An HHS Office of Inspector General report is reminding health care professionals and hospitals that data-blocking could lead to violations of federal anti-kickback laws. Specifically, the agency warned against providing EHRs with restricted or limited interoperability to health care professionals who are sources of referrals. "OIG remains committed to investigating potentially abusive arrangements that purport to, but do not actually, meet the conditions of the EHR safe harbor. OIG continues to encourage the public to report instances when a donor (or someone on their behalf) acts to limit the interoperability of donated items or services," the OIG said.
An interactive ICD-10 guide was released by HIMSS to help providers who are still in the process of implementing the new codes. The ICD-10 Transition Step-by-Step Guide was developed to assist users in processing claims using the new codes, managing ICD-10 claims that haven't been reimbursed and addressing claims with mismatched reimbursement amounts.
The FDA has cleared Carestream Health's Vue Motion viewer to be used to read ECG exams on mobile devices and desktop computers. The viewer, which can be used for past and current readings of ECGs, has gain and speed adjustment tools, a pan function and a zoom option.
The Social Security Administration has become the first government agency to join the CommonWell Health Alliance, increasing the number of Alliance members to 34. The agency, which handles more than 3 million disability claims yearly, expects the partnership to help reduce the time it takes to process those claims. The SSA is exchanging data with 48 organizations in 33 states.
A telemedicine pilot program was unveiled by Hackensack University Medical Center through a collaboration with CNOW to boost the access of patients with behavioral health conditions and developmental disabilities to their care teams. The initiative was developed to prevent unnecessary admissions, cut care costs and shorten wait times to consult with a health care professional.
McLaren Health Care of Flint, Mich., has chosen the EHR, population health and revenue cycle solutions of Cerner to replace the Allscripts and McKesson systems it is currently using. The transition will take place this month.
A partnership was recently formed between American Well and Intermountain Healthcare to launch the Intermountain Connect Care service, an around-the-clock mobile and online video telehealth portal that patients with low-acuity conditions can use for virtual consultations with providers. Providers will also be able to make prescriptions through the service, which will be rolled out in early 2016. Records of virtual visits will be recorded in the EHRs of Intermountain Healthcare patients.
Six in 10 US hospitals had the technology to allow enabled patients to download and transmit their health data last year, according to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT. Patient engagement capability was greatest at medium and large hospitals.
A new accountable care organization model for dialysis is being introduced by the CMS to offer coordinated care and curb the cost of treatment for kidney failure. The Comprehensive End-Stage Renal Disease Care Model is based on Pioneer ACOs and the Medicare Shared-Savings Program. Nephrologists and dialysis centers will participate in ESRD Seamless Care Organizations under a value-based model for treating Medicare beneficiaries. Thirteen groups have been selected to participate, including organizations in Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas.
Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., and Bill Cassidy, R-La., proposed a measure Tuesday that would implement the Health IT Rating System, an online tool for consumers to review the performance of certified health IT tools based on interoperability, usability and security. The Transparent Ratings on Usability and Security to Transform Information Technology Act would allow the ONC to disclose on its website how companies have satisfied certification requirements with their health IT products and would also mandate that companies update authorities about the performance of their systems every two years.
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