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24Apr, 2015

EHR Information Blocking Warning from the ONC

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Recently the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) published a blog noting that they are “becoming increasingly concerned about these practices, which devalue taxpayer investments in health IT and are fundamentally incompatible with efforts to transform the nation’s health system.” Those words were from National Coordinator Keren DeSalvo, MD, and Jodi G. Daniel, ONC’s director of the Office of Policy Planning. They effectively call out “persons or entities (who) knowingly and unreasonably interfere with the exchange or use of electronic health information.” The problem is going to […]
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17Apr, 2015

The SGR Is Dead!

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We are now at the beginning of real healthcare payment reform in the United States. The President of the United States signed in to law the “Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015.” The new law represents 2 years of bipartisan hard work at the Capitol, and resolves a dilemma created by the Balanced Budget Act of 1997. Prior to today, legislative action has been required 17 times since 2003 to prevent catastrophic reimbursement cuts to Medicare service providers; this always creates huge political maneuvering not to mention, a […]
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10Apr, 2015

Meaningful Use Stage 3 (PART 1)

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Meaningful Use 3 is on the way! On March 20, 2105 at exactly 4:19 PM (EST) I received an email blast from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC). The headline read, “HHS announces proposed rules to support the path to nationwide interoperability” it went on to say: Proposed Electronic Health Record Incentive Programs and 2015 Edition Health IT Certification Criteria rules issued for comment “The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and Office of the National […]
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3Apr, 2015

$23 Billion (U.S.D) EHR Global Market by 2020

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According to a recent report by a U.S.-based market intelligence firm , by 2020 the global electronic health records (EHR) market is expected to grow to $23 billion (U.S.D) in annual revenues, from the latest estimate of $15 billion in 2013. The report denotes that North America is currently leading the market worldwide with about 42% of total global sales. Second in the market was Eurozone, followed by the Asia-Pacific region. The report also notes that Asian countries such as China and India are exhibiting the fastest expansion and will […]
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27Mar, 2015

Medicare SGR May Finally be Fixed

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On March 26, 2015 (10:11 AM EDT), the U.S. House of Representatives by a margin of 402 to 12 passed a bill to fix the Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) Law. The bill now moves on the U.S. Senate and there is hope that President Obama will sign the final bipartisan legislation. The new bill is intended to permanently fix an annual problem that has been pushed on year to year since 1997 and the Clinton administration. According the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), if this SGR issue was not addressed […]
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20Mar, 2015

HHS Proposes New ACO Model – More, and Better Technology Will be Critical

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On March 10, 2015, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHS) via the Center for Medicare Services (CMS), announced a new initiative “the Next Generation Accountable Care Organization (ACO) Model of payment and care delivery”. The goal of the program is to “encourage quality improvement and care coordination, helping to move our health care system to one that achieves the Department’s goals of better care, smarter spending, and healthier people.” The release goes on to say- “The ACOs in the Next Generation ACO Model will take on greater […]
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17Mar, 2015

Days of Fee for Service (FFS) Medicare and Medicaid are Numbered

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A few days ago, the Boston Globe reported that “Blue Cross vastly expands quality-based payment systems”. The article went on to say that “health care industry’s traditional system of paying doctors for every office visit, test, and procedure may be nearing its end”. I have been waiting a long time for a headline like this. I have zero doubt that 10 years from now 75% or more of all medical billing will replaced by either value based payment or, capitation. The reality is, in healthcare today, we spend a great […]
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7Mar, 2015

Where Is HITECH’s $35 Billion Dollar Investment Going?

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On April 16, 2013, a group of 5 US Senators released a report called “REBOOT: Re-examining the Strategies Needed to Successfully Adopt Health IT”. This report outlined their serious concerns with the implementation of the Health Information Technology and Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act. Recently, these same US Senators wrote a blog on the Health Affairs website. http://healthaffairs.org/blog/2015/03/04/where-is-hitechs-35-billion-dollar-investment-going/  In this blog they specifically asked: What have the American people gotten for their $35 billion dollar investment? Two years after releasing the white paper, and six years since enactment of […]
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3Mar, 2015

CMS Extends Deadline for Medicare Eligible Professionals to Attest to Meaningful Use

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On February 25, 2015, The Center for Medicare and Medicaid via the Office of National Coordinator, sent out an alert that extended attestation deadline for Medicare Eligible Professional from 2014 to 11:59 ET on March 20, 2015. The alert went on to say: CMS extended the deadline to allow providers extra time to submit their meaningful use data. CMS continues to urge providers to begin attesting for 2014 as soon as they can. This extension also allows eligible professionals, who have not already used their one “switch”, to switch programs […]
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9Feb, 2015

Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Programs

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Today 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 are designed to reduce the reporting burden on providers, while supporting the long term goals of the program. Since the first year of the EHR Incentive Programs in 2011, the United States has seen unprecedented growth in the adoption and meaningful use of EHRs. To date, more than 400,000* eligible providers have joined the ranks of […]
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