Free EHR, EHR and Healthcare IT Newsletter Want to receive the latest updates on EHR, EMR and Healthcare IT news sent straight to your email? Get all the latest EHR News for FREE!

AMIA Issues Report on Electronic Health Records

EHR-2020 recommends changes in the management of medical data.

BETHESDA, MARYLAND – Today AMIA released the results of a task force report on Electronic Health Records (EHR).  The Report of the AMIA EHR 2020 Task Force on the Status and Future Direction of EHRs was released in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association (JAMIA) jamia.org  and represents an evolutionary approach in the management of patient medical data.  EHRs allow health-care providers and clinicians to record patient information electronically instead of using paper records.

The EHR-2020 Task Force is comprised of a distinguished group of 15 experts. The findings are being presented publicly today at the AMIA iHealth 2015 Clinical Informatics Conference in Boston, Massachusetts. The report recommends changes that will support patient engagement, improve provider workflow, support innovation, and set the stage for future improvements that will improve patient’s health and healthcare.

AMIA is at the forefront of using EHRs and information technology to enhance medical care and advance the functionality of EHRs.  The EHR-2020 Task Force report represents practical solutions to the concerns members have about the challenges of EHR adoption. AMIA worked with many groups, government agencies and professional organizations to determine methods to solve EHR challenges that providers encounter, and to further create a sustainable framework for innovation in EHRs.

“Health information technology is a key part of enhancing health and health care, and empowering patients to be first-order participants in their care.  As part of this report, we listened to our members who work closely with EHRs to understand the current challenges. We think these recommendations will improve the value that EHRs will provide to patients, and set the stage for more significant benefit in the future“, said Douglas B. Fridsma, MD, President and Chief Executive Officer, AMIA.

Security and confidentiality are at the heart of EHR planning since its inception and AMIA is acutely aware of the concerns of the general public as well as the medical community.  As the professional home of health informatics professionals, AMIA’s members —multidisciplinary and interprofessional—address many of the EHR problems from a wide range of perspectives:  as informaticians, clinicians, scientists, vendors, innovation and implementation scientists, change agents, and people who cross all these boundaries.

“While we recognize that there are challenges with implementing and using EHR technology, this report is aimed at practical solutions that we believe will improve health and health care for patients and their caregivers. We are hopeful that it will generate the thoughtful conversations and innovations that will make what is possible, real for all patients,” said Thomas Payne, MD, Chair, AMIA EHR 2020 Task Force. Dr. Payne is the Medical Director, IT Services, University of Washington (UW) Medicine and Associate Director, UW Medicine Center for Scholarship in Patient Care Quality and Safety.

There is an urgency to act on behalf of patients and the individuals who care for them. AMIA will continue to work with policy makers on their critical role in moving our nation toward better use of EHRs to better serve medical providers and the general public.

You can find a full copy of the report using these links:   www.jamia.org

Report  http://jamia.oxfordjournals.org/lookup/doi/10.1093/jamia/ocv066

# # #

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.

May 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.

HIMSS Submits Comments on CMS Meaningful Use Stage 3; 2015 Edition Health IT Certification Criteria

Focused on better health through the best use of information technology, HIMSS points to critical components of the draft regulations and suggests improvements to advance the secure and consistent digital exchange of patient health information.      

Arlington, VA (May 29, 2015) – On Thursday, May 28, HIMSS submitted comments to the Department of Health and Human Services on  the Meaningful Use Stage 3 proposed rule and the 2015 Edition Health IT Certification Criteria.  The two letters, sent to Acting CMS Administrator, Andrew Slavitt, and National Coordinator for Health IT, Dr. Karen DeSalvo, respectively, strongly urge CMS and ONC to:

  • Decrease the prescriptive nature of the EHR Incentive program,
  • Increase focus on the substantial capabilities established earlier in the program, and
  • Reduce complexity in the 2015 Certification Criteria.

