Saturday, March 07, 2015

Weekly Overseas Health IT Links - 7th March, 2015.

Note: Each link is followed by a title and few paragraphs. For the full article click on the link above title of the article. Note also that full access to some links may require site registration or subscription payment.
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Want to boost physicians' CPOE compliance? Put nurses in charge

Posted on Feb 27, 2015
By Anthony Vecchione, Contributing Writer
Since computerized provider order entry was introduced as a vital part of their technology armamentarium, physicians have argued that, in order for CPOE to be effective, support and guidance are essential. 
In their session at HIMSS15 in Chicago, "CPOE Support: Maintaining Physician Satisfaction," Dana Shelton, RN, Physician Liaison and Andrea Hall, RN, Manager of Clinical Informatics, both at Shawnee Mission Health, will help attendees understand how providing ongoing support, continued education and a point of contact for physicians can help streamline the order entry process.
Among the goals of their presentation:
• outlining their revamped physician on-boarding process
• describing how continuing support measures increase physician satisfaction
• describing methods of continued education
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Net neutrality vote ensures equality for online health efforts

February 27, 2015 | By Dan Bowman
In ruling, 3-2, in favor of net neutrality Thursday, the Federal Communications Commission declared that there would be no paid prioritization, meaning no "fast lanes" for certain kinds of Internet traffic.
While many in the healthcare industry see that as a positive, with a belief that private companies with deeper pockets should not necessarily receive preferential treatment over those with less means, some argue that defining the Internet as a public utility, in essence, already is a first step toward creating a fast lane for health data.
The rule applies to both wireless and wireline networks, and reclassifies broadband as a telecommunications service under Title II of the Telecommunications Act.
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Survey finds providers willing to manage chronic care via telehealth

February 26, 2015Eric Wicklund - Editor, mHealthNews
A recent survey indicates healthcare providers are eager to adopt a chronic care management platform that would qualify them for newly available Medicare reimbursements. Part of the platform might include mHealth or telehealth capabilities that would enable the providers to monitor their patients at home.
The survey, by Kryptiq, a Beaverton, Ore.-based developer of population health management solutions, found that 76 percent of respondents "would organize and structure to meet chronic care management program requirements" within six months, while 92 percent said they'd make that move within the year.
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Study: 90% of visits to healthcare websites leak information

Written by Elizabeth Earl | February 26, 2015
An analysis of 80,000 healthcare web pages shows that nine of 10 visits results in personal health information being leaked to third parties.
The study, conducted by researchers at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania, used a software tool that investigates HTTP requests, finding that 91 percent of health-related web pages send HTTP requests to third parties. Approximately 70 percent of these requests are linked to specific symptoms, and the vast majority of the information goes to online advertisers. Google, for instance, collects information from 78 percent of pages, according to the study.
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What does InterSystems' Caché have to do with Epic's EHR?

Posted on Feb 26, 2015
By Bernie Monegain, Editor-at-Large
InterSystems just released the latest version of the data platform it first introduced in 1997: Caché 2015.
What does it have to do with EHR giant Epic? One might say it's "InterSystems inside."
Epic relies on Caché as a core technology for its EHR software. Epic technology touches more than half of the U.S. population and worldwide, InterSystems executives point out.
The connection between Cambridge, Mass.-based InterSystems and Verona, Wis.-based Epic Systems goes way back to even before Epic CEO Judy Faulkner founded her company.
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Scots NHS register sharing plans slammed

25 February 2015   Thomas Meek
The Scottish government is facing criticism over plans to share information held in an NHS database with other public bodies, with privacy campaigners claiming it amounts to creating a national identity card without the card.
The SNP government proposed earlier this month that the HMRC should be able to use non-medical information from the NHS central register to keep track of taxpayers in Scotland.
This would happen from April 2016, when the country is set to implement its own rate of income tax separate from the rest of the UK.
The data available to the HMRC – and other public organisations - would include general details such as names, dates of birth, postcodes and gender.
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NIH head: Technology will help drive Precision Medicine Initiative

February 26, 2015 | By Susan D. Hall
The path forward for the Precision Medicine Initiative that President Barack Obama announced in his State of the Union speech in some respects has yet to be invented, but the time is right for this bold step, writes Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, in a perspective article for The New England Journal of Medicine.
The initiative is expected to involve of biologists, physicians, technology developers, data scientists, patient groups and others, and has two main components: a near-term focus on cancers and a longer-term aim to generate knowledge about a range of diseases. Both efforts will tap into the growing trends of social media, mobile devices and Americans' growing desire to be active partners in medical research.
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How health IT is shifting patient-doctor relationships

