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News 7/15/10

July 14, 2010 News No Comments

If you are in the ambulatory world and still not clear on all the just announced final ruling on Meaningful Use, here’s a quick and dirty summary:

  • For Stage 1, eligible providers (EPs) must meet a total of 15 “core” requirements in order to qualify for Meaningful Use funds
  • For Stage 1, EPs also have to to achieve an additional 5 objectives based on a list of 10 possible criteria

Here is the list (click to enlarge) of the core set of requirements (all 15 must be met):

final MU core EP

Here is the menu set (click to enlarge) of requirements (must meet at least 5 objectives):

final MU menu EP

Also note that Stage 1 will not require practices (or hospitals) to submit claims electronically or verify insurance electronically. If you have been somewhat followed the discussions around Meaningful Use for the last few months, you are likely not surprised by any of the final requirements. Actually, the biggest surprise is that bar has been lowered a bit, giving providers a bit more flexibility  fewer Stage 1 requirements. Also, several of the measurement thresholds have been reduced, including the percentage of meds that must be entered electronically and e-prescribing requirements.  With these rules finalized, those providers who have been procrastinating on their EMR implementation are now just about of out of excuses.


If finding the right EMR is still an issue, you’ll want to check out a new website launched by AmericanEHR Partners. Multiple professional medical societies are participating in the organization, whose stated goal is to help practices evaluate EHRs, view user ratings, and compare functionalities. It doesn’t endorse any products, though 16 EHR vendors are currently part of the project (and prominently displayed on the site’s homepage.)

The 20-physician Northwest Georgia Oncology Centers joins US Oncology. The president of the NW Georgia groups says the arrangement will give his group the ability to expand its clinical informatics and research offerings.

Need an iPad? DrChrono.com is giving away free iPads when users sign up for its iPad EMR app. Don’t know how much it costs to sign up but the software apparently includes SOAP notes, e-prescribing, and billing.

New Jersey-based Physicians Resource Network )PRN) achieves “AdvancedBiller” status from AdvancedMD after adding 17 new providers over the last four months. PRN is a billing partner for AdvancedMD.

RCM solution provider Galen Advisors says its client base has grown over 50% in the last six months. Lest we forget amidst all this EMR buzz, practices need to control their collections more than ever.

Capella Healthcare (TN) selects athenaClinicals for its own physician network of over 130 providers. Capella’s physician network currently uses athenaCollector.

The Minnesota state Board of Medicine fails to discipline a physician at the University of Minnesota, despite a dozen privacy violations. The still-employed physician was estranged from his family and used his position at the university to peek into his wife and daughters’ medical records. Now the feds are investigating to determine if privacy laws were violated. Is it possible the good doctor received a bit of preferential treatment from his employer and local medical board?


ZocDoc completes $15 million in Series B funding round to expand its network of practitioners. ZocDoc uses online technology to help consumers and medical and dental offices book appointments.

HP introduces EHReady, a program aimed at helping hospitals work with affiliated doctors to deploy EHRs. HP says it will provide hospitals with marketing support services to educate physicians about getting EHR into their offices and extend financing options for physicians wanting HP products. Sounds like an underwhelming and late-in-the-game attempt to penetrate the small physician world. On the other hand, there are plenty of hospitals out their with strong HP ties so maybe health systems will be interested.


E-mail Inga.

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