The 60-day comment period for the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NRPM) for Stage 2 meaningful use ends on May 7. The clock started ticking on the comment period when the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services posted the NRPM to the Federal Register on March 7. MORE

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GAO issues recommendations to CMS on EHR program requirements May 01, 2012 | Bernie Monegain - Editor
The U.S. Government Accountability Office, which monitors spending of federal dollars, is calling for improvements in measurement of whether hospitals and physicians have met requirements for EHR meaningful use incentive payments.
Former ONC chief emphasizes focus on high-cost patients April 30, 2012 | Rene Letourneau - Managing Editor
Former national health IT coordinator David Blumenthal, MD, told attendees at NEHI’s Bridging the Innovation Gap conference in Boston on April 26 that stakeholders in the U.S. healthcare system should focus on high-cost patients with chronic conditions.
Mostashari draws quality into IT discussion April 27, 2012 | Diana Manos - Senior Editor
Quality is the cornerstone of what needs to be done in U.S. healthcare, Farzad Mostashari, MD, the nation’s health IT chief, emphasized as he addressed a meeting of the National Quality Forum April 26 in Washington.
Mobility can be a catalyst to greater EHR adoption April 27, 2012 | Jonathon Dreyer
The next round of EHR meaningful use will bring about increased patient engagement. In such an environment, mobile technology has the potential to contribute to EHR adoption.
Physician segment drives EMR sales April 26, 2012 | PhysBizTech staff
Sales of electronic medical record systems to physicians grew by an estimated 22 percent in 2011 compared to 2010, according to medical market researcher Kalorama Information. That rate outpaced the growth of EMR sales to hospitals.
Eligible physicians still face MU readiness challenge April 25, 2012 | Diana Manos - Senior Editor
Ninety-one percent of physicians nationwide said they were eligible for federal EHR incentives in 2011, but only 10 percent intended to apply for the program, falling on the low side of what the federal government had anticipated, according to a new report, scheduled to appear in the May issue of Health Affairs.
Medicare stable until 2024, trustees report April 25, 2012 | Stephanie Bouchard - Associate Editor
Medicare is expected to remain solvent for 12 more years, until 2024, according to the Medicare Trustees Report, issued April 23. The report cautioned, however, that Medicare’s ongoing solvency depends on several unpredictable financial and political assumptions.
A newly formed entity, the HITRUST Cybersecurity Incident Response and Coordination Center, will provide support to the healthcare industry through early identification of cybersecurity attacks, coordination of response activities and creation of best practices.

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Five steps docs can take to avoid 'social media missteps' January 19, 2012 | Molly Merrill - Associate Editor
While it is "critical that doctors, who have the best healthcare information to share, be part of the online healthcare conversation," according to social media advisor Glen Gilmore, "there are definite precautions that should be taken to lessen the risk of social media missteps."

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Despite being identified as an essential tool to support quality care initiatives, improve patient safety and reduce healthcare costs, EMR and EHR systems have been stuck in a slow growth cycle. However, pressure is quickly mounting on caregivers to adopt and demonstrate meaningful use of EMR/EHR technology. Healthcare Informatics Research recently interviewed nearly 500 healthcare organizations to shed light on the current state of EMR/EHR adoption. Download this report to discover how organizations are overcoming obstacles to adoption, how they're benefitting from EMR/EHR solutions, and where the industry is going next.

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What’s in your ideal EHR? April 20, 2012 | Jeff Rowe - Contributing Editor
Having highlighted the critique of a doctor who thinks EHRs should be taking their lead from cutting-edge Internet technology, it seems appropriate to point to another EHR observer who comes at the issue from a different angle.
ICD-10 Timeline: How to take advantage of the delay April 18, 2012 | Carl Natale - ICD10Watch
It's not hard to imagine that delaying ICD-10 implementation for a year could help any healthcare organization. As long as they take the time to get it right instead of procrastinating.
Asthma and COPD are two chronic conditions common enough in the general population that most physicians will want to know the documentation needs for coding in ICD-10.
Physician practices and EHRs: A square peg in a round hole April 10, 2012 | Arjen Westerink - Director of Business Development, VitalHealth Software
In order to establish a thorough understanding of the EHR’s role in practices, we decided to have physician researchers shadow clinical staff over the course of six weeks and monitor all staff members' interactions with an EHR.
Who has the time? April 03, 2012 | Mac McMillan - Privacy and Security
How does a small practice manage all of the privacy and security requirements they face with few to no staff to assist? Being a small business owner myself, I have a few ideas to consider.
When commenting on meaningful use, specificity matters April 02, 2012 | John Loonsk, MD - CMO at CGI Federal
The following comments are directed at the numerous national associations, advocacy groups and other interested organizations who are gearing up to submit comments on the two meaningful use Stage 2 - Notices of Proposed Rulemaking that CMS and ONC recently published in the Federal Register.
Plan for 2013 taxes now March 28, 2012 | Jeff Bogue - Bogue Asset Management
If the U.S. tax code remains as it currently stands, we will face the largest tax increase in history. Look at what’s coming in 2013 and take action now to address it.
This blog post highlights the similarities and differences between ICD-9 and ICD-10 documentation and coding needs for diabetes and congestive heart failure.

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Accident Fund Holdings, Inc. (AFHI) recently created a comprehensive narcotics program to help reduce the health risks of these drugs on injured workers and ultimately provide a mechanism for them to get back to work sooner.
Marci Nielsen, Ph.D., MPH, executive director of the Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative, will be a featured speaker at The Atlantic's fourth annual Health Care Forum on April 19 at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington, DC.
Healthcare management consulting firm, Beacon Partners, today announced they are expanding their ICD-10 Assessment Services to include an ICD-10 Translator and business intelligence application from McGladrey, the fifth largest U.S. provider of assurance, tax and consulting services. The addition of McGladrey’s Translator will allow Beacon Partners to enhance their overall ICD-10 Assessment service offering and provide a more in depth solution to healthcare organizations making the transition to ICD-10.
TSI Healthcare announced today that nineteen (19) of their physician practices had attested to successfully meeting "Meaningful Use" requirements of their ONC-ATCB Certified NextGen™ Electronic Health Records (EHR) Systems. These providers completed data collection last year and participated in the 2011 Stage 1 reporting period for the Federal Government sponsored EHR Incentives program.  These Clients represent the first round of TSI Healthcare's clients expected to participate in the program during the 2011 and 2012 reporting periods.
Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey announced today landmark results for New Jersey’s only comprehensive, state-wide Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) Program. Horizon Healthcare Innovations, the company’s subsidiary, developed the PCMH Program in collaboration with leading primary care doctors and the New Jersey Academy of Family Physicians to increase accountability and coordination to improve patient care and contain costs. The early results show the PCMH model is effective.
While the Supreme Court justices consider the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), many Americans are wondering what effect, if any, the decision could have on the nation’s current and future healthcare delivery system. One concern heard often from physicians, patients, and healthcare industry executives is the potential impact the ruling could have on primary care medicine.
Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen G. Sebelius today announced a proposed rule that would delay the compliance date for the International Classification of Diseases, 10th Edition diagnosis and procedure codes (ICD-10) from Oct. 1, 2013 to Oct. 1, 2014.
Context4 Healthcare, Inc. announced today that they have added Employer Plan Services, Inc. (EPSI) of Houston, TX to their successful client base. EPSI will be utilizing Context4 Healthcare Usual, Customary & Reasonable health payment benchmarking databases which will include Medical, Dental, HCPCS, Anesthesia and Outpatient Facility.

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