Today’s EHR and HIT News includes vendor selection news from CareCloud, and a preview of the the Journal of AHIMA’s October cover story, EHR Evolution and news from Harris on being recognized by IDC Health Insights as a leader in package HIE solutions.
Miami Children’s Hospital Selects CareCloud’s Cloud-based Revenue Cycle Management Service
CareCloud has announced that Miami Children’s Hospital will deploy CareCloud’s cloud-based revenue cycle management service offering, Concierge, to its owned physician network, comprised of approximately 200 pediatricians and pediatric sub-specialists.
“As part of our continued efforts to leverage the latest technology in supporting the delivery and administration of care, we felt CareCloud’s cloud-based platform was best suited to allow our physician network to stay current with changing reimbursement protocols, growing care coordination demands and reform mandates that impact daily operations and delivery of care,” said Tim Birkenstock, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Miami Children’s Hospital.
“With CareCloud’s revenue cycle management services delivered through one centrally-hosted national platform, our physician network will be instantly connected, expediting improved financial outcomes as our care delivery organization looks to manage and stay ahead of changing industry regulations and mandates, while still delivering the world-class care our patients and families count on.”
CareCloud’s Concierge service offering is a complete revenue cycle management solution that utilizes dynamic rules intelligence software, expert live support, and real time business analytics and reporting tools to help medical practices increase collections and streamline operations. As part of the Concierge service, Miami Children’s Hospital-owned physicians and their staffs will utilize a common cloud-based practice management platform that can be accessed via any web browser and harness the latest in user design and functionality.
Electronic Health Records in Focus
Electronic Health Records are poised to significantly transform medical documentation and patient management and are a vital issue for Health Information Management professionals. The Journal of AHIMA’s October cover story, EHR Evolution, puts into context the history of EHRs and examines the policy and legislation forces that are driving implementation.
“EHRs provide access to immediate, high-quality health information,” said AHIMA CEO Lynne Thomas Gordon, MBA, RHIA, CAE, FACHE. “This gives healthcare teams the most in-depth and accessible information; in turn, patients can receive the best possible care.”
The roots of EHRs go back to the late 1960s when technological advances inspired innovation in healthcare delivery. More than a quarter century ago, Dr. Clem McDonald from the Regenstrief Institute articulated a prescient vision for EHRs that remains relevant to this day:
Eliminate the logistical problems of paper records by making clinical data immediately available to authorized users wherever they are
Reduce the work of clinical book keeping required to manage patients
Make the informational ‘gold’ in the medical record accessible to clinical, epidemiological outcomes and management research
In the 1990s, the opening of the ambulatory market provided an opportunity for nimble, niche vendors. They could provide physician-specific workflows, manageable footprint, integrated billing and interoperability.
However, EHR adoption did not keep place with the rapid technological advances. Why was this? The Journal article, written by Micky Tripathi, president and CEO of the Massachusetts eHealth Collaborative, notes that “it was a classic chicken-and-egg conundrum. EHR systems wouldn’t become more usable, standardized, interoperable or affordable until more customers demanded such features.” As a result, many clinicians pointed out that they bore the additional costs of EHRs, but the benefits flowed largely to public and private health insurers, employers, and ultimately patients.
As a result, there was systematic under-investment in EHRs until the 2009 passage of the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH), when the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) offered to incentives for physician investment in the systems. By providing a specific catalyst to individual providers, CMS “motivated a fragmented customer base to act more like a single customer with coherent demand.”
In August, CMS and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT released the Stage 2 meaningful use and objectives and corresponding EHR certification requirements. Stage 2 advances EHR to EHR interoperability by requiring specific vocabularies such as SNOMED CT, LOINC and RxNorm. Additionally, it expands the scope of EHR functionality so that patients can communicate with doctors via secure messaging and access their information according to their preference.
It is impossible to quantify exactly how EHRs would have evolved without HITECH. But as the Journal article concludes, “without it, the changes certainly wouldn’t have happened with the speed and focus that the industry has witnessed to date.”
Harris Corporation Named a Leader in Packaged Health Information Exchange Solutions by IDC Health Insights
Harris Corporation has announced that it has been recognized as a leader in the packaged health information exchange (HIE) solutions segment by IDC Health Insights in its recent analysis, “IDC MarketScape: U.S. Health Information Exchange Packaged Solutions 2012 Vendor Assessment, Doc# HI235830, July 2012.”
Vendors were selected for review based on estimated market share and potential for growth. The report examined vendors that offer packaged solutions consisting of modular software bundled with implementation, training, and support services. Packaged solutions, the report noted, seek to reduce the risk of uncertainty related to project scope, timelines, and cost.
The analysis conducted by Lynne Dunbrack, program director, Connected Health IT, IDC Health Insights, concluded that health information organizations “seeking a combination of interoperable HIE technology, composite applications that support clinician workflow, and clinical and financial dashboards that present actionable information aggregated across the enterprise should consider Carefx.”
Carefx, acquired by Harris in 2011, was recognized in the report as a leader for capabilities and strategies among the 10 vendors evaluated based on vendor briefings, customer references and secondary research. IDC Health Insights provides business and IT decision-makers within healthcare organizations with fact-based research that informs and supports critical business decisions. For more information about IDC Health Insights and IDC MarketScape visit www.idc-hi.com
“A key differentiator [between Harris and its competitors] is that in addition to core HIE technology and composite applications, Carefx provides context management technology that complies with Clinical Context Object Workgroup standard, thus enabling workflow within the healthcare organizations’ legacy applications and between the HIE and EMRs,” Dunbrack wrote. “Harris has deep experience in the Nationwide Health Information Network. Harris was the prime developer of the CONNECT Gateway and was an active participant on the Direct Project. Harris deployed Direct Secure Messaging at Florida HIE, the first statewide HIE to use Direct for secure messaging between clinicians.”
“The IDC MarketScape study confirms that Harris’ acquisition of Carefx strengthened our position as a leading provider of packaged HIE solutions,” said Tony Galluscio, vice president, Harris Healthcare Solutions. “As the HIE market continues to mature, with more private and state-wide organizations realizing the immense benefit to patients, clinicians, and administrators, Harris will continue to lead the industry through a focus on delivering the right information right at the point of care.”
A nationally recognized leader in healthcare IT integration, Harris offers a full range of interoperability solutions, including IT infrastructure and management, clinical workflow and analytics, HIE, and imaging. Harris solutions improve healthcare quality, safety, efficiency, cost and outcomes by ensuring that the right information travels, with security and privacy, to the right person, at the right time, on the right device, at the point of care.