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Amazing Charts Launches Partner Community

Company Curates Third-Party Services and Solutions to Create Greater Value for Users

NORTH KINGSTOWN, RI–(Marketwired – May 21, 2015) – Amazing Charts, a leading developer of Electronic Health Record (EHR) and Practice Management (PM) systems for physician practices, today announced the Amazing Charts Partner Community, an online marketplace of innovative third-party services and solutions seamlessly integrated with the Amazing Charts platform.

The Amazing Charts Partner Community features a broad spectrum of value-added offerings for medical practices, including solutions for document management, patient engagement, care coordination, and revenue cycle management. Users can filter by product category, compare vendor offerings, and submit inquires. A few of the solutions listed, such as NoteSwift and Updox, are already utilized by Amazing Charts’ customer base, while most are new services curated from dozens of applicants.

“Now there is one place where Amazing Charts users can conveniently find trusted partners who have been pre-approved by our rigorous vetting process,” said Matt Pierce, Vice President of Sales and Business Development for Amazing Charts. “We will continue to expand the program as we identify new customer challenges and shifting market trends, forging partnerships with companies that are best positioned to meet those needs.”

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 6,800 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 260,000 clinicians since 1995. For more information, visit: www.amazingcharts.com.

May 21, 2015 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.

Kareo Announces Apple Watch App To Improve Medical Practice Efficiency

Helps physicians streamline care delivery with appointment reminders, scheduling updates, and secure messaging

Irvine, CA – May 19, 2015Kareo, the leading provider of cloud-based medical office software for independent medical practices, today announced the launch of its Apple Watch App. Kareo’s most recent innovation extends the functionality of the company’s EHR to Apple Watch, streamlining care delivery and enhancing the patient experience by improving communications, reducing patient wait times, and increasing practice efficiency.

Kareo is launching this new Apple Watch App in response to the growing demands on physicians to increase their focus on all aspects of patient engagement. “Physicians are on their feet attending to the needs of patients for the majority of the day, leaving little time to check their schedules and prepare for the next appointment,” said Dr. Tom Giannulli, CMIO of Kareo. “Recognizing this demanding care delivery environment, Kareo’s Apple Watch App will help doctors better manage their schedule while enabling enhanced communication throughout the day, improving their ability to deliver a great patient experience.”

Kareo’s Apple Watch App provides the most relevant, practice-oriented information necessary to improve care and increase practice efficiency. Key functionalities of the App include:

  • Secure messaging that allows the user to send, reply, and read messages via dictation. Messages can be sent to staff or patients using Kareo’s secure messaging system, improving overall patient engagement and practice communication.
  • An agenda that allows the provider to quickly reference their schedule and see the status of appointments checked-in, no show, late, checked out, etc., helping reduce wait times and improve practice efficiency.
  • Appointment reminders that can be sent five minutes before the next scheduled appointment. The notification subtly vibrates the watch, indicating that the doctor has an impending appointment.
  • Appointment information that is accessible within a notification or through the agenda, allowing the provider to review details such as the patient’s name, time of appointment, visit type, and reason for the visit.
  • “I’m Running Late” pre-set messages that allow the doctor inform other staff members when they are running behind and how much longer they expect to be. This improves practice communication and enables the front desk to give patients a more accurate wait time estimate.
  • Apple “Glances” that provide a quick overview of key practice metrics, including how many patients are scheduled throughout the day, how many patients are waiting to be seen, and which patients are currently waiting in an exam room.

All features of Kareo’s Apple Watch App are HIPAA compliant and secure, ensuring all data are private, yet easily accessible.

“Independent physicians need new tools to grow strong, patient-centered practices, and Kareo’s Apple Watch App is another example of Kareo’s focus on helping physicians leverage innovative technology to drive their success,” said Dan Rodrigues, founder and CEO of Kareo. “With key practice and patient information accessible on their wrists, physicians are able to discreetly and efficiently provide updates to staff while staying focused on what matters most – the patient.”

