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WEDI Releases ICD-10 Readiness Survey for Industry Participation

Providers, health plans, vendors and clearinghouses to submit responses before March 6 

RESTON, Va. — February 12, 2015— The Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange (WEDI), the nation’s leading nonprofit authority on the use of health IT to create efficiencies in healthcare information exchange, announced the release of an ICD-10 readiness survey to determine how well the healthcare industry is progressing towards the Oct. 1, 2015 implementation deadline. The survey results will be evaluated and compiled into a report for the industry.

Providers, health plans, vendors and clearinghouses are invited to participate in this important initiative to help monitor progress as we move closer toward the implementation deadline. The survey is available here. The final submission deadline is March 6, 2015.

“WEDI has been conducting these surveys since 2009, allowing us to gain a broad perspective on the readiness status for different sections of the industry, and to gauge how quickly they are progressing,” says Jim Daley, WEDI past-chair and ICD-10 Workgroup co-chair. “Since the shift to ICD-10 represents such a significant change to the industry, it is imperative that all organizations stay diligently focused and continue the necessary preparations in order to make the conversion in Oct. 2015 as smooth as possible. This survey is an important part of the educational and advisory roles our organization plays within the industry on ICD-10 and other health IT matters – bringing together all industry sectors to deliver a successful transition.”

As an advisor to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), WEDI brings to the attention of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issues that it believes warrant review and consideration, and continually reports the results of these periodic ICD-10 readiness surveys to CMS.

WEDI will continue to conduct surveys throughout 2015, and information collected from these surveys will help determine where additional outreach and education is needed.

About WEDI
The Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange (WEDI) is the leading authority on the use of health IT to improve healthcare information exchange in order to enhance the quality of care, improve efficiency, and reduce costs of our nation’s healthcare system. WEDI was formed in 1991 by the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) and was designated in the 1996 HIPAA legislation as an advisor to HHS. WEDI’s membership includes a broad coalition of organizations, including: hospitals, providers, health plans, vendors, government agencies, consumers, not-for-profit organizations, and standards development organizations. To learn more, visit www.wedi.org and connect with us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

February 12, 2015 I Written By

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

Massachusetts eHealth Collaborative Continues Strong Momentum Supporting Patient-Centered Medical Home Initiatives into 2015

Multiple Engagements with Leading Healthcare Organizations Strengthen MAeHC Expertise in Supporting Next-Level Patient Engagement and Care Coordination

Waltham, Mass., February 10, 2015– The Massachusetts eHealth Collaborative (MAeHC), a non-profit pioneer and leader in healthcare delivery through health information technology, announced today strong momentum in supporting healthcare organizations’ Patient-Centered Medical Homes (PCMH) initiatives moving into the New Year. With several new and renewed programs, MAeHC continues to assert its leadership in assisting prominent healthcare organizations maximize health outcomes through transitioning to a PCMH.

PCMH is a model for organizing primary care that emphasizes care coordination and communication to transform the organization and delivery of care. The model aims to improve the quality, cost and patients’ and providers’ experience of care. Several prominent health care organizations in NY, including New Dimensions in Health Care and The Center for Discovery as well as a prominent Massachusetts medical center, all engaged MAeHC to assist with achieving National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) PCMH Recognition – from renewals under 2011 standards, to achieving initial recognition as well as Levels II and III recognition. Over 200 physicians have received recognition with MAeHC assistance. Valley Health Partners, the Physician Hospital Organization (PHO) at Holyoke Medical Center, also engaged MAeHC to provide oversight, education and assistance in meeting PCMH goals, including the establishment of a PCMH Oversight Committee. These projects highlight MAeHC’s efforts in helping organizations set the standard for quality improvement and coordinated care that supports access, communication and patient involvement.

Looking to address care processes and identify ways to increase provider performance and improve care quality at an organizational level, Valley Health Partners decided to implement PCMH standards in 2011. MAeHC partnered with the organization to provide oversight, education and assistance in meeting the PCMH goals established by Health New England, a contracted payer committed to this model of care. After initial success, Valley Health Partners once again engaged MAeHC in 2014 for assistance in becoming recognized under the 2011 PCMH Standards and Guidelines. “We wanted to transition from reactive to proactive care for our patients, and we did just that, thanks to the help of the MAeHC team and its deep industry expertise,” said Dr. Robert Fishman, President of Valley Health Partners. “The team assisted the practice with workflow redesign, electronic health record configuration and optimization and process implementation to help transform our practice into a medical home model. With our updated system, patients benefit from our improved engagement and care coordination.”

