AMA Asks CMS and ONC to Hire Outside Company to Review Stimulus Incentives

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The American Medical Association feels that an outside evaluation could give a better look as an outsider versus the internal processes to see if there are areas that require additional attention, modification and so forth. Continue reading: AMA Asks CMS and ONC to Hire Outside Company to Review Stimulus Incentives

HHS Budget Makes Smart Investments, Protects the Health and Safety of America’s Families

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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius today highlighted critical investments in President Obama’s 2011 HHS budget that will protect the health and safety of America’s families.

“Under this budget, we will provide the health and human services that Americans depend on more effectively, slashing waste and focusing programs on results.  And we’ll make many of the necessary investments our country has been putting off for years, including investments in fighting health care fraud, strengthening our public health infrastructure, and getting serious about health and wellness,” said Sebelius. “This budget is a big step toward a healthier, stronger America.”

The President’s budget helps build the foundation for health insurance reform. The budget strengthens the health care system and improves access to care by investing $995 million to address the shortage of health care providers in underserved areas, increasing funding to expand services at Health Centers by $290 million and allocating nearly $80 million for work to spread the adoption and use of health information technology.

The budget also makes landmark investments to fight health care fraud and requests $1.7 billion for fraud fighting at HHS, including $561 million in Health Care Fraud and Abuse Control (HCFAC) discretionary funding, an increase of $250 million over the FY 2010 enacted level.  Estimates indicate that these investments will generate $9.9 billion in savings from increased recoveries and prevention efforts.  In addition, the Budget proposes legislative and administrative changes that will save $14.7 billion in Medicare and Medicaid over ten years.

To support families with young children, the budget invests a total of $6.6 billion in the Child Care and Development Fund, an increase of $1.6 billion, and invests in reforms to make Head Start and Early Head Start stronger. And because many families are caring for young children and elderly relatives, the budget provides an additional $102.5 million for a new Caregiver initiative that will increase services including training for caregivers and assistance for elderly individuals and their families so seniors can remain in their homes longer.

The budget also helps protect families from disease and illness and improves public health, by investing $1.4 billion to transform the food safety system and help prevent food borne illness. Other important investments to stop diseases before they start include $954 million to help prevent smoking and tobacco use and $20 million for a new initiative in CDC to help prevent chronic disease.

Additionally, the budget builds on the President’s commitment to invest in science and research by increasing funding for the National Institutes of Health by $1 billion to support innovative projects from basic to clinical research.

“There is no question that the hard-working people of this country have been tested over the last few years,” added Sebelius.  “In his State of the Union Address, President Obama urged Americans to rise to the challenges posed by our current difficulties, and pledged that as a country we would face these challenges together. I believe this budget lives up to that commitment.”

Overall, President Obama’s budget includes a total of $911 billion for HHS in Fiscal Year 2011. For more information on the budget, visit www.hhs.gov/budget. Highlights from the budget are included below:

REDUCING HEALTH FRAUD

Enhancing Medicare and Medicaid Program Integrity:  Reducing fraud, waste, and abuse in government spending is a top priority for the President.  The Budget includes $561 million in discretionary resources, an increase of $250 million, to strengthen Medicare and Medicaid program integrity activities, with a particular emphasis on fighting health care fraud in the field, increasing Medicaid audits, and strengthening program oversight while reducing costs.

This investment, as part of a multi-year effort, will augment existing resources for combating health care fraud and abuse and save $9.9 billion over ten years.  The additional funding will better equip the Federal government to minimize inappropriate payments, pinpoint potential weaknesses in program integrity oversight, target emerging fraud schemes by provider and type of service, and establish safeguards to correct programmatic vulnerabilities.

The Budget also includes a set of new program integrity proposals that will give HHS the necessary tools to fight fraud by enhancing provider enrollment scrutiny, increasing claims oversight, improving Medicare’s data analysis capabilities, and reducing over-utilization of Medicaid prescription drugs.  These proposals will save approximately $14.7 billion over 10 years.

IMPROVING QUALITY OF AND ACCESS TO HEALTH CARE

Health Insurance Reform:  Congress is focused on health insurance reform to provide security and stability for Americans with health insurance and expand coverage to those Americans who do not have insurance.  These reforms will improve the quality of care, lower costs for families and businesses, and help reduce the Nation’s deficit.

Strengthening the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS):  The Budget includes $3.6 billion, an increase of $186 million. The request is necessary to meet current administrative workload demands from recent legislative requirements and continuous beneficiary growth. The request provides targeted investments to revamp information technology (IT) systems and optimize staffing levels so that CMS can meet the future challenges of the Medicare and Medicaid programs and can be an active purchaser of high quality and efficient care.

Specifically, $110 million of CMS’ increase is for a new, comprehensive Health Care Data Improvement Initiative to transform CMS’s data environment from one focused primarily on claims processing to one also focused on state-of-the art data analysis and information sharing.  These changes are vital to modernizing the Medicare and Medicaid programs by making CMS a leader in value based purchasing, improving systems security, and increasing analytic capabilities and data sharing with key stakeholders.

