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HHS Proposes Path to Improve Health Technology and Transform Care

ONC issues draft nationwide health IT Interoperability Roadmap; Implementation resources also released as first deliverable

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) today released Connecting Health and Care for the Nation: A Shared Nationwide Interoperability Roadmap Version 1.0. The draft Roadmap is a proposal to deliver better care and result in healthier people through the safe and secure exchange and use of electronic health information.

“HHS is working to achieve a better health care system with healthier patients, but to do that, we need to ensure that information is available both to consumers and their doctors,” said HHS Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell. “Great progress has been made to digitize the care experience, and now it’s time to free up this data so patients and providers can securely access their health information when and where they need it. A successful learning system relies on an interoperable health IT system where information can be collected, shared, and used to improve health, facilitate research, and inform clinical outcomes. This Roadmap explains what we can do over the next three years to get there.”

The draft Roadmap builds on the vision paper, Connecting Health and Care for the Nation: A 10-Year Vision to Achieve an Interoperable Health IT Infrastructure,issued in June 2014.  Months of comment and feedback from hundreds of health and health IT experts from across the nation through ONC advisory group feedback, listening sessions and an online forum aided in the development of the Roadmap.

“To realize better care and the vision of a learning health system, we will work together across the public and private sectors to clearly define standards, motivate their use through clear incentives, and establish trust in the health IT ecosystem through defining the rules of engagement.  We look forward to working collaboratively and systematically with federal, state and private sector partners to see that electronic health information is available when and where it matters,” said Karen DeSalvo, M.D., national coordinator for health IT.

Today’s announcement is linked with the administration’s Precision Medicine Initiative to improve care and speed the development of new treatments, as well as the Department-wide effort to achieve better care, smarter spending and healthier people through improvements to our health care delivery system. As part of this work, HHS is focused on three key areas: (1) improving the way providers are paid, (2) improving and innovating in care delivery, and (3) sharing information more broadly to providers, consumers, and others to support better decisions while maintaining privacy. The draft Roadmap identifies critical actions to achieve success in sharing information and interoperability and outlines a timeframe for implementation.

The draft Roadmap calls for ONC to identify the best available technical standards for core interoperability functions. With today’s announcement, ONC is delivering on this action with the release of the Draft 2015 Interoperability Advisory: The best available standards and implementation specifications for interoperability of clinical health information (“Standards Advisory”). The Standards Advisory represents ONC’s assessment of the best available standards and implementation specifications for clinical health information interoperability as of December 2014.

“ONC’s interoperability Roadmap will help guide our progress toward seamless integration of electronic health record data,” said Mr. Christopher Miller, program executive officer for Defense Healthcare Management Systems within the Department of Defense. “We are proud to be working closely with ONC and other public and private partners to ensure that our health care providers have a complete picture of health information from all sources. The availability of this information increases the medical readiness of our operational forces and enables delivery of the highest quality care that our service members, veterans and their families deserve. We look forward to our continued partnership with ONC as we expand the safe and secure exchange of standardized healthcare data to improve the overall health of our nation.”

“The benefits to patients and to the future of American health care in achieving full interoperability are enormous.  A system built on accessible information and secure, meaningful data sharing will elevate health care delivery, advance quality and cost-efficiency and enable new strides in medical research.  We applaud HHS and the Office of the National Coordinator for making interoperability a national priority and we believe that, by bringing together the ideas and technological expertise from both the public and private sectors, it is a foreseeable and achievable goal,” said Mary R. Grealy, president, Healthcare Leadership Council.

“Interoperability plays a critical role in improving the quality, cost, and patient experience of care and is foundational to both consumer decision-making and new models of health care delivery and payment,” said Janet Marchibroda, director of the Health Innovation Initiative and executive director of the CEO Council on Health and Innovation at the Bipartisan Policy Center. “We applaud ONC’s leadership in creating the roadmap and releasing the standards advisory, as well as its ongoing commitment to public engagement in shaping a path forward.”

“While we have made great strides as a nation to improve EHR adoption, we must pivot towards true interoperability based on clear, defined and enforceable standards,” said CHIME President and CEO Russell P. Branzell, F.C.H.I.M.E., C.H.C.I.O. “This Roadmap incorporates a tremendous amount of stakeholder input and articulates a clear path towards interoperability. It is a cornerstone in the continuing evolution of federal health IT policymaking.”