HIMSS voiced its continued support for the Meaningful Use Program as a tool to positively transform health and healthcare in the United States. Identifying meaningful use as a “critical tool for enabling healthcare transformation,” the response cites HIMSS Analytics data – collected annually on all non-federal US hospitals, and more than 30,000 tethered US ambulatory facilities – that “70% of hospitals have made a positive progression in the advancement of their EHR capabilities over the last five years, with over 60% of ambulatory facilities showing similar progress in the last three years.”

HIMSS reiterated its long-standing commitment to interoperability:  “HIMSS is committed to a culture in which IT is fundamental to transforming healthcare; improving quality of care, enhancing the patient experience, containing cost, improving access to care, and optimizing effectiveness of public payment.”

The full comments on HIMSS response to the CMS Meaningful Use Stage 3include:

  • HIMSS remains strongly committed to making the Electronic Health Record Incentive program less prescriptive and more focused on encouraging and assisting providers to take advantage of the substantial capabilities established in Meaningful Use Stages 1 and 2, including interoperability.
  • HIMSS applauds a proposal in the NPRM for a single definition of Meaningful Use starting in calendar year 2018, no matter when a provider began to participate in the EHR Incentive Program.
  • HIMSS supports the work being done by CMS to align the EHR Incentive Program with other CMS quality reporting programs that also use certified health IT.  HIMSS believes such efforts will lessen the burden on providers.
  • HIMSS is committed to ensuring patient safety remains paramount to the development, implementation, and wide-spread use of health IT systems.
  • HIMSS reiterates its long-standing assertion that 18 months is the minimum length of time needed between the final rules on Meaningful Use, certification, and standards, and the start of any stage of Meaningful Use.  An 18-month timeline allows stakeholders to help educate and prepare providers on the upcoming new stage.  The current timeline for transitioning to Meaningful Use, Stage 3 in 2017 and 2018 does not include 18 months.

The full HIMSS comments  on the 2015 Edition Health IT Certification Criteria include:

  • ONC must address the overall complexity of the 2015 Edition Certification Rule by reducing the total number of criterion, as well as the standards and functionalities included.
  • HIMSS acknowledges that ONC and CMS attempted to reduce the complexity of the requirements for the 2015 edition certification criteria and Meaningful Use Stage 3 in their respective NPRMs for this cycle.  However, given all the new requirements included in this NPRM, HIMSS urges ONC to reconsider the requirements needed for the 2015 edition certification criteria and consider approaches to minimize and simplify the options presented.
  • HIMSS remains cautiously supportive of ONC’s efforts to establish innovative certification and testing programs that utilize health IT.  Certification in support of a Learning Health System must be specific, carefully planned, focused on the areas that have the greatest impact on interoperability, and closely aligned with programmatic goals.
  • ONC or another agency should establish the programmatic goals before commencing with any certification program associated with the effort.  It is important that certification criteria be closely evaluated and aligned with the functionalities necessary to meet the goals of the program in question as the move continues beyond EHR-specific certification.
  • HIMSS supports greater harmonization and alignment across the programs covered by certification.
  • HIMSS supports the idea of including the level of adoption and maturity among standards as an important consideration when evaluating inclusions for certification programs.

HIMSS will continue to monitor the progress on CMS Meaningful Use Stage 3 program and the 2015 Edition Health IT Certification Criteria. Look for updated information at the Policy Center on the HIMSS website. 

About HIMSS

HIMSS is a global, cause-based, not-for-profit organization focused on better health through information technology (IT). HIMSS leads efforts to optimize health engagements and care outcomes using information technology.

HIMSS is a cause-based, global enterprise producing health IT thought leadership, education, events, market research and media services around the world. Founded in 1961, HIMSS encompasses more than 58,000 individuals, of which more than two-thirds work in healthcare provider, governmental and not-for-profit organizations across the globe, plus over 640 corporations and 400 not-for-profit partner organizations, that share this cause.  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.

Get Your Health Records and Help Save Lives

FreeOurHealthRecords.com makes it easy for patients to get their electronic health records from all of their doctors.

