Tuesday, June 30, 2009

AMA and Microsoft Collaboration to Enhance Patient-Physician Communication

It will be interesting to see how Medem's PHR fits into this equation. Healthvault could potentially provide Medem with connectivity to devices, EHRs and RHIOs. SV

June 11, 2009

CHICAGO – The American Medical Association (AMA) announced today it is working with Microsoft to better connect patients with their physicians. Patients and their physicians will be able to exchange vital health care information by connecting through Microsoft's HealthVault, a platform developed by Microsoft to store and maintain health and fitness information. Through this collaboration physicians will be able to access self reported patient health information at the point of care, while enabling patients to access vital information that has been entered through the physician’s office.

AMA e-Prescribing Learning Center is now available

This is a good site for reviewing the topic of e-Prescribing, determining the value and choosing a vendor. SV

There are five sections:





Users' experiences

Monday, June 29, 2009


I know its a little off topic, but this release emphasizes the need for re-engineering the current system. SV

Date: June 26, 2009
For Release: Immediately
Contact: HHS Press Office
202) 690-6343

Headline: Secretary Sebelius Releases New State by State Reports
Highlighting Urgent Need for Health Reform

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius today released a series of new reports
on the health care status quo that highlight the urgent need for health
reform across the nation. The new reports are available at
www.HealthReform.gov and include information on health care cost and
quality in all fifty states.

"In states across the country, health care costs are going up and
families are struggling to get the quality care they need and deserve,"
Secretary Sebelius said. "We cannot wait to pass reform that protects
what works about health care and fixes what's broken."

Each report includes data regarding the health care status quo such as:

* Percent increase in family premiums since 2000.
* The hidden tax individuals and families pay as a result of
subsidizing care for the uninsured.
* Percent of state residents without insurance.
* Overall quality ratings for health care in each state.
* The impact of failing to adequately invest in preventative
measures that could prevent disease and illness.

"The American people have been calling for reform, and they should not
have to wait any longer," added Sebelius. "Health reform will assure
quality affordable health care for all Americans, lower costs, and give
more Americans the choices they deserve. The time for reform is now."


Note: All HHS press releases, fact sheets and other press materials are
available at http://www.hhs.gov/news.

Saturday, June 27, 2009



Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Question: When will the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) publish regulations to define certified Electronic Health Records and “meaningful use?”

Answer: CMS intends to publish a proposed rule in late 2009 to define meaningful use of certified Electronic Health Records (EHR) technology and establish criteria for the incentives programs. We are working extensively with the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology(ONC) to identify the proposed criteria.

Question: What is CMS’ overall time frame for actions and activities related to the incentive program?

Answer: Although further details will be developed, CMS can provide the following timeline based on the current implementation plan:


Coordinate with ONC to develop policies such as the definition of meaningful use
Develop proposed rules to allow public input to the incentive program policies
Plan systems and other requirements needed to support the incentives programs
Plan national outreach program

Conduct outreach to eligible professionals and providers and to State Medicaid Agencies
Develop systems to support the payment of incentives
Develop final rules to establish policies needed to pay incentives
Develop systems to monitor and evaluate incentive payments

No sooner than October 2010
Start to pay hospital incentives for Medicare and monitor payments

No sooner than January 2011
Start to pay eligible professionals for Medicare and monitor payments
Begin and monitor Medicaid incentive payments to eligible professionals and hospitals

2011 - 2016
Continue paying hospital incentives for Medicare and monitor payments

2011 – 2016
Continue paying eligible professionals incentives for Medicare and monitor payments

2011 - 2021
Continue paying Medicaid incentives to eligible professionals and hospitals and monitor payments

2015 and thereafter
Initiate payment reductions to Medicare hospitals and eligible professionals that fail to adopt EHRs

Question: When will the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) begin to pay incentives to eligible professionals and hospitals for using certified Electronic Health Records ( EHRs)?

Answer: By statute, the earliest dates that CMS will be able to pay an incentive under Medicare is October 1, 2010, for hospitals and January 1, 2011, for eligible professionals.

The statute does not define a date for the Medicaid incentives program. Given the range of regulatory and planning activities that must precede States being able to make provider incentive payments, as well as the importance of coordinating Medicaid and Medicare payments to prevent duplication, CMS does not expect that States will be able to make such payments until 2011.

