News Feature | May 30, 2014

Healthcare IT News For VARs — May 30, 2014

By Megan Williams, contributing writer

Healthcare IT News For VARs — January 30, 2015

In this week’s news, the end of paper records could be imminent, and healthcare may be the site of a Target-like security breach.

Paper Records Coming To An End

The use of paper records in medical environments is slowly coming to an end. According to OncLive, almost 72 percent of physician offices were using EHRs in 2012. The statistic comes from a new report from the National Center for Health Statistics focused on the use of EHR systems between the years of 2007 and 2012. The drop is mostly attributed to the HITECH (Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health) Act, which authorized incentive payments from Medicare and Medicaid. The report indicated that the use of EHRs was higher among primary care physicians — 74.9 percent of PCPs used an EHR system while 66.5 percent of surgical physicians and 70.7 percent of specialists used the electronic records.

Vendor Reveals Stage 2 MU Troubles

Vendor Advance MD, according to HealthData Management, has stated that the government was not listening to concerns of the vendor community in respect to Meaningful Use, Stage 2 implementation. This was proven true when, on May 6, CMS announced that only four hospitals and 50 individual physicians had attested for Stage 2. AdvanceMD (a seller of cloud-hosted, single-database practice management and EHR systems) was one of the entities not meeting the deadline. They expect to have their EHR certified under the 2014 Edition criteria by mid-year.

IT Security In Healthcare Worse Than Retail

A study from BitSight Technology reveals that healthcare as an industry is less secure than retail. The study, “Will Healthcare Be The Next Retail?” was released on May 28 and reveals that, despite increased risk awareness, healthcare organizations still lag behind their peers in other markets. The study covers four industries. According to InformationWeek, of those four, healthcare saw the largest increase in attacks and was the slowest to respond (taking more than 5 days). Surprisingly, healthcare has still seen a relatively low number of attacks overall.

New EHR Initiatives from HHS

The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Office of Inspector General (HHS) released its semi-annual report to Congress on May 27. The report highlights several new initiatives around EHRs. The HHS found that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) had fallen short in providing contractors with guidance on EHR fraud in the past. It also noted concerns that contractors were not able to identify copied or over documented information in an EHR. The report also revealed that only one fourth of hospitals studied had implemented policies on EHR copy-and-paste features to reduce the risk of billing fraud. Read more at FierceEMR.

Healthcare IT Talking Points

According to HealthData Management, a recent Health IT Policy Committee’s Meaningful Use workgroup’s listening session revealed that vendors want more focus and prioritization for Stage 3. The chair of the HIMSS Electronic Health Records Association also posed the point that Stage 3 needs to be designed to tackle the problem of unintended consequences that were created during Stage 2. The panel went on to address the somewhat controversial issue of deadline extensions.

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