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March 21, 2013
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News for healthcare CIOs

  Top Story 
 
  • Value of physician documentation seen in move to ICD-10
    Natural language processing is proving to be a valuable tool for transforming physician notes into a usable format, but leveraging this data for the purposes of reporting, coding, care coordination and other functions requires advanced analytics. One area that the industry is seemingly prepared to leverage this data is revenue cycle management, driven by the move to ICD-10, one expert says. EHR Intelligence (3/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Bill Spooner comments on using physician notes for ICD-10
      
    I wonder if there is an ICD-10 code for a migraine brought on by excessive documentation requirements. The physician’s documentation is the basis for ICD-10 coding, which will drive billing. Insufficient documentation can result in decreased reimbursement. More complete documentation resulting from a clinical documentation improvement program brings Secretary Sebelius’ suspicions of up-coding. While we are learning the nuances of coding for dollars--but not too many dollars--we also must capture the quality indicators required for meaningful use and various value-based purchasing programs. Until we can automate those indicators, we will employ legions of abstractors to manually extract the data.

    The challenge of interpreting the documentation appropriately to reflect revenue, quality and predictive indicators is clearly immense. The current work on the revenue cycle - ICD-10 – will demonstrate the effectiveness of the current crop of computer-assisted coding tools, and I hope we are pleasantly surprised. With the shortage and cost of qualified coders, we need those systems to be effective. We are relying on the tools to scan inconsistent, unstructured documentation and suggest accurate ICD-10 codes. I fear that our hopes are set too high. We haven’t proven that the early generation of tools will meet the test.

    We will be seeking our physicians’ support in attaining enough uniformity in their documentation to support the emerging coding applications. Our powers of persuasion will be tested as they ask, “What’s in it for me?”  I hope the first code they generate is not for a migraine. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

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  Strategy & Leadership 
  • Paper offers road map for implementing Big Data in health care
    Health groups can leverage Big Data to improve care and reduce costs, but implementing the technology poses obstacles. The Institute for Health Technology Transformation has issued a white paper outlining nine ways to get started with Big Data, including adopting a data governance framework, engaging clinicians and fostering transparency and competition. Healthcare IT News (3/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • AHIMA voices support for Medicare recovery audit bill
    The Medicare Audit Improvement Act of 2013 has gained support from AHIMA, which said the bill would resolve the operational issues tied to the existing recovery audit process, which AHIMA called "overly burdensome and ineffective." The current program, which uses recovery contractors to conduct audits, has resulted in repetitive audits, inaccurate payment denials and unmanageable health record requests, the group said. Healthcare Informatics online (3/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Technology Spotlight  
 
  • Formal clinical IT programs face uncertainty, report says
    A report by PricewaterhouseCoopers' Health Research Institute revealed 55% of health care professionals didn't know when their organizations would have a formal clinical informatics program. Researchers also found 13% of respondents said their groups would need more than two years to implement such a program, while 10% said it would take one to two years. BeckersHospitalReview.com (3/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  Management & Operation 
  • Website aims to help small, critical access hospitals adopt health IT
    A new website created by the ONC aims to help small hospitals in rural areas, as well as critical access hospitals, implement health IT and bring the ONC closer to its goal of having 1,000 of these facilities attesting to meaningful use of EHRs by the end of next year. Information featured on the site includes federal HIT funding opportunities and resources from private groups and the government. Health Data Management (3/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • HHS innovation award goes to Alzheimer's connection project
    HHS has selected the Connecting to Combat Alzheimer's program as the winner of the agency's third annual innovation award. The project, which links NIH-funded Alzheimer's disease research facilities with caregivers, aging services and patients, has boosted the number of prospective research participants for clinical trials by 25%. Government Health IT online (3/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Regulatory & Legislative 
 
  • Industry experts press FDA to finalize mHealth guidelines
    The FDA should move promptly to release its final guidance on how it intends to regulate mobile health applications to provide clarity on the issue, industry experts said during the first of three hearings being conducted this week by the House Committee on Energy & Commerce. One expert also argued that imposing the 2.3% medical device tax on mHealth apps could stymie innovation. Clinical Innovation + Technology online (3/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • HHS plans survey of HIPAA audit pilot program participants
    The HHS Office for Civil Rights will survey providers, payers and claims clearinghouses that participated in a HIPAA audit pilot program to learn more about the pilot and improve the initiative. Several issues will be covered in the survey, such as how the program affected daily business operations and whether it enhanced HIPAA compliance. The agency is set to launch a permanent audit program in fiscal 2014. Health Data Management (3/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
A Guide to Healthcare IT Disaster Recovery
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  CHIME News 
  • CHIME13 Fall CIO Forum: Registration is now open
    Make plans to attend the premier event for health care CIOs. The CHIME Fall CIO Forum combines the best speakers and health care IT educators in the nation with unparalleled opportunities for CIOs and other senior health care IT executives to network with their peers and collectively share solutions, solve problems and address challenges. CHIME13 will be held Oct. 8-11 at the Westin Kierland Resort and Spa in Scottsdale, Ariz. Get more information and register. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  SmartQuote 
A community is like a ship; everyone ought to be prepared to take the helm."
--Henrik Ibsen,
Norwegian playwright


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