Kareo’s Apple Watch App will be available for download on the Apple Watch App Store at the end of May. For further information regarding Kareo’s Apple Watch App, please visit Kareo’s mobile EHR page.

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About Kareo

Kareo is the only cloud-based medical office software and services platform purpose-built for small practices. At Kareo, we believe that, with the right tools and support, small practices can do big things. We offer an integrated solution of products and services designed to help physicians get paid faster, find new patients, run their business smarter, and provide better care. Our practice management software, medical billing solution, practice marketing tools and free, award-winning fully certified EHR help more than 30,000 medical providers more efficiently manage the business and clinical sides of their practice. Kareo has received extensive industry recognition, including the Deloitte Technology Fast 500, Inc. 500/5000, Red Herring Top 100 Company, and Black Book #1 Integrated EHR, Practice Management and Billing Vendor. Headquartered in Irvine, California, the Kareo mission is to help providers spend their time focused on patients, not paperwork. For more information, visit www.kareo.com.

May 19, 2015 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.

CareCloud Strengthens Operations with $15M in New Funding and Appointment of Silicon Valley Leader Ken Comée as CEO

Investments Follow a Record First Quarter Amid Accelerating Adoption By Large Ambulatory Medical Groups

MIAMI, FL April 23, 2015 – CareCloud, the leading provider of cloud-based practice management, electronic health record (EHR), and medical billing software and services, today announced that it bolstered its operations with new funding and a new CEO to take its market momentum to the next level. The company disclosed $15M in additional funding from its investors, which will be used to further advance product innovation and customer success. It also appointed Ken Comée, a proven leader of enterprise cloud technology businesses, as its Chief Executive Officer, replacing Albert Santalo who will remain at CareCloud as Chairman and Chief Strategy Officer.

“Since its inception, CareCloud has achieved incredible success and growth by delivering an unparalleled platform to help healthcare organizations run better than they ever have before through connected technologies. Ken has been a supporter, friend and confidant for a number of years now and I’m confident that the team, under his leadership, will reach new heights and continue to drive CareCloud’s mission,” said Santalo.

During the past three years, Comée has helped steer CareCloud’s industry-leading growth in his role as a Board member and operational advisor. Comée assumes the CEO role at CareCloud following a successful track record of helping cloud-based technology innovators to secure and extend market leadership.  As CEO of Cast Iron Systems, he grew the company into the #1 brand in cloud integration, leading to its strategic acquisition by IBM.  Most recently, he was CEO of PowerReviews, a leader in product ratings and reviews, and oversaw the scaling of its operations and fast growth in the market.

The company’s investments follow the achievement of record contract values in the first quarter of 2015 – driven by increased demand from large medical groups replacing legacy systems. CareCloud signed seven of its largest deals to date in Q1, as average contract value tripled over the prior year. Among the nearly 50 new clients to select the CareCloud platform in Q1 was a large, multispecialty urgent care group practice with locations across the Southwest.

“The health information technology landscape has changed dramatically in the past year,” said Comée. “Regulatory considerations once drove many purchasing decisions. Today, large ambulatory medical groups demand a true platform of choice that offers superior ease of use and better business results in support of patient care. As the first quarter of 2015 demonstrated, no company is better positioned than CareCloud to lead the charge in replacing legacy systems.  I look forward to leading this team in support of that mission.”

About CareCloud

CareCloud is the leading provider of cloud-based practice management, electronic health record (EHR), and medical billing software and services for medical groups. The company’s products are connecting providers to one another – and to their patients – through a fully integrated digital healthcare ecosystem that can be accessed on any browser or device.

CareCloud is helping thousands of physicians increase collections, streamline operations, and improve patient care in 48 states, and currently manages more than $4 billion in annualized accounts receivables on behalf of its revenue cycle management clients. To learn more about CareCloud, visit www.carecloud.com.

April 23, 2015 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.

Quality Systems, Inc. Acquires Gennius, Inc.

Acquisition to provide new enterprise analytics capabilities for QSI’s Subsidiary, Mirth

IRVINE, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Quality Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: QSII), announced today it has acquired Gennius, a leading provider of healthcare data analytics. The acquisition is expected to enhance the Company’s current enterprise analytics competencies while broadening its business intelligence capabilities for addressing new value-based care requirements.