February 26, 2015 | By Katie Dvorak
The relationship between Google and Mayo Clinic to provide better health information online for consumers has the power to create a "true paradigm change" in the industry, according to health IT consultant Michael Millenson.
As health technology gives consumers more control and knowledge over their health information, the relationship between patient and doctor will change, he writes at Forbes.
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State licensure problems plague telemedicine

February 26, 2015 | By Katie Dvorak
Obtaining state medical licenses is a time consuming process and a big barrier to the use of telemedicine across state lines, and according to the authors of a new report, the time to find a solution is now.
Time spent from start to approval for a state medical license could be more than 12 hours, according to a survey published in Telemedicine and e-Health.
For the survey, researchers talked to professionals who have experience with licensing processes in all of the U.S. states.
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MetroChicago HIE tops 1M patient records

Written by Elizabeth Earl | February 25, 2015
The MetroChicago HIE announced hat it has surpassed its one million patient record benchmark.
The Chicago-based HIE, an initiative of the Metropolitan Chicago Healthcare Council, connects authorized hospitals, health systems and providers to share patient records. The one millionth patient record was created in early February, according to a news release.
While the system largely focuses on the northeastern region of Illinois, it also connects with three downstate HIEs and a national health records network that includes more than 5,000 healthcare organizations and more than 200,000 individual users, according to the news release.
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Emerus hospitals implement Vocera communications system

Written by Elizabeth Earl | February 25, 2015
Emerus, an emergency-services company, announced it would implement the Vocera communication system within Emerus-branded hospitals in Texas.
Vocera, a San Jose, Calif.-based communications company, provided an overhead pager system that reduces background noise and a system that allows telemetry nurses to receive alerts remotely rather than having to check back in to a work station, according to a news release. The communication system purportedly improves work flow and decreases patient wait times, according to the news release.
Emerus' hospitals in Tomball and Sugar Land, Texas, will receive the systems as well as partnering hospitals — Baptist Health Care System in San Antonio, Baylor Emergency Medical Center in Dallas and Baylor Scott & White in Austin, all in Texas — to improve emergency department communication.
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National Initiatives Impacting Healthcare Information Technology (HCIT) in the United Kingdom : eHealth Action Plan to Increase HCIT Market Maturity

PR Newswire
NEW YORK Feb. 26 2015
NEW YORK Feb. 26 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- UK Healthcare delivery is being restructured to improve cohesion between secondary and primary care segments and healthcare professionals and patients; HCIT solutions have a key role in this transition. Furthermore failure of many large investment initiatives has paved way for the UK eHealth strategy and eHealth action plan 2011-2017. This study discusses HCIT strategies in the UK primary and secondary care sectors market adoption of HCIT focus areas and type of contracts. It focuses on the roles of government NHS and regional healthcare and regulatory authorities. The study also documents key pilot and commercial HCIT projects and vendor opportunities. The report analyses HCIT in Wales England Scotland and Northern Ireland.
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CMS Extends 'Meaningful Use' Deadlines

March 20 is also the new deadline for the Physician Quality Reporting System program.
by Joyce Frieden  - News Editor, MedPage Today
WASHINGTON -- The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is giving physicians an extra 3 weeks to attest they have made "Meaningful Use" of electronic health records, the agency announced Wednesday.
"Eligible professionals now have until 11:59 p.m. ET on March 20, 2015, to attest to meaningful use for the Medicare Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Program 2014 reporting year," CMS said in a press release. "CMS extended the deadline to allow providers extra time to submit their meaningful use data. CMS continues to urge providers to begin attesting for 2014 as soon as they can." The original deadline for attestation was Feb. 28.
"Meaningful Use" refers to provisions in the 2009 Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, which authorized incentive payments through Medicare and Medicaid to clinicians and hospitals that use electronic health records (EHRs) in a meaningful way to significantly improve clinical care.
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Measuring the success of HK's e-health journey: a test of trust

By Carol Ko, Computerworld Hong Kong | 2015-02-27
People, technology and process are often said to be the essential elements for any successful organization transformation. In a skill and labor-intensive organization like a hospital, the success of the e-health journey hinges very much on support from key stakeholders including patients, doctors and nurses.
The Hong Kong Hospital Authority (HA) has since the early 1990’s computerized its clinical operations and healthcare services. In 1995, it launched the first phase of clinical management system (CMS) for clinical documentation and order entry. Today, all public hospitals under the HA run CMS 3.0, enabling doctors to read investigation results, enter medical records and place clinical orders electronically through the service stations installed across the HA.
To facilitate the sharing of electronic patient’s records between the 42 public hospitals and 11 private hospitals in Hong Kong, the HA has since 2006 launched various projects. One of which was the PPI-ePR (public-private interface-electronic patient’s record).
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KLAS Finds New Competition in Hospital EHR Market

