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Patient ID Highlighted as Barrier to Interoperability during Senate HELP Hearing

ANN ARBOR, MI, June 10, 2015 – In a hearing convened by the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) today, witnesses outlined opportunities to improve health information exchange, citing the absence of a nationally-recognized identifier as an ongoing challenge to matching patients to their healthcare data.

Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) cited a 2012 CHIME study of 128 healthcare CIOs and other senior healthcare leaders in which nearly one-fifth indicated that their hospital had experienced an adverse event during the course of the year due to a patient information mismatch.  The Senator spoke to the dangers of patient mismatches and called on witnesses to articulate what Congress and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) can do to solve this patient safety issue.

CHIME member Craig D. Richardville, MBA, FACHE, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer at Carolinas HealthCare System, was among the witnesses that pointed to the need for a consistent method by which to identify patients.  Richardville described the palm scans done within his system, resulting in a 99 percent match rate, but emphasized that the near-perfect match rate is only within his systems.

“This is one of the most public and noteworthy conversations that has taken place on the issue of patient identification,” said CHIME Interim Vice President of Public Policy Leslie Krigstein. “It’s time that Congress recognize the inability to accurately identify patients is fundamentally a patient safety issue.”

The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) has long been an advocate for the accurate, efficient matching of patients with their healthcare data to radically reduce medical errors and save lives. In an effort to find a universal solution for accurately matching patients with their healthcare information, CHIME announced in March that will launch a $1 million challenge later this summer on the HeroX platform.

The hearing, entitled “Health Information Exchange: A Path Towards Improving the Quality and Value of Health Care for Patients,” featured a panel of industry stakeholders gathered to evaluate solutions for improving interoperability.  The hearing is one of several being held by the committee to evaluate electronic health records (EHRs) and the promise of health IT.

In addition to Richardville, witnesses included Christine Bechtel, Advisor to the National Partnership for Women & Families and Chair of the Health IT Policy Committee Consumer Workgroup; Neal Patterson, CEO of Cerner; and Thomas H. Payne, M.D., Chair-Elect of the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) and Medical Director of IT Services at UW Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine.

Despite the nation’s progress with HIT implementation and adoption, Richardville testified that the current health IT ecosystem continues to be a challenge for providers due to lack of interoperability between EHR systems.

“Cost-effective, efficient, and easy to use and integrate health information is foundational to advancing and providing excellent care in this country,” he said.  “Patients and care providers are missing opportunities to improve people’s health and welfare when information is not easily available.”

Richardville outlined several factors for creating a pathway to achieving interoperability including a functional set of standards, data transparency and government-led collaboration among providers, patients, vendors and payers.

“We need clear rules of the road for providers and vendors alike through establishment of functional data and transport standards, methods to measure and test functionalities, with enhanced enforcement tools for regulatory bodies to drive compliance in the marketplace,” Richardville told the committee.

CHIME commends the committee for their ongoing efforts to identify resolute policy actions that can facilitate better patient care through the use of health IT systems.

About CHIME:

The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) is an executive organization dedicated to serving chief information officers and other senior healthcare IT leaders. With more than 1,500 CIO members and over 140 healthcare IT vendors and professional services firms, CHIME provides a highly interactive, trusted environment enabling senior professional and industry leaders to collaborate; exchange best practices; address professional development needs; and advocate the effective use of information management to improve the health and healthcare in the communities they serve.

June 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.

eHealth Technologies and Orion Health Announce Partnership

Partnership Enables North Dakota Health Information Network Access to Medical Images, Providing a Comprehensive View of the Patient Record

Rochester, N.Y., June 9, 2015eHealth Technologies, the leading provider of image exchange solutions and Orion Health, a global population health management and healthcare integration company, announced today that they have partnered to enable North Dakota Health Information Network (NDHIN) to provide healthcare providers across the entire state of North Dakota with access to medical images as a part of the state-wide Health Information Exchange (HIE).

eHealth Technologies and Orion Health have signed a strategic partnership agreement that incorporates eHealth Connect® Image Exchange into the Orion Health Open Platform, enabling its users to access, view, compare and transfer fully diagnostic quality medical images such as x-ray, Computed Tomography, Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Ultrasound studies from anywhere they can access the Orion Health platform. Both companies are committed to delivering the critical and relevant health information needed by providers to care for patients when, where and how they need it.

