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Low 2014 MU 2 Attestation Numbers Validate Need for Shortened Reporting Period in 2015

CHIME reiterates call to HHS for immediate, sensible action
ANN ARBOR, MI, December 9, 2014 – As substandard Meaningful Use attestation figures for program year 2014 continue, the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) reiterated its call to immediately shorten the reporting period for 2015.

According to the data, released today by the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) during the Health IT Policy Committee meeting, less than 35 percent of the nation’s hospitals have met Stage 2 Meaningful Use requirements. And while eligible professionals (EPs) have until the end of February to report their progress, just 4 percent have met Stage 2 requirements thus far.

“Despite policy efforts to mitigate a disastrous program year, today’s release of participation data confirms widespread challenges with Stage 2 Meaningful Use,” said CHIME President and CEO Russell P. Branzell, FCHIME, CHCIO.

Roughly 1 in 3 hospitals scheduled to meet Stage 2 in 2014 had to use alternative pathways to meet MU, administrative data current through December 1 indicates.

“This trend demonstrates how vital new flexibilities were in 2014 and again, underscores the need for the same flexibility in 2015,” said Branzell. “It is imperative officials take immediate action to put this critical transformation program back on track. Shortening the time frame for MU reporting in 2015 will help to ensure the program delivers on its promise to advance the transformation of healthcare in this country.”

CHIME and several other national provider associations have repeatedly told CMS that without more program flexibility and a shortened reporting period in 2015, the future of Meaningful Use is in jeopardy.

CMS data indicates that more than 3,900 hospitals must meet Stage 2 measures and objectives in 2015 and more than 260,000 EPs will need to be similarly positioned by January 1, 2015. Given the low attestation data for 2014 and the tremendous number of providers required to meet Stage 2 for a full 365-days in 2015, leaders in the Congress have pressed for a shortened reporting period in 2015 with the introduction of H.R. 5481, theFlexibility in Health IT Reporting Act, or Flex-IT Act.

“CHIME commends Representatives Renee Ellmers and Jim Matheson for their steadfast leadership and continued support for a 90-day reporting period in 2015,” said Branzell. “Swift passage of the Flex-IT bill before Congress adjourns will provide the certainty that healthcare providers deserve to ensure the safe implementation and use of their EHR systems.”

Representative Ellmers (R-NC-2) and Representative Matheson (D-UT-4) introduced H.R. 5481, the Flex-IT Act, in mid-September with resounding support from industry groups including CHIME, American Medical Association (AMA), American Hospital Association (AHA) and Health Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS). The bipartisan bill has reached over 21 cosponsors since being introduced.

Meaningful Use Stage 2 Attestation Numbers

 

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.cio-chime.org.

December 9, 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.

New federal health IT strategic plan sets stage for better sharing through interoperability

Federal Health IT Strategic Plan open for 60-day comment period

Following collaboration with more than 35 federal agencies, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) today issued the Federal Health IT Strategic Plan 2015-2020.

The Strategic Plan represents a coordinated and focused effort to appropriately collect, share, and use interoperable health information to improve health care, individual, community and public health, and advance research across the federal government and in collaboration with private industry.

The Strategic Plan, which is open for comments, serves as the broad federal strategy setting the context and framing the Nationwide Interoperability Roadmap that will be released in early 2015. The Nationwide Interoperability Roadmap will help to define the implementation of how the federal government and private sector will approach sharing health information.

The U.S. Government has led this charge as a major payer, purchaser and provider of care and associated health IT and through programs associated with the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act of 2009. HITECH accelerated the adoption of certified electronic health record (EHR) technology among hospitals and providers, with 93 percent of eligible hospitals and 76 percent of physicians and eligible professionals taking part in the first stage of the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs. In addition, more than 150,000 health care providers across the nation are working with the HITECH-funded regional extension centers to optimize the use of health IT.

