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KLAS & Interoperability Measurement Advisory Team hold inaugural meeting

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

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

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

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

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

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

February 5, 2016 I Written By

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

eMedApps Unveils Care Connectivity Platform™ for Universal Patient Data Connectivity

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

eMedApps’ Care Connectivity Platform delivers:

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

About eMedApps

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

January 27, 2016 I Written By

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

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

Five Healthcare IT Leaders Adopt Carequality Interoperability Framework

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

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

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

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

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

Quotes from adopting organizations:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

January 22, 2016 I Written By

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

January 19, 2016 I Written By

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

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

Where We’ve Been

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

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

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

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

Transitioning From Measuring Clicks to Focusing on Care

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

What Comes Next

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

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

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

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

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

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

I Written By

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

About MedAllies

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

About DirectTrust.org

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

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

About EHNAC

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

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

January 13, 2016 I Written By

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

EHR Interoperability Breakthrough Powers Referrals, Care Coordination and Clinically Integrated Networks

Infina Connect announces universal electronic exchange of clinical documents, greatly reducing the need for costly interfaces and private HIE’s to support value based care.

CARY, NC, November 19, 2015 – Infina Connect, the leading provider of SaaS referral coordination solutions, today announced the release of ICC Direct, a significant breakthrough in standards-based interoperability and care coordination that lets a patient’s healthcare providers easily share clinical records with other providers and team members, no matter where they work or which electronic health record (EHR) they use.

ICC Direct – a new capability built into Infina Connect’s Intelligent Care Coordinator (ICC) – leverages the secure messaging capability built into all 2014 edition Certified EHRs, access to the Surescripts Clinical Direct Messaging solution via the nation’s largest health information network, and universal delivery capability to accomplish this breakthrough.  With ICC Direct, healthcare providers are able to automate the creation of new ICC referrals from any certified EHR and electronically exchange documents with any provider anywhere, including Meaningful Use Stage Two- compliant exchange of Consolidated CDA (C-CDA) documents such as Continuity of Care Documents (CCD’s).  More importantly, ICC Direct connects the relevant clinical information from the EHR directly to the referral workflow in ICC, making it easier for providers using ICC to provide effective closed loop care coordination.

“We’ve been using ICC for many years to close the loop on patient care,” said Kelly Crisp, Director of Health Information & Technology, Raleigh Medical Group, a 29-provider internal medicine and gastroenterology group with 4 main and 11 satellite locations in the Raleigh, NC area.  “Now with ICC Direct, our referral process is even more efficient with little to no workflow integration changes, and we can easily meet the 10 percent electronic transmission requirement for Meaningful Use Stage Two.”

In addition to gaining the visibility into patient information that is necessary to effectively manage populations, ICC Direct’s simplified access to contextually relevant clinical information represents a key differentiator for health systems and ACO’s interested in improving outcomes and expanding their provider networks.

Providers nationwide have been struggling to share information electronically due to technology systems that are unable to easily communicate with each other, with the top barriers cited as cost, vendor support and technical difficulty.  The transition to value-based contracts has led healthcare organizations to invest in expensive interfaces, integrations, and private HIE’s to exchange information as patients transition across care settings and providers.  ICC Direct greatly reduces the need for these costly and time-consuming investments, enabling all providers to share information electronically and seamlessly coordinate care across care settings for about what it costs to fax.  As a result, ICC Direct eliminates the top interoperability barriers to population health management and the success of value-based healthcare.

“The primary reason providers need to communicate with each other is because they have a patient in common,” said Mark Hefner, CEO of Infina Connect.  “We set out to enable providers to coordinate referrals and transitions of care in a highly effective and efficient manner.  Along the way, it became clear that solving the interoperability problem was the next logical step, and that’s what ICC Direct does – more effectively and affordably than any other solution on the market today.”

Referring providers using ICC Direct can also easily meet the “10 percent electronic transmission” requirement of Meaningful Use Stage Two, Objective 15, Measure 2, even if the consulting provider is unable to receive Direct messages.  Many providers have had difficulty meeting this requirement.  Adherence to Meaningful Use is required for providers to receive incentives, participate in population health contracts, and avoid payment penalties.

