No Good Deed Goes Unpunished in Meaningful Use

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Last week CMS essentially reversed their compliance date stance for the Meaningful Use program in what amounted to  a big smack in the face to any health care provider that has put in the effort and time to knock Stage 2 out of the park. Providers working hard to successfully meet the Stage 2 measures shouldn’t feel that it is all for naught. You are on the cutting edge of using technology to deliver better care, and that makes you some of the best care providers out there.

Read more at: http://athenahealth.com/blogEHRScope

Update on Meaningful Use

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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:

Continue reading: Update on Meaningful Use

Over 10 Billion Paid in EHR Meaningful Use Incentives Through End of December 2012

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Government Health IT reports December 2012 was one of the biggest months for incentives with current estimates and this is due to hospitals leading the pack being there were more hospitals collecting incentives than any other month according to CMS.  Year to date numbers for incentives comes in to over $10 billion.  CMS is still working to finalize the exact numbers. Continue reading: Over 10 Billion Paid in EHR Meaningful Use Incentives Through End of December 2012

What Makes Up an EHR Template Relative to Reimbursement; CMS To Begin Reviewing

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Medical record templates have been in and out of the news quite frequently today.  All medical record templates for one are not the created equally.  Which templates are the “so called troublemakers”?  We may see some additional complexities develop here since this seems to be an area where the discussion has lead to capturing bigger dollars when billing. Continue reading: What Makes Up an EHR Template Relative to Reimbursement; CMS To Begin Reviewing

EHR Incentives Reach $9 Billion States CMS–Over 177 Physicians and Hospitals

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There’s more data to be captured from this recent report in Healthcare IT News,  but you have to consider the move to electronic medical records a real success and with current economic times the figures show the support of the government has been a tremendous asset. Continue reading: EHR Incentives Reach $9 Billion States CMS–Over 177 Physicians and Hospitals

CMS Gives HospitalsIn New York & New Jersey a Deadline Extension for Meaningful Use Attestation

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After hurricane Sandy ravaged the east cost CMS has decided to offer an extension of time for attestation.  The official details are listed below.  Some hospitals are barely up and running again, some with only outpatient services.  Both New York and New Jersey hospitals were hit hard with the storm and flooding. Continue reading: CMS Gives HospitalsIn New York & New Jersey a Deadline Extension for Meaningful Use Attestation

CMS Revises e-Prescribing Rules With Adding Two More Hardship Categories

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Currently there are four in place and now two more have been added.  The deadline has been extended so doctors again could apply for the exemptions between November 1 and January 31st.  Continue reading: CMS Revises e-Prescribing Rules With Adding Two More Hardship Categories

What is EHR Scope’s Ready4EHR Program?

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One of the core consultation services that EHR Scope, LLC provides is Ready4EHR; a parallel service to EMR Consultant.  Although they may seem to be the same, and are, the different solutions are directed toward full practice implementations as opposed to the individual physicians and practitioners which EMR Consultant serves.  The targeted surveys give feedback, based on the current preparedness of your operations, for implementation of an EHR.

Creating the best solutions and scenarios for these implementations is necessary for the overall success of such actions.  So check out Ready4EHR at Ready4EHR.net and at Ready4EHR.com Continue reading: What is EHR Scope’s Ready4EHR Program?

Accountable Care and the ACO will be “Glued Together With Technology”

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After the recent election, there is a certain buzz around Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) and their projected impact upon Healthcare Reform.  The establishment of ACOs is part of the Affordable Care Act’s long and varied history.  The ideas behind the development of ACOS are drawn from the need to significantly reduce Healthcare costs, increase quality of outcomes and offset rising prices.  The proposed means of attaining these goals include incentive programs and meaningful technological integration.  These provider organizations, which are community-centric and operate heavily within the depleting government Healthcare programs, are seen as the most viable candidates to become ACOs.   ACOs are becoming defined as any one large organization, existing system or cluster of smaller organizations partnering as a networked, technology-driven care system with competitive and incentivized markets.  ACOs will be created around quality, cost control and tracking care outcomes.  These outcomes will be monitored and maintained by EHRs. Continue reading: Accountable Care and the ACO will be “Glued Together With Technology”

ONC Issues Final Rule for Permanent Certification Program for Health Information Technology

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Steps to create permanent health IT certification program underway

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) today issued a final rule to establish the permanent certification program for health information technology. The permanent certification program provides new features that will enhance the certification of health information technology, including increasing the comprehensiveness, transparency, reliability, and efficiency of the current processes used for the certification of electronic health record (EHR) technology. Meaningful use of “Certified EHR Technology” is a core requirement for eligible health care providers who seek to qualify to receive incentive payments under the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record Incentive Programs as authorized by the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act.

“This final rule completes the two-phased approach ONC began with the proposed rule issued in Spring 2010 and includes several important improvements to our certification processes,” said David Blumenthal, M.D., M.P.P., national coordinator for health information technology. “Our goal is to make the transition to the permanent certification program as seamless as possible.”

The temporary certification program, established through a final rule published on June 24, 2010, will continue to be in effect until it sunsets on December 31, 2011, or at a later date when the processes necessary for the permanent certification program to operate are completed. ONC expects to stand-up the programmatic activities necessary to implement the permanent certification program throughout 2011.

Features of the permanent certification program include:
Organizations must first be accredited in order to test and/or certify health information technology;
Certification bodies authorized by the National Coordinator (ONC-Authorized Certification Bodies or ONC-ACBs) are required to conduct post-certification surveillance; and
ONC-ACBs are permitted to perform “gap certification.”

As proposed, ONC will request that the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) through its National Voluntary Laboratory Accreditation Program (NVLAP) develop a laboratory accreditation program for organizations to be accredited to test health information technology for purposes of the permanent certification program. Based on NIST’s technical expertise and the strong relationship formed between ONC and NIST during the successful implementation of the temporary certification program, the use of NVLAP is expected to enhance testing under the permanent certification program and its objectivity overall.

This final rule is issued under the authority provided to the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology in section 3001(c)(5) of the Public Health Service Act, as added by the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act.
For more information about the permanent certification program and the final rule, please visit http://healthit.hhs.gov/certification.

For more information about the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, please visit http://healthit.hhs.gov.