Work is underway to define the meaningful EHR user criteria, as well as the requirements for applying for and receiving the EHR payment incentives, CMS expects to issue a proposed rule in late 2009.

Question: If an eligible professional uses a certified Electronic Health Record (EHR) in a meaningful way in accordance with the adopted regulations, and meets the requirements established by CMS, could that professional receive both the Medicare EHR payment incentive as well as the Medicaid EHR payment incentive?

Answer: No, an eligible professional may only receive an EHR payment under either Medicare or Medicaid. CMS expects to more fully address the issue of duplicative payments under Medicare and Medicaid through rulemaking.

Question: If I already have an Electronic Health Record (EHR) that has been certified by the Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology (CCHIT), will I have to buy a new system if the government mandates that only EHRs that meet a higher certification level are considered certified EHRs?

Answer: Decisions about EHR standards, implementation specifications and certification criteria have not been made yet, and are under development. Policies will be proposed in the regulation to be published in late 2009.

Question: What is the maximum incentive an eligible professional can earn for using an Electronic Health Record under Medicaid?

Answer: The statute does not define fixed amounts for the incentive payments, only ceilings that cannot be exceeded. CMS expects that the actual payment amounts will be more fully addressed through notice and comment rulemaking.

Question: What is the maximum Electronic Health Record(EHR) incentive an eligible professional can earn under Medicare?

Answer: Eligible professionals(EPs), who adopt Electronic Health Records as early as 2011 or 2012 may be eligible for up to $44,000 in Medicare incentive payments spread out over five years (increased by 10 percent for EPs who predominantly furnish services in a health professional shortage area).

Question: What if my Electronic Health Record (EHR) system costs much more than the incentive the government will pay? May I request additional funds?

Answer: The Recovery Act does not provide for incentive payments under Medicare or Medicaid beyond the limits established by the legislation, regardless of the cost of the EHR system chosen by eligible professionals or hospitals. With regard to Medicaid, the purpose of the 100 percent FFP provider incentive payments to certain eligible Medicaid providers is to encourage the adoption and meaningful use of certified EHR technology. While the incentive payments are expected to be used for certified EHR technology and support services, including maintenance and training necessary for the adoption and operation of such technology, the incentive payments are not direct reimbursement for such activities, but rather are intended to serve as an incentive for eligible professionals and hospitals to adopt and meaningfully use certified EHR technology

Question: What is the earliest date the payment adjustments will start to be imposed for eligible professionals and hospitals that are not meaningful Electronic Health Record (EHR) users under the HITECH provisions of the Recovery Act?

Answer: The HITECH provisions of the Recovery Act establish 2015 as the first year that payment adjustments will start to be imposed on Medicare eligible professionals and hospitals that are not meaningful EHR users. There are no payment adjustments associated with the Medicaid provisions under Section 4201.

Question: How will eligible providers and hospitals apply for incentives if they are using certified Electronic Health Records (EHRs) in accordance with the standards established by Health and Human Services (HHS) under the HITECH portion of the Recovery Act?

Answer: The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will publish a rule establishing the criteria which eligible professionals and hospitals must meet in order to qualify for the EHR incentive payments, including defining meaningful EHR users. The rule will also explain how to apply for those incentives.

Question: How will the public know who has received incentive payments under the Recovery Act?

Answer: CMS will post the names of those receiving Medicare incentives online. The list will include the elements identified in the Recovery Act: name, business addresses, and business phone number of all Medicare eligible professionals and hospitals who received incentive payments under the Recovery Act. There is no such requirement for CMS to publish the names of those receiving Medicaid incentive payments under Section 4201 though States may opt do so.

Question: What will be done to help prepare providers to take advantage of the incentive payments for the meaningful use of an Electronic Health Record (EHR)?