It’s free for patients and providers.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA, May 26, 2015 — Every single person has the right to a full copy of his or her health record. Having a complete and accurate record can sometimes mean the difference between life and death.

FreeOurHealthRecords.com, launched today, makes it easier than ever for a patient to collect electronic health records from multiple doctors and hospitals, to review the records for errors, to have multiple records from multiple healthcare providers automatically integrated into a single lifetime record, and to share that record with family members, other caregivers and healthcare providers of their choosing.

Powered by Flow Health, a free secure network that connects consumers, providers, and payers around lifetime patient records,FreeOurHealthRecords.com puts a practical tool in the hands of patients ready to take charge of their own health care.

While as many as 1 in 3 Americans have access to a limited view of their health records, available from one provider at a time, no patients and no providers have longitudinal lifetime views of health records.

The federal government recently issued a report on health information blocking, detailing the various ways in which some healthcare providers and health IT companies limit access to patient health information.

The Office of the National Coordinator of Health Information Technology (ONC) cites its ten-year plan, or interoperability roadmap, as holding some of the keys to solving this problem. Robert Rowley, MD, Co-Founder of Flow Health, said: “The medical literature tells us that over 400 people a day die due to impediments to easy sharing of health records, and countless others are harmed as well through errors brought about by the siloing of health information. We’ve eliminated all excuses by building a platform that is easy to use and that is free to providers and patients.” There is no reason to wait ten years for a solution to this problem.

The solution is available today. FreeOurHealthRecords.com gives patients a simple way to vault over roadblocks and collect and share their health information with their care teams.If a patient’s doctor or health plan is already using Flow Health, the records will already be on the platform and can easily be shared with the patient. For other providers, Flow Health has a HIPAA-compliant process to seamlessly retrieve the patient’s health records.

Individuals using FreeOurHealthRecords.com will be able to rest easy knowing their records are stored securely, that they have the final say in granting access to their records, and that these records will be available to them independent of any relationship with a doctor or other health care provider.

About FreeOurHealthRecords.com

FreeOurHealthRecords.com empowers patients to ask for and receive their health records from as many health care providers as they have. The service is free for patients and for providers. This service is powered by Flow Health, a free, secure network that connects consumers, providers, and payers around lifetime patient records.

May 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.

Amazing Charts Launches Partner Community

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

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

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

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

About Amazing Charts

Amazing Charts provides Electronic Health Records (EHR/EMR), Practice Management, and other Health IT solutions to healthcare practices. Based on number one user ratings for usability, fair pricing, and overall satisfaction, Amazing Charts EHR has been adopted by more than 10,000 clinicians in over 6,800 private practices. Founded in 2001 by a family physician, today Amazing Charts, LLC operates as a subsidiary of Pri‐Med, an operating division of Diversified Communications (DC) and a trusted source for professional medical education to over 260,000 clinicians since 1995. For more information, visit: www.amazingcharts.com.

May 21, 2015 I Written By

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

Kareo Announces Apple Watch App To Improve Medical Practice Efficiency

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

###

About Kareo

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

May 19, 2015 I Written By

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

Overwhelming Majority of Payments to Doctors and Hospitals in New York State Are Still Made Using Fee-for-Service

New Scorecards Show One-Third of Payments in the Empire State Now Tied to Value

April 30, 2015 (New York) – An independent review of health care payments to doctors and hospitals reveals that the vast majority of payments in New York State continue to flow through a fee-for-service mechanism in both the commercial (94%) and Medicaid (73%) sectors. However, a significant proportion of payments are “value-oriented”—that is, designed to boost the quality of care patients receive. Approximately one-third of health care payments to doctors and hospitals in New York State are value-oriented.

Catalyst for Payment Reform (CPR) released the findings today in two Scorecards, commissioned by the New York State Health Foundation.

New York State is currently organizing an ambitious reform effort through its Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment (DSRIP) program and the State Health Innovation Plan (SHIP). DSRIP’s primary purpose is to restructure the health care delivery and payment systems through reinvesting in the Medicaid program. Similarly, a key goal of the SHIP is to ensure that, within five years, 80% of New Yorkers are cared for under value-based payment arrangements, rewarding providers who help patients stay healthy and achieve quality health care outcomes at an efficient cost.

