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HHS Proposes Path to Improve Health Technology and Transform Care

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

January 30, 2015 I Written By

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

About Modernizing Medicine

Modernizing Medicine® is transforming how healthcare information is created, consumed and utilized in order to increase efficiency and improve outcomes. Our flagship product, Electronic Medical Assistant® (EMA™), is a cloud-based, specialty-specific electronic medical records (EMR) system built by practicing physicians. Available as a native iPad application and from almost any web-enabled Mac or PC, EMA adapts to each provider’s unique style of practice. This ICD-10 ready EMR system is available for the dermatology, ophthalmology, orthopedics, otolaryngology, gastroenterology, rheumatology, urology and plastic and cosmetic surgery markets and used by more than 4,800 physicians in the United States and its territories. The Modernizing Medicine family of companies also provides specialty-specific billing, inventory management and group purchasing services.

January 29, 2015 I Written By

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

FDB Releases Web API Solution to Enable Fast, Reliable and Secure Access to FDB Drug Knowledge in the Cloud

First-to-market cloud-based solution for integrated medication decision support enables users to access and deploy the latest drug knowledge in vastly reduced development timeframes

South San Francisco, CA January 29, 2015 – First Databank (FDB), the leading provider of clinical drug knowledge that improves medication-related decisions and patient outcomes, today announced the general release of the FDB Cloud Connector, a web API solution that effectively delivers FDB’s vast drug knowledge through high performing and highly available web services that are easily integrated into today’s mission-critical healthcare applications from client-server to mobile.

Healthcare has been slow to adopt the Cloud, but with healthcare reform, that trend is rapidly changing. According to a 2014 HIMSS Analytics Cloud Survey, more than 80% of providers are already using the cloud and nearly 60% of all healthcare CIO’s see the cloud as a strategic and operational necessity. With the dramatic reductions in development time and IT overhead that come from using a web API, many healthcare organizations are turning to this technology as a means to keep up with never-ending demands on limited IT resources. Web services can be easily deployed through client-server and web-based applications, and mobile application developers can now more easily develop native mobile apps to support the growing number of patient encounters that will be conducted over smart devices.

The FDB Cloud Connector, based on state-of-the art architecture which includes high-performing and highly available web services powered by Amazon Web Services, offers a host of user benefits for health IT system developers. It allows customers to request and receive FDB drug knowledge, as needed, without the complexity of hosting and updating data and software, or having to develop the means to redistribute. The web API solution also significantly reduces development timelines enabling applications to be released to the market more quickly. And the FDB Cloud Connector provides users with the flexibility to easily bolt on individual services to their existing applications to take advantage of FDB’s latest capabilities without the need to manage a large software upgrade.

“As cloud-based services are steadily becoming more widely adopted by healthcare organizations globally, we are excited to be the first in our industry to offer cloud-based delivery of integrated drug knowledge to our customer base,” said Chuck Tuchinda, MD, MBA, president, FDB. “With the FDB Cloud Connector, we have created an opportunity to vastly improve application development times so that our customers are able to immediately and securely deploy the most current FDB drug knowledge and, ultimately, enhance medication care guidance.”

After testing with several large information system vendor partners, the new delivery option is now generally available to FDB customers. “The FDB Cloud Connector allows us to deliver a huge amount of drug data through the web” said Larry O’Toole, associate vice president of strategy at MEDITECH. “FDB, MEDITECH, and our customers continue to benefit from such collaborations.”

Data delivery through web services in the cloud will also ease the implementation of next generation clinical decision support such as pharmacogenomics data. These large data sets with complex algorithms may be impractical to deliver via traditional means and the FDB Cloud Connector is expected to facilitate the adoption of these new capabilities.