Founded in 2002, Cambridge, Mass.-based Gennius is a healthcare analytics company with capabilities to harmonize data to prepare and compute utilization and quality analyses of integrated patient, administrative, and financial data across medical settings and time periods. Its solutions generate comprehensive performance information needed to successfully support provider organizations under new coordinated delivery and reimbursement models.

Gennius’ data analytics engine embeds industry specifications as well as payer contract requirements into functionality that provides prioritized actionable insight into patient care, population health and ACO community performance. This includes computing and submitting measurement results for reporting programs, such as Meaningful Use (MU), Accountable Care Organizations (ACO), Group Practice Reporting Option (GPRO) and Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS).

“Gennius is pleased to join forces with QSI and its subsidiaries, Mirth and NextGen Healthcare,” said Bernadette Downey, former chief executive officer for Gennius, Inc. “By combining our engineering expertise and methodologies with Mirth’s premier open source connectivity tools and powerful visualization console, we are able to provide customers with access to an unparalleled enterprise system. The system affords users an in-depth data-driven approach to care and helps healthcare community teams align their efforts, succeed in meeting their financial goals and deliver on their population health initiatives.”

“Utilization and quality of care remain consistent focuses of value-driven organizations. To remain viable, value-driven organizations like ACOs must find ways to leverage agile solutions that can scale and adapt to industry demands, dictated by evolving value-based and coordinated care initiatives,” said Steve Plochocki, president and chief executive officer for QSI. “By integrating Gennius’ extensive data analytics and reporting capabilities with NextGen Healthcare and Mirth solutions, we are bringing to market the analytics-based enterprise system needed to provide actionable data intelligence to all agents involved in the community of care delivery. This further strengthens the position of the company and that of our clients for continued success and growth amid the new pay for performance arena.”

About Quality Systems, Inc.

Irvine, Calif.-based Quality Systems, Inc. and its NextGen Healthcare subsidiary develop and market computer-based practice management, electronic health records and revenue cycle management applications as well as connectivity products and services for medical and dental group practices and small hospitals. Visit www.qsii.com and www.nextgen.com for additional information.

April 9, 2015 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.

High Hopes, Unfulfilled Promise: Healthcare Organizations Looking Beyond Portals for True Patient Engagement, HIMSS Analytics Survey Finds

Not Content with ‘Checking the Box’ for Meaningful Use, Respondents Seek Engagement Strategies to Enhance Health of the Community, Build Patient Loyalty

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., April 6, 2015 (HIMSS Booth 961) — Healthcare organizations are embracing patient engagement through strategies and investments centered on patient portals, according to a new study on the state of patient engagement by HIMMS Analytics, a global research and analytics firm. However, healthcare leaders question whether their current trajectory will lead to the increased patient involvement required to improve clinical outcomes and reduce costs, the survey found.

Patient engagement is dominating healthcare headlines. To get beyond the buzz, HIMSS Analytics conducted a study on the state of patient engagement commitment and investment at healthcare organizations across the U.S. The research consisted of an online quantitative survey of executives from 114 healthcare organizations and a qualitative focus group that involved nine of these leaders.

An executive summary of the study will be available at HIMSS 2015, Chicago, April 13-15, at InterSystems Booth 961.

HIMSS Analytics defines patient engagement as “an organization’s strategy to get patients involved in actively and knowledgeably managing their own health and wellness and that of family members and others for whom they have responsibility. This includes reviewing and managing care records, learning about conditions, adopting healthy behaviors, making informed healthcare purchases, and interacting with care providers as a partner.”

The study, sponsored by InterSystems, found that the top drivers for patient engagement are to enhance and improve the health of the community (77 percent), the quest to build brand loyalty for patients (77 percent), and meeting meaningful use requirements (60 percent). However, these strategies might not be “fully baked,” according to the focus group participants. Indeed, some participants questioned their patient engagement plans.