“The shift toward value-oriented payments is critical for improving the quality and affordability of care in New York State,” said James R. Knickman, President and CEO of the New York State Health Foundation. “While we clearly have some work to do to move away from our antiquated fee-for-service system, it’s encouraging that a large proportion of payments are tied to quality and value. New York State is on the right path.”

The Scorecards, based on comprehensive surveys of commercial health plans and Medicaid health plans that collectively insure 16.3 million New Yorkers, found that:

  • Among commercial health plans, 34% of payments are tied to value; similarly, among Medicaid plans, 33% of payments are tied to value.
  • In the commercial sector, less than 15% of payments place health care providers at financial risk for their performance (that is, they stand to lose financially if they overspend or do not meet quality targets); in Medicaid this grows to 46%.
  • In the commercial sector, the most common form of value-oriented payment is pay-for–performance, which is typically traditional fee-for service payment with a bonus for meeting quality or efficiency goals (23%).
  • In Medicaid, the most common form of payment reform is a combination of some kind of non-fee-for-service base payment along with a shared savings agreement (13%). These arrangements are most often put into place to support patient-centered medical homes, or accountable care organizations (ACOs) for which providers may receive a care coordination fee or other per-member per-month payment and have an agreement with payers that they will share in any savings they produce.
  • In the commercial sector, less than 3% of payment arrangements contain “shared risk,” which means providers are financially responsible for any financial losses and have the opportunity to gain financially if there are any savings. In Medicaid this jumps to nearly 13%, likely because Medicaid health plans that are provider-owned are in a better position to hold providers financially responsible for exceeding cost targets.

In 2013 and 2014, Catalyst for Payment Reform produced National Scorecards on Payment Reform, measuring value-oriented payment in the commercial sector across the United States.

“These New York Scorecards released today are groundbreaking because it is the first time we have looked at payment reform by Medicaid in contrast to the commercial sector,” said CPR’s Executive Director Suzanne Delbanco. “We know health care providers need stronger and more consistent signals from payers. These Scorecards help public and private payers identify where there are opportunities for further alignment in their approach to payment.”

# # #

About the New York State Health Foundation

The New York State Health Foundation (NYSHealth) is a private, statewide foundation dedicated to improving the health of all New Yorkers, especially the most vulnerable. Today, NYSHealth concentrates its work in three strategic priority areas: expanding health care coverage, building healthy communities, and advancing primary care. The Foundation is committed to making grants, informing health care policy and practice, spreading effective programs to improve the health system, serving as a neutral convener of health leaders across the State, and providing technical assistance to its grantees and partners.

About Catalyst for Payment Reform

Catalyst for Payment Reform is an independent, non‐profit corporation working on behalf of large health care purchasers to catalyze improvements to how we pay for health services and to promote better and higher-value care in the U.S.

About the New York Scorecard on Commercial Payment Reform and the New York Scorecard on Medicaid Payment Reform

All data in the New York Scorecard on Commercial Payment Reform and the New York Scorecard on Medicaid Payment Reform come from commercial and Medicaid health plans, respectively. CPR collaborated with the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) to collect data from health plans. DFS issued a request for information pursuant to Section 308 of the New York Insurance Law to ensure participation by all health plans within the scope of the project. Ten commercial health plans and fifteen Medicaid plans completed a survey, from which CPR aggregated results. For additional information, please see the relatedMethodology documents.

April 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

About CareCloud

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

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

April 23, 2015 I Written By

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

CMS Releases First Ever Hospital Compare Star Ratings

Comparison Ratings that Help Consumers Compare and Choose Among Hospitals

Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) for the first time introduced star ratings on Hospital Compare, the agency’s public information website, to make it easier for consumers to choose a hospital and understand the quality of care they deliver. Today’s announcement builds on a larger effort across HHS to build a health care system that delivers better care, spends health care dollars more wisely, and results in healthier people.

