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EHR Certification Revoked for EHRMagic

Yesterday HHS released news that they’d revoked the EHR certification of the EHRMagic-Ambulatory and EHRMagic-Inpatient EHR software. Looks like InoGard originally certified the EHR and they and ONC received information that had them retest the EHR software and it failed the certification re-test.

I think we all want government to hold bad actors accountable. So, it’s good to weed out EHR companies that aren’t doing what they should. However, they better also be careful. Imagine being a doctor of an EHR vendor whose EHR certification gets revoked. Does that mean that they have to give back the EHR incentive money the received? Those doctors trusted in InfoGard’s ability to certify an EHR vendor and InfoGard failed at that job. Should a doctor be punished for InfoGard’s failing? Now apply this to a hospital that uses a certified EHR and loses that EHR certification. That’s a multi-million dollar impact.

I guess EHRMagic better take down the info on their website that says they can get physicians $44,000 in EHR incentive money. Looking at their website, it makes me wonder who chose to use their EHR in the first place. That would be interesting to know.

Here’s the full press release from HHS on the EHR revocation:

Two electronic health records, previously certified as products to be used as part of the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Programs, have had their certifications revoked. Farzad Mostashari, M.D., the national coordinator for health information technology, announced today that the products do not meet standards and providers cannot use these products to meet the requirements of the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive programs.

EHRMagic-Ambulatory and EHRMagic-Inpatient, both developed by EHRMagic Inc. of Santa Fe Springs, Calif., no longer meet the EHR certification requirements. The EHRs must be certified by a certification body (ACB) authorized by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) before regaining certification.

Both ONC and an ONC ACB, InfoGard Laboratories Inc. (InfoGard), received notifications that the EHRMagic products did not meet the required functionality and the products should not have passed certification. InfoGard analyzed the additional information from the notification and contacted EHRMagic, launching the ONC authorized certification body required surveillance activities. InfoGard concluded that it was necessary for the EHR products to be retested for select requirements. EHRMagic, Inc. participated in retesting and failed.

“We and our certification bodies take complaints and our follow-up seriously. By revoking the certification of these EHR products, we are making sure that certified electronic health record products meet the requirements to protect patients and providers,” said Dr. Mostashari. “Because EHRMagic was unable to show that their EHR products met ONC’s certification requirements, their EHRs will no longer be certified under the ONC HIT Certification Program.”

Information about ONC’s certification process for EHR technologies is available at http://www.healthit.gov/providers-professionals/certification-process-ehr-technologies.

April 26, 2013 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

EHR Incentive Sequestration and Guidance on Meaningful Use Attestation

The CMS website has a great resource with answers to a number of FAQs. For example, here’s two questions that related to sequestration’s impact on EHR incentive and meaningful use attestation.

Question: Will incentive payments earned in the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Records Incentive programs be affected by sequestration?

Answer: Incentive payments made through the Medicare EHR Incentive Program are subject to the mandatory reductions in federal spending known as sequestration, required by the Budget Control Act of 2011. The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 postponed sequestration for 2 months. As required by law, President Obama issued a sequestration order on March 1, 2013. Under these mandatory reductions, Medicare EHR incentive payments made to eligible professionals and eligible hospitals will be reduced by 2%. This 2% reduction will be applied to any Medicare EHR incentive payment for a reporting period that ends on or after April 1, 2013. If the final day of the reporting period occurs before April 1, 2013, those incentive payments will not be subject to the reduction.

Please note that this reduction does not apply to Medicaid EHR incentive payments, which are exempt from the mandatory reductions.

Question: For the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs, how should an EP, eligible hospital, or critical access hospital (CAH) attest if the certified EHR vendor being used is switched to another certified EHR vendor in the middle of the program year?

Answer: If an EP, eligible hospital or CAH switches from one certified EHR vendor to another during the program year, the data collected for the selected menu objectives and quality measures should be combined from both of the EHR systems for attestation. The count of unique patients does not need to be reconciled when combining from the two EHR systems.

If the menu objectives and/or clinical quality measures used are also being changed when switching vendors, the menu objectives and/or quality measures collected from the EHR system that was used for the majority of the program year should be reported.

April 25, 2013 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

EHR Incentive Money and Sequestration Update

At HIMSS, the news was tweeted out about the impact of Sequestration on Meaningful Use and EHR incentive money. I’d seen little other details about the impact of sequestration on the EHR incentive money until now. CMS just sent out the following update on the mandated sequestration.

Mandated Sequestration Payment Reductions Beginning for Medicare EHR Incentive Program

Incentive payments made through the Medicare Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Program are subject to the mandatory reductions in federal spending known as sequestration, required by the Budget Control Act of 2011.

