Electronic Health Records

Integration & Interoperability News

The Week Ahead in Health IT Interoperability: Oct. 12-18

By Frank Irving

- EHR developer Cerner’s annual Health Conference kicks off the week ahead in health IT interoperability with a theme of “Connecting What Matters.” Highlighting the flow of — and access to — information, the event will draw an estimated 14,000 participants to Kansas City through Oct. 14.

Week of October 12 in health IT interoperability.

CEO Neal Patterson’s keynote on Oct.13 will discuss the company’s partnership with Leidos and Accenture to win a $9 billion contract to modernize the Department of Defense’s EHR system. Deven McGraw deputy director for health information privacy at the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights, will present on overcoming compliance concerns to accomplish interoperability. Also, the Solutions Gallery will offer looks at several new FHIR-based apps — one of which is already being tested at a Missouri hospital — integrated with Cerner’s Millennium EHR system.

MGMA conference underway. The Medical Group Management Association (MGMA)’s annual conference will attract an estimated 6,000 attendees to Nashville’s Gaylord Opryland Resort through Oct. 14. A new content area focuses on integrated care delivery within networked healthcare organizations. More than 300 exhibitors will be on hand to provide product information and demonstrations. An MGMA study released last week (based on 2014 data) found that practices spent about 12 percent more in operational costs for technology than in the prior year. The study noted a 33 percent increase in technology spending since 2010.

Medicare payment adjustments may be reconsidered. Eligible hospitals that are not meaningful EHR users were subject to a Medicare payment adjustment beginning on Oct. 1, 2015 for fiscal year 2016. However, an option is still open for hospitals that have received a payment adjustment letter from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Use this reconsideration application if you feel your hospital was subject to a Medicare payment adjustment in error. Available options for requesting reconsideration are: processing delays in the Provider Enrollment, Chain and Ownership System (PECOS); your hospital is a new facility; certified EHR technology vendor issue; meaningful use attestation issues for 2014; closure of facility; or ineligible facility. You’ll need to provide a description of the reconsideration type. Reconsideration applications are due Nov. 30, 2015.

Connected Patient Challenge seeks submissions. Sponsoring company Boston Scientific encourages clinicians, engineers, designers and entrepreneurs to submit ideas for the Connected Patient Challenge. Entries, which will be accepted through Jan. 5, 2016, should be aimed at improving patient care and/or driving down the cost of care through the use of remote patient monitoring technologies. Preference will be given to innovations in data management and the decision-making process. Finalists will present their ideas to Challenge sponsors during a live event in Cambridge, Mass., with up to $25,000 of services in kind to be divided among winners to further develop or pilot their projects. Click here to submit an entry.

ICD-10 transition marches onward. Healthcare organizations enter their second full business week of ICD-10 claims processing. By the end of this week, they may begin to get a handle on whether the code set transition will have a financial impact. Thus far, government claims processing systems appear to be working as expected. Issues can be reported vie email to the ICD-10 Coordination Center or the ICD-10 Ombudsman.