Best of Health IT News: Week of 10/16/14 

Did you have a chance to check out the latest healthcare IT news stories around the Web? We’ve captured the top industry news stories from this week that you won’t want to miss.

Medicare Fines Record Number of Hospitals for Excessive Readmissions

NPR reports that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has reported that over the next year, 2,610 hospitals will lose some payments due to readmissions. In the three years since hospitals have started facing penalties under the Affordable Care Act, this year represents the highest penalties: up to 3% of Medicare bills. 

Health Groups Urge Changes to Meaningful Use Program

Several health care groups, including the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Medical Association, and the Medical Group Management Association, have addressed a letter to HHS Secretary Sylvia Matthews Burwell calling for changes to the meaningful use program that would reflect a greater focus on interoperability. 

Health IT Funding Reaches $956M in Q3 2014, Report Finds 

According to a recent report from Mercom Capital Group, venture capital funding for healthcare IT companies reached $956M in Q3 2014. This is down from Q2 2014, when funding for healthcare IT reached a staggering $1.8 billion across 161 deals. 

Healthcare IT News Unveils 2014 Best Hospital IT Department Winners

Healthcare IT News has released its winners for the 2014 "Best Hospital IT Departments" program. The award recognizes hospitals and healthcare systems that provide a positive hospital IT workplace. This year's top winner is Meridian Health System in Neptune, New Jersey. 

Best of Health IT News: Week of 10/09/14 

Did you have a chance to check out the latest healthcare IT news stories around the Web? We’ve captured the top industry news stories from this week that you won’t want to miss.

Groups React to New Meaningful Use Hardship Exception Deadline

According to iHealthBeat, many groups have reacted positively to CMS' decision to reopen the submission period for hardship exception applications for the meaningful use program. Eligible hospitals and providers can now file for hardship exceptions until Nov. 30. The previous deadlines were July 1 for eligible providers and April 1 for eligible hospitals. 

Reform Update: 1% of Patients Account for 22.7% of Spending, AHRQ 

A recent Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality report finds that hospitals and providers seeking to lower healthcare costs need to look at the most costly patients. The costliest  1% of patients account for 22.7% of total expenses, while the top 5% account for half of overall spending. 

Telemedicine Poised for Tipping Point Despite Remaining Hurdles  

Fierce Health IT reports on a recent U.S. News and World Report Hospitals of Tomorrow Conference, during which many panelists stated that the healthcare industry has reached a tipping point for telemedicine. Despite barriers such as billing, reimbursement, and licensure, telemedicine is becoming increasingly prevalent. 

Bad EHR Workflow Played Role in Ebola Patient's Release 

According to CIO, bad EHR workflow did play a role in the case of Thomas Eric Duncan, the man with the first diagnosed case of Ebola in the United States, being released from Texas Health Presbyterian on September 26. This was partially due to the fact that the nurse and physician workflows were separate. 

Thursday, October 09, 2014 11:30:00 AM Categories: EHR health IT healthcare today industry news

Best of Health IT News: Week of 09/25/14 

Did you have a chance to check out the latest healthcare IT news stories around the Web? We’ve captured the top industry news stories from this week that you won’t want to miss.

How Cloud Computing is Changing the Healthcare IT Industry 

Healthcare Global makes the argument that cloud computing is becoming increasingly important to healthcare providers. According to the article, healthcare is moving to the cloud as it becomes more patient-centered and data driven, and healthcare organizations should utilize the cloud when storing and sharing large amounts of data. 

Federal Healthcare IT Spending to Top $4.8 Billion by 2019 

According to FierceContentManagement, federal healthcare IT spending is predicted to reach $4.8 billion by 2019. The driving factors behind this number are federal healthcare initiatives designed to help the aging population and military and veterans, among others. 

ACC Softens on "See It, Stent It" 

MedPage Today reports that the American College of Cardiology (ACC) has just withdrawn one of the approaches in its "Choosing Wisely" campaign. The ACC no longer recommends the "see it, stent it" approach and instead recommends targeting lesion-only revascularization in myocardial infarction (MI). 

Thursday, September 25, 2014 4:38:00 PM Categories: EHR HIT industry news

Healthcare IT and Quality Improvement at The Christ Hospital Health Network 

The following is an excerpt from the case study, “Integrated Software Supports Quality Improvement: D2B Initiatives, Discharge Processes and More at The Christ Hospital Health Network.” Download the full case study here.

The Heart and Vascular Center at The Christ Hospital is continually looking for ways to improve processes, reduce costs, and optimize patient care. Using integrated LUMEDX cardiovascular information solutions has allowed staff to quickly run reports that it needs to support quality improvement programs.

“We’ve seen great results with the open heart extubation program,” says Data Analyst Cheryl Bartone. “The staff and physicians have a better understanding of the data, and have made improvements to their methods accordingly. It’s been like night and day—now we are able to trust the data and use it in order to make procedural adjustments that benefit the patient and our overall cardiovascular service line’s performance.”

The Heart and Vascular Center also runs regular reports to identify improvement opportunities in the following areas:

  • Discharge: Using reports generated in Apollo, the hospital’s Throughput Committee analyzes how a patient moves through the system and works to streamline the discharge process.
  • Door-to-balloon times: Reports drill down to the patient level in order to determine current D2B times and make improvements in order to reduce them.

To read more, download the full case study here.