The Hospital Compare star ratings relate to patients’ experience of care at almost 3,500 Medicare-certified acute care hospitals. The ratings are based on data from the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems Survey (HCAHPS) measures that are included in Hospital Compare. HCAHPS has been in use since 2006 to measure patients’ perspectives of hospital care, and includes topics like:

•           How well nurses and doctors communicated with patients

•           How responsive hospital staff were to patient needs

•           How clean and quiet hospital environments were

•           How well patients were prepared for post-hospital settings

“The patient experience Star Ratings will make it easier for consumers to use the information on the Hospital Compare website and spotlight excellence in health care quality,” said Dr. Patrick Conway, Acting Principal Deputy Administrator for CMS and Deputy Administrator for Innovation and Quality. “These star ratings also encourage hospitals and clinicians to strive to continuously improve the patient experience and quality of care delivered to all patients.”

The Hospital Compare ratings are just one example of how CMS is committed to helping consumers make informed health care decisions. The Nursing Home Compare site already uses star ratings to help consumers compare nursing homes and choose one based on quality. Physician Compare has started to include star ratings in certain situations for physician group practices, and CMS recently added star ratings to the Dialysis Facility Compare site to help to make data on dialysis centers easier to understand and use. Star ratings are planned for Home Health Compare later this year.

These ratings continue to move the health care system toward the Affordable Care Act call for transparent, easily understood and widely available public reporting. They also are a part of the Obama Administration’s Digital Government Strategy by providing content in customer-centric ways.

Consumers will now see 12 HCAHPS Star Ratings on Hospital Compare, one for each of the 11 publicly reported HCAHPS measures, plus a summary star rating that combines or rolls up all the HCAHPS Star Ratings. These star ratings will be updated each quarter.

For more information on today’s announcement, please visit here:

http://www.cms.gov/Newsroom/MediaReleaseDatabase/Fact-sheets/2015-Fact-sheets-items/2015-04-16.html

For more information about the HCAHPS Survey please visit the official HCAHPS On-Line Web site, here:  www.HCAHPSonline.org.

April 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.

IBM Acquires Explorys to Accelerate Cognitive Insights for Health and Wellness

Armonk, NY and Cleveland – 13 April 2015: IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced it has acquired Explorys, a healthcare intelligence cloud company that has built one of the largest clinical data sets in the world, representing more than 50 million lives. The acquisition strengthens IBM’s leadership position in healthcare analytics and cloud computing, and will help bolster its ability to extract and share deep insights to improve wellness and benefit patients.

Since its spin-off from the Cleveland Clinic in 2009, Explorys has secured a robust healthcare database derived from numerous and diverse financial, operational and medical record systems comprising 315 billion longitudinal data points across the continuum of care. This powerful body of insight will help fuel IBM Watson Health Cloud, a new open platform that allows information to be securely de-identified, shared and combined with a dynamic and constantly growing aggregated view of clinical, health and social research data.

Explorys provides secure cloud-based solutions for clinical integration, at-risk population management, cost of care measurement, and pay-for-performance. Headquartered in Cleveland, Explorys clients include some of the most prominent healthcare systems in the United States, together accounting for over $69 billion in care, 360 hospitals and more than 317,000 providers. Explorys’ HIPAA-enabled cloud-computing platform is used by 26 healthcare systems and clinically integrated networks to identify patterns in diseases, treatments and outcomes. Its network includes Cleveland Clinic, Trinity Health, St. Joseph Health System, Mercy Health, Adventist Health System and many others with patients across the country. Market intelligence firm IDC just named Explorys global leader in Healthcare Clinical and Financial Analysis.

“As healthcare providers, health plans and life sciences companies face a deluge of data, they need a secure, reliable and dynamic way to share that data for new insight to deliver quality, effective healthcare for the individual,” said Mike Rhodin, senior vice president, IBM Watson. “To address this opportunity, IBM is building a holistic platform to enable the aggregation and discovery of health data to share it with those who can make a difference. With Explorys, IBM will accelerate the delivery of IBM Health Cloud and IBM Watson cognitive solutions to model and apply medical evidence and large scale analytics to data.”