About First Databank (FDB)
FDB (First Databank), part of the Hearst Health network, is the leading provider of drug knowledge that helps healthcare professionals make precise medication-related decisions. With thousands of customers worldwide, FDB enables our information system developer partners to deliver a wide range of valuable, useful, and differentiated solutions. As the company that virtually launched the medication decision support category, we offer more than three decades of experience in transforming drug knowledge into actionable, targeted, and effective solutions that improve patient safety and healthcare outcomes. For a complete look at our solutions and services please visit http://www.fdbhealth.com or follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.

About Hearst Health
FDB is part of the Hearst Health network, which also includes Zynx Health, MCG (formerly Milliman Care Guidelines) and Homecare Homebase. The mission of the Hearst Health network is to help guide the most important care moments by delivering vital information into the hands of everyone who touches a person’s health journey. Each year in the U.S., care guidance from the Hearst Health network reaches 76% of discharged patients, 133 million insured individuals, 20 million home health visits, 1.88 billion retail pharmacy prescriptions and 3.26 billion prescription claims. Extensions of the Hearst Health network include Hearst Health Ventures and the Hearst Health Innovation Lab.

I Written By

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

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

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

BOSTON, MA – January 28, 2015Orion Health, a leading population health management company, announced today it has achieved full accreditation with the Direct Trusted Agent Accreditation Program (DTAAP) for Health Information Systems Program (HISP) from DirectTrust and the Electronic Healthcare Network Accreditation Commission (EHNAC). Direct Trusted Agent accreditation recognizes excellence in health data processing and transactions, and ensures compliance with industry-established standards, HIPAA regulations and the Direct Project.

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

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

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

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

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

About DirectTrust.org

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

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

About EHNAC

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

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

About Orion Health, Inc.

Orion Health, a population health management company, makes healthcare information available anywhere by providing healthcare IT connectivity in nearly every U.S. state and in over 30 countries worldwide—facilitating care for tens of millions of patients every day. With an inherent ability to interconnect a wide variety of healthcare information systems, Orion Health facilitates data exchange within and among provider organizations, accountable care organizations, health plans, governments and health information exchanges, to improve care coordination, enable population health management, enhance quality of care and help reduce costs. For more information, visit www.orionhealth.com. Connect with us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

January 28, 2015 I Written By

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

Singularity University Announces New Multi-million Dollar Agreement with Google to Support Increased Global Access and Diversity in Technology Sector

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA (January 28, 2015). Singularity University (SU), the technology-focused education institute and global business accelerator has announced a new multi-million dollar agreement with Google aimed at breaking down barriers to technology innovation by creating opportunities for a more diverse group of entrepreneurs from around the world.

Through the agreement, Google will provide $1.5 million annually for the next two years to help fund qualified and selected candidates to SU’s flagship Graduate Studies Program (GSP) – a 10-week immersive experience that educates and empowers the best minds to use exponential technologies to solve the world’s greatest challenges. While SU’s sponsored Global Impact Competitions (GIC) winners will continue to comprise a substantial portion of the GSP class, the new Google funding will enable SU to also make the remaining seats in the program available free of charge to direct applicants. GSP participants are engaged in nine tracks of exponential technology development and mentored by leaders and investors in the technology sector with the focus of abating poverty and creating innovative solutions in the areas of clean energy, water, education, security, and healthcare.

Applications are now open for the 2015 Graduate Studies Program through SU’s Direct Admission online application:  http://apply2015.singularityu.org/

“The new agreement with Google is an incredibly important pillar in our efforts to increase global access and diversity for qualified candidates, regardless of their ability to pay,” said Rob Nail, CEO and Associate Founder of Singularity University. “As a graduate of an SU program, I can speak first-hand to the life-changing experience SU offers in inspiring thinking about how technology can improve the lives of billions. Google’s support will further help to break down barriers of access to the Silicon Valley network of technologists, business leaders, and investors.”

Google has long understood the importance of breaking down barriers to be active participants in the creation of technology. “At Google, we believe in the power of access, and we work with organizations to create broad and diverse communities to be change agents,” said Mo Fong, Director of Google’s education outreach programs.

