CMS releases new Meaningful Use numbers that will likely do nothing to instill confidence in physicians preparing for Stage 2 or even optimistically (or naively) looking ahead to Stage 3. Nearly 37,000 of the half-a-million MU-registered providers had attested to Stage 2 by February 1. That’s an increase of 4,000 since the end of last year. On the payments side, penalties have begun for the estimated 257,000 doctors and other providers who didn’t attest in 2013. Thirty-four percent of the CMS penalties assessed to providers who fail to meet MU criteria this year amount to $250 or less.
HIStalk Practice Announcements and Requests
If you’re heading to HIMSS in April, t’s time to sign up to attend HIStalkapalooza on April 13 at the House of Blues in Chicago. The “I want to come” form is open, so don’t waste time in applying. Mr. H will close the submission window soon. This year will mark my fourth time as a party-goer, with each event getting successively better in terms of networking, fashions, and fun. Thankfully, Mr. H didn’t mess with a good thing and has brought back Party on the Moon to help us all let loose on the dance floor. He’s cooking up some fun things for our annual HISsies Awards, too.
We’ve emailed HIStalk Practice sponsors about our HIMSS networking reception on Sunday, April 12. Email Lorre if you have yet to see that email cross your inbox and would like to come.
February 13 (Friday) 2:00 ET. Inside Anthem: Dissecting the Breach. Sponsored by HIStalk. Presenter: John Gomez, CEO, Sensato. The latest intelligence about the Anthem breach will be reviewed to provide a deep understanding of the methods used, what healthcare organizations can learn from it, and how to determine if a given organization has come under similar attacks. Attendees will be able to ask questions and put forth their own thoughts.
Announcements and Implementations
The Michigan Center for Effective IT Adoption reaches its goal of helping 3,742 EPs attest to Meaningful Use. The fifth largest REC in the country, M-CEITA has helped physicians across the state realize over $80 million in incentive payments.
Azalea Health adds pre-authorization services to its line of EHR product and billing services.
Imprivata launches Confirm ID, which supports DEA-mandated policies for electronic prescribing of controlled substances.
Merge Healthcare announces that users of its iConnect Network will be able to transmit and receive imaging orders and results to Emdeon Clinical Exchange users.
Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock
The Advisory Board Company acquires Clinovations for an undisclosed amount. Clinovations, a consulting firm out of Washington, D.C., will join Advisory Board Consulting and Management, a Tennessee-based division of ABC with a focus on healthcare organizations.
Personalized medicine analytics vendor Kyron names Jacob Reider, MD (ONC) as chief strategy officer.
The National Patient Safety Foundation appoints Donald Berwick, MD (Institute for Healthcare Improvement) and Kaveh Shojania, MD (Centre for Quality and Improvement and Patient Safety) co-chairs of its new expert panel, which will will review advances in patient safety and develop strategic recommendations for future focus.
This article highlights CaptureProof, a HIPAA-compliant solution through which patients and physicians can communicate via photo and video sharing. CEO Meghan Conroy explains that the company, which has raised $1.4 million so far, is conducting 10 pilot programs in a variety of healthcare environments.
California Telehealth Network selects Safety Net Connect as a partner for its eConsult telemedicine system for primary care. CTN is working to expand telemedicine training and support for rural and medically underserved clinics and hospitals across the state.
Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in Tifton, GA becomes the first in the state to offer its nursing students certification in the use of telemedicine technology. Nearby Tift Regional Medical Center is partnering with the program to provide telemedicine equipment. ABAC is also working to integrate the technology into its own student health center.
Government and Politics
The New York Times calls out little-noticed White House budget language that urges Congress to eliminate the financial incentive for hospitals to buy physician practices so they can charge more for delivering the same services to patients.
On a related note, open data company Socrata develops the Open Budget app, which takes the 2016 U.S. budget and plots it into interactive graphs and charts. It comes as no surprise that HHS is visually the highest funded department at $1.09 trillion.
Seventeen medical associations write a 35-page letter to CMS detailing their disdain for a proposed rule that would require Medicare ACOs to describe plans, including yearly milestones or performance targets, for using IT to better coordinate care. "CMS efforts to micromanage the way ACOs utilize information technology are more likely to hinder these efforts than support them," the authors write.
Research and Innovation
University of Pennsylvania researchers find that smartphone apps are just as accurate as wearables when it comes to accurately counting steps. The most accurate devices were the Fitbit Flex, One, and Zip. The Nike FuelBand reported step counts more than 20-percent lower than observed.
Fast Company profiles several companies getting into the business of developing social education networks for healthcare professionals. Toronto-based Figure 1 has created one that allows users to share medical images. Oregon-based ReelDx has developed a platform through which physicians can upload and comment on videos of procedures and conditions. Figure 1 founder Joshua Landy notes that quick sharing of images among physicians is commonplace, and that much of his company’s value add has been through building a taxonomy for the imagery along with an easy, safe, and legal way of accessing it.
- Clockwise.MD announces that nearly 1 million patients have been seen through its Web-based appointment reservation tool.
- PerfectServe announces unprecedented growth in 2014, with 29 new clients and over 260 go lives.