“The 2015 Strategic Plan provides the federal government a strategy to move beyond health care to improve health, use health IT beyond EHRs, and use policy and incentive levers beyond the incentive programs,” said Karen DeSalvo, M.D., national coordinator for health IT and acting assistant secretary for health. “The success of this plan is also dependent upon insights from public and private stakeholders and we encourage their comments.”

“We are very pleased to be collaborating with Health and Human Services, and our other federal partners, on developing the Federal Health IT Strategic Plan.  This plan aligns with our health IT priorities. As a large provider and purchaser of care, we continually look for ways to expand the sharing of critical healthcare information with our healthcare partners,” said Karen S. Guice, M.D., M.P.P.,principal deputy assistant secretary of defense for health affairs, Department of Defense.

“The Federal Health IT Strategic Plan collectively represents specific goals and strategies for how interoperability will be leveraged to foster the technological advancement of health information exchange to improve quality of care for Veterans while supporting patient-provider interaction,” said Gail Graham, deputy secretary for health informatics and analytics at the Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration, Office of Health Information.

Beyond creating financial and regulatory incentives to encourage the use of health IT, the federal government is helping to create a competitive and innovative marketplace. This effort will help bring new tools to health IT consumers and provide tools to help strengthen health care delivery that aligns with other national strategies to improve health including safety, quality, prevention, and reducing disparities.

The Federal Health IT Strategic Plan 2015-2020 can be found on HealthIT.gov. The period to comment on the Strategic Plan ends Feb. 6, 2015.

Today’s data brief found that the ability to easily share electronic information with other care givers, an important component of chronic care management, is also a major motivation for physicians to adopt EHRs. Among physicians who adopted health IT before incentive funds were available, the ability to electronically exchange clinical information with other health care providers was the greatest motivator for adoption. More than a third of physicians who adopted EHRs after HITECH was enacted cited this capability as a major influence in their decision to adopt, and almost 4 in 10 physicians who were not using an EHR reported that the ability to electronically exchange clinical information would be a major driver in their decision to adopt.

December 8, 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.

Financial incentives and ability to exchange clinical information found to be top reasons for EHR adoption

The need to share patient information with other providers and the use of financial incentives are key drivers in why many providers adopt and use health information technology tools like electronic health records (EHRs), according a data brief released today from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC).

The new data brief details why physicians decided to adopt – or not adopt –EHRs, and it helps to explain how financial incentives drive EHR adoption. The data, from the 2013 National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey, also highlights the high level of importance providers put on health information exchange.

The data demonstrates the importance of incentive programs like the HITECH Act’s Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs (meaningful use) and payments for services that include use of certified EHR technology, such as the separately billable Chronic Care Management services finalized under the 2015 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule. ONC today posted a new tool to help clinicians estimate the amount of money they might receive from treating Medicare patients living with chronic conditions, while using their certified health information technology, on the HealthIT.gov dashboard.

The results released today show that since the enactment of HITECH in 2009, 62 percent of physicians who adopted health IT tools identified financial incentives and penalties as a major influence on their decision to adopt, compared with only 23 percent of physicians who adopted before 2009.

“We have seen a significant increase in the adoption and use of health IT systems among providers and the new data shows the importance of incentives in building an interoperable health IT system,” said Karen DeSalvo, M.D., national coordinator for health IT and acting assistant secretary of health. “National delivery system reform initiatives linked to certified technology, such as the separately billable chronic care management services, will help make the electronic use and sharing of health information a reality.”

Today’s data brief found that the ability to easily share electronic information with other care givers, an important component of chronic care management, is also a major motivation for physicians to adopt EHRs. Among physicians who adopted health IT before incentive funds were available, the ability to electronically exchange clinical information with other health care providers was the greatest motivator for adoption. More than a third of physicians who adopted EHRs after HITECH was enacted cited this capability as a major influence in their decision to adopt, and almost 4 in 10 physicians who were not using an EHR reported that the ability to electronically exchange clinical information would be a major driver in their decision to adopt.

December 5, 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.

