Healthcare News February 7, 2013

  • The Flu: Some Years are Worse than Others

        Medical Billing and Coding News   Flu, Flu Shots, Influenza Vaccine The Flu and You This has been a bad year for the flu. Compared to last year hospitalizations due to the  influenza virus are up 169%. For kids in school and especially college students living in dorms or even larger families living all in the same house, transferring germs between each other becomes very easy and quickly spreads the virus. Before you know it everyone is infected. The  infographic below looks at how many people get the flu and how it affects us from year to year. Getting the flu shot can decrease your chance of getting the flu by 60%.  I’m all for that. Thanks to Allison Morris at […]

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  • UVA Health System speech-enables EHR system (via M*Modal)

    University of Virginia Health System Selects M*Modal’s Speech Understanding Solutions M*Modal’s suite of cloud-based solutions delivers a single speech platform to create, manage and share high-quality patient records in electronic health record systems

    Franklin, TN – January 29, 2013 – M*Modal, a leading provider of clinical documentation and Speech Understanding™ solutions, today announced that the University of Virginia (UVA) Health System will deploy M*Modal Fluency Direct™ and M*Modal Catalyst for Quality™ to speech-enable its electronic health record (EHR) systems, bringing greater insight and analysis to patient records. Using M*Modal’s cloud-based Natural Language Understanding™ speech engine, these solutions enable medical staff and informatics professionals to quickly and accurately capture clinical narratives for improved billing, productivity and patient care.

    M*Modal’s technology is the exclusive speech platform for all of UVA’s health facilities, which include a 604-bed hospital, level I trauma center, nationally recognized cancer and heart centers and primary and specialty clinics throughout Central Virginia.

    “Electronic medical records have significant potential to help us improve the care we provide for our patients,” said Mark Andersen, interim chief of technology services and health information for UVA Health System. “Comprehensive documentation of the care we provide is vital for a variety of reasons.”

    The technology solutions selected by UVA Health Systems have different roles in the clinical documentation process and offer various benefits for all the stakeholders involved.

    •       M*Modal Fluency Direct enables physicians and hospital staff to dictate and originate documentation directly within EHR templates in a single step. Using speech instead of a keyboard, physicians tend to expand on the patient narrative, capturing greater insight in clinical documents that can be leveraged in areas like coding.
    •       M*Modal Catalyst for Quality aggregates records from across the enterprise, uncovers insights and makes clinical information locked in narrative text quickly available and shareable. It also identifies gaps and inaccuracies in documentation to drive CDI initiatives, quality measures and Meaningful Use readiness. By improving document specificity, it helps with ICD-10 transition.

    “Using conversational documentation, our technology enables physicians to generate truly useable information that drives actions within an EHR, ensuring better productivity and patient outcomes,” said Vern Davenport, CEO of M*Modal. “M*Modal’s products give UVA Health System a strong platform for building dynamic, high-quality patient records and getting the most out of their EHR system investment.”

    M*Modal’s solutions share a single, integrated speech engine, giving physicians and health care professionals a single user profile and consistent, high-quality documentation across all clinical systems. Both Fluency and Catalyst products provide comprehensive speech understanding from day one, based on a library of nearly 200,000 voice patterns in the M*Modal cloud. M*Modal’s Natural Language Understanding draws from a decade of learning to recognize medical terminologies and specialties, as well as different accents, dialects and cadences, for “first time right” speech understanding.

    For more information on M*Modal please visit or follow on Twitter @MModal.

    About M*Modal and MModal, Inc.
    M*Modal is a leading healthcare technology provider of advanced clinical documentation solutions, enabling hospitals and physicians to enrich the content of patient electronic health records (EHR) for improved healthcare and comprehensive billing integrity. As the largest clinical transcription service provider in the U.S., with a global network of medical editors, M*Modal also provides advanced cloud-based Speech Understanding technology and data analytics that enable physicians and clinicians to include the context of their patient narratives into electronic health records in a single step, further enhancing their productivity and the cost-saving efficiency and quality of patient care at the point of care. M*Modal has been recognized as one of the fastest growing technology companies in North America, placing in the top third of Deloitte’s Technology Fast 500 for 2012. For more information, please visit, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

  • OVERNIGHT HEALTH: Another GOP governor accepts Medicaid expansion

    Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder on Wednesday became the sixth Republican governor to back the Medicaid expansion in President Obama’s signature healthcare law. That brings to 21 the total number of states where governors have said they intend to plow ahead with the expansion.

    Snyder’s choice comes after significant pressure from consumer advocates in his state. And it’s the latest in a string of high-profile losses for conservative activists who have pushed GOP governors to resist the Medicaid expansion. High-profile defections from that hardline position also include Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer and, most recently, Ohio Gov. John Kasich.

    “It’s a win for all,” Snyder reportedly said as he announced his long-awaited decision, noting that the federal government initially covers the entire cost of the expansion.

    Healthwatch has more.

    GOP hits employment numbers: House Republicans are making hay over yesterday’s report from the Congressional Budget Office, and specifically its finding that 7 million fewer people will get healthcare through an employer by 2022. The House Education and the Workforce Committee noted the finding in a press release Wednesday, arguing that “the president’s government takeover of health care is forcing more Americans out of employer-provided health care and hitting job creators with higher taxes.”

    Abortion wars resume: Just as progressives notched a win in Michigan with Snyder’s Medicaid decision, a Republican in the state legislature revived a controversial proposal to require a transvaginal ultrasound before a woman can obtain an abortion. Transvaginal ultrasounds were also at the center of an abortion firestorm last year in Virginia, where Gov. Bob McDonnell (R ) ultimately killed it. Talking Points Memo has more on the Michigan bill.

  • Pelosi makes 3 appointments to long-term care panel

    House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) announced three appointments Wednesday to a newly formed panel that will study the best ways to cover long-term care such as nursing-home stays.

    Congress created the new board late last year as it formally repealed the CLASS program in President Obama’s healthcare law, which was intended to cover long-term care but proved unworkable. 

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