“The partnership between eHealth Technologies and Orion Health will ensure that providers using NDHIN can access and share diagnostic quality medical images through our Open Platform. This partnership will help us positively affect patients’ health by minimizing radiation exposure from unnecessary duplicate imaging exams, while also reducing the cost of care,” said BG Jones, Vice President, Global Partner Alliances, Orion Health.

Gary Larson, Executive Vice President & General Manager, HIE Solutions for eHealth Technologies noted “Our partnership with Orion Health will allow healthcare providers to access their patients’ images from any external connected facility in full diagnostic quality, on a unified image viewing platform with no software to install, in the context of the complete patient record. Physicians will be able to securely collaborate to make care coordination across multiple facilities more efficient and effective.”

Mr. Sheldon Wolf, Health Information Technology Director, NDHIN also expressed excitement about the physician collaboration that is now possible with an image enabled HIE: “Image-enabling NDHIN will equip our providers with the tools they need to conduct real-time image consultations with other caregivers for a faster and more complete diagnosis and treatment. Being able to quickly connect providers with the information they need in sparsely populated areas will greatly enhance patient care.”

About Orion Health Inc.

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

About eHealth Technologies

eHealth Technologies is the industry-leading provider of continuity of care solutions, serving over half of the nation’s top 100 hospitals, including 12 of the top 17 U.S. News & World Report Honor Roll Hospitals for 2014-2015, and leading health information exchanges (HIEs) across the United States. The company’s eHealth Connect® Referral Pathways solution enhances patient and physician satisfaction by streamlining transitions of care, and assuring physicians have the right healthcare information to care for their patients, right when they need it. As a critical adjunct to HIEs, eHealth Connect® Image Exchange enables the automated access to all types of medical images in the context of the aggregated patient record, in full diagnostic quality, and supports the ability for providers to meet Meaningful Use Stage 2 requirements.  For more information, visit www.eHealthTechnologies.com. Connect with us onTwitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

About North Dakota Health Information Exchange Network

The mission of the NDHIN is to advance the adoption and use of technology to exchange health information and improve healthcare quality, patient safety and overall efficiency of healthcare and public health services of North Dakota.  The North Dakota Health Information Network creates a safe, secure connection for life’s critical moments. For more information, visit http://www.ndhin.org/.

June 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.

Logicalis US IDs Eight Little Known Printing Facts Costing Hospitals Millions of Dollars

Solution Provider Unveils Managed Print Services for Healthcare

NEW YORK, June 9, 2015 – When you think about the technologies that hospitals spend millions of dollars on annually, printers probably don’t top the list – but they should.  Experts say hospitals are seeing as much as an 11 percent increase in their annual print volumes driven by Meaningful Use, the Affordable Care Act, ICD-10, and the adoption of electronic record-keeping (EMR/EHR) methodologies.  At the same time, healthcare IT experts have begun to realize they have little visibility into their organizations’ print assets or operations, something which often leads to stockpiling of supplies and, all too often, to a mismatch of equipment and needs.  Recognizing this, Logicalis US, an international IT solutions and managed services provider (www.us.logicalis.com), today announced availability of its Managed Print Services (MPS) for Healthcare, a cloud-based offering specifically designed to generate cost savings by monitoring print activity and providing analytics and automated alerts to optimize supply orders and service requests.