FEB 25, 2015 7:51am ET
Competition is getting stiffer in the acute care hospital electronic health records market, according to vendor research firm KLAS enterprises.
In a 2014 report, KLAS found that of providers that had selected or leaned toward a specific vendor, Epic had 36 percent market share with Cerner in second place with 14 percent. In the new 2015 report, Cerner stands at 14 percent while Epic falls to 25 percent.
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PHI breaches up 25 percent in 2014

February 25, 2015 | By Dan Bowman
Breaches of protected health information increased more than 25 percent from 2013 to 2014, according to a new analysis published this week by IT security assessment company Redspin.
Close to 8.9 million patient health records were breached, up from just over 7 million the prior year. The largest breach, according to the report, was the hack attack on Franklin, Tennessee-based Community Health Systems, in which records for 4.5 million patients were compromised. CHS operates 206 hospitals in 29 states.
More than 53 percent of reported breaches were the result of hack attacks, according to Redspin.
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Refreshed and ready to go

England is coming to the end of the picture archiving and communications systems refresh triggered by the end of the National Programme for IT’s contracts. But that doesn’t mean there is no change in the market. As Kim Thomas reports, demand is growing for whole new ways of working, supported by new ways of storing and viewing images.
The refresh of picture archiving and communications systems, brought about by the end of contracts negotiated under the National Programme for IT, is slowly drawing to a close.
Some trusts have procured lengthy new contracts, while others have opted for tactical extensions with existing suppliers – and some of these will be back on the market in a few months.
Change versus cost
In the original NPfIT roll-out, contracts went to three PACS suppliers (GE Healthcare, Sectra and Agfa Healthcare) and were managed by three LSPs (CSC, BT and Accenture).
The refresh gave an opportunity for new suppliers to enter the market. Amongst the new entrants, the biggest winner has probably been Carestream, which has won a number of large contracts, including the Cheshire and Merseyside consortium of 11 trusts and the Taunton and Somerset and Yeovil NHS foundation trusts.
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Electronic Health Record Vendors Take Patient Data Hostage: What Should We Do?

In today’s interconnected world it seems intuitively true that instant access to comprehensive medical patient histories will help physicians to provide better care at a lower cost. This simple argument was persuasive enough for the federal government to spend $26 billion to incent medical providers to adopt electronic health records (EHR) systems so that they can electronically share medical records. The initial investment appeared to be large, but it was an economically sound solution to control the rising healthcare expenditure. The resulting HITECH act is one of the few healthcare laws that maintains bipartisan support. To establish a nationwide health information exchange network, officials designed a two-stage plan. First, incent every medical provider to create an electronic archive of their patients’ medical records. Second, connect these electronic archives together so that the providers can share their patients’ records. The $26 billion in federal incentives was a lucrative source of revenue for hundreds of different software vendors to develop and aggressively market their own type of EHR products in a medical market that knew little about information technology. According to the Office of National Coordinator for Health IT, in 2008, less than 10 percent of hospitals had basic EHR systems, and a mere five years after, 94 percent of the hospitals use a certified EHR system.
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Patients, doctors see benefits of sharing medical records

Tue Feb 24, 2015 2:26pm EST
(Reuters Health) - - When Stacey Whiteman was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis two years ago, she didn’t realize the toughest challenge would be its impact on her brain. The 53-year-old from Massachusetts was forced to quit work as an executive assistant after becoming easily confused and prone to forget, even about priorities like doctor appointments.
When her physician suggested OpenNotes, an electronic portal allowing patients full access to their medical records, including doctors’ notes, Whiteman was eager to log on.
“For somebody like me who has a hard time processing things, I need this convenience,” she said. Whiteman now refers to OpenNotes daily, to review what happened during appointments, be reminded of future ones and check lab results.
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Denmark tops European tech table, two other Scandis right behind

There’s more digital things than we dreamt of

Jennifer Baker
The European Commission has published its league table of digital countries and the Best of Europe’s tech world is, you guessed it, Denmark!
Sweden, the Netherlands and Finland make up the remaining top four, proving that Scandis really do do IT better. But in a not-too-shabby performance, the UK is jostling for attention at number six, right behind plucky Belgium.
The Commission came up with the table after examining more than 30 different factors, each given a specific weighting. Connectivity and digital skills (“human capital” in Commish-speak) were considered essential for a digital economy, and together make up half a country’s total score.
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Are Medical Scribes Standing in Way of EHR Innovation?

