Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Avoid eRx penalties: CMS announces new exemption categories

On May 26 the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) responded to AMA concerns about the e-prescribing penalty program and issued a proposed rule that makes significant changes to it by adding more exemption categories. These changes will assure that physicians are not unfairly penalized for failing to meet the requirements under the 2012 e-prescribing penalty program.

The American Medical Association (AMA) has had many concerns with the e-prescribing penalty from CMS. AMA President Cecil Wilson, MD, has discussed these concerns on several occasions with Donald Berwick, MD, the CMS administrator. AMA staff also has continually stressed to senior CMS officials that there was an urgent need to modify the policy.

Physicians are still required to e-prescribe using a qualifying e-prescribing system and report the G8553 code on at least 10 Medicare Part B claims from Jan. 1, 2011, through June 30, 2011, to avoid the 2012 e-prescribing penalty.

However, to avoid the 2012 e-prescribing penalty, physicians now will have an opportunity to attest through an on-line web portal that they are eligible for one of the following penalty exemptions:

Physician's practice is located in a rural area without high speed internet access


Physician's practice is located in an area without sufficient available pharmacies for electronic prescribing


Physician is registered to participate in the Medicare or Medicaid EHR Incentive Program and has adopted certified EHR technology


Physician is unable to electronically prescribe due to local, State, or Federal law or Regulation (e.g., prescribes controlled substances)


Physician infrequently prescribes (e.g., prescribe fewer than 10 prescriptions between January 1, 2011 –June 30, 2011)


There are insufficient opportunities to report the e-prescribing measure due to program limitations (e.g., surgeons)

Physicians will have to apply for an exemption from the 2012 e-prescribing penalty via the web-portal tool by Oct. 1.


Read more on the CMS website.

View the proposed rule.

See a statement from the AMA on the e-prescribing policy modifications.

The proposed rule will be published in the Federal Register on June 1, 2011. The comment period will close on July 25, 2011.

The AMA will review the proposed rule in more detail once it is formally published.

Friday, May 27, 2011

AHIMA 2011 Long-Term and Post-Acute Care HIT Summit
Event Type: In Person Meeting

Learning Category: e-HIM and Electronic Records

Venue: Hyatt Regency Baltimore on the Inner Harbor

Location: Baltimore, MD

Date: 6/13/2011 – 6/14/2011

Time: 7:30 AM – 4:00 PM CST

Register Now
The 2011 Long Term and Post Acute Care (LTPAC) Health Information Technology (HIT) Summit is the leading conference on HIT and electronic health record (EHR) initiatives, providing the latest on key issues, trends, and solutions for aging services. This year’s summit on advancing the LTPAC HIT roadmap initiatives also gives priority to key areas for advancement:

1.The healthcare stimulus package and the opportunities for post-acute and LTC,
2.A showcase of HIT standards in action through interoperability demonstrations, and

3.Case studies on the latest LTC research and implementation successes.
Continuing Education Units Available: 14
Learning Level: Advanced

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Intelligent Communities Forum: “Health in the Intelligent Community”

The Government of Canada cordially invite you to attend a Breakfast Seminar in conjunction with the Intelligent Communities Forum “Health in the Intelligent Community”


Friday, June 3, 2011 - 8:30 AM – 11:00 AM
The Cornell Club - New York City
6 East 44th Street
New York, NY 10017

Admittance is Free.

Key Note Speaker, Dr. Ed Brown, CEO, Ontario Telemedicine Network

Chronic diseases also have serious economic impacts on families, communities and societies in general. According to the New York Alliance Against Chronic Disease nearly half of all Americans suffer from at least one chronic disease which is often exacerbated by lifestyle choices such as smoking, overeating and lack of exercise. In Canada, chronic diseases are projected to account for 89% of all deaths and accounts for 55% of all direct and indirect health care costs.

Learn how Intelligent Communities can help to rein in rising healthcare costs while increasing access to healthcare among disadvantages populations and harness the power of Information & Communication Technologies to create new opportunities for economic growth and job creation.

Moderated by Dr. Salvatore Volpe, NY HIMSS Chapter President

Panelists: Penny H. Feldman, Ph.D., Senior Vice President, Research and Evaluation, Visiting Nurse Service of NY;
Ann Snowdon, Ph.D., Professor, Management Science, University of Windsor;
Rebekah Monson, Attorney at Law, Pepper Hamilton LLP;
John Brennan of Huron Perth Enterprise IT Service in Stratford.