Increasing Child Health Care Access:  Additional resources distributed to States and Territories after the enactment of the Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2009 resulted in 38 percent of States expanding or improving child health coverage in FY 2009.  Forty seven States now cover children in families with incomes at or above 200 percent of the Federal poverty guidelines.  In September of 2009, CMS awarded $40 million in grants to assist in enrolling the over 5 million children who are uninsured but eligible for either Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program.

Strengthening the Health Professions Workforce: The Budget includes $995 million, an increase of $33 million, to address the shortage of health care providers in underserved areas.  This funding will expand loan repayment programs for physicians, nurses, and dentists who agree to practice in medically underserved areas.  This funding will also enable nursing schools to expand their nursing student capacity, and it will provide for workforce development grants that will enable States to increase access to oral health care.

Expanding Health Centers: The Administration remains committed to building on Recovery Act investments and ensuring quality access to health centers.  The Budget includes an increase of $290 million for further expansions of health center services, including the creation of 25 new access points in communities without access to a health center, and will facilitate the integration of behavioral health into the existing health centers’ primary care system.  With this increased funding, health centers will be able to serve a total of more than 20 million patients in FY 2011.

Improving Health Outcomes of American Indian and Alaska Natives:  The President is committed to improving health outcomes for American Indian and Alaska Native communities and supporting the provision of health care for American Indians and Alaska Natives.  The Budget includes nearly $5.4 billion, an increase of $354 million, that will enable the Indian Health Service (IHS) to focus on reducing health disparities, supporting Tribal efforts to deliver quality care, ensuring that IHS services can be supplemented by care purchased outside the Indian health system where necessary, and funding health facility and medical equipment upgrades.  These investments will ensure continued improvement to support the Administration’s goal of significantly reducing health disparities for American Indians and Alaska Natives.

Enhancing Health Information Technology (Health IT): The Budget includes $78 million, an increase of $17 million, for the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) to advance the President’s health IT initiative by accelerating health IT adoption and electronic health records (EHRs) utilization as essential tools to modernizing the health care system.  The increase will enable ONC to lead and coordinate Federal health IT efforts while implementing and evaluating Recovery Act health IT programs.

The Recovery Act also established Medicare and Medicaid health IT incentive programs to provide an estimated $20.6 billion over 10 years for the adoption and meaningful use of EHRs.  In FY 2011, these programs begin providing incentive payments to eligible providers.  The use of EHRs will improve the reporting of clinical quality measures and will promote health care quality, efficiency, and patient safety.

Protecting Access to Medicaid for Low-Income Families:  To continue to fulfill the President’s commitment to ensuring access to health care for millions of Americans, the Budget includes a proposal to extend by an additional six months, through June 2011, the temporary Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) increase provided by the Recovery Act.  The extension will result in an additional $25.5 billion to States for maintaining support for children and families helped by Medicaid.

Advancing Patient-Centered Health Research:  The Budget includes an additional $261 million, including program support costs, in the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) to support new research projects.  This funding will support the generation, translation, and dissemination of research that will improve health care quality and efficiency by providing patients and clinicians with evidence based information to enhance medical decision making.  The Budget also continues to support research in this area within NIH.  HHS continues to invest the $1.1 billion for this research provided in FY 2009 to AHRQ, NIH, and the Office of the Secretary by the Recovery Act.

PROMOTING PUBLIC HEALTH

Transforming Food Safety: The President is committed to securing our Nation’s food supply by transforming and improving our food safety system.  The Budget includes $1.4 billion, an increase of $327 million or 30 percent, for food safety efforts that will strengthen the ability of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to prioritize prevention, strengthen surveillance and enforcement, and improve response and recovery – key priorities of the Food Safety Working Group the President established in March 2009.  CDC will improve the speed and accuracy of foodborne disease outbreak detection and investigation.  FDA will increase inspections to improve the security of the supply chain and invest in the analytical tools needed to make data-driven decisions about how to best deploy food safety resources to prevent foodborne illnesses.

Reducing Tobacco Use: In June 2009, the President signed the Family Smoking Prevention and Control Act, providing FDA with new authorities and responsibilities for regulating tobacco use and establishing the FDA Center for Tobacco Products.  The Budget includes $450 million from user fees to reduce tobacco use in minors by regulating marketing and distribution of tobacco products, promote public health understanding of harmful constituents of tobacco products, and reduce the toll of tobacco-related disease, disability, and mortality.  In addition, $954 million in funding from CDC, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), will further help reduce smoking among teens and adults and will support research on preventing tobacco use, understanding the basic science of the consequences of tobacco use, and improving treatments for tobacco-related illnesses.

Preventing and Treating HIV/AIDS: The Budget includes more than $3 billion, an increase of $70 million, for CDC and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to enhance HIV/AIDS prevention, care, and treatment.  This increase includes $31 million for CDC to integrate surveillance and monitoring systems, address high-risk populations, and support HIV/AIDS coordination and service integration with other infectious diseases.  This increase also includes $40 million for HRSA’s Ryan White program to expand access to care for underserved populations, provide life saving drugs, and improve the quality of life for people living with HIV/AIDS.

Prevention:  Reducing the burden of chronic disease, collecting and using health data to inform decision-making and research, and building an interdisciplinary public health workforce are critical components to successful prevention efforts.

