BEI HIT Blog
Healthcare IT News, April 8, 2013
BEI Commentary: Here are the latest statistics on Meaningful Use payments. Almost one out of every two physicians are participating.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) reports it has paid out nearly $12.7 billion in meaningful use incentive payments through February 2013, according to the latest figures available.
The electronic health record adoption incentive program, launched under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, has now drawn 264,292 Medicare eligible providers (EPs) to date, including 120,002 Medicaid registrants and 4,299 hospitals, according to CMS. Read More
Healthcare Technology Online, November 9, 2012
BEI Commentary: Some interesting comments regarding President Obama’s reelection and Meaningful Use. Did you know that if you don’t become a Meaningful User, you are subsidizing other physicians who do?
President Obama’s re-election may have erased the threat of full repeal of his healthcare reform law vowed by Mitt Romney, but that does not mean the controversy surrounding the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is a thing of the past. While the election results have ensured the continued rollout of the healthcare reform law, several elements of ACA will undoubtedly be hotly contested and debated in the weeks and years to come. It’s almost certain that the U.S. House of Representatives will press for concessions in the law, and I’d be surprised if a few weren’t granted. Read More
Healthcare IT News, October 25, 2012
BEI Commentary: CMS has announced the CQMs for 2014 – a change compared to what is being reported today.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has published the final 2014 clinical quality measures (CQMs) for eligible professionals and eligible hospitals seeking to attest for meaningful use.
Beginning in 2014, the reporting of clinical quality measures will change for all providers. Electronic health record (EHR) technology that has been certified to the 2014 standards and capabilities will contain new CQM criteria. Read More
Fierce EMR, July 23, 2012
BEI Commentary: CMS is starting to audit providers on Meaningful Use. Make sure you have your documentation in hand!
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has quietly begun to audit providers who have received payments under the EHR incentive program, according to an alert from the law firm Ober Kaler.
The Garden City, N.Y.-based accounting firm Figliozzi and Company, acting on behalf of CMS, has started to send letters to providers requesting them to submit documentation to support their attestation that they have met the Meaningful Use requirements. According to Ober Kaler, the auditor is asking for four types of information: Read More
EHR Intelligence, July 12, 2012
BEI Commentary: Here are some good tips on preparing to register for the EHR Incentive program. Note that CMS can conduct an audit for up to six years after payment is received.
Registering for EHR incentives from CMS and logging into the attestation portal may appear to be basic on the surface, but can require more work than some eligible professionals (EPs) and hospitals realize. To save time during the registration process, it will help to have the information below readily available. Read More
Government HealthIT, April 20, 2012
BEI Commentary: Here are the current statistics on the number of physicians registered for Meaningful Use and collecting incentive payments.
The Medicare and Medicaid electronic health record program has paid $4.5 billion to 76,612 physicians and hospitals in incentive payments through March 2012.
Of that amount, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services paid out $339.9 million for Medicare eligible providers, according to its latest data.
Fewer Medicare physicians attested and received payments in March than the previous month because the end of February was the cut-off date to be considered part of calendar 2011. However, the 8,651 physicians in March was an increase over January’s 7,668 doctors who received incentives. In February, 12,356 Medicare physicians obtained their payments. The number of hospitals that collected Medicare incentives, however, continued to increase in March to 115 from 84 in February. Read More
Chicago Tribune, March 29, 2012
BEI Commentary: Many of you have read about the recent recommendations regarding unnecessary tests and images. On that same topic, there is a related question as to whether or not EHRs can help reduce the number of tests ordered on the theory that more information is available to the provider at the point of care. According to this article, the answer is yes, but with an asterisk. The asterisk is that the EHR needs to be connected to an exchange (which is one of the major themes of Meaningful Use Stage 2), in order to see the benefit.
Doctors order fewer lab tests when they have access to a patient’s electronic medical records, according to a new study, but the efficiency may be confined to state-of-the-art records exchanges for now.
The new study is based on the experience of two hospitals — Brigham and Women’s and Massachusetts General — that form Partners HealthCare, a not-for-profit healthcare system in Boston. The findings are at odds with another recent study. Read More
Everything HITECH, March 5 2012
BEI Commentary: Here is some useful information on the audits that will be performed related to Meaningful Use. As we recommend, this article states that good, hard copy documentation of your Meaningful Use attestation will be very important in the event of an audit.
While at HIMSS 2012, we attended a presentation by CMS outlining their program for auditing providers under the EHR Stimulus payment, and were fortunate to be able to talk with a couple of the auditors one on one after the session. Their approach is still being finalized, and won’t roll out until later this spring, but there was enough useful information, that we thought to share for your own planning activities.
It is important to note that there are two distinct progreams, one for Medicaid (centered on eligibility and AIU) and another for Medicare (centered on Meaningful Use Measures and Objectives). Read More
HealthData Management, February 24, 2012
BEI Commentary: The proposal for Stage 2 Meaningful Use was released last week. CMS will accept comments for 60 days. After the comment period CMS will issue its final ruling and the Stage 2 criteria will be final. There are lots of interesting change between Stage 1 and Stage 2. We will cover this in more detail in the future, but you might want to click on the link to get a sneak peek!
Following is a comprehensive first-look at the CMS proposed rule for Stage 2 of the electronic health records meaningful use program from Justin Barnes, co-chair of the Accountable Care Community of Practice and a vice president at physician vendor Greenway Medical Technologies:
From the checklist or foundational mentality of Stage 1, to the “prove it” or workflow design-compelling criteria seen in the Stage 2 quality measure proposals released February 23, the emphases on bona fide data exchange (mere testing is history), longitudinal care plans, evidence-based clinical decision support and single standards for everything from care summaries to vocabulary all signal the maturation of care coordination. Read More
Government Health IT, February 6, 2012
We get asked a lot if the budget deficit proposals will affect the Meaningful Use incentive programs. Our opinion is no, in that EHRs and HIT are a bipartisan issue in this era of hyperpartisanship. This article seems to buttress our opinion.
Healthcare reform is arguably the hot-button political issue of our time. And with the Supreme Court locked and loaded to decide the fate of the Affordable Care Act this summer, it’s a safe bet the controversial two-year-old legislation will have a huge impact on the 2012 election and beyond.
But what about health IT? If “Obamacare” has been a lightning rod, sparking historically nasty partisan bickering – Congress vs. President Obama, Republicans vs. Democrats, Fox News vs. MSNBC, the Tea Party vs. MoveOn.org – Washington’s efforts to spur healthcare information technology have enjoyed much broader support, on both sides of the aisle. Read More