Saturday, July 31, 2010


HIMSS and the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) offer guidance to ambulatory care settings on how health IT can help them function as a PCMH

CHICAGO AND WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a new fact sheet, HIMSS and NCQA provide an overview of the Patient-Centered Medical Home model of care and highlight the role of health IT in NCQAs as a Physician Practice Connections®-Patient-Centered Medical Home™ (PPC® -PCMH™). The guide includes five examples of ambulatory patient care settings that achieved this recognition.

A Patient-Centered Medical Home is a model of care where patients have a direct relationship with a provider who coordinates a cooperative team of healthcare professionals, takes collective responsibility for the care provided to the patient and arranges for appropriate care with other qualified providers as needed. Source: HIMSS/NCQA Fact Sheet

NCQA developed the PCMH program with input from four organizations representing primary care physicians: American Academy of Family Physicians, American Academy of Pediatrics, American College of Physicians and American Osteopathic Association, plus other contributors.

NCQA has nine standards for medical homes with standards for each of three recognition levels. By meeting these standards, a medical practice can improve patient care and take advantage of incentive payments that reward patient-centered medical homes.

“This informative NCQA-HIMSS fact sheet provides a guide for practices interested in becoming NCQA Patient-Centered Medical Homes,” said Rick Moore, NCQA Chief Information Officer. “With the implementation of HIT in medical homes, physicians can provide quality and efficient medical care in an active, ongoing relationship.”

The case examples in the fact sheet are:

Community Health Centers

  • Urban Health Plan, Inc. – Bronx, NY 2009 HIMSS Davies Community Health Organization winner
  • Community Health Access Network – New Market, NH 2008 HIMSS Davies Community Health Organization winner
  • Institute for Family Health – New York, NY 2007 HIMSS Davies Public Health Award winner

Primary Care Practices

  • Salvatore Volpe, MD, PC – Staten Island, NY
  • Southeast Texas Medical Association (SETMA) – Beaumont, Texas


NCQA recognizes 51 practice sites in the Hudson Valley with top PCMH status

National Committee for Quality Assurance recognizes 51 practice sites in the Hudson Valley with top patient-centered medical home status

Fishkill, N.Y. July 28, 2010 - An innovative quality initiative in the Hudson Valley has resulted in National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) Recognition of 51 primary care practice sites as Level 3 patient-centered medical homes, the highest level achievable. This groundbreaking accomplishment was achieved by 236 physicians within 11 primary care practice groups (7 medical groups with multiple practice locations and 4 single site practices) and represents 44 percent of total Level 3 clinicians in New York, and nearly 10 percent of all practices at this level across the country.
The practices were supported in their transformation by the Taconic Independent Practice Association (TIPA), the nearly 4,000-member strong physician leadership organization focused on innovative initiatives to transform medical practices and improve health care quality in the Hudson Valley. Physician practices were selected for the project based on their known commitment to quality improvement efforts in the past and their advanced, robust use of health information technology. Although NCQA Level 2 Recognition was the initial project goal, all 11 practices exceeded the goal to reach NCQA Level 3 status.

Hudson Valley Initiative Report
HIMSS NYS:Health Information Exchanges (HIEs) Webinar

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

1:00 to 2:00 PM, EST

Topics to be discussed:

i How to improve outcomes for patients

ii How to improve efficiency and reduce cost for the various stakeholders: the patients, providers and the patient’s health plan

Webinar Presenter: Thomas F. Check

Thomas F. Check is Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer at The Visiting Nurse Service of New York (VNSNY), the largest not-for-profit home healthcare provider in the United States. Tom held senior IT positions at NYU Medical Center and Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City (1985-2004), IT consulting roles with Price Waterhouse (1981-1985), and financial management positions with the City of New York (1976-1981). He received an MA degree from the New School University and a BA degree from Boston College.

To register for this important webinar, please click on the following link:

Webinar on Health Info Exchanges, Aug 4 from 1-2PM, EST

Use your microphone and speakers (VoIP) - a headset is recommended. Or, call in using your telephone.

Dial 714-551-0021

Access Code: 227-472-608

Audio PIN: Shown after joining the meeting

New AMA and MGMA Toolkit Assists in Practice Management System Software Selection

Another practical reason to belong to the AMA. SV

To assist physicians in selecting the most appropriate software to run their practices, the American Medical Association (AMA) and the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) developed a new online toolkit, available today. Free to members of the AMA and the MGMA, the “Selecting a Practice Management System” toolkit is accessible on the AMA and MGMA Web sites.

The new toolkit will provide physician practices with:

  • a five-step guide to PMS software selection,
  • a comprehensive checklist of PMS software features and functionalities that physician practices can use to determine what their practice needs, and
  • a sample “request for proposal” that physician practices can employ in their communications with PMS software vendors.

