News Feature | March 27, 2014

Healthcare IT News For VARs — March 27, 2014

By Megan Williams, contributing writer

ONC Pushes For Health IT Innovation With Startup “Challenge”

Articles this week include looks at the rate of EHR adoption: fast for small medical offices, slower for providers trying to comply with new GAO standards.

Survey Reveals Small Medical Offices Are Current EHR Adopters

Physician office adoption of EHR jumped 10 percent from 2013 to 2014. Implementation is continuing to increase across the board in all U.S. medical offices. SK&A’s telephone survey of more than 250 thousand respondents show that adoption by single-doctor offices grew by 11.4 percentage points while offices with more than 26 physicians increased by 1.6 percentage points. The study also reports the highest adoption rates amongst specialist areas of dialysis, internal medicine/pediatrics, nephrology, and pathology.

HHS Standards Slow EHR Adoption

According to The Washington Times, medical providers are citing standards set by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) as slowing down EHR adoption. The Health and Human Services department issued guidelines around EHR use and implementation in August, but did not specify actions, milestones, or prioritization guidelines for organizations to use in applying those standards. A government auditor interview of stakeholders in four states revealed persistent problems such as insufficient standards, privacy concerns and issues matching patients with their records despite the provision of funding in 2009 to help rectify these issues.  

Healthcare IT Talking Points

In a recent post on MedCity News, Brian Ahier discusses his experiences at Dell’s Healthcare Think Tank (At the Crossroads: Technology and Transformation in Healthcare). The article covers the application of the five-stage, Gartner hype cycle to current attitudes around EHR adoption and discusses Gartner’s recent report on enterprise data warehousing (EDW) in healthcare.  

iHealthBeat reports that EHR are being incorporated more frequently into med school curricula. Some medical schools are recognizing the importance of familiarity with EHR and are actively including them into the student medical education experience.

According to EHR Intelligence, meeting meaningful use standards is directly impacted by whether a hospital or professional is participating in the EHR incentive program for Medicare or Medicaid. HITEC-LA, the federally-designated regional extension center for the Los Angeles area, has noted that Medicaid solo practitioners are lagging behind their Medicare counterparts. HITEC-LA executive director is quoted as stating that this is partly due to the entities not being certain that meeting meaningful use standards will be beneficial to their patients.

Providers who submit CMS 1500 claims in paper form will no longer be able to do so with the old form after April 1. Paper claims will still be accepted, but they must be submitted on the revised 1500 form.

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