About Infina Connect

Infina Connect is the leading provider of SaaS referral coordination solutions, and the first to be adopted by a majority of providers across a major metropolitan area.  Infina Connect enables providers to optimize placement of referrals within high value networks and electronically perform closed loop referrals to coordinate patient care, improve patient health and maximize revenue.  Infina’s electronic exchange of clinical documents also enables providers to comply with the electronic document exchange requirements of Meaningful Use Stage Two (Objective 15) and the CMS Chronic Care Management program.  For more information, visit www.infinaconnect.com.

November 19, 2015 I Written By

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

AMIA Urges CMS to Rethink Informatics Policies as New Models of Care Emerge

Outcomes-oriented payment policy should enable more outcomes-oriented informatics policy

(BETHESDA, MD) — In comments submitted to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the nation’s leading data scientists in healthcare urged federal officials to use new payment policies to reassess how providers are required to use informatics tools, and rethink how quality is measured in a digital world. Officials from the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) said new and novel ways to deliver care will rely on dynamic uses of information technology (IT) and other informatics tools, so government policies dictating the use of IT should be flexible and evolve as more experience is gained with new care models.

CMS issued a request for information (RFI) in October asking for stakeholder input on how best to implement a range of policies required by the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) of 2015 (PL 114-10). The Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) and Alternative Payment Models (APMs) established by MACRA will replace the current Fee-For-Service payment model for Medicare by 2017 and 2019, respectively. This system of reimbursement will rely heavily on electronically-specified clinical quality measures (eCQMs) to pay physicians based on how well their patients recover, rather than the number of services delivered. In comments, AMIA said it supported this move to value-based reimbursement, but voiced concern with the industry’s ability to generate accurate and complete eCQMs, and urged more focus on outcomes-oriented quality measurement.

“AMIA supports the overall direction of moving to an outcomes-based payment system, predicated on demonstrating value for payment,” the organization said in comments. “As we transition away from fee-for-service payment, so too must we move away from the quality measurement paradigm underlying that system. Despite earnest efforts, quality measurement has not become ‘a by-product of care delivered,’ as envisioned, and we are concerned the current mode is insufficient to enable this.”

To improve the current approach, AMIA urged officials to devote more resources to testing both the accuracy of the measure calculation, as well as the feasibility of the data collection requirements, and pilot all new eCQMs before their release for use. CMS should also establish a regular cadence of updates/revisions to eCQMs, ensuring adequate time is allowed for implementation of revisions by both the vendor and provider. Further, AMIA suggested these policies create new opportunities to develop better outcome measures, rather than relying on current process measures.

Additional questions posed by the RFI sought input on how officials should implement policies that require the use of certified EHR technology, and whether new certification criteria are needed to help providers succeed within new payment models. AMIA recommended federal officials avoid overly prescriptive requirements to determine how providers use informatics tools within APMs, but rather focus on the outcomes sought by the use of such tools.

“Ours is a dynamic environment of innovation and invention,” said Blackford Middleton, MD, MPH, MSc, FACMI and current AMIA Board Chair.  “AMIA sees policy development for MIPS and APMs as not just an opportunity to change our payment system, but as an opportunity to revisit policies meant to spur adoption and guide use of health IT.”

AMIA President and CEO Douglas Fridsma, MD, PhD, FACP, FACMI continued, “In much the same way that fee-for-service era policies skewed incentives and provider behavior, overly prescriptive documentation and ‘use’ requirements of the same era have influenced how health IT is developed, implemented and leveraged to improve care.  We must evolve both sets of policies if we are going to succeed in this new paradigm.”

Click here to read AMIA’s full comments to the CMS RFI regarding implementation of MIPS and promotion of APMs.

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AMIA, the leading professional association for informatics professionals, is the center of action for 5,000 informatics professionals from more than 65 countries. As the voice of the nation’s top biomedical and health informatics professionals, AMIA and its members play a leading role in assessing the effect of health innovations on health policy, and advancing the field of informatics. AMIA actively supports five domains in informatics: translational bioinformatics, clinical research informatics, clinical informatics, consumer health informatics, and public health informatics.

November 16, 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.

AEGIS Announces Touchstone for HL7 FHIR Interoperability Testing

ROCKVILLE, Md., Nov. 12, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — AEGIS.net, Inc. (AEGIS), a leader in health information exchange standards implementation and the creator of the AEGIS Developers Integration Lab (DIL) introduces the Touchstone Project – a next generation cloud-based Testing Platform which applies Conformance and Interoperability testing in a Test-Driven-Development (TDD) integrated ecosystem.  As organizations new to the Health Level Seven® (HL7®) Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR®) specification begin to explore and evaluate this new HL7® standard and start projects with a goal of being an early adopter, AEGIS’ Touchstone Test Platform will guide those implementations towards a high degree of conformance and interoperability in a continuous model.

