News

EHRs have turned a corner

The jury may still be out on how the Meaningful Use program should operate and whether it really improves quality. There's no question, however, that the program was the catalyst for massive, high-speed adoption of electronic health records--and that the industry may have just turned a corner in its use and attitude regarding such systems.

Top 25 MU attesters earned $171 million in 2012

The 25 doctors who attested to Meaningful Use in 2012 and received the most Medicare reimbursements were paid a total of $171 million, according to a personal blog post from Steven Posnack (pictured), director of federal policy division at the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT.

KLAS: EMRs don't yet meet ACO needs

Electronic medical records are not meeting the needs of physician-led accountable care organizations, causing providers to turn to third party ACO vendors to meet their needs, according to a new report from Orem, Utah-based KLAS Research.

CMS issues MU attestation guidance for providers in group/health system settings

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has issued guidance to help eligible hospitals and eligible professionals who are part of larger entities or who practice in multiple locations and participate in the Meaningful Use program.

Study: Meaningful Use not necessarily associated with quality improvement

Although one of the main goals of the Meaningful Use program is to improve the quality of care, there appears to be "no association" between being a "meaningful user" of electronic health records and the quality of care provided to patients, according to a new study published in JAMA Internal Medicine.

The vision of HIE: 'Knowledge is power'

Health Information exchanges have encountered a few road bumps, but the industry is making progress in using HIE to "harness" information and communication to improve patient care, accosting to Robyn Rontal, MHSA, JD, Director of HCV Data Analytics for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.

4 lesser known problems with EHRs

Although the healthcare industry continues to transition from paper to electronic health records, many patients and even some providers remain unaware of their imperfections.

Beware the hidden costs of a poorly constructed EHR contract

We know that electronic health records can cost a lot of money, sometimes millions of dollars. So it would be pretty disconcerting for a provider to learn that it has to pay additional amounts on top of that initial layout. Yet evidently, this is not uncommon, and it's often because providers make mistakes when entering into a contract with an EHR vendor. 

HIT policy committee approves best practices for proxy access to EHR data

The Health IT policy committee this week gave a green light to recommendations from its privacy and security Tiger Team that empower patient personal representatives (proxies) for adults with view/download/transmit (VDT) permissions for protected health information. Such permissions as they pertain to adolescent patients will be discussed at a future meeting.

Black Book Rankings: Primary-care docs happier with their EHRs

Primary-care physicians are happier with their EHRs than they used to be, according to Black Book Rankings' annual report on ambulatory EHR users.

BIDMC expands e-access to mental health notes

Boston-based Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, a pioneer in providing patients with access to their electronic health record data, has decided to take its policy on transparency a step further by allowing patients to access mental health notes.

Agencies update eCQMs, release new MU measuring tool

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT--in conjunction with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the National Library of Medicine and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality--has updated the specifications for the eligible hospital 2014 e-Clinical Quality Measures (eCQMs) finalized in Stage 2 of the Meaningful Use program.

OIG reverses course on referral arrangement involving EHR data exchange

The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Office of Inspector General has taken the rather unusual step of terminating an advisory opinion originally in favor of a data exchange arrangement created by an electronic health record vendor.

OpenNotes initiative expands to Northwest health organizations

Prodded by the nonprofit groupWe Can Do Better, nine prominent health organizations in Oregon and Southwest Washington will open electronic doctor notes to their patients via the OpenNotes initiative, according to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Attorney: Cloud vendor contracts wrought with pitfalls

Despite the surge by providers to cloud-based electronic health record systems, cloud vendor contracts still are wrought with pitfalls and "threats", according to attorney Steven Fox with Post & Schell, who spoke on a recent webinar sponsored by the American Bar Association's Health Law Section.

CMS releases PQRS, eRx progress report

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has released a new report on two of its pay-for-reporting incentive programs for eligible professionals (EPs): the Physician Quality Reporting System...

Specialists may have difficulty meeting email thresholds of MU Stage 2

Specialists may have a harder time meeting the patient engagement requirements of Meaningful Use Stage 2, according to a study published in the American Journal of Medical Quality.

HIMSS Analytics: EHR governance efforts lack doc engagement

A lack of physician engagement is one of the biggest challenges for electronic health record governance efforts, according to a HIMSS Analytics study published this week.

HIMSS offers CMS recommendations to facilitate MU Stage 2

The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society, concerned that providers may struggle to meet the more stringent requirements of Stage 2 of the Meaningful Use program, has released recommendations to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to help the agency maximize the number of successful attesters this year.

Blumenthal interview on EHR use elicits mixed reaction

A recent interview in The Atlantic with David Blumenthal, former National Coordinator for Health IT, has generated a flurry of comments from readers weighing in on the role and worth of electronic health records