Please RSVP by: June 1, 2011 at: rsvp.cngny@international.gc.ca

Intelligent Communities Forum

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

New Accountable Care Organization models will improve patient care, could save Medicare up to $430 million


The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) today announced three Affordable Care Act initiatives designed to help put doctors, hospitals and other health care providers on the path to becoming Accountable Care Organizations (ACO) and improve health care for Americans with Medicare.



First, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (Innovation Center) is requesting applications for a new Pioneer ACO Model, which provides a faster path for mature ACOs that have already begun coordinating care for patients and are ready to move forward.



Second, the Innovation Center is seeking comment on the idea of an Advance Payment Initiative that give certain ACOs participating in the Medicare Shared Savings Program access to their shared savings up front, helping them make the infrastructure and staff investments crucial to successfully coordinating and improving care for patients.



Finally, providers interested in learning more about how to coordinate patient care through ACOs can attend free new Accelerated Development Learning Sessions. The Accelerated Development Learning Sessions will teach providers interested in becoming ACOs what steps they can take to improve care delivery and how to develop an action plan for moving toward providing better coordinated care.



Together with the Medicare Shared Savings Program, the initiatives announced today give providers a broad range of options and support that reflect the varying needs of providers in embarking on delivery system reforms.

CMS issued a proposed rule to implement the Medicare Shared Savings Program in March 2011 and is continuing to encourage and accept comments from providers and the public that will help strengthen the final rule.


These initiatives are part of a broader effort by the Obama Administration, made possible by the Affordable Care Act, to improve care and lower costs. For more information about all of these initiatives, visit the Innovation Center website.



To read the CMS Press release issued today (5/17) click here: http://www.cms.gov/apps/media/press_releases.asp

Monday, May 16, 2011

New York's IT Readiness for Health Reform: A Gap Analysis

Health reform requires states to implement a "no wrong door" policy for accessing both public and private health insurance options and to establish health insurance exchanges as a one-stop shop venue to obtain coverage. Executing seamless eligibility and enrollment requires sophisticated information technology (IT) systems and infrastructure to receive, process, and transmit information between individuals, the exchange, employers, health plans, and Federal agencies. Robust, modern, and consumer-friendly IT systems will play a crucial role in the success of health reform.



A new report by Social Interest Solutions, conducted for NYSHealth, identifies the assets and deficits in New York State's IT readiness to implement health reform. The report finds that New York State has a strong technical architecture contained in its Medicaid claims system and powerful reporting and data analysis capability in its Medicaid Data Warehouse; both of these assets are highly leveraged in the State's Early Innovator approach. However, the IT inventory and assessment also identifies gaps, including the need to add a suitable front-end system that provides a "first-class customer experience," limitations in the State's Welfare Management System, and a need for functionality related to some commercial insurance offerings for individuals and small businesses. New York State will use its Early Innovator award from the Federal government to address these and other systems issues.



Access the entire report and appendices.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Distinguishing Your Practice to Payers & Patients: A Webinar with Bridges to Excellence’s CEO Fran├žois de Brantes

Many health plans in the State are offering both financial and nonmonetary incentives to improve diabetes care and outcomes. Clinicians have a powerful voice in the design of such programs. We invite you to attend a webinar on May 12th to learn how your practice can:


• Achieve national recognition using your own clinical data and reduce your reporting burden
• Distinguish your practice to payers and patients
• Promote to health plans the importance of a defined, uniform set of measures and potentially gain incentiveshttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gif


Fran├žois de Brantes is the CEO for Bridges to Excellence (BTE), a national program focused on rewarding physicians for better quality care. Mr. de Brantes is responsible for setting and implementing BTE’s strategy. He is also the national coordinator for PROMETHEUS Payment®, a new compensation approach based on medical episodes of care.

Register for this webinar.


Date: May 12, 2011 12:00pm - 1:00pm
City: New York
State: New York
National Provider Call on the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs: Understanding Meaningful Use

(Thursday, May 19, 2:30-3:45 p.m. EDT)

Register for the call today.
Wish you knew more about how to use electronic health records (EHRs) to earn incentive payments from CMS? CMS will hold a national provider education call to help you learn more about meaningful use on Thursday, May 19 at 2:30 p.m. EDT.

This call will cover:

The definition of meaningful use
The requirements for Stage 1 of meaningful use (2011 and 2012)
How to attest to having met meaningful use
Overview of the meaningful use objectives specification sheets
Stage 1 EHR Meaningful Use Specification Sheets for Eligible Professionals
Stage 1 EHR Meaningful Use Specification Sheets for Eligible Hospitals
Q&A about meaningful use
In order to receive the call-in information, you must register for the call. It is important to note that if you are planning to sit in with a group, only one person needs to register to receive the call-in data. This registration is solely to reserve a phone line, NOT to allow participation.