AEGIS unveiled the Touchstone Project joining a distinguished group of Health IT industry leaders at the HL7® International 29thAnnual Plenary & Working Group Meetings in Atlanta, GA October 5-9, 2015.  The HL7® event was kicked off with the largest ever audience for the HL7® FHIR® Connectathon in which more than 120 attendees participated.

Health Intersections Pty Ltd. Principal, Grahame Greives, often referred to as the Father of FHIR® commented: “The most recent HL7 FHIR Connectathon 10 – which coincided with HL7 Plenary event in Atlanta GA – advanced the focus around Testing and the Quality of FHIR Implementations. AEGIS was a key contributor, providing a Cloud based Solution which allowed developers to Test their FHIR Implementations. Many participants made use of this to follow Test-Driven-Development (TDD) methodology, and we appreciated how this led to more interoperable solutions.”

Orion Health’s David Hay kicked off the HL7® Connectathon by introducing the FHIR® Tracks such as Track 1 – Patient (lead by David Hay), Track 2 – Terminology Services (Robert Hausam), along with many other implementation tracks coming online.  During the HL7® FHIR® Connectathon, the AEGIS Touchstone Test Platform saw more than 17 Organizations register and test their FHIR®Implementations including Health Intersections, Furore, Mirth, Apelon, McKesson, CentriHealth and Mayo Clinic with more joining each day.

After its initial month of FHIR Testing, Touchstone has seen more than 185 unique test executions and counting.  Those organizations currently testing HL7® FHIR® against the AEGIS Touchstone Test Platform are encouraged to publish their HL7® FHIR Conformance Testing results for the public to witness.

Mario Hyland, Senior Vice President of AEGIS said: “AEGIS is proud to pilot this initiative with HL7® International and to bring its member organizations a unique benefit offering HL7®-FHIR® specific testing to ensure continuous conformance and interoperability through the AEGIS DIL, the Touchstone Project, and AEGIS’ own WildFHIR FHIR implementation, an HL7® FHIR® initiative.  AEGIS was impressed with those HL7® FHIR® Connectathon participants who elected to engage in testing with Touchstone. EHR vendors and other Health IT product vendors benefited from leveraging TDD to quickly see that testing against a common Test Platform helps to ensure HL7® FHIR® is built from the ground up being Interoperable.”

Angela Ciminnisi, Director of Product Management for Mirth noted: “Participating in the HL7® FHIR® Connectathon demonstrates our long lasting support of Healthcare initiatives which seek to deliver Interoperable solutions.  The Mirth Connect product continues to advance and the inclusion of HL7® FHIR® technologies is a natural progression of our Product and Platform.  During the HL7® FHIR® Connectathon we were pleased to participate with AEGIS and their Touchstone Test Platform.  We were able to quickly leverage a TDD methodology and during the two-day Connectathon identify a number of FHIR® conformance issues, resolve the issues and retest immediately.”

Charles Jaffe, MD PhD and CEO of HL7® stated: “Iterative testing remains at the heart of agile development. Valid conformance is critical to both the developers and to the end-user community. Iterative testing drives quality and patient safety, and supports innovation. A successful testing program also provides FHIR development teams at HL7 with the essential infrastructure that is critical for all of our stakeholders.”

HL7® and AEGIS have recognized that FHIR has the potential to address one of Gartner 2015 Top Strategic Technologies specifically “Scalable Interoperability”, with additional positive references included in Gartner Research Notes written to address the need for Robust Testing within the Healthcare Industry.

