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Meaningful Use Is Dead?

Posted on January 29, 2015 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Over on EMR and HIPAA, I got the following passionate response on my post titled Meaningful Use Created A Big Need for Certified MAs that I thought many readers on this site would enjoy.

In the EP world, MU is dead. There are some larger groups, especially primary care still struggling to overcome the huge hurdles of MU2, but most I know have given up and running for the hills. There is a ginormous gap between what ONC is peddling in terms of numbers and real MU use.

This is good example of another hidden cost of trying to MU. We have some excellent MA’s, and I could not tell you which are and are not certified. Makes no difference. Sadly, CMS and ONC, do not realize that they are literally driving EPs from accepting Medicare patients, especially us specialists. And once we are gone, or severely limit new patients with Medicare, we are not coming back.

So the 17 times in 11 years fix for SGR, PQRS, VBM, MU, CPQ, ICD10, HIPAA, RAC audits, sequester cuts, etc. Its too much cost. clicking, paper work to take care of these patients. We actually had a serious discussion with our hospital about cutting back severely on doing Medicare total knees and hips next year due to all this. And the hospital initiated the conversation. So its not just us, even EHs are looking into this.

We all know that CMS and ONC want something, anything in terms of numbers to report anything to Congress, but this is the wrong way to do it. Again, everyone out there that is sitting in their cubicle Monday morning quarterbacking our care for these patients, will be very sad, very soon as we will just stop seeing them.

You can see by the numbers, if 250,000 EPs are taking the first MU hit this year, just wait until the rest give up. EPs can see that MU does not equate to better care, safer care, or more efficient care. We all may use an EHR, but could care less about attestations and audit risks and counting numerators/denominators forever. Again now that at least half the EPS are out, the rest will be right behind.

CMS and ONC need to realize that penalties NEVER work. Incentives like the heady days of MU1, got people to try EHR, but the costs are now piling up, big time. Everyone wants their piece of the pie. But as the incentives have gone away and the clerk like data entry has gone up, EPs have left the program. And are never, I mean never, coming back.

This provider makes an interesting assertion about meaningful use being dead. Do you think that MU is dead?

I thought this post’s timing was interesting given the announcement that CMS is changing the meaningful use stage 2 reporting period to 90 days. Correction…they intend to change it, but I think we all see that it’s going to happen. Just let the rule making process take it’s course.

Before this announcement, I would have largely agreed that meaningful use was pretty close to dead. I know some people have sifted through the meaningful use stage 2 attestations and have said it’s better than we thought, but I think those are the early birds and not the majority. With this announcement, I think the majority will take a much deeper look at taking on MU stage 2. If CMS can simplify some things, I could see many participating to get the incentive money, but to also avoid the penalties. Penalties aren’t the end all be all for doctors, but they represent a big chunk of money for many doctors.

I’d love to hear your thoughts. What are you seeing in the trenches?

ONC Annual Meeting – Who’s Going?

Posted on January 28, 2015 I Written By

When Carl Bergman isn't rooting for the Washington Nationals or searching for a Steeler bar, he’s Managing Partner of EHRSelector.com, a free service for matching users and EHRs. For the last dozen years, he’s concentrated on EHR consulting and writing. He spent the 80s and 90s as an itinerant project manger doing his small part for the dot com bubble. Prior to that, Bergman served a ten year stretch in the District of Columbia government as a policy and fiscal analyst.

ONC’s Agenda – February 2-3, Washington, DC

Next Monday, ONC holds its annual meeting in downtown DC. I’m going, one small advantage of living here. Here’s the agenda. To see day two, click on the agenda header.

I’m particularly interested in these topics:

  • Adverse event reporting,
  • Interoperability standards,
  • Meaningful Use program’s future, and
  • Usability.

Looking at the agenda, I should stay busy with one exception. There isn’t much on usability. The word’s only on the agenda once. Not a surprise since ONC has pretty much relinquished any role to the vendors.

How important do you think the ONC meeting and also the ONC run Healthdatapalooza now that meaningful use has kind of run its course? Will these two meeting gain steam and influence or will organizations start to go other places? I’ll be interested to watch that trend as I attend the event.

If you can’t attend, you can follow on various webcasts and twitter. If you do plan to attend, I’d love to see you there. To email me, click on my name in my profile blurb, or at carl@ehrselector.com.

A Rub On Tatoo for Diabetics

Posted on January 27, 2015 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

I’ve been covering a lot of wearables and sensors over on Smart Phone Healthcare through the years. It’s been great to see the evolution and I still think we’re just at the very beginning of what is going to be possible with these health sensors. However, the leaks in the damn are starting to appear and soon we’ll have a tidal wave of amazing health data from these health sensors.

