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New Jersey Experiments with EHR to Cut Paperwork for Physicians

10. March 2010

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Could EHRs save billing offices time and money as they chase insurance payments? Five national health insurance plans along with the two largest plan industry groups announced last month that they will be launching a groundbreaking initiative in New Jersey to cut insurance paperwork for physicians’ offices. If successful, the initiative will be one of the first experiments in electronic health record adoption to cut down on what providers say is the biggest time and money drain on their practices — chasing insurance money.

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Non-Physician Providers Aren’t Considered ‘EPs’ in Medicare EHR Incentive Program

3. March 2010

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        Don’t miss out on this EP list, plus the latest HIT lingo from CMS CMS reps want to make sure healthcare providers optimize your chances of collecting from the electronic health record (EHR) incentive program, which could net an eligible professional (EP) $44,000 over a five-year period. The agency’s proposal regarding the incentive program spells out who can participate, and what type of  EHR you’ll have to use, according to a Feb. 21 CMS-sponsored Physicians, Nurses, and Allied Health Professionals Open Door Forum. You should know …

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HIT Jobs: There’s Gold in Dem Dar Hills

2. March 2010

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Prospecting for jobs? HIT is the place to be. All those doctors jonesin’ for EHRs means that someone’s got to be around to sell, implement and support HIT systems, and CIOs at health systems already are feeling the pinch. “At the Healthcare Information Management Systems Society (HIMSS ) conference in Atlanta this week, some CIOs reported they’re finding it hard to recruit needed talent and that they’re seeing early signs of talent wars,” says this Information Week article. And if health system CIOs can’t hire HIT staff directly, they’re looking to outsource, which means that consultants are hiring as well. Given the pace at which technology and the market are moving, newcomers just might be on an even keel with seasoned vets when it comes to hiring, the article suggests. Even folks who’ve been HIT pros for awhile are taking classes to keep up with the flood of new information ……

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Here’s Who Got the Latest $1 Billion in HIT Stimulus Funds

24. February 2010

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Want to know who’s getting those ARRA dollars? Here’s the list. If the feds are going to get providers anywhere close to their ambitious HIT implementation goals, we’re going to need a lot more HIT workers. That’s why the Department of Health & Human Services and Department of Labor are shelling out big bucks to train the next wave of ‘meaningful users’. The government has extended about $1 billion in ARRA grants to further develop health information technology (HIT), skills-building and education in the healthcare sector, the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) announced recently.

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EHRs Can Earn a Physician $44,000

18. February 2010

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You can collect incentive payments by participating with either Medicare or Medicaid — not both. CMS is still ironing out details of its electronic health record (EHR) bonus program, which could net an eligible professional (EP) $44,000 over a five-year period — if you know the rules. The agency’s proposal regarding the incentive program includes several important points that you should keep in mind as you create your EHR program, according to a Feb. 2 CMS-sponsored Physicians, Nurses, and Allied Health Professionals Open Door Forum.

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One More Way EHRs Can Save Hospitals Money

17. February 2010

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Here’s the monetary incentive that should spur hospitals to help home health agencies participate in EHRs. Last week, we looked at how some home health agencies are using telehealth to reduce hospital readmissions for congestive heart failure patients. Fewer hospital readmissions for CHF is good news on the OASIS, quality and survey fronts. The latest issue of CMIO shows how wired HHAs can benefit a hospital’s bottom line as well. Medicare spends $12 billion a year on “potentially preventable” readmissions, estimates MedPAC, With figures like that, the cost-cutting feds are bound to act. “In the next two or three years, everything will be bundled payments. [Medicare, Medicaid and private insurers will] give so many dollars for the hospital and post-acute care,” predicts Musood Pirzada, director of information technology for the Rehabilitation Institute of Cleveland Clinic, which…

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What You Need To Do To Get ARRA’s EHR Adoption Incentive Money

6. January 2010

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Having trouble plodding through the 555-page HITECH reg? Our experts spell out the basic requirements for collecting cash. If you help to run a hospital or a physician’s office that sees Medicare and Medicaid patients, you might think you know red tape. Well, if you plan on seeing any of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 incentive money for adopting electronic health records technology, get ready for a whole new world of red before you see any green. On Dec. 30, 2009, CMS issued a proposed rule that would implement the incentive payment provisions of ARRA. Payments will be offered to Medicare and Medicaid providers and facilities that adopt and “meaningfully use” electronic health record technology, and this proposed rule is the first indication of how CMS plans to define ARRA’s requirements. The most anticipated part of…

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Field-Tested E-Prescribe Training Tips

16. December 2009

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Ditch the pad. If you’ve ever called a friend to program your TIVO or help you rejigger your privacy settings on Facebook, you know that even the sharpest techies sometimes need a little help from their friends. That’s what scares some physician practices away from e-prescribing, despite the easy two-percent e-prescribe bonus available to them in 2010. When it comes to training, your physician practice peers may not be able to coach you on whether their e-script implementation went smoothly, since many ofthem haven’t yet taken the plunge. “It is estimated that only 12 percent of office-based prescribers currently use e-prescribing,” says Barbara Cobuzzi, president of CRN Healthcare Solutions. When the time comes to train your staff on how to use the e-prescribing system, your best bet is to gather everyone together.

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Already Got Great HIT At Your Health Care Organization?

9. December 2009

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Want $235 Million Dollars? Sometimes providers that already have established HIT systems complain that all the ARRA money is headed towards just getting started with HIT and EMR. But HHS has announced a new grants program aimed at helping “Beacon Communities” build on HIT excellence and take ‘leadership’ roles in health care communities. “In a press teleconference [last] Tuesday, U.S. health secretary Kathleen Sebelius said the new Beacon Community Program grants will help communities of healthcare providers “get a handle” on improving care through the meaningful use of IT,” reports Information Week. These grants will total $235 million. “The grants will not be awarded to healthcare providers to start up health IT initiatives, but rather to communities that are already national leaders in their use of IT to advance healthcare quality, safety, efficiency, and population health…” More from Information Week

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ARRA Grants: $80 Million for Community College HIT Programs

2. December 2009

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Application deadline is January 22, 2010. The feds understand that we’ll need legions of new HIT workers to implement national EHR goals, so they’re forking over $80 million in ARRA funds to train them at the community college level. Good news for health care vets who want to develop new HIT skills: The grant funds will support non-degree, community college programs that students can complete in about 6 months — which means you may have more options for HIT continuing education as you continue to work your day job. The programs can be live, online or a combination of the two. Who’s eligible to apply for a piece of the $80 million: “Any U.S. non-profit institution of higher learning currently engaged in providing healthcare IT training that is interested in drafting curriculum or establishing a consortium that includes community colleges may apply for the grants,” reports Healthcare IT News. What

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