EMRs grant docs more loyal patients
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Low healthcare spending habits leave analysts playing limbo June 25, 2013 | Paul Cerrato - Contributing Writer
Between 1980 and 2009, healthcare expenditures grew by 7.4 percent, which most economists agree would bankrupt the nation if continued. But a closer look at the statistics reveals that the last 10 years in that period saw only a 5.9 percent increase, and the spending growth from 2009 to 2011 dropped to 3.1 percent, according to a recent report in Health Affairs.
AAFP wants halt of student loan hike June 24, 2013 | Madelyn Kearns - Associate Editor
AAFP calls for halt of student loan interest rate hike
In a letter addressed to policymakers early last week, American Academy of Family Physicians Board Chair Glen R. Stream, MD, MBI, FAAFP, noted that the interest hikes would take a system already wrought with struggle to the point of exacerbation.
Mostashari discusses ICD-10 June 24, 2013 | Diana Manos
Mostashari discusses ICD-10 and other key concerns
The national coordinator for health IT spoke with Healthcare IT News Senior Editor Diana Manos June 17 at the HIMSS Media ICD-10 Forum in National Harbor, Md. With his typical candor and energy, Mostashari commented on several healthcare IT issues and about ICD-10 -- the focus of the forum and the topic of the keynote talk he had delivered earlier in the day.
Blues bet big on Obamacare exchanges June 24, 2013 | Kaiser Health News - www.kaiserhealthnews.org
Blues bet big on Obamacare exchanges
Blue Cross and Blue Shield organizations are expected to offer health-exchange plans nearly everywhere, ensuring at least a minimum choice for individuals seeking subsidized coverage when the marketplaces open Oct. 1. Their approach makes them an undeclared ally of the Obama administration in implementing the health law.
Hoven takes AMA helm June 21, 2013 | Frank Irving - Editor
Infectious disease specialist takes AMA helm
Ardis Dee Hoven, MD, the new president of the nation's largest physician organization, will focus on improving health outcomes, accelerating change in medical education, and enhancing physician satisfaction and practice sustainability.
Healthcare inflation drops 1 percent June 21, 2013 | Mary Mosquera - Contributing Editor
Healthcare inflation drops 1 percent
The slowdown in the healthcare growth rate will affect the decisions of providers, payers and employers and is likely to continue even as millions more obtain coverage next year when major pieces of the health reform law take effect, according to a new report from PwC's Health Research Institute.
EHR usability: A small-practice imperative June 21, 2013 | Frank Irving - Editor
EHR usability: A small-practice imperative
A recent report from industry research firm KLAS rated athenaClinicals highest among ambulatory EMR systems in terms of go-live and current-state usability. In the following Q&A, Jasmine Gee, director of product marketing for athenahealth, explains why usability is "absolutely key" in the small-practice realm.
Start ICD-10 testing now, expert advises June 20, 2013 | Diana Manos
Start ICD-10 testing now, expert advises
"Start with whatever you have," Mark Lott, CEO of Lott QA Group, told attendees of the HIMSS Media ICD-10 Forum on June 17. There is plenty that can be done without waiting for everything to be installed first, he said.

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Planning for succession training April 10, 2013 | Joel Sauer - Vice President of Consulting, MedAxiom
Many practices are facing a succession crisis and either don't realize it, haven't acknowledged it or, perhaps worse, aren't willing to fix it. Is there a new group of doctors willing and able to take the reins when the time comes at your practice? If the answer is no, it's time to create a formal leadership training and succession plan. Here's how.
Starting from scratch: Choosing an EMR April 09, 2013 | Molly Merrill - Contributing writer
Mike Jordan, MD
When Mike Jordan, MD, started his pediatric practice in 2004, it made no sense to work with paper records. With the help of a consultant, he carefully selected an EMR that has remained a practice constant to this day.
HIPAA questions answered on CMS site April 08, 2013 | Frank Irving - Editor
HIPAA questions thinker
Following the process established for the EHR Incentive Programs, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Servcies (CMS) announced on April 8 that frequently asked questions (FAQs) and corresponding answers regarding HIPAA Administrative Simplification are now available on the CMS website.
Payment data available via look-up tool April 03, 2013 | Frank Irving - Editor
If you're looking for payment information from the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule, a tool on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services website can help you with your search. You can retrieve payment amounts, relative value units, payment policy indicators and geographic practice cost indexes for a single procedure code, a range of procedure codes or a list of procedure codes.
4 must-do's when designing your website April 03, 2013 | Xavier E. Martinez
Because of advancements in programming, almost anybody can design an appealing and functional website to attract new customers, or in your case, patients. Here are four essential tips for creating a successful medical website design.
5 reasons to get going with data analytics April 03, 2013 | Benjamin Harris - New Media Producer
Brett Furst, CEO of Arbormetrix, says there is nothing to fear - and that analysis of clinical data has much to offer the medical world. Here, he shares his top five requirements to succeed with, or at least get excited about, the power of clinical analytics.
mHaaS is SaaS for healthcare April 02, 2013 | John Sung Kim - CEO of DoctorBase.com
mHealth-as-a-Service is a way to get many medical practices to "go mobile" safely and without tremendous expense.
Health IT ready to assist ACOs in 5 areas March 29, 2013 | Benjamin Harris - New Media Producer
Leveraging health IT to streamline and improve communications among parties in an accountable care organization will not only make it easier for all involved, but could be a crucial element to staying afloat and delivering the best possible levels of care. Steve Bethke, vice president of product management at Lumeris, an ACO that helps EHR vendors and insurance companies develop solutions for their industry, cited five areas in which health IT will help ACOs keep pace with new and emerging demands.