“We don’t really have a true patient engagement strategy, just a portal project,” said one executive. Another chimed in to say, “We say we have a patient engagement strategy, but it is really just part of other strategies – wellness, health improvement, population health.”

Such comments are a cause for concern, according to Joe DeSantis, Vice President of HealthShare Platforms, InterSystems, who pointed out that while leaders say they have a strategy, they may be moving forward with only a tactical plan.

“Even if organizations have a vision for real patient engagement, many are consumed with checking the boxes for meaningful use,” DeSantis said. “Unfortunately, a patient portal based on a single EHR is not enough to move patient engagement forward. Engagement needs to span the entire care continuum. The short-term focus on meaningful use has often been at the expense of long-term strategic goals.”

Who Owns Patient Engagement?

Patient engagement initiatives often lack definitive leadership. According to the survey, multi-departmental/multi-role committees are the most common owners of an organization’s patient engagement strategy (26 percent). Other owners of the strategy include the chief marketing officers (15 percent), followed by chief information officers (10 percent) and CEOs (8 percent).

These strategy owners might not have the financial wherewithal to effectively move initiatives forward. The roadblock: Spending on patient engagement is spread across organizations – with information technology typically buying the tools, ambulatory departments paying for the costs for program administration, and marketing shelling out the money for promotions, positioning patient engagement as a brand loyalty strategy.

“I am coming to the conclusion that maybe we don’t actually have an organizational strategy around patient engagement if we have not set up a budget that owns all aspects of it,” said one of the surveyed executives.

Patient Engagement Tools

Even in the absence of a cohesive financial strategy, information technology departments are turning to patient portals as their go-to tool for patient engagement. Their reasons for adopting portals are varied: 71 percent of respondents who have an engagement strategy are using portal technology to meet current minimum meaningful use requirements for functionality and data sharing from a single source; 54 percent are using portals that offer a combination of patient services, technology and content; and 51 percent are using portals as a configurable, interoperable information exchange platform with data sharing from multiple sources. Overall, about two-thirds of these respondents are using portals provided by their electronic health record (EHR) vendors.

Not surprisingly, focus group participants expressed concerns about their portal solutions. “Most portals don’t really align well with the definition of patient engagement,” one leader said. “They are great for convenience, but they don’t actually help people manage chronic diseases, improve their health, or give them resources they need to move toward healthier behaviors. Most of the tools out there just don’t deliver on that promise.”

To fully engage patients, leaders are looking for next-generation portals to offer the functionality that will enable patients to become partners in their own care. More specifically, they are seeking functionality such as e-visits or e-consultations (80 percent), interoperability across multiple providers (70 percent), health evaluation and coaching (70 percent), and tele-visits (50 percent).

“Game-changing patient engagement will give patients timely, comprehensive information enabling them to partner with their care providers – and to truly manage their health,” DeSantis concluded.

About HIMSS Analytics
HIMSS Analytics collects, analyzes and distributes essential health IT data related to products, costs, metrics, trends and purchase decisions.  It delivers quality data and analytical expertise to healthcare delivery organizations, IT companies, governmental entities, financial, pharmaceutical and consulting companies. Visit www.himssanalytics.org.

About InterSystems
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.

April 6, 2015 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.

e-MDs Merges with MDeverywhere; Creates Market-Leading Provider of Clinical and RCM Software Solutions

LOS ANGELES, March 31, 2015 /PRNewswire/ – e-MDs, a leading provider of ambulatory electronic medical record (EMR) and practice management (PM) solutions, today announced that it has been acquired by Marlin Equity Partners (“Marlin”), a global investment firm with over $3 billion in capital under management. Following the acquisition, e-MDs has been merged with MDeverywhere, an existing Marlin portfolio company and leading provider of revenue cycle management (RCM) services and credentialing for physicians. The acquisition and merger bring together two ambulatory focused companies that now provide a complete and integrated suite of financial, administrative and clinical solutions, including a full service RCM offering. The combined company’s award-winning products are used by over 13,000 providers and 50,000 medical professionals across more than 40 medical specialties.

e-MDs’ Founder and CEO, David Winn, who will be retiring, stated, “e-MDs and MDeverywhere, together as one company, is well positioned to accomplish great things.  As a much larger company, we will have the depth and breadth to continue offering market-leading ambulatory technology and the expertise to tackle the increasingly complex government regulations that have been such a challenge to the healthcare industry.  I leave with the confidence that our customers are in good hands.”

