Last week, CMS published a new proposed rule for Meaningful (MU). This rule strives to “…align Meaningful Use (MU) Stage 1 and Stage 2 objectives and measures with the long-term proposals for Stage 3…”. In other words, make the program simpler and make it easier to achieve.
The proposed rule would simplify MU by:
- Reducing the overall number of objectives;
- Removing measures that have become redundant, duplicative or have reached wide-spread adoption;
- Allowing a 90 day reporting period in 2015 to accommodate the implementation of these proposed changes in 2015, and possibly of the greatest interest to medical practice,
- Remove the 5 percent threshold for Measure 2 from the EP Stage 2 Patient Electronic Access objective, requiring that at least (only) 1 patient seen by the provider during the EHR reporting period views, downloads, or transmits his or her health information to a third party.
This last one is extremely important as practices have spent much time and money trying to encourage patients to use their portals to fulfill the view/download/transmit requirement. As a patient, I understand this. I only use my PCP’s portal a couple of times a year, so I invariably forget my user ID and password (yes, I do know there are programs to store and retrieve these for me, but that’s a conversation for a totally different post) and it all ends up just being a big pain. My health is important to me, but I don’t have reason to get on the portal on a regular basis, and practices are finding out that many patients just don’t care to use the portal or don’t have a need.
More light reading on the proposed rule is available here in the Federal Register.
A new report suggests that 2013 may be the year of the great electronic medical records (EMR) vendor switch given that many EMRs are falling short of providers’ expectations.
To come to that conclusion, Black Book Rankings polled roughly 17,000 active EMR adopters – and found that as many as 17 percent may switch out their first-choice EHR by the end of the year.
The reason: In light of Stage 2, provider demands are increasing, and EMR users are reporting that many EMRs aren’t living up to expectations. In fact, those polled cited numerous cases of software firms underperforming badly enough to lead them to lose market share.
As a result, 31 percent of survey respondents indicated they were “dissatisfied enough” with their EMR to consider switching. Of those users, the reasons cited for the potential switch were as follows: (more…)
The HIMSS13 Conference in New Orleans, one of the biggest gatherings of Health Information Technology professionals of the year, was host to speakers, panel discussions, and one pretty large announcement from some of the big names in the electronic health record industry.
Welcome to our guide to Healthcare Buzzwords!
An acronym for “Accountable Care Organization”, an ACO is a model of healthcare delivery in which a group of healthcare providers agree to accept payment for their services based on the aggregated health outcomes of the patients they see, as opposed to the total number of services performed. ACOs reward providers in a “fee for health” model, as opposed to a traditional “fee for service” model. Although the term ACO can apply to a variety of types of organizations, regulations for establishing ACOs to participate in the Medicare Shared Savings Program specifically were included in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010.
Changes in health-care policy, new regulations, financial incentives and penalties have a direct effect on all healthcare organizations. As we round the corner towards 2013, take a few minutes to create an agenda of Medicare Incentive Programs and a few management initiatives to review with your physicians and leadership team.
Electronic Health Record (EHR)
Most practices have an EHR but often times it is not fully implemented:
- Are all of your physicians using the EHR?
- Do you have the latest version?
- Are all of your employees and providers trained properly?
- Are you utilizing all of the available functionality?
Meaningful Use (MU)
On July 6, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a proposed rule that would increase payments to family physicians by approximately 7 percent and other practitioners providing primary care services between 3 and 5 percent. The increase in payment to family practitioners is part of the proposed rule that would update payment policies and rates under the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) for calendar year (CY) 2013. Under the MPFS, Medicare pays more than 1 million physicians and nonphysician practitioners that provide vital health services to Medicare beneficiaries.
As managers, providers and employees, we always have to be looking ahead at how the technology on our horizon will affect how our organizations administer health care. In the spirit of looking forward to the future, we present “2.0 Tuesday”, a feature on Manage My Practice about how technology is impacting our practices, and our patient and population outcomes.
We hope you enjoy looking ahead with us, and share your ideas, reactions and comments below!