Don’t believe me? Check out this story on Gizmodo about a Rub On Tattoo that measures a person’s blood glucose levels. For those too busy to click over, here’s an excerpt:

Pricking your finger for a blood glucose test will never, ever be fun. Thankfully, scientists have been hard at work on a bloodless and needleless alternative: a rub-on temporary tattoo that, as weird as it sounds, gently sucks glucose through the surface of the skin.

The thin, flexible device created by nanoengineers at UCSD is based on the much bulkier GlucoWatch, a now-discontinued wristband that worked through the same glucose-sucking principal. But the electric current GlucoWatch used to attract glucose to the surface of the skin was too high, and wearers were not keen on the discomfort. This temporary tattoo gets around the problem by using a gentler but still effective current.

Unfortunately, we’re still a few years out from this becoming a market ready product, but it’s another illustration of the kind of research and ingenuity that’s being put into the health sensors marketplace. I’m personally concerned about my risk for diabetes, and so I’m extremely excited about new developments around diabetes. However, this is just one of many more developments that are going to change the world of healthcare as we know it.

What do you think of this new wave of sensors? How will the medical establishment integrate all this new data? What other changes are happening which we should keep an eye on? I don’t think most doctors, practices, hospitals, EMR companies, etc are ready for what’s happening.

HIM and Where It’s Heading with Charlie Saponaro

Posted on January 23, 2015 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Lately I’ve started to really see the importance of HIM In the future of healthcare. I like to break HIM work into: managing the record (ie. Avoid Lawsuits), improving the coding/documentation (ie. More $$), and HIPAA compliance (ie. Avoid penalties). While their future has been questioned during the shift to EHR, I think they have a very important future in these areas.

With this as background, I did an interview with Charlie Saponaro, President and CEO of Medical Record Associates, to talk about the State of HIM. We talk about some major HIM trends like remote HIM and outsourced HIM for example. If you’re over HIM, in HIM or interested in the future of HIM, you’ll enjoy this chat with Charlie.

Athenahealth Goes After Hospitals and Tavenner Steps Down

Posted on January 22, 2015 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

There were two big pieces of news this week that I thought I’d discuss. Hopefully you’ll also add your thoughts and insights in the comments.

1. Athenahealth Moves Into Hospital Market With Acquisition Of Atlanta Startup RazorInsights
I thought the announcement of this acquisition was really interesting. Literally the day before this came out, someone asked me what I thought of Athenahealth. After some discussion, they said do you think they’ll take on Epic and Cerner. I quickly responded, “Well, they don’t have an inpatient EHR, so they don’t have a dog in the fight.” Well, now they do have a dog in the fight. Of course, RazorInsights still isn’t a big competitor of Epic and Cerner. However, if I know Jonathan Bush, that’s the ambition. At least that’s what his numerous cloud rants lead you to believe that he thinks he can take down Epic and Cerner with one single word: Cloud. We’ll see what RazorInsights can do under the Athenahealth umbrella.

2. CMS Leader Marilyn Tavenner Steps Down
Neil Versel has a great article covering Tavenner’s departure. His comments are pretty interesting when it comes to her staying low-profile and away from the media during her tenure at CMS. She’s certainly taken a lot of heat from the botched rollout of Healthcare.gov and other programs.

Personally, I’ll most remember her for her promise at HIMSS 2014 that ICD-10 was going to happen and that healthcare organizations better be ready. Of course, we know how that story played out with Congress passing a few lines in the SGR bill to delay ICD-10 another year. Given Tavenner’s promise, I’m quite sure she was blind sided by Congress’ move as well.

I’m not sure her departure is a good or a bad thing for healthcare. I’m sure that the healthcare behemoth will move along like it always has. Best of luck to her wherever she lands. No doubt working in the government in a high profile position is a rather thankless job that usually pays below market wages.

Who do you think will take Tavenner’s position at CMS? Does it matter?

Healthcare IT Marketing and PR Conference – and the #HITMC Twitter Chat

Posted on January 21, 2015 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Regular readers likely noticed the banner ad at the top of EMR and EHR which links to the Healthcare IT Marketing and PR conference (HITMC) that we organize. This event is shaping up to be absolutely fantastic. We’ve just started adding the speakers to the conference website, but I’m thrilled by the quality and variety of speakers that we’ll be having at HITMC 2015.

For those not familiar with the event, we bring together a few hundred of the very best Healthcare IT marketing and PR professionals. This year we’ll be hosting it at the nicely remodeled SLS Las Vegas hotel. No doubt you’ll see members of the HITMC community all over the hotel throughout the two days of the conference. Plus, this year we’re doing some early bird social events to really give attendees a great opportunity to connect.

Along with connecting with your peers, HITMC 2015 will include two days of amazing content on a wide variety of topics. Some of these topics will include:

  • Content Marketing
  • Best Practices for Social Media Marketing, Email Marketing and Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Lead Nurturing
  • Effective PR
  • Marketing Automation Tools
  • Event Marketing
  • Case Studies from Health IT Companies
  • Much much more…

If you’re interested in healthcare IT marketing and PR, you’ll absolutely love this event. Along with all the learning, connecting, and sharing at the event, we also have some fun together too. Early bird registration for the event ends on 1/31/15, so register now to save $500.

