Patients "overwhelmingly" experience positive benefits when they have online access to their electronic health records, according to a study published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research, FierceEMR reports (Durben Hirsch, FierceEMR, 4/1).
The Stage 2 rule for the Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Programs included changes to the Stage 1 meaningful use objectives, measures, and exclusions for eligible professionals (EPs), eligible hospitals, and critical access hospitals (CAHs). Some of these Stage 1 changes took effect on October 1, 2012, for eligible hospitals and CAHs, or January 1, 2013, for EPs. Several are optional, but others are required.
The House of Representatives late Tuesday approved the Senate's last-minute fiscal cliff package (PDF) that staves off a sharp Medicare physician pay cut by cutting billions from other Medicare providers, including hospitals, pharmacies and dialysis clinics.
Early on New Year's Day, the Senate voted 89-8 to approve the American Taxpayer Relief Act, an amended version of a tax bill that House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.) introduced last summer. House members on Tuesday considered the Senate-passed legislation in meetings during the day and floor debate in the evening. In a vote of 257 to 167, the House passed the measure, which permanently extends middle-class tax cuts and postpones the automatic spending cuts known as the sequester for two months. The legislation also averts the expected 26.5% Medicare physician payment cut and extends current Medicare payment rates for doctors through Dec.31, 2013.
Now that both chambers have approved the package, Congress will send the legislation to President Barack Obama for his signature. Moments after the House vote, the president said in a brief news conference that Tuesday's agreement helps reduce the nation's deficit by raising $620 billion in revenue from the wealthiest households in America. He also noted there will be more deficit reduction as Congress considers how to address the sequester, and he indicated he's open to reforms in the Medicare program.
“As I've demonstrated throughout the past several weeks, I am very open to compromise. I agree with Democrats and Republicans that the aging population and the rising cost of healthcare makes Medicare the biggest contributor to our deficit," the president said. "I believe we've got to find ways to reform that program without hurting seniors who count on it to survive. And I believe that there is further unnecessary spending in government that we can eliminate. But we can't simply cut our way to prosperity."
The CMS issued a final rule late Thursday temporarily increasing primary care physician payments from Medicaid.
The rule (PDF), which implements a provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, details the extent and target of the increase, which takes effect in January and lasts through 2014.
The provision is designed to match Medicare rates, but the rule specifically covers only the difference between the Medicare rate and states' Medicaid rates as of July 1, 2009. The additional federal funding may not be enough to increase the rate to Medicare levels because some states have enacted Medicare provider rate cuts since mid-2009.
Thursday, October 25; 1:30-3pm ET
Community clinics are turning technologically savvy. Spurred on by federal funds, they are adopting electronic health records at rates exceeded only by HMOs.
Wednesday, October 3rd, is the last day for eligible professionals (EPs) to begin their 90-day reporting period for calendar year (CY) 2012 for the Medicare EHR Incentive Program. For EPs, this means that they must begin their consecutive 90-day reporting period by October 3rd in order to attest to meeting meaningful use and be eligible to receive an incentive payment for CY 2012.
WESTBOROUGH, Mass., Jun 04, 2012 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- eClinicalWorks(R), a market leader in ambulatory clinical systems, today announces that Christie Clinic, one of the largest physician-owned, multi-specialty group medical practices in Illinois, will transition to eClinicalWorks comprehensive electronic health records (EHR) solution for 150 providers across 16 locations. Integration with the practice's laboratory, radiology, PACS, cardio diagnostics systems, among others, will extend the benefits of this technology.
WESTBOROUGH, Mass.—April 24, 2012—eClinicalWorks®, a market leader in ambulatory clinical systems, today announces the opening of its new location in Chicago, which will provide a central U.S. presence and focus on implementation of its comprehensive electronic health records (EHR) solution. Currently, the company is headquartered in Massachusetts and has additional offices in New York City, California and Georgia.
Nearly $4.5 billion in federal incentives to implement electronic health record systems has been paid out thus far, with program enrollments and payments still increasing in the first quarter of 2012, according to an analysis of the CMS' latest data (PDF).
There are now more than a quarter of a million (225,765) actively enrolled participants in the Medicare and Medicaid EHR incentive programs created under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, according to the CMS. Hospitals can receive payments under both the Medicare and the Medicaid programs, and most do, but physicians and other professionals can participate only in one program or the other.
The House and Senate have both voted to approve legislation preventing the scheduled 27.4% SGR related cut from taking effect on March 1. The legislation goes to the President who has indicated that he will sign the bill.
Written by Beth Walsh
|Rank||Company||Location||Web site||2003 sales/revenues
rounded, millions of $
|1||3M Health Information
|Murray, Utah||www.3m.com/us/healthcare/his||18.2 billion|
|2||The Greeley Co.||Marblehead, Mass.||www.greeley.com||$34.0|
|3||iLiant Corp.||Tampa, Fla.||www.iliant.com||$25.1|
|4||Cross Country Cousulting||Norcross, GA||www.crosscountryconsulting.com||$5.5|
|5||HP3 Inc.||Bethlehem, Pa.||www.hp3.com||$5.1|
|7||MC Stategies Inc.||Atlanta||www.mcstrategies.com||$4.8|
|8||Beacon Partners Inc.||Weymouth, Mass.||www.beaconpartners.com||$4.5|
|10||Compliance Concepts Inc.||Wexford, Pa.||www.complianceconcepts.com||$3.1|
|11||Bill Dunbar and Associates LLC||Indianapolis||www.billdunbar.com||$3.0|
|14||Strategic Management Systems Inc.||Alexandria, Va.||www.strategicm.com||$1.8|
|Virginia Beach, Va.||www.medgroupstrategy.com||$1.7|
Source: Phelps Research Top ^