In its engagements with healthcare organizations, MAeHC leads workflow development and process redesign efforts to implement a sustainable PCMH model of care. The team assists in developing a method of standardization of documentation practices and provides recommendations for ongoing quality improvement activities. This year, members of the MAeHC team completed education and training courses on 2014 NCQA standards and guidelines, becoming certified to provide best-in-class support for organizations in their efforts toward PCMH recognition.

“Coordinated care models are the future of the healthcare industry, and a means for patients to receive the highest quality of care, thanks to having all of their caregivers effectively communicate and work together,” said Pam Minichiello, project director, Massachusetts eHealth Collaborative. “MAeHC is proud to support organizations throughout these meaningful initiatives. More and more, we are seeing organizations work toward this model of care and we are glad to provide the resources to help providers achieve this goal.”

About Valley Health Partners (VHP)

Valley Health Partners (VHP) is a Physician Hospital Organization located in Holyoke, Massachusetts. Membership includes over 150 physicians and health care providers including Holyoke Medical Center, Inc. For over twenty years VHP has been working closely with Managed Care entities to provide quality care to residents of Western Massachusetts.

About Massachusetts eHealth Collaborative (MAeHC) the use of health IT.  Formed in 2004 as a collaboration of non-profit health care stakeholders to demonstrate the most effective ways to deploy EHRs and HIE to improve the quality, safety, efficiency, and affordability of care in Massachusetts, MAeHC now works across the United States with a wide range of physician practices, hospitals, state governments, contracting networks, management services organizations, HIE organizations, technology vendors, and consulting firms.  To learn more about the Massachusetts eHealth Collaborative, please visit www.maehc.org.

February 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.

DR Systems Awarded Seven New Patents

Leading Healthcare Imaging and IT Company Innovates in

Human-Computer Interaction and More Efficient Access to Information
SAN DIEGO, CA – DR Systems (www.drsys.com), a leader in healthcare imaging and information technologies, has recently been granted seven new U.S. patents. They cover technology ranging from intelligent access of medical information to human-computer interaction and image viewing. These patents, which were granted in 2014, demonstrate the company’s long record as an innovator in radiology and healthcare information technology.

“Many healthcare facilities rely on DR Systems to provide crucial technology that will keep them competitive in their market.” said Dr. Murray Reicher, CEO and Chairman of DR Systems. “We continue to develop new technologies that improve efficiency and accuracy of both image reading and overall healthcare information systems. That’s further demonstrated by our recent, industry-leading recognition as 2014 Best in KLAS for radiology software.”

Previously in 2013, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office awarded DR Systems five other patents. The additional seven new patents awarded in 2014 bring the company’s patent portfolio to a total of 23 patents to date, with another 30 patents pending.

Since its inception, DR Systems has led the industry with innovation such as the world’s first filmless imaging center, first filmless U.S. private hospital, first invention of hanging protocols, and first PACS with digital audio recording. The company’s more recent breakthroughs include “image shuffling,” “automated comparison reading mode,” “smart placement rules,” “auto-receive,” “pixel/voxel tracking,” “thin rules” and others.

DR Systems 2014 Patents

Title Patent #
1. Systems and Methods for Retrieval of Medical Data 8,626,527
2. Dual Technique Compression 8,630,501
3. Rules Based Approach to Transferring and/or Viewing Medical Images 8,712,120
4. Systems and Methods for Matching, Naming and Displaying Medical Images 8,731,259
5. Smart Placement Rules 8,751,268
6. Dynamic customizable human-computer interaction behavior 8,797,350
7. Intelligent dynamic preloading and processing 8,867,807

 

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 inseven Best in KLAS PACS awards, far surpassing any other vendor. Since 1992, DR Systems has helped over 600 hospitals, healthcare facilities, and thousands of providersattain higher levels of clinical and financial success.KLAS® recognized DR Systems and its Unity PACS as the #1 ranked PACS vendor and software in 2001, 2006, 2007, 2010, 2011, and 2012.1  Unity RIS was ranked #1 Best in KLAS for Radiology in 2014. 1 For more information about the company, call 800-794-5955 or visit www.drsys.com.

February 9, 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.

