New Toolkit Provides Guidelines for EHR Amendments

AHIMA has published a new toolkit, “Amendments in the Electronic Health Record,” that provides guidance on how to maintain the integrity and accuracy of an electronic health record system (EHR) when staff use the system’s amendment functionality.

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HHS Announces: ICD-10 Delayed One Year

Today the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced the final rule that changes the implementation deadline for the transition to ICD-10-CM and ICD-10-PCS from October 1, 2013 to October 1, 2014. HHS concluded that delaying ICD-10-CM and ICD-10-PCS by one year does the least to disrupt existing implementation efforts and minimizes the costs of delay while affording the small provider community an additional year to become compliant. AHIMA CEO Lynne Thomas Gordon, MBA, RHIA, FACHE, CAE, said in a press release, “ICD-10-CM/PCS implementation is inevitable, but today’s news gives the healthcare community the certainty and clarity it needs to move forward with implementation, testing, and training.”

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Stage 2 Meaningful Use Final Rule Released

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) have released final rules and requirements for the stage 2 meaningful use EHR Incentive Program.

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Providers Turn to Portals to Meet Patient Demand, Meaningful Use

With the recent release of the stage 2 “meaningful use” EHR Incentive Program measures and standards, new challenges and exciting opportunities are knocking at healthcare providers’ and vendors’ doors. The HITECH Act, published in 2009, launched the EHR Incentive Program, which promotes the adoption and meaningful use of health IT software by US healthcare providers. While providers have the opportunity to receive incentive payments for early adoption of certified software, those not adopting certified EHR systems will be financially penalized starting in 2015. Based on the timeline given in the final rule, providers should begin working to demonstrate meaningful use in 2013 in order to be compliant by 2015.

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Report: Health IT Fosters Improved Patient-Centric Care

The use of health information technology (IT) and patient-centered principles play a role in the overall improvement of care, according an Agency for Helathcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) report. Published June 2012 through the AHRQ-developed Johns Hopkins University Evidence-Based Practice Center (EPC), the report found “substantial evidence exists” that health IT applications featuring patient-centered care components have a positive effect on healthcare outcomes.

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