ICD-10: 5 Focus Areas That Should Not Be Delayed

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ICD-10 may be delayed, but that doesn't mean your preparation for the transition should also be postponed. Having trouble deciding where to focus your efforts in the interim? The infographic below can help guide you.

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Further Delay in ICD-10 Will Cost the Health Industry $1-6 Billion

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As some of you may have heard, the House approved on Thursday an 'SGR patch' bill, which would be yet another delay in implementing the SGR formula for Part B payments.

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Topics: ICD-10

Central Cancer Registries: Ensuring the EHR Meets MU2 Requirements

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The ability of public health organizations to efficiently track and monitor cancer cases via registries is critical to the national effort to reduce morbidity and mortality rates. That’s why, in 1992, Congress mandated that individual states establish central cancer registries (CCRs) to capture diagnostic, treatment and outcomes data for every cancer patient living in the U.S.

Hospitals have long submitted data to these registries, but today a growing number of cancer patients receive treatment outside of hospitals in ambulatory healthcare settings. As a result, Meaningful Use (MU) Stage 2 includes an objective that requires providers in ambulatory settings to identify and report cancer cases to state registries. The MU Stage 2 measure requires healthcare providers to consistently and successfully submit cancer data through a certified EHR to their state’s cancer registries for the entire EHR reporting period.

To attest to MU Stage 2 criteria for cancer registry reporting, the CDC’s Implementation Guide for Healthcare Provider Reporting to Central Cancer Registries recommends that a provider’s EHR be capable of:

  • Identifying reportable cancer cases;
  • Identifying the specific data elements to be retrieved and included in the cancer event report;
  • Creating a valid HL7 CDA R2 cancer event report; and
  • Transmitting the cancer event report securely to a CCR electronically

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Topics: Meaningful use, Meaningful Use (MU) Stage 2, MU Stage 2, EHR Technology, LOINC & SNOMED, Cancer Registries, EHR, MU2 requirements

Evolving Insights into The Value of Health Information Exchanges

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Evolving_Insights

Health information exchanges (HIEs) are an appealing way of harnessing technology to improve care. Too often, doctors must make medical decisions based on incomplete clinical information. Electronic health records are part of the solution, but their full value won’t be achieved until they’re connected to provide a cross-institutional, comprehensive, timely and accessible view of a patient’s medical history.

Public and private HIEs are creating the connections and clearinghouses to make this possible. However, while everyone recognizes that better information can lead to better care, financing HIEs has proved to be very challenging. One hope has been that HIEs could pay off quickly in early cost savings. It stands to reason that doctors wouldn’t need to order as many tests if they knew the results of previous ones, and early studies led to very promising projections of costly tests averted.

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Topics: HIE, Health Language, Dr. Steve Ross, Health Information Exchange, Radiology Testing, Health Information Technology, HIE Adoption

Health Language (June) “Did You Know?”

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Did_You_Know

We are excited to announce the launch of a new blog series called “Did You Know?” that will include one post each month on an interesting fact that you might not know about clinical terminology management, standardized vocabularies, industry regulations and more!

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Topics: ICD-10, Medical vocabulary, ICD-10 Transition, ICD-9 to ICD-10, clinical terminology management, ICD-10 implementation, Standardized vocabularies, Dr. Brian Levy

Little Savings on Tests Found Through HIE

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Little_Savings_on_Tests_Found_Through_HIE

Originally written by Susan D. Hall

A Colorado study of ambulatory practices found no significant reduction in the number of tests ordered or in the cost of tests among the participants of a Health Information Exchange (HIE). The Study analyzed claims data from Rocky Mountain Health Plans, a leading health plan in the market, for 306 providers in 69 practices in Mesa County, CO. The study compared the number of tests ordered and their costs before and after the providers joined the HIE, which was launched in 2005 by Quality Health Network (QHN). By 2010, 85 percent of the providers in the area were participating in the HIE. The study was published in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association.

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Topics: HIE, Health Plans, Health Language, Dr. Steve Ross, Health Information Exchange, Wolters Kluwer Health, Rocky Mountain Health Plans, American Medical Informatics Association, Quality, Health Network, ambulatory

2013 Terminology Trend Watch: A Mid-Year Update

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At the beginning of the year, we presented three terminology management trends to watch for in 2013. You can read the full post here, but in summary, we predicted that the trends providers would be most focused on this year would involve: Meaningful Use; ICD-10; and a lesser discussed concept, Hierarchical Condition Categories (HCCs). 

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Topics: Meaningful use, ICD-10, HCCs, LOINC, Hierarchical Condition Categories, Trends, technology, RxNorm

Three Considerations When Mapping Your Lab Catalogue

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Logical Observation Identifiers Names and Codes (LOINC®) has been named as a standard in both Stage One and Stage Two Meaningful Use.  Earlier posts have discussed the utility and importance of LOINC as a standard.  LOINC has been used sporadically by some organizations, but full use of LOINC is coming into its own. 

As with the journey of a thousand miles, taking that first step on the catalog mapping project is truly the hardest part. To make your journey a bit easier, here are three first steps to consider: 

  • Do you understand LOINC?
  • Do you understand data?
  • What are the right resources and tools to use?
1.     Understanding LOINC

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Topics: Meaningful use, LOINC, Meaningful use stage 2, Meaningful use requirements, Coding Challenges, lab cataloguing

Terminology & Analytic Challenges for Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs)

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Terminology__Analytic_Challenges_for_Accountable_Care_Organizations_(ACOs)

As the United States strives to get more value out of its health care expenditures, Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) make sense. As both a clinician and a consumer of health services, I’m enthusiastic about providers, hospitals, and health plans jointly taking responsibility for providing holistic, coordinated, effective and efficient care. But given the at-risk nature of payments to ACOs, only organizations with the right scale of providers and patients – and the right information technology resources – are positioned to be successful ACOs.

ACOs need to analyze diverse streams of health information. Many organizations already make excellent use of administrative and claims data. As the quality of care is further emphasized in the ACO model, organizations increasingly need to analyze clinical data as well. These data are likely to come from a variety of EHRs using different data representations. For example:

  • Lab data can be crucial indicators of quality of care (for instance, hemoglobin A1c in diabetes, microbiology data for surveillance of postoperative infections). In today’s world, these data are largely represented as local laboratory codes. Although Meaningful Use 2 (MU-2) should increase the availability of LOINC-encoded laboratory results, organizations can’t wait for MU-2 to mine the wealth of laboratory data in existence.
  • For patients with chronic diseases, providing personalized support on medication use will be key to improving quality and outcomes. ACOs don’t just need to know whether doctors prescribed the right drugs – they need to know whether patients with chronic diseases are filling those drugs, and if not, why not? With electronic prescribing, organizations can access burgeoning data on drugs prescribed and drugs actually dispensed. But these data often come in incompatible proprietary formats (Medi-Span, FDB, Multum) that need to be reconciled.

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Topics: Analytics, Coding Challenges, terminology services, health information, medical data

Empowering the Patient: Big Data and the Rise of DIY Healthcare

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A tsunami of big data, and the evolving methods of making all that data meaningful and useful, has huge potential for changing the way we deliver and consume healthcare services.

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Topics: ICD-10, medical terminology management, Healthcare interoperability