Tag: Meaningful Use

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When the federal government signed into law the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (“HITECH”) Act as part of ARRA, which was, in part, designed to create incentives for the use of health information technology, it based many of the incentives on “Meaningful Use.”

The requirements are intended to progress through three different stages over several years.

Stage 1, Meaningful Use: Sets a baseline for electronic data capture and medical information sharing. Requires the use of an electronic health record (EHR) as well as a demonstration that it is used to meet objective and measurable requirements. There are 15 required core objectives and a menu of other objectives, several of which must be met in order to meet the thresholds of quality measurements in order to receive the financial incentives referenced in the regulations promulgated by the HITECH Act. For the most part these were implemented in 2011 through 2013.

Stage 2, Meaningful Use: Stage 2 focuses on “increasing the electronic capture of health information in a structured format, as well as increasing the exchange of clinically relevant information between providers of care at care transitions.”

Stage 2 set forth three broad requirements. First was the standardization of data formats, which is intended to simplify how healthcare information is captured and shared across disparate IT systems, i.e., improved interoperability.

Second, it required that patients are able to easily access and download their digital medical records and images for their own use.

Third, it expanded the scope of quality metrics tracking to include specialists and to reflect outcomes, as well as care coordination.

As part of Stage 2, healthcare entities must satisfy a lengthy list of measure criteria.

Stage 3, Meaningful Use: Stage 3 requirements were released in 2015. These criteria focus on the sustainability of the program through improvements in quality, safety and efficiency that improve health outcomes, and include:

  • 8 objectives for eligible professionals, eligible hospitals, and CAHs: In Stage 3, more than 60 percent of the proposed measures require interoperability, up from 33 percent in Stage 2
  • Public health reporting with flexible options for measure selection
  • Meaningful Use clinical quality measures reporting aligned with the CMS quality reporting programs
  • Finalize the use of application program interfaces (APIs) that enable the development of new functionalities to build bridges across systems and provide increased data access. This will help patients have unprecedented access to their own health records, empowering individuals to make key health decisions.

Anatomic Pathology Profession Faces Challenges, Opportunities

CEO SUMMARY: For 10 years, three primary trends have reshaped the anatomic pathology profession. They are declining reimbursement, competition from physicians establishing in-office pathology labs, and a host of new government laws and regulations. More changes are coming, predicts one business expert in pathology. Those changes involve new Medicare payment models, along with opportunities for

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March 30, 2015 Intelligence: Late Breaking Lab News

Intelligence Late & Latent News

Last Friday, at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, Pennsylvania, members of the health systems’s authority board were given tours of the new $63.4 million clinical laboratory facility. It is scheduled to open on May 4 and will feature the latest state-of-the art analyzers and lab automation systems. Located in a new building of 162,378 square feet, it will be home to more than 350 lab employees.

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Meaningful Use Stage 2 Is Problem for EHR Firms

CEO SUMMARY: EHR system vendors must now comply with the federal government’s Meaningful Use Stage 2 requirements. Well-established EHR vendors will survive. But smaller EHR companies may struggle to provide the enhancements to their first generation EHR products that are required to certify as MU Stage 2 compliant. These developments mean many physicians may need to find new EHR vendors. In turn, that will require clinical labs to build new interfaces to these physicians’ EHRs.

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Rheumatologists Oppose UnitedHealth’s BeaconLBS

CEO SUMMARY: Yet another specialty society is opposing the laboratory benefit management program UnitedHealthcare introduced in Florida last fall. Rheumatologists have joined four other specialty physicians in saying UHC’s BeaconLBS system could be detrimental to patient care. In a letter to UHC, the Coalition of State Rheumatology Organizations said it, “will pursue the reversal of this policy with our state and national societies through every regulatory, legislative, and public means possible.”

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Labs, Path Groups Face Major Financial Issues

CEO SUMMARY: Are clinical labs and pathology groups ready for the end of fee-for-service reimbursement? That’s just one important question that will be answered at the upcoming Executive War College on Lab and Pathology Management that will take place in New Orleans on April 29-30. The American healthcare system is undergoing unprecedented transformation and sessions

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Most Colorado Labs Now Connected to State’s HIE

CEO SUMMARY: One trend getting little publicity is that of health information exchanges (HIEs). Since its founding in 2009, the Colorado Regional Health Information Organization (CORHIO) has grown steadily. Today, most of the state’s independent lab companies and hospital laboratories are connected to CORHIO. Real-time access to laboratory test data is one feature that has

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