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Fear of Saying Yes to Healthcare IT

Posted on February 5, 2016 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 seen a theme this week in healthcare. The theme keeps coming up and so I thought I’d highlight it here for others to comment on. The following Twitter exchange illustrates the discussion:


This reply is about secure text, but “this” in Nick’s tweet could be a wide variety of tech solutions. So, fill in “this” with your favorite health IT solution.

Andrew Richards responded:

And then I replied:


Andrew is right that there are a lot of solutions out there, but the “gatekeepers” as he calls them are saying no. My tweet was limited to 140 characters, so I highlighted the fear element assciated with not saying yes. However, that definitely simplifies the reason they’re not saying yes. Let’s also be clear that they’re not usually saying no either. They’re just not saying yes (this is is sometimes called misery by sales people).

While I think fear is a major element why the health IT gatekeepers are saying no, there are other reasons. For example, many are so overwhelmed with “bigger” projects that they just don’t have the time to say yes to one more project. Even a project that has great potential to provide value to their organization. I’ve heard some people argue that this is just an excuse. In some cases that may be the case, but in others people really are busy with tons of projects.

Another obstacle I see is that many feel like they’ve been burned by past health IT projects. The front runner for burning people out is EHR. No doubt some really awful EHR implementations have left a black eye on any future healthcare IT projects. If you’d been through some of the awful EHR implementations that were done, you might be afraid of implementing more IT as well.

Nick Adkins finished the Twitter exchange with this tweet:


Nick has spent some time at burning man as you can tell from his tweet. However, a passion for improving healthcare and going above and beyond what we’re doing today is a key strategy to saying yes to challenging, but promising projects.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this subject. Are there other good reasons people should be afraid of implementing new technology? Do we need to overcome this fear? What’s going to help these health IT “gatekeepers” to start saying yes?

Patients Favor Tracking, Sharing Health Data

Posted on February 3, 2016 I Written By

Anne Zieger is veteran healthcare consultant and analyst with 20 years of industry experience. Zieger formerly served as editor-in-chief of FierceHealthcare.com and her commentaries have appeared in dozens of international business publications, including Forbes, Business Week and Information Week. She has also contributed content to hundreds of healthcare and health IT organizations, including several Fortune 500 companies. Contact her at @ziegerhealth on Twitter or visit her site at Zieger Healthcare.

To date, I’d argue, clinicians have been divided as to how useful medical statistics are when they come straight from the patient. In fact, some¬†physicians just don’t see the benefit of amateur readings. (For example, when I brought my own cardiologist three months of dutifully-logged blood pressure and pulse readings, she told me not to bother.)

Research suggests that my experience isn’t unique. One study, released mid-last year by market research firm MedPanel, found that only 15% of physicians were recommending wearables or health apps to patients as tools for growing healthier.

But a new study has found that patients side with health-tracking fans. According to a new study released by the Society for Participatory Medicine, 84% of respondents felt that sharing self-tracking stats such as blood glucose, blood pressure, heart rate and physical activity with their clinician would help them better manage their health. And 77% of respondents said that such stats were equally important to both themselves and their healthcare professional.

And growing numbers of healthcare professionals are getting on board. A separate study released last year by Research Now found that 86% of 500 medical professionals said mHealth apps gave them a clearer understanding of a patient’s medical condition, and 76% percent felt that apps were helping patients manage chronic illnesses.

Patients surveyed by the SPM, meanwhile, seemed downright enthusiastic about health trackers and mobile health:

* 76% of adults surveyed would use a clinically-accurate and easy-to-use personal monitoring device
* 57% of respondents would like to both use such a device and share the data generated with a professional
* 81% would be more likely to use a consumer health monitoring device if their healthcare professional recommended such a device

Realistically, medical pros aren’t likely to make robust use of patient-generated data unless that data can be integrated into a patient’s chart quickly and efficiently. Some brave¬†clinicians may actually attempt to skim and mentally integrate data from a health app or wearable, but few have the time, others doubt the data’s accuracy and yet another subgroup simply finds the process too awkward to endure.

