Public comment period offers forum to gather additional feedback and inform future policies
|The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) today released final rules that simplify requirements and add new flexibilities for providers to make electronic health information available when and where it matters most and for health care providers and consumers to be able to readily, safely, and securely exchange that information. The final rule for 2015 Edition Health IT Certification Criteria (2015 Edition) and final rule with comment period for the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Records (EHRs) Incentive Programs will help continue to move the health care industry away from a paper-based system, where a doctor’s handwriting needed to be interpreted and patient files could be misplaced.
“We have a shared goal of electronic health records helping physicians, clinicians, and hospitals to deliver better care, smarter spending, and healthier people. We eliminated unnecessary requirements, simplified and increased flexibility for those that remain, and focused on interoperability, information exchange, and patient engagement. By 2018, these rules move us beyond the staged approach of ‘meaningful use’ and focus on broader delivery system reform,” said Dr. Patrick Conway, M.D., M.Sc., CMS deputy administrator for innovation and quality and chief medical officer. “Most importantly we are seeking additional public comments and plan for active engagement of stakeholders so we take time to get broad input on how to improve these programs over time.”
HHS heard from physicians and other providers about the challenges they face making this technology work well for their individual practices and for their patients. In recognition of these concerns, the regulations announced today make significant changes in current requirements. They will ease the reporting burden for providers, support interoperability, and improve patient outcomes. Providers can choose the measures of progress that are most meaningful to their practice and have more time to implement changes to program requirements. Providers are encouraged to apply for hardship exceptions if they need to switch or have other technology difficulties with their EHR vendor. Additionally, the new rules give developers more time to create user-friendly technologies that give individuals easier access to their information so they can be engaged and empowered in their care.
As part of today’s regulations, CMS announced a 60-day public comment period to gather additional feedback about the EHR Incentive Programs going forward, in particular with the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA), which established the Merit-based Incentive Payment System and consolidates certain aspects of a number of quality measurement and federal incentive programs into one more efficient framework. We will use this feedback to inform future policy developments for the EHR Incentive Programs, as well as consider it during rulemaking to implement MACRA, which we expect to release in the spring of 2016.
In addition to the final rule for the EHR Incentive Programs, ONC is also announcing the final rule for the 2015 Edition Health IT Certification Criteria. This rule focuses on increasing interoperability – a secure but seamless flow of electronic health information – and improving transparency and competition in the health IT marketplace.
“This rule is a key step forward in our work with the private sector to realize the shared goal of making actionable electronic health information available when and where it matters most to transform care and improve health for the individual, community and larger population. It will bring us closer to a world in which health care providers and consumers can readily, safely and securely exchange electronic health information,” said Karen B. DeSalvo, M.D., M.P.H., M.Sc., national coordinator for health IT.
For more information about today’s announcement visit: http://cms.gov/Newsroom/
For more information on the CMS final rule with comment period, click here:http://cms.gov/Newsroom/
For more information on ONC’s editions of certification criteria visit:
Boston, MA, October 5, 2015—As a team member for the Leidos Partnership for Defense Health, Orion Health™ is pleased to be part of the team that has been awarded a contract by the Department of Defense (DoD) to provide an electronic health record (EHR) off-the-shelf solution, integration activities and deployment across the Military Health System. The contract, known as the Defense Healthcare Management System Modernization (DHMSM), is an initiative designed to modernize the military’s healthcare system in a meaningful way, enabling patients and clinicians to capture and share health data that can improve the continuity and quality of care for those who serve and have served our country and their families.
Modernizing the medical records of the millions of service members and their families is vitally important to DoD and our nation. DHMSM will continue the DoD’s leadership in utilizing the best healthcare technology, and can help improve medical outcomes and support the medical readiness of the U.S. military.
“Orion Health is proud to be part of the Leidos Partnership for Defense Health, the team that has been selected as the best value solution for the DHMSM contract,” said Paul Viskovich, President, Orion Health. “Together, our qualified and experienced team is working with the Department of Defense to deliver a world class interoperable electronic health records solution for our nation’s armed forces, their families and beneficiaries. We look forward to the work ahead and are committed to improving access to comprehensive healthcare data in order to facilitate improved clinical outcomes for our deserving men and women in uniform.”
The DoD has selected Orion Health’s Rhapsody Integration Engine®, which is designed for rapid interoperability between healthcare IT systems, regardless of technology or standards. Rhapsody will provide the required link between the DoD’s Cerner EHR system and the civilian facilities that provide care to over 50 percent of military personnel. Through continuous innovation, Rhapsody provides a comprehensive set of tools to simplify complex healthcare interoperability, and is the first integration engine to implement the new HL7® FHIR® standard.