TruCode Adds Prognosis Innovation Healthcare to Its Roster of EHR Partners for Full Clinical Coding Encoder Integration

ALPHARETTA, GA (December 2, 2014) – TruCode and Prognosis Innovation Healthcare announced today a reseller and full application integration partnership. Trucode Encoder Essentials, the company’s web services solution for clinical coding, will be embedded within the Prognosis Innovation Healthcare’s ChartAccess® EHR and Financial Revenue Cycle Management systems. The full encoder-EHR integration streamlines coding workflows and improves billing accuracy and efficiency for Prognosis Innovation’s hospital, physician practice and clinic customers. The announcement was made jointly by Mike Mulligan, Managing Partner, TruCode, and Steve Everest, CEO, Prognosis Innovation Healthcare.

“The best clinical coding experience results when encoder technology is fully integrated into the end user’s core system,” mentions Mulligan. Complete encoder integration within HIS, EMR or EHR systems gives medical record coders and billers sophisticated code searches, grouping, code edits, clinical coding references, and coding advice at their fingertips. “With an integrated versus interfaced encoder, no time is wasted for medical record coders and no separate contract is required for the vendor, hospital, practice or clinic,” adds Mulligan. Everest concurs.

“We selected TruCode after a long search for an encoder partner who understood our unique market needs and was willing to work with us in a tight integration strategy,” Everest states. “Prognosis’s success is built on our ability to deliver integrated solutions that improve workflow. TruCode’s strategy is the same, making a win-win partnership for our customers.”

The TruCode-Prognosis partnership includes system integration and reseller agreements. For Prognosis customer Vicki Howe, RHIT, Director of HIM at Ness County Hospital in Kansas, the agreement means that “our coders have access to an excellent encoder/grouper with all the coding tools they need at their fingertips with a single point of entry to accommodate both MedGenix and ChartAccess, including references such as; AHA Coding Clinic for ICD-9 and I-10, CPT Assistant, Official Coding Guidelines for ICD-9 and I-10, Coders Desk Reference, as well as others.” “I am looking forward to the dynamics that TruCode and Prognosis Innovative Healthcare will provide to us,” she concludes.

About TruCode

TruCode (Alpharetta, GA) is an innovator in the medical coding software market, providing an encoder application, components and web services to the hospital, consulting and Healthcare IT marketplace. TruCode was the first to release a complete ICD-10-CM encoder and deliver encoder components via web services. TruCode’s Encoder Essentials fully integrate into healthcare IT technologies including: Computer Assisted Coding (CAC), Clinical Documentation Improvement (CDI), Electronic Medical Records (EMR), Health Information Systems (HIS) and Healthcare Business Analytics. For more information visit: www.trucode.com.

About Prognosis Innovation Healthcare

Prognosis Innovation Healthcare provides an enterprise solution, including EHR and financial systems, to rural and community hospitals. It offers a predictable path, built-in Clinical Pathways and a Meaningful Use Scorecard to drive standard of care. One hundred percent of Prognosis Innovation’s eligible clients have achieved meaningful use. Learn more at: www.prognosisinnovation.com.

December 2, 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.

Amazing Charts Reaches 10,000 Clinician License Milestone

Up to 40,000 Total Users Now Taking Advantage of the EHR Rated #1 for Usability

NORTH KINGSTOWN, RI–(Marketwired – November 24, 2014) – Amazing Charts, a leading developer of Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems for physician practices, today announced it has surpassed 10,000 total clinician licenses sold. Each clinical license represents approximately four staff users, so Amazing Charts estimates there are now more than 40,000 users of the Amazing Charts Electronic Health Record system at over 6,500 independent medical practices.

This milestone underscores the success of Amazing Charts EHR, a top-rated clinical documentation system for independent medical practices. In multiple physician surveys, Amazing Charts EHR has been recognized for ease of use, affordability and overall customer satisfaction. More than 60 percent of Amazing Charts clinicians practice Primary Care Medicine, with nearly 37 percent practicing Family Medicine and 21 percent practicing Internal Medicine. Top specialties include Pediatrics, Neurology, Cardiology, and Pain Medicine.

