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Rip and Replace Your EHR in 2014

Rip and Replace Your EHR in 2014

You may have noticed that some of your colleagues look like they just stepped off a merry go round. They might careen around the office, mumbling to themselves. You may find them laughing hysterically as they stare at a calendar, or sleeping under their desk using shredded paper records as a blanket. But don’t be alarmed. These are all perfectly normal reactions to this year of change. This year, everything from Meaningful Use to HIPAA to PQRS to insurance coverage is moving into unexplored territory. But change also represents opportunity. […]

April 14, 2014 | By More
I’m From Congress and I’m Here to Help

I’m From Congress and I’m Here to Help

More “help” from Congress rather than less with the lack of focus on data security I have to believe that the already abysmal approval rating for the US Congress took an even greater dive this week among the healthcare industry participants as they kicked the can down the road for the 17th time on the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) fix.  I’m sure that Senator Tom Coburn and the other doctors in the Congress understand that the potential for a 24% pay cut is meaningful to doctors, but apparently not to the […]

April 6, 2014 | By More
Administrative April Fools: Who is in charge of ICD-10?

Administrative April Fools: Who is in charge of ICD-10?

Administrative April Fools: Another ICD-10 Delay Just one month after CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner said that there would be no further delays to ICD-10; the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Protecting Access to Medicare Act (HR 4302) which would delay ICD-10 another full year into 2015. Before ICD-10 is formally postponed however, the Senate has to vote on the proposed legislation and President Obama must sign it into law. So which will it be? Who is in charge of this administrative ping pong match? I ask because it seems […]

March 30, 2014 | By More
Patient Engagement, Seeing the Forest through the Trees

Patient Engagement, Seeing the Forest through the Trees

Patient engagement has been on my mind lately. The term is thrown around wildly these days, especially as Stage 2 of Meaningful Use is barreling down upon us. Providers in Stage 2 are now responsible for ensuring that their patients view, download, or transmit their health information. They are also being tracked on whether their patients initiate a secure message to their practice. So EHR vendors are racing to create engaging patient portals to facilitate meeting requirement. But from a patient perspective, what are we supposed to do when we […]

March 24, 2014 | By More
Alarm Bells are Sounding for the October 1 Transition to ICD-10

Alarm Bells are Sounding for the October 1 Transition to ICD-10

ICD-10 Transition: Is your Practice Ready? CMS Administrator Marylyn Tavenner made it clear at HIMSS14 that there is no turning back on the cutover to ICD-10 this October. Since then I am seeing more and more warning signals from various sources about potential financial and clinical peril associated with the transition. These warnings are especially concerning considering the Medical Group Management Association report last month that reported less than 10 percent of responding practices were ready for the transition. We are six months away and it’s not as if there […]

March 16, 2014 | By More
L.A. Business Associate Causes HIPAA Breach of 165,000 Health Records

L.A. Business Associate Causes HIPAA Breach of 165,000 Health Records

A Business Associate working for the L.A. County department of health has caused a massive HIPAA breach of more than 165,000 health records. The breach occurred when eight laptops were stolen from Sutherland Healthcare Solution’s offices on February 5th. Now, anyone can suffer a break-in, so why do I write that the breach was the vendor’s fault? It is their fault because the laptops contained unencrypted Protected Health Information (PHI). But don’t take my word on it. Federal law makes it clear that the vendor is liable for the breach. […]

March 10, 2014 | By More
In a Perfect World – Quality vs. Quantity in Healthcare

In a Perfect World – Quality vs. Quantity in Healthcare

Quality vs. Quantity in Healthcare At the HIMSS 2014 conference this month, Secretary of State Clinton spoke eloquently about qualitative change to the healthcare system through IT and big data. CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner made it very clear that the launch of ICD-10 would not be delayed any further. In addition, the focus of a great many meetings and discussions were had on the vexing topic of ‘fee for service’ vs. accountable care. In reality, many payment reforms have been proposed to address the problems with the current fee for […]

March 10, 2014 | By More
Bringing HIMSS14 Home

Bringing HIMSS14 Home

Last week, the HIMSS annual conference brought more than 38,800 people to Orlando, Florida to meet and collaborate with healthcare leaders and learn about what’s new in Health IT.  There were more than 1200 exhibitors, 300 education sessions, and heaps of industry social gatherings to keep attendees busy. Whether you were there in person or following along from afar, there was a major social gathering online. More than 63,000 tweets were generated as people absorbed all the information and shared their #HIMSS14 experiences. It’s impossible to digest all the links, presentations, announcements, […]

March 4, 2014 | By More
While Healthcare IT Spending Accelerates so Does the Struggle for Talent

While Healthcare IT Spending Accelerates so Does the Struggle for Talent

Healthcare IT Boom The Healthcare IT market continues to boom with a recent report from Markets and Markets  predicting a 7.4% compounded annual growth rate in North America with the overall market growing $10 billion from the period of 2012 through 2017. While the rest of the economy bumps along at a couple of percent, HIT continues to accelerate.  As the unemployment rate slowly creeps down, most healthcare organizations report significant shortages of skilled IT professionals causing delays in projects.  Last week’s speech from CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner, reaffirming the […]

March 2, 2014 | By More