Roughly 257,000 Medicare eligible professionals (EPs) will be hit with a 1 percent penalty to their Medicare Physician Fee Schedule payments beginning Jan. 5, 2015, for failing to meet Meaningful Use by Oct. 1, 2014, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services revealed during a press call on Dec. 17. Of those 257,000 EPs, 28,000 will receive a 2 percent penalty for failing to meet an e-prescribing threshold.
With CMS doling out billions of dollars in Meaningful Use incentive payments, it is no surprise that providers are increasingly at risk of being audited to see if they actually were entitled to the money. And the stakes of being audited are high: A provider that fails just one element of a Meaningful Use audit not only must return the entire incentive payment for that year, but also is automatically scheduled for another audit. Special Report
Simply using an electronic health record does not necessarily lead to billing fraud. But some of their functionalities, meant to create efficiencies, can lead to documentation that causes improper billing, as well as outright fraud. So how can providers root out EHR-related documentation issues and fraud before it occurs? And what steps can private payers take to ferret out improper claims? Read the full Special Report
December appears to be the month of the patient portal study.
First we have a survey from the National Partnership for Women and Families, which found that consumers are increasingly more comfortable with electronic health records and online access, but that patient engagement should be increased. Usage varied by demographic.
Then there's the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs' study of its MyHealtheVet portal, which found that while more than 1 million veterans had registered for the online access, patient registration and use was low. Usage varied by medical condition.
Now, there's Xerox's annual survey, which revealed that while consumers are warming up to portals, many don't know whether they have one available to them. Usage varied by age.
Anyone detecting a pattern here? Read more...
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Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-N.C.) is continuing to urge for a shorter reporting period for eligible professionals and eligible hospitals to attest to Meaningful Use--and now has the backing of 28 of her colleagues.
The words "concerned," "appalled" and "disappointed" sum up the reaction from many in the industry to yesterday's news from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services that about 257,000 Medicare eligible professionals will be hit with penalties for failing to meet Meaningful Use requirements.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is teaming up with IBM to pilot a study to harness electronic health records to help physicians care for patients. The program will use IBM's Watson technology to study innovative approaches to search EHRs and medical literature for relevant studies in order to quickly collect, combine and present information to help physicians make clinical decisions more quickly and free up their time to spend more of it with patients.
The Office of the National Coordinator's Health IT Policy Committee endorsed the recommendations of its Interoperability and Health Information Exchange Workgroup regarding the agency's proposed interoperability roadmap.
Congress has made clear that the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT's priority should be on interoperability, ordering the agency to change how it certifies electronic health records so that non-interoperable products don't make the cut.
From Our Sister Sites
A new ICD-10 end-to-end testing period for providers, as well as associated guidance for testing, was revealed this week by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
The official deadline for signing up for coverage as of Jan. 1 through an Affordable Care Act insurance exchange has passed, but numerous insurers have voluntarily extended their application period for ACA plans.