Edifecs Tackles Interoperability Issues for the Healthcare Industry

BELLEVUE, Wash. – February 9, 2015Today, Edifecs, a global health information technology solutions company, unveiled the results of the company’s recent participation at FHIR Connectathon 8, one of the health IT industry’s largest standards-based interoperability testing events.  At Connectathon 8, Edifecs was the only company to present interoperability spanning electronic medical records (EMR) system and external partners, such as payer systems.

To demonstrate cross-enterprise interoperability between payers and providers, Edifecs leveraged Open EMR, Edifecs XEServer and a third-party Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resource (FHIR) server. As part of the demonstration, the Edifecs team successfully converted Continuity of Care Document (CCD) to an FHIR Patient Resource with integration to Open EMR. In the simple but important demonstration, Edifecs was able to show that investments by the industry in CDA R.2 constructs can be leveraged and made interoperable using FHIR Resources without a major re-write of interfaces and native EMR functionality.

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information (ONC), provider industry groups, and even Congress, are putting pressure on healthcare IT and EMR vendors to make data more shareable.  Interoperability and the ability to share and consolidate data across the care continuum are critical to achieving Triple Aim. The only way to achieve this interoperability at scale is by implementing industry standards. As a result, it is likely that FHIR will be included in future standards, such as Meaningful Use Stage 3 (MU3).

FHIR is gaining significant traction in the healthcare IT space with support from leaders like, John D. Halamka and Micky Tripathi.  In December 2014, Chuck Jaffe announced The Argonaut Project, an effort to accelerate FHIR.  Cerner, Epic, Meditech, athenahealth, McKesson, The Advisory Board and several provider organizations have agreed to provide funding and political backing to ensure that HL7 implementation guides for FHIR are available by May 2015.

“To carry our industry forward, we must walk hand-in-hand. By that, I mean partnerships are crucial, and at the crux of them is interoperability,” said Sunny Singh, President and CEO of Edifecs.  “The potential cost savings achieved from industry standards and better interoperability are in the billions of dollars. We are singularly focused on building the pathways to these partnerships to realize these efficiencies and help fix our healthcare system.”

Interoperability and the associated costs and complexity have hampered the ability to create and scale payer/provider partnerships and are the biggest barrier to creating accountable care organizations (ACOs).  There is a widely-held belief that payers and providers have conflicting interests and are reluctant to work together, but both groups need and want to share data to drive payment reform and deliver better and more affordable care. Edifecs is helping solve this challenge by developing cost effective ways to converge the clinical and administrative data streams in healthcare, thereby creating tangible, measurable value in support of collaborative payer/provider partnerships.

On January 30, 2015, the ONC released a shared nationwide interoperability roadmap for public comment.

The roadmap calls for better definition of standards, something that has been elusive in health IT to date. The roadmap’s goal is to provide steps to be taken in both the private and public sectors to create an interoperable health IT ecosystem over the next 10 years. One of the main focuses on the roadmap is to enable “a majority of individuals and providers across the care continuum to send, receive, find and use a common set of electronic clinical information at the nationwide level by the end of 2017.”

Edifecs is delivering the capability to exchange electronic clinical information to our customers.  We are committed to interoperability and look forward to participation in industry workgroups and events that seek to ease the difficulty of partnering to improve care.

About Edifecs

Edifecs develops innovative, cost-cutting information technology solutions to transform the global healthcare marketplace. Since 1996, Edifecs technology has helped healthcare providers, insurers, pharmacy benefit management companies and other trading partners trim waste, reduce costs and increase revenues. More than 350 healthcare customers today use Edifecs solutions to simplify and unify financial and clinical transactions. In addition, Edifecs develops supply chain management solutions to support worldwide customers in non-healthcare industry segments. Edifecs is based in Bellevue, WA, with operations internationally. Learn more about us at www.edifecs.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.

Health care informatics leaders bring expertise to new STTI book

Experts explain importance, provide guidance for future of burgeoning health care informatics industry

INDIANAPOLIS — Since the 2009 passing of the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, health care providers across America have begun to adopt electronic health records (EHRs), creating a rapidly growing need for health care informatics resources and expertise.

Mastering Informatics: A Healthcare Handbook for Success,a new book published by the Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI), not only provides helpful guidance in understanding informatics, but also offers continuing nursing education (CNE) credit, making it both a helpful career resource and an imperative professional development tool for nurses specializing in informatics.

With increasing adoption of EHRs, the need for informatics resources has also increased. Many nursing and clinical informaticists transitioned into their positions from superuser roles during or after a system implementation.