The Budget includes $20 million for a CDC initiative to reduce the rates of morbidity and disability due to chronic disease in up to ten of the largest U.S. cities. These cities will be able to incorporate the lessons learned from implementing evidence-based prevention and wellness strategies of the Recovery Act’s Communities Putting Prevention to Work Initiative.

The Budget also includes $10 million at CDC for a new Health Prevention Corps, which will recruit, train, and assign a cadre of public health professionals in State and local health departments.  This program will target disciplines with known shortages such as epidemiology, environmental health, and laboratory science.

The Budget also includes $162 million for Health Statistics, an increase of $23 million, to improve CDC’s ability to collect data on the health of the Nation for use by policy-makers and Federal, State, and local leaders.  This increase will ensure data availability on key national health indicators by supporting electronic birth and death records in States and enhancing national surveys.

Addressing Autism Spectrum Disorders: The Budget includes $222 million, an increase of $16 million, for Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). NIH research will pursue comprehensive and innovative approaches to defining the genetic and environmental factors that contribute to ASD, investigate epigenomic changes in the brain, and accelerate clinical trials of novel pharmacological and behavioral interventions.  CDC will expand autism monitoring and surveillance and support an autism awareness campaign.  HRSA will increase resources to support children and families affected by ASD through screening programs and evidence-based interventions.

Preventing Teen Pregnancy: The Budget includes $183 million within the Office of Public Health and Science for teen pregnancy prevention programs. These programs will support State, Tribal, Territory, and community-based efforts to reduce teen pregnancy using evidence-based models and promising programs needing further evaluation.  The Budget also includes $22 million, an increase of $7 million, for CDC teen pregnancy activities to reduce the number of unintended pregnancies through science based prevention approaches.

Investing in Drug Demand Reduction: The Budget invests in innovative approaches to prevent and treat substance abuse. These efforts include $23 million to implement evidence-based community prevention programs for young people throughout their at-risk years, $14 million to design and test a community-level early warning system to detect emerging drug threats, and an additional $13 million to expand the treatment capacity of drug courts.

Global Health:  The Budget includes $352 million, an increase of $16 million, for CDC Global Health Programs to build global public health capacity by strengthening the global public health workforce; integrating maternal, newborn, and child health programs; and improving global access to clean water, sanitation, and hygiene.  Additionally, the Budget includes $6.4 million in the Office of Global Health Affairs (OGHA) to support global health policy leadership and coordination.

FDA Medical Product Safety Initiative:  The Budget includes $1.4 billion, an increase of $101 million, for medical product safety.  This increase will enable FDA to invest in tools that will enhance the safety of increasingly complex drugs, medical devices, and biological products.  With these additional resources, FDA also will increase inspections to improve the security of the supply chain and reduce the potential for harm.

PROTECTING AMERICANS FROM PUBLIC HEALTH THREATS AND TERRORISM

Supporting Advanced Development: The Budget includes $476 million, an increase of $136 million, for the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA).  This funding will sustain the support of next generation countermeasure development in high priority areas including anthrax and acute radiation syndrome by allowing the BioShield Special Reserve Fund to support both procurement activities and advanced research and development.  The increased flexibility will enable BARDA to use Project BioShield to target resources to the most promising countermeasure candidates, whether through advanced development or acquisition.

Protecting Against Pandemic Influenza: Reassortment of avian, swine, and human influenza viruses has led to the emergence of a new strain of H1N1 influenza A virus, 2009 H1N1 flu, that is transmissible among humans.  According to the World Health Organization, more than 208 countries and overseas territories have reported cases of 2009 H1N1 infection.  CDC estimates that through December 12, 2009, there were approximately 55 million cases of 2009 H1N1 in the United States, resulting in about 246,000 related hospitalizations and about 11,160 related deaths.  On June 24, 2009, Congress appropriated $7.65 billion to HHS for pandemic influenza preparedness and response to 2009 H1N1 flu.  HHS has been able to use these resources to support H1N1 preparedness and response in States and hospitals ($1.44 billion), invest in the H1N1 vaccine production ($1.6 billion), and conduct domestic and international response activities ($75 million).

The Budget includes $302 million for ongoing pandemic influenza preparedness activities at the CDC, NIH, FDA, and the Office of the Secretary for international activities, virus detection, communications, and research.  In addition, the use of balances from the June 2009 funds, including approximately $330 million in FY 2011, will enable HHS to continue advanced development of cell-based and recombinant vaccines, antivirals, respirators, and other activities that will help ensure the Nation’s preparedness for future pandemics.  Previous pandemic influenza investments enabled the 2009 H1N1 response, including investments that increased the level of domestic vaccine manufacturing capacity, supported the development and procurement of adjuvants and antivirals, provided a new antiviral drug for critically ill patients, and provided experience in vaccine and antiviral stockpiling.

IMPROVING THE WELLBEING OF CHILDREN, SENIORS, AND HOUSEHOLDS

Enhancing Quality Early Care and Education and the Zero to Five Plan:  The Budget provides critical support for the President’s Zero to Five Plan to enhance quality early care and education for our Nation’s children.

