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GroupOne Health Source Practice Management Blog

      

The GroupOne Health Source Blog

 Answers and Insights Every Healthcare Professional Needs.

 

eClinicalWorks and Epic Live with Interoperability between Systems Using Carequality Framework

by Kaitlyn Houseman on April 14, 2015

CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--eClinicalWorks® and Epic, two of the most widely used electronic health record systems (EHR) in the U.S., today jointly announce interoperability between the companies’ EHR systems using the Carequality framework. This real-time data transfer between the systems facilitates coordination of care between providers in various care settings and ensures they have more complete and accurate patient information at the time of care. Together, the two companies’ patient record exchange networks represent over 1,000 hospitals and 40,000 clinics that are ready to connect.

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Topics: eClinicalWorks, EHR, Interoperability, Epic EHR

Update on the Status of Provisions Expiring on April 1

by Kaitlyn Houseman on April 1, 2015

The negative 21% payment rate adjustment under current law for the Medicare Physician FeeSchedule is scheduled to take effect on April 1, 2015.  CMS is taking steps to limit the impact on Medicare providers and beneficiaries by holding claims for a short period of time beginning on April 1st.  Holding claims for a short period of time allows CMS to implement any subsequent Congressional action while minimizing claims reprocessing and disruption of physician cash flow in the event of legislation addressing the 21% payment reduction.  Under current law, electronic claims are not paid sooner than 14 calendar days (29 days for paper claims) after the date of receipt. CMS will provide more information about next steps by April 11, 2015.

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Topics: Revenue Cycle Management, CMS

2013 Quality and Resource Use Reports Are Available Online

by Kaitlyn Houseman on March 31, 2015

Did you know that CMS provided Quality and Resource Use Reports (QRURs) to  physicians in groups of all sizes and physician solo practitioners in September of 2014? The 2013 QRURs provide clinically meaningful and actionable information that can be used to improve the quality and efficiency of care provided to Medicare beneficiaries and also to understand and improve performance on quality and cost measures. If you are a physician subject to the Value-Based Payment Modifier (VM) Program, the reports also contain information about how your performance is affecting your Medicare payments in 2015.

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Topics: CMS

H.R. 2 Reauthorization Act of 2015 to Replace SGR Formula

by Kaitlyn Houseman on March 27, 2015

By a vote of 392 – 37, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 2, the Medicare Access  and CHIP (Children's Health Insurance Program) Reauthorization Act of 2015, which, among other things, would permanently repeal and replace the SGR formula. 

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Topics: Revenue Cycle Management, Medical Business

NPRM for Stage 3 Meaningful Use & 2015 Edition Certification Criteria

by Kaitlyn Houseman on March 25, 2015

On Friday, CMS released a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) for Stage 3, the next step in the implementation of the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Programs. Concurrently, ONC also announced the proposed 2015 Edition certification criteria for health IT products. Both proposed rules focus on the interoperability of data across systems, and make the EHR Incentive Programs simpler and more flexible.

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Topics: CMS, Incentive Programs

CMS Announces Extension for EPs Participating in PQRS via EHR and QCDR (QRDA III format)

by Kaitlyn Houseman on February 26, 2015

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that the submission deadlines for the PQRS reporting methods below have been extended. All other submission timeframes for other PQRS reporting methods remain the same.
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Topics: CMS, PQRS

CMS Extends EHR Attestation Deadline for Medicare Eligible Professionals

by Kaitlyn Houseman on February 26, 2015

 

Eligible professionals now have until 11:59 pm ET on March 20, 2015to attest to meaningful use for the Medicare Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Program 2014 reporting year. 


CMS extended the deadline to allow providers extra time to submit their meaningful use data. CMS continues to urge providers to begin attesting for 2014 as soon as they can. 

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Topics: CMS, Incentive Programs

Hospitals Must Start Medicare EHR Participation in 2015 to Earn Incentives

by Kaitlyn Houseman on February 17, 2015

Last Year for Eligible Hospitals to Begin EHR Participation and Earn Incentive Payments is 2015

To earn a 2015 incentive payment and avoid a 2016 payment adjustment, first-time participants should:

  • Begin their 90-day reporting period no later than April 1, 2015
  • Attest by July 1, 2015

Eligible hospitals that miss this deadline can still earn a 2015 incentive payment—and avoid the 2017 payment adjustment—if they begin their reporting period by July 1 and attest by November 30. However, they will be subject to the 2016 payment adjustment unless they apply and qualify for a hardship exception.

Hospitals that successfully attest in 2015 will also be eligible to earn a 2016 incentive if they continue to participate.

Eligible hospitals that begin participating after 2015 will not be able to earn incentive payments. They will also be subject to payment adjustments in 2016 and 2017.

Reforms to Medicare regulations identified as unnecessary, obsolete, or excessively burdensome on hospitals and other health care providers will save nearly $660 million annually, and $3.2 billion over five years, through a rule issued today by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid services (CMS).