The bottom line, ultimately, seems to be that patient-generated data won’t find much favor until hospitals¬†and medical practices roll out technologies like Apple’s HealthKit, which pull the data directly into an EMR and present it in a clinician-friendly manner. And some medical pros won’t even be satisfied with a good presentation; they’ll only take the data seriously if it was served up by an FDA-approved device.

Still, I personally love the idea of participatory medicine, and am happy to learn that health trackers and apps might help us get closer to this approach. As I see it, there’s no downside to having the patient and the clinician understand each other better.

Doctors and Disaster Relief: the Value of Technology and Data for HealthTap

Posted on February 2, 2016 I Written By

Andy Oram is an editor at O'Reilly Media, a highly respected book publisher and technology information provider. An employee of the company since 1992, Andy currently specializes in open source, software engineering, and health IT, but his editorial output has ranged from a legal guide covering intellectual property to a graphic novel about teenage hackers. His articles have appeared often on EMR & EHR and other blogs in the health IT space. Andy also writes often for O'Reilly's Radar site (http://radar.oreilly.com/) and other publications on policy issues related to the Internet and on trends affecting technical innovation and its effects on society. Print publications where his work has appeared include The Economist, Communications of the ACM, Copyright World, the Journal of Information Technology & Politics, Vanguardia Dossier, and Internet Law and Business. Conferences where he has presented talks include O'Reilly's Open Source Convention, FISL (Brazil), FOSDEM, and DebConf.

In November 2015, when Tamil areas of southwestern India suffered from serious monsoon-related flooding that killed hundreds and caused the major city Chennai to essentially shut down for a week, local residents asked for help from an unusual source: HealthTap, the online service that offers medical advice and concierge care. This article explains the unique technical and organizational resources HealthTap offered, making it a valuable source of information for anyone in the disaster area with a cell phone or Internet access. At the end I will ask: what can public health institutions do to replicate HealthTap’s success in aiding the people of Chennai?

Disaster response from an unusual quarter
HealthTap, an online service connecting doctors and patients, has grown gradually but steadily in scope over the five years since its launch. It began by providing personalized answers, directly from practicing doctors, to individuals dealing with routine health issues such as pregnancy. HealthTap supported an ever-growing library of answers and continually added new services, leading to a concierge service. It expanded its services for doctors as well, providing easy consultations and discussion forums. It added a corporate (B-to-B) service that companies could offer to all their employees. And now, generalizing from their experience in Chennai, they have launched HealthTap SOS for disaster relief.

The Chennai intervention was requested by one of HealthTap’s clients, a company called Flex that had some employees in Chennai. When HealthTap started looking around for doctors in its network who had flood-related expertise, it turned up so much useful help that even the HealthTap leadership was surprised. CEO Ron Gutman explained to me that many doctors grew up in India, perhaps even got their degrees and practiced there, then moved to the US and joined HealthTap’s network. They are now able to help their country and local communities without actually traveling back.

HealthTap then discovered that their 85,000 doctors, located primarily in the United States, have come from 101 countries. Many languages are spoken, and many doctors intimately understand the cultures of other countries, as well as the medical conditions and disaster-related problems faced in them. HealthTap even organized psychiatrists and psychologists to advise and calm residents in the disaster area.

The organizational and technical elements of marshalling expertise
Public health and disaster agencies have networks of experts too, of course. But Gutman explained that these institutions can’t maintain a network as large and diverse as HealthTap just to prepare for occasional disasters. HealthTap’s strength is that it can redeploy a network developed to handle everyday medical conditions and turn it into a resource for communities struck by flooding or other disasters.

Doing so depends on the generosity and humane response of the doctors, of course, but it also requires a detailed understanding of the expertise offered by each of the 85,000 doctors in the network. According to HealthTap, they obtained crucial information on disaster recovery through crowdsourcing: they reached out to their network and asked the doctors to provide tips and checklists for managing during disaster situations. This turned up an abundance of information and offers to help.

Thus, HealthTap exemplifies the highly connected, intelligent expert network described in Beth Simone Noveck’s book Smart Citizens, Smarter State: The Technologies of Expertise and the Future of Governing. Such a network is more than a loose association of people in a given discipline: it is highly structured using details provided by individuals about themselves, or information collected from routine interactions.