“The HHS interoperability roadmap announced today is an important step forward for all of us committed to a data-driven approach to improving health care. If the public and private sectors will work together on solving the interoperability challenge, we have a chance to significantly improve the practice of medicine and, most importantly, the health of patients across this country. I applaud HHS for its leadership in this area, and I look forward to partnering with the agency on this important initiative,” said Jennifer Covich Bordenick, CEO, eHealth Initiative.

The draft Roadmap, designed in concert with the Federal Health IT Strategic Plan 2015 – 2020, is based on a core set of building blocks that are needed to achieve interoperability:

  1. Core technical standards and functions;
  2. Certification to support adoption and optimization of health IT products and services;
  3. Privacy and security protections for health information;
  4. Supportive business, clinical, cultural, and regulatory environments; and
  5. Rules of engagement and governance.

The draft Roadmap and Standards Advisory are available for viewing atwww.healthit.gov/interoperability. The public comment period for the draft Roadmap closes April 3, 2015. The public comment period for the Standards Advisory closes May 1, 2015.

January 30, 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.

Modernizing Medicine’s Electronic Medical Records (EMR) System Supports Industry Movement toward Quality of Care Reporting and Outcome-Based Reimbursement

Boca Raton, FL – January 29, 2015 — Modernizing Medicine, Inc., the creator of the Electronic Medical Assistant® (EMA™), a cloud-based, specialty-specific electronic medical record (EMR) system, responded today to recent announcements from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) and leading health insurers, regarding the concerted push away from fee-for-service healthcare models in favor of outcome-based reimbursements.

CMS has announced that 85 percent of Medicare payments in 2016 could be based on quality of care, and that number could grow to 90 percent in 2018. Additionally, a UnitedHealth Group executive was reported to have said that the company plans to increase value-based payments to doctors and hospitals by 20 percent this year, forecasting over $40 billion in payments tied to value or quality of care.

“This major shift in payment models requires the right tools and reporting systems if physicians and provider organizations want to safeguard against penalties from volume-based medicine and benefit from related incentives,” said Modernizing Medicine’s CEO and Co-founder Dan Cane in a statement issued following the recent announcements from CMS and HHS. “Modernizing Medicine is deeply committed to the physicians and healthcare professionals we serve, and we believe that health information technology vendors share a large part of the responsibility to ease the impending transition toward quality reporting and outcomes-based reimbursements.”

Unlike EMRs using templates or macros, EMA was designed with unique structured data technology that handles the Value-based Payment Modifier and enables quality reporting including Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) program reporting. Cane believes Modernizing Medicine is in a market leading position in providing a system that addresses this burden for physicians, enabling them to focus on practicing medicine without fear of the upcoming changes.

Co-founder and Chief Medical Officer Michael Sherling, M.D., M.B.A., echoed Cane’s sentiment about the potentially huge implications of the impending move toward payment models that tie to quality of care.

“While the new mandates signify a big step toward providing improved quality of care, without tools to support and streamline quality reporting, these new payment models may constitute a substantial hurdle for private practice in this country,” said Sherling. “Since Modernizing Medicine’s inception we have focused heavily on accurately documenting patient encounters through structured data. This facilitates the ability to track patient outcomes and report quality of care in a way that doesn’t slow down physician productivity. We would urge providers to consider the implications of these new payment guidelines, and ensure that they are working with technologies that will support both their practice and the forthcoming revised payment structure.”

“With rich capabilities for PQRS reporting, Meaningful Use attestation and ICD-10 coding built in, EMA is ready for the changes in healthcare ahead,” said Cane. “The more than 30,000 physicians and health providers across the nation who use EMA are on solid ground.”

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, rheumatology, urology and plastic and cosmetic surgery markets and used by more than 4,800 physicians in the United States and its territories. The Modernizing Medicine family of companies also provides specialty-specific billing, inventory management and group purchasing services.

January 29, 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.

Orion Health Achieves Direct Trusted Agent Accreditation Program from EHNAC and DirectTrust

Direct Trusted Agent Accreditation Ensures Adherence to Data Processing Standards and Compliance with Security Infrastructure, Integrity and Trusted Identity Requirements

BOSTON, MA – January 28, 2015Orion Health, a leading population health management company, announced today it has achieved full accreditation with the Direct Trusted Agent Accreditation Program (DTAAP) for Health Information Systems Program (HISP) 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 Orion Health 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 Orion Health 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 Orion Health’s commitment to the highest standards in privacy, security and confidentiality.”

