News Feature | March 21, 2014

Healthcare IT News For VARs — March 21, 2014

By Megan Williams, contributing writer

Healthcare IT News For VARs

In this week’s news, CMS sends out an urgent request for volunteers to test ICD-10 readiness, the Pentagon is planning a new $1.5 billion EHR purchase, and HHS is making interoperability a priority.

Urgent: CMS In Need Of ICD-10 End-To-End Testers

CMS is looking for providers, clearinghouses, and suppliers to volunteer to test end-to-end tracking with contractors in late July 2014. The deadline for application is March 31, 2014. Testing will include submission of test claims with ICD-10 information along with receipt of the provider’s Remittance Advice. The goal is to test the receipt and adjudication of claims through CMS systems. Additional information can be found in the MLN bulletin

Pentagon Spending $1.5B On New Commercial EHR System

The 2015 budget documents released from the Pentagon indicate that it plans on spending $1.5 billion obtaining a new, commercial EHR system from 2017 through 2019. The DHA also plans on shifting the focus of its 10-year-old joint venture with the Veterans Affairs Department that was terminated in February of 2013 because of cost issues.

HHS Prioritizing Improvement Of EHR Interoperability

Newly appointed National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, Karen DeSalvo, MD, MPH, announced that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will continue to focus on building a truly interoperable EHR system. According to DeSalvo, “We have to ensure that HIT, an interoperable network of information and data flow connects providers and patients across the continuum. The country is counting on us to provide the information and data necessary to make better, more informed healthcare decisions. We have to get it right.”

Healthcare IT Talking Points

What would an EMR look like if a physician designed it? Dr. Israel Green-Hopkins discusses the concept and why physician input is necessary if the records hope to achieve the goals of:

  • Increasing patient-provider engagement
  • Integrating more evidence-based guidelines
  • Providing for smarter communication with both the patient and other healthcare entities

Sepsis is one of the leading causes of death and hospitalization of patients in the U.S. Researchers at UC Davis have found three EHR measures that can be used in predicting a patient’s likelihood of death from the disease. 741 patients were monitored in a study using vital signs and white blood cell count from their electronic records.

For more news and insights, visit BSMinfo’s Healthcare IT Resource Center.