Physician practices and hospitals that have yet to select or implement an EMR system should get a move on.
Those who wait until next year will face a "high risk" of failing to achieve "meaningful use" of health IT in time for the 2011-12 federal incentives, Mark Leavitt, chairman of the Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology, warned at the annual AHIMA conference on Monday in Grapevine, Texas.
"You're dreaming if you think you can achieve it in less than a year," Leavitt said, referring to hospitals. Achieving meaningful use of an EMR system will take at least 18 months, if not two years, he warned.
HHS expects to publish its criteria for certification of EMRs under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, as well as its definition of "‘meaningful use" for qualifying for ARRA Incentives, by the end of the year. Both measures should be finalized by spring 2010 after a public comment period. All told, the federal government will pony up $34 billion in incentives for meaningful use of certified EMR technology--the equivalent of what the U.S. spent to send the first man to the moon, Leavitt said.
Created Oct 6 2009 - 3:46pm
A final rule setting the Medicare physician fee schedule for calendar year 2010 does not align reporting requirements for the PQRI pay-for-performance program and the forthcoming Medicare/Medicaid incentive programs
for meaningful use of electronic health records
. Department of Health and Human Services officials, however, note in the rule that alignments to make reporting for both programs easier is being considered.
The final rule includes comments from the proposed rule along with HHS' responses. Several comments asked for better alignment of reporting requirements. One comment suggested HHS advocate to the Certification Commission for Health Information Technology for the inclusion of PQRI reporting capabilities in EHR certification criteria.
HHS' response to the comments: "Any EHR quality data submission will be required to comply with all current regulations regarding privacy and security. 'Meaningful use' criteria will be reviewed as they are finalized and we will endeavor to align our work in the future, as appropriate. However, since meaningful use criteria has not yet been finalized, this comment is currently beyond the scope of this final rule."
The rule, published Nov. 25 in the Federal Register, is available at http://www.gpoaccess.gov/fr/index.html.
Author: Joseph Goedert
Source: Health Data Management
In a survey conducted by California based Epocrates Inc, the results of which were published by AAFP, 9 out of 10 medical students declare that an electronic health record, or EHR, system will be a key part of their future medical practices. That finding puts students squarely in the same camp as many family physicians, who already have a fully implemented EHR system in their practice or are in the process of implementing one.
The survey based on the feedback from 1,005 medical students who use the company's mobile software concluded that medical students view EHRs as a priority in their future work lives. In fact, 90 percent said it is "important" or "very important" to have an EHR system wherever they decide to practice.
For complete report, please click here.
Author: Barbara Bein
The federal government should conduct a small pilot project with a number of vendors and a variety of physician practices before incentive programs
for meaningful use of electronic health records
start, the Medical Group Management Association recommends.
The pilot would ensure that the process of demonstrating meaningful use is achievable and practical, the Englewood, Colo.-based association said in a recent letter to David Blumenthal, M.D., national coordinator for health information technology. "This pilot could assist in determining potential roadblocks to program success and identify solutions to those roadblocks."
MGMA offered a series of recommendations in its letter. Among them:
- Avoid reliance on third-party compliance. "Several of the draft meaningful use criteria require, for example, the reporting of percentages of patients undergoing specific tests. We strongly encourage you not to impose arbitrary 'thresholds' that physicians would have to meet for the reporting of these types of measures." Physicians, MGMA notes, can't force patients to take tests.
- Create a simple process for physicians to demonstrate meaningful use. "We recommend that attestation and/or survey instruments serve as the primary methods of demonstration. This would be especially important for the initial phases of the program and could be verified through an audit process. The development of a complicated and time-consuming process for practices to prove that they meet the incentive qualifications will result in fewer organizations transitioning to EHRs."
Text of MGMA's letter to Blumenthal
Source: Health Data Management
enjoys top provider mind share but declining customer satisfaction
amid the industry's rising interest in electronic medical records
OREM, UT, November 17, 2009 /24-7PressRelease/ -- One year after its landmark merger with Misys, electronic medical record (EMR) vendor Allscripts is at a crossroads, facing declining customer satisfaction in several key areas while still maintaining its position as the most-considered vendor in outpatient EMR purchases. A new report from KLAS takes a closer look at the company's struggles and opportunities as the race for meaningful use gets underway.
The KLAS report, "Allscripts: The Merger, the Upgrade and What it Means Today", reflects the opinions of 200 Allscripts customers who are using the company's EMR or practice management (PM) products. Much of the report is dedicated to highlighting the experience of customers who have adopted the latest version, v.11, of the Allscripts Enterprise EHR.
"Allscripts is the most-often-considered EMR vendor in the ambulatory market, but the premature release of version 11 has generated major challenges for nearly every Enterprise client - and today there is still a significant gap between the customer satisfaction of version 10 clients and those who have deployed version 11," said Mark Wagner, KLAS director of ambulatory research and author of the new report. "Many of those version 10 clients are delaying an upgrade until the offering improves, and a few are leaving Allscripts altogether."
Despite the challenges, however, some v.11 clients - typically those who have been willing to invest significant time and resources and who have deployed version 11.1.5 or higher - are now recognizing positive benefits. In particular, these customers are reporting greater stability and improved workflow and efficiency. Also noteworthy is the fact that 100 percent of the v.11 customers surveyed are connecting directly to retail pharmacies.
