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KLAS & Interoperability Measurement Advisory Team hold inaugural meeting

OREM, Utah – Feb. 4, 2016 – Aiming to continue and expand the output of the Keystone Summit, the newly established Interoperability Measurement Advisory Team will drive improvement through ongoing measurement of interoperability. Goals for the team include research tool oversight and adaptation, communication of efforts and progress, and advocacy for appropriate measurement standards.

This effort is supported by the freshly inked advisory team mission statement, which is “To effect accelerated advancement in the creation, optimization, and ultimate adoption of impactful interoperability through the measurement of provider experiences. The team will provide insight into and oversight of KLAS’ efforts to measure industry progress, focused especially on provider satisfaction with the utility of exchanged information and vendor support and progress.”

“Research collection for the 2016 interoperability study is already underway, targeting the experience of clinical end-users in receiving data from valued partners outside their system,” said Tim Zoph, committee chair. “What an amazing opportunity we have as a newly formed advisory team to hold ourselves as providers and vendors accountable for evaluating our own progress and developing a measurement tool to ultimately ensure successful interoperability efforts.”

The creation of the advisory team stems from the 2015 KLAS Keystone Summit, where a group of healthcare providers and EMR vendors came together to consider and ultimately recommend a process for measuring the impact of interoperability efforts. The following members represent a unique gathering of cross-industry leaders working together to strengthen collaboration toward interoperability:

Tim Zoph, Chair        Northwestern Medicine (retired)
Bob Cash, Facilitator        KLAS
Bob Barker            NextGen
Dennia Clarke            Allscripts
Peter DeVault            Epic
Darren Dworkin        Cedars-Sinai Health System
John Glaser            Cerner
Edward Glynn, MD        HCA Healthcare
John Halamka, MD        Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Stan Huff, MD            Intermountain Healthcare
Howard Landa    , MD        Alameda Health System
Dan Nigrin, MD        Boston Children’s Hospital
Brian Patty, MD        Rush University Medical Center
Shantanu Paul         Greenway
Donna Roach            Via Christi Health – Ascension
Bob Robke            Cerner
Doran Robinson        athenahealth
Hoda Sayed-Friel        MEDITECH
Nimesh Shah            McKesson
Steve Starkey            MEDHOST
Micky Tripathi            Massachusetts eHealth Collaborative
Helen Waters            MEDITECH
Jon Zimmerman        GE Healthcare

About KLAS
KLAS is a research and insights firm on a global mission to improve healthcare delivery by enabling providers to be heard and counted. Working with thousands of healthcare professionals and clinicians, KLAS gathers data on software, services and medical equipment to deliver timely reports, trends and statistical overviews. The research directly represents the provider voice and acts as a catalyst for improving vendor performance. For more information about KLAS or to view our reports, visit www.klasresearch.com

February 5, 2016 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Healthcare Providers’ Analytics Needs Remain Ahead of Vendor Capabilities

Chilmark Research’s latest report finds that the pace of development of analytics solutions has yet to match the pace set by rapidly changing payment models.
 

Boston, MA, February 3, 2016 -Chilmark Research’s latest report, 2016 Analytics for Population Health Management Market Trends Report, reveals that vendor solutions are not keeping pace with the accelerating demands of a rapidly transforming industry. While vendors continue to make progress in the functional evolution of their analytics solutions, healthcare organizations (HCOs) struggle with the complexity of their data management requirements and embedding analytical insights into clinical workflows in support of strategic initiatives. This extensive update to the 2014 edition builds on Chilmark’s comprehensive review of available solutions to serve the analytics needs of HCOs to enable their Population Health Management (PHM) strategies. The report also presents a new model for understanding the value chain for clinical analytics across the enterprise.

The most important driver underlying strong growth in data analytics is the move to alternative payment models, often referred to as value-based reimbursement (VBR). Future financial success in the VBR realm requires HCOs to effectively manage risks, utilization and costs while concurrently improving quality and optimizing outcomes. Today, however, HCOs must straddle the two different payment regimes of fee-for-service (FFS) and VBR. Analytics solutions are currently focusing on helping HCOs maximize revenue (hitting quality targets) and leverage traditional FFS reimbursements (closing care gaps). A secondary objective is to help HCOs reduce medical costs (variability) and unnecessary utilization (readmissions reduction and low-acuity, non-emergent utilization).

The report points to an important, ongoing challenge – incorporating analytics into existing workflows. While vendors have made progress with analytics functionality, workflow integration ultimately keeps analytics out of the hands of clinicians who could benefit most from insights at the point of care. Today, clinicians typically exit their EHR, toggling to a clinical portal for analytically-derived insights.