Rhapsody is used by thousands of organizations in the United States and around the world, including hospitals, IDNs, software companies, public health agencies, health information exchanges (HIE), health plans and financial clearinghouses. The integration engine provides comprehensive support for an extensive range of communication protocols and message formats, and helps interface analysts and hospital IT administrators reduce their workload while meeting the complex technical challenges associated with making healthcare data accessible to all stakeholders.
About Orion Health, Inc.
Orion Health, a global leader in population health management, makes healthcare information available anywhere by providing healthcare IT connectivity in every U.S. state and in over 30 countries worldwide—facilitating care for tens of millions of patients every day. With an inherent ability to interconnect a wide variety of healthcare information systems, Orion Health’s Open Platform, with Rhapsody Integration Engine, facilitates data acquisition and aggregation within and among payer and provider organizations, accountable care organizations, governments and health information exchanges. Open Platform stands alone as the foundation for population health management initiatives or can be combined with Orion Health’s own seamlessly integrated applications for analytics, care coordination, and patient engagement to enable end to end population health management, improve care coordination, enhance quality of care and help reduce costs. For more information, visit www.orionhealth.com. Connect with us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
Pentland Group, Summit Partners and Sands Capital Ventures participated in the round
Boca Raton, Florida – September 21, 2015 – Modernizing Medicine, Inc., the creator of the Electronic Medical Assistant® (EMA™), a cloud-based, specialty-specific electronic medical record (EMR) system, announced today that it has closed a $38 million Series E financing, bringing total capital raised to approximately $87 million.
The investors in the latest round of financing included Pentland Group and funds affiliated with Summit Partners and Sands Capital Ventures.
“We greatly appreciate the vote of confidence in the future growth of Modernizing Medicine,” shares Daniel Cane, co-founder and CEO of Modernizing Medicine. “While our dedication to the specialty-specific provider market is evidenced by sizable accomplishments – including four #1 EHR Black Book Rankings for dermatology, orthopedics, otolaryngology and gastroenterology – there still remains an opportunity to improve efficiencies and outcomes for physicians and patients alike.”
To learn more about Modernizing Medicine, visit www.modmed.com.
About Modernizing Medicine
Modernizing Medicine® is transforming how healthcare information is created, consumed and utilized in order to increase efficiency and improve outcomes. Our flagship product, Electronic Medical Assistant® (EMA™), is a cloud-based, specialty-specific electronic medical records (EMR) system built by practicing physicians. Available as a native iPad application and from almost any web-enabled Mac or PC, EMA adapts to each provider’s unique style of practice. This ICD-10 ready EMR system is available for the dermatology, ophthalmology, orthopedics, otolaryngology, gastroenterology, urology and plastic surgery markets and used by over 9,000 providers in the United States and its territories. The Modernizing Medicine family of companies also provides specialty-specific billing and inventory management, plus a gastroenterology platform consisting of an EMR system, Endoscopy Report Writer, practice management solution, patient portal, data analytics and revenue cycle management. Follow Modernizing Medicine on Twitter at www.modmed.com/twitter and on Facebook at www.modmed.com/facebook.
During a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee (HELP) hearing today, Chairman Alexander called on the administration to delay until 2017 final rulemaking for Stage 3. We appreciate his recognition that hospitals and health systems are still working to meet requirements under Stages 1 and 2.
Additionally, hospitals, physicians and their vendor partners continue to wait for a much-anticipated rule modifying certain requirements for meeting Stage 2 in 2015. The continued delays in the release of this final rule only jeopardize the long-term outcomes of the program. We must get the modification rule in the hands of providers as soon as possible to ensure that the well-intentioned relief offered by Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services in the proposed rule can be realized.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s (D-MA) comments on the importance of being able to accurately match patients to their health records and the need to address the other challenges impeding the development of an interoperable healthcare system were also notable.
Patients will be best served when as many providers as possible are successfully participating in the Meaningful Use program. CHIME is committed to ensuring that digital health tools are deployed safely and securely for the betterment of patient care.
We look forward working with the Chairman Alexander and the HELP Committee to ensure the ultimate lasting legacy of the Meaningful Use program is improved patient care through interoperable health records.
