A look at potential successors for top ONC post
Several high-profile names have surfaced to fill the shoes of Farzad Mostashari, MD, who will be stepping down from his job as national coordinator for health information technology this fall. MORE

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Physician payment bill attracts support July 25, 2013 | Mary Mosquera - Contributing Editor
draft physician payment
The legislation proposes to repeal Medicare's sustainable growth rate formula and transition to a stable system. A voice vote moves the bill to the full House Energy and Commerce Committee, which is expected to consider it before lawmakers' month-long August recess.
Lab and clinical terminology groups align July 24, 2013 | Diana Manos
The Regenstrief Institute and the International Health Terminology Standards Development Organisation announced July 24 they have signed a long-term agreement to begin cooperative work linking their global healthcare terminologies. The cooperative work will connect the clinical semantics of SNOMED CT to LOINC codes, which provide extensive coverage of laboratory tests and some types of clinical measurements.
Rule links MU with medical licensure July 24, 2013 | Anthony Brino - Contributing Writer
meaningful use
Starting in 2015, doctors in Massachusetts will have to show meaningful use proficiency as a condition for medical licensing. The state medical society is encouraging the Board of Registration in Medicine to broadly interpret the rule, but the provision's primary author feels primary care providers need to be utilizing health IT in order to practice safe medicine.
Deliverance in details for payment formula July 24, 2013 | Madelyn Kearns - Associate Editor
Offering succinct praise to the Energy and Commerce Committee and other congressional leaders for putting their best foot forward to stamp out a “broken Medicare physician payment system,” the American Medical Association focused on routes to restructuring in its address to lawmakers on July 23.
ONC files health IT progress report July 23, 2013 | Tom Sullivan - Government Health IT
health IT progress report
"Federal investments in a wide array of programs and activities, including the meaningful use EHR Incentive Program, have impacted the health IT marketplace, allowing the healthcare system to improve health and healthcare," the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT said in the report posted July 19.
AOA delegates bolster GME initiatives July 22, 2013 | Madelyn Kearns - Associate Editor
In attempts to anchor, address and accommodate the growing need for graduate medical education program funding, the American Osteopathic Association’s House of Delegates voted in approval of the creation of alternative GME state-level financial mechanisms on July 21.
Surgeon loses Medicaid funding July 22, 2013 | Frank Irving - Editor
An order, issued by the HHS Departmental Appeals Board, concluded that the surgeon violated Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. It follows an OCR investigation of a complaint filed by a patient who alleged that the surgeon refused to perform back surgery after learning that the patient was HIV-positive.
Nurse practitioners gaining autonomy July 19, 2013 | Kaiser Health News - www.kaiserhealthnews.org
Nurse practitioners gaining autonomy
At least 17 states now allow nurse practitioners to work without a supervising physician, and lawmakers in five big states are considering similar measures.

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6 benefits of integrating ICD-10 codes June 28, 2013 | Thomas Ormondroyd, MBA - Vice President, General Manager, Precyse Learning Solutions
6 benefits of integrating ICD-10 codes
ICD-10 will affect every aspect of the physician's practice, including patient encounters, clinical and financial workflow and, depending on the circumstances, compensation, reimbursement and future career opportunities. Physicians who take decisive steps to fully integrate ICD-10 codes into their clinical practice stand to benefit in several ways.
3 tips for handling the ACA patient influx June 26, 2013 | Salvador Lopez - Content Writer, CareCloud
3 tips for handling the ACA patient influx
You may choose to bring in an extra physician, hire a physician's assistant or purchase an EHR to streamline operations. Here's a look at each strategy to help you determine the best possible course of action for successfully embracing the upcoming patient wave.
Familiarity simplifies ICD-10 transition June 21, 2013 | Frank Irving - Editor
Familiar clinical concepts should ease ICD-10 transition
Clinicians already document a patient's chart with more information than an ICD-9 code can capture, an update from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services pointed out. Here's why you should review your most often-used ICD-9 codes.
Monitor revenue to strengthen bottom line June 19, 2013 | Richard Pizzi - Editorial Director
Monitor revenue to strengthen your bottom line
Texas Health Physicians Group (THPG), which operates in the highly competitive Dallas-Ft. Worth healthcare marketplace, follows five metrics it considers critical to physician revenue performance. Read on to learn the metrics THPG uses to track how its revenue cycle is working.
Q&A with CMS' Rob Anthony June 18, 2013 | Frank Irving - Editor
CMS' Rob Anthony answers questions on payment adjustments
Medicare eligible professionals who do not demonstrate meaningful use for the Medicare EHR Incentive Program may be subject to a payment adjustment beginning Jan. 1, 2015. Rob Anthony, CMS' deputy director of the HIT Initiatives Group, explains what you should know about payment adjustments -- and how to avoid them.
New FAQs address ICD-10 billing concerns June 13, 2013 | Frank Irving - Editor
New FAQs address ICD-10 billing concerns
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has posted new entries on its FAQ website regarding the submission of ICD-10 claims around the Oct. 1, 2014, deadline. The FAQs update previous information, according to CMS, and explain how to split claims for services that span the transition date.
Practice integration: 'No obstacles' June 13, 2013 | MedAxiom
Practice integration: 'No obstacles in our way'
Paul Freier, MD, FACC, explains that his 15-physician cardiology practice sets its own daily work schedule two years after integration with Adventist Health Midwest System. "I think, for the most part, this is the model," he observes.
Countering declining reimbursement rates June 12, 2013 | Salvador Lopez - Content Writer, CareCloud
How to counter declining reimbursement rates
While there isn't much you can do to stop reimbursement cuts, a proactive approach will help you negate the potentially disastrous effects of declining reimbursement rates. Here are several approaches to consider.