Answer: A set of supportive programs will be announced after CMS publishes a proposed rule in late 2009, that is, regarding a definition of meaningful use of certified EHR technology and criteria for the incentives programs. These programs are intended to educate and support providers, enable health information exchange, and build the workforce that will be needed for success. Information about these supportive efforts will be communicated to eligible providers through many channels.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

CCHIT concise criteria for 2009 and ARRA

Here are the 2009 ambulatory and inpatient EHR specificiations that will ensure that the EHRs meet the federally qualified criteria. SV


Friday, June 19, 2009

President Obama AMA speech transcript


Monday, June 15, 2009

GE Stimulus Simplicity: EHR: certification and interest free loans

The guarantee of meeting Federal Certification standards and interest free loans should greatly exspedite adoption. SV

GE Launches Program to Doctors, Hospitals to Accelerate EMR Adoption; First $100 Million of healthymagination Commitment
Offers Healthcare Providers Interest-free Funding for Immediate Access to Electronic Medical Records, Commits to Stimulus Warranty

Electronic Medical Records Can Help Improve Patient Outcomes, Reduce Medical Errors and Costs

Fairfield, CONN. – June 15, 2009 – GE (NYSE: GE) today announced, as part of its healthymagination initiative to increase access to technology and reduce cost, the launch of a new program, Stimulus Simplicity, which offers doctors and hospitals an easier path to electronic medical records (EMR) adoption. This program is a joint offering of GE Healthcare and GE Capital and contains two core elements – a commitment to ensure the EMRs are certified (a precursor to federal stimulus reimbursement eligibility) and an interest-free loan with deferred payments. The program addresses some of the biggest barriers to EMR adoption faced by healthcare providers, uncertainty around future standards and interim funding to cover the capital investment.

GE’s Stimulus Simplicity program helps physician offices and hospitals that invest in GE’s electronic medical records (EMR) products, GE Centricity® EMR and Centricity Enterprise solutions, maximize the potential benefits of the increased focus on EMR under President Obama’s stimulus funding bill. The financing enables healthcare providers to accelerate adoption of EMRs and further their efforts to reduce cost and improve patient care through greater access to valuable information at the point of care. GE’s financial services business, GE Capital, will provide the financing with GE Healthcare providing its EMR product certification warranty.

David A. Dorr, MD MS at the New York Academy of Medicine

David A. Dorr, MD MS will speak Thursday, June 18, 5-7 pm at the New York Academy of Medicine. He will speak on Collaborative, Coordinated Care in Chronic Disease. His clinical and research interest is in care management, coordination of care, collaborative care, chronic disease management, quality, and electronic clinical information systems to support these areas. His current projects include Expanding Guidelines to Collaborative Care Agents (funded by the National Library of Medicine); the Care Management Plus project (funded by The John A. Hartford Foundation—see http://www.caremanagementplus.org/); and participation in The John A. Hartford Geriatric Teams in Practice dissemination with Intermountain Healthcare in Salt Lake City. He also works with RADAR (Research on Adverse Drug events And Reports) to improve patient safety and with the CHIACC (Creating HealtheVet Informatics Applications for Collaborative Care) group at the VA.

In conjunction with the meeting in New York City at The New York Academy of Medicine, Fifth Ave. at 103rd St. ,there will be remote access via telephone and WebEx.

RSVP is REQUIRED. Please email to pcipspeaker@health.nyc.gov by 5 pm Tuesday June 16 and NOTE if you will join in person, by phone, and/or by WebEx. By return email, you will receive information for joining the meeting remotely.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Medicare E-Prescribing Incentive Program Guide

To assist providers who plan to participate in the Medicare E-Prescribing Incentive Program, CMS recently issued an instruction sheet explaining how to report the e-prescribing measure on CMS-1500 claim forms. In general, the G-code for the reporting measure must be listed as a separate line-item on the same claim form as the CPT code, for the same beneficiary, same prescriber and same date of service. The G-code should include a line-item charge of 000.

In addition, members interested in receiving the 2% incentive payment for the 2009 reporting period should begin e-prescribing as soon as possible. In order to be a successful e-prescriber, the provider must report an e-prescribing G-code in at least 50% of applicable cases. A provider who begins e-prescribing too late in the reporting period may be less likely to qualify for the 50% minimum requirement.


Additional information can be found at: http://www.cms.hhs.gov/ERxIncentive/06_E-Prescribing_Measure.asp#TopOfPage

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


Seeks input on new concepts for certifying EHR technologies

CHICAGO – June 9, 2009 – The Certification Commission today announced a series of two Town Call web conferences on June 16 and 17 to gather stakeholder input on new paths to certification of electronic health record (EHR) technologies, with the goal of supporting more rapid, widespread adoption and meaningful use under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA).

