public health reporting
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has posted new entries on its FAQ system related to public health measure reporting requirements under the EHR Incentive Programs. Test your knowledge before clicking through to view the full answers. MORE

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Operating costs cause execs' grief June 26, 2013 | Madelyn Kearns - Associate Editor
Operating costs provide physician execs with the most grief
The sixth installment of Medical Practice Today has come to pass courtesy of MGMA-ACMPE and this year's 1,067 executive responders, who shared their current struggles and adjustments during times of intense industry progression, under intense legislative pressures.
MU not quite as meaningful as hoped June 26, 2013 | MedAxiom
MU not quite as meaningful as hoped
According to Mike Mytych, president and founder of Health Information Consulting, it has been harder than expected for practices to adapt their workflows to meet meaningful use criteria. Nonetheless, the medical industry has made substantial steps toward universal adoption of EHRs.
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.
Study shows variable impact of EHR use on Medicaid costs June 24, 2013 | Anthony Brino - Contributing Writer
Study shows variable impact of EHR use on Medicaid costs
Evidence from Massachusetts community providers suggests that EHRs can facilitate increases or decreases in medical costs, and that in Medicaid, the technology may fit best with capitated payments.
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.
Bronze Plans may cost consumers more June 19, 2013 | Frank Irving - Editor
Rate filings show Bronze Plans may be costlier for consumers
New analysis from HealthPocket finds that Bronze Plans, the least expensive plans under the Affordable Care Act, have higher out-of-pocket costs for consumers compared to current plans in the individual and family insurance market.

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CMS and ONC to host session on coding April 22, 2013 | Frank Irving - Editor
CMS and ONC to host session on billing and coding
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT will hold a meeting May 3 to discuss the effect of EHRs on care quality and provider efficiency, as well as coding challenges facing clinicians and hospitals. The event is free and open to healthcare providers and HIT vendors.
A balanced approach to data security April 18, 2013 | Diana Manos
A balanced approach to data security psybiztech
Organizations need to weigh compliance and security concerns when assessing regulatory mandates such as HIPAA. Larry Hurtado, CEO of Digital Defense, a risk assessment firm in San Antonio, Texas, offers several tips on how to improve your security culture.
Physicians advised not to 'friend' patients April 12, 2013 | Frank Irving - Editor
Physicians advised not to 'friend' patients
The American College of Physicians and the Federation of State Medical Boards want doctors to "pause before posting" when it comes to their social media activities. A new policy paper from the two organizations advises physicians on how to protect patient interests - and themselves - while applying principles of professionalism to online settings. Read on for further recommendations from the paper.
How to treat 5 banes of medical billing April 11, 2013 | Kevin Fuller - New Media Producer at MedTech Media
5 banes of medical billing can be avoided
Michele Hilton, general manager of medical billing services, ADP AdvancedMD, says she's experienced all the tribulations associated with medical billing. Here, she offers advice on how to preemptively strike against the headaches of medical billing.
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.
Selecting EHR Incentive menu objectives April 05, 2013 | Frank Irving - Editor
EHR
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on April 4 issued guidance to eligible professionals on how they should select menu objectives for the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive programs. CMS' instructions include information for 2014 and Stage 2 meaningful use requirements.
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.
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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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.
Top documentation challenges in the ICD-10 transition February 15, 2013 | Carl Natale - ICD10Watch
There are plenty of diagnoses that can be better documented. Here are five diagnoses that give documentation specialists the most problems.
Ethics or innovation: Which comes first? February 08, 2013 | Jeff Rowe - Contributing Writer
Was enough study conducted on the potential benefits and risks prior to the decision, in the form of the HITECH Act, to push, pull and cajole healthcare providers across the digital frontier?
Why CAC can't solve all your ICD-10 problems January 30, 2013 | Carl Natale - ICD10Watch
Computer-assisted coding technology has the potential to boost coding productivity to a level that compensates for the drop that's going to come when healthcare organizations transition to ICD-10 implementation.
The Omnibus Rule arrives January 25, 2013 | Mac McMillan - Privacy and Security
Business associates and their subcontractors are now officially liable directly for certain requirements of the HIPAA Privacy and Security Rules, whether a formal agreement exists or not.
Requiring doctors and nurses to get flu shots is the right thing to do when it comes to patient safety.
Tax changes for 2013 January 22, 2013 | Jeff Bogue - Bogue Asset Management
This post provides a quick summary of the tax changes made effective at the beginning of the year.
Physicians want workplace data included in EHRs January 21, 2013 | Jeff Rowe - Contributing Writer
The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine has urged policymakers to ensure that worker health information is included as part of EHRs.

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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.
Angela Golden, president elect of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, issued the following statement concerning the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the role of nurse practitioners in the American health care system.
The Huntzinger Management Group, Inc. (HMG), a leader in healthcare advisory and managed services consulting, today further illustrated its commitment to the industry's "90 percent"—the lion's share of the healthcare community that has yet to prepare for ICD-10. HMG has done so by hiring healthcare executive Nancy Chapman, adding more than 25 years of provider operations and IT experience to help clients transition from ICD-9 to ICD-10.
WESTMED Medical Group announced it is collaborating with the UnitedHealthcare and Optum businesses of UnitedHealth Group to launch an accountable care organization (ACO) for its more than 220 physicians in Westchester County, N.Y.

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