“We are delighted to have Orion Health join the ranks of accredited Health Information Service Providers, HISPs, and to expand the interoperable network for Direct exchange,” said David C. Kibbe, MD MBA, President and CEO of DirectTrust. “Orion Health has been a strong supporter of transparent, standards-based and secure health information exchange via Direct, and a member of DirectTrust for over two years.”

“At Orion Health, we continue to demonstrate our commitment to privacy and security through our Direct Trust Accreditation. This accreditation has become synonymous with the highest level of compliance in healthcare-related data transfer procedures, and it is the industry-accepted stamp of approval for objective review of Direct messaging-related services,” said Jennifer Scalise, Chief Compliance and Privacy Officer, Orion Health. “We are pleased to have accomplished this major milestone, which will ultimately enable us to better serve our clients, and that Direct Trust/EHNAC is as confident in our privacy and security controls for direct secure messaging as we are.”

Orion Health delivers interoperable, connected solutions for healthcare facilities, organizations and regions. Its open technology platform aggregates, analyzes and makes actionable all determinants of health data to deliver better care coordination and an enhanced patient experience.

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.

About Orion Health, Inc.

Orion Health, a population health management company, makes healthcare information available anywhere by providing healthcare IT connectivity in nearly 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 facilitates data exchange within and among provider organizations, accountable care organizations, health plans, governments and health information exchanges, to improve care coordination, enable population health management, enhance quality of care and help reduce costs. For more information, visit www.orionhealth.com. Connect with us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

January 28, 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.

DR Systems Ranked Top 25 EHR Vendor

Leading Health IT company ranked one of the largest vendors of 2014 by Modern Healthcare with 144% growth over previous year

SAN DIEGO, CA – DR Systems (www.drsys.com), a leader in healthcare imaging and information technologies, was recently named one of the largest vendors of electronic health record (EHR) systems in the U.S. by Modern Healthcare, a major healthcare research and media company.DR Systems was one of 25 listed in the Modern Healthcare ranking of the nation’s top EHR vendors of 2014. Notably, DR Systems accomplished a market share growth of 144% over 2013, placing among the top three fastest growing vendors. The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) and the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) served as data sources for the ranking. The results are based on the total number of healthcare providers who are claiming the vendor as their primary EHR.

“By now, most of our customers have already attested successfully for Meaningful Use,” said Florent Saint-Clair, Vice President of DR Systems Cloud Products.  “We’re proud of our role in enabling their efforts, and we’re ahead of the changing market landscape by continually providing additional capabilities to enhance patient and clinical engagement.  We take our leadership role seriously and we appreciate the acknowledgement of Modern Healthcare of our position in their rankings.”

In being named one of the largest EHR vendors, DR Systems claims a position as the sole healthcare imaging system specialist on the list.  “From our roots as a PACS provider to our broader solutions addressing the enterprise, we have grown to be the EHR partner of choice for specialties such as radiology and anesthesiology”, said Joe Longo, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at DR Systems.  “Our success in aligning with the needs of healthcare specialty fields enables a focused approach to providing premium cloud software services to our customers.  We’re proud to be included in Modern Healthcare’s largest EHR vendor rankings.”

Learn more about DR Systems eHR solution at http://drsys.com/dr-ehr

About DR Systems, Inc.

DR Systems designs the award-winning Unity Enterprise Imaging system (RIS, CVIS, PACS, Anatomic Pathology Reporting) and associated VNA, Disaster Recovery and Enterprise Viewing technology. The company’s cloud-based information systems include: eMix for medical image exchange, a complete certified ambulatory EHR, and an enterprise patient portal. The company’s passion for innovation and customer service has resulted in six Best in KLAS PACS awards, far surpassing any other vendor. Since 1992, DR Systems has helped over 600 hospitals, healthcare facilities, and thousands of associated physician professionals attain higher levels of clinical and financial success. KLAS® recognized DR Systems and its Unity™ PACS as the #1 ranked PACS vendor and product in 2001, 2006, 2007, 2010, 2011, and 2012. For more information about the company, call 800-794-5955or visit www.drsys.com.