Survey of Amazing Charts EHR Users Reveals Evolving Attitudes Toward Newest Model of Primary Care Practice
BOSTON, MA–(Marketwired – September 16, 2015) – Amazing Charts, LLC, a leading developer of Electronic Health Record (EHR) and Practice Management systems, today released the results of its annual Amazing Charts User Survey(1), revealing new insights into physician awareness and attitudes about Direct Primary Care (DPC). Among the findings, a combined 37 percent responded positively to the question “Are you contemplating a DPC practice?”(2)
Direct Primary Care refers to health care delivery offered directly to consumers and employers without insurance administration and third-party payers. Key findings below indicate a positive attitude about DPC and strong physician interest in exploring this new model of practice:
- Awareness of DPC – 43 percent of respondents were either very familiar or somewhat familiar with the term Direct Primary Care; 39 percent were unfamiliar with the term; and 17 percent were familiar with DPC, but did not know what it meant.
- Attitude Toward DPC – Of those respondents who were familiar with DPC, 65 percent registered “very positive” or “positive” feelings, 30 percent were neutral, and 5 percent expressed negative feelings.
- Media Coverage of DPC – When asked “How do you feel DPC is portrayed in the media?” an overwhelming majority — 70 percent of respondents — said the media “doesn’t cover it [DPC] enough,” 11 percent said “positively,” 14 percent said “negatively,” and 5 percent said there was “too much coverage.”
“Direct Primary Care is emerging as an affordable way to get high-quality, primary care,” said John Squire, President and COO of Amazing Charts, a division of Pri-Med. “Driven by the Affordable Care Act and high-deductible insurance plans, both consumers and employers are looking for a model that encourages comprehensive care at a lower cost. That’s why we are supporting this practice model with Pri-Med InLight EHR, a problem-oriented clinical documentation system that includes the membership management and patient engagement functions required by DPC physicians.”
About Amazing Charts
Amazing Charts provides Electronic Health Records (EHR/EMR), Practice Management, and other Health IT solutions to healthcare practices. Based on number one user ratings for usability, fair pricing, and overall satisfaction, Amazing Charts EHR has been adopted by more than 10,000 clinicians in over 7,100 private practices. Founded in 2001 by a family physician, today Amazing Charts, LLC operates as a subsidiary of Pri‐Med, an operating division of Diversified Communications (DC) and a trusted source for professional medical education to over 275,000 clinicians since 1995. For more information, visit: www.amazingcharts.com.
Amazing Charts is a trademark of Amazing Charts, LLC. All products or service names mentioned herein are trademarks of their respective owners.
(1) A total of 236 Amazing Charts EHR users completed the online survey from June to July 2015
(2) Twenty-one percent are “thinking” about DPC, 12 percent are already practicing as DPC, and five percent are “planning to switch.” Negative responses totaled 31% (“probably not” and “never”); and 23% said “not sure.”
Chiron Health Partners with athenahealth’s ‘More Disruption Please’ Program to Bring Telemedicine to Physician Practices
Austin, TX – September 14, 2015 – Chiron Health, Inc., a leading provider of HIPAA-compliant video visit technology and reimbursement services, today announced that it has partnered with athenahealth® through athenahealth’s More Disruption Please (MDP) program. Chiron Health is now part of the athenahealth Marketplace offerings. Together, the companies will work to link athenahealth’s growing network of more than 67,000 health care providers with the capabilities of Chiron Health so they can more efficiently deliver remote follow-up care through HIPAA-compliant video conferencing.
“The healthcare industry has been talking about the promise of telemedicine for years,” said Andrew O’Hara, Chiron Health’s Founder and CEO. “This partnership now allows thousands of athenahealth clients to seamlessly integrate video visits into their existing clinical workflow. We believe this is a major step forward in outpatient telemedicine that will enable physician practices across the country to provide more convenient access to patients.”
Chiron Health is helping both physicians and mid-level providers connect with patients from home or work by using their existing devices. “From routine follow-ups like reviewing labs or adjusting medications, to minor urgent care issues, video visits are an ideal way to provide high-quality care to patients without the hassle of an office visit,” noted O’Hara. “For these lower acuity visits that don’t require a physical exam, practices are seeing significant productivity and patient satisfaction gains by offering telemedicine.”
An important companion to Chiron Health’s video visit technology, and a natural extension of athenahealth’s cloud-based billing services, the company has also introduced the Chiron Rules Engine®, an industry-first telemedicine insurance rules database that verifies the eligibility of every patient to ensure telemedicine reimbursement.
“One of the biggest barriers to the adoption of telemedicine over the last decade has been complicated regulation and reimbursement,” said O’Hara. “That’s why we’ve spent the last two years building the industry’s most robust telemedicine rules engine, and why we’re proud to offer the Chiron Reimbursement Guarantee® ― full reimbursement for video visits from private payers, or we’ll reimburse the claim ourselves.”
Chiron Health’s telemedicine offering is now available in the athenahealth Marketplace, allowing athenahealth practices to easily activate HIPAA-compliant video visits in athenaNet.