The Budget lays the groundwork for a reauthorization of the Child Care and Development Block Grant and entitlement funding for child care.  The Budget includes a total of $6.6 billion for the Child Care and Development Fund (discretionary and entitlement child care assistance), an increase of $1.6 billion. These resources will enable 1.6 million children to receive child care assistance in FY 2011 – approximately 235,000 more than could be served in the absence of these additional funds. The Budget will help more low-income families access critical services during this continued time of economic hardship.

The Administration’s principles for reform of the Child Care and Development Fund include establishing a high standard of quality across child care settings, expanding professional development opportunities for the child care workforce, and promoting coordination across the spectrum of early childhood education programs.  The Administration looks forward to working with Congress to begin crafting a reauthorization proposal that will make needed reforms to ensure that children receive high quality care that meets the diverse needs of families and fosters healthy child development.

Also in support of the President’s Zero to Five Plan, the Budget includes $8.2 billion, an increase of $989 million, for Head Start to serve an estimated 971,000 children, an increase of approximately 66,500 children over FY 2008.  Early Head Start will serve approximately 116,000 infants and toddlers in FY 2011, nearly twice as many as were served in FY 2008.  The Budget also includes $118 million for quality enhancements.  Since FY 2008, the Administration has invested almost $500 million in improving the quality of Head Start programs.  Additionally, the Administration plans to implement key provisions of the 2007 Head Start Act that will improve the quality of Head Start programs.

Protecting Access to Foster Care and Adoption Assistance for Vulnerable Children and Youth:  To continue to fulfill the President’s commitment to improving the development, safety, well-being, and permanency of children and youth in foster care, adoption assistance, and guardianship assistance, the Budget includes a proposal to extend by an additional six months, through June 2011, the temporary FMAP increase for foster care and adoption assistance provided by the Recovery Act.  This extension will result in an additional $237 million over five years to States for maintaining critical services to vulnerable children and youth.

Administration on Aging (AoA) Caregiver Initiative: To enable families to better care for their aging relatives and support seniors trying to remain independent in their communities, the Budget provides $102.5 million in increased funding for a new Caregiver Initiative at AoA.  This funding includes $50 million for caregiver services, such as counseling, training, and respite care for the families of elderly individuals; $50 million for transportation, homemaker assistance, adult day care, and personal care assistance for elderly individuals and their families – supports that can help seniors remain in their homes and relieve burdens on caregivers; and $2.5 million for respite care for family members of people of all ages with special needs.  This funding will support 755,000 caregivers with 12 million hours of respite care and more than 186,000 caregivers with counseling, peer support groups, and training.

Supporting Low-Income Families:  The Budget includes an extension of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant and related programs, including the Contingency Fund and Supplemental Grants, through FY 2011.  The Budget also includes $500 million for a new Fatherhood, Marriage, and Families Innovation Fund.  The fund will provide competitive grants to States to conduct and rigorously evaluate comprehensive responsible fatherhood programs, including those that incorporate healthy marriage components and demonstrations geared towards improving child outcomes by improving outcomes for custodial parents with serious barriers to self sufficiency as a mechanism for improving outcomes for children in these families.  The Budget also includes an increase of $2.5 billion for the TANF Emergency Fund for FY 2011 and makes several program changes focused on strengthening States’ efforts to enhance employment related assistance to low-income families.

The Budget includes a one-year, $669 million extension of the Federal match to States’ reinvestment of incentive payments into Child Support Enforcement programs.  Without this critical extension of resources, it is estimated that States would reduce program expenditures by 10 percent.  The Budget also includes two proposals focused on increasing child support collections and a proposal to expand resources for non-custodial parents’ access to and visitation with their children.

Low Income Home Energy Assistance (LIHEAP):  The Budget proposes a new way to fund LIHEAP to help low income households heat and cool their homes.  It provides $3.3 billion in discretionary funding and an estimated $2 billion in mandatory funding.  Under this proposal, mandatory funds will be released almost immediately in response to changes in energy prices or the number of people living in poverty.  The $2 billion estimate is based on current projections of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance usage and energy prices.

INVESTING IN SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

Exploring Scientific Opportunities in Biomedical Research: The Budget includes $32.2 billion for NIH, an increase of $1 billion, to support innovative projects from basic to clinical research.  This effort will be guided by NIH’s five areas of exceptional research opportunities: supporting genomics and other high throughput technologies; translating basic science into new and better treatments; reinvigorating the biomedical research community; using science to enable health care reform; and focusing on global health.  The Administration interest for the high-priority areas of cancer and autism fits well into these five NIH theme areas.  In FY 2011, NIH estimates it will support a total of 37,001 research project grants, including 9,052 new and competing awards.

The additional $1 billion will enable NIH to capitalize upon recent successful investments in biomedical research, such as the Human Genome Project, that have provided a powerful foundation for a deeper level of understanding human biology and have opened another window into the causes of disease.  New partnerships between academia and industry are working to revitalize the drug development pipeline.  An era of personalized medicine is emerging where prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of disease can be tailored to an individual rather than using the one-size-fits-all approach that all too often falls short, wasting health care resources and  potentially subjecting patients to unnecessary and dangerous medical treatments and diagnostic procedures.