“ARRA has turbocharged the drive for health IT adoption and meaningful use,” said Mark Leavitt, M.D., Ph.D., Commission chair. “Certification -- an explicit requirement of that law -- must become more robust and more flexible at the same time, to allow these powerful incentives to deliver the desired result: improved health and healthcare. We will share our new ideas and invite feedback from the health community.”

Areas to be explored during the Town Calls include the crosswalk from certification to meaningful use, enhancements to current programs, and new and updated programs to make certification more accessible to a wider variety of EHR technologies, including modular, self-developed, and open source applications.

The first Town Call, “New Paths to Certification: Dialog with the Open Source Community”, on June 16 at 1:00 PM Eastern will focus on concerns regarding certification of applications licensed under open source models. During the Web conference, Mark Leavitt, M.D., Ph.D., Commission chair, and Dennis Wilson, the Commission’s technology director, will discuss the new concepts from the perspective of technology developers.

The second Town Call, “New Paths to Certification”, on June 17 at 11:00 AM Eastern is intended for a general audience, and will explore all of the new programs and their intended goals. During both events, participants will be invited to submit questions and comments online. Registration is required for the free Town Calls at http://cchit.org/towncalls.

The Certification Commission is actively adapting its certification programs and timelines to conform to the new requirements of ARRA as the definition of meaningful use emerges. Instead of immediately launching a 2009-10 certification program, the Commission submitted its new released 09 criteria to the Health Information Technology Standards Committee for review and, anticipating a draft definition of meaningful use by June 16 and draft standards and certification criteria by August 26, will work to quickly resolve any gaps and begin accepting applications for newly designed certification programs as quickly as possible after that.

C Sue Reber

Marketing Director, CCHIT

Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology

503.288.5876 office | 503.703.0813 cell | 503.287.4613 fax


Learn more about CCHIT

Learn more about EHR Decisions

Thursday, June 04, 2009

IBM promotes Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH):Outlines New Model for Healthcare

Patient Centered Medical Home Can Change the Way Care is Delivered

ARMONK, N.Y. - 28 May 2009: IBM today announced the findings of a major healthcare study that underscores the critical need for a new model of care called the Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH). The new study, “Patient Centered Medical Home: What, Why and How?,” (www.ibm.com/healthcare/medicalhome) identifies the PCMH as a viable foundation for the reform of today’s unsustainable healthcare system because it is committed to primary-care based, coordinated, proactive, preventive, acute, chronic, long-term and end-of-life care.

Rising health care costs continue to be a burden on families, businesses and the entire economy and are projected to increase even further. According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, national healthcare expenditures – already the highest in the world – are expected to grow an average of 6.2 percent per year from 2008 to 2018 and outpace GDP growth. Moreover, it will consume 20.3 percent of GDP by 2018.
CCHIT Certified 08 Ambulatory EHR

The list of CCHIT Certified Ambulatory EHRs certified under the 08 criteria continues to grow:

Abraxas EMR 4.1* |
Agastha PM & EMR 1.2 |
Allscripts Enterprise 11.1.6* |
Allscripts Professional EHR, Version 8.2 |
Amazing Charts 5* |
ASG-Medappz iSuite, Version 4 |
athenaClinicals 9.15.1 |
Cerner Millennium Powerchart/PowerWorks EMR 2007.19* |
ChartMaker® Clinical version 3.1 |
Criterions 1.0.0 |
CureMD EHR 10* |
eClinicalWorks 8.0 |
Eclipsys PeakPractice 1093 |
Electronic Patient Charts, Version 20 |
e-MDs Solution Series, Version 6.3 |
Elysium 9* |
e-Medsys - Electronic Health Record (EHR) 5.2 |
EpicCare Ambulatory EMR Spring 2008 |
EZChart |
ezEMRxPrivate 7.00* |
GlaceEMR 3.0 |
gloEMR 5.0 |
Intelligent Medical Software (IMS) 12 |
iSuite, Version 4 |
Lytec MD 2009 |
MEDENT 18.1 |
Medflow EMR Version 7.1* |
Medical and Practice Management (MPM) Suite Client/Server 5.6 |
MedicsDocAssistant Version 4.0.1 |
MedInformatix, Version 7.0 |
Medisoft Clinical 15 |
MedLink TotalOffice 3.1 |
MedPlexus EHR |
MedPointe 9 |
MicroMD EMR 7.0 * |
MTBC EMR 4.0 |
NetPractice EHR 7.0* |
NextGen EMR 5.5.27 |
Office Practicum 8.1 |
OIS EMR 4.1* |
Practice Partner 9.3 |
PrimeSuite 2008 |
Pulse Patient Relationship Management 4.1 |
Sage Intergy EHR v5.5 |
Sevocity Version 08* |
SILK 4.2 |
SmartClinic 16 * |
STIX EHR Release 9.1* |
SuiteMed Intelligent Medical Software 12 |
UroChart EHR v3.0* |
Xpert EMR 2.0*

