ONC Releases Interoperability Roadmap Comments

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT is a staff division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (ONC).  They recently published nearly 250 public comments that it received regarding the draft of its nationwide interoperability roadmap. The comment period was open for 90 days and ended on May 1, 2015.

Data Breach at Three Hospitals in Bergen County NJ

The Valley Hospital, Englewood Hospital and Medical Center, and Holy Name Medical Center all use Medical Management LLC of North Carolina for emergency department physician billing.  An employee who worked at this company from February 2013 through March 2015 was passing on the names, Social Security numbers and birth dates of patients at these three facilities. 

Report Shows 25% of Small Practices Feel Stuck with Current EMR

If you are unhappy with your EMR, you are not alone. A recent report from a study of over 750 small practices (practice with 1-10 physicians) performed by KLAS shows that a quarter of these practices feel that they are stuck with their EMR even though it does not meet their expectations, or are planning to change their EMR. 

NJ Doctors Received 109% increase under Obamacare but Were Still Reluctant to Take New Patients

Ranking well below the national average of 69%, a U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report show that only 38.7% of New Jersey doctors are accepting new Medicaid patients in 2013, making New Jersey the lowest ranking state (the 2011/2012 survey placed New Jersey at 46%, still at the bottom). California comes in second at 54.2% while New Jersey neighboring states of New York,

House Approves Medicare SGR

On March 26th the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation (with a 392-37 vote) to permanently replace the Medicare sustainable growth rate formula and reimbursement mechanism.  The senate did not review the bill before its 2 week recess.  Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said that the Senate will act quickly on the legislation when the session resumes on April 13 stating,

More Healthcare Breaches – Who’s Next?

With three more healthcare security breaches recently reported, the issue of security is again in the forefront of healthcare news.  In a new report from CyberEdge Group, 52% of security professionals say their organization will likely be successfully attacked in the next year.  The number of actual reported hacks continues to increase with some 16% reporting multiple attacks.

Is ICD-10 Dangerous?

Groups including American Medical Association (AMA) and the American Academy of Family Physicians recently wrote to Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) voicing their concerns stating that “the transition to ICD-10 represents one of the largest technical, operational, and business implementations in the health care industry in the past several decades” and arguing that there needs to be industry wide end-to-end testing as the current testing shows results only for a broad overview of claims.

Interoperability – Committees, Issues, and Insights

A draft bill is being circulated among Congress that outlines a plan for achieving interoperability (the ability of any authorized user to read a medical record from any source) by year 2018.  This bill is Rep. Mike Burgess’ (R-Texas) plan to appoint a 12 member committee to help develop standards and stop Electronic Health Record (EHR) software from blocking other interfaces.

CMS ICD-10 Test Gets a Passing Grade

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently conducted a week long test wherein 660 volunteer Medicare fee-for-service providers, clearing houses and billing companies submitted about 15,000 test claims, and Administrator Marilyn Tavenner says CMS is ready.  Of the claims submit 56% were from professionals, 38% were from institutions and 6% were supplier claims.

The goal of the test is to have providers successfully submit claims using ICD-10 codes to the Medicare Fee-For Service (FFS) claims systems,

Meaningful Use Attestation Date Extended

March 20th is now the deadline date set for 2014 Meaningful Use Attestation.  The date was originally set at February 28th, but Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) extended the deadline to allow providers more time to gather and submit their data.  During this extension period, providers an also utilize their one “switch” from Medicare to Medicaid or Vice Versa.