The argument for increased patient engagement is compelling: Improved health outcomes. Increased reimbursement opportunities. Reduced workload for front-office staff. Patient portals are the first step—and under Meaningful Use stages 2 and 3, they are mandatory. Yet how can you overcome patient resistance—and help your patients actively engage in their health?
New EHR Attestation Deadline for Medicare Eligible Professionals: March 20, 2015
Eligible professionals now have until 11:59 pm ET on March 20, 2015, to attest to meaningful use for the Medicare Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Program 2014 reporting year.
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 (from Medicare to Medicaid, or vice versa) for the 2014 payment year until 11:59 pm ET on March 20, 2015. After that time, eligible professionals will no longer be able to switch programs. Continue reading: CMS Updated the Deadline to Attest for Medicare Eligible Professionals
CMS released a new proposed ruling regarding the Meaningful Use timeline. The new time frame would allow all providers to attest for Meaningful Use this year under the original Stage 1 MU criteria.
This is great news for those clinicians who were waiting to attest. Read more on the proposed ruling:
Join athenahealth CEO Jonathan Bush for a special keynote address on common physician pain points, followed by an exclusive Q&A and expert-led sessions.
“Where does it hurt?” is a common question caregivers may ask their patients. But when was the last time that question was posed to the caregivers themselves? That’s exactly what Mr. Bush believes we, as an industry and as a country, need to do more often. At this special event, we’ll discuss these common pain points and industry challenges, with:
- 9 unique webinar sessions on hot industry topics
- Live Q&A sessions with speakers and experts
- A comprehensive resource library
- Networking opportunities with physicians like you Continue reading: Webinar: Where does it hurt? Common Physician Pain Points
KLAS reports on how the healthcare analytics market is changing in the new paradigm of value-based care
Amid the shift toward value-based care, providers’ analytics needs are drastically changing, resulting in vendors rushing to the market with a wave of new products, including more targeted solutions. This according to the most recent KLAS report, “Healthcare Analytics Perception 2014: Analytics for Value-Based Care—A New Paradigm.”
The healthcare analytics market is bursting with vendors, giving providers more options than ever before. In fact, in this perception study, providers mentioned a staggering 87 different vendors being considered for BI/analytics in value-based care. To that point, no single vendor was mentioned more than 7% of the time. In this report, KLAS makes sense of the growing vendor crowd and provides insights into the most-considered vendors.
“Business intelligence and analytics have gone from a ‘nice-to-have’ to a ‘must-have’ in today’s challenging healthcare environment,” said Joe Van De Graaff, report author. “To fulfill short-term analytics needs, many providers report shifting more consideration to vendors with healthcare-specific solutions. However, a clear market leader has yet to emerge.”
KLAS spoke to more than 100 healthcare providers to capture which vendors they are considering and in which specific arenas. Visit KLAS online at www.KLASresearch.com/
New and seasoned Practice Managers and Physicians know that handling the day to day tasks of running a medical practice can be time consuming. Administrative tasks and responsibilities have increased with ever-changing government regulations, Medicare laws, and legal concerns. Efficiency appears to be a losing battle, and stressful workflows take a toll on delivering compassionate patient care. A paperless office was presented as a time and cost saving endeavor that would lead to better patient care. Or was it a trick?
A polished representative came to the office to demonstrate their EMR, Practice Management, and Medical Billing system. You were convinced, “this is the solution, what a relief, Ah…!” Thousands of dollars and countless hours spent on implementation and training. Finally, the “go live” date arrived. Then, reality hit; the staff forgot how to upload documents, the doctor was in the exam room trying unsuccessfully to view an MRI with the patient, and you frantically tried to fix the issues. The workflow stopped as panic took over. You finally phoned customer support and you were placed on hold. “Ugh,” you began to question…”How much longer will the learning curve actually take?” “Did I make the right system selection?” “Why did I try to improve efficiency?” “It really wasn’t that bad and where is that polished sales person now?”
by DAN HALEY, VP OF GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS – athenahealth
April 22, 2014
This week athenahealth resigned from the Electronic Health Records Association (EHRA), the trade association that ostensibly represents the collective interests of the EHR industry in the many Washington, D.C.-based policy debates that impact EHR vendors and, by extension, their care provider clients. Members since late 2011, we joined the EHRA hoping to utilize the organization as a forum to spread our often-distinct points of view on particular issues — like the then-relatively-new Meaningful Use program — that were gaining prominence in the national debate over healthcare reform.
To start off I am new to the industry and have been inundated with copious amounts of information. I have to admit; at first it was confusing and overwhelming. As I become more educated about the process of Meaningful Use Stage 2 achievement, the required implementation of ICD-10, and the various other factors that make up EHRs / EMRs; it appears that the growing trend is physicians are not pleased with their current EHR / EMR. Some of the key issues that I see trending lately are cost, functionality, and support. There have been recent articles and surveys (medicaleconomics.modernmedicine.com) stating that almost 70% of physicians are unhappy with their current EHR / EMR. While physicians are receiving government incentives (HITECH Act) to comply; it does not seem to offset the costs.
Late Friday afternoon, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) jointly announced some timeline changes for stages 2 and 3 of meaningful use. Stage 2 will be extended one year, pushing the start date for stage 3 back to 2017. Providers will have an extra year to meet stage 2 requirements, just like they did with stage 1.
According to the press release, “The goal of this change is two-fold: first, to allow CMS and ONC to focus efforts on the successful implementation of the enhanced patient engagement, interoperability and health information exchange requirements for Stage 2; and second, to utilize data from Stage 2 participation to inform policy decisions for Stage 3.”
There is still some confusion regarding how the timeline changes will affect providers, though. Continue reading: What the Meaningful Use Stage 2 Timeline Change Means for Providers
Over $16 billion has been paid out to eligible hospitals and providers through the EHR Incentive Programs. If the previous two years are any indication, many more attestations will roll in through the end of the year/beginning of next year as providers complete their 2013 reporting.
The steady stream of attestations and meaningful use incentives could see a sharp drop-off during 2014, however. As stated in the final rule for stage 2 of meaningful use, all practices must use a 2014-edition certified EHR in order to qualify for incentive payments, whether they are on stage 1 or stage 2.
However, very few EHR vendors have re-certified under the more stringent 2014 certification requirements. As of this month, only 27 companies have achieved full 2014 ambulatory certification, representing 53 products. Another 92 companies have achieved modular 2014 certification, representing 165 products.
Compare that to over 1,000 vendors and 3,000 EHR products that are certified under the current 2011 requirements. Continue reading: 2014 Meaningful Use: Is Your Vendor Ready?