In addition to this information-rich database of physicians, HealthTap has developed another technical advantage–once again, a set of tools they developed rigorously over time to facilitate routine care, but that also proves invaluable in emergencies. Their sophisticated search service can turn up information quickly that is relevant to the person logged into the system, based on information that the person reveals about himself or herself. HealthTap’s rating system (similar to those used on travel sites or other crowdsourced recommendation systems) brings up the best information out of millions of potential answers in their database. Although most of the Chennai residents asking for help found answers quickly in HealthTap’s database, HealthTap can also connect a person quickly with a clinician for one-to-one service. Because of the immense value of personalization, HealthTap suggests that public health workers set up an account with HealthTap before emergencies develop (an account they offer for a very modest charge).

General lessons
HealthTap did a great thing in Chennai, and their SOS service promises to be widely useful, especially in a world increasingly hit by climate change. But a private company such as HealthTap shouldn’t be the only institution with these resources for public health. Public agencies should take a leaf from Noveck’s book to set up expert networks with background on potentially useful experts.

Public health agencies already offer information during emergencies over the phone, broadcast media (do you ever hear “The following is just a test” announcements on the radio?), and popular information dissemination networks such as Twitter, but they could collect more information (voluntarily) from residents and allow them to connect to experts to answer specific questions when there is a need. For instance, if you depend on a medication and are running low in the aftermath of a major storm, you could find out from a specialist how to cope without it.

Technology and modern social organization offer a lot of tools to help the world deal with emergencies. Consider the well-known Ushahidi service, created in 2008 to coordinate input from local residents suffering from political violence and now used in a variety of situations. OpenStreetMap has also served disaster relief, used as resource along with Ushahidi during the 2010 Haiti earthquake. Public health agencies can learn from organizations such as these, along with HealthTap, to save lives.

#HIMSS16: Some Questions I Plan To Ask

Posted on February 1, 2016 I Written By

Anne Zieger is veteran healthcare consultant and analyst with 20 years of industry experience. Zieger formerly served as editor-in-chief of FierceHealthcare.com and her commentaries have appeared in dozens of international business publications, including Forbes, Business Week and Information Week. She has also contributed content to hundreds of healthcare and health IT organizations, including several Fortune 500 companies. Contact her at @ziegerhealth on Twitter or visit her site at Zieger Healthcare.

As most readers know, health IT’s biggest annual event is just around the corner, and the interwebz are heating up with discussions about what #HIMSS16¬†will bring. The show, which will take place in Las Vegas from February 29 to March 4, offers a ludicrously rich opportunity to learn about new HIT developments — and to mingle with more than 40,000 of the industry’s best and brightest (You may want to check out the session Healthcare Scene is taking part in and the New Media Meetup).

While you can learn virtually anything healthcare IT related at HIMSS, it helps to have an idea of what you want to take away from the big event. In that spirit, I’d like to offer some questions that I plan to ask, as follows:

  • How do you plan to support the shift to value-based healthcare over the next 12 months?¬†The move to value-based payment is inevitable now, be it via ACOs or Medicare incentive programs under the¬†Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act. But¬†succeeding with¬†value-based payment is no easy task. And one of the biggest challenges is building a health IT infrastructure that supports data use to manage the cost of care. So how do¬†health systems and practices plan to meet this technical challenge, and what vendor solutions are they considering? And how do key vendors — especially those providing widely-used EMRs — expect to help?
  • What factors are you¬†considering when you¬†upgrade your¬†EMR?¬†Signs increasingly suggest that this may be the year of the forklift upgrade for many hospitals and health systems. Those that have already invested in massiveware EMRs like Cerner and Epic may be set, but others are ripping out¬†their existing¬†systems (notably McKesson). While in previous years the obvious blue-chip choice was Epic, it seems that some health systems are going with other big-iron vendors¬†based on factors like usability and lower long-term cost of ownership. So, given these trends, how are health systems’ HIT buying decisions shaping up this year, and why?
  • How much progress can we realistically expect to make with leveraging population health technology over the next 12 months?¬†I’m sure that when I travel the exhibit hall at HIMSS16, vendor banners will be peppered with references to their population health tools. In the past, when I’ve asked concrete questions about how they could actually impact population health management, vendor reps¬†got vague quickly. Health system leaders, for their part, generally admit that PHM is still more a goal than a concrete plan. ¬†My question: Is there likely to be any measurable¬†progress in leveraging population health tech this year? If so, what can be done, and how will it help?
  • How much impact will mobile health have on health¬†organizations this year?¬†Mobile¬†health is at a fascinating moment in its evolution. Most health systems are experimenting with rolling out their own apps, and some are working to integrate those apps with their enterprise infrastructure. But to date, it seems that few (if any) mobile health efforts have made a real impact on key areas like management of chronic conditions, wellness promotion and clinical quality improvement. Will 2016 be the year mobile health begins to deliver large-scale, tangible health results? If so, what do vendors and health leaders see as the most promising mHealth models?