Another notable finding is the relatively rapid progress made by EHR vendors in the last year. Vendors such as Cerner, Epic, and eClinicalWorks have added functionality and seen strong adoption by their customers. Independent vendors are not standing still. They continue to enhance their solutions and acquire new customers, staying one step ahead of the EHR vendors on functionality. EHR vendors, however, hold the advantage of existing customer relationships and often better ability to embed insights into clinician workflow.

According to Jody Ranck, Chilmark analyst and co-author of the report, “We still see much of the analytics market in an immature stage of development. A major obstacle is a lack of sound governance and data curation strategies that enable health care organizations to leverage their data and analytics capabilities across the entire data analytics value chain. The market is at a pivot point where we will need to see more Chief Analytics Officers and the rhetoric of ‘data-driven organizations’ manifested in reality.”

The report is available to subscribers of the Chilmark Advisory Service or may be purchased separately. For more information, visit www.chilmarkresearch.com/reports. Direct inquiries for purchase should be addressed to Sean Campbell atsean@chilmarkresearch.com.

About Chilmark Research
Chilmark Research is the only industry analyst firm focusing solely on the most transformational trends in healthcare IT. We combine proven research methodologies with intelligence and insight to provide cogent analyses of the emerging technologies that have the greatest potential to improve healthcare. We do not shy away from making tough calls, and are respected in the industry for our direct and thoughtful commentary. For more information visit: www.chilmarkresearch.com

Vendors Profiled: The Advisory Board Company, Aetna ActiveHealth, Aetna HDMS, Arcadia Healthcare Solutions, Caradigm, CareEvolution, Cerner Corporation, Conifer Health Solutions, eClinicalWorks, Epic Systems Corporation, Geneia LLC, Health Catalyst, HealthEC, IBM Watson Health, McKesson, Optum, Oracle, Orion Health, Premier, Inc., SAP, Tableau, Transcend Insights, Truven Health Analytics, Verisk Health, Wellcentive, Inc.

February 3, 2016 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Chiron Health Releases Telemedicine Insurance Rules Engine and Reimbursement Guarantee

Chiron Health announced that the company has released an industry-first telemedicine insurance Rules Engine and Reimbursement Guarantee. This advanced set of telemedicine billing and reimbursement tools helps physician practices overcome the most common barrier to telemedicine adoption.

Austin, TX – February 3, 2016 – Chiron Health, Inc., a leading provider of HIPAA-compliant video visit and reimbursement services, today announced that the company has released the industry’s most advanced set of telemedicine software billing and reimbursement tools.

“Video-based telemedicine is a rapidly emerging standard of care for many types of routine consultations, yet reimbursement complexity has remained the largest obstacle to broader telehealth adoption by physician practices,” said Andrew O’Hara, Founder and CEO of Chiron Health.

To combat this roadblock to telemedicine adoption, Chiron Health has released a set of tools that automate the billing and reimbursement process—removing the burden from office staff to manually check telemedicine eligibility nuances and exceptions. The Chiron Rules Engine initiates a telemedicine insurance eligibility check each time a video visit is scheduled by automatically pulling the patient’s insurance information from the clinic’s practice management system.

By checking the patient’s insurance information against a proprietary database of state telemedicine reimbursement mandates and payer-specific nuances, Chiron Health is able to make an accurate determination of the patient’s eligibility for telemedicine reimbursement. In addition, the Chiron Rules Engine gets smarter with each eligibility check performed, pushing new rules to all clients through its cloud-based technology—ultimately cutting down on frustrating denials.

“Given the effectiveness of the Chiron Rules Engine, we’re also proud to offer the Chiron Reimbursement Guarantee,” said O’Hara. “If we verify a patient’s eligibility and a claim is later denied, our team will work to resolve the issue—if we can’t get it resolved, we’ll reimburse the claim ourselves.”

Chiron Health’s advanced billing and reimbursement tools guide practices through the complexities of telemedicine reimbursement and get physicians paid faster.

About Chiron Health, Inc.
Chiron Health is the only platform designed to get physician practices fully reimbursed for secure video visits. The company’s extensive knowledge of telemedicine regulation and reimbursement allows Chiron to guide practices through the complexities of telemedicine. The result? Guaranteed reimbursement. For more information, visit www.chironhealth.com

I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

eMedApps Unveils Care Connectivity Platform™ for Universal Patient Data Connectivity

Providing one steward of EHR healthcare data creates cohesive interoperability, enhanced security, and cost savings.