January 22, 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 Kaiser Permanente System With Stage 7 Ambulatory Award

The HIMSS Analytics Stage 7 Ambulatory Award honors ambulatory facilities operating in a paperless environment and representing best practices in implementing EHR

CHICAGO (January 22, 2015) – HIMSS Analytics recognized 350 Kaiser Permanente ambulatory clinics with its Stage 7 Ambulatory Award. The award represents Kaiser Permanente’s attainment of the highest level on the Electronic Medical Record Adoption Model™ (EMRAM), which is used to track EMR progress at hospitals and health systems.
 
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 EMR adoption and indicates a health system’s advanced electronic patient record environment.
 
During the third quarter of 2014, only 4.37 percent of the more than 27,000 U.S. ambulatory clinics in the HIMSS Analytics® Database received the Stage 7 Ambulatory Award.
 
“Kaiser Permanente is proud to be part of the HIMSS Analytics Stage 7 Awards since they first began recognizing hospitals in 2009. It’s a rigorous and highly sought after award that recognizes health care organizations for using EHRs at the highest level to improve quality of care, patient safety and process performance,” said Dick Daniels, interim chief information officer, Kaiser Permanente. “Today, all 350 of our eligible ambulatory clinics received the HIMSS Analytics Stage 7 Ambulatory Award. Kaiser Permanente is the largest group in that category. Add our 37 HIMSS Analytics Stage 7 Hospital Awards and we feel confident that our EHR adoption is maximizing care delivery throughout our integrated delivery system.”
 
Kaiser Permanente currently serves approximately 9.5 million members in eight states and the District of Columbia. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal physicians, specialists and team of caregivers. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education and the support of community health.
 
“Kaiser Permanente has clearly met and exceeded all criteria for an ambulatory Stage 7 organization. They have a complete electronic patient medical record with appropriate ubiquitous access to support patient care in all Kaiser Permanente facilities across the country,” said John P. Hoyt, FACHE, FHIMSS, executive vice president, HIMSS Analytics. “With world class analytics, Kaiser Permanente has shown the value of a very comprehensive EHR and the business and clinical analytics to improve care, quality, safety, and efficiency on a world class basis.”
 
Kaiser Permanente will be recognized at the 2015 Annual HIMSS Conference & Exhibition onApril 12-16, 2015, in Chicago, Ill.
 
Visit the HIMSS Analytics website for more information on the Stage 7 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.
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.

GE Healthcare and NextGen Healthcare First to Achieve EHNAC’s Practice Management System Accreditation

Organizations evaluated on key performance standards of quality, privacy and security, as well as PMS vendor ICD-10 readiness
FARMINGTON, Conn. – January 20, 2015 - The Electronic Healthcare Network Accreditation Commission (EHNAC), a non-profit standards development organization and accrediting body for organizations that electronically exchange healthcare data, announced today that GE Healthcare and NextGen Healthcare are the first two organizations to achieve accreditation under its Practice Management System Accreditation Program (PMSAP).
 
 Jointly developed with the Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange (WEDI), PMSAP has been designed to serve as a third-party review and provide an additional level of assurance to the provider community during the evaluation process of PMS system vendors.
 

The accreditation program offers a comprehensive evaluation of practice management system (PMS) vendors in the areas of privacy, security, mandated standards and operating rules, and key operational functions. Additionally, the PMSAP assesses health information and oversight for meeting privacy and security, HIPAA and ACA requirements, as well as focuses on technical performance, business processes and resource management. Additionally, the program provides a review of the PMS vendor readiness to support and implement ICD-10 in 2015 and therefore a level of assurance to the provider community.

As beta participants throughout the consultative and consensus-driven process of program development, GE Healthcare and NextGen Healthcare were the first to undergo evaluation on their compliance with the criteria and receive full accreditation status for the two-year timeframe.

“As healthcare and its payment system becomes more complex, it is essential that providers rely on systems and solutions they can trust,” said Jon Zimmerman, vice president and general manager, Clinical Business Solutions at GE Healthcare. “In collaboration with the leadership of EHNAC and WEDI, we have taken another big step forward toward providing standards based solutions that providers can use with confidence to run their businesses. This is another demonstration of our commitment to our customers to provide leading solutions in uncertain times.”

“Building trust in the healthcare community is essential to moving healthcare forward and through our collaborative efforts with EHNAC, we are at the forefront of providing the necessary security and trust assurances to enable more secure, efficient and effective healthcare delivery,” said Michael Lovett, executive vice president and general manager for NextGen Healthcare. “Being the first to achieve EHNAC accreditation underscores our commitment to ensuring that client and patient privacy is a top priority.”

