Road to 10: The Small Physician Practice’s Route to ICD-10

To get started and learn more about ICD-10, navigate through the links on the left side of the page. If you’re ready to start building an action plan, select the BUILD YOUR ACTION PLAN box (read more…).

Conservative estimate shows a potential savings of $1.3 million to Western New York’s health system

Executive Summary

HEALTHeLINK works with health care providers throughout Western New York to help enhance patient outcomes and control costs through the utilization of a health information exchange (HIE). Through the HIE, providers can see what tests have been performed on their patients. This particular function of the HIE can help providers avoid ordering what may be potentially unnecessary duplicative tests, saving money and improving patient safety if the required test involves exposure to radiation (read more…)

National Association for Trusted Exchange on Fast Track to Facilitate Electronic Clinical Data Exchange Between Patients and Providers.  The project, underway in California, Alaska and Oregon, is working to overcome physicians’ concern that so-called “patient mediated exchange” may not be complete or accurate. It is aimed at ensuring that providers can successfully transfer medical data into a patient-controlled PHR, and that other physicians on the patient’s care team can trust information sent to them from the patient’s PHR.  “In just over 30 days we brought together a broad group of stakeholders and rapidly developed a baseline approach that balances easy consumer access to data with the privacy and security safeguards necessary for trusted exchange,” Seib said. “In the next phase, we want to engage additional PHR vendors and health care and health information exchange organizations to continue working on the baseline and update it with lessons learned.”  20131211 – NATE PHR Milestone Press Release

Patient Engagement Presentation

At first read, the CMS/ONC announcement that Stage 2 of EHR meaningful use will be extended by a year appears to give providers more time to get ready for their first reporting period. But that is not the case.

CMS confirmed that the extension does not mean a delay in the start date for Stage 2, eligible professionals have to start collecting data by October 2014 for the January 2015 reporting period. Not only are reporting periods unchanged for providers starting Stage 2 in 2014, but also for providers starting Stage 1 in 2014 to avoid reduced Medicare payments in 2015.

That means providers will report on Stage 2 for three years, but not necessarily get incentive payments for three years. There are scenarios depending on when a provider began meaningful use that the provider could receive three payments in Stage 2, but the present number of possible payments throughout the program has not change. So, if a provider takes off 2014 and doesn’t start meaningful use until 2015, they will lose a year of incentive payments.

The extension of Stage 2 was not done to make the second stage easier to comply with, but to give more time to develop and comply with Stage 3. Bill Beighe of PMG will continue to communicate with CMS and members of Congress on the need to shift reporting periods so providers aren’t starting Stage 2 at the same time they are trying to finish ICD-10 work. PMG joins the AAFP, CHIME and many organizations that have sent this message to Congress, the ONC and CMS. There is general concern that if providers have to choose between being ready for ICD-10 or meaningful use, they will pick ICD-10 because its impact on revenue is so much greater.

Health Information Exchange Saves $1 Million in Emergency Care Costs for Medicare.  New research shows that having access to data from a health information exchange (HIE) improved the quality of emergency care and saved more than $1 million in patient charges, or nearly $2,000 per patient, according to a study presented today in Seattle at the annual meeting of the American College of Emergency Physicians.

Santa Cruz Health Information Exchange was one of the three Awardees for the Personal Health Records Demonstration Project.  The demonstration will help establish policies and procedures for identifying use cases and the specific conditions for trusted exchange that includes PHRs.  Read more…

10/17/2013

NEW! Updated document for clean patient registration is now available. The role of the registrar or receptionist is key to acquiring and populating the patient demographic information precisely. Every healthcare worker should be vigilant that patient identities are accurate. Download the revised patient registration resource document and implement in your practices today! Patient Demographic Integrity ver4

Omnibus HIPAA 2013

08/29/2013

The “HIPAA 2013 Omnibus Final Rule” is 500+ pages and contains a significant amount of discussion related to the changed definition of Business Associate.  HHS goes into great detail of who is, and who is not, considered a Business Associate.  It is essential that you identify your business relations in your organization and ensure you have current appropriate agreements in place.