Ann Bilyew, CEO of MDeverywhere, added, “The combination of e-MDs’ PM and EMR platform with our cloud-based end-to-end revenue cycle management service creates a truly comprehensive offering.  We are very excited about this new venture which significantly improves our current product offering and helps us accelerate and drive future growth.”

Jim Brady, a healthcare operating executive to Marlin, who will serve as the interim CEO of the combined business, commented, “I look forward to working with the teams at both companies to serve the needs of our physician customers across the country.  The ability to bring together e-MDs’ top-ranked PM and EMR platform with MDeverywhere’s RCM solution further enhances the company’s ability to meet the needs of physicians and other clinicians who are facing continuing challenges and uncertainty within healthcare today.”

About e-MDs

e-MDs is a leading developer of integrated electronic health records and practice management software for physician practices and enterprises. Founded and actively managed by physicians, the company is an industry leader for usable, connected software that enables physician productivity and a superior clinical experience. e-MDs software has received continual top rankings in physician and industry surveys including those conducted by the American Academy of Family Physicians’ Family Practice Management, AmericanEHR™ Partners, MedScape®, and Black Book®. e-MDs has a proven track record of positioning clients for success as demonstrated by Meaningful Use attainment in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014. According to data provided by CMS, e-MDs clients are attesting in the top proportion of all major vendors. For more information, please visit http://www.e-mds.com, http://facebook.e-mds.com and https://twitter.com/emds.

About MDeverywhere

MDeverywhere is a leading provider of revenue cycle management (RCM), electronic medical record and credentialing services to physicians.  The company’s RCM solution includes ICD-10 ready, purpose-built, cloud-based practice management software, coding rules engines, contract monitoring tools and full-scope claims management and back-office services, that are proven to streamline workflow, decrease denials and increase revenue.  Founded in 1995, MDeverywhere currently serves over 7,000 physicians nationwide, including solo practices, group practices, large faculty practices, and hospitals across over 40 different specialties.  For more information visit www.mdeverywhere.com.

March 31, 2015 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.

Amazing Charts Eases Physician Transition to ICD-10 Coding With User-Friendly Technology and Free Education

Input of Common Medical Terms Is Mapped to ICD-10 Codes for Industry-Leading Ease of Use

BOSTON, MA–(Marketwired – March 31, 2015) – Amazing Charts, a leading provider of Electronic Health Record (EHR) and Practice Management (PM) systems for ambulatory care, today introduced a comprehensive product solution and free educational resources to address the Oct.1, 2015 transition to ICD-10. Amazing Charts EHR Version 8.2 will allow physicians to use clinically relevant terms to accurately and efficiently find ICD-10 codes.

ICD-10 coding in Amazing Charts begins when a physician types a symptom or diagnosis using common medical terms — such as abdominal pain, diabetes, or fracture — and then selects a clinical description with a code from a dropdown menu, or chooses to further refine the search. Words can be entered in any order, and common abbreviations and partial words are recognized. Physicians are presented with a set of ICD-10 codes highlighted in different colors to show which codes are billable. Behind the scenes, SNOMED Clinical Terms (CT) are mapped to ICD-10 codes in compliance with interoperability standards. Additionally, ICD-9 codes can be accessed for billing (or rebilling) encounters created prior to the Oct. 1, 2015 deadline.

Preparing physicians to code to the highest level of specificity promotes improved patient care and expedites reimbursement to optimize revenue. Amazing Charts offers physicians a series of free online educational resources — including blogs, how-to tutorials, live webinars, and videos — focused on the transition to ICD-10, coding, and clinical documentation improvement.