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Getting Ready for ICD-10 April 10, 2012 | Resource Central
On October 1, 2013, U.S. providers will be required to move from the current ICD-9 coding standards to ICD-10 in their practice management and electronic medical record systems. The changes represented in ICD-10, while sweeping in their scope, are not beyond the ability of medical practices to adopt. The earlier you begin, the easier the changeover will be. In this whitepaper learn the basics of ICD-10, the differences between ICD-9 and ICD-10, the benefits ICD-10 will provide and what you should be doing now to prepare.
Enhancing Cash Collections and Internal Controls April 10, 2012 | Resource Central
Healthcare co-payments now account for 20% of total revenue in the typical physician practice, but providers who have not adopted the current set of industry best practices generally only collect 50-60% of these payments. By implementing the best practices in this whitepaper, healthcare providers can increase collection rates to over 90% and decrease billing expenses, both of which contribute to wider operating margins and a healthier bottom line.
As healthcare expenditures continue to rise, politicians and employers have sought after ways to slow the growth of healthcare expenses and the budget shortfalls which accompany these increases. While most solutions proposed to fix America's healthcare crisis have been met with intense debate and criticism, virtually all parties agree that efforts to improve prevention and the quality of care delivered are crucial for the success of any reform. In 2007, CMS took its first step towards “pay for performance” reimbursements by launching the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS). In this whitepaper, you will learn about the PQRS program and best practices for participation.
This white paper examines the obstacles preventing the move away from fax machines, and the benefits of having a communications system that integrates faxed documents into healthcare systems and solutions.
Medical practices have been contemplating the prospect of moving from paper-based records to electronic health record (EHR) systems for decades. But relatively few have begun taking steps to make the transition – until now. This white paper examines the factors that have kept many medical practices from moving forward with EHR over the years and the factors that are prompting action today; explains some of the technological requirements of making the transition to EHR and how to begin to meet them; and explores the significant operational, clinical and administrative benefits to be gained in the process.
The Meaningful Use objectives in the HITECH Act are creating new urgency for hospitals and other healthcare provider organizations to implement EHR and CPOE systems. This white paper outlines three key steps that your organization can take to accelerate EHR and CPOE adoption. Read on to discover out how the combination of desktop virtualization and single sign-on make it faster and easier to deploy new clinical applications while optimizing the clinician experience, protecting patient data, and reducing cost and complexity.
The move from paper-based medical records systems to electronic medical records (EMR) technology is improving patient outcomes, increasing clinician productivity, and lowering costs. However, access to patient information must not only be secure, but also fast, convenient and reliable. Technologies that provide security but frustrate clinicians will slow EMR adoption to a crawl. In this white paper, you’ll learn how you can solve this “last mile” problem and maximize user adoption by providing fast, convenient, secure access to EMR data across multiple clients, where and when the clinician requests it.
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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Solutions for your new data reality June 10, 2013 | Janice Nicholson - Co-founder and CEO, i2i Systems
Janice Nicholson
You simply cannot control the future success of your organization if you do not truly know your data.
Avandia: A drug that should be banned June 07, 2013 | Sidney Wolfe, MD - Founder and Senior Adviser, Public Citizen's Health Research Group
Sidney Wolfe
Since late 2010, when the diabetes drug Avandia was removed from the market in Europe because of its cardiovascular risks, approximately 132,000 Americans have been prescribed this dangerous drug, likely resulting in hundreds, or more, serious - and sometimes fatal - adverse reactions, including heart failure and heart attacks.
Policy recommendations on quality measurement: my reactions June 05, 2013 | David Williams - Health Business Blog
David Williams
Do these esteemed health experts choose their own providers based just on the "organization" or do they do what I and everyone I know does, which is to give considerable weight to the individual physician they are going to see?
Doctor Scum Bag June 04, 2013 | Rob Lamberts, MD
Rob Lamberts
Our system of "healthcare" doesn’t just fail to counter the flaws of our nature; it actively promotes bad relationships.
Why doctors should be glad there will be so many ICD-10 codes May 31, 2013 | Carl Natale - ICD10Watch
If researchers could sift through ICD codes, they could find data to support medical theories and improve lives.
A call for patience May 29, 2013 | Eric Wicklund - Senior Editor
Eric Wicklund
With its preliminary guidelines for regulation of mobile medical apps, released in late 2011, the FDA wisely jumped into the fray and gave us a foundation. Soon the FDA will build the structure around that foundation to manage and control emerging apps.
Working May 28, 2013 | Rob Lamberts, MD
Rob Lamberts
After fighting valiantly against the idea for the first two months, I succumbed to the necessity of building my own IT system and have been seeing the many benefits of that decision.
Apparently the HIPAA 5010 transition isn't over May 23, 2013 | Carl Natale - ICD10Watch
It surprises me that more than a year after the HIPAA 5010 deadline, some healthcare providers are figuring out that they can't rely on clearinghouses.

