The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services recently finalized policy to allow clinicians the use of 2014 Edition and/or 2015 Certified Electronic Health Record Technology (CEHRT) in Year 2 in 2019. In August, CMS finalized for hospitals a similar policy. As outlined in this new final rule, clinicians will essentially have another year to use the Advancing Care Information transition measures. Stay abreast of this and other public policy developments by visiting CHIME's website and through the weekly Washington Debrief newsletter.
The transition to value-based care has accelerated since the passage of the Affordable Care Act, which included incentives, but the Trump administration is now implementing regulatory changes that slow or narrow the scope of some initiatives. Indicators point to more voluntary programs, rather than mandatory models, and more flexibility for health care providers.
Experts at the Advances in IBD 2017 conference said multidisciplinary clinics that improve patient satisfaction and reduce costs of treating inflammatory bowel disease are the wave of the future. The new delivery model would integrate pregnancy and psychosocial care, group visits, telemedicine, surgery and nutrition with IBD care.
An American Health Information Management Association study showed that EHR software has the potential to help prevent unintentional falls among older patients. Researchers urged the integration of clinical decision support tools into EHRs to allow care teams to identify patients at risk of falls before one occurs.
Multiple studies have found that EHRs send so many insignificant prescribing alerts that health care providers simply override most of them, including important ones. A recent study in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association found that many overrides of alerts for patient allergies, duplicate drugs and formulary substitutions were warranted and the alerts could therefore be reduced in the inpatient setting, and physician Steve Waldren suggested that alerts be put into context relative to individual patients.
The CMS announced Thursday that 601,462 shoppers, including 137,322 new consumers, chose Affordable Care Act plans on HealthCare.gov in the first four days of enrollment this year, surpassing last year's average daily sign-up rate. The sign-up rates were seen as a positive indication for 2018 enrollment despite the Trump administration's efforts to undermine the ACA by cutting its advertising budget and halting cost-sharing reduction payments to insurers.
The UK Biobank recruited 500,000 volunteers to submit blood samples for a study on the origins of disease, and the resulting database was released to scientists in July. A flood of research papers ensued, and groups have also developed openly available tools to facilitate use of the data, but at least one expert warns against trying to publish research too quickly.
Greenway's Prime Suite v18.00, Intergy v11.00 and SuccessEHS v9.0 EHR and practice management systems have achieved ONC 2015 Edition certified EHR technology certification, and the systems may be used to meet requirements of alternative payment models and the Merit-based Incentive Payment System. Compulink's Advantage Version 12 also achieved certification under the 2015 Edition.
A study published in JAMA Internal Medicine claiming that larger health care facilities have an increased data breach risk "neglects inherent biases in data collection and reporting practices," Vanderbilt University researchers wrote in a letter to the editor in the same journal. Researchers noted that treating data breaches based on their size rather than on their impact could negatively affect perceived privacy and security risks, and they raised concerns about the gap between detected and unreported breaches.
Researchers analyzed data from the 2015 American Hospital Association Annual and IT Supplement survey and found a digital divide in the use of EHR systems between larger, urban hospitals and hospitals with fewer resources. The findings, presented at the 2017 American Medical Informatics Association Annual Symposium, showed that use of advanced EHR functions for patient engagement and performance measurement was less likely among critical access hospitals.