“We want to help our users move to ICD-10 well in advance of the October deadline to ensure no interruption in payments for services,” said John Squire, president and COO, Amazing Charts. “In keeping with our core tenets of usability and affordability, we designed our products to provide real assistance to physicians as they make the transition to ICD-10 coding, and the ICD-10 upgrade and online education is free to all practices on support. Amazing Charts Practice Management is also ICD-10 ready.”

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 6,800 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 260,000 clinicians since 1995. For more information, visit: www.amazingcharts.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.

HHS announces proposed rules to support the path to nationwide interoperability

Electronic Health Record Incentive Programs and 2015 Edition Health IT Certification Criteria rules proposed

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) today announced the release of the Stage 3 notice of proposed rulemaking for the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Records (EHRs) Incentive Programs and 2015 Edition Health IT Certification Criteria to improve the way electronic health information is shared and ultimately improve the way care is delivered and experienced. Together, these proposed rules will give providers additional flexibility, make the program simpler, and drive interoperability among electronic health records, and increase the focus on patient outcomes to improve care.

The proposed rules are one part of a larger effort across HHS to deliver better care, spend health dollars more wisely, and have healthier people and communities by working in three core areas: to improve the way providers are paid; improve the way care is delivered; and improve the way information is shared. Together, these improvements can support better care and lower costs in the health care system.

“The flow of information is fundamental to achieving a health system that delivers better care, smarter spending, and healthier people. The steps we are taking today will help to create more transparency on cost and quality information, bring electronic health information to inform care and decision making, and support population health,” said HHS Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell.

The Meaningful Use Stage 3 proposed rule issued by CMS specifies new criteria that eligible professionals, eligible hospitals, and critical access hospitals must meet to qualify for Medicaid EHR incentive payments. The rule also proposes criteria that providers must meet to avoid Medicare payment adjustments (Medicaid has no payment adjustments) based on program performance beginning in payment year 2018. The rule give more flexibility and simplifies requirements for providers by focusing on advanced use of electronic health records and eliminating requirements that are no longer relevant.

The 2015 Edition Health IT Certification Criteria proposed rule aligns with the path toward interoperability – the secure, efficient, and effective sharing and use of health information –identified in ONC’s draft shared Nationwide Interoperability Roadmap. The proposed rule builds on past editions of adopted health IT certification criteria, and includes new and updated IT functionality and provisions that support the EHR Incentive Programs care improvement, cost reduction, and patient safety across the health system.

“This Stage 3 proposed rule does three things: it helps simplify the meaningful use program, advances the use of health IT toward our vision for improving health delivery, and further aligns the program with other quality and value programs,” said Dr. Patrick Conway, M.D., M.Sc., CMS acting principal deputy administrator and chief medical officer. “And, in an effort to make reporting easier for health care providers, we will be proposing a new meaningful use reporting deadline soon.”

“ONC’s proposed rule will be an integral component in the shared nationwide effort to achieve an interoperable health system,” said Karen DeSalvo, M.D., M.P.H, M.Sc., national coordinator for health IT. “The certification criteria we have proposed in the 2015 Edition will help achieve that vision through provisions that consider the range of health IT users and uses across the care continuum, including those focused on interoperable standards, data portability, improved transparency, privacy and security capabilities, and increased oversight through ONC’s Health IT Certification Program.”

Under the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act, doctors, health care professionals and hospitals, including critical access hospitals, can qualify for Medicare and Medicaid incentive payments when they adopt and meaningfully use health IT technology certified by ONC. Since the programs began in 2011, more than 433,000 eligible professionals and eligible hospitals have received an incentive payment representing about 60 percent of eligible professionals in either the Medicare or Medicaid programs and about 95 percent of eligible hospitals.

The Stage 3 proposed rule’s scope is generally limited to the requirements and criteria for meaningful use in 2017 and subsequent years. CMS is considering additional changes to meaningful use beginning in 2015 through separate rulemaking. Read more about this announcement on Dr. Conway’s blog.