Investing in FDA’s Scientific Infrastructure: The Budget includes $25 million for advancing regulatory science at FDA. This initiative builds on the President’s commitment to harness the power of science for America’s benefit and includes $15 million for nanotechnology related research, which holds great promise for advances in medical products and cosmetics.  The additional resources will also enable FDA to update review standards and provide regulatory pathways for new technologies, such as biosimilars.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Designates ICSA Labs an Authorized Testing and Certification Body

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MECHANICSBURG, Pa. – The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology has designated ICSA Labs as an Authorized Testing and Certification Body for electronic health record products and solutions. The records are used to securely share patient information electronically between physicians, hospitals and other health care providers.

As an ONC-ATCB authorized lab, ICSA can now test and certify electronic health records products and solutions to verify that they meet the U.S. government’s mandated standards for meaningful use.

“For more than 20 years, ICSA Labs has been evaluating and certifying products and solutions,” said George Japak, managing director, ICSA Labs.  “We are committed to helping companies find the most appropriate solutions.  Nowhere is this more important than in the health care field, where electronic records contain sensitive and private patient information.  With this authorization from the Office of the National Coordinator, we can begin to test electronic health records solutions and, through their widespread adoption, help to advance health IT.”

The authorization is the most recent designation earned by the company.  ICSA Labs has achieved International Organizations for Standardization (ISO) 9001:2008 registration for quality management practices, and is also accredited for ISO/IEC 17025:2005 information security testing.  Additionally, ICSA Labs is an accredited Cryptographic and Security Testing Lab under the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s National Voluntary Laboratory Accreditation Program.

For more information about its designation as an ONC-ATCB lab, please visit https://www.icsalabs.com/technology-program/onc-ehr.

About ICSA Labs

ICSA Labs, an independent division of Verizon Business, offers third-party testing and certification of security products and network-connected devices, such as printers and faxes, to measure product compliance, reliability and performance to many of the world’s top security vendors. Visit http://www.icsalabs.com and http://www.icsalabs.com/blogs for more information.  

About Verizon Business

Verizon Business, a unit of Verizon Communications (NYSE, NASDAQ: VZ), is a global leader in communications and IT solutions. We combine professional expertise with one of the world’s most connected IP networks to deliver award-winning communications, IT, information security and network solutions. We securely connect today’s extended enterprises of widespread and mobile customers, partners, suppliers and employees — enabling them to increase productivity and efficiency and help preserve the environment. Many of the world’s largest businesses and governments — including 96 percent of the Fortune 1000 and thousands of government agencies and educational institutions — rely on our professional and managed services and network technologies to accelerate their business. Find out more at www.verizonbusiness.com.

Media contact:
Brianna Carroll Boyle
703-859-4251
brianna.boyle@verizon.com

Posted from www.icsalabs.com

***Dec. 14th and 15th: Live 2010 ONC Update

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Big day for Healthcare reform, The ONC, CMS and HHS…

The update will cover some of the most current issues in Medicare and Medicaid incentives, HITECH act and Health Information exchange.  There will probably be some announcements that will steer the discussions in 2011.

Go To: http://www.tvworldwide.com/events/hhs/101214/default.cfm?test=0&live=1&type=flv 

HHS on ACOs: Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation

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The following is a piece of an upcoming review we will be releasing  on Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs).  It deserves a expidited mention in that it is slightly overdue…

The HHS is also taking cues from industry thought leadership.  The CMS is moving to take an additional and different approach to solving some of the quandaries currently extant in Healthcare. The most recent step in CMS’ involvement in reform is the establishment of The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovations (CMMI).  This specific organization will be undertaking research and workgroups focused on “patient outcomes” and “community care models.” They are even taking public comments at the moment.  This center will perpetuate new efforts toward the development of ACOs in addition to finding ways to approach Medicaid and Medicare from new directions and analysis.  There is an expressed interest in the speed and pace of the solutions development as an underlying layer of the CMMI strategy.

Advanced Data Systems Corporation’s MedicsDocAssistant EHR Receives ONC-ATCB 2011/2012 Certification

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PARAMUS, N.J., Nov. 23, 2010 /PRNewswire/ — Advanced Data Systems Corporation (ADS) announced today that MedicsDocAssistant Version 5.2 is 2011/2012 compliant and was certified as an EHR Module on November 19, 2010 by the Certification Commission for Health Information Technology (CCHIT®), an ONC-ATCB, in accordance with the applicable Eligible Provider   certification criteria adopted by the Secretary of Health and Human Services. The 2011/2012 criteria supports the Stage 1 meaningful use measures required to qualify eligible providers and hospitals for funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

David Barzillai, President of ADS said, “We take great pride in announcing that our MedicsDocAssistant EHR has met the criteria for 2011/2012 ONC-ATCB certification.  We believe this certification helps to demonstrate the product’s robustness and relevance in today’s rapidly growing EHR marketplace.”

The ONC-ATCB 2011/2012 certification program tests and certifies that Complete EHRs meet all of the 2011/2012 criteria and EHR Modules meet one or more – but not all – of the criteria approved by the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) for either eligible provider or hospital technology.

“CCHIT is pleased to be testing and certifying products so that companies are now able to offer these products to providers who wish to purchase and implement certified EHR technology and achieve meaningful use in time for the 2011-2012 incentives,” said Karen M. Bell, M.D., M.S.S., Chair, CCHIT.