Incentive Payment Reduction
The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 postponed sequestration for two months.  As required by law, President Obama issued a sequestration order on March 1, 2013. Under these mandatory reductions, Medicare EHR incentive payments made to eligible professionals and eligible hospitals will be reduced by 2%.

Reduction Timing
This 2% reduction will be applied to any Medicare EHR incentive payment for a reporting period that ends on or after April 1, 2013. If the final day of the reporting period occurs before April 1, 2013, those incentive payments will not be subject to the reduction.

Please note: This reduction does not apply to Medicaid EHR incentive payments, which are exempt from the mandatory reductions.

The 2% will be a little annoying for a doctor’s office, but the 2% off the multi-million dollar EHR incentive a hospital receives is going to add up to a pretty penny. At least the information is out there so that hospitals can plan. Although, it’s not like you can stop the EHR implementation at this point in the cycle.

April 11, 2013 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

October 3 is the Last Day for EPs to Begin the Medicare EHR Incentive Program in 2012

Wednesday, October 3rd marks two important deadlines for the Medicare EHR Incentive Program:

  1. The last day for eligible professionals (EPs) to begin their 90-day reporting period for calendar year (CY) 2012 for the Medicare EHR Incentive Program. For EPs, this means that they must begin their consecutive 90-day reporting period by October 3rd in order to attest to meeting meaningful use and be eligible to receive an incentive payment for CY 2012.
  2. The last day Medicare EPs can start participating and receive their maximum possible Medicare incentive payment. This is the last year that EPs can begin participation in the EHR Incentive Program and get the full Medicare incentives of $44,000 per EP. If first-year Medicare EPs have not started their 90-day reporting period by October 3rd, they will not be eligible for a CY 2012 payment, and can only receive $39,000 in Medicare incentives if they successfully participate in 2013.

For more information on how incentive payments are distributed, take a look at the EHR Basics page of the newly updated EHR website. For EPs who have already completed their reporting period, CMS has a number of tools available to help prepare for attestation, including the Meaningful Use Attestation Calculatorand Attestation User Guide for Eligible Professionals.

Looking Ahead
Take a look at all of the other EHR Incentive Program important dates that are coming up by going to our Health Information Technology Timeline.

September 25, 2012 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Meaningful Use Stage 2 Final Rule Published

UPDATE: For those not wanting to go through all 672 pages of the meaningful use stage 2 final rule, ONC has put out this summary PDF.

Today, CMS publishes the meaningful use Stage 2 Final rule in the Federal Register. The MU stage 2 final rule is 672 pages long.

The HHS press release announcing the EHR incentive money stage 2 final rule also offered these important points to note:

  • Make clear that stage two of the program will begin as early as 2014. No providers will be required to follow the Stage 2 requirements outlined today before 2014.
  • Outline the certification criteria for the certification of EHR technology, so eligible professionals and hospitals may be assured that the systems they use will work, help them meaningfully use health information technology, and qualify for incentive payments.
  • Modify the certification program to cut red tape and make the certification process more efficient.
  • Allow current “2011 Edition Certified EHR Technology” to be used until 2014.

The second point annoys me a little after hearing about some of the EHR certification fraud and issues it could cause providers that attest to meaningful use.

The press release also offered the following EHR incentive participation numbers:
-120,000 Eligible Health Professionals have participated
-3,300 Hospitals have participated
-More than half of all eligible hospitals and critical access hospitals and 1 out of every 5 eligible health care professionals

Watch for more detailed coverage of the meaningful use stage 2 final rule in our ongoing Meaningful Use Monday series.

August 23, 2012 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Meaningful Use Stage 2 Comment Period Ends May 7th

ONC and CMS sent out the following email about the meaningful use stage 2 comment period. It closes very soon and so I encourage everyone to submit their comments on meaningful use stage 2. I’m a real proponent of the benefits of crowd sourcing and if enough people comment on meaningful use stage 2, I think we’ll receive the benefits of the crowd participating in the discussion and improving MU stage 2. I encourage doctors in particular to share their comments on the meaningful use stage 2 NPRM.

Please note that the comment period closes on Monday, May 7 for the notices of proposed rule-making (NPRMs) for Stage 2 of meaningful use and updated certification criteria.

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) rule proposes the capabilities and related standards and implementation specifications that Certified EHR Technology will need to include to, at a minimum, support the achievement of “meaningful use” by eligible health care professionals beginning with the EHR reporting periods in FY/CY 2014. The rule also proposes revisions to the permanent certification program for health information technology, which include changing the name of the program to the “ONC HIT Certification Program.”

