Blog Archives

Meaningful use program Stage 3 inches nearer to approval

The draft regulatory language of Stage 3 of the meaningful use program, scheduled to start in 2017, has been submitted for review to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs in the Office of Management and Budget. The rules, submitted

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Billions at risk as providers face Stage 2 hurdle

An impressive number of healthcare providers met Stage 1 requirements and qualified for EHR payments in 2011 and 2012 – some 170,000. Of these providers, who are therefore eligible to continue in the EHR incentive program, only about 4% appear

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Stage 2-ready software delays prompt CMS to postpone Stage 2 deadline

While vendors were able to supply the software needed for healthcare providers to comply with Stage 1 of the EHR incentive program, they are experiencing delays in developing the software needed for Stage 2 meaningful use compliance.  In response to

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Rural providers cope with HIT staffing deficits

If compliance with ONC regulations is challenging for healthcare providers in urban areas, with high concentrations of IT professionals, it is especially challenging for rural providers where IT resources in the form of human capital are scarce.  The federal government’s

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Software to ease ICD-10 transition: providers consider the options

Congress’ decision this spring to delay the ICD-10 deadline has given healthcare providers some extra breathing space to make the transition, but many are seeking additional help in the form of new “language-to-code” translation software. Via Modern Healthcare: Despite the

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Montana hospital one of first to sue vendor in court over non-compliant EHR system

Healthcare providers face many challenges in trying to keep up with ever more rigorous requirements for EHR software compliance.  EHR software vendors seem to be struggling, too, in many cases causing their clients to fail the federal EHR certification requirements, thereby

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Mostashari urges HIT vendors to conduct themselves ethically

Farzad Mostashari, National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, believes most HIT vendors operate in good faith.  At a recent meeting, however, Mostashari stated that he will be testing organized peer pressure as a means of bringing more ethically problematic vendors into line,

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HHS Inspector General: Medicare EHR incentive program lacks adequate safeguards against error and fraud

The HHS Inspector General this week reported the results of its recent investigation to “verify the accuracy of professionals’ and hospitals’ self-reported meaningful-use information, as well as eligibility and payment amounts.”   The investigation reviewed payments issued from May through December

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ONC: no caps on per-provider EHR incentive payments

National Coordinator for Health IT Farzad Mostashari has announced there is no cap on how much individual providers may receive in meaningful use incentive payouts, as long as they meet the requirements for the EHR incentive payments program.  According to

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Majority of health care providers have entered electronic age

Over half of U.S. doctors now use electronic medical records, and half of the remainder plan to start in the coming year, a new poll has found. Via HealthDay: TUESDAY, July 17 (HealthDay News) — A majority of U.S. physicians

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Patient-accessible electronic medical records may increase preventive care

Patients increased their preventive care significantly after being given access to their medical records online in a recent study.  These health care consumers’ use of preventive care measures such as cancer screenings, and immunizations, were higher than those of consumers

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HHS advisory panel recommends delaying Stage 2 Meaningful Use until 2014

The HIT Policy Committee, which advises the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT in the Department of Health and Human Services, voted 12-5 to approve a significant delay in requiring providers to meet Stage 2 Meaningful Use until

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GOP bill proposes repeal of HITECH Act

Via Healthcare IT News: The Spending Reduction Act of 2011 (H.R. 408), introduced on January 24 by Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), seeks to reduce federal spending by $2.5 trillion over the coming decade. As it does so, it singles out

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Registration for CMS EHR Incentive program is now open

Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) opened the registration process for eligible hospitals and professionals hoping to capitalize on the incentive payments provided under the HITECH Act.  Each such hospital or professional needs to register with CMS in order

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Our column in Government Health IT on RECs and HIT contracts

Government Health IT published a column by Steve Fox and yours truly on the critical role Regional Extension Centers (RECs) can and should play in distributing best practices regarding contracting for health IT systems, including EHRs.  Via Government Health IT:

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CCHIT certifies 19 complete EHRs and 14 EHR modules

On October 1, 2010, CCHIT announced certifications of 19 “complete” EHR products, including, for example, Epic products for both hospitals and eligible professionals, and Allscripts and GE Centricity products for eligible professionals. CCHIT also certified 14 “module” EHR products, from

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Steve Fox interviewed by InformationWeek about EHR contracts

