Thursday, January 07, 2010

AMA Health IT to support the doctor-patient relationship

In the wake of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, more practices are considering implementing electronic health or medical records, e-prescribing, new practice management systems and other forms of health information technology (health IT).

This winter, the American Medical Association (AMA) and TransforMED, a subsidiary of the American Academy of Family Physicians that provides consultation to physicians and practices interested in transforming their practice, are hosting a series of weekly webinars to provide practices with a vision of how the practice of medicine is being transformed through health IT—and the tools necessary for successful implementation.

Hear from experts already working to transform physician practices through health IT
Learn the basics of health IT system implementation
Prepare your patients and practice for changes associated with health IT
Discover tips for tackling major milestones at each stage in the process.
Webinar topics include:

Meaningful use of technology to support patient-centered care
1:00 p.m. EST, January 14, 2010

Learn about the current state of health IT and what technologies are available today to support patient-centered care and practice efficiency.

Terry McGeeney, MD, CEO, TransforMED
Amanda Ervin, director, Health IT, AMA

Register for the event.

Preparing your practice for health IT
1:00 p.m. EST, January 21, 2010

Learn how to engage staff and promote teamwork, leadership and communication within your practice throughout the implementation process. Employing fundamental strategies will help your practice manage change, as well as improve workflow efficiencies and handle typical challenges associated with successful health IT implementation.

Steve Waldren, MD, director, Health IT, American Academy of Family Physicians
Ana Jensen, practice enhancement facilitator, TransforMED

Register for the event.

Selecting the appropriate technology for your practice and developing implementation strategies
1:00 p.m. EST, January 28, 2010

Learn how to identify your practice’s needs and requirements, in addition to various strategies for introducing and implementing health IT, and staging implementation. The importance of integration between technologies will also be discussed.

Bruce Kleaveland, health IT consultant
Dave Kibbe, health IT specialist/consultant, American Academy of Family Physicians

Register for the event.

Engaging patients in using technology to manage their personal health care
1:00 p.m. EST, February 4, 2010

Recent studies show quality improvement and cost savings as a result of empowering patients to use technology to manage their care. Learn how technology enables remote monitoring, patient self-management and reporting, teleconsultation and electronic visits, which can help your practice efficiently manage patients.

Elaine Skoch, practice enhancement facilitator, TransforMED
Todd B. Taylor, MD, FACEP, physician executive, Health Solutions Group, Microsoft

Register for the event.
Medicare University Online

Registration and Playback for the "On Demand" Medicare University 2009 Virtual Convention has been Extended by Popular Demand to March 31, 2010.

National Government Services has extended the availability for registration and playback of the 2009 Medicare University Virtual Convention "On Demand" courses through March 31, 2010. For the low cost of $150, you have access to over 60 unique on-demand courses, not offered through Medicare University, at a time that is convenient for you. Plus, you can earn as many as 57 continuing education units!

Visit the Course page on the Medicare University 2009 Virtual Convention Web site to view a list of all the on-demand courses. After March 31, 2010 there is no turning back, so register today at

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

HIMSS Synopsis & Overview Webinar on Meaningful Use, Standards, & Certification

On Wednesday, December 30, the Department of Health and Human Services released the Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) establishing the Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Program, commonly referred to as the Meaningful Use of an EHR, and the Interim Final Rule (IFR) establishing the Initial Set of Standards, Implementation Specifications and Certification Criteria for EHR Technology. The following is a brief synopsis of the regulations. Visit the HIMSS website for an evolving set of tools to navigate and analyze the nearly 700 pages of regulatory change.

Sign up.
On Wednesday, January 6 at 2:30pm CT, Martin Harris, MD, MBA, FHIMSS will present a 90-minute HIMSS overview webinar of the NPRM and IFR. Complimentary for HIMSS members, the webinar as led by Dr. Harris – CIO & Chairman of the Technology Division at Cleveland Clinic, Executive Director of the e-Cleveland Clinic, Chairman-Elect of the HIMSS Board of Directors, and member of the HIT Standards Committee – will highlight the themes and major components of the regulations. The overview is the first in a series hosted by HIMSS, so register today.

Upon release, the two regulations were described by Dr. David Blumenthal, National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, as enabling the transformation of the health system to "improve health care quality, efficiency, equity, and safety through the use of health information technology (HIT), while providing the foundation for continued, measurable improvement in our nation's health." The regulations are part of the federal government's investment in health IT that will allow patients to engage proactively with providers who are able to leverage technology to improve the quality and cost effectiveness of care delivery.

As a point of clarification, the process for certifying EHR products is not defined in these two proposed rules. In January, a third rule will be issued that defines the process by which ONC will recognize how products become certified and by what organization(s).

Initial Set of Standards, Implementation Specifications, and Certification Criteria for Electronic Health Record Technology

Status and Size of the Regulation: Released as an Interim Final Rule for public comment on December 30, 2009. The 136-page document will be posted officially in the Federal Register on January 13, 2010, and includes a 60-day comment period. A final rule is expected in late spring 2010.
Relevant Themes: Creates a floor for standards, implementation specifications, and certification criteria for qualified EHR technology. The IRF creates specific standards in 2011 in four areas: vocabulary, content exchange, transporting of information, and, privacy and security.

Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on the Electronic Health Record Incentive Program for Medicare and Medicaid

Status and Size of Regulations: Released as a Notice of Proposed Rule Making for public comment on December 30, 2009. The 556-page document will be posted officially in the Federal Register on January 13, 2010, and includes a 60-day comment period. A final rule is anticipated in time for the start of the eligible hospital incentive program in October 2010.
Relevant Themes: HHS made a critical decision early in the process to align Medicare Fee-for-Service, Medicare Advantage, and Medicaid, where practicable and legally possible. Medicare incentive payments will be released by CMS. Medicaid payments will be released through the states, following approval of the individual state plans. As of December 30, 2009, 13 states have been approved for planning grants, while several others are in the review process with Medicaid. Medicaid providers can receive payments to purchase or upgrade their systems, and some form of incentive is available through Medicaid through 2021.

The Medicare and Medicaid Incentive Payment Programs are designed as a three-stage effort (for more information, see pages 40-43 of the NPRM):
Stage I – Electronic capture of health information in a coded format; tracking key clinical conditions and communicating outcomes for care coordinating; implementing clinical decision support tools to facilitate disease and medication management; and reporting outcomes for public health purposes.
Stage II – Expands on stage I. Encourages the use of health IT to enhance computerized provider order entry; transitions in care; electronic transmission of diagnostic test results; and, research.
Stage III – Expands on stage II. Promotes improvements to quality and safety; focuses on clinical decision support at a national level by encouraging patient access and involvement; and, improved population health data.

Preliminary Review of Key Points:

EHR Incentive Program
Stage 1 Meaningful Use consists of 25 measures; 17 metrics will require attestation by the provider, while eight will require information being submitted by the provider.
Computerized Provider Order Entry (CPOE) required in Stage 1 (10% hospitals; 80% for eligible providers)
Robust clinical quality measures for eligible professionals (EPs) and hospitals are delineated.
Requires patients be provided with an electronic copy of test results, problem lists, medication lists and discharge summary upon request.
Hospitals can participate in both Medicare and Medicaid incentives, if eligible by volume.
Hospitals and EPs must implement five clinical decision support rules relevant to clinical quality metrics.
Hospitals and EPs able to use an attestation methodology to submit summary information to CMS in 2011. Expect a formalized process from HHS by 2012.
Hospitals and EPs have a 90-day minimum reporting period in the first year to qualify as a meaningful user. Subsequent years require full year reporting
Interim Final Rule (IFR) establishing the Initial Set of Standards, Implementation Specifications and Certification Criteria for EHR Technology:
Certification criteria described in the IFR establish the capabilities and standards that certified EHR technology will need to, at a minimum, support the achievement of proposed meaningful use Stage 1 by EPs and hospitals.
In physician practices, key information system applications needed to meet the definition of a qualified EHR are:
Clinical Data Repository – store, retrieve, and manage medications and laboratory and radiology results.
Clinical Documentation – provide appropriate referrals, problem list, current medication list.
Clinical Decision Support – implement drug-drug, drug-allergy, and drug-formulary checks.
CPOE required in the areas of medications, laboratories, radiology/imaging, and provider referrals.
Requires electronic generation and transmission of permissible prescriptions.
Financial Information Systems – ability to check insurance eligibility and submit claims electronically.
Patient Communication – ability to electronically generate reminders, provide test results, problem lists, and immunizations.
In hospitals, the key applications needed to meet the definition of a qualified EHR are:
Clinical Data Repository – store, retrieve, and management laboratory and radiology results.
Clinical Documentation – nursing and physician in the areas of discharge, transfer, care coordination, problem list, demographic capture, vital signs and BMI, smoking status (for patients 13 years and older); calculate and electronically display quality measure results.
CPOE in the areas of medications, laboratories, radiology/imaging, blood bank, physical therapy, occupational therapy, respiratory therapy, rehabilitation therapy, dialysis, provider consults, and discharge/transfer.
Medication administration for alerts at the point-of-care to accomplish real time drug-drug, drug-allergy, and drug-formulary checks, and to maintain an active medication list.
Clinical Decision Support – implement the five automated, clinical rules.
Financial Information Systems – ability to check insurance eligibility and electronically submit claims.
Patient Communication – create an electronic copy of a patient's clinical information upon request. Provide copy of discharge instructions and procedures at time of discharge, upon request.
To learn more, sign up today for the HIMSS webinar series on Meaningful Use and Certification Criteria. And, be sure to visit the HIMSS website for the latest information and analysis.

Monday, January 04, 2010

New York State (NYS) Medicaid's Statewide Patient-Centered Medical Home Incentive Program

Chapter 58 of the Laws of 2009 authorized the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) to implement an initiative to incentivize the development of patient-centered medical homes to improve health outcomes through better coordination and integration of patient care for persons enrolled in New York Medicaid.

