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July 10, 2013 News No Comments

CMS proposes changes to payment policies, including a provision to begin paying providers in 2015 for non-face-to-face care of Medicare patients with multiple chronic conditions. To be eligible, providers will be required to use a certified EHR. Other proposed changes include the addition of new quality reporting measures for 2014; an expansion of telehealth services to include sites designated as health professional shortage areas in rural or urban areas; and, the addition of transitional care management services as an eligible Medicare telehealth service.

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The percentage of physicians using at least a basic EHR system increased from 25 percent in 2010 to 38 percent in 2012, according to a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation study, while the percentage of practices participating in an HIE has jumped from three to 10 percent. Other notable findings:

  • The highest relative increases in adoption were among physicians with historically low adoption levels, including older physicians and those working in solo practices or community health centers.
  • As of 2012, physicians in rural areas had higher rates of adoption than those in large urban areas, and physicians in counties with high rates of poverty had rates of adoption comparable to those in areas with less poverty.
  • Small practices continued to lag behind larger practices.

ONC National Coordinator Farzad Mostashari, MD discussed the findings at a press conference and predicted that full EHR adoption will be slow until 2014 – just before penalties for not hitting MU standards start in 2015.

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The success of e-prescribing initiatives can be tied to federal programs offering financial incentives for e-prescribing providers, according to a report authored by representatives from the ONC and Surecripts, Federal incentives resulted in the addition of 94,000 new e-prescribers between July 2008 and December 2010, leading the authors to make the less than profound conclusion that “financial incentives can drive providers’ adoption.”

Greenway Medical will add PatientPay’s online patient payment solution to its PrimeSUITE EHR/PM platform. Greenway also announces that providers are successfully exchanging CCDs between the Greenway platform at Doctors May-Grant Associates (PA) and the Epic system installed at Lancaster General Health’s Women’s & Baby Hospital (PA).

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The 340-provider UT Medical Group (TN) signs a three-year contract with MediRevv for its Day One Self Pay A/R Management services.

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