“I want to thank our customers for reaching this significant milestone,” said John Squire, president and COO of Amazing Charts. “Our success with independent Primary Care practices puts us squarely in the middle of the struggles facing physicians today. Our mission is to help practices stay independent with new tools like our new Practice Management module, which is fully integrated with our EHR to save time and eliminate errors, while helping to increase revenue and profitability.”

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.

Amazing Charts is a trademark of Amazing Charts, LLC. All products or service names mentioned herein are trademarks of their respective owners.

November 24, 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.

ONC Welcomes 2 New Members to their Office of Communications and Public Affairs

ONC Acting National Coordinator Lisa Lewis about two new hires at ONC’s Office of Communications and Public Affairs.  Here’s her letter to the ONC team:

Team –

We have two new members on the ONC Team. Chartese Day and Amanda Woodhead started with ONC on Monday, November 17th. Chartese and Amanda bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the Office of Public Affairs and Communications (see bios below). We are very excited to have them on the team! Both of their offices are in HHH 729D. Please stop by and say hello as schedules allow.

Also, let’s extend our thanks to Peter Ashkenaz for serving as the acting OPAC Director for the last few months. Peter, you are greatly appreciated!

Sincerely, Lisa

*************************************

Chartése Day

Chartése joined ONC on Monday, November 17th as the new Director of the Office of Public Affairs and Communications (OPAC). Prior to ONC, Chartése spent more than a decade as a senior strategist at top international public relations firms leading award-winning programs and campaigns for Fortune 500 companies, major healthcare trade associations and non-profit groups. Chartése has deep expertise in public health awareness and education campaign programming, stakeholder engagement, regulatory communications, issues management, crisis and litigation communications and multicultural outreach. Chartése’s specific therapeutic area and category experience includes implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), infectious disease, cardiovascular, pain management, respiratory, women’s health, mental health and food and nutrition. Her past clients have included Universal Health Services, CareFirst, Kaiser Permanente, Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, American Nurse Credentialing Center, Wal-Mart, Merck, Pfizer, and  Johnson & Johnson among others.

A native of Washington, D.C., Chartése began her career as an aide for the Honorable Eleanor Holmes Norton, District of Columbia Delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives.

Chartése earned a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Maryland and a Bachelors of International Business from George Mason University.

Amanda Woodhead

Amanda Woodhead joined ONC on Monday, November 17th as the Stakeholder Engagement Lead in OPAC.  Amanda comes to ONC following six years at health IT vendor, Emdeon. While there, she led corporate communications and media efforts including traditional, tradeshow, social media and crisis communications as well as industry relations and executive events. She previously served as a public relations manager at Windsor Health Group, a senior publicist for Harper Collins/Thomas Nelson publishers and a public affairs officer for the U.S. Naval Hospital, Okinawa, Japan.

Amanda holds a BA in Journalism from Mississippi University for Women and a MS in International Relations from Troy State University. She is an active volunteer with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in honor of her father, a multiple myeloma survivor. In 2012, she participated in the Washington DC area Man and Woman of the Year campaign to benefit LLS and was awarded the community involvement award for outstanding community outreach. She lives in Arlington with her spouse and 8 year old daughter and spends most weekends (in the fall at least) watching SEC football and cheering on the Mississippi State Bulldogs!

November 20, 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.

Logicalis US Reveals Eight Mistakes Hospitals Make with Electronic Patient Records

Solution Provider Helps Healthcare CIOs Contribute More Strategic Value to Their Organizations

NEW YORK, November 11, 2014 – A few short years ago, electronic medical record (EMR) systems were employed by only a handful of the most sophisticated physicians and hospitals.  Now, as a result of the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act’s “Meaningful Use” incentives, part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), providers are scrambling to purchase and implement EMR systems.  But that doesn’t mean they’re using them.  Doctors are disillusioned by spending more time with the computer than their patients, and they aren’t taking full advantage of the vast capabilities EMR software suites make available to them.  According to Logicalis US, an international IT solutions and managed services provider (www.us.logicalis.com), there are eight critical areas where healthcare professionals can sharpen their IT skills and optimize their utilization of data residing in feature-rich electronic medical records.