About AEGIS.net, Inc. (AEGIS)

AEGIS.net, Inc. is a CMMI Maturity Level 3 rated, ISO 9001:2008 certified small business and premier provider of industry based standards implementation, Healthcare Solutions, and Information Technology consulting services to Federal Civilian, Defense and Commercial sector clients. Our services, delivered by practitioners averaging more than 15 years of experience, include Project Management, Software Functional and Performance Testing, Application Design/Development, Independent Verification and Validation (IV&V), and Organizational Performance/Process Improvement. Our domains of expertise include health IT, standards development and interoperability, regulatory compliance, finance, human resources, and logistics. AEGIS is recognized as a global community leader in innovation of Health IT interoperability, testing, analytics, and informatics.  For more information, please visit:www.aegis.net

About HL7®

Founded in 1987, Health Level Seven International is the global authority for healthcare information interoperability and standards with affiliates established in more than 30 countries. HL7® is a non-profit, ANSI accredited standards development organization dedicated to providing a comprehensive framework and related standards for the exchange, integration, sharing, and retrieval of electronic health information that supports clinical practice and the management, delivery and evaluation of health services. HL7®‘s more than 1,500 members represent approximately 500 corporate members, which include more than 90 percent of the information systems vendors serving healthcare. HL7® collaborates with other standards developers and provider, payer, philanthropic and government agencies at the highest levels to ensure the development of comprehensive and reliable standards and successful interoperability efforts.

November 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.

Patient IO to Expand Care Coordination Platform with Investment from athenahealth

 Company Joins athenahealth’s “More Disruption Please” Accelerator Program 

November 10, 2015, Austin, Texas  – Patient IO, the only care coordination solution that can be integrated with virtually any healthcare software system, today announced a strategic investment by athenahealth® to expand Patient IO’s platform through athenahealth’s More Disruption Please (MDP) program. Today, healthcare organizations depend on Patient IO to coordinate care for tens of thousands of patients. athenahealth’s investment will be used to grow Patient IO’s platform and drive adoption across athenahealth’s growing network of more than 72,000 healthcare providers.

Patient IO helps healthcare organizations coordinate care and engage with patients in-between visits, enabling more efficient, personalized care management and improved patient outcomes. By providing tools that empower patients to take a more active role in their care and treatment, Patient IO has become a go-to solution for managing chronic illness, reducing readmissions and reducing unnecessary doctor visits.

“Patient IO’s API-first architecture is built for integration. Its best-in-breed technology, combined with the team’s proven track record, made this a great investment and partnership for us,” said Kyle Armbrester, athenahealth’s Chief Product Officer.  “Integrating the Patient IO platform with athenaNet® will accelerate our product roadmap and enable us to better meet our clients’ patient engagement, chronic care management, and population health needs. We’re thrilled to welcome Patient IO to the MDP portfolio.”

“Patient IO already plays a critical role in helping healthcare organizations transition into value-based care by giving them engagement tools that make patients chief players in their own care,” said Jason Bornhorst, CEO of Patient IO.  “Providers can track patient adherence in-between visits and have patient-reported outcomes piped into their existing EHR. It’s all about streamlining the process of care, and this investment helps us expand our solution across the athenahealth network.”

For patients, Patient IO’s patent-pending technology turns a care plan into simple daily tasks, making it easy for patients to follow treatment-specific instructions, securely message with their care team, and read educational content on their smartphone or desktop. Patients can also sync connected wearables and devices with Patient IO to complete tasks automatically and provide additional insights for their provider.

Patient IO has shown considerable growth since raising $1.5M in a seed round led by Mercury Fund, with participation from Techstars Ventures, RPM Ventures & Geekdom Fund. Patient IO will use this new funding to expand product development. As part of the investment, Patient IO will be joining athenahealth’s MDP Accelerator program, which recently launched its third location in Austin, TX.

About Patient IO

Patient IO is the first and only care coordination solution that can be integrated with virtually any healthcare software system, including EHRs and population health management programs. Headquartered in Austin, TX, Patient IO’s mission is to help healthcare organizations transition into value-based care by helping them coordinate care between patient visits.

To learn more, please visit: http://www.patientio.com

About athenahealth’s ‘More Disruption Please’ Program

Through the ‘More Disruption Please’ program, athenahealth is accelerating high-value innovation via the cloud, offering new services to help providers thrive in the face of industry change and pressure.  MDP partners with innovators, entrepreneurs, companies, and individuals who are passionate about disrupting established approaches in healthcare that simply aren’t working, aren’t good enough, or aren’t advancing the industry. All MDP accelerator investments receive seed funding, access to free office space, mentorship, and access to athenahealth’s growing network of 72,000 providers. To learn more about athenahealth’s MDP program and partnership opportunities please visit www.athenahealth.com/disruption.

November 10, 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.