“Every encounter that a patient has across the continuum of care spins off a meaningful piece of data that can help tell the whole story about an individual’s health to improve the quality and effectiveness of their care,” said Stephen McHale, CEO and co-founder, Explorys. “Information is changing the way care is delivered and paid for. The combination of Explorys technology with IBM’s powerful Health Cloud and Watson cognitive capabilities will expand the reach of health insights so that Big Data can finally be used more easily to transform healthcare. This relationship will not only accelerate but enhance many of the projects underway with our provider organizations.”

Explorys is now part of IBM’s new Watson Health unit, launched today. Its offerings complement and strengthen the IBM Watson Health Cloud platform and will empower IBM’s vast ecosystem of clients, partners and medical researchers to surface new connections among diverse and previously siloed healthcare data sets. Access to these insights is expected to spur the creation of a new generation of data-driven applications and solutions designed to advance health and wellness.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

About Explorys

Originally inspired by physicians and informatics leaders, Explorys combines the most powerful healthcare computing platform in the world with turnkey solutions for clinical integration, at-risk population management, cost of care measurement, and pay-for-performance solutions. Explorys addresses the national imperative to leverage Big Data in healthcare for the improvement of medicine and delivery of care. For more information, please visit www.explorys.com.

About IBM Watson Health

IBM and its vast ecosystem of clients, partners and medical researchers are accelerating the development of a new generation of data-driven applications and solutions built on IBM Health Cloud and IBM Watson cognitive solutions to advance health and wellness. For more information, please visit ibm.com/watsonhealth.

April 15, 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 Care Coordination Platform Launches Mobile SDK for iOS and Android

April 10, 2015, Austin, TX – Patient IO today announced the launch of their mobile software development kit (SDK) for iOS and Android, which embeds the power and depth of the Patient IO platform into any mobile app with just a few lines of code. Integrating Patient IO’s technology can enable more efficient care management, drive better outcomes and quality metrics, and provide a differentiated standard of care. Patient IO is the first and only care coordination platform that offers patient engagement as an embeddable technology solution.

Patient IO helps health professionals coordinate care and engage with patients inside and outside of the clinic. At the core of this is a shared care plan and messaging framework between the provider, patient, and family. Health professionals can review submitted health information in real-time as patients complete their care plan, or have the data piped into their existing EHR.

“With our SDK, customers can enhance their existing app or build entirely new experiences with proven technology that’s architected for enterprise scale and security,” said Patient IO’s CPO and Co-founder Colin Anawaty. “The typical patient portal is not enough for patients with complex conditions. Their outcomes are dependent on themselves and their providers taking an active role in managing their health.”

For patients, Patient IO’s patent-pending technology synthesizes multiple care plans into a unified list of daily tasks, making it easy for patients to follow treatment-specific tasks, receive reminders, and read educational content on their smartphone or desktop computer. Patients can also sync their connected wearables and devices with Patient IO to complete tasks automatically and provide additional insights for the provider.

Patient IO’s SDK is a drop-in solution that works seamlessly across iOS and Android development environments. “We use the SDK to power our own apps,” said Sebastian Celis, Patient IO’s Head of Mobile. “The SDK is a key component of our platform for helping customers maintain support and parity with iOS and Android’s rapid advancements like Apple Health, or, supporting an ecosystem of connected devices.”

About Patient IO

Patient IO is a collaborative care coordination platform that helps health professionals communicate and engage with patients inside and outside the clinic. Patient IO was founded in March 2013 by CEO Jason Bornhorst (Mobiata, Expedia), Chief Product Officer Colin Anawaty (Plerts, Rev Worldwide), and CTO Brian Gambs (HealthShare, WebMD). They are joined by Head of Mobile Sebastian Celis (Mobiata, Expedia).

April 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.