“As beta organizations for the PMS accreditation program, GE Healthcare and NextGen Healthcare’s collaboration and feedback have been vital components in the development of an industry-changing initiative,” said Lee Barrett, executive director of EHNAC. “The need to maintain high standards of privacy, security and confidentiality as a practice management system vendor is critical, to say the least. These organizations understand the value behind provider assurance in the quality and integrity of the companies with whom they entrust their data. We congratulate them both on their accreditation achievements.”

EHNAC accreditation recognizes excellence in health data processing and transactions, and confirms compliance with industry-established standards and HIPAA regulations. Visit www.ehnac.org for more details on PMSAP and the many other EHNAC accreditation programs.

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, visitwww.ehnac.org, contact info@ehnac.org, or follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn andYouTube.

January 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 Announces eClinicalWorks as Certified Educator of the EMR Adoption Model

CHICAGO (January 14, 2015) – HIMSS Analytics named eClinicalWorks a Certified Educator of its EMR Adoption Modelsm (EMRAM).

EMRAM is an eight-step process that allows healthcare provider organizations to analyze their level of EMR adoption, chart accomplishments, and benchmark progress against other healthcare organizations across the country. Each of the stages is measured by cumulative capabilities and all capabilities within each stage must be reached before progressing.

“We’re happy to be able to confirm eClinicalWorks as an EMRAM Certified Educator,” said Blain Newton, COO, HIMSS Analytics. “EMRAM allows organizations to align IT initiatives and overall business strategy, which is essential to shaping future direction and moving the industry forward.”

Vendors achieving HIMSS Analytics Certified Educator status must pass an annual certification exam and commit to an annual educator program. This ensures they stay current with trends within the model and are equipped with the necessary knowledge to help their clients advance through the various stages.

“A major goal is having our customers utilizing the EMR the most beneficial way possible for both providers and patients,” said Girish Navani, CEO and co-founder of eClinicalWorks. “This certification will benefit organizations looking to analyze their adoption of EMR technology. We welcome being part of the program.”

For more information on the EMR Adoption Model, visit www.himssanalytics.org/emram.

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. Visi twww.himssanalytics.org.

About eClinicalWorks
eClinicalWorks is a privately-held company focused on ambulatory clinical solutions. Its technology extends the use of electronic health records beyond practice walls and creates community-wide records. The company is second largest in the country for e-prescribing. Based in Westborough, Mass., eClinicalWorks has additional offices in New York City, Chicago, California and Georgia. For more information, please visitwww.eclinicalworks.com, Facebook, Twitter or call 866-888-6929.

January 14, 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.

Healthcare Leaders Praise Reintroduction of the Flex-IT Act

Strong, Bipartisan Support for Increasing Meaningful Use Flexibility

ANN ARBOR, MI, January 12, 2015 – Healthcare leaders praised the reintroduction of the Flexibility in Health IT Reporting (Flex-IT) Act of 2015, a bipartisan bill granting the nation’s healthcare providers additional flexibility in meeting Meaningful Use (MU) requirements through a shortened reporting period in 2015. Swift action by Congress is needed to help providers already in the 2015 reporting year for Meaningful Use, several healthcare organizations said today.

Officials from the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), American Hospital Association (AHA), American Medical Association (AMA), College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME), Healthcare Information Management Systems Society (HIMSS) and Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) applaud the leadership shown by bill sponsor Representative Renee Ellmers (R-NC-02) and a bipartisan list of original cosponsors, including Marsha Blackburn (R-TN-07), Ron Kind (D-WI-03), Glenn Thompson (R-PA-05) and David Scott (D-GA-13).

“We commend the leadership demonstrated by a bipartisan group of House Members on this critically important issue,” said CHIME President and CEO Russell P. Branzell, FCHIME, CHCIO. “With such across-the-isle support, Congress has underscored how fundamental this program is to the future of healthcare in the U.S.

“While CHIME remains committed to the success of Meaningful Use, and to making sure improved patient care is the program’s lasting legacy, we believe significant changes are needed to address increased dissatisfaction with EHRs and growing disenchantment with the program,” Branzell added. “This bill, if passed, would begin that much-needed course correction.”