For those interested in getting a small flavor for the event, we’re hosting a #HITMC twitter chat on Tuesday, 1/27 at Noon ET (9 AM PT). We hope that many of you can join us as we chat about the challenges associated with healthcare IT marketing and PR.

2014 EMR and EHR Stats Report

Posted on January 20, 2015 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

I’m a little late in posting the stats for this blog, but I thought I’d do it now for posterity’s sake. I previously posted a stats report on EMR and HIPAA and will be doing it on other Healthcare Scene blogs including this one. I think it will tell an interesting story about the progression of the Healthcare Scene blog network over time.

So, without further ado, here are some interesting stats I got from a report on EMR and EHR for 2014.

In 2014, we published 273 new posts on EMR and EHR, growing the total archive of this blog to 1,411 posts.

EMR and EHR was viewed about 720,000 times in 2014. The busiest day of the year was February 28th with 1,484 views.

I’m proud that all but one of the top posts are from 2014. I know Carl spent a lot of time creating #2, so I’m glad that it’s been seen by so many people.
1. 4 Things Your Patient Portal Should Include
2. EHR Product Market Shares Rankings: The Envelope Please!
3. Why ICD-10?
4. Rise of the Digital Patient Infographic
5. Improving the EHR Interface and Topol Saves Patient’s Life on Flight Home

The question that Kyle posed in #3 – Why ICD-10? – is a battle that’s still raging. We’ll see if ICD-10 goes forward and that question goes away or whether it’s delayed again and the battle will rage on. #4 and #5 show the power of a great infographic and Topol saving someone’s life.

EMR and EHR has had visitors from 168 countries in all, but the US is far and away the top readership. Thanks to the 785 views that came from Italy (sorry, I have an Italy bias addiction in case you didn’t know).

I hope you enjoyed the stats and thanks for reading! Here’s to a wonderful 2015!

Possible Future EHR UIs at CES

Posted on January 16, 2015 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

If you haven’t been following all of my CES Digital Health coverage, you might want to check out some of the following articles:
Initial CES 2015 Observations
Wearables Explosion at CES 2015
A Video Look at the Digital Health, Fitness and Wellness Section of CES 2015
A Look at Digital Health at CES 2015

While I was mostly focused on the Digital Health section of CES, I also took note of a number of new user interface approaches that various companies were demoing at CES. Since it’s CES, some of these are still conceptual, but they got my EHR UI thoughts going.

Finger Mouse
The Motix Touch Mouse was one of the most intriguing new user interfaces I’ve ever seen in the 10 years I’ve been attending CES. Your hands basically stay on the keyboard and a motion capture device follows your finger which works like a mouse on screen. It was a really interesting evolution of the mouse. Unfortunately, they didn’t have a great form example which would replicate the EHR world in which I live. So, I’m not sure how well this finger mouse would work filling out the long forms that many have in their EHR. However, the concept was really intriguing to consider.

Here’s a video demo of the Motix Touch Mouse:

3D Rudder
The 3D Rudder really blew my mind when I tried it out. I’m not exactly sure of its application in the EHR and healthcare IT world, but the experience of controlling your computer with your feet was really amazing. Plus, the foot control was able to work in 3 dimensions which made it really unique. It took me a second to learn, but I’d love the new way to look at how an input control could work.

You can see the 3D Rudder’s Indiegogo campaign, and here’s a video demo of the 3D Rudder:

While the mouse and keyboard have been tremendously powerful input devices for computers, I’m fascinated to consider how the evolution of computer input will go. We’ve seen the amazing growth of voice and touch over the past couple years. However, I think and hope we’re just getting started with how simple it will be to control the computers of the future. I believe the small innovations like the two mentioned above are part of the process of improving computer UIs as we know them.

I-STOP, ePrescribing, and Prescription Drug Abuse Infographic

Posted on January 15, 2015 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

I don’t know why I’d never thought about how ePrescribing could help fight prescription drug abuse. This infographic has a lot of interesting data about prescription drug abuse, ePrescribing and the New York I-STOP program. Thanks DrFirst for sharing the infographic.

I-STOP ePrescribing Infographic

At Least One Patient A Day

Posted on January 14, 2015 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

One of my ophthalmology friends posted this video. I’m sure that many doctors can relate to patients like this. It reminds me of someone who told me they wish their was a health grades where the doctor can rate the patients the same way that patient rate the doctors. That’s probably not a productive approach, but it definitely shares the sentiment of many doctors who have challenging patients. Like most things in life though, it only takes a few bad apples to spoil the bunch. I’m not sure what can be done to deal with these challenging patients. Either way, this video highlights one of the challenges of being a doctor: difficult patients.