Health Language Blog

The Impacts of the 21st Century Cures Act

Posted on 01/17/17 | Comments

The 21st Century Cures Act was signed into law just last month.  This broad law reduces the bureaucracy for drug approval, provides billions of dollars to the NIH for research, and provides funding to state governments to deal with the opioid epidemic.  But along with these touted benefits, this law includes significant impacts for healthcare IT. 


Topics: EHR, data normalization, interoperability, patient engagement, Consumer Friendly Descriptions, patient empowerment

Medical Billing and Coding:  Exciting Changes Ahead

Posted on 07/20/16 | Comments


It’s an interesting time to be in healthcare, especially medical billing and coding! Over the next few years we will see major changes that will help us spend our healthcare dollars more wisely, and keep people healthier. These changes will have a profound impact on patients’ and physicians’ daily lives.


Topics: ICD-10, Coding Challenges, LOINC & SNOMED, EHR, CPT, ACA, billing, icd-9

Central Cancer Registries: Ensuring the EHR Meets MU2 Requirements

Posted on 07/29/13 | Comments

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


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