HealthLeaders Media IT - May 5, 2009 | Industry Weighs in on Definition of Meaningful Use
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Industry Weighs in on
Definition of Meaningful Use

Carrie Vaughan, Technology Editor

Healthcare providers are antsy to start working toward becoming "meaningful users" of electronic health record technology so that they can claim some of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act's financial incentives when they become available. While providers wait for the government's definition of "meaningful use" of EHR technology, they did receive some guidance this past week as just about every association and industry group released their own definition of what meaningful use should include. [Read More]
May 5, 2009  
Editor's Picks
Few hospitals go paperless using free VA software
Less than 2% of U.S. hospitals have fully computerized records, according to some reports. So how did West Virginia—one of the nation's poorest states—create a paperless system for its state-run hospitals and nursing homes? By using an electronic medical records system built by the Veterans Administration with taxpayer dollars and saving millions in software licensing fees charged by commercial software vendors. The VA software, known as VistA, is open-source software and it includes features such as a bar-coding system to track drug dispensations. Even though the software is free, it still requires money and expertise to install and maintain, which may be one reason more hospitals—especially smaller and more rural hospitals—haven't taken advantage of the VA's system. [Read More]

Proposed IPPS Rule: Low Rates, Not Many Changes
The 2010 Inpatient Prospective Payment System proposed rule is out, and hospitals will see historically low payment updates with a phased-in documentation and coding adjustment to take place over time. Acute-care hospitals have a proposed update of 2.1% for inflation minus a documentation and coding adjustment of 1.9 percentage points. The economy and an increase in aggregate payments due to changes in hospital coding practices are the reasons for the low updates. [Read More]

EHRs, Meaningful Use Get Spotlight This Week
My colleague Janice Simmons offers a recap of some of the definitions of "meaningful use" of electronic health records that were offered this past week by various associations, a federal panel, and an industry group. [Read More]
Tech Headlines
U.S. health data czar sees role for government hand
Reuters/Yahoo News - May 1, 2009

Don't Delay Because of Red Flags Rule Delay
Dom Nicastro, for HealthLeaders Media - May 1, 2009

Virtual Patient Advocate Could Enhance Health Literacy
Keri Mucci, for HealthLeaders Media - April 29, 2009

Conficker worm hits hospital devices
San Jose Mercury News - May 5, 2009
Events & Product News
IBM allots $2 billion to support stimulus health IT implementation

Ingenix and Sutter Connect collaborate to implement performance and quality measures
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On Demand: Compensation Packages to Recruit and Retain Physicians in Today's Economy
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IT Forum

EHR Implementations: Success Lies Beyond the Build: With the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act's HITECH incentives, healthcare organizations are being urged to roll out EHRs and use them in a "meaningful" way. In this feature, HealthLeaders Media contributor Rob Drewniak offers three areas that often get the short shrift during an EHR implementation, but they are as critical to success as the functionality itself. [Read More]
Audio Feature

Preparing for RAC Appeals: With the RAC program being rolled out permanently nationwide, preparing for the appeals process is more important than ever. Ed Gaines, vice president and chief compliance officer with CBIZ Medical Management Professionals, an organization that provides medical coding, billing and physician practice management services to hospital-based physicians across the U.S., describes how hospitals are handling the appeals process. [Listen Now]
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