The Stage 3 proposed rule may be viewed at here and the comment period ends on May 29, 2015. The 2015 Edition proposed rule may be viewed at here and the comment period ends on May 29, 2015. The Draft 2015 Edition Certification Test Procedures may be viewed at HealthIT.gov, and the comment period ends on June 30, 2015.

More information on meaningful use can be found on the CMS EHR Incentive Programs website at http://www.cms.gov/Regulations-and-Guidance/Legislation/EHRIncentivePrograms/index.html.

More information on ONC’s editions of certification criteria can be found at http://www.healthit.gov/policy-researchers-implementers/standards-and-certification-regulations.

March 20, 2015 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.

HIMSS Analytics Honors Sutter Health with Stage 7 Award and Associated Clinics with Stage 7 Ambulatory Awards

CHICAGO (March 3, 2015) – HIMSS Analytics awarded Sutter Health’s Memorial Medical Center in Modesto, Calif. with a  Stage 7 Award, and its Palo Alto Medical Foundation clinics throughout the Bay Area with Stage 7 Ambulatory Awards.

Stage 7 Award: HIMSS Analytics developed the EMR Adoption Model in 2005 as a methodology for evaluating the progress and impact of electronic medical record systems for hospitals in the HIMSS Analytics™ Database. There are eight stages (0-7) that measure a hospital’s implementation and utilization of information technology applications. The final stage, Stage 7, represents an advanced patient record environment. The validation process to confirm a hospital has reached Stage 7 includes a site visit by an executive from HIMSS Analytics and former or current chief information officers to ensure an unbiased evaluation of the Stage 7 environments.

Stage 7 Ambulatory Award: Developed in 2011, the EMR Ambulatory Adoption Model provides a methodology for evaluating the progress and impact of electronic medical record systems for ambulatory facilities owned by hospitals in the HIMSS Analytics™ Database.  These facilities include physician practices, clinics, outpatient centers and specialty clinics. Tracking their progress in completing eight stages (0-7), ambulatory facilities can review the implementation and use of IT applications with the intent of reaching Stage 7, which represents an advanced electronic patient record environment.

During the fourth quarter of 2014, only 3.6 percent of the more than 5,400 U.S. hospitals in the HIMSS Analytics® Database received the Stage 7 Award, and only 6.21  percent of the more than 30,000 ambulatory clinics in the HIMSS Analytics® Database received the Stage 7 Ambulatory Award.

“This Stage 7 recognition from HIMSS Analytics serves as testament to the hard work and commitment of our dedicated physicians, nurses, clinicians, allied health professionals and information services staff.  It is both acknowledgement and validation of our continuing commitment to provide the safest, highest quality care and comfort to those we serve,” said Jon Manis, senior vice president and chief information officer, Sutter Health.

Serving patients and their families in more than 100 Northern California cities and towns, Sutter Health doctors, not-for-profit hospitals and other health care service providers share resources and expertise to advance health care quality and access. The Sutter Medical Network includes many of California’s top-performing, highest-quality physician organizations as measured annually by the Integrated Healthcare Association. Sutter-affiliated hospitals are regional leaders in cardiac care, women’s and children’s services, cancer care, orthopedics and advanced patient-safety technology.

“Sutter Health’s EHR implementation is a star example for California and the west coast. The health care network expertly involves its medical staff to drive clinical transformation across its hospitals and care centers—all enabled by a comprehensive EHR system. Its care centers consistently use the EHR technology, showing strong system governance and well-delivered education,” said John P. Hoyt, FACHE, FHIMSS, executive vice president, HIMSS Analytics.

Sutter Health will be recognized at the 2015 Annual HIMSS Conference & Exhibition on April 12-16, 2015, in Chicago, Ill.

Visit the HIMSS Analytics web site for more information on the Stage 7 award and Stage 7 Ambulatory Award.

About HIMSS Analytics
HIMSS Analytics collects, analyzes and distributes essential health IT data related to products, costs, metrics, trends and purchase decisions.  It delivers quality data and analytical expertise to healthcare delivery organizations, IT companies, governmental entities, financial, pharmaceutical and consulting companies. Visit www.himssanalytics.org.