“These informatics workers possess ‘on the job’ experience but lack the applied science that currently exists in the field of informatics,” said one of the book’s authors, Patricia P. Sengstack, DNP, RN-BC, CPHIMS. “Since informatics has evolved into a specialty that possesses a unique body of knowledge backed by science, the book will provide an essential guide to surviving in many of these new and emerging roles in health care informatics.”

Increasingly, nursing students find that they are required to pass an informatics class in order to graduate. As these new informaticists continue to develop the growing field, it is important to be sure that they have all the necessary tools.

In Mastering Informatics, experts Sengstack and Charles Boicey, MS, RN-BC, CPHIMS, present key informatics concepts to help readers increase knowledge and expertise. The authors begin with the phases of the system development lifecycle (SDLC): planning and analysis, design and usability, testing, training, implementation, maintenance, and evaluation. This overview provides informatics nurses, physicians, pharmacists, dentists, dietitians, and other clinical professionals with a solid foundation of knowledge, positioning them for success within any clinical system.

Mastering Informatics is the first health care informatics text to offer real-life experiences and strategies instead of relying solely on theories and models. The book demonstrates the importance of health care informatics in the present and future.

A companion CNE course (30.6 CNE contact hours) for Mastering Informatics is also available. The book and online course, Mastering Informatics Companion CNE, will prepare nurses for the American Nurses Credentialing Center board certification exam in nursing informatics.  Each book contains a one-time use coupon code allowing readers to purchase the course for US $50 (regularly priced US $250).

Mastering Informatics: A Healthcare Handbook for Success
Authors: Patricia Sengstack, DNP, RN-BC, CPHIMS; Charles Boicey, MS, RN-BC, CPHIMS
Published by STTI, 2015
ISBN-13: 9781938835667
EPUB ISBN: 9781938835674
PDF ISBN: 9781938835681
MOBI ISBN: 9781938835698
Price: US $59.95
Soft Cover, 480 pages
Trim size: 73/8 x 91/8

About the authors

Patricia P. Sengstack, DNP, RN-BC, CPHIMS, is the chief nursing informatics officer for the Bon Secours Health System. She serves on the curriculum advisory board for the University of Maryland’s Nursing Informatics program and is an informatics lecturer at Vanderbilt University’s School of Nursing at both the master’s and doctoral levels. She is the president of the American Nursing Informatics Association and has served on its board of directors since 2012.

Charles M. Boicey, MS, RN-BC, PMP, CLNC, CPHIMS, is the enterprise analytics architect for Stony Brook Medicine. He is the vice president of the American Nursing Informatics Association and has served on its board of directors since 2010. He was a founding member of the team that developed the Health and Human Services award-winning application MappyHealth, and he developed Saritor, which is a novel big data health care data platform for advanced health care analytics.

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The Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI) is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to support the learning, knowledge, and professional development of nurses committed to making a difference in health worldwide. Founded in 1922, STTI has more than 130,000 members in more than 85 countries. Members include practicing nurses, instructors, researchers, policymakers, entrepreneurs, and others. STTI’s 499 chapters are located at 695 institutions of higher education throughout Australia, Botswana, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, England, Ghana, Hong Kong, Japan, Kenya, Malawi, Mexico, the Netherlands, Pakistan, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Swaziland, Sweden, Taiwan, Tanzania, the United States, and Wales. More information about STTI can be found online at www.nursingsociety.org.

February 4, 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.

Exostar Reaches New Milestones with Life Sciences Identity Hub

Community Expands into Healthcare, Medical Device Markets; Company Formally Launches Partner Program

HERNDON, VA, February 4, 2015Exostar, an innovative information technology company offering cloud-based solutions that enable secure, cost-effective business-to-business collaboration, today announced its Life Sciences Identity Hub attained key milestones over the second half of 2014, including the following:

  • 40% Increase in Connected Organizations – Nearly 700 companies, such as manufacturers, contract research organizations, and laboratories, are active participants in Exostar’s hybrid cloud community.
  • 50% Increase in Academic Institutions – Over 60 universities are collaborating with life sciences organizations to speed the drug research and development process.
  • 50% Increase in Engaged Users – Almost 15,000 individuals are executing business-critical efforts through the Life Sciences Identity Hub.
  • Expansion into New Markets – The Exostar community now encompasses health IT vendors, healthcare providers, and medical device manufacturers who are helping bring life-altering and life-saving therapies to patients through solutions like electronically prescribed controlled substances.

