Tuesday, July 28, 2009

AMA Vision for Health System Reform

Protects the sacred relationship between patients and their physicians, without interference by insurance companies or the government

Provides affordable health insurance for all through a choice of plans and eliminates denials for pre-existing conditions

Promotes quality, prevention and wellness initiatives

Repeals the Medicare physician payment system that harms seniors’ access to care

Eases the crushing weight of medical liability and insurance company bureaucracy

Share your opinions with the AMA, we can effect change via a meaningful dialogue. SV

AMA reform

Monday, July 27, 2009

HITSP Approves New Specifications in Line with ARRA (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009)

As the various groups coordinate their activities, we should progress accelerate. SV

The Healthcare Information Technology Standards Panel (HITSP) is pleased to announce that it has approved the following specifications at its July 8, 2009, panel meeting in Arlington, Virginia:

* HITSP/IS107 – Electronic Health Record (EHR)-Centric Interoperability Specification
* HITSP/TN904 – Exchange Architecture & Harmonization Framework Technical Note
* HITSP/TN903 – Data Architecture Technical Note
* HITSP/SC108- SC116 – Service Collaborations


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Medfusion and Medem iHealth portal = iHealth Medfusion

This will create a 28,000 physician network., 8,000 from iHealth plus 20,000 from Medfusion. Perhaps another "plug-in" for the AMA Covisint platform? SV

Medfusion's solutions include interactive online patient-provider communications for:

* Pre-registration
* Appointment requests
* Remote or onsite check in
* Online bill payment
* Secure messaging

* Prescription renewal
* Online consultations
* Personal health records
* Fully-functional web sites
* Physician-to-physician referrals

Medfusion press release

Medfusion information request

Medfusion demo

Sunday, July 19, 2009

AMA ALLSCRIPTS free e-Prescribing offer

The AMA is definitely in the game! SV

Allscripts announced July 14, 2009 that it is working with the American Medical Association (AMA) to offer to physicians nationwide an AMA-branded electronic prescribing tool based on Allscripts award-winning e-prescribing technology. It will be the only AMA-branded electronic prescribing solution available at no cost to subscribers of a new online solution being developed by the AMA. The collaboration is an effort to help practicing physicians adopt and implement health information technology for improved patient safety and enhanced practice efficiency.

The AMA-branded Allscripts electronic prescribing solution requires no download, minimal training and can be accessed from any Web-enabled device. The solution quickly generates secure electronic prescriptions and delivers them computer-to-computer or via electronic fax to all U.S. pharmacies via the national e-prescribing communications network operated by Surescripts. All prescriptions are instantly checked for potentially harmful interactions with a patient’s other medications using a real-time complete medication database, as well as real-time notification of insurance formulary status from leading payers, plans and pharmacy benefit managers. Clinicians also can use the solution to search and find targeted health-related information for themselves or patients using a custom search engine provided exclusively for Allscripts by Google.

HHS CMS Meaningful Use Matrix

Just released. SV


Saturday, July 18, 2009

World Congress event August 3-5 2009

The 7th Annual Health Care Quality & Payment Reform Congress convenes action-oriented executives dedicated to advancing the Nation's quality agenda through system-wide health care reform. Data-driven case studies and forward-thinking strategies combine to address the obstacles and opportunities impacting the five key pillars that support and define high-quality health care, including Performance Measurement and Reimbursement, Patient Safety, Care Management, Transparency and Efficiency. As the only quality event featuring perspectives from 80+ of today's most prominent speakers, the 2009 Congress leads the nation in developing solutions that achieve and reward for quality improvements across all industry sectors.

World Congress
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Rewards Physicians 27 Million Details

BCBSMA was kind enough to provide details on the program. The incentive program is one of the most generous I've seen to date. SV

PCPIP Background:

1.) The PCP Incentive Program was among the first of its kind in the nation. It was introduced in 2000 in order to:
· Collaborate with our Providers to improve systems and processes that prevent medical errors and improve quality of care
· Support our Providers with data that assists them in practicing more effective and efficient care
· Increase the amount of provider reimbursement that is linked to incentives (Quality/Safety, Technology Adoption, Satisfaction, Reporting/Transparency)
· Evolve the payment methodology over time so that providers are paid differently for providing safe, effective and efficient care.

2.) Measures used in 2007 fall in three categories:
· Quality Outcomes, which includes such measures as mammography, diabetes management, and reporting outcomes for chronic conditions (for practitioners who care for adults), and well visits, BMI tracking (for practitioners who care for children)
· Efficiency, which looks at generic prescribing and laboratory utilization
· Electronic Technology, which measures use of electronic medical records and e-prescribing.

3.) Through the PCP Incentive program, we have shown increased HEDIS rates (the Industry standard for measuring health plan performance) on targeted measures, enhanced technology adoption (making Massachusetts the top e-prescribing state nationwide for the last 3 years), and providing funding that has enabled PCPs to make additional investments in their practices.

4.) The PCP incentive program is run on a calendar year; each year there are a number of measures with a potential incentive amount, expressed as a per member per month figure. PCPs receive reports mid-year to let them know how they are doing and to provide data so that they can improve their performance on relevant measures. Once the performance year ends, we calculate their results on each measure and provide them with an end-of-year report that communicates the per member per month amount they earned. They receive their payments in two halves, with the final payment being in December of the year FOLLOWING the performance period based. The results are being publicly announced now.