Of course, these questions reflect my interests and prejudices. What are some of the questions that you hope to answer when you go to Vegas?

Telemedicine Cartoon

Posted on January 29, 2016 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.

Thanks to @WTBunting for this week’s Fun Friday cartoon.

Healthcare Telemedicine Humor

Telemedicine and remote monitoring does raise a lot of interesting questions and situations. However, I’m starting to see a lot more people tackle those challenges. I look forward to that future.

Meet Steve Sisko (aka @HITConfGuy and @ShimCode) – #GoesBeyond

Posted on January 28, 2016 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.

The healthcare IT recruiters at Greythorn (Full Disclosure: Greythorn pays to post jobs on our Healthcare IT Central job board), have started to share stories on a new hashtag called #GoesBeyond. As part of this effort, they’re highlighting people in healthcare IT who go above and beyond and deliver something special. Check out this great #GoesBeyond featuring Regina Holliday to see what I mean. I’m all about the idea of recognizing people who are doing great work and contributing to healthcare IT in a way that goes above and beyond, so I thought I’d join in on the fun.

Over the past couple years I’ve been impressed by the work of Steve Sisko and his efforts to go above and beyond on social media. If you don’t work in the payer world, you might not know the name Steve Sisko, but if you participate in healthcare social media you probably do know Steve’s aliases @HITConfGuy and @ShimCode. Not only is Steve prolific on social media, but the quality of information he provides is off the charts. I’m always amazed how quickly Steve can pull up a high quality resource during Twitter chats or other social media engagements.

As part of Steve’s creation of the @HITConfGuy Twitter account, he also launched the blog HITConfGuy.com. On this blog Steve provides his unique mix of humor and high quality content to both entertain and inform those of us who spend time at healthcare IT conferences. However, I believe that Steve’s posts on HIT Conf Guy are even more valuable to those who don’t spend their time traveling to healthcare IT conferences as part of their career.

A great example of this is Steve’s 30 tips for attending the HIMSS 2016 conference in Las Vegas. This is so chalk full of tips, I just laugh when I see other people trying to post about tips for #HIMSS16. I think to myself, Steve’s already posted all the tips you need and he’s likely done it better than what others throw together last minute. You might also want to check out his post on social sharing at healthcare IT conferences like HIMSS and you’ll bust a gut laughing at his useful (and some not so useful, but funny) Totally Unofficial HIMSS Hashtag guide.

Beyond all his work providing tips, tricks, and humor around healthcare IT conferences, Steve has spent countless hours curating what I’d call his list of healthcare IT lists. If you’re looking for who to follow in healthcare social media, his lists can help you. If you want a list of healthcare IT resources, he likely has one. He even put in an extremely large amount of time into filtering through the mass of #HIT99 tweets to create the #HIT99 list.

The most amazing part of all of these efforts by Steve is that he doesn’t get paid anything to do it. Maybe he has some longer term aspiration of making these efforts into a business (I don’t know either way), but to date he’s done all of this to contribute to the healthcare IT community. In fact, I’ve often heard Steve bristle at some of the things that happen on social media that were so revenue driven. Steve really does want to improve healthcare.

That’s why I’m highlighting Steve Sisko for #GoesBeyond. I hope many others who read this will take part in the #GoesBeyond effort and highlight other people in the healthcare IT community that deserve recognition.