SCHAUMBURG, IL – January 27, 2016 – Clinicians need access to the right data at the right time to provide optimal patient care. eMedApps brings comprehensive patient data to the front lines of care with their Care Connectivity Platform™. Leveraging this powerful integration and exchange platform, healthcare delivery organizations easily unify disparate EHR and health IT systems with universal, vendor-neutral connectivity.

Combining modular, secure, ONC-certified interface technologyrobust business continuity solutions, and mission-critical health IT and workflow solutions, the Care Connectivity Platform synchronizes patient information across the care continuum.

The Care Connectivity Platform manages the secure and compliant flow of information across the health IT ecosystem including EHR, PM, LIS, RIS, etc., regardless of data storage location, file format, or vendor-specific architecture. As a patient moves throughout the continuum of care, their data moves with them – securely and seamlessly.

Thousands of providers employ eMedApps’ platform across their respective enterprises. Designed for clinics, hospitals, HIEs, and FQHCs, the Care Connectivity Platform delivers a unified view of the patient and extends that view to imaging centers, labs, and payors.

“eMedApps has been absolutely crucial in the success of our department, our organization, and the broad adoption of our EMR/PM solution,” noted Beth McDonald, director of San Ysidro Health Center’s project management office. “The eMedApps team is an ally at San Ysidro, and my leadership team and our providers feel the same.”

eMedApps Care Connectivity Platform addresses a growing need in healthcare to have consistent access to a complete patient record that often spans a network of disparate HIT systems.

“Working across the healthcare landscape, we see providers struggling with technology integration and data interoperability, often using a number of applications for their integration,” commented Vik Sheshadri, vice president of product development, eMedApps. “We’ve taken an integrated approach, providing vendor-neutral modules that work together cohesively. Providers choose our solutions to solve data exchange, integration, and hosting problems without adding complexity or service fees.”

eMedApps’ Care Connectivity Platform delivers:

  • Connectivity across any healthcare system
  • Data sharing and synchronization with HIEs and public reporting agencies
  • Medical device interoperability and data exchange
  • Business continuity for planned and unplanned EHR and network outages
  • Operational cost savings and clinical efficiency

About eMedApps

Founded in 1999, eMedApps delivers patient-centric and vendor-neutral integration, interface, and business continuity solutions to healthcare delivery organizations across the U.S., enabling improved quality of care, increased EHR efficiency, and interoperability within and across the connected enterprise. With an ONC-ACB Certified Interface Engine and extensive industry expertise, eMedApps’ Care Connectivity Platform™ is compatible with all major EHR vendors. Headquartered in Schaumburg, Ill. eMedApps has offices in San Diego, Houston, and Boston. Visit www.emedapps.com or call (847) 490-6869 to learn more. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

January 27, 2016 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Nextech Acquires SupraMed, a Web-Based Healthcare Solution

Acquisition Expands Nextech’s Leadership in Providing Specialty-Specific EHR and Practice Management Solutions

TAMPA, FL–( January 25, 2016) – Nextech Systems, the top-ranked provider of specialty-focused healthcare technology solutions for physician practices, today announced its acquisition of SupraMed, developer of a web-based practice management system and electronic health record (EHR) built for the unique needs of plastic surgeons. The acquisition further cements Nextech’s dominance in the plastic surgery market and demonstrates its commitment to delivering top-tier specialty-specific EHR and practice management solutions.

“Specialty physicians have unique needs based on the size and scope of their practices,” said Michael Scarbrough, president and CEO of Nextech. “Combining SupraMed’s capabilities with our existing market-leading solutions empowers practices with a robust choice of product features and service options tailored to their needs.”

SupraMed’s web-based practice management technology complements Nextech’s existing Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)-based offering and will allow the company to scale while strengthening its commitment to specialty-specific products. Nextech already offers both client-server and cloud-based models that help practices take control and work smarter.

Through the acquisition, SupraMed clients are now able to take advantage of Nextech’s full suite of integrated solutions, including practice management, analytics, inventory and point of service modules.

“Nextech’s mission — to provide specialty physicians with the best technology solutions and services possible — complements our own,” said Dr. Robert Pollack, SupraMed founder and board certified plastic surgeon. “We’re delighted to be joining Nextech to deliver enhanced offerings through this acquisition. It’s a clear win for our clients.”

Dr. Pollack will step into an advisory role with Nextech where he will foster collaboration among the entire client base as part of an effort to further enhance the company’s offerings to best meet the needs of clinicians.

For more information on Nextech and how it supports specialty physicians in plastic surgery, ophthalmology and dermatology, visit www.nextech.com.