MedicsDocAssistant V. 5.2’s certification number is CC-1112-435880-1.  ONC-ATCB 2011/2012 certification conferred by CCHIT does not represent an endorsement of the certified EHR technology by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services nor does it guarantee the receipt of incentive payments.

The clinical quality measures to which MedicsDocAssistant has been certified include: NQF 0013, NQF 0024, NQF 0028, NQF 0038, NQF 0041, NQF 0059, NQF 0061, NQF 0064 and NQF 0421.

MedicsDocAssistant V.4.0.1 is also certified in CCHIT’s separate and independently developed certification program. MedicsDocAssistant is CCHIT Certified® 2008.  Advanced Data Systems has certified its EHR technology in both programs to provide greater assurance to its customers.

Media Contacts: Marc E. Klar, 800-899-4237, Ext. 2061, marc.klar@adsc.com

About Advanced Data Systems (www.adsc.com):  The Company is a leading provider of healthcare automation solutions to medical practices of every size and specialty, radiology and imaging centers, and revenue cycle management companies.  ADS produces its own systems, which includes the 2011/2012 ONC-ATCB Certified MedicsDocAssistant EHR V.5.2, MedicsPremier and MedicsElite for Practice Management and the MedicsRIS/PACS for Radiology.  ADS provides quick Implementation, comprehensive Training and excellent ongoing Support which includes Updates.  The company performs data conversions from existing systems and interfaces to existing systems.  ADS’ solutions can be configured as Client Server or ASP, and all of the company’s systems (EHR, PM, RIS and PACS) are available separately per the needs of the practice.  Over 30,000 physicians rely on solutions from ADS.

About CCHIT

The Certification Commission for Health Information Technology (CCHIT®) is an independent, 501(c)3 nonprofit organization with the public mission of accelerating the adoption of robust, interoperable health information technology.  The Commission has been certifying electronic health record technology since 2006 and is approved by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as an Authorized Testing and Certification Body (ONC-ATCB).  More information on CCHIT, CCHIT Certified® products and ONC-ATCB certified electronic health record technology is available at http://cchit.org.

About ONC-ATCB 2011/2012 certification

The ONC-ATCB 2011/2012 certification program tests and certifies that EHR technology is capable of meeting the 2011/2012 criteria approved by the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS). The certifications include Complete EHRs, which meet all of the 2011/2012 criteria for either eligible provider or hospital technology and EHR Modules, which meet one or more – but not all – of the criteria. ONC-ATCB certification aligns with Health Information Technology: Initial Set of Standards, Implementation Specifications, and Certification Criteria for Electronic Health Record Technology published in the Federal Register in July 2010 and strictly adheres to the test procedures published by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) at the time of testing. ONC-ATCB 2011/2012 certification conferred by the Certification Commission for Health Information Technology (CCHIT®) does not represent an endorsement of the certified EHR technology by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services nor does it guarantee the receipt of incentive payments.

“CCHIT®” and “CCHIT Certified®” are registered trademarks of the Certification Commission for Health Information Technology.

Introducing the CMS Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation – and innovations.cms.gov

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By Don Berwick, M.D., Administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

We have been given a great opportunity – under the historic Affordable Care Act – to create the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation. Continue reading: Introducing the CMS Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation – and innovations.cms.gov

MedInformatix’ EHR Solutions Achieve ONC Meaningful Use Certification

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LOS ANGELES, Nov. 12, 2010 /PRNewswire/ — MedInformatix, Inc. today announced that its full suite of Electronic Health Records (EHR) is among the industry’s first to achieve certification under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)’ Office of National Coordinator (ONC) for Health IT’s Stage 1 meaningful use under provisions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

Austin, Texas-based Drummond Group Inc., one of the first organizations that ONC has ordained as an Authorized Testing and Certification Body (ATCB) of EHR products, has certified that MedInformatix technology is capable of supporting eligible professionals (EPs), such as radiologists, and eligible hospitals (EHs) efforts to achieve meaningful IT use goals and objectives. “Meaningful use,” under Federal Government financial incentive programs, requires IT to enhance healthcare quality, patient safety, improve outcomes and lower costs.

Drummond tested MedInformatix’ EHR products over two weeks in October, approving the suite and listing it on HHS’ Certified Health IT Products Listing (CHPL).

“Many of the EHR system capabilities required for ONC certification had already been built into our products,” said Michele Jones, MedInformatix’ director of marketing. “This includes the system’s e-Prescribing (eRx) module, which enables practices to more quickly and accurately communicate with pharmacies.

“To achieve certification, we added programming and new formats, and made additional modifications over a several week period,” Jones said. “We are implementing these changes for existing EHR clients, enabling them to achieve meaningful use and quickly begin to earn sizable financial benefits.”

EPs and EHs participating in Medicare and Medicaid programs and leveraging products such as MedInformatix fully integrated EHR solution to meet ONC criteria, receive incentive payments of as much as $44,000 per physician per year when their medical facilities implement certified technology by 2012. Total annual incentives de-escalate for practices that implement the technology in both 2013 and 2014; professionals that fail to comply with meaningful use provisions by 2015 face financial penalties in the form of reimbursement reductions.