* Pre-market conditional certification

CCHIT 2009-2010 Criteria Published; Timelines Changed

CCHIT final materials from the 09 development cycle and a new Concise Guide to CCHIT Criteria are now available. The new guide maps the criteria to the requirements of an ARRA-qualified EHR and highlights the 09 changes.

CCHIT is transitioning its timelines to adapt to the new requirements of ARRA as well as the still-emerging work of ONC and its committees. Instead of immediately launching 09 certification programs, CCHIT submitted the criteria to the HIT Standards Committee for review, and we anticipate some degree of feedback by August 26, 2009. CCHIT will begin accepting applications for 2009-2010 programs as soon as possible after receiving feedback and resolving any gaps.

UnitedHealth Group's OptumHealth, American Well Join Forces to Provide First Nationwide Service Offering Consumers 24/7 Online Access to Physicians

Consumers and employers now have another variable in determining which health plan to choose: online access to their healthcare providers. It will be interesting to see how the online visit would be incorporated into EHRs and PHRs other than as a text blob. While coverage for the visit is currently covered by a division of AIG, I would recommend providers contact their current medical malpractice carrier to review the state regulations as well as their primary policy.SV

Two Innovative Technologies, Powered by Real-time Information, Allow Individuals to Reach Doctors When Needed, and Doctors to Deliver Better-Informed Care

SAN DIEGO (June 3, 2009) — OptumHealth Inc. today announced that it is collaborating with American Well Corp. to offer the first nationwide service allowing individuals immediate access to physicians and clinicians via two-way video, secure chat, the phone or a corporation’s health care portal. The announcement was made during this year’s annual America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) conference in San Diego.

OptumHealth and American Well plan to leverage two proprietary technologies: OptumHealth’s eSync PlatformSM, which synchronizes health information to deliver prioritized, clinically appropriate and personalized health care information; and American Well’s Online Care platform, which enables real-time conversations between individuals and physicians. Together, the technologies will allow consumers on a state-by-state basis to talk with a local health care professional in a secure environment any time, anywhere; and physicians to expand their practices and care for their patients beyond a traditional office setting. The service will be available to employers, their employees and individual consumers.


Wednesday, June 03, 2009

CMS HIPAA Call: The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will host a national education conference call to address Medicare’s FFS implementation of HIPAA Version 5010.

This call is being conducted for all Medicare fee-for-service providers. The call will give a general overview of Medicare’s transition to HIPAA Version 5010 and address some of the exceptions and situations you may encounter as the new version is implemented. A presentation will be given and Subject Matter Experts will be available to answer questions specific to Medicare. A PowerPoint presentation will be posted on the CMS 5010 Web page prior to the call. The CMS 5010 Web address is http://www.cms.hhs.gov/ElectronicBillingEDITrans/18_5010D0.asp

Conference call details:

Date: June 9, 2009

Conference Title:

Medicare audio conference call: HIPAA Version 5010 – What you need to know!

Time: 2:30 – 4:00 p.m. ET

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. If you cannot attend the call, there will be an audio version available for downloading on the 5010 Web page.

Registration will close at 2:30 p.m. ET on June 8, 2009, or when available space has been filled. No exceptions will be made, so please be sure to register prior to this time.

1. To register for the call participants need to go to: http://www2.eventsvc.com/palmettogba/060909
2. Fill in all required data.
3. Verify your time zone is displayed correctly the drop down box.
4. Click "Register".
5. You will be taken to the “Thank you for registering” page and will receive a confirmation email shortly thereafter.

Note: Please print and save this page, in the event that your server blocks the confirmation emails. If you do not receive the confirmation email, please check your spam/junk mail filter as it may have been directed there.