About Nextech

Nextech is the complete healthcare technology solution for specialty providers. Since 1997, Nextech has been focused on delivering intelligent, intuitive, integrated solutions that empower specialty physicians to maximize efficiency, optimize charting accuracy and increase overall practice profitability. Nextech services more than 7,000 physicians and over 50,000 office staff members in the clinical specialties of Ophthalmology, Dermatology and Plastic Surgery. Learn more at www.nextech.com.

January 26, 2016 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

athenahealth, eClinicalWorks, Epic, NextGen Healthcare and Surescripts First to Adopt Enhanced Data Sharing Practices

Five Healthcare IT Leaders Adopt Carequality Interoperability Framework

McLEAN, VA. (January 21, 2016) – Carequality, an initiative of The Sequoia Project, today announced initial implementers of the Carequality Interoperability Framework released in December 2015.  The companies are athenahealth®, eClinicalWorks, Epic, NextGen Healthcare and Surescripts.

The five organizations have agreed to provide health information exchange services for their customers under the comprehensive Framework, which consists of legal terms, policy requirements, technical specifications, and governance processes. The Framework is an operationalization of the groundbreaking Principles of Trust to enable nationwide health information exchange.

“The adoption of the Carequality Framework represents a major leap forward for nationwide interoperability,” explained Dave Cassel, director of Carequality. “By these organizations committing to unified Rules of the Road, they are simplifying system-to-system connections to make data exchange easier for a significant portion of the healthcare ecosystem.”

The initial implementers of the Carequality Interoperability Framework – and their clients – will benefit from accelerated, less costly health data sharing agreements, because they no longer need to develop one-off legal agreements between individual data sharing partners. These health information exchange partnerships are able to leverage existing networks and business relationships to rapidly expand.  For example, most physicians already have access to a small network through a technology vendor or a health information exchange (HIE). These existing health data sharing opportunities will dramatically expand to include additional providers, payers, government agencies, and others as the Carequality community grows.

The initial implementers will focus first on query-based exchange of clinical documents, but the Framework was developed to support an unlimited variety of use cases.

Quotes from adopting organizations:

“athenahealth believes that physicians should be allowed to focus on patients, not the hassles of coordinating care,” said Doran Robinson, Vice President of Network Integration for athenahealth.  “We’re thrilled to join other major players in reducing the legal and regulatory barriers that impede the development of a national health information backbone that connects care settings, regardless of vendor or service provider.”

“eClinicalWorks is the largest cloud EHR in the nation and we are dedicated to improving the delivery of healthcare,” explained Girish Navani, CEO and co-founder of eClinicalWorks. “We continue to promote interoperability and enhance the patient experience. The Carequality Interoperability Framework is an exciting initiative to aid our customers in sharing pertinent health data and providing better care.”

“The Carequality Framework is a testament to healthcare vendors’ commitment toward making seamless interoperability a reality for patients and providers,” says Dave Fuhrmann, Vice President of Interoperability for Epic. “Shared rules and guidelines are going to make it possible for all of us to dramatically increase the number of connections we have across systems to make care safer and more efficient.”

“Securely sharing health data across health networks creates the kind of informed and empowered care system required for a successful transition to value-based medicine,” said Rusty Frantz, president and chief executive officer of Quality Systems Inc. “As industry leaders we’re making true progress in nationwide data exchange and look forward to using the Carequality framework to make the right information easily accessible, to the right care team, the right clinician, at the right time and place.”

“Through the Carequality Framework, Surescripts is breaking down legacy barriers and collaborating with other industry leaders to make nationwide healthcare interoperability a reality,” said Tom Skelton, CEO of Surescripts. “We are excited to increase the reach of our network and unleash the power of our National Record Locator Service to enable nationwide data sharing to improve patient care.”

About Carequality
Carequality is a public-private collaborative that facilitates agreement among diverse stakeholders to develop and maintain a common interoperability framework enabling exchange between and among data sharing networks. Carequality brings together a diverse group of representatives from the private sector and government to come to collective agreement on how to enable data to flow seamlessly between and among networks and providers, much like the telecommunications industry did for linking cell phone networks.  For more information, visitwww.carequality.org and follow us at twitter.com/carequalityNet.

About The Sequoia Project
The Sequoia Project is a non-profit 501c3 chartered to advance implementation of secure, interoperable nationwide health information exchange. The Sequoia Project supports multiple, independent health IT interoperability initiatives, most notably: the eHealth Exchange, a rapidly growing community of exchange partners who share information under a common trust framework and a common set of rules; and Carequality, a public-private collaborative effort to build consensus among existing data sharing networks regarding technical specifications and best practices, much like the telecommunications industry did for linking cell phone networks. For more information about The Sequoia Project and its initiatives, visitwww.sequoiaproject.org. Follow The Sequoia Project on Twitter: @SequoiaProject.