FEB 24, 2015 7:51am ET
Depending on who you talk to these days, medical scribes are either seen as the saving grace for physicians dissatisfied with the poor usability of electronic health records, or scribes are viewed as “workarounds” impeding much-needed improvements to EHRs.
The growth of the medical scribe industry has been nothing short of astonishing. At least 22 companies currently provide scribe services in 44 states. The American College of Medical Scribe Specialists (ACMSS), the “industry’s only independent certification body for medical scribes,” states that the number of scribes has been doubling annually and predicts that there will be 100,000 scribes by 2020 nationwide, up substantially from about 20,000 this year.
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Salesforce aims for 'a panoramic view of the patient'

Posted on Feb 17, 2015
By Scott Tharler, Contributing writer
What with a fledgling developer program for wearables and reports that it is gunning to earn a cool $1 billion in annual revenue from the sector, it’s clear that Salesforce.com is setting sights on the healthcare realm.
And while cloud and enterprise application rivals including IBM, Microsoft, Oracle and SAP will also be exhibiting at HIMSS15 in April, Salesforce senior vice president Todd Pierce is boldly claiming that the company offers something unique.
“We're bringing this panoramic view of the patient,” Pierce says. “We can bring data from any source. Being open cloud technology, we can aggregate data whether it's from devices or EMRs or other sources. Salesforce is really going to highlight how we can help all the different players in this new era with what we call our Customer Success Platform.”
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EHRs are not a business strategy

Posted on Feb 23, 2015
By Joel French, SCI Solutions
Somehow health systems have adopted the notion that electronic health records are central to their competitive strategies – viewing the technology’s capabilities beyond their original design and intent.
EHRs were created to collect information and help practitioners from within the four walls of the health system make better informed decisions; they weren’t built to connect hospitals with their trading partners, nor were they built to solve critical business issues such as dwindling reimbursements and the transition away from fee-for-service to value-based care.
In fact, once all health systems inevitably implement EHRs, they become another toolset within the hospital; they become expected assets of the institutions, not unlike thermometers, stethoscopes or examining rooms. What they don’t do is provide a market advantage. A successful provider network will look to cost-effective cloud-based solutions to complement EHRs, broaden and connect the care community, grow revenue, create workflow efficiencies and, ultimately, provide a truly competitive advantage.
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Newham provides full EPS R2 coverage

20 February 2015   Thomas Meek
Newham has become the third clinical commissioning group in the country to make the Electronic Prescription Service Release 2 available at all of its GP practices and pharmacies.
The east London borough follows Bexley CCG and Vale Royal CCG in providing full access to the service, which allows GPs to send repeat prescriptions electronically direct to a pharmacy chosen by a patient.
GP Zuhair Zarifa, chair of Newham CCG, explained the benefits the service can have for certain patients.
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Wolters Kluwer Health piloting app to fight sepsis

Written by Akanksha Jayanthi (Twitter | Google+)  | February 23, 2015
Wolters Kluwer Health has beta launched its new app aimed at reducing costs and mortalities associated with sepsis.
The app, POC Advisor, is an integrated clinical decision support tool and workflow management platform. The app offers electronic surveillance and alerts to enable closer coordination of care activities, evidence-based treatment protocols for severely septic patients, automatic analysis of patient data and change management activities like provider education and protocol development.
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Doctors say data fees are blocking health reform

The fees are thwarting the goals of a push to digitize health records.
2/23/15 5:38 AM EST
As they move to exchange patient information with hospitals and other health care partners, doctors are suffering sticker shock: The vendors of the health care software want thousands of dollars to unlock the data so they can be shared.
It may take an act of Congress to provide relief.
The fees are thwarting the goals of the $30 billion federal push to get doctors and hospitals to digitize health records. The exorbitant prices to transmit and receive data, providers and IT specialists say, can amount to billions a year. And the electronic health record industry is increasingly reliant on this revenue.
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EHRs and the Paper Monster

Scott Mace, for HealthLeaders Media , February 24, 2015

The healthcare industry has yet to transition to a paperless model, but leading organizations have been achieving some success.

