When the 2013 North American Connectathon kicks off in Chicago later this month, participants will have the opportunity to test their products under a new certification program that ensures their technology is secure and interoperable with other health IT solutions.
Medicare and Medicaid electronic health record payments are estimated to have blasted through $10.3 billion to a total of 180,200 physicians and hospitals through December since the program's inception. December's payments of $1.25 billion were driven by the largest amount of hospital payments for an individual month.
Rural and community hospitals should develop an effective plan of action that unites IT departments, internal administration and clinical providers to have the best chance of meeting meaningful use, according to a new brief from Stoltenberg Consulting.
Watertown, Mass.-based athenahealth announced Jan. 7 that it would acquire San Mateo, Calif.-based Epocrates. It's a match hailed by the executives of both companies, and also by industry analysts, as a smart move. Athenahealth CEO Jonathan Bush explains his vision for athenahealth and for a connected healthcare system.
The year 2012 was the year when data showed its muscle, whether in the presidential elections or in demonstrating how deeply entrenched the adoption and meaningful use of electronic health records had become.
Once considered the leading edge of information technology, computerized physician order entry is now simmering on the back burner of healthcare priorities. While it is not forgotten, attention toward CPOE has been deflected in favor of other concerns, such as meaningful use, interoperability, RAC audits and ICD-10 coding projects. Yet it is a critical piece of meaningful use.
The federal incentive program for adoption of electronic health records is on the verge of driving a growth spike in patient portals, as meaningful use stage 2 requires that physicians engage with their patients and share more information.
As healthcare CIOs across the country consider the year ahead, they seem optimistic that 2013 will end with significant progress on many fronts - putting the patient at the center of care, making the switch to ICD-10 smoothly, achieving interoperability, finding clarity - and world peace.
Telehealth used to be something few people knew about, or understood. Today, it is fast taking its place as a major aspect of healthcare, according to experts at the National eHealth Collaborative's Technology Crossroads Conference in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 27.
Medicare and Medicaid electronic health record (EHR) incentive payments are estimated to have reached $9.245 billion to 177,100 physicians and hospitals through November since the program's inception and are anticipated to reach $10 billion by the end of the year (Healthcare IT News went to press before the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) posted final figures in late December).
No one would have guessed how far and how fast the federal incentive program for the adoption of EHRs would grow. Funding was mandated in 2009 under the HITECH ACT, with an estimated total expenditure anticipated at $20 billion. That payout has already reached $9.2B in the program's second year of a five-year program.
At the iHT2 Summer Health IT Summit in Denver last week, hospital executives talked about what they must do to achieve meaningful use from EHRs. Some health organizations, such as Catholic Health Initiatives, are starting from scratch. You'd think being an early adopter would give a system a leg up, but going in fresh has its advantages.
The Certification Commission for Health Information Technology (CCHIT) has added three certification programs for EHRs. This is good news. Adding more specialties, namely, behavior health, dermatology and long-term and post-acute care, will help drive EHR adoption across provider groups and spread the benefits of EHRs to a greater number of patients.
Suffice to say, when John Glaser speaks, the healthcare industry should listen. Even as Glaser moves from the healthcare provider and policy areas of the industry to the vendor side, he remains a respected authority on healthcare IT.
Many hospitals and physician offices are beginning to embark on the journey to implement and derive meaningful use out of EHRs. The Beacon communities will demonstrate how health IT can improve clinical outcomes, drive efficiencies and increase patient safety. Early adopters of EMRs and EHRs will also serve as role models in terms of where to find value and ROI. There has to be a business case for any IT investment, and finding multiple business cases for EHRs will only increase adoption.
Incoming reaction and comments to the final meaningful use criteria have so far been fairly positive. I don't know if the organizations that are calling for changes are resigned to the fact that the rule making for stage 1 is final and want their comments to be taken into consideration when the stage 2 requirements are being discussed.
Powerful forces are driving many practices toward EHRs, especially now that incentives for EHR use are more clearly defined within ARRA. First-time buyers, in particular, cannot afford to enter such high-stakes negotiations only half-informed.