January 22, 2016 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Hospital Merger and Acquisition Activity Up Sharply in 2015, According to Kaufman Hall Analysis

112 Transactions Announced in 2015—18 Percent Increase over 2014

Skokie, IL, January 21, 2016 — The number of hospital transactions announced in 2015 grew 18 percent compared with 2014 and 70 percent compared with 2010, according to the latest analysis by Kaufman, Hall & Associates, LLC, a leading provider of strategic, capital, financial, and transaction advisory services and software tools. In 2015, 112 hospital transactions were announced compared with 95 transactions in 2014 and 66 in 2010. The pace of transactions was especially strong in the second half of 2015.

Hospital Mergers, Acquisitions, Joint Ventures in 2015

The rising number of transactions demonstrates that mergers, acquisitions, and other forms of partnership are an increasingly critical strategy as hospitals seek to enhance competencies and scale to provide coordinated, cost-effective care across the continuum.

Other key findings from the analysis include:

  • 28 transactions were announced in the 4th quarter of 2015, compared with 29 in the 4th quarter of 2014
  • Operating revenue of acquired organizations in 2015 was greater than $33 billion
  • Transactions included a variety of forms and structures, including mergers, acquisitions, joint ventures, and joint operating agreements
  • Transactions occurred across a broad range of acute-care segments, including not-for-profit, for-profit, rural, urban, and academic health centers
  • In 28 of the 112 transactions announced in 2015, the acquiring entity was for-profit; in 83 transactions, the acquiring entity was not-for-profit; and in one transaction, a not-for-profit and for-profit organization jointly acquired an organization
  • A faith-based organization was the acquiring entity in 19 transactions and the acquired entity in 14 transactions
  • Three hospital-management companies were involved in a significant number of transactions:
    • Franklin, TN-based Community Health Systems was a party to eight transactions
    • Brentwood, TN-based LifePoint Health, or the joint venture Duke LifePoint Healthcare, was a party to six transactions
    • Ontario, CA-based Prime Healthcare was a party in five transactions
    • The largest deal announced was the merger of two not-for-profit, Catholic healthcare systems: Renton, WA-based Providence Health & Services ($12 billion in revenue) and Irvine, CA-based St. Joseph Health System ($5.6 billion in revenue); the merger will form one of the largest not-for-profit healthcare systems in the country
    • Community Health Systems is spinning off 38 hospitals in communities of less than 50,000 residents into a new public company called Quorum Health Corporation ($2.1 billion in revenue) that will begin trading in early 2016; Community Health Systems will focus on larger hospitals in urban areas, while Quorum will focus on hospitals in smaller communities

“Hospitals and health systems are facing extraordinary pressure to reduce costs, manage care more effectively across the continuum, and improve patient engagement and experience,” said Patrick Allen, Managing Director at Kaufman Hall. “To achieve these goals, hospitals and health systems will continue to pursue strategic partnerships designed to achieve clinical alignment, network breadth and depth, operational efficiency, and other critical capabilities.”

Using Kaufman Hall’s database, the analysis includes reported combinations of acute-care hospitals in the U.S., including mergers, acquisitions, joint ventures, and member substitutions. The total number does not include specialty hospital, long-term acute-care hospital, or surgical center transactions; minor asset sales from closed hospitals; affiliations or management service agreements; or international transactions.

About Kaufman Hall
Kaufman Hall provides management consulting services and enterprise performance management software that help organizations realize sustained success amid changing market conditions. Since 1985, we have been a trusted advisor to hospitals and health systems, helping them incorporate proven methods into their strategic planning and financial management processes and quantify the financial impact of their plans to consistently achieve their goals. Kaufman Hall helps clients identify and execute strategic initiatives that drive market and financial performance; provides financial advisory services to clients seeking capital; prepares and implements integrated strategic, financial, and capital plans; designs comprehensive capital allocation processes; and assists in the evaluation, structuring, and negotiation of partnership and divestiture opportunities. Additionally, Kaufman Hall provides sophisticated, integrated, and intuitive software solutions for long-range planning, budgeting, forecasting, reporting, capital planning, profitability, and cost management on a single platform. kaufmanhall.com

January 21, 2016 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Leading Healthcare IT Association Announces $1 Million Initiative to Protect Patients from Life-Threatening Medical Errors

Ann Arbor, MI, January 19, 2016 – Imagine a scenario in which a patient goes to a doctor’s office or a hospital and is misidentified or matched to the wrong medical record. Imagine a doctor making critical decisions based on someone else’s medical history. Imagine if that patient is a loved one.

