Medicaid Meaningful Use Go-Lives Hit 39 States

Joseph Goedert, Health Data Management

Six more states launched their Medicaid electronic health records meaningful use programs during the first week of November. Arkansas, Delaware, Montana, New Jersey, New York and North Dakota were the latest to launch programs.

As of Nov. 7, 2011, 39 states are live on Medicaid meaningful use with 23 having made incentive payments. Several other states expect to go live by year-end.

States and territories with Medicaid meaningful use start dates either unknown or during 2012 include America Samoa, District of Columbia, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Nevada, Puerto Rico and Virginia.

For more information on related topics, visit

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Survey: Healthcare is Second-most Important Issue After Job Creation


(Reuters) – Healthcare and the national deficit tied as the second-most important issue after job creation in the 2012 U.S. presidential election, a new survey said.

Forty-two percent of the 1,000 adults nationwide surveyed by PwC‘s Health Research Institute said they would prefer lower healthcare costs over an economic rebound.

Nearly half said they made the decision to not seek healthcare or pay for medication at least once in the past year because of how much that care cost.

In the fall of 2011, PwC’s Health Research Institute commissioned an online survey of 1,000 U.S. adults, representing a cross-section of the population in terms of insurance status, age, gender, income and geography. It asked about a variety of healthcare topics.

The survey found that 61 percent said they agree or strongly agree that pharmaceutical and biomedical research is an important engine for economic growth for the United States.

Three quarters said they think companies’ clinical trials should be conducted in the United States to support jobs and revenue, even if it meant longer approval time and higher priced drugs. About three-quarters said they would not trust or not be sure if they could trust the results of clinical trials conducted outside the United States.

A little more than half of respondents who are familiar with health insurance exchanges said they believe it will be easier to find and purchase a competitive health plan when the exchange markets open to consumers in 2014.

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Six Golden Rules of EMR Implementation

Michelle McNickle, Healthcare IT News

A few months ago, we chronicled the 7 most deadly sins of EMR implementation. From ignoring nurses to declining help, these offenses can be hard to make right.

But, in an effort to help big and small practices alike avoid the most common EMR faux pas, we followed up with Rosemarie Nelson, principal of the MGMA Consulting Group, and asked for her opinion on the best practices for implementing an EMR system.

Here are Nelson’s six golden rules of EMR implementation:

 1.  Include Nursing Staff
2.  Recognize the opportunity to change and improve your workflow.
3.  Schedule even more training
4.  Anticipate the stress and effort required over several month
5.  Round on Users
6.  Personalize and recognize the difference among Physicians
For more information, please click HERE
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CMS EHR/EMR Meaningful Use Overview

From the US Department of Health & Human Resource, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

The Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs provide a financial incentive for the “meaningful use” of certified EHR technology to achieve health and efficiency goals. By putting into action and meaningfully using an EHR system, providers will reap benefits beyond financial incentives–such as reduction in errors, availability of records and data, reminders and alerts, clinical decision support, and e-prescribing/refill automation. Here, you will find resources with more information as well as a CMS EHR Meaningful Use Criteria Summary.

Click on the links below to learn more:

 What is “Meaningful Use”?
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 specifies three main components of Meaningful Use:

  1. The use of a certified EHR in a meaningful manner, such as e-prescribing.
  2. The use of certified EHR technology for electronic exchange of health information to improve quality of health care.
  3. The use of certified EHR technology to submit clinical quality and other measures.

Simply put, “meaningful use” means providers need to show they’re using certified EHR technology in ways that can be measured significantly in quality and in quantity.

For more information, please click Here

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ACO’s Creates New Opportunities for Nurses

By Cathryn Domrose,

Released last month, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services‘ new guidelines for accountable care organizations were a victory for many healthcare professionals dismayed by the original version released in April. Nursing organizations were concerned the original rules, which detailed a new, collaborative healthcare model, excluded advanced practice nurses and limited roles for nursing leadership. Many organizations expressed their concerns in comments to CMS administrator Donald Berwick, MD.

It seems the public outcry was heeded, and many groups, including the American Nurses Association and the American College of Nurse Practitioners, are encouraged by the changes. Some nurse leaders and educators predict nurses will be the key to success for these new programs, which emphasize care coordination, wellness, teamwork and health education — all areas of nursing expertise.

At first “baffled by the lack of explicit recognition [of nurses],” ANA’s senior policy fellow Cynthia Haney, JD, pointed out that some parts of the new rules now incorporate entire portions from ANA comments. The association had made the case for providers other than primary care physicians to have major roles in ACOs. Nurse practitioners and clinical nurse specialists are acknowledged as “significant assets” to ACOs for their part in providing quality, cost savings and care coordination, Haney said, and are fully recognized as primary care providers. Nursing leadership, particularly in process improvement and quality assurance, is recognized in the regulation. The new rules also makes clearer the ACOs’ need to show commitment to patient-centered, high-quality care, Haney said.

For more please click HERE

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10 Recommendations for Patient Safety in Health IT

by Sabrina Rodak, Becker’s Hospital Review

The Institute of Medicine, which cited a need for greater oversight of health IT by public and private sectors, has made 10 recommendations for patient safety in health IT.

IOM’s report, “Patient Safety and Health IT: Building Safer Systems for Better Care,” says there is little published evidence quantifying the risk associated with HIT and thus calls for a greater focus on HIT’s effect on patient safety.

The recommendations include the following:

1. The Secretary of HHS should publish an action and surveillance plan within 12 months to outline how HHS will work with the private sector to assess the impact of HIT on patient safety and minimize any associated risks.
2. The Secretary of HHS should ensure HIT vendors support the free exchange of information on HIT experiences and issues, including those related to patient safety.
3. ONC should work with private and public sectors to make comparative user experiences across vendors publicly available.
4.  The Secretary of HHS should fund a new HIT Safety Council to evaluate criteria for assessing and monitoring the safe use of HIT.
5. All HIT vendors should be required to publicly register and list their products with the ONC.
6. The Secretary of HHS should delineate the quality and risk management process requirements for HIT vendors, focusing on safety and usability.
7. The Secretary of HHS should create a process for vendors and users to report HIT-related deaths, serious injuries or unsafe conditions.
8. The Secretary of HHS should recommend Congress establish an independent federal entity for investigating patient safety deaths, serious injuries or potentially unsafe conditions associated with HIT.
9. The Secretary of HHS should monitor and publicly report on the progress of HIT safety annually. The Secretary can direct the FDA to regulate HIT if progress is insufficient.
10. HHS should collaborate with other research groups and support cross-disciplinary research in using HIT as part of a learning healthcare system.

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New Electronic Pharmacy Standards Issued

By Joseph Goedert, HDM Breaking News  10/26/2011

The National Council for Prescription Drug Programs, a standards development organization, has released two new standards for the exchange of information between pharmacy benefit management firms, transactions processors, state agencies and other entities.

The Uniform Healthcare Payer Data Standard is designed to support the sharing of pharmacy claims data used for statistical reporting, evaluation of care, and state or regional reporting. It also establishes an industry standard for all entities sharing historical data.

The Retiree Drug Subsidy Standard is used to transfer drug cost data from one transactions processor or PBM to another processor or PBM. More information is available at

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