The Flex-IT Act was introduced in September 2014, following a national joint call to action last year. The new Flex-IT Act of 2015 would adjust the Meaningful Use reporting timeline, giving providers the option to choose any three-month quarter for EHR reporting in 2015.

“America’s hospitals are strongly committed to the adoption of EHRs, because of their potential to increase the quality of care and reduce costs for patients,” said Rick Pollack, Executive Vice President of the American Hospital Association. “The health care field is faced with many major challenges and changes, all hitting at the same time. We need to be practical and responsible in terms of implementation timetables. That’s why hospitals need flexibility. This legislation is a positive first step toward ensuring the program is a success, and America’s hospitals look forward to working to achieve its passage.”

“Our nation needs a more efficient, cost-effective and patient-centered healthcare system. HIMSS applauds the efforts taken by these Congressional leaders and fully supports the Flexibility in Health IT Reporting (Flex-IT) Act of 2015 as essential to giving providers and hospitals a realistic chance to meet the 2015 Meaningful Use requirements,” said Carla Smith, MA, CNM, FHIMSS, Executive Vice President, HIMSS North America

According to the latest data available from the Centers for Medicaid & Medicare Services (CMS), more than one-third of hospitals expected to demonstrate Stage 2 Meaningful Use in 2014 had to file for a hardship exception or meet Stage 1 requirements again. In 2015, CMS data indicate more than 3,900 hospitals and 260,000 physicians will have to meet Stage 2 requirements. However, CHIME estimates that more than half of these EHs will likely seek further hardship exceptions or face penalties in 2015. And with CMS estimating that more than 257,000 EPs will receive penalties in 2015, the likelihood of robust physician participation is doubtful.

“We greatly appreciate the willingness of this bipartisan group of legislators to address this critical issue,” stated Anders Gilberg, Senior Vice President, Government Affairs, for the Medical Group Management Association. “Stage 2 of Meaningful Use has proven extremely challenging and, absent this reporting flexibility, a significant number of physicians will be unable to participate in the program and unfairly penalized. Passage of the Flex-IT Act is a critical step to allow physician practices to continue down the pathway of effective adoption and use of EHR technology,” added Gilberg.

“We are pleased with renewed efforts to provide greater flexibility in the Meaningful Use program and hope that this is the first of several steps to make the program work better for physicians and other providers so that the full potential of these technologies to improve care and value can be realized,” said American Medical Association President-Elect Steven J. Stack, MD.

In October 2014, the AMA unveiled their Meaningful Use blueprint, outlining several recommendations meant to improve participation in the EHR Incentive program. Among the high-level recommendations, AMA officials urged that policymakers adopt a more flexible approach for meeting Meaningful Use to allow more physicians to successfully participate; better aligning quality measure requirements including reducing the reporting burden on physicians and helping relieve them from overlapping penalties; and restructure EHR certification to focus on key areas like interoperability.

“As some of the earliest adopters of certified electronic health records technology, family physicians have demonstrated their belief that interoperable EHR – like primary care itself – is an essential component of a higher-quality, lower-cost health system,” said Robert Wergin, MD, president of the American Academy of Family Physicians. “However, as family medicine continues to do its part in building the EHR infrastructure – a massive undertaking – CMS should not set benchmarks so high that it discourages participation in the program. We applaud Reps. Ellmers and Kind for introducing the Flexibility in Health IT Reporting Act, which will allow eligible physicians to achieve Meaningful Use of EHR by reporting for a three-month period in 2015. The American Academy of Family Physicians believes this flexibility will help physicians stay on track in building an EHR system that works.”

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 1,400 CIO members and over 140 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.

January 12, 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 Releases 2015 Predictions for Medicine and Technology

Membership Medicine Will Come on Strong; Patients Will Help Define Their Healthcare Experience; EHRs Will Get Personalized

BOSTON, MA–(Marketwired – January 07, 2015) – Amazing Charts, a leading developer of Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems for physician practices, today issued its healthcare predictions for 2015.