Sample Graduate Studies Program Success Stories

Bibak, a team of women from #GSP14, made a pledge to ensure that every person living in a post-conflict area should live a life free from the ever-present fear of landmines. This team, with members from Italy, Australia and Peru created the Bibak “podtector”, an effective and inexpensive landmine detector that can be assembled on site and delivered in a way that is sustainable, coordinated, and community-led.

More at: http://vimeo.com/104347651

Hivematic. When we think of the fragility of ecosystems, we often think of the decline of fish stocks or large predators, but it is the decline of the lowly bee that could have the greatest impact on humankind with the total number of managed honey bee colonies now decimated from 5 million in the 1940s to less than 2.5 million today. A #GSP13 team project created a smart beehive monitoring system with real-time optimization of hive conditions, thus reducing the risk of colony failure.

More at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UobjSw-y1lQ

Matternet, a team project from #GSP11, had the vision to use unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to ferry medicine and other goods to remote places, such as rural villages in Africa where people often have to walk 20 miles or more to a clinic to receive treatments as simple as blood tests or pills. With Matternet, UAVs will carry the payloads for a substantially lower cost than ground transportation.

More at: http://matternet.us/

Blue Oak Priv Bradoo first considered the idea of extracting valuable metals (copper, silver, platinum, etc.) from discarded electronics (e-waste) at #GSP09. Since then, the company has grown exponentially and now uses existing scaled-up mining industry technologies to capture value from the 40 million tons of e-waste that is landfilled or incinerated annually around the world, containing 70 billion dollars worth of precious and base metals.
More at: http://blueoakresources.com/

Miroculus, a #GSP13 team project, has brought to life an accurate, easy to use, non-invasive, decentralized, operator-independent and affordable microRNA detection platform for molecular data gathering, analysis and interpretation.

More at: http://miroculus.com/

About the Graduate Studies Program

The Graduate Studies Program (GSP) convenes future leaders and entrepreneurs from around the world in a 10-week collaborative experience to develop team-based technology solutions to widespread global challenges. During the GSP, participants are challenged to design a sustainable global solution to positively impact one billion people by leveraging exponential trends, innovation, and the power of entrepreneurship.

About Singularity University

Singularity University’s (SU) mission is to educate, inspire and empower a generation of leaders to apply exponential technologies to address humanity’s grand challenges. Since 2009, SU has hosted entrepreneurs, industry leaders and government officials from more than 85 countries and has prepared both individuals and organizations for exponential technology changes through a series of events, conferences and education programs. SU’s Founding Corporate Partners include Genentech, Autodesk, Cisco, ePlanet Ventures, Google, Kauffman Foundation and Nokia.

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.

EHNAC Approved as Certifier by DEA for E-Prescribing of Controlled Substances

Electronic Prescription of Controlled Substances Certification Program (EPCSCP)demonstrates vendor electronic prescription or pharmacy application compliance with stringent industry regulations

FARMINGTON, Conn. – January 27, 2015 – The Electronic Healthcare Network Accreditation Commission (EHNAC), a non-profit standards development organization and accrediting body for organizations that electronically exchange healthcare data, announced its approval by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) as a certifier of electronic prescription of controlled substances applications. On December 3, 2014, the DEA approved EHNAC’s certification process.

As set forth in DEA regulations, before any electronic prescription or pharmacy application may be used to transmit or receive prescriptions, a third party must audit the application for compliance with the requirements of 21 CFR part 1311, or a certifying organization whose certification process has been approved by DEA, such as EHNAC, must verify and certify that the application meets the requirements.

EHNAC offers two certification programs for vendors handling e-prescribing of controlled substances – EPCSCP-Pharmacy and EPCSCP-Prescription. The two certification programs evaluate pharmacy and prescribing companies that offer applications supporting electronic prescription of controlled substances. Launched in September 2012, these programs are designed to demonstrate that vendors and their applications meet detailed DEA regulations as well as EHNAC core criteria addressing privacy, confidentiality, technical performance, business practices, resources and security.