To learn more about athenahealth’s MDP program and partnership opportunities please visit www.athenahealth.com/disruption.
About Chiron Health, Inc.
Chiron Health is the only platform designed to get physician practices fully reimbursed for secure video visits. Our extensive knowledge of telemedicine regulation and reimbursement allows us to guide practices through the complexities of telemedicine. The result? Guaranteed reimbursement. For more information, visit www.chironhealth.com/athenahealth.
WebPT, the leading web-based electronic medical record (EMR) solution for rehab therapists, today announced its acquisition of Therabill, a web-based practice management software for physical and occupational therapists, speech-language pathologists and behavioral health specialists.
“At WebPT, our overall goal is to create the most innovative, comprehensive rehab therapy solution on the market, and this acquisition is a huge step toward fulfilling that vision,” said WebPT CEO Paul Winandy. “Therabill and WebPT serve similar audiences, have similar company histories, and uphold similar commitments to providing exceptional customer service. So, it made a lot of sense for us to combine our companies and present our customers with a true end-to-end business solution.”
Joe Dundas, the president and co-founder of Therabill, said the decision to bring the two companies together was not a hasty one. “It’s never an easy decision for a founder to hand a business over to someone else,” Dundas said. “We spent a lot of time getting to know the culture at WebPT and seeing how they value their customers the same way we do. We’re confident that WebPT will take care of our customers with the same level of customer service that they’ve become accustomed to.”
Currently, WebPT’s integration with Therabill is similar to those WebPT offers with its other billing partners. In each of those set-ups, data flows from WebPT into the billing software. However, once WebPT creates a bidirectional integration with Therabill, rehab therapy practices of all sizes will have a single solution to their documentation, scheduling, reporting and billing needs.
“Bringing Therabill under the WebPT umbrella is another step toward our company’s goal of delivering an all-encompassing software platform to help therapists achieve greatness in practice,” said WebPT co-founder and COO Dr. Heidi Jannenga, PT, DPT, ATC/L. “It’s an exciting time for us, and we can’t wait to introduce this solution to the therapy community. Our customers have been asking for a solution like this, and in true WebPT fashion, we’re answering with an innovative product that will change the game for our current and future membership base.”
About WebPT, Inc.
With more than 49,000 members and 7,800 clinics, WebPT is the leading EMR for physical therapists (PTs), occupational therapists (OTs) and speech-language pathologists (SLPs). Offering a simple, affordable solution, WebPT makes it easy for therapists to transition from paper and outdated software to a user-friendly, cloud-based system. With WebPT, therapists, directors and front office staff all have access to their patients’ medical records anywhere, anytime. Based in downtown Phoenix, WebPT has a 99.9 percent uptime rate as well as a 99.5 percent customer retention rate. Learn more at WebPT.com.
U.S. Coast Guard Uses InterSystems HealthShare as Interoperability Platform for Integrated Health Information System (IHiS)
Platform Unifies Electronic Health Data Across Disparate Systems for the First Time
CAMBRIDGE, Mass., August 11, 2015 — InterSystems, the global leader in software for connected care, today announced that the U.S. Coast Guard is using the InterSystems HealthShare® health informatics platform to enable strategic interoperability for its Integrated Health Information System (IHiS). For the first time, HealthShare makes it possible to view a comprehensive electronic health record across the Coast Guard’s disparate systems.
As the Coast Guard transitions from legacy systems to a commercial electronic health record (EHR) solution, HealthShare provides standards-based interoperability to unify health information from civilian and Coast Guard care providers.
Clinicians can now view longitudinal health records for Coast Guard and U.S. Department of State beneficiaries. The IHiS encompasses ambulatory care, urgent care, dental, physical therapy, optometry, behavioral health, occupational health, immunizations, audiology, radiology, pharmacy, and laboratory records.
“InterSystems is proud to support the U.S. Coast Guard and State Department. Building on our experience with the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Department of Defense, public and private health systems, and health information exchanges around the world, we are providing the Coast Guard the interoperability foundation to help deliver better, more connected care,” said Paul Grabscheid, Vice President, Strategic Planning, for InterSystems.
For more information about the InterSystems HealthShare family of interoperable healthcare solutions, please visit www.intersystems.com/
InterSystems develops advanced software technologies that enable breakthroughs. With a passion for excellence and a focus on client success, InterSystems provides data management, strategic interoperability, and analytics platforms used in healthcare, financial services, government, and dozens of other industries. InterSystems also offers unified healthcare applications, based on its core technologies, that deliver on the promise of connected healthcare. Founded in 1978, InterSystems is a privately held company headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts (USA), with offices worldwide. Its products are used daily by millions of people in more than 100 countries. Visit InterSystems.com.
