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Feds eye crackdown on cut-and-paste EHR fraud

Modern Healthcare, December 10, 2013

BEI Commentary: Cutting and pasting in patient records can be dangerous. This article summarizes the issues and discusses how the federal government is cracking down on the practice and associated fraud.

Federal officials say the cut-and-paste features common to electronic health records invite fraudulent use of duplicated clinical notes and that there is a need to clamp down on the emerging threat. That concern is enhanced by the fact that it’s too easy to turn off features of EHR systems that allow tracking of sloppy or fraudulent records.
In an audit report released Tuesday morning (PDF), HHS agencies confirmed that they are developing comprehensive plans to deter fraud and abuse involving EHRs, including guidelines for cut-and-paste features. The issue arises at a time when critics say federally subsidized digital patient record systems are sometimes being used inappropriately by providers to drive up reimbursement.

“Certain EHR documentation features, if poorly designed or used inappropriately, can result in poor data quality or fraud,” according a report from HHS’ Office of the Inspector General. Read More

Dropbox in healthcare: A love-hate thing

Healthcare IT News, 11/19/13

BEI Commentary: Many people use dropbox for filesharing.  We suspect a lot of you are.  It’s easy, free in many cases, and convenient.  One problem – it is not HIPAA compliant.

Torie Jones, former chief privacy officer at University of Pennsylvania Health System, had an ironclad rule in place for her staff: “No PHI in the cloud until you have a BAA in place.”

For most cloud-based vendors, those who are used to the specific demands of working in healthcare, getting that business associate agreement in place wouldn’t be much of a problem.

But when it comes to using the popular file hosting service Dropbox, that all-important contract isn’t something that’s readily forthcoming. Read More

Value-based Reimbursement Next Metric for Medical Practices

Physicians Practice, 10/23/13

BEI Commentary: An interesting point in this article:  although quality is often discussed, value is the real metric of the future.  You will need to be able to show proof of “value provide” through analytics from your EHR.

A new wave of change is occurring in healthcare: a seismic shift from volume-based payment to value-based payment. To succeed in adapting, your challenge is to catch the “right wave.” The wave you want to catch is not quality. That wave has crested. Value is the wave that successful medical practices will ride in the next decade. My challenge is to share tips from the experts to help you find the right wave. I’ll also offer advice on timing, for, as with body surfing, mistiming your approach means you miss the wave. Read More

Study: Patient Portal Use To Shoot Up 221 Percent

EMR & EHR, October 9, 2013

BEI Commentary: As would be expected, patient portal usage should increase significantly in the near future

The US patient portal market should grow at a blazing clip over the next few years, according to a new report by research firm Frost & Sullivan.
The new study, U.S. Patient Portal Market for Hospitals and Physicians: Overview and Outlook, 2012- 2017, concludes that the total US patient portal market for hospitals and physicians generated revenue of just $279.8 million in 2012. By 2017, however, the US patient portal market should reach $898.4 million, representing a 221.1 percent increase in revenue generated. Read More…

CMS awards contract to implement text4baby in four states

Fierce Mobile Healthcare, October 7, 2013

BEI Commentary: We are just starting to scratch the surface of electronic provider – patient communications.  Here is a good example of how text messaging can be put to use.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has awarded a three-year contract to support the implementation of text4baby, the nation’s largest and only free mobile health service for expecting and new moms, in four still-to-be-determined states.

According to the announcement, CMS is currently working with text4baby founding partners Voxiva and the National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition to determine the target states for this pilot project. Read more

HIPAA: Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act

American Medical Association, September 10, 1013

BEI Commentary: We know that many of you feel like you are being “HIPAA’d” to death, but we get requests about the new HIPAA rules all the time. Here is a link from the AMA website that has some nice resources on the new HIPAA rules, Encryption and even sample Notice of Privacy Practices and Business Associate Agreements.

Upcoming September 23, 2013 HIPAA privacy and security deadline – The U.S Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) recently adopted new rules which make changes to existing privacy, security and breach notification requirements in what is often referred to as the final “HIPAA Omnibus Rule.” These new rules stem from changes made under the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act which is part of the same law that created the Electronic Health Records (EHRs) Incentive Program under Medicare and Medicaid. Read More

Doctor Loses Access to EHRs; Mirrors ONC EHR Contract Concerns

iHealthBeat, August 23, 2013

BEI Commentry: There are many things to consider when negotiating EHR contracts, even things that might not be related to technology.  Here is a story about who gets access to patient data when a physician leaves a practice.  It also has a link to best practices when negotiating an EHR contract, published by ONC.

A Canadian physician who left a medical group to start her own practice was not able to maintain access to 1,500 patient electronic health records, one example of the challenges of negotiating EHR vendor contracts, EHR Intelligence reports.

Dianne Smith left her position at the Didsbury Medical Clinic to begin her own practice, hoping to take patients with her. However, she was denied access to their records by Didsbury’s owner and its EHR vendor. Read More

 

When it Comes to Patient Engagement in Florida, Parrish Medical Center Shines Bright

Healthcare Informatics, July 23, 2013

BEI Commentary: Payment Patient Portals are becoming ever more important ways of communicating, and they are required for stage 2.  Reach the second half of this article to see how Parrish Medical Center is rated #1 in this area.

It seems that while everyone in healthcare is talking about patient engagement, many are struggling to come up with strategies to achieve it. 

Stage 2 of the Meaningful Use electronic health records (EHR) incentive program requires 5 percent of patients to log into and upload data via a portal or personal health record for providers to earn incentive payments from the program. And last year, the National eHealth Collaborative and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) created the Patient Engagement Framework, which was vetted by over 150 healthcare stakeholders, and is meant to help providers understand how to start and continuously improve a patient engagement initiative.  According to the lead authors of the framework, a properly implemented patient engagement strategy should transform the way a health system delivers care. Read More

Medicare pushes start date of bonus/penalty plan to 2016 for mid-size doctor groups

MedCity News, July 22, 2013

BEI Commentary: Payment reform is coming, and maybe sooner than you think.  Medicare is proposing to pay mid-size physician groups for performance, starting in 2015.  This will undoubtedly affect readers of this blog.  Not explicitly mentioned in the article, but critically important is the ability to capture and report the required qualify measures in a practice’s EHR.

Medicare is accelerating plans to peg a portion of doctors’ pay to the quality of their care.

The changes would affect nearly 500,000 physicians working in groups. The federal health law requires large physician groups to start getting bonuses or penalties based on their performance by 2015, with all doctors who take Medicare patients phased into the program by 2017. Read More

EHR Meaningful Use Dropout Rate Soars in 2012

AAFP, July 3, 2013

BEI Commentary: The good news here is that physician adoption of EHR and Meaningful Use continues to grow.  The bad news is that some physicians did not attest in 2012 after having successfully done so in 2011.  This is rather perplexing as the workflows are the same and should not require any additional effort on the part of the practice.  We know of a practice that fell into this trap simply because the practice manager forgot to attest.  It cost the practice over $60,000.  Please remember that Meaningful Use is a process, not a one-time event.  Make sure to run your Meaningful Use measures on a regular basis and make sure you are meeting and exceeding the thresholds.  And remember to attest!

As U.S. physicians continue to embrace electronic health records (EHRs), data on CMS’ EHR incentive program holds both positive and troubling news regarding family physicians’ participation and success in achieving meaningful use of their EHRs.

According to CMS’ recently published EHR meaningful use attestation data(healthdata.gov), 23,636 family physicians became first-time meaningful users in 2012. The number represents a 180 percent increase compared to 2011 EHR statistics. Read More

 



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