HIMSS Analytics is a part of HIMSS, a cause-based, global enterprise that produces health IT thought leadership, education, events, market research and media services around the world. Founded in 1961, HIMSS encompasses more than 52,000 individuals, of which more than two-thirds work in healthcare provider, governmental and not-for-profit organizations across the globe, plus over 600 corporations and 250 not-for-profit partner organizations, that share the cause of transforming health and healthcare through the best use of IT.  HIMSS, headquartered in Chicago, serves the global health IT community with additional offices in the United States, Europe, and Asia.

March 3, 2015 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.

HIMSS Analytics Honors Carolina Health System With Stage 7 Ambulatory Award

The HIMSS Stage 7 Ambulatory Awards honors facilities operating in a paperless environment and representing best practices in implementing EHR.

CHICAGO  (March 2, 2015) – HIMSS Analytics awarded 230 Carolinas Health System clinics with Stage 7 Ambulatory Awards.

Developed in 2011, the EMR Ambulatory Adoption Model provides a methodology for evaluating the progress and impact of electronic medical record systems for ambulatory facilities owned by hospitals in the HIMSS Analytics™ Database. Stage 7 represents the highest level of EHR adoption and indicates a health system’s advanced electronic patient record environment.
As of the fourth quarter of 2014, only 6.21 percent of the more than 30,000 U.S. ambulatory clinics in the HIMSS Analytics® Database received the Stage 7 Ambulatory Award.

“As the first healthcare system to achieve Stage 7 for both hospitals and physician offices in North and South Carolina, its shows our commitment and dedication to our patients to provide access to quality health and care,” said Craig Richardville, FACHE, MBA, senior vice president and chief information officer. “Using electronic medical records to its fullest potential connects our clinical providers and our patients across all points of health and care. That means our patients experience a seamless integrated system of care from their work or home, to their physicians’ offices, to the emergency department, to the hospital, at all points of care. Most importantly, our EHR engages our patients to become full partners with their providers to live healthier lives.”

Carolinas HealthCare System (carolinashealthcare.org), provides a full spectrum of healthcare and wellness programs throughout North and South Carolina. Its diverse network of care locations includes academic medical centers, hospitals, freestanding emergency departments, physician practices, surgical and rehabilitation centers, home health agencies, nursing homes and behavioral health centers, as well as hospice and palliative care services. Carolinas HealthCare System works to enhance the overall health and well-being of its communities through high quality patient care, education and research programs, and numerous collaborative partnerships and initiatives.
“Carolinas HealthCare System is clearly one of the country’s leaders in use of data derived from their ambulatory EHR to drive improvements in chronic disease management. They have abundant evidence that disease states are improving in their patient population, all made possible by the strong foundation of data derived from their wide reaching ambulatory EHR,” said John P. Hoyt, FACHE, FHIMSS, executive vice president, HIMSS Analytics.
Carolinas Health System will be recognized at the 2015 Annual HIMSS Conference & Exhibition on April 12-16, 2015, in Chicago, Ill.

Visit the HIMSS Analytics web site for more information on the Stage 7 award and Stage 7 Ambulatory Award.

About HIMSS Analytics
HIMSS Analytics collects, analyzes and distributes essential health IT data related to products, costs, metrics, trends and purchase decisions.  It delivers quality data and analytical expertise to healthcare delivery organizations, IT companies, governmental entities, financial, pharmaceutical and consulting companies. Visit www.himssanalytics.org.

HIMSS Analytics is a part of HIMSS, a cause-based, global enterprise that produces health IT thought leadership, education, events, market research and media services around the world. Founded in 1961, HIMSS encompasses more than 52,000 individuals, of which more than two-thirds work in healthcare provider, governmental and not-for-profit organizations across the globe, plus over 600 corporations and 250 not-for-profit partner organizations, that share the cause of transforming health and healthcare through the best use of IT.  HIMSS, headquartered in Chicago, serves the global health IT community with additional offices in the United States, Europe, and Asia.

March 2, 2015 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.