 

Additional Resources
The EHR Incentive Programs website offers tools and resources to help eligible hospitals to successfully participate:

News Update from www.CMS.gov

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Topics: CMS, Hospital Networks

CMS Considering Changes to the EHR Incentive Programs

by Kaitlyn Houseman on February 2, 2015

CMS Announces Intent to Engage in Rulemaking for EHR Incentive Program Changes for 2015

In response to input from health care providers and other stakeholders, CMS is considering the following changes to the Medicare and Medicaid Incentive Programs:

  1. Shortening the 2015 reporting period to 90 days to address provider concerns about their ability to fully deploy 2014 Edition software Electronic Health Record (EHR) 

  2. Realigning hospital reporting periods to the calendar year to allow eligible hospitals more time to incorporate 2014 Edition software into their workflows and to better align with other quality programs

  3. Modifying other aspects of the programs to match long-term goals, reduce complexity, and lessen providers’ reporting burden

These proposed changes reflect the Department of Health and Human Services’ commitment to creating a health information technology infrastructure that:
  • Elevates patient-centered care
  • Improves health outcomes
  • Supports the providers who care for patients

While CMS intends to pursue these changes through rulemaking, they will not be included in the pending Stage 3 proposed rule. CMS intends to limit the scope of the pending proposed rule to Stage 3 and meaningful use in 2017 and beyond.

Read  Dr. Conway’s blog on this announcement. Visit the  EHR Incentive Programs web page for more information.
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Topics: CMS, Incentive Programs

Eligible Professionals 2014 EHR Attestation Deadline on February 28

by Kaitlyn Houseman on January 26, 2015

2014 EHR Reporting Deadline Approaching

If you are an eligible professional participating in the Medicare EHR Incentive Program, you have until February 28, 2015 to attest to demonstrating meaningful use of the data collected during your EHR reporting period for the 2014 calendar year. If you are participating in the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program, please refer to your state’s deadlines for attestation information.

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Topics: CMS, Incentive Programs

How to Get Patients to Use the Patient Portal

by Nicole Laucks on January 16, 2015

While patient portals are not new, getting patients to use them is a common challenge. Whether your practice has had a patient portal in place for years or months, getting your patients to use it is what matters most. The importance is magnified as Meaningful Use stage 2 requires that 5% of patients must actively use the patient portal. Getting your patients to use the patient portal isn’t impossible. In fact, patients want to use your patient portal. They are demanding access to their health information and want to take charge of their health. It is up to you to teach them how to do it.

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Topics: EHR, Patient Engagement

Changes to CPT Coding in 2015: Profit or Pain for Physicians?

by Toshya Griffin, CPC on January 6, 2015

2015 is here and with it comes 550 changes to CPT coding. Every year brings updates, additions, and deletions of CPT codes. How you handle the changes can make your start to 2015 profitable or painful.

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Topics: Revenue Cycle Management, Coding

[Infographic] All I Want for Christmas is a Billing Service

by Kaitlyn Houseman on December 24, 2014

With Christmas just around the corner, many physicians and practice managers are  adding billing services to their wish list. In fact, 71% of physician practices are considering a combination of new software and outsourcing services to improve their RCM systems.

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Topics: Revenue Cycle Management, Medical Business

10 Quick Tips to Prepare for ICD-10

by Kaitlyn Houseman on December 23, 2014

Whether you're just starting out with an ICD-10 plan of action (hopefully not) or you have been preparing for years, it is easy to become overwhelmed and forget everything that a good ICD-10 plan entails.

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Topics: Revenue Cycle Management, ICD-10, Coding

CMS Expands Telehealth Physician Reimbursement in 2015

by Toshya Griffin, CPC on December 3, 2014

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Topics: CMS, Telehealth

11 Tips to Avoid a Dangerous ICD-10 Code During Thanksgiving

by Kaitlyn Houseman on November 25, 2014

When it comes to ICD-10 codes and Thanksgiving, it just doesn't get much better than this. Here are 11 tips to avoiding any mishaps during your Thanksgiving celebration that could result in an odd ICD-10 diagnosis code.
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Topics: Revenue Cycle Management, ICD-10

Is Transcription the Solution to Physician EMR Documentation Challenges?

by Kaitlyn Houseman on November 17, 2014

With the transition from paper to electronic health records also comes the assumption that physicians would be better positioned to document better. The use of templates and structured data may satisfy the CIO but the physicians are facing a technology challenge. Physicians are continuously searching for the right EMR software to help them overcome the challenges of documentation while CIOs seek data to support internal and external clinical outcomes reporting.
 
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Topics: EHR, Practice Management, Transcription

How to Report Once in 2014 for Medicare Quality Reporting Programs

by Kaitlyn Houseman on November 14, 2014

Providers participating in the 2014 PQRS program may be eligible to report their quality data one time only to earn credit for multiple Medicare quality reporting programs.

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Topics: CMS, PQRS

Now Available: 2012 eRx Supplemental Incentive Payments

by Kaitlyn Houseman on November 12, 2014

CMS is pleased to announce that the 2012 Electronic Prescribing (eRx) Incentive Program Supplemental Incentive Payments are now available for eligible professionals who submitted data for the reporting period of January 1, 2012 through December 31, 2012 and met criteria for satisfactory reporting. 2012 eRx Supplemental Incentives are provided to those eligible professionals (EPs) and group practices that submitted an eRx Informal Review (IR) request that was approved by CMS. The incentive is 1.0% of total estimated 2012 Medicare Part B Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) allowed charges for covered professional services furnished during reporting period

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Topics: CMS

4 Qualities of a ‘Better-Performing’ Medical Practice

by Kaitlyn Houseman on November 6, 2014

Ever wonder if your practice is above average, average, or maybe better-performing? MGMA’s“Performance and Practice of Successful Medical Groups: 2014 Report Based on 2013 Data” identifies four performance indicators that successful, high-performing practices are using. According to MGMA, “better-performing practices” excel in the following four performance categories:

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Topics: Revenue Cycle Management, Practice Management