Grassley seeking ideas "to enhance the availability and utility of health care data" while protecting patient privacy from 200 health care industry individuals and groups. Aug. 12 was the deadline for responses to the senators' query.
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  • Small Primary Care Physician Practices Have Low Rates Of Preventable Hospital Admissions

    Date: August 14th, 2014Source: Health AffairsTopics: Hospital Readmissions, Primary Care, Patient Care
    Nearly two-thirds of US office-based physicians work in practices of fewer than seven physicians. It is often assumed that larger practices provide better care, although there is little evidence for or against this assumption. What is the relationship between practice size—and other practice characteristics, such as ownership or use of medical home processes—and the quality of care? We conducted a national survey of 1,045 primary care–based practices with 19 or fewer physicians to determine practice characteristics. Compared to practices with 10–19 physicians, practices with 1–2 physicians had 33 percent fewer preventable admissions, and practices with 3–9 physicians had 27 percent fewer.
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  • Senate Panel Orders Scrutiny of Alleged EHR 'Information-Blocking'

    Date: July 28th, 2014Source: FierceHealthITTopics: EHRs, Interoperability
    The Senate Appropriations Committee has directed the ONC's Health IT Policy Committee to submit a report on the technical, operational and financial barriers to information-sharing among electronic health records systems--what it calls the "information-blocking problem"-- and what should be done to combat it. "ONC should use its authority to certify only those products not block health information exchange," the budget report states.
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  • Is Capitol Hill Leaning Toward Relaxing Healthcare Privacy Regs?

    Date: July 25th, 2014Source: Modern Healthcare - free registration may be required to viewTopics: Healthcare Policy, Data Security
    Capitol Hill's recent focus on digital health has seen bands of witnesses testifying about what policies might enable more innovation in the sector. A significant number of those witnesses agree: Rethinking healthcare policy rules is one potential target. The House Energy & Commerce Committee has, of late, been running a series of hearings and roundtables called “21st century cures,” intended to promote innovative treatments. Of the witnesses that the committee has called, at least seven have mentioned the need to change privacy regulations.
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  • Live From the Denver iHT2 Summit: If the Healthcare Cloud Is One Thing, It’s Complicated

    Date: July 22nd, 2014Source: Healthcare InformaticsTopics: Data Security
    When it comes to shifting towards cloud-based computing in healthcare, the landscape remains highly complicated along a number of dimensions—core infrastructure and technology, data security and privacy, process, and above all, people. That much was clear, as the Health IT Summit in Denver kicked off on Tuesday, July 22nd.
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  • Why the Long-Term Care Industry Needs to Get Connected (And Supported)

    Date: July 17th, 2014Source: Healthcare InformaticsTopics: Interoperability, Long-Term Care, Transitions of Care
    The long-term care market—and its growing need for health IT—has largely been ignored. According to a January 2014 report from the California Healthcare Foundation and Bluepath Health, a Calif.-based consulting firm, “HITECH [the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act] ignored most critical skilled nursing and interim care facilities, resulting in an enormous disconnect between the acute site and rehabilitative care. This disconnect may prove to be a significant barrier in achieving new payment models that rely on providing seamless care transitions.”
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  • Six Ways Big Data Can Lower Costs

    Date: July 10th, 2014Source: Healthcare IT NewsTopics: EHRs, Data Analytics
    Brigham and Women's Hospital has put forth a new report showcasing a half-dozen ways to lower health care costs through the use of big data. With electronic health records now common across the U.S., the amount of clinical data ripe for research and analytics is on the rise. This is opening big opportunities to arrive at insights that could improve the value of patient care, say B&W officials. A new study published in the July issue of Health Affairs shows how big data analytics is helping pave the way toward reduced costs.
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  • Physicians Practice 2014 Technology Survey Results

    Date: July 9th, 2014Source: Physicians PracticeTopics: EHRs, Interoperability
    Physicians Practice, an online news service and community for physicians and practice management professionals, has been asking visitors about their use of technology for over a decade. The Physicians Practice 2014 Technology Survey has recently been released and physicians' top concerns are EHR adoption and lack of interoperability between EHRs.
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  • Electronic Transmission in Stage 2 MU: Not So Simple

    Date: July 9th, 2014Source: Healthcare IT NewsTopics: EHRs, Meaningful Use, Care Summaries
    On paper, it sounds easy. Eligible hospitals that refer patients to another care setting must electronically transmit "a summary of care record for more than 10 percent of such transitions and referrals." The twelfth of Stage 2 meaningful use's 16 core measures requires that such a summary of care be either transmitted to another recipient using certified electronic health record technology, or with help from an organization that's either an "NwHIN Exchange participant or (operates in) a manner that is consistent with the governance mechanism ONC establishes for the nationwide health information network."
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  • Apps That Store Personal Medical Records Are Growing in Popularity

    Date: June 16th, 2014Source: Boston GlobeTopics: Health IT, Patient Engagement
    Heather Earley used to lug a 5-inch binder to every pediatrician’s appointment, filled with hundreds of pages of specialists’ notes, test results, and other medical records for her 11-year-old son, who was born with a rare genetic disorder. Now Early, 47, a mother of three from Libertyville, Ill., just brings her iPad.
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  • Telehealth Gets Big Boost From AMA

    Date: June 12th, 2014Source: Healthcare IT NewsTopics: Telehealth
    The nation's largest physicians' association has officially put its foot forward with telemedicine, after establishing guiding principles to ensure appropriate coverage and reimbursement for telemedicine services. It's the latest in a continuing barrage of votes, letters, position papers and announcements from professional organizations, trade groups and other telemedicine advocates to push the needle ahead on this technology and give providers the support they need to use telemedicine, telehealth and mHealth tools.
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  • Panel Advances Behavioral Health Data Exchange Recommendations

    Date: June 11th, 2014Source: iHealthBeatTopics: HIE, Care Coordination, Behavioral Health, Data Security
    On Tuesday, June 10th, the Health IT Policy Committee approved recommendations from its Privacy and Security Tiger Team that are aimed at safeguarding the privacy of behavioral health data included in electronic health records. The Privacy and Security Tiger Team recommended that EHR systems used by behavioral health providers have the ability to tag documents containing sensitive behavioral health information. That information then would be transmitted in documents using the Consolidated Continuity of Care Document format and its "data segmentation for privacy" tagging format.
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  • How to Reduce EHR Adoption, Meaningful Use Complexities

    Date: June 3rd, 2014Source: EHR IntelligenceTopics: EHRs, Meaningful Use
    It’s generally accepted that there are many advantages to healthcare organizations adopting EHR systems. Ubiquitous availability of patient records, convenience and timeliness of mobile access to information, and streamlined communication among healthcare professionals and patients are among the greatest gains. But as with many advances in the workplace, EHR presents a number of challenges to healthcare organizations and providers. Here are lessons learned from early adopters.
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  • The Right Data Can Work Wonders

    Date: June 3rd, 2014Source: Healthcare IT NewsTopics: HIE, Interoperability
    The excitement was palpable at this week's Health Datapalooza event. The theme: endless possibilities. In fact, the ways that the gathering of the appropriate data and the analysis of it can improve health outcomes is astounding. But first the right data must to be collected.
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