Please note: If you plan to request continuing education credit from your professional organization and if this organization requires proof ohttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.giff registration, you will personally need to register so that you receive a confirmatory e-mail.

Registration will close at 2:30 p.m. ET on May 18, 2011, or when available space has been filled. No exceptions will be made, so please be sure to register prior to this time. In order to register, you should:

Visit the registration page.


Fill in all required information and click “Register.”
You will be taken to the “Thank you for registering” page and will receive a confirmation email shortly thereafter. Please save this page in case your server blocks the confirmation emails. (If you do not receive the confirmation email, check your spam/junk mail filter as it may have been directed there.)
If assistance for hearing impaired services is needed, please email medicare.ttt@palmettogba.com no later than 3 business days before the call.
Prior to the call, presentation materials will be made available in the “Upcoming Events” section of the Spotlight Page on the CMS EHR website.

Want more information about the EHR Incentive Programs?
Make sure to visit the EHR Incentive Programs website for the latest news and updates on the EHR Incentive Programs.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

AMA Online Tutorials: methodologies for successful adoption of health information technology solutions

This program provides information to physicians and practice staff on methodologies for successful adoption of health information technology solutions. The methodologies will be presented in a series of 6 short video modules. The target audience for this program is physicians and practice staff in small practices who are faced with decisions regarding health IT.


Educational Objectives

Upon completion of this activity, physicians and staff should be able to:

* Formulate an approach to adoption of health information technology for the small physician group practice.
* Utilize information about health IT adoption methodologies in the decision making process leading to successful adoption.

AMA CME LINK

Friday, May 06, 2011

HIMSS ONC HIT Workforce Development Program job board

HIMSS has developed this career resource in support of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), which has funded the Health IT Workforce Development Program. The goal of the program is to train a new workforce of health IT professionals to improve the quality, safety and cost-effectiveness of healthcare.

This section of HIMSS JobMine offers ONC graduates the opportunity to post their resumes and search for jobs that will match their emerging skill set. This service also offers potential employers a database of qualified employees who have graduated from U.S. workforce development and certification programs.

For more information on the HIMSS JobMine ONC Workforce Development Program please click here.

For More Information About:

Community College Consortia, visit http://healthit.hhs.gov/communitycollege

University-Based Health IT Training, visit http://healthit.hhs.gov/programs/UniversityTraining

Curriculum Development Centers, visit http://healthit.hhs.gov/curriculumdevelopment

Competency Examination Program, visit http://healthit.hhs.gov/competencyexam
Download Get the Facts About Health IT Workforce Development Program [PDF – 276 KB]
Northeast eclinicalworks users conference live blog

Girish is speaking

A unified product company: comprehensive solution
Some numbers

55 K users
27 M eprescriptions sent
54 M eprescriptions projected for 2011
93 M patients added
150 Hubs connecting communities

Version 9 is a whole new product, has a connected community approach
Makes meaningful use part of regular workflow


Ecwideas website has been a rich source of development suggestions

Practice management has been enhanced
Ebo 5 permits tracking 3200 data elements

Thursday, May 05, 2011

How do I get paid for the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Programs?

Payments for the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs are distributed based on each year of participation, and follow a specific payment schedule. Located below are payment details on the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs. For an overview, see the Medicare Learning Network (MLN) Matters Special Edition article (SE1111) – Medicare Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Payment Process.
Medicare EHR Incentive Program
• Eligible professionals (EPs): EPs can receive up to $44,000 over five years under the Medicare EHR Incentive Program. There's an additional incentive for EPs who provide services in a Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA).To get the maximum incentive payment, Medicare EPs must begin participation by 2012.
• Eligible hospitals and critical access hospitals (CAHs): Incentive payments to eligible hospitals and CAHs may begin as early as 2011, and are based on a number of factors, beginning with a $2 million base payment.
Medicaid EHR Incentive Program
• EPs: The Medicaid EHR Incentive Program is voluntarily offered by states and territories. EPs can receive up to $63,750 over the six years that they choose to participate in the program. Medicaid EPs must initiate the program by 2016.
• Eligible hospitals: Medicaid hospitals that qualify for incentive payments may begin receiving incentive payments as early as FY 2011. Hospital payments are based on a number of factors, beginning with a $2 million base payment. Medicaid hospitals must initiate the payments by 2016.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Medicare Administration Contractors (MACs), carriers, and Fiscal Intermediaries (FIs) will not be making Medicare EHR incentive payments. CMS has contracted with a Payment File Development Contractor to make these payments.
DON'T: Call your MAC/Carrier/FI with questions about your EHR incentive payment.
INSTEAD: Call the EHR Information Center
• Hours of Operation: 7:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. (Central Time) Monday through Friday, except federal holidays.
• 1-888-734-6433 (primary number) or 888-734-6563 (TTY number).
A revised FAQ on payment for the EHR Incentive Programs has been posted to the EHR website
Question: For the 2011 payment year, how and when will incentive payments for the Medicare EHR Incentive Program be made?
Answer: For EPs, incentive payments for the Medicare EHR Incentive Program will be made approximately four to eight weeks after an EP successfully attests that they have demonstrated meaningful use of certified EHR technology. However, EPs will not receive incentive payments within that timeframe if they have not yet met the threshold for allowed charges for covered professional services furnished by the EP during the year. Read the rest of the answer to this FAQ here.