Thursday, September 18, 2014 9:45:00 AM Categories: best practices HIT Lumedx Users National Health IT Week

25 Years of Health IT Leadership  

This fascinating infographic shows information from the HIMSS annual leadership survey for the past 25 years. 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014 1:23:00 PM Categories: analytics data electronic health records health IT HIMSS National Health IT Week

ICD-10: Future Impacts on Cardiology 

By Cheryl Iseberg

With the new ICD-10 compliance date set as October 1, 2015, heart hospitals need to prepare for change and determine how their cardiovascular service lines will be affected.

Below are some of the major documentation changes in ICD-10:

For acute myocardial infarctions:

  • The acute phase of MI is now defined as eight weeks instead of four weeks
  • Codes specifying subsequent episodes of care for acute MI are now discontinued
  • There are new unique codes for distinguishing a new acute MI that happens while a patient is still in treatment for an acute MI

There is a new combination code for coronary artery disease with angina. In ICD-9, coders had to use two separate codes: “coronary atherosclerosis of native coronary artery” and “intermediate coronary syndrome.”

The term “congestive” is now a nonessential modifier for systolic, diastolic, and combined systolic/diastolic heart failure, and only one code is required to describe the specificity and acuity of heart failure.

LUMEDX can help you prepare for ICD-10 while still using ICD-9, ensuring a smooth and successful transition. LUMEDX Healthcare Consultants and Project Managers offer technical assistance and professional guidance so that you can easily navigate the challenges that will arise from the change to ICD-10. To learn more, click here.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014 8:47:00 AM Categories: CMS data security EHR health information technology healthcare today HIT ICD-10 ONC

The Latest Big Thing in Healthcare – Data Analytics: What Do You Think?  

One of the major topics in healthcare today is data analytics. According to Healthcare IT News, “…The more information generated by a growing contingency of apps, devices, electronic health records, mHealth sensors and wearables, the broader and stronger the desire for that data becomes,” (June 2014).

Most providers want to know how to: 1) efficiently capture all the data they need, and 2) use that data for analytics so they can improve care and grow their business.

Now more than ever, providers need to be able to record and store valuable information – and to access that information with ease. It is also critical for providers to have the ability to then create reports that help them understand performance trends, patient outcomes, fluctuation in volumes, and more.

We expect that in the near future, data analytics will become increasingly important for:

  • Quality improvement initiatives: Drilling down into problem areas and identifying where improvements can be made—and how to make them
  • Predictive healthcare: Enabling easier identification of high-risk patient populations and creating prevention and treatment plans accordingly
  • Business growth: Providing an in-depth, real-time understanding of a hospital’s financial performance and how it ties to volumes, costs, inventory and more
  • Meeting mandated standards of care: Real-time reports show hospitals if they are performing up to the standards mandated by the Affordable Care Act, Meaningful Use regulations, and other benchmark-setting entities

We’d like to hear from you! What is your hospital’s plan for using its data? Which areas are if highest priority to you? 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014 8:42:00 AM Categories: analytics data industry news National Health IT Week

National Health IT Week: Joining the Conversation 

This week we are celebrating the ninth year of National Health IT Week – a collaboration between healthcare providers, government agencies, payers, research foundations, and healthcare IT vendors designed to raise awareness about the growing role of technology in healthcare. 

Because healthcare in this country is currently undergoing many changes, all of us in the industry need to work together to advance technology that can reduce costs while improving care.

Our National Health IT Week blog topics are:

  • Tuesday, Sept. 16: Learn about why data analytics is a growing segment of the healthcare technology industry, and how providers can use analytics to monitor performance and drive quality improvement initiatives
  • Wednesday, Sept. 17: Prepare for the new ICD-10 compliance date with information about documentation changes that will impact cardiology departments
  • Thursday, Sept. 18: Read about how The Christ Hospital Health Network is using technology to support quality improvement initiatives

And on Twitter:

  • Friday, Sept. 19: Patrick Cambas, Vice President of Consulting and Strategic Services at LUMEDX, will weigh in during the @HIMSS Twitter Chat on September 19, 9am PT/11am CT/Noon ET. The discussion will focus on successes, pain points, and the future of defining and realizing health IT value. Join us on Twitter @LUMEDX

Best of Health IT News: Week of 09/11/14 

Did you have a chance to check out the latest healthcare IT news stories around the Web? We’ve captured the top industry news stories from this week that you won’t want to miss.

How Hospital CIOs Learn From Data, Security Breaches

FierceHealth IT reports on how seeing major security breaches in the news can often lead hospitals to enact changes at their own facilities. The article cites Beth Israel Daconess Medical Center in Boston and Boston's Children Hospital, which both proactively made moves to improve security in the wake of cyberattacks and breaches on other hospitals. 

ATA Finds Some States Falling Short on Telemedicine Policies 

iHealthBeat posted a story on how the American Telemedicine Association just released two state policy reports on telemedicine. The report analyzed performance by state in areas such as coverage and reimbursement standards, physician practice standards, and licensure regulations for telemedicine.

ONC Rule Aims to Offer More Flexibility on EHR Certification 

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) has issued a new final rule on the 2014 certification criteria for electronic health records. The final rule contains revisions to the 2014 edition release "that provide flexibility, clarity, and enhance health information exchange." 

Karen DeSalvo: Everyone Can Weigh in on Path to Interoperability 

FierceHealthIT reports that National Coordinator Karen DeSalvo recently had a conversation with Sam Ho, M.D., executive director at United Healthcare and chairman of eHealth Initiative's Board of Directors. In the conversation, she noted that the ONC plans to release an updated health IT strategic plan this year, and that the organization is looking for feedback from everyone. 

Thursday, September 11, 2014 2:14:00 PM Categories: industry news
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