Healthcare News October 6, 2012

  • HIMSS Opposes Call for Suspension of EHR Incentive Program


    (Washington, DC)  HIMSS opposes the October 4th call from four House Republican leaders for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to “immediately suspend the distribution of incentive payments until [the Department] promulgates universal interoperable standards.”  HIMSS emphasizes the significant progress that has been made towards the adoption of Electronic Health Records (EHRs) and exchange of health information since the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive program began in 2011.

    The House Republican leaders’ letter asks HHS to take additional steps to “advance interoperability and meaningful use” of health information technology (IT).  HIMSS notes that the Stage 2 Final Rule, published by the Department on September 4, moves the Nation definitively towards interoperability.

    While there is still much work to be done, HIMSS observes that adoption of secure, interoperable health IT systems continues to grow, in part due to the mandate of the HITECH provisions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA).  Recently-released CMS data show that over 2,700 Eligible Hospitals and 73,000 Eligible Professionals have attested to Meaningful Use Stage 1 requirements since the incentive program began in 2011.  And since the first incentive payments were made in May 2011, HIMSS Analytics data reports a steady increase in eligible hospitals achieving higher scores on the HIMSS Analytics Electronic Medical Record Adoption Model (EMRAM).SM  As the graphic below demonstrates, hospitals across the United States are increasingly mature in their use of IT:

    These are clear indicators that government incentives are working.

    HIMSS supports the concept of graduated complexity of meaningful use; this stepped approach recognizes evolutionary maturity of adoption and implementation of health IT – all of which serves as the foundation for healthcare transformation.  Significant progress has been made; widespread interoperability is within reach.

    As we move toward Meaningful Use Stage 2 – which requires greater levels of interoperability between care providers – HIMSS honors its pledge to equip all care providers with the tools and education needed to transform healthcare.  HIMSS looks forward to its ongoing work with Congress, the Administration, Federal Agencies and our members to ensure that the EHR Incentive Program and all other federal and private quality initiatives impactfully improve the quality, safety, cost-effectiveness, and access to care for the benefit of patients and our Nation.

    About HIMSS

    HIMSS is a cause-based, not-for-profit organization exclusively focused on providing global leadership for the optimal use of information technology (IT) and management systems for the betterment of healthcare. Founded 52 years ago, HIMSS and its related organizations are headquartered in Chicago with additional offices in the United States, Europe and Asia. HIMSS represents nearly 50,000 individual members, of which more than two thirds work in healthcare provider, governmental and not-for-profit organizations. HIMSS also includes over 570 corporate members and more than 225 not-for-profit partner organizations that share our mission of transforming healthcare through the effective use of information technology and management systems. HIMSS frames and leads healthcare practices and public policy through its content expertise, professional development, research initiatives, and media vehicles designed to promote information and management systems’ contributions to improving the quality, safety, access, and cost-effectiveness of patient care. To learn more about HIMSS and to find out how to join us and our members in advancing our cause, please visit our website at www.himss.org.

    For more information, contact:

    Elinore Boeke/HIMSS

    703-562-8817 or eboeke@himss.org

    Related posts:

    1. 2011 Physician Quality Reporting System & Electronic Prescribing Incentive Program
    2. Northrop Grumman Introduces National Health Data Repository for the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs
    3. meridianEMR® Customers Start Receiving Meaningful Use Incentive Payments

  • Kerry, Schwartz propose better care coordination for seniors

    New legislation from Rep. Allyson Schwartz (D-Pa.) and Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) would promote better coordination between medical and social services for the elderly.

    The bill builds on the Older Americans Act, which established a variety of services for seniors such as home-delivered meals, transportation and legal assistance.

    Dubbed the Care Coordination for Older Americans Act, the new measure would ensure that an elderly diabetic, for example, is provided meals in collaboration with a doctor. 

  • HIMSS Analytics Recognizes University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics with Stage 7 Award


    HIMSS Analytics recognizes the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City, Iowa, with its Stage 7 Award. The Stage 7 award represents attainment of the highest level on the Electronic Medical Records Adoption Model (EMRAM), which is used to track EMR progress at hospitals and health systems.

    “University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics is honored to receive the prestigious HIMSS Stage 7 recognition,” said Lee Carmen, chief information officer and associate VP for IT. “This designation is a positive reflection of the hard work and dedication of our clinicians and our information technology staff. We will continue that hard work to leverage our clinical information systems to improve the quality, safety and efficiency of care that we deliver to our patients every day.”