5.) In 2007, all PCP Incentive Program participants were eligible to earn incentives of $4.00 per member per month (PMPM). Providers whose results fall in the top 10% of all PCP Incentive Program participants were eligible to earn an additional $1.00 PMPM, enabling top performing providers to earn up to $5.00 PMPM. These physicians were also recognized through our Excellence in Primary Care award program.

6.) There were 3,194 PCP participants that received payments:
- 752 Pediatricians
- 741 Family Practioners
- 1701 Internal Medicine

7.) 636 PCPs were recognized with Excellence in Primary Care certificates

Sunday, July 12, 2009

AMA ARRA HIT Webcasts and Webinars

The AMA is putting our dues dollars to work by creating and hosting educational sites and events.

See the links below for details.SV

Health Information Technology (Health IT) Resources and Activities

Stimulus 103: Real World Perspectives July 14 2009 registration

Saturday, July 11, 2009

45,000 Physicians Qualify for Medicaid IT ARRA Stimulus Funds

It is important to note that not just the percentage Medicaid patients is used to qualify but any patient who is in financial need is included. SV

WASHINGTON and NEW YORK – About 45,000 office-based physicians, including nearly all physicians who practice at federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) and half of office-based pediatricians, may be eligible for up to $63,750 over six years to improve and maintain their health information technology (HIT) systems because of their participation in Medicaid, according to a new analysis by GW researchers funded through the Geiger Gibson/RCHN Community Health Foundation Research Collaborative.

Beginning in 2011, office-based physicians whose patient mix includes at least 30 percent Medicaid beneficiaries are eligible for up to $63,750 over six years, as long as they are able to demonstrate “meaningful use” of HIT. A lower 20 percent threshold can be used in the case of pediatricians. Physicians who predominantly practice at FQHCs and other settings can qualify if 30 percent of their patient base is characterized as “needy,” including those covered by Medicaid, those who receive uncompensated care and patients who are charged income-related sliding scale fees. GW researchers estimate about 15 percent of all the office-based physicians in the nation would qualify for the Medicaid HIT incentives, including nearly 99 percent of FQHC physicians. If all qualifying physicians apply for the Medicaid incentives and receive the maximum level of payments, the federal government would invest more than $2.8 billion in HIT.

Geiger Gibson/RCHN report

Sunday, July 05, 2009

RelayHealth H1N1 Swine Flu Tool Kit interview and presentation

(Click on the image above to make it more legible)

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing RelayHealth's Steve Silverstein, M.D., Vice President and Chief Clinical Architect, and Jim Bodenbender, Business Unit President.

A four physician team was pulled together to create the Webvisit and review the patient education material. The team whose backgrounds include: Infectious Disease, Public Health, Emergency Room Medicine and Internal Medicine monitor the CDC and the World Organization on a regular basis. Physician clients were notified by email and "snail mail" of the new Webvisit and patient education materials.

The webvisit gives the physicians the option of triaging the patients at home and prescribe medications and provide educational material as clinically indicated. This of course fits into the new Medical Home model of providing care outside the office if necessary. A growing number of health plans acknowledge the value of webvisits and can be billed directly.

In addition, RelayHealth capabilities include the ability to distribute laboratory and radiology results, transcriptions, discharge summaries and other report types to ambulatory physicians. These results and documentation can be sent electronically into the physician's EHR or can be accessed via an online results manager application. All results are actionable for colleague communication and patient access.

RelayHealth has an expanding relationship with LabCorp in the transmission of results to a number of Northern California healthcare systems. The clinical results are electronically sent to ambulatory physicians’ EHR or available in an online results management application.

RelayHealth has the ability to send clinical data generated from webVisits or electronic prescriptions to an ambulatory physician’s EHR electronically that support the CCD (Continuity of Care Document) standard.


Thursday, July 02, 2009

NHIN Connect Gateway available

The federal government has made available the open source universal on-ramp used by federal agencies to connect to the NHIN. This should help accelerate formation and use of NHIN. SV

The NHIN Gateway implements the core NHIN services enabling such functions as locating patients at other health organizations within the NHIN, requesting and receiving documents associated with the patient, and recording these transactions for subsequent auditing by patients and others. Other features include authenticating network participants, formulating and evaluating authorizations for the release of medical information, and honoring consumer preferences for sharing their information.

ACP at White House Primary Care Round Table

Tune in by mac,pc,smartphone, iphone, gaming console. SV

J. Fred Ralston, Jr, MD, FACP, ACP President-elect from Tennesse, and Bob Doherty, Senior Vice President will be representing ACP today at a White House hosted primary care roundtable, scheduled for 2:00 p.m. Eastern. Present at the roundtable will be Nancy Ann Deparle, Director of the White House Office of Health Reform, and their Office of Health Reform. It will be broadcast live, via streaming video at http://www.healthreform.gov/.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Rewards Physicians 27 Million

Cudos to BCBS MA for making rewarding primary care doctors.
It will be interesting to see if this helps increase the number of PCPs in the state. SV

BOSTON — June 30, 2009 — Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts (BCBSMA) today announced it’s awarded physicians in Massachusetts an estimated $27 million for their quality and efficiency as part of the 2007 Primary Care Physician Incentive Program (PCP Incentive Program). Additionally, 636 in-network physicians ranking in the top 10% of the program have been awarded with Certificates of Excellence.