AAHAM eNewswatch
Apr. 3, 2013

Hospitals question Medicare rules on readmissions
The New York Times
It is no longer enough for hospitals to make patients healthy enough to leave. Now, as part of the Obama administration's healthcare overhaul, they are spending millions of dollars to keep those patients from coming back, often acting like personal assistants to help them manage their post-hospital lives.More

Is it time to upgrade your EHR?
Hospitals & Health Networks
You wouldn't want your doctors talking to their patients and peers on a dusty old flip phone that can't even check emails. So, why put a dusty old electronic health record in their hands that can barely perform the functions needed to transform their work? More

Price transparency in healthcare — the latest buzzwords
By Dr. Jonathan Kaplan
Unless you're totally oblivious to all forms of media from TV, print or Internet, you've probably heard about the Affordable Care Act, or ObamaCare. One of the main goals of the legislation is to bring down healthcare costs by several means — cutting reimbursements, decreasing the amount insurance companies spend on salaries, etc. One hope of the new law is to decrease costs by increasing competition on healthcare plans. How do they plan to do this? Price transparency, my friend.More

New model predicts hospital readmission risk
Brigham and Women's Hospital via ScienceDaily
Hospital readmissions are a costly problem for patients and for the U.S. healthcare system with studies showing nearly 20 percent of Medicare patients are readmitted to the hospital within 30 days of discharge at an annual cost of $17 billion. Preventing avoidable re-admissions could result in improved patient care and significant cost savings. In a new model developed at Brigham and Women's Hospital, researchers help clinicians identify which medical patients are at the greatest risk for potentially avoidable hospital readmissions so extra steps can be taken to keep those patients healthy and out of the hospital.More

Looking to share your expertise?
In an effort to enhance the overall content of the AAHAM eNewswatch, we'd like to include peer-written articles in future editions. As a member of AAHAM, your knowledge and experience in the industry can be of great help to your fellow members. And we're hoping you'll share this expertise with your peers through well-written commentary. Because of the digital format, there's no word or graphical limit, and our group of talented editors can help with final edits. If you're interested in participating, please contact Ronnie Richard to discuss logistics.More

Is your EHR ready for the ADA?
American Medical News
It's becoming more common for impaired patients as more medical practices move to electronic health records and electronic resources. Too often, health professionals do not consider whether disabled patients or employees are able to use electronic equipment such as EHRs, public websites and e-tools until a problem arises, legal experts say.More

Employee benefits: How the final HIPAA regulations impact group health plans
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recently issued final regulations modifying the privacy, security, enforcement, and breach notification provisions of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 and implementing the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act.More

ICD-10 preparation: Where should your practice be right now?
EHR Intelligence
Providers, start your engines: The ICD-10 deadline is a mere eighteen months away. And there's a lot of work to be done before you reach that checkered flag. 2013 will be a busy year, full of training, testing and nail-biting anticipation. Where should you be in the long and complicated process as March comes to a close? CMS has created a series of helpful timelines to keep you moving in the right direction.More

EHR replacement: Challenges for providers making the switch
EHR Intelligence
The pressures are mounting for healthcare organizations and providers to adopt EHR systems to meet federal, state, or organizational mandates to improve the quality and cost of care through the adoption of these health IT solutions. More

HIPAA compliance: 5 key considerations for hospitals and other large providers
Becker's Hospital Review
On Jan. 17, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released the long-awaited omnibus final rule pursuant to the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act and the Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act of 2008. The Final Rule is effective as of March 26, and covered entities and business associates must comply with the applicable requirements of the Final Rule by Sept. 23.More

Securing health data from hackers requires a holistic approach
Though less common than breaches from lost laptops or other devices, hacking is on the rise in healthcare, experts say. Fending off cyber criminals, however, should go beyond treating security as a routine matter of protecting patient privacy, according to a recently published research report from CSC's Global Institute for Emerging Healthcare Practices.More

The litigation and risk-management concerns meaningful use triggers
Government Health IT
New federal healthcare legislation and implementing regulations seek to exert control over aspects of patient care, from outlining the substantive information that healthcare providers should obtain from their patients to specification of treatment algorithms a physician should consider once a diagnosis is made. Meaningful use standards require healthcare providers to affirmatively act to identify potential future health risks in patients seen for unrelated health conditions. New regulations also require continued patient follow-up after discharge from care to ensure compliance with care directives. The regulations reflect laudable goals but create significant potential risk for malpractice claims for unwary healthcare providers.More

ACOs increasingly see insurance benefits as opportunity to offer incentives promoting value-based decisions
Modern Healthcare
More hospitals and doctors are signing accountable care contracts that tie payouts and sometimes penalties to delivering better results at lower costs. Some in the vanguard of that approach want to tweak insurance benefits to nudge patients toward choices that help them do it.More