“The primary issues with EMR today are the continued lack of utilization and mismatched expectations by clinicians and administrators about the native problem-solving capabilities of EMR,” says Ed Simcox, Healthcare Practice Leader for Logicalis Healthcare Solutions.  “Many hospitals use only a portion of the capabilities available in EMR today, and many applications are not configured in a way that promotes usage of their deep capabilities. Hospitals and physicians have made significant investments in EMR; now it’s time to improve and optimize their utilization.”

Eight Mistakes Hospitals Make in EHR

  1. Lacking complete records: Surprisingly, one of the biggest issues with EMR today is the inability to access all available data on a patient.  While a doctor or hospital may use an EMR system, patient data resides in multiple, disparate systems, providing clinicians an incomplete picture. Hospitals are clearly still struggling with interoperability.  Connecting data sources would offer a single view to the provider looking for a consolidated patient record making interoperability a priority for CIOs. While possible today, this is not yet the norm. Fortunately, though, with the proper project planning and data governance discipline, access to consolidated health records is on the horizon.
  1. Missing patient images: A subset of patient data visibility is imaging.  While there are numerous Picture Archiving and Communication Systems (PACS) vendors, most do not provide a single source for all images associated with a patient’s record.  EMRs today do a good job of allowing a doctor to look at a patient’s basic information, but not necessarily all of the related images for that patient, beyond radiology.  Images are most prevalent in radiology, but they’re also becoming increasingly important in other medical specialties from cardiology and OBGYN to surgery and wound care. To be most effective, a patient’s electronic medical records need to include all of these images.  Imaging is also important to the finance offices of hospitals and medical practices for storing patients’ insurance cards, driver’s licenses, etc., which need to be accessed on an as-needed basis.
  1. Not following best practices: One of the chief reasons EMR implementations are viewed as unsuccessful is a lack of adequate user training. Users can “get by” based on what they have taught themselves or learned on the floor from peers, but these practices may not be the most effective way of using the features in a system. In a healthcare organization that combines Lean and Six Sigma approaches to deliver performance improvements, many core processes can be improved.  The goals are to save time and reduce costs and overhead.  Using an objective third party to evaluate clinical and financial workflows and processes helps healthcare organizations optimize the use of their technology and, more importantly, the use of their employee resources.
  1. Failing to consider DR: Because health systems are critically reliant on electronic records, system failure is not an option. EMR downtime can cost thousands of dollars per minute. Business disruption, lost revenue, and most importantly, patient safety are at issue during EMR outages. Besides practicing downtime procedures, it’s important to perform periodic data center assessments to identify areas of weakness that can impact end-user experience.  Failing to address gaps leaves the organization vulnerable to downtime.  Another important area to consider is disaster recovery (DR).  Logicalis encourages healthcare clients to examine whether tapping the cloud for disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) might be right for them.  Cloud providers working with healthcare clients should be HIPAA-certified, and clients should ask if a DRaaS solution employs redundancy so that, if part of the system goes down, it automatically fails over to another system to maintain continuous uptime for the healthcare data system.
  1. Missing out on Meaningful Use 2: Under ARRA’s Stage 1 Meaningful Use, healthcare organizations procured and implemented EMR systems. Now, under Meaningful Use Stage 2, they’ll have to prove they’re using them in very specific ways.  Meaningful Use Stage 2, for example, requires providers to offer patient portals to give patients access to their own healthcare data.  It also requires doctors to be able to perform key tasks such as ordering prescriptions electronically through the medical records of a specific patient.  Providers unable to demonstrate meaningful use through activities like these and others by October 1, 2015, will be penalized 1 percent of their Medicare reimbursements, making this a “use it or lose it” scenario. The good news is, actions can be taken now to ensure organizations are prepared for Meaningful Use attestation.
  1. Lacking in mobility: Like business users, many physicians today want to use their own personal devices – iPads or cell phones – to access EMR and text information. If those devices are not secure, however, then they are in violation of HIPAA rules.  With the wide variety of mobile phones and tablets available to clinicians, putting the right security in place to address each device and individual user may mean turning to an experienced third party that can assess the environment and provide specific solutions. Organizations should also ensure they have a regularly updated personal device usage policy that promotes the use of secure, manageable devices.
  1. Missing out on ICD-10 Readiness: Many institutions have taken a wait-and-see approach to implementing ICD-10, a list of medical classification codes.  The requirement to adopt ICD-10 has been delayed until October 1, 2015, but providers that continue to wait will be ill-prepared to address the huge amount of change ICD-10 will bring to the coding environment.  Moving from ICD-9 will increase classifications from 17,000 codes to 141,000 codes. ICD-10 requires more diagnostic specificity, so doctors may now have to use multiple codes for the same condition. This requires a greater attention to detail and a working knowledge of the codes. Fortunately, through careful thought and planning, providers only need to train clinicians on a small subset of the entire code set. Doing so will avoid assumptions and misinformation and will reduce denied insurance claims and reimbursements.  A thorough assessment, planning, communication and training will give providers the tools they need to prepare for this transition.
  1. Lacking in analytics: Hospitals and medical practices capture and store large volumes of data.  The challenge is locating, integrating, gathering and analyzing that data to improve patient safety, contain costs, increase efficiencies, and improve clinical outcomes.  In healthcare, big data isn’t about choosing a platform. It’s about creating a data governance strategy, rationalizing data, and prioritizing analytics initiatives to make the best use of clinical and financial data.

