HIT Newser: Will Stage 3 Meaningful Use Be Delayed?

CMS Releases Final Update to ACO Program

CMS releases a final rule updating the Medicare Shared Savings Program, which includes a new higher-risk, higher-reward Track 3 option; streamlines data sharing between CMS and ACOs; and adds a requirement that ACOs applying for the program describe how they will promote the use of health IT to boost care coordination.

Organizations Urge Stage 3 Delay

The AMA and MGMA join the AHA and CHIME in calling for a delay in finalizing Stage 3 Meaningful Use requirements. The current version is largely viewed as too burdensome for providers with the potential to impede the use of health IT to improve quality and efficiency.

Quite simply, Stage 3 will not be successful without provider buy-in. There have been delays before; look for another one

Legislators Consider Adding Mental Health to MU Program

Legislators introduce a bill to make behavioral health and substance abuse treatment professionals eligible for the Meaningful Use program.

Similar bills have been floated in the past, though none have passed. Mental health providers should never have been left out of the MU program and it’s past time to fix this oversight. Facilitating the use of EHR would improve care coordination efforts and enhance patient care. Even though there is currently a lot of negativity around the MU program, it’s time to level the playing field and make funds available for mental health providers.

Alas, I am not optimistic the legislation will pass..

Partners Launches $1.2 Billion Epic Project

Partners Healthcare launches its $1.2 billion Epic system at three hospitals. The system has taken three years to build and the price is double the initial $600 million estimate. Partners will continue the roll-out over the next two years.

CMS to Share More Data

CMS will give private-sector innovators and entrepreneurs access to CMS data, including de-identified Medicare claims. Acting CMS Administrator Andy Slavitt said the move is “aimed directly at shaking up healthcare innovation and setting a new standard for data transparency.”

ICD-10 Testing: Better but Still Not There

A second round of ICD-10 end-to-end testing results in an 88% acceptance rate, up from 81% during January’s testing. The week-long testing included 875 providers and billing companies and 23,138 test claims.

Show Me the Money

New Hampshire’s Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health selects Conifer Health to provide RCM services for its hospital and physicians.

Erlanger Health (TN) announces a $91 million contract with Epic that will add 100 new jobs and increase operational expenses $97 million over the next 10 years.

Wheeling and Dealing

McKesson sells its Care Management business to Comvest Partners and co-investor Mosaic Health Solutions. The business will be renamed AxisPoint Health.

Health system software provider Evolent Health completes a $195 million IPO. Evolent was founded in 2011 by UPMC Health Plan and The Advisory Board Company.

Fitbit announces plans for a $549 million IPO.

New Blood

TeleHealth Services names former SONIFI Health president Gary Kolbeck VP of business development.

NextGen parent company Quality Systems announces the retirement of President/CEO Steven T. Plochocki as of June 30, 2015. He will be succeeded by former CareFusion SVP/GM Rusty Frantz.

AHIMA names former California HHS deputy secretary of health information Pamela Lane VP of government relations.


The American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) publishes 10 recommendations for improving EHRs by 2020. The recommendations cover five areas including simplify and speed documentation; refocus regulation; increase transparency and streamline certification; and foster innovation.

Kareo announces product integration with DoctorBase, its recently acquired practice marketing and patient engagement solution, giving customers access to an integrated suite of front office tools for finding new patients and engaging current patients.

Accenture researchers predict that FDA-regulated digital health solutions will save more than $100 billion over the next four years. Researchers estimate that devices or software to detect or treat a medical condition created $6 billion in savings in 2014, primarily driven by medication adherence, behavior modifications, and fewer ER visits.

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