New York Medicaid has chosen to adopt medical home standards that are consistent with those of the National Committee for Quality Assurance's (NCQA) Physician Practice Connections® - Patient-Centered Medical Home Program (PPC-PCMH™). The PPC-PCMH™ is a model of care that seeks to strengthen the physician-patient relationship by promoting improved access, coordinated care, and enhanced patient/family engagement.

A medical home also emphasizes enhanced care through open scheduling, expanded hours, and communication between patients, providers and staff. Care is also facilitated by registries, information technology, health information exchange and other means to ensure that patients obtain the proper care in a culturally and linguistically appropriate manner.

The NCQA PPC®-PCMH™ program assesses whether practices are functioning as medical homes. Building on the joint principles developed by the primary care specialty societies, the PPC®-PCMH™ standards emphasize the use of systematic, patient-centered, coordinated care management processes.


For more information on how to achieve NCQA certification as a NCQA PPC-PCMH™, providers should contact NCQA Customer Support at (800) 839-6487, or visit the NCQA Website at Since New York Medicaid is recognized as a sponsoring organization, providers will receive a 20 percent discount from NCQA toward the cost of the PPC-PCMH™ application. Questions regarding New York Medicaid's Patient-Centered Medical Home initiative may be directed to the Office of Health Insurance Program's Division of Financial Planning and Policy at (518) 473-2160.

Please contact the Bureau of Managed Care Finance at (518) 474-5050 with any questions regarding health plan medical home payments for network providers.

Primary Care Development Corporation
New York eHealth Collaborative

Sunday, January 03, 2010

2010 Annual HIMSS Conference & Exhibition

Be part of the 2010 Annual HIMSS Conference & Exhibition in Atlanta, Ga., the largest healthcare information technology conference in the United States, scheduled for March 1-4, 2010. HIMSS brings timely education and a solutions-focused exhibition to HIMSS10, held at the Georgia World Congress Center, including:

• Extensive education sessions with continued emphasis on the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and new topic categories on workforce development, regulatory compliance, clinical informatics and globalization.
• Extended exhibit hours Monday through Wednesday to give attendees and solutions providers more time on the floor. Exhibits close on Wednesday evening with Thursday dedicated to education.
• Wednesday Exhibit Hall-Only pass for attendees who want to visit the exhibition for just this one day
• New pre-conference education on Sunday, Feb. 28:

o ARRA Meaningful Use
o ARRA Quality
o ARRA Certified EHRs
o ARRA Interoperability
o ARRA Privacy and Security
o Healthcare IT Contracting
o PHRs

• A new Venture Fair format for more interaction among participants discussing Building Your Health IT Business
• Career planning information with a focus on displaced workers and tips for job seekers and employers

To register, click here

Saturday, January 02, 2010

CMS Meaningful Use Document

In this 556 page document are the proposed guidelines in three stages.
Stage one, due for 2010 is discussed in sections beginning on pages 47, 103 and 467.

Bon Apetit.

Let us know what you think.

KLAS releases list of 2009 Best in KLAS Awards


Acute Care EMR
Epic EpicCare Inpatient

McKesson Horizon Homecare

Ambulatory EMR (Over 100 Physicians)
Epic EpicCare Ambulatory

Siemens Novius Lab

Ambulatory EMR (26-100 Physicians)
eClinicalWorks EMR

GE Centricity PACS-IW

Ambulatory EMR (6-25 Physicians)
Greenway Medical PrimeSuite Chart

Patient Accounting and Patient Management
Epic Resolute Hospital Billing

Ambulatory EMR (2-5 Physicians)
Greenway Medical PrimeSuite Chart

Epic Willow

Digisonics DigiView

Practice Management (Over 100 Physicians)
Epic Resolute/Prelude/Cadence

Community HIS
McKesson Paragon

Practice Management (26-100 Physicians)
McKesson Horizon Practice Plus

Decision Support – Business
Eclipsys Sunrise EPSi Decision Support

Practice Management (6-25 Physicians)
Greenway Medical PrimeSuite Practice

Document Management and Imaging
MedPlus ChartMaxx

Practice Management (2-5 Physicians)

Emergency Department
Wellsoft EDIS

Epic Radiant

Enterprise Scheduling
Unibased Systems Architecture RMS

Speech Recognition
Nuance eScription

McKesson Pathways Fin./Materials/HR Mgr

Surgery Management
Unibased Systems Architecture ORMS

To purchase the full report, healthcare providers and vendors can visit

About KLAS

KLAS is a research firm specializing in monitoring and reporting the performance of healthcare vendors. KLAS’ mission is to improve delivery, by independently measuring vendor performance for the benefit of our healthcare provider partners, consultants, investors, and vendors. Working together with executives from over 4500 hospitals and over 2500 clinics, KLAS delivers timely reports, trends, and statistics, which provide a solid overview of vendor performance in the industry. KLAS measures performance of software, professional services, and medical equipment vendors. For more information, go to, email, or call 1-800-920-4109 to speak with a KLAS representative.