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December 2, 2013 News 1 Comment

CMS finalizes the 2014 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule, which includes a 24 percent payment cut if the SGR formula is not amended. CMS also proposes a policy beginning in 2015 to support care management outside of routine office interactions by establishing separate payments for managing the care of certain Medicare patients. The final rule also includes provisions regarding physician quality programs and the Physician Value-Based Payment Modifier.

In a separate announcement, CMS says it will pay providers a flat rate for Medicare visits to outpatient clinics, regardless of the severity of the patient’s condition.

12-2-2013 12-20-21 PM

EMR/PM provider CureMD acquires medical billing company AviaraMD.

12-2-2013 1-51-54 PM

Elmwood Health Center (NY) becomes the first practice to submit immunization data to the New York State Immunization System across the HEALTHeLINK HIE.

EHRs offer more than just a handy way to store patient notes, according to researchers from the Palo Alto Medical Foundation Research Institute and the University of Minnesota. Researchers conclude that patient data from EHRs provide reliable measures of the process of care and the patient-centeredness of a primary care practice. They also found that the volume of electronic messages between clinicians and  the frequency of in-person patient visits were associated with better patient health outcomes.

12-2-2013 2-25-29 PM

CMS publishes an interactive tool to help providers determine their eligibility for various ehealth programs.

12-2-2013 3-16-18 PM

Entrada, a developer of workflow products that are integrated with EHRs from athenahealth, Allscripts, Greenway, and NextGen, raises $1.12 million in new equity.

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  • I am amazed (and dismayed) that the AMA is taking a position AGAINST a 10 year SGR fix that has a realistic chance of passing even in today’s disfunctional legislative climate. Over the past decade, we have all had to wonder right up until the very end of the year (and sometimes beyond) whether or not physicians would have to endure a substantial across-the-board pay cut, threatening their very existence. Physicians are the heart of the healthcare system, and yet seem to always get the short end of the stick. Now we have a chance for some certainty, allowing us to plan for the future, and the very body that is supposed to be looking out for physician interests is fighting it! Sure, I would like to have some increases built in, but I would much prefer to have a certain “floor” under which everyone can operate, providing breathing room to then evaluate possible participation in other available programs that allow improved financial performance and patient care. If it does not pass, it’s a certain 24% pay reduction 25 days from now (and it’s not just Medicare, since most other fee schedules are based on the Medicare fee schedule). Give physicians a break!

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