Nextech Blog

Everything You Need to Know About PQRS in 2015

Samantha McAlister on 04/17/2015

Take Advantage of Your EHR

The Physician Quality Reporting System is in full force for 2015, offering several methods of reporting, each with their own rules and standards.

Nextech provides a way for clients to report electronically, allowing a more streamlined all in one report. For 2015, you can align your eClinical Quality Measures for the Meaningful Use EHR Incentive program with the 9 PQRS measures across 3 domains. If you participated in Meaningful Use in 2014, you should already have the measures in your EHR and we’ll be able to pull a report for the 2015 submission process.

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Topics: Compliance

From MSGR to MACRA: The Long & Wild Ride of Medicare Compensation

Nathan Brown on 04/16/2015

1997 was a year to remember, many would agree.

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Topics: Compliance

AHIMA: SGR bill will not cause ICD-10 delay

Brian Gennusa on 04/14/2015

In May 2014, there was an extension to the deadline for the ICD-10 transition. Physicians and practices were largely pleased with the delay as it allowed for time to fix major issues with the new coding system as well as an extra year for providers to update their systems and properly train staff.

As the new deadline quickly approaches, the health care industry has become worried that the Centers for Medicare and Medicare Services will call for another delay of the big switch. Many are ready for the new system and eager to begin using ICD-10, which has the potential to allow for more specific and accurate coding.

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Topics: Compliance, ICD-10

[VIDEO] Bringing Patients Back

Nextech on 04/13/2015

Today we'll be discussing strategies for bringing patients back to your practice. Read More

Topics: Best Practices

2015 MU3 Certification Requirements in a Nutshell

Nathan Brown on 04/10/2015

Don’t Panic! (About Meaningful Use Stage 3)

Part 2: The 2015 Certification Requirements in a Nutshell

“The certification criteria we have proposed in the 2015 Edition will help achieve that vision through provisions that consider the range of health IT users and uses across the care continuum, including those focused on interoperable standards, data portability, improved transparency, privacy and security capabilities, and increased oversight."
—Karen DeSalvo, MD.  ONC

Welcome to the second half of our series on Meaningful Use Stage 3.  In Part 1, we looked at the interoperability and EHR function requirements of the CMS rule.  In this article, we will look at criteria from the ONC 2015 rule.  To be honest, I suspect the ONC’s 700+ page rule may have been responsible for a lot of the panic attacks folks seemed to have in response to MU3.  Whereas the CMS rules are relatively straightforward, easy to follow, and seem to have the intent of stabilizing things, the ONC rule seems to be trying to do the opposite.  Seriously, it’s almost like they’re trying to sow chaos.

But remember: Don’t Panic… We can (and will) survive this.

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Topics: Compliance

[VIDEO] Steps to improve and increase patient portal use

Nextech on 04/09/2015

Transcript

Hello, and welcome to the Nextech blog! Today we will be speaking about how to improve and increase use of your patient portal.

First and foremost, Medical Practice Insider reports that you'll need to make sure that your patients are aware of the patient portal and how to use it. While they may not know the ins and outs of electronic medical records, you should take some time out of their next visit to introduce them to the concept and field any initial questions. Physicians could spend a couple of extra minutes with patients to educate them on benefits of a patient portal and answer their questions. It might also be helpful to have a portal kiosk on site where they can set up their account while they wait.

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Topics: Patient Engagement, Mobility

Meaningful use Stage 3 challenges specialty practices

Kathy Claytor on 04/08/2015

On March 20, 2015, the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a proposed rule for Stage 3 of the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Programs. Stage 3 raises the bar for all providers, increasing some existing threshold measures from Stage 2 and proposing aggressive timelines for attestation. The new rules require providers to meet rigorous qualifications, and all eligible Medicare and Medicaid providers (EPs) must attest to meaningful use Stage 3 by 2018. While financial incentives are tapering off for meaningful use, the implication is clear. The penalty phase is about to begin in earnest. Starting in January 2015, nearly 257,000 eligible professionals (EPs) – or half of all EPs - will face a one percent cut to their Medicare reimbursements for not meeting meaningful use standards, according to CMS.

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Topics: Compliance

Inspector General calls for greater EHR fraud prevention

Tycene Fritcher on 04/07/2015

The protection and security of electronic medical records is a topic of growing concern. While the public may be focusing on the issue of breaches due to recent data hacks, the Office of Inspector General is turning its attention to EHR fraud.

The OIG is calling for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to address the issue of EHR fraud vulnerabilities. In a March 2015 report, the OIG claimed that the agency has not adequately implemented fraud safeguards.

"HHS must do more to ensure that all hospitals' EHRs contain safeguards and that hospitals use them to protect against electronically enabled healthcare fraud," OIG officials wrote in the report.

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Topics: Electronic Medical Records, Security

Don't Panic! (About Meaningful Use Stage 3)

Nathan Brown on 04/06/2015

Part 1: Interoperability & EHR Function Measures

On March 20 2015, The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released Stage 3 of their Electronic Health Record Incentive Program.  At the same time, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) released the 2015 Editions of the Health Information Technology Certification Criteria, Base Electronic Health Record Definition, and ONC Health IT Certification Program.

This news has resulted in some rather extreme reactions among some in the healthcare industry—for example, absolute panic and unbridled rage.  This seems rather odd.  Come on… it’s not like we weren’t aware that this was coming.  As a matter of fact, I’m pretty sure that I gave everyone a heads up about this back in January.

Based on how certain people are behaving, though, you’d think the CMS & ONC just surprised all of us with this stuff like it’s some kind of weird fire drill.  Then again, trying to make sense out of so much complicated (and, let’s face it, very boring) text is probably enough to make anyone a little irritable.

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Topics: Compliance

CMS Announces Stage 3 Meaningful Use Proposed Rule

Kathy Claytor on 04/02/2015

Providers as well as health care organizations have eagerly waited for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to reveal the stage 3 requirements for meaningful use under the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act. On March 20, the organization finally released the proposed rule for stage 3.

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Topics: Compliance