Stage 1 of the meaningful use provision primarily focuses on electronic data capture, like that facilitated by MedInformatix’ eRx module. Subsequent requirements under Stages 2 and 3 will address additional information exchange capabilities, overall quality, safety, efficiency and improvements in the U.S. population’s overall health.

MedInformatix expects to complete all EHR system enhancements for existing users over the next several months, Jones said. Subsequent versions of the software will include all required modifications for meaningful use certification.

About MedInformatix:

MedInformatix, Inc. (www.medinformatix.com) is a leading national provider of fully integrated Electronic Health Records.  The products have been built around MedInformatix 25 years of workflow expertise.  MedInformatix suites of products are designed on a single database using Microsoft SQL.  Whether the client is a single physician who went live in 1994, a 13-location cardiology practice, the busiest radiology practice in Manhattan, or one of 15 other specialties it services, MedInformatix accommodates their needs.  See why so many practices from various specialties choose MedInformatix.  With 13 Microsoft nominations in 8 years, MedInformatix can turn the dream of a paperless, integrated practice into a reality.

Ingenix’s V.P. Strategic Initiatives: Kim LaFontana and the Ingenix Expert Physician Advisory Board “Gets Docs to Meaningful Use Fast”

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EHR Scope had some time to catch up with Ingenix’s Kim LaFontana about the recent announcement of Ingenix’s independent physician advisory board.  The purpose of the board is to “design solutions that will meet real-world needs.” Kim was very thorough in describing the challenges and successes of the current electronic health records industry and Ingenix’s ONC-ATCB certified CareTracker EHR solution.


“Using technology in your office should not impede your cash flow, should not slow clinicians down and it should not prevent you from having information. It’s a radical change to your world and the workflow, but what our teams have been focusing on, as we have introduced CareTracker EHR— is how to do it in a way that actually works for the physician and makes them feel like they are delivering better, more efficient care”.  –Kim LaFontana

Continue reading: Ingenix’s V.P. Strategic Initiatives: Kim LaFontana and the Ingenix Expert Physician Advisory Board “Gets Docs to Meaningful Use Fast”

Rcopia-MU from DrFirst® Receives ONC-ATCB 2011/2012 Certification

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ROCKVILLE, Md.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–DrFirst announced today that Rcopia-MU, Version 3, is 2011/2012 compliant and was certified as an EHR Module on November 4, 2010, by the Certification Commission for Health Information Technology (CCHIT®), an ONC-ATCB, in accordance with the applicable eligible provider certification criteria adopted by the Secretary of Health and Human Services. The 2011/2012 criteria support the Stage 1 meaningful use measures required to qualify eligible providers and hospitals for funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

“Rcopia-MU was developed to meet an important need for doctors”

“Rcopia-MU was developed to meet an important need for doctors,” said G. Cameron Deemer, President of DrFirst. “We are proud to offer a certified, cost-effective and easy-to-implement application that will allow more physicians to integrate healthcare IT into their practices, saving them time and providing a very strong return on their investment.”

The ONC-ATCB 2011/2012 certification program tests and certifies that Complete EHRs meet all of the 2011/2012 criteria and EHR Modules meet one or more – but not all – of the criteria approved by the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) for either eligible provider or hospital technology.

“CCHIT is pleased to be testing and certifying products so that companies are now able to offer these products to providers who wish to purchase and implement certified EHR technology and achieve meaningful use in time for the 2011-2012 incentives,” said Karen M. Bell, M.D., M.S.S., Chair, CCHIT.

2011/2012 certification conferred by CCHIT does not represent an endorsement of the certified EHR technology by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services nor does it guarantee the receipt of incentive payments.

Rcopia-MU, Version 3, certification number CC-1112-401680-1 meets the following certification criteria:

170.302o-w Security (all modules)

170.302a: DD and DA interactions

170.302b: Drug Formulary

170.302c: Problem List

170.302d: Active Med List

170.302e: Active Allergy list

170.302j: medication reconciliation

170.304b: E-prescribing.

About DrFirst

DrFirst has been a Surescripts Gold Solution Provider for three consecutive years with its award-winning, Rcopia electronic prescription management system. DrFirst is also one of only two vendors to receive CCHIT-eRx certification for 2011 and 2012. Founded in 2000, DrFirst creates innovative services targeted to physicians in both ambulatory and acute care environments. DrFirst solutions are widely integrated with over 130 practice management and electronic health records systems through its “Open Borders” program, and the company counts among its client base not only physician practices, but also major health plans, health systems, hospitals and EHR vendors. DrFirst partners with Surescripts for pharmacy connectivity, health plan information, and patient medication history. For more information, visit www.drfirst.com. For more DrFirst news, visit us at http://blog.drfirst.com/ or follow us on twitter at www.twitter.com/drfirst. Learn more about Rcopia-MU with our video at: http://www.youtube.com/drfirst

About CCHIT

The Certification Commission for Health Information Technology (CCHIT®) is an independent, 501(c)3 nonprofit organization with the public mission of accelerating the adoption of robust, interoperable health information technology. The Commission has been certifying electronic health record technology since 2006 and is approved by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as an Authorized Testing and Certification Body (ONC-ATCB). More information on CCHIT, CCHIT Certified® products and ONC-ATCB certified electronic health record technology is available at http://cchit.org.