  1. Membership Medicine Comes on Strong: The patient membership approach to medicine will grow in all forms, including value-based Direct Primary Care (DPC), high-end Concierge Medicine, and primary care services contracted directly by employers. Market-driven medicine, fueled by changes occurring in healthcare today, such as inexpensive health plans with very high deductibles, will continue to encourage consumers to explore more cost-effective alternatives for primary care.
  2. Patients Help Define the Experience: The patient, in partnership with the provider, will help define the care experience going forward. This trend will be powered by technologies that enhance face-to-face interaction in the exam room. One example is the projection of an EHR onto a large display screen to facilitate information sharing between provider and patient. This in turn will help reduce errors and misdiagnosis, as well as motivate patients to take a renewed interest in their own healthcare and treatment options.
  3. EHRs Get Personalized: The EHR market will further mature and become customizable for individual patient needs and treatment plans. Intuitive data analytics will play a critical role here, helping clinicians measure, assess and manage their specific patient populations to better define specific gaps in clinical care and introduce the latest evidenced-based treatment procedures or diagnostic techniques.
  4. Wearable Health Devices Empower Patients: Led by FitBit, the market for mobile health monitoring devices saw explosive growth in 2014. Now Apple is entering the scene, and 2015 promises to see even more apps and devices introduced to consumers. How the government regulates these devices may depend on how they are marketed. For example, a glucometer could be unregulated if the intent is for a user to monitor blood sugar levels for better nutrition. If the same glucometer is marketed for monitoring diabetics, however, it may be more strictly regulated as a medical device.
  5. EHR Interoperability Still Around the Corner: While all EHRs will not be able to seamlessly communicate in 2015, the core infrastructure for increased data liquidity will largely be in place. The data standards of the CCDA and its predecessor, the CCD, are increasingly used by EHR vendors. In addition, Meaningful Use Stage 2 mandates that patients can receive a digital summary of their own records on demand. These positive steps forward will combine in 2015 to get us closer to the promise of data interoperability.
  6. EHR Switching Accelerates: Many practices selected an EHR system lured by the promise of Meaningful Use incentives and now find themselves dissatisfied with their decision, primarily because the solution is not user friendly and slows them down. Despite barriers to switching systems, we will witness a mass conversion of solutions toward EHRs that better meet providers’ expectations and requirements.
  7. The Doctor Will NOT Be In: In 2015 and beyond we will see reimbursements drive the “virtual” appointment, whereby health plans will reimburse clinicians for online patient visits. Patients and their providers will connect over virtual platforms for scheduling, reviewing test results, writing prescriptions, etc. As they do, more and more insurers will follow suit as technology advances and claims its place in the doctor’s office.

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.com, 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.

January 7, 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.

Modernizing Medicine Closes Acquisition of Aesyntix Health, Inc.

Provider of EMA™ expands its specialty-specific product offerings with billing, inventory management and group purchasing services

Boca Raton, Fla. – Dec. 30, 2014 Modernizing Medicine, Inc., creator of the Electronic Medical Assistant® (EMA™), a cloud-based, specialty-specific electronic medical records (EMR) system, announced today that it completed an acquisition of Aesyntix Health, Inc. on Dec. 22, 2014.

Aesyntix is a privately held company based in Roseville, Calif., that serves medical practices with three specialty-specific offerings: Aesyntix Billing Solutions for revenue cycle management (RCM), Aesyntix Inventory Management (AIM) and Aesyntix Physician Network (APN), a medical group purchasing organization (GPO).

The transaction with Aesyntix will enable Modernizing Medicine to provide RCM, inventory management and a GPO to its customers in addition to EMA. The specialty RCM service combines technology that streamlines claim processing and collections, comprehensive support services and specialty certified billing managers to deliver RCM expertise to end users who select the service with EMA.

“Our new specialty-specific RCM service along with EMA can create more efficient, streamlined billing processes at the point of care to help reduce denials, monitor and maximize reimbursements, decrease the cost of collections and increase revenue for providers,” said Daniel Cane, CEO and co-founder of Modernizing Medicine. “Nearly 5,000 physicians already use EMA, and most prefer one vendor for both their RCM service and EMR system. It means there is a single source for services, systems and support plus an opportunity for greater efficiencies and cost savings when customers choose combined offerings.”

“We are excited to join forces with Modernizing Medicine; it is a win all around,” said Clark Avery, CEO of Aesyntix. “Not only will the employees be part of a rapidly growing and leading healthcare technology company with a clear mission of modernizing medicine through specialty solutions, but also our customers can benefit from the stronger combined offerings.”

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, iPhone and Android 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, rheumatology, urology and plastic and cosmetic surgery markets and used by more than 4,800 physicians in the United States and its territories. The Modernizing Medicine family of companies also provides specialty-specific billing, inventory management and group purchasing services.

December 31, 2014 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.