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Alpha II, a leader in healthcare coding, compliance and reimbursement, announced today that iMed Software of Lafayette, La. has selected Alpha II’s CodeWizard software to ensure accurate coding and compliance. Alpha II’s technology has been integrated with iMedEMR to generate evaluation and management (E&M) codes to deliver a more decisive calculation based on history, exam and medical decision making information obtained from medical records.
Orion Health, the leader in health information exchange (HIE) and healthcare integration solutions, and the North Carolina Health Information Exchange (NC HIE), today announced that NC HIE has expanded the reach and capabilities of the statewide HIE with the implementation of Orion Health Direct Secure Messaging, a secure communications network that will provide healthcare organizations throughout the state with an additional means of safely sharing health data between physicians and facilities. The success marks the latest milestone for NC HIE's development of a robust exchange that connects providers, hospitals and public health departments throughout North Carolina. NC HIE already relies on Orion Health HIE, powered by Orion Health Rhapsody Integration Engine, Clinical Data Repository and Clinical Portal, as the technology backbone for the statewide exchange.
Business Valuation Resources (BVR) and the American Health Lawyers Association (AHLA) are pleased to announce The AHLA/BVR Guide to Healthcare Valuation, Third Edition, edited by renowned healthcare valuation thought leader, Mark Dietrich, CPA/ABV.
TriMed Technologies, a provider of physician based healthcare information solutions, has announced the release of Version 7.1 of e-Medsys, their ONC-ATCB certified EHR.
Health Language, Inc. (HLI), the global leader in healthcare terminology management, today announced that NextGen Healthcare, a wholly owned subsidiary of Quality Systems, Inc. and a leading provider of healthcare information systems and connectivity solutions, has selected its Language Engine (LE) and provider-friendly terminology (PFT) to enhance physician documentation and billing workflow.
Dr. Carl Smith, M.D., F.A.A.P. (Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics) is the personification of yesteryear's country doctor, but with a modern twist. Since forming his primary care center 18 years ago, Dr. Smith has always leveraged the most cutting edge practice management technologies in support of the pediatric services he provides to patients in this southeastern Kentucky city of approximately 2,000 bordering Tennessee and Virginia. With about 70 percent his patients Medicaid-eligible, Dr Smith nearly 10 years ago first adopted MedInformatix Inc.'s Practice Management (PM) solution to accelerate billing and improve scheduling efficiencies. He soon added the vendor's Electronic Medical Records (EMR) module toward providing the same level of patient care seen in practices 10 to 20 times his center's size.
Arcadia Solutions, a leading provider of data-driven Health IT solutions, announced today it has launched a partnership with the California Primary Care Association (CPCA), the statewide leader and recognized voice representing the interests of California community clinics and health centers and their patients. The new partnership will transform primary care practices into Patient-Centered Medical Homes (PCMHs) with its Health Home Accelerator Program and will provide health systems with the most timely, efficient path to PCMH recognition with a target of reducing recognition time by thirty percent.
In order to receive reimbursement for patient claims, U.S. healthcare providers must begin using a revised global system for classifying medical diagnoses and inpatient procedures by Oct. 1, 2014.  While more than two years sounds like plenty of time to implement a new system, the number of possible diagnostic codes will increase dramatically from 14,000 to 68,000, while the number of inpatient codes will increase from 4,000 to 87,000. Crowe Horwath LLP, one of the largest public accounting and consulting firms in the U.S., suggests steps that providers can implement ahead of the conversion deadline for a smoother transition.

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