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HHS gearing up for second round of 'meaningful use' objectives Read more: HHS gearing up for second round of 'meaningful use' objectives PDF Print E-mail
Written by Source: Fiercegovernmentit.com   
Tuesday, 18 January 2011 14:44

The Health and Humans Services Department released Jan. 11 a set of possible measures that could be incorporated into the next two stages of "meaningful use" objectives for electronic health records.

The possible measures--which come from the Health Information Technology Policy Committee, a federal advisory group--are preliminary but nonetheless meant in part to give the health IT industry a head start on developing new EHR functionalities, the committee says in a document (.pdf) that's currently out for comment.

Medical care providers can draw on up to $27.4 billion in incentives to adopt EHRs, provided they use them in a way HHS says is meaningful. Medicare payments to providers will start to drop in 2015 unless they do so.

The department released July 13 a set of rules for the first of three stages of meaningful use definition, rules that included measures such as recording as structured data the active medication list of more than 80 percent of patients. The rules included a mandatory "core set" of objectives and a "menu set" from which providers had to select a certain number for implementation.

Of the 37 possible new measures, only nine are entirely new. The other 28 mostly involve performing a stage one objective to a greater degree--such as offering an electronic copy of discharge instructions to 80 percent of patients rather than 50 percent--or a shift of an optional menu set objective to a mandatory core set objective.

Among the new proposed stage two measures is an objective that would require 80 percent of patients to have the ability to download from a web portal within 36 hours of a hospital inpatient discharge information about the encounter in a human-readable and structural form.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 18 January 2011 14:52
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Change Is Coming for the Healthcare Industry PDF Print E-mail
Written by Source from: Medpagetoday.com/PublicHealthPolicy/PracticeManagement   
Tuesday, 18 January 2011 14:38

A potential decline in physician office visits, record spending on health information technology, a total redesign of insurance markets, and the creation of accountable care organizations are among the health industry trends in store for 2011, according to a PriceWaterhouseCoopers report.

The report authors used an online survey of 1,000 U.S. adults to assess consumer perspectives on health reform, healthcare usage, and payment for healthcare. Those surveyed represented a cross-section of the population in terms of insurance status, age, gender, income, and geography. The survey results were incorporated into the analysis given in the report.

High Deductibles = Fewer Office Visits

Health insurance deductibles for people in employer-sponsored plans rose an average of 77% between 2003 and 2009, while premiums for family coverage increased by 41%, the Commonwealth Fund recently reported. And that trend will continue in 2011, according to the report, by the Health Research Institute at PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC), a large accounting and consulting firm.

In 2010, the most common plan had deductibles ranging from $400 to $999, according to PwC.

As deductibles rise, patients will forgo medical care to avoid paying out-of-pocket costs. Couple the rising deductibles with the struggling economy, and patients are even more likely to skip doctors visits.

"With more employees being squeezed with high-deductible plans and coinsurance, their increased cost sensitivity will push them to make hard decisions on how often to go to the doctor or what prescriptions to fill,"the report authors said.

The first group to be affected will be doctors and drug companies, because consumers' first-dollar spending in health plans tends to be on office visits and medication. Fewer office visits will eventually trickle down and effect other medical services, such as lab tests and imaging scans, the study authors said.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 18 January 2011 14:51
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ICD-10 Corner

9 benefits of ICD-10

1. Measuring the quality, safety and efficacy of care
2. Designing payment systems and processing claims for reimbursement
3. Conducting research, epidemiological studies, and clinical trials
4. Setting health policy
5. Operational and strategic planning and designing healthcare delivery systems
6. Monitoring resource utilization
7. Improving clinical, financial, and administrative performance
8. Preventing and detecting healthcare fraud and abuse
9. Tracking public concerns and assessing risks of adverse public health events

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