HIPAA_Omnibus_2013_Final (.ppt)
HIPAA 2013 Compliance Checklist (.doc) 
SCHIE Business Associate Agreement 2013 Omnibus Compliant (.pdf)
Notice of Privacy Practices & Acknowledgement Omnibus (English)(.doc)
Notice of Privacy Practices & Acknowledgement Omnibus (Spanish)(.doc)

Bill Beighe, CIO, Santa Cruz Health Information Exchange sat down with HITC’s Rob Waters to discuss the delivery of HIT/HIE services to a diverse group of stakeholders in rural Santa Cruz County helping them participate in new care delivery models and also how the California Association of HIEs (CAHIE), a group of as many as 30 HIEs are collaborating on Statewide health information exchange efforts. Bill has been the CIO with Santa Cruz Health Information Exchange since 1998. – Read more…

The final Omnibus Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Rule [1] published in the Federal Register on January 25, 2013 at 78 Fed. Reg. 5566 (Omnibus Rule) had significant changes and impacts for covered entities and their business associates.  By September 23, 2013, Covered Entities and Business Associates (including BA Subcontractors) have to meet all obligations imposed on them under the 2013 amendments.

The New HIPAA Business Associate Agreement is now available for download -SCHIE Business Associate Agreement 2013 Omnibus Compliant (pdf)

Health care providers everywhere rely on faxes, mail, un-secure e-mail, courier and phone to communicate. While these methods are great for non-sensitive information they have significant risks when used to send protected health information.

Recent changes in HIPAA and general risks associated with data leakage are driving the need for protection of content that is sent through email and various collaboration tools. DIRECT messaging mitigates these risks by providing a way for health care providers to share information electronically in a secure HIPAA compliant way, even if you do not have an Electronic Health Record (EHR).

Securing content is a critical best practice to prevent data leaks and unauthorized access to sensitive information.
DIRECT_SCHIE(pdf)

CMS final rule for Stage 2 requirements and other changes to the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs.  Most practices and clinics in Santa Cruz will need to support the Stage 2 requirements by October 1, 2014.  Stage 2 focus is on Advanced Clinical Processes.
Preparing for Meaningful Use Stage 2 in Santa Cruz (pdf)

Learn what you must report in 2013 to avoid penalties in the coming 2 years.

Provides a general overview on the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) payment adjustment program, including eligibility, how to avoid future payment adjustments, key points and tips for successful participation.  This presentation also provides a list of resources and who to contact for help.
PQRS Webinar Presentation (ppt)

2013 Standards of Excellence Rankings Released

 SANTA CRUZ, CA – May 21 The California Association of Physician Groups (CAPG) has announced it has designated Physicians Medical Group (PMG) as one of the highest performing medical groups in California according to their 2013 Standards of Excellence (SOE) survey. PMG was recognized as an ‘elite’ medical group among the 86 participating medical groups represented in this survey. The survey measured care management practices, health information technology, accountability and transparency, and patient-centered care.

 PMG physicians consistently strive to provide high quality, patient-centered care.” says Marvin Labrie, Chief Executive Officer Physicians Medical Group, “This entire organization is built around the patient: from health information technology which allows providers throughout the region to exchange patient health information to preventive care measures coordinated by primary care and specialty physicians. We are proud of what we have accomplished and will continue to seek new opportunities to improve.”…Press Relaease CAPG May 2013

Santa Cruz Health Information Exchange understand the challenges of coordinating care across acute and ambulatory settings, reducing workflow burdens from physicians and engaging patients.  Our proven Health Information Exchange (HIE) solutions can help you achieve your care coordination and physician alignment goals.  This project will help the State determine best practices and which model to adapt; Opt-In, Opt-Out or Hybrid.  Read more

CMS ANNOUNCED THIS WEEK – MEDICARE PAYMENT REDUCTION TO TAKE EFFECT APRIL 1, 2013
[Medicare Payment Reduction]

Selecting an EHR

02/15/2013

Whether this is your first EHR or you are considering changing systems, selecting the right EHR that meets the needs of your practice, that can connect you to the community and that you can afford is a daunting task. We will review the top 10 things you need ask and bases you need to cover when going through the process. The 5 recommended EHR’s will be briefly covered.

The grant to enable providers to meet HIE-related Meaningful Use objectives is made possible through CHEQ (Formerly CaleConnect).  This grant is the grant that many of you applied for individually in late summer/early fall. CHEQ made the decision to not award directly to individual providers but to rather award the maximum dollars to the HIE who in turn is tasked with standing up the various requested interfaces.

CHeQ Interface Grant I (ppt)

Security HIPAA Best Practices

January 31, 2013

Privacy refers to patients’ health information and their right to have that information kept confidential.  Security refers to the storage, use and electronic exchange of patient health information in a secure environment.  Protecting patients’ privacy and securing their health information is a core requirement for the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Records (EHR) Incentive Program referred [...]

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