ONC’s rule complements the newly released Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) proposed rule for Stage 2 of the EHR Incentive Programs, clarifying the specifications necessary to meet the criteria for these programs.

Comments Can Be Submitted in 4 Ways

Both ONC and CMS rules identify that comments can be officially submitted in 4 ways:

  1. Electronically through www.regulations.gov – this is the preferred method
  2. Regular mail
  3. Express mail or overnight mail
  4. Hand-delivered/courier

Faxes are not accepted.

To enhance the public comment experience, ONC and CMS have made a copy of the rule available in Microsoft Word to make it easier those who comment to access and copy portions of their proposed rule for use in their individual comments.  Visit http://www.healthit.gov/providers-professionals/meaningful-use-stage-2 for more information.

May 4, 2012 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Psychiatry Meaningful Use Videos

I probably should post these on my EMR and EHR videos website, but since they can’t be embedded I figured I’d just post about them on here.

The company Valant Medical Solutions has posted 4 videos that go through the various meaningful use requirements. Of course, I’m sure that many of you are thinking that’s not all that interesting. Plus, the videos are quite specific to the Valant EHR solution. You’re right on both accounts.

There are a number of reasons I’m posting them anyway. First, I always find it interesting to see how an EHR vendor is trying to help their doctors achieve meaningful use. Second, the principles of meaningful use are the same regardless of EHR vendor so even if the details are specific to the Valant EHR you can still learn about the details of meaningful use. Third (and maybe most important), these are the first videos that I’ve seen address meaningful use for psychiatry.

Hopefully all you psychiatrists out there that want to show meaningful use of your EHR will take a look and get some value out of these videos.

September 14, 2011 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Cerner Meaningful Use Incentives Total $2.2+ Million

Today, some of the numbers for users of the Cerner certified EHR (ambulatory clients) came across my desk and since I’m a number lover, I thought I’d share.

Cerner Ambulatory clients have secured $2.2+ million in combined Medicare and Medicaid Meaningful Use incentive funds from 16 states. More than $1.5 million of that $2.2+ million is in Medicare EHR incentives.

More than 115 Cerner Physicians have successfully attested to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) EHR incentive program.

Looks like Cerner is planning to use @Cernerphysician and the Cerner Facebook page to publish updates like this in the future.

Now I must admit that I’m interested to know the Cerner EHR Stimulus numbers for the acute care settings.

If you know of other EHR vendors that have released their numbers, let me know and I’ll publish them in a future post.

August 31, 2011 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

EHR Diamonds and Snakes – EHR Certification Doesn’t Differentiate

Jim Tate posted an interesting and valuable warning today in his post on HITECH Answers. Here’s his warning in a nutshell:

“My warning is about the mistaken belief that because an EHR or Module has been listed on the CHPL site it must be good or even serve an intended purpose with any degree of usability. That is simply not the case and everyone knows it.”

He goes on to provide more detail regarding his caution and warning:

Stage 1 Certification is not a seal of approval. No one should think the list of Certified Products is a list of equals. Quite a few of the applications are excellent and demonstrate elegant approaches to the electronic documentation of health information. Others are poorly designed, cumbersome, and no provider will ever be satisfied using them. The purpose of certification was not to separate the good from the bad. So tread very carefully and know the list of these applications contains quite a few diamonds, as well as a few snakes.

Jim Tate and I have actually spoken in person about this before. In fact, I’ve tried to get him to write a series on my blogs about what makes an EHR a diamond and which makes an EHR a snake. So far he hasn’t taken my bait, but I’ll keep trying.

Jim is spot on though. Don’t confuse EHR certification for anything more than a means to obtain EHR stimulus money. It provides no other real assurance to you as a provider. Run from EHR sales people who tell you otherwise.

August 18, 2011 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

States Don’t Have Info to Verify EHR Stimulus Eligibility

I was a little disturbed when I read this article on InformationWeek that talks about States not being able to verify the EHR stimulus eligibility. Here’s an excerpt from the article:

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) office of the inspector general has found that state Medicaid agencies are limited in their ability to verify self-reported eligibility information prior to issuing payments under the Medicaid electronic health record (EHR) incentive program, and that this lack of reporting could harm the integrity of states’ EHR incentive payments.

The amazing thing is that we’re talking about the Medicaid EHR stimulus money. This doesn’t even mean we’re talking about verifying the eligibility of something as complex as meaningful use. we’re talking about much simpler verification information.

Of course, many might ask why an EHR incentive program has requirements that we couldn’t rationally require. Although, the answer to that question is likely stuck in the mess that is our legislative process.

August 1, 2011 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.