Navigating the Health IT Waters in 2014 – Seventh Day of Christmas

Health IT Education Programs in the New YearResources and Products to Meet the Rising Health IT Tide

Day 7 of the 12 Days of Christmas Posts has us swimming in Health IT Initiatives.  2013 was certainly a busy year.  While providers continued to register and attest to Stage 1 of the EHR Incentive Program, other pressing matters occupied the industry including the passing of the Omnibus Rule, the start and acceleration of meaningful use audits, and the preparation for the transition to ICD-10.

While many breathed a sigh of relief with the joint announcement by CMS and ONC of newly proposed timelines extending Stage 2 to another year and delaying Stage 3 until 2017, there will be no let up next year as the industry faces the ICD-10 gauntlet of meeting the October 1, 2014 compliance deadline.

Additionally, audits currently underway for EHR incentive payments will continue and a new audit process has joined the ranks.  According to our MU audit expert providers are now seeing ‘limited’ meaningful use audits. Sprinkled in among audit letters requesting all documentation used to support attestation are audits focused only on one particular measure. So we now have multiple audit sources and multiple levels of documentation requests.

And while the passing of the Omnibus Rule was the biggest thing to happen to HIPAA since HIPAA itself was enacted, rumor has it from the various experts we know that many providers have yet to make headway in meeting the new compliance requirements.

To help guide you through the turbulent waters ahead, we’ve provided a list of seven  products and services for you to check out and review. We acknowledge up front that we are affiliated with all of the companies below, and have sat through demos of the products or know the experts and organizations personally. None on this list will steer you wrong.

Meaningful Use Help Desk

Wide River Healthcare IT Consulting is headed by Todd Searls, the former Executive Director of the Nebraska Regional Extension Center.  Wide River supports physicians, clinics and hospitals in their efforts to adopt and implement health IT technologies. The consulting firm now operates on a national basis and offers a great resource, their Meaningful Use Help Desk. The Help Desk is available through a low cost, monthly subscription and is designed to answer Meaningful Use measure and objective questions and help you determine if an exclusion applies. Best of all, subscribers get to talk to real, live-on-the-phone meaningful use experts.  Excellent!

Meaningful Use Audits for Hospitals

Our colleague and friend, Jim Tate, is a nationally recognized expert on the meaningful use audits and appeals process.  He led the first successful appeal challenge in the nation for a client hospital that had received a negative audit determination. He has also been successful in leading the effort to reverse a failed appeal, even after the hospital had received notification that the “decision is final and not subject to further appeal”.  That “final” decision was reversed in less than a week. Trust us; he know his stuff.  If you’re a hospital who has received an audit notification letter or think you might, give him a call. You can also catch him on January 31st, presenting a live webinar on the topic moderated by Healthcare IT News.

EHR Implementation

Carolyn Hartley is an award-winning author and founder of Physicians EHR. Over her career in health IT, she has touched hundreds of thousands of providers through public speaking, virtual events, publications and products. Her company offers EHR training, coaching and implementation services as well as an Implementation Rescue™ program for those providers struggling with their existing EHR systems and workflows. If you’re looking for an EHR life raft look no further.

Health IT Online Training Curriculum

Do you or your staff need an online training course option?  Check out the curriculum offered by 4Medapproved.  Their courses offer practical lessons that apply to real-world health IT and compliance and incorporate a 10/10/10 learning method delivering 10 minute text lessons, 10 minute audio/video multimedia content, and 10 question assessments. Courses run the gamut, from Meaningful Use, HIPAA, ICD-10 and EHR implementation. Best of all, you can get 20% off all of their courses using promo code HITECH when you check out. View all courses here.

HIPAA Compliance

The Compliancy Group offers The Guard, a nifty, interactive dashboard tool to help providers track and manage the complexities associated with HIPAA, meaningful use requirements associated with a Security Risk Analysis, and the Omnibus Rule. The dashboard comes with built-in policy and procedure templates, tracks training and certifications and comes with access to a HIPAA Hotline for support.  They offer versions that work for both small and large offices, as well as hospitals.  You can test drive the product for free for 30 days.

ICD-10 Education, Assessment and Training

AAPC leads the nation in training and credentialing for the business side of medicine. Current membership base exceeds 126,000 worldwide, of which more than
95,000 are certified. Their members include medical coders, auditors, practice managers and others looking for in-depth education, training, and certification. Members gain access to a vast array of resources, assessments, readiness evaluations and more, many geared to help providers make the successful transition to ICD-10.  Membership does have its privileges so be sure to check them out.

HIPAA Compliance Manual and Toolkit

We can’t put a list like this together without mentioning our beloved HIPAA Compliance Manual and Toolkit.  Those of you who receive our emails know we are passionate about pushing this combo product and that’s because it’s simply terrific.  The HIPAA Compliance Manual offers fill-in-the-blank policies and templates, including electronic versions for easy customization. Its companion, the 800-page HIPAA Toolkit, covers every aspect of HIPAA, the Omnibus, Security Risk Analysis for meaningful use and more.  And at $259 including free shipping, the combo is a steal.  It’s a bookshelf-must for every provider and business associate.