About Logicalis
Logicalis is an international IT solutions and managed services provider with a breadth of knowledge and expertise in communications and collaboration, data center and cloud services, and managed services.

Logicalis employs nearly 3,700 people worldwide, including highly trained service specialists who design, specify, deploy and manage complex ICT infrastructures to meet the needs of almost 6,000 corporate and public sector customers.  To achieve this, Logicalis maintains strong partnerships with technology leaders such as Cisco, HP, IBM, CA Technologies, EMC, NetApp, Microsoft, VMware and ServiceNow.

The Logicalis Group has annualized revenues of $1.6 billion, from operations in Europe, North America, Latin America and Asia Pacific, and is fast establishing itself as one of the leading IT and Communications solution integrators specializing in the areas of advanced technologies and services.

The Logicalis Group is a division of Datatec Limited, listed on the Johannesburg and London AIM Stock Exchanges, with revenues of over $5 billion.

For more information, visit www.us.logicalis.com.

November 11, 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.

Modernizing Medicine Closes First $15M Tranche of Expected $20M Round of Funding

New round of funding led by Summit Partners and Pentland Group is expected to support product development, market expansion and company growth

Boca Raton, Florida – November 11, 2014 – Modernizing Medicine, Inc., the creator of the Electronic Medical Assistant® (EMA™), a cloud-based, specialty-specific electronic medical record (EMR) system, announced that it has closed on approximately $15M of an expected $20M funding round. The latest funding comes from existing investors, led by Summit Partners and Pentland Group, many of whom are medical specialists who use EMA.

“At Modernizing Medicine we believe that properly captured and leveraged health data has the power to increase efficiency, improve patient outcomes and transform healthcare,” said Daniel Cane, CEO and co-founder of Modernizing Medicine. “This latest round of funding reinforces that belief and the strength of our market-differentiating products and services. With the investment we intend to continue focused development in the surgical-specialties, while also committing resources for development in telemedicine, IBM Watson and mobile applications.”