Want more information about the EHR Incentive Programs?
Make sure to visit the EHR Incentive Programs website at http://www.cms.gov/EHRIncentivePrograms for the latest news and updates on the EHR Incentive Programs.
Medicare CMS PQRI Call May 17 2011

2011 Physician Quality Reporting System & Electronic Prescribing Incentive Program

National Provider Call with Question & Answer Session



The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Provider Communications Group will host a national provider conference call on the 2011 Physician Quality Reporting System and Electronic Prescribing (eRx) Incentive Program. This toll-free call will take place from 1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m., EDT, on Tuesday, May 17, 2011.



The Physician Quality Reporting System is voluntary quality reporting program that provides an incentive payment to identified individual eligible professionals (EPs) and group practices who satisfactorily report data on quality measures for covered Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) services furnished to Medicare Part B Fee-For-Service (FFS) beneficiaries.



The Physician Quality Reporting System (formally known as PQRI) was first implemented in 2007 as a result of section 101 of the Tax Relief and Health Care Act of 2006 (TRHCA), and further expanded as a result of the Medicare, Medicaid, and SCHIP Extension Act of 2007 (MMSEA), and the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act of 2008 (MIPPA).



The eRx Incentive Program is an incentive program for eligible professionals initially implemented in 2009 as a result of section 132(b) of the MIPPA. The eRx Incentive Program promotes the adoption and use of eRx systems by individual eligible professionals and group practices.



Following the formal presentation that will cover the following:



· Highlights of the 2009 Physician Quality Reporting System and Electronic Prescribing Experience Report;

· Measures vs. Measures Groups; and

· Understanding Measure Numerator and Measure Denominator.



The lines will be opened to allow participants to ask questions of CMS Physician Quality Reporting System and eRx subject matter experts.



A PowerPoint slide presentation will be posted to the Physician Quality Reporting System webpage at, http://www.cms.gov/PQRS/04_CMSSponsoredCalls.asp on the CMS website for you to download prior to the call so that you can follow along with the presenter.



Educational products are available on the Physician Quality Reporting System dedicated web page located at, http://www.cms.gov/PQRS , on the CMS website, in the Educational Resources section, as well as educational products are available on the eRx Incentive Program dedicated web page located at http://www.cms.hhs.gov/ERxIncentive on the CMS website. Feel free to download the resources prior to the call so that you may ask questions of the CMS presenters.



Conference call details:



Date: May 17, 2011



Conference Title: Physician Quality Reporting System & Electronic Prescribing Incentive Program National Provider Call



Time: 1:30 p.m. EDT



In order to receive the call-in information, you must register for the call. It is important to note that if you are planning to sit in with a group, only one person needs to register to receive the call-in data. This registration is solely to reserve a phone line, NOT to allow participation.



Please note: If you plan to request continuing education credit from your professional organization and if this organization requires proof of registration, you will personally need to register so that you receive a confirmatory e-mail. Registration will close at 1:30 p.m. EDT on May 16, 2011, or when available space has been filled. No exceptions will be made, so please be sure to register prior to this time.



To register for the call participants need to go to:
http://www.eventsvc.com/palmettogba/051711



Fill in all required data.


Verify that your time zone is displayed correctly in the drop down box.


Click "Register".


You will be taken to the “Thank you for registering” page and will receive a confirmation e-mail shortly thereafter. Note: Please print and save this page, in the event that your server blocks the confirmation e-mails. If you do not receive the confirmation e-mail, please check your spam/junk mail filter as it may have been directed there.


If assistance for hearing impaired services is needed the request must be sent to medicare.ttt@palmettogba.com no later than 3 business day before the event.