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Author Archives: William S. Underwood MPH

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William S. Underwood MPH

Senior Associate, Center For Practice Improvement & Innovation, American College of Physicians

The National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released a data brief titled “Use and Characteristics of Electronic Health Record Systems Among Office-based Physician Practices: United States, 2001–2012.” The brief reviews EHR adoption rates and the features that practices and individual clinicians are currently using. The study…

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The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) and The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) have just released the Stage 2 Meaningful Use regulations for the Electronic Health Records Incentive Programs.  The regulations can be found at: CMS – http://www.ofr.gov/OFRUpload/OFRData/2012-21050_PI.pdf ONC – http://www.ofr.gov/OFRUpload/OFRData/2012-20982_PI.pdf A fact sheet on CMS’s final rule is…

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While it is expected that CMS will delay the implementation of ICD-10 to October 2014 instead of October 2013, the final rule confirming these changes has yet to be published. Regardless, it is still important that you and your practice keep moving towards ICD-10 adoption. The switch to the new code-set will affect every aspect…

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One of the advantages of using an Electronic Health Record (EHR) is its ability to simplify research activities to the point that even small medical practices can do their own research, either to support quality improvement activities within their practice or purely for research purposes. Determining what type of research you are interested in and…

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Earlier today, the Supreme Court held that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) is constitutional.  However, the Court also stipulated that the while the Medicaid expansion is constitutional, the federal government cannot withhold existing Medicaid funds from states who choose not to comply with the ACA provisions that expand Medicaid coverage in their…

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EHR systems are constantly being updated to provide new features and improve existing features. However, given the complexity of these systems, the updates may not be apparent unless they directly affect your workflow. As a result, many practices just keep doing the same thing they have been doing, even though a more streamlined alternate approach…

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During the 2012 ACP annual meeting in New Orleans, I had an opportunity to field and respond to member questions on health IT. A selection of most frequently asked questions and answers are provided for your reference below. EHR Selection I have tried to purchase an EHR system but none of the vendors are returning…

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Many providers were caught off guard by the e-prescribing penalty that started earlier this year. Unfortunately, there is nothing you can do at this point to stop the penalty on 2012 claims but it is not to late to avoid next year’s penalty. For those who are unfamiliar with the program and what you need to…

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In the past few years, the prevalence of cloud-based applications in healthcare has expanded rapidly. But, what is cloud computing and how does it apply to the medical practice and EHRs? For practical purposes, cloud computing describes a situation in which the software you are using and applicable data is accessed via the Internet instead…

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The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has proposed delaying the implementation of ICD-10 by one year to Oct. 1, 2014, through a proposed rule: “Administrative Simplification: Adoption of a Standard for a Unique Health Plan Identifier; Addition to the National Provider Identifier Requirements; and a Change to the Compliance Date for ICD-10-CM and…

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As practices move towards the integration of more information in their EHR systems, a question that frequently comes up is how much information should be incorporated from imaging and radiology studies. This information is usually available in three primary formats: A narrative report received either as a faxed document or scanned into a commonly used…

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