Unfortunately, this scene plays itself out too often in today’s healthcare environment – potentially as high as 20 percent of the time – largely because there’s no universal way of accurately identifying a patient, regardless of where they seek care. In the past, manual processes could reduce the accuracy gap that existed, but as electronic health records become ubiquitous, the challenge takes on new dimensions.

To solve this complex problem, the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) today launched the CHIME National Patient ID Challenge, a $1 million crowdsourcing competition encouraging innovators from around the world to develop a solution that is private, accurate and safe. CHIME has teamed with HeroX, co-founded in 2013 by XPRIZE CEO Peter Diamandis, to run the year-long competition.

“Healthcare faces some immense challenges,” said Marc Probst, vice president and chief information officer, Intermountain Healthcare, Salt Lake City; and chair of the CHIME board of trustees. “As we digitize healthcare and patients move from one care setting to another, we need to ensure with 100 percent accuracy that we identify the right patient at the right time. Anything less than that increases the risk of a medical error and can add unnecessary costs to the healthcare system.”

Probst noted that Intermountain Healthcare spends between $4 million and $5 million annually on technologies and processes to try to ensure proper patient identification. At the Mayo Clinic, each case of misidentification costs at least $1,200, according to the Office of the National Coordinator’s 2014 report, “Patient Identification and Matching: Final Report.”

As ONC reported, healthcare organizations have made strides in improving patient identification and matching, but those solutions have not been universally adopted. For instance, providers vary greatly in how they format names and addresses. Also, the quality of the data entered into systems can be mixed. Additionally, CHIME data show that hospitals differ in how they identify patients. More than 60 percent of CHIME members use some form of a unique patient identifier to match patient data within their organizations, others rely on complicated algorithms. Nearly 20 percent of CHIME members surveyed in 2012 could attribute at least one adverse medical event to incorrect patient matching.

“The National Patient Safety Foundation recognizes patient identification as an important safety issue,” said Tejal K. Gandhi, M.D., MPH, CPPS, president and CEO, NPSF. “We are pleased to see this challenge by CHIME get underway to focus attention on helping find solutions.”

With today’s launch, the CHIME National Patient ID Challenge is now open for innovators from around the world to submit solutions. In the spring, CHIME and HeroX will announce participants moving on to the Concept Blitz Round. Innovators will then further develop and refine their ideas as they prepare for judging and the Final Innovation Round. They will need to produce working prototypes of their designs. CHIME intends to announce the $1 million winner in February 2017 at the CHIME-HIMSS CIO Forum.

“HeroX is proud to be partnering with CHIME to drive the next big breakthrough in national patient identification so that we can live safer, healthier lives,” said HeroX Co-founder and CEO Christian Cotichini, who noted that incentive challenges have a history of advancing innovation in healthcare and patient safety.

“Patient mismatching and our inability to accurately identify patients across the continuum of care has been an ongoing problem for the industry,” said CHIME President and CEO Russell Branzell, FCHIME, CHCIO, who noted that federal law currently prevents the government from spending funds on a national patient identifier. “We deserve better. Our patients deserve better. We hope that this competition will bring forth a solution that ensures that we can identify patients the right way every single time. If we can achieve that, it will propel us further down the road of being able to effectively and efficiently exchange data between caregivers, improving patient safety and reducing healthcare costs.”

For more details on CHIME’s National Patient ID Challenge, please visit www.herox.com/PatientIDChallenge.

About CHIME:
The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) is an executive organization dedicated to serving chief information officers and other senior healthcare IT leaders. With more than 1,700 CIO members and over 150 healthcare IT vendors and professional services firms, CHIME provides a highly interactive, trusted environment enabling senior professional and industry leaders to collaborate; exchange best practices; address professional development needs; and advocate the effective use of information management to improve the health and healthcare in the communities they serve. For more information, please visit www.chimecentral.org.

About HeroX:
HeroX is a platform where anyone can spur innovation and solve problems by launching a challenge. A spinoff of XPRIZE, the leading organization solving the world’s Grand Challenges by creating and managing large-scale, high profile, incentivized prize challenges, and a joint venture with City Light Capital, HeroX harnesses the power and momentum of challenge-based innovation to solve both philanthropic and commercial challenges. We provide the tools to make it easy for anyone to frame a problem and to inspire teams to compete to solve it. Everyone wants a chance to be a hero and we’ll show you how. For more information, go to www.HeroX.com.

