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November 2, 2011 News No Comments

The New Jersey HITEC and Chicago HITREC  sign agreements with Welch Allyn to provide that company’s EHR Prep-Select services to their members.

Blackstone completes its acquisition of Emdeon in a transaction valued at approximately $3 billion.

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athenahealth and its recruitment marketing agency HireClix win an onrec Award for Best College Recruiting Program. Last May athenahealth sponsored a mobile food truck and gave away free organic meals during the breaks between MIT final exams. During the event,  recruiters and software developers encouraged students to apply for open positions.

An estimated 20% more physician practices will be involved in mergers and acquisitions this year compared to 2010. As of the end of the third quarter, the number of 2011 deals involving physician practices hit 70, compared to 60 for all of 2010.

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OrthoArkansas (AR) selects the SRS EHR for its 33 providers.

CMS issues a final rule updating 2012 payment polices and rates for Medicare providers and upholds the current SGR payment reduction. CMS Administrator Donald Berwick stresses that unless Congress fixes the SGR formula, provider reimbursement will fall 27.4% and create a situation with “dire consequences.”

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eClinicalWorks employees come together in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month. OK, I am a few days late, but it’s still a great cause worth mentioning.

The Florida Academy of Family Physicians names Point of Care Solutions’ Agile Medical Platform a recommended EHR/PM solution for its members. Point of Care Solutions, whose offering includes Practice Fusion’s EHR, will extend a discounted monthly subscription rate to Academy members.

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Several providers speak out in favor of digital pen technology as a means of capturing clinical data and streamlining documentation. Shareable Ink CEO Steve Hau notes that digital pen applications have an accuracy rate of nearly 100% for checked boxes and 94% for free text.

Most physicians believe EHRs are safer than paper records, though patients are unsure. A GfK Roper survey finds that 54% of doctors think EHRs are safer, though only 39% of patients agree. Both physicians and patients cite accessibility as a top EHR benefit.

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The AMA launches an online group for practices, payers, and intermediaries  to share tips, questions, and success stories on getting claims processed and paid electronically.

CMS adds a number of new FAQs about the EHR incentive program, including this one: does a provider have to record all clinical data in their certified EHR technology in order to accurately report complete clinical quality measure data for the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs? The bottom line answer is that currently CMS does not require providers to record all clinical quality measures, in part because many providers aren’t able to capture all the data in their EHR. Instead, CMS is requiring providers to report the clinical quality measure data exactly as it is generated as output from the EHR in order to successfully demonstrate Meaningful Use. CMS recognizes that this may yield numerator, denominator, and exclusion values for measures in the EHR  that are not identical to the values generated from other methods (such as record extraction.) If I am interpreting this right, CMS is saying that in order to demonstrate Meaningful Use, you may have to report meaningless data. Nice.

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