Developed by surgical physicians, EMA contains built-in specialty-specific medical knowledge and workflows. It can be accessed via the Internet virtually anywhere and at any time. This flexible format, combined with EMA’s touch-screen interface and advanced ICD-10 capabilities, gives providers the freedom they need to focus on their patients with the reassurance that charting plus coding for billing can be completed at the point of care.

Currently serving eight different medical specialties, more than 4,000 providers have adopted Modernizing Medicine’s EMA in their practices.

“Healthcare professionals need tailored technologies that make it easy not only to manage but also benefit from the exploding amounts of patient data,” said Michael Sherling, MD, Modernizing Medicine’s co-founder and chief medical officer. “In a relatively short time, we have developed a solution that does just that, enabling us to capture substantial market share and emerge as a physician-favorite EMR system. In the dermatology specialty alone, more than 26 percent of U.S. dermatologists now use EMA.”

Modernizing Medicine continues to be recognized for its exceptional culture, leadership and growth. The company expects its employee base to continue to grow with approximately 100 new positions being created in the next 12-18 months. Co-founders Cane and Sherling were recently honored with the Leadership in Health Care Award by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The company was also named in Red Herring’s Top 100 North America list, which recognizes the top private companies across the continent that are expected to achieve significant growth in the near future.

About Modernizing Medicine

Modernizing Medicine® is transforming how healthcare information is created, consumed and utilized in order to increase efficiency and improve outcomes. Our product, Electronic Medical Assistant® (EMA™), is a cloud-based, specialty-specific electronic medical record (EMR) system with a massive library of built-in medical content. Available as a native iPad application or from almost any web-enabled Mac or PC, EMA adapts to each provider’s unique style of practice and is designed to interface with hundreds of different practice management systems. Today, Modernizing Medicine provides specialty-specific offerings for the dermatology, ophthalmology, orthopedics, otolaryngology, gastroenterology, rheumatology, urology and plastic and cosmetic surgery markets and to more than 1,400 physician practices across the country.

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.

Disappointing Meaningful Use Data Prompts Industry Leaders to Urge HHS to Take Immediate Action

WASHINGTON, DC November 4, 2014 –  Healthcare leaders from across the nation today renewed calls for the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) to shorten the Meaningful Use (MU) reporting period in 2015 and provide more program flexibility, citing concerns with lower-than-expected Medicare numbers and continued reports detailing nationwide difficulty in meeting Federal guidelines for electronic health records (EHR) requirements.

According to newly released CMS numbers, less than 17 percent of the nation’s hospitals have demonstrated Stage 2 capabilities. Further, less than 38 percent of eligible hospitals (EHs) and critical access hospitals (CAHs) have met either Stage of Meaningful Use in 2014, highlighting the difficulty of program requirements and foretelling continued struggles in 2015.  And while eligible professionals (EPs) have until the end of February to report their progress, only 2 percent have demonstrated Stage 2 capabilities thus far.

Officials from the American Medical Association (AMA), College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME), Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) and Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) called the results disappointing, yet predictable.

“Meaningful Use participation data released today have validated the concerns of providers and IT leaders.  These numbers continue to underscore the need for a sensible glide-path in 2015,” said CHIME President and CEO Russell P. Branzell, FCHIME, CHCIO.  “Providers have struggled mightily in 2014, in many instances for reasons beyond their control.  If nothing is done to help them get back on track in 2015, we will continue to see growing dissatisfaction with EHRs and disenchantment with Meaningful Use.”

CMS data required by Congress indicate that more than 3,900 hospitals must meet Stage 2 measures and objectives in 2015 and more than 260,000 eligible professionals (EPs) will need to be similarly positioned by January 1, 2015.  Given the low attestation data for 2014 and the tremendous number of providers required, but likely unable to fulfill, Stage 2 for a full 365-days in 2015, healthcare leaders have pressed for a shortened reporting period in 2015, mirroring the policy of 2014.