In a later phase of the project, an online directory of PMS software vendors that includes self-reported PMS software features and functionalities will be added to the toolkit in the Winter of 2010.

Friday, July 30, 2010

AHRQ PCMH (Patient Centered Medical Home) Resource Center Site Launched

This site permits quick searching across several criteria:

  • Subject
  • Reference Type
  • Special Population
  • Article Type

This Web site provides policymakers and researchers with access to evidence-based resources about the medical home and its potential to transform primary care and improve the quality, safety, efficiency, and effectiveness of U.S. health care.


Thursday, July 29, 2010

CMS EHR Education Series for Providers on the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Programs

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) invites you to join us for a series of national provider calls addressing the specifics of the Medicare and Medicaid EHR incentive programs for hospitals and individual practitioners. Learn the specifics on what you need to participate in the these incentive programs –

· who is eligible,

· how much are the incentives and how are they calculated,

· what you need to do to get started,

· when the program begins and other major milestones regarding participation and payment,

· how to report on Meaningful Use measures

· where to find helpful resources and more.

Hear from the experts who wrote the rules! Ask your questions!

EHR Incentive Programs for Eligible Professionals:

A session just for individual practitioners on the specifics about the Medicare & Medicaid EHR incentive program

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

2:00-3:30 pm EST

EHR Incentive Programs for Hospitals:

A session just for hospitals on the specifics about the Medicare & Medicaid EHR incentive program

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

2:00-3:30 pm EST

EHR Questions and Answers for Hospitals and Individual Practitioners:

Have questions? Join this session to have an opportunity to ask a question and hear answers by our panel of experts on the Medicare and Medicaid EHR incentive programs.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

2:00-3:30 pm EST

Save the dates! Information on how to register for these calls is forthcoming.

Materials will be made available prior to each training at the following web address:

Cannot attend? A transcript and MP3 file of the call will be available approximately 3 weeks after the call at on the CMS website.

Be sure to visit CMS’ web section on the Medicare & Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs at: to get the latest information. Visit often!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

HIMSS Meaningful Use Webinars July/August 2010

HIMSS Webinar Calendar — Focus on Final Rules

Gain the knowledge and tools you need to successfully navigate meaningful use and the Standards Implementation Specifications and Certification Criteria final rules. Register for our six-part webinar series:

Overview of Meaningful Use

Tomorrow - Wednesday, July 21 - Register now!

C. Martin Harris

C. Martin Harris, MD, MBA, FHIMSS
Chief Information Officer and Chairman, Information Technology Division
Cleveland Clinic
Executive Director, e-Cleveland Clinic
Chair, HIMSS Board of Directors

9:00 am PDT / 10:00 am MDT / 11:00 am CDT / 12:00 pm EDT
Understand the changing requirements for meaningful use, what is new from the proposed rule, and how to apply the knowledge toward achieving meaningful use.

Implications of Meaningful Use for Hospitals

Wednesday, July 28

Amy Thorpe

Amy Thorpe, BSIE, MBA
Director of Applications
St. Luke's Episcopal Health System
Chair, HIMSS Enterprise Information Systems Committee

Edna Boone

Edna Boone, CPHIMS
Senior Director, Healthcare Information Systems

10:00 am PDT / 11:00 am MDT / 12:00 pm CDT / 1:00 pm EDT
Gain in-depth knowledge of the Meaningful Use Stage 1 Final Rule, and the steps eligible hospitals and critical access hospitals should implement to become a Stage 1 Meaningful User.

Meaningful Use: Safety and Quality of Care

Wednesday, August 4

 Jonathan Teich

Jonathan M. Teich, MD, PhD, FACMI, FHIMSS
Chief Medical Information Officer
Advisory Member, HIMSS Clinical Decision Support Task Force

10:00 am PDT / 11:00 am MDT / 12:00 pm CDT / 1:00 pm EDT
Gain clarity on the core and optional requirements facing eligible professionals, eligible hospitals and critical access hospitals that are working to become Stage 1 Meaningful Users.

Implications of Meaningful Use for Eligible Professionals

Wednesday, August 11

Fred David Rachman

Fred David Rachman, MD
Chief Executive Officer
Alliance of Chicago Community Health Services
Vice Chair, Ambulatory Information Systems Steering Committee

Mary Griskewicz

Mary Griskewicz, MS, FHIMSS
Director, Ambulatory Information Systems

10:00 am PDT / 11:00 am MDT / 12:00 pm CDT / 1:00 pm EDT
Understand the unique requirements and opportunities facing eligible professionals and what steps to take to become Stage 1 Meaningful Users.