Our own Steve Fox was interviewed by InformationWeek regarding the essential protections healthcare providers should include in their EHR contracts with health IT  vendors.  In particular, Steve warned providers against simply accepting vendor agreements without carefully reviewing and negotiating the key

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In the news: Senators request easing of meaningful use requirements; HHS releases over $267M for RECs and more

A group of 37 U.S. Senators sent a letter to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius expressing concern regarding the current definition of meaningful use.  The senators urged the Secretary to “allow providers to ‘temporarily defer a limited set of IT goals’ without

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Slides from webinar on negotiating “must-have” provisions in HIT contracts

Last Thursday, March 18, 2010, from 1:00PM to 2:00PM (EDT), Post & Schell hosted the second webinar in a series examining the effects of meaningful use and other HITECH Act regulations on the healthcare industry. The webinar focused on identifying and negotiating

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Steve Fox Interviewed on Negotiating EHR Agreements

As if foreshadowing our upcoming webinar on negotiating EHR license agreements in the post-HITECH world, For the Record interviewed our own Steve Fox on this very subject in its February 15, 2010 cover story:       Steve Fox, senior partner and chair

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Breaking: ONC releases NPRM on certification programs

ONC announced release of the much-anticipated Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on certification programs.  Via ONC Press Release:         Certification of Health IT will provide assurance to purchasers and other users that an EHR system, or other relevant technology,

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Thursday: Free Webinar on “Meaningful Use”

On Thursday, February 25, 2010 from 1:00PM to 2:00PM (EST), Steve Fox and yours truly will host a free webinar, the first in a series, which will focus on the critical definition of “meaningful use” of “certified EHR technology,” as described

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ALERT: CMS and ONC to Discuss Next Steps in EHR Programs Today

Today the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) will announce two regulations that lay a foundation for improving quality, efficiency, and safety through meaningful use of electronic

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Updated: Meaningful Use Definition Released in the Federal Register

CMS released a proposed rule pursuant to the HITECH Act which includes the much-anticipated definition of Meaningful Use of Certified EHR technology. HHS has also released an interim final rule with a request for comments to adopt an initial set of standards, implementation specifications,

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GE and Siemens provide new financing options for Health IT purchases

On the eve of HHS releasing the much-anticipated definition of “meaningful use,” health IT divisions of GE and Siemens revealed new financing options for purchases of their EMR and other HIT products. On December 16, 2009, Siemens followed IBM and GE in offering

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ONC names 17 members of the privacy and security workgroup

The Office of National Coordinator for Health IT named 17 members of the newly formed privacy and security workgroup of the HIT Policy Committee.  According to Government Health IT: The work group will be co-chaired by Deven McGraw, director of the

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Timely advice: Begin preparations for “meaningful use” now

Our collaborator and friend James Oakes, a Principal at Health Care Information Consultants, LLC in Baltimore, Md., authored a wise and timely call for action for healthcare providers hoping to capitalize on the incentive payments for meaningful use of certified EHR technology

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n the news: Blumenthal on “meaningful use,” new health information management jobs, etc.

Dr. David Blumenthal, the National Coordinator for Health IT, gave an update on the Obama Administration’s efforts to define “meaningful use” and to further adoption of EHRs nationwide.  Blumenthal did not reveal any new details regarding the upcoming regulations on

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Regional Extension Program: Important Updates and Links from HHS

Via HHS e-mail update: The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) is pleased to announce the availability of materials that are of immediate interest and use to stakeholders and potential applicants for the Health Information Technology Extension

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Government Health IT: CCHIT to serve temporarily as sole EHR certifier

Via Government Health IT: The federal Health IT Policy Committee today endorsed recommendations that would leave the Certification Commission for Health IT in the short term as the sole organization authorized to certify health IT systems that qualified for funding

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HIT Policy Committee workgroup presents preliminary definition for Meaningful Use

On June 16, 2009, the Workgroup on Meaningful Use presented its findings to the HIT Policy Committee.  The findings include two parts:  the preamble and the matrix.   The matrix consists of goals to be achieved by 2011, 2013, and 2015, and

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HIT Policy Committee Reveals “Meaningful Use” Proposal

Via Healthcare-Informatics: By 2011, at least 10 percent of all orders processed in a hospital must be entered through CPOE to qualify that institution for CMS incentives under the HITECH Act, according to a proposed matrix of meaningful use released

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