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September 27, 2012
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News for healthcare CIOs

  Top Story 
  • Federal letter on EHR-related billing fraud receives industry pushback: Industry groups have responded to a recent federal warning letter about misuse of EHRs, saying that documentation improvements and the absence of national standards for measuring the intensity of treatments may have caused the increasing hospital bills to federal medical programs. Modern Healthcare (subscription required) (9/25) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Bill Spooner comments on ethics and EHR use
    We asked for a seat at the executive table, and we got it. We asked our government to help fund EHRs, and we got it. Now we get to deal with the unintended consequences. While CIOs have long understood the role of politics and become adept at navigating the various interest groups within our organizations, in recent years we have become immersed in advocacy outside our walls. We have contributed significantly to conversations around meaningful use, ICD-10 adoption, privacy, patient safety, quality measurement and others.

    Often the dialogue is well balanced, yet sometimes it is slanted, whether by a small but passionate minority or a politician championing a cause du jour. A long-standing example is the quest for a uniform patient identifier, with privacy concerns overshadowing practical obstacles to patient identification and patient safety. Periodic and too frequent privacy breaches, patient safety lapses and provider overbillings show that we are not doing enough as an industry to address either issue. At the same time, the recent New York Times article and others like it often bring punishment to everyone for the sins of the few (1,700 out of 440,000 physicians nationwide in this case). Our public servants, whether elected or appointed, rush to their “bully pulpits."

    It is logical to expect that the thorough documentation enabled by the electronic record would lead to improved reimbursement, as the patient’s condition and the providers’ interventions are better recorded. Ethical providers--and those are most of us--are rightly offended by any suggestion otherwise. Our compliance policies are designed to educate and encourage ethical behavior. The EHR is intended as an instrument of good. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

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  Strategy & Leadership 
  • Why CIOs should be happy with final stage 2 MU rules
    Dave Riley, CIO of Harris Healthcare Solutions in Virginia, offers four reasons why the release of the final regulations for stage 2 of meaningful use is a cause for celebration. He says the final rules provide "a clear target" for how to comply with stage 2, whereas before the requirements were "a moving target." Also, more information on how to use secure messaging allows groups to begin work on setting up communications systems between providers and with patients. Government Health IT online (9/24) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Technology Spotlight  
  • FCC report offers recommendations on mHealth adoption
    The mHealth task force formed by the Federal Communications Commission has released a report that provides five recommendations aiming to boost mobile health, wireless health and electronic care tools implementation and adoption in the medical care system. The team attested to the need for the FCC to continue leading the advancement of mobile health use and recommended increased collaboration with other federal agencies to boost wireless technology adoption. Modern Healthcare (subscription required) (9/24) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  Management & Operation 
  • Report recommends disaster planning integration in HIEs
    Representatives from six Gulf states have compiled a report outlining ways to integrate disaster planning and response in health information exchange initiatives. Recommendations from the ONC-backed project include evaluating state disaster response and governance protocols and crafting standard interstate HIE procedures prior to a disaster. Health Data Management (9/25) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Survey finds doctors pessimistic about ACOs, EMRs
    Doctors are pessimistic about the future of ACOs and EMRs, according to a survey conducted by The Physicians Foundation. The poll showed 47.4% of doctors have important concerns regarding the risk posed by EMR use to the privacy of patients. It also indicated 62% of physicians agree that ACOs are not likely to decrease costs and boost health care quality. Healthcare Informatics online (9/24) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Regulatory & Legislative 
  • EHNAC updates health data exchange standards
    The Electronic Healthcare Network Accreditation Commission will accept comments through Nov. 25 on updated versions of its program criteria for certifying organizations that share medical data electronically. The proposed changes will affect many existing initiatives, including the e-Prescribing Accreditation Program and the Financial Services Accreditation Program for Electronic Health Networks. Modern Healthcare (subscription required) (9/25) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  CHIME News 
  • Creating the new connectivity at CHIME12: Special plenary sessions
    CHIME12 will feature two special plenary sessions with key Washington, D.C., leaders. On Wednesday, Oct. 17, Farzad Mostashari, MD, National Coordinator, ONC, will host an "Update from the Frontlines of Health Information Technology." On Thursday, Oct. 18, Travis Broom, Insurance Specialist, CMS, and Steve Posnack, Policy Analyst, ONC, will lead the session "Stage 2 Meaningful Use: Dialogue with the Regulators." These and other education sessions are part of CHIME12, Oct. 16 to 19 at the Renaissance Esmeralda in Indian Wells, Calif. Register today. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
No one ever said on their deathbed, 'Gee, I wish I had spent more time alone with my computer.' "
--Danielle Berry,
American computer programmer

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