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The recent announcement by CMS that the date for ICD-10 implementation will be reconsidered will have a number of unintended (or more accurately, not thought out) consequences.
Many large providers, hybrids and academic medical centers are well on their way to meeting the current deadline and have significant investment made in both permanent and temporary staffing to support these projects. Also, many vendors are working hard to get their systems ready for ICD-10 and have established plans to complete prior to October 2014.
Unfortunately there is a great disconnect between the physician practices/AMA and the larger health systems and hospitals who have already invested considerable time and money working toward the October deadline. In a 2011 survey by HealthLeaders Media, respondents cited, "The No. 1 challenge providers named in preventing them from attaining ICD-10 readiness was physician cooperation" – who knew just how foreboding that statement would be!
Recently CMS announced their intention to propose a postponement to Stage 3 of Meaningful Use (MU) and the updated certification requirements for EHR software until 2017 for organizations that meet the basic criteria of having already attested to MU for two years previously. I belong to several organizations for medical informaticists and clinicians, and I continue to watch their back and forth with interest. Initially, there seemed to be some misunderstanding that the deadline for Stage 2 of Meaningful Use and 2014 EHR Certification was being postponed, but that is not the case. Only the end of Stage 2 and the beginning of Stage 3 and the associated EHR certification requirements are being pushed back. This clarification has caused something of a firestorm among these groups.
Hielix and Rural Health Innovations (RHI), a wholly-owned, for-profit subsidiary of the National Rural Health Resource Center (The Center), jointly announce the launch of a new Transitions of Care service. The Transitions of Care service is tailored to small and rural healthcare providers to meet those specific requirements in Stage 2 of Meaningful Use.
Meaningful Use Stage 2 requires both hospitals and eligible professionals, who transition their patient to another setting of care or provider of care or refer their patient to another provider of care, to provide a summary of care record for each transition of care or referral. This requirement includes three measurements – 1) Provide a summary of care record for >50% of transitions of care and referrals; 2) Provide a summary of care record for >10% of transitions electronically; and 3) Complete a successful exchange with different EHR system or a successful test with CMS designated test EHR.
“Properly managing a patient’s care as they transition across different care settings can dramatically impact the overall cost and efficiency of the healthcare services provided and the ultimate health of the patient,” according to Patti Dodgen, CEO at Hielix. “RHI is a tremendous resource for the rural healthcare provider market. We are excited about this partnership and will look forward to developing more joint services together.”
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