This article appears in the January/February 2015 issue of HealthLeaders magazine.
While electronic health records are helping to move the industry toward being paperless, the goal remains elusive, if not unlikely. Complicating the effort is that certain documents, including those created and forwarded by payers, researchers, and administrators, live outside the electronic health record.
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Parents Can Check on NICU Babies via iPad

FEB 23, 2015 7:16am ET
Parents of babies in intensive care at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston can check on their children using iPads, thanks to a $100,000 grant from Google.
The program was initially for chronically-ill kids being treated in MUSC's Children’s Hospital. They could check out the devices and use the Google Hangouts app to video chat with family and friends. It has now expanded to include the families of children in the NICU.
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Epic-Cerner competition heats up

Posted on Feb 23, 2015
By Bernie Monegain, Editor-at-Large
Stiffer competition between key vendors is leaving an increasing number of healthcare providers on the fence about which EHR system to buy, according to a new report form research firm KLAS.
In the KLAS acute care EMR purchasing plans report released today, researchers found that even though providers have fewer choices due to market contraction, they are less likely to have made up their minds about which system to buy when evaluating future purchases.
Energy in the market is being driven largely by legacy customers looking to make a purchasing decision, KLAS finds. The report shines a light on which companies are under consideration by providers looking to make a decision and what is fueling that consideration.
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Med identity theft continues to rise

February 23, 2015 | By Katie Dvorak
Medical identity theft incidents rose more than 20 percent in fiscal year 2014 compared to the year prior, according to a recently released survey by the Ponemon Institute.
The researchers found that data theft is costly for consumers, complicated and time-consuming to resolve and--of course--can negatively impact a patient's reputation. Ponemon surveyed more than 49,000 adults across the U.S. for the study.
Some of the findings include:
  • 79 percent of respondents said it is important for healthcare providers to ensure the privacy of their health records
  • 68 percent, however, said they are not confident in their healthcare providers' security measures
  • 48 percent would change providers if their records were lost or stolen; however, 52 percent said they were unsure of what action they would take
  • Following a theft, 80 percent cited being reimbursed for "money spent to prevent future damages" as the most important step
  • 35 percent who had medical information compromised said their benefits were used by the hacker and thus a valid insurance claim was denied
  • When it comes to knowing about HIPAA and privacy standards, 35 percent said they were "not familiar" with them and 34 percent had never heard of them
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Medical identity theft sees sharp uptick

Posted on Feb 25, 2015
By Mike Miliard, Editor
The number of patients affected by medical identity theft increased nearly 22 percent over the past year, according to a new report from the Medical Identity Fraud Alliance – an increase of nearly half a million victims since 2013.
In five years since the survey began, the number of medical identity theft incidents has nearly doubled to more than two million victims, according to MIFA, a public/private partnership committed to strengthening healthcare by reducing medical identity fraud,
"Over the past five years, we've seen medical identity theft steadily rising with no signs of slowing," said Larry Ponemon, chairman and founder of the Ponemon Institute, which conducted the study. "Our research shows more than two million Americans were victims of medical identity theft in 2014, nearly a quarter more than the number of people impacted last year."
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CDC Sees Increase in Emergency Care, Ambulatory EHR Adoption

Author Vera Gruessner | Date February 20, 2015
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released a survey that shows an increase in emergency and ambulatory EHR adoption between 2006 to 2011. It was found that, by 2011, 84 percent of hospital emergency departments (EDs) and 76 percent of outpatient departments used an EHR system.
In fact, EHR adoption rose from 19 percent in 2007 to 54 percent in 2011 among EDs. Additionally, more outpatient facilities began focusing on Stage 1 Meaningful Use requirements. The trends show a steady rise in the implementation of any EHR system among emergency care facilities across the five-year timeframe.
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Carrot to Stick: How the Meaningful Use Penalties Will Affect Providers

by Kate Ackerman, iHealthBeat Editor in Chief Monday, February 23, 2015
There's no debating the fact that many physicians have been struggling with the meaningful use program. But when data on Medicare meaningful use penalties were released earlier this month, there were a few different takes on the implications.
Eligible professionals can participate in either the Medicare Electronic Health Record Incentive Program or the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program. The Medicare program is run by CMS, while state agencies oversee the Medicaid program.
Under the Medicare program, eligible professionals can receive up to $44,000 in incentive payments for successfully participating in the meaningful use program for five consecutive years. On the flip side, Medicare-eligible professionals who do not meet the requirements for meaningful use are subject to payment adjustments to their Medicare reimbursements beginning in 2015. Those payment adjustments start at 1% this year and gradually increase to a maximum 5% annual adjustment.
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Enjoy!
David.

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