About #GoesBeyond
In this series, writers take time thank an individual who #GoesBeyond expectations to make an impact in their community or industry. Read other posts in this series on LinkedIn and Twitter, then write one of your own on your favorite blog, LinkedIn pulse, Medium or other platform. Use #GoesBeyond and @mention the person who has made such a big difference, then copy this paragraph so others know how they can participate, too.

Solution for “Too Many Clicks” Problem in EHR?

Posted on January 27, 2016 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 long been intrigued by the complaint I hear from doctors about “too many clicks” in the EHR. Long time readers may even remember my piano analogy which looks at the issue of too many mouseclicks and keystrokes in EHR software. I still think that largely applies today.

With that said, I’ve been fascinated to watch the evolution of click free solutions like what Note Swift is offering. Many are familiar with Dragon Naturally speaking an in particular the Dragon Medical product. It does amazing voice recognition. What I love about NoteSwift is that it takes Dragon’s voice recognition and integrates it naturally into the EHR interface.

Here’s a demo video that was all done by voice using NoteSwift to illustrate how it works:

I think it’s fascinating to see the evolution of these products. Plus, with things like Siri. “Ok Google”, and even Amazon Echo,we’re creating a culture of people who are use to using their voice to do things. So, that will help efforts like the one above.

No doubt doctors are blown away by the concept of documenting a patient visit with 1, 3, or 5 clicks. Now let me leave what’s available today and think into the future. Imagine a video EHR which was voice enabled. The doctor could literally go into the room and using video, voice recognition, NLP, technologies like NoteSwift, connected devices, etc they could easily chart a note with no clicks. While that’s not happening tomorrow, it’s not as far fetched as you might imagine.

Will New Group Steal Thunder From CommonWell Health Alliance?

Posted on January 26, 2016 I Written By

Anne Zieger is veteran healthcare consultant and analyst with 20 years of industry experience. Zieger formerly served as editor-in-chief of FierceHealthcare.com and her commentaries have appeared in dozens of international business publications, including Forbes, Business Week and Information Week. She has also contributed content to hundreds of healthcare and health IT organizations, including several Fortune 500 companies. Contact her at @ziegerhealth on Twitter or visit her site at Zieger Healthcare.

Back in March 0f 2013, six health IT vendors came together to announce the launch of the CommonWell Health Alliance. The group, which included Cerner, McKesson, Allscripts, athenahealth, Greenway Medical Technologies and RelayHealth, said they were forming the not-for-profit organization to foster national health data interoperability. (Being a cynical type, I immediately put it in a mental file tagged “The Group Epic Refused To Join,” but maybe that wasn’t fair since it looks like the other EHR vendors might have left Epic out on purpose.)

Looked at from some perspectives, the initiative has been a success. Over the past couple of years or so, CommonWell developed service specifications for interoperability and deployed a national network for health data sharing. The group has also attracted nearly three dozen HIT companies as members, with capabilities extending well beyond EMRs.

And according to recently-appointed executive director Jitin Asnaani, CommonWell is poised to have more than 5,000 provider sites using its services across the U.S. That will include more than 1,200 of Cerner’s provider sites. Also, Greenway Health and McKesson provider sites should be able to share health data with other CommonWell participants.

While all of this sounds promising, it’s not as though we’ve seen a great leap in interoperability for most providers. This is probably why new interoperability-focused initiatives have emerged. Just last week, five major HIT players announced¬†that they would be the first to implement the Carequality Interoperability Framework.

The five vendors include, notably, Epic, along with athenahealth, eClinicalWorks, NextGen Healthcare and Surescripts. While the Carequality team might not be couching things this way, to me it seems likely that it intends to roll on past (if not over) the CommonWell effort.

Carequality is an initiative of¬†The Sequoia Project, a DC-area non-profit. While it shares CommonWell’s general mission in fostering¬†nationwide health information exchange, that’s where its similarities to CommonWell appear to end:

* Unlike CommonWell, which is almost entirely vendor-focused, Sequoia’s members also include the AMA, Kaiser Permanente, Minute Clinic, Walgreens and Surescripts.

* The Carequality Interoperability Framework includes not only technical specifications for achieving interoperability, but also legal and governance documents helping implementers set up data sharing in legally-appropriate ways between themselves and patients.