“Receiving the DEA’s approval for our certification process of electronic prescription of controlled substances is a tremendous milestone in our efforts to create a higher standard of privacy and security and to assure stakeholder trust within healthcare data exchange,” said Lee Barrett, executive director of EHNAC. “Our EPCSCP accreditations support the overall goal of a closed system that reduces fraud for controlled substances, including the lost, misplaced, altered or forged prescription issues that have plagued healthcare in recent years. Ultimately, we hope this encourages more eprescribing entities to become certified, and more prescribers, patients and insurers to reap the efficiency benefits of electronic prescribing.”

Prior to EHNAC finalizing its approval as a certifier by the DEA, the EPCS programs were administered exclusively by Certified Information System Auditors (CISAs) to meet requirements of the DEA EPCS regulation. This process will now be streamlined and handled exclusively by EHNAC for new accreditation candidates.

EHNAC-accredited organizations and commission members Surescripts and Emdeon weighed in on the accomplishment:

“There is no question that secure, electronic prescribing benefits patients, prescribers and pharmacies, especially when it comes to prescribing controlled substances,” said Paul Uhrig, chief administrative and privacy officer of Surescripts. “Surescripts has worked collaboratively with EHNAC and others across the industry to make e-prescribing a reality, and we’re committed to doing the same with EPCS today.”

Kevin Mahoney, executive vice president of Emdeon added: “This recognition by the DEA is an important step forward for the healthcare industry given EHNAC’s position as a well-established standards development organization for accrediting a wide variety of entities who electronically exchange healthcare data. Emdeon is pleased to have had the opportunity to support EHNAC through this process.”

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 27, 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.

Better, Smarter, Healthier: In historic announcement, HHS sets clear goals and timeline for shifting Medicare reimbursements from volume to value

In a meeting with nearly two dozen leaders representing consumers, insurers, providers, and business leaders, Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell today announced measurable goals and a timeline to move the Medicare program, and the health care system at large, toward paying providers based on the quality, rather than the quantity of care they give patients.

HHS has set a goal of tying 30 percent of traditional, or fee-for-service, Medicare payments to quality or value through alternative payment models, such as Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) or bundled payment arrangements by the end of 2016, and tying 50 percent of payments to these models by the end of 2018.  HHS also set a goal of tying 85 percent of all traditional Medicare payments to quality or value by 2016 and 90 percent by 2018 through programs such as the Hospital Value Based Purchasing and the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Programs.  This is the first time in the history of the Medicare program that HHS has set explicit goals for alternative payment models and value-based payments.

To make these goals scalable beyond Medicare, Secretary Burwell also announced the creation of a Health Care Payment Learning and Action Network.  Through the Learning and Action Network, HHS will work with private payers, employers, consumers, providers, states and state Medicaid programs, and other partners to expand alternative payment models into their programs.  HHS will intensify its work with states and private payers to support adoption of alternative payments models through their own aligned work, sometimes even exceeding the goals set for Medicare.  The Network will hold its first meeting in March 2015, and more details will be announced in the near future.

“Whether you are a patient, a provider, a business, a health plan, or a taxpayer, it is in our common interest to build a health care system that delivers better care, spends health care dollars more wisely and results in healthier people.  Today’s announcement is about improving the quality of care we receive when we are sick, while at the same time spending our health care dollars more wisely,” Secretary Burwell said. “We believe these goals can drive transformative change, help us manage and track progress, and create accountability for measurable improvement.”

“We’re all partners in this effort focused on a shared goal. Ultimately, this is about improving the health of each person by making the best use of our resources for patient good. We’re on board, and we’re committed to changing how we pay for and deliver care to achieve better health,” Douglas E. Henley, M.D., executive vice president and chief executive officer of the American Academy of Family Physicians said.