“Sometimes we let the cool new technologies in our industry get in the way of caring for simple, yet really important things that can reduce costs and improve quality,” says Ed Simcox, Practice Leader, Logicalis Healthcare Solutions. “We all use and walk past printers every day in a hospital setting, but how often do we stop and ask if we’re using these assets to the best of our ability? Are things being printed unnecessarily leading us to overpay for and underutilize these assets? How much money do we spend managing these printers, and how many calls does the help desk get? While it may sound mundane, these are important questions to ask.  Everyone is doing more with less money, and hospitals are looking for places to save costs without affecting patient care; with a service-focused partner providing proper oversight, you can literally save millions of dollars enterprise-wide by instituting best practices in a managed print solution.”

Case in Point
One of the world’s leading cancer research institutes was considering updating an aging fleet of more than 2,500 printers with a significant number of locally attached USB devices.  After trying for 60 days to manually sift through and compile data from paper reports related to print volumes and other pertinent statistics, a consultant who had originally been assigned the task of developing three- and five-year total cost of ownership (TCO) projections estimated he would need at least six months to complete the data collection in order to assess potential savings areas. Managed Print Service technology, however, was able to automate the data collection and report results in significantly less time, quickly identifying three-year TCO reductions in excess of $500,000.

Eight Little Known Facts about Healthcare Printing

  1. Output Growth: Experts say annual print volumes are increasing by as much as 9 percent in black and white and 19 percent in color print processes, 11 percent overall.
  2. Per-User Costs: Analysts estimate that the average healthcare employee generates between $850 and $1,000 per year in document output costs.
  3. Help Desk Woes: As many as half of all calls to a hospital’s help desk are related to print issues.
  4. Waste Reduction: Up to 25 percent of consumables and parts are wasted, something which can often be significantly reduced with predictive ordering.
  5. Ink the Deal: Early cartridge replacement prompts are responsible for as much as 15% of ink supplies waste.
  6. Be Aware: Desktop-connected printers can be the most expensive component of the printer fleet on a per-page basis, tend to be underutilized, have more expensive supplies, and are complex to track and manage.
  7. Significant Savings: A first-year average return on investment for a Managed Print Service solution is as high as 35 percent of the hospital’s print-related expenses.
  8. HIPAA-Safe: Managed Print Service providers never see the actual documents, just the volume data, which means there is no possibility for a HIPAA violation to occur.

About Logicalis

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

Logicalis employs over 4,000 people worldwide, including highly trained service specialists who design, specify, deploy and manage complex IT infrastructures to meet the needs of almost 6,000 corporate and public sector customers.  To achieve this, Logicalis maintains strong partnerships with technology leaders such as Cisco, HP, IBM, EMC, NetApp, Microsoft, VMware and ServiceNow on an international basis and has specialized solutions for enterprise and medium-sized companies in vertical markets covering financial services, telecommunications, media and technology, education, healthcare, retail, government, manufacturing and professional services helping customers benefit from cutting-edge technologies in a cost-effective way.

The Logicalis Group has annualized revenues of over $1.5 billion from operations in Europe, North America, Latin America and Asia Pacific and is one of the leading IT and communications solution integrators specializing in the areas of advanced technologies and services.

The Logicalis Group is a division of Datatec Limited, listed on the Johannesburg and London AIM Stock Exchanges, with revenues of approximately $6 billion.

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

Medicare Limiting Coverage of Drug Sensitivity Testing as of June 22, 2015

New Ruling a Setback for Promise of Personalized Medicine

Seattle, WA (June 3, 2015) — On June 22, 2015, Medicare will begin denying coverage for the majority of genetic drug sensitivity (pharmacogenetic) testing that it has reimbursed since 2009.

Payment denial is expected to impact as many as 19 million of the 49 million Medicare beneficiaries in the U.S. who are at special risk of costly and life-threatening adverse drug events.1 Sadly, if it became a standard of care, this testing could save Medicare millions.

Precision Medicine, the use of an individual’s genetic information to tailor treatment, is by all accounts the future of healthcare. Despite the large body of clinical research supporting the utility of this testing – 17,000 pieces of clinical literature and counting – Medicare’s judgement that there is insufficient evidence to demonstrate that genetic testing improves clinical outcomes could set back adoption of this life-saving test by years.

