Survey: Interoperability concerns common among HIE initiatives   11/11/2013
Achieving interoperability with disparate information systems is a major concern for health information exchange initiatives, according to the latest annual survey by eHealth Initiative. Three-quarters of the 199 state, regional and health system HIE initiatives surveyed report having to construct numerous interfaces between different systems to facilitate information sharing, a process that is both time consuming and expensive. "The use of different standards, products and approaches for managing health information means HIEs have to spend time and money to bridge the gaps," said eHI CEO Jennifer Covich Bordenick. To overcome interoperability challenges, respondents said they would like to see standardized pricing and integration solutions from vendors (124); technology platforms capable of “plug and play” functionality (113); greater use among providers of consensus-based standards for data, vocabulary and transport (113); and interoperability solutions that improve provider workflow (109). The survey also found that many HIEs have not yet developed ways to allow patients to enter or view their own data, required to receive payments for Stage 2 meaningful use under the Medicare Electronic Health Records Incentive Program. Only 31 initiatives offered patients access to their information, and tools for managing appointments or prescriptions were rare.
Group to host webinar on managing health care cybersecurity risk   11/11/2013
The National Health Information Sharing & Analysis Center, a public-private partnership, will host a Nov. 13 webinar on cybersecurity risk management for health care organizations. The 60-minute webinar will feature a representative from the Industry Engagement and Resilience Branch of the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Cybersecurity and Communications, which develops and implements cyber risk management strategies with public and private sector partners. To register for the webinar, at 12 p.m. Eastern Time, click here.
CMS announces Nov. 21 call on LTCH quality reporting program   11/11/2013
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services will host a Special Open Door Forum conference call Nov. 21 on changes to the long-term care hospital quality reporting program included in the inpatient/LTCH final rule for fiscal year 2014. The call will cover data collection and reporting requirements, time frames and submission deadlines for payment update determinations for FYs 2015, 2016 and 2017; present answers to frequently asked questions; and invite questions and comments from stakeholders. For details and dial-in information, click here.
CMS updates ICD-10 resources   11/11/2013
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has posted a draft ICD-10 definitions manual and code editor for the fiscal year 2014 Medicare Severity-Diagnosis-Related Groups (version 31). Health care providers can use the manual and editor, available under "downloads,” to better understand the impact of the ICD-10 coding system for medical diagnoses and inpatient procedures on the MS-DRG system. Hospitals and other entities covered by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act must convert to the ICD-10 coding system by Oct. 1, 2014. For more information, the Medicare Learning Network offers educational videos on ICD-10 basics, planning, and physician implementation.
NJHA program helps veterans secure jobs, uninsured access coverage   11/11/2013
The New Jersey Hospital Association has received a $1.8 million grant to hire and train 25 veterans to help consumers explore new insurance options under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The former servicemen and women will complete a federal Web-based training program to become Certified Application Counselors, plus additional training on state-based programs such as Medicaid and NJFamilyCare. Once certified, they will offer enrollment assistance at hospitals and other community sites. “This is a wonderful example of a boots-on-the-ground program that can make a real difference in the lives of the veterans who secure good jobs, and the uninsured individuals and families they will help access health care coverage,” said NJHA President and CEO Betsy Ryan. The grant from the New Jersey Health Initiative, a local funding arm of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, will fund the program for one year.