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November 4, 2013 News No Comments

11-4-2013 1-19-12 PM

From Chloe: “Re: ZocDoc. Really questioning their HIPAA compliance. Carecloud should be very careful about ZocDoc breaching HIPAA of its customers’ patients. Several weeks ago I made a doctor’s appointment through ZocDoc, and received an email from the practice stating that the appointment time I booked on ZocDoc was not available (no integration obviously with scheduling) and proposed alternate times. The email thing was a little sketchy by itself from a HIPAA perspective (did I give consent to email me when I booked online? I don’t know.) Things went from bad to worse when someone from ZocDoc left me two voicemail messages apologizing for my rescheduled appointment! Why is ZocDoc leaving me messages about my doctor’s appointments? From my perspective as a patient, I don’t have any relationship with ZocDoc, and why is some guy calling me about my doctor’s appointments? Maybe I didn’t read ZocDoc’s terms of use well enough – and maybe there’s something there where I gave up my patient privacy by booking through that site.”  Has anyone else had a similar experience? Today I attempted to schedule an appointment through ZocDoc with two different doctors, but neither appeared to be  participating in the service. I suspect provider participation varies by geographic region, but it doesn’t look like I will be using it any time soon, regardless of HIPAA compliance.

11-4-2013 4-05-16 PM

Vista Equity Partners, parent company of Vitera Healthcare Solutions, acquires all the outstanding shares of Greenway Medical common stock for $644 million, completing the merger of the two companies. The new company will be privately held and operate under the Greenway brand with Tee Green (Greenway) assuming the role of CEO and Matthew Hawkins (Vitera) as president. I interviewed Green and Hawkins when the merger was first announced in September.

11-4-2013 12-01-41 PM

The AMA offers free toolkits for electronic funds transfers and electronic remittance advice, including information on how to get started with electronic transactions, guidance on IT solutions, and questions to ask vendors. An ACA provision requires insurers to standardize their business practices for EFTs and ERAs by the first of the year.

Ocean Beach Medical Clinics go live on NextGen EHR in early December.

Lawmakers consider a draft proposal that would phase out fee-for-service billing in favor of a rewards-based  payment system. Key components include:

  • A freezing of physician payment rates for 10 years
  • Paying doctors five percent bonuses each year from 2016 to 2021 for agreeing to participate in shared-savings, bundled medical services, or other alternative payment methods
  • After 2023, increasing reimbursement by two percent a year to doctors opting for alternative payment systems; those opting for fee-for-service payments would get a one percent annual increase in reimbursement.

About half of clinical decision alerts are overridden by providers and about half of overrides are classified as appropriate,according to a study published in JAMIA. The most common alerts to be overridden were formulary substitutions, age-based recommendations, renal recommendations, and patient allergies. While 53 percent of all overrides were classified as appropriate, the likelihood of overriding an alert varied widely by type. The authors recommend refining alerts in order to reduce alert fatigue.

CMS blames the government shutdown on the delayed release of the 2014 Medicare physician fee schedule. Traditionally the payment rules for a new calendar year are released around November 1.

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