Exostar’s Life Sciences Identity Hub is a cloud-based, connect-once solution delivered as-a-Service.  As a result, Exostar handles all organization and individual on-boarding, user authentication, and application connection and access enforcement requirements.  Organizations can mitigate risk and minimize the burden on their IT resources to establish the collaborative operating environments they desire.  Individuals benefit from a single sign-on user experience and secure access to the applications and information they need to conduct business with colleagues inside and outside of the enterprise.

“Organizations in life sciences and healthcare are adopting an external partner business model to reduce cost, ensure compliance, and get new drugs to market as quickly as possible,” said Daniel Pfeifle, Exostar’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing.  “These companies are embracing our proven, scalable Life Sciences Identity Hub because it allows them to engage and productively collaborate beyond enterprise boundaries faster and more securely than virtually any other alternative.”

In response to demand for improved cloud access in the Life Sciences and Aerospace and Defense industries, Exostar has launched a new partner program to extend the company’s reach and the value of participating in the community.  The partner program formalizes the relationships with current partners and lays the foundation for the immediate addition of application partners, reseller partners, technology suite partners, and strategic alliance partners.

To oversee the growth of this strategic initiative, Exostar has hired a new Director of Global Partnerships and Alliances, Kevin O’Brien.  O’Brien brings over 25 years of business development and technology experience to his position, where he will be responsible for the planning and execution of the Exostar partner program.  He comes to Exostar from Sprint Nextel, where he spent nine years crafting multi-million dollar relationships with Microsoft, Cisco, IBM, Alcatel-Lucent, and other global market leaders.

About Exostar

Exostar powers secure business-to-business information sharing, collaboration and business process integration throughout the value chain.  Exostar supports the complex trading needs of many of the world’s largest companies in aerospace and defense, life sciences, and other industries.  Exostar’s cloud-based identity assurance products and business applications reduce risk, improve agility and strengthen trading partner relationships and profitability for over 100,000 companies in 150 countries worldwide.  The Exostar community includes market leaders such as AstraZeneca, BAE Systems, Bell Helicopter, The Boeing Company, Computer Sciences Corporation, Lockheed Martin Corp., Merck, Newport News Shipbuilding, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon Co. and Rolls-Royce.  For more information, please visit www.exostar.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.

Clearing the Way for Patients to Get Access to their Data

WASHINGTON, D.C. (February 3, 2015) – The National Association for Trusted Exchange (NATE) today kicked off its new NATE Blue Button for Consumers (NBB4C) Trust Bundle at the 2015 ONC Annual Meeting with a surprise display of interoperability in patient-mediated exchange.  Shortly after NATE’s announcement, Greg Meyer, Director, Distinguished Engineer, Cerner Corporation, demonstrated how a provider using a Cerner electronic medical record (EMR) can simply push a patient record to the patient’s personal health record (PHR), in this case to the Humetrix iBlueButton app running on the patient’s smartphone.

The new NBB4C Trust Bundle helps relying parties to identify consumer facing applications (CFAs) that meet or exceed criteria considered to be the most important characteristics of a trustworthy steward of consumer health information, while still enabling patients to benefit from the value of having access to their health information.  Participation in the trust bundle will facilitate secure exchange of health information from provider-controlled applications to consumer-controlled applications such as PHRs using Direct secure messaging protocols.

“Thank you to my colleagues at Cerner and Humetrix for helping NATE demonstrate the capabilities of the new NATE Blue Button for Consumers Trust Bundle at the ONC Annual Meeting.  Greg’s demonstration today shows that the NBB4C is ready now to enable real world exchange between provider-facing applications and consumer-facing applications, empowering the consumer to get access to their data,” said NATE’s CEO Aaron Seib.  “Our industry achieved a major milestone today.  We studied the issues around securely sharing information from providers to patients and together we took a leap of faith.  Consumers across the country will now have more control over their care.  NBB4C gets the information flowing to where it should be: in the hands of the patient.  I look forward to the day when patients across the nation routinely download their health information into a consumer-facing application of their choice and use it to improve their lives and the lives of those they love.”

