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September 17, 2012 News 1 Comment

EHR adoption at community health clinics has jumped from 8% in 2006 to 74%, thanks to HITECH funding.

The 200-provider Integrated Physician Network joins the Colorado RHIO.

9-17-2012 12-05-48 PM

eClinicalWorks launches Join The Network to give providers an open means for accessing peer-to-peer communication, regardless of the EHR system or even if no EHR is in place. eClinicalWorks is investing $10 million over the next year to expand the network, which for now is free to any provider.

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Speaking of eClinicalWorks, the privately held company forecasts revenues of $250 million this year, up from $204 million last year and $38 million five years ago. CEO Girish Kumar Navani notes the company added 500 new employees last year, spurring the company to purchase an additional $7.7 million, 61,000-square-foot building for its headquarters. The new site, across the street from its current 100,000-square-foot headquarters in Westborough, MA, will open in about a year after eClinicalWorks completes $3 million in renovations.

9-17-2012 3-40-48 PM

Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary and its physician group Massachusetts Eye and Ear Associates agree to pay HHS $1.5 million to settle potential HIPAA violations following the theft of an unencrypted laptop containing electronic PHI of patients and research subjects.

Wider use of EHRs over the last decade may be contributing to a growing up-coding trend that has added $11 billion to healthcare costs. Medical groups argue the fee hikes are justified because treating seniors has become more complex and time consuming and the higher codes reflect more accurate billing. Furthermore, EMRs and automated billing systems have enabled doctors to document and treat the level of treatment provided more easily, which results in higher level codes.

9-17-2012 5-20-42 PM

SuccessEHS promotes Lori Hines Junkins to VP of physician services, Elizabeth Featheringill Phara to VP of client services, and Elizabeth Pitman to general counsel.

An American Medical News article looks at patient portals and whether Stage 2 MU requirements will spur adoption. Stage 2 requires that at least 5% of an EP’s patients access their records online. The biggest adoption barriers today: the cost of implementing portal technology and convincing patients to access their records online.

9-17-2012 5-13-19 PM

Coming soon: SchedFull, an online waiting list that allows practices to email or SMS waitlisted patients when there is a cancellation and the available appointment matches specific patient preferences. The software works independently of a practice’s scheduling system.

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Comments 1
  • A wise boss and mentor of mine said back in 2007 that of course EHRs would increase costs. When I looked at him incredulously, he gave the rationale cited in the story above. The EHR’s value to the healthcare provider is to maximize reimbursement, and therefore the payors would be spending a lot more on healthcare.

    Of course, they’ve been taking advantage of fear of audits to cow providers into underbilling for a long time. But they shouldn’t then complain when providers find the tools to bill appropriately.

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