What is Pharmacogenetic Testing?

Pharmacogenetic (PGx) testing reveals genetic variations that determine how the body metabolizes many of the most commonly prescribed medications. The testing reduces “trial-and-error” prescribing by enabling doctors to prescribe the most effective drug and dose the first time, potentially reducing side effects while saving both the patient and the healthcare system as a whole time and money.

Why is Pharmacogenetic Testing Important?

Research has shown that three out of four people have a genetic variation affecting their response to drugs. Genetically determined variation in drug response is so common that the FDA has included information about drug-gene interactions on more than 130 medication product inserts.

The potential cost-savings of widespread pharmacogenetic testing is huge.  According to the CDC, adverse drug events cost the U.S. health system approximately $3.5 billion annually.2 More than a third of potential clinically significant drug interactions, a potential cause of adverse drug events, have been shown to involve genetics.3  Recent analysis of the recently released CMS Medicare Part D prescription drug data from 2013 suggests:

  • $1.5 billion and 38,000 lives — that’s what genetic testing could potentially save for acute coronary syndrome (ACS) patients receiving percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), who are on the heart medications clopidogrel (Plavix), prasugrel, and ticragelor. In total, 2.9 million Medicare recipients were on at least one of these medications. Medicare spent $894 million on these drugs combined, with Plavix/clopidogrel costs representing 80 percent of that figure.4
  • Between 560,000 and 1.1 million Medicare recipients could be experiencing ineffective pain relief due to genetic variability while taking hydrocodone-acetaminophen, the prescription painkiller taken by the highest number of Medicare patients. In 2013, Medicare spent roughly $567 million on this drug for 8 million individual beneficiaries (about $70 per person). This is even more alarming considering untreated pain is a leading cause for falls, leading to hospitalization in the elderly.

Impact on the Elderly

Statistics show that adverse drug reactions, a specific subset of adverse drug events, cause 1 in 8 hospitalizations, with the elderly being twice as likely to be hospitalized by an adverse drug reaction compared to the non-elderly.5,6 Though it’s unclear how many of these are caused by drug-gene interactions, many Medicare patients are at particularly high risk, since 44 percent of men and 57 percent of women over 65 take five or more medications per week.7 Additionally, the metabolism of six of the top 10 drugs by Medicare claim count is potentially affected by genetics.

“Pharmacogenetic testing has been a covered benefit since 2009. Denying payment for these medically necessary tests is counter to the Triple Aim. Use of these tests could help doctors avoid unnecessary treatment failures and dangerous side effects; plus could reduce the more than $2000 per patient per year Medicare spends on adverse drug events,” said Kristine Ashcraft, Chief Operating Officer at Genelex. “This testing is the underpinning of precision medicine that President Obama recently called out as a national priority, and is required for better patient care.”

The potential for improvements in patient care and costs are not lost on physicians, whose use of PGx testing continues to be on the rise. A 2012 survey published in Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics reports that 12 percent of physicians have ordered PGx testing in the last six months, and 26 percent anticipate ordering a test in the next six months.8 A survey completed in 2014, published in the journal Pharmacogenomics and Personalized Medicine, found that 20 percent of surveyed physicians had ordered a PGx test in the last year.9

Drug sensitivity tests remain available after June 22 from Genelex and other laboratories. Medicare patients talking multiple medications, experiencing treatment failures or unwanted side effects are encouraged to request this testing before the cut-off date (the public is encouraged to visit this patient information site:  http://genelex.com/seniors).  See links below for further information about Medicare and pharmacogenetic testing.

#   #   #

About Genelex

Genelex is a pioneer in comprehensive medication management, pharmacogenetic testing and analysis. Its patented YouScript® Personalized Prescribing Software is the only commercially-available medication management system to assess the cumulative effect of a patient’s genetics and entire drug regimen.  YouScript is an Allscripts Developer Program Approved Application and is used by healthcare providers, clinical researchers and managed and accountable care organizations. Founded in 1987, Genelex is based in Seattle and was one of the first labs to provide pharmacogenetic testing and interpretation. For more information, please go to: www.genelex.com or www.youscript.com.