According to the KLAS report, the Allscripts-Misys merger has also contributed to some of the customer satisfaction struggles. In particular, customer perception is that Allscripts has had to shift its technical and support resources to work on cementing the merger, migrating existing Misys clients to Allscripts solutions, and addressing a host of issues with Enterprise v.11, leaving many frustrated Enterprise clients.
Customer service has traditionally been an Allscripts strength, but that service has been stretched thin by the merger and recent product issues. At the same time, that frustration has not led to a mass departure of EMR customers. To the contrary, the KLAS study found that 85 percent of interviewed Misys EMR users planning to replace their EMR intend to purchase the Allscripts Professional EHR. Allscripts appears to be keeping migration costs relatively low - a compelling move that should help retain many Misys clients.
To learn more about Allscripts and the ambulatory EMR market, the report "Allscripts: The Merger, the Upgrade and What it Means Today" is available to healthcare providers online for a significant discount off the standard retail price. To purchase the full report, healthcare providers and vendors can visit www.KLASresearch.com/reports.
KLAS is a research firm specializing in monitoring and reporting the performance of healthcare vendors. KLAS' mission is to improve delivery, by independently measuring vendor performance for the benefit of our healthcare provider partners, consultants, investors and vendors. Working together with executives from more than 4,500 hospitals and over 2,500 clinics, KLAS delivers timely reports, trends and statistics, which provide a solid overview of vendor performance in the industry. KLAS measures the performance of software, professional services and medical equipment vendors.
For more information, go to www.KLASresearch.com, email marketing@KLASresearch.com or call 1-800-920-4109 to speak with a KLAS representative.
Source: 24-7 Press Release
PLYMOUTH MEETING, PA - Genetic testing and electronic medical records are top of the ECRI Institute's 2010 technology watch list for health plans.
ECRI officials said the list represents important technologies and technology-related issues that private and public payers should pay close attention to in 2010.
The trends as listed are:
1. Genetic testing
2. Electronic medical records
3. Premium CT and ultra-high-field MRI
4. Radiation oncology
5. Robotic-assisted surgery
6. Orthopedic physician preference items and
7. Therapeutic hypothermia.
Officials of the Plymouth Meeting, Pa.-based group said they have received questions from many payers during the past year about critical health reform issues such as comparative effectiveness, economic pressures, evidence-based patient outcomes and other considerations for evidence-based policymaking.
"In this era of healthcare reform, public and private payers and health insurers are scrutinizing costs and being forced to make tough decisions affecting patients and their own financial status," said an ECRI press release. "With an array of new technologies clamoring for attention, knowing which ones to focus on can be a challenge."
Officials at the institute, an independent nonprofit that researches the best approaches to improving patient care, said the list features "today's hottest technologies and technology-related issues spanning a variety of clinical and operational areas."
"Understanding the evidence for comparative clinical effectiveness of increasingly expensive health technologies and whether they provide better value are key issues for health plan executives and those running public programs," said Jeffrey Lerner, the institute's president and CEO.
In creating the group's first annual health plan watch list, ECRI officials said they drew upon 40 years of experience in researching the safety, effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of health technologies and their work in comparative effectiveness and health technology assessment by a staff of clinicians, scientists and other mission- professionals.
The white paper on the watch list can be downloaded free at https://www.ecri.org/Forms/Pages/Top_Technologies_Health_Plans.aspx.
Source: Healthcare IT News
As the long and winding river that is EHR certification rolls along, CCHIT recently opened up its latest iteration of testing to the public. The two new offerings are "CCHIT 2011 Comprehensive" Certification and, in line with what is known today about "meaningful use," Preliminary ARRA 2011 Certification.
Here are a few excerpts from an interview between HCI Editor-in-Chief Anthony Guerra and CCHIT Chair Mark Leavitt:
On New EMR Software Certification Programs:
"On Oct. 7, we opened all of our 2011 certification programs - now we have two that we're launching. One is called the CCHIT Certified 2011, and we've referred to that as the Comprehensive Program, and the other is called the Preliminary ARRA 2011 Certification. And people may choose to refer to that as a modular program, but it's really just a certification that's offered in a modular way. We used to talk about a site certification as being a third pathway, but what had become clear to us is that the site certification is an option for either of those. So site certification is just one option under the Preliminary ARRA 2011 program, and it's also available under the CCHIT Comprehensive. You can think of it as two paths to certification and, in each case, it could be a vendor product or a site that comes to be certified."
"The goal of the CCHIT Comprehensive Program is maximum assurance. So we're basically trying to deliver to providers additional help in selecting an EHR. In the case of the Preliminary ARRA 2011 program, the main goal is flexibility. We're trying to create a program that presents the lowest possible barriers to developers, to vendors, to providers who have followed any of a variety of pathways to develop products or to assemble products, and not create a barrier for them receiving the ARRA incentive, if those products meet the federal standards."
On Incremental Testing:
"We don't know if it will be necessary or not. In fact, if we thought there would be a lot of new standards still emerging, we might have decided not to launch the preliminary certification now. So we feel pretty good that the standards and criteria won't be more rigorous than what have been published. We're just offering the incremental testing as a contingency if there is a new standard that comes out or there's a change.
The reason we would give priority to those who have already moved forward is that's just good customer service. If you offer a service or a product and you find a new standard has emerged and the product is no longer compliant with the new standards, you need to correct that before you start selling new products to other people. That's just the basic picture of this. And what's more, that test should be very simple. We don't expect large amounts of new materials to be covered. So we can do those tests very quickly, very simply, and we'll get those done right away when the final rules and the final meaningful use matrix is available."
Source: Healthcare Informatics