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Michael S. Barr, MD, MBA, FACP

Former Senior Vice President, Division of Medical Practice, Professionalism & Quality, American College of Physicians

In early May 2013, Dr. Steven Stack, Chair, Board of Trustees for the AMA, testified on concerns about the Meaningful Use program and did an excellent job of  presenting important issues regarding usability, coding, documentation, and lack of flexibility in the Meaningful Use program. Some of these issues were also covered in prior AmericanEHR blogs. Over the…

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Over the past eight months, I’ve started back in part-time internal medicine practice in Columbia, MD, doing mostly urgent care visits in coverage for other internists and family physicians in a private practice setting. I chose this opportunity because of difficulty finding a routine in Washington, DC (near my office) that could accommodate my erratic…

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An article in Modern Healthcare provides an overview of the MU audits coming to a neighborhood near you. The federal government chose a third-party contractor (Figliozzi & Company) to audit 5% of participants in the EHR Incentive Program. Only a few audits have been conducted to date, but some have entered the appeals process. Some…

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The American College of Physicians and the Federation of State Medical Boards released a new position paper available for free through the Annals of Internal Medicine. There are five key position statements — but please review the full paper as there is a rich discussion about each of these position statements. Position 1: Use of…

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This is text from an email received from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services: CMS will be offering the webinar “CMS 2013 Medicare Incentives Programs” throughout the next month about program information for the EHR Incentive Programs, Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS), and the eRx Incentive Program. The webinar provides a breadth of information on the…

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services website continues to grow with new resources. The latest is an everything-you-need-to-know guide to Stage 2 Meaningful Use set to start in 2014 for those eligible professionals and hospitals participating in the Medicare program that reported for Stage 1 in 2011–2012. EPs/EHs that attested to Stage 1 in 2013 (under…

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This week, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS) launched a new website that aims to aggregate links and information about our “favorite” initiatives: EHR and eRX Incentive Programs, PQRS, ICD-10, administrative simplification, etc. A CMS eHealth Roadmap describes how the programs will help achieve the Triple Aim, aka Three-Part Aim (improved quality of care,…

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When I speak to clinicians and other healthcare professionals, an important part of our discussion relates to the driving forces behind new policy, payment, and programs that, to some, seem to come out of nowhere. Whether it’s the medical home, medical home neighbor, EHR incentive program, ICD-10, ACOs, Comprehensive Primary Care, Bundled Payments, or other…

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News flash: EHRs don’t save money. Surprised? Well, it’s big news. In a New York Times (NYT) article last week, Reed Abelson and Julie Creswell focus on a Health Affairs (HA) article by Arthur Kellermann and Spencer Jones from RAND entitled, “What It Will Take To Achieve The As-Yet-Unfulfilled Promises of Health Information Technology.” The…

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The clock is ticking down to the deadline for comments (January 14, 11:59 pm ET) on the Health Information Technology Policy Committee (HITPC) Stage 3 Meaningful Use draft recommendations. Many readers of the AmericanEHR blog are undoubtedly involved in reviewing the objectives/metrics and some are hurrying to finalize a submission to the Office of the…

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No — it’s not a town in Russia. But, if you’re interested in Meaningful Use trivia, specifics, measures, value sets, etc., the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) manages the United States Health Information Knowledgebase or USHIK. There is an entire section/portal dedicated to meaningful use information — including links to all of the…

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