“Advancing a patient-centered health system requires a fundamental transformation in how we pay for and deliver care. Today’s announcement by Secretary Burwell is a major step forward in achieving that goal,” AHIP President and CEO Karen Ignagni said. “Health plans have been on the forefront of implementing payment reforms in Medicare Advantage, Medicaid Managed Care, and in the commercial marketplace. We are excited to bring these experiences and innovations to this new collaboration.”

“Employers are increasingly taking steps to support the transition from payment based on volume to models of delivery and payment that promote value,” said Janet Marchibroda, Health Innovation Director and Executive Director of the CEO Council on Health and Innovation at the Bipartisan Policy Center. “There is considerable bipartisan support for moving away from fee for service toward alternative payment models that reward value, improve outcomes, and reduce costs. This transition requires action not only by the private sector, but also the public sector, which is why today’s announcement is significant.”

“Today’s announcement will be remembered as a pivotal and transformative moment in making our health care system more patient- and family-centered,” said Debra L. Ness, president of the National Partnership for Women & Families. “This kind of payment reform will drive fundamental changes in how care is delivered, making the health care system more responsive to those it serves and improving care coordination and communication among patients, families and providers. It will give patients and families the information, tools and supports they need to make better decisions, use their health care dollars wisely, and improve health outcomes.”

The Affordable Care Act created a number of new payment models that move the needle even further toward rewarding quality.  These models include ACOs, primary care medical homes, and new models of bundling payments for episodes of care.  In these alternative payment models, health care providers are accountable for the quality and cost of the care they deliver to patients. Providers have a financial incentive to coordinate care for their patients – who are therefore less likely to have duplicative or unnecessary x-rays, screenings and tests.  An ACO, for example, is a group of doctors, hospitals and health care providers that work together to provide higher-quality coordinated care to their patients, while helping to slow health care cost growth. In addition, through the widespread use of health information technology, the health care data needed to track these efforts is now available.

Many health care providers today receive a payment for each individual service, such as a physician visit, surgery, or blood test, and it does not matter whether these services help – or harm – the patient. In other words, providers are paid based on the volume of care, rather than the value of care provided to patients. Today’s announcement would continue the shift toward paying providers for what works – whether it is something as complex as preventing or treating disease, or something as straightforward as making sure a patient has time to ask questions.

In 2011, Medicare made almost no payments to providers through alternative payment models, but today such payments represent approximately 20 percent of Medicare payments. The goals announced today represent a 50 percent increase by 2016. To put this in perspective, in 2014, Medicare fee-for-service payments were $362 billion.

HHS has already seen promising results on cost savings with alternative payment models, with combined total program savings of $417 million to Medicare due to existing ACO programs – HHS expects these models to continue the unprecedented slowdown in health care spending.  Moreover, initiatives like the Partnership for Patients, ACOs, Quality Improvement Organizations, and others have helped reduce hospital readmissions in Medicare by nearly eight percent– translating into 150,000 fewer readmissions between January 2012 and December 2013 – and quality improvements have resulted in saving 50,000 lives and $12 billion in health spending from 2010 to 2013, according to preliminary estimates.

To read a new Perspectives piece in the New England Journal of Medicine from Secretary Burwell: http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMp1500445

To read more about why this matters: http://www.cms.gov/Newsroom/MediaReleaseDatabase/Fact-sheets/2015-Fact-sheets-items/2015-01-26-2.html

To read a fact sheet about the goals and Learning and Action Network:http://www.cms.gov/Newsroom/MediaReleaseDatabase/Fact-sheets/2015-Fact-sheets-items/2015-01-26-3.html

To learn more about Better Care, Smarter Spending, and Healthier People:http://www.cms.gov/Newsroom/MediaReleaseDatabase/Fact-sheets/2015-Fact-sheets-items/2015-01-26.html

A blog from Secretary Burwell is here: http://1.usa.gov/1CYFKAk

Participants in today’s meeting include:

  • Kevin Cammarata, Executive Director, Benefits, Verizon
  • Christine Cassel, President and Chief Executive Officer, National Quality Forum
  • Tony Clapsis, Vice President, Caesars Entertainment Corporation
  • Jack Cochran, Executive Director, The Permanente Federation
  • Justine Handelman, Vice President Legislative and Regulatory Policy, Blue Cross Blue Shield Association
  • Pamela French, Vice President, Compensation and Benefits, The Boeing Company
  • Richard J. Gilfillan, President and CEO, Trinity Health
  • Douglas E. Henley, Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer, American Academy of Family Physicians
  • Karen Ignagni, President and Chief Executive Officer, America’s Health Insurance Plans
  • Jo Ann Jenkins, Chief Executive Officer, AARP
  • Mary  Langowski, Executive Vice President for Strategy, Policy, & Market Development, CVS Health
  • Stephen J. LeBlanc, Executive Vice President, Strategy and Network Relations, Dartmouth-Hitchcock
  • Janet M. Marchibroda, Executive Director, CEO Council on Health and Innovation, Bipartisan Policy Center
  • Patricia A. Maryland, President, Healthcare Operations and Chief Operating Officer, Ascension Health
  • Richard Migliori, Executive Vice President, Medical Affairs and Chief Medical Officer, UnitedHealth Group
  • Elizabeth Mitchell, President and Chief Executive Officer, Network for Regional Healthcare Improvement
  • Debra L. Ness, President, National Partnership for Women & Families
  • Samuel R. Nussbaum, Executive Vice President, Clinical Health Policy and Chief Medical Officer, Anthem, Inc.
  • Stephen Ondra, Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, Health Care Service Corporation
  • Andrew D. Racine, Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, Montefiore Medical Center
  • Jaewon Ryu, Segment Vice President and President of Integrated Care Delivery, Humana Inc.
  • Fran S. Soistman, Executive Vice President, Government Services, Aetna Inc.
  • Maureen Swick, Representative, American Hospital Association
  • Robert M. Wah, President, American Medical Association
January 26, 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.

ShareQuality, capturing quality data that matters, is now QCDR Ready

The Anesthesia Quality Institute recognizes Shareable Ink as QCDR ready

Nashville, TN (January 24, 2015) Shareable Ink®, an enterprise cloud-based platform that simplifies clinical documentation at the point-of-care, today announced the release of ShareQuality, the first mobile quality capture product that is QCDR ready, a new and highest level of quality distinction awarded by the Anesthesia Quality Institute (AQI).

ShareQuality helps anesthesia groups implement effective quality programs, participate in quality registries (such as AQI’s NACOR), and ensure appropriate reimbursements.  ShareQuality is unique because it is so easy to use and implement: iPad and cloud-based software captures requisite information without disrupting clinical workflow; real-time reports demonstrate progress and identify problems; sophisticated integration with AQI allows maximum Quality Clinical Data Registry (QCDR) participation.

“Practices can set themselves apart by being leaders in quality reporting and engaging in early adoption of the CMS preferred reporting mechanism, QCDR,” said Lance Mueller, AQI Director.  Shareable Ink, a leader in providing easy to use and adopt capture tools for anesthesiologists, has completed this advanced level of integration with AQI to become QCDR Ready.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) implemented the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) program to encourage health care facilities and professionals to report quality data and the AQI provides the only quality registry for anesthesiology.  With claims-based reporting being phased out, advanced clinical solutions are necessary for to maximize reimbursement while advancing quality data capture.

“Capturing quality data at the point of care is simply the best way to improve safety and achieve better outcomes.  Shareable Ink is proud to work with the Anesthesia Quality Institute and integrate our ShareQuality product with the QCDR,” said Laurie McGraw, president and CEO of Shareable Ink.

Shareable Ink will speak about its ShareQuality offering during The ASA QCDR: Reporting Quality Measures that Matter session at the American Society of Anesthesiologists’ Practice Management 2015 conference on Saturday, January 24, 2015, at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis.