* The Framework is designed to allow providers, payers and other health organizations to integrate pre-existing connectivity efforts such as previously-implemented HIEs.

I don’t know whether the Carequality effort is complimentary to CommonWell or an attempt to eclipse it. It’s hard for me to tell whether the presence of a vendor on both membership lists (athenahealth) is an attempt to learn from both sides or a preparation for jumping ship. In other words, I’m not sure whether this is a “game changer,” as one health IT trade pub put it, or just more buzz around interoperability.

But if I were a betting woman, I’d stake¬†hard, cold dollars that Carequality is destined to pick up the torch CommonWell lit. That being said, I do hope the two cooperate or even merge, as I’m sure the very smart people associated with these efforts can¬†learn from each other. If they fight for mindshare, it’d be a major waste of time and talent.

Meaningful Use Holdover Could Be Good News For Healthcare

Posted on January 25, 2016 I Written By

Anne Zieger is veteran healthcare consultant and analyst with 20 years of industry experience. Zieger formerly served as editor-in-chief of FierceHealthcare.com and her commentaries have appeared in dozens of international business publications, including Forbes, Business Week and Information Week. She has also contributed content to hundreds of healthcare and health IT organizations, including several Fortune 500 companies. Contact her at @ziegerhealth on Twitter or visit her site at Zieger Healthcare.

I know all of us are a flutter about the pending regulatory changes which will phase out Meaningful Use as we know it. And yes, without a doubt, the changes underway will have an impact that extends well beyond the HIT world. But while big shifts are underway in federal incentives programs, it’s worth noting that it could be a while before these¬†changes actually fall into place.

As readers may know, the healthcare industry will be transitioning to working under value-based payment under the¬†Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act, which passed last year. But as ONC’s Karen DeSalvo noted¬†last week, the transition could take a while In fact, proposed draft regulations for MACRA rollout will be released this spring for public comment. When you toss in the time needed for those comments to be submitted, and for the feds to digest those comments and respond, my guess is that MACRA regs won’t go live until late this year at the earliest.

The truth is, this is probably a very good thing. While I don’t have to tell you folks that everyone and their cousin has a Meaningful Use gripe, the truth is that the industry has largely adapted to the MU mindset. Maybe Meaningful Use Stage 3 wouldn’t have provided a lot of jollies, but on the whole, arguably, most providers have come to terms with the level of process documentation required — and have bought their big-bucks EMRs, committing once and for all to the use of¬†digital health records.

Value-based payment, on the other hand, is another thing entirely. From what I’ve read and researched to date, few health organizations have really sunk their teeth into VBP, though many are dabbling. When MACRA regs finally combine¬†the Physician Quality Reporting System, the Value-based Payment Modifier and the Medicare EHR incentive program into a single entity, providers will face some serious new challenges.

Sure, on the surface the idea of providers being paid for the quality and efficiency they deliver sounds good. Rather than using a strict set of performance measures as proxies for quality, the new MACRA-based programs will focus on a mix of quality, resource use and clinical practice use measures, along with measuring meaningful use of certified EHR technology. Under these terms, health systems could conceivably enjoy both greater freedom and better payoffs.

However, given health systems’ experiences to date, particularly with ACOs, I’m skeptical that they’ll be able to pick up the ball and run with the new incentives¬†off the bat. For example, health systems have been abandoning CMS’s value-based Pioneer ACO model at a brisk clip, after finding it financially unworkable. One recent case comes from¬†Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, which¬†dropped out¬†of the program in October of last year after losing more than $3 million over the previous two years.

I’m not suggesting that health systems can afford to ignore VBP models, or that sticking to MU incentives as previously structured would make sense. But if the process of implementing MACRA gives the industry a chance to do more preparing for value-based payment, it’s probably a good thing.

Fun Friday – Healthcare Funnies

Posted on January 22, 2016 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.

It’s Friday and time for the weekend. Here’s a little healthcare IT humor for your entertainment:
EHR Documentation Cartoon - Physician Dissatisfaction
Sad but true in many EHR.

Insurance Stress
Every doctor understand this challenge. Now every patient’s starting to understand it as well.