Largest cloud EHR and practice management ecosystem dedicated to independent physicians
South Jordan, UT – August 6, 2015 – AdvancedMD®, a division of ADP® (NASDAQ: ADP) and the pioneer in cloud technology for physician practices, today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by global investment firm Marlin Equity Partners. AdvancedMD is one of the most comprehensive technology ecosystems designed for private practices and serves an expansive national footprint of more than 17,500 practitioners and 500 medical billing companies. AdvancedMD includes fully-integrated electronic health records, practice management, patient relationship management, as well asbig data reporting and business intelligence tools designed to automate and optimize workflow in all areas of the practice.AdvancedMD solutions are proven to accelerate revenue capture, streamline workflow and productivity, and facilitate improved patient health and satisfaction.
Raul Villar, ADP AdvancedMD president, will continue as CEO of the independent company following a 26-year career with ADP as a corporate vice president. “We are thrilled to take the next step in our extraordinary journey of providing medical practices the freedom to remain independent,” commented Raul Villar. “AdvancedMD was the pioneer in cloud solutions for medical practices and today we are the largest provider of clinical and financial solutions to small, independent medical practices. Marlin Equity Partners is a perfect fit for AdvancedMD as Marlin is committed to our vision of enabling medical practices to increase cash flow, reduce administrative burden and improve patient care. Under Marlin ownership we are well positioned to accelerate product investment and will continue to deliver best-in-class implementation and service to our loyal clients and partners.”
“AdvancedMD cloud-based technology along with its unmatched sales, marketing and implementation model provides a scalable platform to execute several growth initiatives already underway,” said Michael Anderson, a principal at Marlin. “We believe that AdvancedMD is poised to continue its impressive growth and we look forward to providing financial and operational support to help expand and enhance the company’s product solutions to meet the evolving needs of the rapidly changing healthcare IT market.”
Closing of the transaction is expected in the third or fourth quarter of calendar 2015 and is subject to customary closing conditions, including the expiration of the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act.
About Marlin Equity Partners
Marlin Equity Partners is a global investment firm with over $3 billion of capital under management. The firm is focused on providing corporate parents, shareholders and other stakeholders with tailored solutions that meet their business and liquidity needs. Marlin invests in businesses across multiple industries where its capital base, industry relationships and extensive network of operational resources significantly strengthens a company’s outlook and enhances value. Since its inception, Marlin, through its group of funds and related companies, has successfully completed over 90 acquisitions. The firm is headquartered in Los Angeles, California with an additional office in London. For more information, please visit www.marlinequity.com.
AdvancedMD is a leading provider of cloud-based PM, EHR and RCM solutions focused on the independent physician practice market. The company’s comprehensive portfolio allows physicians to drive additional revenue and reduce administrative burden by automating medical practice processes, optimizing patient schedules and encounters, streamlining insurance claim creation, managing prescription and order processes, and tracking and analyzing financial performance. AdvancedMD is widely recognized as a leader in its industry, and has earned the #1 ranking from KLAS, the leading independent industry analyst, in a number of categories including product quality, functionality and integration. For more information, please visit www.advancedmd.com.
Statement from CHIME CEO and President Russell P. Branzell, FCHIME, CHCIO and CHIME Board of Trustees Chair Charles E. Christian, CHCIO, LCHIME, FCHIME
ANN ARBOR, MI, July 30, 2015 – We commend Congresswoman Renee Ellmers for introducing the Further Flexibility in HIT Reporting and Advancing Interoperability Act of 2015 or “Flex-IT 2 Act” and appreciate her continued leadership on this critically important issue.
While CHIME remains committed to the success of Meaningful Use, and to making sure improved patient care is its lasting legacy, we believe significant changes are needed to address increased dissatisfaction with EHRs and growing provider dissatisfaction with the program. The introduction of the Flex-IT 2 Act serves to strengthen accountability and effectiveness of an e-enabled healthcare system and ensure long-term vitality of Meaningful Use.
There is no doubt that the EHR Incentive Payments program has been a vital and successful driver of health IT adoption nationwide, setting the foundation for better population health, improved care delivery and lower costs. However, the ongoing challenges with program implementation must be addressed. Our members believe in the intent and promise of Meaningful Use, but providers and hospitals alike have been hamstrung by its often overly prescriptive requirements. We view the Congresswoman’s legislation as an opportunity to reevaluate and reorient this vital program that will provide the digital infrastructure to support a 21st century healthcare system.
We look forward to working with Congresswoman Ellmers, our membership, and colleague provider organizations toward the passage of this important bill.
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 1,600 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.