Sources 

  1. Based on current figures from the Kaiser Foundation in a recent study about the incidence of high-risk medications in patients 65 and over, and phenotype frequency data.
  1. http://www.cdc.gov/medicationsafety/basics.html
  1. Verbeurgt P, Mamiya T, Oesterheld J. How common are drug and gene interactions? Prevalence in a sample of 1143 patients with CYP2C9, CYP2C19 and CYP2D6 genotyping. Pharmacogenomics. 2014;15(5):655-65. Epub 2014/05/07. doi: 10.2217/pgs.14.6. PubMed PMID: 24798722.
  2. Figures are based on an economic model created to show the possible positive impact of pharmacogenetic testing on ACS/PCI patients, using recently released CMS Medicare Part D prescription drug data that detailed how many Medicare patients were prescribed clopidogrel (also known as Plavix), prasugrel, and ticragelor in 2013.
  1. Jansen PA, Brouwers JR. Clinical pharmacology in old persons. Scientifica. 2012;2012:723678. PubMed PMID: 24278735
  1. Beijer HJ, de Blaey CJ. Hospitalisations caused by adverse drug reactions (ADR): a meta-analysis of observational studies. Pharmacy world & science : PWS. 2002;24(2):46-54.
  1. Woodruff B. Preventing polypharmacy in older adults. American Nursing Today. 2010; 5(10). Available from: http://www.americannursetoday.com/preventing-polypharmacy-in-older-adults/
  1. Stanek EJ, Sanders CL, Taber KA, Khalid M, Patel A, Verbrugge RR, et al. Adoption of pharmacogenomic testing by US physicians: results of a nationwide survey. Clin Pharmacol Ther. 2012;91(3):450-8. PubMed PMID: 22278335.
  1. Johansen Taber KA, Dickinson BD. Pharmacogenomic knowledge gaps and educational resource needs among physicians in selected specialties. Pharmgenomics Pers Med. 2014;7:145-62. PubMed PMID: 25045280.
June 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.

Apervita and Mayo Clinic to Create First Self-Service Marketplace for Health Measures

The marketplace is a one-stop-shop to author, publish, and apply measures, allowing users to connect their data to open standard measure definitions

Chicago (June 2, 2015) Apervita, Inc. (apervita.com), the world’s fastest growing health analytics & data community and marketplace, today announced it will expand its platform capabilities to enable any health professional to publish or subscribe to standard, as well as custom, health measures. The new capability automatically transforms measure definitions into computable analytics and is being developed with Mayo Clinic (mayoclinic.org) contributing its expertise in medical care, know how, and technology.

Today, there are already thousands of health measures for quality, safety, outcomes, and finance, with many more to come. These are increasingly the basis for measurement of performance and reimbursement for value-based care. Unfortunately, they are notoriously complex and organizations struggle with the costly process of implementing and maintaining them. This often results in delays of more than 12 months to report new measures or update existing measures. With this new approach, Apervita will offer a family of open interfaces, including open web service APIs, allowing standard measure definitions to be imported, edited, published, executed and exported. Once an author has developed a measure, it can be easily connected to different data sets as well as shared through a global marketplace. Measure results can be displayed on the Apervita platform or accessed through APIs for display within EMRs, third-party systems and mobile applications. The import and export of measures supports the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Quality Data Model (QDM) through which all modern measures are today made available.

“There is already an abundance of health measures that support national, state and local objectives, but creating and deploying them can be a daunting task for any health enterprise. With this new capability, Apervita will serve as a platform for standard health measures, facilitating the distribution and execution of expertly developed and conveniently packaged measure sets,” said Paul Magelli, CEO of Apervita. “Apervita subscribers can conveniently browse measures and build their own measure sets, implementing them across their entire organization to monitor and improve performance. No more costly hours spent designing and coding health measures based on individual interpretations of a published standard. For the first time, the entire organization can concentrate on delivering performance excellence, while the development of standard measures are left to subject matter experts.”