The NBB4C Trust Bundle is the result of the next generation of NATE’s ongoingPHR Ignite Project and incorporates lessons learned from NATE’s administration of the Blue Button Consumer Trust Bundles.  Over the past year, NATE and a task group made up of thought leaders in the patient-mediated exchange space worked together to develop a set of criteria and expectations that balances what is a ‘must have’ for today and what can wait until tomorrow, what is practical as a starting point and what is a showstopper that would kill consumer engagement if introduced.  In November 2014, NATE crowdsourced the trust framework, calling for and receiving comments from across the industry.  In January 2015, the NATE Board of Directors approved the workgroup’s recommendation for release into production.

“The NBB4C establishes a practical framework that will enable patients to securely exchange health information with their providers without burdening the patient with unnecessary steps to obtain their data and share it with whomever they choose,” said MaryAnne Sterling, Consumer Ombudsman for the NATE Board of Directors.  “As a long time caregiver for my aging parents, this work is important to all of us who manage healthcare on behalf of others.  I have confidence that applications participating in the NBB4C will meet or exceed my expectation that my family’s health information will be confidential and secure.”

Interested CFAs may begin onboarding to the NBB4C Trust Bundle now athttp://nate-trust.org/trustbundles.  Stakeholders interested in participating in the next phase of NATE’s work in consumer-mediated exchange should consider NATE membership or subscribe to news from NATE’s PHR Community.

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About National Association for Trusted Exchange

The National Association for Trusted Exchange (NATE) brings the expertise of its membership and other stakeholders together to find common solutions that optimize the appropriate exchange of health information for greater gains in adoption and outcomes. Emerging from the Western States Consortium, a pilot project supported by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), NATE was established as a not-for-profit organization in May 2013. Consistent with NATE’s mission to address the legal, policy, and technical barriers that inhibit health information exchange between entities within a state and across states, NATE leads and participates in a number of ongoing and emerging projects in the HIE domain. NATE has been operating its own Trust Bundles in production since November 2012 and recently took over administration of the Blue Button Consumer Trust Bundles.  Working with a broad set of stakeholders through multiple task forces, crowdsourcing and a call for public comment, NATE is proud to make available the first release of NATE’s Blue Button for Consumers (NBB4C) Trust Bundle beginning in 2015.

About Cerner

Cerner’s health information technologies connect people, information and systems at more than 18,000 facilities worldwide. Recognized for innovation, Cerner solutions assist clinicians in making care decisions and enable organizations to manage the health of populations. The company also offers an integrated clinical and financial system to help health care organizations manage revenue, as well as a wide range of services to support clients’ clinical, financial and operational needs. Cerner’s mission is to contribute to the improvement of health care delivery and the health of communities. Nasdaq: CERN. For more information about Cerner, visit cerner.com, read our blog at cerner.com/blog, connect with us on Twitter at twitter.com/cerner and on Facebook atfacebook.com/cerner.

As of February 2, 2015, Cerner Corporation acquired Siemens Health Services.  Certain trademarks, service marks and logos set forth herein are property of Cerner Corporation and/or its subsidiaries. All other non-Cerner marks are the property of their respective owners.

About Humetrix

Humetrix has pioneered the development of innovative consumer-centered IT solutions over the past 15 years, which have been deployed around the world.  The company’s award winning Blue Button enabled apps are the mobile embodiment of the U.S. Federal government Blue Button initiative available to more than 150 million Americans. Humetrix’s HHS award winning emergency and disaster preparedness mobile apps are now being advocated by EMS agencies across the US and were demonstrated at the White House Innovation for Disaster Response and Recovery Demo Day last summer. For more information, visit www.ibluebutton.com and www.humetrix.com.

February 3, 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.

Statement by Joe Baker, President of the Medicare Rights Center, on the President’s 2016 Budget

New York, NY—In this 50th anniversary year for the Medicare program, the President’s budget request contains some good news for Medicare beneficiaries and their families. The good news—the budget outlines responsible solutions to slow Medicare spending, suggests a path to accelerate value-based delivery system reforms and names seemingly small, but critically important, legislative fixes to enhance the program. But there is some bad news as well—the President continues to endorse harmful proposals to shift higher health care costs to Medicare beneficiaries, both now and in the future.

We share the President’s deep concern about the rapidly rising cost of high-priced specialty and brand name medications, and we applaud proposals in the budget that would reduce wasteful spending on prescription drugs. We strongly support proposals to allow the federal government to negotiate prices for breakthrough medicines, to restore Medicare’s ability to benefit from the same prescription drug discounts that Medicaid receives, and to accelerate closure of the Part D prescription drug coverage gap (or doughnut hole). These policies represent sensible savings solutions that do no harm to people with Medicare.