Regulatory Impact for Business Associates

Wednesday, August 18

Amy Leopard

Amy S. Leopard, JD, MSHA
Walter & Haverfield, LLP

10:00 am PDT / 11:00 am MDT / 12:00 pm CDT / 1:00 pm EDT
Be prepared for the HITECH changing requirements from the Office of Civil Rights in the Current Notice of Proposed Rulemaking.

Overview of Standards, Implementation Specifications and Certification Criteria

Wednesday, August 25

John D. Halamka

John D. Halamka, MD, MS
Chief Information Officer
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Co-Chair of the HIT Standards Committee

10:00 am PDT / 11:00 am MDT / 12:00 pm CDT / 1:00 pm EDT
EHR and health IT solutions must meet to support eligible professionals, eligible hospitals and critical access hospitals in achieving Stage 1 of Meaningful Use.

Each webinar qualifies for 1.2 contact hours toward CPHIMS certification.

Complimentary for HIMSS members — $79 for non-members. Log-on to the HIMSS Member Center to receive your member rate.
Not a HIMSS member? Join today!

Friday, July 16, 2010

NYC DOH PCIP NYC REACH Public Events Calendar

Here is the link for the calendar of events.

Current topics include:

Case for conversion to EHRs and PCMH

How NYC REACH can assist practices achieve Meaningful Use

NYC REACH Meaningful Use Seminars

Meaningful Use is Here!The federal government announced the final rule for Meaningful Use of an EHR.
What does this mean for providers in New York City?If you accept Medicare or Medicaid, you can earn up to $63,750 from Medicaid or $44,000 from Medicare for meeting the requirements. The guidelines will serve as a roadmap of national expectations for using health IT in your care. Check our Meaningful Use page for updates, or for full details. The full text is available online here.

Meaningful Use Seminars:

Free for NYC REACH MembersNYC REACH will hold seminars to give providers full information about the requirements for Meaningful Use (providers should choose one date to attend)
Option 1: July 21 (5PM-8PM)
Option 2: July 26 (5PM-8PM)
Option 3: August 5 (5PM-8PM)
Option 4: August 10 (5PM-8PM)

The sessions are free, but only open to NYC REACH members. Members can register here: If you are not yet a member, join now!
NYC DOH PCIP/NYC REACH PCMH/Meaningful Use Webinars July 23 to August 27, 2010, 10 AM-11 AM, EST

Together we will explore:
Healthcare challenges facing physicians
Benefits of EHR
The path to EHR EHR/EMR
Implementation Thoughts & Considerations.
Patient Centered Medical Home
Federal Incentives under ARRA
Meaningful use

This is now a weekly series of events.

Registration is required for the meeting code.

Dial In Code: 888-622-5357
Participant Code: 586020

July 23rd

July 30th

August 6th

August 13th

August 20th

August 27th

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

HHS Press Briefing Webcast: Meaningful Use, Standards, Certification:
July 13, 2010 10:00 AM ET Live Webcast

The conference just ended. There was a very moving story from the spouse of a patient which helped make the case for the transition to Electronic Health Records.

Please let us know your opinions of the webcast and recent rulings release. SV

Dr Blumenthal's Meaningful Use article is a great summary of the guidelines.

Dr Benjamin's article on her path to conversion to an EHR resonates with many us solo practitioners.

HHS Meaningful Use Guidelines Now available

HIMSS would like you to be aware final rules are now available online.

Electronic Health Record Incentive Program, Final Rule

864 pages

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

228 pages

To learn more about the Medicare and Medicaid EHR incentive programs, visit the CMS-dedicated website to this program, . Here you’ll find information about eligibility, requirements, upcoming events and more. To learn more about electronic health records and certification standards, visit the HHS/ONC-website at . This website is the premier place to learn about the benefits of using EHR technology in a meaningful way, local resources to assist in EHR adoption and more.

And, be sure to attend the upcoming joint CMS & ONC training on the EHR incentive programs and certification on July 22 at 2:oo pm EST. More information can be found on the CMS website:

HHS Press Briefing Webcast: Meaningful Use, Standards, Certification:
July 13, 2010 10:00 AM ET Live Webcast

“CMS and ONC will host a press briefing (on Tuesday, July 13, 2010 at 10:00 a.m. EDT) to announce the final rules on Meaningful Use and Standards and Certification under the HITECH Act’s Electronic Health Records (EHR) incentive program.”

Prior to the live Webcast, HHS has been running archived press briefing on proposed rules in privacy and security.

HHS direct link

Thanks to Mike Squires for the reminder and the link. SV

Friday, July 09, 2010

Improved Quality At Kaiser Permanente Through Doctor/Patient E-Mail

It should come as now surprise that as we give additional means of communication between health care providers and patients, quality would improve. Many EHRs have access to secure email via a Patient Portal. In fairness to the practices, however, reimbursement models will have to evolve to cover the time spent on emails and diverted from other activities. In the end however, all benefit. SV

Here is information on online CPT Codes:

CPT 99444 On-Line Medical Evaluation by a Physician

Online evaluation and management service provided by a physician to an established patient, guardian, or health care provider not originating from a related E/M service within the previous 7 days, using the Internet or similar electronic communications network.