“Healthcare providers and facilities should focus on what they do best, providing high quality patient care. After all, that’s what health care measures are designed to enable,” said Dr. Jyotishman Pathak Ph.D., Professor of Biomedical Informatics at Mayo Clinic. “With thousands of health care measures which continuously evolve, keeping track of, implementing and monitoring the measures has shifted some of that focus away from the patients, and it needs to shift back.”

Mayo Clinic and Dr. Jyotishman Pathak have a financial interest in the technology referenced in this news release.

About Apervita

Apervita is the leading health analytics & data community and marketplace, where prominent health professionals and enterprises from around the globe are being empowered to democratize the world’s health analytics and data to improve outcomes and deliver better health for everyone.

At Apervita, we believe that health professionals and enterprises have already created the greatest wealth of knowledge that has ever existed. Today, the majority of this knowledge is paper-based or locked into proprietary systems. The Apervita community is already unlocking them, turning them into 1,000s of computable and shareable analytics and applying them to improve health.

Apervita enables health professionals and enterprises to author, use, publish and apply apply a market of evidence-based algorithms, measures, pathways, protocols and data sets easily connecting them to data and workflow. Available to every health professional and powerful enough for the entire health enterprise, Apervita provides health analytics at a tenth of today’s cost, in a hundredth of the time.

About Mayo Clinic

Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit organization committed to medical research and education, and providing expert, whole-person care to everyone who needs healing. For more information visit mayoclinic.com or newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org.

June 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.

New Medicare data available to increase transparency on hospital and physician utilization

Data serves as a rich resource to clearer look into Parts A and B costs, services, and trends

As part of the Administration’s efforts to promote better care, smarter spending, and healthier people, today CMS is posting the third annual release of the Medicare hospital utilization and payment data (both inpatient and outpatient) and the second annual release of the physician and other supplier utilization and payment data. The announcement was made at the annual Health Datapalooza conference in Washington, DC.

“These data releases will give patients, researchers, and providers continued access to information to transform the health care delivery system,” said acting CMS Administrator Andy Slavitt. “It’s important for consumers, their providers, researchers and other stakeholders to understand the delivery of care and spending under the Medicare program.”

The Medicare hospital utilization and payment data consists of information for 2013 about the average amount a hospital bills for services that may be provided in an inpatient stay or outpatient visit. The hospital data includes payment and utilization information for services that may be provided in connection with the 100 most common Medicare inpatient stays and 30 selected outpatient procedures at over 3,000 hospitals in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The top 100 inpatient stays represented in the hospital inpatient data are associated with approximately $62 billion in Medicare payments and over 7 million hospital discharges.

The Medicare Part B physician, practitioner, and other supplier utilization and payment data consists of information on services and procedures provided to Medicare beneficiaries by physicians and other healthcare professionals. The data also shows payment and submitted charges, or bills, for those services and procedures by provider. It allows for comparisons by physician, specialty, location, types of medical services and procedures delivered, Medicare payment, and submitted charges. The new 2013 dataset has information for over 950,000 distinct health care providers who collectively received $90 billion in Medicare payments. Hospitals, physicians, and other health care providers determine what they will charge for services and procedures provided to patients and these “charges” are the amount the hospital or provider generally bills for the service or procedure, but the amount paid is determined by Medicare’s physician fee schedule or other payment methodologies. CMS protects beneficiaries’ personal information in all its data releases.

“Data transparency facilitates a vibrant health data ecosystem, promotes innovation, and leads to better informed and more engaged health care consumers,” said Niall Brennan, CMS chief data officer and director of the Office of Enterprise and Data Analytics. “CMS will continue to release the hospital and physician data on an annual basis so we can enable smarter decision making about care that is delivered in the health care system.”

