Can you believe it’s July 1st already?
EHR and HIT news for today includes an update from SuccessEHS letting us know that their Director of Governement Affairs had been named co-chair of the ONC Beacson-EHR Vendor Affinity Group. There is also news from HBMA on their recent testimony before the NCVHS Subcommittee on Standards regarding the move to ICD-10. There is also news today from EvolveMed on an enhanced trial for their TalkChart EHR.
SuccessEHS National Director of Government Affairs Named Co-Chair of ONC Beacon-EHR Vendor Affinity Group
SuccessEHS today announced that National Director of Government Affairs Adele Allison was recently named co-chair of the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) Beacon-Electronic Health Record (EHR) Vendor Affinity Group. Comprised of representatives from 17 ONC Beacon Communities and five EHR vendors, the workgroup seeks to promote the adoption, use and interoperability of EHR technology to advance the care improvement goals of impacted communities.
A true public-private partnership, the workgroup is led by co-chairs from both the vendor and Beacon communities. Allison will serve as the co-chair from the vendor community, while Chuck Tryon of MyHealth Access Network, part of the Tulsa Beacon Community, will represent the Beacon Communities as co-chair.
Allison has 22 years of experience in the health care industry, including nearly 14 years at SuccessEHS. Her prior experience includes eight years in management for health care payers, including Blue Cross Blue Shield of Montana and Triton Health Systems. In her current role, Allison conducts strategic planning, relations, analysis and writing, education and public speaking on matters of federal and state government affairs. She works closely with Regional Extension Centers, state-level health information exchange projects and state Medicaid agencies, and has worked with government officials on a variety of health care legislation, including the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
Allison’s role as co-chair of the ONC Beacon-EHR Vendor Affinity Group marks a continuation of SuccessEHS’s involvement in ONC Beacon Communities. SuccessEHS is involved with three ONC Beacon Communities: the Crescent City Beacon Community, the Southeast Michigan Beacon Community and MyHealth Access Network. These three Beacon Community programs are among 17 national sites receiving a three-year federal Beacon Community Award from the ONC to build and strengthen local health IT infrastructure, test innovative approaches, and make measurable improvements, leading to better care, better health, at lower cost.
“We are proud to have Adele represent SuccessEHS in the ONC Beacon-EHR Vendor Affinity Group,” said W. Sanders Pitman, President and CEO at SuccessEHS. “Her position as co-chair underscores our dedication to staying on the forefront of health care policy and advancing health care interoperability and innovation.”
HBMA testifies before NCVHS on ICD-10 Readiness
Because of its significant role in revenue cycle management, the Healthcare Billing and Management Association was invited recently to participate in discussions with the National Committee on Vital and Health Statistics (NCVHS) Subcommittee on Standards in Washington, D.C. to provide an update on the status of transitioning from ICD-9 CM to ICD-10 CM by the October 1, 2014 effective date.
In testimony before the NCVHS Subcommittee on Standards, Holly Louie, CHBME, Chair of HBMA’s ICD-10/5010 Committee presented the association’s views on “lessons learned” from the 5010 implementation and how those lessons can and should be applied to avoid problems with ICD-10 implementation. NCVHS is charged with advising the Secretary of Health and Human Services on all HIPAA related matters.
Louie was part of a panel of experts invited. In her testimony, she said, “HBMA believes that we MUST learn from the mistakes that were made in transitioning from 4010 to 5010, and undertake the transition from ICD-9 CM to ICD-10 CM in a way that demonstrates we learned those lessons.”
Louie shared HBMA’s concern that in order for there to be a successful transition from ICD-9 CM to ICD-10 CM “we must allow the ‘lessons learned’ from the 4010 to 5010 transition last year to materially inform the implementation of ICD-10 CM.” Louie pointed out to the Subcommittee that “the economic stability of America’s healthcare reimbursement system will be at risk and could be severely compromised, affecting provider financial viability and patients’ access to care.”
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid has already delayed the effective date for ICD-10 CM implementation from October 1, 2013 to October 1, 2014. Speaking about this delay, Louie said, “it is imperative that the time gained by the delay be used wisely in order to ensure that the transition is successful. If we fail to learn the lessons we will merely be delaying the likelihood for payment disruptions and patient access to care problems from 2013 to 2014.”
HBMA strongly recommends the following:
- While CMS has adopted a definition of “ready” and developed the tools and checklists to assist every provider, organization, payor and vendor to validate they are ready on October 1, 2014, a subsequent announcement by CMS that they will not perform any external testing is extremely problematic for the industry. End-to-end testing by all payors, to meet the definition of “ready” must occur to ensure a smooth ICD-10 CM implementation. Failure to engage in meaningful end-to-end testing is a recipe for disaster.
- CMS must establish period benchmarks that cannot be ignored to assess the “readiness” status for all facts of the healthcare industry.
- There must be clear pronouncement that there is no vendor, EHR, coding assist tool, map, crosswalk or other product that will solve the problem of excellent medical record documentation and accurate coding. Physicians and staff must be fully prepared with adequate training to operate compliantly and not rely on false proclamations of marketed solutions.
- Payor policies will be critical to the appropriate adjudication of claims. Currently, there is a wide variance among payors in stated policies. It is imperative that policies are published by October 1, 2013 in order to allow adequate time for education and training, data analysis and other preparations for ICD-10 CM.
- Any payor that is currently only accepting claims by 4010 format must be fully 5010 compliant by January 1, 2014 in order to be ICD-10CM ready.
With Access to the Full, Customized TalkChart Solution, Physicians Can Experience the Real Power of Personalized EHR
EvolveMed has announced its new risk-free trial of TalkChart will be live for the entire month of July. But EvolveMed is offering physicians something beyond a standard, limited software trial. Instead, physicians will have access to a personalized experience that mirrors the unique electronic documentation software or dictation and transcription needs and workflow of each individual user, helping dramatically boost their medical charting efficiencies.
“Our biggest supporters and most vocal advocates of the tremendous benefits that TalkChart brings to medical practices have always been our users,” said Andrea Jaques, Business Development Manager. “That’s why we’re excited to not just offer the chance for physicians to demo the software, but to really experience the full-featured, customized solution. Only a hands-on opportunity can demonstrate how innovative integrated platform will really improve their charting efficiency and workflow, and maximize the cost efficiency of their practice right out of the gate.”
When physicians opt into the no-risk TalkChart trial, EvolveMed will work with them to integrate it directly into their existing EHR, and then fully customize and personalize their TalkChart implementation with complaint-specific content and custom web-based templates, shortcuts and more.
“We’ve designed the trial to make it easy as 1, 2, 3 to start working with the full TalkChart platform,” said Jaques. “Sign up to start your subscription, customize your workflow (we’ll help), and then start charting. When you take advantage of our risk-free trial, you’ll have 90 days to explore and experience the effectiveness of TalkChart–satisfaction guaranteed, or we’ll refund your subscription.” This trial offer will be available throughout the month of July, ending 11:59 p.m. on July 31.
TalkChart was designed with the pain points of overworked, over-administrated physicians in mind. “Imagine not having to turn away patients, or schedule them months down the road,” said Jaques. “Not wasting billable hours on administrative work, and growing practice revenues. A more efficient EMR, a more streamlined dictation and transcription service, and more accurate and actionable medical records can change your practice–and get you out the door on time every night.”