“The low number of EP attestations to date is clear evidence that physician practices and their vendor partners have faced significant challenges in meeting the more onerous Stage 2 requirements of meaningful use,” said Anders M. Gilberg, Senior Vice President, government affairs, MGMA. “Shortening the reporting period in 2015 is a much needed change if the program is to remain viable and is a critical step if the nation is to continue making progress toward the goal of interoperability.”

“We’re focused on transforming health and healthcare,” said Carla Smith, MA, CNM, FHIMSS, Executive Vice President of HIMSS.  “Meaningful Use Stage 2 and 2014 certified EHR technology are important drivers toward that outcome.  If CMS continues to require a full-year of Meaningful Use reporting for 2015, we anticipate that large segments of providers will no longer be able to participate in the program-which hinders our nation’s ability to improve the quality, safety, cost-effectiveness, and access to care.”

A coalition of national provider groups have repeatedly told CMS that a shortened reporting period will have a dramatically positive effect on program participation and policy outcomes sought in 2015.  Additionally, allowing flexibility in how providers meet the Stage 2 requirements, particularly related to Transitions of Care and View, Download, Transmit measures would also improve program participation.

“In addition to a shortened reporting period, CMS must end its one-size-fits all approach to achieve the goals of the Meaningful Use program, which are to create a secure and interoperable infrastructure,” said AMA President Elect Steven J. Stack, MD. “The AMA recently released a blueprint to outline ways to improve the Meaningful Use program, as well as a framework outlining eight priorities for more usable EHRs. We believe the stringent pass fail requirements for meeting Meaningful Use, combined with a tsunami of other overlapping regulations, are keeping physicians from participating in the Meaningful Use program.”

In response to a CMS final rule issued in September, provider groups sent a letter to Health and Human Service Secretary Burwell saying additional time would help hundreds of thousands of providers meet Stage 2 requirements in an effective and safe manner.  Further, the group of nearly twenty national provider organizations said a shortened reporting period and flexibility on the Transitions of Care and View, Download, Transmit measures would serve as positive incentive for those who must seek alternative paths to MU in 2014 to continue their work in 2015.

“The agency’s decision to require a full-year of reporting using 2014 Edition certified EHR technology (CEHRT) in 2015 puts many eligible hospitals and physicians at risk of not meeting Meaningful Use next year and hinders the forward trajectory of the program,” the letter states.

November 4, 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.

Amazing Charts Launches Practice Management System

Cloud-Based PM Module Is Seamlessly Integrated With EHR Rated #1 for Usability

BOSTON, MA–(Marketwired – November 03, 2014) – Amazing Charts, a leading developer of Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems for physician practices, today announced the general availability of Amazing Charts Practice Management (PM), a revenue cycle management system with fully automated benefits and eligibility checking, all-payor clearinghouse connection and comprehensive financial reporting.

Amazing Charts Practice Management is fully and seamlessly integrated into Amazing Charts EHR to help clinicians improve clinical documentation and manage financial workflows. The user-friendly billing module enables a practice to manage the entire patient visit — from eligibility and scheduling to clinical documentation, billing and reporting — with a single easy-to-use system.

“We built Amazing Charts Practice Management to the same high standards for usability that we apply to Amazing Charts EHR, which is recognized in survey after survey as number one among leading EHRs for being intuitive and easy to use,” said John Squire, president and COO of Amazing Charts. “Now, physicians can purchase a single integrated clinical documentation and billing solution from Amazing Charts, saving time and eliminating errors, while helping to increase revenue and profitability. This new solution will help clinicians and administrators alike to meet the demands of managing independent medical practices.”

Pricing and Availability
Amazing Charts Practice Management is available immediately and priced at $249 per billable provider per month. Full onboarding, staff training, data conversion, an electronic clearinghouse connection, and ongoing technical support are all included in this charge. Amazing Charts Practice Management is sold only as a separate add-on module to Amazing Charts EHR.

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.

Amazing Charts is a trademark of Amazing Charts, LLC. All products or service names mentioned herein are trademarks of their respective owners.

November 3, 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.