The Administration has set measurable goals and a timeline to move Medicare toward paying providers based on the quality, rather than the quantity, of care they give patients. These data releases are part of a wide set of initiatives to achieve better care, smarter spending, and healthier people through our health care system. Open sharing of data securely, timely, and more broadly supports insight and innovation in health care delivery.

Today’s data release adds to the unprecedented information recently released on Medicare Part D prescription drugs prescribed by physicians and other health care providers.

To view a fact sheet on the 2013 hospital charge data, visit: http://www.cms.gov/Newsroom/MediaReleaseDatabase/Fact-sheets/2015-Fact-sheets-items/2015-06-01.html.

To view a fact sheet on the 2013 Medicare Part B physician data, visit:http://www.cms.gov/Newsroom/MediaReleaseDatabase/Fact-sheets/2015-Fact-sheets-items/2015-06-01-2.html.

June 1, 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.

Groundbreaking Online Library for Training Global Health Workforce mPowering Frontline Health Workers

WASHINGTON,  D.C. – Today, mPowering Frontline Health Workers, a public-private partnership supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), announced the launch of ORB, a comprehensive library of resources for training health workers across the globe. This is the first time ever a resource like this will be freely available in a single location, accessible through internet-enabled mobile devices. Working with partners, ORB has the potential to support 100,000 frontline health workers by 2017; health workers who are delivering services to more than 10 million women and children in USAID’s priority countries.

For most people in developing countries, frontline health workers are the first and only source of health care. If these health workers are effectively trained, we know there’s a positive impact on health outcomes for communities. Yet, many frontline health workers lack the training and support they need to provide simple services that could end the preventable deaths of millions of mothers and children every year.

Currently, many training organizations search for content via the Internet, which comes with no guarantee of quality. Others waste effort in creating training resources that already exist elsewhere, and many use print-based materials that are destined to reach limited numbers of health workers and are expensive to update. We know that health training resources are not routinely shared with the global health community.

At the same time, use of mobile devices continues to expand rapidly, particularly in low- and middle-income countries. This means that, with access to mobile health content, frontline health workers, training institutions and ministries of health can engage in on-demand training and access critical job aids.

ORB, a name chosen for its simplicity and inclusiveness, responds to these opportunities in three ways:

  1. Provides high quality and mobile-friendly health content on a single platform.
  2. Encourages re-use and adaptation of these resources, so that training can reach

thousands of frontline health workers.

  1. Catalyzes a global network to share content for use by health workers, wherever they are in the world.

With over 200 resources, in 13 languages, ORB is attracting interest from leading content developers working in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. As more content continues to be added to the library, ORB will become a truly global resource for frontline health workers everywhere.

By combining easy-to-use, open source content which can be used online or offline by health workers ‘on-the-go’, ORB has the potential to radically enhance the quality and reach of the international health worker training effort. In turn, we will see more confident health workers, with the knowledge and skills they need to transform health outcomes for millions of women and children.

To learn more about ORB, visit http://www.health-orb.org

To learn more about USAID, visit www.usaid.gov.

Contact: USAIDPressOfficers@usaid.gov

About mPoweing Frontline Health Workers:

Frontline Health Workers vision is a trained and skilled health worker for every woman and child. We advocate for more effective training, supervision and support, using the power of mobile technologies to connect health workers to the information and job aids they need. mPowering was launched at the Call to Action and developed ORB to accelerate USAID’s work in ending preventable maternal and child deaths around the world. The mPowering members are Accenture Development  Partnerships,  Dalberg, Frontline Health Workers Coalition, Futures Group, GlaxoSmithKline, Intel, Maternal & Child Survival Program, MDG Health Alliance, New England International  Donors, One Million CHW Campaign, Praekelt Foundation, Qualcomm Incorporated,  through its Qualcomm® Wireless Reach™ initiative, UNICEF, UN Foundation, USAID, Vodafone and World Vision.

I Written By

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

AMIA 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

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

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.