 

January 19, 2016 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

EHR Incentive Programs: Where We Go Next (Message from Andy Slavitt and Karen DeSalvo)

Where We’ve Been

As we mentioned in a speech last week, the Administration is working on an important transition for the Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Program. We have been working side by side with physician organizations and have listened to the needs and concerns of many about how we can make improvements that will allow technology to best support clinicians and their patients. While we will be putting out additional details in the next few months, we wanted to provide an update today.

In 2009, the country embarked on an effort to bring technology that benefits us in the rest of our lives into the health care system. The great promise of technology is to bring information to our fingertips, connect us to one another, improve our productivity, and create a platform for a next generation of innovations that we can’t imagine today.

Not long ago, emergency rooms, doctor’s offices, and other facilities were sparsely wired. Even investing in technology seemed daunting. There was no common infrastructure. Physician offices often didn’t have the capital to get started and it was hard for many to see the benefit of automating silos when patient care was so dispersed. We’ve come a long way since then with more than 97 percent of hospitals and three quarters of physician offices now wired.

It’s taken a tremendous commitment by physicians, hospitals, technologists, patient groups and experts from all over the country to make the progress we’ve made together in a few short years. The EHR Incentive Programs were designed in the initial years to encourage the adoption of new technology and measure the benefits for patients. And while it helped us make progress, it has also created real concerns about placing too much of a burden on physicians and pulling their time away from caring for patients.

Transitioning From Measuring Clicks to Focusing on Care

Last year, the Administration and Congress took two extraordinary steps to put patients at the center of how we pay for care and support physicians. First, the Administration set a goal that 30 percent in 2016 and 50 percent in 2018 of Medicare payments will be linked to getting better results for patients, providing better care, spending healthcare dollars more wisely, and keeping people healthy.  And, second, Congress advanced this goal through the passage of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA), which considers quality, cost, and clinical practice improvement activities in calculating how Medicare physician payments are determined. While MACRA also continues to require that physicians be measured on their meaningful use of certified EHR technology for purposes of determining their Medicare payments, it provides a significant opportunity to transition the Medicare EHR Incentive Program for physicians towards the reality of where we want to go next.

What Comes Next

We have been working side by side with physician and consumer communities and have listened to their needs and concerns. As we move forward under MACRA, we will be sharing details and inviting comment as we roll out our proposed regulations this spring. All of this work will be guided by several critical principles:

  1. Rewarding providers for the outcomes technology helps them achieve with their patients.
  2. Allowing providers the flexibility to customize health IT to their individual practice needs. Technology must be user-centered and support physicians.
  3. Leveling the technology playing field to promote innovation, including for start-ups and new entrants, by unlocking electronic health information through open APIs – technology tools that underpin many consumer applications.  This way, new apps, analytic tools and plug-ins can be easily connected to so that data can be securely accessed and directed where and when it is needed in order to support patient care.
  4. Prioritizing interoperability by implementing federally recognized, national interoperability standards and focusing on real-world uses of technology, like ensuring continuity of care during referrals or finding ways for patients to engage in their own care. We will not tolerate business models that prevent or inhibit the data from flowing around the needs of the patient.

What This Means for Doctors and Hospitals 
As we work through a transition from the staged meaningful use phase to the new program as it will look under MACRA, it is important for physicians and other clinicians to keep in mind several important things:

  1. The current law requires that we continue to measure the meaningful use of ONC Certified Health Information Technology under the existing set of standards. While MACRA provides an opportunity to adjust payment incentives associated with EHR incentives in concert with the principles we outlined here, it does not eliminate it, nor will it instantly eliminate all the tensions of the current system. But we will continue to listen and learn and make improvements based on what happens on the front line.
  2. The MACRA legislation only addresses Medicare physician and clinician payment adjustments. The EHR incentive programs for Medicaid and Medicare hospitals have a different set of statutory requirements. We will continue to explore ways to align with principles we outlined above as much as possible for hospitals and the Medicaid program.
  3. The approach to meaningful use under MACRA won’t happen overnight. Our goal in communicating our principles now is to give everyone time to plan for what’s next and to continue to give us input.  We encourage you to look for the MACRA regulations this year; in the meantime, our existing regulations – including meaningful use Stage 3 – are still in effect.
  4. In December, Congress gave us new authority to streamline the process for granting hardship exception’s under meaningful use.  This will allow groups of health care providers to apply for a hardship exception instead of each doctor applying individually. This should make the process much simpler for physicians and their practice managers in the future. We will be releasing guidance on this new process soon.

These principles we’ve outlined here reflect the constructive and clear articulation of issues and open sharing of views and data by stakeholders across the health care system, but they also promote our highest priority – better care for the beneficiaries of the Medicare and Medicaid program and patients everywhere.

