Health IT Issues that Deserve a Second Read – Nov/Dec 2016

Top10-200One of the ways that HITECH Answers is different from other media sites is the sense of community. The thought leaders in our community are good about sharing their thoughts on the issues of today. We publish at least eleven guest posts a week now, on our three sites. In case you missed some, here are the top ten read and shared guest posts of the month. You can also read previous month’s Top Ten Lists. Thank you for contributing and reading.

Push Comes to Shove in the World of Meaningful Use
By Jim Tate, EMR Advocate
Twitter: @JimTate

The move toward an interoperable electronic health care data system has been stimulated by a system of incentives, penalties and pay adjustments for providers. The CMS EHR Meaningful Use (MU) programs were a prime example of this process. It was the proverbial carrot and stick approach. Meet the requirements and gain incentives or just ignore the whole thing and maybe get dinged down the road. Continue reading on…

Health IT Outsourcing: 8 Essentials in Managing its HIPAA Risks
By D’Arcy Gue, VP, Industry Relations, Phoenix Health Systems
Twitter: @DarcyGue

A record number of hospitals — nearly 80% — have signed IT department outsourcing contracts this year, or are looking to do so. A recent Black Book study says most hospital CFOs and CIOs are collaborating with external service providers to resolve bottom line pressures. They have found that outsourcing provides cost-effective access to badly needed software solutions and HIT expertise. But there is a rub. Continue reading on…

Preparing Your Practice for the 2nd Round of HIPAA Audits
By Jim Johnson, President, LiveCompliance, a partner service for GroupOne Health Source Inc.
Twitter: @GroupOne_Health

With the first round of HIPPA Audits behind us, the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) indicated back in March that it would finally launch the long-awaited round 2 of HIPAA audits in 2016. As we near the end of the year and start preparing for the Merit Based Incentive Payment System, physicians and practices must also be preparing for the next phase of HIPAA audits expected to take place in early 2017. Continue reading on…

Focus on HIPAA Compliance as the OCR Targets Smaller Breaches
By Lisa Eramo, BA, MA, Freelance Healthcare Writer
Twitter: @Lisa_Eramo

In the coming months, physician practices may find themselves thrust into the HIPAA spotlight thanks to an Office for Civil Rights’ (OCR) email announcement in August that it would soon target data breaches affecting fewer than 500 individuals. Continue reading on…

Surfing the Wave of Healthcare Change
By Jon Branche, Sr. VP Sales, AirStrip
Twitter: @AirStripmHealth

Healthcare is constantly evolving, and healthcare IT in particular is undergoing more change now than at any other point in history. Health systems trying to ‘ride the wave’ of change may often feel like they are implementing updates, only to face a new regulation, technology, or best suggested practice that shakes up the process yet again. While it is challenging to stay current, health systems looking to stay relevant need to constantly re-evaluate their processes and whether they are as efficient as possible. Continue reading on…

Can Artificial Intelligence Help in the Treatment of Depression?
By Robert Rowley, MD, co-founder and Chief Medical Officer of Flow Health
Twitter: @RRowleyMD

A recently published study in JAMA Internal Medicine showed that clinical depression is poorly diagnosed and often goes untreated. A survey of 46,000 Americans screened for depression found that 8.4% of those interviewed had depression, but of those only 28.7% had received any treatment. Further, of those who were being treated for depression, only 29.9% of them screened positive for depression. Many people with conditions that were not actually depression were being treated with antidepressants. Continue reading on…

OCR’s HIPAA Audits – They’re Here and They’re Tough
By Chris Apgar, CISSP, a Partner of Phoenix Health Systems
Twitter: @PhoenixHealthIT

The Office of Civil Rights (OCR) is in the midst of the latest round of HIPAA audits. If your organization is a business associate (BA) or a covered entity (CE) and it’s not already prepared, you have a challenge facing you. The CE desk audits are almost complete and the BA audits will commence any day now. Add to that — comprehensive onsite audits of CEs and BAs will kick off early in 2017. If OCR finds signs of non-compliance, e.g. your hospital hasn’t done a recent risk analysis or has outdated policies, there will be a follow up compliance investigation. In such cases, the potential of being fined is high. Should you be worried? Continue reading on…

Getting Siri-ous About Ending Miscommunication in Healthcare
By Arun Mirchandani, Senior Vice President of Products, Vocera Communications, Inc.
Twitter: @VoceraComm
Twitter: @ArunVocera

The mobile knowledge navigator Siri, and her counterparts such as Cortana and Google Now, have brought a new level of convenience to mobile users. If we are using these digital personal assistants for tasks such as “Call Mom,” or, “Tell me the winner of the 1908 and 2016 World Series,” why not take advantage of easy voice commands and intelligent app interfacing for something even more important? Both have tremendous power to strengthen communication in healthcare environments and significantly improve care and the patient experience. Continue reading on…

MIPS is Easier – Say WHAT?!?
By Susan Clark, Health IT Solutions Executive, eHealthcare Consulting
Twitter: @ehealthcareorg

Now that we have had time to digest (choke on?) the MIPS 2300+ page final rule, the picture is becoming clearer. We have begun preparation efforts with the practices that we work with and you know what we are finding? PQRS and MU 2016 are way harder to meet than MIPS 2017. Therefore, if you are already participating successfully in these programs, your transition, and subsequent chance at incentives, looks promising. Here are some highlights of the reprieve to brighten your day: Continue reading on…

Getting a Head Start: Now is the Ideal Time to Jump on MACRA Quality Reporting
By Holly Taylor, Value-Based Care Strategist, ZirMed
Twitter: @zirmed

With the recent release of the MACRA final rule, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) confirmed that they remain committed to implementing the legislative requirements in less than 3 months, but did make some provisions to satisfy provider concerns.Briefly, the final rule said that CMS decided to increase the flexibility of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA). Rather than holding everyone’s feet to the fire right away, as originally intended, CMS is instead introducing a four-tiered system designed to allow providers to ease into MACRA through the “Pick Your Pace” provisions for the 2017 reporting year. Continue reading on…

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