CPT 98969 On-Line Medical Evaluation by a Non-Physician

Online assessment and management service provided by a qualified non-physician health care professional to an established patient, guardian, or health care provider not originating from a related E/M service within the previous 7 days, using the Internet or similar electronic communications network.

Health Affairs

AMA Guidelines

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

HCI3:Boards of Bridges to Excellence and PROMETHEUS Payment have merged.

"Late last year the Boards of Bridges To Excellence and PROMETHEUS Payment agreed to merge. As part of that merger, the new organization was named the Health Care Incentives Improvement Institute, or HCI3. And while the people haven't changed, the sum is certainly greater than the parts. Under HCI3 we now have a broad array of quality measurement tools - the Bridges To Excellence Recognitions - and cost measurement tools - the PROMETHEUS Payment Evidence-informed Case Rates. All these tools are available in our implementation sites and to our implementation partners, and we have already developed several creative ways in which they can be combined to significantly improve the current payment incentives in health care."

Sunday, July 04, 2010

New York City Reaches a Milestone in Effort to Improve
Quality of Care through Information Technology

More than 1.5 million New Yorkers now receive preventive care and standardized treatment from
2,000 physicians who have adopted the Health Department’s innovative electronic health record

June 22, 2010 – The Health Department today announced that it has exceeded its goal of bringing 2,000 doctors into the digital age through the Primary Care Information Project, a groundbreaking effort to improve preventive health care by introducing electronic health records into community-based medical practice. For the more than 1.5 million New York City patients treated by these doctors, advanced technology offers customized alerts for overdue preventive screenings and potential drug interactions, as well as best-practice guidelines for treatment. Doctors enrolled in the Primary Care Information Project can also give patients online access to their medical histories and print visit summaries to remind them of at-home instructions.

Founded in 2005, the New York City program is the largest of its kind in the nation. Its innovative health record helps physicians identify and address patients’ health risks. It also uses prompts and reminders to help doctors and patients better manage chronic diseases. When conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure are identified early and managed effectively, patients can often avoid heart attacks, strokes and other adverse health outcomes.

“Health information technology can strengthen prevention,” said Dr. Thomas Farley, New York City Health Commissioner – “and prevention is the key to an effective and affordable health care system. With nearly one out of five New Yorkers now benefiting from our prevention-oriented health record, New York City has created a model for the rest of the country.”

Nationally, most medical practices still use paper records. Many health care providers lack the technology to best determine whether a particular patient’s chronic illness can be effectively managed outside of a hospital. In 2006 alone, New York City could have prevented an estimated 120,000 adult hospitalizations through appropriate treatment in a primary care setting. Take Care New York 2012, the City’s health policy blueprint, aims to cut preventable hospitalizations by 17%. The Primary Care Information Project supports this goal though its active, patient-centered approach.

“Patients should come to expect that their doctor can quickly access their relevant health records and offer appropriate care in the context of their health history,” said Dr. Amanda Parsons, the assistant health commissioner who leads the Primary Care Information Project. “With 2,000 doctors already in our program and more joining every day, we can really improve coordination of care for New Yorkers.”

As health reform legislation rolls out nationally, policymakers are counting on electronic health records to help improve the quality of care while reining in costs. With support from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, state and local agencies have established 60 Regional Extension Centers to promote electronic health records and help doctors successfully implement them. New York City hosts one of these centers – NYC REACH – which will help nearly 5,000 physicians go digital.

Physicians interested in joining NYC REACH can visit or to learn more. And anyone can use the search tool at to find a New York City doctor who has adopted the City’s prevention-oriented electronic health record.

Friday, July 02, 2010

URAC Patient Centered Health Care Home Education and Evaluation Program: Public Comment

Washington, D.C. – June 29, 2010 – URAC today announced a call for public comment on the design and content of its new Patient Centered Health Care Home (PCHCH) Education and Evaluation Program. The program is comprised of three complementary toolkits, which are geared to help health care practices follow a step-wise process in their journey to becoming a PCHCH.
URAC will be soliciting public comment on the three PCHCH toolkits in two stages, with the first, the Health Care Practice Assessment toolkit, available for public comment starting today. The remaining two toolkits, one on Performance Measures and a Patient Experience/Satisfaction survey, will be available for public comment later this summer.
The Patient Centered Health Care Home Education and Evaluation Program’s definition, guiding principles, and Health Care Assessment toolkit are available for review and comment at The deadline for public comment is August 12, 2010.