About Shareable Ink

Shareable Ink is an enterprise cloud-based platform that simplifies clinical documentation and EHR use by capturing structured, clinically-rich data using natural input tools including iPad, digital pen and voice recognition. Our solutions for anesthesia, surgery centers, providers and patient check-in are used in leading hospitals and healthcare systems across North America. Shareable Ink amplifies what works in healthcare, and enables clinicians to focus on the patient, deliver the best outcomes and improve the bottom line. For additional information, please visit www.shareableink.com.

I Written By

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

DR Systems Ranked Top 25 EHR Vendor

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

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

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

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

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

About DR Systems, Inc.

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

January 22, 2015 I Written By

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

HIMSS Analytics Honors Kaiser Permanente System With Stage 7 Ambulatory Award

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

CHICAGO (January 22, 2015) – HIMSS Analytics recognized 350 Kaiser Permanente ambulatory clinics with its Stage 7 Ambulatory Award. The award represents Kaiser Permanente’s attainment of the highest level on the Electronic Medical Record Adoption Model™ (EMRAM), which is used to track EMR progress at hospitals and health systems.
 
Developed in 2011, the EMR Ambulatory Adoption Model provides a methodology for evaluating the progress and impact of electronic medical record systems for ambulatory facilities owned by hospitals in the HIMSS Analytics™ Database. Stage 7 represents the highest level of EMR adoption and indicates a health system’s advanced electronic patient record environment.
 
During the third quarter of 2014, only 4.37 percent of the more than 27,000 U.S. ambulatory clinics in the HIMSS Analytics® Database received the Stage 7 Ambulatory Award.
 
“Kaiser Permanente is proud to be part of the HIMSS Analytics Stage 7 Awards since they first began recognizing hospitals in 2009. It’s a rigorous and highly sought after award that recognizes health care organizations for using EHRs at the highest level to improve quality of care, patient safety and process performance,” said Dick Daniels, interim chief information officer, Kaiser Permanente. “Today, all 350 of our eligible ambulatory clinics received the HIMSS Analytics Stage 7 Ambulatory Award. Kaiser Permanente is the largest group in that category. Add our 37 HIMSS Analytics Stage 7 Hospital Awards and we feel confident that our EHR adoption is maximizing care delivery throughout our integrated delivery system.”
 
Kaiser Permanente currently serves approximately 9.5 million members in eight states and the District of Columbia. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal physicians, specialists and team of caregivers. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education and the support of community health.
 
“Kaiser Permanente has clearly met and exceeded all criteria for an ambulatory Stage 7 organization. They have a complete electronic patient medical record with appropriate ubiquitous access to support patient care in all Kaiser Permanente facilities across the country,” said John P. Hoyt, FACHE, FHIMSS, executive vice president, HIMSS Analytics. “With world class analytics, Kaiser Permanente has shown the value of a very comprehensive EHR and the business and clinical analytics to improve care, quality, safety, and efficiency on a world class basis.”
 
Kaiser Permanente will be recognized at the 2015 Annual HIMSS Conference & Exhibition onApril 12-16, 2015, in Chicago, Ill.
 
Visit the HIMSS Analytics website for more information on the Stage 7 award.
 
About HIMSS Analytics
HIMSS Analytics collects, analyzes and distributes essential health IT data related to products, costs, metrics, trends and purchase decisions.  It delivers quality data and analytical expertise to healthcare delivery organizations, IT companies, governmental entities, financial, pharmaceutical and consulting companies. Visit www.himssanalytics.org.
 
HIMSS Analytics is a part of HIMSS, a cause-based, global enterprise that produces health IT thought leadership, education, events, market research and media services around the world. Founded in 1961, HIMSS encompasses more than 52,000 individuals, of which more than two-thirds work in healthcare provider, governmental and not-for-profit organizations across the globe, plus over 600 corporations and 250 not-for-profit partner organizations, that share the cause of transforming health and healthcare through the best use of IT.  HIMSS, headquartered in Chicago, serves the global health IT community with additional offices in the United States, Europe, and Asia.
I Written By

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