    HIMSS Analytics developed the EMR Adoption Model in 2005 as a methodology for evaluating the progress and impact of electronic medical record systems for hospitals in the HIMSS Analytics™ Database. There are eight stages (0-7) that measure a hospital’s implementation and utilization of information technology applications. The final stage, Stage 7, represents an advanced patient record environment. The validation process to confirm a hospital has reached Stage 7 includes a site visit by an executive from HIMSS Analytics and former or current chief information officers to ensure an unbiased evaluation of the Stage 7 environments.

    The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics will be recognized at the 2013 Annual HIMSS Conference & Exhibition in New Orleans, La. on March 3-7, 2013. As of Quarter 2, 2012, the University of Iowa Hospital is one of only 95 U.S. facilities, or 1.7 percent, of the more than 5,000 U.S. hospitals in the HIMSS Analytics® Database, to be awarded the HIMSS Analytics Stage 7 Award.

    Information technology specialists at UI Hospitals and Clinics have a rich history of using sophisticated information systems to support the institution’s commitment to providing patient-focused care in an environment devoted to innovative care, patient safety, and exceptional outcomes. The tremendous support of institutional leaders and the strong partnership between information technology staff and clinical staff will ensure that UI Hospitals and Clinics remains at the forefront of utilizing advanced electronic medical records systems in the future.

    “The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics rely on health IT for integration of all devices in the ICU and emergency rooms so that transcription error is eliminated in recording values from devices including blood administration and vital patient information,” says John P. Hoyt, FACHE, FHIMSS, Executive Vice President, HIMSS Analytics. “Since the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics operate in a totally paperless environment, full adoption of the anesthesia record results in a paperless workflow as well for a patient’s pre-operative assessment through recovery and discharge. In addition, space once devoted to paper medical records is now recovered space with the implementation of the electronic medical record.”

    Visit the HIMSS Analytics Web site for more information on the Stage 7 award.

    About the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics                                                                                                                                                           

    University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics – recognized as one of the best hospitals in the United States, is Iowa’s only comprehensive academic medical center and a regional referral center with nearly 1 million patient visits annually.

    UI Hospitals and Clinics and UI Children’s Hospital together deliver high quality care in collaboration with University of Iowa physicians, the state’s largest multi-specialty medical and surgical group practice composed of faculty physicians of the UI Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine. These partners work together as University of Iowa Health Care to provide patient care, conduct biomedical research and train the next generation of health professionals.

    About HIMSS Analytics

    HIMSS Analytics is a wholly owned not-for-profit subsidiary of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society. The company collects and analyzes healthcare data related to IT processes and environments, products, IS department composition and costs, IS department management metrics, healthcare trends and purchase-related decisions. HIMSS Analytics delivers high quality data and analytical expertise to healthcare delivery organizations, healthcare IT companies, state governments, financial companies, pharmaceutical companies, and consulting firms.  Visit www.himssanalytics.org/ for more information.

    Related posts:

    1. HIMSS Analytics Recognizes The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center with Stage 7 Award
    2. HIMSS Analytics Recognizes Banner Health with Stage 7 Award
    3. HIMSS Analytics Honors Nemours with Stage 7 Award

  • Merge Engages Allen & Company LLC to Explore and Evaluate Strategic Alternatives


    CHICAGO, Sept. 6, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Merge Healthcare Incorporated (Nasdaq:MRGE) (“Merge” or the “Company”), a leading provider of clinical systems and innovations that seek to transform healthcare, today announced that its Board of Directors has retained Allen & Company LLC, a New York-based investment bank, to assist in exploring and evaluating a broad range of strategic alternatives, including, but not limited to, a sale of the Company or a business combination.

    The Company does not have a defined timeline for the strategic review, and there can be no assurance that the review will result in any specific action or transaction. The Company does not intend to comment further regarding the evaluation of strategic alternatives, unless a definitive agreement for a specific transaction is entered into, the process is concluded, or it otherwise deems further disclosure is appropriate or required.

    About Merge

    Merge is a leading provider of clinical systems and innovations that seek to transform healthcare. Merge’s enterprise and cloud-based solutions for image intensive specialties provide access to any image, anywhere, any time. Merge also provides health stations, clinical trials software and other health data and analytics solutions that engage consumers in their personal health. With solutions that are used by providers and consumers and include more than 20 years of innovation, Merge is helping to reduce costs and improve the quality of healthcare worldwide. For more information, visit merge.com.

    Related posts:

    1. Merge Healthcare Adds Two Healthcare Veterans to the Company’s Senior Leadership Team
    2. Merge Announces Addition of High-Growth Technology Leader to Board
    3. Merge Healthcare Releases Image Archiving in the Cloud Via Merge Honeycomb(TM)

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