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Trickle-up economics March 12, 2013 | Rob Lamberts, MD
Specialists benefit from reducing their overhead while getting guaranteed payment, I benefit by increasing the value of my type of practice even more to my patients, and the patient benefits by getting cheaper care.
Do Canadian primary care offices really discriminate against the poor? February 28, 2013 | David Williams - Health Business Blog
A new study purports to demonstrate that primary care physician offices in Ontario are less likely to offer appointments to poor patients. My assessment is that the study methodology is biased.
The ICD-10 Project aims to reduce costs and improve preparation of ICD-10 implementation for its members.
5 ways of achieving patient engagement: Part 2, with technology February 22, 2013 | David Lee Scher, MD
Technology that promotes patient engagement might be in the form of a health/medical app, a patient portal, information derived and transmitted via sensor or other type of digital health technology.
Overcoming barricades to PCMH education necessary, albeit complex February 21, 2013 | Madelyn Kearns - Associate Editor
The latest addition to healthcare’s Russian doll phenomenon — the patient-centered medical home (PCMH) — has been dubbed by many as the new face of primary care. But regarding its fillers and precursors, the PCMH has also been found lacking regarding educational support.
One way or another, patient portals continue to grow February 20, 2013 | Jeff Rowe - Contributing Writer
Will the growth of patient portals happen in small, sideways steps rather than in a straight march forward?
EHRs and improper billing: Should we worry? February 19, 2013 | David Williams - Health Business Blog
Concerns are emerging that the adoption of electronic health records is leading to inappropriate increases in billings to payers, including Medicare, and that these higher billings could undermine or even overwhelm any cost savings generated by the digitization of providers. The concerns are legitimate but overall I’m not worried about this phenomenon.
If one looks at communications revolving around healthcare these days, the term "patient engagement" is invariably found as one of the cornerstones of the conversation.

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Shareable Ink®, an enterprise cloud computing company that transforms handwritten documentation to structured data and analytics, today announced that Keith R. Slater has joined the organization as Vice President of Client Services. With 25 years of experience in healthcare IT, servicing physician and hospital automation demands, Slater will be responsible for leading Shareable Ink’s customer implementation, account management, and support functions.
Aveta, Inc., one of the nation’s largest providers of managed healthcare services, announced today the addition of a new subsidiary, Aveta Health Solutions, which helps physicians navigate the shifting business environment and the changes coming from healthcare reform.
Physician practices in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine will receive grants totaling almost $1 million from Harvard Pilgrim Health Care’s Quality Grants Program. Harvard Pilgrim’s thirteenth annual grant program will fund 12 physician group initiatives designed to improve care delivery and reduce costs within a variety of care delivery models. Throughout the past 13 years, Harvard Pilgrim has funded more than 180 initiatives totaling more than $14 million dollars.
WebChartMD, an industry leader in web-based clinical documentation workflow solutions, has launched a series of free webinars designed to assist medical transcription companies adapt to market changes resulting from electronic health records, or EHRs. "The process of documenting patient visits has changed dramatically in the last eight years as a result of the introduction of EHRs, and it has affected thousands of transcription companies nationwide," said Mark Christensen, Vice President of Operations for WebChartMD. 
Care management delivers better health for millions May 21, 2012 | Industry Release
Millions of patients nationwide are receiving better healthcare with the help of care management programs that use advanced technology to assist in improving medical team coordination and communication. These sophisticated workflow and authorization tools are helping care managers coordinate a patient’s care by getting procedures reviewed and approved more quickly, allowing providers to share data and recommend improvements to care plans. In the end, these advancements enable better care for patients and greater efficiencies and cost savings for the healthcare system.
Kareo, Inc., the leading provider of easy and affordable cloud-based practice management and medical billing software for US physicians, announced today the release of advanced claim scrubbing technology designed to streamline the billing process and improve cash flow for physician practices. This new feature will help practices eliminate medical claim errors and expedite payment from insurance companies. The enhancement is immediately available to all Kareo customers at no additional charge.
Imprivata, the leader in secure access and collaboration for healthcare, today announced the results of its fifth annual survey examining IT trends in healthcare. According to this year's findings, 45 percent of respondents indicate that more than half of their physicians are placing orders using Computerized Physician Order Entry (CPOE).  Yet, 38 percent report that still less than 25 percent of their physicians are using CPOE, which poses a challenge for meeting Stage 2 Meaningful Use.  Sixty-three percent of respondents reported Resistance to Workflow Changes as the leading obstacle to CPOE adoption, with Single Sign-on (SSO) (74%), Virtualized Desktops (48%) and Remote/Mobile Access (46%) reported as the top three technologies for engaging physicians to use CPOE. 
Emdeon Inc., a leading provider of healthcare revenue and payment cycle management and clinical information exchange solutions, today announced it has completed the re-pricing of its existing senior secured credit facilities. In addition, Emdeon borrowed $80 million of additional term loans for general corporate purposes, including potential acquisitions.

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