Nextech Blog

Healthcare Spending Trending Upward in 2015

Nathan Brown on 07/30/2015

Healthcare spending in the United States is estimated to have hit as much as $3.1 trillion in 2014.  That roughly calculates to about $9,700 spent on healthcare for every person in the country. Compared to 2013, healthcare spending among Americans experienced a growth of 5.5 percent last year. This is the first time since 2007 that growth in healthcare spending has gone above five percent. 

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Topics: Healthcare IT, Patient Payments

Software Trends in Healthcare [Infographic]

Drew Laing on 07/27/2015

Technology continues to grow and expand its reach throughout the industries of society. Perhaps technology’s greatest impact is being felt in today’s healthcare world as the increased implementation and use of electronic medical records has revolutionized how physicians and patients are involved in their healthcare.

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Topics: Healthcare IT

Meaningful Use audits: Preparation is the name of the game

Samantha McAlister on 07/23/2015

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) have ‘upped the ante’ when it comes to Meaningful Use audits in 2015. Figliozzi and Company were the sole auditors for Meaningful Use until 2015. This year, however, the Office of Inspector General (OIG) is performing its own round of Meaningful Use audits, which differ slightly from the Figliozzi and Company in that they are focusing on certain measures over a three year period. Figliozzi and Company reviews all of the Meaningful Use measures for a single attestation period. The OIG has the following main goals behind their audits:

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Topics: Compliance, Meaningful Use

How to achieve patient engagement with a patient portal

Drew Laing on 07/21/2015

As Meaningful Use continues to impact medical practitioners, a greater emphasis has been placed on implementing patient portals in order to help practices better achieve certain Meaningful Use requirements. Implementing a patient portal is key, but effectively using the portal can be challenging if not set up correctly. Here are some ways to help your practice ensure its patient portal is set up for successful patient engagement.

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Topics: Compliance

Optimizing documentation practices with EHRs [Video]

Nextech on 07/17/2015

According to Health IT, 79 percent of all providers report that their practice functions more efficiently after the implementation of an EHR. Still, it's important to consider the ways in which we can continue to use these technologies to optimize documentation practices.

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Topics: Electronic Medical Records

House Passes the 21st Century Cures Act

Nathan Brown on 07/14/2015

Back in early May, I posted a blog article on the approved draft of the 21st Century Cures Act—a bill designed to streamline funding and hasten approvals for new biomedical research, cures, and medical treatments for rare, terminal, and chronic conditions.  In that article, I also promised that I would keep everyone up to speed as things developed.  Well… things are developing.

Don’t worry, though… it looks like mostly good things are happening, for once.

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Topics: Compliance

MACRA, Medicare, MIPS, & APMs: The Wild Ride Continues

Nathan Brown on 07/10/2015

Some of you may have read my blog article on the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA), and the decade long history of “doc fixes” leading up to it, posted back in April.  At that time, there were certain details of the new law that were still being ironed out.  And there are a number of things that still remain in development limbo when it comes to how MACRA is going to play out in the future (even Paul Spitalnic, Chief Actuary of the CMS, has claimed that MACRA is not sustainable past the year 2048). 

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Topics: Compliance

ICD-10 deadline: CMS & AMA team up to ease transition

Drew Laing on 07/08/2015

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has teamed up with the American Medical Association (AMA) to provide additional measures designed to ease the ICD-10 transition when the Oct. 1 deadline approaches.

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Topics: Compliance

A Client Portal Can Improve the Vendor/Client Relationship

Drew Laing on 07/07/2015

Selecting an EMR vendor is more than just implementing the software, it’s a relationship, too.

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Topics: Healthcare IT

A Guide to Direct Messaging in Healthcare

Samantha McAlister on 07/06/2015

What is Direct Messaging?

Direct Messaging is an integrated feature of Nextech, offered by our third-party partner Secure Exchange Solutions (SES). Secure Exchange Solutions is part of the Direct Trust Bundle, which is wrapped up in the Meaningful Use requirements for interoperability.

These requirements are already beginning to display an overall theme of interoperability. As we progress towards the future stages of Meaningful Use, we are likely going to see a shift towards less “clicking the box” requirements to a greater emphasis on sharing information between providers and making it more readily available to patients.

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Topics: Healthcare IT, Compliance