The challenge with any change is moving from principles to reality. The process will be ongoing, not an instant fix and we must all commit to learning and improving and collaborating on the best solutions. Ultimately, we believe this is a process that will be most successful when physicians and innovators can work together directly to create the best tools to care for patients. We look forward to working collaboratively with stakeholders on advancing this change in the months ahead.

I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

MedAllies Achieves Direct Trusted Agent Re-Accreditation from EHNAC and DirectTrust

Direct Trusted Agent accreditation ensures adherence to data processing standards and compliance with security infrastructure, integrity and trusted identity requirements

Fishkill, NY – January 11, 2016 – MedAllies, announced today it has achieved full re-accreditation with the Direct Trusted Agent Accreditation Program (DTAAP) for HISP, RA, and CA from DirectTrust and the Electronic Healthcare Network Accreditation Commission (EHNAC). Direct Trusted Agent accreditation recognizes excellence in health data processing and transactions, and ensures compliance with industry-established standards, HIPAA regulations and the Direct Project.

Through the consultative review process, EHNAC evaluated MedAllies in areas of privacy, security and confidentiality; technical performance; business practices and organizational resources as it relates to Directed exchange participants. In addition, EHNAC reviewed the organization’s process of managing and transferring protected health information and determined that the organization meets or exceeds all EHNAC criteria and industry standards. Through completion of the rigorous accreditation process, the organization demonstrates to its constituents, adherence to strict standards and participation in the comprehensive, objective evaluation of its business.

“Endorsed by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), the Direct Trusted Agent Accreditation Program ensures that organizations like MedAllies establish and uphold a superior level of trust for their stakeholders,” said Lee Barrett, executive director of EHNAC. “The need in the marketplace for guidance and accountability in health information exchange is undeniable, and we applaud MedAllies’ commitment to the highest standards in privacy, security and confidentiality.”

“MedAllies provides Direct services and is an ONC Direct Reference Implementation vendor in the Direct Project. MedAllies focuses on interoperability and the improvement of clinical care. Direct Trusted Agent accreditations recognize excellence in health data transactions and ensure compliance with industry-established standards, HIPAA/HITECH regulations, and the Direct Project. These accreditations signal to vendors and providers alike that MedAllies Direct provides the highest standard of privacy and security,” said Dr. A John Blair, CEO of MedAllies.

About MedAllies

MedAllies, founded in 2001, has extensive experience with EHR implementations and workflow redesign to improve clinical care. It provides unmatched expertise in interoperability, health information exchange and Direct services. As one of the ONC Direct Reference Implementation vendors, MedAllies has provided Direct services since the Direct Project’s inception. MedAllies Direct Solutions™ builds on existing technology to achieve interoperability. It focuses on provider adoption and use of EHRs for clinical workflow integration beyond the walls of their organizations over the MedAllies Direct Network. Physicians use their current EHR systems, allowing information to flow across disparate EHR systems in a manner consistent with provider workflows. MedAllies Direct Solutions is a tool to advance primary care models that emphasize care coordination and improved care transitions, and support patient-centered care. For more information please go to www.medallies.com

About DirectTrust.org

DirectTrust.org is a non-profit, competitively neutral, self-regulatory entity created by and for participants in the Direct community, including HISPs, CAs and RAs, doctors, patients, and vendors, and supports both provider-to-provider as well as patient-to-provider Direct exchange. The goal of DirectTrust.org is to develop, promote and, as necessary, help enforce the rules and best practices necessary to maintain security and trust within the Direct community, consistent with the HITECH Act and the governance rules for the NwHIN established by ONC.

DirectTrust.org is committed to fostering widespread public confidence in the Direct exchange of health information. To learn more, visit www.directtrust.org.

About EHNAC

The Electronic Healthcare Network Accreditation Commission (EHNAC) is a voluntary, self-governing standards development organization (SDO) established to develop standard criteria and accredit organizations that electronically exchange healthcare data. These entities include accountable care organizations, electronic health networks, EPCS vendors, eprescribing solution providers, financial services firms, health information exchanges, health information service providers, management service organizations, medical billers, outsourced service providers, payers, practice management system vendors and third-party administrators.

EHNAC was founded in 1993 and is a tax-exempt 501(c)(6) nonprofit organization. Guided by peer evaluation, the EHNAC accreditation process promotes quality service, innovation, cooperation and open competition in healthcare. To learn more, visit www.ehnac.org, contact info@ehnac.org, or follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube.

January 13, 2016 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.