We appreciate that the President’s budget expressly commits to hosting the 2015 White House Conference on Aging, and we hope that this venue will provide a forum to advance needed improvements to the Medicare program. Among these are options like that included in the President’s budget to simplify the appeals process for beneficiaries dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid. This proposal would alleviate known barriers to accessing needed health care services for low-income beneficiaries unable to navigate the needless complexity of a fragmented appeals system.

Access to an adequate appeals mechanism and other beneficiary protections are a central concern with the President’s new request to implement a program in Medicare Part D to limit provider and pharmacy access for individuals suspected of prescription drug misuse. We urge both Congress and the President to preserve beneficiary access to medically necessary drugs and to adequately engage both the provider and beneficiary community in the design of any such program.

Finally, we remain deeply concerned by proposals that would shift the burden of higher health care costs to low-income and middle class beneficiaries, such as policies to further means test Medicare premiums, add a home health copayment, increase the Medicare Part B deductible, tax supplemental Medigap plans and hike brand name drug copayments for low-income beneficiaries.

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.

Sookasa Launches a Cloud Encryption Capability that Lets Users Securely Receive Files from Anyone

SAN MATEO, CA February 02, 2015

Cloud security company Sookasa, Inc. has added a breakthrough capability to its portfolio of data encryption services, now allowing customers to securely receive documents from anyone, including non-users of Sookasa.

Sookasa provides seamless Dropbox encryption and facilitates HIPAA- and FERPA-compliant use of the cloud, enabling users to securely store, sync, and share confidential files. The company’s new secure receipt capability joins the previously released secure sending feature to form Sookasa’s new File Delivery platform—the seminal one-way sharing suite designed to eliminate the need for high-risk email or clunky faxes to exchange information. Sookasa’s encryption solution now addresses every step of the sharing process to ensure compliance.

“Receiving information from clients has long posed a security challenge to businesses in regulated industries,” said Asaf Cidon, CEO and co-founder of Sookasa. “No matter how many precautions businesses take to secure and send data responsibly, their own customers can undermine these efforts by relying on easy modes of transfer—especially email—without regard for security of their own data. We deliver file encryption on non-users’ terms—they don’t need to have Sookasa or Dropbox to take advantage of both services.”

For the first time, content can be automatically encrypted and delivered securely by non-users, with no download or setup required by the sender. Each Sookasa user has a unique secure receipt URL that they can share with others.

For example, if a patient needs to send sensitive health information to her doctor, she simply clicks the link provided by her physician and uploads the document. It’s seamlessly encrypted by Sookasa, and the file is transferred directly to a secure subfolder in the Sookasa user’s account.

Don Murray, a criminal defense attorney and founding partner of New York firm Shalley & Murray, uses Sookasa to receive critical case documents from clients. “I’m thrilled to have Sookasa’s secure uploads capability,” Murray said. “It’s become a competitive advantage with clients, allowing me to distinguish myself from other lawyers who don’t care as much about security and still rely on email.”

Jayson Hanelius, director of behavioral health agency Positive Services for Kids, said Sookasa’s new feature has made sharing files and collaborating in a HIPAA-compliant environment easier. “It’s changed how we do things—we used to rely completely on faxing—and has made communicating much simpler,” Hanelius noted. “Electronic communication is vital to us, because we’re not actually meeting in a central location. With Sookasa, I have real-time insight into the work of my 28 clinicians who are out in the field seeing patients and sending me files.”

The File Delivery suite, like the rest of Sookasa’s solutions, is geared toward putting the onus on technology to ensure effortless compliance.

“This is a key tool for users who need to give their own customers confidence that their personal information is being protected, but without the inconvenience of making them find a way to secure the information on their end,” Cidon said.

About Sookasa
Sookasa delivers seamless Dropbox encryption and security, enabling professionals to use their favorite cloud service to store, sync, and share sensitive data while complying with regulations such as HIPAA and FERPA. Sookasa provides a complete compliance shield around files by encrypting with bank-grade AES 256-bit encryption and using patented cloud-based key management to restrict access to authorized employees and partners. Through the Sookasa dashboard, businesses can effortlessly control and audit access to their sensitive data across users, devices and files. In addition, administrators can revoke access in real-time to any user or device. Learn more at https://www.sookasa.com.

February 2, 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.

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.