About ONC-ATCB 2011/2012 certification

The ONC-ATCB 2011/2012 certification program tests and certifies that EHR technology is capable of meeting the 2011/2012 criteria approved by the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS). The certifications include Complete EHRs, which meet all of the 2011/2012 criteria for either eligible provider or hospital technology and EHR Modules, which meet one or more – but not all – of the criteria. ONC-ATCB certification aligns with Health Information Technology: Initial Set of Standards, Implementation Specifications, and Certification Criteria for Electronic Health Record Technology published in the Federal Register in July 2010 and strictly adheres to the test procedures published by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) at the time of testing. ONC-ATCB 2011/2012 certification conferred by the Certification Commission for Health Information Technology (CCHIT®) does not represent an endorsement of the certified EHR technology by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services nor does it guarantee the receipt of incentive payments.

“CCHIT®” and “CCHIT Certified®” are registered trademarks of the Certification Commission for Health Information Technology.

Visionary HealthWare’s Alteer Office Solution Receives 2011 CCHIT® Certification

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TAMPA, FL–(Marketwire – October 28, 2010) –  The Certification Commission for Health Information Technology (CCHIT®) today announced that Visionary HealthWare’s Alteer Office 8.0 is a pre-market CCHIT Certified® 2011 Ambulatory EHR. Ambulatory EHRs are designed for physician offices and clinics where most Americans get their healthcare. Alteer Office is part of Visionary HealthWare’s offerings of practice management and electronic healthcare record solutions. Visionary HealthWare is a subsidiary of CompuGroup Medical U.S.

As a CCHIT Certified 2011 product, Visionary HealthWare’s Alteer Office demonstrated compliance with the advanced ePrescribing module requirements and has passed all required criteria in the CCHIT 2011 Ambulatory and Security test scripts for:

  • Functionality (ability to create and manage electronic records for all patients, as well as automating workflow in a physician’s office),
  • Interoperability (ability to receive and send electronic data to other entities such as laboratories), and
  • Security (ability to keep patients’ information safe).

The CCHIT Certified program is an independently developed certification that includes a rigorous inspection of an EHR’s integrated functionality, interoperability, and security using criteria developed by CCHIT’s broadly representative, expert work groups. By looking to products with the CCHIT Certified seal, physicians and other providers can be assured they are making a reliable investment and insurers and other payers know the products meet expected industry standards. This program is intended to serve health care providers looking for greater assurance that a product will meet their complex needs.

“We believe that achieving CCHIT Certification confirms the quality and comprehensiveness of Visionary HealthWare’s Alteer Office as well as validates VHW’s commitment to providing our customers with the most up-to-date advancements in healthcare IT,” said Chris Grady, CIO of Visionary HealthWare. “Alteer Office provides the features, functionality, and ease of use necessary for physicians to adopt the EHR quickly while minimizing disruption to their current workflow.”

“Visionary HealthWare’s solution improves clinical outcomes by providing more comprehensive and timely information for clinical decision-making, and decreases time spent on administrative activities that can better be spent on direct patient care,” adds Jason Patchen, CEO of Visionary HealthWare. “All of these improvements contribute to a safer care environment for patients.”

About Visionary HealthWare
Visionary HealthWare (VHW) is a provider-based healthcare information technology company with operations in Florida, California and Maryland. VHW delivers innovative, effective, easy-to-use, services and software solutions designed to manage patient, clinical and financial information at all levels while helping practices prove “meaningful use”. Solutions include fully integrated Electronic Health Records, Practice Management, Laboratory Information Systems, Revenue Cycle Management, Document Management, e-Prescribing, and services for any size practice. VHW reaches over 60,000 providers nationwide and was ranked by Healthcare Informatics Magazine in the top 100 Healthcare Information Technology companies in America. VHW brands include Visionary Medical Systems, Antek HealthWare, Soft-Aid, USMD, and Alteer Corporation. Visionary HealthWare (www.visionaryhealthware.com). Visionary HealthWare is a subsidiary of CompuGroup Medical U.S.

About CompuGroup Medical

CompuGroup Medical is one of the leading e-health companies worldwide. Its software products, designed to support all medical and organizational activities in doctors’ offices and hospitals, its information services for all parties involved in the healthcare system and its web-based personal health records, contribute towards safer and more efficient healthcare.

The services of CompuGroup Medical are based on its unique customer base of around 370,000 doctors, dentists, hospitals and networks as well as other service providers. CompuGroup Medical is the e-Health company with one of the biggest coverage among e-health service providers worldwide. The company operates in 14 European countries as well as in Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa and in the USA and currently employs around 3,000 people.

ABOUT CCHIT
The Certification Commission for Health Information Technology (CCHIT®) is an independent, 501(c)3 nonprofit organization with the public mission of accelerating the adoption of robust, interoperable health information technology. The Commission has been certifying electronic health record technology since 2006 and is recognized by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as an Authorized Testing and Certification Body (ONC-ATCB). More information on CCHIT, CCHIT Certified® products and HHS certified electronic health record technology is available at http://cchit.org and http://ehrdecisions.com.

“CCHIT®” and “CCHIT Certified®” are registered trademarks of the Certification Commission for Health Information Technology.