From Maple Man: “Re: EHR petition. Dr. William Zurhellen is a solo pediatrician who believes EHR certification should focus on improving care and that anything else is a waste of time. He has now started a petition of the Obama administration to change the direction of EHR technology so it is focused on healthcare outcomes and controlling costs.” The petition notes that current technology is designed to enhance payment rather than clinical outcomes, adding, “Elements needed are episodes of care, continuous quality improvement, statements of relative outcome, and full integration with practice management tools.” The petition will be delivered to the White House for review if it gets 25,000 signatures, so exercise your First Amendment right if you are inclined.
Speaking of free speech, SRS CEO Evan Steele posts a note to National Coordinator Farzad Mostashari expressing concerns about the future of the EHR incentive program, which he believes is “plagued by rampant dissatisfaction among physicians.” Steele believes the program is too complex and may fail unless it is simplified to focus on e-prescribing, quality reporting, and interoperability. I am not disagreeing, but I wonder if provider perceptions would improve if the industry offered more user-friendly technologies that handled more of the minutiae in the background.
The FACES Foundation, which provides cleft lip/palate care for indigent and medically isolated patients, buys SOAPware EHR .
Almost 21 percent of primary care physicians report that their personal income fell more than 10 percent in 2012, while an additional 16 percent say their income dropped 10 percent or less. Almost 40 percent of primary care physicians and most pediatricians reported incomes of less than $150,000 a year.
Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-NY) introduces a bill that would provide SBA loan guarantees of up to $350,000 for single practitioners and $2 million for group practices for the purchase EHRs and other clinical HIT systems.
HIT lawyer Howard Burde offers advice for physicians contracting with a cloud-based EHR vendor, including recommendations that the contract spell out when and how a practice has access to data; how security is assured; how often backups are made and where they’re stored; how frequently services are upgraded; and how often the system is unavailable.
Lincoln Orthopaedic Center (NE) selects the SRS EHR, PACS, and Patient Portal for its 14 providers.
CMS publishes an EHR MU tip sheet to help specialty providers meet MU requirements, including clarification on required core, menu, and clinical quality measures; using data entered by other providers; defining office visits; and applying for hardship exemptions.
Analysis published in Health Affairs suggests that the projected primary care physician shortage could be eliminated if small practices shifted as little as 20 percent of their patients to non-physician providers and used an EHR. The authors’ conclusions are in part based on the assumption that greater use of EHRs improves a practice’s efficiency and allows more patient to be seen. Obviously not all providers concur with that assumption.